Home PageBelinda C. Dunn Professional AstrologerContact UsHarmony AstrologyLinksAstrology Wisdom


February 2023

Belinda C. Dunn

Leo/Aquarius Full Moon

February 5 @ 1:28 pm

Pisces New Moon

February 20 @ 2:06 am

February begins with all planets direct, all systems GO! Pulling out of the starting gate after nine weeks of Mars retrograde (October 29 – January 11), many obstacles and delays fall away in a burst of momentum, a welcome relief. In fact, all planets are direct through February and March. Direct means just that . . . straight, forward, on target, but what does this really mean?

Astrologers pay attention to the apparent motion of planetary bodies, using the terms direct, stationary and retrograde. In reality, we know planets cannot go backward, but it is strictly from our vantage point on Earth. From all appearances, a planet can move through a zodiac sign, then slow down, pause, and reverse its passage until pausing again, stationing direct to move forward retracing its path. As obtuse and illusory as this appears, like clockwork, the effects are generally very apparent, especially in terms of timing.

When a planet returns to the exact degree of its station retrograde, it signifies a completion of the phase, and entering new territory. For example, Mercury went retrograde on December 28 @ 24 degrees Capricorn. Mercury went direct on January 18, returning to 24 degrees Capricorn on February 7.

Therefore, during the first week of February we will see a wrap-up of mindsets, projects, matters, topics and decisions that may have been lingering for months. This is especially the case as Mercury conjoins Pluto on February 10, in a dramatic and grand finale. Soon after, on February 11, Mercury enters the next zodiac sign of Aquarius, a clear signal that 2023 is well on its way.

Another example involves Jupiter's transit through Aries. Jupiter went retrograde on July 28, direct on November 24, but finally enters new territory on February 14, which happens to be Valentine's Day. In this case, you may reflect on the new directions you felt last spring when Jupiter entered Aries. At that point, you may have identified areas of life that no one else could do for you, but from the depths of your being you felt a keen rising up of direction along with a good boost of self reliance. Perhaps like a young child that says, “I can do this myself. This is mine to do.”

It may have taken months of gathering courage, refining the dream, going back to the drawing board again and again to double check, all in preparation for Jupiter in Aries. A leap of faith, a gigantic push of can-do initiative, in many ways, only now is it possible to get the year underway. Jupiter transits through Aries until May 16 when it enters the next zodiac sign of Taurus, a grounding and manifesting influence.

Early in this month, shedding light on terrestrial matters, a Full Moon is exact on February 5. In this case, the awe inspiring illumination occurs with Sun in Aquarius and Moon in Leo. Whenever these zodiac energies are activated the themes of leadership and group consciousness arise. In general, a leader needs a group to lead, and conversely, a group typically functions best with some type of leadership. This applies to governments, social groups, organizations, and the family unit.

In the current social environment, there is often a dearth of quality leadership. Glorifying power and attention, strong personalities vie for leadership positions, but the essential qualities of effective leadership are often missing. Leading by example, the true leader demonstrates, to the best of their ability, the admirable traits of responsibility, capability, honesty, humility, altruism, and good will for all.

This Aquarius/Leo Full Moon powerfully illuminates leaders and those they purport to serve. Stirring up a multitude of extreme contradictions, Uranus, the planet of revolt and sudden change, is in tense aspect to both Sun and Moon. Suggesting images of the tower in the Tarot cards, this is a tower moment. And not only this, activating in the fixed signs of Taurus/Leo/Aquarius, long standing conditions are toppling, collapsing, shaken to the very foundation.

In the world of men, leaders rise and leaders fall. Dynasties rise and dynasties fall. Nations rise and nations fall. The most stubborn, intractable and defended personalities may attempt to dig in, but there is little they can do to stem the tide of public opinion. Many leaders may find themselves hard pressed to maintain power and influence in the throes of these planetary alignments, unless there is accountability, and a true reckoning.

These themes will continue to roll out through the coming months and years, especially as Pluto enters Aquarius on March 23. Heralding a new era of, “power to the people,” this game changer of a planet will continue to expose and hold leaders to task for their actions.

From the personal perspective, the Sun's annual transit through Aquarius (January 20 – February 18), highlights the importance of freedom to express yourself in alignment to core values, and your unique essence. It can be quite exhilarating to throw off the shackles of conformity, and let your true self shine. Additionally, the Full Moon in Leo enhances the vital importance of fun, play, spontaneity and creativity.

As always, Venus is visible and shining in the night sky during February. Transiting through Pisces (January 26 – February 20), Venus supports tremendous heart expansion beyond self interest to experience transcendental compassion. This is such a gift to easily drop prejudice and judgment of self and others to realize common bonds of affection, no matter what.

Speaking to our humanity, and the human condition which includes suffering, Venus in Pisces helps to dissolve separation, victimization, hopelessness and helplessness. This trend increases and culminates on February 15 as Venus conjoins mystical Neptune. Thus, the planet of human love joins the planet of spiritual love beyond all boundaries. Your heart may go out to others, and watch for opportunities to assist and offer solace to those in need.

Over recent months, there has been a big focus on Mars in Gemini. Finally, after 10 weeks of retrograde, Mars is picking up speed. Most people and projects will benefit from an uptick in energy, vitality, momentum and direction. Mars will spend all of February in the final stages of Gemini, retracing its orbit and preparing to enter new territory mid-March. A day to watch is February 5 when Venus meets Mars in a stressful square aspect. This isn't a big deal, but relationships may be stretched to accommodate the needs of all parties. Mars in Gemini can be all over the place, while Venus in Pisces prefers quiet, creativity, romance, and mystical receptivity.

This brings us to the New Moon in Pisces on February 20. In the early degrees of Pisces, Moon joins Sun to plant seeds of intention for the next lunar cycle. Signaling the final weeks of winter in the northern hemisphere, in preparation for spring, this lunation is introspective and reflective. In the dead of winter, taking a long winter nap, nature withdraws to root deeply, restore and rest.

As the last sign in the zodiac wheel, Pisces is about relinquishing control over what is uncontrollable. It is also about the blessings and benefits of living spirituality. So often humans turn away from spiritual connection as something abstract, fanciful and unobtainable. Many names, forms and attributes are given in attempts to define Source, when in reality, life itself is a manifestation of spirituality. Living a spiritual life simply means choosing and accepting love, lightness, joy, humor, compassion and peace. It isn't rocket science, but makes all the difference in the world.

During this month of quiet receptivity, you may receive practical and inspiring guidance to carry into March, and years to come. This New Moon presages a major planetary transit, Saturn entering Pisces on March 7. This shift will be real and palpable as Saturn travels through the most mystical zodiac sign for the next three years. While we will return to this topic many times, for now, suffice it to point out, Saturn in Pisces can initiate a spiritual renaissance on planet Earth.

Together with Pluto changing signs in March, this is a preparatory month. If you notice certain things are ending in both your awareness and life circumstances, this is all for the good. We know humanity stands on the precipice of great challenge, but extraordinary potential. We are, after all, in the second decade of the 21st century. Technology is developing at a dizzying rate, weather related disasters are increasing exponentially, collapse of habitats is only too real, and humans must adapt to survive.

Saturn and Pluto will help us do just that. Orbiting through the zodiac signs of world service, Aquarius and Pisces, we are destined to realize our common bonds, the interdependence of each and every species. On one hand, dogmatic, conditioned and destructive belief systems can fall away to reveal a galactic heritage. On the other hand, the expansion of consciousness will literally call forth revelation, and renewed purpose in what it means to be a human being. Truly, the journey is just beginning, and the final frontier awaits discovery!

January 2023

Astrologer Belinda C. Dunn

Capricorn/Cancer Full Moon

January 6 @ 6:08 pm EST

Mars direct

January 12 @ 3:56 pm EST

Mercury direct

January 18 @ 8:12 am EST

Aquarius New Moon

January 21 @ 3:53 pm EST

As the Earth turns in perfect concert, New Year celebrations, one after another, burst out across the globe, saying goodbye to the past while ringing in the new. For most, there is joyful and gleeful anticipation of a clean slate, a chance to begin anew. For many, anticipation mingles with dread, tainted by real and desperate conditions, just another date manufactured by adherence to the Gregorian calendar.

In this realm of contrast, on this small, blue/green gem of a planet, we don't have to ascribe meaning as much as to know there is meaning behind all events on planet Earth . . . if one looks for it. Finding and making meaning in this apparently random cosmos is what humans do best as an essential part of our shared humanity.

It is winter in the northern hemisphere, and 2023 begins on a somber note. The stinging, biting, cold wind of reality is blowing up a storm. Not only is Sun in Capricorn, but Mercury, Venus and Pluto join in a rare conjunction, applying a powerful punch of truth and consequences.

Let's take a look at Mercury first. Tracking its motion is a reality check, giving many clues as to decisions, and timing in general. Mercury entered Capricorn on December 6. You may have noticed a more grounded and realistic state of mind. Mercury in Capricorn is optimal for organization, and identifying priorities in the step by step process of getting the job done. But, just when the plan appeared to be laid out and doable, Mercury went retrograde on December 29th. For some people this means going back to the drawing board, and making new plans. For others, this signifies the real work involved in manifestation aided by the diligent, patient and methodical nature of Mercury in Capricorn.

Mercury goes direct on January 18, an indication of progress based on the previous weeks of review. At this point, Mercury will retrace its tracks, continuing in Capricorn until February 11 when Mercury enters Aquarius. Therefore, from early December to mid-February, there are nine full weeks of stops and starts, all in reckoning with reality. However, there is a fine line between dealing with issues in a realistic way, and/or giving in to cynical and fatalistic thinking.

To grasp the importance of this transit, we go back to Pluto. Telling the story of collective and evolutionary consciousness, Pluto has a 246 year orbit, spending approximately 14-15 years in each zodiac sign. Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, a year marked by the conclusion of Bush's presidency along with revelations of financial turmoil, corporate greed, and massive bank bailouts. Tremendous and unprecedented developments came in November with Obama's election, and his campaign slogan, “Yes, we can!”

The years since have brought more and more revelations of the hidden activities of governments, financial institutions, corporations, and so much more. In many cases, the underpinnings of power have been exposed for what they are, a vain attempt to maintain control, at any cost. Acting without regard for the environment, people, society, and sovereign countries, strong armed bullies have run roughshod over human decency and common goodwill.

These days are over. Really? You may ask. But, now that Pluto is in the final degrees of Capricorn, its work is largely done. This year, March 23rd, to be exact, Pluto enters the next zodiac sign of Aquarius. While humans, and the planet, may be on the brink of extinction, a whole new era is dawning on planet Earth.

In the meantime, Pluto transiting at 27-29 degrees of Capricorn will bring many conclusions throughout the year. In numerous dramatic scenarios, the curtain will close, falling on an empty stage. The once revved up audience is ready to move on, no longer interested. Other more important and compelling matters begin to emerge, ready to take center stage, marking 2023 as a year of transition.

As the year gets underway, there are three significant go ahead, green lights in January. In addition to Mercury direct, Mars goes direct on January 12, and Uranus on the 22nd. Altogether, these planets give a tremendous boost to any and all projects that have been delayed, or on hold during autumn months.

As the planet of action, Mars is especially pertinent. Let's review, Mars entered Gemini on August 21. It was full speed ahead until a sharp retrograde turn on October 29. On the energetic level, this may have felt like approaching an enormous hurdle, or even running into a brick wall. Issues cropped up, and circumstances demanded a pause of reorientation, along with careful planning in order to move forward effectively.

Mars remains in Gemini through winter months, completing this lengthy transit around the Spring Equinox. Since Gemini is the zodiac sign of communication, media, education, travel, transportation, neighbors and relatives, you may have found one or more of these areas strongly activated.

Currently transiting through Taurus, Uranus has been retrograde since August 24. This combination has produced extreme fluctuations in market value, currency, corporate funds, and financial institutions. When combining the freedom and inventive urge of Uranus with Taurus, the zodiac sign of money, we have seen the development and rise of cryptocurrency as a means of digital transaction. During the retrograde period, one of the largest exchanges collapsed, resulting in more efforts to regulate this method of exchange. Over the next three years, it will be fascinating to see how Uranus in Taurus continues its experiment with digital currency.

Uranus plays a key role during the Full Moon activation on January 6. In harmonious alignment with Sun and Mercury in Capricorn, watch for positive developments in practical matters; profession, career, investments, property, finances. As much as Uranus implies sudden change, in the earth element, there is a longing for stability amid the push for progress. Additionally, Jupiter transiting in Aries, gives an extra dose of purposeful entrepreneurship. With elections over, congress back in session, and people back to work, many projects are able to thrive, and benefit from this planetary confluence.

Sun enters Aquarius skies on January 20, and the Moon soon follows in a New Moon on the 21st. Marking the Chinese New Year on the 22nd, this annual celebration always follows the first New Moon of any given year. In the very early degrees of Aquarius, this auspicious joining of Moon with Sun plants the seeds for another lunar cycle as well as the year of the Rabbit. All together, these factors initiate a year of good fortune as the Rabbit totem is known as lucky, patient, calm and gentle.

Astrologically, Aquarius is the zodiac sign of futurism, innovation, experimentation and progress. Forward thinking, Aquarius is more about where we are going, than where we have been. Like a rocket ship leaving the gravity of Earth, this New Moon in Aquarius instills a tremendous boost of powerful intention. Leaving the orbit of dense reality, Aquarius is airy, light, free, mentally creative and visionary.

Additionally, there are two planets in Aquarius, Venus and Saturn. Venus is in Aquarius most of January, from the 2nd to 26th. As the planet of love, Venus in Aquarius supports equality, human rights, friendship and community involvement while giving permission to love life and live free. Rigid social conventions fall by the wayside as each and all are unique in their own way. “Dancing to the beat of your own drum,” sums up Aquarius.

This brings us to Saturn in Aquarius. It takes Saturn approximately 30 years to transit through the entire zodiac. Spending 2½ years in each sign, Saturn marks the cycles of our lives as well as social and cultural trends. Now in the homestretch, Saturn is completing its transit through Aquarius this winter, entering Pisces on March 7, 2023.

We can look back over the past two years, and consider the themes of Saturn's transit through Aquarius. Of course, themes around freedom abound, but what really is freedom? As much as freedom is espoused as a core value, especially in the United States, there are many nuances and misunderstandings. In fact, freedom cannot really be freedom if actions bind an individual or group to destructive consequences, and limited outcomes. Real freedom comes with responsibility and social conscience, never giving license for whatever and whenever. Even the universe has laws.

With both Saturn and Pluto shifting zodiac signs in March, this is another indication of numerous endings, too many to count, as one thing after another wraps up in natural conclusion. In many ways, 2023 is a year of clean-up while navigating the currents of personal and planetary evolution.

At the same time, 2023 is not a year for wishful thinking and rose colored glasses. There are very real challenges, at least on this dimension, as the fortunes of men rise and fall, ebb and flow. I am reminded of the analogy of riding a bike while trying to fix the tire. It seems impossible, but it is clear to see, the challenges before humanity are complex and multifaceted, immense and daunting, except perhaps in the eyes of the future, our children.

As the Chinese year of the Rabbit gets underway, the iconic image of a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat comes to mind. Did this really happen? How is it possible? The mind is bewildered, blown away, in the presence of magic. In many ways, this is what is being asked right now. Standing on the precipice, on the brink of extraordinary opportunity, we live in an era of tremendous invention, and unparalleled advancement across a wide spectrum of possibility. Is it possible for humans to solve the riddles of our time? Yes indeed, the miraculous is happening every day.

December 2022

Belinda C. Dunn

Gemini/Sagittarius Full Moon

December 7 @ 11:08 pm EST

Winter Solstice
December 21 @ 4:50 pm EST

Capricorn New Moon

December 23 @ 5:16 am EST

Mercury retrograde
December 29 @ 4:32 am EST

As customary, December begins with all the fanfare, and over the top extravagance, of the holiday season. Lights, camera, action! While decking the halls can be a joyful expression for many, too often the season becomes a minefield of expectation and burdens, depending on where you stand. From the standpoint of astrology, Neptune is the prominent planetary player for the first half of December, and we may do well to remember the aphorism, “All that glitters is not gold.”

First of all, strengthening its influence, Neptune is stationary direct on December 3. Neptune is transiting through Pisces, a very inspirational combination, but possibly innocent, gullible, and easily persuaded. A hallmark of these times, elements of the nonsensical weave with confusion as the mind spins in an endless circle of truth vs. falsehood. Neptune teaches that only essential Truth can be real, while falsehood is but illusory, always changing, mutating into the next drama.

While there are many ramifications, and every planetary combination manifests with both opportunity and challenge, December begins with an aura of, “What's happening ??!!” Mercury is in stressful square to Neptune on the 1st. Venus follows closely, squaring Neptune on December 4th. It may feel like walking through a hall of mirrors, gazing at reflections, knowing that at any moment the mirror can shatter and scatter beyond repair. Because once the illusion falls apart, there is no turning back.

All these factors feed into the approaching Gemini/Sagittarius Full Moon, exact on the evening of December 7. Shining bright, this lunation amplifies all facets of communication, personally and collectively. In fact, there are numerous breaking developments as the Moon exactly conjoins Mars in Gemini in opposition to the Sun in Sagittarius. The very word “opposition” implies conflict, difference of opinion, and efforts to persuade others to one's point of view. The air waves will be on fire with the latest story, and a sense of urgency and pressure can overtake reason.

Sagittarius, the zodiac sign of belief, can range from open minded and curious to dogmatic, opinionated, and close minded. Most likely, this Full Moon concerns the finalization of mid-term elections that can change minds, or deepen division. The political turmoil of recent years is not just a war of words, but a war of ideology. Reading like an open book, this Full Moon has the potential to illuminate contradiction, duplicity and fantasy. It is a turning point, a decisive note on which to end the year.

Another key factor for consideration involves transiting Mars retrograde (October 30 – January 12). It can be helpful to look back to important events in late October. To some degree, November was a month for pausing, perhaps stalling, allowing adjustments and alterations to future plans. December is a month for defining and refining direction, and beginning to make movement, if possible.

Returning to Neptune, the Sun makes a final square to Neptune on December 14th. Therefore, the first half of December can be a breeding ground for a proliferation of schemes and scams with desperation as the driving force. Of course, this can wreak havoc on gift purchases, so choose wisely and carefully. Likewise, the high side of these planetary alignments can instill compassion for those in need, and can result in extraordinary acts of generosity.

By the week of December 19, grounding planetary influences come to the forefront. Marking the annual Winter Solstice, Sun enters Capricorn on the 21st. The longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere, solstice is a time for honoring traditions, lighting candles and basking in the glow of a perfectly stoked fire. By now, Mercury and Venus are in cautious and practical Capricorn, and the solstice chart shows a predominance of the earth element. Reverent, solemn and responsible, Capricorn energy helps to stabilize the metaphorical ship on stormy seas of planetary evolution.

Within days, Moon joins Sun is a Capricorn Super New Moon, exact on December 23. In the dark of the Moon, setting the tone for year-end reflection, this is an especially important lunation for each and all. Concluding a divisive, turbulent and war torn year, a profound reckoning is taking place. From a multitude of vantage points, many are asking, “Where do we go from here?”

The New Moon chart shows a major grouping of planets in Capricorn. In addition to the luminaries, Sun and Moon, there are three planets, Venus, Mercury, Pluto. Known as a stellium, these concise and powerful alignments can dissolve illusions and fantasies, and dash expectations on the hard, cold rocks of reality. This is when the rubber meets the road in a call for responsible management of resources, starting with one's immediate sphere of influence.

Now what makes this New Moon even more powerful is Mercury preparing to go retrograde on December 29th. As Mercury begins its routine (3 times a year) retrograde, it is within three degrees of Pluto, very close. As though egging Pluto on, Mercury will not make an exact conjunction with Pluto until February 10. So, even though there is plenty of time to get the drift, in reality, there is no time to waste.

Let's take a laser like focus into the compelling lessons of the zodiac teacher Capricorn. To recap, in its long 246 year orbit, Pluto has been transiting through Capricorn since 2008. Wrapping up fourteen years of history, next year Pluto enters Aquarius around the Spring Equinox. It is clear . . . a tremendous shift, monumental in scope, is underway. It is so easy to lose sight of this in the humdrum of daily life, but nevertheless, we are along for the ride.

An apt representation of Capricorn is the hermit on the mountain top, holding high a lantern to light the way for other climbers. In this way, Capricorn is wiser, stoic, more experienced, and above it all. Capricorn also represents the parent, and in particular the father. While this may be an idealization of parenting, and most parents understandably fall short in real life circumstances, the ideal parent is reliable, consistent, caring and conscientious. Older and wiser, a parent takes the long range view, fostering character development in offspring, and development of the internal compass commonly called conscience, morality, ethics.

Shifting gears . . . in this day and age, the community and family unit is besieged with dysfunction and numerous societal stresses. Substance abuse is rampant, schools are no longer safe havens, there is violence on the streets, political turmoil, economic disparity, mental illness is normalized, and meanwhile, greedy, tyrannical leaders play around with weapons of mass destruction. Need I go on?

I realize this is not a positive note on which to end the year. Sorry, but this major alignment in Capricorn with Mercury activating Pluto over the coming weeks, it's time to face reality. Otherwise, we may miss the substance and continue to blindly stumble along in desperation and delusion. This alignment can assist each and everyone to grow up, sidestep the habit of victimization, and mature in leaps and bounds by taking personal responsibility. Tap into inner guidance, your GPS of personalized instructions, and discover ways to fortify yourself for the inevitable vicissitudes and storms of life.

From the national picture . . . all year we have been tracking Pluto's return to its exact degree in 1776, the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The third and final conjunction is December 28th. This makes complete sense to astrologers, and no wonder so many systems are in a state of decay and breakdown, re-imagining and reconstruction. Pluto is literally flushing out the past.

So often, as archetypal god of the underworld, Pluto gets a bad rap. Pluto's job is to bring enlightened awareness into areas of denial and repression. Exposing the underbelly, so to speak, Pluto's action is transmuting, transforming and transcending. This takes many forms such as the psychological pressure to evolve, exposure of corruption, criminality, pollution and decomposition.

As the world turns, humans tend to forget that beneath our feet, night and day, is earth, our glorious planet Earth. Under the surface, there are vast stores of minerals, gems and crystals. Under the seas, a vast wealth of sustenance and wildlife. Abundance is the nature of life, but all this is pushed aside, easily forgotten in the insatiable rush to dominate, acquire, accumulate. But, whether acknowledged or not, humans are on a treasure hunt for the real wealth, the Truth beyond all understanding.

In conclusion, I am reminded of a remarkable story of the clay Buddha. In 1955, a clay statue of Buddha was being moved to a new temple in Thailand. In transport, the clay cracked to reveal a pure gold Buddha. Apparently, during an invasion centuries earlier, monks covered the Buddha with clay to protect and preserve it from harm.

This story has so many layers of relevance and meaning, but the essence is a helpful reminder. No matter what “things” look like on the surface, appearances can be deceiving. Beneath all trials and tribulations, sorrows and joys, abides a hidden existence, waiting to be discovered, waiting to be known, and ready to be embodied.

As another year draws to a close, may each of you, your loved ones, and all beings experience the true wealth; peace, happiness, health, contentment, and a deep abiding sense that all is well, and love really does make the world go 'round.

Enjoy the season, goodwill to all, and 2023 . . . here we come !!!

November 2022

Belinda C. Dunn

Taurus Full Moon Lunar Eclipse

November 8 @ 6:02 am

Sagittarius New Moon

November 23 @ 5:57 pm

November gets underway with a beautiful quarter Moon in the night sky. Signaling the halfway mark between a Scorpio Solar Eclipse on October 25, and a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse on November 8, the Moon's light grows and expands, waxes and wanes, in perfect rhythm, touching all life on Earth.

On any given month, the quarter Moon is a phase of adjustment. The seeds have already been planted at the New Moon, gestation is taking place, and the manifestation process is underway. In this case, still reeling from the effects of an intense Scorpio eclipse, life seems to hang in the balance. This in-between place is rarely comfortable, but Scorpio teaches a compelling lesson. Life is meant to be lived fearlessly, boldly, courageously, as a marvel of gigantic proportions, no matter what. The mythical and mystical Phoenix, reduced to ashes, rises again.

On November 8, a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse is exact near sunrise in Washington D.C. Setting the stage for national mid-term elections taking place that day, the astrology chart portrays various factions vying for power, competing for control. No doubt, this is a watershed election, and planetary trends indicate major and far reaching change.

In light of this, let's take a good look into the lunar eclipse chart. First of all, there is a planetary alignment called a T-square. In and of itself, this shows opposition and tension with no easy answers in sight. There is a tendency to polarize in one direction or another, but answers are not forthcoming due to complexity and complications.

This T-square has three potent points, activating the fixed zodiac signs of Scorpio, Taurus and Aquarius. Denoting arrogant and stubborn adherence to fixed positions, there is very little flexibility. No matter how much fear mongering, spin and contradiction, “might makes right,” no longer applies. Behind the scenes, there are larger forces at work, ready to break forth and demand accountability.

Closely aligned and currently transiting through Scorpio, the chart shows Sun, Mercury, Venus, and south lunar node in this potent sign of metamorphosis. The areas of sexuality, occultism, death and inheritance are generally ascribed to Scorpio. However, from this perspective, inheritance is so much more than money and property. It is the ancestral and genetic inheritance of blood lines beginning with the mingling of sexual juices leading to conception and gestation.

All this and more, Scorpio governs the reproductive organs and procreation. As a key player, Venus is the divine feminine, and it's no surprise that the health and reproductive rights of women are on the ballot. Add in a good dose of articulate Mercury in Scorpio, and a chorus of voices and votes will echo across the land.

In opposition to these Scorpio placements, the lunar eclipse chart shows Moon exactly conjunct Uranus on the north lunar node. All in Taurus, this amplifies themes around the environment, climate change, natural disasters, insurance, resources, money and property. Since the Moon represents the mood of the general public, this shows a readiness for progress and substantial change. It's a “whatever it takes,” mindset. There is power and strength erupting into plain view.

Known as the wild card planet, the effects of Uranus tend to be surprising, unpredictable, unruly and revolutionary. Transiting through earthy Taurus (2018 – 2025), awareness continues to build around the vital development of clean technologies, sustainability, preservation of species and habitats, and effective use of resources. There is a window of opportunity here, and the clock is ticking.

This brings us to the third point in the eclipse chart, transiting Saturn in Aquarius (2020-23). In general, the overall social environment has been filled with complex challenges, and contradictory responses. On one hand, Aquarius is about freedom, but Saturn promotes caution, restraint and responsibility. Locked in a stalemate, here we see the clashing crescendo of numerous issues, such as gun control, immigration and abortion, to name a few.

As mentioned in previous articles, Saturn and Uranus have been at odds for two years. Still in a tense square, this planetary combination energizes the naysayers, those content to make waves and complain, but do nothing. Tracking these planets back, we come to January 2021. Not only was this the inauguration of a new administration, but a significant group of people still reject the results. This is just one example, but there are many other instances of stoking the fires of dissent, fighting against the perceived “other,” digging into very stubborn positions, and holding up progress.

It is clear to see the importance of this election as a referendum on all of the above. Other areas of importance according to the symbolism of astrology include Aquarius themes such as human rights, science and technology. Taurus themes such as the economy, currency, financial institutions, and natural resources. Scorpio themes such as mortality, sexuality, psychology and mysticism.

November begins with Mars having just gone retrograde on October 30th. In general, all the forward momentum and externalized drive of action oriented Mars hits a wall of resistance, a full stop in some cases. Retro literally means to back up, reverse direction, and step back as focus becomes more internalized, and priorities crystal clear. Roadblocks and detours actually refine and define direction over the coming months.

On the personal level, areas of life most affected will depend on the house location of transiting Mars in your natal chart. Mars is retrograde until January 12, a long haul, but knowing about it can offset frustration due to thwarted desires, unresolved conflicts, overwork, deadlines and pressure. Other responses may include apathy, overwhelm, depletion and low vitality, so by all means, take care and be aware. The more introspection and acceptance, the more these situations can be handled effectively.

On the collective level, Mars transiting through Gemini highlights the areas of travel and transportation. Looking back to when Mars entered Gemini on August 20, by mid-September one of the top news stories in the United States was the illegal busing of immigrants from one state to another. This is one example, but on the global level, masses of people are on the move, migrating to safer ground. Numerous factors are forcing people to relocate, and Mars retrograde can intensify these challenges as though the immigration crisis is on steroids.

Additionally, Gemini governs all aspects of communication; thinking, speaking, listening, analysis, education. In this media driven age of technology there is tremendous distortion of information. Take your pick, which version of reality do you wish to subscribe to? It is one thing to exchange points of view, and expand perspective, it is another to present false content for personal gain. Currently, the media is undergoing radical scrutiny, and Mars transiting through Gemini will energize these important topics.

As dark, down and dirty, a Scorpio Solar Eclipse can feel, things are not as bad as they appear. Each zodiac sign compliments and builds upon the other, and this is especially true with Sagittarius. Building toward a New Moon on November 23, Venus, Mercury and Sun enter Sagittarius (November 16, 17, 22, respectively).

This is an enormous, palpable and profound shift. After scouring the depths, and transforming the shadows, Sagittarius comes along to light our fires, literally and figuratively. Soaring on the wings of inspiration, Sagittarius instills a festive mood, uplifting the spirits, and introducing the holiday season.

Working in synergy, within minutes of the Sagittarius New Moon, Jupiter goes direct. Jupiter, the planetary ruler of Sagittarius, has been retrograde since late July. Going direct in Pisces, it is very close by degree to Neptune. Earlier this year, April 12 to be exact, these two giants combined their message to deliver both a warning and a vision. It's about the essential role of spirituality, especially in these troubling times. Many seeds were planted, many minds touched, and many hearts opened.

Astrologer Erin Sullivan writes, “Periods of retrogression are subtle and evolutionary. Jupiter's purpose in its retrograde cycle is to connect one with the deeper and more personal sense of justice, not jurisprudence, but that which is correct for one's integral balance and health. It is the annual opportunity to contemplate and reflect upon aspects of our life in which we need to explore our personal code of ethics.”

As Jupiter goes direct, the quest for meaning based on personal experience, is integrated and made ready for expression.

Without meaning, life is devoid of purpose. Another way of putting it . . . without Jupiter's beneficial rays, life ceases to be anything other than an exercise of the senses. Jupiter bestows humor, confidence and optimism even in the darkest hours.

Uplifting the mood, setting the stage, and laying the table for a Thanksgiving feast, all factors combine to enhance a sense of exquisite meaning and reverent purpose. Impossible to grasp in all its fullness, meaning cannot be mandated or decreed, coerced or manipulated, because it resides in the deepest recesses of each human heart. And for this we are grateful.

October 2022

Belinda C. Dunn

Mercury direct

October 2 @ 5:07 am ET

Aries/Libra Full Moon

October 9 @ 4:55 pm ET

Scorpio Solar Eclipse

October 25 @ 6:49 am ET

From the standpoint of astrology, there is so much going on this month. October begins with Mercury the messenger going direct on October 2, and over the course of October both Pluto and Saturn go direct, but Mars goes retrograde. By month's end, a Scorpio Solar Eclipse pulls aside the curtain, revealing the depth and breath of hidden secrets. It is clear to see, like flashing neon lights, the cosmos is announcing major shifts in a multitude of matters, shaping and reshaping the trajectory of things to come.

Let's begin with Mercury. This important planet goes retrograde three times a year for about 21 days. In this case, Mercury went retrograde on September 9. Signaling a review is necessary, it can be helpful to note conversations, news, decisions and considerations from late August and early September. Delays are common during Mercury retrograde, but in hindsight this apparent slowdown brings the clarity needed to advance with confidence on down the road.

Mercury went retrograde in Libra, symbolized by the scales of justice, associated with relationships, partnerships, and legal disputes. Mercury goes direct in Virgo, bringing things down to earth, fine tuning the practical details necessary for resolution and moving forward.

Of particular note is Mercury opposite Neptune (September 23 – October 10). Presenting a real conundrum, this is when the rubber meets the road, and factual evidence meets an illusory underworld of deceit and manipulation. On one hand, this appears contradictory, riddled with conflict. On the other hand, evidence is undeniable. In general, these days call for caution, because the mental state is inclined to be dreamy, vague, and impressionable.

Other planetary factors feed into the events during this first week of October. First, powerhouse Pluto is stationary October 3 – 15, intensifying themes of exposure, corruption, control and dissolution. Transiting through Capricorn in its 246 year orbit, Pluto has been retrograde since late April, returning to the exact degree at the time of the nation's founding. Clearly, repercussions are immense and far reaching as headlines reverberate with dire warnings such as, “democracy in peril,” and “constitutional crisis.”

Yes, there is turmoil with no easy answers in sight, but Pluto's action is to expose criminality, breakdown what is no longer relevant, and ultimately upgrade and transform fundamental principles and underlying foundations. Moving very slowly, Pluto is a generational and evolutionary planet, and the process is underway, it just takes time. The next exact conjunction is December 28, so we will return to this topic in coming months.

Within 24 hours of Pluto going direct on October 8, there is a Full Moon. Shedding illumination on all things terrestrial, Moon in Aries opposes Sun in Libra. Opposition brings confrontation, and specific themes culminate during this awe-inspiring lunation. These zodiac signs represent the interplay between self and others. Aries is the individual being true to oneself. But, “no man is an island,” and Libra encapsulates the dynamic role of relationship in all forms, and the social skills required for cooperation.

Giving an additional boost to relationship themes, this Full Moon chart shows both Sun and Venus conjoined in Libra, the quintessential energy of peace lovers and peace keepers. Adding an interesting twist, Moon joins Chiron in Aries. For many people, this dynamic can surface wounds of inadequacy, loss of self, regret, people pleasing, and forcing solutions to keep the peace.

This Full Moon can take each of us very deep into what matters, the essential nature of self within the context of relationships, an area of life that can be hard and even heart breaking. It helps to give permission to self and others to follow and navigate from the core of internal guidance, rather than glossing over, manipulating, or attempting to hide true feelings. This unique planetary configuration supports soul searching, emotional honesty, meaningful dialog and healing.

The week of October 17 is highly energized as Sun/Venus in Libra trine Mars in Gemini, but square off with Pluto. This is a very tense and volatile combination, more than likely, producing revelations of truth, broken contracts, shaky alliances, and power struggles that go nowhere. Now that Pluto is direct there is an acceleration along with the pressure to address underlying conflict that stands in the way of progress.

Many situations that have been held up over recent months are breaking loose as Saturn goes direct on the 23rd. Saturn went retrograde in early June, and summer is generally a slowdown and regroup season. Moving slowly and cautiously, Saturn trends require patience and persistence, but momentum builds as obstacles fall by the wayside. Reality sets in, consequences must be faced, and mid-term elections are around the corner.

Saturn is currently transiting through Aquarius (December 2020 – March 2023). This is Saturn's final retrograde in Aquarius, entering new terrain early next year. Additionally, this is Saturn's final close square with Uranus. The past two years have been fraught with resistance and rebellion as these two giants have been at odds. Similar to trudging forward in gale force winds, just about everything seems to take more effort.

Saturn in Aquarius has encouraged tremendous innovation in science and technology. At the same time, humans are challenged to adapt in this burgeoning landscape of technology. The question remains, “Can humans adapt, and actualize these developments to preserve and improve life on planet Earth?” Over the past two years, there has been an increase in social isolation, alienation, mental illness, detachment from reality, and over-dependence on technology for social interaction. When in fact, Aquarius is the zodiac sign of friendship, group creativity, cohesive community, and humanitarian outreach.

If all this isn't enough to make October the turning point of 2022, there is a Scorpio Solar Eclipse on the 25th. Eclipses always have long term ramifications, and astrologer Lorna Bevan writes, “Eclipses are dramatic cosmic wild cards in our horoscopes. They shake us out of complacency so we can move from one level of maturity to another. They are some of the most dramatic tools the universe uses to get us to pay attention to areas in our life that need to change. They uproot us, surprise us, and get us moving to a higher plane, and they work very rapidly.”

This Solar Eclipse is paired with a Lunar Eclipse falling exactly on election day in the United States, November 8. In terms of American democracy, the stakes have never been higher for the nation and the world. Clearly, indicators are already in place for substantial and far reaching change as the old order is passing away, and the next generation of leaders rise up to take the world stage.

So there is the transforming power of eclipses, combined with the intensity and mystery of Scorpio. As keeper of secrets, governing all things hidden and taboo, Scorpio is the zodiac sign of sexuality, occultism, death/rebirth and transcendence. On the collective level, more than likely, issues of mortality, reproductive rights, sexual abuse, persecution, sabotage and slander, corruption and criminality will surge to the forefront in explosive developments.

Additionally, Scorpio rules over shared resources such as taxes, insurance, inheritance. On the personal level, now is the time to take stock of investments, possessions, income and expenditures, and reduce debt. The energy of Scorpio is to purify and purge, detoxify and release. All in the recognition that life is short, all things pass away, and it doesn't pay to hang on to things that have outlived their purpose.

As a water sign, Scorpio is emotionally sensitive, finding it difficult to forgive and forget, but holding onto grievances only increases the heavy burden of resentment. Symbolized by the scorpion dwelling in the shadows, these eclipses can surface the deepest and darkest memories held in the emotional body.

There is a world of difference between ruminating endlessly about the past, and staying locked into harmful emotional patterns, or simply allowing memories to surface, flow out and release, once and for all. It's the difference between wallowing around in a fetid, murky swamp, or sipping cleansing waters from a fresh spring.

Finally, as if this isn't enough, the month draws to a close with Mars going retrograde on October 30. Transiting through Gemini, Mars is assertive, frank, inquisitive, restless, and in some cases, ready for a fight. But, retrograde Mars is the cosmos announcing, “Whoa, hold your horses, stop, sort things through, think things out, and gain perspective.”

Retrograde Mars is fairly rare, occurring every two years. The last retrograde was September – November 2020, during the last presidential election. In hindsight, it is clear to see the many obstacles, inconsistencies, controversies and complications.

This year, the mid-term elections take place on November 8. Not only is Mars retrograde again, but there is a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse. Additionally, Mars in Gemini returns and precisely activates Mars in the United States astrology chart (October 4, November 24, March 6, 2023). A return of this nature underscores the importance of this election, but also the logistical process of elections taking place seamlessly and accurately, or not.

The nation's astrology chart shows Mars in Gemini square Neptune, and through coming months transiting Mars will again square Neptune (October 12, November 19, March 16). Mars and Neptune can undermine truth, and contribute to extreme ideologies, delusion, deception, apathy, and general confusion. In a war of words, Mars will fight for what it “thinks,” is right, and in the current hyper-political and divisive atmosphere, this is a warning of potential violence.

On a positive note, leaders will realize problematic and unclear election results are not helpful for them, citizenry and country, because it undermines the validity of government. Election reform with consistent guidelines nationwide are a possibility before the next presidential election.

In conclusion, in the past week I have overheard conversations in the grocery and gym that really caused me to pause. . . . discussions of the “End Times.” Having lived in North Carolina for over thirty years, I am used to evangelical religious views, however these conversations were different; emphatic and persuasive, tinged with fear, but infused with awe.

From my point of view, I just smiled. There are so many approaches to reckon with current events, but I remembered planet Earth is entering an eclipse season, a Solar Eclipse in Scorpio, no less. The highest octave of Scorpio is represented by the mythical Phoenix transforming, rising up from the ashes of its own destruction. No matter what it looks like on the surface, every ending has a beginning, and the Phoenix rises, again and yet again.

September 2022
Belinda C. Dunn

Mercury retrograde
September 9 @ 11:38 pm

Pisces Full Moon
September 10 @ 5:59 am

Autumn Equinox
September 22 @ 9:04 pm

Libra New Moon
September 25 @ 5:55 pm

Beginning with an upswing in energy and enthusiasm, Mars harmonizes with Jupiter on September 1st. No matter what hurdles life presents, there is a sense that nothing is too big to handle successfully. Big thinking outside of the box aids in the setting of goals, and embracing potential in many endeavors.

As planetary trends come and go, take note of Jupiter's beneficial rays by breathing in and absorbing the confidence and inspiration offered during this time, because it can be tapped into for future reference. This is especially the case as Jupiter is retrograde in Aries. Themes continue around self-respect, personal empowerment and clear boundaries, particularly when faced with a tornado like spin of controversy, persuasion, intense emotion, and other forms of social control.

In addition to Mars and Jupiter, communicative Mercury joins the party in Libra. During the first two weeks of September, these three planets join in synergistic harmony. Mars in Gemini can be blunt, direct and forceful, speeding the dissemination of information, data, talking points. Mercury in Libra brings clear articulation with fair and equitable solutions for all involved.

Against the backdrop of these positive and supportive planetary trends, Mercury begins a retrograde phase on September 9. Astrology gives the gift of timing. Make note of newsworthy stories, conversations, insights and decisions that come to the forefront late August and early September. More than likely, what arises and erupts will require some time to come full circle to a point of resolution. Typically, this is when Mercury goes direct on October 2, and completes its shadow phase on October 17.

One more point to consider with this three planet alignment, Mercury and Mars are in the air signs of Libra and Gemini. Jupiter is in the fire sign of Aries. Air and fire intertwine, feeding off each other. Fire enlivens, warms and increases the flow. And, literally and figuratively, air is the information highway of the planet. Providing a cross pollination of ideals and ideas, inventions and innovations, watch for significant developments on many levels; diplomacy, treatises, commerce, science, education, alliances,  partnerships.

There is one caveat to be aware of . . . Mercury in Libra opposes Jupiter in Aries. In effect for weeks, it is helpful to be aware of the exact dates of September 2, 18, and October 12. While Jupiter expands whatever is in its sphere of influence, it can also go to extremes, exaggerate, and blow issues out of proportion.

Here are some indications of Jupiter out of balance; seeing the potential and losing sight of logistical reality, throwing caution to the wind, over projecting available resources, zealous persuasion, righteousness, entrenched opinions of right/wrong, arrogance & entitlement. Through these weeks, it may be helpful to recall the common adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Moving on to the Full Moon of September 10. Both Sun and Venus are transiting through earthy and practical Virgo. In opposition, the Moon and Neptune are in Pisces. Here is the juxtaposition of embodiment on this physical dimension. The body needs care to be healthy and functional, but spirit infuses meaning and purpose into daily tasks. This is an excellent time to tap into guidance, activate intuition, and expand awareness beyond material circumstances. True health is holistic,  encompassing and honoring the mind/body/spirit connection.

Venus is in Virgo for most of the month, beginning on Labor Day and completing on September 29. Now is the time to tap into and express love in action. Venus enhances positive Virgo characteristics such as sincerity, diligence, attention to detail, craftsmanship, studiousness, productivity and service.

Meanwhile, Venus in Virgo squares Mars in Gemini, exact on September 16. This is not the most compatible or harmonious combination. Both are mentally astute, but Mars in Gemini wants results in a hurry whereas Venus in Virgo is thorough and patient, methodically wading through details, aiming for excellence. One approach is not better than the other, and when recognized, all factors can work together for satisfying results.

As always, the Autumnal Equinox marks a time honored and sacred passage as Sun enters Libra. Exact on the evening of September 22, the astrology chart shows Mercury in exact conjunction with the Sun. This is always a significant phase in any Mercury retrograde cycle, but this conjunction is particularly potent in tandem with the Equinox.

Typically, Mercury is visible, low in the eastern sky just before sunrise, or low in the west just after sunset. But this is the point in the cycle when Mercury is not visible, due to its proximity to the Sun, shifting from evening visibility to morning (September 17 – 30).

Acting as a seeding and gestation, the mind draws inward to contemplate and evaluate the past while orienting to the future. Astrologer Erin Sullivan describes this process, “The traditional approach to the retrograde cycle, for instance not signing contracts or initiating new enterprises or making major purchases still stands. Symbolically, there are opposing forces at work that operation somewhat like driving with the emergency brake on – the exciting energy of new beginnings combined with a sense of restraint creates inner tension. Over the next ten or eleven days between the inferior conjunction and the station-direct, one should allow some latitude for new potentials, options and opportunities to develop.”

With the Sun and Mercury in Libra in opposition to Jupiter in Aries, many themes revolve around people. More than likely, important decisions arise in relationships. It may be a challenge to strike a balance between the needs and desires of the individual, and the commitments of a relationship, and social contracts in general. With any opposition, it is a matter of honoring both parties, and finding a path of compromise, but this is not always possible. In some cases, the best option may be “agreeing to disagree,” and moving on.

These themes continue strongly to the Libra New Moon on September 25. Mercury has slipped back into Virgo, conjoining Venus on the 26th. On one hand, there is a demand for new direction, and upgraded approaches to persistent issues, signified by the New Moon. On the other hand, the mind is more introspective, hidden within the the final stages of a retrograde cycle.

Although there are pressing demands, the combination with Mercury and Venus in Virgo places the attention on work, work and more work. This is a very industrious combination, and most people are willing to participate when given the chance to share their talent. Loving solutions to complex problems come easily, especially when it comes to relationships.

Additionally both Mercury and Venus are in harmony with Pluto in Capricorn. Even though motives may vary, the mind is prepared to probe the depths during this final week of September. Communications tend to be revealing, matter of fact, practical and logical. This is all in preparation for the first week of October when both Mercury and Pluto go direct. Signaling that much of the groundwork is complete, long term projects are ready to land on fertile ground.

Mid-week, exact on September 27-28, Mars positively aspects Saturn. This helpful and supportive combination is all about building consensus and connection in the networking of ideas, people and projects. With Mars in Gemini and Saturn in Aquarius, this is local as well as global. Innovation thrives in an atmosphere of camaraderie, and appreciation for diversity.

We are in the final throes of a two year long transit that started in January 2021, Saturn square Uranus, presenting an intense conflict between the known past and future potential. Contending with stops and starts, and everything in between, it has been difficult to get traction, to get ahead in the spin of systems colliding, uncertainty and cynicism. The troubles and trials, the struggles on this dimension have reached a culmination point.

There is a quickening, and in the northern hemisphere it's harvest time. Picturesque and iconic, the verdant fields of summer give way to golden grain. An essential part of harvesting grain is the winnowing process, loosely defined as sifting, fanning with air to separate the nutrient rich grain from the outer hull.

In these final final months of 2022, be prepared for much to fall away, inwardly and outwardly. However, with a good dose of discernment, September is a month to make the most of opportunities that come your way.

August 2022
Belinda C. Dunn

Aquarius/Leo Full Moon
August 11 @ 9:36 pm

Virgo New Moon
August 27 @ 4:17 am

Summer sun is summer fun! Blazing from the center of our solar system, our Sun emanates pure life force, radiating, animating, illuminating. The Sun is in Leo now, reigning supreme as majestic lions guard their pride. Intensely loyal and loving, the lion archetype is a source of inspiration, strength and survival, but like fire, this strength can wield great power to enliven and enlighten, or burn and destroy. This is the energy of August.

To review, on July 31 there was a rare joining of Uranus and the North Lunar Node. On August 1st, Mars joins these giants, all in Taurus. Typically, Taurus prefers comfort, and works for stability, but these days are anything but stable. Uranus turns just about everything on its head, suddenly unsettling the apple cart, and in many cases, 180 degree turns of fate. Admittedly, life on Earth is not going very smoothly now, and this planetary combination can move mountains, and shake up the status qua.

Every year, in late July and early August, our Sun rises and aligns with Sirius, the brightest star. Known as the Lion's Gate, a portal opens, streaming powerful frequency upgrades upon each and all. In astrology, Sun has affinity with the third eye, the seat of awareness, the part consciousness that is eternal, going in and out of bodies and dimensions.

Against this backdrop of metaphysical potency, let's take an in-depth look at the Full Moon on August 11. The astrology chart shows complexity with many opposing factors vying for attention, vying for power. Taken all together, the luminaries (Sun & Moon), planets Mars, Saturn and Uranus, and the lunar nodes all align in unique combination, a fixed Grand Cross.

From our vantage point on Earth, a Grand Cross literally forms a cross, spanning the sky with four points, all in 90 degree angle of  each other. The cross is a potent mystical symbol of spirit in matter,  surrender and release. Astrologically, at this time, these four energetic points are in the fixed signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius.

On this Full Moon, Sun is in Leo, opposed by Moon and Saturn in Aquarius. This highlights the juxtaposition between leadership and the public. There are dynamic, honest and capable leaders, and there are  crooked, selfish and power hungry leaders. Authority can go two ways, it can be used to exemplify, empower and protect or, as is so often the case, authority can be used and abused to deceive and mislead for personal gain. Stunning in scope, all these options will be on full display, altering public opinion, and the trajectory for years to come.

Additionally, the combination of Moon with Saturn speaks to the heavy burdens imposed upon individuals and the collective body. Heavy handed restrictions and regulations are up for review. The public is no longer willing to labor under false pretenses as all is exposed. There is a rumbling, a deep unearthing of the collective conscience as more voices speak up, and rise up, to meet the challenges of a new world being birthed, the Age of Aquarius.

The next piece of the Grand Cross puzzle involves transiting South Lunar Node in Scorpio. Dark and hidden, repressed and habitual, driven by desire and power, Scorpio holds the secrets to life's mysteries. Daily news presents one story after another of depravity,  crime, thoughtless cruelty, sexual exploits, and more, in the free for all exposure of the super rich and powerful.

Additionally, Scorpio is the zodiac sign of death and rebirth. Not only is this process occurring in the public arena, but within the consciousness of humanity. As people struggle to make sense of senselessness, there is a natural introspection, personally and collectively. As difficult and trying as this appears, a profound purification is taking place on very deep levels.

The zodiac sign opposite Scorpio is Taurus. The key phrase for Scorpio is, “I desire,” and the key phrase for Taurus, is “I have.” Both signs relate to money, possessions, resources, inheritance and power. Currently the lunar nodes are activating these signs (January 2022 – July 2023). Here is an opportunity to redefine value in the marketplace as well as personal values. But, in the meantime, inflation continues demanding adjustments in buying/selling and lifestyle.

The North Lunar Node in Taurus shows the direction of positive potential, and open doors of opportunity. Here there are two major planetary activators, Uranus and Mars. Throughout July and August, anything goes. Closing doors and opening doors, catapulting consciousness to a new level, the themes are resilience, adaptation, acceptance, and gratitude for the simple pleasures of life.

The planetary ruler of Taurus is Venus, the planet of love and beauty. In contrast, the planetary ruler of Scorpio is Pluto, the planet of pollution, toxicity, fanaticism, criminality, breakdowns/breakthroughs, death and transformation. As a species, we are living through very Pluto times, but the direction is clear, especially as Venus enters Leo on August 11, and that evening a Full Moon illuminates the darkness.

Over the past several years, starting in March 2020, Saturn and Uranus have been in tense and stressful aspect. However, from now to the end of 2022, this aspect is peaking, reaching a culmination point this autumn. To review, Saturn is the planet of responsibility, and Uranus is the planet of freedom. The tug of war between these archetypal energies is apparent in many arenas across society in a continual play of opposites.

Interestingly, both these planets have affinity with the root chakra at the base of the spinal column. Realizing how to maintain balance with  each polarity is key to grounded functioning in this world of form. One is not possible without the other. For example, true freedom is based on taking responsibility for ethical conduct generated from within, rather than falling back on externally imposed restrictions/laws/regulations.

We don't have to look far to see the effects of Saturn/Uranus. Widespread alienation, disregard for authority, rage against the system, rebellion, unfair laws and business practices, attempts to control and restrict personal freedoms . . . the list goes on. Across the globe, society is attempting to function in the midst of financial uncertainty, climate change, hopelessness and homelessness, dread and fear of the future.

For two years, Saturn has had the upper hand. In other words, consequences of short sighted vision, irresponsible actions, and poor decisions have been holding humanity hostage. All the while making it virtually impossible to get enough traction to pull out a dysfunctional past.

However, now through November, Uranus rises to the occasion as the stronger planetary influence. In addition to its conjunction with the North Lunar Node, Uranus holds tight at 18 degrees Taurus for weeks on end. Beginning a retrograde phase on August 24, the energy of Uranus can be likened to a long awaited thunderstorm. Lightening on the horizon, pressure building, the action of Uranus is electrifying, sudden and inexplicable.

On the 3-D level, Uranus tends to bring sudden shifts in perception as though consciousness is thrust into new territory. Like a stranger in a strange land, many people may experience alienation, abrupt turnarounds, and change in circumstances. Although not necessarily easy, this can bring improvements in the long run. Typically, a sense of clarity and knowing, release and relief, accompanies Uranus.

Another very significant planetary transit is Mars entering Gemini on August 20, and due to a lengthy retrograde phase from late October to early January 2023, this monthly article will return to the importance of this trend over coming months. In general, Mars in Gemini is friendly, curious and informed, but restless, vacillating and on-the-go. For now, suffice it to note the palpable energy shift late August.

Wrapping up the month is a Virgo New Moon on August 27. In the early degrees of Virgo, attention returns to school, work, and routine in general. As in any New Moon, orbiting Moon joins Sun in setting the stage, anchoring and energizing the next level of Earth school curriculum. In stressful aspect to Mars in the early degrees of Gemini, there can be pressure to multitask, make quick decisions, gather information and plan for months to come. This is an excellent time to set intentions for the next lunar cycle with particular emphasis on health, productivity, harvest and other practical matters.

Finally, how to prepare for August when planetary trends appear to be anything but calming, grounding, soothing and restorative? How to surf the turbulent waves, a breaking tsunami of change?

First, there is a great cleansing taking place, and it is time. Momentum has been building for decades. Secondly, in a hurry to prosper and reign supreme, humans have lost touch with universal laws, repeatedly violating and ignoring nature's intelligence. It's really very simple. At the heart of the matter is a loss of aliveness, a loss of conscience, a denial and turning away from reality. It is a very long ancient story with many twists and turns along the corridor of time. But in this moment, solutions are more present than many realize, the garden is calling.

July 2022
Belinda C. Dunn

Capricorn SuperMoon Full Moon
July 13 @ 2:38 pm

Leo New Moon
July 28 @ 1:55 pm

Summer is here and the sizzle is on! In celebration of Independence Day,  stars and stripes of red, white and blue wave in the breeze as fireworks light up an indigo evening sky. Thankfully, from the astrologically perspective, the elements of water and earth predominate, offering a calming and grounding influence, a much needed reprieve from the intensity of current events.

We will begin with an overview of general trends applicable for everyone, and conclude with an interpretation of current trends based on the United States astrology chart, in what has become my annual “Astrological State of the Union.” Ruled by the planet Uranus, astrology is an ancient system with time tested relevance to the past, present and future. In this era of heightened polarization and political bias, astrology can offer a detached view of the nation's faults and failings as well as its strengths and overall destiny.

Right from the get-go, the month begins with Mars in stressful square to Pluto on July 1st. Mars has been in Aries since May 24, an impulsive, energized and volatile combination that has brought the darkness of destruction into the light of day. However, in contrast, Mars in Aries has brought many truly heroic deeds to the forefront.

Mars is the fighter, for good or ill, fortifying and encouraging positive and effective response to crisis. In combination with power hungry Pluto, the underworld is on full display, and repercussions of disclosure come to a critical head. The process of disclosure and evaluation is on-going on multiple levels of personal and collective experience. People can no longer afford to keep heads buried in the sand when basic human rights are repeatedly disregarded.

On July 5th, Mars leaves Aries, and enters grounding, stabilizing and practical Taurus. Additionally, Mercury enters Cancer, and together these influences reflect a return to sensibilities with a focus on home, family and finances. With a harmonious flow between mind and action, it is possible to make wise decisions, follow through, and actually get the job done.

By mid-month, exact on July 13th, there is a Full Moon. With the Sun in Cancer and Moon in Capricorn, this is a SuperMoon amplifying and intensifying current themes. In fact, Moon conjoins Pluto in Capricorn, igniting issues that carry through another week, culminating on the evening of July 19 when Sun opposes Pluto. Pluto's action is repetitive, digging deeper, not leaving a stone untouched. Issues tend to resurface with the same old arguments, going around and around, triggering similar emotional responses.

Additionally, communicative Mercury is a key player transiting through Cancer, and more than likely, there will be major revelations, announcements and decisions altering the trajectory for weeks and months to come. Surface appearances fall away in the relentless, challenging and psychologically probing Pluto energy. Whether it is immediately recognized or not, Pluto brings sweeping and permanent change. Once Pandora's proverbial box is open, there is no turning back.

Energies begin to shift dramatically on July 19 as Mercury enters proud and majestic Leo. The Sun closely follows, entering Leo on Friday, the 22nd. Full of vitality and creativity, Leo is the zodiac sign of fun and play, recreation and entertainment. Crowning the last week of July is a New Moon in Leo on the 28th.

In the dark of the Moon, 24 hours before the exact New Moon, there is an opportunity to release outdated modes of pleasure seeking. There are many social pressures around entertainment, and what is considered fun is unique to each person. In this heavy and consequential social atmosphere, it is so easy to get caught up and lost in the seriousness of so-called reality. Here is an opportunity to re-frame and ignite one's unique expression of happiness.

This New Moon is in harmonious alignment with Jupiter, the planet of inspiration, optimism, altruism and benevolence. Giving a boost of confidence in matters of truth and justice, Jupiter promotes fair, ethical and equitable solutions. Known as the great benefactor, Jupiter gives all this, and more, while adding a good dose of levity and humor, even in the darkest hours.

July 28th is also important as Jupiter begins a retrograde phase for the next four months. Since Jupiter's action is to expand and grow, the station retrograde can slowdown or halt progress. In terms of run-away inflation, this can be a good thing. In terms of personal progress, this can signify matters outside of one's control, and even a loss of perspective and confidence.

Astrologer Erin Sullivan writes, “The station suddenly arrests or withdraws the expansive mood and inverts the energy. The change in tone or pattern of growth is usually directly related to hierarchy of some kind, in which personal decisions become impotent or insignificant. It becomes apparent that more time is likely to be necessary to evolve the idea, project, relationship or plan.”

Jupiter's transit feeds directly into an exceptional and unique astrological alignment exact on the afternoon of July 31st. Even though computers can pinpoint the timing, in reality this trend is in effect all year. Basically, transiting North Lunar Node is conjunct transiting Uranus in Taurus. The next day, August 1st, Mars in Taurus activates this conjunction. Giving another tremendous boost, this triple conjunction is in harmony with Venus. What does this mean?

First of all, like so many situations in our current reality, there will be great contrast. These factors point to sudden endings as well as sudden and inexplicable breakthroughs. Taken one by one, the North Lunar Node functions like the north star, the direction of evolutionary growth and opportunity. Mars is passionate, activated and energized. Uranus is the planetary wild card, virtually impossible to predict.

All these factors blend together suggesting pressure and instability fueled by a desire for freedom, at all cost. Long standing conditions can no longer stand. The inherent drive for security, safety and prosperity can force people, individually and collectively, to make instantaneous adjustments. Some decisions will be impulsive and radical, while others choose wisely. The wheel of fortune is spinning out of control, and where things land, no one knows.

From another angle, Taurus is the zodiac sign of possessions, currency, commerce, banking, financial institutions and the environment. One of the astrological highlights of 2022, an enormous paradigm shift is taking place in the value of financial markets, supply of goods and services, and economic transactions in general. The pandemic, and other consequences of natural and man-made disasters is taking a heavy toll. This is a time to pay attention, mind your own business, and take care of your own.

With all this as a backdrop, in honor of Independence Day, let's turn to my annual, “Astrological State of the Union.” While an entire book can be written on the United States astrology chart, there are four primary trends in consideration for now.

First of all, the Pluto return. It takes Pluto 246 years to cycle through the entire zodiac. On July 4, 1776, Pluto was in the late degrees of Capricorn. This year Pluto is returning to this exact degree on February 20, July 11, December 28. This is monumental, and obviously the country is going through a major overhaul of ideology, values, laws and systems of governance. Society today is vastly, almost unfathomably different, from the social systems of 1776. It's time for an upgrade and rewrite, although messy and disturbing in the meantime.

Astrologer Lorna Beven writes, “When Pluto entered the sign of Capricorn in November 2008, The Great Eliminator began to expose all that was false, covert and hidden, within ourselves, within organizations, institutions, mega-corporations, governments. Fourteen years on and we find ourselves in the death throes of authoritarian darkness, which now seeks to eradicate the collective soul. But Pluto is transpersonal – far bigger than any human power games – and utterly relentless – the birth of the new will not be thwarted. These last two years of Pluto in Capricorn are bringing out the worst of the worst of the patriarchal freaking out, violence, coup attempts, dictator meltdowns, and rage against all of it.”

The second trend of note involves Neptune, the planet of deception, transiting over sensitive points in the country's chart (Mars in Gemini square Neptune in Virgo). Wreaking havoc in terms of identity, ideology, media and misinformation, widespread disillusionment has fed into a confusing mix of dysfunction and desperation. Neptune is slow-moving with a 165 year orbit, so the effects have been building for years, but 2021-2022 is the culmination of a profound and insistent soul searching for every American, and the country as a whole.

The third trend involves Mars in Libra, and its progressed retrograde phase that started in 2006. Mars will be retrograde for approximately 65-70 years, a very long trend by any standards. Typically, Mars is proactive, taking action, impulsively fighting or initiating conflict. Clearly, the country has participated in its share of war over the centuries.

Thus far, this retrograde phase indicates diminished motivation, distaste, reservation and caution in foreign affairs, especially on the part of the general public. Mars retrograde is just that, a backing away, a retreat, a reluctance to getting involved in draining, long term, and no win conflicts. Mars in Libra promotes peace-keeping, mediation, cooperation, diplomacy and consensus building in partnership with other nations.

On the home front, retrograde Mars in Libra intensifies the frustration, and vacillation between resolving differences with weaponry and violence, and/or resolving differences with diplomacy. As the Libra scales of balance swing from one wild extreme to another, it adds to the polarization of viewpoints, underscoring the fundamentals of law and order, and the need for comprehensive reform, no matter which side of the fence one sits on.

The fourth astrological factor involves the nation's Moon in Aquarius, and Saturn's current transit though Aquarius, culminating in an exact conjunction early next year (February 11, 2023). In this case, Saturn is restricting and limiting the Moon, representing women and the general public. From
a faltering economy to health care access to public safety,  this is a heavy load for the public to bear. While there are attempts to curtail civil liberties, ultimately the spirit of freedom, represented by the Moon in Aquarius, will not be denied.

In preparing this article, I found it almost impossible to adequately simplify, and consolidate the many complex and multifaceted issues we face as a nation and a global community. Perhaps best to use these brief interpretations as a jumping off point for your intuitive insight, your unique and personal connection with guidance, and all that is. From the infinitesimal to the most galactic, there are larger forces at play in absolutely everything. Enjoy the ride!

What's UP – June 2022
Belinda C. Dunn

Mercury Direct
June 3 @ 4:00 am

Sagittarius Full Moon SuperMoon
June 14 @ 7:52 am

Summer Solstice
June 21 @ 5:14 am

Cancer New Moon
June 28 @ 10:52 pm

Airy, light, fluid and free, June begins with Sun in Gemini, associated with the element air. Daylight hours have been steadily increasing since Winter Solstice, and the peak of illumination is reached on June 21, the beautiful fulfillment of Summer Solstice. Frigid and fierce winter winds are long past. The soft, gentle, warming caress of a summer breeze touches the cheek and tousles the hair.

The seasonal shifts are palpable and real, especially heightened with Jupiter's transit into Aries (May 10). This is very significant given that Jupiter has spent all year in Pisces. You may look back over the past five months and notice the introspective, contemplative, floating and drifting sense of going nowhere fast.

One by one, three planets, Venus, Mars and Jupiter have taken their turn in conjoining Neptune. Otherworldly, dissolving the boundaries of consciousness, clearing the karmic slate, humbled and receptive, many people are ready to stand back up, and move forward based on alignment with higher and more rarefied frequencies.

Transiting over the world axis of zero degrees, Jupiter's entrance into Aries represents a rebirth. As much as Pisces is receptive and passive, Aries is energetic and active. Take to heart the insights and revelations of recent months, no matter how abstract or hard to put into words. The cosmic tide has turned, and Jupiter in Aries is leading the way for each and everyone.

In general, Jupiter is the planet of expansion, growing whatever it touches. This can mean many things, but at its core, Jupiter's beneficial rays instill a willingness to learn and explore. Now in Aries, the uptick of energy can be summed up in the word VERVE, best defined as vigor, enthusiasm, vivacious, get-up-and-go. Jupiter has a twelve year cycle, and it may be helpful to recall the last time Jupiter transited through Aries; June – September 2010, and again in 2011, January – June.

Adding to this major shift is passionate and mobilizing Mars transiting through Aries (May 24 – July 4). In Aries the entire month, Mars just conjoined Jupiter on May 29, but the repercussions continue to unfold. For most people, this will be an enthusiastic rebirth of focus and drive, a felt sense that now is the time to get ahead, and gain traction to manifest goals. But for others, this planetary combination ups the ante, pouring more fuel on the fire. There may be no escaping the intensity and necessity to get moving in new directions.

However, there is a delay factor built into the cosmic plan, such as Mercury retrograde. As humans tend to be impulsive and hard-headed, Mercury makes sure that all details are in place for progress, and decisions are in alignment with destiny. June begins with Mercury within days of completing a retrograde phase that started May 10th.

When Mercury goes direct in the early morning hours of June 3, it is in Taurus, squaring off with Saturn. Adding to the drama, shortly thereafter, Saturn goes retrograde on June 4. This combination, in and of itself, signifies extreme differences of opinion, perception and logic. Communication may be loaded with prejudice, and decisions involving others may reach an impasse.

Saturn typically brings a realistic, bottom line approach, and does not shy away from discussing the hard truth. Many people will not approve of or like what they are hearing/seeing. All sorts of issues will be breaking loose in a definitive, without a doubt, upset. The impulse is to talk it out, but this can lead to circuitous debate that gets nowhere. Better to let the dust settle, because forcing others to see one's point of view only increases resistance.

In terms of decisions, on May 9, Mercury went retrograde in Gemini, symbolized by the twins looking toward each other in agreement, or looking away in opposite directions. Therefore this retrograde phase has been characterized with indecisiveness, duality or duplicity. As Mercury goes direct it returns to Gemini on June 13, allowing for elaborations and more information to come forward. Additionally, Sun is transiting through Gemini, so exchange of information is paramount in effectively moving through obstacles.

This brings us to a Full Moon SuperMoon on June 14. This is a particularly energized culmination of recent months, if not years. With Sun in Gemini, and Moon opposing in Sagittarius, this lunation activates very sensitive degrees in the USA astrology chart, Mars in Gemini in stressful square to Neptune.

To back up for a moment, the transiting lunar nodes were in Gemini/Sagittarius from May 2020 through January 2022. Gemini is the messenger and storyteller, Sagittarius is the more abstract content of belief and ideology. At their best, these zodiac signs are impartial in delivering objective information. In combination with Neptune, to a large degree, this trend helps to account for extreme viewpoints, confusion of facts with fiction, blind patriotism, and the plethora of misinformation.

Considering the 1/6 Commission is scheduled to begin public hearings on June 9, all these factors come together to bring everything out in the open. The timing is impeccable and laser-like as repercussions ripple across the country and reverberate around the world.

The next day, June 15, Mars conjoins Chiron in Aries, energizing the archetypal wounded healer. This combination does not allow us to rest on our laurels, but underscores an on-going healing process of self reclamation. Especially beneficial is the clarity and strength to stop and drop depleting habits patterns. To optimize Chiron, it is a matter of coming out of denial by admitting painful aspects of one's past that may be lingering in the energy field. The next step is cultivating and accepting healing, however it shows up in the present.

Moving on . . . the tide turns on June 21st, the longest and most light filled day of the year, Summer Solstice. It just so happens the Sun is rising over the east coast, shining the solar spotlight on Washington D.C., and highlighting domestic issues on a national level. Additionally, Saturn is overhead, very close to the USA Moon in Aquarius. Numerous factors point to these summer months as pivotal for the nation as a whole.

The solstice chart shows Moon in Aries in its last quarter phase. Additionally, Moon will transit over Jupiter, Chiron and Mars, all in Aries. Accentuating the potency of this seasonal turning point, themes revolve around one's personal domestic setting as well as the independence and self-sufficiency of Aries.

The month wraps up with a New Moon in Cancer on the evening of June 28, symbolized by a crab burrowing in the sandy tides, flowing with the rhythm of land and sea.  Instinctual and protective, this is an excellent time for retreat. Typically, focus goes to home improvements, landscaping, gardening, food preparation, family relationships, and perhaps stay at home vacations. In general, any new moon is optimal for setting goals, preparing and planting seeds of intention for the next cycle.

Earlier in the day, Neptune goes retrograde instilling a creative, imaginative, inspirational and transcendent atmosphere. At 25 degrees, Neptune is orbiting through the later degrees of Pisces now, and will remain retrograde until early December. This planet of illusion, confusion and disillusionment has been playing havoc with everyday sensibility.

Neptune's more disturbing tendencies have been allowed to run rampant, and can be seen in the proliferation of scams, outright lies, illicit drugs, mental illness and mass psychosis. The station point (June 23 – July 4), suggests a reversal in direction with the possibility to see through these distortions. Invoking and expanding awareness is the first step in recovery across a wide spectrum of human ailments, personally and collectively.

Finally, within all the pushes and pulls of planetary influences, what is the optimal direction? In part, the answer to this question takes us back to the lunar nodes, in particular the North Lunar Node in Taurus (January 2022 – July 2023). In essence, Taurus is the most fixed and stable zodiac energy. After the chaos of recent years, a majority of people, to one degree or another, find themselves yearning and working toward increased security and stability. Think of the Taurus bull grazing comfortably in a luscious, green pasture.

On the other hand, when people, individually and in groups, are disenchanted and fueled by rage, this dynamic easily becomes a tinder box ready to ignite, a lethal combination. Perhaps society has reached a dividing line between those fighting for change, willing and capable of using violence, and those fighting for change through constructive channels. One response is loaded with angst and drama, the other response, for the most part, is drama free.

North Lunar Node in Taurus suggests: Enjoy the simple treasures of day to day existence. Life doesn't have to be so complicated. It's okay to slow down. Discover and cultivate beauty. Spend time in nature. Share a heartfelt hug, a sincere smile. Now is the time to be an instrument of peace. Generosity and gratitude make all the difference in the world.

May 2022
Belinda C. Dunn

Mercury retrograde
May 10 @ 7:47 am

SuperMoon Lunar Eclipse
May 16 @ 12:14 am

Gemini New Moon
May 30 @ 7:30 am

NOTE: All times are given for Eastern daylight time – EDT)

Marking the sacred passage of time, the first day of May is halfway between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. Known as Beltane in ancient Celtic lore, and celebrated to this day, May 1st honors the beginning of planting season, and the promise of a fertile harvest to come.

Our Sun transits through Taurus now, and we begin the month within 24 hours of an outstanding Solar Eclipse, exact on April 30. Any eclipse is a reset; stirring up the status qua, peeling away layers of distraction and denial, revealing what has been unacknowledged up to this point. As if this isn't enough to shine a new light on old stories, this Solar Eclipse activates Uranus, often manifesting in sudden, erratic and inexplicable ways. Especially take note of May 5th as the Sun exactly conjoins Uranus.

Blended together the symbols are poignant and potent. The key phrase for Taurus is, “I have.” This is the zodiac sign of ownership, taking many forms, but especially money and possessions. Living in a society that places so much value on “things,” this month may present a crisis of resources. A widening gulf between opulence and destitution continues to deepen, like a chasm threatening to consume all in its path. Leaders, financial institutions and nations may be scrambling to preserve power, status and relevance in a “dog eat dog,” world.

On the personal level, this is a month to take stock, review investments of time and resources (especially waste and/or energy drains), make adjustments, and cultivate security, comfort and serenity in daily life. As part of an 18.6 year eclipse cycle, this eclipse aligns with the transiting North Lunar Node in Taurus. Similar to having the wind at one's back, the way is clear despite turbulence and pulls to the past. What needs to be removed stands out in stark relief. It is just a matter of staying the course when possible, taking care of business as appropriate, identifying direction, and stepping across the threshold into upgraded systems of commerce, productivity, and even financial freedom.

This may be easier said than done, but in astrology it is said, “The planets incline, they do not compel.” This is a month to be aware of desires, obsessions and compulsions that may arise within yourself, another person or circumstances. Why? The Taurus Solar Eclipse is followed by a SuperMoon Lunar Eclipse on May 16th. Therefore, there are no easy, clear cut solutions for a vast majority of the problems in front of humanity. Between a rock and a hard place, no amount of pushing and pulling, manipulating and controlling, lying and distorting can alter the trajectory of events that have already been set in motion.

Culminating mid-month, this isn't just any Full Moon, it's a SuperMoon, occurring when the Moon is perigee (closest approach to the Earth). Intensifying the emotional and reactive qualities of Moon, tensions have been building for months. Like a pot simmering on the stove reaches its boiling point, May is a decisive month with long term ramifications. It may be messy at first, and take some weeks to simmer down, but a variety of circumstances will be different, and permanently altered from here on out.

The astrology chart for this lunar eclipse shows the Moon in Scorpio conjoining the South Lunar Node in Scorpio, all in square to Saturn in Aquarius. Known as a T-square, this configuration presents a series of hurdles like an obstacle course. For those invested in power, there is an overlying perception that it is possible to force one's will upon others, but power grabs meet with resistance, especially with Saturn in humanitarian Aquarius.

The juxtaposition between Taurus and Scorpio is that of life and death. This lunar eclipse brings destruction of life and property into perspective. Cycling through the seasons, the tree of life buds and blooms, offering sustenance and shady protection, only to go dormant for a season. Accepted as normal and natural, there is great beauty in the process, but when life is willfully disrupted and destroyed, it is no longer beautiful.

One more note on the current transit of North Node in Taurus, and South Lunar Node in Scorpio (January 2022 – July 2023). Eclipses, both solar and lunar, manifest on a precise alignment of lunar nodes, Earth, Moon and sun. These current eclipses are a mirror image of eclipses next autumn (Solar Eclipse/October 25 and Lunar Eclipse/November 8).

Throughout 2022, evolutionary themes revolve around innovation of upgraded systems of commerce, monetary exchange, ecology and sustainability. All this takes place against a backdrop of inefficiency, lawlessness, criminality, destruction and abuse of power. Since Uranus is transiting through Taurus (2018-2025), those individuals/systems/corporations/governments stuck in the past, may find themselves caught in the undertow of disruptive turmoil. Uranus suggest the vital important of getting on the innovation train or being left in the dust.

This is especially the case as Jupiter enters Aries on May 10th. Signaling a whole new cycle of growth, Jupiter in Aries can fire up all sorts of projects and opportunities. Additionally, Mars enters Aries on May 24, conjoining Jupiter on the 29th. Considering the passivity and lull in momentum over recent years due to a pandemic, this planetary conjunction gives a much needed boost of confidence.

Together Mars joining Jupiter can be impulsive, entitled, forceful and self absorbed. More than likely, there will be these types of actions, but for the majority of people, this is a much needed “shot in the arm.” No, not another vaccine, but a metaphorical injection of vitality, interest, energy and determination. There is no time like the present for courageous and bold action, heroic deeds for the good of all.

In addition to this powerfully intense eclipse season of revelations and disclosures, Mercury is going retrograde on May 10. Timing is everything. Mercury begins its retrograde phase in Gemini, but retrogrades back into Taurus, taking its time, drilling deep beneath the surface of ambivalence, cover ups and pat answers, personally and collectively. When Mercury goes direct on June 3, just about everything the eclipses stirred up can begin to resolve. Delays and complications that arose in late April are most likely addressed, but still require focused determination in staying the course.

However, keep in mind, as Mercury goes direct, it is in stressful aspect with Saturn. Similar to having one foot on the brake, and the other on the gas pedal, obstacles may delay forward momentum. Differences in approach and opinion may halt progress temporarily, and require extra effort to think through carefully, and articulate clearly. The common adage, “When one door closes, another door opens,” is a good reminder.

By May 20, Sun enters Gemini, the zodiac sign of communication, education, short journeys, neighbors and siblings. The next day, May 21st, the Sun conjoins Mercury retrograde, always an important day in any Mercury cycle. Watch for enhanced learning through the exchange of information, and connection with others. Of course, summer travel and vacation plans will come into play along with getting out and enjoying the great outdoors. The month wraps up with a Gemini New Moon on May 30, Memorial Day. Kicking off a summer of fun, Gemini is on the go, ready for adventure.

In conclusion, a full picture of current trends takes us back to the rare conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune, exact on April 12, and continuing to activate as Mars joins Neptune on May 17-18. It can be helpful to consider how this trend has been manifesting in your life as it is an opening for all that is to come. The overall energetic has been that of release and surrender, a deep letting go.

On the physical dimension, Jupiter's conjunction with Neptune has manifested plenty of very difficult and challenging conditions. Many people have been experiencing health issues. Many others, in fact, whole groups of people, have been caught in a web of lies, devastation, loss and grief. These are not easy times.

Current planetary trends are complex and multifaceted. Therefore, when astrology points to the joining of Mars with Jupiter in Aries on May 29, signifying an invigorating upswing, it may seem far fetched from the trenches of a very dark hole.

Many people resist the word surrender, because it has been associated with weakness. The English dictionary defines surrender as, “the action of yielding, giving up power, control, or possession.” However from the spiritual standpoint, this definition does not take into account the deeper meaning that has little to do with outer conquest and ego driven control.

It is a process. A very real experience that arises out of vulnerability, a place most of us resist. It is a learning and leaning into life, accepting life on its terms, and ultimately a state of acceptance. From this state of emptiness and receptivity, miracles can and do occur, but they cannot be forced, they can only be welcomed.

April 2022
Belinda C. Dunn

Aries New Moon
April 1 @ 2:24 am

Libra Full Moon
April 16 @ 2:55 pm

Taurus Solar Eclipse
April 30 @ 4:28 pm

Spring is in full swing as we enter another month with tons to unpack from the cosmic perspective. Right from the get go, an Aries New Moon provides a reset for new beginnings. Mid-month a Full Moon showers illumination on terrestrial matters while leading to a spectacular Solar Eclipse on April 30th.  Clearly, the flux and flow of Moon's cycle is very strong this month, providing the thematic framework for numerous long term planetary trends.

Depending on your time zone, the New Moon will occur on March 31 or April 1. In the eastern United States, Moon will join Sun in the depths of night's darkness. Like an egg being fertilized, much is going on beneath the surface, out of sight. It is a time of gestation and preparation, a time of intention, holding the faith in that which is unseen.

As the first zodiac sign, Aries gives an energetic push to forge ahead despite obstacles or detours. A spring flower pushing up and through dense earth, or a tender tree sprout growing through cracks in concrete, the signs of rebirth are testament to life's primordial strength, forever dwelling within apparent delicacy.

Three significant and impressive planetary alignments show up in this New Moon chart. First, Moon and Sun are couched between Mercury, the planet of conscious awareness, and Chiron, the wounded healer. Thus, the primary focus is standing strong as an individual, trusting and allowing a direct connection to the greater whole. It is no longer a matter of relying on other gods, but to go directly to Source as a felt sense of unification and spontaneous healing.

Chiron, a little known planet discovered in 1977, is the archetypal healer. In mythology, Chiron was a centaur with a horse's body and a human head. Centaurs are immortal, but as the story goes, Chiron was deeply wounded, and in his search for relief, Chiron discovers and cultivates many facets of the healing arts.

Today, after decades of research, astrologers interpret Chiron as the process of uncovering deeply suppressed wounds that numb down, dumb down, and block presence. It is tricky business to come into human form. There are many distractions and desires, challenges and tests, all designed as a complete package in Earth school curriculum. Energetically, Chiron plays a unique role in amplifying awareness as to the nature of wounds, giving permission to come out of denial while providing the impetus for coordinated and synergistic holistic healing.

The second major alignment in this Aries New Moon reset is a joining of Venus, Mars and Saturn, all in Aquarius, the zodiac sign of friendship. This unique planetary combination signals major turning points on a global scale. Shifting alliances open new channels for exchange in a cross fertilization of innovation and resources. Blended together, Venus aims for cooperation, Mars activates the will to take action for good or ill, and Saturn is a restraining force.

When Mars exactly conjoins Saturn on April 4, more than likely, the international community will be prepared to take measured and restrained action to curtail unlawful aggression on many levels. There is a tightening of controls, doling out of consequences, underscoring the reality, there is no going back from here. Saturn's transit through Aquarius (2020-23) is accelerating the kind of rapid change that typically comes out of pressing circumstances, bringing to mind the  proverbial, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

The third major alignment involves Jupiter's conjunction with Neptune in Pisces, exact on April 12. These planets align every 14 years, or so. However, this alignment is especially potent as both planets have an affinity to Pisces, and the last time this occurred was 1856. Blended together, this trend amplifies themes of dissolution, disorientation, loss, release and surrender.

A watershed year, much is passing away on this dimension. Familiar ways of organizing reality are falling short of providing structure, individually and collectively. On one hand, uncertainty, anxiety and fear are at an all time high. On the other hand, a transforming and transcendent spiritual opening is incomparable to anything ever experienced before. Triggering a karmic delete of multiple time lines, mass consciousness is ripe for revelation.

In the face of many unknowns, grounded clarity begins emerge by the the Full Moon of April 16. The Moon is in Libra, elevating and illuminating the spirit of cooperation. By now, both Venus and Mars have entered Pisces, giving an extra push for compassionate outreach and humanitarian aid.

Softer and gentler, Venus conjoins Neptune on the 27th, and conjoins Jupiter in the final hours of April 30th. Energetically, human love is elevated beyond self interest to encompass altruistic values. At this moment, with so much turmoil and tragedy in the world, it is not hard to imagine under what circumstances the human heart may truly be touched, opening to genuine loving care and kindness.

One caveat on the personal level, these trends underscore the need for self care. For everyone, but especially sensitive individuals, there is a susceptibility to stress, because veils between dimensions are very permeable, and psychic boundaries are dissolving. Extreme sensitivity, emotional overwhelm and exhaustion, can indicate an absorption of collective distress. Of course, this actually harms rather than helps. If you notice this happening, it's time to step back, turn off technology, eliminate distractions, cultivate stillness, and spend time in nature.

Another key factor in late April involves Pluto's long term transit through Capricorn reaching a point of retrograde on the 30th. Considering Pluto's influence in fueling authoritarian styles of government, this retrograde suggests a review of objectives, especially in matters of domination and control.

Pluto has been direct since October 5, accelerating power grabs and destructive forces. For the coming five months, retrograde Pluto indicates a halt, even an about face. More than likely, overt aggression will be thwarted and bogged down in diminishing support as Pluto's intensity and timing throws up roadblocks.

All these factors are building to a Solar Eclipse on April 30. Generally, there is a felt sense of an approaching eclipse, although effects can build for weeks before, and stretch out for months to come. Eclipses come in pairs, and this Solar Eclipse/New Moon will be followed by a Lunar Eclipse/Full Moon on May 18.

Eclipses are always game changers. This specific eclipse is in Taurus, the zodiac sign of ownership, banking, exchange, commodities, currency and possessions. This eclipse is especially significant given the roller coaster ride of money markets, supply chain disruptions, reliance on fossil fuels, runaway inflation, widespread poverty and homelessness.

Coming to a critical head, this eclipse activates Uranus in Taurus (2018-2025). Known as the wild card planet, the action of Uranus tends to be sudden and unpredictable, especially in circumstances that have been stagnating in status qua mediocrity.

This Solar Eclipse sets the stage for rapid and pervasive adjustments in financial matters, personal income and lifestyle choices. Beneath all the material stuff of things money can buy, is the foundation of value. This is an optimal time to sincerely consider, and rediscover your true motivations, and thus true worth.

Living in a world that places so much value on possessions, perhaps this eclipse will play a part in redefining value, including humanity's connection to Earth. It is fitting that Earth Day is celebrated every April 22nd as Sun enters Taurus. A fascinating synchronicity to note . . . this year marks the 22nd Earth Day on the 22nd day of April in 2022. In numerology, 2 is the number of relationship, collaboration and partnership.

In spring 1970, the first Earth Day was born out of a growing concern over the use of toxic pesticides, led in large part by Rachel Carson's research, and seminal book, “Silent Spring.” I clearly recall seeing, “Silent Spring,” on my parent's bookshelf, a Book of the Month selection, sent out to all subscribers. The title was ominous, how could spring be silent?

Carson, a conservationist, made it her life work to educate the public on long term effects of pollution. Initially, Carson's controversial book met with fierce opposition, especially from chemical companies manufacturing the pesticide DDT. Despite opposition, eventually DDT was banned, leading science and government to acknowledge human impact on the environment, and the seeds of a grassroots environmental movement were planted in the hearts and minds of humanity.

Here we are 50 years later in a reality check of gigantic proportions. Although many successful strides have been made, much remains to be accomplished. As one species after another is facing extinction, we may ask ourselves, “Is human life staggering on the brink of survival?”

If we look closely with open eyes and open hearts, a paradigm shift has been taking place over these decades. For those that remember, the prevailing mindset last century was based on Earth as a thing, an unlimited resource to be coaxed and prodded, mined and drilled, used and abused. Little thought was given to human activity and industrial impact. Those days are over.

Everyday, human consciousness is expanding to include Earth as a living ecosystem, a rare gem of a planet in a vast, revolving, evolving system of galactic proportions. The human body is designed to connect deeply to Earth while soaring to the heavens. In reality, we are living in a beautiful garden where nature gives abundantly, freely, unconditionally. May we receive and share these gifts with humility, gratitude and generosity.

March 2022
Belinda C. Dunn

Pisces New Moon
March 2  @ 12:35 pm

Virgo Full Moon
March 18  @ 3:18 am

Spring Equinox
March 20  @ 11:30 am

In the northern hemisphere, from the seasonal perspective, March is the most transitional and dynamic month of any year, and 2022 is no exception. Gazing outside my window now, forest trees are bare bones, but by month's end, these same trees will be overflowing with life force, bursting into bloom, unfurling tiny leaves in every shade of spring green.

As the human body is a part of nature, not apart from nature, this stirring to life can be experienced as a revitalization of body, mind and spirit. March is an exceptional month for cleansing practices. After a winter of heavier, warming, comforting meals, there is a natural attraction to lighter, greener and easy to digest foods. This urge to purify can take many forms such as fasting, spring cleaning, recycling, donating surplus, and preparing garden soil. In general, it's about releasing burdens to lighten the load, and give space for life force to move freely.

From the standpoint of astrology, rare and extraordinary planetary alignments underscore this process of renewal. Characteristic of spring, this stirring to life is a quickening, and with all planets direct, it's time to get moving. Truly, humanity stands at the threshold of unprecedented spiritual expansion. It's just a matter of recognizing the doorway, and choosing to step through into a whole new world.

Right from the get go, a New Moon in Pisces sets the stage on March 2. The astrology chart shows an impressive and significant emphasis on the zodiac sign of Pisces. As our Moon joins Sun in Pisces, these faster moving luminaries conjoin Jupiter and Neptune, planting the seeds for another cycle. Exact dates are: March 2, 3, 5 and 13th.

Currently, Jupiter is preparing for an exact conjunction with Neptune on April 12. To give some perspective on timing, it is helpful to consider Jupiter's 12 year orbit through the zodiac, spending approximately 1 year in each sign. In contrast, orbiting in the outer fringes of our solar system, Neptune has an orbital cycle of 165 years. Therefore, the alignment of these two planetary giants is fairly rare, and the last conjunction occurred in 2009, a year characterized by all the hope of Obama's first year in office, set against the backdrop of massive bank bailouts and economic turmoil.

In preparation for this major conjunction, let's take a deep dive into the symbols of Jupiter and Neptune. First, both planets are at home in Pisces, the zodiac sign of surrender, purification, release and forgiveness. Jupiter is the ancient ruler, and Neptune is the modern ruler. Both planets are highly spiritual, and potently transforming. Jupiter uplifts and inspires while Neptune dissolves the boundaries of everyday consciousness. They are more about the intangible and ineffable than the material and concrete.

Keywords for Jupiter in positive expression include optimism, enthusiasm, ethics, purpose, confidence, adventurous, expansion, truth, justice, philanthropy, generosity, benevolence. In contrast, the more challenging manifestations of Jupiter show up as extravagance, indulgence, risk, exaggeration, gullibility, grandiosity and entitlement.

Some keywords for Neptune in positive expression are compassion, empathy, devotion, mystical, intuitive, artistic, reverent, visionary, oceanic, ethereal, contemplative. Neptune has a very difficult shadow side that can manifest in delusion, deception, glamour,  confusion, addiction, escapism, apathy, psychosis and victimization.

Astrologer Dane Rudhyar writes, “The zodiac sign of Pisces has a passive, receptive, 'psychic' aspect; but it also the sign in which the sword of severance can be handled to cut through the phantasms of accumulated and festering subconscious and karmic memories. As the last sign of the zodiac, it represents both the karmic pressure of the past, and the great effort of repudiation and purgation needed to overcome the past. It is a symbol of collective crisis, or group catharsis.”

The effects of this momentous conjunction are clearly visible, but for purposes of this article, I will attempt to summarize in a few short sentences. In the chaos and confusion of extreme paradigm shifts, changing of cultural epochs, erosion of ethics, questioning of faith . . . humans are seeking meaning in the midst of widespread suffering.

There is a prevailing sense of being lost in a sea of meaninglessness. Many people are asking, “What is the purpose of life?” And, for the most part, existing belief systems fall short of providing much needed relief. Conceptual frameworks are collapsing, and the contextual past is rapidly becoming obsolete.

Depending on one's level of consciousness, these influences are destabilizing, uncertain, devoid of meaning. However, disillusionment can break through stagnation, providing fertile ground for deep release, seeking, yearning, opening, a calling forth of new vision. It is just a matter of, “Ask, and you shall receive.” The planets are lined up to adjust, reboot, resurrect, and rise above.

Pisces themes carry through to the Full Moon on March 18, a culmination, a cleansing in preparation for the renewal of spring. Additionally, Mercury is rapidly transiting through Pisces, March 9 to 26. As the planet of communication and cognition, Mercury conjoins Jupiter on the 21st, and Neptune on the 23rd.

 All factors together, March is a month to give yourself space to process, clarify intentions and attune to guidance. If your schedule allows, take time off, turn off technology, and find respite in nature. Cultivating relaxation supports the tremendous shifts and openings to happen almost effortlessly.

And, as if this isn't enough! Let's back up to the first week of March, and consider Venus and Mars. Throughout February, in tandem, both planets have been transiting through Capricorn. Not only is there the reset of a New Moon, but Venus/Mars conjoin and activate Pluto, exact on March 3.

In February's article, I wrote a detailed interpretation of Pluto's 246 year cycle, and its return in the United States astrology chart. Exact three times in 2022 (February 20, July 11, December 28), this Pluto return can be likened to a crossroads of destiny as well as consequence. On multiple levels, existing foundations are being reviewed and examined. Circumstances, events and decisions carry greater weight in this pivotal year.

U.K. astrologer Lorna Bevan has this to say on the subject, ”Pluto is the planet of death and rebirth – the force that shatters the outworn to ashes like a wrecking ball so new green shoots can grow. With repercussions for all of us no matter where we live in the world, the USA as a nation is being shaken by the seismic tremors of its first Pluto return since 1776. The USA will be forced to look back to see whether the original intentions set for the nation are still being upheld, or if they need to be re-written.”

A plethora of issues that have been brewing for years, but especially since November, erupt to a full circle crescendo. The atmosphere is super charged, intense, revealing, explosive and transforming. On its own, Mars conjunct Pluto is very ambitious, controlling, territorial and power hungry. Mars takes action, and of course, the world's eyes are on Russia and Ukraine.

However, Venus is the planet of mediation and diplomacy. Venus has been transiting through Capricorn since November 5. This is the planet of peaceful resolutions, win/win solutions, restraint and cooperation. Only time will tell, but the interplay of Venus suggests receptivity to possible options and workable solutions.

Fast forward to the weekend of March 5 & 6. Both Venus and Mars leave Capricorn to conjoin exactly in the first degree of Aquarius. There are radical shifts in energy and focus. In contrast to the heavy, serious nature of Capricorn, Aquarius is light, airy and free. Uplifting and exhilarating, in many respects, light is glimmering at tunnel's end. Aquarius supports global initiatives, humans coming together in synergistic and concerted effort as one planetary organism.

Before COVID was a reality, many people had metaphoric dreams of a worldwide tsunami covering the globe. Taking this analogy another step . . . as waves recede, there is a pervasive sense of being tossed up on shore. Exhausted, gritty, disoriented, but still breathing, it's as though humanity has been washed up on the shore of unexplored land. A force beyond physical strength seems to pick up the heavy body, lifting it to stand on wobbly legs. Eyes gaze, looking around, taking it all in.

Unsure of what this even means, everything is different. What used to be so important, no longer carries as much weight. What used to be unknown, shows up in stark relief. Unfathomable, unmistakable, inconceivably enormous, this force is Source, life itself moving through everything, each and all, creating and sustaining.

Life force as Source is very strong now. Heralding a new season, Sun enters Aries on March 20, closely followed by Mercury entering Aries on March 27. Symbolized by the Ram, Aries doesn't think as much as it responds to this fresh insurgence of vitality. Pure, unfiltered, energetic, the circle of life is continuously giving another chance to stand up, shake off the past, cleansed and refreshed to begin anew.

Belinda C. Dunn

Aquarius New Moon
February 1 @ 12:45 am (EST)

Mercury Direct
February 3 @ 11:13 pm (EST)

Leo Full Moon
February 16 @ 11:56 am (EST)

As if on cue, February begins with a New Moon in Aquarius, just past midnight on the 1st. The zodiac sign of Aquarius, ringing in the Chinese New Year, the stuff of legends and dreams, hopes and aspirations, a new year, a new age of brotherhood and sisterhood for humanity.

Since 1962, during a major alignment of six planets in Aquarius, the signs have been building toward this ideal of universal harmony within the human family. High ideals, to be sure, but evident in the words of the hit musical “Hair.” Echoing through the airwaves for generations to come, “Harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding, no more falsehoods and derision, golden living dreams of visions, mystic crystal revelations, and the mind's true liberation.”

A full 60 years ago, in early February, a New Moon in Aquarius set the stage for a major paradigm shift. Still unfolding and evolving, this shift is a giant experiment of consciousness taking place around the globe for every human, every life form and the entire planet. Like today, Saturn was transiting through Aquarius (1962 – 1964), coming off a hangover from its transit through Capricorn, and stirring alive a new potential, an entirely new zeitgeist defined as, “the general intellectual, moral and cultural climate of an era.”

For those readers alive in the 1960's, a simple recollection underscores the absolutely massive social change that has taken place in recent decades. On just about every level of human experience, a transformation is taking place, but it's messy, and for the most part, we're in the trenches. There are dark days, and even darker nights, but 2022 is not the year to lose sight of possibility, especially in the face of contrasting appearances. In actuality, the upheaval and turbulence are visible signs of an old order falling away, and a tremendous rebirth taking place.

As life is cyclical, in contemplating the lyrics of “Dawning of the Age of Aquarius,” a key phrase jumped out as though in flashing neon lights, “the mind's true liberation.” And so, this month of February as  Moon joins Sun, conjoining and activating Saturn in Aquarius, one of the key themes is freedom that begins with the mind's liberation.

The brain is like a computer, it is physical, temporary, programmable and susceptible to outside influence. It can never be the true self, but a vehicle of consciousness, a tool of human experience in this dimension. Every spiritual discipline, east and west, in one form or another, points to the scattered and restless nature of “monkey mind.”

In astrology, planet Mercury rules over the everyday mind, while Uranus is considered the higher octave mind of extraordinary illumination, such as when the blinders fall away in those poignant and unforgettable moments of, “Ah ha . . . now I understand!”

Moments like this are part and parcel of February's grace. Let's track Mercury. Entering Aquarius on January 2, the year started with momentum, but shortly stalled out as Mercury went retrograde on January 14 within orb of Saturn's tight square to Uranus. On February 2, Mercury goes direct again, but in very close proximity to Pluto in Capricorn.

In other words, no progress is possible without a reckoning with the past. On February 14, Mercury re-enters Aquarius for the second time, squares Uranus on February 24, and conjoins Saturn for the third and final time on March 2. Therefore, the winter months are deeply contemplative, a perfect season to observe the mind, and root out misconstrued notions.

Technology has made global communication not only possible, but pervasive. Instantly, news travels from one side of the globe to another, spanning time zones in 24/7 connection. The reality of this connectivity cannot be understated. Both a blessing and a curse, the field of collective consciousness is easily swayed and overwhelmed with extreme emotion and distorted thinking.

In the swirl of media, tainted by opinion and bias, it is essential to partake of information from a very disciplined and discerning mindset. This brings us to some of the key characteristics of Aquarius; observation and detachment, including big picture thinking that rises above tumult, bringing to mind the adage, “May cooler heads prevail.”

Throughout February, both Venus and Mars transit through matter-of-fact Capricorn, conjoining on February 16. Adding another dimension to current trends, these planets bring relationships into focus. The hearts and flowers, romantic expectations of Valentine's Day may be toned down, less sentimental, and more realistic. Once the romantic phase is over, long term relationships require work, commitment and maturity.

Once Mercury goes direct, it's full speed ahead as all planets are direct. Many projects that have been on hold will be able to move forward. Taking advantage of these forward trends goes a long way in getting a handle on goals. And four planets in Capricorn (Mercury/ Venus/Mars/Pluto), assist in grounding and manifesting goals. Additionally, as these planets activate Pluto, roadblocks and complications can help to define feasibility and purpose.

As mentioned in previous articles, Pluto continues a long term transit through Capricorn (2008 – 2023). This is especially significant as Pluto was in Capricorn in 1776, a key planetary factor during the establishment of national identity as stated in the Declaration of Independence. As Pluto transits through all zodiac signs every 246 years, 2022 is the first year in the nation's history that Pluto returns to the exact degree of 1776. Astrologically, this is momentous, a very big deal!

It is clear, with all factors lining up, 2022 promises to be a significant turning point for the nation and world. There will be three exact dates, but repercussions linger well into 2023. A planetary return, in this case Pluto, typically requires an overhaul of systems. Pluto dismantles what is no longer relevant, workable and functional. First there is the breakdown, followed by a breakthrough which makes way for rebuilding. Computers can give exact dates, but in reality this process has been underway since 2008. The exacts dates are: February 20, June 11 and December 29.

Astrology is a language of archetypal symbols ranging in frequencies from challenging expression to positive manifestation. For example, some of the keywords for Pluto include: catalyst, decay, toxicity, waste, depravity, avarice, force, domination, suppression, sexuality, mass consciousness, psychoanalysis, redemption, metamorphosis, regeneration.

Some of the keywords for the Capricorn archetype include: ambition, discipline, control, caution, materialism, arrogance, privilege, authority, ethics, accountability, efficiency, integrity. Additionally, Capricorn is the domain of large organizational systems such as governments, financial institutions and corporations.

We don't have to look far to see the effects of Pluto in Capricorn. Blended together, it's a recipe for chaos, social upheaval, distrust of authority, misuse of power, erosion of ethics, legal battles, and destruction of norms.

While constitutional principles are being debated, infrastructure is crumbling. While human rights are being examined, violence continues on the streets, and in our schools. While leadership drags its feet in bi-partisan bickering, families struggle to make ends meet. While governments tout fair labor practices, employees work for slave wages in unhealthy environments. While enormous sums of money and resources are directed to a global military-industrial complex, many people go without basic necessities. Need I go on?

Astrologically, the dark and stormy clouds over the nation have a silver lining. As foundations crack and rock to the core, it is time for a rewrite. Pluto's return is an optimal environment for revisiting founding principles in this crash course in democracy. Of course, this process is controversial, and not easy, but necessary for progress at home and abroad.

On February 16, the day Venus and Mars join in Capricorn, there is a Full Moon. With the Sun in Aquarius and Moon in Leo, this is an auspicious and powerful pinnacle of collective reflection. Considering the United States astrology chart, this Full Moon is exactly, to the degree, conjoining the nation's Moon in Aquarius, symbolizing the general mood, public opinion, social environment and domestic issues.

With Aquarian overtones of freedom, autonomy, equality, invention and progress, this Full Moon highlights the possibilities of constructive and beneficial leadership in contrast to cruel and heartless leadership. Individual and collective response can range all the way from agreement and compliance to rebellion and dissent.

Additionally, this Full Moon is in stressful square with the lunar nodes. Together these factors align in a Grand Cross, one of the most potent of astrological configurations. Likened to standing at the crossroads, there are choices, but the way forward may remain unclear. In many instances, it's “push come to shove,” with neither side budging, and extreme polarization. However, the Moon's full illumination suggests revelation and transparency along with necessary compromise for the greater good.

Thankfully, there are some gentler influences in February. Namely, Jupiter's transit through Pisces in harmony with Uranus in Taurus, exact on February 17th. This combination enhances intuition, genius, invention and expansive vision of possibility. Additionally, on February 18, Sun enters Pisces, the final zodiac sign of spirituality, and the healing release of forgiveness.

It is clear to see, February is a pivotal month in a pivotal year. If we simply look at appearances, the picture is grim, frustrating and gloomy. However, standing at the crossroads, looking up, vision expands beyond the little mind, the conditioned mind of repetition, opinion, narrow-minded thinking and prejudice. Current trends support and enhance this rare opportunity to be free, truly free, in the only way freedom is possible.

To conclude, in keeping with the zeitgeist of 2022, quoting rapper Marlon Craft, “The ego's driving the car and it just depends on where it gets it's license, how many of us really choose our own thoughts and vices? Healin's not a feeling, it's a process. Progress not an object, it's a concept. Humanity's a conscience not a contest.”

January 2022
Belinda C. Dunn

Capricorn New Moon
January 2 @ 1:33 pm

Mercury retrograde
January 14 @ 6:41 am

Cancer Full Moon
January 17 @ 6:48 pm

High hopes and aspirations abound as 2022 gets underway. Surely, this is the year, this is the turning point for humanity on this blue-green gem of a planet. Spinning and evolving in cycles upon cycles, each moment a starting place. Like the archetypal Fool, first card in the Tarot deck, each of us stand posed to leap into the unknown with only a backpack of memories woven with dreams for a brilliant future.

January begins with Mars in Sagittarius, symbolized by the Archer, aiming the arrow of truth toward a worthy target. Interestingly, this is the zodiac sign of prognostication in all its various forms. It is so tempting to make predictions in the attempt to nail down the future in a nice and neat package. But, for the most part, these times we journey through are essentially unpredictable, easily swayed and altered as human consciousness evolves in the co-creating web of life.

However, this sense of rebirth, the anticipation of another chance to “get it right,” creates a buoyancy, breathing life into an atmosphere of heavy dread and disgruntled cynicism. The truth is out there, somewhere between realism and fantasy, fact and fiction. From apocalyptic destruction to idealized utopias, no one person can know the exact nature of what is to come, but maintaining a balanced perspective is the key to serenity.

As 2022 gets off to an enthusiastic start, the real work begins immediately. Between a Capricorn New Moon on January 2, and Mercury going retrograde on January 14, astrological trends point to getting the job done while surmounting obstacles. In order to move forward, free and clear, a great deal lingers from the past as carryover from the most extreme and tumultuous years in recent history.

The New Moon chart shows Sun, Moon, Venus and Pluto all in Capricorn. During the major planetary alignments of 2020, Mars/Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto aligned in Capricorn, destabilizing everyday order like a house of cards. For the past two years, dysfunction has shown itself on a global scale, and society is struggling under the weight of antiquated systems. Reorganization and overhaul of social systems is underway with no end in sight.

Feeding into the Pluto return in the United States chart, 2022 is a year whereby existing foundations have been sufficiently rocked, and the necessity to restructure is the primary focus. Even in well established institutions, eyes are turning to reform, and the implications are enormous.

Listening carefully, reading between the lines, the words “constitutional crisis,” and “democracy in peril,” echo across airwaves, and through the hallowed corridors of local, state and national agencies. This breakdown is all in preparation for Pluto's transit into Aquarius beginning Spring 2023, along with other significant planetary shifts over the next several years that are actually quite positive and hopeful.

Speaking of Aquarius, Saturn is transiting through this zodiac sign of innovation and reform (December 18, 2020 through March 8, 2023). Together with Jupiter in Aquarius, last year brought many developments, especially in regard to a new administration, public health, education, science and technology.

The need for adaptation continues, especially this month as Mercury goes retrograde in Aquarius within proximity of Saturn, 10 and 13 degrees respectively. From the timing perspective, this trend suggests that circumstances/events transpiring mid-month may take until early March to resolve as Mercury makes its final conjunction with Saturn March 2.

Doing a deep dive into the meaning of this Mercury retrograde, let's turn to a general interpretation affecting personal matters. First of all, Mercury represents everyday thinking, and general attitude. In combination with Saturn, the early months of 2022 may present more serious and weighty matters that take time and careful planning to overcome. Typically, Saturn's influence can feel heavy and burdensome, depressing and disappointing, so by all means, guard attitude and thought processes with care.

Symbolically, Saturn is the stern, but well meaning father figure, telling it like it is. In many instances, it is human nature to resist the wise counsel that Saturn bestows, in favor of taking the “easier” route. Saturn's influence requires focus, discipline, responsibility and patience. However, on the personal level, Saturn grows, develops and matures one's character while activating essential qualities of resolute determination and commitment. It is not always easy to face challenges with a positive attitude, but this is exactly what Saturn asks of us.

It is said that every dark cloud has a silver lining, and Mercury's transit through Aquarius (January 2 - 25 & February 14 – March 9), indicates bursts of genius in flashes of insight, upgrades and downloads, and surprising solutions to complex problems. Watch for synchronicity and connections with friends, community and tribe.

During the final week of January, on the 25th, Mercury retrogrades back into Capricorn. Any retrograde phase implies the necessity for review and research of possible options. This is especially the case now as Mercury retrograde slips back to conjoin Pluto on the 28th. Closely guarded secrets can no longer be hidden. Intense, explosive and revealing, information coming to light may very well alter the trajectory of goals.

Additionally, Venus in Capricorn is completing a retrograde phase the next day, on the 29th, and the Moon is transiting through Capricorn feeding into and activating these planets. These planetary alignments are remarkable in force, bringing situations to a head. “The shift is hitting the fan,” and there is no turning back. Ultimately, planetary player Pluto brings far-reaching transformation, even though the first stages may appear daunting along with strong emotional reactions.

When Mercury goes retrograde on January 14, Sun conjoins Pluto on the 16th, culminating in a Full Moon on the 17th. On many levels, circumstances and conditions are precarious, and similar to dominoes falling one by one, the tipping point is mid-month. This Full Moon lands on a Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Themes of social injustice and economic disparity combine with culture wars to expose and reveal underlying agendas.

On top of all this, Uranus goes direct on the 18th, feeding into and supporting dynamic and insistent calls for reform. Then Sun enters Aquarius on the 19th, underscoring the necessity for sweeping changes. Phew! It's quite the combination as January gets off to a fast and furious start.

To review, throughout 2021, Saturn and Uranus were at odds. For example, Saturn represents laws, regulations, responsibility and accountability. When regulations become too constructive and threaten to take away personal freedom, Uranus responds with rebellion and revolt. Symbolically, Saturn is the adult, advising, correcting and instructing, while Uranus is the rebellious teenager, experimenting and experiencing. As prevalent as this push and pull has been, forced compliance can be counter productive, but boundaries are necessary, and continue to be in a state of flux.

It is helpful to consider benevolent Jupiter transiting in the early degrees of Pisces. Jupiter is the wise sage, and Pisces is the zodiac sign of spirituality. Literally and figuratively, this combination can be the saving grace of planetary trends. Expanding awareness beyond the everyday drama of little egos vying for control, Jupiter uplifts the spirits, and ensures protection. By April, Jupiter conjoins Neptune in rare potential for widespread awakening to life's unique purpose.

Another worthy trend to note is the shift of lunar nodes from Gemini/Sagittarius to Taurus/Scorpio. Exact on January 18, all eclipses for the next 18 months will activate these zodiac signs. With the North Lunar in Taurus and the South Lunar Node in Scorpio, the archetypal story line shifts to more practical matters, especially revolving around security, resources, possessions, currency and financial institutions, ecology and sustainability.

There is great potential as 2022 dawns. Developments during these early months can bring focus and perspective in a timely review. A global pandemic surged into public awareness during the rare and life changing alignment of Mars/Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto, exact during January/February/March 2020. The ripples and repercussions are still rolling out in enormous waves of change on many levels of our collective experience from the most personal to worldwide effects.

Current planetary trends activate this original inception point in a grand finale. Indicating major strides in some type of resolution, Mercury, Venus and Mars all conjoin Pluto in Capricorn. Starting last month, Venus conjoined Pluto twice, digging deep, stirring up debris, purging limitations, and exposing wounds, especially on the heart level. The third and final conjunction occurs in early March. Meanwhile, Mercury conjoins Pluto, exact three times (December 30, January 28, February 11), and Mars returns to Capricorn on January 24, conjoining Pluto on March 3.

Weather related disasters appear to be occurring with more frequency and force. Hitting close to home, and sweeping through neighboring states, the recent mega-tornado brought tremendous loss, grief and devastation. The astrology chart for the event shows Venus conjunct Pluto, and Moon in Pisces conjunct Neptune. While this planetary combination indicates devastating destruction in heart wrenching ways, the outpouring of compassion and assistance has been genuine and immediate for those in need.

From the astrological perspective, current planetary trends signal a reckoning with the past in order to move forward. In our personal lives, and across the globe, circumstances vary greatly, but underlying themes are clear. While external events continue to unfold in a crescendo of dysfunction, each person is pushed beyond their comfort zone to rise to the occasion. To make a positive contribution in the lives of those around us, and search within the heart of all hearts for what is truly meaningful in this extraordinary journey called life.

December 2021
Belinda C. Dunn

Sagittarius Solar Eclipse
December 4 @ 2:43 am

Gemini Full Moon
December 18 @ 11:36 pm

Winter Solstice
December 21 @ 10:59 am

Twinkling lights all glitter and gold, familiar fragrances wafting in the air, memories of seasons past stir the soul, it's December. The month begins with all the fanciful hopes and dreams of Sun in Sagittarius, zodiac sign of celebration. Time honored traditions mark the passage of another year, in the slow, but sure, march of generations.

The month gets off to an enthusiastic start as Moon joins Sun in an impressive Sagittarius Solar Eclipse on December 4. Eclipses always come in pairs, and this eclipse energetically follows the lunar eclipse of November 19; picking up the pieces, resetting the narrative with an attitude of moving on. Powerfully transforming, these eclipses shed light on the ever evolving lesson plan in Earth school.

Eclipses occur as Sun, Moon and Earth come into alignment on a regular basis. This cycle is part of the 18.6 cycle of lunar nodes. On a metaphysical/archetypal level, the nodes reflect specific themes. Since May 2020, the North Lunar Node has been in Gemini, while the South Lunar Node has been in Sagittarius. This is all to point out, December's eclipse is a culmination, a wrap up of the previous 18 months.

What are the themes? Reflecting two sides of the same coin, both Gemini and Sagittarius represent the mind, and communication of thought into daily life. Gemini is the everyday aspect of thinking/ speaking/listening/learning/relating. Sagittarius is the inspirational foundation of belief systems aiming to understand, and make sense of this reality.

Beliefs encompass an enormous range of diversity in worldview; philosophy, spirituality, religion, politics, culture. Beliefs are unique to the individual, and susceptible to programming. Upon self reflection, it is possible to recognize an attitude of open minded curiosity, and conversely, recognize when the mind is made up, closed to other points of view.

Most of the time, beliefs tend to be abstract, innocuous, vacillating, hard to define and pin down. However, in times such as these, beliefs have become the make it or break juncture of sensibility and sanity, or gullibility and illusion. Add a hefty dose of dogma, and belief becomes a toxic cocktail of persuasion and control. The disparity, the widening gulf between truth and falsehood, is a threatening hypnotic  trance of discord that can be felt around the world.

Contributing to this toxic, murky, foggy atmosphere is Neptune's long term transit through Pisces. On December 1st, Neptune shifts from retrograde to direct. This means the planetary energy is bearing down, pressing the issues, and pushing matters to a state of revelation. Neptune can lift consciousness up into ascended and awesome heights of enlightenment, but likewise, Neptune can be a slippery slope of delusion, projection, and in extreme cases, mental illness.

This brings us to the United States astrology chart, a blueprint of the nation's destiny. It is not a mystery, the country was founded on high and idealistic principles, summed up as every human is created equal in the eyes of Divinity, and therefore entitled to the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. This chart shows Neptune overhead, elevated, above and beyond all other planetary factors, like a lighthouse guiding and shining for all to see.

These are ideals, but the question remains, how do we as ordinary, struggling, evolving human beings, embody these ideals? Even though answering this question remains elusive for most of the populace, current planetary trends are pressing the issue, expanding consciousness to at least begin giving credence to these original founding principles.

There are two major, long term trends involved. First, Pluto in a 246 year orbit, is returning to its exact position in 1776. Technically called a Pluto return, momentum has been building for significant restructuring on many levels of society. The writing is on the wall for all to see as systems breakdown, infrastructure requires an overhaul, and government agencies are under pressure to better meet the needs of a growing population. Enormous changes are underway, but the first stage of Pluto is to dismantle what is not working. More on this next year, as the transit is exact three times in 2022.

For purposes of this article and trends in December, we go back to Neptune, and its transit over a very sensitive point in the United States chart. At the time of the country's founding, Mars was in stressful aspect with Neptune, an indication of intense patriotism, idealism, along with the urge to fight, rightly or wrongly, for principles. This also suggests an exaggerated glorification of war with an attitude of “might makes right.”

Neptune moves very slowly in its 165 year orbit, and this trend has been building for a decade, at least. However, Neptune is activating this dynamic fighting spirit of patriotism now, reaching a culmination point in early 2022, remaining within orb of influence for several more years. Therefore, astrology suggests the nation is being tested on how to work through conflict in effective and constructive ways.

In combination with the Sagittarius Solar Eclipse on December 4, and the Gemini/Sagittarius Full Moon on December 18, Neptune's powerful influence is heightening awareness around ideology, individually and collectively. Key dates: December 1, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18.

Admirable and beneficial characteristics of Sagittarius include levity, humor, enthusiasm, inspiration, generosity and good will. However, in excess, the challenges may appear extreme; dogmatic, zealous, fanatical, outspoken and judgmental.

It is said that Sagittarius can “sell” anything from concepts to things, so December is a month for buyer beware. Eyes wide open, listen carefully to all versions of reality that are being sold, and be careful of whose version you may be buying into . . . including your own thoughts and perceptions.

In his seminal work, “Power vs. Force,“ Dr. David Hawkins writes, “To transcend the limitation of the mind, it's necessary to dethrone it from its tyranny as sole arbiter of reality. The vain mind confers its imprint of authenticity on the movie of life it happens to be viewing; the mind's very nature is to convince us that its unique view of experience is the genuine article. Each individual secretly feels that his particular experience of the world is accurate.”

Additionally, Mars enters Sagittarius on December 13. Giving an energetic and enthusiastic boost to the holiday spirit, Mars will remain in Sagittarius until January 24. For the most part, typical of New Year celebrations, 2022 will launch with all the hopes and dreams of optimistic good fortune.

Thankfully, there are some strong balancing and grounding trends for December. Mercury enters practical and responsible Capricorn on December 13. Venus continues for a second month in Capricorn, albeit going retrograde on the 19th. And our Sun enters Capricorn on December 21, marking the annual passage of Winter's Solstice.

Another important trend to note is Venus in conjunction with Pluto, exact on December 25, but within orb of influence throughout December. Normally, this occurs once a year for several days. This year is different as Venus begins a 6 week retrograde period. This planetary alignment sets the stage for winter months with a final conjunction early March.

Visible in the evening sky hanging around the same degree as Pluto, Venus will apply pressure to issues that may have been hidden. This is a rare combination, speaking to issues of the heart. Considering this is Christmas Day, and typically family is gathered, emotions may be heightened. This can create the environment for breakdowns as well as breakthroughs in key relationships.

Not only can the Venus/Pluto alignment affect one's immediate environment, but together these planets suggest global events on the mass consciousness scale. From a purely symbolic standpoint, Venus is associated with refined feelings of love and beauty as well as tangible things such as money, wealth and possessions. Pluto is associated with control, force, domination, criminality and revelations. At this point, the manifestations are not clear, but this powerfully transforming combination can work for good in the face of great challenges.

Wrapping up the month, in fact all of 2021, is the third and final aspect of Saturn and Uranus, exact on December 24. Squaring off, vying for the upper hand, these planets act as a bridge from past to future. Saturn maintains the structures and traditions of the past while Uranus encourages innovation and progress. Wherever we look, these themes are present, personally and collectively.

One of the most blatant and obvious effects of transiting Saturn in stressful square with Uranus revolves around authority, control, responsibility, autonomy and freedom. Repeatedly, in a variety of circumstances, the fine line between social responsibility and personal freedom has been broached. Especially in regard to vaccines, the national conversation has circled around this topic in a mishmash of opinions, leaving each of us to sort it out for ourselves, families and communities.

Evolutionary change occurs within a crucible of pressure and necessity. 2021 has been a year of “push comes to shove,” defined as situations coming to a critical point, requiring commitment and decision. This point can feel like a precipice, a jump into unexplored territory, an experiment with no guarantees of the outcome. Clearly, there is no turning back as time marches on.

Sitting here, contemplating the conclusion of another year, I am feeling very grateful for each of you, dear readers. Your interest in astrology, including your commitment to personal healing and planetary awakening, is a beckon of light in the darkness. Living in these extraordinary times is a very special gift. Together, in loving support with eyes open and hearts expanding, we greet a new year. 2022 . . . here we come!

November 2021
Belinda C. Dunn

Scorpio New Moon
November 4 @ 5:15 pm (Eastern daylight time)

Taurus/Scorpio Lunar Eclipse
November 19 @ 3:57 am (Eastern standard time)

Echoing through the corridors of time, November begins with observance of All Saints Day, honoring the perennial wisdom of sages, mystics, ancestors, and continuity of life experience through all dimensions, through all existence. Both Sun and Mars are in Scorpio now, highlighting the interconnected nature of spirits in the birth/death/rebirth process, repeatedly, as the wheel of fortune turns.

Scorpio is known as the most mysterious zodiac sign, the domain of  occult knowledge, sexuality, procreation, death, and the mythological realm of unicorns, dragons, and phoenix rising from ashes of destruction. Embodying the principle of surrender, transformation, and transcendence, Scorpio can best be understood within the context of release, letting go of earth plane limitations, and embracing the nature of eternal existence.

November begins with a wrap-up of Mercury's transit through Libra. For a full ten weeks, Mercury has been in the zodiac sign of arbitrator, mediator, diplomat, peacemaker. As shared in the October article, many relationships reached a “make it or break it,” decisive turning point. In many cases, still reeling from disclosures, participants have a better understanding of where the other stands, and can move forward from here.

On November 2, Mercury makes its third and final tense aspect with Pluto, leaving Libra on the 5th, and in rapid succession transits through Scorpio until the 24th, entering festive Sagittarius just in time for Thanksgiving on the 25th.

Setting the pace for the next lunar cycle, let's take a deeper look at the Scorpio New Moon on November 4. The dark of the Moon gives way to a powerful reset, calling for adaptation to shifting conditions, particularly in the areas of commerce, finances, possessions, investments and resources.

The holidays are going to be different this year; the grab and spend mindset that has dominated seasons past will be undergoing an evaluation. From the astrological standpoint, there are numerous factors pointing to restructuring of financial markets, government agencies, transport of goods, as well as personal cash flow.

Marking a new moon, Moon conjoins Sun in Scorpio, and together they are in exact opposition to Uranus in Taurus. This combination tends to be unsettling at the least, implying sudden and unpredictable conditions requiring rapid response. An atmosphere of urgency may permeate the collective mindset as individuals and groups come to terms with reality. In the long run, Uranus tends to generate significant and necessary breakthroughs, but immediate effects may appear disruptive.

Throughout 2021, Saturn and Uranus have been playing off each other, and Saturn is a key factor in this new moon reset. While Uranus thrives on risk, Saturn prefers predictability, and together these planets bestow cautious optimism. Like a roller coaster of ups and downs, it's a wild ride, thrilling for some, but terrifying for many.

These potentially unstable conditions act as a precursor to a lunar eclipse on November 19. Eclipses always produce revelations, and in this case, Mars, Mercury and Sun align in Scorpio to take the covers off, and reveal what is really going on beneath the sheets, and behind the scenes. With Uranus and Moon in Taurus, revelations help to ensure progress through addressing corruption, and exposing power plays.

This is a particularly important lunar eclipse activating the zodiac polarity of Scorpio/Taurus for the first time since 2012/2013. Due to an 18.6 year cycle, eclipses change zodiac signs. For example, recent eclipses have been in Gemini/Sagittarius. Archetypal themes over the past 18 months have centered around more abstract topics such as information, education, ideology, justice, and global connection.

Although this eclipse sign change may be subtle, for those sensitive to energy, it will be palpable and demonstrable as attention shifts to more tangible areas such as finances, money, possessions, banking, insurance, inheritance, and shared resources. The key phrase for Taurus is, “I want.” The key phrase of Scorpio is, “I desire.” This lunar eclipse will kick off a whole series of eclipses in effect throughout 2022

Energizing both the new and full moon, Mars is transiting through Scorpio. Mars entered Scorpio on October 30, and throughout November Mars will apply pressure to matters that have been suppressed, avoided, ignored. As the planet of action, Mars can be impulsive and driven, however in Scorpio, Mars adds an extra dose of emotional intensity.

For some individuals, this influence may contribute to obsessions, brooding and introspection. It's as though everyday awareness is brimming over with unresolved emotion. Mars in Scorpio drives the consciousness deep within to reveal inner motives, an opportunity to get to the bare bones of repressed emotion held within the memory track.

Psychologically probing, the zodiac sign of Scorpio lends courage in the exploration of shadow material, subtle realms, and mystical experience. Moment by moment, letting it go, and letting it flow, brings rejuvenation through the clearing of trauma and unconscious material.

The most strategic and secretive of zodiac signs, Scorpio is very penetrating in setting aside the superfluous, and getting to the heart of most matters. Appearances can be deceiving, and beneath the surface of everyday life, there exists a shadowy realm of criminal activity, pornography, drug lords, authoritarianism, and covert operations. Transiting through Scorpio until December 12, Mars in Scorpio is the detective in ferreting out the truth, and exposing unlawful conduct.

This brings us to a very important transit beginning in November, and in effect through winter months. Venus, the goddess archetype, enters Capricorn on November 5, and due to an extended retrograde period, remains in Capricorn until March 6.

Generally, Venus is associated with adornment (cosmetics, apparel, jewelry), artistic expression, and many forms of beautification. At her best, Venus is sensual, affectionate, loving, demonstrative and generous. However, Venus transiting through Capricorn may curtail  excess, frivolity, glamour and ostentatious display, especially because Capricorn prizes quality above quantity.

The key phrase of Capricorn is, “I utilize.” In practical terms, this can alter the holiday gift list to focus more on what is useful and functional. It's less about wants, and more about needs. Luxury purchases may appear wasteful, not really addressing the needs of many people struggling in an uncertain economy.

Venus is associated with money, suggesting a reining in, saving mentality in the general populace. Venus in Capricorn suggests moderation in a likely shortage of goods, and perhaps restrictions in spending. Discussions and decisions can focus on prioritizing expenditures on every level from household expenses as well as governments of city, state and nations.

Overall, Venus in Capricorn is inclined to be matter of fact, detached, moderate, reliable and committed. Love isn't all flowers and chocolate, hugs and kisses. Over the next four months, as Venus transits through Capricorn, attention will gravitate to demonstrating love in reliable, workable, practical and tangible expressions.

In her transit through Capricorn, Venus will energize, harmonize and complement Mars in Scorpio. These zodiac energies don't play around when there is a task to accomplish, a mission to achieve. For many people and projects, November is a month to make up for lost time,  get ahead of the curve, buckle down and get the job done.

Additionally, Mercury plays a supporting role in speaking up, and giving voice to current events. Speeding through Scorpio (November 5 – 24), Mercury enhances communication and mental acuity. While this suggests major disclosures, Mercury in Scorpio may crack open the door to more realistic and discerning attitudes.

In fact, revelations may be so potent as to cut through the dense, dark fog of illusory, bizarre and fantastical ideas and ideology. November 10, an especially potent day, Mercury conjoins Mars, and together these planets activate Saturn. The raw, unfiltered truth may engender disturbance, but in the long run, this leads to progress based on assessment of realistic goals.

Before we know it, 2021 is rapidly drawing to a close as November wraps up with Thanksgiving. In a country overflowing with abundance, how can there be so much scarcity? On a planet graced with beauty, how can human greed wrought so much destruction?

Questions of the ages . . . answers buried deep within the labyrinth of human nature. Answers ready to be discovered, treasures waiting to be uncovered. When eyes are open, the heart is primed, it begins with gratitude, endures in generosity, and circles around in everlasting appreciation for all that is.

WHAT'S UP – October 2021
Belinda C. Dunn

Libra New Moon
October 6 @ 7:05 am

Mercury direct
October 18 @ 11:17 am

Aries/Libra Full Moon
October 20 @ 10:57 am

October dawns bright and clear in the northern hemisphere. Picture a glorious autumn sky, bright blue without a cloud as dappled sunlight shifts through leaves of golden yellow, orange and red. Earth emanates the sweet fragrance of an abundant and rich harvest.

Against this backdrop, most humans continue to race around in their heads, busy with business, so often missing the point of all this beauty. The contrast between the natural world, filled with grace, and the human drama is quite stark during October as Sun, Mercury and Mars transit through Libra. This puts the focus squarely on relationships, and how to cultivate and maintain peaceful co-existence with each other as individuals, families, groups and nations.

The month begins with six planets retrograde, and over the course of October, four planets complete this retrograde phase and turn direct.  It's as though we're sitting at a red light waiting for the signal to turn green, giving the go ahead. How is this time spent? Tense, frustrated, hurried, worried . . . or patiently awaiting the right moment to deliberately press the gas pedal, and accelerate to the next level? Slowly but surely, stagnation gives way to direction, and decisive action.

The first planet to go direct is Pluto. Retrograde since late April, Pluto is direct on October 6. However, due to a long orbital cycle of 246 years, Pluto appears to be almost at standstill, drilling down at 24 degrees Capricorn, very close to the exact degree in the United States astrology chart. In fact, Pluto has been at this degree since mid-August, intensifying dysfunction along with the pressing need to address numerous challenges such as crumbling infrastructure, climate related disasters, immigration, racial injustice, economic disparity and authoritarian overreach.

The next planet to go direct is Saturn. Retrograde since late May, Saturn goes direct on October 10. This is always good news as Saturn retrograde typically puts things on hold, producing obstacles and delays. The area of life where Saturn is transiting through your personal astrology chart is an area for reassessment and revision. Saturn direct signifies a completion of this assessment along with practical ways to address challenges, gather momentum and manifest goals.

Saturn continues its transit through Aquarius skies (2019 – 2023). As the zodiac sign of experimentation, science, ingenuity, collaborative creativity and social progress, this current transit is testing the waters, so to speak, for innovation that addresses the need for comprehensive solutions. For most of 2021, numerous advances have been attempted, only to get bogged down in red tape, bipartisanship, power struggles and controversy. As Saturn goes direct, there may be more wide spread acceptance of potential solutions.

The next planet to go direct is Jupiter. It too, has been transiting through Aquarius. As Jupiter goes direct on October 18, it's as though the dam breaks in a rushing forward of progress based on generosity and good will. What were just ideas in January, now make sense. More than likely, naysayers will fall away in the reality of a new world dawning, and no one can stop the future.

Kicking off the entire week, October 18 is a Monday, signaling a time to get ahead, breathing a sigh of relief as momentum builds and obstacles fall away. Not only does Jupiter go direct on the 18th, but Mercury in Libra goes direct. Additionally, Mars, the planet of action, lends tremendous support in positive aspect with Jupiter. All this occurs within a 24 hour time period. This is a week to pay attention. What feels right and good? Where are the doors opening? Watch for glimmers of hopeful enthusiasm, sparked with an intuitive, gut instinct knowing.

Now, all this seems very fortunate and timely, and in many instances, not a moment too soon. But let's unpack Mercury's retrograde phase in hindsight. First of all, Mercury entered Libra on August 30, and due to its retrograde phase, remains in the zodiac sign of relationship until November 5.

Turning the mind/heart/awareness to relationship can take many forms. On the interpersonal level, a new relationship can begin, while another may end, reaching a natural conclusion. In many cases, in all types of relationship, the need for improved communication, and development of relationship skills is a growing realization. Due to the aspects, which I will cover shortly, in-depth healing can only be achieved with transparency, laying all the cards on the table, although exposure of underlying concerns can feel unfamiliar, and trigger vulnerability.

This brings up a unique combination of planetary forces between Mercury, the communicator, and two other planets, Jupiter and Pluto. Due this retrograde phase, Mercury aspects/engages each of these planets three times. Therefore, during the autumn months, issues and situations arising in late September may take time to expose, examine, deal with, and resolve.

As October begins, remember Mercury is retrograde. If you feel pressured to make decisions, know this is a time to step back, and get all the facts, so decisions are made with assurance rather than being forced by circumstances, and other people's agendas.

Let's start with the “bad” news, Mercury is in stressful square to Pluto three times, exact on September 22, October 1 and November 2. Mercury in Libra supports diplomatic efforts to settle disputes, and maintain cooperation. However, facing off with Pluto, the scales of balance are wildly fluctuating as suppressed tensions erupt, making it virtually impossible to stay out of denial. Taking many forms, destabilizing conditions present heavy challenges as people scramble to put out fires, literally and figuratively.

Guarding one's mental health is important. Even if life is fairly stable, this planetary combination can increase angst, irritability, obsession, resistance and fear. Intense and revealing encounters tell a deeper story as potentially life changing decisions hang in the balance. Articulate, argumentative, and persuasive voices can purposely give mixed messages, and it pays to consciously maintain a circumspect and detached perspective.

OK, now for the “good” news, Mercury is in positive aspect to Jupiter, exact on September 30, October 3, and November 1. Here the contrast is stark, unequivocal, perhaps best summed up in “attitude is all.” As the planet of optimism, enthusiasm, and good fortune, Jupiter is the light at the end of the tunnel. This aspect tells a different story, a new story, and for many people, in a variety of situations, things are actually looking up. With hope on the horizon, every problem has a solution, and all things are possible.

So, this is the choice. In reality, there are no strictly “bad” or “good” aspects, but always a blend, and in this topsy-turvey year of major planetary upheaval, it can be difficult to discern what is actually true, helpful and relevant. It is not a new choice, but the dilemma of human consciousness that thinkers of many ages have theorized upon, and written volumes about.

Charles Dickens, in “Tale of Two Cities,” writes,“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

An analysis of October is not complete without considering the lunar cycle. Getting the ball rolling, a New Moon on October 6 is distinctly focused on relationship with Sun, Moon, Mars and Mercury in Libra. This alignment is made even more powerful at “critical degree,” and exactly inconjunct Uranus in Taurus.

Money, investments, property and other resources may be a source of disagreement. This speaks to alliances that may have been disrupted in recent weeks, and the need to take active steps to repair broken trust. Motives that have been hidden are now on the table for negotiation. As Mercury is deep in its retrograde cycle, it is essential to acknowledge all points of view, allowing difficult conversations to take place, and think in terms of building bridges of understanding.

The Full Moon on October 20 continues to press issues around cooperation, or lack thereof. By now, attempts to find mutually satisfying solutions have either born fruit, and the way forward is apparent, OR the differences are so stark that “agreeing to disagree,” is the best option.

Both new and full moons are especially prominent in the United States chart, shining a light on the nation, and its position on the world stage. In particular watch October 16 – 22 as Sun, Moon and Mars activate Pluto, suggesting overt power struggles as well as covert operations.

Therefore, in addition to Mercury's aspects to Pluto and Jupiter, Sun/Moon and Mars sweep through as triggers, underscoring themes of leadership, alliances, and power. The wheeling and dealing of governments and corporations in gigantic global markets is undergoing a massive overhaul as leaders scramble to adjust in shifting alliances. These planetary alignments will call into question these developments along with significant disclosures from behind the scenes, perhaps summed up best as, “character matters.”

All factors considered, October promises to be a page turning month, and for the most part, people are ready and prepared to begin a new chapter. However, these alignments in Libra intensify one of the most difficult and elusive predicaments for humans which is the tendency to disown responsibility, and project blame onto other people, places and things. Shaming and blaming is a slippery slope going nowhere.

One more factor to consider, each time Mercury went retrograde in 2021, it was in an air sign (Aquarius, Gemini, Libra). For example, last January, Mercury was retrograde in Aquarius, the zodiac sign of friendship and community. Last May, Mercury was retrograde in Gemini, the zodiac sign of communication and connection. And now, once again from a slightly different vantage point, Mercury in Libra is asking us to look within before looking around.
For those ready, the planets provide a jolt of recognition, like awakening from a dream, the trance of human consciousness. Ambiguity falls away, as the mirror shatters to reveal the other as one's self. We are more alike than different, and taking personal responsibility is the key to productive, harmonious and peaceful co-existence.

September 2021
Belinda C. Dunn

Virgo New Moon
September 6 @ 8:52 pm

Pisces Full Moon
September 20 @ 7:54 pm

Autumnal Equinox
September 22 @ 3:21 pm

Mercury retrograde
September 27 – October 18

Signs of autumn are beginning to be more visible, although summer's heat lingers for days to come. A renewed focus on work and school makes September a transitional month, but the change occurs most notably in the seasons. It begins with the light. Daylight dwindles a little earlier each day, giving way to an evening sky; luminescent, indigo, velvety, filled with stars, the perfect backdrop for Mercury and Venus.

September begins with both Mercury and Venus in Libra, the zodiac sign of relationship. While Venus rapidly completes her time in Libra, entering Scorpio on September 10, Mercury remains in Libra for many weeks. Due to an approaching retrograde phase, Mercury transits through Libra until November 5, a lengthy duration underscoring a core theme revolving around people, partnerships, social interaction, and how to reasonably keep the peace in a variety of  circumstances. More on this later . . .

A Virgo New Moon on September 6 introduces the necessity for practical solutions. The astrology chart shows Sun, Moon and Mars in Virgo, harmonizing with Uranus in Taurus. This is a supportive blending of a realistic and practical approach combined with possibility. The Virgo traits of analysis, precision and excellence, while admirable, may obscure solutions that are readily available with flexibility and spontaneity. It is a matter of showing up, and allowing the extraordinary to make itself known.

However, it is helpful to be aware of another key planetary influence in the New Moon reset, and September in general. The Virgo time of year underscores the fundamental importance of health, and how it pertains to productivity. Virgo is up close and personal in shining the light on personal habits and lifestyle choices that may easily be ignored, and appear inconsequential on a daily basis, but slowly erode vitality over time.

Meanwhile, Neptune in Pisces opposes these Virgo placements. The downside of this alignment can erode confidence, confuse direction, undermine vitality, and manifest hard to diagnose conditions. The high side of Neptune transit through Pisces (2012–2025) can be accessed through the spiritual gifts of trust, faith, compassion, and forgiveness of self and others.

Neptune in in Pisces helps each of us to set aside the stressful burdens of worry, fear, powerlessness, and other agendas, to actually open to transcendent guidance. Sincere surrender allows space for grace to step in, especially when the “best laid plans of mice and men,” fall short of projections and expectations.

The Virgo New Moon carries forth to a Full Moon on September 20. At this time, the Moon in Pisces joins Neptune, and together they are in opposition to the Sun. If you find yourself or another having a hard time “getting a grip on reality,” perhaps it is time to ask, “What reality am I trying to get a grip on?”

Fleeting and illusory “reality,” may be mesmerizing and distracting, whereas, the reality beyond all appearances bestows calming assurance. The prominent emphasis on Virgo implies facing reality with Reality, a honing of purpose that can offset confusion, aimlessness and apathy. Key dates are: September 2–7, 13–14, 18-20.

Another key factor during September involves six retrograde planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto. Retrograde implies review, and it is important to continue steady progress, despite possible setbacks. In many instances, it is a matter of holding the course, one foot in front of the other, in a push to complete anything and everything that may have been put on hold in 2020, due to pandemic restrictions. Resilience and adaptation to what is now considered “the new normal,” allows attention to flow into other areas, and in many ways, playing catch up is the name of the game.

Due to extreme and vacillating conditions, one of the signatures of these times is an atmosphere of uncertainty, and deception is rampant. Confusing information is coming at the public from all sides, leaving vast swathes of the population in the lurch in terms of housing, employment, health care, education, finances and immigration. It may appear hard, if not impossible, to pin people and plans down in these shifting seas of social change.

Autumn begins on September 22 as the Sun enters Libra, symbolized by the scales of balance, the only inanimate zodiac symbol. This gives an important clue to Libra, the ability to see  many perspectives, to fairly weigh all evidence, and impart equitable and impartial conclusions. If one thing is clear, this is a lofty aim in the current social climate, and quite the challenge in this day and age!

Additionally, Mars is in Libra for the remainder of September through to October 30, and Mercury is in Libra for weeks to come, beginning a retrograde phase on September 27. All these factors taken together indicate numerous and complex legal issues surging to the forefront with potential resolution. However, there are no easy answers in these contradictory and tumultuous times.

Mercury retrograde is typically challenging, but depending on the aspects in your personal chart, some retrogrades are more intense than others. You may find yourself breezing through a Mercury retrograde, and even being grateful for the pause to complete projects, and catch your breath. Other retrogrades may bring breakdowns in communication as well as technical glitches and mechanical failures. Meanwhile, major life decisions can hang in the balance awaiting further consideration in order to proceed.

Aside from the personal effects, this upcoming Mercury retrograde indicates major challenges on the collective level. Why? As Mercury goes retrograde on the 27, it is within orb of influence to a square with Pluto. Additionally, this alignment activates a long term Pluto square to Eris, a little known but powerhouse planet, named after the ancient goddess of discord. Eris cannot stand to see injustice, she embodies the strong woman archetype that stands up, and speaks out for the “underdog,” and those disadvantaged and vulnerable, for whatever reason.

Mercury will activate Pluto/Eris three times exactly (September 22, October 1, November 2), however through the autumn months, it looks like numerous circumstances, on many fronts, are coming to a boiling point. Like a set of dominoes, one thing after another precipitates the next. But this isn't child's play, the planet Pluto catalyzes breakdowns and breakthroughs in very consequential, and ultimately life altering ways.

Pluto's action is to expose toxicity, dysfunction and corruption, all that is hidden in the shadows, beneath the surface of everyday acknowledgment. It blasts through denial, shakes up the status qua, and reveals underlying conditions. Pluto's square to Eris was exact three times in 2020, and now approaches a fifth and final activation in early October.

Thus, it is clear this process has been building for some time, perhaps far too long, but it is Mercury that gives voice to the dysfunction. Transiting through Libra, Mercury helps to acknowledge, confront and call out dysfunction, perhaps once and for all, in some circumstances. Emphatically, Mercury states, “Enough is enough!”

On the personal level, Mercury in aspect to Pluto may catalyze a crisis in a specific relationship, or test one's internal reference point in terms of relating in general. This can manifest in a variety of ways. On one hand, this planetary configuration can expose deal breakers, and catapult alliances to the breaking point. On the other hand, there is a readiness to confront dysfunction by admitting secrets, and probing into the more hidden and complicated emotions of relationship. This can actually clear the air, deepen intimacy and support connection.

This planetary trend applies to large groups such as communities, governments, corporations, and countries. This implies ethical dilemmas, and the necessity to rework alliances, laws, contracts, agreements of all kinds. Timing is everything. Watch the first week of September for clues. But what erupts to the surface in late September will probably simmer until early November when Mercury makes its final square to Pluto/Eris, at which point, changes are more likely to be integrated.

To sum up, September is a month to pay attention by adding an extra dose of discernment, self care, and by all means . . . “keep your wits about you.” Like a log jam in the river of life, all sorts of things will be breaking lose. This process is not to be feared, although there is great fear upon the planet now. This process is not be controlled, because in so many ways, it is out of any one person's hands. There may be moments of feeling powerless, but this too, can be welcomed as a reckoning for humanity, a reality check as to what is, and what is not important.

August 2021
Belinda C. Dunn

Leo New Moon
August 8 @ 9:50 am

Aquarius Full Moon
August 22 @ 8:02 am

It's August and the heat is on! Across the northern hemisphere, and around the globe, record high temperatures soar as the Sun beats down. This is the season of Leo, ruled by the Sun, symbolized by the proud lion and majestic lioness.

From the esoteric point of view, the Sun is associated with the third eye or ajna chakra located at the root of the nose, between the eyes. Every mystic tradition, east and west, ancient and modern, acknowledges this potent and sacred point. Even the Bible states, “The light of the body is the eye. If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be filled with light.”

The solar principle is that of full disclosure, complete illumination. No more hiding in the shadows and being small, Leo is about full on, dramatic expression of the individual spark of life force. How this translates to the Leo personality is quite interesting in that there is an underlying drive toward authenticity.

All twelve zodiac signs are reflected in every astrology chart. Leo, however it shows up individually, is the part of self that is most conscious of the masking, the layers of conditioning and programming that cover the true self. On and off the stage, the Leo personality is aware of life as performance. Sometimes it is a comedy filled with laughter and happiness; other times, life shows up in tearful, tragic ways. To quote Shakespeare, “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.”

On August 8, a Leo New Moon sets the stage for a review, and revision of roles. Beneath the masks, beyond appearances, there abides eternal, unchanging being. As the Sun transits through Leo, it is possible to tap into this field of pure potential, discerning, more clearly than ever, one's place in the grand plan of things. More often than not, this shows up as an innate sense of authenticity as evidenced by relaxation, ease, connection, presence, and a smooth integration of inner awareness with outer expression.

The New Moon chart shows Sun, Moon and Mercury in Leo, but in contrast to Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius, the zodiac sign opposite Leo. Generally, this dynamic produces a push and pull between opposites, in this case, the longing to belong is in contrast with deep seated alienation that may translate to isolation, indifference and loneliness.

This theme may be summed up, “Where do I belong?” And, “What is my unique role in this situation/relationship/group?” Individuals, organizations, governments and nations will be reviewing participation. For example, questions may arise as to when to draw a line in setting effective boundaries, and the vital importance of transparency, congruity and integrity for the individual as well as the group as a whole.

These themes carry forward to the Full Moon on August 22, at which point the Sun and Moon are in opposition, in the final degree of Leo/Aquarius. Considered a “critical degree,” this increases the lunar influence, amplifying emotional reaction to changing and destabilizing conditions. Weather related phenomena, natural disasters, geopolitical events, and social instability are just a few of the considerations that may increase during a Full Moon. The potency of this Full Moon suggests a culmination, an ending of sorts, a full circle completion.

In the United States astrology chart, calculated for July 4, 1776 @ 5:10 pm in Philadelphia, the Moon is in Aquarius. Additionally, throughout 2021, Jupiter, the great benefactor and protector of truth, is transiting through Aquarius, exactly conjoining the nation's natal Moon for the second time on August 20.

It is interesting to note the lifting of many restrictions around the time of the first Jupiter conjunction on April 23. There was an air of optimism as travelers took to the roads and sky. Family and friends started to socialize, and gather in public and private locations. Many people stopped wearing masks, whether they were vaccinated or not. Now that Jupiter is retrograde as of June 20, the initial expansion, while risky, is meeting with another reality check. Jupiter will again conjoin the nation's Moon on December 15 for the third and final time.

As I mentioned in last month's article, Jupiter is giving a boost of innovation and optimism throughout 2021, especially for the United States. This Full Moon echos and reverberates the original intentions at the time of the nation's founding. In so many ways, too numerous to count, 2021 finds the nation and world standing squarely in the crossroads. Where to from here?

The Moon in a country's chart exemplifies the general public, and the emotional tone of the populace. In this case, the Moon in Aquarius is inventive, progressive, scientific, and freedom loving. The shadow side can include such traits as non-conformity, suspicion of authority, careless rebellion and cultism. As the planet of growth and expansion, Jupiter in Aquarius is touching upon these themes while bringing to light undercurrents of dissent, and exposing obstacles to social progress.

The planetary trends for August are set against the backdrop of an on-going square between Saturn and Uranus. Right from the get go, transiting Sun activates this square by opposing Saturn on the 1st, and squaring Uranus on the 6th. Within orb of influence all year, and exact for the final and third time on December 24, these planets present a confusing mix of tumultuous contradiction.

As the planet of order, Saturn respects tradition, and upholds the law. However, life is not static; institutions outgrow their purpose, structures deteriorate, relationships fall apart, bodies grow old. It is only natural to salvage and rebuild when possible. However, in many cases, there is a growing realization that some things in this world of form are beyond repair, and require a complete overhaul. This is part of the sorting and sifting process of current planetary trends.

Enter Uranus, the planet of progress, bringing earthshaking news, literally and figuratively. Existing foundations must undergo major renovation in order to survive. This is occurring in very visible and tangible ways as well as more abstract areas such as personal growth, ideology, culture and societal norms. Often the process is chaotic, pressurized, underscoring a vital truth, “Necessity is the mother of all invention.”

Contemplating the energies of Saturn and Uranus in compellingly stressful alignment, I was at a loss for words, until I came across a statement by the president of the EU Commission, Ursula van der Leyer. Speaking in regard to climate change and environmental impact, she said, “Change on this scale is never easy, even when it's necessary.” There you have it. Across the board, in a variety of circumstances, this sums up standing at the crossroads.

On the personal level, it may be helpful to take a deep look into life structures, and determine where and how you may be facing the necessity to grow, and initiate change, perhaps despite all odds. Introspection is helpful. Possibly there are decisions to be made, and one's attitude can make all the difference in the world.

The truism, “attitude is all,” is especially relevant in terms of Saturn's aspect with Uranus this year. Saturn can feel especially heavy, slow going, restricted, burdened with challenges. The resulting attitudes tend to be pessimistic and cynical, close minded and fatalistic. In so many instances, it is tempting to succumb to the undertow of despair, anxiety and depression, the zeitgeist of these times.

Meanwhile, Uranus is encouraging progress, welcoming improvements, and even solutions to long term problems. But many opportunities for improvement can be missed when negativity is taken as truth. On August 19, Uranus begins a retrograde phase for the remainder of 2021. Over the next five months, projects will be tested in the laboratory of life. Astrologer Erin Sullivan writes, “Uranus retrograde transits provoke an internal revolution against systems that no longer support holistic survival. We gradually replace old models with new models as the slow process of the Uranus transit transforms our perspectives.”

Planetary trends support a keen look, an accurate diagnosis into underlying conditions on many levels. This is well supported by Mars transiting through Virgo the entire month of August. Additionally, August begins with Venus in Virgo until the 16th, and Mercury transits through Virgo, August 11 – 29. Then the Sun enters Virgo on August 22. As the zodiac sign of discernment, the predominance of Virgo energy can be of great assistance in gathering realistic data, and making informed decisions.

In conclusion, the image of Leo the lion evokes a familiar story from Aesop's fables, “The Lion and the Mouse.” The tale goes that a lion captured a small mouse in his enormous paw. The mouse was terrified, begging to be released. The lion playfully laughed, agreeing to free him. A while later, the lion was hunted and captured in a large net. The little mouse came across the lion in a tangled mess, unable to escape his fate. The lion asked the mouse to help him, and the mouse started to gnaw through the heavy rope, eventually freeing the lion. In friendship, both went on their merry way.

The message of the fable is generally distilled as, “mercy brings its own reward,” but there seems to be a deeper message here. On the surface, the lion appears to be all powerful, but in reality, the lion is just as vulnerable, in his own way, as the mouse. The power and might of the lion is nothing when entrapped. The lion is humbled, reminded of his kindhearted generosity in letting the mouse go. The mouse responds with service, carefully gnawing through the ropes, taking care of the little things that are really big things in the fact that all are joined together in this interdependent web of life.

July 2021
Belinda C. Dunn

Cancer New Moon
July 9 @ 9:17 pm

Aquarius Full Moon
July 23 @ 10:37 pm

Remember the lazy days of summer? The exhilarating freedom of school ending as summer days seemed to stretch out forever? On the last day of school this year, I greeted my grandchildren with enthusiasm, all smiles, clapping, and jumping for joy. Lumbering under the weight of their stuffed backpacks, their response was solemn, exhaustion on their little faces. After a school year of stops and starts, quarantines, dutifully wearing masks, adjusting to virtual learning, no field trips . . . no wonder they couldn't relate to my memories of a bygone era, simpler times, to be sure.

As the heavy restrictions of a global pandemic appear to be lifting, July is a month to acknowledge lingering stress.  Healing is present for the asking. It is a matter of practicing healthy lifestyle choices to tap into this potential. Now is the time to take steps toward more normalcy in social settings, and explore ways to ignite joyful playfulness in daily life.

The month begins with both Venus and Mars in lion-hearted Leo, the zodiac sign of creativity, entertainment, fun, play and pleasure. Conjoining on July 13, in true Leo fashion, the planet of love meets the planet of passion in dramatic displays of affection. Uplifting and invigorating, the possibilities are endless in seizing the moment, lighthearted and carefree.

But, as we know, life isn't all fun and games. Enter Saturn, the planet of consequence in this training ground of earth school. As the taskmaster, Saturn builds character through challenges requiring discipline and patience. Metaphysically speaking, it is the planet of karmic balance linked to repeating cycles of incarnation.

The overshadowing planetary alignment of 2021 is Saturn in stressful square with Uranus. At the extreme, these are two very contradictory urges. Saturn moves slowly and deliberately in building and maintaining the structures necessary for function. The action of Uranus tends to be sudden and disruptive in breaking through  restrictions, and freeing up energy. Both are necessary on this dimension, but they represent an on-going struggle between acceptance of constructive limits, and resistance to laws, rules and regulations.

Together these planets are catalyzing a rare moment of reckoning for the nation and world. These choices are magnified as July begins with combative Mars opposing Saturn on the 1st, and squaring Uranus on the 3rd. Additionally, Venus activates these points on July 6 – 8. This is a shake-up, another opportunity to clarify and define boundaries, personally and collectively, and what one will or will not participate in.

On a personal level, commitments are up for review. There is a big difference between obligatory participation, and participation that is genuinely enthusiastic, chosen freely. Obligations may loom large, with strings attached, whereas the desire for freedom can be overwhelming. Of course, this is a matter of sorting through these deeper responses, because Saturn requires perseverance in the face of obstacles. Making a conscious choice to persevere can offset resentment, and bring more acceptance of hardships despite Saturn's slow march of time.

A New Moon on July 9 is in harmony with Uranus, setting the stage for home based, family oriented projects with a unique and creative twist. With Sun and Moon in Cancer, the zodiac sign of nesting, you may find the restlessness of spring months starting to calm and settle into more of a routine. To use a gardening analogy, it's as though the tender shoots of new growth are taking root in deeply nourishing and fertile soil.

By the Full Moon on July 23, Mars is in the final degrees of Leo, and Venus has entered Virgo. All the creative juices of their recent conjunction begin to take form, and are tested for viability. Virgo is  analytic, no-nonsense, grounded and practical, all important virtues in bringing creations down to earth.

July's big celebration is Independence Day, and festivities take place across the country. The astrology for the United States is fascinating, and the remainder of this article offers a current analysis of the nation's chart set for July 4, 1776. This is by no means a complete analysis, but a look at planetary trends based on directions, progressions and transits. May it shed some light at this time of tremendous polarity, transition and evolution.


First of all, the recent Mercury retrograde (May 28 – June 22), and eclipses (Lunar Eclipse/May 26 and Solar Eclipse/June 10), have been in Gemini. Crossing over the very potent planetary positions of both Uranus and Mars in Gemini, the country has been in the process of sorting through tremendous volumes of information and data, much of which has been going on behind closed doors.

In my region, the shutdown of Colonial Pipeline caused significant delays and inconveniences, but it also exposed these types of attacks on the country's infrastructure. Meanwhile, corporations and government agencies are now more aware, and taking steps to mitigate dangerous and illegal interference.

Gemini is very strong in the nation's chart, emphasizing travel, transportation, infrastructure and communication technology. Watch for developments during July, and continuing through the year. Some highlights include the opportunity for private citizens to venture into space,  infrastructure, immigration reform, and a report to Congress on UFOs.

After a year-long pandemic, restrictions on travel are lifting as people seek mobility and adventure. These eclipses are pushing the envelope of new frontiers to explore, and setting the trajectory for travel to come.

Important diplomatic meetings are taking place, for example Biden's meeting with Putin. A Gemini Solar Eclipse exposes underlying motives, cutting though vague rhetoric and simplistic solutions. The high side of Gemini supports clear thinking, frank words, and candid conversations. Building bridges of understanding is not always easy, but valuable in the long run.

All types of relationships are under the microscope, up for review. Gemini is an air sign, the element of connection and collaboration. Every time Mercury goes retrograde in 2021, it is in an air sign (Aquarius, Gemini, Libra). Air is everywhere, light and free, moving quickly, touching everyone and everything. In general, people are aiming to understand each other, bridge differences, accept diversity, and thereby heal deep rifts of misunderstanding and ignorance.

The air element is prominent in the United States chart. Saturn is in Libra, the diplomat and partner. Uranus and Mars are in Gemini, the educator and storyteller. Moon is in Aquarius, the innovator and reformer. The air signs have everything to do with people, and the common bond of humans joining together for survival and mutual support.

The Moon in a nation's chart symbolizes domestic issues, food supply, protection, and the emotional tenor of the general public.  Throughout 2021, Jupiter is conjoining the United States Moon. Considering Jupiter has a 12 year orbit, this beneficial transit can boost morale, restore confidence, increase generosity and humanitarian outreach.

Americans are known at home and abroad for an attitude of ”can-do.” With inspiration and motivation, no challenge is too daunting, all is possible. Due to a retrograde phase, Jupiter exactly conjoins the Moon three times (April 22-24, August 19-21, December 19-21), marking 2021 as a year of revitalization, optimism and opportunity, especially welcomed during this time of recovery.

Jupiter's transit through Aquarius (December 20, 2020 – May 13, 2021 and July 29 – December 29, 2021) puts the focus squarely on the future. The most futuristic and progressive zodiac sign is not about the past, but taking a proactive stance of experimentation. Not having definitive answers to pressing problems is a call to innovation.

Another important planetary trend involves Neptune in Pisces, and its transit over a very sensitive point in the United States chart. Neptune is opposing the nation's Neptune, and squaring Mars. Additionally, the progressed Sun is in Pisces. From the astrological point of view, this is an indication of delusion, and the slippery slope of fraud, addiction,  rampant mental illness, conspiracy theories, and general confusion between facts and fiction.

Neptune is not an easy influence to address, and it has been muddying the waters since 2018. Peaking this year, and beginning to wane by 2023, each planetary trend has its challenges and gifts. The key quality of Neptune is idealism. Aware or not, the collective consciousness is reviewing founding ideals, evaluating discrepancies, and updating principles on a multitude of levels.

In completion, Pluto is a major player in the nation's destiny. On July 4, 1776, Pluto was transiting through Capricorn in the area of property, possessions, and finances. As a result of Pluto's 246 year orbit, it is returning to this exact degree. While it is exact throughout 2022, the nation has been feeling the buildup since Pluto's entrance into Capricorn, 2008. Again, we see mounting evidence of major overhauls in core values, financial markets, demographics, institutions and government.

As the planet of toxicity, pollution, nuclear power, crime, dictators and authoritarian regimes, Pluto's action is deeply transforming. It serves to dig up dirt while exposing corruption in its many forms. Grinding through the final degrees of Capricorn before it enters Aquarius in 2023, Pluto is breaking down systems, and dismantling what is obsolete. Likened to witnessing the demise of dinosaurs, there are no half measures with Pluto.

Recently, I had a dream where everyone on earth was pregnant. I counted down the nine months of gestation to January 2022. This powerful metaphor invokes nuanced images of suspension, held within Creation's womb, reaching out to notice walls of limitation,
safety within the darkness. Dwelling within the pregnant pause, awaiting rebirth. Yes, there are many unknowns, but current trends suggest the ripeness of the moment, the fullness of potential with lighter and brighter days ahead.

June 2021
Belinda C. Dunn

Gemini Solar Eclipse
June 10 @ 6:53 am

Summer Solstice
June 20 @ 11:32 pm

Mercury direct
June 22 @ 6:00 pm

Capricorn SuperMoon Full Moon
June 24 @ 2:40 pm

The winds of change are blowing, vacillating, up and down, and all around. At times with gale force, at times with a gentle caress, June is a month of shifting dynamics on many levels. One moment, a breezy and carefree atmosphere lifts the spirit, the next moment, astounding developments can take one's breath away.

Before satellites could predict weather patterns, a farmer could be seen standing in his field, all senses alert, reading the wind to accurately determine the air's direction, moisture content and velocity. This is the analogy for June, each of us, in our own way, will be testing the trending winds for direction in the midst of both little and big decisions.

The final week of May wrapped up with Mercury going retrograde, and a powerful lunar eclipse. Talk about stirring things up! Due to this retrograde phase, Mercury is in Gemini for nine weeks (May 3 – July 11). As Yoda in Star Wars said, “I sense a disturbance in the force.” The overall atmosphere feels unsettled, and many questions linger, leftover and unresolved. However, a Gemini Solar Eclipse on June 10 promises a reset like stepping across the threshold of a new world dawning.

The nature of Gemini is to vacillate in the face of options. Here, there, and everywhere, Gemini energy is a challenge to nail down. Therefore, frustrating delays can occur, but just perhaps . . . this is a gift! Only through impartial and astute awareness, and a curious mindset, can one venture forth with calm resolve. Therefore, June is a month of discovery, and keeping options open. Whether mulling over possibilities in great detail, or instantaneously knowing the answer, acceptance of this process can eliminate frustration, calm nerves, and ease the way.

Astrologer Lorna Bevan sums up these eclipses. “This is a time to explore the possibilities. Expect situations to arise that force you to disentangle from thinking that is no longer relevant. Circumstances will change, prompting you to find new ways to work collaboratively, in order to come up with original inventive solutions. You'll want to follow your curiosity, break up routines and find new stories to tell and new people to mix with.”

What does this look like in practical terms? Essentially, reaching out is the direction. First of all, don't assume that you or anyone else has all the answers. It may be a matter of picking up the phone the next time you think of someone. Or take the day to check out a new location. It may be taking the steps to initiate a hard conversation that turns out to be beneficial for all concerned. Research and review are the keywords in optimizing Mercury retrograde.

The astrology chart for the solar eclipse shows Sun, Moon and Mercury aligned within a degree, and positioned close to the north lunar node in Gemini. This sensitive and mystical nodal point has been in Gemini since May 2020. For the past year, people have been pushed and prodded, urged to move into the high side of Gemini which includes the admirable traits of adaptability, healthy curiosity, honesty, impartiality and tolerance.

Let's explore some of the themes. Long distance travel has been curtailed, but exploration of one's immediate locality has been enhanced. For many people, working at home has replaced a long, traffic jammed commute. Teachers and students, parents and families have had to rapidly adapt to drastic changes in education. There is renewed respect for essential workers, they are no longer taken for granted. There is a new appreciation for neighbors and neighborhood grocery stores. Additionally, not being able to visit, converse and hug loved ones has underscored the importance of these close relationships.

This Gemini Solar Eclipse in combination with Mercury will bring circumstances of the past year into clearer focus. With the lifting of mask mandates in many social settings, people can return to more normal activities, but many residual considerations remain. More than likely, events during May/June/July are the exclamation point to this most extraordinary year.

From an even more serious perspective, the past year has brought many facets of social justice, or lack thereof, to the forefront. Snap decisions, violent acts, loud voices of dissent, prejudice in all its ugliness . . . all this has come to a critical head. Gemini thrives on diversity along with the mindset of how are we similar, rather than how are we different.

Adding to the potential for breaking news, the Gemini Solar Eclipse is in conjunction with Mars in the United States astrology chart. Will this pour more fuel on the fire of social unrest? Or bring more cognizance to the futility of violence in addressing social problems? Most likely, extreme manifestations will bring about more concerted action to maintain social justice, balance and harmony.

In combination with Neptune in Pisces, the compassionate heart is awakening from slumber. Due to Mercury's retrograde phase, it aspects Neptune three times (May 22, June 5, July 6). Squaring off, this is a tense and stressful planetary alignment with ramifications for both good and ill.

In many cases, it will be necessary to ferret out the truth. Considering the social environment of conspiracy theories, outright lies and distortion of facts, this may very well be the culmination of months, if not years, of chaos. Certain truths will not be held back. Slowly, but surely, people are coming to their senses.

On the other hand, Mercury/Neptune can bring a barrage of news, leaving individuals, and society at large, to make sense of information that initially may present as disorienting, overwhelming and disconcerting. The intersection of mind with belief can be a slippery slope of enormous proportions. The fact is, the human mind can so easily be programmed, manipulated, deceived and misled.

Whether it is recognized or not, core beliefs are shifting dramatically. Known as the Zeitgeist, this is defined as, “the spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time.” An entire narrative is shifting, and it's messy business in the meantime. Allowing the dust to settle may take months, but a breakthrough is underway.

Possibly the most extraordinary example is an upcoming report to Congress on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, commonly known as UFO's. In perfect timing, the television program, “60 Minutes” aired a segment on May 15 showing footage of aerial phenomena that is mind blowing, if not convincing. Even though it raises more questions than answers, the likelihood of extraterrestrial life is being investigated and exposed to the general public.

The field of inter-species communication is growing by leaps and bounds as demonstrated by Neptune's long term transit through Pisces. The aspect between Mercury and Neptune can build bridges of understanding between the conscious mind and super-conscious awareness, giving voice to an expanded view of existence. Not only this, Neptune's influence is particularly strong the end of June as it begins a retrograde phase on the 25th. With both planets retrograde for a spell, it suggests major developments on many fronts that will take time to digest.

Of course, everything occurring on the macro level is also on the micro level. On the personal level, pressing situations can appear complex and bewildering, requiring patience, although there may be a push for snap decisions. More than likely, this phase will begin to wrap up as Mercury goes direct on June 22, and come to completion the week of July 4th, as Mercury makes its third and final square to Neptune.

Another significant planetary alignment is exact on June 14. For the second time, Saturn aspects Uranus in a tense and transforming square. On May 23, Saturn started its annual retrograde phase, backtracking through Aquarius. The first interaction between these contrasting planets was February 17, the third and final aspect is exact on December 24. Thus, the entire year is encapsulated in this rare interface between Saturn, the planet of tradition, and Uranus, the planet of progress. Signifying a major overhaul in many areas of personal and collective experience, it may be necessary to strike a balance between control and freedom, responsibility and independence.

June 20 is especially relevant as the Sun enters Cancer, marking the Summer Solstice. Meanwhile, Jupiter goes retrograde, and it is Father's Day. This is an excellent day to remember and honor the wisdom of ancestry along with the continuity of life. There is always cause for celebration from the individual to the galactic. Jupiter uplifts and expands purpose beyond the everyday struggles of fathers and families.

June wraps up with a Full Moon on the 24th. With the Sun in Cancer, and Moon in Capricorn, both luminaries harmonize with Jupiter in the early degrees of Pisces. Bestowing fertility, water and earth elements are prominent as summer gets underway. This is a calming, settling influence, and it is natural to seek the refreshing waters of lake and stream, ocean and inlet. It's time for recreation, tapping into a playful spirit, re-creating one's purpose in this magnificent dance of life.

May 2021
Belinda C. Dunn

Taurus New Moon
May 11 @ 3:00 pm

Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse
May 26 @ 7:14 am

Mercury Retrograde
May 29 @ 6:34 pm

Springtime in the Blue Ridge Mountains is like a taste of heaven on earth. Often described as “Land of the Sky,”  this is my 32nd spring in this location, and once again, I wonder how to capture the essence in words. Imagine . . . every shade of green from pale chartreuse to rich emerald isle green, blooming azaleas ranging in color from pure white to hot pink to vibrant red, tiny violets carpet the lawn. And the fragrance! Freshly cut grass, flowers galore, all wafting in the sweetest, most gentle breeze. It's the season to get out and about, breathing in, breathing out, taking a deep breath of life itself.

Astrologically speaking, May is jam packed with significant trends, and major turning points. Jupiter enters Pisces on May 13. Saturn begins a four month retrograde phase on May 23. An upcoming lunar eclipse on May 26 is also a SuperMoon. Mercury goes retrograde on May 29. All these factors work together, dovetail together, to generate a momentum of possibility, tempered with rationality and down to earth goodness.

A Taurus New Moon on May 11 sets the stage. Practical and earthy, this is an excellent time to plant seeds of intention. Taurus is the zodiac sign of value in the most tangible form of things, money and possessions, to the more abstract underpinnings of self-worth such as merit, reward and achievement. For many people, these can be a highly charged concerns, especially when lacking or absent, or complicated and burdensome.

As the Moon joins our Sun to promote this new cycle, it can be very helpful to set aside concepts, and review what is truly of value to you now, aside from programming, apart from things, free from the past. Additionally, Uranus is transiting through Taurus, and this lunation can act as a powerful reset going forward, keeping in mind/heart that no price can be placed on serenity and happiness, considering the wisdom of, “the best things in life are free.”

We are coming off seven weeks of Mars in Gemini, and May begins with Mars in the early degrees of Cancer. Restless and roaming, Mars in Gemini has re-invigorated the traveling spirit. Throughout May, and into the first 2 weeks of June, a homing instinct takes over. Projects around the home and garden take precedent along with family events, and other social activities closer to home.

However, according to astrology, the traveling season is just beginning. Mercury enters Gemini on May 3, and due to a retrograde phase, will spend nine weeks in the zodiac sign of travel, education, storytelling, networking, news media, generally all exchanges of information and communication.

Gemini is sociable, curious, changeable, flexible, going with the flow.
Thus, it is helpful to prepare for a faster, upbeat tempo during May and June. The natural versatility of Gemini can be helpful, especially considering the upcoming retrograde phase, May 29 – June 22. Retrograde means just that, to reverse, back up and review plans. Change of plans may occur based on new information and insight. Many problems can be averted by double checking facts and figures, dates and schedules.

Amplifying these trends is the Sun's transit through Gemini starting on May 21, feeding into a lunar eclipse on May 26. Therefore, the final week of May can bring about abrupt changes along with major revelations and disclosures of sensitive and timely information.

On the personal level, it is helpful to be more aware of clear communication, aiming toward inclusive decisions. At the same time, one's personal point of view is expanding, undergoing change based on open minded receptivity. The inclination to listen and learn can enhance relationships, and build bridges of understanding. At the same time, eclipses tend to reveal the true essence of a person or situation, and good boundaries may be necessary. Self awareness is key.

On the public stage, these are especially powerful months. Of course, a lunar eclipse amps up the energy, intensifying reaction and response. This isn't just any eclipse. Known as a SuperMoon, the Moon appears larger and more illuminated at perigee, its closest approach to the Earth. This lunar eclipse will be followed by a solar eclipse on June 10, therefore, we are in eclipse season until late June.

A variety of revelations will startle the public at large, altering the trajectory for months to come. Eclipses are known for shining the light of truth, and clearing away illusion. Random events can manifest suddenly, outside of one's immediate control. Long standing challenges may transform instantly, and in surprising ways.

The theme of disclosure, the unknown becoming known, is especially pertinent as Mercury aspects Neptune repeatedly (May 22, June 5, July 6). Computers can give exact dates, but the effects will be prevalent throughout these months. This planetary alignment is a tense square, whereby facts collide with fantasy, and everything in between. A dreamy, fantastical atmosphere ensures the need to remain firmly grounded in reality.

With Mercury in talkative Gemini, and Neptune in psychic Pisces, there may be overlaps between the analytic mind, and intuitive mind. Misunderstandings breed confusion, while secrets come to light. Forces that prefer to dwell beneath the radar may be exposed for what they are. Airwaves are riddled, rife with controversy and conspiracy as voices rise to divert attention, attempting to gain control of the narrative.

Many people may experience heightened sensitivity, and feel susceptible to outside influences. Depending on lifestyle, this can be stressful, or spiritually uplifting and transforming. Extra care of the nervous system can mitigate tension, calm the mind, and sooth  emotions. Those struggling with various forms of mental illness may be especially challenged during this Mercury retrograde and eclipse season.

Another very significant factor during these final weeks of spring, and early summer is Mercury's crossing over the solar eclipse degree three times due to its retrograde phase. There will be more on this in the June article, but for now, the effects of an upcoming Gemini Solar Eclipse on June 10 are already manifesting. The exact dates of Mercury conjoining this potent eclipse point are: May 24-26, June 11-13, and July 1-3.

These planetary combinations can serve to break open and illuminate tightly held assumptions. One of the highest potentials is for prejudice and division to fall away in light of a greater truth, a more expansive vision. Mind boggling and mind blowing, things that previously made sense, are no longer relevant. Ultimately, this frees consciousness to be more present and aligned with evolutionary trends.

Along the lines of evolution, let's take a look at the social planets, Jupiter and Saturn. The year began with both planets entering Aquarius, the zodiac sign of technology, community, and global connection. Jupiter quickly made its transit through Aquarius, and on May 13 enters Pisces for several months before it retrogrades back into Aquarius for the remainder of 2021. This is another indication of profound spiritual awakening for the masses.

Saturn continues its transit through Aquarius until spring 2023, another two years. However, Saturn begins a retrograde phase on May 23, lasting until mid-October. Over these coming months, Saturn will backtrack over specific zodiac degrees in Aquarius. Typically, Saturn retrograde slows down progress to ensure re-assessment of goals.

Astrologer Erin Sullivan writes on Saturn retrograde, “One is forced to come to terms with one's inability to control one's environment, and becomes acutely aware of a diminution of ego power. With rearrangement of time and priorities, and after quiet withdrawal, one often finds considerable peace of mind – either because one feels the difficult time is over, or because one has reached the realization that such a profound need for change must be contemplated slowly and with great reserve.”

Since the zodiac sign of Aquarius is global in scope, there appears to be increasingly awareness of collective challenges that affect the individual, but are experienced worldwide. The pandemic continues to drive home this message of inherent connectivity. Technological development, environmental degradation and climate change are another areas of far reaching consequence on the global level. This unique moment can bring humanity together to build a new tomorrow.

As a reminder, three powerful planets came together in 2020 - Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto. This rare planetary alignment produced a year of hardship and loss taking many forms. Together these planets revealed cracks in the core foundations of society; time honored traditions, beliefs, government, education, health care, economy, environment and more. Almost nothing was left untouched.

In the darkest of circumstances, how does one access hope? In the depths of depression and despair, how does one access optimism? This is the juxtaposition of Saturn and Jupiter. The planet of karma and consequence, meets Jupiter, the planet of enthusiasm and faith.

Like an addict, humanity as a whole has dug a very deep hole for itself. Saturn is here to offer the gifts of responsibility, the contemplation of purposeful participation. Jupiter is here to offer the gifts of renewal, encouragement and faith. As individuals, families, communities, and a global organism, from the micro to the macro, we're in this together.

April 2021
Belinda C. Dunn

Aries New Moon
April 11 @ 10:31 pm

Scorpio/Taurus Full Moon
April 26 @ 11:32 pm

A new month dawns bright and clear with all planets direct, all systems GO! As our Sun transits through Aries, the first sign of the zodiac wheel, there is a very real sense of rebirth along with an unrelenting push to get up and running again, making up for lost time, as though life can't move fast enough.

Throwing off winter's heaviness is like throwing off the shackles, freeing up life force to flow, liberating the breath to inhale deeply of earth's sweet fragrance. In a multitude of ways, on so many levels, all appears new, rejuvenated, reborn.

On April 11, the Aries New Moon seals the deal. There is no looking back now. In comparison to the past year, this is a month of leaps and bounds, relatively speaking. By this I mean, after a year of restrictions due to a global pandemic, the momentum is present to initiate significant expansion with less hesitation and complications, and actually welcome positive growth opportunities.

The astrology chart for the New Moon is very telling in that Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Ceres, Eris and Chiron are lined up in Aries. Symbolized by the Ram, Aries is the pure, unconditioned urge from spirit to express, move, and take action. Consider this, the battering ram doesn't think, if at all, but instinctively moves from a spontaneous center of strength; confident and bold, breaking through obstacles as they appear, immersed in direct experience.

On the human level, what are these possible obstacles? Apathy, inertia, confinement, despair, exhaustion . . . to name a few. The past year has been beset with one challenging complication or another, simply maneuvering through daily life has taken extra effort for many people.

This New Moon is outstanding, particularly advantageous for setting intentions for manifestation, and being able to follow through necessary steps to fulfillment. A unique planetary alignment, the minor grand trine, binds together disparate energies to work as a whole in highly creative, intuitive, insightful, “thinking outside of the box” potential.

In addition to the line-up in Aries, there is a supportive aspect between Jupiter, the planet of opportunity, and Mars, the planet of action. In combination, Jupiter and Mars work to dispel fear and confusion by instilling an element of grace, ease, optimism, and trust in positive outcomes. Individually and collectively, these planets can help us come to terms with the enormous and evolving social changes underway. While this alignment is exact on the 16th, it acts as a protective influence throughout April.

Breaking it down further, Jupiter continues its year-long transit through Aquarius. Forward thinking and solution oriented, Aquarius supports synchronicity, chance encounters, even seemingly magical occurrences. This is about collaboration, people coming together in community to solve and resolve challenges. April is the month to be more aware and appreciative of your unique tribe of fellow travelers upon the journey of life.

This trend is well supported by Mars in Gemini for a full seven weeks (March 4 – April 23). Most of us have noticed an uptick in outgoing energy. Mars in Gemini craves variety, loves company, thrives on shared experience. Restless, searching, not sure what's around the bend, but eyes wide open, nevertheless. The only caveat to this full on, no holds barred period is the impulsive nature of Mars. This is not a time to throw caution to the wind, but a time to methodically and carefully re-engage with meaningful activities.

Another significant planetary factor is Venus in stressful aspect with Pluto, and conjoining Eris (April 9 – 11), reminiscent of a popular bummer sticker, “The goddess is back and she's pissed.” On one hand, it is helpful to check, and double check, underlying motives. On the other hand, this alignment ensures a necessary reckoning in terms of personal drives in relation to others. Issues can arise around control, anger, resentment, differences in opinion and purpose. It can provide a deep penetration into the heart of matters, within and without. While personally revealing for those open to exploration, on the collective level, these aspects intensify awareness of power struggles, inequality and social justice.

Moving along . . . Sun enters Taurus on April 19. While Aries is all fire, get up and go, Taurus is stable and grounding. Thus, the progression of manifestation begins with inspiration, and continues with practical follow-through. To use the analogy of a garden, Aries gets out the rotor-tiller, preparing the soil and selecting seeds. Taurus makes sure the seeds land in fertile soil, taking root, providing favorable conditions for healthy plant growth.

While April begins with enthusiasm and drive, it will be the final two weeks when inspiration is tested in the field of practical reality. Aries and Taurus work hand in hand to make sure projects are not haphazard and impractical, but fully functional. It can be helpful to identity your place in this process. For example, some people are filled with ideas, and get the ball rolling. They can inspire others to get on board, while others find their place in carrying good ideas into step by step manifestation.

Since 1970, April 22 continues to be set aside as Earth Day, a globally recognized event, bringing awareness to environmental protection, sustainable lifestyle, and the intrinsic connection of human beings with nature. Timed perfectly, the Sun transits through earthy Taurus on an annual basis. This year is especially potent as Venus, the planet of love, beauty and creativity, exactly conjoins Uranus in Taurus, the planet of discovery. Spending time outdoors, slowing down, grounding, connecting with nature; earth-centered activities may be surprisingly evocative, tangible and awe-inspiring.

However, keeping in mind/heart, the primary planetary aspect of 2021 is Saturn in tense square to Uranus. It is exact three times (February 17, June 14, December 24), but remains within orb of influence the entire year. We will revisit this archetypal relevance repeatedly, some months more than others. This aspect brings humanity to a crossroads whereby progress, and the process of manifestation, can meet with some resistance along with instantaneous reversals, and 180 degree turns.

Metaphysically, Saturn and Uranus are associated with the root chakra of yogic tradition. Therefore, both planets are closely associated with foundations and core principles, although their action can appear quite contrary. For example, Saturn has the qualities of endurance, solidity, constancy and constraint. Uranus, on the other hand, can precipitate revelation and release, manifesting far reaching change in its wake.

Another way to look at it . . . Saturn is gravity, the downward pull of earth itself, holding all things in form. Uranus can be likened to a lightening bolt, and the instantaneous awakening of kundalini as life force, the nerve current housed in base chakra, rising through the spine, connecting with the brain. Both are necessary, both are fundamentally related to the laws of existence.

So, what are the possible effects when these planets work together? In general, 2021 is a year of stops and starts. When an impasse is reached, when a detour arises, this is the time to stop, listen to guidance, and learn from experience. When a sudden, perhaps inexplicable event occurs, get your bearings, re-calibrate, open to possibility, see the opening as freeing up attention and energy to refocus on what is truly of value.

This entire year is driving home the message of value and purpose. We will see this in the marketplace as the economy reorients from the slowdown. We will see this in our personal lives as relationships take on deeper meaning. We will see this in our spiritual life as the purpose of earth incarnation can no longer be ignored. And, of course, we will see this trend on social levels, as a resurgence of humanitarian outreach becomes the answer to so many communal challenges.

In light of this on-going Saturn/Uranus alignment, the Full Moon on April 26, is dynamic, energizing, shaking-up the status qua. The faster moving bodies such as Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus, take turns in activating Saturn and Uranus. In fact, many individuals will find the days of April 22 – 30 to be exceptionally definitive in clarifying direction. It is like getting a road map when the terrain is steep, there is a bend in the road, and there is no going backwards.

The astrology chart for this Scorpio Full Moon shows a rare planetary configuration called a T-square. This allows a depth of processing, a natural introspection that may ignite significant shifts in perspective, especially in regard to core values. It can be helpful to ask yourself basic questions such as, “What's really important?”

At the time of this Full Moon, there is an alignment of Sun, Mercury, Venus and Uranus, all in Taurus. Hearkening back to the seminal bestseller, “Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, and It's all Small Stuff,” this is an optimal time to simplify routines, releasing and discarding what is no longer necessary and functional; mentally, emotionally and physically.

Meanwhile, Saturn transiting through Aquarius is challenging this alignment in Taurus. Resistance may arise due to the contradictory nature of Saturn and Uranus. Saturn is the planet of order, structure, compliance, and responsibility. Uranus is the planet of freedom, nonconformity, individuality and choice. Maintaining balance between order and chaos is paramount. It may be tempting to choose the easy way out, when in reality, accepting responsibility and managing expectations is the optimal way forward with the most rewarding potential.

Belinda Dunn is a professional astrologer with 40+ years experience. She is available for personal consultations. EMAIL: belinda@astrodelight.com  PHONE: 828-215-2101

March 2021

Belinda C. Dunn

Pisces New Moon
March 13 @ 5:21 am

Spring Equinox
March 20 @ 5:37 am

Libra/Aries Full Moon
March 28 @ 2:48 pm

In the northern hemisphere, March is typically a transitional month as final weeks of winter come to a close, offering one last blast of bone chilling cold. Meanwhile, fragile and fresh sprouts rise up out of winter's restful darkness to make an appearance, signaling hopeful signs of spring with warmer and lighter days ahead.

March begins with Sun in Pisces, the final sign of the zodiac wheel. As with all endings, there can be resistance, bargaining for things to be different, but Pisces is associated with Neptune, a planetary energy that dissolves boundaries and instills faith in the unknown. After all, Neptune is the mythological god ruling over the vast, mysterious oceans; waters filled with awesome creatures, undulating currents, infinite variety, a world unto itself.

For many reasons, as you read on, this article is a deep dive into the affects of Neptune on human consciousness, especially important at this juncture of history. During March, as the faster moving planets of Mercury and Venus join Neptune, and the Sun aligns with Neptune, there is an opportunity to not only understand Neptune better, but to breakthrough the veils of this most elusive planet. Like diving beneath the ocean's surface to witness another world, each of us are explorers of the cosmos, a multidimensional existence.

From the spiritual standpoint, Neptune is associated with the vast subconscious, unconscious and astral planes of existence. While these worlds are not visible to everyday awareness, they are the substrata, the undercurrent to all human activity. These realms are primarily emotional, highly charged with desire, easily swayed and influenced by outside forces, in particular the human mind.

Rightly or wrongly, clear or distorted, Neptune is the stuff of belief, the essential factor that can elevate consciousness to heightened communion with all that is. However, just as likely, Neptune can be the slippery slope of delusion, addiction, falsehood, brainwashing, and in the extreme, mental illness. Because of these extremes, and its illusory nature, Neptune's influence can be one of the most difficult planetary energies to get a handle on, personally and collectively.

The current social environment is particularly susceptible to the lower vibrations of Neptune. Take for example, the prevalent and pervasive input of technology in the form of television, movies, internet, social media, video games, and more. On a daily basis, the impressionable mind is bombarded by a smorgasbord of contradictory information, the sensitive emotions are pummeled by ghastly images, and subliminal programming interferes with sanity and reason.

Turning now to the most commonly used astrology chart for the United States (July 4, 1776, 5:10 pm, Philadelphia). Neptune appears on the mid-heaven, the most elevated and visible point of the nation's destiny. In this case, Neptune is in Virgo, acting as an overarching influence with great potential for extremes.

On the high side, Neptune in Virgo elevates the ideal of public service, along with compassion for the underdog, summed up in the adage, “Love in action.” From the more troubling and challenging vantage point, Neptune has produced the glamour, seduction and fantasy of the entertainment industry, and most of the world knows the United States through the export of these images. Again, Neptune is about image, but not necessarily practical reality.

Not only this, in the country's chart, Neptune in very stressful aspect with Mars in Gemini, a core part of the nation's identity. On its own, Mars in Gemini instills a fighting spirit, reminiscent of the wild west, a showdown at the local saloon. This influence tends to be combative, zealous, fanatical, prejudicial, and quick to judge. Mars in Gemini thrives on debate and the presentation of legal argument. On the positive side, Mars in Gemini bestows tremendous intellect, mental strength, and the courage to examine other points of view.

According to astrology, the overall drive of the nation is curiosity, impartiality, honest examination of the facts, and appreciation of diversity. Mars in Gemini places value on free speech, fair elections, impartial representation in legal affairs, education, transportation, public parks and green spaces.

However, when Neptune is part of the mix, the passionate drive of Mars can so easily be misled and distorted. Currently, this is especially the case as slow moving Neptune is activating this Mars/Neptune combination in the United States chart. This signals a confusion of sorts, because the only factor that cuts through Neptune's foggy spell is awareness. Like awakening from a bad dream, it is possible to shake off the spell and see clearly, but it is a process.

(For those interested, from the technical perspective, Mars in Gemini closely squares Neptune in Virgo in the USA chart. Transiting Neptune in Pisces moved into orb of influence, squaring Mars and opposing Neptune last year. The exact alignment continues through 2022.)

In light of recent events, specifically protests turned violent on January 6, and unfolding repercussions, it is important to bring these planetary patterns to the forefront. Throughout the nation's history, there have been critical periods, even to the point of violence, but underlying these dangerous time periods is exaggerated patriotism. In fact, this planetary combination brings patriotism to whole other level. Throughout this year and next, the nation will have a chance to review the passionate urges of allegiance, get in touch with overriding purpose, and renew commitment to fundamental goals.

In the more immediate picture, the month begins with Mercury in Aquarius conjoining Jupiter on March 4. Due to a retrograde phase (January 30 – February 20), Mercury has been in Aquarius since January 8th. This retrograde has been especially relevant as the country has Moon in Aquarius. These weeks have provided a dramatic view, and review of the public's mindset, and its susceptibility to persuasive rhetoric.

Mid-March, specifically the weekend of 13/14, Mercury will cross over this Moon in Aquarius for a final wrap up of this most controversial, and difficult of presidential transitions. As a nation, there will be a sense of putting the past in perspective along with the necessity of moving on, even though residual struggles may continue for some time.

Another very important transit involves Mars leaving Taurus and entering Gemini on March 3. More than likely, this shift will palpable for those sensitive to energy. Since January 6, Mars has been in Taurus which is stabilizing, at times slow going, giving the year a plodding start as though things can't move fast enough.

As Mars transits Gemini for the next seven weeks, there may be a sense of catching up from the slow start. Mars in Gemini can be hard to pin down, the overall urge is to move quickly, unencumbered, throw off reservations, and explore one's world. Additionally, on March 26, Mars conjoins the North Lunar Node, another positive indication of discovering the extraordinary in the ordinary course of daily life.

After a full year of COVID related restrictions, the general public is not only disheartened and exhausted, but ready to get moving. Getting children back in school, safe travel, reliable postal services . . . these are just some of topics that will soar to the top of the list with Mars in Gemini. This can mean different things for different people, but the overall trend is to expand horizons.

Turning now to a New Moon on March 13. An atmosphere of mystical and transforming potential is tangibly present with Venus, Neptune, Sun and Moon in Pisces. Surprisingly creative, spontaneous and flowing, this alignment can provide a welcome reprieve from mundane routine. Genuine surrender to what is, opens up a world of beauty, but it cannot be forced. In general, Neptune's long transit through Pisces (2010-2025) supports a dynamic awakening of mass consciousness, a spiritual revival of enormous possibility.

Venus is the planet of personal love, whereas Neptune is an uplifting awareness of spiritual, unconditional love for every being, and life itself. When combined, there is a blending of these energies, and relationships are brought into a new light. While human love tends to be focused on the needs and desires of personality, compassionate love dissolves the bonds of attachment. Often the case in relationship, it is so tempting to get caught in momentary trappings, when in reality, each of us are spiritual beings.

Additionally, because this Pisces New Moon conjoins Neptune, activating the Mars/Neptune in the USA chart, mid-March is a time of revelation leading to the dismantling of systems that no longer serve the greater good. On the surface this can manifest as a time of testing, calling forth surrender, and relinquishment of control. “In God we trust,” is not just an ideal, but a very real response to very challenging conditions. The heart's yearning to participate in service, and lighten the load for others, is a call to action.

By the Spring Equinox on March 20, the Sun moves into Aries, although Mercury, Neptune and Venus remain in Pisces. This planetary combination supports a deep letting go, perhaps cleaning out the clutter, initiating spring cleaning, within and without. As spring gets underway, the urge to purify is so easy and natural in comparison with other times of year.

The dynamic month of March concludes with a Full Moon on the 28th. Illuminating the way forward, Sun in Aries is in exact, to the degree, alignment with Venus and Chiron, the wounded healer. Meanwhile, Moon in Libra supports emotional intelligence, and the need to consider all points of view.

Issues may arise around individuality and partnership. When is it on purpose to be independent, “doing your own thing?” When is it on purpose to compromise for the sake of peaceful and harmonious co-existence? It is not a matter of choosing self over others, or vice-averse. This Full Moon encourages balance through refining communication skills. Truly listening with an approach of loving care goes a long way in sorting through differences, each person feeling heard, and everyone getting their needs met.

On an annual basis, the Aries/Libra Full Moon precedes Easter. In fact, the reason Easter changes from one year to the next is because of this Full Moon. It is one instance where organized religion still observes the lunar cycle. Easter is earlier than usual, the first Sunday in April, and no matter one's religious/spiritual orientation, the month wraps up with anticipation and celebration in the beautiful promise of nature's renewal.

February 2021
Belinda C. Dunn

Aquarius New Moon
February 11 @ 2:06 pm

Mercury direct
February 20 @ 7:52 pm

Virgo/Pisces Full Moon
February 27 @ 3:17 am

Getting the month off to a good start, Venus enters Aquarius just after dawn on Monday, February 1. There are many expressions of love on this dimension. We can love a book or movie, a  favorite flower or friend, or favor certain foods and activities. Everyday we see and experience many facets of love, but Venus encourages a very tangible exchange of human love through touch.

Over the past year, a global pandemic has driven home many lessons in regard to our shared humanity. The revitalizing comfort of tender touch has been underscored in this fast moving, temporary dimension of birth, life and death. Weeks and months of enforced isolation has made its mark on a weary world ready for “normal” social interaction.  Virtual hugs can only go so far, February is the month to reach out and touch someone.

In esoteric astrology, Venus is associated with the heart chakra, the center of positive feelings such as serenity, harmony, happiness, even bliss. In addition to playing a key role in relationship, Venus is highly creative in expressing love as beauty, adornment and artistry.

As Venus enters Aquarius, this planetary goddess will join Sun, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn, all transiting through Aquarius. Activating throughout February, these outstanding alignments ensure a radical and swift departure from previous issues; a real, definitive turning of the corner. Time is of essence, condensed, as pressing problems clamor for attention, begging for resolution.

Adding to this profound momentum is a New Moon in Aquarius on February 11, marking the Chinese New Year of the Ox. Attributes of the Ox such as steadfastness, reliability, work and strength, are a  welcome support in a year that will require some heavy lifting on so many levels of personal and collective experience.

This New Moon chart shows Sun and Moon conjoining Pallas Athene, the asteroid goddess of mediation and diplomacy in protecting law and order. Her gifts are many, including wise counsel in social matters that require careful consideration of the facts to uphold justice for all.

Optimal for planting seeds of intention, this is an ideal time to review  the key characteristics of Aquarius. Awareness leads the way in adjusting to the high frequencies steaming upon the planet. Symbolized by the Water-bearer, the essence of life streams forth from the arms of this celestial image. Aquarius is an air sign, taking humanity above and beyond the heavy pull of gravity to soar into the upper stratosphere where heaven meets earth. It is here the Water-bearer resides.

First and foremost, Aquarius is about subtler frequencies moving on and through this dimension as a connection to other dimensions, all the way to Source. Today we may take for granted the buzzwords of “good vibes,” and “bad vibes.” However, as the Age of Aquarius got underway in the 1960's, these words became a mantra of sorts, and the awareness of these subtler currents surged into mainstream consciousness. The fields of quantum physics, vibrational medicine, intuitive development, spirituality, technology . . . the list goes on, changing and expanding what it means to be human.

Secondly, Aquarius is the zodiac sign of social connection through friends, community, networks and organizations. This is especially relevant in terms of social issues that are beyond the individual to solve. People join together to share common interests, objectives, ideology and values. One of the strongest, if not the strongest, of human urges is to experience a sense of belonging. However, only too common these days, the flip side of belonging takes the form of isolation and alienation, including an attraction to powerful leaders and cult mentality.

Another key trait of Aquarius is the drive for freedom. This is where it gets complicated, because no one person knows where freedom begins or ends. Freedom is an abstract ideal, but when applied to the social level, each person is given permission to be unique, “dancing to the beat of their own drum.” However, when one's personal freedom encroaches upon another person's dignity and freedom, this is where the line is drawn.

Repeatedly, in the current social milieu, the word freedom is bantered about with no real understanding of what this means for personal and collective well being. Destructive and violent acts, with no consideration for the common welfare, is the antithesis of what Aquarius embodies. Acceptance of diversity is a key component of social advancement in this current era.

This leads to another fundamental characteristic of Aquarius, and this is equality. Each individual has their unique contribution in the social fabric. Yes, some positions appear more desirable and glamorous than others, but each person has a role to play in the big picture. Therefore, value is given to each and every person. For example, the pandemic is bringing attention to essential workers in this time of need, and in turn, the public is demonstrating respect for their service.

Aquarius is androgynous, defined as “having the characteristics or  nature of both male and female.” Clearly, social trends are moving in this direction. Increasingly, both men and women are given permission to express the yin and yang of their true nature.  Widespread acceptance of gender orientation is just beginning to take root in a variety of movements.

This leads to one of the key characteristics of Aquarius, the drive to experiment, to try something new, to discover viable solutions. Experimentation takes many forms; science, technology, social sciences, education, astrology, metaphysics and more. This takes an attitude of open minded exploration that can be exhilarating when embraced as part of the evolutionary process.

For example, over the past year, the role of medical science has surged into plain view, addressing the challenges of a global pandemic. Another relevant example is the on-going experiment in democracy, the ideals and vision set forth by the founders. In any experiment, there will always be challenges, unexpected discoveries, even strange twists and turns. Major adjustments in the course of experimentation doesn't mean failure as much as it points to a work in progress.

Over the next two years during Saturn's transit through Aquarius, we will be exploring a variety of themes associated with this amazing zodiac energy. For now, let's turn to the planetary trends for February.

Still reeling after the grand finale of the Trump “reality” show, our nation staggers into 2021, a year that started off with a “bang,” literally and figuratively. A second impeachment took place on the Capricorn New Moon, January 13, a day that will go down in history as a culmination of the Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto alignment of 2020.

In the uncertain, and potentially tumultuous months ahead, the resounding question is, “Where do we go from here?” Once again, the planetary patterns answer the call. The singular most prominent planetary alignment for 2021 involves Saturn in aspect to Uranus, activating three times over the course of the year with the first activation exact on February 17th.

Forget the question, “What can we expect?” This is an all expectations go out the window year. In fact, the less expectation, the less reliance on what has gone before, the more possibility for creative problem solving. However, pervasive feelings of being out of control can lead to attempts to gain control. Recognizing this theme can help to shift one's focus into more productive channels.

These two planetary giants have an approximately 44 year cycle. The cycle started with a conjunction of Saturn and Uranus in 1988. This was the year when the Berlin Wall came down; after years of painful separation and restriction, surprisingly, the wall fell almost overnight. Saturn rules structures, barriers, constraints of many forms. The action of Uranus is sudden, revolutionary, progressive, releasing and freeing.

The next step in the cycle was a waxing square in 1999-2000. One of the most notable examples of this planetary action was Y2K, and doomsday projections for 2000. These were also years of earth changes, and growing awareness of environmental degradation.

The next step in the cycle was an opposition in 2008-2009, marked by the election of the first African American president. In addition, these years were marked by extreme economic challenges, resulting in the drastic bail-out of financial institutions, and other corporate interests.

Currently, the cycle comes to a waning square, a technical term for the final phase of this planetary cycle, and the reset when Saturn and Uranus conjoin again in 2032. Therefore, events during this year will test existing structures for strength and endurance. Already from the get-go, a new administration is coming into power with the first woman/multiracial U.S. Vice-president. The agenda for the administration is enormous, and many issues require immediate attention and problem solving.

It's no secret, factions within the United States are at “war” with each other. It is an untenable situation in the long run, but a situation that has to be addressed in order to move forward. In terms of timing, 2021 is the year that more and more comes out in the open, and conversations begin to take place. It's as though the country has been undergoing a crash course in democracy over recent years. True democracy requires participation which requires unbiased presentation of the facts.

On the personal level, these planets amplify awareness of restrictions and limitations. This can be beliefs, attitudes, perspectives and circumstances that have outlived purposefulness. On so many levels, 2021 is a year of reckoning, taking stock of the past with a keen and detached eye on the future. This is an evolutionary challenge requiring people to think outside of the box, while respecting the groundwork, commitment and tradition that has come before.

Summing up the current Saturn/Uranus juncture, astrologer Pam Younghans writes, “The challenge is to build processes and systems (Saturn) based on long-term vision (Uranus), to find new ways of relating to our physical world and resources. To succeed in passing this test, we must work together to find innovative solutions for political, economic, and environmental issues.”

The week after the first Saturn/Uranus square, Mercury goes direct on February 20. This is a welcome relief signaling a forward thrust after weeks of uncertainty, upheaval and transition. A new sense of understanding and comprehension supports decisions that may have been delayed during the Mercury retrograde phase. While Mercury remains in Aquarius until March 15, resolve and resilience can provide relief in adapting to changing conditions.

February wraps up with a Full Moon on the 27th. By now the Sun is in Pisces, and Moon in Virgo, illuminating the contrast between everyday activities and spiritual awareness. Both of these zodiac signs support holistic healing with the understanding that spirit dwells in the body, and all levels work together for well-being.

I recall so clearly my first yoga teacher would instruct, “The spiritual life is the earth life.” As a young adult, this always puzzled me. The spiritual dimensions of love, light and bliss seemed so far removed from the gravity of heavy earth challenges, and karmic lessons.

Yet today, almost fifty years later, realization is beginning to dawn. The so-called spiritual virtues, such as forgiveness, compassion, honesty, discipline, patience, charity, courage, humility, faith, and so many more, comprise the core curriculum in this earth school. It is possible to live in balanced harmony with self, loved ones, society, the planet, and the whole existence.

2020-2029, is the decade when “the rubber meets the road,” a phrase meaning practice is over. Earth incarnation is the training ground, the cosmic school of opportunity, another swing at the bat to hit a home run. Every single day provides the opportunity to cultivate the virtues, to close the gap between heaven and earth. To not only realize, “the spiritual life is the earth life,” but likewise, “the earth life is the spiritual life.”

Belinda C. Dunn
January 2021

Capricorn New Moon
January 12 @ 6:00 pm

Leo/Aquarius Full Moon
January 28 @ 2:16 pm

Mercury retrograde
January 30 @ 10:15 am

Awakening to a new year, awakening to a new age, January 1st dawns bright and clear. 2020, the year of all years, is behind us as an expectant air of possibility surrounds these coming weeks. Posed and prepared for transition, the next administration is stepping up to lead the country out of troubled waters. Even though the challenges appear immense, even daunting, steady and capable hands are steering the ship into calmer seas and safe harbors.

Riding on the crest of a grand conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius, the atmosphere is high minded, hopeful and inspired. Every twenty years, Jupiter joins Saturn, and together these planets initiate a new social cycle.

The last grand conjunction was exact in spring of 2000, in the earth sign of Taurus. The past twenty years, for the most part, have been materially based, driven by acquisition along with readily available resources. Vast amounts of money, possessions and wealth have tipped the scales of social balance. While so many people and corporations have seen unprecedented profit, and ascent to powerful positions, it has left so many others in the lurch, scrambling just to survive.

Not only this, as an earth energy, Taurus is literally the environment. While environmental protections, and guidelines for sustainable living have been put in place, the overall attitude continues to be take, take, take. If Saturn's transit through Capricorn has taught us anything over the past two years, unrestrained growth is unrealistic and harmful to the very planet we call home. Earth is a finite biological system, an interdependent web of existence, a rare gem of a planet.

January begins with Jupiter and Saturn in the early degrees of Aquarius, initiating a social and cultural reset that will take place over the next two years, and continue until 2044. Vastly different from earth-based Taurus, Aquarius is an air sign. Air is all about people, and how people connect in solving problems that are beyond the individual. Futuristic and progressive, Aquarius is the zodiac sign of friendship, community, togetherness, the tribe.

The sensational, hit musical “Hair,” announced the coming of a new age in 1967. “Peace will guide the planets. And love will steer the starts. This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius.” This familiar refrain continues to reverberate and ring true, however the question remains, “When does the Aquarian Age begin, and what does this really mean?”

The concept of astrological ages is rooted in ancient tradition, the sacred texts of the Vedas. Scholars, mystics and yogis have studied these teachings, and observe a 26,000 year cycle consisting of twelve ages, each age lasting approximately 2,100 years. Note the word “approximately.” Nothing is set in stone, and there are numerous conjectures and interpretations as to exact time periods. Most astrologers agree that we are on the cusp, a 500 year interim period between the Age of Pisces and the Age of Aquarius.

From my standpoint, there are many indications of a shift in the ages in accordance with the zodiac sign of Aquarius. While the musical “Hair,” introduced the concept of astrological ages to a large audience, the public continues to respond and demonstrate the key characteristics of this often misunderstood zodiac energy. In contemplating this shift, and especially observing the planetary patterns for 2021, this is an optimal time to delineate the trajectory and transition into the Aquarian Age.

In my view, the sooner people get a handle on the upcoming trends, the better. Underscoring Aquarian themes, due to a retrograde phase, Mercury will spend an extended amount of time in Aquarius, a full nine weeks. As the planet of cognition and thought processes, Mercury can bring conscious awareness to this great transition. Mercury enters Aquarius on January 8, turns retrograde on January 30, goes direct on February 20, completing this lengthy phase on March 15.

Therefore, events during the early months of 2021 have the potential to seed and support the Aquarian archetype, and its emergence into collective consciousness. This month and next, I will be sharing some of my observations as to the characteristics of this dawning new age. But first, let's dig into the other important astrology trends for January.

Finally, after six months in Aries, Mars enters Taurus on January 6. Common sense and practicality are a welcome grounding. As so much has fallen away throughout 2020, there is now space for new starts to take root. The reliability and constancy of Mars in Taurus can help everyone regain equilibrium, and stand back up after the hard fall of a global pandemic. After months of severe restrictions requiring rapid response, there can be a sense of adaptation along with a real need to move on. Mars in Taurus embodies the adage, “Stay calm and carry on.” Present and tangible, incentive is easier to come by, essential in carrying ventures forward into manifestation.

There may be some bumps in the road during the week of January 11. A New Moon in Capricorn is super charged and cathartic in its exact conjunction with Pluto. Exposure of tightly held secrets bring revelation. For example, this time period may very well include a culmination of the outgoing president's power plays, but this is one among many possibilities.

As I was tuning in and writing the above paragraph, a massive tree fell in my backyard. Living in a forest, I am familiar with the unmistakable cracking, splintering sound, rafters rumbling, and finally, an earth-shaking thud. At the time, this felt like an ominous warning, a portent of a dangerous passage. Now, several days later, after further contemplation, this apparent synchronicity symbolizes long standing conditions coming to a natural completion. Like a house of cards or line-up of dominoes, all it takes is just one touch, and it all comes tumbling down.

This theme is also reflected in other planetary signatures this week, such as Uranus stationary direct on January 14, a sign of sudden leaps of progress based on breakthroughs, and freeing up of restrictions. Contributing to this atmosphere of radical change, Mars is approaching Uranus with an exact conjunction on January 20, Inauguration Day.

This event could not be timed more perfectly, but these planets can indicate fervor, rebellion, unrest, and sudden developments. As the wild card planet, Uranus is unpredictable while overturning the established order. Simply put, this inauguration is unprecedented in its uniqueness, and more than likely, there will be surprises along the way.

A Full Moon on January 28 brings a culmination to events of previous weeks. With the Sun in Aquarius and Moon in Leo, the way forward is illuminated even though some resistance remains. This Full Moon is part of a T-square, one of the more complex and challenging of planetary alignments. However, those individuals and groups that approach problem solving in a free, curious and creative way can surmount obstacles, once and for all.

One more noteworthy trend centers around Neptune, and its activation in square to the lunar nodes. The lunar nodes are currently in Gemini/Sagittarius, the zodiac axis of communication, education, travel, media, networking and belief. While this influence has been building since November, it is exact on Tuesday, January 26, beginning to wane by mid-March.

As the planet of illusion, Neptune has been casting a spell of confusion over earth plane matters. Recent months have been rife with paradox,  conspiracy theories, and other departures from the norm. In bizarre ways, Neptune is playing a role in illuminating the gap between fact and fiction, reality and fantasy. A strong Neptune transit such as this can feel disorienting, and it is important to maintain the grounding of present moment awareness in order to receive the higher octave of Neptune.

On the Winter Solstice it was possible to see with the naked eye the joining of Jupiter and Saturn, a rare planetary event that many are heralding as a definitive start to the Aquarian Age. For the past two years, Saturn has been at home, orbiting in its own sign of Capricorn.  Now that Saturn has entered Aquarius, another planet comes to the forefront, Uranus. In 1781, William Herschel discovered Uranus with a homemade telescope. The discovery of Uranus expanded the visible solar system, heralding a new era across a wide spectrum of science, human rights, democracy, independence and freedom.

The zodiac sign of Aquarius follows Capricorn as a natural sequence in the zodiac wheel. Capricorn tends to uphold tradition, protecting power structures, and maintaining the status quo. Aquarius comes along next, proclaiming “enough already!” With its signature detachment, Aquarius looks toward the future, fearlessly overturning mediocrity, especially in systems that are no longer relevant, or in keeping with the times.

Again, I return to the tree in my backyard. This giant of a white pine stood over one hundred feet tall, a testament of endurance, a sentinel of ancient forest standing watch. All it took was a deluge of freezing rain one day, and stiff winds the next, to topple this giant. It took out my back porch, but the house was untouched, a miracle in itself.

I'm sharing this story as a metaphor for the times we find ourselves in. This symbol speaks of long standing conditions coming to natural conclusions. In contrast to the action of Saturn that is slow but sure, the action of Uranus is almost instantaneous in comparison; swift, rapid, radical, maximum change in the shortest amount of time.

Winter is here in the northern hemisphere. It's time for a long winter's nap followed by a warm beverage, slowly sipped in front of an enlivening fire. Huddled at home, the storms rage outside. It's an ideal environment for deep contemplation;
 dreaming, envisioning, preparing for the year ahead, a year that holds both promise and progress as the new age of Aquarius dawns upon planet Earth.

December 2020
Sagittarius Solar Eclipse
December 14 @ 11:17 am

Winter Solstice
December 21 @ 5:03 am

Cancer/Capricorn Full Moon
December 29 @ 10:28 pm

In the homestretch of a year to remember, December promises an upbeat and hopeful turn toward the future. The past is rapidly receding in the rear view mirror. Let the shifting landscape become a blur, quickly rushing by, setting our sights on an historical shift of the ages. The future waits for no one person, party, or nation. One epoch is concluding, an entire new epoch is emerging, as immense long term planetary cycles point the way.

First of all, let's consider the most consequential planetary transit, the almost thirty cycle of Saturn. Three years ago, December 2017, Saturn entered Capricorn, the zodiac sign of large corporate, financial and government structures. Along with Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn, this planetary combination has made the case for solid, stable and dependable leadership as an essential foundation for progress.

Whether it is a government, business, community, family, or any other form of social organization, the nation and world have witnessed a variety of leadership styles. Like having a crash course, it will take some time for these lessons to sink in. Rest assured, generations will benefit from the lessons and challenges of 2020, an extraordinary year.

These cycles are reaching their natural conclusion as shown by Saturn and Jupiter in the final degrees of heavy, serious, earthy Capricorn. In tandem, both planets are entering the next zodiac sign of Aquarius on December 17 and 19th, respectively. Aquarius is an air sign, light, free, futuristic and inventive. If you haven't already, it's time to take a deep, invigorating, rejuvenating breath of pure air. Let it go, allow any residual tension to melt away, again and again.

On the very auspicious and sacred Winter Solstice, December 21, Jupiter and Saturn conjoin in the very first degree of Aquarius. The last time Jupiter and Saturn joined was 2000. Like clockwork, these planets come together every 20 years, signifying the ending of one sociopolitical cycle, and the beginning of another. Known as the social responsibility planets, their sequential orbital partnership provides a reset of collective trends. Marking time, this grand conjunction is the backdrop for monumental change, all in preparation for 2021, and beyond.

Taking a step back to the beginning of December, Mercury the messenger enters Sagittarius on the 1st. Mercury is picking up speed now, spending just three weeks in the Archer's sign, and then entering Capricorn on the December 20 to wind up the year. This supports an optimistic and celebratory atmosphere during the holiday season.

After a year of hardship on so many levels, personally and collectively, Sagittarius assists in lifting one's sights to a higher perspective. This is not just positive thinking, but likely accompanied by real and positive developments, such as an effective treatment and vaccine for COVID. Bottom line, the planetary trends show an upswing of resilience and courage born through adversity.

Eclipses always occur in pairs, and the Gemini/Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse of November 30 is followed by a Sagittarius Solar Eclipse on December 14. These are the zodiac signs of cognition, information, education, ideology, philosophy and belief. Taking many forms, the mind's perspective is typically programmed and centered around heritage, culture and creed.

However, these eclipses emphasize the mutable and vacillating nature of mental constructs, including the impressionable nature of the human mind, and its susceptibility to repetitive narratives of group consciousness. The Sagittarius Archer is a profound symbol of aiming toward truth beyond human interference, distortion and illusion. As underlying issues are exposed, emotional reactions are heightened, typically shaking up entrenched points of view.

Additionally, this solar eclipse is in stressful alignment with Neptune, the planet of illusion. Zealous ideology, false claims and conspiracy theories continue to erode trust in the perceived reality, spreading an aura of glamour and confusion. It is important to listen between the words, remembering, actions speak louder than words. Rounding the corner, these eclipses expand the view, and serve to “seal the deal.” The way forward is no less challenging, but an atmosphere of finality permeates the airwaves. It's time to move on.

Taking into consideration the United States astrology chart, the country is closely identified and expressed through its Sagittarius ascendant.  Aspiration, anything is possible, a “can do,” attitude is inherent within the country's blueprint. This solar eclipse signifies a return to this fundamental orientation, and a reset of the nation's place on the world stage.

Not only is 2020 wrapping up, but Mars is completing a six month transit through Aries. Due to a retrograde phase from September 9 – November 13, forward motion has been quite a challenge. Between the pandemic, economic slowdown, and election year, many circumstances, projects and relationships have been on hold.

Retrograde planets are purposeful in delaying outward action to review and clarify the optimal course ahead. Mars direct is another strong indication of turning a corner, regeneration, and enthusiastically setting sights on the future.

On the personal level, Mars retrograde in Aries has increased awareness of self in relation to others. In many cases, distractions and energy drains have become more obvious. Mars in Aries has been supportive in clarifying boundaries, along with a keener sense of self-care, purpose and motivation.

Additionally, beginning last August, Mars has been in challenging square with the rare planetary conjunction of Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto in Capricorn. Mars in Aries has been like the ram, butting its horns into and through impenetrable barriers, indicative of breaking through the established order.

The raw, bold and assertive intent of Mars has made itself known in a multitude of ways, especially in its power packed conjunction with Eris, a small planet in the outer reaches of our solar system. Named after the goddess of discord, Eris stirs up bitter resentment, especially in those individuals feeling left behind, disparaged, misunderstood and generally disenfranchised. Like a cauldron simmering and ready to boil over at any moment, Mars joining Eris has surfaced deep undercurrents of rage, along with the willfulness to take action, no matter the consequences. The third and final conjunction of Mars and Eris is exact on December 22.

Pouring fuel on the fire, Mars is in final square to Pluto on December 23. Astrologer Robert Hand sums up Mars square Pluto, “This can be a time for creatively transforming the world around you, or it can be a time of fierce power struggles and disagreements. Avoid the temptation to act ruthlessly or underhandedly toward others no matter how angry you are or how much you feel that they deserve to be beaten. Transit cycles involving Pluto have a strange way of producing total destruction of your own ends if you take illegitimate shortcuts.” He goes on to emphasize a choice of fighting harder or giving up altogether. Just in time for the holiday break, there can be a real sense of culmination in regard to the trials and hardships of 2020.

On another level, the public health crisis is upending celebrations. Speaking with others about holiday plans, some people are relieved that a difficult family member is not visiting. Others are letting go of traditions and exploring creative options, while many families are mourning the absence of a loved one, and facing the reality of an empty seat at the table.

Illuminating the night sky, a Full Moon on December 29 bestows a calming, settling, earthy awareness into the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve. With the Sun in Capricorn and Moon in Cancer, this lunation is in harmony with Uranus in Taurus. This grounding influence is welcome as a supportive bridge into 2021, facilitating practical application and coordination of knowledge and information. It may feel as though one's feet are on firmer ground than previously experienced, embodied fully, posed and ready to face another year.

In early 2017, during a presentation at Crystal Visions, a local metaphysical store, a participant spoke up about a recurring dream she was having. The dream was of a gigantic, remarkably enormous, all consuming tidal wave. Hands went up, others in the room, as well as people they knew, were having similar dreams, myself included. Since this event, we would check in, wondering about the symbolic potential of this profound dream.

In this moment, wrapping up the final “What's UP” of 2020, it dawns on me. The tidal wave dreams symbolize the massive upheavals over the course of this year. Sickness and health, confinement and freedom, hate and love, delusion and reality, greed and generosity, poverty and plenty . . . the all encompassing, stark contrast of earth experience has been on full display.

Riding the highs and lows of rolling waves has been quite the journey, touching the deepest parts of what it means to be human, including our common humanity. As Saturn and Jupiter transit into Aquarius, it is clear, what has come before is in the process of being swept away as enormous planetary cycles pave the way for a new era. In next month's article, I will address the characteristics and signs of the dawning Aquarian Age.

In the meantime, may your holidays be bright, filled with meaning and love, gentle kindness and all good things freely given by Creator. With gratitude, out here on the limb of the cosmos, I sign off for now. 2021, full speed ahead, here we come, ready or not!

November 2020
Belinda C. Dunn

Mercury direct
November 3 @ 12:50 pm

Mars direct
November 13 @ 7:36 pm

Scorpio New Moon
November 15 @ 12:07 am

Gemini Full Moon Lunar Eclipse
November 30 @ 4:30 am

Penetrating beneath the surface of everyday awareness, November begins with our Sun transiting through Scorpio skies. All Saints Day is a reminder of the multidimensional nature of existence, the evolutionary and karmic cycles of death/rebirth, and everything in between.

Symbolized by the scorpion grovelling in the darkness, ready to sting unsuspecting prey, Scorpio brings humanity face to face with the raw power of misguided desire fueling the undercover world of criminal intent. Inevitably the scorpion relents, evolving into the mystical and mythical Phoenix, arising from the ashes of destruction to discover hidden reserves of power, truth, integrity and wisdom.

Spellbound, a nation awaits final election results as secret ballots are cast and counted behind closed doors. Sitting on the edge of our seats, the unfolding drama is hypnotic and intense, nerve wracking, however interwoven with decisive and determined resolve.

In the grand plan of things, it is no accident that voting day, November 3, is particularly focused on communication. Mercury, the planet of information, is completing a three week retrograde phase, exact around mid-day. Mercury is especially important in reporting accurate and definitive results.

However, the last time Mercury stationed from retrograde to direct on election day was the unforgettable Gore/Bush contest. The historic election of 2000 was defined by weeks of hanging chads and recounts, partisanship and controversy, with final results ultimately decided in the Supreme Court. No wonder the electorate is dubious, especially focused on a fair and accurate count this time around.

The entire first week of November is held within the confines of a tense aspect between Mercury and Saturn. Exact on November 1, and again on November 6, this aspect ensures careful, methodical and meticulous measures in finalizing election results. However, Mercury in stressful aspect with Saturn tends to breed and exacerbate strong differences in opinion, and it can be difficult to accept other points of view.

Yes, there may be discrepancies and delays, and not everyone will be satisfied with end results, but the overshadowing energy of Mercury and Saturn demonstrates a disciplined, practical, serious and law abiding approach to this momentous election. As the reality check planet, Saturn cuts through illusion, bringing everything and everyone down to earth.

Adding to the intensity of high drama during October and November is another planetary trend. Known as an opposition, Mercury is in challenging aspect to Uranus, the game changer planet. This trend started the first week of October, repeated again on October 19, and concludes for the third and final pass on November 17. Unusual and sudden reversals, exposure of underlying issues, vacillating emotions, and strategic change of plans are simply part of the process.

It is interesting to note Mercury's aspect with Saturn implies strict adherence to the law, but Mercury's aspect with Uranus implies a breaking free of the norm along with upheaval and reform. Essentially and energetically, the past is colliding with the future in the crucible of transformation, and this election promises to reset the nation's trajectory for decades to come.

On another level, transiting Mercury in Scorpio is opposing Uranus in Taurus. These are the zodiac signs of finances, possessions, and shared resources. The entire Mercury retrograde period tends to further destabilize these essential areas of monetary exchange. In so many instances, due to COVID restrictions, business and household budgets have been stretched to the max. Through the first half of November, important decisions can free up resources to address the shortfall. More than likely, the global economy and stock markets will continue on a wild ride with extreme fluctuations until the beginning of next year.

Jupiter conjoins Pluto for the third and final pass on November 12. It can be helpful to consider this long term pattern started on April 4, repeated June 29, and completes this month. Powerfully transforming, the concealed world of dark money and crime has surfaced into public awareness. Jupiter is the planet of aspiration, ethics, truth and justice. Power grabs in high places are increasingly obvious, undermining public confidence. Fortunes have been made and fortunes lost. The entire economy is undergoing an overhaul of gigantic proportions as systems are updated and adapted to address current challenges.

On November 13, Mars stations direct, shifting into a sense of relief and readiness to close this chapter, and turn the pages of history toward recovery on many levels. Still in Aries, the zodiac sign of action, Mars went retrograde on September 9. After a long haul of twists and turns, delays and detours, Mars speaks to the pioneering spirit in each of us. Mars in Aries gives that extra boost of vitality to pick up the pace and begin anew.

However, we are not out of the woods yet, as Mars remains in Aries until January 2021. Even though uncertainty looms large, and there are more questions than answers, Mars direct can offset malaise and ignite enthusiasm. On an individual level, Mars in Aries has served to clarify boundaries, especially in terms of relationships. On a collective level, Mars in Aries has contributed to civil unrest, heightening the potential for aggression and conflict.

On November 14, a few days after Mars is direct, a Scorpio New Moon sets the stage for progress. In supportive harmony with the Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn, this is a dig in, persevere, keep on keeping on New Moon. Scorpio determination and strategic resolve is in supportive harmony with Capricorn integrity and practicality. This is an optimal New Moon for clarification of long range goals and manifestation.

From here on out, Jupiter and Saturn are now direct, pulling away from the potent alignment with Pluto that has been the planetary bugaboo of 2020. Astrologer Pam Younghans beautifully sums up this rare and life transforming alignment. “Together, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn are providing a powerful reality check, designed to make sure we don't ignore social issues that need to be addressed. We are seeing the downfall of many of the systems and structures that society has relied upon to provide stability – but the truth is that many of these systems have deteriorated and no longer functioning for the good of the people. This is where we are seeing the strongest effects of the Saturn-Pluto influence as dysfunction and decay are exposed.”

Additionally, the New Moon chart shows the protective influence of Jupiter conjoining asteroid Pallas Athene, representing the guardian goddess of mediation, teamwork and diplomacy. Together, this rare combination supports the expansion of opportunity and optimism. Combining with Venus in Libra, these planetary patterns promote harmony in fair and equitable solutions.

Another important factor during these autumn months is Mars conjoining the small, outermost planet Eris, representing the goddess of discord. Taken as a whole, this entire combination is known as a T-square (Jupiter/Pallas Athene/Saturn/Pluto in Capricorn – Mars/Chiron/Eris in Aries – Venus in Libra). Perfecting mid-November, this alignment presents an intense contrast between rich and poor, the advantaged and disadvantaged. The clash of competing and opposing perspectives is unmistakable, begging for attention, as diverse groups stand up to be counted.

Contributing to the theme of diversity is the Gemini Full Moon Lunar Eclipse on November 30. Our Sun is in Sagittarius now, and abstract idealism meets earth plane reality, along with the necessity to rise above diverse agendas to find common ground. Eclipses are revelatory, peeling away layers of illusion and delusion to expose the true nature beneath surface appearances. This happens within and without, on personal as well as collective levels. Additionally, eclipses are connected to an 18.6 year cycle of the lunar nodes. This particular eclipse, and the following Solar Eclipse on December 14, expose belief as the driving force of civilization.

Familial conditioning, societal and cultural beliefs are taken for granted, accepted as truth, despite evidence to the contrary in so many instances. These eclipses serve to “enlighten” the masses. For those listening and receptive, these eclipses can bring relief from a heavily conflicted election season, lifting consciousness toward high ground.

Another key planet during the final days of November is Neptune stationing direct on November 28. Additionally, Neptune is in stressful aspect to the lunar nodes, triggering a crisis of belief, representing an enormous and definitive paradigm shift for the nation. While Neptune dissolves limited concepts to reveal universal truth, Neptune is the planet of unconditional compassion born through empathy, and consideration of what is may be like to “walk a mile in someone else's shoes.”

However, Neptune's delusional quality can exacerbate addiction and mental health issues, especially in those vulnerable to Neptune's influence. Neptune is highly sensitizing, and human beings have devised many methods to escape reality, many of which are destructive to mind/body/spirit. On a positive note, Neptune can increase the potential for spontaneous surrender, dissolving the boundaries of everyday awareness to instruct, uplift and redeem.

November comes to a close with the celebration of giving thanks. In a nation of enormous wealth, alongside contrasting deprivation, the attitude of gratitude is often overlooked, given a token nod, if that. But, gratitude is a special feeling arising from the deepest part of one's heart.

As one of the most fundamental virtues, gratitude is the key to satisfaction, generosity, and even cooperation, in a world desperately in need of solace. Sincere gratitude can transform everything! It can take an ordinary moment and make it beautiful. It can mend broken hearts and save lost souls. It can transform any meal into a joyous, sumptuous feast. Enjoy!

October 2020
Belinda C. Dunn

Harvest Full Moon
October 1 @ 5:05 pm

Mercury Retrograde
October 13 – November 3

Libra New Moon
October 16 @ 3:31 pm

Taurus/Scorpio Full Moon
October 31 @ 10:49 am

Gazing into a vast, unfathomable, star studded sky, October begins with the Harvest Moon. Even in the depths of night, it is possible to see the fields ripen with nourishment, the landscape stretching, yawning, earth fulfilled, preparing for rest. As the wide eyed owl hoots and swoops, the wind rustles a sweet, melodious song. It's a magical month, a “once in a Blue Moon” month. It's October, and the beauty of our Moon's full illumination is a reminder to look up in more ways than one.

From the astrological perspective, October begins with the Sun in Libra, the zodiac peacemaker. People awaken to another day of the news cycle churning and burning, spewing out hot distractions, and from all appearances, the world itself is nothing but peaceful. Yes, there are little steps, small attempts, but in so many ways, the nature of genuine peace alludes even the best of us. But, no worries, after all, this is one of the basic core lessons in earth school, and it's OK, even advisable, to acknowledge the growing pangs.

From the standpoint of esoteric astrology, Libra is one of the most karmic zodiac signs. Why? The birth/death incarnation cycle is a compelling pull into this dimension based on desire and relationship. It's about settling the score, and balancing the scales of justice. It's about each other, and learning heartfelt lessons of gentle kindness and cooperation, neutrality and equanimity.

Libra is a prominent archetype in the United States astrology chart. At the nation's inception, Saturn was in Libra, at the highest point in the chart, the mid-heaven. Therefore, the country's destiny on the world stage is closely aligned, and best expressed through diplomacy, and peace keeping missions. But, in so many cases, the country has fallen into an authoritarian big brother role, and heavy handed force has become the order of the day.

Clearly, the presidential election is bringing radical inconsistencies and differences of approach to the forefront. This brings us to another facet of Libra, the slippery slope of projection, a psychological term meaning the tendency to disown one's shadow, and project it upon another. It can be likened to casting a spell of illusion that has everyone buying into the drama, but unfortunately, projection disrupts clear sight in terms of self awareness, relationships, circumstances and decisions.

Over the past several months, an avalanche of projection has been unleashed. The country is divided as never before in our lifetimes, and in so many cases, the polarization is spoken with vehement animosity and hatred, overlaid with a sickening fear. In the space of one week, I heard people of each “side,” express that if the other party won, the country would be ruined. As a nation, how did we get here? Where did the overarching nature of Saturn in Libra go? What will it take to return to civility, impartiality, congeniality, and cooperation?

The planetary trends point to this impasse, rift with controversy and dissent. September drew to a close with Mars in stressful alignment with Saturn. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place! So many situations are demanding action, and yet the planets are reinforcing the message of sitting it out, waiting it out, like a time out for a rowdy toddler that doesn't know the meaning of socialization.

Mars continues to be a key player throughout October. Mars retrograde is frustrating at best, downright infuriating in its slow march forward. Triggering the major Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto alignment of 2020, it's as though progress is frozen as the wheel of fortune spins wildly.

Enough time has passed since Mars started its retrograde phase on September 9. Consider, go back to you calendar if necessary, what changed for you? Take to heart the dawning realizations. Mars is in Aries for months to come, and there is a specific message for each person. Past conditioning is sloughing off, it feels cumbersome and heavy. Typically, Mars is invigorating and energizing, but the burdens are painful, enervating and draining. It's a fact, so much is ending now, there is loss and grief. But, this empty space is sacred, luminous, cleansing and clearing, paving the way for a rebirth as the new year dawns.

Contributing to the gut wrenching intensity, (sorry, these words just popped out), is Pluto's slow burn as it shifts from stationary to direct on October 4th. The coming week is filled with potential for power plays, and disclosure of hidden motives, especially as Mars is in stressful square with Pluto on the 9th. Raw and visible, no one is above the law, even though many people will find it convenient to act without conscience. There is tension in the air as these two giants test the boundaries of acceptability. Out in the open, or covertly behind the scenes, Mars and Pluto are the planets of personal power and willfulness.

In essence, Pluto is the archetypal god of the underworld, a world beneath the surface of everyday life. The nature of Pluto is to expose illicit activities, and the abuse of power can take many forms. For example, pornography, propaganda, pollution, money laundering, financial fraud, political corruption, corporate greed . . . the list goes on. Throughout 2020, the law and order planets, Jupiter and Saturn, are activating Pluto in its long transit through Capricorn (2008–2024). Subverting the law is a dangerous game, and this is the year of unprecedented exposure.

Hanging in the balance, waiting in suspense, the airwaves are echoing the refrain, “October surprise.” It's common knowledge that presidential elections typically come with startling, game changing developments in October. This year is no exception, but it isn't just one surprise, but it's most likely plural . . . surprises.

The potential for sudden reversals and change of plans, is due to a Mercury retrograde period starting on October 13. Mercury goes retrograde in Scorpio, the zodiac sign of secrets. Additionally, Mercury will oppose Uranus, the change maker planet, on October 7 and 19. Therefore, mid-October promises to be disruptive, casting an aura of uncertainty in the wake of further revelations.

Uranus is a very revolutionary planetary energy in that it disrupts the status qua, and overturns mediocrity. Passions will be running high, words flying out of people's mouths. There is potential for Uranus to destabilize the economy as it transits through Taurus, the sign of money and possessions. Newsworthy trends in the financial markets, employment and business can be revealed. Mercury in Scorpio is fearless in exposing the hidden and treacherous underbelly of criminality, and will leave no stone unturned in the quest for truth.

Mercury retrograde continues until it goes direct on November 3, Election Day. BINGO! And, Mercury makes its third and final opposition to Uranus on November 17. It is quite likely that election results may take longer than usual, and there may be recounts and dispute in regard to the election's validity. This is one potential in a host of disruptive and unusual developments that will take time to unravel and resolve.

A New Moon in Libra on October 13 can help to sooth hot tempers, and smooth out frayed nerves. However, the astrology chart for this lunation shows a T-square, a planetary alignment representing the crossroads of choice. The planetary players include the self absorbed attitude of Mars in Aries in contrast to the objectives of fairness and balance, in the face of major obstructions represented by Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto. This requires some heavy lifting, and along with Mercury retrograde, this suggests a stalemate whereby there are no easy, quick answers.

On October 22, our Sun enters Scorpio and joins Mercury on October 25. This is always an important time in a Mercury retrograde cycle. Contemplation yields a broader perspective, wisdom based on insight from intangible and invisible realms. Watch for information and decisions to come more naturally as a result of seeking guidance.

The planetary trends during the final week of October lend some harmony to otherwise tumultuous conditions. On the 27th, Venus shifts into Libra, and Mercury retrogrades back into Libra. Overall, this supports peaceful communication, and the importance of diplomacy in settling matters of differing opinion.

To conclude, on Halloween, the second Full Moon of October lights up the sky, and the rarity of a Blue Moon takes on even more relevance. This astrology chart shows an exact, to the degree alignment of Moon and Uranus in Taurus. Again, the trends point to sudden and unprecedented, 180 degree twists and turns of fate and fortune. Uranus is the breakthrough planet of innovation to overcome hurdles, and implement scientific, technological and humanitarian solutions. “Thinking outside of the box,” is what Uranus does best.

Halloween fun takes on an even more creative and unique flavor this year. Perhaps due to COVID, festivities morph into new and improved forms, bigger than life, people seeking comic relief, relevance and meaning in this transitional year.

In summing up the planetary trends for October, I am reminded of a hall of mirrors in an amusement park fun house. Each reflection is distorted in extreme measure from short and squat, to tall and gigantic, and everything in between. To most people, this is hilarious and fun, but to a young child, this can be terrifying. Same with Halloween. It is meant for fun, but it takes maturity and courage to laugh in the face of monsters while skeletons dangle from trees.

This is the esoteric meaning of Scorpio, the zodiac sign of death. As autumn leaves fall, it is a poignant reminder of the transitory nature of physical existence. Sometimes the illusions are obvious, other times life feels so real, too real, and it's tempting to get lost in the forms, and take them on as the only reality.

Halloween is an exercise in seeing through the illusory nature of existence, to walk through the haunted house with one's head held high. To walk with strength, purpose and courage. To actually clear one's sight enough to see and trust in the light at the end of the tunnel.

Echoing through the halls of history, the ancient and sacred texts of the Upanishads state, “There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond us all, beyond the highest heavens. This is the light that shines within us all.” Blessed be.

September 2020
Belinda C. Dunn

Pisces/Virgo Full Moon
September 2 @ 1:22 am

Virgo New Moon
September 17 @ 7:00 am

Autumnal Equinox
September 22 @ 9:31 am

Lighting up the sky, illuminating the landscape, September begins with a Full Moon. This is a magical turning point as Sun in Virgo represents the harvest, and Moon in Pisces instills a sense of awe and connection with the unseen dimensions of direct mystical experience. A feminine symbol, Virgo is beautifully captured as a young maiden holding sheaves of golden grain, the pure nourishment of field and farm.

Down to earth and practical, Virgo offers essential advice as the zodiac sign of hygiene, sanitation, nutrition, food storage, public health and safety, and healing in general. Additionally, Virgo governs public service, the health care industry, employment and the work environment. Considering the pandemic along with massive unemployment, it is more than likely that a myriad of issues will surge into view, demanding attention and effective solutions.

Virgo's natural analytic and diagnostic powers can play a major role in the development of comprehensive solutions. Current trends suggest a culmination of data and research that can begin moving society toward recovery on many levels. Earthy and practical Virgo aims for efficiency and productivity. If there is a job to do, and it needs to be done “right,” give it to a Virgo, or someone that has plenty of Virgo in their astrological blueprint.

Precise, concise and methodical, the Sun's yearly transit through Virgo is an excellent time to focus on lifestyle changes that enhance personal health. Tapping into the body's wisdom brings numerous improvements in overall function, vitality and endurance. While the Full Moon brings various issues to the surface, the Virgo New Moon on September 17, supports a potent reset for those individuals taking the steps to implement healthy habits. As the familiar adage states, “ Health is wealth.”

Service is a fundamental, but often overlooked, part of daily life. A very good example of service is the role that domestic pets play in our lives. Those that have pets realize the unconditional love, comfort and well being that comes through serving pets, and the reciprocity of sharing life's joys and sorrows with animals.

A typical September begins with enthusiasm for return to school and work. Of course, this year is significantly different, but the themes of education, communication and service are front and center. September begins with Mercury and Venus in harmony. These planets connect in a favorable aspect on Friday, September 4, and then transit into Libra and Leo for the Labor Day weekend. This facilitates exchange of information and ideas with an attitude of open minded curiosity for other viewpoints.

We would do well to hold onto, and expand this atmosphere of open conversation, especially during the second half of September when Mercury makes very challenging aspects. As the messenger, Mercury will be in Libra for most of the month (September 5 – 26). This is the zodiac sign of the peacemaker, negotiator and mediator. This is a high point for the nation's destiny, and all eyes are on the upcoming presidential contest.

However, by the New Moon on September 17, Mercury begins a series of stressful aspects to the Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto alignment. The week of the Autumnal Equinox is compellingly intense. Unified voices are speaking out on behalf of the inequities and unfair burdens that have been placed on so many citizens, to the point of extreme hardship. Game changing information and significant disclosures contribute to the dialog becoming more caustic, toxic and possibly slanderous.

Mercury's transit through Libra can be likened to the iron fist in the velvet glove. By the way, Kamala Harris is a Libra with her Mercury in Scorpio, and her style has been characterized as just this. Conveying her message with smiling sincerity, she is very bold, direct, at times blunt, and she is a force to be reckoned with, on and off the debate stage. This is a very strong choice for the Biden ticket, and the astrological compatibility between the two of them is quite dynamic.

Back to Mercury in Libra, and the unfolding time line. First, Mercury activates Jupiter on the 17th. This can be uplifting and hopeful news, but not necessarily based on reality, so fact check for validity. It's like a pat on the back to placate distress, and shift the focus. This can feed into Neptune's long term transit through Pisces whereby an aura deception veils the truth as conspiracy theories, mental illness and criminality distort perspective and cloud the narrative.

On September 20-21, Mercury is in stressful aspect to Pluto, kicking up the storms, probably words and actions that incite violence, discord, sudden disclosures and reversals. On September 23-24, Mercury is in stressful aspect with Mars and Saturn, lending an atmosphere of despair, hostility, negativity and cynicism. This is a week to remain mentally alert and cognizant of the spoken word.

This theme is furthered by another major planetary development. On September 9, Mars, the planet of action, motivation and momentum, begins a nine week retrograde phase. Retro means just that, stepping back, reviewing, halting forward movement. From the planetary perspective, the cosmos is holding up a bright red stop sign!

This trend holds many possibilities and repercussions, personally and collectively. On the individual level, Mars retrograde suggests priorities being re-evaluated. Already the pandemic has uprooted and upended daily life. Frankly, there is no going back to “normal.” Mars retrograde can include a deeper acceptance of the quagmire, and the so-called “new normal.” This stepping back implies the necessity for cautious and patient review of direction.

In terms of the pandemic, Mars retrograde is highly suggestive of lowered vitality and immune function. From the standpoint of health, Mars tends to manifest critical conditions such as inflammation, fevers, accidents. The underlying emotional charge relates to suppressed hostility, resentment and frustration that erupts into illness. Therefore, guarding one's health and emotional state is paramount throughout these weeks.

Astrologer Erin Sullivan writes, “When Mars is transiting retrograde, it is an ideal time to determine the difference between depression of the senses, or psychic apathy, and simple lack of interest. To press on in a situation which appears fruitless is sheer bloody-mindedness, not brave assertiveness! It might be appropriate, therefore, to relinquish a once-beloved project, attitude, relationship or goal, rather than persist aggressively in outmoded activities once Mars completes its retrograde cycle (November 13).”

On the collective level, Mars retrograde signals a deterioration of conditions that can lead to major changes in circumstances. At the beginning of the pandemic, the word, “migration,” surged into my consciousness. It didn't make a lot sense at that point, but it is apparent now. Huge swaths of population are being forced to move and relocate as the result of businesses closing. The economic impact is more evident, and over coming months many people may choose to leave familiar surroundings, and head toward greener pastures.

Keeping this in mind/heart, let's consider that two major planets are going direct in September. Jupiter goes direct on the 12th, and Saturn on the 29th. Jupiter is the planet of justice and high minded ideals. The current political climate is riddled with a perception of injustice on all sides as citizens and factions take sides in a combative contest of right vs. wrong. Jupiter direct, and Mercury in Libra can lift consciousness out of game playing, out of the roles, and shift awareness to a more unified realization of common welfare, aspirations and goals.

Traveling through the zodiac sky, Sun leaves Virgo and enters Libra on September 22, marking the auspicious and sacred Autumnal Equinox. The chart for the equinox sets the stage for the final week of September, a potent inflection point whereby there is no turning back. This chart shows an astrological configuration called a T-square, a crossroads point of challenge and strategic choice. Not easy, but immensely rewarding in the long run.

Dissecting the planetary energies, first and foremost, let's consider that Saturn has been retrograde since May 10, and is now proceeding forward on September 29. As the planet of karmic consequences, this retrograde period has been particularly challenging this year in terms of gaining traction to move away from already manifested scenarios. It's as though many circumstances have just had to run their course. Saturn is the truth telling planet. Heavy realities have taken their toll with the realization that fundamental changes must be made in order to move forward with any progress and stability.

There is no way around Saturn's lessons except to dig in, do the work, and accept responsibility in matters that are relative to personal duty and dharma. The Serenity Prayer is a good reminder in these challenging times. “Creator, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

On the very same day that Saturn goes direct, Mars is in stressful square with Saturn. In order to grasp the enormity of this moment, it is necessary to go back to the planetary signature of 2020, the alignment of three consequential planets, Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto in Capricorn. Energetically, this can feel like a heavy load with great weight, almost impossible to carry without determination and faithful resolve.

Adding in the other significant planetary development for September, Mars in Aries is now retrograde. As Mars meets Saturn, this can be likened to taking a sledge hammer to an immovable brick wall. Mars will aim for the weakest spot, but the wheels of massive transformation have already been set in motion.

Summing up this planetary alignment, I am reminded of the axiom, “failing forward.” John C. Maxwell, an American leader, author and inspiration speaker popularized this idea, defined as “leveraging mistakes, making a realistic assessment of the risks and the ability to live with the downside and experiment with new approaches.”

Now, before this article reads as down and out dismal, let me reassure readers of an approaching upswing in December, in preparation for 2021. We really are at the climax point, the convergence point of many trends that have been building for years, if not for generations. Truly, we are witnessing unprecedented and massive change in a very short period of time.

At this point, it's anyone's guess as to the exact nature of coming events. It may be natural disasters, the presidential contest coming to a head, the global pandemic, economic restrictions, and/or racial tension and protests. However things show up, September appears to be another unpredictable month is this unpredictable year of 2020.

However, rest assured that no matter how dark the times, there is light at the end of the tunnel. This heart breaking systemic breakdown promises a breakthrough of gigantic proportions, beyond our wildest dreams, beyond our heartfelt prayers. Civilization is not going backwards, it's failing forward.

August 2020
Belinda C. Dunn

Aquarius/Leo Full Moon
August 3 @ 11:59 am

Leo New Moon
August 18 @ 10:42 pm

Between Mercury retrograde, and a trio of upending and dynamic eclipses, the hurdles of June and July are rapidly receding in the rear view mirror.  Much has been revealed, much as been cast aside as the priorities of the triple conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto continue to drill down beneath the surface of just about everything. This is a purging, a clearing, a reset of gigantic proportions.

Insistent and pressing, the necessity for adaptation is coupled with the motivation to overcome obstacles and get the show on the road, the Leo show that is. Beginning with a Full Moon on August 3, the energy shifts from the weightiness of earthbound consciousness to rapid fire, dramatic, determined and expressive Leo.

Right from the start, August begins with Sun opposite the Moon in maximum illumination. Additionally, this Full Moon is energized by a power packed and close square aspect with Uranus, the game changer planet, the lightening bolt of sudden revelation. The action of Uranus is even stronger this month as it appears stalled at 10 degrees Taurus, going retrograde on August 15. Anything goes in these turbulent days, and the action of Uranus tends to be rebellious, surprising and disruptive, providing turnarounds that can free up tension, and release stagnation.

For a moment, let's consider the contrast between the elements of earth and fire. Each zodiac sign relates to an element. Right now, all the major heavyweight planets (except Neptune in Pisces) are in earth signs. Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto are lined up in Capricorn. Uranus is in Taurus. Earth can be nourishing and fertile, or earth can be dry and barren, but however it manifests, earth is heavy and immovable without sustained effort and the correct tools.

Symbolically, this is where we find ourselves, and repeatedly, I have heard people liken current conditions to sticky, mucky mud. Even the old adage, “stick in the mud,” comes from long ago days of a horse drawn carriage stuck in the mud, its wheels spinning, going nowhere. Over time, the adage has come to imply a person resistant to progress and change.

During August the fire element ascends, bringing much needed levity and light. Together Sun and Mercury are transiting through the fire sign of Leo for most of the month. Additionally, Mars continues its lengthy transit through the fire sign of Aries.

August is the month to ignite playful spontaneity, reclaim enthusiasm, and get in touch with your passion. An emphasis on the fire element can go a long way in generating and sustaining the vitality needed to adapt and meet challenges head on, without resistance, and without procrastination. This is very important in preparation for the months ahead.

In particular, I am laying out this energetic pattern in detail, because Mars, the planet of action and motivation, is in Aries for the rest of 2020. It is unusual for Mars to spend months in its own sign of Aries, but this is due to an upcoming retrograde phase, September 9 through November 13.

In general, Mars in Aries, symbolized by the Ram, can be willful, impulsive, forceful, volatile and rambunctious. On the other hand, Mars in Aries can be fearless, and positively energetic to plow through the most difficult obstacles within the darkest conditions. The defining point is the right use of will. When on target, and in alignment with the welfare of all, Mars in Aries can help us meet the moment with courage and strength. This moment is made for heroism.

Going back to the life-changing and consequential alignment of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto, taken together these planets represent long term, even ancient karmic patterns coming to a crisis point. It is during August that Mars activates these planets for the first time in stressful square, but due to the retrograde phase, Mars will repeatedly activate these planets at various times for the remainder of 2020.

Here is a brief summary of Mars and this unparalleled series of aspects, keeping in mind this is an enormous collective evolutionary leap taking place over the next 6 months. NOTE: Useful as guidelines, the enhanced computer program can give exact dates, but in actuality, the trends are in effect now through January 2021.

Mars square Jupiter: growing pains, taking risks, glimmers of hope based on insight into cosmic law and order, willingness to address injustice, reformation of laws and structures (August 4, October 18, January 23, 2021).

Mars square Saturn: initiative meets the hard/cold facts of reality, detours, delays, persistence despite limitations, obligation vs. responsibility, self-reliance, crisis of ethics, loss and grief, surrender (August 24, September 29, January 13, 2021).

Mars square Pluto: exposure of corruption, cutting through denial/illusion, confrontation with established authority, power struggles, power used destructively vs. power used constructively, ambition, obsessions, breaking open and breaking down, personal growth, the fight for truth and justice, drastic alternations in the trajectory of previously known experience, determination to thrive despite all odds (August 13, October 9, December 23).

Additionally, Mars in Aries is joining Eris, a dwarf planet named after the goddess of discord. Discovered in 2005, orbiting in the farthest reaches of our solar system, Eris is slightly larger than Pluto. It takes 558 years for Eris to cycle through the entire zodiac, therefore Eris has been in Aries for decades. Mars will conjunct Eris for the first time on August 17, but this slow moving planetary configuration includes squares from Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto. There is on-going pressure to confront injustice; specifically directed toward segments of society that have been disenfranchised, demoralized, ignored, misunderstood and forgotten.

Upcoming articles will continue to detail this trend. For now, August is the month to monitor the urge to take action. Awareness can make the difference between frustrations and delays, plans gone awry, and goals falling short OR implementing constructive, balanced, realistic and effective action. More than likely, for the majority of us, it will be a combination of all of the above.

In terms of social settings, everything is being re-evaluated due to COVID. For example, school age children and their families are ready for classes to start, but this year is drastically different, and significant organization is underway for education on all levels. The presidential election is around the corner, and conventions look like they will take place virtually. Voting protocol is undergoing scrutiny, and re-organization. Travel plans remain on hold, and it is debatable for how long. A variety of businesses are hanging by a thread, awaiting financial relief, and return to business as usual. In an environment where so many factors out of one's personal control, it is a matter of keeping an open mind, a readiness to experiment while accepting a process of trial and error.

There is enormous potential here. The combining influences of three planets in earthy Capricorn, along with an emphasis on the fire element, can be summed up in a locomotive. The engines rumble as they are fired up. Heavy, slow to start, the wheels are turning, gathering momentum, but in no time, the locomotive is speeding through the countryside, traveling toward a distant horizon. On many levels, now is the time to ignite the fire in your belly, discover your big why, thereby activating a sustainable purpose and plan.

On August 4th, Mercury enters Leo, completing a lengthy stint in Cancer the crab. Over the past ten weeks, thinking, conversations and decisions have primarily centered around home, family, protection and security. Not only have people been thrown back into the nest, but relationships and family responsibilities have come to the forefront for review.

In numerous ways the transit of Mercury through Cancer has been an energetic summation of the past nine eclipses, solar and lunar, all tied to the lunar nodes in Cancer/Capricorn. Now that basic foundations have been examined and overhauled, many people are in a better position to move forward with authenticity and creativity, making the best of new realizations around the most intimate relationships in the home environment.

Contributing to a sense of security within the immediate home environment, Venus retreats into emotional, sensitive and emphatic Cancerian waters on August 7. Over the past four months, since April 3, Venus has been transiting through restless, on the move Gemini. This has played a major role in the choice many people have made to dismiss safety warnings around COVID-19. However, from the astrological perspective it makes perfect sense, as Venus in Gemini has encouraged socialization and travel.

As Venus enters Cancer, more than likely, there will be an obvious shift toward retreat and protection. Venus remains in safety oriented Cancer until September 6. This will take us through the remaining weeks of summer vacation, and lay the groundwork for home as a safe haven. However, it is still a stretch for many individuals and families to juggle the responsibilities of home, work and school including the financial strains of the social and economic environment.

The Leo New Moon on August 18 plants the seeds for new beginnings based on these recent months of stay at home introspection. The last few days before this New Moon, Mercury conjoins Sun in Leo, all in harmony with Mars. This shows rare potential for breakthroughs of the most positive sort in terms of esteem, confidence and self expression.

Recently, on May 5, the lunar nodes shifted from Cancer/Capricorn to North Node in Gemini, and South Node in Sagittarius. This is a major energetic shift, and this Leo New Moon is in harmonious configuration with the lunar nodes furthering the next stages of expanding evolution. It can be helpful to contemplate answers to questions such as, “Who am I now?” And, “In what ways am I being called to authentically contribute for the good of all?”

Finally, Mercury enters Virgo on August 19, followed by the Sun entering Virgo on August 22. Again, the earth element predominates, bringing realistic and practical issues to the forefront, especially in the areas of health, hygiene and nutrition. Industrious and dedicated to service, perhaps the Virgo influence can help turn the corner in the health care crisis due to the pandemic. Energetically, Virgo informs, educates and supports the personal lifestyle choices that are essential for a healthy society.

How to sum up August? On one hand, we're traveling at warp speed, God only knows where. On the other hand, it's a month of hurry up and wait. Similar to the impossible task of trying to repair a bicycle while riding at top speed, this is a month of crisis in action. Conditions demand action. In so many ways, as a society we can't afford to sit this one out, despite everything telling us to do so.

Finally, guidance urges me to emphasize the vital nature of acceptance. There is plenty of denial going around, but rather than brushing away or minimizing the stress, take care of yourself and those around you. Answers dwell in the potential of this enormous, multifaceted and complex paradigm shift.

In a time of collective bereavement, we are witnessing unprecedented disruption. The world, as we have known it, is falling away and transforming almost overnight. This is not the time to further complicate matters with projections and negativity, but as much as humanly possible, make the choice to respond with connection, humility, sympathy, kindness, and ultimately reverence for the vast expanse of existence, truly beyond comprehension. Remembering, as the ancient and sacred Heart Sutra intones, “Gone, gone, gone beyond. Gone beyond the beyond. Hail the goer!”

July 2020

Belinda C. Dunn

Capricorn/Cancer Full Moon Lunar Eclipse
July 5 @ 12:44 am

Mercury Direct
July 12 @ 4:27 am

Cancer New Moon
July 20 @ 1:33 pm

Welcome to the July forecast, and my annual astrological “state of the union” based on the Declaration of Independence as the inception point for the United States of America. In observing planetary trends, the majority of astrologers refer to the chart for July 4, 1776 at 5:10 pm in Philadelphia. Over the decades, this chart has proven most reliable in terms of characteristics, general trends and timing of historical events.

Red, white and blue, stars and stripes are flying high over this land of the free, waving in the early twilight. As fireworks explode, this awesome sight has been reenacted for 244 years. As the flag flies, waving above it all, the founding principles of democracy waver, floundering below in the mucky turmoil of messy affairs on earth. Storm clouds have been gathering for some time, thunder gods announce their warning, lightening flashes all around.

The country's overall destiny is illustrious, abundant, progressive and humanitarian . . . but not easy. In fact, thus far, the path has been complex, arduous and steep. How is it possible to climb the mountain to reach the stars, and actually manifest the superlative vision of life, liberty and justice for all? It is a grand experiment, and as in any experiment, it is a matter of try, try, and try again.

There are whole books written on the United States astrology chart. For purposes of this article, I am touching upon a few key points that are relative to current trends. This is by no means an exhaustive interpretation. However, as I share with clients, anything happening now is always reflected back to the basic blueprint as shown in the birth chart.

As I shared in recent articles, Venus is transiting through Gemini skies (April 3 – August 7). This lengthy stint includes a retrograde period (May 21 – June 25). Throughout these months, Venus has been activating two very important planets in the nation's chart, Uranus and Mars in Gemini. This combination enhances the out-spoken, inventive, thinking outside of the box, freedom loving nature of the populace.

Symbolized by the twins, Mars in Gemini is mentally astute, bestowing curiosity and intelligence, especially in regard to social interaction. However, Mars will fight for what it “thinks” is right, and Mars in Gemini has a propensity for tense debate, heated arguments, and blind allegiance to unfounded information. Additionally, the nation's Mars is prominent in the area of the general public, partnerships and open conflict.

Another dimension to this complicated configuration shows Mars in very stressful alignment with Neptune, lending itself to false narratives, manipulation, propaganda, subterfuge and other forms of deceit and faulty thinking. This combination also intensifies emotional response, giving rise to extreme and dramatic displays of patriotism. Historically, this planetary combination has manifested in a multitude of ways.

Now, fast forward to 2020. Embracing the positive evolutionary potential of Gemini, the twins can look toward each other, and discover ways to connect based on similarities rather than differences. For example, the observant twins can see through and beneath skin color to find their common humanity. The twins can approach daily interactions with an open attitude of considerate and kind curiosity.

Thanks to Venus in Gemini, this attitudinal shift is very visible now; it is to be encouraged. Instead of fanning the flames of division, it is advisable to fan the flames of warm caring and heartfelt connection. Together with Mars, Venus is speaking truth to power, bringing many underlying conditions to the surface, specifically around relationships, and the essential need for honest and transparent communication.  Together with Uranus, Venus is addressing social issues in unprecedented and surprising ways.

In many ways, this combination is like a pressure cooker, volatile and difficult to contain. Along with the North Lunar Node in Gemini, the growth potential supports shaking up established points of view, non-biased sharing of ideas, innovating solutions for the collective good, creating community alliances, translating and integrating new perspectives into daily conversation.

For purposes of this article and July's planetary trends, let's consider slowly moving Pluto, orbiting at the outer reaches of our solar system. In 1776, Pluto was in Capricorn in the area of possessions and monetary wealth. When early settlers arrived on this continent, they recognized an abundance of natural resources to own, possess, develop, and take advantage of. In no time, the dark side of Pluto became the order of the “new world.” Greed, avarice, brutality and cruelty gained a foothold. A social order based on hierarchy, power, control and domination quickly became the order of business, and the nation has been fighting this battle ever since.

Astrologers track cycles, and since Pluto has a 246 year orbit, it is returning to the exact position of the country's founding. A planetary return of this magnitude is always proceeded by breakdown of the established order, closure and completion. The Pluto return will be exact three times in 2022.

Meanwhile, Saturn and Jupiter are currently transiting through Capricorn. Like a perfect storm of gigantic proportions, these planets are manifesting the conditions for a systemic breakdown to ultimately lay the ground for a complete restructuring over a period of the next five years. It is interesting to note that Saturn conjoined the USA Pluto on February 23, and will again cross this sensitive point on August 4 and November 20. As 2020 draws to a close, Jupiter conjoins Pluto for the final pass on December 7.

Considering these long term trends as well as more immediate trends, July is an especially important month. Not only is Mercury retrograde in Cancer, but the Lunar Eclipse on July 5, exactly conjoins and activates the nation's core identity and destiny as shown by Sun in Cancer along with three other planets, Venus, Jupiter and Mercury. Since Cancer is the zodiac sign of safety, security, home and family, issues that have been put on the back burner in the immediate threat of a pandemic, are now arising front and center.

It is during July when the pressing issues of the economy, personal finances, employment and housing come to the forefront. Whether we welcome it or not, like it or not, basic survival needs surge into plain view. Saturn is retrograde, and has slipped back into Capricorn until late December. As the taskmaster planet, Saturn tends to restrict and delay, implying a need to pull back, cut back. Remember, these trends are part of an enormous reset that cannot happen overnight, but will require fortitude, discipline and sacrifice.

Occurring at a very critical time with so many essential matters hanging in the balance, the current Mercury retrograde is especially important. Going direct on July 12, Mercury conjoins Jupiter in the United States chart. While this implies talk of another infusion of cash into the system, it also stimulates generosity and goodwill. However, Jupiter is prone to excess, and some rhetorical voices may fuel false hope and unfounded optimism. Coming into balance means accepting Saturn's limitations while encouraging Jupiter's enthusiasm and confidence in positive outcomes.

The current Mercury cycle is very dynamic. Big decisions are in process, big moves are underway. Due to the retrograde phase, Mercury is in stressful alignment with Mars throughout July, exact on the 8th and 27th. There is a lot of pressure here. Many individuals and groups will attempt to fight, force and argue their way through necessary changes. Outspoken and loud voices can drown out the voices of reason and restraint. The lazy days of summer are hard to come by, the heat is on.

Charging forward, no matter what, Mars entered Aries on June 27, and will remain in Aries for the remainder of the year. This lengthy transit is due to an upcoming Mars retrograde this autumn. In harmony with Venus throughout the month, these planets support creative solutions, especially when people work together. Artfully crafted alliances can push through barriers and overcome hurdles. On the flip side, there will be those individuals making unilateral, snap decisions without considering repercussions. Overall, these planets stimulate spontaneous action, along with surprising twists and turns, but with a majority of planets retrograde, it is essential to consider long term repercussions, even in the heat of the moment.

Finally, on July 20, a New Moon sets the stage for a new cycle. In the zodiac sign of Cancer, this New Moon is in exact opposition to the Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto alignment in Capricorn. Oppositions catalyze crisis with a tendency to polarize in one direction or the other. Deeply rooted survival and tribal instincts are pervasive in the “us vs. them” mentality, keeping humanity stuck in the past.

Culminating this year, the rare historical conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto has a distinct planetary signature. Long standing conditions, in place for years, decades and generations, are erupting in “enough is enough!” A pervasive aura of threat and trauma has left many people feeling as though they are backed into a corner. Jupiter and Saturn are social planets, providing the glue of agreed upon beliefs and laws, holding society together. Pluto is the planet of death and rebirth. Purging and churning, inequities and injustice beg to be addressed.

The necessity to work together, get real, effectively address challenges, overcome obstacles, and administer aid to those in need is a heavy weight on the country. Sometimes things don't make sense, many times there are no readily available solutions. But the starting point is seeing others not as statistics or objects, but as people with similar needs, hopes and aspirations.

Consider for a moment the early founders at the time of the Declaration of Independence. White and wealthy, privileged and patriarchal, they did the best they could with the mindset of the time, a mindset that is very difficult to fathom now. They weren't perfect, but thinking outside the box of previous possibility, they carved new idealistic principles into the halls of history. Carried around the world, these ideals are embodied in the Statue of Liberty on the shores of America, the melting pot of the world.

Something profound is happening on planet Earth. Each of us are being asked to participate in an upgrade of gigantic proportions, a  complete reconfiguration of meaning and purpose. This is an opportunity to imagine anew, and challenge the unconscious assumptions that have led us to this point.

This is not a dead end, but civilization will be held hostage until the true lessons are grasped. These lessons are not as apparent outwardly, even though many fingers are pointed out there. These are the eternal lessons of the human heart and spirit, clearly visible for those that turn within. Receptive, still, listening . . . the true love is waiting with answers that will blow our minds, break open the boxes, and lead the way out of discord into the true meaning of being human.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 40 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. PHONE: 828-215-2101  EMAIL: belinda@astrodelight.com

June 2020
Belinda C. Dunn

Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse/Full Moon
June 5 @ 3:12 pm

Mercury retrograde
June 18 @ 12:58 am

Summer Solstice
June 20 @ 5:43 pm

Cancer Solar Eclipse
June 21 @ 2:41 am

Neptune retrograde
June 23 @ 12:32 am

Venus direct
June 25 @ 2:48 am

It's June! Schools out, and summer fun is underway. . . well, almost. What strange times we live in. Contradictory and confusing information weighs heavy on the mind and heart. It is very tempting to just throw up our hands and wish it all away. Setting boundaries,  clearing the mind, grounding in present moment awareness, perhaps to some extent this is the most healing response.

Living in harmony with cosmic perspective is possible, so let's take an in-depth look at current trends which include a lunar eclipse, solar eclipse, Mercury retrograde, Neptune retrograde, summer solstice and Venus direct!

Taken as a whole, June is a pivotal month of stops and starts, ups and downs. We don't have to visit the beach to ride the waves. Mind spinning and mind blowing, these weeks call forth a cautious pause for reflection and careful planning. Due to the current social environment, people will be having a variety of diverse responses, therefore, it is essential to weigh all facts, and proceed accordingly.

On June 5, right from the get go, a Lunar Eclipse/Full Moon plays a key role in exposing underlying issues. Since the Moon's orbit is inclined by about five degrees to the ecliptic, the nodes are points in space where the Moon's orbit crosses the ecliptic, heading north (north node), and heading south (south node).

Occurring  approximately every six months, eclipses are the result of an exact alignment of Sun, Moon and Earth to the point that a shadow is cast, darkening the light of the Sun (solar eclipse), or Moon (lunar eclipse). Essentially, the lunar nodes are mystical points, representing the dynamic interplay of luminary cycles upon our planet.

As mentioned in last month's article, the lunar nodes shifted into Gemini/Sagittarius on May 4, where they will remain for the next 18 months. Due to an 18.6 year cycle, the last time the North Node entered Gemini was October 2001, one month after 9/11, when the country was immersed in the aftermath of major destruction and recovery efforts.

It is fascinating to note similar themes emerging now. Together, lunar nodes and eclipses are upgrading the lesson plan, changing the narrative while next steps in evolutionary potential are brought down to earth.

North Node in Gemini underscores the necessity for straight forward, simplified and clear communication of factual information as the growth point. South Node in Sagittarius amplifies hindrances, dogma, habits and blind spots no longer serving positive growth potential. As so many problems arise due to tainted and distorted communication, this is a major development.

Let's zero in on this lunar eclipse with Sun in Gemini and Moon in Sagittarius. Watch for major themes to come roaring into plain view, themes that will continue to be unraveled and unveiled for the remainder of this year and into 2021.

This is an especially potent and consequential eclipse for the nation. Firstly, the current president was born on a lunar eclipse in Gemini/Sagittarius. Secondly, these points energize the nation's astrology chart in conjunction with Mars in Gemini, and ascendant in Sagittarius.

While there will be numerous repercussions, one of the most problematic can involve the politicization of essential information. For example, the pandemic response has been riddled with misrepresentation and misinterpretation, another fight between the parties for the upper hand. Pointless blaming and projection is not contributing to solutions. Frankly, as an astrologer reading the energies, this has to stop. As people's lives and livelihood are on the line, the on-going war of words only undermines public confidence in government.

Along with these factors, June begins with Venus retrograde in Gemini, conjoining the Sun on June 3. A potent start to a month of revelation, it is all about listening deeply, tapping into the heart of hearts. Game playing is over, either one's heart is in it, or not. This applies to relationships, situations, or projects.

Shifting perspective, losing interest, difference of opinion; all these can all add up to fundamental adaptations in long range plans as summer months unfold. Venus will go direct on June 24, freeing up energy, signaling forward momentum based on previous weeks of in-depth soul searching for meaning and relevance within the constructs of daily life.

This brings us to a very important factor in June's forecast, Mars transits in Pisces until June 27. Additionally, Mars conjoins Neptune in Pisces mid-month. Not only does Mars the doer meet Neptune the dissolver, but Moon in Pisces energizes the combination. Thus, June 12-14 can be an emotionally trying weekend. As though treading water, it may be hard to grab onto some semblance of reality. Individually and collectively, literally and figuratively, this can produce a deep surrender, a rare on the knees moment.

Another note on Neptune in Pisces (2012 – 2025), this long term transit is testing reality in a multifaceted way. For example, how much attention is being given to the glamorous and illusory world of the media including films, television, video games, social media, etc. A world unto itself, how much of it is a distorted version of that which is tangible and real?

In general, Neptune's influence is subtle, mostly ignored and denied, but the low side of Neptune is escapism. Taking many forms, this lowest and most destructive side of Neptune supplants integrity and other positive aspects of character. This slippery slope of downward descent leads to avoidance of responsibility, projections, entitlement, addictions, substance abuse, and ultimately victimization of self and others.

Energized by a square from Venus for most of May, and now energized by Mars, Neptune themes are compelling and visible. Recently, in trying to describe it all with a family member, the word, “flummoxed” floated out of my childhood memory bank. It is an old fashioned world that I recall grandparents using. Just the sound of it rings true. So I looked it up, and the definition is simply “confused.”

So, with an outer reality that is confusing, vacillating, changing by the day, on June 23, from our vantage point on Earth, Neptune goes retrograde for many months, until late November. This signifies an erosion of unrealistic goals that are based on fantasy or false ideals. Neptune's influence tends to be persuasive and emotionally charged, but when retrograde, the mask comes off, illusions are unveiled, swept away, and a more practical course of action can be revealed.

Considering the pervasive influence of Neptune over recent months, coming to a critical head this month and next, it is helpful to remember that Neptune is a planet of extremes. Most people I speak with are experiencing the dreamy, surreal, disoriented, bizarre, otherworldly qualities of Neptune. However, as Neptune dissolves the boundaries of everyday consciousness, it is easier to access altered perception and unfettered inspiration. Numinous, mystical and poignant, new vistas break forth to reveal the big picture, cosmic perspective.

Mercury begins a 23 day retrograde phase on June 18th, closely followed by summer solstice on the 20th, within hours of a solar eclipse just after midnight on the 21st. The shift will be palpable and apparent as all these factors take place in Cancer, the zodiac crab. Just the symbol is telling in that the crab is industrious, scurrying around in wide open space until it senses danger, making an instantaneous retreat into safety. This instinct to defend and protect is at the core of this zodiac sign, and its domain of home and family.

Therefore, by month's end, it will be interesting to see where authorities stand on reopening businesses, and the public's response. These trends imply an atmosphere of caution continuing to inform decisions. Safety and survival are inextricably linked, and many issues will come to the forefront such as employment, finances, housing, food, and other basic necessities, across the board.

The shocking and disastrous reality of a global pandemic has been a hard pill to shallow, calling forth resilience and adaptation. These final days of June suggest a deeper, more serious reality setting in. For the most part, now that immediate danger and initial shock is wearing off, many families, communities, states and nations will be scrambling to get ahead of the curve.

However, June begins with four planets retrograde, and concludes with five planets retrograde. Retrogrades are not to be feared, although they imply an abrupt halt to forward momentum. At a time when so many people desperately need relief and positive reinforcement, this can be especially challenging, but retrogrades serve a purpose in winnowing options, and clarifying decisions. A retrograde season suggests that effective solutions for the many problems that “plague” society, can only be solved through careful planning, patience, discipline and reserve.

Finally, on the very last day of June, Jupiter makes its second conjunction with Pluto. This year long transit was exact on April 4, and will be exact again for the third and final time on November 12. The expansive wisdom of Jupiter meets the toxic shadows of Pluto. All is being brought to the light in a dramatic display of power struggles and power plays. The stark contrast between the objectives of the “little me,” or the “collective we,” is more apparent.  The true meaning of empowerment is calling each of us, through our unique set of life circumstances, to higher ground. Together we can move mountains.

May 2020
Belinda C. Dunn

Taurus/Scorpio Full Moon
May 7 @ 1:45 am

Gemini New Moon
May 22 @ 7:38 am

I sit here drawing a blank. What can I share from the astrological perspective that may dispel worry, alleviate despair, enlighten hearts, and promote optimism? From personal conversations to media broadcasts to YouTube, the uppermost question is repeated, “How long will this last?” And for those of us with spiritual inclinations, “Is there something for people to learn from this experience?” While solutions for the pandemic are debated, life goes on, and planetary cycles deliver the timing.

Always a busy season, spring is “normally” filled with hope and promise. Graduations take place like clockwork, gardens are planted, summer wedding plans are finalized, family reunions and exciting trips are on the calendar. The out and about, enthusiastic tone of May is palpable, but clearly, it's a new world out there. On the cosmic calendar, significant energetic shifts are scheduled, and being conscious of these trends can help us ride these immense waves of transformation.

A fundamental shift begins on May 4. The Moon's nodes are transitioning from the zodiac axis of Cancer/Capricorn to Gemini/Sagittarius. Potent and mystical, the nodes are points in space where the Moon's orbit crosses the ecliptic plane of the Sun. Having an 18.6 cycle, the nodes are not static, but connected to the eclipse cycle in that Sun, Moon and Earth align to manifest solar and lunar eclipses. The next series of eclipses are set to occur next month, therefore this nodal shift presages the powerful eclipses of June/July. More on this next month.

For now, let's consider the meaning of North Lunar Node in Gemini, and South Lunar Node in Sagittarius. This is especially important in that solar and lunar eclipses will be activating these zodiac signs through 2021. Therefore, for the next several years, social themes revolve around travel, immigration, migration, connection, education and belief systems.

The south lunar node in Sagittarius will shine a light on distorted beliefs, dogma, arrogance and righteousness. The north lunar node in Gemini encourages logic, listening, curiosity, and connecting with others based on similarities rather than differences. There is potential for minds to open, shifting perspective enough to see other points of view. Considering where we find ourselves now, this can be a very helpful and supportive trend.

Next up is the Full Moon on May 7. With Sun in Taurus and Moon in Scorpio, the annual Wesak festival is celebrated around the globe. This is an especially receptive, mystical and auspicious week for spiritual guidance. The veiled boundaries between dimensions dissolve, and the full illumination of the Moon shines wisdom upon the Earth. An optimal time for spiritual practice, higher vibrations are easily accessed for embodied manifestation. If you would like more information, please email for my article, “The Sacred Wesak Festival.”

Available for the asking, expanded perspective and enlightened guidance can make all the difference in the world. As the week of May 10 begins, three planets are stationary, beginning retrograde phases. Saturn goes retrograde on May 10. Venus on May 12, and Jupiter on May 14. Thus, this week may bring reversals and change of plans.

Given current circumstances, this suggests the necessity of stepping back for purposes of re-evaluation, and very importantly, integration. Up to this point, many strategies have been debated and presented in the face of a rapidly unfolding crisis. Now it's time to take a deep breath, and hopefully aim for a more unified approach.

Let's consider each planetary retrograde, one by one, keeping in mind that each planet works on many levels, personally and collectively.

First of all, on an annual basis, Saturn goes retrograde for approximately four months. This year, Saturn is retrograde from May 10 – September 29. This lengthy pause is a time for review and reorganization of goals. Some projects may fall away, while other projects benefit from improved organization.

Attitude is all. It is helpful to define one's role, and take personal responsibility in realistic ways. This is not “pie in the sky” idealism, but a reasonable down to earth assessment. Accepting limits, and working within those parameters, can make all the difference between success and failure. Strong words . . . but Saturn is the planet of dharma and karma.

In her book, “Retrograde Planets,” astrologer Erin Sullivan gives helpful advice on Saturn retrograde. “One is forced to come to terms with one's inability to control one's environment, and becomes acutely aware of a diminution of ego power. With rearrangement of time and priorities, and after quiet withdrawal, one often finds considerable peace of mind – either because one feels the difficult time is over, or because one has reached the realization that such a profound need for change much be contemplated slowly and with great reserve.”

Next, let's consider Venus, the planet of artistry, love and relationship. Due to this retrograde phase, Venus is transiting through Gemini for many weeks (April 4 – August 8). In Gemini, Venus encourages loving kindness, civility, cooperation, and shared creativity. Symbolically, the Gemini twins can turn toward these virtues, or turn away, and the contrast may be quite evident during May.

When Venus goes retrograde on May 12, a variety of issues will come to the forefront for resolution. Since Venus is the planet of relationship, there can be an abrupt turning away from a particular relationship that may be unsustainable in the long run.

In general, Venus retrograde implies a need to step back and evaluate one's connections and participation. In a very obvious way, decisions for getting back to “business as usual” will be diverse. Given that economic and social pressures are immense and growing daily, Venus in Gemini can facilitate networking and the mobilization of human potential for the common welfare of all.

On May 14, Jupiter is the third planet to begin a retrograde phase, remaining  retrograde until September 12. As the largest planet of the solar system, Jupiter governs the principle of expansion, progress and growth. This retrograde implies a dwindling of enthusiasm for what has come before.

Last month Jupiter conjoined Pluto in Capricorn, and the largest stimulus package in history was initiated. This retrograde period suggests the necessity to narrow the focus, rein in spending, eliminate waste, moderate expectations, and implement concrete strategies for future sustainability.

The joining of Jupiter and Pluto throughout 2020, signals a crisis in resources. For example, it is imperative to address the mining of wealth below the surface of Earth in the form of fossil fuels. As Earth Day reached the historic landmark of 50 years, a new documentary was released, “Planet of the Humans.” Very revealing, it discloses the  current status of alternative fuel sources while presenting a powerful message.

Together, Jupiter and Pluto wield massive power for good or ill. They will conjoin two more times this year, late June, and mid-November. In vedic astrology, Jupiter is literally called “Guru,” energetically bestowing guidance, wisdom and illumination. Pluto is god of the underworld. Therefore, on a symbolic level, the ancient, perennial wisdom is meeting the shadows, confronting the darkness, transforming soul and spirit. This is a test of integrity, responsibility and ethics. Those on the right side of history will find many opportunities to make a difference.

Working together during the week of May 10, Saturn, Venus and Jupiter, all stationary retrograde, imply an abrupt halt to forward movement along with the necessity to rethink just about everything. Repercussions will be numerous and far reaching: personally, nationally, globally.

Adding dimension to this poignant picture, Venus is going retrograde at 21 degrees Gemini. In the United States astrology chart, this is the exact degree of Mars. This is a dramatic choice point for the country.  More than likely, significant events will test the very fabric of the country's mindset and belief system. Mars in Gemini can easily get embroiled in controversial arguments, and dead-end debates. On the other hand, if necessary, Mars in Gemini will fight for truth and justice.

This week was already standing out in my analysis for May, but even more so, when I noticed that key elements in Trump's astrology chart (Sun/North Node/Uranus), precisely line-up to be activated by this Venus. Then I came across the information that oral arguments concerning Trump's bid to shield his financial records will be presented in the Supreme Court, beginning on May 12. Additionally, there is a case on the electoral college, and those electors who attempted to vote for candidates other than the candidate who won their state.

For a variety of reasons, astrological and mundane,  the United States is experiencing one of the most perilous and polarizing times in its history. Given that Trump is one of the most polarizing figures to dwell in the White House, this alignment may activate a breakthrough in relations; love is stronger than hate. Is Trump a con man or savior? Only the history books will live to tell the story.

A Gemini New Moon is scheduled for May 22. Gemini is the zodiac sign of short journeys, neighbors, relatives, networking, education and communication. As an air sign, Gemini is also restless, bored easily, and prefers to be on the go. As of this writing, this New Moon along with Venus retrograde in Gemini, is probably the lifting of stay-at-home guidelines, timing for the reopening of businesses, and other measures to stabilize and return systems to some degree of function. However, the dual nature of Gemini strongly suggests a wide range of protocol and response.

There is one more key ingredient in this forecast, and this is Mars transiting into Pisces on May 13. Mars will remain in Pisces for the next 6 weeks, until June 27. Be on the lookout for glamour and sensationalism to be kicked up and whipped up. On the public stage, there are voices and forces that prefer to distract, confuse and misinform for purposes of promoting their own agenda.

In its more positive expression, Mars in Pisces is compassion personified. Addressing widespread suffering, many heroes are rising to the occasion in selfless service. Mars in Pisces also supports profound breakthroughs in consciousness as the ulterior motives of ego suddenly fall away to reveal pristine grace. Around the world, meditations and prayers are cutting through illusion, permeating density, uplifting minds and hearts for the moment at hand.

Finally, the astrology chart for the New Moon shows Saturn in Aquarius in harmony with Sun/Moon in Gemini. These zodiac signs are airy, light, free, social and inclusive. This is the month to break out of boxes, learn, adapt, change and grow.  Let's not forget, it is spring, and the winds of change are blowing; precious air, the atmosphere of planet Earth, the breath of life itself. Wafting fragrance . . . pause . . . stop. . . beauty is everywhere.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 40+ years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. For a full listing of services, check out: www.astrodelight.com

April 2020
Astrologer Belinda C. Dunn

Libra/Aries SuperMoon Full Moon
April 7 @ 10:35 pm

Aries New Moon
April 22 @ 10:25 pm

A hopeful perspective for current planetary trends can be summed up in the common adage, “April showers bring May flowers.” Surely, there has to be a rainbow somewhere in this “perfect storm” of global proportions. With this in mind and heart, let's take a closer look at the planets, their timely messages, and the portent of dawning light on the horizon.

Rumbling, invisible, beneath the surface of everyday awareness, storms of epic proportions have been brewing for months, if not years. Humans share this planet with a multitude of life forms, including the invisible world of microscopic existence. From the infinitesimal to the gigantic, Earth is host planet for a vast array of creation. From a planetary perspective, this is the vantage point of Neptune, and its long term transit through Pisces (2012 – 2025).

The activation of these underlying conditions have been accentuated by Mercury's retrograde transit through Pisces, the zodiac sign of seclusion and retreat, including the places where people go for recuperation (sanctuaries, hospitals, prisons). The evolutionary lessons of Pisces, and its 12th house association, generally take the form of unforeseen troubles, setbacks and confinement. Resistance only makes matters worse. Relaxing, yielding to what is, opens the space for faithful introspection and healing.

Mercury went direct on March 9, timed exactly as the week of major disclosure when the  World Health Organization announced a global pandemic. Now, with Mercury on board, immediate action is being taken to contain the virus, educate the public, and implement solutions. Mercury joins Neptune on April 3,  continuing its long stint in Pisces until April 11, at which time, Mercury enters Aries, signaling a rebirth of sorts, auspiciously timed with Easter, a celebration of resurrection.

The other ingredient in this perfect storm is the on-going planetary alignment in Capricorn. For years astrologers have been contemplating the possibilities in the once every 37 years joining of Saturn and Pluto. Within orb of influence throughout 2019-2020, the exact alignment was January 12, three days after the Covid-19 virus was named and made public.

Pluto, mythical god of the underworld, is associated with the life and death potential of viruses, epidemics and pandemics. Typically hidden beneath the surface, but when aroused, Pluto's action tends to be catalytic, drastic, obsessive, compulsory and life altering. Strong immune systems include effective boundaries, and it important to guard against contamination, as well as getting caught up in mass hysteria.

Adding another major planetary player to this complex mix, Jupiter's transit through Capricorn is exposing, expanding, spreading and amplifying existing conditions that have remained hidden up to this point. In fact, on April 4, Jupiter exactly conjoins Pluto, and the perfect storm is raging, out in plain view to be addressed, dwelt with, and lived through.

Across a vast array of social systems, on-going repercussions will continue to roll out as Jupiter joins Pluto this month, and again in June and November. Describing this trend in her eloquent words, astrologer Pam Younghans writes, “Jupiter's magnifying glass is trained on all that has been exposed through the Saturn-Pluto alignment, making sure that we fully dismantle structures of the past and clear the way for a new future that is unfettered by what has come before. Pluto is acting as the rototiller, digging out the deep roots of weeds that have effectively been strangling the more positive potentials and the resources needed for germination and growth.”

All things considered, perhaps the silver lining in this dark cloud is Saturn's propensity for containment, limitation, caution, austerity and discipline. All hands on deck, Saturn can help mobilize resources needed to mitigate the virus while conveying the very real and stark message of global connectivity.

As of March 23, Saturn entered Aquarius, the zodiac sign of world community. On March 30, Mars entered Aquarius, conjoining Saturn on the 31st. Thus, April begins with this unmistakable and insistent planetary pronouncement that it's time to heed warnings, and take effective measures to address numerous crises sprouting up like weeds around the globe. This is a game changer.

Aquarius is the zodiac sign of community based on the organization of individuals with common goals and interests. It is right and natural for people to discover and cultivate a sense of belonging. This includes the freedom and permission for each person to be unique, giving rise to the ideal of “unity within diversity.”

However, even though Aquarius enhances connectivity, Aquarius tends to be detached, cool and reserved. Almost overnight, the reality of “social distancing,” has rapidly soared into public awareness. In mass, people are turning to technology for connection, an obvious sign of trends to come as Saturn transits through Aquarius (2020 – 2023).

The planetary ruler of Aquarius is Uranus, the planet of technology, science, invention and progress. In its thirty year orbit, Saturn's entrance into Aquarius is closing the door on the past, heralding a new way of living and being on planet Earth.

While Capricorn is the zodiac sign of tradition and the foundations upon which society stands, Aquarius looks to the future. Even though there is a plethora of dystopian/utopian viewpoints, for the most part, these are fearful projections onto an uncertain future. Humans can hide their heads in the sand, and conjure up doomsday scenarios, but at this point, no one person definitely knows what the future will bring. This can be nerve wracking and scary, but with a good dose of curiosity, living on the cutting edge can be extremely freeing and exhilarating.

In terms of COVID-19, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, an enthusiastic spokesperson for science, recently commented that this pandemic is a “massive experiment worldwide as to whether people will pay attention and listen to the scientists, in this case, medical professionals.” The ranting and raving of politicians is pointless, if rational facts are disregarded. Whether the challenge is a pandemic, climate change, pollution, poverty, addiction (fill in the blank), Saturn's transit in Aquarius can be summed up as, “may cooler heads prevail.”

The Full Moon on April 7-8 is a SuperMoon, and heightened emotions bring relationship issues to a head. Sun in Aries supports self-reliance, independence, and bold action. On the other hand, Moon in Libra encourages a judicious pause in order to consider the perspective of those around you. Creating an environment where all viewpoints are given expression can enhance and harmonize every relationship.

However, especially given current circumstances, this Full Moon has a shadow side as Sun activates Eris, a recently discovered dwarf planet named after the goddess of discord. Together, Sun and Eris intensify many of the evolutionary lessons that are currently plaguing humanity. First and foremost, narcissism and self centered greed is rampant while many of earth's citizens are barely getting by, existing in very vulnerable conditions.

This said, survival instincts are hard-wired, and sometimes the best choices may appear to be selfish. Entire families, cities, states and countries are being forced by circumstances to juggle responsibilities, and make very hard decisions. These trends are supportive to the underlying message of Capricorn which cautions excess, while accepting ethical, moral and social responsibility for the good and benefit of society as a whole. In other words, we're all in this together.

Another very important planetary trend begins on April 3. Venus, the planet of love, companionship, beauty and artistry enters Gemini. Due to a retrograde phase, Venus will spend all of spring and most of summer in Gemini. This is a long stint for Venus, underscoring the  basic human need for connection, especially collaboration, and the creative exchange of information and ideas.

Curious, restless and sociable, Venus in Gemini is inclined to travel, converse, learn, and explore. Considering the current restrictions on travel, it will be interesting to see how plans change, and what's in store for summer months. More than likely, overseas and long distance travel will be halted or curbed substantially, but Gemini is about short distance travel, such as exploring local surroundings. As a mother and grandmother, I recall taking many walks with a toddler. Every little leaf, stick, bug and rock becomes a reason to stop, and enjoy the sights.

In addition to Venus in communicative Gemini, Mars is transiting through Aquarius all month, until May 13. Female and male, yin and yang, love and sexuality, Venus and Mars are the relationship planets. In this case, they are in harmony with each other. This supportive trend is a big help as masses of people retreat to their homes, and aim to co-exist in relative peace. Working together, Venus and Mars  can unleash massive creativity.

Observed annually for the past fifty years, Earth Day is April 22. On this evening a New Moon in Taurus exactly aligns with Uranus, giving pause in mankind's relentless drive for acquisition, rooted in dissatisfaction and self interest.

In the spring of 1970, Earth Day was established and honored as a result of man's first Moon landing. Describing the view from space, astronauts tell of discovering the Earth for the very first time, and “at that moment everything changed.” Words can never fully describe the awesome and spectacular view, but astronauts brought back photos of this beautiful, glowing, blue-green planet, photos that have been shared around the globe.

That spring the Environmental Protection Agency was voted into existence along with many other local and global initiatives for the health and preservation of natural habitats. For five decades humans have been at odds, wasting time, wasting resources, arguing for or against, many pleading on behalf of Earth. But most measures to protect this fragile planet have fallen on deaf ears, and stone cold hearts. Sadly, for the most part, people have continued to take advantage of Earth's generous and forgiving nature.

Uranus transits through Taurus until 2025, just a few years, a small window of time, a window not unlike the view from a space. Uranus in Taurus has the potential of connecting each of us to Earth in a new way. Many of us are feeling and experiencing this connection as a tangible grounding in love and appreciation for our planet.

On a personal note . . . as readers know, I have been writing about an approaching major planetary alignment since 2012, but especially last year as Saturn and Pluto began to exactly conjoin. Last autumn, in the middle of researching 2020, out to lunch with close friends, they asked about 2020. For some reason, I recall that moment so clearly in that I was speechless, shaking my head, and a heavy dread came over me. All I could say was, “I don't like it.”

Earlier this week, my daughter asked me about astrology trends in regard to the pandemic. It is always my goal to simplify and translate the more complex terminology for friends, family, clients and readers. What follows, in abbreviated form, was my explanation to her, and hopefully, it is helpful to share with readers now.

We live in a cosmos of cycles upon cycles upon cycles. Our Earth, Sun and Moon, each planetary body, every star and every galaxy, has an established cycle in ordered synchronicity with each other. Over thousands of years, astrologers have observed and notated these patterns in terms of effect and outcomes.

So what happens when these enormous cycles coincide in exact, to the degree timing? And what planetary cycles are in evidence now? Well, here goes . . .

Pluto has a 246 year orbit. Saturn has a 29+ year orbit. The lunar nodes, which are connected to the powerful eclipse cycle, has an 18.6 year cycle. Jupiter has a 12 year orbit. Mars has a 2 year orbit. Again, what happens when these cycles come together in the same zodiac sign and exact degree as they have been doing for the past two months?  And what about the outsider, disruptive Eris, in her 515 year orbit, in stressful alignment with all of the above? What is the planetary message here? It's worth some contemplation.

After I summed up this analysis, my daughter paused asking, “Mom, if you knew this, why didn't you warn us?” To this, all I could offer was, “The nature of this planetary alignment is sudden, unpredictable, and thankfully, very rare. It won't happen again in our lifetimes.” But, when I ask myself now, I realize my gut instinct was doing overtime all last year. I felt, like so many of us, the squirmy fear and niggling dread of something big and unprecedented approaching. It has been clear for some time that society has been built on the fault lines of a house of cards.

So here and now, with a mandatory step back, and a hefty dose of Saturn on my Aquarius ascendant, it all makes sense as I return to the deep peace within the Heart of all hearts, permeating and sustaining the entire Creation. Reminding me of a favorite hit song from 1965, “To everything there is a season. . . turn, turn, turn. . . and a time to every purpose under heaven.”

Sending virtual hugs to each and everyone, with prayerful intentions for health and happiness. May ALL be well.

March 2020
Belinda C. Dunn

Virgo/Pisces Full Moon
March 9 @ 1:47 pm

Mercury Direct
March 9 @ 11:48 pm

Spring Equinox
March 19 @ 11:49 pm

Aries New Moon
March 24 @ 5:28 am

The season of renewal and rebirth is here, but not before an in-depth Spring cleaning. Clearing clutter, inwardly and outwardly, March begins with Sun, Mercury and Neptune in Pisces, the zodiac sign of surrender and purification. This is the month to sift and sort through  metaphorical, and perhaps literal garbage, in a process of intentional and conscious release. March is a bridge month, in preparation for an accelerated pace, a quickening in earthly affairs, just around the corner.

The kick-off is February 9. With Sun in Pisces and Moon in Virgo, a Full Moon lights up the landscape. This is also a SuperMoon as the Moon is in perigee, its closest approach to Earth. Implying stronger than usual reactions, the Moon's surface acts as an intermediary, reflecting back to Earth an accumulation of unresolved emotion.

Both Pisces and Virgo are driven by ideals, what is possible in a perfect world. At times, personally and collectively, the gap between ideals and reality can appear daunting, discouraging and frustrating. The planetary energies during February support the dispelling of expectations and illusions, while cultivating detachment as the cornerstone of acceptance.

At the time of this Full Moon, Sun conjoins Neptune, heightening otherworldly perception, intuition and visualization. Perhaps an appropriate analogy is the visionary process of planning a garden. Likely, in one's mind there is order and symmetry. Colors are vibrant, the plants radiate healthy vitality, even the senses get involved with the reminder of scents, and the almost tangible feel of bare feet on fresh green grass. This is the gift of imagination, an essential part of the manifestation process.

In fact, the astrology chart for the Full Moon demonstrates an overwhelming emphasis on the earth element. Four planets transit through Capricorn (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto), two planets transit through Taurus (Venus, Uranus), and Moon is in earthy Virgo. With all these planets in supportive alignment with the Sun/Neptune conjunction, the message is loud and clear, back to the drawing board, prioritizing practical matters, while bringing visions down to earth, and getting the job done.

As the reflective Full Moon shines its light overhead, on the very same evening, Mercury is going direct after three weeks in retrograde phase. This is an especially strong Mercury station point as it conjoins the USA Moon in Aquarius. Like never before in recent history, the general public is enlivened and engaged in the democratic experiment. Despite polarized opinion, controversy and dissent, even though some voices threaten to drown out others, this month is a turning point in the rehashing of recent events, especially in regard to the nation's identity and destiny.

On March 16, Mercury re-enters Pisces for the next four weeks, until April 11. Typically, as the planet of communication, Mercury prefers to to solve problems with factual analysis. Throughout February, many people experienced mind boggling overwhelm and overload as the mental state became more responsive, intuitive and sensitive. Mercury in Pisces can also be dreamy, foggy, forgetful and disinterested in worldly pursuits. As the boundaries of everyday awareness dissolve, this lengthy trend of Mercury in Pisces supports introspective soul searching in the big picture of cosmic awareness.

However, perhaps overshadowing other astrological factors this month, Mars is transiting through Capricorn. This is an exalted placement for Mars meaning Mars can function at its best in terms of accountability, productivity and achievement. For projects that require perseverance, Mars gives that extra boost of energetic momentum. Reliably, Mars is the planet that gets us up in the morning. In this case, Mars in Capricorn is very methodical, practical and realistic in setting priorities for the accomplishment of  short and long term goals.

Now, mention of Capricorn probably rings a bell as astrologers have been interpreting a major alignment of planets in Capricorn for several years. Specifically, Saturn and Pluto conjoin approximately every 37 years, and they reached exact conjunction on January 13, remaining within orb of influence for the rest of 2020. Working in tandem, these breakdown/breakthrough planets are resetting the trajectory for decades to come. Obviously, this is not an easy process, but clearly necessary at this time in history.

Astrologers keep an eye out for slow moving, long term planetary cycles as the hallmark of major social trends, especially when an alignment is activated by a faster moving planet. Firstly, in its twelve year orbit, Jupiter is in Capricorn this year, conjoining Pluto next month. Secondly, in its two year orbit, Mars will sweep over all these planets during the second half of March.

The heat really gets turned up the week of March 16, as fast moving Moon joins this planetary cluster, exactly on March 18. Thus, more than likely, a crescendo of events will come to a head. Astrologer Pam Younghans describes this planetary trend as a snowball rolling downhill, out of control, gathering momentum, growing in size with every bump, twist and turn. In this sense, Mars can activate and bring to a head a variety of circumstances that have been begging for attention, and growing in evidence.

Frankly, this clustering of planets, namely Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto, is ambitious in nature, tending to strengthen competing forces, leaning toward compulsive, impulsive, combative and aggressive actions. However, a specific reaction depends on the inherent temperament of the individual. Obviously, some people are more susceptible to the downside of this alignment than others.

It is important to state that these planets can empower the individual and groups with the courage, diligence, discipline and determination to fight and win against all odds. Across a spectrum of possibilities, no matter the situation, ethical concerns and underlying motivation is the foundation of co-creating win/win successful outcomes for all involved.

Another fascinating component of this major alignment involves the asteroids Pallas Athene and Chariklo, and the small planet Eris. All faces of the goddess, these heavenly bodies give a fuller picture, helping to soften the potentially harsh and drastic indications of current trends. Let's give each of them their due by taking them one by one.

Beginning with Pallas Athene, the patron goddess of ancient Greece, she holds a spear and shield as the wise owl sits upon her shoulder informing strategic decisions in times of war and peace. In her seminal work “Asteroid Goddess,” astrologer Demetra George describes Pallas Athene as “protectress and guardian of Athens, Pallas used her wisdom to teach the populace how to peacefully settle disputes and uphold the law by specific means. Ever compassionate in her wisdom, she was a firm advocate of merciful justice.”

The asteroid Chariklo is named after the wife of Chiron, the wounded healer. Discovered in 1997, and with an orbit of 63 years, she symbolizes the supportive strength of holding space for those in healing crisis. Chariklo facilitates breakthroughs and transformation through the dark passages. How many of us can relate to this archetype? Think of those around you, locally and globally. Sometimes the most effective response is to simply be present as a loving and grounding presence in the face of upset, crisis and change.

Last, but not least, let's consider the small planet Eris. She is approximately the size of Pluto, but denser, and orbiting beyond Pluto. Discovered in 2005, Eris is named after the goddess of discord, and the archetypal myth is extraordinarily fitting. Eris was not invited to the wedding party, because the other guests were concerned that Eris would not behave properly, but she crashed the party anyway. In angry spite, Eris threw golden apples at the other goddesses with the inscription, “For the most beautiful.” The ensuing conflict is said to have led to the Trojan War.

As an archetype, perhaps we can look to Eris as striking a deep chord of “enough is enough.” Long suppressed resentment and rage appears to be surfacing in society at large, giving voice to the other 99%. As the female warrior, Eris is reputed to fight for the neglected and disenfranchised. The rebellious side of Eris shows no restraint or tolerance for social norms, capable of throwing the proverbial Molotov cocktail, just to shake things up.

The astrology chart for Spring Equinox, exact on March 19, shows Pallas Athene and Chariklo in the Capricorn alignment. In fact, they can't be separated from the on-going trends of 2019 and 2020. Additionally, playing her role dramatically, Eris transits through Aries, in stressful alignment with this impressive cluster of planets in Capricorn. On archetypal levels, each of these goddesses contribute to the larger picture, giving a more nuanced understanding to current trends, and well worth some contemplation.

As an astrologer, I consider Spring Equinox to be the starting point for the next cycle, a new astrological year. Anything started on the Equinox has great staying power. Likened to having the wind at your back, this is the time to set intentions, undertake a discipline, focus on goals, and begin projects.

This Spring Equinox is potently fueled by the Sun joining Chiron on March 25, both transiting through Aries, the zodiac sign of rebirth and self awareness. The highest expression is not a narcissistic, obsessive selfishness, but a genuine look at personal faults and foibles, admitting powerlessness over others, along with the commitment to be the best one can be within the context of human imperfection. Herein dwells acceptance, forgiveness and healing for self and others.

The Aries New Moon on March 24 drives home these essential points while setting the stage for new beginnings. In the northern hemisphere, even the earth rejoices as winter snows melt, water flows freely, and every shade of green erupts and arises from previously dormant soil. Aries is the archetypal pioneer, instilling an atmosphere of exuberant vitality, get up and go. Inspiration plus action equals flowing manifestation.

Another major planetary transition is occurring now. On March 21, just before midnight, Saturn leaves Capricorn and transits into Aquarius. With an orbit of approximately 30 years, Saturn has been in the Capricorn sky since Winter Solstice of 2017. Due to a retrograde phase, Saturn's shift into Aquarius will take place over the course of the year, marking 2020 as an energetic bridge into the new age.

Repercussions are many as Saturn moves from traditional, structured, conservative Capricorn to inventive, eccentric, spontaneous, freedom loving Aquarius. The intersection between Capricorn and Aquarius represents the zenith of social contribution as it moves from personal ambition to group endeavor. Saturn will cross this zenith point two  more times over the course of the year (June 30 and December 17).

Not one of us lives within a vacuum, and Saturn in Aquarius has the potential of bringing people together through a synergistic blend of identity and belonging. This suggest a building of community, an inherent drive to find one's tribe. The antithesis of belonging is disconnection, exile and alienation, already present in many forms. However, as the most socially progressive of zodiac energies, Saturn's transit through Aquarius can bring people together in common purpose to address the many problems that face humanity at this historical juncture.

February 2020
Belinda C. Dunn

Leo/Aquarius Full Moon
February 9  @  2:33 am

Mercury Retrograde
February 16 @ 7:54 pm

Pisces New Moon
February 23 @ 10:32 am

February begins with a keen sense that light is on the horizon. Whether it is an ever so slight increase, such as another half hour of daylight, or an internal lightness and release of tension, this is a month to breath deep, and take advantage of winter's restful repose. Whether you are reading this article from the deck of a cruise ship, or basking in the sunshine on a remote beach, or enjoying a cup of tea in your most comfy chair at home, it is important to take advantage of this pause.

In comparison to the last six months, February's planetary energies can be likened to floating down a lazy river, enjoying the sights, and allowing crystal pure water to wash away struggle and strife. The recent conjoining of Saturn and Pluto in early January, alongside a triggering and potent lunar eclipse, was a culmination of months, if not years, of unsettling chaos and turmoil. These planetary trends have been quite demanding in a myriad of ways; personally, nationally, globally.

However, this isn't just a month of, “row, row, row your boat gently down the stream.” For challenges lie ahead, and fast moving rapids may appear around the next bend. Even though Saturn and Pluto have defined the course to a large degree, it is a matter of staying the course, alert to all possibilities, ready to dig in and do the real work.

The month begins with Sun and Mercury in Aquarius, the zodiac sign of detachment. Now it is possible to step back from the drama, and see with new eyes while recognizing the endurance, work, focus and exertion needed to positively manage and stay on top of these strenuous planetary alignments. Together, Saturn and Pluto have called forth many virtues, especially discipline. You may consider those areas of life where you have been called to set aside personal agendas, and act on behalf of the greater good. Like flashing neon lights, this resonant theme is permeating throughout society.

As far as the nation goes, this is another story. The plot continues to have many unusual twists and turns. In researching planetary trends, it is clearly evident, 2020 is a pivot point for the United States. Precisely on February 23, transiting Saturn exactly conjoins the nation's Pluto. This activation will occur two more times, August 4 and again on November 20.

Additionally, Saturn is opposing the country's Mercury, a hallmark of deep thinking, serious decisions and long term consequences, paving the way to a reset of fundamental principles. Clearly, this year that will stand out in the nation's history for decades to come.

Not only do these planetary themes resonate in the United States chart, but these trends are echoed in the president's chart. In fact, the point where Trump's karma intersects the country's destiny is clearly shown as transiting Saturn/Pluto oppose his natal Saturn/Venus throughout the year. I am staring at a computer printout giving exact dates, but suffice it to point out, whether he is removed from office through an impeachment trial, or hangs in there to run for election in November, this is a year of defeat and heartbreak for Trump.

A Full Moon on February 9 lights up the sky in early morning hours. With Moon in radiant Leo, opposing Sun in cool, calm and collected Aquarius, an enlightened perspective begins to dispel darkness. In fact, as the zodiac sign of friendship and connection, Aquarius is all about community and global networking. Informed by a prescient knowing, this Full Moon supports a conscious turn toward the future. Aquarius is all about asking questions, thinking outside of the box, discovering extraordinary answers for the problems that plague society.

Putting another fascinating twist on current events, at the time of the country's inception, the Moon was in Aquarius. In a nation's chart, the Moon represents the public, and the emotional tone of the populace. Generally, Moon in Aquarius is inclined toward free thinking, innovation, progress and autonomy. Considering the conditions under which the country came together, the call for freedom reverberated strongly in the founders' original intentions, and continues to resonate today. However, freedom is an ideal, subject to interpretation in terms of practical issues and real time. No human can really know where freedom begins or ends.

February begins with Mercury in Aquarius exactly joining the Moon of the United States. Increasingly, politicians and leaders are realizing the impeachment trial is now in the court of public opinion. It is unlikely these issues will be resolved by early February, precisely because of an upcoming Mercury retrograde. So, even though the senate may vote in favor of the president remaining in office, these issues linger as a bad taste in the mouth of the electorate.

Considering Mercury retrograde from this perspective, Mercury goes retrograde on February 16. Astrologers consider what is called the shadow of Mercury which relates to the zodiac degrees that a given Mercury retrograde transits. In terms of this current shadow phase, Mercury goes direct on March 9, exactly joining the United States Moon in Aquarius. More than likely, decisions and repercussions will  continue to roll out until the Spring Equinox can potentially reset the  narrative.

Additionally, our Sun enters Pisces on February 18, followed by a Pisces New Moon on the 23rd. Along with Mercury retrograde in Pisces, these factors can muddy the waters, and aggravate attempts for clear and decisive action. The planetary ruler associated with Pisces is Neptune, the mythological god of oceanic depths, undersea life, tidal currents, a world of its own, hidden from view, but there nevertheless.

This brings us back to the United States astrology chart. In examining current trends it is important to take into consideration the unfolding destiny as seen in a technique called progressions. In this chart, the progressed Sun is in Pisces. Over the past 4 years, transiting Neptune has been activating the country's identity as represented by the Sun. This influence is peaking over the next several months. This phase can be likened to an enormous tidal wave; swirling, churning, stirring up the sandy shore, painfully gritty, sweeping away all that has come before.

Outwardly Neptune represents the ocean. Inwardly, on a deeper level, Neptune holds sway over the ocean of emotion, and the collective unconscious. The watery influence of Neptune tends to vacillate, manifesting in extreme highs and lows. Neptune is one of the more challenging planetary trends to ride out, because emotions inform the mind, and together they are highly susceptible to manipulation, delusion and illusion. From the standpoint of astrology, these trends contribute to the bizarre, weird, irregular and aberrant nature of current conditions.

As the final sign on the zodiac wheel, Pisces illuminates the imprisoned ego, the lengths the human ego will go to defend, control and protect its own interests, to the point of its own deception, and ultimate demise; the insanity of it all within the context of a multidimensional being that just happens to have a physical body at this timely point in existence. Caught in the undertow, or riding the wave, from a mundane perspective, all this too, shall pass.

Let's take an in-depth look at this upcoming Mercury retrograde in terms of personal relevance. Beginning in February and carrying though to mid-April, Mercury will spend weeks in the zodiac sign of Pisces. This is not a strong placement for the mercurial mind that prefers to analyze and deliberate over life's decisions. On a positive side, Mercury in Pisces supports creativity, intuitive perception and spirituality. On a more troubling side, emotions can overtake common sense. This trend implies being comfortable with quiet introspection, and developing faith in things unseen.

Staying grounded is paramount and possible as Mars enters Capricorn on February 16. This is an exalted placement for Mars, the planet of action and momentum. Goal oriented and practical Capricorn gives Mars a track to run on. At the same time, Source beckons each of us to higher ground, offering the invitation to step into high and higher vibrations of divine love, given freely and available to all.

Belinda C. Dunn

Capricorn/Cancer Lunar Eclipse
January 10 @ 2:21 pm

Aquarius New Moon
January 24 @ 4:42 pm

Welcome to the new year, and the next decade! This auspicious passage is solemn, marked by the weighty and heavy concerns of a world in transition from past to future. As humanity is challenged to navigate the uncertain and potentially treacherous currents of global change, each of us are challenged to stay strong, spiritually clear, and wholeheartedly engaged in constructive participation.

The major kick-off for 2020 is Saturn's conjunction with Pluto. Exact on January 12, the meeting of these two heavyweight planets is part of an enormous cycle. While they join approximately every 37 years, the last time they joined in the zodiac sign of Capricorn was January 1518, a year characterized by the beginning stages of the Protestant Reformation.

The essential nature of this planetary conjunction requires a realistic appraisal of outdated systems along with breaking down what is no longer relevant. It is intense, complicated, undeniable and controversial. Stirring up competitive and combative forces, these planets ensure that many sectors of society cannot get away without substantial and sweeping reform. No doubt, the next decade will produce change beyond our imagination, and life on earth will look very different by 2030.

Let's consider for a moment the potent and mythical symbol of Saturn as the planet of karma, aging and the passage of time. In its positive expression, Saturn bestows discipline, patience, caution, frugality, responsibility and wisdom. The more troubling side of Saturn tends to produce rigidity, narrow-mindedness, limitations, melancholy, pessimism, greed and selfishness.

Quoting my astrology mentor Goswami Kriyananda, “Gains through Saturn are great and permanent; losses are permanent also. It is through Saturn that useless, worn-out, old forms and things of life are destroyed so the new and more useful forms can replace them The movement of Saturn is toward perfection. Through its tests, delays and disappointments, man learns to be humble, patient and wise.”

Let's consider for a moment Pluto, the mythical god of the underworld, ruling over the collective unconscious, including the shadowy depths of illegal and criminal activity. Pluto's action brings about decay, and the necessity for complete transformation. In positive expression, Pluto bestows endurance, courage, revitalization and regeneration. The lower expression of Pluto can be quite intense, stirring up fanaticism, reckless ambition, control and domination.

In contemplating the action of these planets, and especially their conjunction, I have made some observations, and many of these points overlap. This list is by no means exhaustive, or in order of importance, but represents some of the more obvious signs of this breakdown/breakthrough process.

1. First and foremost, in my estimation, is the environment. Signs of climate change are visible, scientifically measurable and clearly evident. Natural disasters are on the rise. Species are going extinct at an alarming rate, and many natural habitats are experiencing challenges counter to sustaining life. The grave reality of toxic pollution is more evident by the day.
2. Dependence on fossil fuels is a global addiction. Contributing to the problem is the greed, deception and corruption of the fossil fuel industry. Peak oil is coming. Thom Hartmann's book, “The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight,” provides an excellent, thorough, and insightful analysis into this challenge.
3. Social systems are in a state of disorganization as many ideologies and beliefs are becoming obsolete. Social media, while creating a platform for connection, is riddled with distortion and manipulation of facts for personal and political gain. New social movements are rising to the occasion, and this includes political party affiliation. Courageously facing many challenges, masses of young adults are stepping up to lead.
4. Technology is changing the marketplace and employment. A large number of people are working below their education level just to get by. Many skills are becoming obsolete, and it's essential for education to address the rising need for relevant training.
5. The era of power over, domination and control has reached a critical and fevered pitch. This includes the shadowy threat of nuclear arsenals in the hands of unstable, power hungry and tyrannical leaders. In order to survive, governments and corporations must adapt and become more receptive to the plight of the individual, families and communities they are meant to serve.
6. Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn are exposing unethical activities and practices on many levels. Society is becoming more savvy and informed in terms of this darker side of human nature, and the destructive influence on the whole.
7. Governments and corporations are top heavy, loaded down with red tape and paperwork. Laws and regulations are complex and time consuming to the point of ambiguity and ineffectiveness. This adds a complexity to what could be simple and efficient transactions for the everyday citizen.
8. The Pisces Age is rapidly drawing to a close, and institutionalized religion has been the primary moderating influence in terms of morality. As society becomes more free, in many cases, a moral degeneration is taking place, and each individual must come to terms with their own conscience, and internal guiding light. A profound soul searching is underway as individuals and groups seek higher ground.
9. On a worldwide level, the economy is a major consideration. Access to basic necessities, products and services are dependent on more equitable distribution of wealth. National debt is out of control. Financial markets are in flux, at the mercy of the daily news cycle, governments and leaders.

Where do we go from here? That is the question, but before all of this gets too overwhelming, I would like to emphasize that the overall planetary trends for 2020 offer a ray of light. The light may very well come like a lightening bolt, jolting humanity awake, but despite the obvious turmoil, there is an exhilarating, dynamic, energizing and revitalizing quality to the year as a whole. After all, “necessity is the mother of invention.”

The year begins smack dab in middle of two very profound, and potent eclipses. A Solar Eclipse in Capricorn on December 26, sets the stage with a conjunction of the Sun, Moon and Jupiter. This eclipse serves to expand and elevate conversations around law, order, justice, ethics and integrity. This is a high minded, reaching for the stars, yet feet on the ground combination.

The Lunar Eclipse on January 10, is power packed, pounding the gavel, and delivering consequences. While Jupiter acted as a protective and somewhat moderating influence during December, this Lunar Eclipse exactly aligns with the rare Saturn/Pluto conjunction that has been building throughout 2019. Significant decisions and important information will be exposed the week before and after this lunar eclipse.

Since it is the beginning of the year, and as much as I would prefer to gloss over this lunar eclipse, I would be remiss to minimize and sugarcoat the potency of this planetary alignment. More than likely, there will be extreme power plays, confrontation and explosive developments, alongside rising turbulence and social instability. All bets are off. On the personal level, this eclipse calls for caution and patient circumspection.

Even though intense and transforming events occur two weeks on either side of the exact eclipse, eclipses have long term consequences. In this case, the solar and lunar eclipses of last year (January & July), are mirrored in these eclipses, and carry forward to this coming June/July. Another way to look at it . . . the cosmos is driving home a specific evolutionary lesson, and it takes repetition for integration.

Another very significant planetary trend, exact on January 10, is slow moving Uranus is going direct. In contrast to Saturn's tendency to hold onto the past, Uranus clears the way for progress. Its influence tends to be sudden, freeing, and at times, inexplicable. The push and pull between Saturn and Uranus is one of the most important planetary interactions to embrace as humanity enters the Aquarian Age.

There will be a distinct shift by mid-January as Mercury enters Aquarius on January 16, Sun enters Aquarius on the 20th, and a New Moon sets the pace on January 20. This is quite literally a new year according to the Chinese calendar. Attention turns toward the future. The demarcation between those individuals and groups holding to the past will be in sharp contrast to those on the cutting edge. Extraordinary openings can occur for those open and receptive to progressive transformation in the areas of social justice, science, technology, spirituality and human rights.

No doubt, a Herculean task is before humanity, and Saturn's message of focus and discipline can go a long way in the manifestation of positive solutions. Take heart in the laser focus of this powerful planetary alignment in Capricorn. Each of us are being shown where the work is, and thus one's unique contribution to the whole. This is the natural flow of Capricorn to Aquarius, and how these zodiac energies compliment each other.

Most likely, the conclusion of January will look quite different from the beginning. So, right out of the starting gate, 2020 gets off to an extraordinary start. The Age of Aquarius is dawning. The positive keywords for Aquarius are egalitarian, humanitarian, unique, progressive, inventive and futuristic. Saturn enters Aquarius this coming March. Pluto enters Aquarius in 2023. In concert, they will address and ensure enormous transformation over the next decade.

December 2019
Belinda C. Dunn

Sagittarius/Gemini Full Moon
December 12 @ 12:12 am

Winter Solstice
December 21 @ 11:20 pm

Capricorn Solar Eclipse
December 26 @ 12:13 am

A new decade is ready to begin as the 11th hour looms over planet Earth. Down to the wire, basking in the glory of tremendous progress, for the most part, humanity remains clueless, in the dark of misguided creations, missing the mark over and over again. Along with auspicious celebrations giving pause for reflection, planetary patterns during December are leading into a profound reckoning that cannot be ignored or escaped.

The potential for upheaval, and the necessity for sweeping reform cannot be underestimated as Saturn approaches an exact conjunction with Pluto on January 13. Likened to an earthquake, the rumblings have been present for some time, and aftershocks will continue long after triggering events. In the zodiac sign of Capricorn, widespread dysfunction is evident throughout a multitude of systems, the very foundations that are relied upon for social organization.

Let's take December's planetary picture step by step, beginning with Jupiter's transit into Capricorn on December 2. While Saturn and Pluto represent crumbling infrastructure, rising debt, environmental degradation, lawlessness and government chaos, Jupiter enters the scene to expand awareness of these critical factors while elevating the conversation into more positive, and life enhancing directions. The ancient sanskrit word for Jupiter is “Guru.” Over the course of the next twelve months, Jupiter leads the way as wise teacher with some hard truths. Illuminating and lifting consciousness to higher ground, Jupiter is the planet of cosmic law and transcendental grace.

The month begins with Sun in Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter. Typically the holiday season leans toward extravagance with over the top decorations, rich meals, and frenzied gift buying. However, celebrations may be tempered this year. Not only are the major and influential planets of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, but Venus joins the team. As the planet of décor, adornment, gifting and beauty, Venus in Capricorn bestows a keen appreciation for the practical and useful, the traditional and austere. Quality over quantity is the Capricorn motto.

On December 9, Mercury enters Sagittarius after nine weeks in Scorpio. Completing its retrograde phase, Mercury, the messenger, is now full speed ahead with what has been revealed, and there is no turning back. Throughout October and November, this essential planet of information and communication has been excavating behind the scenes activity.

Supporting and amplifying this trend, Mars entered Scorpio on November 19, just as Mercury went direct. Mars remains in Scorpio through December, taking over where Mercury leaves off. As the planet of action, Mars will continue drilling down in its relentless search for what matters, especially in matters that have been hidden in our personal lives as well as collective experience. For example, in light of recent impeachment hearings, the revealing of hidden motives and undiscovered content will continue to unravel and be exposed. There is an intensity here, and Mars will fight for truth and justice.

The Full Moon just after midnight on December 12, shows the Sun in Sagittarius and Moon in Gemini. These zodiac signs are outgoing, active, communicative and inquisitive. A stressful aspect from Neptune has the potential to cut through smoke screens, complexity, confusion, delusions and denial. Affecting the planet, Neptune's long term transit through Pisces (2012 – 2025) is exceptionally idealistic; lending itself to false patriotic ideals, persuasive rhetoric, and emotional exploitation of the masses.

Along with the Full Moon, upping the ante the second week of December, Venus joins serious and consequential Saturn on the 11th, and penetrating and exposing Pluto on the 13th.  Airwaves will be electrified, rife with controversy, and this entire week is very decisive. It is possible for one illusion after another to tumble down as this stressful alignment can actually shake up the status quo. Perhaps I am portraying an overly optimistic picture, but the quest for truth is often riddled with a contrast of fact and falsehood, especially given current circumstances.

Winter Solstice marks the Sun's entry into Capricorn on December 21. This also shifts the emphasis to primarily earth, the most practical and realistic of elements. From Christmas Eve to New Year's Eve, our Sun joins Jupiter while harmoniously engaging Uranus. This combination provides a keen appreciation for tradition along with an exhilarating focus toward the future.

As the reality of 2020 looms large, a profound recapitulation can take place in the personal domain as well as collective experience. No doubt, this is a global evolutionary moment. Of course, there will be much contemplation, many celebrations, prayers and meditations around the globe. The tide is turning as civilization has the chance to seize the moment, and begin to positively engage the current trajectory. Momentum has been building, but the next decade is when the consequences of human activity become even more blatantly obvious and serious.

Driving home, and delivering this cosmic message is an auspicious Solar Eclipse on December 26, followed by a Lunar Eclipse on January 10. Because eclipses are so strong and definitive, I call them the exclamation points of astrological signature. In general, the thematic lessons begin to emerge a full four weeks before the first eclipse, and continue two weeks after the final eclipse. Therefore all of December, and most of January is encompassed within this eclipse season.

The line-up for the Solar Eclipse is impressive. Sun, Moon, Jupiter, South Lunar Node, Ceres, Saturn, Pluto . . . all in Capricorn. In light of this, I offer a short tutorial on this zodiac sign, considering the zodiac cycle as a symbolic portrayal of the soul's spiritual evolution through many incarnations.

Represented by the mountain goat ascending to the heights of accomplishment, Capricorn is the zodiac sign of calling and career, contribution and social participation; answering the question, “What do you do?” The answer to this question is as faceted and personal as a person's gender, age, intelligence, education, skills, talents, ambition, social status, opportunity and destiny. Many contributions are visible, out there for all the world to see, but most contributions are private, within the confines of family, work and local community.

The internal foundation for contribution depends on that most illusive and hard to define topic of character, defined in the dictionary as, “the complex of mental and ethical traits marking and individualizing a person, group or nation.” At the core of character, the majority of people can easily tap into right and wrong, moral and immoral, ethical and unethical. However, research into the psychological make-up of character suggests that a small group of people, approximately 1 in 25, do not have this barometer of what can be loosely defined as conscience.

Energetically, Capricorn exemplifies this test of character in the real world of form and function. No matter which mountain one chooses to climb, the journey requires focus and discipline, but the defining reference point can be summarized by motive.

Motivation is what gets a person up in the morning. For the majority of people, the day is about basic survival, but motivated by sharing love, making a positive difference, contributing in big and small ways. However, the range of motivation is wide, ranging all the way from unselfish altruism to self aggrandizement, with many variations in between.

So what happens when someone is motivated by desire for power and prestige, to the point they are able to sidestep any sense of conscience, willing to deceive, lie, cheat, steal? Well, turn on the news, and witness plenty of examples in the upper echelons of leadership, even to the point of promulgating contempt for the law. And, even more important, these are the leaders the masses look toward and rely upon for conscientious, wise decisions in matters they know very little about.

From the standpoint of astrology, it is not surprising to observe current events within the context of this major alignment of planets in Capricorn activated by powerful and definitive eclipses. Full blown, out in the open, it is also not surprising to witness the house of cards come tumbling down. At this point, immediate results and long turn effects are anyone's guess, but the question remains . . . how will this unfold in terms of social conscience, and practical solutions?

Standing at the apex of achievement, Capricorn is typified by worldly accomplishment. On a spiritual level, Capricorn symbolizes the humble, devoted and guileless disciple, or the wise hermit holding the lantern high, lighting the way for seekers to ascend the heights.

Fundamentally, Capricorn represents the test of incarnation, and the wisdom garnered through a multitude of lifetimes informed by a genuine and deeply abiding conscience. This is law in its most pure form. Society's laws are founded upon, and meant to be a reflection of universal law.

As 2019 draws to a close, a profound soul searching is taking place in each and every heart. Orbiting through an ineffable cosmos, spaceship Earth has a purpose beyond the little wills of men, and to quote from the Great Invocation, “The purpose which the masters know and serve.”

During this season of contemplation, I sincerely thank each of my dear readers for giving me a platform to share spirituality and astrology. In 1992, the first article appeared in print, and it has taken many forms throughout the years. Despite the heavy and serious nature of current events, it all seems so temporary, and far removed from Reality. Sitting at my desk, tuning into the universal big picture is my joyful service, because I trust in the beauty and goodness of Life itself. We're just along for the ride. May you and yours have a radiant, light and loved filled season, and see you on the other side. 2020, clear vision, here we come !!!

November 2019
Belinda C. Dunn

Scorpio/Taurus Full Moon
November 12 @ 8:34 am

Mercury Direct
November 20 @ 2:12 pm

Sagittarius New Moon
November 26 @ 10:06 am

November begins with a deep dive beneath the surface of just about everything. On Halloween, Mercury entered a 21 day retrograde period in the zodiac sign of Scorpio. Inquisitive, penetrating, fearless and determined, Scorpio leaves no stone untouched in the quest for answers. Symbolized by the detective, spy, psychoanalyst, researcher, shaman and mystic, the essential nature of Scorpio is to uncover and reveal what is typically hidden from conscious everyday awareness.

Speaking for my profession, astrology has an exceptionally profound connection to psychology, and the famed psychoanalyst Carl Jung used astrology extensively. In fact, psychology and astrology are very complementary, and fields related to psycho/spiritual growth are advancing and growing by leaps and bounds.

As Mercury transits through Scorpio until December 9, it is possible, especially with the introspection provided by a retrograde phase, to clearly see the concise and critical nature of the shadow within and without. The shadow tends to sabotage the best of intentions on the conscious level, and contains the unconscious emotions, conditioning, urges and desires that typically drive the projected personality to act out. In one of its most productive expressions, Scorpio exposes the saboteur in human nature; the reality that anyone of us can be our own worst enemy.

Getting to the bottom of mysteries is Scorpio's job, and the suspense builds the very first week of November. On November 5, the planets closely associated with Scorpio, Mars and Pluto, are in tense alignment. These two powerhouse planets will square off, intensifying power struggles, probably bringing disruption in their wake. Mars in Libra is not afraid to fight for what is true and lawful while passionately upholding justice.

Meanwhile, Pluto is plodding through Capricorn's in its slow march to expose corruption. Adding to this volatile mix, Mars and Pluto activate the trans-Neptunian planet Eris, named after the ancient goddess of chaos and disruption. At a most basic level, the first week of November is a time to choose battles wisely, and to quote from Star Wars, ”There is a disturbance in the Force.”

The second week of November begins on Veteran's Day, November 11, as Sun and Mercury conjoin in Scorpio. Acting as the messenger of solar intent, this is a significant day in any Mercury retrograde cycle. Watch for insight and revelation, those cosmic “aha” moments that serve to catalyze decisions.

This conjunction of Sun and Mercury supports and feeds into the Full Moon on November 12. The full illumination of the Moon's surface is an energetic culmination of previous weeks. When activated, our Moon is known as the luminary of emotion. Thus, as with any Full Moon, emotional reactions are intensified. It is quite common to feel overwhelmed, but it is also helpful to remember that a gut response can circumvent the mind's tendency to minimize and distract. A raw, undiluted, honest response may be out of character for the more stoic personalities, but this process of disclosure leads to healing.

This Full Moon actually harmonizes with the taskmaster planets of Saturn and Pluto. In their slow march toward a major conjunction in January 2020, Saturn and Pluto are exposing the cracks in numerous foundations. On a personal level, it is time to identify the areas of your life that need fortification and renovation. On the national level, it appears the country is heading into a major constitutional crisis. On a global level, the environment is deteriorating at an alarming rate. This Full Moon enhances a unique receptivity to practical and wise solutions, but not without work, focus and discipline.

A palpable energetic shift occurs the 3rd week of November. Especially be aware of Mercury going direct on Wednesday the 20th. Armed with the necessary insight and information, it is possible to move forward with clear decisiveness. Regularly, I hear people bemoan a Mercury retrograde period. Yes, there can be problems with communication, mechanical breakdowns and delays. But we live in a wise and supportive universe, and Mercury retrograde plays a role in slowing things down, just enough to offset the tendency to willfully force issues, and rush headlong into problematic situations.

Picking up where Mercury leaves off, Mars enters Scorpio on the 19th, where it will transit for the remainder of the year. Like a detective novel, Mars will continue delving into the secrets, unraveling the mysteries behind the scenes. Watch the plot unfold in surprising and unusual twists and turns. Adding an intensity to get a move on, Mars in Scorpio can instill the determination and stamina necessary to carry projects through to completion.

Luckily and fortuitously, the zodiac sign after Scorpio is Sagittarius, the prophet, philosopher and seeker of higher truth. On November 1st, Venus enters Sagittarius, and conjoins Jupiter on November 24. This lends a buoyant, optimistic and celebratory mood to the approaching holiday season. As Venus bestows a loving and generous atmosphere, Jupiter comes along to expand and amplify these positive vibes.

As Venus and Jupiter join, they are transiting across the Galactic Center of our Milky Way Galaxy (27 degrees Sagittarius). This is very rare, and the last time Jupiter crossed this celestial point was twelve years ago. Represented by the centaur aiming its arrow, Sagittarius points to the great beyond in the quest for ultimate truth. As the ancient Heart Sutra states, “Gone, gone, gone beyond. Hail the goer.”

Inspiring and aspiring, Jupiter entered Sagittarius last November. Despite the tumult, chaos and dissent, this has been a year of examining beliefs, gaining perspective, and seeking higher ground. Jupiter exactly conjoins the Galactic Center on the 19th, thus November 18 - 24 is a week of major planetary activation. This strongly suggests upgrades that boost vibration, including renewals in faith and spontaneous openings to cosmic consciousness. This lays the ground for Jupiter's transit  through Capricorn beginning next month when aspirations and ideals are going to be tested in reality.

On November 26, a New Moon in Sagittarius seals the deal. Kicking off the holidays with Thanksgiving, this week is a definite turning toward the future. Throughout 2019, the focus has primarily been on the deleting and clearing old programs from the past. It's similar to pushing the “control alt delete” button on the cosmic hard drive.

To drive home this point further, Neptune is stationary on November 27, and once again begins advancing through the zodiac sign of Pisces. In its monumental and very slow orbit, Neptune remains in Pisces for the next five years.

Neptune's influence can be summed up by the image of child's play; frolicking by the seashore, building a sandcastle, only to have it washed away by the next wave. Not only does Neptune dissolve creations, it dissolves everyday awareness in its unbounded connection with Source. On the larger collective level, Neptune's transit through Pisces is like a tidal wave, churning up the surf, sweeping away any misguided creations of the little and limited human mind.

In the final days of November, Thanksgiving is late this year, but it's never too late to express gratitude. It's a very interesting phenomena of human nature, but life hands us our lessons on a silver platter, and yet we push them away in the push and pull of desire and personal will. “We want what we want,” speaks volumes about the human predicament.

Surrounded by astounding wealth, progress and prosperity, many of the country's citizens will consume Thanksgiving dinner with barely a thought of the purpose of this holiday. Giving lip service to gratitude is like eating the menu, it isn't the real thing. Gratitude can be cultivated, and it is an attitude of the heart. This is a heart that realizes the immense gifts of incarnation itself, and the selfless nature of existence. To conclude, quoting one of the most influential mystics of the last century, Osho reminds us, “Either you can be in Existence or you can be in the self – both are not possible together.”

October 2019
Belinda C. Dunn

Libra/Aries Full Moon
October 13  @  5:08 pm

Scorpio New Moon
October 27  @  11:38 pm

Mercury retrograde
October 31  @  11:42 am

October dawns bright and clear as our Sun transits through Libra skies. Represented by the scales of balance, Libra is the zodiac sign of relationship, including all the spoken and unspoken agreements binding humanity into a synergistic whole. Over the course of October, individually and collectively, the planetary trends support a deepening awareness of these agreements.

In his landmark book, “The Four Agreements,” Don Miguel Ruiz writes of these basic and essential agreements. If you are familiar with these agreements, this is the month for review. For those readers that haven't been introduced to Ruiz's work, the first agreement states, “ Be impeccable with your word.” Followed by the second agreement, “Don't take anything personally,” and next, “Don't make assumptions.” And the fourth and final agreement stands as “Always do your best.”

Imagine your life and a world based on this very deep wisdom. However, in order to access and live these principles, self-awareness and communication is fundamental. This is where Mercury, the planet of thinking, listening and speaking comes in. The month begins with Mercury in Libra, but not for long, on October 3 Mercury enters the dark, mysterious waters of Scorpio, where it will remain until December 9.

This is a very long haul for fast moving, ground covering Mercury, but due to a retrograde phase, the messenger will explore and excavate the depths of the human psyche for weeks on end. This can be likened to an initiation, a collective vision quest, and preparation is advised. Simply awareness and acknowledgment of this potential can go a long way in overcoming inner resistance, including attempts to deny, control or shut down the process.

This said, Mercury's lengthy transit through Scorpio will bring all sorts of hidden agendas, control issues, corruption and secrets to the surface. This is a purging with widespread implications on many levels. Airwaves will be rife with one slanderous scandal after another. In many cases, it may be advisable and necessary to update and re-negotiate contracts, treaties, laws and mission statements.

From the personal standpoint, a gut level response can quickly shred the veneer of appropriate nicety. “How are you? . . . I'm fine,” may not suffice to tell the whole story as people may be more reactive as raw emotion tends to bubble up from the subconscious. Scorpio is never superficial.

This brings us to Pluto, the planet associated with Scorpio. On October 3, as Mercury plummets the depths, Pluto appears to be stationary, beginning a direct phase. This is an intense drilling down to what matters. After all, Scorpio is the zodiac sign of death and rebirth. In mythology, Pluto is god of the underworld. Astrologer Lorna Bevan writes, ”Formally defined in 3D as the Lord of the Underworld, Pluto is up-leveling to 5D Gatekeeper of Source Creation.”

Orbiting in the farthest reaches of our solar system, Pluto has a unique purpose in cleansing and transforming the shadow consciousness. Pluto brings us to our knees, and for those familiar with Twelve Step recovery programs, Pluto can be likened to very 1st step, “I admit . . . (fill in the blank).” Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of people have discovered the healing potential in accepting powerlessness in the face of addiction and other life challenges, and thereby turning to Source for guidance and sanity.

Pluto has been retrograde since late April. That time period was also important as Saturn went retrograde on April 30. You may consider circumstances at that point, and realize significant progress has been made based on realistic appraisal, focus, commitment and discipline. All virtues these major planetary players have been encouraging, and in many cases, demanding.

Transiting through Capricorn, Saturn will join Pluto soon, January 12, 2020 to be exact. These planets have an approximately 35-37 year cycle. However, the last time they joined in the zodiac sign of Capricorn was 507 years ago. Whether it is recognized or not, current trends are a conclusion of many years, and there is a rebirth underway. The new cycle is to be welcomed, and it is calling everyone, including the entire global community, to a higher level of accountability.

Look to your personal life. In what way, where and how have you been called to get real, step up, contribute and participate? In terms of timing, Pluto is going direct at 20 degrees, having first passed over this point in 2018. It may be helpful to revisit and consider the disruptions and challenges of last year. At that time, an in-between limbo opened up with the stark realization. . . there are no maps for what's next. From now on, as Saturn and Pluto approach their exact conjunction in 2020, we are entering a moment by moment regeneration phase.

A Full Moon on October 13 shines light on these themes within the context of relationship. First of all, Sun in Libra supports collaboration, cooperation and synergy. However, with the Moon in Aries, individuality and self reliance are amplified. Therefore, personal desires and preferences may clash with the needs of the relationship and/or group. Conversations and decisions can be derailed through projection, blame, and black and white thinking. With awareness and a good dose of patient compromise, this dynamic interplay can facilitate and catalyze significant breakthroughs, but don't be surprised if some relationships reach the point of, “make it or break it.”

The chart for this Full Moon shows major implications on the national and world stage. Key alliances can strengthen while others fall away. After all, Libra represents the diplomatic peacemaker. Adding an interesting twist to this complex dynamic, Mars, the planet of aggression, enters Libra on October 4, just as Mercury goes retrograde and Pluto goes direct.

Independent and proactive Mars may be forced to consider other points of view, identify blocks, and bend to teamwork. Remaining in Libra through November 18, the next two months are very important in terms of negotiation on the national and global levels. Of course, there will be those leaders and countries listening to the drumbeat for war, while others look to diplomatic solutions in the effort to avoid all out confrontation.

Analyzing the planetary picture further, this Full Moon is in stressful alignment with Pluto, and harmonious/supportive alignment with Jupiter. This shows a clear distinction between forces promoting toxicity and corruption, and powers promoting honesty, optimism and sustainability. There is a touch of grace here, and providence opens doors of opportunity. The choice is clear as courageous and confident voices rise up to speak for solutions to age old problems.

As October draws to a close, a New Moon in Scorpio leads into the final week of daylight savings time. Autumn leaves are releasing their hold, reminding us of the cyclical and temporary nature of terrestrial existence. In exact opposition to Uranus, this lunation brings surprises, revelations, exposures and disclosures. Uranus encourages freedom from restraint while disrupting normalcy and overthrowing expectations.

This New Moon sets the stage for the twin celebrations of Halloween and All Saints Day. With Mercury in Scorpio going retrograde on Halloween, this implies that events during October will require a stepping back, a deep pause. This pause will allow for recapitulation and integration of that which is true.

Supporting this penetrating look through and behind appearances, Mercury harmoniously aspects Saturn and Pluto three times from mid-October through the first ten days of December. Thus, current events carry much weight, taking most of the autumn months to reconfigure and work through.

During October, Venus is also in Scorpio supporting an intuitive response, a very real connection with the heart of all terrestrial matters. As the planet of adornment, costume and apparel, Venus will bring out the creative, humorous and fun potential of Halloween. As spooky characters haunt the streets, skeletons are being rattled in the closet, emerging from their hiding places. But, at night's end, the costumes are put away for another year, reminding us of these earth bodies, and the impermanence of appearances in this passing show of  life.

September 2019
Belinda C. Dunn

Virgo/Pisces Harvest Full Moon
September 14  @  12:33 am

Autumnal Equinox
September 28  @  6:03 am

Libra New Moon
September 28  @  2:26 pm

September begins on the heels of a Virgo New Moon which took place on August 30. As the Sun and Moon joined in this industrious zodiac sign of work and service, three other planets joined to drive home  the message . . . summer vacation is over, and for most of us, it's back to schedules and routine.

As with any New Moon, the seeds have been planted for the next 28 day cycle. With the help of Sun in Virgo, and six other planets in earth signs, these planetary trends support a practical, methodical, consistent, grounded and reliable approach to the tasks of daily life. Step by step, one foot in front of the other, the necessity to take care of business is front and center as the month unfolds.

Launching the month in a productive mindset with clear goals and realistic plans feels doable as Sun, Mercury and Mars join to aid the decision making process. Additionally, these planets are in harmony with Uranus giving a boost of excitement and potential in the manifestation process. As Venus adds a substantial dose of enjoyable loving purpose, September is the month to define priorities, overcome apathy, and rise above limitations.

By the Harvest Moon on September 13-14, depending on your time zone, fanciful ideas and ill conceived plans fall by the wayside as reality dawns bright and clear. Awareness is essential to mitigate and offset negativity, confusion and boredom, especially for those repeatedly choosing to escape reality through a variety of means.

With the Sun in Virgo, and the Moon in Pisces, the contrast between physicality and illusion may be stark. The chart for this Full Moon shows Mars in opposition to Neptune. People may be acting out of illusory, perhaps drug induced consciousness. Emotions may be extreme, like a high tide, quick to advance and retreat. On the positive side, inspiration and higher perspective is ever present, there for the asking. The boundaries of everyday consciousness can easily  dissolve, crossing the threshold into genuine mystical experience.

As Mars is transiting through Virgo for the entire month, it can be helpful to consider the zodiac polarity of Virgo and Pisces, two opposite ends of the spectrum. Known as the “serve or suffer” zodiac signs, this dynamic duo identifies the needs of those genuinely needing help, and those ready to alleviate suffering through self-less service.

When Virgo and Pisces are prominent in an individual's chart, or by current trends, troubled and complicated life situations tend to manifest. The mind can conjure up all manner of self-made distortions and distractions. Yet, behind the veil of physical appearances and human stories, a greater Reality beckons. As my first yoga teacher frequently voiced, “The earth life is the spiritual life.” There is no separation. Heartfelt service, and compassion for the human condition in self and others, is the connective link between heaven and earth.

This brings us to another very important planetary trend for September. Since April 29, Saturn has been retrograde, and on September 18, Saturn goes direct. This is very good news in terms of pulling out of stagnation, and getting the ball rolling. Situations that have not been advancing, perhaps delayed, and hung up in red tape, are now ready to move forward. It is as though the cosmic wheel of fortune is turning, like the gears of an engine, slowly reversing, aligning and gaining momentum to move in new directions.

Saturn's forward motion is especially intense as it aligns with the South Lunar Node on September 27, for the third and final time this year. Additionally, Saturn is going direct as 13 degrees Capricorn. Known as a “critical degree,” this potent zodiac point carries more weight in terms of overcoming obstacles to fulfill destiny. This isn't just any challenge, it is indicative of major life lessons bearing down, like a final exam.

As Saturn retraces its tracks over the coming months, it is approaching an exact conjunction with Pluto in January 2020. While these planets remain within orb of influence for most of next year, many social systems are in the thick of widespread dysfunction. Very deep veins of corruption that have run deep within society for generations are coming out of the shadows into the light of day.

Like a demolition crew, working together, Saturn and Pluto are dismantling and breaking down what is no longer relevant in our personal lives, and collective experience. In fact, humanity cannot progress without this reckoning, no matter how difficult, arduous and challenging it appears. What has long been denied, can no longer be ignored, hidden and scooted under the rug.

On a lighter note, Jupiter is making its third and final aspect with Neptune on September 21. Facing off, 2019 started with these planets of inspiration and belief at odds with each other. On one hand, people are examining their core beliefs around a variety of issues. On the other hand, large groups of people are coming up empty handed, disenfranchised, caught in the crossfire between ideologies. In last month's article, I mentioned the birth of a new narrative. Glimmers of truth are everywhere for those with eyes to see, and ears to hear.

The final week of September begins with the Autumnal Equinox on Monday, September 23. This seasonal shift is a sacred passage to be honored and celebrated. As the Sun enters Libra, symbolized by the scales of balance, day and night are equal, and five weeks of daylight savings time remain.

The chart for the Equinox as well as the Libra New Moon on September 28, shows a dynamic interplay between individuality and partnership. Tension can erupt as personal goals and needs may be quite different from the perceived needs of the partner, family or group. Libra's preference is equanimity and harmony. Libra's gifts include diplomacy, consideration and kindness. However, peace doesn't necessarily come easily, and communication is the missing link to overcome differences while cultivating bridges of understanding. Energetically, Libra supports mediation and cooperation, and it's OK to agree to disagree.

As Mercury is in stressful alignment with Saturn and Pluto, it is advisable to pay attention to conversations and decisions throughout the final week of September. There is a tendency to fall back on blame, projection, pessimism and cynicism. Additionally, Venus is part of this mix, and there is a tendency to shut down, burn bridges, and separate from others.

Earlier this year, February 17 to be exact, Chiron entered the zodiac sign of Aries where it will remain until 2027. Discovered in 1977, Chiron is a small planet orbiting between Saturn and Uranus. Known as the wounded healer, Chiron is in opposition to the Libra New Moon. The themes of autonomy and personal freedom may stand in contrast to the desires, needs and well being of others. Depending on the context of the relationship, it is a matter of defining one's stance, listening to others, and being attentive to hidden agendas.

In the current issue of, “The Mountain Astrologer,” astrologer Diana Collis puts it bluntly, “Accepting that some things cannot be mended, repeated or reframed can be quite progressive. We may stop trying to force issues that have been going nowhere, despite our intense hope and efforts.”

As a long term trend, Chiron in Aries is about healing aspects of the programmed personality that may be overly self centered OR overly other centered. It can be helpful to watch your interactions during this final week of September. With self awareness, it is possible to create more balance within yourself, and therefore your relationships. Considering that relationship is an essential part of being human, perhaps the day will come when Relationship 101 is taught in schools.

The current social climate, made possible by technology, leans toward self-absorption. Glorification of the self, clinically known as narcissism, is rampant, and disguised in many forms. Over the next decade, it stands to reason that Chiron in Aries will expose this very painful reality. Just living for self is baseless and potentially destructive. Just living for others can be a slippery slope of resentment and despair. But again, it is about balance.

We are not on this Earth to grow and magnify the personality. It is simply the container of individuality within the context of each person's eternal relationship with Source, ultimately, the only enduring relationship. In the meantime, we can love and enjoy ourselves and each other as beautiful flowers in this magnificent garden of the heart.

August 2019
Belinda C. Dunn

Aquarius/Leo Full Moon
August 15 @ 8:29 am

Virgo New Moon
August 30  @  6:37 am

August begins with a green light go ahead as Mercury is now direct, and a Leo New Moon sets the stage for new possibilities. Exact just before  midnight on July 31, both of these significant trends ensure that August gets off to a good start with a sense of putting the past to rest. Even though there is still clean-up from the messy eclipses of July, along with Mercury retrograde, much has has been revealed, and the way forward is a combination of “enough is enough,” and it's time to move on.

The eclipses during July were especially powerful as they activated the on-going Saturn/Pluto conjunction, a rare configuration that occurs every 35 years. While these tumultuous trends serve to excavate and expose weakness in social structures, they serve to really get the ball rolling in terms of fundamental and profound change. Even though it appears that humanity is running into a brick wall with few solutions available, this is exactly the type of planetary energy needed to breakup stagnation, and propel progress forward.

August begins with Sun, Moon, Venus and Mars transiting through Leo skies. On August 11, Mercury returns to Leo, completing its retrograde cycle that week. Leo is warm, vivacious, commanding and creative. This take charge energy can actively surmount the vacillating and uncertain trends of recent months.

At the same time, Jupiter in Sagittarius begins its annual direct phase. This gives an enthusiastic boost of optimism. With Jupiter in its home sign of Sagittarius for most of the year, the impetus has been to keep an open mind and explore options, especially in terms of ideology and belief. Based on this exploration, a new narrative is emerging, and humanity will begin to actualize and manifest expanded vision over the autumn months.

In the United States astrology chart, the zodiac sign of Sagittarius is prominent, ascending on the eastern horizon. Thus, Jupiter's current trend has the potential to upgrade and define the nation's identity. Ideals, motives and aspirations are receiving a face lift. For the most part, Americans are freethinkers, and do not like to be told what to believe or what to do. Over the coming weeks and months, it will be interesting to see how the Mueller investigation and testimony sits with the majority of voters now that foreign interference in the election process is public knowledge.

This very important process has the potential to offset, counter and balance other planetary influences, namely Saturn's transit through Capricorn. In this case, Saturn is in its home sign of Capricorn (2018-2020). Weighty, serious and consequential, this transit is the backdrop for many long standing karmic conditions coming to a crisis point. Personally and collectively, it is time to address pervasive dysfunction, and take a stand for truth and justice, ethics and morality.

Another interesting vantage point in astrological delineation is elemental balance. Infinite Source manifests in this dimension as the elements, and each zodiac sign is associated with an element: fire, air, water, earth. Contemplating the elements can be very revealing and healing.

August begins with an emphasis on the fire elemental. Fire is illuminating, hot, passionate, enthusiastic and inspiring. Fire burns away dead wood, but fire can easily get out of control, and its destructive capacity needs to be monitored and respected. Some key dates to watch for the positive activation of fire traits are August 5 – 11.

By mid-month, the elemental balance shifts to earth, signifying a practical, sensible, feet on the ground, get the job done approach. Some key dates to enhance positive earth traits begin on August 23 as the Sun enters Virgo, and continue quite strongly through the remainder of the month. In balance, fire and earth work together to breakthrough stagnation and manifest goals. Look for this energetic shift as the month unfolds.

A Full Moon on August 15 illuminates the way forward with a radical edge, and tends to stir up controversy and dissent. Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars are all in Leo, the zodiac sign of the leader, while the Moon is in Aquarius, the zodiac sign of the community. Additionally, the voice of the public, Mercury, is in close aspect with Uranus. A veritable flood of information that has been held back will be released. Thus, sudden and radical departures from thinking inside the box of  consensus reality are possible as pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

Tension builds throughout the week of August 11, and conditions come to a critical head on the 16th. Uranus, the planet of revolutionary change, appears to be moving very slowly through the sky, due to a stationary/retrograde phase beginning on the 11th. Individuals and groups of people may be acting out of desperation, going out on a limb to advance their cause. On a positive note, look for creative and extraordinary solutions emerging for complex problems. However, be prepared for what needs to be released and put to rest.

As summer vacations begin to wind down, a Virgo New Moon sets the stage for return to work and school. On the Friday leading into Labor Day weekend, the astrology chart shows Sun, Moon, Mercury, Juno, Mars and Venus all aligned in Virgo. Clearly, this is a preponderance of  Virgo, and there are eight astrological factors in earth.

August is a transitional month in numerous ways, astrologically, socially and seasonally. There are the obvious transitions, but underneath social convention, there is a deep rumbling, a profound unrest that can only lead to major change as the decade draws to a close.

This is the month to discover your fire. What moves you? What gets you up in the morning? Tap into the freedom to create and innovate your unique life expression. By mid-month, between a Full Moon, and Mercury activating Uranus, embrace the courage and clarity to break away from limiting mindsets, habits, relationships and environments.

On August 24, Venus joins Mars in Virgo, the zodiac sign of service and stewardship. Together, the planet of love meets the planet of action. By the New Moon on August 30, it's time to plant seeds of intention that have been nurtured and held deep within. The beautiful and inspiring qualities of purpose, commitment and dedication lead the way. Love in action . . . gets the job done.

July 2019
Belinda C. Dunn

Solar Eclipse New Moon
July 2 @  3:16 pm

Mercury Retrograde
July 7 – 31

Lunar Eclipse Full Moon
July 16  @  5:38 pm

Leo New Moon
July 31  @  11:58 pm

Marking the halfway point of 2019, July begins with a sense of destiny for our nation and the world. Long standing and consequential circumstances have remained suspended for months, if not years. This is the month of push comes to shove, patience is exhausted, the limit has been reached. Despite the chaos and turmoil, solutions emerge, and there is a clear pivot to the future.

Between a Solar Eclipse on July 2, a Lunar Eclipse on July 16, and Mercury retrograde, this is a month to proceed cautiously with a hefty dose of optimism and confidence. I am reminded of Star Trek, and the crew beaming down to potentially hostile and treacherous terrain. Preparation is essential, and in terms of planetary trends, I aim to shine a spotlight on the most positive, productive and healing direction. Let's unpack each of these significant factors in a step by step methodical way, and discover the silver lining in the stormy clouds appearing on the horizon.

First of all, eclipses are cosmic wild cards. Typically, significant events occur; shifting the terrain, altering perspective, realigning the trajectory of goals. They take the covers off, and reveal what is truly going on beneath appearances. Startling revelations can occur, and eclipses serve to shake humans out of complacency by revealing undercurrents of emotion that cannot be denied or hidden. This process can lead to comprehensive assessment and redirection.

In last month's article, I wrote in detail about the North Lunar Node in the zodiac sign of Cancer. This shows the most optimal direction which is along the lines of finding home, and cultivating a deep abiding security within and without. This is propelling individuals to find practical solutions in terms of living arrangements, family structure, income and environment.

The Solar Eclipse on July 2 closely conjoins the North Lunar Node. This beneficial combination supports clarity and direction while opening doors of opportunity. Two days before Independence Day, this eclipse also conjoins the USA Sun. In recent years, the collective identity of the nation has been demoralized and uprooted in deteriorating conditions threatening the stability of democracy. No doubt, these eclipses can serve to bring these matters into the light of day with repercussions for years to come.

Astrologers have been following the trends for both the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776), and the United States Constitution (September 17, 1787). Considering these charts and current trends, Neptune, the planet of confusion, delusion and glamour has been weaving a spell, undermining the original tenets of the founding fathers. More than likely, it is time for an upgrade, but governing structures are in a state of disarray, and this process will take time.

Recently, I came across a a fascinating reference to the Constitution in the long time bestseller, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Written in 1989, author Stephen Covey states, “The United States Constitution is the standard by which every law in the country is evaluated. It is the document the president agrees to defend and support when he takes the Oath of Office. It is the foundation and the center that enables people to ride through major traumas such as the Civil War, Vietnam, or Watergate. The Constitution has endured and serves it vital function today because it is based on correct principles, on the self-evident truths contained in the Declaration of Independence. These principles empower the Constitution with a timeless strength, even in the midst of social ambiguity and change. “Our peculiar security,” said Thomas Jefferson, “is in the possession of a written Constitution.”

Covey's book is written for the individual, yet remains so timely in the search for meaning and mission in the current social climate. This brings us to the other half of this astrological equation, the South Lunar Node in Capricorn. On July 16, a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse activates across the zodiac polarity of Cancer and Capricorn. Along with Saturn and Pluto transiting through Capricorn, pressure has been building for real evolutionary change.

This is all fairly clear on the national level, just turn on the news, but let's take a look at the possibilities on a more personal level. Both of these zodiac signs are about governing systems. Symbolically, Cancer represents parenting, the family unit, and the essential balance of proper discipline while providing sustenance and safety. Capricorn represents larger governing bodies designed to provide structure for cohesive social organization.  These eclipses can highlight and expose systemic weakness in these structures, and the reality of pervasive dysfunction on many levels.

Therapists will be busy this month, as people are waking up from the trance of conditioning, ready for healing around early childhood experience. These deeply embedded emotional layers can easily peel off and resolve, once and for all. There is a impulse to move beyond external authority to internalize discipline that comes naturally as a function of participation. With these new eyes, it is possible to take steps toward healthy function, including a genuine sense of belonging.

However, the flip side of belonging is alienation and separation. These themes are painfully present as individuals come to terms with family of origin issues, generational differences, potential effects of addiction, financial limitations, and a host of various stresses threatening to undermine the sanctity of this most basic unit of family.

These planetary trends are putting pressure on households across the country as well as the globe. As Saturn slowly moves toward a conjunction with Pluto in 2020, economic and political conditions are calling for adjustments, putting the squeeze on large segments of the population. For example, loss, deprivation, desperation and untold suffering is the backdrop for the refugee crisis along so many borders. Additionally, mass migrations are taking place as natural disasters displace whole communities.

These times are not for the faint of heart. Even though the eclipses in July can exacerbate these conditions, as the common adage states, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” The overall tone for July is adapt and adjust, get real, and take care of business. Whenever Saturn is involved, there is a need for patience, endurance, forbearance, maturity and discipline.

Another planetary factor pointing to an attitude of patient allowing is Mercury retrograde. From July 7 – 31, this important planet of communication is pausing for purposes of review. The pressure to evolve, improve, change and grow is enormous right now on many levels of personal and collective experience.

Mercury goes retrograde 3 times a year for approximately 21 days. There can be a wide range of effects depending on zodiac signs and planetary aspects. In general, Mercury retrograde is excellent for research, gathering more information, and widening perspective. The more troubling and frustrating issues can include misunderstandings, technical problems, breakdowns, and delays.

This particular Mercury retrograde begins in the zodiac sign of Leo, suggesting that autonomy, freedom, humor and creativity will play a significant role in solutions. Mercury joins our Sun on July 21st, and this is always an important day in any retrograde cycle. Look for key insights and communication supporting clarity and resolution.

When Mercury goes direct on July 31, it has retrograded back into the zodiac sign of Cancer, emphasizing the on-going themes of home, family, security and belonging. Additionally, Mercury touches back into Saturn/Pluto territory, bringing long term issues full circle. For those that have done their due diligence, there will be more perspective into complex matters. Synchronously, just before midnight on July 31, a Leo New Moon comes along to seal the deal. By month's end, there is a sense of moving forward with realistic, productive and effective plans.

One more fascinating twist in July's planetary picture features an alignment with Mercury, Mars and Uranus.  Exact on July 8, with significant influence during the first two weeks of July, Mercury joins Mars in Leo. Bringing issues to the table for discussion, this is a frank, bold, “tell it like it is,” combination. Additionally, on July 11, Mars is in stressful alignment with Uranus, one of the most rebellious and freedom seeking of planetary combinations. Be prepared for surprising turns of fate and fortune during this breakthrough week.

In considering this Mercury/Mars/Uranus alignment on a symbolic level, it shows possible disruption of power. There are a number of possible manifestations, especially in terms of electricity, power grids, cyber-security, science and technology. This unusual combination is erratic, high intensity, pulsing with energetic downloads.

On the personal level, it is an excellent time to journal, express and create. This planetary configuration can heighten sensitivity, and consequently jangle the nerves. Activities that calm the nervous system can help to ground and nourish the body.

In recent weeks, I have noticed the frequent use of the word “existential,” to the point of looking it up in the dictionary, and researching its meaning. I came across, “If something is existential, it has to do with human existence. If you wrestle with the big questions involving the meaning of life, you may be having an existential crisis.”

It appears the collective mind is questioning the meaning and purpose of life. Even though the word existential tends to be coupled with negative words such as threat, angst and crisis (fill in the blank), this is actually a good thing. It is essential, necessary and healthy to question this reality! It's part of waking up and staying awake to find meaning in this extraordinary cosmic experience. Look around you . . . really take it in. Every part of life is a miracle, happening right now.

June 2019
Belinda C. Dunn

Gemini New Moon
June 3  @  6:02 am

Gemini/Sagittarius Full Moon
June 17  @  4:31 am

A New Moon in Gemini launches the new month. In this flowing, cyclical dance of life, there are always endings and beginnings, and Gemini knows this well. As our Sun transits through Gemini, each of us can benefit from the curious, adventurous and adaptable qualities of this zodiac  energy.

At its very best, Gemini instills an atmosphere of open mindedness. Consider for a moment the qualities of air, the element associated with Gemini.  Breathing, speaking, singing . . . air flows within us and around us. Air is invisible, yet its effects are profound. Air is the connective atmosphere of communication and free exchange of thoughts and ideas within the shifting landscape of public discourse.

Many of the planetary trends for June are transitional in nature as individuals, the nation, and the world stand on the threshold of new experience. It is clear, a major evolutionary leap is in process. The stakes are high. The Gemini New Moon seeds the potential for important conversations over the course of the expanding lunar cycle.

The natural inclination of Gemini is to be open, frank and free. These traits are intensified by the Full Moon on June 17. At this point, the Moon in Sagittarius joins Jupiter in Sagittarius. A multitude of issues are on the table for discussion, but not necessarily resolution. It is essential to sort through ideas and ask questions to clearly determine what is viable, possible, and practical in the long run. This is a month to explore options, and stay awake to reality.

As Jupiter transits through Sagittarius, the call for truth and justice is front and center. Along with the tension of this Full Moon, Jupiter is in stressful alignment to Neptune. The fine line between reality and illusion is vacillating, fluctuating daily, subject to argument, righteous indignation and controversy. In this atmosphere of dissent, individuals and groups are more susceptible to manipulation of the facts, propaganda and zealous ideals. Emotions are heightened and nerves are raw.

During the Trump presidency, public discourse has been louder and more persuasive than ever. It is now reaching a fever pitch. The call for diplomatic, productive and realistic dialog has long been ignored, but the voice of reason can no longer be restrained.

The first stressful aspect between Jupiter and Neptune took place in mid-January. Launching 2019, these planets gave a boost of exuberant optimism along with tendencies toward excess, over extension of resources, and an escalation of the crazy, weird and bizarre.

However, as these planets come into exact alignment on June 16, optimism may be waning, and getting an attitude adjustment. The third and final alignment takes place on the Autumnal Equinox. Thus, 2019 is a strange blend of fact and fiction, and it is up to each of us to navigate these trends on a personal level, and make decisions accordingly.

Neptune is, by far, one of the more difficult planets to get a handle on. As the “pie in the sky” planet, it inspires vision and uplifts consciousness. But all too often, its effects can appear enthralling, glamorous, nebulous, dreamy and confusing. A Neptune transit tends to sap energy and dissolve resolve. It is appropriate that mind altering substances, and addiction itself, comes under Neptune's rule.

Eventually and inevitably, every idealistic Neptune vision is tested in the tangible world of fact and form. On June 16, the same day of the second stressful alignment between Jupiter and Neptune, Saturn is in harmonious and supportive aspect with Neptune. On a planetary level, Saturn is the voice of reason as well as the voice of wisdom and maturity.

Astrologer Leah Whitehorse articulates this beautifully, “If we are going to create anything at all, we need to find a starting point, so we can make a sensible plan. Saturn reminds us that we can't just wave a magic wand and hope our dreams will manifest. Neither can we expect a lucky break to appear out of nothing. Fulfilling our dreams takes hard work, dedication and self discipline – and most of all, time.”

Sound harsh? That's Saturn the taskmaster. The voices of reason and practicality are blending with voices of hopeful idealism. This is well and good, and from a positive standpoint, greatly accentuates imagination, whimsy and creativity. However, the contradictory nature of the mind itself can present challenges. It's essential to pay attention, and sort out various points of view.

Overall, June is the reality check month on many levels of individual and collective experience. This process is supported and magnified by the Sun, Mercury and Mars transiting through the zodiac sign of Cancer. Mars entered Cancer on May 15, and will remain in Cancer all month. Mercury is in Cancer for most of the month (June 4 – 26), and our Sun marks its annual entrance into Cancer on the Summer Solstice.

Add to these fast moving transits . . . the fact that the North Lunar Node is currently in the zodiac sign of Cancer. The North Lunar Node is like an arrow pointing in the most optimal, advantageous and productive direction. It fundamentally lights the way, and is a key factor in the manifestation of eclipses, and the next round of eclipses are looming on the horizon with a Solar Eclipse on July 2, and a Lunar  Eclipse on July 16. Therefore, circumstances in June will spill over into July with major consequences for the long haul.

While conditions have been building for some time, it is Mars in opposition to Saturn on June 14, and Mercury in opposition to Saturn on June 16, that reality sets in. Hitting the wall, individuals and groups will be encountering limitations, examining ethics, and defining responsibilities. Relationships can appear one-sided, especially in the home and work environment, as people are encountering the boundaries of what is, and what is not, acceptable and even doable. A supportive attitude is to focus on what is working rather than give into Saturn's propensity for cynical negativity.

This second week of June sets the stage, but the week to watch starts with the Full Moon on Monday, June 17, and wraps up with the Summer Solstice on Friday, June 21. These significant cosmic events act like bookends to an exact alignment between Mercury, Mars and Pluto. This very stressful and combustive combination of planetary energies can bring numerous issues to a critical climax.

On Tuesday, June 18, Mercury joins Mars in a frank conversation of  blunt and undiluted truth. Words that may have been held back in courtesy and caution tend to erupt and explode. If you find yourself or others in an irritable or combative frame of mind, this is a day to be extremely aware of what needs to be said, and perhaps what needs to remain unspoken. This combination tends to be impulsive, and accident prone, therefore exercise caution in all matters, not to the point of rigidity, but keenly aware of these potent planetary forces at work.

The very next day, on Wednesday, June 19, this Mercury/Mars combination makes an opposition with Pluto. Respected astrologer Robert Hand writes, “This transit can represent the culmination of successful effort, or it can be a time when the opposition becomes so fierce that you have to give up. This transit is a powerful sign of severe interpersonal power struggles. The chief danger is that either you or your opponent in a struggle will act with absolutely no regard for ethics or for the other person's feelings and situation. This combination acts ruthlessly and relentlessly.” And, I might add, unconsciously.

In consideration of current events, and in light of the USA astrology chart, this planetary combination suggests that what has been hidden from the public is ready to be exposed, especially information regarding legal and financial matters. More than likely, there will be major power plays in an attempt to hide information that can very well alter the course of history. The writing is on the wall . . . whether it's Trump's tax returns, tariff negotiations with China, the Middle East, immigration, stalemate in congress, the stock market, the economy itself, this is a critical time for the nation.

On the personal level, let's hone in on the conjunction of Mercury, Mars and the North Lunar Node. One of the definitions for hone is, “to make more acute, intense or effective.” In this case, the process of honing is actually a homing. All these astrological factors are in Cancer, the zodiac sign of safety, security, family and home.

This combination can produce a heightened and persistent nagging, a genuine gut response toward safety, and even retreat if necessary. Fight, flight or freeze? People will be feeling and acknowledging vulnerability, and the ways they do not feel secure. Beneath the surface, behind the scenes, and out in the open, people will be asking questions, and making decisions based on what feels safe. These themes span every aspect of life on the individual and collective levels.

On an annual basis, our Sun reaches its zenith, marking the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Additionally, from our  vantage point on Earth, Neptune appears to be stationary (June 17 – 25), initiating its annual retrograde phase exactly on June 21, the Summer Solstice. The mystical and magical essence of Neptune's long term transit through Pisces is blending with the Sun's illumination to expand human consciousness beyond its current state.

Summer is typically a season for recreation, a chance to step away from daily routine, and explore new horizons. As June draws to a close, four major planets are retrograde, and working in pairs. The consequential and heavy planetary influences of Saturn/Pluto are slowing things down, calling a halt to forward momentum and progress. This is necessary for catching up, resting up, and reviewing long term goals.

The inspirational planets of Jupiter and Neptune are working together to uplift vision, and bestow a more transcendent point of view. Clearly, if there was ever a time to invoke the surprisingly present and transforming power of the supernatural, it's now.

May 2019
Belinda C. Dunn

Taurus New Moon
May 4  @  6:46 pm

Taurus/Scorpio Full Moon
May 18  @  5:11 pm

Welcome to glorious May! Everywhere we gaze, earth is coming alive as delicate buds burst forth while every shade of green leaf unfolds, perfectly orchestrated, in rhythm with the heartbeat of life itself.

The month starts with a New Moon in Taurus, the zodiac sign of sensuality. Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching, each of the five senses awaken in appreciation for the beauty and experience of this natural world. Out of all the zodiac signs, the essence of Taurus is finding enjoyment in simply being alive.

Astrologers give consideration to elemental forces of fire, air, water and earth. The chart for the New Moon on May 4, shows a 50% emphasis on the earth element. By the Full Moon on May 18, the chart shows 60% earth. So, according to the common adage, it's time to take the Taurus bull by the horns; get real, down to earth, and take active, determined steps in the manifestation of goals.

Against this backdrop of nature's beauty, humans continue to parade across the stage of life. For the most part, humanity appears to be asleep, entranced, lost and forgetful, missing the true purpose and delight of what it means to be embodied. However, current planetary trends are functioning as an alarm clock, shaking us from slumber with an enormous, unmistakable, and electrifying jolt of wake up potential.

During the final week of April, from our vantage point on Earth, two major planets entered a retrograde phase. On April 24, Pluto went retrograde, and on April 29, Saturn went retrograde. In general, this signals a necessary pause, an apparent halt to forward movement for purposes of completion and integration. It's not that life doesn't move forward, it simply means the “to do” list has reached its limit, and in many cases, there is a backlog of complication that cannot be solved overnight. These consequential and slow moving planets will remain retrograde throughout the spring and summer months.

Not only are these planets retrograde, but they are currently within 3 degrees of each other in the zodiac sign of Capricorn. The lunar nodes and the current eclipse cycle adds intensity to this alignment as Saturn conjoins the south lunar node on May 20, June 23 and September 15.

To give perspective, let's consider the long term transits of Saturn and Pluto. Saturn takes approximately 29 years to orbit through the entire zodiac. Pluto's orbit is almost beyond conceptualization of time, taking 248 years to circle the zodiac sky. Therefore, they reach conjunction every 37-38 years, marking major events that shift consciousness, resulting in significant historical turning points.

For example, the last conjunction took place in the zodiac sign of Libra in 1981-82. Reagan was president,  a recession was affecting the USA economy, and Epcot, Disney's futuristic theme park, opened. The previous conjunction took place in Leo during the years 1946-47, as the world recovered from the unfathomable destruction of WWII. Truman was president, Stalin was still in power, the Diary of Anne Frank was published, and the baby boom was in full swing.

These planets mark the cycles of life, with a long term generational influence. Astrologer Lorna Bevan writes, “This aspect has a long story-arc. It brings to a close a cycle begun in November 1982 and opens a new cycle of your personal history and especially of American history. To put it in perspective: the last time Saturn/Pluto met in Capricorn was in 1518 when Martin Luther began the Protestant revolution.”

For those you familiar with the Tarot deck of divination, this current era can be likened to The Tower, representing the decay and fall of long standing power structures relating to ideology, authority and control. All together, current trends point to a rare, once in a lifetime, cosmic moment. What this means, practically and spiritually, will be the theme for months to come as Saturn and Pluto will exactly conjoin in January 2020. Nationally and globally, history is being written before our eyes.

Taking many forms, April was a month of crisis. In the wake of controversy and suspense, destruction and tumult, reality begins to set in during the first week of May. Mars in Gemini makes a conjunction with the highly sensitive and inflammatory point between Trump's chart and the country. A detailed analysis of this trend is described in last month's article, posted on my website.

Another significant planetary combination involves Mercury and Venus transiting through Aries. On May 1-2, Mercury brings important information to the light of day as it activates in stressful alignment with Saturn/Pluto while conjoining Eris, the planet of radical, revolutionary and evolutionary awakening. Communications can take the form of hard conversations that press the necessity to make difficult decisions. On May 7-9, Venus transits over this same degree, lending a helping hand, increasing the potential for acceptance of differences in opinion and approach.

On a personal level, awareness of these trends can automatically improve the flow of everyday events. There are two competing factors; the immediacy of now and the reality of time. It is tempting to fight or resist the need for patience, discipline, and realistic appraisal of goals in the desire for immediate relief. Complications can arise due to poor timing, such as acting too fast or too late. This can feel jerky and stressful, but easily remedied through exercising sound judgment in manifesting solutions.

These planetary trends are stirring up subconscious programming that is very karmic in nature. At times, these blocks in the energy field can feel invisible and daunting, even impossible to overcome. If you find yourself slipping into self-defeating and pessimistic attitudes, it can be helpful to question the root cause of these attitudes. In most cases, this means radically breaking free from conditioning and projections, within and without. This is the month to head off negativity, and take conscious steps to enhance worthiness. In other words, give yourself a break, forgive past mistakes, and let the planets give you a face lift of self esteem.

There is a clear demarcation between the first half of May, and second half. Planetary factors contribute to a more settling and stabilizing atmosphere as Mercury transitions into practical, realistic and grounded Taurus on May 6. During the week of May 13, Venus enters Taurus and Mars enters Cancer. All together, these shifts can foster a healing connection to one's roots. This may include an instinct to retreat and nurture close relationships, the home environment, family and garden.

This week leads into a very sacred Full Moon on Saturday, May 18. Known as Wesak Festival, Sun transits through Taurus, and the Moon is exactly opposite in Scorpio. On an annual basis, mystics, spiritual aspirants and light workers gather in meditation around the globe.

Many legends surround this festival. From an astrological perspective, Taurus and Scorpio represent the natural cycle of birth, growth, culmination, decay, completion and rebirth. The illumination from this Full Moon can dissolve the boundaries between dimensions, supporting access to guidance and enlightened consciousness. It is optimal for a reset. If you choose to consciously honor Wesak, feel free to send an email request for more detailed information (belinda@astrodelight.com).

During the week of May 20, Sun and Mercury transit into the zodiac sign of Gemini. Working in tandem, and exact on Tuesday, May 21, this is a very important week for communication. For some people, this process can be more internalized as key realizations take place within self. In general, Gemini is outgoing, active, curious and expressive. There is a natural inclination to get moving, out and about, and make decisions for summer travel plans.

Exploration and discovery can take many forms as Jupiter is transiting through Sagittarius until December. 2019 is a year of expanding horizons. If you find yourself yearning for greener pastures, pay attention. Many times, the urge to expand can come from boredom, feeling caged in, and limited by circumstances. Jupiter's beneficent rays can break through obstacles, instilling optimism, confidence and enthusiasm.

Human beings have the tendency to project the present onto the future. From utopia to dystopia, an overwhelming array of predictions are being made, but I sense the reality is somewhere in between, even beyond current standards and concepts. Powerfully enlightening planetary trends during May evoke an invitation to see through the veils of physicality while remaining more embodied and grounded than ever. Enjoy!

April 2019
Belinda C. Dunn

Aries New Moon
April 5  @  4:50 am

Aries/Libra Full Moon
April 19  @  7:12 am

The scents and sights of spring surround us as the season gets fully underway. An increase of sunlight hours, along with nature's splendor, creates a buoyant rising up of vitality and enthusiasm.

Planetary trends during April are quite a contrast from March, a month of introspection provided by Mercury retrograde in Pisces (March 5 – 28). Mercury, the planet of everyday consciousness and communication, entered the watery depths of Pisces on February 10. The soul searching and turbulent nature of this transit has been churning up emotion in a sink or swim environment.

It is fascinating to note that Mueller's long awaited report was completed and released as retrograde Mercury was making its second conjunction to Neptune. The month begins with Mercury just turning direct, making its third and final conjunction to Neptune on April 2. It is suggested that Mueller's findings “raise more questions than answers,” and the timing demonstrates a striking combination of Mercury's capacity for articulation and delineation into matters that can be  confusing, disorienting, abstract and moralistic.

On a personal level, it can be helpful to consider realizations you have come to over these weeks, especially as Mercury wraps up its sojourn in Pisces on April 16, entering Aries on April 17. The dreamy and visionary potential of Mercury in Pisces is ready to be actualized and manifested.

While March brings to mind images of floating through foggy mists in search of footing, April brings to mind the readiness of a racetrack.  Green grass radiates in vibrant technicolor as stately and well trained horses are led to the starting gate. Spectators wait on the edge of their seats as expectation and excitement permeate the air. It's spring, and we're off to the races!

Thus, April is a pivotal month as pure light-filled prana burns through any remaining fog and confusion. Clarity dawns bright. It is now possible to make better decisions, and ultimately take clearly directed action.

Let's begin with the New Moon in Aries on April 5 (4:50 am EDT). As the first sign on the zodiac wheel, Aries represents the undiluted pristine urge of Source to manifest in this physical dimension. This is the time to really pay attention to your motivation, and pave the way with sincere awareness and intention.

The archetypal essence of Aries is bold and courageous, confident and strong, intense and directed. It can be helpful to know where this New Moon lines up in your personal astrology chart. This is the area of life where you are called to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and face forward.

Aries is symbolized by the rambunctious Ram, energetically breaking through barriers and limitations. When Mercury enters Aries on April 17, Venus closely follows, entering Aries on April 20. A sense of rejuvenation, resurrection and rebirth are celebrated on this Easter weekend. From the personal to the collective, these themes will manifest in a variety of ways.

Contributing to the planetary picture, Mars is in Gemini for the entire month of April. The zodiac signs of Aries and Gemini work hand in hand, harmonizing and blending the Aries urge to be actively engaged with the Gemini urge to give voice in self expression. Together these signs are primarily extroverted, out and about, on the go, conversing, learning and exploring.

Mars transiting through Gemini (March 31 – May 15) will give voice to many current social trends. For example, a recent study show the rise of white nationalism is up 182% over the past year. Over the course of Trump's presidency there has been growing dissent and division in the social fabric holding this nation together, and social media is spreading these ideas abroad. These complex issues are building in intensity, and what has been on the back burner will now seek expression and direction.

As the warrior planet, Mars will fight for what it “thinks” is right. In the zodiac sign of Gemini, the translator and communicator, April is a month of collective outcry. Many points of view will be vying for attention, authority and power. In a cacophony of dissent, this process can easily turn into a shouting match to the point that many voices may threaten to drown out the voice of reason.

This brings us to the USA astrology chart, and the destiny of a nation. At the time of the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776), Mars was strongly placed in Gemini. Characterizing the fighting spirit of the nation, Mars in Gemini is about working through differences to discover commonality and authentic expression. The Gemini twins can face each other, communicate and focus on similarities, or turn away and focus on differences.

Out of all the zodiac signs, Gemini aims for unity in diversity, but the flip side is prejudice and judgment. In fact, the country has fought numerous wars based on the “enemy,” rather than embrace the potential of common purpose and genuine human connection beyond stereotypes. Additionally, the nation's chart shows Mars in stressful alignment with Neptune signifying heightened emotional idealism, and attachment to principles that may or may not have any basis in reality.

Repeatedly, throughout its history, the country's backbone has been  communication along with numerous inventions that have advanced and expanded the potential for interconnection. Since the advent of the internet, this capacity has grown exponentially. On a global level, news is instantaneous and compelling in its potential to unite or divide humanity.

This brings us to Donald Trump, and his entrance on the national and international stage. His charisma as a savvy media driven entertainer catapulted him into power. In the years leading up to his election, the media became fixated on him, and this obsession continues to this day.

From an astrological perspective, Trump's public persona is exemplified by his Sun and Uranus in Gemini. This shows a very eccentric, independent, magnetic, strong willed and “know it all” type of personality. His vocal expression tends to be impulsive, rash, animated, persuasive, inflammatory, and entrenched in his own point of view.

The synergy between Trump and the USA chart shows a profound alignment and activation of the country's Mars in Gemini. Each zodiac sign has a vast array for potential expression. In the case of Gemini, the low side demonstrates characteristics such as dishonesty, duplicity, bias, prejudice, gossip and slander. The high side of Gemini expresses as conversational, impartial, honest, transparent, fact based, synergistic, realistic and wise.

From an astrological point of view, Trump's personality literally incites and activates the divisive and fighting spirit inherent in the country's collective mindset. Over the coming weeks, transiting Mars in Gemini activates the exact numerical degree of this potent alignment between Trump and the nation's core identity. The timing is extraordinary, and momentum builds to the second half of April, and the first week of May. Even though it appears that a constitutional crisis has been averted, April is a critical turning point in this complex and controversial predicament.

In this war of words, there are no easy and quick solutions, and once again, planetary trends suggest the timing. During the final week of April, two major planets are stationary, beginning a long retrograde period. Pluto is retrograde from April 25 – October 3. Saturn is retrograde from April 29 – September 18.

Not only are these two potent and consequential planets going retrograde within days of each other, but they are within three degrees of each other in the zodiac sign of Capricorn. It is rare for these two planets to come together. The last time that Saturn and Pluto joined was 1982. Therefore, planet Earth is witnessing the completion of a 38 year cycle with exactitude in January 2020.

Another major factor plays into and intensifies the slowly approaching conjunction of Saturn and Pluto. The south lunar node, referred to as the Dragon's Tail, is currently in Capricorn. As Saturn goes retrograde on April 29, it exactly conjoins the south lunar node. Taking all these factors into consideration, a consequential reckoning is taking place on many levels of our collective experience as humanity stands at a karmic crossroads.

This is a very big deal with far reaching repercussions, far beyond Trump and the current administration. Saturn is a planet of principles, the foundation of rules, laws, regulations, social structures and government. Pluto is the wrecking ball of planets. In mythology, Pluto is god of the underworld. One of its primary functions is to expose corruption, and dismantle structures that allow individuals and groups to hide in the shadows of criminality.

Energetically, it appears that very consequential and heavy situations are moving full speed ahead, and there is progress. However, a great deal of data will surface during the month of April, and it may take months to assimilate and integrate this information to a point of clarity, effective action and resolution. In the meantime, many areas of our collective experience may hang in the balance.

On a personal level, it can be helpful to know where Saturn and Pluto are transiting through your astrology chart. These are areas of life that may feel out of your control, and appear to be deteriorating. This can be frustrating to say the least, but these areas of life can benefit and improve through realistic appraisal, discipline, patience and a good dose of detachment.

Lightening up the planetary perspective is the Full Moon on April 19, followed by the Sun's entrance into Taurus on the 20th. Not only is this Easter weekend, but Earth Day is the 22nd. Especially pay attention to the Sun's conjunction with Uranus in Taurus exact at 7:05 pm on Earth Day.

Uranus entered Taurus on March 6, and will remain in this very earthy and practical zodiac sign for the next 7 years. As the Sun joins and activates Uranus on Earth Day, new trends will be illuminated, because Uranus is the planet of innovation and progress. Amplifying the body's sensing capacity, this activation has the potential to bring more awareness to one's physical reality. Over the next seven years, there will be major advancements in understanding the body, and the multidimensional nature of existence. Uranus in Taurus supports initiatives on behalf of the environment, and the sustainability of life on Earth.

In the early 1980's, I participated in an organization named CHOICE, an acronym for Choosing Healthy Options In Changing Environments. We hosted think tank workshops on a variety of topics including the natural environment, lifestyle, healing, future trends, and the unfolding of global consciousness.

Planetary trends during April present this choice. As individuals, as a nation, and as a planetary organism, we may ask ourselves, “What is healthy, what is life giving and life sustaining?” Real and eternal answers promise to surprise the mind, and delight the senses. Stepping aside from the noisy distractions of daily life, planting feet and standing tall, it's time to plug into beautiful and precious Earth.

March 2019
Belinda C. Dunn

Mercury retrograde
March 5 – 28

Uranus enters Taurus
March 6 @ 3:35 am

Pisces New Moon
March 6 @ 11:04 am

Spring Equinox
March 20 @ 5:59 pm

Aries/Libra Full Moon
March 20 @ 9:43 pm

As noted above, March is a month of significant and profound shifts in  astrological trends. The familiar adage, “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb,” sums up the prevailing atmosphere on many levels of personal, transpersonal and collective experience. As the last vestiges of fierce winter wind blow away stagnation, there is a sense of purification and release in preparation for a major seasonal shift. By month's end, a more gentle, grounding and calm atmosphere prevails.

Let's begin with Mercury entering a retrograde phase on March 5. In addition, this is the day before a New Moon in Pisces. Therefore, at the very end of a lunar cycle, in the dark of the Moon, Mercury joins in to convey a message of slow down, don't think so fast, it's OK to pause and reflect.

Why exactly? More than likely, a conundrum of ambiguous mixed messages are swirling around, presenting complex dilemmas, and there are no easy answers. This is not the time to make assumptions, but to ask questions, seek guidance, and listen sincerely. Answers are forthcoming, but they cannot be clearly accessed from habitual ways of thinking and doing.
Contributing to a prevailing atmosphere of uncertainty, and even a sense of “flying blind,” is the New Moon on March 6. As our Sun and Moon conjoin, they exactly align with Neptune, the planetary ruler of Pisces. In mythology, Neptune is the god of oceanic depths, holding his trident, ruling over the restless and mysterious realms of undulating seas.

Let's consider the fact that planet Earth is halfway through Neptune's long term transit through Pisces (2012 – 2025). Just like the ocean, Neptune's influence on terrestrial affairs can vacillate between extreme highs and lows. Through various means, Neptune dissolves the boundaries of everyday consciousness, opening perception to a multidimensional cosmos. As the planet of contrast, its influence can feel confusing, hard to define, and bring a person to their knees in surrender.

Astrologers attribute several important social trends to Neptune's influence in Pisces. Considering that Pisces represents places for retreat, confinement, healing and solitude, a variety of large institutions are being affected. Prisons and the criminal justice system are due for reform. Medical care and hospital systems are being bought and sold, remodeled and expanded. Meanwhile, the planetary energies for March shine a spotlight on the most needy and vulnerable sectors of the population.

Neptune's most fundamental influence is to escape or transcend. On one hand, substance abuse is running rampant throughout society as people seek diversion and escape from the pressures of daily life. Another potential pitfall can manifest as apathy, aimlessness, self-pity and resignation.

On the other hand, there is a spiritual renaissance taking place as meditation, yoga and a variety of spiritual techniques are growing in public awareness. Thus, Neptune presents a stark contrast between destructive options, and life promoting, healthy lifestyle choices.

When an individual is tapping into the highest potential for Neptune, there is an attitude of “being in the world, but not of it.” In the quest for meaning and transcendence, altered states of consciousness may be invisible to the vast majority of people. However, to the person experiencing these rarefied and elevated states, human life becomes a gracious, beautiful and miraculous gift.

As astrology gives the gift of timing, let's lay out the time frame. Look back to the powerful Super Full Moon on February 19. On that very day, Mercury joined Neptune in Pisces. You may ask yourself, did anything (events, discussions, creative projects, insights) call for your attention? Contemplating the vast expanse of your eternal being . . . is anything stirring and shifting in your consciousness? Be aware of these subtle, or not so subtle, urges as Mercury goes retrograde on March 5, followed closely by the Pisces New Moon on March 6.

Before and after, when Mercury goes direct on March 28, it is closely aligned with Neptune (March 24 and April 2). This signals a decisive moment, but complete clarity and resolution may not come until mid-April when Mercury leaves the zodiac sign of Pisces and enters Aries on April 17.

At the time of writing this article, Trump just announced a national emergency. Considering the planetary trends, especially in regard to Mercury, it doesn't bode well for successful manifestation of long-term goals. In fact, the very image of Mercury in Pisces brings to mind a child playing at the seaside, only to have the next wave dissolve the sand castle in a matter of minutes. In the meantime, chaos and confusion reign supreme, keeping law makers on their toes in terms of feasible solutions.

This brings us to the Spring Equinox on March 20. Typically, this a time of tremendous surges in vitality and energy. However, with Mercury in Pisces for 9 weeks (February 10 – April 17), there may be a lag time. The dreamy, emotional, fertile, romantic, artistic and  humanitarian energy of Pisces prevails for the time being.

That said, the Equinox is powerfully combined with a Full Moon. On the evening of March 20, just as our Sun is entering Aries, the Moon enters Libra. This Full Moon can surface and illuminate issues in regard to relationships. Generally, the Sun in Aries tends to be self-motivated and independently driven, whereas the Moon in Libra is about collaboration, and finding common ground.

In big and small ways, lines are drawn in the sand. You may consider the areas of your life where you need to act boldly and independently, and the areas of your life where it is advantageous to slow down in order to collaborate and harmonize with others. For the most part, relationships require  adaptation and conversation. This Full Moon highlights these important matters that can make or break relationships and alliances.

In the swimming, swirling and choppy seas of human experience, these prominent astrological trends can feel like treading water, in a sink or swim environment. The collective consciousness may be faced with events that incite a veritable tidal wave of emotional reaction, changing terrain and altering perception. In times like this, when large numbers of people encounter forces beyond their control, there may be no other choice than to get out of the way, and seek higher ground.

There is good news from the planetary perspective as Uranus enters Taurus on March 6. Just in the nick of time, Taurus is the most earthy,  grounding and stabilizing of zodiac energies. Boosting common sense and bolstering morale, Uranus will remain in Taurus for the next seven years.

Uranus is the planet of innovation and progress. There will be advances in the flow and exchange of money and resources. New channels will open for an abundance of positive green energy to flow throughout the world economy. This includes an increasing awareness of the natural environment, and the mounting crisis for survival and sustainability.

Inventive and solution oriented, Uranus in Taurus is ready and poised to offer viable options in many areas of our collective experience. Uranus in Taurus can enhance a mindset of prosperity, and an attitude of gratitude. In so many instances, there is plenty of money and plenty of good will, but society is encountering a problem with distribution.

This brings us to another major planetary influence, the approaching joining of Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. Even though the exact conjunction takes place in January 2020, humanity is already experiencing a building crescendo of far reaching challenges that demand fundamental change. As the planet of law and order, Saturn's influence is always very consequential. Meanwhile, Pluto is exposing the corrosive nature of greed and self interest on many levels of our collective experience. More on this next month, as these heavy hitters come within 3 degrees of each other, and enter their yearly retrograde phase by the end of April.

On the personal level, you might be encountering real life circumstances that require a transformation of what is not working in your life. Saturn in Capricorn instills a sense of duty, grit and determination to work through the underlying issues that Pluto brings to the surface. The breakdown/breakthrough process is leading to a rebuilding in some area of your life. Resolution and direction is supported by a patient, practical, disciplined and focused approach.

All together, the planetary trends during March invoke vision, inspiration, direction and clarity. Take time out from the busyness of everyday life to settle and quiet the monkey mind. Pay attention to the still, small voice within. Guidance is readily available in moments of receptive quietude. Looking up, every moment is a chance to choose wisely, bringing heaven a little closer to planet Earth.

February 2019
Belinda C. Dunn

Aquarius New Moon
February 4  @  4:04 pm

Pisces/Virgo Super Full Moon
February 19  @  10:54 am

As February begins, the northern hemisphere is cloaked in the barren, frigid and dark days of winter. Marking the halfway point through this introspective season, a variety of ancient traditions honor this potent phase transition. On February 2, the Celtic tradition observes Imbolc, the Christians celebrate Candlemas, and the American version is Groundhog Day.

From an astrological standpoint, Sun and Mercury are transiting through Aquarius, the most progressive and forward thinking zodiac sign. Aquarius instills an atmosphere of experimentation and invention, beckoning humanity to dream of a positive and light filled future.

In the depths of winter, how timely and perfect it is to settle around an enlivening fire, hands wrapped around a warm beverage, bolstering one's spirit. Sitting, drifting between past and future, remembering, dreaming of sunshine, fantasizing about the garden to come, planning and planting the next season in your mind's eye.

As the clock ticks in this 24/7 world, the normal human tendency is to to keep going with social and work commitments, but this timely passage is rich with potential, and these final weeks of winter are best used for restoration. Meta-physician Richard Rudd writes, “Most of humanity (in the northern hemisphere) find the early months of the year a depressing time, and often seek to escape it in all kinds of ways. There is a great collective pressure to get caught in negative ways of thinking during this time, which can very easily cause us to lose track of our true direction. The best advice is to shut down one's outer faculties as much as possible during this period, but to open up one's inner senses as widely as possible.”

Contributing to a sense of new beginnings, on February 4 a New Moon in Aquarius underscores the need for quiet stillness to contemplate and clarify direction. On an annual basis, this auspicious lunation marks the Chinese New Year, and 2019 is associated with the year of the boar or earth pig. The very image of the pig is that of living close to the land, feet firmly planted with a spirit of sensual enjoyment and humble appreciation. Along with plenty of celebration and fanfare, the entire global family enters 2019 on the same calendar page.

The astrology chart for this New Moon is very dynamic, thus the need to maintain balance between inner connection and outer action. Let's start with Mars in its transit through Aries (January 1 – February 14). Mars will fight for what it thinks it right, and this determined and potentially self centered combination has been pouring fuel on the flames of discord. Thus far, even though the overall mood has been full speed ahead due to all planets direct, the road has been filled with potholes and numerous hurdles to  overcome.

Rambunctious and risky, forceful and insistent, February begins with Mars in stressful alignment with Pluto. In this case, might does not necessarily make right. This intense, complex and turbulent planetary activation is to be watched, and it is advisable to avoid taking unnecessary risk unless absolutely necessary.

You may recall, two slow moving and generational planets, Uranus and Pluto, have been in discordant alignment for a number of years (2011 – 2018). A real game changer, these planets has been working together in a breakdown/breakthrough evolutionary transformation. Essentially, this is the signature aspect of the tumultuous decade drawing to a close.

Therefore, more than likely, we will see a culmination of this chaos from February 1 to February 13 as Mars squares Pluto (February 1), and conjoins Uranus (February 13). This revolutionary planetary combination presses the point in a make it or break it moment.
Contributing to the intensity, is the fact that Uranus is in its final and critical degree of Aries, thus completing a seven year phase of major planetary change.

To recap Uranus in Aries . . . it was the summer of 2010 when Uranus first touched down in Aries. Some of the most notable events include the Gulf Oil spill, and Arab spring. Thus, a seven year phase of destabilizing tumult started. Not only has this affected governing structures, but woven together with widespread social upheaval, humanity is facing the very real threat of environmental degradation as numerous species struggle for survival. Uranus in Aries has brought to our attention the painful reality of arrogant, short sighted and self absorbed tendencies in self and others, and the complicated problems that arise when unilateral decisions are made.

Despite the unnerving and unsettling upheaval of early February, there are strong protective influences from Jupiter this month. Jupiter is currently transiting through Sagittarius, supporting an optimistic attitude that generates positive outcomes. Together with Mars in Aries, and the New Moon in Aquarius, these zodiac signs work in concert to expand horizons, and illuminate progressive solutions to the many challenges that plague society at this time.

On February 14, Valentine's Day by the way, Mars enters Taurus. After six weeks of Mars in Aries, this will feel like a welcome relief. It's deep breath time. The tone shifts to a more common sense, back to business atmosphere. Grounded and realistic, Mars will remain in Taurus through March. So once the firestorm is over, we can look forward to approximately six weeks of relative stability, hopefully. Hard to predict in these turbulent times, but overall, Mars in Taurus seeks comfort and tranquility.

Mercury enters Pisces on February 10, so  look for an about face, and  midstream shift for the next nine weeks until Mercury enters Aries on April 16. This includes a retrograde phase (March 5 - 28), so the sign of the fishes (Pisces) may be swimming in the murky waters of toxicity. On the other hand, it is quite possible to cultivate and choose the crystal clear waters of a blue lagoon, teaming with creative and productive life force.

Thus, the year begins with Mars in Aries pushing, fighting and reinforcing the necessity for change. Then Mercury enters Pisces for the next 9 weeks. These planetary factors mark a major shift during the week of February 10. It may feel energetically confusing. We may find ourselves in contradictory situations, even at cross purposes with outer manifestations and expectations.

Keeping track of planetary influences in the USA astrology chart is revealing. For the past several years, Neptune in Pisces has been joining the USA progressed Sun. This very slow moving and long term influence has been disorienting, especially in terms of the national and collective identity.

One of the most obvious outcomes can been seen in the area of communication, the media, and the confusion as to what constitutes “real news” and “fake  news.” The week of February 17, Mercury transits over this important point in the USA chart, so be on the lookout for more smoking mirrors along with delusions, and possible misinterpretation and distortion of basic facts.

More than likely, whatever arises this final week of February will  require careful thinking as Mercury is preparing to go retrograde on March 5. It will take time to sort through the facts, and full clarity and resolution may not be possible until mid-April. This is the case for individuals as well as the nation.

Amplifying these themes is the full illumination and intensity of another SuperMoon Full Moon on February 19 as the Sun enters Pisces. The chart for this lunation shows Mercury exactly conjoining Neptune. On one hand, there is potential for extraordinary breakthroughs in consciousness, and massive amounts of insight and information will be surging into the light of day.

On the other hand, the chart for this Full Moon shows the Moon in practical and fact based Virgo. This can only add to the atmosphere of confusion between fact and fiction, reality and illusion. This strong polarity can feel like an insurmountable gap between ideals and reality. While this can play out in a variety of ways in one's personal life, it is quite evident on the national level. The country was founded on high ideals, and its time to go back to the drawing board in terms of practical, realistic solutions.

Another grounding and practical trend begins on February 3 as Venus enters Capricorn where she will remain for the remainder of the month. Venus is normally sensuous, creative, gentle, kind and loving, but Venus in Capricorn tends to be all business, more serious, even cold and detached. So midst all the flurry of Valentine sentiment, this can place many relationships in high alert, and bring more serious issues to the forefront. Especially watch the week of February 18; Venus joins heavy, serious Saturn on Monday, and controlling, intense Pluto on Friday. Exposing the underbelly of any relationship, this combination can provide an honest reckoning of connection, affection, and what truly matters.

There is one more planetary shift to note, and this is Chiron's entrance into Aries on February 18. It's fascinating to note that Uranus is completing a seven year trend in Aries, as Chiron begins an eight year trend in Aries.

As with each zodiac sign, there is a wide spectrum in expression. The low side of Aries can express as self-absorption, bullying, and to the extreme, narcissistic personality disorder. The transit of Uranus through Aries has brought increased public awareness of these types of personalities. The high side of Aries is bold and brave, expressed in heroic action for the good of all. As Chiron enters Aries, there is potential for awareness and healing of these tendencies in self and others as well as society at large.

As February concludes with Sun, Mercury and Neptune in the zodiac sign of Pisces, it can be helpful to contemplate the meaning of earthly incarnation. The true purpose of this world is veiled for most of humanity. Religion, philosophy and spirituality attempts to define what can only be experienced.

As the 12th and final sign of the zodiac wheel, Pisces encourages release, forgiveness, purification, faith, and sublime trust in the goodness, truth and beauty of life. The word that comes to mind is liminal, defined in the dictionary as “barely perceptible, relating to a sensory threshold.” In this era of dissolving structures and widespread consternation, perhaps tapping into one's faith is the only reliable and constant response.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 40+ years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. EMAIL: belinda@astrodelight.com  PHONE: 828-215-2101

Belinda C. Dunn
January 2019

Solar Eclipse in Capricorn
January 5  @  8:28 pm

Lunar Eclipse in Leo/Aquarius
January 21  @  12:16 am

Welcome to a new year, according to the Gregorian calendar, I might add. Throughout the ages, a variety of cultures have structured  cycles into set patterns based on belief and observation. For example the Mayan calendar contains a very different interpretation of cycles, and the Chinese New Year begins on February 5 this year. East and west, ancient and modern, the calendar is the means by which human affairs can be on the same page, and organized within a timely manner.

In terms of January, there are many astrological indications of major cycles of completion, and significant new developments. Let's begin with a Solar Eclipse on January 5. This is the first eclipse in Capricorn since December 2000. The eclipses follow an 18.6 year cycle, and right on time, 2019 begins with an eclipse in the zodiac sign of the mountain goat, an apt symbol in these current times.

The mountain goat is known for its agility in maneuvering through very complex and rocky terrain. There is no room for a misstep, and the slippery slope is ever present as a reminder to stay true to the marked path, holding steady and alert to potential detours and change of direction.

The zodiac sign of Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, the tough love, reality check planet. Its very tone and resonance can feel heavy, determined and inevitable. Like gravity, Saturn holds weight, and even though gravity is taken for granted most of the time, there is no denying gravity. Repeatedly, through decades of observation, I have seen a variety of responses to Saturn's influence. All the way from pessimism and depression to resistance and fear, it is tempting to give in to the slippery slope of negativity.

However, Saturn has a very constructive side, a purpose despite life's distractions and detours. As the planet of time and space, form and function, Saturn is a constant reminder of the temporary nature of physicality. Saturn beckons to higher ground and broader perspective. As the planet of consequence, Saturn doesn't let an individual, group or nation get away with anything less than responsibility and integrity.

At the time of this Solar Eclipse, the Sun and Moon join together, couched between Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. Astrologers call this rare planetary alignment a stellium. Not only does a stellium deliver powerful and pointed focus, Capricorn is the zodiac sign of law and order. This entire combination signals a year whereby there is little room for deviation from what is moral, upright and true. When Saturn is involved, there is no getting around or avoiding the consequences, and all these factors join together as a planetary reset of gigantic proportions.

What does this look like for the individual, nation and the world?  On the personal level, a variety of restrictions can be apparent and need to be addressed. Saturn is associated with the bones, joints, teeth and aging. In general, January is a good month to address underlying health issues, and aim to strengthen areas that need fortification.

Even though Saturn brings up problems that need to be addressed, it offers the perfect antidote of discipline, perseverance and determination. For example, it is easier to stick with a weight loss program during a Saturn transit. Another example is that of sticking to a budget or any other issue that needs structure and follow through. As 2019 begins, the planets are fully behind the successful formulation and step by step completion of short and long term goals. Thus, it is important to clarity intentions in a very realistic and effective manner.

The next level of Saturn's influence takes us to the national picture. The tug of war between political parties and competing ideologies is destined to get ugly (sorry, this is the word that popped in). But, the writing is on the wall, so to speak. For two years, a toxic stew of controversy has been simmering, and now it begins to boil over. It's going to be messy, wasteful and hard to clean up.

A rising crescendo of voices are speaking out on behalf of the country's welfare. The nation is faced with many challenges desperately needing attention, and the dysfunctional state of government is hitting a crisis point under Trump's leadership. In the tumult and chaos of this administration, Trump may very well be doing his job in the larger cosmic picture. Acting as a reflection of many social ills, trickster Trump is mirroring considerable dysfunction that must be addressed in order to move forward into the next decade.

In a social environment where the national dialog has become riddled with lies and deceit, this is a time of reckoning. The fault lines are already visible. The prominent influence of Saturn throughout January, spells out a candid and transparent view of reality. The destiny of the nation rests on these weeks and coming months as the tide turns toward responsible action, and restoration of integrity that is so closely aligned with national identity.

From an astrological standpoint, as Pluto continues its slow march through Capricorn (2008-2023), the true purpose of these drastic measures will be revealed. Pluto serves to dismantle and evolve structures that have outlived their relevance.

We can look forward to key turning points as Saturn enters Aquarius in spring 2020, and Pluto enters Aquarius in spring of 2023. Like a fire moving through a forest, dead wood is being cleared. This is a “don't look back” moment as humanity is catapulted into the future. Over the course of the next five years, as these heavy weight planets leave Capricorn and enter Aquarius, rebuilding is destined to begin in earnest.

On the global level, Saturn influence points to dwindling resources for many of Earth's inhabitants, and impending environmental crisis. Governments and corporations are the social structures that support progress and prosperity, but in a multitude of cases, these enormous entities have been neglecting social and fiscal responsibility to the larger whole. The restricting and limiting effect of Saturn can put resources to the test on many levels.

Additionally, Saturn's slow, but sure, approach to Pluto, is a key component in the trends for 2019. Even though this joining is exact in January 2020, there is building momentum throughout 2019. This is the month to pay attention, and watch arising themes and circumstances, especially as the Solar Eclipse acts as the kick-off point for the next 12 months. Additionally, Sun, Moon and Mercury activate these consequential planets on January 2, 5, 6, 11, 13, 18, 29.

To understand the importance and strength of this alignment, it is important to consider Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, coinciding with an enormous economic bailout. Despite what authorities say, the economy is still in flux due to many complex factors. Shortly after this collapse, Uranus entered Aries and aligned with Pluto for a total of seven times through 2010 – 2017. This very destabilizing and chaotic planetary trend has left many financial institutions, corporations and governments in a vulnerable position.

On January 6, closely following the Solar Eclipse, Uranus in Aries stations direct, making its final exclamation point before entering Taurus on March 6. This is a major energetic and evolutionary shift. Throughout the winter months, it is as though the log jam in the river of life is now free to untangle and flow. Over the next seven years, Uranus Taurus will provide an optimal mindset for progress in the areas of investment, finances, and environmental protection. Innovation is the way to go.

If this isn't enough to kick off 2019, there is a Lunar Eclipse on January 20/21. Known as a Super Blood Full Moon, this is one of the most potent eclipses of the year. Orbiting very close to the Earth, the Moon tends to stir up and amplify emotional reaction. During this eclipse, the Sun is in Aquarius and the Moon is in Leo. This is the final eclipse activating the zodiac signs of Leo/Aquarius that has been in effect for two years. Events surrounding this eclipse further the necessity for closure. The atmosphere is supercharged and unpredictable, and may very send shock waves of change throughout the system.

As an optimist, I would prefer to sugar coat reality, but January is a month of very challenging planetary trends. Many people and groups will remain on the low road of cynical and pessimistic negativity. In fact, this attitude is rampant in our world these days. Humanity can go kicking and screaming, complaining and resisting, OR . . .???

It is clear, this unprecedented and unique moment is calling humanity to the high road. For decades, light workers around the globe have held the vision and the space to actualize a brilliant future in alignment with Source. Beyond little minds of self interest and personal gain, there is a larger Plan at work here. Hear and heed the call, the paradigm shift is happening! It is no longer off in some distant future. It is here and now, and each of us are called to participation.

December 2018

Mercury Direct
December 6  @  4:22 pm

Sagittarius New Moon
December 7  @  2:20 am

Winter Solstice
December 21  @  5:23 pm

Capricorn/Cancer Full Moon
December 22  @  12:49 pm

Here we stand at year's end. Another year older, hopefully another year wiser . . . dancing on the razor's edge of past and future. During this season of sacred honoring, celebration and contemplation, each of us, in own way, are faced with the reality of the current human condition, stuck between a rock and a hard place. No doubt, the “shift is hitting the fan,” and we may finding ourselves asking a whole litany of vital questions. Seeking answers to such questions as, “What is the meaning and purpose of life?”

There are no easy answers in these challenging times. For many people the world over, humanity's current trajectory appears grim and fated, dreadful and hopeless. And yet, during this season of celebration, it is more important than ever to promote kindness and foster levity. Moment by moment, fanning the flames of inspiration, rather than flames of hatred and division. Really and truly, one heart at a time, finding light in the face of darkness.

The planetary trends are full on, 100% behind this sentiment. On December 7, a New Moon in Sagittarius sets the stage. The astrology chart for this lunation shows a major emphasis on the zodiac signs of Sagittarius (Sun, Moon, Jupiter), and Pisces (Mars, Chiron, Neptune). Both of these signs are related to Jupiter, a planet that bestows optimism and confidence even in the most troubling of circumstances.

In fact, on the very day of this auspicious New Moon, Mars joins Neptune, furthering the themes of inspiration. Since this word repeatedly comes to mind as December's message, and just for fun, I looked up inspiration in Webster's dictionary. The definition is quite telling, “A divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him (or her) to receive and communicate revelation.”

This is an important thing to consider as the majority of people look outwardly for inspiration, but dissecting the word further, inspiration is a clear directive to go “in” and “spire.” Reminiscent of a bell tower rising up to meet Spirit, current planetary trends provide profound ascending potential for those prepared for these extraordinary times. Genuine inspiration is intangible yet real, infused with truth, infused with a sense of clarity and mission.

Another analogy can be helpful. You may recall flying, and taking off in stormy, foggy, choppy weather. The view is obscured, the atmosphere is turbulent, there is nothing to see outside the window, except gray. But suddenly, you can feel the plane powerfully meet the resistant, and minutes later, you experience a soaring, buoyant sensation as the plane bravely breaks free from gravity and the heaviness of terrestrial affairs. Rising above the clouds, the Sun is radiant, reassuring, shining bright . . . as always.

Current planetary trends have wonderful potential to lift consciousness out of the muck and mire, but it is a choice. Many people will give into the heaviness, seeming to lose momentum, unsure and unaware of possibility. This is where vision comes in. Jupiter entered the zodiac sign of prophecy on November 8, but it is the New Moon in Sagittarius on December 6, along with Mercury going direct on the very same day, that puzzle pieces appear to fall into place.

If this isn't enough to throw open the blinds and let sunlight in, Mars is transiting through Pisces, joining Neptune exactly on this Sagittarius New Moon. Taken together, these planetary influences actively support spontaneous  opening of consciousness. Premonition, prophecy and vision are all heightened. However, it is advisable to remember the vastness of universal dimensions, and even though there is an opening, people tend to draw upon and attune to the level of their conditioning.

At this time in history, social discourse is riddled with lies, exaggeration and untruths. It has become common place to interject falsehoods into the system, but they fester like a virus, throwing the entire system into chaos. Of course, the internet is buzzing with all sorts of proclamations and predictions. Some of it accurate, some of it ludicrous, and much that is downright bizarre. The common adage, “Actions speak louder than words,” can cut through and offset a confusing spin of fact and fiction.

But that's not all, during the week between Christmas and New Year's, Mars joins Chiron. We will experience a building crescendo throughout December, testing the beliefs we hold dear, and ultimately culminating in a new view. In this case, as the wounded healer, Chiron works to illuminate false and destructive mindsets that keep humanity lost, trapped and stuck in illusion. This entire alignment begs the question, “What do you believe?”

Over the course of December, more than likely, there will be events, perhaps conversations and news, that conspire to shatter preconceived notions. Intertwined within this process is a deep letting go. Metaphorically, and perhaps literally, there can be a throwing up of one's hands in surrender. However, only in this yielding and surrendered state can truth stream forth.

Winter Solstice on December 21 supports an atmosphere of meditative contemplation. The Sun has just entered Capricorn, the zodiac sign of tradition, and it is natural to reminisce during the holiday season. Familiar smells, sights and sounds are embedded in every cell. In preparation for the calendar page to turn from 2018 to 2019, it is right and natural to remember family and friends with a toast of good cheer.

On December 22, within 24 hours of the annual solstice, there is a Full Moon. Solstice is the longest night of the year, however the Sun in Capricorn is opposite the Moon in Cancer, shining in full illumination of the star studded sky. A Full Moon is always an optimal time to see through the veils of consciousness, and penetrate to the heart of any matter. This is especially true this year as these two powerful astrological events join together.

Once our Sun enters Capricorn, the collective mood deepens, becoming more reverential, sober and solemn. As 2018 draws to a close, the planet Saturn signals completion and readiness for what's next. As of December 12, Saturn returns to nine degrees of Capricorn, the same degree of its retrograde station point last April.

Saturn spends approximately 2 ½ years in each zodiac sign, and Saturn is completing its first year in Capricorn. As the taskmaster planet, Saturn helps us keep a realistic eye on goals. Typically a worthwhile endeavor takes discipline, focus, planning and intention. Even though the challenges of 2018 are wrapping up, it is helpful to take stock in preparation for 2019.

Contributing to a genuine feeling of putting the past behind, and beginning a new chapter, Mars enters Aries on New Year's Eve (9:20 pm EST). By now, Mars has been in Pisces since mid-November. The high side of Mars in Pisces is inspiration, guidance, compassion, faith and spiritual surrender. The more difficult and low side of Mars in Pisces can be apathy, addiction, resignation, despair and confusion. As Mars enters bold, energetic, courageous Aries, the tone really changes. Surely this is a beneficial way to begin a new year.

Drawing upon the fabled story of Scrooge along wit h the ghosts of past/present/future, the holiday season is typically a time for generosity and consideration of those in need. During December, numerous and rare planetary influences join together to illuminate a tremendous contrast in life circumstances around the globe.

In this era of rampant materialism and spiritual bankruptcy, it is tempting to lose faith in humanity. But, in this season of contradiction and contrast, perhaps keeping the faith alive is the whole point. My first yoga and astrology teacher, Kriyananda, repeatedly pointed out, “There is only one miracle, and that is the softening of the hardened human heart.” Saints and sages, meta-physicians and mystics all claim that deep within each heart is a wellspring of love, inspiration, compassion and goodness. This is the real miracle, and the true joy, abiding within each and everyone.

On this note, signing off for 2018, I send love and best wishes for peace, prosperity and happiness to you and your loved ones. 2019, here we come !!!

November 2018

Scorpio New Moon

November 7 @ 11:02 am

Mercury Retrograde
November 16  @  8:33 pm

Sagittarius/Gemini Full Moon
November 23  @  12:39 am

As daylight noticeably shortens, and shadows grow long, November is a month for contemplation as significant shifts in consciousness take place. Altering perception and shifting priorities, planetary trends demonstrate new patterns coming into play.

On this dimension of truth and consequence, we will witness a variety of long term conditions take a turn for the better, and naturally evolve to the next stage. This includes secrets coming into the light of day along with increased support for telling the truth and exposing lies. Palpable, heartfelt and relevant, life never ceases to amaze and astound.

On November 7, the day after elections in the U.S., a Scorpio New Moon sets the stage for these new beginnings. No matter the outcome, the very process has brought to light the underbelly of corruption, distortion and manipulation characterizing current election practices. And, very importantly, it seals the deal on a full year of Jupiter's transit in Scorpio that has churned and burned one illusion after the other.

Gigantic, massive Jupiter is the truth telling planet. Over the past twelve months, Jupiter has been drilling deep beneath the surface of everyday decorum to expose secrets. One investigation leads to the next, fueling a treadmill of reaction and revenge. Collective emotions are raw and exposed; similar to a wound that starts to heal only to be torn off again. In fact, Scorpio's evolutionary job is to surface residual trauma and repressed emotion so the organism can finally heal. When the time is ripe, the process naturally occurs as a healing release that cannot be denied or ignored.

On November 8, Jupiter makes its shift from deep, dark and mysterious Scorpio to uplifting, exuberant, tell all Sagittarius. As people shake off the limitations and burdens of long ago wounds, there will be a collective readiness to share stories, learning and healing through common experience.

Jupiter is the natural ruler of Sagittarius, therefore at home in this zodiac sign. This amplifies and strengthens the transit's effect over the next 12 months. November is the kick-off month for specific archetypal themes, capturing humanity's imagination and attention for months to come.

Accentuating this shift, Mercury is in Sagittarius and begins a retrograde phase on November 16 that continues until December 6. Additionally a Full Moon in the first degree of Sagittarius occurs on November 23, exactly aligning with Jupiter.

Taking all this into consideration, it is helpful to pay attention to a collective shift in consciousness. Jupiter transiting through Sagittarius will expand horizons. As the zodiac sign of global connection, we will see a renewed interest in international relations, long distance travel, law, philosophy and spirituality. This soaring, buoyant, optimistic potential supports the quest for understanding across a wide spectrum of human experience.

Some people will seek out connection through travel, others through higher education, others through the written and spoken word. Jupiter is the planet of journalism and publishing, thus these fields will get a boost of empowerment to get the truth out. In this era of misinformation along with the confusion of “fake news” vs. real news, this will more openness to learning, and education in general.

However, with Jupiter's expansive influence comes a tendency to exaggerate, inflate, and promote unrealistic claims. There is a tendency for scams and con jobs to surge in frequency. Gambling, and other risky ventures can lead to downfall. Dishonesty already permeates the current social discourse. As these tendencies are illuminated, the call for truth and justice can only increase, but it will be a mixed bag of tricks, and in my estimation, this is not the time to take unnecessary risks.

The hot topic of immigration is at a crisis point on the southern border. More than likely, the on-going debate and clash in belief systems is going to intensify with Jupiter in Sagittarius. Major events during November can press the point and set the stage for resolution over the next year.

From a more personal perspective, let's consider Mercury retrograde (November 16 – December 6). So often, when I tell a client that Mercury is going retrograde, I hear a grunt of dissatisfaction and aggravation. It's true, Mercury retrograde can cause mess-ups and delay for a variety of reasons. Typically, there is a need for stepping back, and gathering more information and perspective to make decisions and move forward.

This natural pause is best used for reviewing the course ahead. It is advisable to avoid jumping to conclusions or trying to force circumstances, as humans are apt to do. Since Mercury rules communication and transportation, this is the month to carefully and methodically make holiday travel plans.

Fast forward decisions in your mind. Do you really want to spend the holidays with that group or people? How much do you want to spend? What is the  most meaningful way to celebrate this sacred season? And be sure to double check dates and times for travel plans. Taking these pointers into consideration, can vastly improve a Mercury retrograde phase.

Another major planetary retrograde started on October 6, and completes on November 16. This is Venus, the planet of artistry, beauty, money, relationships, affection and love. Contemplate these recent six weeks. What have you learned about yourself in light of those you are in relationship with? Have you stepped back from an important relationship? Or have you received clarity and motivation to improve a relationship? Have you seen deeply into the heart of matters, and come to clear conclusions?

Throughout these autumn months, Venus engages Uranus in a stressful opposition exactly three times (September 12, October 31, November 30). Uranus is the wild card planet, shaking things up and turning things around. This planetary combination instills a potent urge for freedom from restriction. However, in matters of the heart, the virtues of constancy, loyalty and honesty are essential.

Thus, it is a tumultuous month for relationship, but shaking things up can be the perfect antidote for routine, and taking things for granted. Like the lightening bolt, the action of Uranus tends to be sudden and unpredictable. While this trend is unsettling, it can clear the way for keen understanding and unmistakable clarity in this important area of relationship including shared resources.

Adding to this complex picture is a major shift of the lunar nodes from one zodiac polarity to another. Invisible yet potent, the nodes are mystical points where the Sun, Moon and Earth align to manifest those rare astronomical events known as eclipses. As part of an 18.6 year cycle, the lunar nodes have been in Leo/Aquarius for several years. Thus, recent eclipses, both solar and lunar, have been in these zodiac signs including the unforgettable “Great American” Total Solar Eclipse of August 2017.

On November 6, the north lunar node enters Cancer and the south lunar node enters Capricorn. Therefore, for example, the upcoming solar eclipse next January will be in Capricorn. With this shift, new archetypal themes will emerge over the next several months.

The interplay of these zodiac signs, Cancer and Capricorn, is very significant in terms of the nation's destiny, and obviously the country is at a major turning point. Using the July 4, 1776 birth time, the astrology chart shows the Sun in Cancer along with Venus, Jupiter and Mercury. On the other side of the polarity is Pluto in Capricorn.

Pluto's orbit is a very slow 248 year cycle, and Pluto is returning to this exact placement in 2022 – 2023. Pluto is the death/rebirth planet, and its action is to dismantle those structures that are no longer relevant. This is an evolutionary process as all manifestations reach a point of breakdown and disintegration. Messy, inconvenient and uncertain, this natural process brings breakthroughs while activating the mysterious ways of transmutation and transformation. More on this in January's article, but it is clearly evident that conditions are unstable on many levels. Social unrest, financial instability, diplomatic challenges, and more, add to the picture of a nation and world in turmoil.

November is a month for seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and envisioning a benevolent future. Even in the darkest moments, a rare alignment of planets is poised to bestow an atmosphere of hopeful optimism. On Thanksgiving Day, our Sun enters Sagittarius and joins Jupiter on the 26th. Adding talkative, communicative Mercury to the mix gives a radical boost of clarity and truth.

In addition, there is a prominent Neptune influence as this planet goes direct on Saturday, November 24, and Mars is transiting through Pisces (November 15 – January 1, 2019). All together these trends can illuminate the way forward, dispelling the murky, fogginess of confusion, lies, deception and illusion.

As an astrologer, it looks like a veritable flood of information coming into the light of day. On a spiritual level, this appears as Divine intervention, a massive download of expanded perception that in turn expands perspective. At the same time, in our collective experience, these revelations can be challenged, therefore kicking up more dust, bringing situations to a crisis point. More than likely, public acceptance and integration of these extraordinary events will take some time.

Spanning eons, across cultures and beliefs, saints and sages speak of the natural harmony of universal law. The essence of this law is devoid of philosophical, religious and political dogma. This is truth with a capital “T.” Beyond forms, beyond time, this manifested existence is but a shadow of this eternal way. Within the heart of hearts of every being, this Truth is present as love, kindness, forgiveness, compassion, grace and liberation. May your holiday season be filled to overflowing with these eternal riches, the true wealth of life. Enjoy!


Libra New Moon
October 8  @  11:47 pm

Scorpio/Taurus Full Moon
October 24  @  12:45 pm

October begins with our Sun, and its messenger Mercury, in the zodiac sign of Libra. Symbolized by the scales of balance, daily life reveals itself as a balancing act of epic proportions. Contemplation on Libra reveals the fundamental nature of relationship on this dimension. Known as one of the most karmic zodiac signs, Libra tests each of us in terms of heart attitude, continually asking us to refine and upgrade this delicate art of relationship harmony, or lack thereof.

To sum up October, is to sum up the current state of your personal relationships. People are habituated to focus on linear, person to person interaction, but don't leave out the most primary relationship of all, the personal and direct connection with Source. In this sense, there is a deep dive of consciousness to address some of the most compelling questions of our interactive existence.

On a conscious, or perhaps unconscious level, October is a month of preparation. Daylight is rapidly shortening, there is a frosty chill in the morning air. You may find yourself looking ahead to the holidays. Who will you be celebrating with? And as winter days descend, do you know who you will be sitting with around the fire? This may seem very simple and obvious, but as we take a peek at current planetary trends, you will understand how significant this topic of relationship is.

Each zodiac sign has a planetary ruler. In this case, Venus is the planet most closely associated with Libra. Many areas of life come under the domain of Venus. A feminine goddess archetype, she is associated with beautification in many forms. She is the artist's muse, the gardener's inspiration, the decorator's assistant, the diplomat's right hand. Every time you go to the closet and choose what to wear, Venus comes to the forefront as the planet of adornment. As the planetary ruler of the heart, Venus is continually nudging each human heart to awaken and choose love, tenderness, kindness and connection.

Venus has a very mystical path through our sky, and her orbit has been closely tracked since first humans gazed into vast reaches of heavenly space. Like many planets, Venus goes through retrograde cycles. When tracing these cycles over the course of years, Venus marks a perfect five pointed star in the sky, the sacred pentagram.

On October 5, Venus makes her mark once again as she stations retrograde for the next six weeks. The very word retrograde implies an instinct to pull back for the purpose of review. In some situations and relationships, this may appear as a very intense recoiling  from the unsettling, distasteful, crass and gross. You may find desires suddenly take a turn in new directions, altering the course of relationships. This natural and necessary phase of withdrawing can end some relationships as well as deepen relationships that are meant to continue.

On the most subtle level, Venus represents core values, what we hold dear. Many of us will be reviewing what is important and valuable, and where this matters in a variety of settings. Differences in values may arise in terms of money, sexuality, politics, art, decorations, adornment . . . the list goes on.

Venus is also the planet of human love, thus deep seated issues around affection, intimacy, self expression and compatibility can arise. Sensibilities are heightened with Venus in magnetic and charismatic Scorpio. The flip side of attraction is repulsion and revulsion, so there is a wide range of potential effects.

Adding to this compelling and strange mix of planetary influences is the fact that Venus engages Uranus in her retrograde phase. This means that three times Venus will oppose Uranus, the wild card planet, so anything goes during these potentially tumultuous and unsettling weeks. The exact dates of this opposition are: September 12, October 29 & November 30. Thus, we will see a distinct overhaul within and without. It's like getting a makeover, whether we ask for it or not.

In addition to the more immediate and personal level, these trends point to many twists and turns that can significantly alter social, national and global interactions. Let's consider the fact that Mars is part of this mix. During the entire month of October, Mars is completing its lengthy transit through the zodiac sign of Aquarius (May 17 through August 12 & September 11 through November 15).

Unsettling to say the least, Mars in Aquarius has kept us guessing, on the edge of our seats, ready to pivot and change plans at a moment's notice. An aura of uncertainty has kept many projects from moving forward as one delay after another arises in surprising and unexpected ways.

The week of October 7 brings things to a potential breakthrough point. First, there is a Libra New Moon on Monday evening. There can be a clear and definitive knowing as to who you are, what is important to you, and where you need to be. The desire for connection and belonging can set the stage for releasing relationships that you have outgrown while opening to new relationships. On a global level, new alliances will be formed as old alliances fall away.

Secondly, on October 10, Venus engages Mars in a tense relationship known as a square. Normally, Venus and Mars are lovers, working in tandem, tuning out the world, locked in intimate, passionate embrace. However, in this case, Venus and Mars are at war with each other, rubbing each other the wrong way, on edge, grumbling, perhaps competing for the upper hand.

Another piece to the planetary puzzle is Venus going retrograde in Scorpio as Jupiter is completing a one year transit through Scorpio. As you may recall, it was last October when Jupiter entered Scorpio, and the first allegations of sexual misconduct and the #metoo movement really got underway. On October 9, Mercury enters Scorpio to give voice, and sum up many explosive revelations that have been brought into the light of day. Nothing can hide in this rare moment of illumination.

Entering Scorpio on October 23, the Sun moves into stressful alignment with Uranus in Taurus. By the next day, October 24, Moon joins Uranus in this opposition, forming a T-square, and this is also a Full Moon. Unusual and extraordinary events can transpire, especially around power and shared resources. Information that has been carefully hidden may surface, precipitating crisis, and the necessity for reorganization. By Friday, October 26, as the Sun joins retrograde Venus, there is a keen awareness of what needs to be released in order to move forward.

One more fascinating piece to this planetary puzzle . . . in a rare moment, Pluto is crossing the ecliptic from north to south on October 31. Metaphorically, this represents Pluto's return to the underworld. Pluto has a 248 year orbit, and the last time this occurred was 1770. Pluto governs enormous collective cycles including the evolution of collective consciousness.

A profound purging is in process. I am reminded of a burnt pan, encrusted and abandoned as ruined, but this is a valuable cooking pan, albeit neglected, so it is a matter of exerting the elbow grease to scrub it clean to the very bottom. In other words, those individuals and groups with clear goals and focused plans will not recoil from putting in the time, effort and discipline to surmount obstacles.

Taken together, these trends point to conflict. There will be those individuals and groups that hold fast to the past, and resist progress. All these planets are in what astrologers call “fixed” zodiac signs. In everyday language “fixed” basically means stubborn, obstinate, unyielding, unteachable, unchanging. Thus, the powers that be may meet their match in terms of strength and commitment.

Again, we are living the theme of core values. What can you stand by, no matter what? What needs to be released once and for all? Even destructive mindsets may be revealed for what they are, simply programmed habit. As long standing conditions can no longer sustain in the gale force winds of planetary change, these trends support a true breaking free from limitations.

And, finally, be on the lookout for sabotage. On a personal level, this means all the ways a well meaning individual can trip themselves up. On a social level, we may see intense slander and subterfuge lay to waste the best laid plans of the powerful and elite. The house of cards is about to fall. I realize this is a strong statement, but these are the words that come to mind as I contemplate these extraordinary planetary influences.

Halloween, the very last day of October, takes on special significance this year. A festival of rattling skeletons, and laughing away fear, Halloween is the reminder that life on this dimension is transitory. Not only is Pluto crossing the ecliptic signifying a breakdown/breakthrough transformation of epic proportions, but Venus in Scorpio is preparing to rise in the morning sky. Clearly, a multitude of terrestrial affairs hang in the balance, awaiting the dawn.

September 2018
Belinda C. Dunn

Virgo New Moon
September 9  @  2:01 pm

Autumnal Equinox
September 22  @  9:55 pm

Aries/Libra Full Moon
September  @  10:52 pm

Bridging summer and autumn, September is typically a transitional month, and this year is no exception. The first glimmers of autumn appear as nature's palette takes on a distinctive range of golden oranges and exuberant reds. Even the atmosphere shimmers with subtle shifts in light and fragrance, the unmistakable signs of autumn's harvest.

The month begins as our Sun transits through the zodiac sign of Virgo. Studious, diligent, conscientious and dedicated, Virgo lives to work and serve the greater good. Virgo sees what needs to be done on the most practical level. The astrological symbol of Virgo is the maiden holding sheaves of freshly harvested grain, the very substance of nourishment. She represents the perennial wisdom garnered through many incarnations in this earth school.

In addition to the Sun in earthy Virgo, we start the month with three planets in the earth sign of Capricorn. Mars, Saturn and Pluto span the Capricorn sky. You may recall that Mars has been retrograde since June 26, and just turned direct on August 27. During the first ten days of September watch for completion of many circumstances that may have been put on hold over summer months.

In many cases, these circumstances have required patience as Mars retrograde can be quite frustrating. But we're over the hump now, in new territory, and the way forward becomes more apparent with each passing day. Especially be aware of September 10 as Mars re-enters Aquarius, and retraces its path for the coming weeks, fully completing its retrograde shadow around the time of the New Moon on October 9. As the common adage denotes, “Hindsight is clear sight.” You may find situations in your life coming full circle over these coming weeks.

As September begins with Mars, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, let's take a deeper look at these powerful planetary influences. Known by astrologers as heavy hitters, these planets cannot be ignored when they are activated by transit. Together in Capricorn, the zodiac sign of consequences, it's as though the bill is due, and there's no getting around it. The game is up, so to speak.

Capricorn is the most goal oriented, realistic and no nonsense of all zodiac signs. Capricorn can take a person to the very heights of successful contribution and accomplishment. Likewise, it can take people to the very depths of depravity, loss and despair. Symbolized by the mythological seagoat, a creature from the sea that climbs to the mountain top, the very symbol represents potential extremes on this planet of consequence.

Capricorn relates to physical structure. For example, the basement and foundation of a building, and the bones and teeth in a human body. On a societal level, Capricorn has everything to do with law and order, taking the form of rules, laws and regulations. Just turn on the daily news feed, and the story is there for all to see. Mars, Saturn and Pluto are bringing circumstances to a head in an explosive, compelling, and consequential crescendo.

Mars entered Capricorn on March 17, so after months in Capricorn, including a retrograde phase, Mars enters new territory on September 9. Mars is an activator, and perhaps the question to ask yourself is, “What are you aware of now, that you weren't aware of earlier this year?“ Are there specific situations in your life that have erupted? Situations that require a diligent and determined effort to surmount and turn around?

You may wonder why I am putting so much emphasis on this topic, but the very nature of current planetary trends is such that realistic appraisal is the first step in overcoming great odds and making the ascent from oceanic depths to the mountain top. During this year, Mars has been the instigator, bringing conditions to a head, out in the open, while Saturn and Pluto remain in Capricorn for years to come. In other words, the social turmoil we are witnessing is not going away any time soon.

In fact, from an astrological perspective, Saturn and Pluto are currently orbiting in parallel of declination, a technical term which means the two planets are working together. In this case, they are working together to reveal dysfunction on many levels, personally and collectively. Their action is to breakdown barriers to change, especially in structures that have outlived their purpose, or situations that are not in alignment with universal law.

Saturn and Pluto align by zodiac degree in January 2020. Thus, the circumstances of 2018 are part of a long term trend. The pressure to evolve, the urgency to evolve, this task is calling each and everyone to the task at hand.

As tempting as it may be, this is not a time to hide one's head in the sand or put on rose colored glasses. For each individual has a part to play in this divine tragedy/comedy. Humanity has put itself between a rock and a hard place, and it is up to each individual to carve out their life purpose, and unique contribution.

Here again, we turn to Capricorn as the zodiac sign of practical manifestation. Whether a goal is tangible or spiritual, or most likely, a combination of both, Capricorn helps to define the way ahead in the most structured and disciplined, step by step way. More than likely, the successful completion of goals will require exertion, dedication and perseverance over a period of time.

On September 6, Saturn in Capricorn completes a 20 week retrograde phase. Once again, this is another signal from the cosmos that now is the time to move forward. Saturn's action tends to be cautious and deliberate. If you are not sure of your steps, by all means, seek out mentors, and listen to their experienced wisdom. Other people's input can make all the difference in moving toward optimal and successful outcomes. This is not the time to go it alone.

There is a New Moon in Virgo on September 9. As with any New Moon, this is an auspicious time to clarify intention, set goals and renew commitment. With the majority of planets in earth signs, September is a month to honor and connect with earth energies, within and without. Pay attention to your body, talk to your body, and listen to your body. Your body is always ready with messages to  support health and happiness. An excellent resource on the holistic nature of body/mind/spirit is the book, “Your Body Speaks Your Mind” by Deb Shapiro.

There are other planetary alignments for September that may present contradictory impulses. On one hand, there is a powerful Jupiter/ Pluto connection that can add a dose of good luck for those determined to reach their goals. On the other hand, Mars makes its third and final aspect to Uranus on September 18. I have been writing about this planetary alignment over recent months as it tends to be a destabilizing and rebellious influence. This combination can point to choosing your battles wisely, in addition to clarifying specific and  unique goals.

The Autumnal Equinox on September 22 is especially strong and illuminating this year as the Sun enters Libra. Libra is the zodiac sign of relationship, represented by the scales of balance. Initiating the first stages of autumn, day and night are perfectly balanced. As the Sun transits through Libra, many issues may come to a head in regard to partnerships, and possible legal matters. The delicate art of diplomacy, mediation and cooperation are essential components in all types of relationships, personally, nationally and globally.

Closely following the equinox is a Full Moon on September 24. This Full Moon promises to be spectacular as the Sun sets on the western horizon, and the Moon rises on the eastern horizon. Known as the Harvest Moon, the Moon appears enormous and awe inspiring, beautiful and entrancing.

From an astrological perspective, the Moon is in Aries, the zodiac sign of “me.” Opposite the Moon is the Sun in Libra, the zodiac sign of “we.” This will provide a fascinating combination of influences, especially as Chiron, the wounded healer, joins the Moon in Aries. There is potential struggle here. Aries wants to go it alone, but in many instances that can lead to isolation and disconnect from those that can be a source of assistance and support. The wounded inner self may be triggered, and without even knowing it, certain personalities may reflexively and defensively retreat. Of course, this is just one example of possible effects. Simply put, these days can be very instrumental in clarifying and healing the human pain of separation, loneliness and misunderstanding. This is a time to go slow, bringing conscious awareness into every thought, word and deed. Sharing validation, reflection and positive reinforcement can overcome the tendency to withdraw, and even deepen meaningful relationships.

Adding to this astrological puzzle, Saturn in Capricorn is in close alignment with this Full Moon. Forming a T-square, this is one of the most challenging of planetary influences. Once again, we turn to the scales of balance with Saturn as the fulcrum upon which everything rests. On an energetic level, T-squares can be very difficult, if not impossible, to resolve. At best, it is the “agree to disagree” of planetary signatures.

It can be very complicated and time consuming to balance a variety of contradictory factors. In this case, a T-square represents three points, the triad of the individual within the context of relationship within the context of society's ethical and legal standards. Considering the national discourse tends to revolve around an “us vs. them” mentality, I expect many issues to collide in a decisive climax over these final weeks of September.

In the evening on the very last day of September, Pluto in Capricorn concludes its retrograde phase, and begins a seven month direct phase. As the planet of breakdown/breakthrough, Pluto has been bringing to conscious awareness many lessons around power, authority, government, financial institutions, corporations and right livelihood.

This trend started in 2008 during the financial collapse, and the lessons are pressing in very heavily now. It is the nature of Pluto to transform, and in this case, it is transforming the institutions that hold society together on a very large scale. Psychiatrist Dr. Judith Orloff sums it up succinctly in her words, “We need a new conversation around what it means to be successful and powerful to dispel dysfunctional stereotypes that keep us from soaring. We must break the rules of our psychotically materialistic society to find a more heartful way to live that yields concrete, everyday gains.”

At this time of harvest, as the earth gives forth vital nourishment essential to survival, may we cultivate genuine and real gratitude. We live in a society driven by greed, filled with glitz and glitter, overflowing with things, and yet the majority of people are starving, lost in their own creation, searching for sustenance and meaning. Perhaps the only “thing” this country needs is graceful and grateful recognition of these blessings which includes each individual's choice to stand on this earth in stewardship for the good of all.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 40 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. EMAIL: belinda@astrodelight.com PHONE: 828-215-2101

August 2018

Belinda C. Dunn

Leo Solar Eclipse
August 11  @  5:58 am

Mercury Direct
August 19  @  12:25 am

Pisces/Virgo Full Moon
August 26  @  7:56 am

August begins with five retrograde planets (Mercury, Mars, Saturn, Neptune, Pluto), and another preparing to go retrograde on August 7 (Uranus). The very word retrograde brings to mind the necessity for review. Every now and then, life offers the opportunity to back up, take stock, release and complete what has already been set in motion. If you have been feeling overwhelmed with the weightiness of current events, personally and collectively, this is the month to catch your breath, catch up, and in many cases, make some very profound decisions.

On August 1, Mars comes into stressful alignment with Uranus, the game changer planet. Due to its retrograde phase, Mars already joined forces with Uranus mid-May. This planetary combination is known as one of the most rebellious influences for humankind. In general, any areas of life where people feel boxed in, limited and defeated by circumstances, there may be a feeling there is nothing to lose by taking extreme action to break free. This can lead to explosive and unpredictable reactions.

On a personal level, this planetary combination can bring clarity to conditions that may have been inhibiting productive and effective action. All of a sudden, people will be waking up, and knowing where they truly stand in regard to a multitude of issues. This is not a wishy-washy, lukewarm influence. It is a strong, powerful statement from the universe about freedom, including taking the blinders off and meeting life in an effective and realistic way. This process cannot be rushed, and the grand finale is mid-September as Mars squares Uranus for the third and final time this year.

The current Mercury retrograde phase started on July 25/26, and continues to August 18/19. When Mercury appears to be marching backwards through the zodiac sky there is a general need for integration of recent events. Trying to force resolution can be met with resistance, frustration, detours and misguided efforts. It's just not time to make sweeping resolutions. It's time to gather the facts, and entertain guidance.

This particular Mercury retrograde phase is further strengthened by its repeated activation on the exact degree of the Leo Solar Eclipse on August 11. Amplifying the plethora of information coming to the surface, this is a time of revelation. Dark secrets are slowly but surely coming into the light of day. August 8, a few days before the Solar Eclipse, the Sun joins Mercury. This is always an important part of any Mercury retrograde phase. This is when the solar will of Source is made known to the conscious, everyday mind of humanity.

This month's solar eclipse mirrors “The Great American Eclipse” on August 21, 2017. Part of a larger trend, these eclipses activate fundamental lessons around the issues of effective leadership and group synergy. Highlighting this dynamic interplay, a variety of leadership styles have been on display on the national and international stages.

The age-old, taken for granted, programmed  dynamic of “power over” OR “power under” is out of balance as the collective consciousness moves into the more refined and uplifting vibrations of the Aquarian Age. New choices are being made as to what it means to be a leader, and what it means to be led.

Venus is a significant moderating and harmonizing influence this month. On August 6, Venus enters Libra, the zodiac sign of diplomacy, cooperation, mediation and partnership. Individuals, as well as nations, will be on the lookout for key alliances, actively taking steps to cultivate supportive connections. This can mean that some relationships reach a point of no return, falling apart to come together in a new, upgraded form at some point down the road.

Signaling it's time to move forward with clarity and good intentions, Mercury the messenger goes direct on August 19. Contributing to a sense of positive momentum, a profound dose of grace blesses this day as Jupiter is in harmonious alignment with Neptune for the third and final time since December 2017. Both of these planets aim to uplift and soften the harsh blows of temporal life circumstances. Offering faith and inspiration, these planets work together to illuminate the bigger picture above and beyond the grasp of limited perspective.

By August 23, the Sun leaves playful, dramatic and intense Leo, and enters the next zodiac sign of Virgo. Summer vacations are winding down. Diligent, thoughtful and service oriented Virgo welcomes the return to school and work. Shortly thereafter, A full moon dawns on August 26. With Sun in Virgo and Moon in the opposite zodiac sign of Pisces, this lunation promises to be a spectacular sight for early risers.

Each zodiac sign is aligned with an element; fire, air, water, earth. Associated with the earth element, Virgo brings a practical, realistic, down to earth approach to daily life. The full moon astrology chart shows a prominent emphasis on the earth element. One of the most stabilizing and fortunate of planetary influences is coming together in an earth grand trine between Sun in Virgo, Saturn in Capricorn and Uranus in Taurus.

Just in the nick of time, especially in the wake of summer's three eclipses, this earth grand trine helps to sooth tensions, and allay fears. In some ways, it may feel like a thud down to earth. All of a sudden, people will have an opportunity to get with the program. Reliable routines come into place, and there is a sigh of relief as the way forward is more apparent.

Saturn is the planet of existing foundations, and Uranus is the planet of progress. Many times, these forces can be at odds with each other. However, in this case, they work together to realistically implement strategies and systems to overcome hurdles. Having a track to run on provides stability in this era of accelerated and unprecedented change.

Another turning point comes on August 27 as Mars completes a nine week retrograde phase, and begins to march forward once again. For several months, the natural and normal disposition of Mars has been thwarted. As the planet of action, Mars retrograde slows things down, presenting a variety of challenges that need to be addressed in order to effectively move forward.

As this powerhouse of a planet goes direct, it rises above the horizon. For the remainder of the year, Mars will be dramatically visible in the evening sky. Additionally, Mars is orbiting out of bounds of the celestial equator. This is quite rare for a planet to reach beyond its north or south declination.

The term “out of bounds” was given by astrologer B.T. Boehrer. Research shows that when a planet is out of bounds it represents the possibility of crossing the line of socially accepted behavior. Spanning the extremes of criminality to genius, a celestial body out of bounds is a potent force. In this case, Mars out of bounds is testing the limits of reality according to the status quo.

An enormous paradigm shift is taking place, perhaps invisible to most people. For those individuals attuned to more subtle energies, it is quite apparent as the past seems to be falling away to make room for what's next. Contributing to this shift is the fact that Mars started its retrograde phase in the zodiac sign of Aquarius, and goes direct in Capricorn. Additionally, Mars activates the south lunar node in Aquarius three times (June 14, July 18, September 22).

One of the most potent symbols for Mars is the surgeon's knife that cuts away disease to allow healing to take place. In this case, Mars in Aquarius is a major wake up call for the collective consciousness. Due to technology, the shear volume of input on a daily basis is staggering, and each individual has a choice to engage with information as conditioned by their peer/social group or consciously participate in a way that requires sincere, eyes wide open inquiry.

The downside of Aquarius energy is to depersonalize, and detach from reality. The hypnotic effect of technology adds to this tendency. This is not an optimal and effective response at this point. The Leo Solar Eclipse along with the north lunar node in Leo is calling for active engagement, thinking outside the box, and personal integrity. Our Sun, as center of the solar system, is continuously radiating life sustaining light which translates into human nature as warm, caring and ebullient heart expression.

Mars will remain out of bounds until the Autumnal Equinox on September 22. As Mars picks up momentum over the autumn months, many challenges will naturally resolve, but keep in mind that August is the month to stand strong, and consciously cultivate resilience and forbearance. In this dimension of shape shifting form and transitory conditions, truly, this too shall pass.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with 40+ years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. Email: belinda@astrodelight.com  Phone: 828-215-2101

July 2018
Belinda C. Dunn

Solar Eclipse Cancer New Moon
July 12 @  10:48 pm

Mercury Retrograde
July 26 – August 19

Lunar Eclipse Aquarius/Leo Full Moon
July 27  @  4:20 pm

As the United States marks the 242nd  year since the Declaration of Independence, it's time for my annual “state of the union” forecast. As I research and contemplate the planetary picture, it is not too strong to state that events and decisions over these summer months are intense, pivotal game changers. The building chaos is coming to a climax with profound ramifications for the well being and prosperity of the nation for months, and potentially years to come.

The week of July 4th comes on the heels of a recent Mars retrograde on June 26, and Full Moon on June 28. As the planet of action and momentum, Mars retrograde calls a halt to forward movement. Each planet has a wide spectrum of potential influence, and Mars is no exception, but as the planet of desire, conflict and competition, Mars retrograde is generally frustrating, especially for those prone to aggression. The impulsive and reflexive nature of Mars is inclined to willful fighting, and failed attempts for control only fuel more turmoil.

Considering the summer season is more active with travel and outdoor activities, it is helpful to know the implications of Mars retrograde. Roadblocks, metaphorical and real, can slow down progress, and make surprise detours necessary. Framing the summer months, Mars does not go direct until late August, and the affects will be quite noticeable. While there are many possible manifestations, unique to each situation, it is important to exercise caution, pay attention to gut feelings, and cultivate patience and circumspection.

The week of July 9 provides a turning point as Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, begins a direct phase in the zodiac sign of Scorpio. Jupiter has been drilling deep into matters beneath the surface of everyday consciousness. Since October of last year, Jupiter has been supporting countless people in coming forward to tell their story, giving voice to abuse on many levels, but most notably sexual abuse.

This planetary influence is optimal for breaking through denial as it allows hidden and unresolved trauma to surface. Typically, this is not an easy or pleasant process, but the release of shame, guilt, and other heavy emotion is cathartic. As dark, tightly held secrets surge into the light of day, Jupiter's healing potential supports forgiveness and release.

In the evening of July 12, a solar eclipse in the zodiac sign of Cancer kicks off a series of potent eclipses. This eclipse is followed by a lunar eclipse on July 27, and another solar eclipse on August 11.  This is extremely rare for three eclipses to occur in sequence, and this combination spells an unusually dynamic, unpredictable and dramatic July and August.

Eclipses are the exclamation points of astrology! Events occurring around the time of an eclipse get our attention. Not only do eclipses take the blinders off, and expose what is really going on, but eclipses demand change. They illuminate what is not working, and reveal the next evolutionary step, personally and collectively.

Occurring in a series, eclipses are part of an 18.6 year cycle of lunar nodes corresponding to the repetitive alignment of Sun, Moon and Earth. Astronomically, the lunar nodes are invisible points where the Moon crosses the plane of the ecliptic on a regular basis. Over a period of time, specific themes come to the forefront based on the zodiac signs the eclipses energize.

Starting with a lunar eclipse early last year, exact on February 11, 2017, the zodiac axis of Leo/Aquarius has been strongly activated. From an evolutionary standpoint, society has been grappling with group consciousness. In a very simple way, Leo represents leaders, and Aquarius represents the masses. We don't have to look far to see these themes in the current political environment, nationally and globally.

A variety of leadership styles have been exposed on the world stage as masses of people are forced to awaken from a numbing, mesmerizing trance. Self aggrandizement, along with political ploys and power plays are increasingly obvious, transparent, on full display.

Meanwhile, the Aquarian Age is dawning, and each individual is challenged to cultivate a sense of internal freedom through alignment with inner guidance. As each person connects with their inner GPS of true knowing, the cosmic law of synchronicity activates, bringing people together. As the zodiac sign of community and group synergy, Aquarius supports a concerted, orchestrated and unified movement to discover and implement viable solutions to the large and looming challenges before humanity.

The solar eclipse on July 12 introduces new themes that are already visible in our collective experience. In the zodiac sign of Cancer, the themes for the next several years are centered around safety and security, family and home. The humanitarian crisis on our southern border is touching a heartfelt chord of public response, and this is just the beginning of more attention going to the plight of families. Ask anyone in the social services arena, and they will confirm that over the past decade, enormous sums of funding have been sucked out of the social safety net for those in need.

The lunar eclipse on July 27 reactivates the Leo/Aquarius polarity.  Events in August are more a wrap up and confirmation of what has been revealed since early 2017, especially around themes of leadership as well as personal empowerment within the context of community.

The lunar nodes in an individual's chart as well as a nation point to profound evolutionary lessons. In calculating a chart for the recent North Korea/USA summit on June 12, it is fascinating to note that the lunar nodes, in an 18.6 year cycle, exactly correspond to the degree of the lunar nodes on July 4, 1776. (South Node in Aquarius and North Node in Leo).

What does this tell us about the karmic path of the nation? To summarize this complex picture is not easy, but the collective lessons appear to repeatedly circle around freedom, and specifically freedom from authoritarian leadership. It points to the grand experiment of democracy, and the high ideals of freedom and justice for each citizen.

Contemplating the astrology chart for this lunar eclipse, I must confess that I am at a loss for words. But, like a flashing neon light, the word “extreme” keeps coming to mind. On one hand, I would like to put on rose colored glasses, and keep it totally positive. On the other hand, the cosmos is giving an alarming, wake up, take notice warning.

One of the joys of being an astrologer, is the daily engagement with curiosity and wonder that comes with a healthy dose of detachment. To summarize, it's fascinating to witness that Mars retrograde joins the Moon and South Lunar Node in Aquarius while the Sun joins the North Lunar Node in Leo. Meanwhile, rebellious, freedom loving Uranus is part of the mix in this unique combination. And, not only this, Mercury goes retrograde in Leo on July 26.

Together, Mercury and Mars retrograde work to augment this extraordinary combination of celestial forces by sweeping across the eclipse points multiple times throughout July, August and September. There will be more clarity by the time Mercury goes direct on August 18, signaling forward momentum. Then again on August 27, as Mars goes direct. Then September 6, as Saturn goes direct.

Over the course of these weeks, challenges can arise in terms of authority figures, and the balance of power in relationships. This is a very adolescent energy that normally bristles and resists when told what to do or what to believe. Seeds of unrest have been fomenting for some time, and this is a summer of revolutionary, radical, tumultuous and potentially destabilizing forces. Numerous protests, rallies and other group gatherings are planned. Masses of people will take to the streets, and demonstrate for a variety of causes. The lines are already drawn, and some factions are prepared and looking for a fight.

Suffice it to say, events transpiring over these next weeks/months are unforgettable turning points, and there may be days when it feels like it is all coming at a dizzying, overwhelming pace. But, not so fast . . . eclipses have profound influence beyond the exact days. Much will be going on behind the scenes of public view, and it will take some time for adjustments and decisions to be visible. In fact, the consequences tend to build in strength over the course of 3 – 4 months. So, take care, slow down, breath deep.

On a personal level, these planetary trends present an opportunity to listen carefully to inner guidance. Pause, ask questions of yourself and others. Go beyond the status quo, and take the time to tap into deep wellsprings of true understanding.

There are many external leaders, but there is only true authority, Source within as love and light. It is a part of you, and radiates through you as life itself. There is no distance. Here there are no more questions, only answers. Find your bliss and follow your heart.

In writing this article, another word keeps getting my attention, the Mayan word, “zuvuya.” In 1987, at the time of the Harmonic Convergence, this word became popularized in the image of surfing the waves of current reality, and rising above the constraints of conditioned memory.

Zuvuya is the shared, intergalactic memory circuit connecting the past to the future. In this moment, humanity stands on the threshold of a new world that is beyond imagination. It can only be lived, day by day, surfing the waves in this vast ocean of love.

June 2018
Belinda C. Dunn

Gemini New Moon
June 13  @  3:43 pm

Summer Solstice
June 21  @  6:07 am

Cancer/Capricorn Full Moon
June 28 @  12:53 am

Happy, sunny, hopeful and enthusiastic June begins with an uplifting combination of Venus, Jupiter and Neptune (June 1- 3). In harmony, these three planets activate the intuition while freeing and lifting hearts to divine connection. Bestowing grace and ease, this combination is known as a grand trine, one of the more fortunate of planetary alignments.

Later in the month, Mercury joins Jupiter and Neptune in a second grand trine (June 18-21). Like bookends to the month of June, these grand trines provide a backdrop of gentle compassion and intuitive sensing. These alignments are subtle, numinous, and even elusive in the hustle of everyday pressures. Simply being aware opens the door of consciousness, allowing access to these gifts.

To understand these alignments, it is helpful to consider the elements. In astrology, as in many traditional and mystical systems, considerable attention is given to the elements; fire, air, water, earth. Both of these grand trines are in the element of water, activating the zodiac signs of Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

The imagery of water speaks volumes. Cancerian water is symbolized by the lake, river, brook and stream. On the surface, Scorpio water appears to be a stagnant, muddy swamp, but beneath the earth are hidden subterranean rivers, and deep wellsprings of pure, vital and refreshing water. Pisces represents the fathomless ocean filled with mysterious life. Bestowing nourishment, water is life itself, pouring forth upon the wasted plains of dry and arid earth.

This brings us to the element of earth, equally represented by three major planets in their transit through the earth signs of Capricorn and Taurus (Saturn, Pluto, Uranus). The emphasis on earth is substantial, and current trends are all about practical manifestation.

This clear and important pivot is toward realism, common sense and taking responsibility for manifesting ideals. It is now possible to actually bring inspiration down to earth, and live the dream. Thus, June provides a beautiful interface between intuitive guidance, heartfelt feeling, and the practical steps to overcome obstacles and manifest a new reality.

Back to the imagery of water and earth. Consider the garden. Too much water floods the tender seedlings. Too little water leaves the earth dry and barren. It's all about balance. This delicate balance translates to daily life. Water = emotion. Earth = manifestation.

One more image . . . think of moving earth with a shovel and wheelbarrow. Moving earth takes great effort, persistence and patience. This is not the month to give up on your goals, but develop the fortitude to carry through. What gives that extra assurance to power through obstacles? It is positive emotion, and deep heartfelt feeling that leads the way and inspires all action.

More than likely, planetary trends during June will bring up tremendous emotion. Mercury, the planet of cognition, is highly activated. The month begins with Mercury in Gemini, and enters Cancer on June 12. When Mercury opposes Saturn on June 15, and opposes Pluto on June 23, logic goes out the window, and the mood may sour, turning pessimistic and cynical. This clouds decisions as there is a tendency to analyze and perceive from a negative, self defeating standpoint.

From beginning to end, Mercury aligns with all major planets. Thinking tends to vacillate between subjective to objective at a moment's notice, and current social dialog adds to potential confusion and delusion. In the swirl of emotion, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to keep one's feet on the ground, and actually put one foot in front of the other.

The New Moon on June 13 provides a boost of insight and important information. In the zodiac sign of Gemini, be on the lookout for significant communication that flings open doors of understanding, and alters perspective. Gemini is the networker and translator of the zodiac. The air waves will be active with controversy along with plenty of revelation.

The Gemini New Moon is the day before Trump's 72nd birthday, and activates the most challenging area of his karmic blueprint. In esoteric astrology, the evolutionary lesson for Gemini is honesty on every level. Honesty begins with self then emanates from this center of self awareness. However, when Trump was born, Mercury was in stressful relationship with Neptune, the planet of illusion. His critics point out his habitual lies, tendency to blow things out of proportion, and say whatever is on his mind. His supporters believe and hang on  every word he utters.

Once again, this planetary combination of Mercury and Neptune is in full swing throughout June. Not only does Mercury square Neptune on June 5 – 7, but Neptune appears to be stationary at 16 degrees Pisces in preparation for its annual retrograde phase beginning on June 18. Personally and collectively, there is a wide spectrum of possible effects, but these conditions are reminiscent of a thick, all encompassing fog. It's virtually impossible to see the way ahead. Thus, it's advisable to slow down, gather more information, take a second look, and question appearances.

The word “smokescreen,” is coming in loud and clear. The dictionary definition is stated as “something designed to obscure, confuse or  mislead.” Uncertainty and confusion are rampant on a national and global level. Those individuals and groups that dwell in the shadows may take advantage of these conditions to manipulate and sway public opinion. Considering the sensitive and attuned psychic nature of two grand trines in water, it is important to stay alert throughout June, and not absorb the temper and tone of public discourse.

We have all known people that talk incessantly, wrapped up in their own story. It is as though they live in their head, barely able to recognize that others have a point of view, and something to add to the conversation. But, genuine communication is a two way street that goes way beyond words. In fact, it is body language, intonation of voice, and even psychic connection that conveys the true message between humans.

June is the month to deepen communication skills. Listening, empathy, focus and presence are essential components of genuine communication. Activating these skills makes it possible to effectively respond to others when timing is optimal. Active and conscious engagement facilitates positive and supportive relationships.

The lightest and longest day of the year occurs on Thursday, June 21.  The Sun's annual entrance into the zodiac sign of Cancer marks the Summer Solstice, and it's time to get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Look for a spectacular Capricorn Full Moon on the evening of June 27/28. The Moon joins Saturn, the planet of responsibility. Putting three days on either side of the exact Full Moon, this final week of June is best used for realistic appraisal of what needs to be taken care of. Necessary projects and activities can no longer be avoided through procrastination. Issues that have been put on the back burner now beg for attention. Saturn's influence can feel heavy and obligatory, but it is a matter of striking a balance between responsibilities and self-care.

In addition to the solstice, Venus and Mars engage each other in a rare opposition. In mythology, Venus is the goddess, promoting beauty, love, sensuality, affection, adornment and creativity. Mars is the warrior archetype, and tends to express as active, aggressive, competitive and sexual. The interaction of this divine duo increases attraction and magnetism between the sexes. Perfect for a romantic solstice picnic!

However, as much as these two planetary energies can attract, they can also repel. For example, what happens when someone comes on too strong? Or one person tries to dominate and control the other? There are a myriad of examples to draw upon in the dance of interpersonal relationship.

However, in taking a look at this opposition between Venus and Mars, there is a wider and bigger picture. Mid-month, these dynamic and relational planets join the lunar nodes, the most karmic and potent of contacts. It's as though the pendulum of cause and effect is swinging widely, and the general atmosphere tends to be chaotic, combative and hostile. An eruption of contrary forces may threaten to weaken and disrupt alliances. This can show up in interpersonal relationships as well as nationally and globally. It is a defining moment as these two planets illuminate the contrast between hatred and acceptance, fear and love, war and peace.

This brings us to the red planet, Mars. On June 26, Mars begins a retrograde phase that continues until August 27. In its eccentric orbit, Mars only goes retrograde every two years. For two whole months, altogether nine weeks, this important planet, in terms of momentum and action, is taking a hiatus.

As in any retrograde phase, momentum turns inward. Generally, situations come to a head, and external drive tends to reverse. There can be a reversal of interest, involvement and engagement. Since human nature tends to impose, push and force personal agendas onto life circumstances, this phase of stepping back is a necessary stepping stone to clear perspective.

With Mars retrograde, the hazy, lazy days of summer take on greater meaning. When obstacles arise and frustration mounts, it is time to slow down, and step back. Individuals and groups will be addressing issues around action, and questioning what is worth fighting for. The incessant cacophony of discordant voices in the media fuels the spin, and it's a conscious choice to step away from the demands and pressures of the daily grind.

Quiet contemplation, perhaps sitting near flowing water, is the perfect antidote to the relentless and habitual striving so pervasive in modern society. With two grand trines in the element of water, June is the month to invoke the healing, releasing and cleansing waters of forgiveness. Along with Mars retrograde, these trends serve to remind each of us that we are human beings, not human doings.

Most of us can recall the exhilarating ring of dismissal bell on the last day of school. Signaling weeks of playful freedom, the bell rings with a contrary sigh of relief along with a burst of energy, and sense of adventure.

As summer fun gets underway, it's time to throw caution to the wind. Or is it? Looking to the distant horizon, a storm appears to be brewing. Just a heads up . . . there are eclipses ahead. Two eclipses in July, and one eclipse in August (July 13 & 27, August 11). Eclipses usually come in pairs, so this is a rare occurrence. And not only are there three eclipses, but Mercury is retrograde (July 26 – August 19).

These summer months are pivotal, and things can turn on a dime. Why know about it ahead of time? In my decades of following the planetary trends, I have found repeatedly that awareness can actually soften, uplift and transmute the challenges.

The young child is content to spend hours seaside building sand castles and chasing waves. The older child seeks the thrill and dare of amusement parks and roller coaster rides. No matter what your passion is, the coming season is filled with excitement. Yes, there will be highs and lows, ups and downs, twists and turns, but one thing is for sure . . . we're along for the ride.

Belinda C. Dunn
May 2018

Taurus New Moon
May 15  @  7:48 am

Uranus enters Taurus
May 15  @  11:23 am

Gemini/Sagittarius Full Moon
May 29  @  10:19 am

As May begins, planetary trends have the potential to feel more gentle and stabilizing as our Sun transits in earthy, sensual, back to the garden Taurus. For those individuals pausing to slow down enough and smell the roses, the healing power of nature bestows many gifts, especially the gift of remembrance. Even sitting here, recall your favorite flowers, the colors, the scents, perhaps the season. Remember what it feels like to have your bare feet on the earth, calmly connecting with essence and innocence.

This article is going to focus on the zodiac sign of Taurus, and its many manifestations and possibilities. Not only is there a New Moon in Taurus on May 15, but Uranus, known as the most dynamic, surprising and awakening planet, is entering Taurus on this same day. The shifts will be observable and give many clues as to trends for years to come as Uranus spends approximately seven years in each zodiac sign.

First, let's recap the last several months of Mercury's transit in Aries. Due to its retrograde phase, Mercury has been driving home many lessons around self reliance, independence and courage. As the first sign on the zodiac wheel, Aries encourages heroic, bold and courageous action in the face of dysfunction and challenge. Aries is about claiming your space on the planet, and it is not always easy to summon up the courage that Aries calls for. On the other hand, there are many personalities living in a state of constant defense, using right and might to get their way and sway others to their side.

Over recent months, we have witnessed many courageous acts, and like each zodiac sign, Aries has a wide range of possibility. The downside of Aries is quite evident on the public stage, and the slippery slope into self absorption, narcissism and self aggrandizement is in clear public view. The high side of Aries is the true leader called into action based on unselfish motives that are in alignment with an inherent sense of the common good beyond self interest.

Adding to this picture, is the fact that Uranus has been in the zodiac sign of Aries for the past 7 years. Additionally, within the first three days of May, Mercury in Aries moves out of its shadow phase, closing the chapter,of recent weeks, but not without some electrifying fireworks as Mercury joins Uranus on May 13. Both planets are in the final degree of Aries, and like a final exam, the pressure is on to rise above uncertainty and tension, posed and prepared to enter new territory. Day by day, over the course of May, attention will naturally turn to what's next and what's new, begging the question of what now?

This complex planetary trend involves another major player. As Mercury and Uranus join, they rush headlong into a potentially disruptive alignment with Mars, the warrior planet. Mars can manifest in a variety of ways, but tends to embolden certain personalities, acting as a stimulus for defiance, aggression and combativeness. Mars will fight for what it believes to be true, no matter what.

It's not hard to predict that many issues and situations are coming to a climatic head during May. Especially be alert May 12 – 16. These planetary trends are to be recognized and respected for potentially irrevocable change. This is the most rebellious, impulsive and contradictory of alignments. Individuals and groups will be demanding freedom from restrictions, and the desire to break free can precipitate jaw dropping events. This shake, rattle and roll can also serve to breakdown areas of life that have become stagnate and in desperate need of reform.

A key ingredient in this planetary alignment involves Mars in stressful combination with Uranus. Known as a square, these energies are generally chaotic, and quite challenging to manage or control. Situations that erupt this month may very well set off circumstances that take the better part of 2018 to wind down, and return to some semblance of order. This is the beginning, and this powerful and catalyzing combination of Mars and Uranus will activate again in July/August and finally in September.

On the personal level, these are days to stay alert, and take care and caution in all personal matters. The common adage, “Choose your battles wisely,” is apropos. These are intense and demanding planetary energies, and you can see why I am encouraging the calming influence of Taurus as the antidote to these complex and potentially anxiety producing trends!

As the month rolls along, Mars enters the air sign of Aquarius on May 16, and the Sun enters the air sign of Gemini on the 20th. Both of these zodiac signs tend to be restless, ready for adventure. By the Gemini/Sagittarius Full Moon on May 29, the energetic thrust is toward heightened communication, social engagements, travel and exploration. This outgoing trend promises playful fun along with a few surprises. Attention naturally turns to wrapping up the school year, graduations and summer plans.

In addition to these outgoing trends, there is a potent alignment between Jupiter and Neptune on May 25. Together, these planets stimulate subtle awareness, intuitive development and compassion. In the midst of disruptive conditions, these planets support engagement with the mystical and magical side of life, enhancing trust in divine guidance.

Orbiting beyond the rings of Saturn, Uranus appears to be a slow moving planet with an eighty-four year cycle. The fact that Uranus is posed to enter new territory this month is a big deal. Typically, the shift is palpable and real. It may take up to a year to get into the full swing of Uranus in Taurus, but the signs are already evident.

From the standpoint of cookbook astrology, let's take a look at the ingredients in this unusual blend of astrological influences. First let's consider Uranus. Some positive keywords are: innovation, progress, breaking the mold, thinking outside of the box, eclectic, spontaneous, egalitarian, freedom-loving, extraordinary and out of the ordinary. On the more challenging side, the effects of Uranus tend to be erratic, radical, extreme, rebellious, uncontrollable, sudden, electrifying, detached and distant.

Now let's consider the zodiac sign of Taurus. In its most positive and uplifting expression, Taurus is calming, soothing, comforting, grounding, beautifying, patient, stable and stabilizing. In its more difficult expression, Taurus can be stodgy, stubborn, attached, greedy, craving, resistant and possessive.

At this point, on the front end, it's anyone's guess as to how these unusual, mixed up, contradictory influences will manifest, but it's guaranteed to be a spectacular and fascinating show. Symbolically, the Uranus lightening bolt is lighting up the terrain in an instant of awe inspiring clarity as it plunges to earth to electrify, enlighten, inform and transform.

While there are a multitude of possibilities as Uranus makes its way through the zodiac sign of Taurus, here are some ideas I have received in recent contemplation.

Taurus is the zodiac sign of currency, banks, financial institutions, possessions, trade, and the general flow of resources throughout society. Obviously, technology is drastically transforming the exchange of goods/services and money, and this is only the beginning. More than likely, there will be attempts to control virtual currency, but the trend is toward freedom and financial independence. Banks may come forward to build more public trust as a result of negative publicity. Whispers of a possible trade war may grown louder and more ominous. The erratic nature of Uranus can produce extreme highs and lows in terms of the stock market as well as the global economy in general.

As a result of the current political climate in the USA, a new conversation is emerging that can be summed up in the very Taurus word “value.” Most people think of value in terms of what is tangible, linear, concrete and measurable. However, across the airwaves, there is mention and discussion of core values. Although loosely defined, these fundamental and key values can take the national conversation beyond political affiliation, and bridge the discord so prevalent in the current dialog.

Another area of special interest and potential revolves around the environment. As Taurus is the most earthy, sensual and physical zodiac sign, attention will naturally turn to preservation of species, habitat and survival. Humans can stockpile all the money and stuff in the world, but what is it worth without a healthy and habitable planet? Despite the current political upheaval that appears to be reversing decades of environmental protection, urgency can propel the global marketplace to address environmental degradation while Uranus in Taurus accelerates the development of sustainable solutions.

Along these lines, humanity will be increasingly faced with a distinct choice, and the contrast will be clear. Individually and collectively, attitudes and actions that promote what is destructive, ugly, toxic, dark and poisonous will be in sharp contrast to the beautiful gifts of nature, and life on planet Earth. The movement to take the Earth back from the precipice of human greed, shortsightedness and selfishness will grown and find true direction. Over the next decade, this movement has the potential to unite the world in purpose.

This brings us to a very important factor in terms of Uranus. This planet is linked with the Aquarian Age, symbolized by the water bearer, giver of life force. It is predicted that as these new energies become more understood and accessed by each human being, there will be a mass rising of life force. In terms of the true human design given by Source, it is possible to feel and benefit from one's natural connection between heaven and earth. Alternative, natural and body-centered therapies will grow by leaps and bounds. These very exciting and life changing developments have to be experienced to be fully appreciated.

I'm very happy to share this forecast with you. Some of these predictions can kick up fear, while other predictions are welcomed. As always, life on planet Earth is a contrasting blend of light and dark. No doubt, this is a momentous time as the great wheel of fortune turns. Meanwhile, this moment beckons, right here and now. Look about you, feel your body, engage your senses, claim your space. My all-time favorite Rumi quote says it all, “Let the beauty we love, be what we do, there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”

Astrology Forecast for March 2018
Belinda C. Dunn

Mercury Direct
April 15 @ 5:21 am

Aries New Moon
April 15  @  9:57 pm

Taurus/Scorpio Full Moon
April 29  @  8:58 pm

Since the beginning of time, as we know it, mystics of all traditions speak of an immediate, direct experience of a cosmos that is ever-expanding love and joy. Life is cyclical, continually renewing itself as April begins with festive Easter, a potent symbol of resurrection. Here and now, I gaze upon the grace of tiny violets carpeting the earth, along with happy daffodils and hopeful tulips. Like a rainbow of hope, flowers of all colors inspire our vision and tantalize the senses. It's spring!

The planetary overview for April dynamically speaks to this renewal. An unmistakable momentum has been building over winter months, many situations hanging in the balance. But, beneath the surface, hidden from view, like tiny seeds awaiting the perfect moment to burst open, resistance gives way to super charged release.

The line up is impressive. Mercury goes direct on April 15, and within the next week Saturn and Pluto are stationary as they begin their annual retrograde motion. In reality, there is enormous potential for change, in what may appear to be about face, 180 degree turns. Taking all this into consideration, it is advisable and beneficial to hold off major decisions until this pivotal time.

While these planets provide the backdrop, the most potent trigger, in my estimation, will be the Aries New Moon on April 15. Couched between Eris and Uranus, Sun and Moon align in the final degrees of Aries. In supportive harmony with the USA Moon in Aquarius that was activated by February's solar eclipse, this crescendo of release can expose what is really going on, free up resources, and dramatically turn the tables in many terrestrial matters.

Why is this so potent? Uranus, the planet of progress, is in the final degrees of a seven year transit through Aries. Anything left undone, will beg for resolution. When Uranus entered Aries in the summer of 2010, numerous events spelled out the trend. On the heels of the economic meltdown of 2008-2009, it was a summer of explosive events including Arab spring, and the Gulf Oil spill, followed by Fukushima nuclear facility meltdown in the spring of 2012. This destabilizing turbulence continued unabated as Uranus squared Pluto for a full seven times during 2012 – 2015.

On a personal level, it can be helpful to contemplate how you, your perspective, and your life has transformed. In the midst of upheaval, it can appear that everything is breaking down, there is nothing to hold onto, but Uranus is always about individuality and freedom. In the face of social uncertainty, especially when situations are out of one's control, there is true potential to drop expectations. Instead of placing power outside of self, at the mercy of random events, Uranus in Aries has helped each individual discover purposeful empowerment through awareness and accountability.

It has been a challenge to carve out this authenticity, and make the decision over and over again, to be true to self and find happiness no matter what is going on. The whole illusion that there is a savior outside of self is false. It is up to each of us to fashion our destiny as a reflection of personal connection with Source. As never before, “We are the ones we have been waiting for.”

As a planetary influence, Uranus brings us to the edge of our seats with surprises, shake ups and turnarounds while birthing new perspective. The sacred law of synchronicity is in full activation as it guides events, and open doors of opportunity. On the front end, it can appear as a falling apart, only to bring things together for a new, improved upgrade.

It's edgy, rebellious appeal can give certain personalities license to act aggressively and impulsively. There is a wide spectrum of life lessons to be realized through this dynamic. For many of us, Uranus in Aries has felt like a swift kick to get moving, once and for all, stepping out of apathy, resignation and victim consciousness to not only, “walk the talk,” but stand independently on one's own two feet. Consider how you have found freedom to be yourself over these past seven years, and what this means in terms of relationships and enhanced communication skills.

In tandem with the Aries New Moon, and Mercury going direct on April 15, there is a powerful long term transit that gives even more emphasis to these themes. Chiron, discovered in 1977, representing the wounded healer archetype, leaves the zodiac sign of Pisces and enters the new terrain of Aries on April 17.

Early on, astrologer Barbara Hand Clow wrote a book, “Chiron - Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets.” Along with many others, the astrological community has tracked this potent planetary influence for decades. Repeatedly, in transit, Chiron triggers the surfacing of wounds, those deep painful secrets that most people suppress out of fear.

However, Chiron presents both a choice and a gift. The choice is numb down, shutdown OR allow healing to take place. With trust and acceptance, an increase of life force acts as a balm to heal the very wounds that one would deny. Over the decades a plethora of healing alternatives have surged into the mainstream with effective strategies for resolution of life draining wounds. Chiron's long term transit through Aries (2018- 2026) will support this process while teaching that one's personal healing journey is not something to be avoided, but ultimately a contribution to the greater good.

The year started with enormous shifts as Saturn entered the zodiac skies of Capricorn. This serious, responsible, disciplined energy is leading the way for reliable structures to be implemented in one's personal life as well as collective experience. Slowly, marching to its own beat, Saturn will join Pluto in 2020, and for numerous reasons, 2020 already stands out as a definitive turning point for the nation and world.

It is important to note that Mars in Capricorn conjoins Saturn on April 2, and conjoins Pluto on April 26. Adding intensity, both of these planets appear to be moving slowly as Saturn goes retrograde on the 17th, and Pluto the 22nd. Thus, the entire month takes on a serious tone as karma ripens, and reality begs for attention and problem solving. The downside of this dynamic can be low energy, depression, despair and cynicism, so self-care is essential, and it is helpful to simply allow things to be. This means focus, discipline, detachment and responsibility for those things within your control, while keeping perspective on everything else.

To add to this potentially complex picture, Mercury, in its retrograde phase, is in stressful alignment to Saturn three times (March 11, April 5 & 25). On a personal level, the desire and exuberance to turn a corner and implement new direction can be tested for feasibility. If you find yourself, and those around you, running into obstacles and delays, trust the timing to make better informed decisions in the process of manifestation.

These planets tightly engage Trump's Mercury, the essential planet of analysis, decision and communication. Not only are his efforts thwarted, he can feel misunderstood, backed into a corner, and forced to face reality. There is a price to pay, and perhaps the noose is tightening. I anticipate many discussions and meetings behind closed doors. There are no easy answers in this time of crisis.

At this point, the reality is staggering, and it is only natural to ask, “Where is the grace?” Here is where lovely, beautifying Venus comes along. Transiting through Taurus, Venus will harmoniously engage this entire alignment of three heavy hitting planets; Mars, Saturn and Pluto. Earthy, sensual, creative, kind and affectionate Venus makes the choice very clear. Power or Love?

Meanwhile, Earth Day festivities on the 22nd, act as a reminder to continuously cultivate gratitude for this beautiful experience of terrestrial life. As our Sun transits through Taurus, the themes of sustainability and preservation of natural resources comes into full view. A Taurus/Scorpio Full Moon on the 29th furthers a profound and connected interplay between invisible and visible realms.

In times like this, according to Native American tradition, the sacred “whirling rainbow” can be invoked. Respected elder Jamie Sams writes, “You are being asked to remove any type of discord from your life in order to grow. Don't feed the negativity. Look at any lessons being presented at this time, learn from them, then focus your attention on creating new beauty and abundance in your life.” Spinning, swirling, whirling rainbow sweeps away negativity, removes discord, and bestows the promise of peace between people and nations. And it is so.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 40 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. EMAIL: belinda@astrodelight.com  PHONE: 828-215-2101

Pisces/Virgo Full Moon
March 1  @  7:51 pm

Pisces New Moon
March 17  @  9:12 am

Spring Equinox
March 20  @  12:16 pm

Mercury Retrograde
March 22  @  8:19 pm

Aries/Libra Full Moon
March 31  @  8:37 am

The most dynamic seasonal shift in any given year is typically experienced during March, and this year is no exception. As winter gives way to spring,  as darkness gives way to light, as brutal, forceful, frigid winds give way to soft, gentle breezes, earth creatures inhale deeply; sensing, feeling, longing, anticipating fairer days ahead. Coming in like a lion, and going out like a lamb, March is exhilarating, enlivening and revitalizing.

As noted above, there are numerous astrological factors to consider in this transitional month. So, let's get to it!

A Full Moon on March 1, wraps up the eclipses of January and February. There is a distinct turning of the page as one chapter ends, and a new chapter begins. In fact, this is the underlying theme of March. Releasing the past, pivoting to what's next, and . . . keeping one's feet on the ground in this expanding universe of all possibility.

The astrology chart for this Full Moon shows Sun, Neptune, Mercury, Venus and Chiron in the zodiac sign of Pisces. Opposing this potent alignment is Moon in Virgo. There is no choice but to take a deep breath, yield to what is, realizing and accepting a profound clearing occurring on the deepest levels of consciousness. Dreams and intuitive knowing open to give a few clues as to specifics, but overall, this strong Neptune influence is more to be acknowledged as a gift from an all loving and forgiving Source.

For those individuals that are highly attuned and sensitive to Neptune's influence, it may be helpful to strengthen the aura, and protect one's energy field from toxic and disruptive influences. While there are numerous techniques, a YouTube video by William Bloom, called “Psychic Protection,” is filled with very practical and effective methods that can be easily integrated into daily life.

The zodiac signs of Pisces and Virgo represent two sides of the same coin. Pisces relates to the more subtle areas of psychological and spiritual health. Virgo relates to physical health, and lifestyle choices that undermine or support health. Holistically, they work hand in hand, and March is a perfect time to upgrade healthy habits on every level.

Granted, the Moon in Virgo can produce stress, and stimulate the mind's tendency to analyze, worry and control. This Full Moon provides a beautiful chance to surrender earth matters, allowing tensions to melt and release within an expanding trust in the greater good.

Beginning on March 10, and continuing through the remainder of March, is the seasonal shift known in oriental medicine as “Doyo.” Traditionally, a full ten days on either side of an equinox or solstice is a phase to align with nature, and pay particular attention to health. Climate change can be destabilizing, especially the body's adaptation from winter to spring. While it may be tempting to throw off heavy layers of clothing in anticipation of warmer days, it is important to keep the body warm and nourished as temperature extremes vacillate.

A New Moon in Pisces sets the stage on March 17. In this case, both Moon and Sun conjoin with Chiron, the wounded healer. Here is a triple dose of healing potential. Discovered in 1977, Chiron is a small planet orbiting between Saturn and Uranus. Over the decades, astrologers have observed that core wounds tend to surface when Chiron is activated.

Chiron has been transiting through Pisces skies since 2010.  For approximately eight years, this planetary combination has been dissolving the boundaries of consciousness, pointing to humankind's original wound of separation from Source. On a collective level, humanity is being pressed to awaken from the trance of denial, addiction and dysfunction.

Turn on the daily news, it is clear, the majority of people are treading water, seeking realistic answers to pain and suffering. Next month, exact on April 17, Chiron leaves Pisces, entering the new terrain of Aries. Thus, begins a very activated phase for the next nine years of Chiron in Aries. This implies a breaking free from karmic restrictions through taking responsibility for current conditions, and consciously choosing to be in high vibration on behalf of all life.

Next up, let's take a look at our Sun's annual entrance into Aries, known as the spring equinox. Exact on March 20, at high noon on the east coast (12:15 pm), this equinox shines light on Washington D.C.  Neptune, a major player in the USA astrology chart over the past year, is overhead potentially breaking through clouds of illusion and deception. This chart illustrates the on-going struggle for existing conditions/structures to maintain and survive, and the necessity to take action to regenerate the very social structures that hold society together.

On a personal level, spring equinox is optimal for inspiration and purification. If your new year's resolutions have been dwindling, life gives another swing at the bat to state intentions and set goals. From the astrological point of view, this is the new year. The symbol for Aries is the exuberant, rambunctious, impulsive and forceful Ram. There can be a tendency to begin many projects at once, spread oneself thin, and not necessarily carry all projects through to completion.

This is especially applicable this year, as Mercury in Aries goes retrograde on March 22. As March draws to a close, you may feel like you are driving with one foot on the gas pedal, and one foot on the brakes. Typically, a Mercury retrograde phase gives pause for reflection, and possible reformulation of plans. Granted, this can breed frustration, but knowing about this planetary trend can make all the difference in the world. In a dimension where people tend to act blindly and impulsively, Mercury advises delay, just to make sure everything is aligned and heading in the best direction.

Due to Mercury's retrograde phase, this important planet of communication, is in Aries from March 6 – May 13. Step by step, stone by stone, is the way forward, but caution and slow going may feel out of sync with the pressurized hurry of society as a whole.

There are things that must be acknowledged in order to move forward. On one hand, people may be quite vocal and combative, insistent on their way. Of course, the on-going national conversation is already intense. The more ego force and control that is applied, the more resistance and road blocks stand in the way. You may find self-care means turning off the commentary or walking away. On the other hand, there is much to be discovered and uncovered during these weeks, and life may look very different as the season unfolds.

More than likely, there will be a forward thrust when Mercury goes direct on April 15, but lingering situations may take weeks to resolve. Thus, it is important to keep your wits about you in late March. It isn't a month to take on more than you can comfortably and successfully accomplish. Situations tend to arise that need time for complete resolution.

“Once in a blue moon,” the second Full Moon of the month occurs on March 31. On an annual basis, in perfect timing, the celebration of Easter is the first Sunday after the Aries Full Moon. The final weekend of March is active, energized and festive.

The astrology chart for this Full Moon shows an alignment of planetary factors in Aries with the Moon in Libra. Both of these zodiac signs have to do with relationship. First and foremost, Aries is the individual within the context of relationship. This is the weekend to pull all relationship skills out of your back pocket, be inquisitive, ask questions and listen.

Earth is the manifested dimension for learning about relationship. Of course, on this dimension, relating shows up in a myriad of forms, but the bottom line is always similar. In the spirit world there is understanding of this. Kindred spirits in the spirit world may choose to incarnate together to finish karma, and learn the ultimate lessons of unconditional love and forgiveness.

Everywhere we look, it is about relating on some level. However, if one's personal relationship with Source is lacking, interpersonal relationships tend to be fraught with challenges. There is a marked tendency in people to abdicate responsibility, and project blame onto others. A key component of spiritual awakening is to accept responsibility for one's karmic condition. Thus, Source can work through unconscious blocks on levels beyond the conscious everyday mind.

Several other planetary trends are worth mentioning. First, Jupiter has been transiting through Scorpio skies since last October, and goes retrograde on March 8. This planetary combination supports investigation and research. Fearless in its probing and questioning manner, Jupiter in Scorpio exposes hidden agendas. Much is coming to light, but society is deep in the shadows now. Jupiter is retrograde until July 10, a major turning point when all that has been discovered is ready to be revealed, and acted upon.

Secondly, Mars enters Capricorn on March 17. For the next eight weeks, until mid-May, Mars in Capricorn is serious, weighty and responsible. As Mars makes its way through Capricorn, joining Saturn and Pluto in April, the gravity of current circumstances is undeniable. In this world of form, every thought, word and deed is consequential.

To conclude on a lighter note, March is clearly a month of transition. As daylight increases, the great outdoors beckons us back to the garden. Whispering gently, nature's beauty is the ever present reminder that beyond the “madding crowd,” life is good, life is sacred, and all is well.

February 2018
Belinda C. Dunn

Aquarius New Moon Solar Eclipse
February 15  @  4:05 pm

I have been writing this article since 1992, and never before has there only been “one” major astrological pattern to list above. From a quick glance, the month of February may appear relatively quiet, free of major planetary influences to report. However, a Solar Eclipse, especially in the potent and progressive zodiac sign of Aquarius, is always a game changer.

Eclipses are part of an 18.6 year cycle designed to keep us on our toes, alert, on purpose, awake to life's growth potential. I see eclipses as the exclamation points of astrology. Typically, personal circumstances and collective events act as triggers whereby specific themes surge into conscious awareness demanding attention, and possibly resolution. Eclipses are essential to the learning curriculum in Earth school, and similar to taking a final exam, the process cannot be ignored or scooted under the rug.

In order to understand February's eclipse, it is helpful to back up, and consider recent events in light of the SuperMoon lunar eclipse on January 31. And, in order to appreciate and embrace upcoming trends, it is helpful to step back six months ago, and consider circumstances around the “The Great American” solar eclipse last August.

Spanning the zodiac signs of Leo and Aquarius, these eclipses are a mirror of each other. Simply put, Leo is the leader, while Aquarius represents the masses.  In an ideal world, the leader is a chosen representative of the people, but in these complicated times, with so many competing factions, it is rare to find a leader that is a true representative of the collective. A truly effective leader exemplifies admirable character traits that can transcend differences in perspective.

In natural settings, the majestic lion/lioness rises to the top of the food chain while establishing authority and dominance with its powerful roar. This potent astrological symbol can manifest in several ways when it comes to personality. Ruled by the Sun, many individuals with Leo prominent in their astrology chart seek the limelight, and stand out in a crowd. It is easy to recognize this type of Leo. To the extreme, they demand respect and loyalty, and tend to be enamored with a sense of self importance.

As you might guess, Trump has strong astrological factors in Leo, and the solar eclipse last August exactly aligned with his Mars and ascendant. Thus, the set of eclipses 6 months ago energetically gave him more authority, and fanned the flames of his already “huge” ego.

In all fairness to all you beautiful Leos out there, let's consider the high side of Leo. Just like the Sun radiates life force, most Leos choose to radiate love, care and affection to those around them. This is not to get anything or garner favor or maintain the upper hand. This evolved expression of Leo is magnanimous and generous. They live to love, and naturally bring playful lightheartedness to everyday existence.

Now let's consider the upcoming solar eclipse on February 15, calling into play the opposite zodiac sign of Aquarius. The symbol of Aquarius is poignant and revealing, especially relevant in these troubled times. Aquarius is the water bearer pouring forth the essential nourishment of prana/manna/chi upon the Earth, and all its inhabitants.

It was during the revolutionary decade of the 1960's when the musical “Hair,” proclaimed for all to hear, “This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius.” As the higher, lighter, more refined vibrations of Aquarius stream onto the planet, humanity lives in an era of karmic completion. Meanwhile, the age of Pisces, characterized by the victim/perpetrator/savior archetype, is dissolving and resolving. For millennium, like herds of sheep, groups of people have been habituated to mindlessly follow the leader, trained to rely upon blind faith.

Not so with Aquarius. The key phrase is “I know.” Over recent decades, technology has made it possible for the general public to be informed, participate in social causes, and global affairs. The value of intuition, and connection with inner guidance is now encouraged and accepted. Leaders and their armies hold less sway, and people are taking a stand for Aquarian ideals. Every day the world is shrinking as people realize the bond of common humanity on this small globe of life in an infinite universe.

Recently I heard a news commentator use the apropos phrase, “the era of identity and race.” This is a perfect example of the reality that we are entering a new age. Aquarius is all about belonging, but not blindly following the herd instinct. First and foremost, Aquarius supports radical and unique individuality as the foundation for participation, contribution, solidarity and friendship. In fact, Aquarius is the zodiac sign of community, and peaceful co-existence is dependent on addressing problems that are bigger than the individual while honoring each person's capacity to contribute.

We are currently in the eclipse season, and the upcoming solar eclipse on February 15 can intensify and surface these themes. In your personal life, be aware of the natural human instinct to belong in contrast to seeing where you don't belong. Be curious in social interactions. Keep an open mind, allowing the Aquarius energy to help you experiment with various perspectives. It is through exploration that you can discover your essential inner knowing, the true guide in all of life's situations.

In contrast to the major solar eclipse last August, this February   eclipse gives power to the people, especially as it conjoins the USA Moon in Aquarius. On the collective level, people in mass are taking to the airwaves and streets to express outrage at current events. There is a deep grass roots movement going on, and momentum is building. Despite enormous uncertainty within the social climate, the green shoots of new direction are rising up for all to see.

Repeatedly, the annals of history elucidate the age old dynamic of leaders and followers, and the pitfalls of power can be rocky, fraught with danger and conflict. In a multitude of forms, dynasties come, and dynasties go. So what happens when a group (large or small), attempts to overthrow its leader/leaders? The dictionary word for this is mutiny, defined as, “forcible or passive resistance to lawful authority,” and “concerted revolt.”

Understanding and upgrading this dynamic is a key part of humanity's entrance into the Aquarian age. Loosely defined, perhaps we can say that a mutiny is going on. There are times when the established order needs to be overthrown to allow new leadership to emerge. Whether the current upheaval is purposeful or not, effective or not, there are times when the group rises up to assert its voice.

As the solar eclipse in Aquarius plants new seeds, be on the lookout for what's next, personally and collectively. Out of all the zodiac signs, Aquarius is egalitarian, progressive, futuristic, ahead of its time, courageous enough to experiment, and thrive on the cutting edge of discovery. Even though direction may be unclear, Aquarius embodies the universal law of synchronicity. February is the month to actively invite those magical/mystical signposts to illumine your way.

Annually, Chinese New Year is celebrated on the Aquarius New Moon. The past 12 months have been the “year of the rooster,” characterized by plenty of crowing, vying for position and authority.  Across the globe, but especially in Asian communities, this lunation initiates the “year of the dog.” While roosters herald the dawn, they aggressively protect their territory. In contrast, even though a dog is protective, a dog can be a trusted, loyal, and friendly companion. It will be interesting to see how these symbols manifest on the world stage.

Another major planetary influence for February is Mars, and its transit through Sagittarius (January 26 – March 17). More than likely, passionate, intense and argumentative Mars will keep things heated up on the national scene. Even though the war of words, and the war of ideology, rages on, this is the month to find your true values, and sidestep the quicksands of distraction. Sagittarius aims for truth, sees the big picture, and elevates consciousness to higher ground.

As the month progresses, the zodiac sign of Pisces comes into play. As the Sun enters Pisces on February 18, there is an energetic shift into the mystical, intuitive and healing waters of universal connection. On February 21, Venus joins Neptune in Pisces, and together they instill ultimate compassion, release and forgiveness.

By the end of February, there is an extraordinary alignment of celestial bodies spanning the Pisces sky (Sun, Mercury, Venus, Neptune and Chiron). This creative combination evokes planetary healing, artistry and spirituality. In challenging times, art emerges. The miraculous, numinous, ineffable field of all potential is always present for inspiration, guidance and healing.

Even though eclipses tend to challenge the status quo, and heighten emotional reaction, this current eclipse season is potent with revelation on many levels of existence. In writing this article, I went back to the lyrics from the musical “Hair.” “When the Moon is in the Seventh house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars . . .”

The very symbols speak volumes of pure inspiration. The Moon in the 7th house symbolizes the divine feminine, and the expression of loving care within the human family. Last month on January 6, Mars actually aligned with Jupiter, igniting the fires of truth and justice. And finally, the song's last line is worthy of contemplation, “Then peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars.”

May February be filled to overflowing with grace, protection and blessings for every nation, all beings and the entire existence. Enjoy!

January 2018

Capricorn/Cancer Full Moon
January 1 @ 9:24 pm

Capricorn New Moon
January 16 @ 9:17 pm

Aquarius/Leo SuperMoon Lunar Eclipse
January 31 @ 8:27 am

All signs point to full speed ahead as 2018 begins with a Full Moon on New Year's Day, and Uranus going direct on January 2. Over the next two months all planets are in direct motion indicating vibrant potential for manifestation. The cosmos is urging and encouraging progress, similar to having the wind at our backs.

2017 closed with some very big hurdles looming on the horizon as Saturn, the planet of karma, shifted into new terrain. Saturn is now firmly placed in the zodiac sign of Capricorn for the next two years. Saturn marks the cycles of our lives. As the planet of maturation and wisdom gained from life experience, Saturn matures and grows us.

As the planet of consequence, responsibility, modesty, forbearance and persistence, Saturn is relentless in marking the passage of time. Whether we interpret life challenges as humiliating, something to be resisted, or humbling, as an opportunity to learn, depends on attitude. My first yoga teacher often commented with the simple statement, “Attitude is all.”

Typically, a new year begins with resolutions, and a clear assessment is in order. Consider the areas of your life where you need to dig deep to deliver on commitments. Are these commitments truly from your heart, or are they bearing the weight of obligation? Saturn's influence can cross the line of balance, and become those burdens that weigh heavy on the conscience. There are times when Saturn feels overwhelming, and the price too high to pay.

January is the month to consider your responsibilities in light of long term goals. How do you tell the difference between productive goals, and those that may need to be reworked or released? If you find yourself hitting the wall of pessimism, despair, depression, discouragement . . . Saturn is asking you to take a good look at where you are placing your attention, and consciously pivot toward a more positive mindset.

The year begins with a big bend in the road, and it may not possible to see around the corner. We have all experienced those times calling for patient persistence in putting one foot in front of the other, without assurance of the way ahead.

When Trump was inaugurated, many people likened his presidency to a marathon, not a sprint. This wise advice is proving to be true. My readers may recall, I was given one word to describe his presidency. That word was, and continues to be, “chaos.” Uncertainty, tumult, and clashing of belief systems continues to be prevalent, but these coming months carry more weight as conditions move from theoretical to the practical, tangible and real.

This said, in your personal life, the step by step trajectory to accomplish your goals may be increasingly clear. Even though your work is cut out for you, there is gratification in knowing you have a track to run on. This can feel very reassuring, like you have the ground beneath you, and it is easier to maintain a strong determined stance.

Saturn's transit through Capricorn (2018-2020), plays a major role as it interfaces with the long term trend of Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2025). Over the next two years as Saturn approaches a conjunction with Pluto in January 2020, there is a building urgency to survive and thrive. We will see this from many vantage points. It is not too strong to say that this time period represents a last gasp for ideological factions that are not in alignment with the greater good.

Pluto's transit through Capricorn continues to reveal what is driving the global economy, including many corporations and governments. Symbolically, Pluto epitomizes the stagnant, muddy, slippery waters in a dark and hidden swamp. All this talk of “draining the swamp” is real, it just depends on one's vantage point. Perhaps agreement on this one issue can be acknowledged.

Considering the importance of Capricorn's place upon the zodiac evolutionary wheel, let's consider the spiritual lessons of Capricorn. This zodiac sign takes the individual beyond personal needs, wants and desires if, and only if, one's intention is for the benefit of all. There is a clear distinction between self-centered greed, and heartfelt, genuine contribution to one's larger social sphere. It is a fundamental choice.

Unfortunately, over recent decades, it appears that many of those elevated to positions of leadership are motivated more by ideological righteousness, and less by a sense of civic duty. The desire for power breeds power, it is a self serving system. It's time to recognize and support leaders that are demonstrably, and truly moved by a deep calling to contribute. Actions always speak louder than words.

Right from the get-go, 2018 commences with these themes. On January 6, Mars joins Jupiter in Scorpio. Be on the lookout as hidden agendas surface. Scorpio is the sleuth, detective, researcher and mystic. Scorpio is rarely content with pat answers, but penetrates deeply into those matters that are secreted away from the conscious everyday mind.

There are a variety of ways this planetary combination can manifest. For example, you may find yourself, or another, needing a listening ear. Whether these secrets arise spontaneously, or they have to be teased out, the environment is such that exposure provides healing release. This passionate planetary combination can deepen intimacy as well as mystical awareness. It is an excellent time to take stock, and get in touch with inner resources.

On a national level, undisclosed information surges into public view, evoking intense power struggles. Especially be aware the week of January 8. Sun, Venus and Pluto all converge on the 9th, leading to the Capricorn New Moon on January 16. This decisive, point of no return week will set the pace for weeks and months to come.

One of the most significant, and helpful planetary trends for 2018 is Jupiter in harmonious alignment with Pluto. Known as a sextile, it is exact on January 15, April 14 and September 11. This supportive combination brings opportunity, especially to those able to embrace the deeper meaning of events. Together, these planets provide stamina, discipline and fortitude in overcoming the natural vicissitudes of life. Participation, passion, interest and commitment are the fuel for manifestation.

Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. As it moves through a zodiac sign, it amplifies the themes represented by the sign. Currently, Jupiter is in Scorpio, the domain of sexuality, intimacy, secrets and hidden power. It is fascinating to note that as Jupiter entered Scorpio on October 10, dozens of women started to come forward to tell their personal stories of sexual harassment.

Since then, a non-stop veritable cascade of voices, from all walks of life, have been coming forward to voice experiences of abuse. It's as though Pandora's box opened, and long held secrets are now free to be shared. Jupiter remains in Scorpio until late 2018, therefore this trend is not going away anytime soon.

In addition to Jupiter's tendency to amply, expand and magnify, there are several other planetary trends pointing to this exposure. One trend is clearly seen in the USA chart. In early 2017, the progressed Moon, representing the feminine, came out of hiding, and crossed over into prominent view. It's not a coincidence that #metoo is Time magazine's “person of the year.”

Another trend has been effect during 2016-2017. In this case, the distant planet of Eris was activated by Uranus, a very rare alignment that can only happen every 84 years. As I researched Eris, I contemplated her place in mythology as the “goddess of discord.” In the ancient myth, Eris comes to shake things up, she crashes the party, so to speak.

Reminiscent of the 1960's bumper sticker, “the goddess is back, and she's pissed,” Eris is a force to be reckoned with. No matter the outcome of the 2016 election, from an astrological point of view, it was timely and inevitable that a strong woman candidate come forward to break the glass ceiling. The sleeping giant of the divine feminine is now awake. Women are energized, vocal and engaged.

A Capricorn New Moon on January 16 instills a building momentum for the Lunar Eclipse on January 31. Generally, specific themes begin to emerge a full two weeks before the actual eclipse. This eclipse in late January presages a Solar Eclipse on February 15. Therefore, 2018 begins with specific pressing concerns as eclipses tend to take the covers off, and expose underlying issues.

The eclipse cycle is 18.6 years, and these upcoming eclipses mirror the major eclipses last August. Activating the zodiac signs of Leo and Aquarius, the current cycle focuses on leaders juxtaposed to individual autonomy. This is an ideal environment to recognize the pitfalls of ineffective leadership while revealing the traits of effective leadership. A true leader inspires and empowers those they lead, and many new leaders are posed to step forward in 2018, including YOU!

Recently, I was visiting my family in Florida. Sitting down to chat with my 90 year old mother, sister and brother, I couldn't help noticing that each of us, in own way, were preoccupied with the state of our nation and world. My brother is a successful attorney, and the entire family admires his logic and honesty. Not only does he stand up in court, winning case after case, but he loves to discuss legal matters with us. It makes for fascinating and exciting family gatherings.

With drinks in hand, we were rapt, sitting on the edge of our seats as my attorney brother explained many social issues from his ethical, realistic, down to earth point of view. It all made sense. As a result, each of us shared deeply about who we voted for, and why. Despite decades of avoiding political conversation in this very conservative family, our sincere caring for the collective good made it possible to speak up as well as listen.

This experience set the stage for an unforgettable lucid dream I had that night. It centered on my teenage niece and her boyfriend. I saw that when they are adults, 20-30 years from now, the world will be a very different place, really beyond imagination.

The dream was a fast forward to a time, in the not too distant future, when current problems are far behind. It was clear these young people are not relative to the current drama. It was a keen reminder to stay alert, and not get distracted by the passing show of current events. The dream was encouraging, but I also “saw” that much will pass away over these coming years. I awakened with the profound message, “It's a clean sweep.”

Yes, changes will be massive as a result of technological advances, but humanity cannot depend solely on technology as the solution. I perceive the changes to come are not only external, but strike at the very heart of what it means to be human.

The current social environment of twisted logic appears to be giving license to those that aim to twist the law to their own advantage, and distort the truth for their own purposes. Therefore, it is essential to identify and uphold the highest of ethical standards in our individual and collective experience. As the next cycle of a cosmic year begins, may each of us embody the wisdom to discern what is truly important.

May the coming year be filled to overflowing with truth, beauty, goodness and prosperity for each and every being. 2018, here we come!

December 2017

Belinda C. Dunn

Sagittarius/Gemini Full Moon
December 3 @ 10:47 am

Sagittarius New Moon
December 18 @ 1:30 am

Winter Solstice
December 21 @ 11:29 am

Mercury Retrograde

December 3 – 22

December dawns bright and clear, the air crisp and startlingly refreshing. As though awakening from a dark dream, the planetary energies for December blast through sticky and stuck places, giving an extra push to go the next step, personally and collectively. Despite some muddling through the final vestiges of confusion and delusion that have characterized the past several years, there is no stopping the new.

Right from the get go, Mars opposes Uranus on December 1. These planets help to breakup stagnation while catalyzing an emphatic overthrow and release of limitations. It is about choosing freedom from past restrictions through an innovative and inventive approach. As this is the holiday season, you may find yourself and others more responsive to upgrading traditions.

2017 has been a pivotal year in so many respects. Even though it appears as if worldwide society is shaking, wobbling on the precipice of continual decline, there are vast, behind the scenes, forces working on behalf of humanity to steady the course ahead.

During this final month of 2017, there is a reassessment of the past, and orientation to the future. Like vast legions of angels, the planetary influences radiate upon terrestrial matters, shining the light of truth, lifting consciousness beyond mundane concerns, illuminating the way forward for those with eyes to see, and ears to hear.

The Full Moon on December 3 tells the story as Sun, Moon, Neptune and Jupiter position around the zodiac, and align at 11 degrees. This is a SuperMoon, whereby the Moon is in its closest proximity to the Earth. This proximity tends to amp up emotion and magnify issues.

Additionally, the Full Moon chart shows Moon in Gemini, and Sun in Sagittarius which can intensify the rhetoric of competing ideologies vying for attention. Of course, this trend has been building over recent years. We have witnessed a crescendo of ideological belief that is running rampant over common decency, and good conscience.

It's as though the combative election cycle keeps on going, as leaders fight to stay in power and maintain the upper hand. The public is left with repetitive and persuasive sound bites that characterize the news cycle. There continues to be plenty of loud, argumentative voices, but not much effective and constructive action.

Ideally, Gemini and Sagittarius are the zodiac signs of connection and communication. Gemini is about honesty in human interaction while Sagittarius aims for truth, with a capital “T.” Together these zodiac signs ensure that people genuinely listen to each other, speak with integrity, work through differences, and align with higher principles.

On the surface, this Full Moon may manifest a profound and restless emptiness, as the mind spins in numerous directions, attempting to make sense of it all. Often truth is beyond human reasoning. It may be tempting to keep going, enforcing a plan, pushing ahead according to the same old, same old patterns. This can be very overwhelming until one takes the time to pause and invoke the silence.

This is where Neptune and Jupiter come in. As co-rulers of Sagittarius, both of these planets instill aspiration and inspiration. When activated, they have the capacity to lift thoughts out of the gutter, raising consciousness into higher, more refined frequencies of truth, light, love and guidance.

Aligning at 11 degrees, these significant planets coupled with Sun and Moon can catapult awareness above and beyond current restrictions. In numerology, 11 is considered a master number, invoking a meaningful surrender of material plane attachments. 11 supports the link between the temporary and eternal. It enhances intuition, prophetic insight, visions, dreams and spiritual perception. Humanity is birthing a new story. It is ready and waiting to be envisioned, and enacted upon.

In addition to this powerful Full Moon, exact on December 3, Mercury begins a retrograde phase. Adding all these factors together, be on the lookout for sudden, extra-ordinary breakthroughs. Many of us will be asking, “What do I/we know now?“ And, “Where do we go from here?”

As I mentioned last month, due to its retrograde phase, Mercury joins Saturn three times over the course of November, December and January. The exact dates to keep in mind are: November 28, December 6, and January 12. This means that both planets are orbiting very closely together, emphasizing their message. More than likely, the message will be emphatic, perhaps alarming, but essential to long term progress.

Together they close the door on a two year trend of rampant and widespread espousal of unsubstantiated facts. Of course, the trend of fake news will not go away overnight, but there will be less and less attention paid to wild and unrealistic claims.

On December 19, Saturn the taskmaster leaves the zodiac sign of Sagittarius, where it has been for a full two years, and enters Capricorn. To give an extra emphatic push toward reasonable practicality, Sun enters Capricorn on the 21st, joining Saturn for a meaningful and reverent Winter Solstice. Thus, a new two year cycle begins as Saturn in Capricorn impresses a more serious, fact based, and realistic mindset. This is the law and order planet with potentially harsh consequences for anything less than integrity and respect.

From the personal perspective, you may find your thinking more serious, and focused on tangible and realistic goals. Circumstances may very well feed into this. Look around you. What needs to be done in this world of form? For example, are there things that need to be repaired to add value to your home? Is there dental work that you have been putting off? Is money being spent unwisely or wastefully? The very nature of physical existence implies gradual decay, and Saturn is the planet that fortifies and maintains structure.

Meanwhile, Mercury is retrograde December 3 - 22. Since Mercury is the planet of thinking, mentally conscious awareness, it may be helpful to consider insight, direction, and possibly decisions that have been in the works since mid-November. A Mercury retrograde period is the universe's way of slowing things down as humans have a tendency to impulsively and blindly force their way upon life. It's like hitting the pause button.

Mercury goes retrograde 3 times a year for approximately 21 days. As many of you have observed in the past, Mercury retrograde can be frustrating in its delays, change of plans, and unforeseen challenges. These are typical ways that life gets us to slow down, obtain more information, and review the projected course ahead. In this case, Mercury retrograde during the holidays may very well effect shopping, gift selection, traveling, and other activities of the season.

In addition to the more mundane influences of a typical Mercury retrograde period, there is a deeper level to this particular Mercury retrograde. It really is a summary of the past two years; what has worked, what needs to be changed, what needs to be released. This will become very clear for most of us, especially as January gets underway.

As Mercury joins Saturn three times, it will promote a wise assessment. The word that keeps coming through in my work with clients is “consolidation.” A good analogy is a beautiful piece of pottery that you use every day. Its usefulness may be taken for granted, but it has developed some cracks that can no longer be ignored. Precious contents are draining away, and it's time to plug up the holes.

The pottery can represent one's health, finances, home, relationships, environment, and more, but the question remains. What needs to be consolidated and fortified to preserve quality of life?

This process will be evident on the individual level as well as collective level. Over the next two years, it will become the national conversation in terms of heritage, infrastructure, morals, and the fundamental institutions that not only bind society together, but the institutions that society relies upon for sustenance and harmony.

The holiday season typically evokes fond memories of years past. It is a time for nostalgia, reverence and tradition. 2017 draws to a close with a profound consideration of where we have been. Mercury orbiting so closely to conservative and traditional Saturn will make sure of that.

However, another planetary pattern has been in place for 2017. Saturn in Sagittarius has been in harmony with Uranus in Aries. Together they represent a profound and building momentum to break free of the limitations that hinder progress. It may be harder to recognize this movement as evidence is still taking form. Over these next weeks, Mercury joins this combination, harmoniously engaging Uranus, (November 25, December 10 and January 5). Also, Uranus is applying pressure for progress as it prepares to begin a direct phase on January 2.

As much as Saturn is about preserving, and maintaining tradition, Uranus is uncompromising in it's thrust toward freedom, innovation and invention. Together, the planetary energies support a growing, and keen awareness of collective unity based on individual contribution and integrity. 2018 begins with this rare, vital and energetic boost toward solutions that benefit each and everyone.

In gratitude for my community of family and friends, readers, clients and students, I sign off for the year. Even within the hustle of the season, remember the holiness of the solstice, the holiness of life itself. Settling down for a long winter's nap, seek and discover guidance deep within. Listen, align, trust. May each of us completely realize how truly Blessed we are to be on Earth at this most auspicious time.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 40 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. EMAIL: belinda@astrodelight.com PHONE: 828-215-2101 www.astrodelight.com

November 2017

Taurus/Scorpio Full Moon
November 4  @  1:23 am

Scorpio New Moon
November 18  @  6:42 am

Spinning, revolving, evolving on this tiny gem of Earth, shadows lengthen as  daylight hours noticeably diminish in the northern hemisphere.  Between All Saints Day on November 1, All Souls Day on November 2, to the Full Moon on November 4, to the completion of Daylight Time on November 5, all indications point toward a quick and palpable shift of focus.

As our Sun moves through the zodiac sign of Scorpio, the time is now for a deep dive into the ancient mysteries of life. Scorpio's domain includes the areas of life considered taboo in daily conversation, such as sexuality, the occult, dying, and  shared resources of money and power. If mentioned at all, these subjects tend to be glossed over, hastily dismissed as too sensitive a topic for most people.

I was given one word of inspiration in which to begin this November forecast, and the word is “plunge.” Suggesting the deep, inner reservoirs of hidden potential related to the zodiac sign of Scorpio, it also is quite telling in terms of the seasonal shift. All of a sudden, the rapid approach of winter, and holiday celebrations can no longer be ignored, preparations must be taken for the season ahead.

While plunge has many definitions, let's go with, “to enter suddenly or unexpectedly.” We've all heard the phrase, “take the plunge.” Evoking the need for courage in the face of challenges, each of us are challenged to live fully, facing each and every day as if it truly matters. The zodiac sign of Scorpio reminds us to live passionately engaged despite the ever changing landscape of physical existence.

The month begins with a SuperMoon. Also known as perigee, this astronomical event occurs when the Moon is in its closest proximity to the Earth. In this case, the Moon in Taurus opposes the Sun in Scorpio. These two zodiac signs are all about the green flow of money; the dynamic interplay between having/acquiring, and releasing/letting go. Tension can arise in those relationships where finances play a key role. Indiscretions, secrets and insensitivity may may come up in terms of the money one receives, and the money one shares. It may be necessary to set clear boundaries, but overall, this Full Moon brings more clarity into financial matters even if there is a need to make adjustments.

Shining brightly for all to see, this Full Moon tends to surface strong emotion that may have been held beneath the surface of everyday consciousness. Humans tend to hide and resist emotion, but this Full Moon acts as a purgative with the capacity to cleanse less than honorable intentions while illuminating true motives. It is possible to have a better understanding of where you stand in relationship to others. It's a clearing of the air, so to speak.

The theme of relationship continues as Mars transits Libra, the zodiac sign of people and partnership, for the entire month. This is an interesting, albeit challenging combination, as Mars can be aggressive and combative, but Libra is the peacemaker. The tendency to gloss over potential complications, and keep peace at any cost, proves to be unsustainable in the long term. Issues that undermine genuine connection may come into awareness for the purpose of resolution. There is always a time and place for honest, resourceful and heartfelt communication.

This Mars in Libra is also activating the USA astrological chart. At its inception, Saturn was Libra. As Mars transits over this sensitive point, watch for developments on the national and international scene that expose underlying motives, and require the fine art of diplomacy along with articulate communication of long term goals.

This may be easier said than done as Mars is in stressful aspect to Pluto on November 19. This combination denotes hidden power struggles, intense competition, and possible manipulation. What is going on beneath the surface of things may not be readily visible, but these are days for caution, patience and circumspection (November 18-20). The caveat for Mars is always, “choose your battles wisely.”

Saturn is in its final full month of Sagittarius. After transiting through the zodiac sign of the Archer for two years, Saturn is preparing for its entrance into Capricorn around the time of the Winter Solstice. Saturn in Sagittarius has been a wild roller coaster ride of ups and downs, highs and lows. The exhilaration of progress, and the crush of defeat, have repeatedly put people on notice. Clearly, there is much work to be done, and the task of survival into the 21st century remains an ever present issue.

While there have been numerous affects of Saturn's transit through Sagittarius, perhaps the most fundamental lesson has shown up in terms of ideology. It is so easy to take belief for granted as an abstract concept. However, through one dramatic crisis after another, the power of belief, for better or worse, for unity or divisiveness, has been front and center.

As Saturn completes its sojourn through Sagittarius, it wraps up two major, extraordinary, and unusual planetary trends. Think back to December 2016. At that point, Saturn entered a harmonious and supportive aspect with Uranus on December 26. This month, on November 11, Saturn engages Uranus for the third and final time. It has been a forceful and volatile year, whereby one initiative after another has been undertaken. It has been a year governed by impulse, like throwing spaghetti up against the wall to see if it sticks.  However, look closely, it has also been a year of experimentation, innovation and extraordinary breakthrough that will benefit our collective experience for years to come.

The second planetary combination started last December, and completes with Saturn's third and final square to Chiron on November 2. Chiron was discovered in 1977, and it is a small planet orbiting between Saturn and Uranus. Through decades of observation, Chiron has emerged as the wounded healer archetype. This aspect bears more weight, it is heavier, less amenable to solutions. Symbolically, it has played a role in highlighting the differences in how people, individually and collectively, think about and approach human suffering.

No doubt, 2017 has brought its share of disaster and hardship to many. Together, Saturn and Chiron have been highlighting the fundamental role of attitude and belief in addressing effective solutions in the face of crisis. From the extremes of ignorance, blame and avoidance to profound acts of sacrifice, compassion and humanitarian action . . . frankly, we've seen it all in terms of response. Something to consider in the deep recesses of one's heart.

A Scorpio New Moon on November 18 is a powerhouse of vital, deepening, revealing and intense potential. Life is cyclical, always providing a new beginning, and this is an excellent time for an intentional reset. Spanning the zodiac sign of Scorpio, there are five celestial bodies coming together; Sun, Moon, Venus, Jupiter and Vesta.

Recently, a reader emailed me with a burning question, which I paraphrase as, “When is the divine feminine going to be more evident on the planet?” Having given this question some contemplation, and having lived over six decades in a female body, I can say, “It's a work in progress.” This huge evolutionary step is a task of many generations, one after the other, handing the baton off, it to be picked up again, and yet again.

As Jupiter transits through Scorpio over the next year, issues around power, gender, and sexuality will continue to surface. It is increasingly apparent as many, especially women, are ready to speak up, and speak out on behalf of social equality. The ancient paradigm of power over/power under is rapidly dissipating, but first it must show itself in one's personal life as the courage to reveal, and thus heal the past. Women and men, young and old, plants and animals, the very planet itself, is suffering as a result of arrogance, greed, manipulation and control.

The Sun enters Sagittarius on November 21, just in time for Thanksgiving. At its best, Sagittarius instills a sense of warm enthusiasm, it's time to celebrate ! Giving thanks . . . how essential, yet somehow overlooked in the hustle and bustle of modern culture. It is helpful to remember that gratitude is an attitude, a feeling arising out of heartfelt recognition for the abundant blessings of life.

November draws to a close as Mercury, the planet of information and communication, joins heavy, timely and serious Saturn in the final degrees of Sagittarius. This occurs on November 28, and due to Mercury retrograde (December 3 – 18), it is the first of three conjunctions taking place over the next 7 weeks. Things can get very real, very fast. For all of its lofty ideals, and persuasive beliefs, at the other end of the spectrum, Sagittarius energy tends to be flippant, too often dismissive of weighty topics and considerations. Life's a party, easy come, easy go. But, there is a price to be paid, and Saturn will exact its toll in the months ahead.

I realize the above paragraph sounds very cryptic, and I would prefer to be more definitive. However, astrology is an ancient science of symbolical archetypes, and I am just interpreting the planetary trends in the light of what we know now. I trust these heavenly planetary messengers will make more sense in the coming weeks. For now, perhaps we must be content with uncertainty, wholeheartedly and readily taking the plunge, a deep dive into the transforming waters of the unfathomable mystery that is life itself.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 40 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. Email: belinda@astrodelight.com  Phone: 828-215-2101  Website: www.astrodelight.com

October 2017

Belinda C. Dunn

Aries/Libra Full Moon – Harvest Moon

October 5 @ 2:40 pm

Libra New Moon

October 19 @ 3:12 pm

It's autumn, the final season of the most challenging year in recent history. Amid the shake, rattle, and roll of earth changes, political turmoil, nations threatening war, and so much more . . . seasons come and go. Offering the ever present reminder of ultimate surrender, autumn leaves fall quietly and discreetly to the ground. The leaves don't argue with the tree, resisting and begging to hang on forever.

When humans accept, and even enjoy, the natural cycles of life, nature becomes a beautiful and gentle teacher. The planetary trends for October signal a profound, deep, and necessary release. Those individuals that choose conscious surrender of myopic self interest, are in a unique position to offer solace and service to people caught in drastic circumstances.

Throughout October and November, all planets visible with the naked eye are in direct motion. From tiny Mercury, closely orbiting our Sun, to the rings of Saturn, all planets direct means focused action. It is helpful to keep this mind. Like having the wind at your back, these are the months to keep moving, and maintain momentum. An extra push of discipline and exertion can make all the difference in getting on the other side of challenges, and wrapping up projects that may have been stagnating for months.

Numerous issues come to light during the Full Moon on October 5. With Sun in Libra and Moon in Aries, themes will revolve around relationship on every level. Symbolized by the scales of justice, Libra is one of the most karmic zodiac signs. In fact, the purpose of incarnation, and earth dimension is all about relationship.

Long ago, in the distant past of original creation, eternal beings, currently known as humans, chose to turn away from their primary connection and relationship with Source. They started turning toward each other for satisfaction and love. Over time, these beings started judging and competing with each other for power and supremacy. The decline was slow, as humans moved farther and farther away from their Source.

In the meantime, fundamental laws of existence, cause and effect, started binding these beings, now souls, to each other to repeatedly return to the Earth dimension to make amends, and reconcile their differences. At this stage, the very heart of humanity is heavy, burdened with so much unfinished business that it takes keen focus, and determined initiative to choose forgiveness, healing, and release. Every spiritual path, no matter what religion, speaks of this process.

Another dimension to this current focus on relationship is the planet Uranus, and its transit through Aries (2010-2018). Developmentally, Uranus in Aries is helping each person get in touch with their unique contribution, as this combination supports personal autonomy and individual expression. Additionally, there has been a growing trend of extreme self absorption, namely narcissism, over recent decades. Uranus in Aries has been giving permission, even pouring fuel on the fires of self interest.

It can be very confusing, this apparent opposition that has been set up between self and others. In one moment, it's about unselfish service for the well being of others. The next moment, it's about getting in touch with one's needs, and self care. And, depending on culture, gender and conditioning, there can be an emphasis on one approach or the other. At the very least, this apparent teeter totter can lead to isolation and alienation. Taken to extremes, this opposition produces the conflict of us vs. them.

Your personal astrology chart shows the dynamic balance between self and others. Most people tend to be polarized in one direction or the other. Some clients benefit through moving out of self absorption, cultivating empathy, and consideration of others. Then there are those clients that need permission to stop being the peacemaker at any cost, and get in touch with their true and honest feelings. There is no right or wrong, there is just balance. But, like walking a tight rope, skill and practice is required. It is fascinating and rewarding to watch people discover insight through gaining a better understanding of this ever shifting balancing act called relationship.

Keeping these points in mind/heart, let's get back to October, a month when these themes flare up in full technicolor 3D. Consider all the various forms that relationship takes; intimate, family, friends, co-workers, community, nations. No matter the form, in many cases, tension has been building, and may very well reach a fever pitch of intensity. In many cases, the gap of communication may feel like an insurmountable chasm, and come down to, “agreeing to disagree.”

What comes to a head during the first week of October tends to carry forward to the Libra New Moon on October 19, setting the pace for the next 28 day cycle. In this case, the Sun and Moon in Libra are in opposition to Uranus and Eris. Symbolically, the renegade and revolutionary energy of the rebel runs headlong into the law. There is potential for disruption of the status quo, sudden and inexplicable reversals, and attempts to overturn law and order.

In many relationships, people will feel compelled or forced to take off their social mask, and show their true colors. In reality, this process has already been underway, but there is an intensification and culmination coming in October. Even the most stable of relationships will be tested. It is a necessary process, as the enduring foundation of connection and relationship is based on authenticity.

Now, let's consider Jupiter's influence. For the past year, Jupiter has been in the social sign of Libra. It has encouraged an atmosphere of making nice, keeping conversation on the surface, along with quick solutions and pat answers. On October 10, Jupiter leaves Libra and plunges into the deep, mysterious waters of Scorpio, where it will remain for the coming twelve months.

Scorpio is the detective, delving behind the scenes to get to the bottom of just about everything. It is an emotional, intense and complicated zodiac sign, never satisfied with mundane reality, always probing, questioning, asking the deeper questions of life. Scorpio realizes that we can't always believe what is on the surface. It is bold, frank, fearless, strategic and tenacious, never afraid to rattle the skeletons hidden in the closet.

As a frank Scorpio, I say, “It's about time for society to look deeper into matters at hand, personally and collectively, mystically and spiritually. No doubt, this dive into oceanic depths will make waves, create quite a stir, and precipitate a shift into new terrain. Watch for signs of things to come as Mercury joins Jupiter on October 18, and Jupiter joins the Sun on October 26.

To a certain extent, Jupiter has been giving the president a free ride. Taking a look at Trump's astrology chart, Jupiter was in Libra at the time of his birth. Every twelve years, Jupiter returns to the sign of one's birth, giving a boost of confidence and good fortune to the year. Once Jupiter enters Scorpio, this protective influence is no longer in place for Trump.

There is a tendency to see Jupiter's influence as all good, but Jupiter has a downside. “Too much of a good thing,” is a familiar adage that denotes Jupiter's tendency to enlarge whatever it touches. Grandiosity, superficiality, extravagance, arrogance; these character traits are associated with Jupiter. So far, Trump has depended on repetitive and superficial sound bites to address very complex problems.

I am reminded of my cousin's remark at the beginning of last year's campaign season. It was surprising that my cousin, a conservative, mid-west business owner, said she would be voting for Trump as she voiced, “he will shake things up.” Come to find out, there were/are many voters with the same attitude, and they welcome the shake up.

While this statement sparked my curiosity, it also sparked a sense of alarm. From my perspective as an astrologer, the planetary trends for the next decade appear tumultuous and destabilizing. The planet is going through a major evolutionary acceleration, waters are rising, the tide is turning, and humanity's passage to safe and calm harbors is already tenuous enough.

Since the revolutionary 1960's, numerous voices have spoken up for reform, and many people have dedicated their life work to radical improvement in the social institutions that bind us together. However, for the most part, these voices have been ignored, cast aside as the fringe element, too idealistic, not really grounded in sustainable solutions.

Meanwhile, many of us on the cutting edge have questioned what it would take to bring about real transformation. So, here we are, nine months into the Trump presidency, and we see he is a potent catalyst for the shake up, a shake up that has been underway for decades. It is helpful to realize, the ground has been prepared, seeds are planted, and the first green sprouts are readily visible.

Storms will come, the earth may shake, but a new world being born. Having given birth, I can tell you, giving birth is messy, hard labor, uncontrollable, face to face with life and death. The contractions are coming closer now. There is no time to waste. Breath, let go, relax . . . breath even deeper now, let go even more, relax and trust.

September 2017
Belinda C. Dunn

Mercury direct
September 5 @ 7:30 am EDT

Pisces/Virgo Full Moon
September 6  @  3:03 am EDT

Virgo New Moon
September 20 @ 1:30 am EDT

Autumnal Equinox
September 22  @  4:02 pm EDT

Doors close and doors open, standing on the threshold of major change, September begins with a sense of transition that only grows more insistent as the month unfolds. There is the usual wrap up of summer fun as the familiar routine of school and work gets underway, and yet, there's a sense that more is to be revealed in this poignant, nebulous, in between place.

Where is the apparent chaos and upheaval taking humanity? Where are we going in our individual lives as well as nationally and globally? For many people, it can feel like society is jumping off a cliff of no return. For others, the recent Solar Eclipse in Leo is the Lion's Gate of expanded consciousness opening wider than ever before to allow celestial frequencies to flood the planet, allowing a swift rising of vibration like never before.

Harvest begins as our Sun transits through Virgo, the final zodiac sign of summer. Virgo is the epitome of the divine feminine, embodied through the stages of a woman's life as innocent maiden, nurturing mother and wise crone. At each stage of life, the divine feminine freely offers nourishment and sustenance for every living thing. She represents the wisdom garnered from tangible, direct experience on planet Earth.

Each zodiac sign has an archetypal symbol, and Virgo is the pure and chaste virgin. She is depicted as holding sheaves of grain, rich from the fields. A necessary step in harvesting grain is winnowing, separating the nutritious germ from the chaff. The zodiac sign of Virgo can assist each of us in discerning what is necessary, life sustaining and nutritious, while releasing what is superfluous, and ready to be discarded.

As each zodiac sign comes with its inherent characteristics, Virgo is known for its heightened and precise skills of observation. Virgo sees what needs to be done, and goes about the task of enhancing productivity to carry projects forward to successful completion.

It can be helpful to keep these ideas in mind as September begins with Mercury retrograde. On August 12, Mercury started a retrograde phase in the zodiac sign of Virgo. These past weeks have been a time for research and review. If you have found yourself more exacting, cautious and contemplative in making decisions, this is to be expected according to Mercury's current phase. This slow down has been necessary to clearly determine the optimal course ahead.

However, it probably has not been easy to slow down and consider all the options. The pressure of circumstances, and an internal sense of hurry and worry may be clouding the issues. As Mercury goes direct on September 5, the clouds begin to dramatically clear, and the light of reason illuminates the way ahead.

There is an added intensity to this current Mercury retrograde phase. First, Mercury goes direct on the exact degree of the Solar Eclipse (28 Leo). This means big decisions with long term consequences are in the works. Individually and collectively, a need for circumspection has been driving consciousness inward for answers to very complex and perplexing situations. A change of mind and heart is needed to effectively move forward.

Secondly, as Mercury goes direct on September 5, in addition to returning to this potent eclipse degree, Mars joins this combination. Astrologers have been eyeing this rare combination of planetary influences since last year. Now that the cards are on the table, so to speak, explosive, unpredictable, and destabilizing events continue to roll out, speaking volumes for the current social environment in the United States.

Mercury exactly joins Mars on September 3, activating the sensitive eclipse point. Ancient astrologers defined this combination as “sweep of the malefic.” Obviously, this signals a time of potential danger, and need for caution. The fixed star Regulus is also on this point. Historically, planetary transits to Regulus have been associated with major events. It is said that Regulus punishes those leaders that are motivated by revenge.

A word about Mars . . . this is the planet that gets us up in the morning. As the planet of vitality, momentum, competition, passion and drive, Mars will fight for what it wants. Desire is a key component of what it means to be human, and many desires are productive. For example, if you want to be fit, Mars will get you moving in healthy directions. However, Mars comes with the caveat of “choose your battles wisely.”

Historically, Mars was known to the ancients as the god of war. The instinctual and programmed response of human biology is fight/flight/freeze. As Mercury joins Mars exactly on the 3rd, and a second time on September 16, there is an opportunity to watch and learn from your response to Mars energy. Some typical responses include irritability, angst, impulsiveness and combativeness. When Mars is strong, there is a need for caution in speech as well as operating mechanical devices.

As humanity evolves, and becomes more aware of collective unity, Mars the warrior transforms into the Mars the builder. September is the month to double check your motivations, and get moving in productive directions. This burst of Mars energy can breakthrough stagnation, and get the ball rolling on many levels, individually and collectively. Astrologer Emily Trinkaus writes, “Mercury-Mars conjunct Regulus animates the power of the sovereign, liberated mind to guide creative and effective action in service to collective healing.”

A Full Moon on September 6 shines light on decisions as it closely follows Mercury's direction from the previous day. The Full Moon chart shows Moon joining Neptune with Sun in opposition. As the planet of glamour, Neptune tends to cast a spell over appearances. If it's too good to be true, it may very well be. Neptune can be quite challenging in its effect, giving that extra nudge to awaken people out of their personal dream while dispelling veils of deception. Neptune is also highly sensitizing, opening perception to alternate realities.

Two weeks later on September 20, a Virgo New Moon turns the page, setting the pace for the next 28 lunar day cycle. In addition to the Sun and Moon, three planets are in Virgo (Venus, Mars, Mercury). As Virgo is the zodiac sign of health, this is the time to focus on healing. Chiron, the wounded healer archetype, intensely engages this New Moon. Since Chiron's discovery in 1977, the themes of holistic healing, personal growth, and the recovery movement have surged to the forefront of social awareness.

Chiron is currently transiting through Pisces skies (2010 – 2019), giving a voice to the plight of the vulnerable and downtrodden. This New Moon will amplify the moral choice between service to self, and service to others. As much as many government officials would attempt to eliminate assistance to the needy, the question remains, what is the most realistic and effect way to handle many sectors of population such as refugees, orphans, the economically disadvantaged and handicapped?

In centuries past, assistance to the needy was provided by immediate family, community, and religious agencies. Over the past century, to a large extent, governments have stepped in to fulfill this role. It may not be realistic to turn these responsibilities back on the very sectors of society that struggle to make ends meet, just getting by in the face of very challenging life circumstances. This  problem is not going away any time soon, but the debate may very well intensify during September.

Autumnal Equinox on September 22 provides a palpable shift in seasons as well as spirit. Like a breath of fresh air, the sacred pause of the Sun's entrance in the zodiac sign of Libra is rejuvenating and hopeful. Libra is the zodiac sign of partnership, and the myriad forms that relationship takes. Jupiter has been giving a boost of confidence and compatibility in its transit through Libra for the past year. This is due to change in October, but more on that next month.

In the meantime, Jupiter will oppose Uranus in the final week of September. In addition, intense and volatile Pluto is stationary direct on September 28th. This disruptive combination can bring relationship issues to a head. It's one thing in our personal lives as it instills awareness of relationship dynamics, and the need to maintain balance, harmony and healthy interdependence. It's another issue on the world stage as leaders and nations vie for control, and rally for sovereignty.

Astrology gives language to archetypes. As an astrologer for over forty years, I have observed the amazing correlation between this symbolic language, and actual events unfolding in real time. For example, the current eclipse cycle (2017-2018) activates the zodiac signs of Leo and Aquarius, highlighting the dynamic interplay between leaders, and those they purport to lead. Thus, the evolutionary thrust is bringing key lessons to light, especially in regard to leaders.

This is the current curriculum in Earth school, and the correlations are showing up everywhere. To simplify, humans are taking a good look at leadership, and what it means to be a true, honest, gracious and trusted leader. The current debate on Confederate monuments is a good example of this reorientation. Concepts are shifting and changing before our eyes.

In reality, each of us are leaders, and each of us are followers. Consider all the hats you wear, and roles you play. In one instance you are leading, and the next you are following. Life isn't about blindly following an outside authority. As long as humans turn away and ignore their inner connection with Source, the realization of peaceful co-existence remains elusive.

In regard to leadership, there are enormous misunderstandings on the world stage right now. Many leaders are portrayed as glamorous celebrities, cartoon images bordering on the bizarre. These are not true leaders, and genuine leadership arises out of a calling that is aligned with integrity. When asked about the current political situation, Andrea Mitchell, a well respected reporter, recently stated, “There is a central corruption of the spirit at the core of this. Self love is not leadership.”

In contemplating recent events, especially in Charlottesville, the word “seminal” dropped into my mind. Looking it up in the dictionary, I was inspired to read, “containing or contributing the seeds of later development; creative, original.” Clearly, this is a seminal moment in the nation's history, with widespread repercussions for years to come.

As September begins with Mercury going direct, potently aligned with the recent Solar Eclipse/Mars/Regulus, all manner of communication and information is ready to surface. In your personal life, a heightened awareness of purpose and direction is ready to be acted upon.

On the collective level, circumstances can turn on a dime. At times, maddeningly disruptive, the planetary trends in September can rattle the nerves, and test the patience of most. Thus, September is a month for discernment, flexibility, adaptability and adjustment.

It is in times like this that true leadership is desperately needed. People are hungry, starving for guidance, seeking meaning in a precarious, and shifting social environment. Many of you dear readers, are in the position to offer solace and guidance to those around you. True leaders lead by example, and may this month give you the boost of confidence to be the radiant light that you are.

ADDENDUM: I completed this article on Friday, August 25, before Hurricane Harvey wrought massive devastation on the Gulf Coast, and would like to add a few more thoughts in the wake of this storm. Since the beginning of 2017, many people have come to me, reporting dreams of major destruction (flooding, storms, tidal waves, tsunami). The dreams came with a sense of tension, premonition and dread.

Now this epic event is here. It is a game changer, and will continue to roll out with unfathomable repercussions for those directly involved as well as the country at large. The mythic meaning of Virgo as the zodiac sign of service is calling for conscience and compassion. It's time to walk the talk. Our hearts go out to those in need, our prayers are with you, you are not alone.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 40 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. Email: belinda@astrodelight.com  Phone: 828-215-2101  Website: astrodelight.com

Belinda C. Dunn

Leo/Aquarius Lunar Eclipse
August 7  @  2:11 pm

Mercury Retrograde
August 12 – September 5

Leo Total Solar Eclipse
August 21  @  2:30 pm

Spinning on this precious gem of Earth, all terrestrial life is perfectly positioned between the Sun and Moon. Every six months, as partners in this cosmic dance, there is a precise alignment between Sun, Moon and Earth. This alignment produces a blocking of the Moon's light in the case of a lunar eclipse, and a blocking of the Sun's light in the case of a solar eclipse. It's really quite miraculous, when you think about it.

Having witnessed many eclipses, astronomer Tyler Nordgren describes his personal experience: “The life-giving nature of the Sun is no longer an abstract concept: the sky has grown darker and colors are strangely wrong. The landscape is sapped of saturation. The worlds are aligning.”

From the beginning of time, eclipses have been calculated, and closely observed by an enthralled, spellbound humanity. The approaching solar eclipse on August 21 is receiving plenty of media attention, and may go down in history as a global event, and the most widely observed eclipse of all time.

This is for several reasons. First of all, a Total Solar Eclipse is a rarity, whereby the entire Sun will be covered by the Moon along the path of totality. Secondly, the path of the eclipse will sweep across the entire continental United States from Oregon to South Carolina. Being dubbed the “American Eclipse,” the potency of this particular eclipse will be experienced on many levels of our collective existence. Historically, significant geopolitical events tend to occur on the land masses touched by the path of totality.

Leaving observable scientific facts to astronomers, I aim to address the profound, and potentially life transforming effects of these eclipses. Astrology takes a metaphysical view, taking into consideration the more subtle influences on mind, body, emotions and spirit. Eclipses are the exclamation points of astrological signature. As such, they unveil obstacles and dissolve blocks, acting as tools of the universe to impress upon humanity the next relevant stage of evolution.

August begins with revolutionary Uranus stationary retrograde on August 2. For several weeks (July 28 – August 9), Uranus bears down,  intensifying the urge to overthrow restrictions. For some personalities, this can mean flouting the law in disregard for precedence. Many people may be coming to the realization that enough is enough, and come forward to take a stand for honesty and integrity.

Uranus is the planet of innovation. At its best, this current trend provides the perfect environment to energetically and courageously confront barriers to progress. In its more troubled expression, Uranus transiting through Aries (2010 – 2018) shows its face as self absorbed opportunism. Running rampant in our society, we see the very structures of social stability being challenged by narrow minded self interest.

Contributing to the fast and furious launch of August is the culmination of a planetary transit, Jupiter square Pluto. This is the third activation of these two planetary energies. The first occurred last November, the second in March, and the trend completes now. Taken together, Jupiter and Pluto have the tendency to be ruthless and reckless, giving permission to certain personality types to exaggerate power, privilege and authority.

The word “entitlement” comes up repeatedly in national conversation. It is thrown around, and generally directed to those in need of assistance, but the dictionary defines Pluto as Greek god of the underworld, and defines plutocracy as “government by the wealthy.” Hhhmmm . . . could there be some connection? Pluto's long term transit through Capricorn (2008-2024) is serving an evolutionary purpose in revealing hidden agendas, and the misuse of collective resources for less than admirable goals.

The themes for the lunar eclipse on August 7 may already be apparent in the news, and your personal life. This is because the effect of eclipses can be felt approximately 2 weeks before the first eclipse, continue through to the next, and can linger for at least six months.

A lunar eclipse is always a Full Moon, in this case, the Moon in Aquarius opposes the Sun in Leo. This combination of astrological factors will jolt people out of complacency, and bring issues to a head. Aquarius gives power to the people, invigorating connection and shared ideals. However, when events are tumultuous, there is a tendency to shut down, freeze, even disassociate. This Full Moon is a call for renewed vigor in the face of overwhelming odds.

Consider for a moment the previous lunar eclipse on February 11. At that point, the Sun was in Aquarius and the Moon was in Leo. On the heels of a presidential inauguration, there were widespread protests, and the populace was invigorated and committed to social change. This trend has dwindled somewhat, but will ignite during August.

However, the full thrust of Aquarius, which is to support and advance   progress, can be frustrated and thwarted until the next solar eclipse on February 15, 2018, exactly joining the USA Moon in Aquarius. It's very important to not lose momentum, and continue to work toward a positive future for all involved, nationally and globally.

During August, one of the looming quandaries is how to access the high side of Leo in social structures that embolden and glorify celebrities, military strength, and those in leadership positions. Might is not always right. In fact, use of military strength is frequenly a karmic trap that ensnares all those involved.

The solar eclipse on August 21 aligns our Sun, Moon, North Lunar Node, and Mars in the zodiac sign of the Leo. An added bonus is a conjunction with Regulus, a fixed star that is literally the heart of the Lion. The intensity of these planetary factors coming together cannot be overstated. Keeping in mind that eclipses have long term potency, and tend to play out over 6-12 months, this is a leaders rise and leaders fall moment in global history.

At the top of the food chain, the lion roars its thunderous, unmistakable roar, and the people listen. A lion in the wild can look deceptively tame, but when hunger arises, a lion carefully chooses its prey, and raw, uncontrollable instinct kicks in. This natural way of things in the wild is similar to these powerful eclipses. Events on the geopolitical stage may very well instigate forces beyond one's control, yet surprisingly bring each individual more in alignment with their inner strength and connection to the whole.

The developmental task for humanity at this stage of evolution is potent and life transforming for those individuals aiming to discover their personal power and inner authority. In reality, this is not power as the world knows it, but a pure connection with Source as guidance, solace and wisdom. True leadership is humble, unselfish, and in service to the whole.

Eclipses are part of a bigger story unfolding over an 18.6 year cycle. The eclipses of 2017 and 2018 highlight the dynamic interplay between the zodiac signs of Leo and Aquarius. To sum up these themes, I offer a quote from spiritual teacher Osho. “Look within yourself and you will experience great uniqueness. And all inferiority disappears, evaporates; it was created by you and by wrong education, it was created by a subtle strategy – the strategy of comparison. Once you know your uniqueness, you are joyous, and there is no need to follow anybody. Learn from everybody.”

Eclipses can be a challenging phase, revealing what may have been hidden from conscious awareness. It may feel like life is throwing one curve ball after another. Contributing to the atmosphere of uncertainty, another planet is due to join in. On August 12, Mercury, the planet of communication, begins a retrograde phase. These factors combined signal a month that can be emotionally overwhelming, and tax one's patience in working through more complex life circumstances.

The theme of healthy wholeness will be paramount as Mercury transits through Virgo for the entire month, and Sun enters Virgo on August 22. It pays to be emotionally and mentally prepared. Place self care high on the list of priorities. Productivity is dependent on basic lifestyle choices. The zodiac sign of Virgo heightens sensitivity to environmental factors that may or may not contribute to wellness. It is advisable to keep on eye on nutrition, and maintain a regular schedule of rest, work and play.

Finally, on August 25, we get a green light of full speed ahead as Saturn stations direct. Saturn has been retrograde since April 6. Transiting through the zodiac sign of Sagittarius, Saturn has been bearing down on the national identity. In numerous ways, the country has been in a holding pattern as one initiative after another has stalled, hit the wall, and fallen to the wayside. Clearly, there is a compelling need for reform, but no clear way forward.

This brings me to one of the key factors in the USA astrology chart that I have been contemplating for years, and it's finally making sense. At the country's inception, Mars was in the zodiac sign of Gemini in the area of relationships. Mars fights for what it believes to be true, while Gemini is the communicator, translator and arbitrator. No wonder, the airwaves are filled with controversy. One voice after another vies for attention, supremacy and acknowledgment.

As Saturn goes direct on August 25, it exactly opposes the country's Mars in Gemini. This is about the sharing of ideas, free speech, and connection. How many people agree that the national conversation has turned toxic, vicious, vitriolic and demeaning. The heightened animosity and furor threatens to overtake the national dialog in a way that is destructive to peaceful coexistence. A return to sane, dignified and constructive dialog is essential to getting anything accomplished. Saturn is serious, and getting more real by the moment.

The current transit of Saturn through Sagittarius is emphasizing the USA identity as an amalgamation of world ethnicity, cultures and creeds. There are those factions that would attempt to deny this reality, but inevitably they will be left in the dust as the dinosaurs they are. The road ahead is for those individuals that dare to be forward thinking, curious, inventive, and open to what's new and what's next.

A keen choice is being presented. Cling to the past, and fight to keep it alive, or adapt and welcome innovation. There's a choice. The new age of Aquarius is dawning, with or without us. Those of us in the field, so to speak, have an opportunity. It is so easy to get caught up in distress, but progress is taking place everywhere. It's like wow! Look at all the amazing, inventive, exciting developments happening on a daily basis across the spectrum of technology as well as human relations. In conclusion, may truth, goodness and beauty prevail in these troubled times.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 40 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. Email: belinda@astrodelight.com  Phone: 828-215-2101  Check out her website for services and archive of previous articles, www.astrodelight.com

  July 2017

Capricorn Full Moon
July 9  @  12:07 am (Eastern time zone)

Leo New Moon
July 23  @  5:46 am (Eastern)

July begins with Sun, Mercury and Mars transiting through the zodiac sign of Cancer. Symbolized by the industrious, alert, defensive and protective crab, this zodiac sign is the epitome of instinct, the inherent drive for survival in every life form. The crab abides by water's edge, scrambling to make ends meet, driven by the incessant demands of weather and wind, cradled within the loving rhythm of ocean tides.

In astrology, those born under this zodiac sign tend to be labeled emotional, moody, reclusive and sentimental. But this is a simplistic understanding for a very complex and psychologically deep zodiac energy. Cancer represents the repository of cellular memory from conception on, with deep roots in this material existence. For each of us are born of a womb, each of us are conditioned by those early forces of genetic inheritance, parents and surrounding environment.

Beyond the conditioned reflect, in adult terms, this zodiac sign is very practical and driven to provide security for those around them. Within a family, business, or group, Cancers are the ones that readily identify the strengths and weaknesses of a given system, and go about fortifying foundations. They will work tirelessly to provide this security. Whether it is investing in real estate, remodeling a home, parenting, preparing a nutritious meal, advising co-workers, organizing the neighborhood yard sale, lending a sympathetic ear to those in need; this zodiac sign is well aware of the importance of nurturing and supporting those around them.

OK, it is clear how this zodiac sign tends to function on an individual level, but what about a country? Yes, entire nations have astrological charts. Born on July 4, 1776, the United States is celebrating 241 years of history. Not only have I been fascinated in observing the planetary influences for the country, but I have been consoled by the big picture that astrology offers. As you can imagine, the destiny of a nation is complex and compelling, emerging over time, mutating, evolving and transforming in the greater cosmic existence.

So what can we learn about ourselves as a collective species under the umbrella of national identity as portrayed by the astrology chart of the United States? Can this understanding prepare us for the years ahead? Is it possible to carve out one's identity without giving into the collective psychic soup of toxic turmoil? These are big questions, and in a small way, I will share my take on current events in this month's forecast as the astrological “state of the union.”

In the USA chart, the zodiac sign of Cancer leaps to life becoming even more prominent and magnified. At the signing of the Declaration of Independence, four major astrological factors were in the sign of the crab; Sun, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter. In a nation, taken to an extreme, a protective stance becomes the largest national defense system in the world. Sentimental love for one's own becomes patriotism to the point of insular close mindedness . Practicality becomes an almost insatiable drive for material security. Industriousness becomes a workaholic culture. Taking care of others becomes policing the world.

Adding to this picture, the astrology chart of the nation's leader takes on special significance. For better or worse, the leader's destiny becomes part of this umbrella of influences. The current president has three planets in the zodiac sign of Cancer (Mercury, Saturn, Venus). While his destiny is clearly linked to the country, his Saturn acts as a constrictive, karmic and reckoning force. He thinks he knows what is best for the country, but he is a living example of American privilege and entitlement taken to an extreme.

July begins with a rude awakening as Mars opposes Pluto on the 2nd, providing the atmosphere for all these themes, and more, to surface. This planetary combination can be likened to a surgeon's knife, cutting deep to expose underlying disease. Issues of security will resonate across the spectrum, all the way from personal to national concerns.

On the heels of this combustive alignment, comes the Full Moon on July 9. In this case, the Moon exactly joins Pluto and opposes Mars, further amplifying and intensifying what has been uncovered in recent weeks.

At its best, this Full Moon enhances a realistic, bottom line, back to basics pause. As much as one could feel rushed and pressured to move forward, there is a need to stop, establish priorities, take a full inventory, and gather the insight to actually implement improvements with effective objectives.

The third phase of any lunar cycle is the last Quarter Moon. On July 16, the Moon in Aries joins Uranus. Tension that has accumulated over previous weeks breaks. Energizing and activating Mars, in square to Uranus, adds a combustive and unpredictable quality to this final phase of the lunar cycle. There is an air of freedom, a pivot toward the future. Here again, we see the themes of push comes to shove, the necessity to release the past in order to enact substantial change in the present.

On July 20, Mars completes its transit through sensing and introspective Cancerian waters, and enters hot, intense and dramatic Leo. There will be a distinct shift in energy over the next three days as Sun enters Leo on the 22nd, and Moon enters Leo on the 23. Alongside Mars, this New Moon will catapult us out of the doldrums, and ignite the fires of purposeful action.

With the major eclipses of August around the corner, and a Mercury retrograde phase beginning on August 12, you may find situations that arise in late July are the kick off for a very dynamic Leo season. Life situations may challenge you to take charge, find your freedom, and connect with your inner strength rather than give your power away to outer authority. More on this topic next month.

Over the past election year, I felt compelled to consider the USA astrology chart from the standpoint of collective destiny. Here we are, a year later (how time flies), and July 4 is the 241st birthday of the nation. As I mentioned, the chart of a country is very complex, and cannot be reduced to simplicity. However, in calculating the Solar Return birthday chart for the USA, a number of significant factors rise to the surface that may be helpful to understand at this juncture.

First of all, the country is in the precarious interim between past and future. Of course, this is the case for the entire world. No one country can take credit for knowing exactly where this is going. It is the rare individual that has the wisdom and perspective to tap into the true direction for planet Earth, and actually embody this on a daily basis. We are a work in progress, so to speak.

The Solar Return chart sets the pace for the coming year. In the Solar Return chart for the USA, the planet Neptune is exactly on the ascendant, the power point of the eastern horizon. Adding to this theme, never in the history of the country rare alignment, Neptune has been activating the progressed Sun of the USA since May 2016. The forth and final activation occurs on September 3.

What in the world is going on??? We are left with more questions than answers . . .which is exactly the point when Neptune is involved. Neptune tends to cast a mesmerizing, confusing and disorienting light on earthy matters. Neptune's influence is optimal for receiving divine guidance, inspiration and direction. But, to what degree, is the collective consciousness open to receive this invitation?

Meanwhile, strong Neptune influences can provide a jolt of awakening, albeit a rude awakening. It is not always comfortable to come out of a dreamlike, idealistic reverie, forced to face, and come to terms with reality. Frankly, many people, groups and countries find it advantageous to dwell in the shadow of Neptune, consciously or unconsciously, using deception for their own purposes.

One of the most obvious signs of the Neptune influence is the insidious and blurry boundaries around what constitutes real news and fake news. Propaganda has always been used by renegades and institutions to sway public opinion, but current technology brings this type of manipulation to a whole new level. The dictionary defines propaganda as, “the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause or one's cause or to damage an opposing cause.”

As much as the current political environment is conflicting and confusing, there is the potential for waking up from the trance, and actually getting to the bottom of trends that have been going on for decades. By the way, the newly released documentary, “The Brainwashing of My Dad,” comes highly recommended.

Meanwhile, down to earth Saturn is calling forth the truth, and bearing down on the USA identity. I see this as a reckoning that cannot be escaped, but actually provides the realism needed for the country to find its lost identity. Current events are testing the strength of the union to the very core. In an individual's chart, these planetary trends could signify the rock bottom of substance abuse, the point of no return, whereby there is no escape except to realistically face the necessary and arduous climb out of the sinkhole of self sabotage.

Everything points to the approaching decade as a decisive turning point for the nation. At the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the planet Pluto aligned in the area of finance, money, worth and value. Pluto has a 246 year orbit, and the country is just five years away from a Pluto return. Meanwhile, Pluto in Capricorn (2008 - 2023) is exposing the corrosive power of glamorous and seductive self interest. Meanwhile, the urgency to address this corruption is front and center, stimulating a potential reset of the core values that underlie commerce, currency and financial institutions.

Clearly, much is at stake, and it's time for the country to face its mottled and complicated heritage, exemplifying many of the current challenges. The early patriots didn't think it was fair to pay taxes to the king of England, and so they revolted. The early patriots couldn't even consider what constitutes, “equality and justice for all,” as they lived in an era of white man dominance. In those early years of revolt, the founders called forth the guiding light of transcendent values, the high ideals of democracy, but manifesting these ideals depends on the commitment of each generation.

In this nebulous, in between place of Neptune's dissolving and disorienting influence, this is not a time to linger in the past, and blindly adhere to traditions that no longer apply. Altering the landscape of public discourse, the tide of public opinion is turning, gathering momentum as a tidal wave of gigantic proportions. The coming decade will provide the tough, but ideal environment to upgrade these core values, thereby coming to terms with present challenges.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with 40+ years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. EMAIL: belinda@astrodelight.com  PHONE: 828-215-2101  www.astrodelight.com

JUNE 2017

Gemini/Sagittarius Full Moon
June 9 @ 9:10 am EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)

Summer Solstice
June 21 @ 12:24 am EDT

Cancer New Moon
June 23 @ 10:31 pm EDT

Across time, spanning the ages, the planets radiate their essential message. Each planet orbits against the backdrop of a star studded sky, participating and sharing in the glorious manifestation of universal existence. The month of June begins with Sun and Mars moving through Gemini skies. Gemini is the translator, addressing communication gaps, capable of bridging the inherent diversity within the human family as well as the cosmos.

On the surface, Gemini appears restless, ready to jump from one idea to another, one situation to the next. In all this rushing around, Gemini can easily trip up, and succumb to the challenges of a hectic and pressured schedule. While the evolutionary lesson of Gemini is honesty and wisdom through experience, Gemini can reflex into fickle dishonesty, falling back on classic diversion tactics, saying just about anything to change the focus.

As much of the world is already fed up with Trump's antics, this Gemini thrives on keeping the spin going, throwing one wrench after the other into the mix of information. Days before his 71st birthday on June 14, a Gemini/Sagittarius Full Moon has the potential to shine a light on the truth, and disclose deeply hidden matters of national security.

The upcoming Full Moon on June 9 closely mimics the planetary patterns at the time of Trump's birth. With the Sun in Gemini and the Moon in Sagittarius, Trump is a born salesman. Not only was he born on a Full Moon, but this happened to be a lunar eclipse which is known for intensifying the evolutionary pressure to master significant lesson patterns for the life.

Along with Uranus joining his Gemini Sun, Trump is an eccentric renegade, accustomed to throwing his words and weight around. With the planet Mars on his Leo ascendant, he is used to getting his way, and thinks nothing of using intimidation and charm to influence others to fall in line with his agenda. Without going into too much depth on Trump's astrological chart (enough already!), suffice it to say, he is a man of many contradictions.

The Full Moon on June 9 illuminates the unseen, and tends to bring situations to a boiling point in terms of disclosure. Information will be flooding in from all directions. However the wheels of justice move slowly, and it may take months to unravel the complications of mismanaged and distorted communication.

The important distinction in this current debacle is the role of Saturn, the planet of consequences. Transiting through Sagittarius (2015-2017), the zodiac sign of truth, Saturn will not tolerate anything less than full accountability. While Trump's birth chart shows an unrestrained tongue, and the tendency to put his foot in his mouth, Saturn is holding him accountable. The force and fury of his opinionated diatribe throughout the campaign season will continue to haunt and inhibit his progress.

On the personal level, this Full Moon on June 9 can serve to illuminate the inner recesses of unresolved trauma and emotion. The outer personality prefers to guard these tender and vulnerable places through denial. With Saturn involved, it carries the weight of a more serious and realistic tone. No doubt, there can be outer triggering events that drive home this inner process. As veils of illusion dissolve in the light of this lunation, the possibilities are endless for release and healing.

This brings us to another highly significant planetary message for June. Within an hour of the Full Moon, Jupiter begins its annual direct phase. Jupiter has been retrograde in Libra since February 6. Jupiter is the planet of faith, improvement and expansion, and Libra is the zodiac sign of relationship. Thus, many relationships, personal and professional, have been up for review.

Based on this evaluation, you may have decided to put more energy into a particular on-going relationship. On the other hand, you and/or another may have outgrown the relationship in its current form. If you have been feeling alone, in need of more social interaction, perhaps you have made the intentional decision to reach out, and expand social contacts.

Most people learn how to relate in the early home environment through a process of trial and error that becomes embedded in programmed habits. It is assumed that people know how to get along, and the fine art of genuine and fulfilling connection is generally taken for granted. But, when we stop to consider the amount of conflict in the personal, social and global domains, humans appear to be hitting the wall in the mistaken notion that peace can be found in the fight.

Overall, Jupiter in Libra is encouraging an upgrade in relationship skills. Everyone on the planet is being called to task in this area of relating, but especially citizens of the United States. As Jupiter begins its direct phase on June 9, it exactly joins Saturn in the United States astrology chart.

This is part of the country's original intent to uphold law and order, and demonstrate the legitimacy of democracy through justice and fairness for each citizen. Typically, these matters have been left to experts, those trained in law, but current trends show the entire country is getting a chance to receive an upgraded lesson on the democratic process.

One more interesting note on Jupiter in Libra. Jupiter entered Libra last September. Trump's astrology chart shows three planets in Libra. This planetary transit gave Trump the boost of popularity needed to rise to power. Emboldened and righteous by this win, he has continued to take risky steps for expansion of his agenda. The astrology charts of Trump and Putin show numerous planetary connections. Not only is Putin a Libra, but he has three planets in Libra. Thus, we see this relationship playing out on the world stage in terms of mutual admiration.

However, the spell will break by autumn as Jupiter leaves Libra and enters Scorpio. As disclosure and exposure mount over the summer months, Putin will wise up. There are just too many complications for this Russian leader. Similar to Trump, he craves admiration and attention on the global stage. As Putin's agendas are revealed publicly, and his involvement in nefarious and questionable activities comes to light, he will attempt to distance himself from the administration. For all his boasting, not only does Putin need to hide in the shadows, but he prefers to remain an enigma.

Speaking of mesmerizing glamour and illusive spells, Neptune orbits at fourteen degrees Pisces throughout June, and stations retrograde on June 16. Neptune has played a significant role over recent years. Its influence tends to cast doubt and cloud reality. While there are many instances of this Neptune influence, the question of news, fake or real, remains in limbo. As Neptune pauses, its influence tends to be spell binding or spell breaking. People may be facing the contrast of numbing denial, and radical waking up aliveness. It's a choice.

As the month rolls out, there is a distinct change in mood. On June 4, Mars enters the zodiac sign of Cancer. Just like the seaside crab that instinctively scurries to safety, this is a pulling back and turning within reflex. More than likely, most people will feel a need to return to their roots. This can take many forms, but there may be an urge to spend more time at home alone, or perhaps connect with close family and friends. Home improvements, and landscaping projects can benefit.

The zodiac energy of Cancer the Crab becomes even more prominent as the month unfolds, furthered by the Sun's entrance into Cancer on Summer Solstice. In tandem, Sun and Mercury enter Cancer on June 21. As the lightest and longest day of the year, solstice is a time for celebration, and raising of consciousness. Our Sun radiates pure life essence as Mercury, messenger of the gods, interprets and translates experience into understanding and wisdom. This particular solstice is powerfully charged with insight for those tapping into guidance.

Closely following the solstice, a New Moon initiates a new 28 day cycle in the late evening of June 23. Along with Mars transiting through the zodiac sign of Cancer, the universal themes of safety and security tend to dominate awareness on the personal, national and global levels. Home, family and tribe is the sustaining foundation of daily life for each human. Between the refugee crisis and other humanitarian disasters, the vital importance of addressing and meeting basic needs is poignant and intense.

This New Moon is ideal for contemplating and taking action on what can bring more stability in your immediate life circumstances. This includes the outer home, location and environment, as well as the inner domain of emotions and instinctual response. Like the crab, some people carry their home upon their back, and can adapt easily to environments. Other people may put their focus on creating and sustaining harmony in their immediate surroundings. On the psychological level, this New Moon is excellent for healing the inner child, and emotional reprogramming.

Astrology for the final week of June shows Mercury, the communicator, activating a planetary alignment called a T-square. We will see people alert, defensive, perhaps loudly proclaiming and complaining. With the predominant Cancerian energy, many people will be more attuned to their needs. Feeling safe, physically and emotionally, is a basic human drive. In this sense, we may see individuals and groups hitting the wall of limitation, on the defense, pressured to take steps to better their circumstances.

This breakthrough week continues into early July. A T-square is considered a challenging planetary alignment, whereby easy solutions are hard to come by. It is similar to standing at a crossroads and feeling forced to make a decision without the benefit of hindsight. In many cases, it becomes an impasse that can only be waited out. In the meantime, attempting to force a solution in a very complex and multifaceted situation can only exacerbate problems.

Speaking to the current political conditions, this T-square involves Mercury, Jupiter, Mars and Pluto. Jupiter entered a tense square with Pluto last November. This planetary combination continues to expose arrogance, privilege, extravagance, and larger than life power plays.

June 25 – July 2, Mercury and Mars come along to catalyze major developments in this dramatic set up. It is a watershed moment as secrets are exposed. The affect of Mars can range all the way from minor irritability to explosive rage, and destructive acts. More than likely, some type of crisis on the national or international front will have long term repercussions.

These are days for caution, vigilance, and circumspection in personal affairs. Mercury brings awareness, and Mars catalyzes action. Circumstances come to a boiling point, and the need to make deliberate decisions, and keep one's cool is paramount. Events are happening outside the individual's control, and there will be a wide variety of responses to the stress. Remember the ages old adage, “keep your wits about you.”

On every level, individually, nationally and globally, humanity is in the midst of major turmoil. 2017 is a destabilizing year, and business as usual is being exposed for what it is. In this crisis of ethics and conscience, Pluto in Capricorn is breaking down the very institutions that society relies upon. It is essential to remember that every breakthrough is preceded by a breakdown.

The tide is turning in the oceanic currents of belief, ideology, meaning and purpose. As the new age of Aquarius dawns, we will find salvation in our common humanity. As the Sun transits through Gemini and Cancer skies, June is a month to pay attention, and refine relationship skills. Gemini encourages speaking as well as listening. Cancer encourages empathy in the face of human fallibility and frailty. In this year of reckoning, the sooner humanity links up with positive and life enhancing solutions, the better. There is no time like the NOW.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 40+ years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. EMAIL: belinda@astrodelight.com PHONE: 828-215-2101 WEBSITE: astrodelight.com

Mercury Direct
May 3 @ 12:33 pm

Wesak Scorpio Full Moon
May 10 @ 5:42 pm

Gemini New Moon
May 25 @ 3:44 pm

The birth pangs of a new world are compellingly unmistakable, but the birth canal is narrow and dark. The uncertainty of this passage is evident as one obstacle after another looms large. Meanwhile the familiar crumbles at the feet of tradition. There are those that rejoice in this uprooting, chaotic and unstable period, but the vast majority are holding on for dear life, just getting by day to day.

The planetary trends have been building for years, pointing to the current phase of collective breakdown with potential for monumental breakthroughs in the long run. Astrologer Jessica Murray writes, “It is hard to imagine a more destabilizing setup: The country's very skeleton is being shaken. It's like a collective nervous breakdown.”

I clearly recall the wake up call of the 1960's. So many social and government issues surged into consciousness, and the seeds were planted for the major transformation that is upon us. Through the decades, there was always a question of what would it take to really enact substantial change. This wondering has given way to the reality that the time is now. The current state of affairs, no matter how grim, no matter how much dread is surging through the airwaves, is providing the perfect push back, the needed momentum to actually turn things around.

The remedy for a nervous breakdown, whether an individual or a group, is similar. It begins with letting go of external dictates and demands. Keenly evaluating what is frustrating and superfluous in the light of what is necessary and essential. Relinquishing the control of harried and enforced schedules can provide the optimal environment to quiet the mind and restore the spirit.

Spending time outdoors, deeply inhaling fresh air, walking barefoot, slowing down to meet the tempo of nature, reveling in the beauty of nature . . . stress automatically melts away. In a multitude of ways, nature proves to the the antidote for the stresses of modern life.

Anyone that has gone through a healing crisis knows there is a beginning, middle and end. It is humbling to not have easy answers, and lose a sense of control. Usually it is in hindsight that purpose is revealed, and peace of mind restored. On the other side of surmounting challenges and jumping hurdles, life takes on a brighter glow in the aura of understanding and appreciation.

Grabbing at straws, the pundits attempt to make sense of current conditions, and many of us can barely imagine a just, peaceful, and compassionate global society. But, in the face of uncertainty, there is a gathering of visionaries that dare to dream, and dare to take action.

As there are many complex factors in the collective social experience, there are as many contributing factors from the planetary perspective. Change doesn't happen overnight. It is helpful, if not essential, to take the long view. Astrology points to planetary cycles, and currently there are three major planetary cycles that are in their ending and waning phase (Saturn-Pluto, Jupiter-Pluto, Jupiter-Saturn).

Our Moon completes a lunar cycle every 28 days. The final few days of this cycle are known as the waning Moon, and the “dark of the Moon.” It is a time of dwindling energy, decline and introspection. Webster's dictionary definition includes, “to fall gradually from power, prosperity or influence.”

In terms of timing, translate the understanding of the lunar cycle to the enormous cycles of these planets that affect society, namely the above mentioned Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto. For example, the cycle of Jupiter and Saturn takes place over 20 years. Known as the social planets, they solidify and sustain large social trends, the context in which generations define belief, meaning and purpose.

Astrologers are keeping an eye on these three waning cycles reaching completion in 2020. From the planetary picture, metaphorically and literally, we are in the “end times.” But life goes on, and each cycle leads to the next. A new 20 year cycle is approaching, exact in December 2020, as Jupiter and Saturn join in the zodiac sign of Aquarius. This is the point of reset, and preparation is already underway for this new beginning. It is important to keep our eyes on the ball, and not lose focus in these years of dark, and waning influences.

While prognosticators were all over the map in terms of the recent presidential election, there was one overriding consensus in the astrological community. Namely, the winner of the 2016 election will not be re-elected in 2020. There is just too much breakdown going on. Vast swathes of the population are shifting perspective more in keeping with current trends. In many cases, this means choosing more conscious engagement in the democratic process. Clearly, so much is at stake in our collective quality of life in this increasingly fragile ecosystem of planet Earth.

This brings us to the month of May, and a significant shift in the zodiac position of the lunar nodes. On May 8, the North Lunar Node enters Leo, and the South Lunar Node enters Aquarius. The lunar nodes are part of an 18.6 year cycle, and this shift represents a tipping point in terms of Earth school curriculum.

These zodiac signs highlight the polarity between governing leaders and the masses. Leo the Lion symbolizes the authority and responsibility of leadership. We will continue to witness the extremes between truly great and magnanimous leaders, and leaders that control with an iron hand, harboring selfish ulterior motives. Events in May can setup circumstances that may very well reach a boiling point during the eclipses in August.

In the more immediate picture, Mercury goes direct on May 3. This is always a welcome relief. This particular retrograde cycle started with Mercury conjoining Uranus, the eccentric, unpredictable planet of surprises, erratic decisions and unusual events. You may consider conditions that came to light the last week of March. A finalization process is in affect the final week of April, continuing until Mercury conjoins Uranus for the third and final time on May 10.

Uranus in Aries (2010 – 2018) continues to support experimentation and innovation on every level of society. Numerous and extraordinary breakthroughs are possible the first half of May. Some of these may be invited while others may come out of the blue, changing your life forever. If there are burdensome conditions in your inner state of consciousness that affect the quality of your personal life, the urge to break free can surmount any resistance and tendency to hold on.

May is a fast month providing plenty of movement, and time seems to speed up even more than usual. With Venus in Aries and Mars in Gemini, this is the perfect combination of planetary influences for exploring options. Aries and Gemini are the pioneers of the zodiac. All facets of exploration are enhanced through communication, study and travel. Expanding horizons broaden the view, and give an extra boost of hopeful enthusiasm.

The Full Moon on May 10 is especially noteworthy. Yearly, the Wesak festival occurs on the Scorpio/Taurus Full Moon. This global celebration honors the masters, in particular Buddha's birth, enlightenment and lineage. It is known as a time during which Divine guidance is easily accessed, the veils between dimensions lift, and the enlightened masters come forth to whisper in the ears of listening humanity.

A helpful honoring ritual can take place in your own consciousness. For the three days before the Full Moon consider what you are ready to release, calling upon the depths of guidance for clarification. The Full Moon day is a day of receptivity, fully accepting the gifts of Divine connection. The next three days are for assimilation and integration of these gifts as well as renewed commitment to live in alignment with the Divine Plan.

The Sun enters Gemini on May 20. Within days, the Moon closely follows for a Gemini New Moon on May 25, initiating another 28 day lunar cycle on planet Earth. According to astrologer Dane Rudhyar, the Sabian symbol for this New Moon is, “A revolutionary magazine asking for action. Every movement stressing one direction calls forth in time an equally extreme movement in the opposite direction.”

This is a poignant symbol for the Gemini twins representing the inherent duality of thought, perception and belief. There are times when people face each other in agreement, and there are times of turning away in opposition. This speaks to the horizontal nature of human relationship, and the precarious and critical step of “agreeing to disagree” when appropriate.

An unusual planetary combination is part of this Gemini New Moon. Known as a Yod or finger of fate, this alignment accentuates the need to maintain balanced individuality within the context of your relationships. It may take more awareness than usual to strike this balance, but this month is jam packed with opportunities to interact with others in a fair and equitable way.

The month concludes with energetic Mars in opposition to serious Saturn on Memorial Day. A somber mood prevails, and the serious consequences of military action loom large. While the pros and cons are endlessly debated in the board room of corporations, and halls of government, the common everyday person looks toward elected officials for sane and intelligent decisions.

My husband is a veteran, and our family lives with the consequences of combat every single day. I can say from experience, the nightmare of war doesn't stop when the soldier returns home. Weapons are not playthings, and war exacts a toll. The cost is enormous and devastating on so many levels.

I have been writing “What's UP” since Spring of 1992. This is the first time I have written about these personal challenges. I know from experience, it's a big step to speak up, to share one's viewpoint. Through the years, it's been so easy to talk about the planets out there, as though life can be lived in the abstract.

As I summarize the planetary picture for May, I realize my personal inclination to speak up is supported and evoked through the turbulence of these times. Turned inside out, and upside down, the universe is invoking transparency, honesty and courage from each of us.

Discover your passion. What gets you up in the morning? What are you living for? Why did your eternal self choose incarnation now? And so, dear reader, I sign off with more questions than answers in this eternal dance called life on planet Earth, trusting that all the answers you seek will be found in the treasure trove of your ancient, true and radiant being.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 40 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. A full listing of her services are on: www.astrodelight.com Email: belinda@astrodelight.com Phone: 828-215-2101

April 2017

Belinda C. Dunn

Aries/Libra Full Moon
April 11 @ 2:08 am

Taurus New Moon
April 26 @ 8:16 am

Mercury Retrograde
April 9 – May 3

The planetary picture for April presents a rare combination of influences similar to having one foot on the gas pedal, and one foot on the brake. Typically, it is part of human nature to maintain control over life events. In the rush and pressure to take charge and move forward, there is a tendency to willfully force personal agendas. It is so tempting to “know” the best course of action, only to find out later, life has other plans. Truly, destiny has a life of its own, unfolding despite personal needs, wants and desires.

From the standpoint of astrology, planetary retrograde cycles have a purpose. Retrograde planets signal a time to pause, review and reset one's inner compass. During April, this essential process is very evident as three planets, Mercury, Saturn and Pluto, begin a retrograde phase. 2017 got off to a momentous start, and great progress has been made, but now the universe is providing the opportunity to stop, review, contemplate, clarify and prioritize.

In the pressure to produce and accomplish, there can be resistance to this necessary process. Retrograde periods tend to produce delay, and these weeks tend to be a “back to the drawing board” phase. These are excellent weeks to complete projects, and wrap up loose ends. Don't be surprised if plans need to be reconfigured, and possibly changed for the better. However, with a good dose of patience, this process yields benefits down the road. The virtues of flexibility and curiosity provide the energy needed to adapt to life's changing scenery.

Literally and figuratively, if the planets could speak, Mercury retrograde says, “Slow down and watch your step.” Saturn retrograde says, “Be patient, all in good time, God's time.” Pluto retrograde says, “Look within, and to avoid complications, be impeccable in thought, word and deed.” Let's take each of these planets one by one; they deserve a closer look.

Three times a year Mercury enters a retrograde phase for about 21 days. In this case, Mercury goes retrograde in the evening on April 9. Watch for clues as to how this phase is asking you to pause and reflect. Are there any projects that need to be completed in order to move forward? Be alert as insights bubble to the surface of your awareness. No need to hurry. Clarity dawns as Mercury goes direct on May 3.

Revolutionary forces are at work during Mercury's retrograde phase as Mercury joins Uranus three times (March 26, April 28, May 10). Uranus is the wild card of astrology. This combination suggests sudden revelations and major disclosures. The stage is already set, the atmosphere is primed for unsettling information that can disrupt the everyday flow of events. All forms of communication, including technology, carry added weight, more capacity to turn the tables, and disrupt the status quo.

Now Saturn is another story. Beginning a retrograde phase on April 6, Saturn spends a significant passage in this more introspective underworld, emerging once again in direct motion on August 25. During these coming months, there is a call for circumspection, honoring the inherent bonds of connection between individuals, groups, communities and nations.

Saturn is a social planet, governing, supporting and sustaining the institutions in which the individual can survive and thrive. This is an opportunity to align one's personal values, goals and direction in terms of what is possible and advantageous within the larger social milieu. But perhaps, more urgent and important, it's about time for institutions to listen to those they purport to serve.

Saturn is currently transiting through the zodiac sign of Sagittarius (2015-2017). In the United States and abroad, this transit is deeply exposing core principles that inform, motivate and guide institutions. Humans are an interdependent species living within a web of connectivity. The current state of social complexity makes it essential for institutions to truly serve the needs of people, and not the other way around.

Saturn in Sagittarius is exposing the ways we agree or disagree with each other in terms of the nebulous, hard to define, area of belief. It is a tumultuous time for the country. As a society we are encountering tremendous diversity, and many people are choosing the great divide of righteous indignation and judgment.

Within the tumult, there is a rising call for the kind of tolerance that opens a holy space of connection. This entails a dropping of persuasion, and self centered perspective. In this holy space it is possible to engage with a curious and listening attitude, an attitude that opens minds and hearts, the meeting place of genuine solutions.

Pluto begins its yearly retrograde phase on April 20, and will not go direct until September 28. Pluto is part of the larger collective picture, providing the environment in which the lower self of humanity plays itself out. Like a volcanic eruption, Pluto serves to expose what is hidden between the lines, beneath the surface of consciousness. Pluto is the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about until it is an obvious necessity.

In its passage through Capricorn, 2008 – 2023, Pluto continues to drill down to subterranean depths exposing the roots of greed, avarice, manipulation and control. Capricorn is the zodiac sign of corporations and governments. No wonder, these institutions are being called to task.

The Full Moon on April 10 continues to amplify this deeper story of corporate and government takeover, while highlighting the need for integrity, ethics and accountability. This Full Moon stimulates the Cardinal Cross formation that has been taking place since 2012, further emphasizing the collective reality that our global society is in the midst of a major breakdown/breakthrough.

Each person dwells within this cosmic soup of planetary influences, and Astrologer Pam Younghans sums up this Cardinal Cross planetary pattern very succinctly for the individual. “A cardinal formation such as this calls us to choose courage over combativeness (Aries), to be emotionally available but not overly sensitive (Cancer), to cooperate but not slip into codependence (Libra), and to be realistic without becoming pessimistic (Capricorn).

Throughout April we experience three planets beginning a retrograde phase, but now let's look to Venus. This planet of love, affection, artistry, and beauty is completing a retrograde phase, and going direct on April 15. Consider recent weeks since Venus went retrograde on March 4. More than likely, you will see themes of connection or lack thereof. These experiences can drive home your values, what is important to you, and the need to align with your heartfelt life expression. As Venus goes direct, you may experience a renewal and commitment to share and express your heart in this world of form.

When Venus goes direct on April 15, it is closely joined with Chiron in Pisces. Discovered in 1977, this small celestial body orbits between Saturn and Uranus. Chiron is the archetypal wounded healer, the healer's healer. Don't be surprised if unresolved sorrows, regrets and hurts simmer to the surface of consciousness. It's time to welcome the easy, gentle, loving touch of Venus.

There is an added dimension to this combination of Venus and Chiron in Pisces, a joining that speaks to ancient wounds of separation from Source. Awareness of collective suffering is poignant and impressionable. Many hearts are opening to the fact that many humans feel lost, confused, hurt and disenfranchised. There is a call to take an active stand, reach out and make a difference in the lives of those that are suffering.

From an astrologer's point of view, it is not a coincidence that Earth Day occurs during the Sun's transit through Taurus, the most earthy and stable of all zodiac signs. Numerous educational events, protests and demonstrations are planned for this Earth Day. Climate scientists, environmentalists, and nature lovers are prepared, ready to speak up on behalf of planet Gaia.

As the month concludes, a Taurus New Moon on April 26 provides realistic and practical grounding. The soothing and healing power of nature is evident as the great outdoors beckons us out of winter's cave into sunlight.

Considering the planetary trends for April, I am reminded of a thunderstorm. Dark clouds have been building for some time, the atmosphere is equally stagnant and electric. The rumbling, thunderous roar is distant, but unmistakable in its approach. Something is needed to clear the air, and momentum is building for a high voltage release of lightening. This is a reckoning and humbling storm, awesome in its power to transform.

If only I could promise the storm will be over soon, but there are no guarantees. However, with a fair amount of confidence, I can suggest that the storm is cresting very quickly, and will pass by year's end. This approaching storm will play itself out, as all storms do, but in the meantime, this storm will stir up much debris, and take down many limbs. The clean up will take months, if not years, and the rainbow of victory may not be visible right away. But, as clouds recede, there is a lifting up throughout the human family, and the work that must be done makes itself known.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 40+ years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. PHONE: 828-215-2101 EMAIL: belinda@astrodelight.com www.astrodelight.com

What's UP – Belinda C. Dunn

March 2017

Pisces/Virgo Full Moon
March 12 @ 10:54 am

Spring Equinox

March 20 @ 11:58 am

Aries New Moon
March 27 @ 10:57 pm

Paving the way for a burst of Spring, March begins with Venus, Mars, Uranus and Eris in the zodiac sign of Aries. Mercury closely follows, entering Aries on March 13. Our Sun enters Aries on March 20, marking the annual Spring Equinox. In preparation for this new season and the month of March, it is helpful to examine and understand the zodiac sign of Aries.

Symbolized by the Ram, Aries is the zodiac sign of force, movement and action. First of all, Aries is associated with the fire elemental. This basic and fundamental element flames up, explodes, burns, but also dies down to embers. Fire illuminates, enlightens and warms. As children we can recall being admonished as to the dangers of playing with fire. Clearly fire has its essential purpose. There would be no life without fire, and yet fire can easily flame out of control.

Considering the planetary influences for March, keep uppermost in mind a need for caution. There is already plenty of kindle for an uncontrollable fire to flame up in worldly affairs, and possibly in personal matters. Situations tend to heat up, easily exacerbated through an inflamed word, aggressive action or self-involved motive. Situations may arise that require immediacy, a quick response. Some people have a talent for thinking on their feet, while others may experience stress when forced to react quickly.

Within balance, March is also the month to rise from the doldrums of apathy, despair or depression. As the first sign of the zodiac, Aries receives the initial urge from Source. Undiluted by thinking, this urge is raw, bold, courageous, unprocessed by human conditioning. Thus, be aware of these promptings that can get the ball rolling in your life. Wise action is advantageous and helpful, transforming and inspiring.

Entering a retrograde phase on March 4, Venus is a significant planetary player in March, and throughout the Spring months. In mythology, this is the goddess of love in all her expressions, sacred as well as profane. Venus stations retrograde as a clearly visible evening “star,” then disappears from view to emerge as the morning “star.” Unlike Mercury that goes retrograde three times a year, Venus retrograde occurs every 18+ months.

This Venus retrograde period instills a drive to see your relationships clearly, without projection and blame. Only then, is it possible to take steps for harmony and cooperation. Venus shines a light on attraction, and how people are drawn together based on affinity. Strong preferences tend to surface during March. This process can reveal your core values around loving and being loved. Depending on the relationship, some people may feel a need to withdraw, and seek solitude in order to clarify their values.

As the goddess, Venus is sensual, and tangible as she enlivens one's taste in adornment, art, decoration, and culinary delights. For example, during a Venus retrograde phase, you may find yourself spontaneously upgrading items in your wardrobe, desiring a new color scheme in your living space, or perhaps redoing the landscape, and cultivating beauty in the garden.

Over the millenniums, since Venus is visible to the naked eye, humans have been able to track and document the cycles of this very close neighbor in our solar system. As new planets are discovered, astronomers continue to draw upon ancient mythology for names. In 2005, astronomers discovered another dwarf planet orbiting in deep space. Approximately the same size as Pluto, and in a similar orbit, astronomers decided to name this planet Eris after the Greek goddess of discord.

When a planet is discovered and named, astrologers observe its influence through reviewing historical cycles within the context of current events. The symbols come alive as a new archetype emerges into the planetary consciousness.

In this case, Eris is making herself known big time, and perhaps the Roman name is more telling, Discordia. In several articles last year, I mentioned Eris, and the emergence of compelling planetary themes around competition, misuse of resources, misogyny, the disenfranchised, refugee and immigration crisis, corporate power, and survival issues.

This current eruption of the Eris archetype is further activated by Uranus, the planet of lightening speed, thunderous change, rebellion and innovation. Considering that Uranus has an 84 year orbit, it is significant that Uranus is joining Eris for the third, and final time on March 16. Keep in mind, while computers can give precise dates, in reality, this joining as been in effect for several years. More than likely, the intensity will continue as humanity is forced to acknowledge and integrate the Eris archetype, and her poignant message.

This brings us to a major planetary alignment taking place over most of 2017. Astrologers call this a T-square, which is a joining of three or more planets in challenging positions. The planetary players in this current T-square are Jupiter, Uranus, Eris and Pluto. On an interactive social level, this stressful combination begs for viable solutions and sustainable resolutions. In other words, it's a rocky ride, and fairly uncomfortable until resolved. This particular alignment really gets underway during March, but may not come to satisfactory resolution until late September.

First, let's consider Jupiter and its current transit through Libra. Jupiter is known as a social planet, governing institutions that uphold law and order. On a deeper level, Jupiter inspires conviction, the philosophical framework of politics, religion and culture.

On March 2, Jupiter opposes Uranus. Look for extraordinary displays of position and power that may be extreme. On March 30, Jupiter squares Pluto which is a potential set-up for reckless, entitled, and arrogant attempts for sweeping reform. This planetary combination contributes to heightened vigilance and radical uprising. More than likely, we are looking at a cascade of events taking place over the next three months.

Taken as a whole, these trends are activating over the course of 2017, altering the landscape of our shared reality. We don't have to look far to see the effects. The planetary picture speaks to the complexity of maintaining individuality, and autonomy in a radically shifting social and cultural environment. Business as usual may seem irrelevant, like there is nothing to hold onto as the future looms unknown, spiraling out of control. In the face of quickly shifting demographics, and political affiliations, labels are falling away, and many are questioning where they stand in regard to numerous social arenas.

In the urgency to address major issues, the country seems to be hitting the wall, rushing headstrong into fundamental differences. Journalist Meghan O'Rouke states, “It feels tragic that we as a nation could have arrived at such different conclusions – not just different – but irreconcilable.” In a sentence, this quote sums up the complexities of the planetary T-square on the national front.

Against the backdrop of this stark reality, there is hope. New social movements, more in keeping with the times, are emerging as the collective awakens from slumber. Increasingly, those in governing positions are urgently moved to speak up, and address social conditions that those people in fringe movements have observed for decades.

For example, in his newly released book “Captured,” author and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse writes, “The big, politically active corporations love having us sit on the couch watching ads paid for by their front groups and deciding which of those ads appeal most to our opinions, fears, and prejudices. But that is being a consumer of their political product, not being a citizen. A citizen is more than a consumer. However much the tentacles of corporate political interference may coil around and through our democracy, at the end of the day the survival of our democracy depends on active participation of the people. Citizens need to get up off the couch and set things right.”

Let's name it clearly.

The country and world face a spiritual and moral crisis. It's essential and inevitable that citizens stand up and speak out. A Full Moon on March 12 brings these themes into greater view. With the Sun in Pisces and Moon in Virgo, issues around belief, spirituality, stewardship and sustainability rise to the surface. There is a falling away of the superfluous as the universe opens doors of expanded reality. Only through tuning out the cacophony of loud, discordant voices, is it possible to tap into a larger framework. This is a point of surrender, and one is able to feel celestial assistance pouring forth upon the problems of the world.

The Full Moon occurs on a Sunday, and the beginning of Daylight Savings Time. There is a palpable shift as the dark days of winter fall away, and Spring Equinox on March 20 continues the shift into a higher, more active gear.

It's advisable to closely watch developments through the remainder of March. Spring weather is typically erratic, contributing to a general sense of unease. Additionally, the tempo speeds up on every front as Mercury in Aries activates the on-going T-square, March 23 – 26. At this point, the rumble can turn into a roar, and unsettling events may spill over into the next several months.

In the tumult of these weeks, there is a saving grace. On March 9, Mars enters the zodiac sign of Taurus, where it will remain until April 20. This steadying influence can bring awareness down to earth. As the pure pulse of Aries penetrates earth as raw and bold initiative, Taurus smooths things out, finding great delight in the earth experience.

Private getaways, secret gardens, hidden coves . . . nature beckons. Soothing raw nerves and regenerating the spirit, humanity is cradled within the energetic field of Earth. When we stop, breath, relax and let go, we accept the gifts of this life, and realize there is so much to be thankful for.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with 40+ years experience. She is available for personal consultations. Email: belinda@astrodelight.com Phone: 828-215-2101 www.astrodelight.com

February 2017

Aquarius/Leo Lunar Eclipse
February 10 @ 7:33 pm

Pisces Solar Eclipse
February 26 @ 9:58 am

It's February,and powerful signs of nature's rebirth are visible. From first crocus pushing through obstacles, emerging into light, to tiny spring beauties gracing the earth with color, the dynamic upward thrust of life itself is inevitable. It is reassuring to welcome these early signs of spring around the corner.

Nature provides a centerpiece of beauty and serenity against the backdrop of human doing. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, there are no easy answers for a species that chooses to learn fundamental lessons the hard way. The planetary influences throughout February continue to emphasize a basic premise. Humanity appears to be distracted, lost on a spinning world of gigantic and universal proportions, with very little comprehension of life's purpose. Ranting, raving, running . . . how much longer can humans avoid the unavoidable. Life on this dimension is temporary, and it is advisable to make good use of one's incarnation.

For those with eyes to see and ears to hear, the veils of illusion are dissolving in the light of a Lunar Eclipse on February 10, and a Solar Eclipse on February 26. Eclipses are part of an 18 year cycle between our Earth, Moon and Sun. This natural and cyclical alignment exerts a tremendous gravitational pull that intensifies emotion while playing an instrumental role in the ups and downs of human affairs. Both lunar and solar eclipses tend to bring subconscious material to the surface of conscious everyday awareness. Issues can no longer be ignored as they surge to the surface for reckoning and resolution.

The Lunar Eclipse on February 10 is a Full Moon, activating the zodiac axis of Aquarius and Leo. With Sun in Aquarius and Moon in Leo, these strong polarizing energies tend to bring power struggles to a head, for better or worse. This is a compelling combination considering that humanity is posed on the threshold of the Aquarian Age, and the U.S. Moon in Aquarius gives the country a humanitarian, scientific, community oriented, progressive edge.

Aquarius is the zodiac sign of experimentation, and the experiment of democracy requires on-going participation. A heavy handed and autocratic leadership style doesn't go well with Aquarian values. No doubt, the incoming administration will be tested and challenged on numerous fronts as Leo the king meets Aquarius the masses.

February is a intensely energized month. Mars just entered energetic and passionate Aries on January 28, initiating the Chinese New Year of the Rooster. Venus follows suit, entering Aries on February 3. The zodiac signs of Aries and Aquarius are very complementary and supportive of each other as they instill the confidence for courageous and pioneering action.

More than likely, these astrological influences can contribute to the sweeping reform promised by a new administration. Likewise, they provide an extra dose of radical and revolutionary volatility. The push for reform is coming from every front. There will be those in many sectors of society, especially law, government and commerce, that will take advantage of these destabilizing and chaotic planetary energies, using them as license to take action for profit based on power and privilege.

Likewise, these planetary alignments are there for those with vision and conscience. There is an enormous rising up, a tide of participation and contribution that will get the ball rolling in numerous ways for our collective benefit. Enormous advances are possible across the board in technology, science, medicine, environmental and humanitarian causes. The doldrums are over, no more waiting around, the time is now.

On the personal level, if you have been feeling stuck, bored, uncertain, distressed and dismayed at the direction of the country or other things outside of your control, the planetary energies of February will help put you back in the driver's seat of your own life. A T-square, a very unique planetary alignment between Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto, is activating and propelling the ideal conditions for a profound and permanent breakthrough in consciousness over the next six months.

Unavoidable signs of breakdown/breakthrough intensify the week of February 20. Many good, progressive and viable alternatives will emerge the beginning of this week. Minds are active, intuition is keen, and solutions to problems appear out of nowhere. But, genuine change can feel threatening and unsettling in even the best of circumstances. On February 22, Mars is in stressful square to Pluto. The Moon in Capricorn energizes this combination, instigating a breaking point, and providing an atmosphere of rash impulsiveness that may get many people in trouble.

As you can see, a veritable tidal wave of pressure for progress arises in February. There is no need to worry or hurry this process. Whether the transformation appears to be coming at you from outside events, or you feel a deep rumbling of life force arising within you, give yourself permission to take your time. A simple acknowledgment, a welcoming of the process, is all that is needed to fortify your walk through the fire, crossing over and emerging in new terrain.

This brings us to a dramatic and life altering Solar Eclipse on February 26. The astrology chart for this eclipse shows a major alignment of factors in the zodiac sign of Pisces (Sun, Moon, South Lunar Node, Mercury, Pallas Athene, Chiron and Neptune). Pisces is the final and 12th zodiac sign representing completion of a cycle. Indeed, according to ancient calculations, the 2,400 year Age of Pisces is wrapping up, and humanity is on the bridge into a new era.

The Age of Pisces has been characterized by a compelling psychological dynamic known as the interplay between victim/villain and hero. It is fascinating to consider that any one of us at any moment tends to respond from one of these three positions. Roles can blend and shift depending on circumstances and relationships. Basically, the victim is in a weak position to be taken advantage of by the villain, and the hero rushes in to save and rescue. This cycle tends to repeat over and over until someone wakes up from the trance, and chooses liberation from these karmic bonds.

This major alignment in Pisces provides an opportunity for a mass consciousness awakening, an awakening that is ripe and fortuitous during Neptune's transit through Pisces skies (2011 – 2025). Governing the mysterious oceanic depths of consciousness, Neptune represents the idealist, artist, dreamer, visionary and mystic. Like entering another world, the ocean is vast, surreal, mesmerizing in its beauty.

Neptune is a very difficult planetary energy to handle in earthy matters, because it presents a quandary of potential confusion between appearances and reality. A good example is Neptune's function in cinema. During a compelling movie, it is easy to get lost in the scenes, meld into the story, lose personal orientation and perspective. Upon leaving the theater, there is an adjustment as one's senses adapt for re-entry into common everyday reality.

Neptune's influence is highly sensitizing, seductive and addictive. When Neptune is active, reality can feel like a hall of mirrors bordering on the bizarre. Even the most sane people can find themselves questioning reality, living on the border between fact and fiction.

From a planetary standpoint, Neptune exaggerates all sorts of emotional and psychological conditions as it is the instinct to escape the harsh circumstances of physicality. Some personalities are more susceptible to these strong pulls, gravitating toward addiction and various modes of escapism. Mental illness also comes within Neptune's influence.

In light of these understandings, and reviewing the astrology chart for the United States, I notice the progressed Sun of the country is in Pisces, and the Sun represents the leader. Last November Neptune exactly joined the south lunar node in Pisces, initiating a slippery slide into the potentially treacherous and nebulous waters of the “post-truth” world we find ourselves in.

Currently, Neptune exactly joins the progressed Sun of the U.S. Even more astounding is the progressed Sun has a 365 year cycle, and Neptune has a 165 year cycle. This very rare combination has occurred once during the country's history. It will align three times over the course of the next 12 months, and the Solar Eclipse on February 26 exactly activates these points, giving an extra punch of intensity, to say the least.

Additionally, this alignment is occurring in the USA 3rd house of communication representing state of mind, flow of thoughts, processing of information, transportation and travel. Considering these astrological forces, I find myself pondering the media's role in numerous areas of our social experience. From the media's seductive impact, to the rise of fake news, to the power of social media, humanity has entered new terrain.

In the astrology chart for the country, Neptune is the most elevated planet, shining over the destiny of the country as a whole. Reaching toward the spiritual and humanitarian ideals set forth by the founders is an ever present challenge. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

How does a nation bridge the gap between these illustrious ideals and the current state of reality? Finding answers to this question, and coming to terms with reality, becomes an inside job for each planetary citizen. As Saturn transits through Sagittarius for the duration of 2017, it has the potential to trigger landmines of delusion while supporting a more grounded and realistic approach.

In addition to Saturn's profound influence, the progressed Moon is crossing over the most visible point of the country's chart, ascendant in Sagittarius. In astrology the Moon symbolizes the feminine characteristics of nurturing, empathy, home, family, land, safety and security. While computer calculations show this alignment exact on February 25, the nomination of a woman for president has been catalyzing this emerging trend for months.

It is fascinating and encouraging to note the outpouring of women, along with those that love and support the divine feminine, taking a stand for human rights. Considering the progressed Moon has a 28 year cycle, this trend is not going away any time soon, and 2017 is the year to cut through illusion and stand strong for truth.

Since election day, I have witnessed a torrent, a flood of articles, letters, speeches and conversations. Everywhere I go, the topic seems to bubble up. It is truly inspiring, and I have encountered many viewpoints. No doubt, there is a global movement for speaking up, and telling it like it is.

One of the articles I came across is entitled, “The Donald: America's Shadow Steps Out of the Looking Glass.” Written by an astrologer from the U.K., this catchy title continues to stick with me. It makes sense. Both individuals and nations have a shadow; the wounded, manipulating parts that choose to hide from the light, and control the show.

This astrologer writes that Trump is a symbol of “America's grabbiness.” Can this be? The newly elected president represents America's shady infatuation with glamour, glitz, gold and power. Only time will tell what role Trump plays on the world stage. Is he the hero coming to save the day? Is he the villain so many loudly proclaim? Is he a victim of the press as he would like us to believe? Or could he be a victim of the ego's incessant demands for prestige and power? Something to ponder in these dark days of winter's last stand.


Mercury Direct
January 8 @ 4:43 am

Capricorn/Cancer Full Moon
January 12 @ 6:34 am

Aquarius New Moon
January 27 @ 7:07 pm

Brisk, shrill, frigid, winter winds are blowing. A sudden gust takes us by surprise as it sweeps away debris, clears the air, and hurries us to warmth and safety. Instinctively pulling back and inward, this is the season of retreat. A long winter's nap is an opportunity to dream, envision, renew, fortify, and gather courage for the road ahead.

As so many citizens are feeling, this is not a time to sit idle, and recent events are a call to action. Whether you are making your resolutions on New Year's Eve, the New Moon or Chinese New Year, the key word is RESOLVE. Winter is an ideal time to determine your action plan for the year. As our Sun moves through Capricorn and Aquarius skies, the celestial spheres offer guidance, perspective, perseverance and determination to accomplish any and all goals.

No doubt about it, hostile, controlling and aggressive forces are making themselves known upon the global stage. So, bundle up, surround yourself with loving warmth in the most nourishing and supportive form for you. In this cocoon it is possible to listen to your heart's understanding, and receive clear guidance. Life is always giving this beautiful gift. It is an expansion of awareness that quickly elevates the muddled and conditioned mind beyond restrictions of culture and creed, time and space.

From the planetary standpoint, the U.S. election is a culmination of very stressful alignments between Uranus and Pluto. In this planetary rock and roll, nothing is exempt from the intensity and necessity for transformation. Pressing very heavily since 2010, Pluto has served to erupt dark shadows of intrigue, greed, cunning and power. Meanwhile, Uranus leads the charge for freedom. However, the concept of freedom is open to many interpretations depending on orientation and belief.

Now that hidden agendas are on the table for most to see, nothing can hide any longer. While this may feel unnerving, disgusting and disconcerting, it an important and essential step in uncovering the hidden forces that stand in the way of progress on many levels of our collective experience. Not surprisingly, with the U.S. presidential inauguration immanent after the most contentious and controversial election in modern history, the planetary picture continues to trigger the Uranus/Pluto upheaval.

The month begins with Mercury retrograde signaling the need for cautious review of previous decisions. In the zodiac sign of Capricorn, the reality of structure and function are being tested. This can show up in the need to organize, manage time, determine goals and plan for the long term.

The basic nature of Capricorn is demonstrated in the body's foundation of bones, joints and teeth. Without this structure, we would be jelly-like, fluid, perhaps amorphous. In social organization, Capricorn rules over the domain of governing structures, business and the flow of commerce.

On an esoteric level, the earth dimension is the soul's opportunity for incarnation. Here the soul encounters the repetitive testing ground whereby the virtues of honesty, integrity, accountability, discipline and commitment are honed and developed for eternal existence. There is a karmic price to pay for ignoring or taking advantage of situations for the advancement of self interest without consideration of the whole.

As Pluto transits through Capricorn (2008–2024), the entire structure of social organization is being tested for endurance and strength. This is happening on personal as well as national and global levels. An evolutionary upgrade is happening whether we see it or not. However, Pluto tends to be destructive and messy, while Uranus tends to be revolutionary and surprising.

Kicking off the year, keep a close eye on urges, decisions and circumstances during the weekend of January 7/8. The Sun joins Pluto in Capricorn while Mercury goes direct on Sunday. These transforming and intense energies come to a boiling point over the next week as the Sun squares a Jupiter/Uranus opposition, and the Full Moon on January 12 continues to expose hidden agendas. Everyone has something to learn. Talk about “draining the swamp” gets up close and personal.

Sun enters freedom loving Aquarius on January 19 while a Mars square Saturn tends to obstruct action and produce obstacles. These are forces that would thwart the rising urges of individuality, independence, self expression, glory and freedom. This solemn, stern, cold and calculated planetary influence is in effect for inauguration day on January 20.

For the most part of January, Mars and Venus transit through Pisces skies. Along with Saturn in Sagittarius, this combination tends to produce strong emotion connected to idealistic beliefs. It may be tempting to escape into platitudes and ideals, but reality beckons. Escapist tendencies can exacerbate substance abuse for some people, but healthy retreat can be very healing for others.

Behind the scenes of glamour and power grabbing, life goes on. If the United States continues to backslide into the slippery slope of Pluto in Capricorn, the world will go on. Currently, there are tremendous opportunities for advancement across many fields of endeavor. A rare confluence of Saturn trine Uranus is positively activated by Jupiter. The tendency for grandiosity and entitlement is tempered by real opportunity for breakthroughs in science, technology, education, social organization and consciousness. Instead of building walls, the boundaries between people, and possibly nations, are actually dissolving.

On January 27, a New Moon in Aquarius furthers humanitarian movements, and the realization of, “It's a small world after all.” The celebration of Chinese New Year coincides with this New Moon on a yearly basis. Heralding the year of the Rooster, this strong masculine image initiates a year of intense activity. Arising before daybreak, the rooster loudly and proudly proclaims the beginning of a new day. This wake up call reverberates through the airwaves as a call to action.

As the planetary energies of 2016 dissipate, namely the Saturn square Neptune, the trends of illusion, avoidance, glamour and addiction tend to dissolve. Talk is cheap. Concepts fall short, colliding with the crushing reality of so many of earth's inhabitants and habitat. A time of reckoning and practical reality, Saturn is now firmly in the 1st house of the U.S. States. It is a maturing and testing time for each citizen, and the country as a whole. With no end in sight of corporate greed, and government incompetence, it is tempting to experience discouragement and dismay.

As 2017 begins, it is helpful to remember the big picture and take the long view. No matter what constitutes one's spiritual orientation and practice, each and every being is directly connected with Source. This ever present connection is timeless. When invoked, this connection can expand our view to embrace history in big strides. Years, decades and centuries flow as each generation brings their unique perspective and gifts to bear upon the greater whole.

On the front end of the Uranus/Pluto alignment, at the beginning of 2010, I had an unforgettable dream. At that point, I was unaware that three grandchildren were preparing to join our family, but the message of the dream was simple and clear, “This generation will right many wrongs.” I have considered the implications of this message as all three grandchildren just entered kindergarten in the distressing political climate of the election cycle.

In light of current events, as Bernie Sanders traveled the country, he galvanized the next generation of leaders. Bernie was able to see these young adults as “beautiful,” in their overall lack of prejudice, acceptance of diversity and open mindedness. This is my experience too. A new world is dawning, it is way beyond narrow minded cruelty, limited belief systems, and historical tension. But, this new world can only be truly experienced through the heart. Let those that love, LOVE! Let those that long for peace, LOOK WITHIN!

Recently I was drawn to watch the movie “Avatar” from the standpoint of trends and themes. It's all there. . . the military/industrial complex attempting to blindly take over and control nature. After much destruction and turmoil, the story turns around, pivoting in a sustainable direction as the main characters meld with nature. However, it is in calling upon native wisdom, and connecting with the natural world that resolution takes place. But, resolution comes with a price, and the natives have to fight back against the forces that attempt to destroy their habitat and way of live.

This is the current message of Uranus, Eris and Ceres in Aries. This zodiac sign initiates transformation through heeding the call. That's all it is, a call. It may be a low and quiet whisper, it may show up as a certainty that rumbles through your entire being. It may be a loud cacophony of lies and dissent that motivates you to arise and take action.

When the urge to participate comes, there are no guarantees. Ask an Aries how many projects he/she started, and how many projects were completed. They will tell you, it is not their task to complete everything. The task of Aries is to get the ball rolling, and enthusiastically invoke participation from others.

As 2017 begins, there is a powerful and insistent momentum that is not be be lost in trivialities, and vain pursuits. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. May the coming year be filled to overflowing with gentleness, peace, kindness and compassion for yourself, loved ones and all that you hold dear.

Belinda C. Dunn

December 2016

Sagittarius/Gemini Full Moon
December 13 @ 7:05 pm

Mercury Retrograde
December 19 @ 5:55 am

Winter Solstice
December 21 @ 5:45 am

Capricorn New Moon
December 29 @ 1:53 am

Here we are in the homestretch of 2016. It has been a year of tremendous upheaval, and the sticky, murky, toxic residue of social discourse and politics is still being swept away in the momentous challenge to quickly adapt in these uncertain times. With a sigh of relief, the countdown begins as the calendar dutifully turns a page. It is a month to pause, take stock, prepare and pivot toward the next chapter of human history.

As always, December is a transitional month, but particularly this year. According to numerology, 2016 is a 9 year, representing the completion of a 10 year cycle. Almost everyone I speak with is experiencing some type of wrap up, ending and significant change in their life flow and circumstances. Looking ahead, 2017 is a 1 year, optimal for new beginnings.

The collective mood can vary considerably in this era of sweeping and uncontrollable change. It is essential that fear, doom and gloom are not allowed to have the upper hand. There really is a choice here, and it is a choice of attitude. December tends to be a roller coaster ride as the Sun in Sagittarius instills an optimistic, positive and extravagant atmosphere. When the Sun enters Capricorn on Winter Solstice, a more serious and reverent mood takes over.

I wrote the above three paragraphs before the results of the presidential election. Every time I would “tune in,” and attempt to get a handle on current events, an ominous, toxic, sinking feeling would wash over me. However, a word flashed before me like a neon flashing light, and that is the word “sweeping.” Considering the current state of national and world affairs, this word now makes perfect sense.

Webster's dictionary gives many definitions of sweep, some more neutral than others. “To drive or carry along with irresistible force; to win an overwhelming victory; to move swiftly, forcefully, or devastatingly; to wipe out.” The neon flashing “sweeping” is defined as “moving or extending in a wide curve over a large area; extensive reform.”

Having watched Trump's rise to power, and the astrological influences throughout his campaign, it is interesting to note that the most intense and challenging planetary aspects are still to come in his personal chart. The Full Moon on December 13 amplifies his life lesson plan for all to see, and matters of great consequence surface. No matter how this plays out, Trump is in for a bumpy landing and rude awakening. Talk is cheap. Governing takes work, conviction, cooperation, diligence and discipline.

I can't help but recall a gathering at Crystal Visions last September, and my surprise when numerous people spoke up, sharing that they didn't “see” Hilary or Trump winning the election. Perhaps there are no winners in an election that digs so deep into the national psyche while revealing sickening, fear generating and complex dysfunction.

These are revolutionary times, and many possibilities are present, but the stalemate is over, all signs are clear. It's time to prepare, on every level, for sweeping change. It's the month to take a time out, honor what is most important, remember gratitude, and take part in reverent celebration. I am trusting that a pause will allow a healthy pivot toward higher ground, and a more expansive and positive atmosphere for our collective good.

To underscore the need for circumspection, and a cautious approach to earthy matters, Mercury enters Capricorn on December 2. As the planet of communication, Mercury governs thinking, speaking, listening, and the assimilation of information. Mercury will remain in Capricorn for an extended period due to a retrograde phase starting on December 19. Despite a brief week in Sagittarius when it goes direct on January 8, Mercury will be in serious and practical Capricorn until February 6.

The symbol of Capricorn is the mountain goat. It is a rugged and treacherous climb up the mountain of manifestation, accomplishment and success. Many obstacles will be encountered, and setbacks are part of the journey. Purpose, conviction and intention needs to be decisive and clear in order to sustain the climb. This is true for material plane manifestation as well as the more abstract, and intangible goals of dedicated spiritual aspiration.

My first yoga teacher observed that people from the business world could easily adapt to the discipline necessary for spiritual practice. In this case, the goals appear to be different, but the skills needed are very similar. This is where Capricorn comes in. It is difficult, if not impossible, to choose another mountain once the climb has begun.

Symbolically, the mountain goat knows the climb ahead, and admonishes humanity, “choose wisely.”

This upcoming retrograde time period will refine goals. You may find some projects falling away to reveal new direction. Most of us will discover a need for contemplation, patience and forbearance. When Mercury goes retrograde on December 19, it is within one degree of Pluto in Capricorn (2008 - 2023). Thus, social instability may very well affect the marketplace, and financial uncertainty contribute to reining in holiday expenditures. That said, this is not a time to force last minute purchases that may need to be returned.

On the government level, Mercury in Capricorn can slow down, and perhaps undermine momentum. At the least, there will be a need for caution in the dismantling and rebuilding process. Mercury makes its final conjunction with Pluto on January 29, a full week after scheduled inauguration ceremonies, and many adjustments will continue to roll out for months to come.

Mercury can serve to elucidate the hidden dynamics of government, and the transference of power from one administration to another. The general public is privy to more information from behind the scenes than ever. In discerning truth, it is essential to sift through the tremendous influx of information on social media, and not take anything for granted.

The week of December 19 entails a big step back to gain perspective. Not only is Mercury going retrograde, but the solstice on December 21 offers a sobering, softening, quieting and auspicious beginning to the winter season. In order to thrive in colder weather, it is advisable to stay warm, consume hearty nourishment, and maintain a rooted, grounded perspective.

An important planetary combination occurs on Christmas Eve. Saturn and Uranus are in harmonious combination with each other, linking energies is a positive and supportive way. As a planetary influence, Saturn upholds tradition, tending to be more conservative in approach. Uranus breaks free of the past to innovate and implement vision. This is a very helpful influence considering the necessity to restructure and rebuild from the ground up. Together, Saturn and Uranus can potentially build a bridge over the deep chasm of contrast and diversity.

A Capricorn New Moon on January 29 can sound a realistic and practical note as humanity pivots toward a new year. On the very same day, Uranus goes direct at 4:29 am. This wild and revolutionary planet has stimulated plenty of upheaval, shock and awe, throughout the past five years as it squared Pluto. Deep, transforming forces beyond the control of any one individual or nation are part of the collective planetary awakening. Therefore, sudden, surprising turnarounds and reversals are not due to end any time soon.

As mentioned in previous articles this year, newly discovered planet Eris is joining Uranus in Aries. Named after the ancient Greek goddess of discord, Eris is overturning the status quo; bringing to light those sectors of society that have been ignored, disillusioned, marginalized and disenfranchised.

As humanity enters 2017, this planetary combination encourages independence, self reliance and a pioneering spirit. Humans stand on the threshold of a final frontier, and the majority of people cannot even begin to grasp the possibilities before us. The necessity to break free of the hypnotic spell of matter, and awaken from the collective trance is urgent. It's happening, it's possible, and together we can, “Boldly go where no man has not gone before.”

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 35 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. Phone: 828-215-2101 Email: belinda@astrodelight.com Website: www.astrodelight.com

What's UP – Belinda C. Dunn

November 2016

Scorpio/Taurus Full Moon
November 14 @ 8:52 am

Sagittarius New Moon
November 29 @ 7:18 am

In the homestretch of the most turbulent and controversial political season in recent history, the general populace is ready for a break from the media uproar. The incendiary rhetoric hearkens back to a wild west showdown complete with hostile and impatient madness. As November begins, Sun and Mercury are in Scorpio. In keeping with Scorpio's secretive nature, ballots will be cast, and a winner will be proclaimed.

On the heels of Halloween and All Saints Day, Scorpio is the zodiac sign of transition and transformation. We see this theme everywhere. From autumn leaves releasing their hold, to bare fields resting after harvest, this is a month of completion with an eye on a new year around the corner.

November is a full speed ahead month. All planets visible with the naked eye, Mercury through Saturn, are in direct motion. Offering significant momentum, this is the month to put distractions aside, and focus on the possibilities for constructive progress.

Throughout October, Mars was in Capricorn, the zodiac sign of discipline and organization. Take stock of the past five weeks. You may find goals have become more decisive, definitive and clear. Consider the areas of your life that can improve with more follow through and discipline. Step aside from habit and obligation, heed the quiet, still, inner voice for helpful and reasonable clues.

Just after midnight on November 9, Mars enters Aquarius. The shift will be palpable. While October called for patient perseverance and diligence, there will be an upswing as Aquarius kicks into energetic gear. The zodiac sign of Aquarius supports unique, unconventional and free expression. As election results stream in, and contestants proclaim victory or defeat, Mars in Aquarius implies an emergence of a progressive agenda, most likely a victory for equality. Dispelling the heavy cloud of election turmoil, Mars in Aquarius will propel awareness into a distinct turn toward the future.

Over the past 18 months a very disturbing and disruptive planetary trend has been in effect, namely Saturn squaring Neptune. Casting a spell of glamour upon mundane affairs, these planets have served to stir up illusion and controversy as well uncover subterfuge and hidden agendas.

For all voices vying for attention, and loudly proclaiming truth, the real truth remains elusive, obscured by the binding and blinding spell of paradox. The stormy clouds of dissent are beginning to clear in November, but not without a final reckoning. As Neptune enters a direct phase on November 19, and Saturn transits into new territory, we will witness a final wrap up in the personal, national and global issues that have absorbed so much attention.

November's Full Moon is a SuperMoon on the 14th. Opposing each other, Sun and Moon face off, highlighting the contrast between Taurus and Scorpio. While Scorpio is very mysterious, intense and secretive, Taurus is practical, grounded and realistic. These are the zodiac signs of resources defined as money in the bank as well as possessions, insurance, debt and inheritance. Illuminating these sensitive areas of finance can bring many relationships to a crisis point. However, these influences serve to prioritize and clarify what truly matters in the long run.

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Sun enters celebratory and enthusiastic Sagittarius on November 21. The planet associated with Sagittarius is Jupiter. Known for extravagance, and doing everything BIG, Jupiter lays out quite a feast.

When Jupiter is involved there is a tendency to throw caution to the wind, and go to extremes. This is especially the case this holiday season. The prevalent mindset of buy now/pay later is troubling in light of current economic trends. As the merchandising industry ramps up its advertising assault, many people eschew the hoopla in favor of low key and meaningful celebration. On a positive note, Jupiter instills hope, faith, enthusiasm and inspiration.

On Thanksgiving day, Moon, Venus, Jupiter and Pluto, will provide an uplifting and bounteous atmosphere. Matters of the heart always play a role during the holiday season, but especially this year. Attraction and aversion give an extra dose of intensity to festive gatherings. Relationships figure strongly. There may be secrets disclosed, and insight gained. Not all will happily agree, so this is not a day to force agreement in sharing ideas and opinions.

On a personal note, I was raised in a politically active Republican family, therefore I have been privy to many changes in the party over the years. With interest and dismay, I have witnessed the slow disintegration of the Grand Old Party. This election is especially touching as my father passed on earlier this year, and this is the first election he is not here to perform his civic duty and vote.

I am not sure if he could vote for the current candidate, and in a strange way, I am relieved he didn't live to witness this election. What I know is this. There was never a day that I didn't admire my father. He was a true gentleman, a man of honesty, integrity, morality and kindness. He stood strong in this grand experiment of democracy, and each day he aimed to live the ideals put forth by the founding fathers.

Many complex factors have contributed to this current election, and experts will extrapolate and analyze for years to come. However, from my experience, I have witnessed an issue that the founders were very insistent upon. The essential nature of democracy is built upon the separation of church and state. It's not enough to just talk about freedom of worship, and then turn around and control, inflame, demean and divide people based on faith.

In my view, the Republican party started losing momentum when politicians saw the advantage of involving the churches. They saw a huge block of potential voters, and initially abortion became the central issue of moral dispute. Not only did this create a huge division in political parties, but it started leading down a very slippery slope. Today it is assumed that religious leaders have a right and responsibility to inform their flock. In a way, the party was high jacked by prejudice, religion and the moral right. Over time this has weakened the party, leaving it open to confusion, and infiltration of ideologies that cannot adapt to current social issues.

Granted, the world in the late 1700's was nicely and neatly divided by distance and isolation. In an increasingly global society, it is a matter of accepting and promoting diversity within a healthy continuum of peaceful cohabitation. We can focus on differences with the self righteous I, or eye these differences through a fully functioning open heart of humility, curiosity and respect. The world has been closely watching this election. The challenge of democracy as a viable system of social organization is the challenge of our common humanity.

The zodiac appears in a star studded sky as a 360 degree circle. Each degree is potent with rich symbolism. In 1925, an astrologer and clairvoyant joined skills, and together they received a download of symbolic pictures for each degree. Known as the Sabian symbols, these symbols have been contemplated and tested for accuracy over the decades, and used widely in astrological interpretation.

The Sabian symbol for the Sagittarius New Moon on November 29 is very revealing, setting the stage for the next lunar cycle. In light of the ancient adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” the Sabian symbol for 8 degrees Sagittarius is telling. “Within the depths of the earth new elements are being formed.” The astrologer's added keynote states, “The alchemical fire which both purifies and transforms the very substance of a man's inner life.”

Humanity is on a quest for meaning in a vast, star studded, worlds upon worlds existence. The general tendency is to reach outward for leadership and guidance, and journey far and wide for purpose. Over the eons, many mystics, yogis and contemplatives have dedicated their lives to the reality that, for the most part, answers dwell within. Truly, humanity has barely begun to tap into, and comprehend the true nature of our unique human design.

I have felt led to share the United States astrology chart over the past five months. While the chart shows a complex and compelling destiny, it is filled with inspiration. I would like to leave you with one of the most positive and obvious aspects. At the country's inception, Venus and Jupiter joined in the zodiac sign of Cancer, a clear sign of rich, awe inspiring and fertile land, blessed with an abundance of resources. A fully laden “horn of plenty” graced the first Thanksgiving table. This abundance is not be hoarded and guarded, it is to be gratefully and graciously shared. Enjoy!

October 2016

Libra/Aries Full Moon
October 16 @ 12:23 am

Scorpio New Moon
October 30 @ 1:38 pm

As seasons turn, an alluring, distinct and noticeable difference permeates the air. A Libra New Moon in the final hours of September initiates a new pace for October. Including a retrograde phase, Mercury is completing a two month stint in Virgo. If you have been experiencing stalled progress, analysis paralysis along with other mental/emotional agitation, than Mercury's entrance into Libra on October 6 will be a welcome relief. Jupiter entered Libra skies on September 9 where it remain for the next year. These outgoing influences will provide a needed boost. Libra beckons us into the social sphere to connect, relate, and rejoice in the glory of autumn colors.

Libra is a very important zodiac sign to understand these days. It's quite literally the peacemaker. Whether we are aware of it or not, Libra is continually at work in our relationships, making sure that circumstances are fair and balanced. The Libra traits of consideration, kindness and cooperation can bring out the best in people. Being able to see where others are coming from, and openly exchange personal points of view is the foundation of true connection.

Communication skills can make or break a relationship. Over the next month, and continuing for the next year, there is potential to develop and maximize these essential skills that are readily overlooked. The mind moves so quickly, and many people are habituated to their own perspective, resisting the need to slow down enough to focus and truly listen. Harmony entails an exquisite blend of speaking and listening to mindfully and masterfully cultivate genuine connection. Paying attention to this can profoundly improve all relationships.

Libra shines overhead as the point of destiny in the United States astrology chart, and Saturn was in Libra during the country's inception. As the taskmaster, Saturn presents challenges and limitations to overcome, especially in the area of diplomacy. Repeatedly, the United States has been tested on the global stage to uphold truth, justice and model the high ideals of democracy.

In recent decades, aggressive and combative Mars entered a long term retrograde phase in the United States astrology chart. The exorbitant cost of violence in terms of loss of life and property along with financial repercussions has become increasingly clear. It just doesn't make sense, the numbers don't add up. Mars is retrograde for decades to come. It is urgent to recognize this trend by supporting appropriate and responsible action. The proliferation of weapons, and gun control legislation remain uppermost on the agenda for reform.

There are many lessons for the country around this topic. Numerous factors point to the necessity for retreat from outward, thoughtless, self defeating, and arrogant demonstrations of power. In most cases, force does not lead to social stabilization. It is unnecessary and destructive, except in the most rare and unique of circumstances.

It behooves government officials and citizens to develop relationship skills, and take to heart the lessons learned from past confrontations. Negotiation, mediation and cooperation are not always quick and easy, but these are cornerstone skills of democracy.

Jupiter in Libra joins the U.S. Saturn in November and December, and again in May 2017. Libra bestows the perspective of seeing all sides of an issue without taking sides, meanwhile coming to a detached, compassionate and comprehensive overview. This trend presents dramatic opportunities for progress on the national and global stage. This planetary combination can act as a rudder on the ship, steering humanity away from conflict, and stabilizing direction.

Over the next year, we will experience plenty of activity in the area of partnership, personal as well as professional. Seek out your allies, those you harmonize with. A major challenge on this dimension is projection. It is all too common for people to disown personal responsibility, play the blame game, and lose sight of reality. Astrology is a potent tool in this area of relationship. It can dispel misunderstanding, and open our eyes to each other. Each of us come into this world with our unique lesson plan of challenges, weaknesses, strengths and gifts.

The Pluto in Libra generation, those born in the years between 1971 and 1984, have a significant contribution to the area of partnership. It was an era of exploration, rebellion and free love; feminist values surged to the surface, and the traditional institution of marriage was rocked to the core. For those under 45 years old, it is rare to find biological parents still together. Separation, divorce, live in partners, blended families, single parenting . . . the list goes on in creative ways to answer this need for autonomy and individuality within the context of family life. This is the new normal.

It is not always easy for the Pluto in Libra generation to find satisfaction in relationship, but they are here to model equality, and develop relationship skills to the next level. Traditional roles have blurred and dissolved. Each gender has more permission to bring out their best in a full range of skills. The family unit benefits in terms of productivity, resourcefulness, nurturing and love.

Getting back to more immediate and current trends, due to a retrograde phase, Mars has been transiting Sagittarius/Scorpio skies for a good part of the year. On September 27, Mars enters Capricorn where it will remain throughout October. This is a very grounding, realistic, sobering and restraining influence. It is an excellent influence for setting long term goals, and getting the job done. Step by step methodical diligence is the way to go.

No doubt, the presidential campaign can use some restraint and diplomacy. However, during the week of October 17, Mars joins Pluto. This planetary combination amps up potential for the dreaded “October surprise.” Mars is up front and controversial in overt demonstrations of control. Pluto tends to hide in the shadows, manipulating situations through subterfuge, slander and covert power plays. Tempers flare in the mounting pressure to survive and thrive.

Together, Mars and Pluto tend to undermine decency, stability and the status quo. It is an intense week of breakdown and potential breakthrough in the areas of government, economics, environment, and other essential structures. Repercussions ripple into the months ahead. These challenging influences can be minimized by paying attention, and taking action based on sincere intent rather than pressure or obligation.

During the entire month of October, there is a marked tendency to sensationalize, exaggerate, take impulse action and unnecessary risk. If you have been feeling stuck, these trends will get things moving. Many people will respond to these trends through restless, poorly planned and rebellious action, especially October 4–14. According to numerology, 2016 is a 9 year, a year of transition and completion. It is more about letting go of what isn't working than knowing the exact course ahead.

A very powerful Full Moon sets the stage on the weekend of October 15-16. While there is potential for dramatic, destabilizing and extreme events, there is also equal opportunity for freedom and release from limitations. Both Sun and Moon activate Uranus, the wild card planet. Apparently, anything and everything goes in this surprising, radical and turbulent election year.

I saw an esteemed, well respected and erudite news commentator shrug his shoulders in disbelief, and refer to this election as topsy turvy. These words were so out of place in the sophisticated political dialogue, that I looked them up in the dictionary. “Utter confusion or disorder, upside down,” seems to be an accurate summation of this year.

Here we come to Eris, a small planet discovered in 2005. Orbiting in a similar pattern as Pluto, but denser and slightly larger, Eris was named after the ancient goddess of discord. I wondered why astronomers would name a planet after the goddess of discord, but apparently many of the ancient goddess names have already been assigned to asteroids and other planets. Eris was way down the list of acceptable and desirable names.

When a new planetary body is introduced into consciousness, astrologers take a metaphysical and synchronous view. The archetypal message begins to reverberate within collective consciousness. It takes years of research and observation for astrologers to come to the table, and thereby derive consensus on a planet's typical affects.

For example, the discovery of Pluto in 1930 coincides with the development of the atom bomb. True to form, Pluto is god of the underworld, and is potentially a very explosive and destructive energy. Another interesting example is the discovery of Uranus in 1781 coinciding with the American and French revolutions, an era of scientific discovery, and radical rebellion from the constrictions of feudal society.

Keeping this in mind, enter Eris as Pluto's twin sister, a planet named after the goddess of desire, greed, runaway competition and the resultant strife and discord. As humanity was forced to grapple with the power and problems of Pluto, humanity is once again faced with another level of potential destruction. The myth of Eris is a fascinating story of the goddess being snubbed, and not invited to a wedding. It is recorded that her rage set in motion the Trojan War.

This myth speaks to those segments of population that are marginalized in the global crisis of dwindling resources, government chaos, environmental calamity, and quickly shifting economic disparity. Random acts of violence continue to escalate as the demand for resources outstrips population growth. Most of civilization attempts to understand the motivation for terrorist attacks, but Eris points the way to the underlying reasons.

I realize this sounds very heavy, but this is reality on the planet now. The sooner we get the message of Eris, the sooner humanity can make its way out of discord. Eris is the feminine aspect of activism, rising up and taking action for good or ill. Humanity is facing the consequences of rampant greed in the struggle for survival, but competition is closely connected with innovation. Monitored and tamed, healthy competition can promote excellence, and develop viable solutions in the global marketplace.

Coinciding with 9/11, the discovery of Eris opened the doors for this intense archetype to be introduced into planetary consciousness. 2016 is being dubbed the “Grand Opening” as Uranus conjoined Eris for the first time on June 9, and the second time on September 25. In this rare and potent activation, these two planetary bodies will join one more time on March 16, 2017.

As you can see, many astrological factors contribute to the possibility for dramatic breakthroughs in October. The choice is clear. Random acts of violence OR random acts of kindness? The contrast is clear. Is it possible this worldwide upheaval is exactly what is needed to bring the world together in a more egalitarian society. Who's to say? Ultimately it is up to each individual to take off the blinders, and take responsibility for participation and contribution. Living life in an aura of kindness and love is so beautiful and fulfilling. On this dimension of light and dark, all possibilities exist, and in the words of John Lennon, “Imagine all the people, sharing all the world.”

September 2016

Belinda C. Dunn

Virgo Solar Eclipse
September 1 @ 5:03 am

Virgo/Pisces Lunar Eclipse
September 16 @ 3:05 pm

Mercury Direct
September 22 @ 1:31 am

Autumnal Equinox
September 22 @ 10:22 am

Libra New Moon

September 30 @ 8:11 pm

September appears to be jam-packed with major astronomical and astrological phenomena. A solar and lunar eclipse, Mercury retrograde, the Autumnal Equinox, Pluto entering a direct phase, and to top it all off, a New Moon in Libra on September 30. Clearly, September is a month of profound and rapid transition from one season to the next.

Eclipses routinely amp up intensity, presenting the necessity and possibility of major evolutionary steps of consciousness. The eclipses have an 18.6 year cycle through the zodiac wheel. Within this larger cycle, every six months, our Sun, Moon and Earth precisely align in a way that the light from the Sun (solar eclipse), or light from the Moon (lunar eclipse), is darkened and obscured. This is a time when the veils between dimensions dissolve, a time whereby access to other realities and states of higher consciousness is more readily available.

The current eclipse cycle activates the zodiac polarities of Pisces and Virgo. Thus, the solar eclipse last March was in Pisces, and the eclipse on September 1 takes place in Virgo. Understanding these zodiac teachers can go a long way in dispelling the confusion and emotional reaction that is characteristic of eclipses. Typically, we are shown what needs to be released based on numerous triggers in our outer environment. In this case, Virgo and Pisces are both associated with healing. Virgo's domain is the mechanics of physical function, the soul's vehicle for incarnation. When Virgo is prominent it is easier to identify habits and lifestyle choices that may be impacting health in a detrimental way. Pisces is more abstract, amplifying connection with spiritual truth, illuminating the inner processes of mind/emotion/ aspiration and belief. At this critical juncture, these eclipses can assist individuals, and humanity as a whole, in choosing life enhancing habits as well as perspectives.

Virgo tends to analysis and practicality. It excels in diagnosis. This skill can be used for bodily fitness as well as psychological health. Anywhere there is a need to identify a problem, Virgo delves deep to expose the bottom line. This skill is helpful across a large spectrum of daily life including business, mechanics and education. As the zodiac sign of service, Virgo can clarify and support the actual sharing of your unique talent in real life circumstances.

Mercury is the planet most closely associated with Virgo. Due to a retrograde period (August 30 – September 22), Mercury can present numerous delays along with the necessity to carefully think through complex situations. Unforeseen problems may thwart forward movement, and leave one feeling frustrated and confused. In most situations, Mercury is asking for due diligence, and patient circumspection in researching options.

An awe inspiring and impressive Harvest Moon signals the lunar eclipse on September 16. You may find the themes of recent weeks come to a breaking point, culminating in a release, and clear direction for the remainder of 2016. Virgo is represented by the virginal maiden holding forth plenty, the sheaves of grain that exemplify the harvest of pure wisdom in this world of form.

September is a month for, “separating the wheat from the chaff,” and this is particularly true for the United States. This lunar eclipse triggers the challenging and difficult work of coming to terms with present circumstances, and taking stock for future endeavors. This essential reckoning process will be triggered by exposure, the uncovering of lies, hidden agendas and motives. It is as though the spell is broken, and reality dawns.

As a young child, I recall my parents reciting, “You can't always believe what you read.” No longer does this adage merely apply to reading material, it now applies to the 24/7 news cycle. The spewing forth of tainted, partial, illusory, and deceptive information has reached a breaking point. At some point, the pendulum must swing to a more reasonable, accountable and honest perspective.

Neptune is the uppermost planet in the United States astrology chart, shining over the destiny of all citizens. Transiting through Virgo in 1776, Neptune held forth many ideals as guideposts for civilization. Neptune in Virgo is perfectly exemplified by the Statue of Liberty holding high the beacon of light, the beacon of freedom for all the world to aspire to. “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.” Little did the founders know the course these words would take through history.

The country as a whole is back to the drawing board to update these ideals, to make them more real in the world of service and international stature. In considering the planetary influences for September, I firmly believe, it is in those quiet thoughts and moments that each citizen has a choice. At the current crossroads, many are called to hold the beacon of intention high so these founding principles may be seeds that find fertile ground for future generations.

A very significant planetary trend culminates on September 10. I started writing about this trend last November, the first time that Saturn squared Neptune. This troubling trend has been at the heart of the presidential campaign. It spells disillusionment, deception and confusion. These planets have exposed the gap between ideals and reality, fantasy and fact.

Perhaps one way to maximize this planetary message is to applaud the exposure of real problems at the core leadership level. This has occurred repeatedly to the point that many citizens are disillusioned in the entire government, and may choose to not even vote in the November election. This is not the first time the country has had to face this level of disillusionment. I clearly recall the Vietnam War era, when the emotional tenor of the country ranged from apathy to angry rebellion against the system. I could have cared less about voting, because it represented participation in the system, and this attitude was fairly widespread. It was only when my grandmother reminded me that women were not allowed to vote until she was a teenager that I stepped up to the plate of active participation in the democratic process.

This brings us to an important part of the United States astrology chart. At its inception, the zodiac sign of Sagittarius was rising in the east. This bestows an optimistic, can do, “the world is my oyster” attitude. This attitude can so easily slip into arrogance, entitlement, recklessness and gullibility. Part of the current reckoning is Saturn in Sagittarius crossing over the United States ascendant three times this year (January, June and October).

In an individual's chart this transit evokes an intense maturing phase whereby the individual is called to examine and upgrade self image, expression, motives and actions. Globally, Saturn in Sagittarius is putting a spotlight on the country, but not in the most favorable light. This election process is exposing weakness, but at a most opportune time. The country is ready to make major changes in perspective, address the gap in ideals and reality, reform its image, and mature in a way that can establish renewed credibility on the global stage.

On a lighter note, Sagittarius is the court jester. It is fascinating to note that some of the most effective investigative reporting is coming through comedy. Wisecracks can be just that, wisdom with a good dose of humor. Cracking open the serious and pretentious mindset of the day tends to bring forth the most lucid and trustworthy of information. Laughter is good medicine.

Jupiter enters Libra on September 9, where it will remain for an entire year. In the zodiac sign of peacemaker, Jupiter provides an extra dose of grace in the areas of partnership, foreign policy and legal matters. This soothing combination can serve to dispel many a conflict, pointing the way to mediation and diplomacy as a win/win for all involved.

On September 22, the Autumnal Equinox coincides with Mercury going direct. Sun enters the zodiac sign of Libra, symbolized by the scales of balance, and within days joins Jupiter. Together they bestow a more positive, benevolent and uplifting atmosphere.

The final week of September wraps up with Pluto entering a direct phase, and a Libra New Moon. Both of these influences are a green light go ahead. After many highs and lows, and several months of complications and snags, September ends on a high note.

The zodiac energies for September are impressively to the point; summer fun is over, it's back to school, and back to work. From the larger perspective, Earth is a school for practicing and learning about matters of the spirit. Spiritual growth is just that, growth of the spirit. We abide in an inter-dimensional classroom, and the curriculum is not always easy to access and understand. It takes patience, humility and a big dose of heart to make sense of this reality.

Virgo plays an essential role in the maintenance of health, especially through the process of digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Between powerful eclipses, Mercury retrograde and the equinox, this is a month to get back on track with your service while establishing a pace that allows absorption and assimilation to occur. Numerous difficult and intense global events are calling for attention, assistance, and action. Take in what is meaningful and true for you, and release what is irrelevant. Thus far, 2016 has given humanity much “food for thought.”

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 35 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. Email: belinda@astrodelight.com  Phone: 828-215-2101

August 2016

Belinda C. Dunn

Leo New Moon
August 2 @ 4:44 pm

Saturn Direct
August 13 @ 5:51 am

Leo/Aquarius Full Moon Lunar Eclipse
August 18 @ 5:26 am

Mercury Retrograde
August 30 @ 9:04 am

August begins with a lion's roar, rumbling and resonating, shaking off the doldrums of recent months. This call to action cannot be ignored. In addition to the peak of summer heat, numerous astrological factors point to situations heating up, coming to a decisive, make it or break it, boiling point. The pressure of living in complex times can so easily spill over into daily life, adding complications that may not be in our best interest. Here and now, on the forefront of a whole new month, it may be helpful and essential to choose an attitude of calm simplicity.

For the majority of us, there will be plenty to address as the month unfolds. Not only are we entering an eclipse cycle, but Mercury is entering a retrograde phase on August 30. Circumstances that crop up in August have long term influence with potent consequences that cannot be adequately addressed and resolved in a short period of time.

Let's begin with the Leo New Moon on August 2. This is an optimal time to set intentions for the next 28 day lunar cycle. Leo is a fire sign, radiating an atmosphere of courage and confidence. It is easy to spot an outgoing Leo as their presence commands attention and admiration. They thrive in settings where others follow their lead, look up to them, and respond to their direction. Many Leos are more reserved, quietly demonstrating a genuine interest in those around them. Leos are known for their unique warmth and caring that brings out the best in others.

Leo is a very important zodiac energy to understand as the new age dawns. Many leaders, kings and queens, despots and dictators, have walked upon the sands of time. Ruling with power and authority, these leaders have gone down in history as abusive, cruel, dominating and self obsessed. This dark potential of Leo has started many a war, and wrought destruction on innocent civilians of many cultures and creeds.

Likewise, there have been many humanitarian leaders with conscience and heartfelt care for those in their charge. The evidence is clear, character is destiny, and Leo is the zodiac sign where each of us are challenged to express the positive radiance of the true self in this world of form, and lovingly support those around us.

Each zodiac sign has its polarity, and Aquarius is the zodiac sign opposite Leo. This probably rings a bell of recognition. Humanity is on the cusp of entering a new age, the Age of Aquarius. Taking into account a 26,000 year cycle, knowledge of cycles comes from the ancient Vedic wisdom tradition. There is some controversy on when the new age actually begins, but the signs of transition are clearly here for all to see.

In last month's article, I described many factors in the United States astrology chart based on the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Moon plays an important position in analysis, and this nation's chart shows the Moon in Aquarius. Thus, the destiny of this country is dramatically playing out through the polarity of Leo/Aquarius. Just the word independence is noteworthy as an Aquarian ideal. At its best, this is the zodiac sign of group synergy, equality, innovation and genius. With the Moon in Aquarius, the problems we face as a nation cannot be limited to our own turf, but are problems humanity faces in the challenge to survive and thrive on many levels of collective experience.

In this polarity of Leo/Aquarius, there are many expressions. The heavy handed, dominating leader is one extreme, but anarchy lies on the other end of the spectrum. The dictionary defines anarchy as “absence of government; a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to absence of authority.” The idealized definition states, “a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government.” Who in their right mind can glorify either of these extremes?

Realistically, not everyone is cut out to be a leader. For those of you leading a business or organization or family, you know the responsibility, and the potentially sleepless nights that go along with making decisions impacting others. Each of us are called to lead as each of us are called to follow. It is impossible to disregard this dynamic in the current state of affairs. Moon in Aquarius can be seen in the emerging trend for acceptance of differences, and celebration of diversity. Aquarius will never stand for marching in line, control of the masses, and pompous displays of glory.

What Aquarius does support is heart to hand, grassroots, community based coherence in the addressing of social concerns. Recently, a beautiful and inspiring example of this took place in Greenville, South Carolina as shown in a Facebook video. Citizens from all walks of life gathered in the town center to tangibly and peacefully demonstrate care and consideration for all sectors of their community from law enforcement to diversity in gender, race and age. This is the direction, even though the horizon may look very far away, and at times, curve beyond sight.

The Full Moon on August 18 is also a lunar eclipse. With the Sun in Leo and Moon in Aquarius, these themes will be in the forefront as society grapples with viable solutions for social organization. Uranus, the planet of innovation, is in harmonious alignment with both the Sun and Moon. Lunar eclipses tend to be highly emotional and reactive. As eclipses are known for unveiling what is most essential and important, various facets of ego consciousness will come to the forefront, and demand attention.

Leo the lion/lioness feels a rightful, and perhaps duty bound urge to make a mark upon the world. But, Aquarius says, “No man is an island.” Whatsoever one expresses and contributes is completely contingent on what has gone before, the collective history and current environment. Acknowledging this interplay of individual expression within the context of group associations instills a sense of humility and connection that can override dissent and myopic self interest.

As with any year, 2016 started with high hopes for peace and progress. After all, Saturn is transiting Sagittarius skies, and this is the zodiac sign of optimism, exploration, spirituality and global awareness. However, within days of new year celebrations, Mars entered Scorpio. This has been a major influence as Mars will fight for what it thinks is right, and Scorpio rules over all that dwells in the shadows. This combination tends to stimulate and give power to underhanded and illicit activities.

On the positive side, Mars in Scorpio has driven consciousness very deep in its search for light and truth during these troubling, tumultuous and historic times. As the planet of action, Mars gets us up in the morning, giving an energetic thrust to all activities. In humanity's current evolutionary phase, the Mars urge is being upgraded. There is a choice. Action can be senseless and degrading based on violent expressions of entitlement and rage or action can build, uplift and participate in viable solutions. Mars is the planet associated with those that protect law and order as well as those that attempt to tear it down. It is a complicated issue, but Mars in Scorpio has served to bring many social undercurrents into the light of day for discussion and eventual improvement.

On August 2, along with the Leo New Moon, Mars enters Sagittarius. Here the fight tends to be focused on the abstract areas of ideology and belief. This will create plenty of movement, especially after many months of stalled momentum associated with an uncertain and strange political campaign. Issues will heat up as current events fuel reaction in opposing sides of a torrid debate.

This brings us to a very important part of the United States astrology chart. At its inception, the zodiac sign of Sagittarius was on the eastern horizon. This prominent point is known as the rising sign, the lens through which the country gazes. The high side of Sagittarius generates a hopeful, optimistic, congenial, magnanimous, open minded and philosophical attitude. On the other hand, Sagittarius can easily slip into living with blinders on, personifying the entitled and arrogant “know it all.”

To intensify this dynamic on the national level, the zodiac sign of Gemini is on the western horizon of the United States chart. There is a strong impetus to express Gemini in the public arena, nationally and globally. Straddling this horizon is Mars and Uranus, both in Gemini. The positive expression of this dynamic combination can be seen in the telecommunications industry that has blossomed over the past century, spanning the globe. Playing the role of communicator, mediator, translator, educator and networker, this country continually finds itself drawn to actively participate on the world stage.

Gemini is symbolized by the zodiac twins. Sometimes the twins are looking toward each other in agreement, other times the twins look away and see things differently. However, for a variety of reasons, it is not always possible to agree to disagree, and peacefully co-exist. The planetary signature of Mars in Gemini is to examine a variety of viewpoints in the fight for truth and justice. The planetary signature of Uranus in Gemini can be summed up in the constitutional right of free speech. This dynamic combination produces an environment where there is a tendency to hammer out differences in a more combative, and forceful manner. Honest communication takes careful listening, but it is the singular virtue that can raise consciousness, provide genuine connection, and dissolve conflict.

Gemini also speaks to the inherent versatility, and potential conflict within the mental sphere itself. While the goal is impartial truth, at this current level of evolution, the mind is easily influenced by emotion, and conditioning plays an enormous role in forming beliefs, bias and prejudice. This is the climate in which current affairs are reported, explained and dissected in the 24/7 news stream. Together, Mars and Uranus in Gemini are intensely active, controversial and argumentative. The political system is a clear representation of the polarizing tendency of the Gemini twins. It is as though the media is on steroids in the war of words.

To further complicate matters, Neptune, the planet of idealism, is prominent in the United States chart. Ideals such as liberty, right to own property, free speech and democracy form the bedrock of this country's values. All too frequently, the manifestation of these ideals falls short due to misinterpretation, and the paradox of a complicated, tiered legal system. Believing something to be true is not the same as truth.

There is fine line between earth plane reality and spiritual reality. What we may discern as true in earthly matters, may not be true in the bigger picture of existence. In the personal astrology chart, Neptune points to the mesmerizing spell of embodiment, the tendency to lose sight of important matters. “Under the influence” of Neptune, there is a tendency to give up, give in, and play the victim role. Nowhere is Neptune so pervasive, insidious and tempting as in the attempt to escape the harsh realities of life through blame, projection, denial, avoidance and addiction.

Applying these concepts to the national arena, Mercury's retrograde period from August 30 – September 22 exactly activates these most contentious and troubling of influences. No doubt, events in August have the potential to define and alter the direction of individuals, leaders and nations. Amid the division, dissent and chaos, a new direction is being revealed. Powerful planetary influences can serve to dispel illusion and jolt the country awake.

Especially be aware of events during the week of August 22. Combustive and unpredictable Mars joins Saturn on the 24, activating the on-going Saturn square Neptune on Friday, August 26. Saturn and Neptune entered a stressful alignment the last week of November 2015. This planetary combination is testing the stability and sanity of individuals as well as society as a whole. No doubt, the debate as to the country's future will continue to be hammered out on both sides.

Perhaps this is a dismal analogy, but it's as though the United States has been on an alcoholic binge for decades. Drunk on power, drunk on fossil fuels, deluded by glamour, entitlement, and infatuation with itself, this country is hitting the wall. Really? Is this the best we can do? Is this the kind of rock bottom referred to in 12 Step recovery programs? The kind of rock bottom where it becomes absolutely obvious that far reaching changes must be undertaken for survival. While this election season resembles a drunken brawl, the price will be paid. Early next year, the next president will be greeted by a multitude of serious and sobering planetary influences.

Neptune is the planet of glamour, and it seems fitting to complete this article with several quotes from the writings of Alice Bailey and the Tibetan. “Glamour veils and hides the truth behind the fogs and mist of feeling and emotional reaction; it is of unique and terrible potency, owing to the strength of human nature to identify itself with the astral nature. Glamour can only be dissipated by the inflow of clear, directed light; this is true of the life of the individual, or of humanity as a whole.” The writings go on to summarize, “The battlefield of life is ever on the plane of illusion; as the soul seeks to dispel the ancient glamour, the aspirant is enabled to walk in the light.”

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 35 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. Phone: 828-215-2101 Email: belinda@astrodelight.com website: www.astrodelight.com

Belinda C. Dunn

July 2016

Cancer New Moon
July 4 @ 7:01 am

Cancer/Capricorn Full Moon
July 19 @ 6:56 pm

Rising in the east, the summer Sun shines its full illumination on Washington D.C. Embodying the ideals of democracy, historic monuments shimmer and glimmer in the sunrise as the light of a New Moon initiates a new cycle for days, weeks and months to come. Just as individuals have a personal astrology chart, this is true for countries, and on July 4th, the United States of America celebrates 240 years of union.

New beginnings are always poignant and auspicious. In this case, four profound signs of new beginning come together. In an election year, on the country's birthday, a New Moon is rising at dawn in Washington D.C. Could this be a chance to redefine direction and adjust course? According to astrology, this is exactly what is happening.

This coming year is a chance to upgrade the founding principles in light of experience, historical perspective, and hopefully, wisdom. On this the majority of Americans agree, the necessity for reform is urgent. Clearly, “land of the free, home of the brave” is posed for significant changes. In honor of the many freedoms we enjoy in the United States, I would like to take the liberty to include the U.S. in my monthly forecast for the next five months, up to the presidential election on November 9.

Astrology speaks in the language of symbols and archetypes. While there can be a variety of interpretations, the symbols never lie or distort the truth. Since the 1970's, I have been observing and keeping track of the planetary trends in the U.S. astrology chart. We can think of a country's chart as an umbrella under which all citizens are sheltered, and influenced by the overall destiny of the nation. It can be very helpful to stand back, objectify what may be intensely emotional and controversial, and characterize a nation through astrological symbols.

First of all, the nation was birthed at the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, and most astrologers agree on a time of 5:10 pm. Sun was in the zodiac sign of Cancer along with Venus, Jupiter and Mercury. The country's identity is defined by this zodiac sign represented by the Crab. The nature of the crab is to defend, hide and protect. Living by the seashore, crabs instinctively and quickly scurry to safety when threatened.

A few of the key words for Cancer are home, land, security. Ring a bell? It's obvious how this core identity has been expressed since 9/11. Other themes revolve around borders, privacy, control and secrecy. As the zodiac sign of family, the country has a tendency to play parent to the world, and this leads to many misunderstandings between nations. Roles can shift in a moment as the age old dynamic of victim, villain and hero plays itself out on the world stage.

Within our borders as well as globally, many people look to government as an all-giving, beneficial parent figure that will assuage all woes. Meanwhile, others see the potential dark side of leadership as heavy handed, dominating and controlling. Realistically, the destiny of the nation has both expressions, and it's important to stay alert to the misuse of power.

The zodiac sign of Cancer is ruled by the Moon which tends to be conservative and cautious, keeping a vigilant eye on bottom line matters. However, it's fascinating to note the Moon was in Aquarius on July 4, 1776. Thus, on an emotional level the country was founded on Aquarian themes of freedom, self-reliance, revolution and independence. The late 1770's were exciting times in terms of scientific discovery, the industrial revolution, and many humanitarian advances that continue to unfold to this day.

Aquarian values thrive in an atmosphere of creative freedom whereby true genius and innovation can be expressed in a multitude of ways. This is a strength that must never be undermined. These values really came into focus during the planetary conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in the mid-1960's. Still reverberating through the airwaves to this day, musicians such as John Lennon helped galvanize the original Aquarius themes of revolution, innovation, imagination, and “power to the people.”

The Cancerian and Aquarian characteristics can be challenging to blend and harmonize. On one hand, the protective parent is doing everything for the “good” of the child, according to their standards, and possibly not taking into consideration the child's unique, and deeply personal evolutionary participation. On the other hand, the child may be a rebellious teenager chafing against discipline and restraint, insisting on plenty of freedom to find its way, which may or may not be constructive to the whole.

There is a tendency to impose images of parental authority on leaders, but the very foundation of democracy places an emphasis on informed and participatory citizenship. The key is finding the fine line between authority im