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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 imposed from external conditions (rules, laws and regulations), and personal accountability, responsibility and respectability. On a global level, this one of the most significant themes up for renovation. Freedom comes with a price, and can only be fully embodied with an appreciation and respect for the rights of others.

As the New Moon on July 4 initiates a new pace for the country, the urgency for reform intensifies. There are many threads of ideology running throughout this election. As we have seen in recent months, each candidate has their proposed solutions and their specific following. Numerous voices are vying for supremacy, begging to be heard. There are many perspectives in addressing fundamental issues, but most agree the system is broken, and it's time to get serious. Many lives depend on the system holding together, and clearly, this aura of uncertainty and instability is restraining progress.

The chart for the United States clearly shows where the issues are most intense. It all boils down to economics. The country has Pluto in Capricorn in the 2nd house of money, possessions and resources. This is a very persuasive, obsessive, controlling and powerful combination that cannot be ignored or taken lightly. From the country's inception, the issues were already present.

The first immigrants were primarily of European ancestry. They saw a land rich with opportunity and abundant resources. They longed to break free from restraint, and establish a sovereign country for religious and philosophical purposes. They had a few advantages over native tribes, first and foremost, they had guns. Along with a belief system that was based on the right to ownership (including people), and the right to use might, these immigrants established the foundation for a new country. We may question, based on 240 years of history, how much has changed in this original intent?

Consider this, Pluto has a 248 year orbit. Within the next decade, Pluto will come one full cycle, and transit back to its exact position in 1776. This is BIG. The conclusion of one cycle, and the beginning of another, always stimulates a phase of reckoning, and the necessity to re-evaluate priorities.

In this case, over the centuries, Pluto in Capricorn has brought massive wealth and power to the U.S. and its allies. The zodiac sign of Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, the planet of karma. One of the lowest expressions of Capricorn is the greedy, arrogant and self centered miser. The spiritual expression of Capricorn is the disciple, keenly aware of life's larger purpose, living from a place of generosity and gratitude. It's the difference between sliding down the slippery slope of self aggrandizement or climbing the mountain of stewardship. The country faces a steep climb ahead, but Pluto in Capricorn will continue to apply pressure, providing that extra push of persistence and determination.

The pressure has been mounting since Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008. There is great urgency to address large economic issues that include national debt, trade agreements, banking institutions, government entitlement programs and more. These issues are putting a tremendous strain on the overall economy, and contributing to the apparent dissolution of financial security for many Americans. However, Pluto evokes major transformation, a complete overhaul. This is what we are in for over the next decade, an evolutionary upgrade of global proportions.

The Republican convention begins on July 18, and it just so happens, the Full Moon on July 19 exactly activates the U.S. Pluto. More than likely, it's gonna be messy. Pluto is not an easy bedfellow, tossing and turning, pulling the covers, making trouble and inciting violence. Astrological trends imply there is purpose in these unsettling and dramatic developments. Pluto is about exposing the undercurrents. Truth is surfacing despite the ranting and raving, dissent and controversy.

The timing for the Democratic convention is equally enlightening. Uranus is a major planetary influence the entire week as it prepares to station retrograde on July 29th. This is the wild card of planets, hard to predict, and always surprising. Aligned with the zodiac sign of Aquarius, and stimulating the emotional tenor the country (Moon in Aquarius), the primary energies tend to be egalitarian, open minded and progressive.

So what do the planetary influences mean for the common citizen, the drivers of the economic engine, the “worker bees?” The U.S. Moon in Aquarius has always been about the grassroots power of committed individuals coming together, standing in solidarity, truth and integrity. Living the ideals of democracy is no easy task. But, the founding principles have spread around the globe as ideals to be exemplified.

In order to successfully navigate rapid change in an increasingly global society, no nation can exist within a bubble of isolation. For example, the ripples from Brexit will continue to reverberate far and wide. It is fascinating to note the astrological influences on June 23, the Sun was in Cancer and the Moon in Aquarius on voting day. Once again, the themes of autonomy, independence and freedom are being played out within the context of homeland, security and borders.

Yes, we are in a very messy state of development, but the core ideals remain the same. Is the next president going to solve all the problems? Probably not. The Aquarian Age is dawning, and it is not about identifying with a parent figure that will seemingly take care of everything, but finding that inner voice of integrity and conscience. The problems may be less about government and governing as it is about the heart of humanity.

While researching material for this edition of “What's UP,” I decided to take a tea break. As I was pouring creamer into my cup, the words on the container jumped out at me, “grown with love in the USA.” My heart took a leap of recognition, reminding me, Venus and Jupiter were joined in the zodiac sign of Cancer on July 4, 1776. Known as the great benefics, together these planets bestow abundance and good fortune as well as goodwill, kindness and generosity. May we realize and share this good fortune throughout July, and never lose sight of these blessings.

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

Belinda C. Dunn
JUNE 2016

Gemini New Moon
June 4 @ 10:59 pm

Gemini/Sagittarius Full Moon
June 20 @ 7:02 am

Summer Solstice
June 20 @ 6:34 pm

June is a busy month with many competing factors. Between completion of the academic year, travel plans and all the possibilities of outdoor recreation, choices ask for conscious engagement. Mercury has completed its full retrograde phase of recent months, and there is new terrain ahead to explore. Our Sun is in Gemini skies, instilling a sense of alert curiosity, and the enthusiasm needed for expanding horizons.

The month begins with a New Moon in Gemini. This is a very unusual, powerful and auspicious lunation cycle that triggers a series of intense planetary alignments taking place over the course of 2016. Known as a mutable grand cross, astrologers see this alignment as testing the foundations of thought and belief in our personal and collective lives.

Webster's dictionary defines mutable as, “prone to change, inconstant, capable of mutation.” Considering current events and the rapid exchange of information made possible by technology, the mutable grand cross presents an enormous influx of information that can turn the tide of popularity in political contests as well as collective consciousness. The vast sea of human thought is confused, lost, searching for truth. As lies, distortion, prejudice and bias becomes increasingly obvious, many minds/hearts are ripe and ready for revelation.

Let's examine this mutable grand cross from the vantage point of a mountain top. Overcoming great obstacles, and having climbed to the highest elevation, the view is panoramic. Seeing in all directions we are able to turn around, and breath in the sacredness of east, south, west, north. Everything below looks tiny, toy like, and perhaps even inconsequential. The sky above is amplified, clarified, close enough to touch as one's spirit soars in freedom. The stellar sky is illuminated with the full circle of zodiac teachers.

In each of the four directions, one of the mutable zodiac signs holds domain. Beginning with Gemini, we see the Sun, Moon and Venus joining together for the New Moon on June 4. Gemini aims for wisdom in this world of form. Through many experiences, and genuine inquiry, Gemini thrives on stimulation, variety and diversity. The mind's innate capacity for intelligence can get sidetracked in a multitude of ways. The zodiac teacher of Gemini teaches the importance of paying attention, not getting lost in trivia, half truths and gossip.

Gemini is up close and personal. What tends to be in the forefront of your mind? In other words, what is in front of your face? This New Moon amplifies the thought processes. One's on-going mental state translates into daily interactions and attitude. In the human body, Gemini is associated with the neck, shoulders, arms and hands. Keeping in mind that the exchange of ideas goes deeper than just vocalization, it may be helpful to ask yourself, “What motions and actions do my hands want to express?”

In the next of four directions, we turn to see enormous Jupiter transiting in Virgo skies (August 2015 – September 2016). Virgo is the zodiac teacher of right use of mental energy. Used wisely, the mind is a constructive and creative tool, but often the power of thought is used in demeaning, denigrating, critical and negative ways. Virgo teaches the importance of keeping one's perspective pure, untainted by criticism, in stewardship to the whole.

Saturn orbits in the third of these four directions. Transiting in Sagittarius, Saturn challenges us to take the high road even when it may not be the popular thing to do. Many times, it is “the road less traveled” that will take us to the destination. Saturn is in Sagittarius for several years (2015-2017). Trends over these years require determination, discipline and perseverance in the face of disillusionment. The atmosphere is heavy, serious, even depressing, but the Sagittarius archer aims above the crowd, open to receiving guidance from higher ground.

In the fourth and final direction of this meta-view of a mutable grand cross, we encounter Neptune, the elusive and mystical planet that takes us far out, beyond the rings of Saturn to see the big picture. Neptune is a generational planet, currently transiting through the zodiac sign of Pisces (2011 – 2025).

Like a hall of mirrors, Neptune dissolves earthy illusions to reveal transcendent, eternal consciousness. While a key component of a massive global spiritual renaissance, this is no easy task. You may have heard the phrase, “Addiction is the disease of denial.” Through a variety of wake up calls, the zodiac teacher of Neptune breaks down resistance and denial. It is only through humility and vulnerability, tenderness and compassion, that the true gifts of Neptune can be appreciated.

Symbolically, the cross configuration is a potent mystical reminder of conflict. In terms of astrological aspects, the cross is made up of two oppositions and four squares, potentially the most confrontational, polarizing, and out of balance energy. The cross asks for nothing less than surrender, a deep letting go of what is, to actually see a larger truth, beyond the paradoxical state of the mind's conundrum.

Keeping this mutable grand cross in mind, I invite you to turn on the technology of your choice to check current events. Over several decades the media has evolved to a 24/7 stream of opinion. Opinion is opinion, and everyone has plenty to say according to their conditioned view. Loudly and dramatically, numerous voices are shouting over each other to impress their point of view. To a large extent, the current media is based on conflict rather than clarity. Sadly, this is what buys air time, and sells to the general public.

The voices will continue to clamor for attention, escalating to a high pitch throughout the summer months, but especially in June. The Full Moon astrology chart for June 20, show both Sun and Moon in the final degrees of Gemini and Sagittarius. Full Moons are generally times of increased activity. Not only is there a tendency for restlessness, but misguided thoughts, words and actions can intensify the disruption and commotion in the social sphere as well as our personal lives.

Last November Saturn entered a very tight and stressful alignment with Neptune. Together these planets continue to cast shadows of glamour and illusion over real life situations. Exact once again on June 17, these planets continue to be in stressful alignment until their third and final square on September 10. The human tendency to deny, ignore and and scoot things under the rug is potentially dangerous and destructive.

June is a major turning point as Neptune is stationary retrograde mid-month, contributing to the lack of discernment and confusion. On the Full Moon of June 20, Mercury activates this planetary combination. As the planet of communication, Mercury can cut through the chaos with acute awareness, expressing the virtue of frank, candid honesty. It's like the little child exclaiming, “Look everyone, the emperor wears no clothes!”

As their planetary influence subsides, conditions that appeared foggy, surreal and distorted can once again objectify, stabilize and clarify. Thus, late 2015 through to the autumn of 2016 is a ten month phase designed for the optimal purpose of questioning perceived reality. Over time, the fog clears, reality dawns, and it is possible to move from delusion to “beyond a shadow of a doubt.” Obviously, these are not ideal conditions in which to conduct a presidential campaign. Let's hope the country doesn't wake up with a hangover on November 10.

If you find yourself experiencing confusion, discouragement and self doubt, for whatever reason, do not despair. Both planets present their own unique and real perspective. On this dimension, form appears real and tangible. Saturn emphasizes the lessons of time, and the never ending flow of temporary circumstances in earth school reality. Neptune opens the consciousness to eternal life, above and beyond this dimension. Both have their own complimentary truth, but human nature tends to make one more important than the other.

Closely following the Full Moon, is the auspicious and celebrated Summer Solstice on June 20. The longest day of the year is combined with the Moon's complete illumination. This promises to be a glorious evening to celebrate life, light and nature. Essential to health and well being, time in nature soothes body, mind and soul. Summer is officially underway!

To finish out the month, Mars adds to an impulse of onward and upward as it returns to a direct phase on June 29. This shift brings movement to stalled projects, and decisions of recent months. Consider the areas of your life that have required a backtracking, perhaps areas where you have been feeling stuck, experiencing a lack of direction and momentum. Instilling courage, vitality and passion, Mars is the planet that gets us up in the morning. As June concludes, most of us will experience a renewed sense of confidence, connection and direction.

Like so many fields of scientific exploration, the power of technology is making it possible to expand horizons out of our solar system into the far reaches of outer space. Beyond the trans-personal planets of Uranus and Neptune, is the Kuiper Belt. that includes Pluto, Sedna, Quaoar, Orcus, Haumea, Eris, and others waiting to be discovered. Astronomers are closely monitoring these orbits, and on the brink of discovering a planet that may be ten times the Earth's mass.

Astrologers approach these matters with a mystical and mythical perspective. Each time a new celestial body is discovered, consciousness expands. Newly discovered in 2003, Eris has a 560 year orbit around the Sun, and due to its long elliptical orbit, it remains in the same area of the sky for generations. However, beginning in June, Uranus joins Eris at 23 degrees of Aries. This will give astrologers a chance to monitor affects, and come to a greater understanding of the mythical message of Eris.

Uranus and Eris will remain in close connection for the next year. Some of the themes identified so far are quite telling of the current times we live in. Eris is known for disrupting the status quo, and stimulating a rapid departure from what no longer works. Together, Uranus and Eris are catalyzing rapid, radical and unprecedented breakthroughs on every level of our collective experience.

All the trans-Neptunian planets are opening perception to see beyond the boundaries of perceived knowledge. So often these days, I hear someone comment, “I know nothing.“ It is not always easy to come to this crossroads of realization. The human mind is extremely limited in its scope, strongly conditioned through biology and circumstance. But, it is exactly this profound and humble letting go that provides the opening for a mutable grand cross in Gemini to release its magic. When we get out of the little mind, a whole new world of ecstatic possibility opens. These are exciting times to be alive!

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 35 years experience. She is available for personal consultations. Visit her website for archives of past articles www.astrodelight.com – Email: belinda@astrodelight.com

Taurus New Moon
May 6 @ 3:29 pm

Gemini/Sagittarius Full Moon
May 21 @ 5:14 pm

Mercury Direct
May 22 @ 9:20 pm

Throughout the ages, poets, artists, musicians, and philosophers of every persuasion have aimed to capture and express the glorious beauty of springtime. As nature returns in full technicolor, “heaven on earth” becomes a reality. I am reminded of Joni Mitchell's poignant song “Woodstock, and the memorable lyrics, “We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden.”

May begins with five of the eight major planets in a retrograde phase. Beginning with Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun, and continuing with Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto, this is a month for lying low, and getting as close to the earth as possible. You may find solace in preparing your garden, or digging out the picnic basket for a lazy day of sitting by the river rather than pushing the river. A typical retrograde phase is best used for for reviewing plans, taking stock and integrating past experience.

Not only are five planets retrograde, but the New Moon on May 6 is in Taurus, the zodiac sign known for its laid back, cautious, down to earth, no-nonsense approach to life. Considering the wild gamble and destabilizing energies of 2016, the planetary energies of May offer an earthy stabilizing influence along with an opportunity to settle and rejuvenate the nervous system. Our fast paced technology driven world tends to produce a level of stress that jangles nerves, contributing to many of the emotional problems prevalent in current society.

If this isn't enough of a planetary message to slow down and enjoy daily life more, let's consider that four significant planets join this New Moon in earth signs. Western astrology considers the four elements of fire, air, water and earth as fundamental in the interpretation of any chart. This is one of the first things I consider when looking at an individual's chart as well as current trends. Currently, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Pluto are all transiting in the earth signs of Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. Forming the rare configuration of a Grand Trine during the first half of May, these planets contribute to an overall sense of wellness.

When the earth element is predominant, as it is in May, this points to a fuller appreciation and enhancement of the sensory side of life. Earth is about embodiment and presence. Earth points us in the direction of reality, common sense, and the need for taking care of tangible matters such as money and possessions. If you have felt dreamy and out of touch with reality over recent months, this is time to reconnect with what is important to you in terms of daily activity. The grounding and stabilizing influence of earth is essential these days, especially as 2016 continues to unfold.

Jupiter, a planet of gigantic proportions, is currently transiting through the zodiac sign of Virgo. This is not a glamorous combination, but adds to the need for taking care of details in the areas of health, finances, business and education. Since January 7, Jupiter has been retrograde, but on May 9, Jupiter begins a direct phase that will continue for the remainder of 2016. This is good news that will give a boost of forward thrust and momentum to many projects that may have been delayed over winter months.

Jupiter is a significant player this entire spring. Jupiter is in close square to Saturn, a planetary alignment that is stressful and difficult to get a handle on, much less resolve. Jupiter tends to exaggerate, while Saturn tends to restrain with cynicism and negativity. However, on May 26 Jupiter makes its final square to Saturn, and by mid-June there will be a more positive, realistic and rational perspective that can go along way in solving problems.

In addition to Jupiter beginning a direct phase on May 9, a rare transit of Mercury is happening. The last time this occurred was 2006, and the next time is 2019. Eye protection will be necessary, but at 11:12 am, Mercury will visibly cross over the face of the Sun. This is considered to be a very important part of the Mercury retrograde cycle, and introspection promises results. Conscious mind is literally joining with Source intelligence, and breakthroughs in consciousness can occur rapidly. Seeds of new understanding contribute to the ability to make clear decisions when thirteen days later Mercury goes direct.

By mid-month, energies shift noticeably. Within days, the Sun enters Gemini forming a Full Moon on the 21st, and Mercury goes direct on May 22. In terms of elemental balance, the mood goes from the stabilizing, methodical and careful planning of earthiness to the soaring, free and high flying energies of air. Air spells movement, and attention naturally turns to wrapping up another academic year, graduations, travel and vacation plans.

This significant Full Moon activates the on-going challenges of 2016, especially in the social domain. The Sun is in Gemini, the zodiac sign of data, and the Moon is in Sagittarius, the zodiac sign of ideology. Under these influences the programmed intellect tends to be very stimulated, and words may fly out of people's mouths with little hesitation. At their worst, these zodiac signs are known for having “foot in mouth disease.”

This Full Moon also aligns with Mars, so there may be an added urgency to speak, and take action based on impulse and opinion. Poorly thought out plans can wreak havoc with relationships. Even though this Full Moon gives illumined clarity that can be meaningful in the long run, this may not be the time to force understanding and change upon situations. Get all of the facts, examine your prejudices, ask yourself, “Is this action/decision based on truth?”

With the backdrop of all this assertive, restless, controversial and conflicting mental energy, Mercury goes direct on May 22. One can't help but think of the presidential campaign under these troubling planetary influences. May is potentially a “make it or break it” month for candidates and their respective political parties.

The pundits as well as the general public are scratching their heads with the bizarre turn this campaign takes day by day. The current political climate in the U.S. is puzzling, even alarming. Considering that so many citizens are struggling with very real life circumstances, it is appalling and distressing to watch, what has been dubbed, the “circus.” At this point, the only people that appear to be benefiting from this exasperating campaign are the comedians and late night television show hosts.

OK, now that you have my political 2 cents, I will share the powerful and illuminating planetary trends in regard to this campaign. Last November, Saturn squared Neptune. This rare and stressful alignment produces a clashing of belief, whereby it is difficult to discern the boundaries of reality and illusion, truth and aspiration.

When Saturn, the planet of reality, joins forces with Neptune, the planet of illusion, it is not easy to rise to higher ground. This profound alignment is culminating on September 10, just in time to dispel the glamour, and hopefully elect a candidate that can get on with the business of leading a country that has real and pressing problems.

Neptune's influence is to dissolve the boundaries and veils of earthly consciousness, and expand awareness to transcendent universal consciousness. It takes us out of conditioned and programmed perspective. It can feel disorienting and confusing, and be the primary influence in mental illness. In many cases, there is a fine line between disoriented states of consciousness and genuine spiritual awakening.

Jupiter and Saturn are considered to be the social planets. They take us beyond personal agendas into the larger context of social and cultural experience. The complex astrological picture for May includes the pressure of the social planets, Jupiter and Saturn, in stressful alignment with Neptune. Astrologers call this a T-square.

Social systems are held together by belief, and this three pronged planetary T-square has profound implications in the fabric of society on national and global levels. It is breaking open illusions, clearing the way for more honesty and transparency. The tide is turning in the sea of social organization based on belief. Whole groups of people are changing ideological mindsets, and things are not always what they appear to be. Perception is fluid, mutable, and shifting drastically.

The planetary influences in May present a fascinating blend of fact and fantasy, earthiness and transcendence. Life on this dimension is a hall of mirrors whereby the images are in a continual state of flux. Ultimate truth is beyond the grasp of the intellect, yet civilized mankind spends a great deal of precious time thinking up ways to keep the fight going.

What happens when the fight is dropped? Each of us know those instances when we pause in mid-sentence, and stop a habitual response in light of a more loving and kind approach. New neural pathways are being built to evolve our brain and biology from a species that fights to survive to a species that chooses love to thrive. This is the real story. For those with eyes to see and ears to hear, hearts are opening and blossoming everywhere. It is time to get back to the garden!

April 2016

Aries New Moon
April 7 @ 7:24 am

Mars retrograde
April 17 @ 8:14 am

Scorpio/Taurus Full Moon
April 22 @ 1:24 am

Mercury retrograde
April 28 @ 1:20 pm

April begins with a surge of courageous and determined intention to get the ball rolling in specific areas of your personal life. You probably recognize the need for improvement and transformation, bravery and stamina. It is a big push, an illuminating experience based on a keen desire to arise above challenges, and take charge in ways that you haven't been able to grasp until now. For some people this has to do with health and lifestyle, for others it may be professional, while for others it can show up in finances and relationships.

Pinpointed in your precise astrology chart, the Aries New Moon on April 7 highlights the areas of life most ready for an upgraded transformation. New Moons always signify the opportunity to begin anew. It is an optimal time to clarify direction and set intention. Not only is this a potent SuperMoon, but the affects are intensified by the zodiac teacher of Aries. When all is said and done, Aries encourages an honest appraisal of self. It points directly to you; your reactions, your sense of individuality and the courage to be true to yourself, no matter what.

Over recent years, I have been writing about the on-going Uranus/Pluto cardinal climax. This generational and social planetary pattern has been quite intense in its stimulating and potentially destructive effects. It may be helpful to consider the challenges you have faced over years, especially since 2012. In what areas of life have you been forced to let go of preconceived expectations and adapt to circumstances beyond your control? In the midst of stressful social factors, how have you developed more self reliance, integrity and accountability?

This New Moon in Aries aligns exactly with Uranus and squares Pluto. While these influences are long term and leading to considerable and on-going social changes, April is the final month of acute activation. There can be sudden changes of fortune and direction. In your personal life, you may find particular circumstances wrapping up and coming to a satisfactory conclusion.

Not only does the New Moon join Uranus in Aries (2010 – 2018), but Pluto is stationary retrograde on April 18. This sums up a potential for violent demonstrations and outrageous acts of rebellion. However, we don't have to look further than turning on the nightly news to recognize the instability of social breakdown, and potentially dire consequences. This planetary pattern sums up the fact that humanity is at the crossroads. The necessity to wake up and evolve is evermore urgent and pressing.

So, the month begins with enthusiasm, zest and determination to move past stagnation and overcome great odds. After all, this is the season of Earth's renewal. We witness the glory of nature in the exuberant push of growth upward and outward. Floral displays of every color and form tantalize the senses, drawing attention away from the complications of human drama. It is a lovely and enlivening month. The beautiful soothing forces of nature are to be respected as a healing balance to the chaos of current affairs.

A significant stabilizing influence is Mercury and its transit through Taurus beginning on April 5. Due to a retrograde phase (April 28 – May 22), Mercury will spend over nine weeks in Taurus. As the zodiac sign of physical form, Taurus has everything to do with money, possessions, sustainability, ecology and nature. Taurus finds comfort and beauty in the tangible experience of earthy existence.

Despite a retrograde phase, more than likely, Mercury in Taurus will be a beneficial antidote to the pressure of problems to be solved. Yes, there may be delays in projects due to the need to make more informed choices. But, as the planet of communication, Mercury in Taurus can assist in identifying that which is of true value. Grounding presence goes hand in hand with gratitude for the true and abundant gifts of earth life. A methodical and calming pace brings awareness, thereby enhancing and improving daily life. It speaks to really stopping and smelling the roses, taking a conscious and deliberate break from disruptive thought processes based on habitual emotional programming.

The backdrop, the scenery for April, is awe-inspiring and glorious spring. However, as in the movie theater, the action story is where things get more complicated. On April 17, Mars, the planet of action, enters a retrograde phase. Mars goes retrograde every two years and two months, and the last time Mars went retrograde was in the spring of 2014.

Typically, Mars instills vitality, motivation, and the desire to act. During a retrograde phase, the normal outgoing and action oriented nature of Mars is turned inward. This can be frustrating, to say the least. It's like a race horse running exuberantly free only to abruptly come to thunderous halt in front of an insurmountable fence.

Since Mars will remain retrograde until June 28, it is vitally important to identify the areas of your life that need circumspection, thus you can develop an appreciation for this necessary planetary phase. Look back to earlier this year, where did you feel a sense of full speed ahead? The station point on April 17 is a turning point as outward drives can come to a halt. You may find yourself running into barriers of time, money and resources. A sudden lack of interest can also signal a need to pull back and review plans. If you encounter the doldrums, this can be a sign to slow down, and address deeper underlying issues.

In addition to Mars stationary retrograde, within 24 hours, Pluto enters a retrograde phase on April 18. Both of these planetary urges tend to be willful, aggressive, controlling, combative and impulsive. It is wisdom to keep your wits about you, and exercise caution in the use of machinery, fire and explosives. Be alert in thought, word and deed for attempts to control circumstances that feel out of control. These very persuasive planets can take charge and hijack the best of intentions. Take the extra time, even if just seconds or minutes, to consider potential consequences, and long term effects.

Now, if this isn't enough . . . . let's consider the planetary orbits of Jupiter, the planet of expansion, and Saturn, the planet of contraction.

In August 2015, and as recently as last month, Jupiter and Saturn activated in stressful alignment. We can see these effects in a wildly fluctuating stock market, legal matters, unstable global economy, and an unpredictable presidential campaign.

Take a look at your personal life to identify areas that require patience and caution. Jupiter presents opportunity while Saturn tends to play the cynic or devil's advocate by placing obstacles in the way of progress. Jupiter will make its third and final square to Saturn on May 26. Thus, these spring months tend to be filled with fits and starts of activity that must be examined for reality.

The reason for mentioning this planetary pair is to elucidate the potential for good in the larger scheme of things. Every planetary influence has its upside and downside. A positive interaction of Jupiter and Saturn will test structural foundations for strength and endurance. It is important to acknowledge cracks in the foundation, so repairs and adjustments can be made.

There are many ways this influence is playing out in our collective experience as well as personal lives. Obviously, the presidential campaign is demonstrating potential weakness in the structure of democracy. In your personal life, this can show up as the need to restructure financial areas, address legal matters or strengthen the physical body for long term wellness. Unexpected and additional expenditures of time, money and energy may feel daunting, but prove to be a good decision in the long run.

To summarize, April begins with an intense and urgent call to make some significant changes in your life. The necessity for change has been brewing for several months, if not for several years. Probably these are major transformations that cannot happen overnight or without planning, conviction and determination.

As the month unfolds, there are numerous factors representing the need to step back, take a good look, develop strategy, and persevere despite obstacles. If a direction is not worthy of your life force, if a direction is no longer viable, than that is okay. It is time to let go. To quote from Star Trek, “Resistance is futile.”

The Full Moon on April 22 assists in the process of identifying what is needed, and what is best released. With the Sun in Taurus and Moon in Scorpio, the dynamic interplay between form and the formless plays out. Scorpio reminds us that life on Earth is impermanent, it's a passing show. Taurus reminds us to enjoy the beauty, and share the love. Essentially, the planetary energies in April are out of the ordinary, albeit extraordinarily challenging, but truly enriching.

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 Website: astrodelight.com

March 2016

Belinda C. Dunn

Pisces Solar Eclipse
March 8 @ 8:54 p.m.

Spring Equinox
March 20 @ 12:31 a.m.

Aries/Libra Lunar Eclipse
March 23 @ 8:01 a.m.

With Spring around the corner, March is a super charged month. Between the dynamic shift of seasons, and numerous astronomical/ astrological factors, this month gets us out and about, moving in new directions, pushing the envelope for substantial and long lasting change. As frigid winds blast away the frozen days of winter, winds of spring continue the work of sweeping clean what is no longer needed. In more ways than one, an old adage comes to mind, be prepared and, “Hold onto your hat!”

In this election year, a readiness for significant change is reflected in the presidential campaign. When the final candidates are selected, I will write more in terms of political winners and losers. In meantime, know March is a month of drastic reversals as well as popularity surges that play into the national mood, and the country's direction.

No matter what the ultimate outcome, the campaign itself is exposing many problems in the system that must be addressed over time. The current political debate demonstrates there is no holding back and hiding out in the shadows of dishonesty, lack of integrity, weakness and animosity. While transparency has its own challenges, more than likely, this is just what is needed to turn the ship of destiny in a more sustainable direction.

This is an eclipse month. A solar eclipse on March 9 sets the pace for weeks and months to come. This eclipse mirrors the last solar eclipse on September 13, 2015. It may be helpful to reflect and consider the themes and situations that called for your attention at that point. Eclipses have a profound affect on consciousness. It is as though the veils of illusion dissolve before our very eyes, thus revealing the core of significant matters. As blinders come off, what has been hiding in the shadows surges to the surface, thus life changing events and decisions tend to occur.

As February drew to a close, perhaps you were already feeling the affects of the upcoming eclipse. A rare combination of planets play into this eclipse. Last month I wrote at length about Chiron, archetype of the wounded healer. February article is posted on www.astrodelight.com. This information continues to be relevant as Chiron exactly aligns with this eclipse. A solar eclipse is always a New Moon. It takes a precise alignment of Sun, Moon and Earth to activate the rare possibility of the Moon crossing over the face of the Sun, and actually hide the Sun's illumination for minutes.

This spectacular and potent eclipse will not be visible in North America, but its affects will be felt nevertheless. As the solar radiation is blocked, the electromagnetic field of Earth is purged, reconfigured and upgraded. Occurring in the zodiac sign of Pisces, the dynamic is already in place for purging and cleansing. This is an optimal time to inwardly surrender the heavy burdens of resentment, grudges, lack of forgiveness, and other forms of holding onto the past.

This is an excellent time to address toxicity on any level. Whether this is a clean sweep of the body, mind or spirit, or a deep spring cleaning of your environment, you will find your efforts enhanced and supported. It is helpful to be aware of those instances and situations where your resistance to this purging process can be encountered. When blocks come up, see this as an opportunity to release even more.

The zodiac teacher of Pisces opens consciousness to altered states of reality, and the eclipse chart shows a major alignment of seven astrological factors in Pisces. This presents a highly sensitizing and complex picture. These planetary energies push us as individuals to relinquish control and admit vulnerability. Getting down on the knees is generally the last resort for humans. However, this type of humbling release allows an opening to occur whereby a breakthrough can actually happen, and assistance from higher dimensions can pour forth as healing peace and clarity.

Neptune, the planet most closely associated with Pisces, plays an important role in the current planetary shift. As a generational planet, Neptune spends many years in a given sign. For example, Neptune entered its own sign of Pisces in 2011, and will remain in this area of the sky until 2026. This strengthens and fine tunes the effects of Neptune in our lives.

As the mythological god of the ocean, Neptune symbolizes the dreamy and elusive domain of consciousness itself. Just like the rolling waves of high seas coupled with massive tidal currents sweeping around the globe, consciousness is dreamy and mystical, bending and flowing according to its own rhythm.

There is tremendous depth in the ocean of life, but most of humanity abides by the seashore building expertly crafted sandcastles only to have them toppled by the next astonishing wave. With time, we realize that it's risky and frustrating to put all of our attention in building structures that will dissolve over time. This is when a deep dive occurs, and we begin to realize and experience the depths of an oceanic universe.

Neptune and Pisces help us stand back and take the broad view, for without it, life can appear random and meaningless. There are many seductive escapes on this dimension, but all it takes is one taste of pure bliss to be forever changed. During March, there is high potential for a series events, personally and collectively, that may illuminate the many perspectives and choices available on planet Earth.

Belief plays a key role in perspective. Recently, I came across the word “cosmovision.” This vision is the cultural orientation, the worldview that defines one's beliefs, and “the filters through which different people and ethnic groups look out upon their world.” We live in a time of witnessing many belief systems lose their appeal and relevance while other belief systems wreak destruction. At the same time, many understandings are coming to the forefront as the new age of Aquarius gets underway.

Throughout March belief systems collide, mutate and shift. There is major flux in these basic and fundamental approaches that we tend to take for granted. The first weekend of March is quite dramatic as two planets shift signs. Mercury enters Pisces and Mars enters Sagittarius. This combination can be quite blunt, opinionated, and emphatic in thought, word and deed. You may find that routine communications are flavored with urgency, anger and impulsive reaction. Knowing this trend can go a long way in harmonizing potential conflict.

For many, it will be a relief for Mars to leave Scorpio and enter Sagittarius. Mars has been in Scorpio throughout January and February, adding even more introspection to the already contemplative winter season. Potentially cynical and fatalistic, this serious and brooding combination has brought matters of life and death to the surface over recent months.

As Mars enters Sagittarius, there will be a burst of movement along with the urge to expand horizons. This upswing can help consolidate traveling and educational plans as well as elucidate and uplift one's attitude. But, wait a minute, hold on . . . Saturn is also in Sagittarius and enters a retrograde phase on March 25. Due to these planetary influences, the second half of March may feel like one foot is on the gas pedal and the other foot is on the brake. The desire to expand one's horizons meets with Saturn's reality check.

A telling example of Saturn in Sagittarius (2015-2017) is the challenges before the judicial system with Scalia's passing. Sagittarius rules over legal matters, and Saturn presents complications and delays. In this case, there are many obvious roadblocks to the nomination of Scalia's replacement on the Supreme Court. Thus, pressing legal concerns may be unable to move forward in a timely and effective manner.

In addition to the equinox on March 20, the entire week of March 20-26 is filled with numerous and potent astrological factors. Let's take a look at each.

Firstly, Spring Equinox is particularly dynamic this year, marking the beginning of the astrological new year. When Sun enters Aries, we experience a palpable and rapid shift away from the dreamy days of Pisces to the intense and outgoing energies of Aries. As a fire sign, Aries is bold and vibrant, filled with vitality and the urge to take action.

Secondly, Jupiter in Virgo squares Saturn in Sagittarius. Here is a repetitive theme showing up once again. Jupiter's nature is to expand, while Saturn's nature is to limit and restrict. This phase continues through the remainder of the school year, beginning to dissipate by late June.

For example, you can dream of future possibilities, like sunbathing on a gorgeous beach or a trip to Italy, but more than likely, your dream vacation may take some time to manifest. Another big example is world peace. We can work toward peace, and do our best to model it in daily life, but obviously this dimension is a work in progress. Calling for patience, a Jupiter/Saturn combination is a work and goal setting aspect. In this way, you may find yourself and others meeting with frustration in realizing aspirations, but more committed than ever to the fulfillment of these goals.

To complicate matters, Venus activates the Jupiter/Saturn mix as March draws to a close. As the planet of love and beauty, Venus encourages visualization and creative expression of what it can look like to live in a perfect world. There will be a testing of motivation, a testing of what is means to truly put love first, above and beyond the drive to accomplish personal goals. The gap between ethical standards and actual behavior may be quite clear. A fine tuning and refinement of priorities can take place as each of us are encouraged to “walk the talk.”

And now . . . . drum roll please! Let's consider the effects of a lunar eclipse on March 23. Occurring just a few days after the Spring Equinox, this eclipse mirrors the lunar eclipse six months ago on September 27, 2015. While many circumstances can simmer to a crisis point in March, this eclipse highlights the fundamental role of relationship. With Sun and Mercury joined in Aries, and Moon in Libra, the theme is being true to self while maintaining harmony in relationship. A lunar eclipse intensifies emotional reaction, but when the truth of genuine emotion surges to the surface, it must be acknowledged and dealt with.

How to summarize March? Aspirations, hopes and dreams meet with reality in complex and multifaceted scenarios. If you find yourself in situations where past and future are clashing and colliding in the present, it may be helpful to journal. Creative expression, in its many forms, is an excellent and healing practice along with contemplation and meditation.

Inherent within human nature is the tendency to judge others based on the programming of stubbornly held opinions. If I may be so bold as to point out, the majority of us do this to one degree or another. March is a month where a good dose of patience. perspective and humbleness can go a long in softening and uplifting these trends in our personal lives as well contributing to the global community. As nature awakens and shakes off the past, may each human heart wake up and realize the true nature of existence. Enjoy!

Belinda 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  Website: astrodelight.com

February 2016

Aquarius New Moon
Chinese New Year: the Monkey
February 8 @ 9:39 a.m.

Pisces/Virgo Full Moon
February 22 @ 1:20 p.m.

A silent snow gently covers the earth as I sit at my desk, gathering thoughts to write this edition of “What's UP.” With all of the frustrations and delays of a winter storm, the quiet and contemplative nature of winter is restoring, healing and rejuvenating. This season challenges us to step back from the busyness of business. It is nature's time out, a chance to stop all doing for the time being, to just BE.

Even as snow melts and sunny days return, this theme continues throughout February. While holiday celebrations are long gone, and those determined resolutions in process or forgotten, there is another chance to begin anew. February begins with a New Moon on February 8, initiating the Chinese New Year of the Monkey.

Who doesn't get a smile on their face watching the playful ease and comical antics of a monkey swinging from branch to branch? Heavy seriousness melts away as the monkey is a living example of curiosity, experimentation and lighthearted agility. Think movement and rapid change with a good dose of humor. It may be helpful to recall Curious George. His hilarious antics got him in trouble, but not for too long, as good generally came out of his unfettered and playful nature.

The astrological chart for the New Moon on February 8, shows both the Sun and Moon in Aquarius, the zodiac sign of invention. Aquarius thrives on the cutting edge of experimentation, welcoming the dramatic and life changing breakthroughs that result from an open mind and open heart.

Each zodiac sign is aligned with a planetary ruler. In the case of Aquarius, there are two supporting planets, Saturn and Uranus. This is a fascinating combination as Saturn respects and upholds tradition, while Uranus breaks free of convention, upgrading and evolving the past to set the pace for future developments. The powerful fulcrum of past and future exist in the NOW.

So, the question is, how is this delicate balance affecting humanity? Clearly, 2016 is a game changer in a multitude of ways. The good news is Saturn and Uranus are in harmonious alignment with each other in this New Moon chart, and this trend continues through the autumn of 2017. Of course, a two year window to the future is not to be missed!

It is time to prepare and contemplate what activities, circumstances, attitude and mindset can maximize and enhance these planetary energies in a positive and constructive way for you and those around you. We can begin with some advice from monkey. Loosen up, be present and playful, ever ready to adapt to a changing landscape.

Politically, economically and socially, the contrast between current social conditions, and where our global society is evolving will become clearer and more urgent. Attempts at control, manipulation and deceit are obvious to an ever increasing segment of the population. Adhering to outmoded beliefs and behaviors is to languish in the past, and miss all the wonderful opportunities around the corner. It is time to listen well and heed the call.

Let's look at each of these planetary trends. Currently, Saturn is transiting through Sagittarius (late 2015 – December 2017), and Uranus is transiting through Aries (2010 – 2018). Both Sagittarius and Aries are fire signs. The cold winters days are an ideal time to contemplate the element of fire as it warms, radiates and illuminates. The emphasis on fire demonstrates the energetic support to actively embody your aspirations. There's no time like the present to be active, bold and courageous. However, fire can burn out, so it's necessary to tend your own fire, follow the inner compass, and manifest what is meaningful to you.

A caveat to keep in mind, especially for February, is Mars transiting through Scorpio. While the primary impulses are outgoing, social, humanitarian and community oriented, Mars in Scorpio is reserved, cautious, even resistant and fearful of the vulnerability that comes from expressing strong emotion. This is a month to tread lightly, and not force others to come to the table if they are in a tender place. When someone feels safe enough with you to share their deep secrets, this is a holy and healing moment for all concerned.

Through February 20, all of the visible planets can be seen in the morning sky. The last time Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn appeared together was January 2005. People have asked me if this is a good or bad influence. Realistically, it is neither good or bad, however, if you dislike early rising, this spectacular alignment may be a challenge to see. But, I can guarantee, this impressive and awe-inspiring view is worth getting up for !

Aquarian trends are further supported as Mercury and Venus enter Aquarius on February 13 and 16, respectively. Just in time for Valentine's Day, this planetary combination gives a boost to romance, friendship, and loving expression of true feelings. Mercury and Venus will continue to facilitate communication, and positive exchange of information through the final week of February. After eight weeks of both Mercury and Venus in somber and serious Capricorn (December & January), these outgoing and social influences will lighten things up, get us moving, and bring people out of hibernation.

On February 19, Sun enters Pisces which is the third and final zodiac sign of the winter season. Shortly thereafter, a Full Moon illuminates the night sky on February 22. This Full Moon brings all issues having to do with healing to the forefront. This is not just physical healing, but healing that is holistic in nature. The Full Moon chart shows Chiron, the wounded healer archetype, in opposition to Jupiter in Virgo, and together they activate the Lunar Nodes. While this may sound complicated to those of you who aren't students of astrology, this dynamic combination amplifies the messages of each planet, and is potentially game changing in the realms of health and healing.

First of all, Jupiter in Virgo is very supportive in finding and following through on the right therapeutic modality that is effective for the individual. More than likely, a variety of approaches may be needed. Jupiter expands the view, and opens the doorway to possibility. In this case, if you are facing health challenges, and have been frustrated with your health care, it may be a positive move to take a better look around at options available. If you are satisfied with your health care providers, and feel they are on the right track, than by all means, this is a time to trust and embrace the opportunity to heal on very deep levels.

I have felt very connected to Chiron since its discovery in 1977. This small planet orbits between Saturn and Uranus, and has been called the “rainbow bridge” between individuality, and transcendent universal consciousness. In mythology, Chiron was a centaur, those mythical creatures with a horse body and human torso. All centaurs are immortal, so when Chiron received a wound, he turned away from the raucous pursuits of his fellow centaurs, and devoted his existence to the discovery of healing modalities to alleviate his pain.

Does this myth sound familiar? There was a huge transition in the 1970's with the introduction of the Chiron archetype into the collective consciousness. Socially and culturally, we are now given permission to come out of denial and address deep seated pain. Chiron addresses the full spectrum of potential imbalance on every level of the human being (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual).

Anyone strongly affected by the Chiron energy will not leave a stone unturned in their personal quest for healing, thus the burgeoning field of healers and healing arts that is available today. When I see Chiron prominent in an individual's chart, invariably I see someone with a keen interest and education in the holistic healing arts. In their own search for relief from pain, these individuals naturally embody the wounded healer archetype, and others look toward them for guidance and assistance.

With this background, let's go back to Chiron's current transit through Pisces (2011 – 2018). Affecting the planetary consciousness, Chiron in Pisces presents a profound message of healing and hope through restoring one's connection to the more subtle and spiritual aspects of life. In most cases, all healing comes through a combination of addressing practical and tangible matters while surrendering the outcome to a higher power. This especially comes into play when a condition is deemed hopeless by modern medical standards.

Earth is a temporary reality, and the physical body is a cloak for soul and spirit. Wounds can show up on many levels, but the ultimate wound is the ancient separation from Source that carries with it the heart's longing to return to the safe haven of unconditional love. In the laboratory of your life, keep a lookout for these themes. I encourage you to come to your own understanding as these planetary energies feed into the upcoming Solar Eclipse on March 8.

As February draws to a close, the Sun joins Neptune on the 28th. This is a dreamy, imaginary, ephemeral and luminous phase. As the planetary ruler of Pisces, Neptune weaves a spell of otherworldly enchantment. You may find yourself easily slipping into meditation, contemplation and prayer. Artistry and creative activities also thrive when Neptune is prominent.

The final weeks of winter are propitious for purification. In modern civilization, it is so easy to lose touch with the natural flow of the seasonal cycle. Just a few generations ago, there would have been slim pickings by now as the cellar stores were used up, and people could only dream of relishing that juicy, fragrant produce from the garden to come. There is plenty of room for dreaming in February, so allow room for the kind of rest that restores and nourishes your roots. This is a month to dig deep, tap into your inner reserves, and cultivate what is most meaningful and purposeful in the flow of your unique life expression.

January 2016

Mercury Retrograde
January 5 – 25

Capricorn New Moon
January 9 @ 8:30 p.m.

Aquarius/Leo Full Moon
January 23 @ 8:46 p.m.

Across the globe, reverberating echos of celebration welcome a new year. The ever expanding powers of technology are bringing the world together, for better or worse. How rapidly time marches on. Fifty years ago, Disneyland introduced a new and radically different ride to their theme park. Always the visionary and ahead of his time, Disney and his staff were heartened and ecstatic as families flocked to experience “It's a Small World.” This ride is one of the most memorable experiences of my childhood as it introduced the idea of global connection. Mesmerized and delighted, I will never forget the sights and sounds of animated children from all nationalities dancing and singing in unison.

“It's a Small World” planted the seeds for acceptance of human diversity and individuality. This ideal lives on everyday. We must not lose sight of this reality, even in the hardest of times. Jean Houston, one of the foremost visionary thinkers of our time, points out that each of us are faced with the challenge to solve a root problem defined as humanity's attempt to live in outmoded structures that are quickly losing relevance. Each of us are being prepared for a new operating system. She calls it living in the parenthesis. Truly, a vast purging and upgrade is taking place on a planetary level. Predicted for centuries, the turning of the ages is upon us.

Along these lines, during the first week of January, Mercury enters Aquarius, the most futuristic and progressive of zodiac signs, only to go retrograde on the 5th, and slide back into Capricorn for the remainder of the month. These two zodiac signs interact in tandem as two sides of the same coin. Capricorn tends to be conservative, respecting and maintaining the structures that provide stability and security. Aquarius tends to be liberal, and will radically break with tradition to implement new solutions for age old problems. These zodiac teachers emphasize the importance of keeping a conscious balance between what is working and what needs to be improved upon.

Mercury retrograde January 5-25 will only strengthen and further the natural themes of winter. Contemplative, introspective, quiet and restorative, winter is the season to take stock of your life by clarifying intentions and realistic goals. As a result of the retrograde influence, you may encounter projects that need to be completed before you can attain and manifest new goals. Especially, be aware of January 20 – 31 as days of vital, significant, and perhaps life changing transition.

This Mercury retrograde is further intensified by its activation with the Uranus/Pluto configuration of 2012 – 2015. Recent years have been characterized by uncertainty, upheaval, unusual turns of fate, and vacillation in life direction. It has been difficult to plan and organize according to the past as there is no precedent for what is before us. Just like being in an earthquake, it is often frustrating and difficult to maintain orientation, balance and direction. The game plan seems to be changing from day to day.

The New Moon on the evening of January 8 is particularly potent in clearing negativity that may be standing in the way of constructive manifestation. A task oriented, practical and realistic trend continues as Sun, Moon, Mercury, Pallas Athene and Pluto transit the Capricorn sky. The key phrase for Capricorn is “I utilize.” This zodiac sign takes us to the bottom line of what is no longer efficient and profitable. It is a detached perspective that sorts and sifts through what has outlived its useful purpose.

This process is happening in our personal lives on very deep levels as well as the planetary level. As the superfluous,disingenuous and artificial aspects of reality seem to unravel, there is great potential for relief and release. Capricorn energy provides a no-nonsense approach. Grounded, practical and wise, Capricorn aims to build sustainable and lasting foundations.

Pluto's transit through Capricorn (2008-2015) is illuminating weakness and lack of integrity in many areas while presenting the necessity to press forward in finding and manifesting viable solutions to the many problems humanity currently faces. In the meantime, all sorts of fundamental issues can surface and intensify. In the body, Capricorn rules over the bones, a vivid example of the essential role of structural integrity.

This grounded and earthy energy is furthered by Jupiter's transit through Virgo (August 2015 – September 2016). Jupiter goes retrograde on January 8, thus the year begins with another reality check. Jupiter in Virgo is like a fine tooth comb going through and clearing out debris. It is a very exacting influence. If you have been finding yourself more detail oriented than usual, Jupiter is helping you to define and refine your unique vision.

However, as Virgo strives for perfection, there is a need to keep perspective and balance. This earthy dimension appears to be messy and distorted, always a mere reflection of the perfection possible in the vastness of universal existence. Especially in the arena of relationship, the drive for perfection can be very cumbersome, driving a wedge between people and interfering with communication.

Jupiter in Virgo is excellent for health, lifestyle improvements, work, service, productivity and tasks that require precision. Improvements can be made in the work place as Jupiter will place more attention on the employer/employee relationship. We may see more mobility in the work force. This can bring promotion in the right situation, and more creative movement in the marketplace. As a result of the economic downturn of 2008-09, many people have been working at a lower experience and pay level than their training. Jupiter expands and improves, so employees may outgrow their current position, and find new doors of opportunity opening.

The year kicks off with Mars, the planet of action, entering Scorpio on January 3. This is a unique influence as Mars spends many months in Scorpio this year due to a retrograde phase this coming spring. Have you ever felt like you cannot start a project until the old one is cleared away? Even in the most mundane matters some people, like myself, need to have order and cleanliness to focus and be productive.

I liken this analogy to the Mars trend in effect for the next 6 months. It is an opportunity to clear out the clutter in order to be ready for the tasks ahead. In fact, along with other planetary influences, 2016 appears to be a year of deep review, taking stock and consolidation. Interesting . . . considering this is an election year. No doubt the election of a new president will bring monumental and sweeping changes. However, this trend goes beyond petty politics and national issues. This trend has potential for a massive decluttering of global and cosmic proportions.

A Full Moon on January 23 is contained within Mercury's activation of the Uranus/Pluto alignment. These planetary patterns tend to be a strong blend of the stressful and extraordinary. Disclosure of the true undercurrent of things will shake things up. No doubt, the media will be buzzing with a variety of intense events as the wheel of fortune continues to turn.

When Mercury, the planet of communication, joins with Pluto, there tends to be a harsh, blunt, unsympathetic and even cruel tone to many exchanges of information. This applies to our personal lives as well. The wisdom of the Four Agreements are a good reminder to “not take things personally.” As my grandmother used to advise, “keep your wits about you.” A good dose of cautious circumspection can go a long way in softening these potentially disruption, tumultuous and destabilizing trends.

Like a startling breath of fresh, frigid winter air, the Sun enters Aquarius on January 20 paving the way for radical progress and evolutionary change. The zodiac sign of invention thrives in an atmosphere of freedom. Scientific discoveries and technology are booming, growing by leaps and bounds. The symbol of Aquarius is the water bearer showering pure potential on a weary, beleaguered and troubled global society. The visionary potential of Aquarius is like an updraft, lifting and freeing consciousness from a narrow preoccupation with the past while providing creative solutions to real problems.

As the second half of the current decade is officially underway, it may do us good to look ahead, especially in regard to Pluto. With a 265 year orbit around the entire zodiac, it is a generational planet, giving each generation a unique and compelling piece of the evolutionary puzzle. This Pluto task becomes the taskmaster, the driving force for an entire generation to address and solve.

Currently Pluto is in Capricorn revealing the hidden side, the underbelly of government, business and economic structures. This constricting influence is revealing greed, avarice and self centered activity in high as well as low places. The evolutionary potential for Pluto's transit through Capricorn is a strengthening of ethical standards, integrity and goodwill as the ground upon which our local communities and global society can thrive and move forward.

In less than a decade, in spring of 2023, Pluto transits into Aquarius, and shifts its evolutionary drive to all things having to do with progress. For example, technology is a two edged sword. As recent history has demonstrated, it can be used for massive destruction. Like staring down the barrel of a gun, matters of life and death are uppermost in the public awareness.

As Pluto anchors the Aquarian energies onto the planet (2023 - 2043), radical, and perhaps unbelievable, changes for the better will inaugurate the new age. The era is rapidly approaching when technology, and its potential for good or ill, must be addressed. Clearly, technology is here to stay, and technological advancements have the power and potential for major, positive and life-enhancing improvements.

Recent decades have seen a fascination with outer space, and I suspect this is a reflection of many potentials, including the reality of inner space. Answers come in many forms, and Pluto in Aquarius will bring a massive and permanent leap into the future. The seeds are already planted in scientific fact and fiction for extraordinary developments that are beyond our wildest imagination.

I realize we are getting way ahead of ourselves, but there is hope on the horizon. We don't have to wait for a better future, it is happening this moment. I see Pluto in Aquarius as the decisive force that will propel the global community into a major evolutionary leap. In reality, if the human population does not make some significant and fundamental shifts, survival may be a moot point. The push for global survival, and all that goes along with it, will become a concerted effort orchestrated throughout the world, and this is very good news. 2016 . . . . here we come!


Sagittarius New Moon
December 11 @ 5:29 a.m.

Winter Solstice
December 21 @ 11:49 p.m.

Capricorn/Cancer Full Moon
December 25 @ 6:11 a.m.

In the city of light and love, in the wake of tragic events, the season of hope and faith in all beautiful and good things arrives. Celebration takes many forms determined by cultural customs, but for everyone, especially this year, it gives an opportunity to pause, take stock of the year rapidly drawing to a close, and consider what is most important during this brief span of transitory earth incarnation.

On December 11, a Sagittarius New Moon speaks to healing as it activates the planetary healers known as Chiron and Jupiter. As the wounded healer, Chiron in Pisces is working on a collective level to restore order, and offer solace and solutions to the most deeply entrenched and hidden fears. Jupiter in Virgo offers common sense, practical ideas that can bridge the gap between reality and idealism. Together, our Sun, Moon and Saturn in Sagittarius offer the perspective that can come from higher ground and taking a broader view.

In other words, December is a month to contemplate and re-assess future direction based on belief. It is evident, something that appears to be as simple and abstract as ideas, can lead a person, a group, and perhaps a whole nation into unchartered waters that may or may not be beneficial to all concerned.

From the secular to the sacred, mundane and political, personal and familial, belief permeates our lives giving meaning and direction. The very symbol of Sagittarius is the centaur aiming its arrow, adjusting its trajectory, finding its mark. This mystical centaur represents the dichotomy of what it means to be human. With a horse body and a human head, the centaur symbolizes the challenge to think clearly in the face of basic animalistic instincts for survival. Add to the equation genetics, ancestral programming, history, habitual conditioning, subconscious memory and more; no wonder confusion and lack of conviction is prevalent.

It’s true, fact informs belief, but if belief isn’t in alignment with truth, facts can easily be manipulated. What we believe sets the stage for everything. Belief can be a slippery slope of delusion and destruction, or belief can be the arrow aimed intently and purely toward the highest truth with a capital T.

Belief is not black and white or high and low. There is plenty of room for grey areas, and this is what gets us in trouble. The thinking head, the talking head, can only take us so far. Only the heart leads to the light of Truth. This is the great, and largely undiscovered gift of what it means to be human.

Humanity is lost on spaceship Earth whirling through space in an infinite universe of all possibility beyond what the brain can even imagine. It appears the world is paralyzed, captivated in the thrall of illusionary glamour. To quote from the writings of Alice Bailey and the Tibetan master Djwhal Khul, "Glamour. . . veils and hides the truth behind the fogs and mists of emotional reaction; it is of unique and terrible potency, owing to the strength of human nature to identify itself with the astral nature and to the vital nature of conscious and sentient response itself . . . 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."

On Thanksgiving Day, Saturn squared Neptune, a planetary combination that continues to be effect for most of 2016. Saturn is saying to Neptune, "It’s time to sober up and get real." In the dynamic of addiction and recovery, it is typical for the addict to hit rock bottom before any real and effective change can take place. Current events emphasize this planetary message. Humanity is put on notice. Have we hit rock bottom yet?

Clearly, the world situation is sobering, and the necessity to wake up is urgent. However, balance is required in all things. Too much focus on present reality (Saturn) can fill one with hopelessness and despair. Too much focus on ideals (Neptune), leads to righteousness, and "right to might" mentality may only exacerbate and intensify violence.

Considering the Saturn/Neptune planetary influence on a personal level can give us insight into the effects on the global level. As Saturn is the planet that helps us formulate and achieve goals, you may find yourself filled with uncertainty as to the future. You may find yourself facilitating between what needs to be done, what others expect of you, and what you would like to be doing. Self-doubt, pessimism and negativity can abort possible plans and long term goals. Not only do hurdles appear larger than reality, but negative attitudes can undermine effective action in the here and now.

Another planetary influence that may complicate matters and obscure clarity is the on-going alignment of Uranus and Pluto. While they reached an exact alignment last spring, they continue to orbit within what astrologers call, "orb of influence." In other words, we aren’t out of the woods yet, not by a long shot.

To review, Pluto’s long term transit through Capricorn (2008 - 2024) is pushing humanity to the limits by exposing the underbelly of motivation. On the personal level all the way to organizations, corporations, governments and nations, outcomes are based on motive. Are motives pure, or are motives tainted by greed, avarice and desire for personal power? This is not easy to see or define as we are so accustomed to business as usual.

Pluto in Capricorn is teaching us that belief is generally intertwined with morality which translates to ethics. Ethical integrity is a huge concern on the collective level. Ask anyone working for a corporation and they will tell you of the battlefield for honesty and accountability. Genuine resourcefulness can only emerge out of a high regard for the common good of all concerned.

Mars activates the Uranus/Pluto configuration throughout the month as Mars in Libra squares Pluto on the 6th, and squares Uranus on the 10th. This is a volatile, explosive and turbulent combination. It is advisable to be highly alert this week, and not give in to pressure. Efforts to keep the peace, no matter how admirable, tend to escalate and be misunderstood.

These planetary energies tend to show the stark contrast between misguided self centered action, and heroic acts of bravery and altruistic service. On the national and international front, the U.S. will continue to receive pressure to take action based on the apparent needs of other countries and groups of people.

The question of boundaries, and the best course of action continues to be highly charged and controversial. Boundaries are amorphous and dissolving due to the long term transit of Neptune in Pisces (2011 - 2026). More than likely we will continue to see enormous groups of people driven to relocate based on financial, political, government and environmental concerns. It is a world problem, and no nation is exempt from these challenges.

These unstable planetary influences demand flexibility, forethought, patience and perseverance as they stimulate impulsive action without consideration for the consequences. To intensify this theme, Mercury is part of the mix as it prepares to enter a retrograde phase for most of January 2016. More than likely, 2015 will draw to a close with many balls hanging in the air of uncertainty, and no clear way through the morass of red tape and indecision.

Mercury enters Capricorn on the evening of December 9. Except for the first week of January, as Mercury goes retrograde at zero degrees of Aquarius, Mercury remains in Capricorn until mid-February. Clarity, if we can even call it that, may not be possible until Mercury goes direct on January 25. Very deep and fundamental changes are happening on many levels, personal and collective. It will take time to sort through options, and come to a point of resolution. This is a phase to keep putting one foot in front of the other as circumstances will play out in their own timing.

The Winter Solstice on December 21-22 is a high and holy time for celebration, contemplation and pondering the deeper meaning of life. As the solstice leads into Christmas week, there are some positive planetary trends to lighten the load and elevate one’s spirit. Venus happily sextiles Jupiter for some easy going times, humorous entertainment and scrumptious feasts.

When the stores finally close and all commerce comes to a halt on Christmas day, there is a lot happening in the heavens and on earth. Mercury trines Jupiter, proving that even in the hardest of times, there is always room for light heartedness. The Full Moon shines a spotlight on those near and dear, the essential nature of loving arms, the comfort of home and the importance of a safe haven.

Combined with the powerhouse strength of a Full Moon, Uranus is a significant player as it begins a direct phase on December 25. Known as the wild card planet, be prepared for sudden change of plans, unusual events and revelatory insight. Uranus stationed retrograde on July 26. You may reflect on events of that time period to get perspective on what this current phase may mean for you.

In general, Uranus is two thirds of the way through its transit in Aries (2010 - 2018). This exhilarating trend is teaching us about freedom and right use of will. This earthly dimension is the laboratory of choice, a precious spiritual gift. We are free to gravitate to heavy, dark and dense vibration. We are also free to choose high, light and loved filled vibration. It is a matter of embracing this opportunity, having compassion for self and others as we navigate through challenging times.

Halfway through the first decade of the 21st century, many prophecies are coming true. While there are numerous interpretations, and a plethora of vantage points, each of us are free to choose what brings meaning and purpose to life. On the cutting edge of consciousness, waking up to its divine universality, it is truly a remarkable time to be alive.

Watch for next month’s article "What’s UP for January 2016." Belinda will share her long range view for 2016 and years to come.

November 2015

Scorpio New Moon

November 11 @ 12:47 a.m.

Sagittarius/Gemini Full Moon

November 25 @ 5:44 p.m.

Autumn is in full swing now. The shift is quite apparent as daylight time ends on November 1. Each day dawns visibly shorter while the trees are increasingly bare. All Saints Day is a sacred time serving as reminder of all things fleeting in this ephemeral dimension of form. In essence this is the message of Scorpio, the most intense, deep and probing of zodiac teachers.

The Scorpio New Moon occurs on November 11, followed shortly by a Mercury conjunction on the 17th. This is a very significant part of the Mercury cycle of communication, and wraps up Mercury’s retrograde cycle of recent months. Basically, there is an opportunity to see very deeply into numerous matters that may have been obscured up to this point. The depth of insight may very well appear in mundane conditions, and lead to manifestation and real improvements in earthly matters.

At the same time, there is potential for all kinds of revelations to surface. Awareness is amplified as the inner eye can sense the delicate and routinely indiscernible bridge between the subconscious, unconscious and superconscious levels. Illusions can dispel instantly in the light of this pure understanding. This is November’s theme as it ranges between the subtle, perhaps illusive, urge for transcendence, and real life events. These events may show up like a Zen master delivering the proverbial surprise thump of illumination on the hard head of denial.

This psychologically deep and probing phase offers respite and healing for those open to transformation. True to its theme of change, the zodiac sign of Scorpio contains a natural evolutionary progression. As the Scorpian scurries around in the shadows ready to deliver its death blow, there is another symbol akin to Scorpio, and this is the potential for transcendence represented by the eagle. The eagle soars above it all, taking in the big picture, courageously flying the highest and closest to Sun’s pure illumination.

Other planets feed into and support this dynamic process throughout November. Chiron offers its healing for past wounds that might otherwise stop or interfere with resolution and release. Pluto offers its penetrating and laborious insistence on real change without a stone unturned. Thankfully, Jupiter offers a good dose of grace and ease, while Neptune soothes and calms the watery world of soul and spirit.

Another appropriate Scorpio symbol is the serpent shedding its skin, and there is tremendous capacity for renewal as Jupiter continues its year in Virgo, the zodiac sign of health. Not only is there is an opportunity to see what is out of synch, the roots of distress and disease, there is a chance to make great headway in transforming daily habits that undermine health. The meticulous and careful nature of Virgo gives a boost to all decisions that aim to improve and support healthy lifestyle choices.

Initially it may appear that November is the month for solitary strides, and beneficial improvements in personal well being. However, on November 8 and 12, respectively, Venus and Mars enter Libra for the remainder of the month. These are the social planets traveling through the outgoing, party-going, sociable and personable zodiac sign of Libra. After all, the holiday season is upon us, and these planets will assist in the preparations, beautification, and all the elements that go into a successful event.

A Full Moon on November 25 kicks off Thanksgiving weekend with all the attendant travel and busyness the holiday season typically brings. With Sun in Sagittarius and Moon in Gemini, be on the lookout for plenty of interesting conversation, and diverse points of view. This is a good time to listen as well as speak. An attitude of detached curiosity and open mindedness goes a long way in soothing and harmonizing relations.

Keeping this in mind and heart, let’s take a look at a potent alignment between Saturn and Neptune which is exact on Thanksgiving Day. First of all, Neptune is hovering at seven degrees of Pisces all month due to a stationary direct phase. When a planet appears to be moving slowly, it is sending a specific message, drilling in its lessons, so to speak.

In this case, Neptune in Pisces (2010 - 2025) is dissolving the boundaries of consciousness and opening the human heart to genuine spirituality through direct and immediate experience. This process can border on the mystical and ineffable while sensitizing one’s heart to the widespread suffering of others. This is a clarion call for everyone to break free of self absorbed and myopic thinking. It is a matter of being alert and aware to one’s close environment as well as the global level. The opportunity to offer a helping hand is immense. Suffering has its place on this dimension as it propels one to reconnect with the timeless, pure existence of Source for unconditional love and solutions to the complex problems that plague humanity. Neptune in Pisces helps us accept this part of life as well as relinquish the stuck places of selfishness, willfulness and denial.

Enter Saturn in Sagittarius (2015 - 2017). Over the next year, there is potential for humanity to be tested to the limits of faith and belief. In fact, this is exactly what taskmaster Saturn has in store for us. Belief tends to be abstract and elusive, taken for granted in the form of religion, philosophy, culture and creed. These are the areas where knowledge tends to be conditioned by one’s tribe and cultural heritage. Open minded people will thrive during Saturn’s transit through Sagittarius while those individuals and groups bonded to narrow opinion may lose the opportunity to expand beyond boundaries of past programming.

These planetary influences speak to the tendency of people to look for faith in all the wrong places. The inherent longing to return home to divine connection takes many forms. In this grand quest of lost and found, humanity teeters on the brink of extinction. Saturn in Sagittarius will put an exclamation point on this search, illuminating priorities and stripping desire down to the bare bone. The intensity and urgency for change is amplified as humanity looks in the mirror and collectively faces the undeniable truth.

This process has many repercussions. While Saturn is the planet of reality, Neptune is the planet of illusion. The gap between reality and possibility may appear insurmountable leading to despair, depression, hopelessness and addiction in those inclined in that direction. It is a slippery slope, and in my opinion, each of us will be challenged to keep this in perspective.

Another analogy for this planetary alignment is an oceanic undertow that threatens to draw all into its current. The only way out is to float above the currents. Choose high vibration thoughts, feelings and activities daily. It is a matter of trusting in the future while actively participating in this historic, unprecedented collective moment of planetary awakening.

These words "planetary awakening" ring a bell. In spring of 1992, I wrote this monthly astrology article for the first time, and for a new publication called, "The Networker - A Common Link of the Voices for Planetary Awakening." My husband published this alternative newspaper. At the time, this title seemed to come out of nowhere. Each day, "The Networker" team was receiving a download of information that was mind-altering, and paradigm shifting. The world wide web was emerging with all sorts of possibilities for global connection, and we were receiving articles from around the world on fascinating, out of the ordinary, topics such as crop circles, the Mayan calendar, devas and angels, alternative therapies, mind/body health, and so much more.

You can imagine the kinds of waves this little newspaper made in southern and conservative Asheville. We weathered weird phone calls and letters from fundamentalists as we struggled to pay the bills and keep food on the table. Amazingly, more than twenty years have passed since those early struggles, and the "common link" has continued to expand and grow.

How can a person, a faction, a group, stop what’s new, what’s next? Even the idea of it is laughable, and this is exactly what Saturn’s transit through Sagittarius is saying. The future is coming no matter what. It is happening despite resistence, denial or even the best of intentions. It is happening despite all the familiar conditioned, reflexive, habitual attitudes and agendas that people have gotten very used to. These are the currents, the undertows, that pull us in many directions, away from each other and away from progress.

An oceanic wave of consciousness is carving its own creation in the shifting sands of time. There is a progression, there is a plan for those willing to tune in, receive guidance, and ride the wave. Now is an opportunity to wake up, look around, see where you fit, and enthusiastically participate in emerging solutions. Sagittarius is the zodiac teacher of visions and prophecy. It is about seeking and finding, the thrill of the quest.

Humanity is on the verge of a momentous transformation that not one of us alone can even imagine. During this season of giving thanks, may we approach the quest with an attitude of humility, in full acceptance that we don’t really know anything in this vast existence of many mysteries. In this way, it is possible to float free of the past with all of its struggles, strife and undertows. It is possible to be fully present, and have the ride of our lives.


Mercury Direct
October 9 @ 10:58 a.m.

Libra New Moon
October 12 @ 8:06 p.m.

Scorpio/Taurus Full Moon
October 27 @ 8:05 a.m.

October dawns bright and clear as vibrant colors captivate our attention, and the deep earthy fragrance of autumn awakens all senses in a familiar remembering of seasons past. Autumn signals an ending, a season of preparation for year-end celebrations and winter months to come. Automatically, each seasonal shift brings a need to integrate the past, and stand alert in the full presence of now.

The Sun is transiting through Libra skies. The scales of balance, the symbol for Libra, may be fluctuating wildly, seeking stability and continuity. Of the twelve zodiac signs, the scales are the only inanimate symbol. The legal profession holds the scales aloft as the goal of all proceedings which aim for impartiality, fairness and justice. This says something about Libra’s traits of diplomacy, conflict resolution, negotiation and mediation.

That said, in our current state of evolution, the Libra ideal of peace can so easily be lost in the raucous of ego conditioning that strives for domination, control, power and righteousness. It is so easy to look outward, and Libra is well aware of all the distortions that come from projecting blame outside of self. It takes great wisdom and spiritual maturity to draw back the arrows of blame toward someone or something, and accept full responsibility. It is so common to vacillate between blaming circumstances outside of self or sliding down the slippery slope of negative self incrimination.

Clearly, it may not be anyone’s fault at all. Finding the balance between taking responsibility and/or projecting problems outwardly is a subtle one. We need to consider our human state as a work in progress with each one doing the best they can with what they have. The scales rest on the fulcrum of emotional reactivity which is based on the desire to control circumstances around us. Conditioning has been wired into our neurology on very deep levels, and the body, mind and emotions have been programmed for generations on cellular, genetic and DNA levels. If we take a big step back and look at humanity, we will see each of us struggling with a similar agenda that can be reduced to feeling safe, cared for and loved. It’s so simple, yet humans have made it so complex.

The Egyptians use the scales of balance in their symbology extensively. It is said that at the time of death, each human heart is weighed on the scales. Only the heart that is as light as a feather, is allowed to elevate into heavenly realms. This teaching is clear, life is about treading lightly, not taking things so seriously and keeping priorties clear.

Perhaps all the events that we take so seriously in daily interaction are all there as a facility to learn this. And what is this? Earth dimension is a hall of mirrors. We have a choice, and we cannot make the choice for peace without a keen and astute awareness of the spiritual nature of life. This is a temporary dimension designed to illuminate our shadows, and free us from projections.

Believe it or not, each of are seeking this Libran balance within and without. The current state of humanity is a mere reflection of ancient programming for survival that has been primarily conflictive in nature. Once we grab a hold of this in our thinking, and let it saturate our hearts as truth, it is possible to walk gently and compassionately with self and others.

The planetary energies for October provide a bright light of insight and inspiration that can dispel the dark places in the hidden recesses of mind and spirit. As Mercury in Libra goes direct on October 9th, it is in harmonious sextile with Saturn in Sagittarius. Mental stability and precision in thinking can enhance the ability to work, solve problems and make clear decisions. Significant strides in conflict resolution are there for the asking.

Saturn is now firmly in Sagittarius, the zodiac sign of progressive thinking, altruism, ethics and humanitarian ideals. The Sagittarian arrow can now be aimed at injustice. The story of David and Goliath comes to mind, and the enormous structures of various institutions may take a hit. No more looking back. On a global level, humanity is ready to turn a new chapter, and change happens as a natural by-product of this necessity to move forward and be free.

On a personal level, be attentive to the ways you feel motivated to get up off the couch, move out of your comfort zone, and discover what’s next. Sagittarius is the gypsy on a quest to find greener pastures, enthusiastically grabbing the moment as the great mystery to be revealed. Saturn will remain in Sagittarus for the next several years, so there is plenty of time to allow these new urges to unfold in realistic, natural and productive ways.

The Libra New Moon on October 12 is a study of contrast. While Libra evolves our capacity for relationship, it also illuminates our personal agenda. As always, there is a need for balance between dependence, independence and interdependence. More than likely, it will become increasingly clear where it is necessary and timely to cut ties, and where it is possible to negotiate differences, and come to a deeper level of committed teamwork.

Potential conflict and contrast is provided by Uranus in Aries (2010 - 2018) in opposition to October’s New Moon. We are about halfway through this major transit that is teaching us about conflict resolution. Aries tends to rush headlong into confrontation. The almighty self forces its agenda onto others without listening or thinking things through. Aries is the warrior, and in many circumstances that is exactly what is needed. For example, in human rights, when unjust acts are committed, Aries will take heroic action to save others when they are being victimized.

In our personal lives, Uranus in Aries is helping us to break free of self imposed limitations and relationship dynamics that may be less than healthy. I learned alot about this fine art of relationship through the Relationship Training Center. Founded in 1992 by Loy Young, this center played a fascinating role in the growth of Asheville’s alternative community.

Loy was a therapist that combined esoteric astrology with psychology. I ended up teaching some of the courses, but what I remember most is a vital piece of information that has enhanced my relationships through the years. Loy pointed out that most relationships are based on an 80% and 20% balance.

For example, in almost every relationship, you will notice that one person has more power than the other in the form of making more of the decisions, doing more of the talking or making more of the money. Some personalities naturally gravitate to being in power (80%), while other personalities feel more comfortable in taking direction and letting the other person have the authority to run the show (20%).

This creates many problems in relationship. First step to resolve this imbalance is to listen as much as you speak. Another way to establish and nurture balance is to share the responsibility of making decisions in small and big ways. For example, take turns in deciding what movie to see or restaurant to eat in. I have found this tip to be invaluable in maintaining an equal share of energy and contribution in many different types of relationship. However, keep in mind, this is more about an equal share of energy exchange rather than specific details.

Another major trend for October is found through considering the transits of Venus, Mars and Jupiter through Virgo. All visible in the morning sky, the combination of these planets will be quite spectacular. Mars conjoins Jupiter exactly on October 17, while Venus conjoins Jupiter on the 25th. This makes for an interesting month, as Venus and Mars will activate the same degree of the recent Solar Eclipse on September 13.

As the effects of eclipses linger on, you may find themes from mid-September coming full circle. The Solar Eclipse occurred in Virgo, and now all three of these planets are transiting the zodiac sign of Virgo. This brings the themes of health, work and service into the limelight.

A key component of productivity is wellness. As these planets align, there is potential for breakthrough in difficult working environments. Another possible manifestation is finding the right health care professional that provides those services unique to you, and the services needed to turn around very challenging problems. Virgo also supports and provides an incentive to break old habits while establishing healthier ones. Overall, these planetary alignments can lead to many improvements in these most basic areas of life.

Virgo is an important zodiac sign to understand in our current evolutionary phase. As an earth sign, Virgo is closely related to the physical body, and takes a holistic view of health. As Jupiter transits through Virgo over the next 12 months, there is an opportunity to heal at very deep levels. Add in Chiron’s transit through Pisces (2010 - 2018), and some very interesting themes come into awareness.

For centuries, many belief systems have taught that physical incarnation is due to sin or karma, and the body is somehow unholy, something to be feared as something to escape from. This has created great tension in the body itself as well as social and cultural systems. Slowly, a new attitude is dawning. It is possible to experience one’s body as a gift from Creator. The body is not the problem, in fact, the body gives the magnificent opportunity to incarnate and realize truth. It is just a matter of understanding this, and wisely respecting and being grateful for the gift of incarnation.

Jupiter in Virgo and Chiron in Pisces are working together to develop and sustain these realizations for those open to the experience. This is about accepting full embodiment. It is not just a thought, ideal or belief. For eons, the mystics have been telling us that is possible to feel this embodiment in very real and tangible ways. As higher frequencies continue to stream onto the planet, more of humanity will accept the light of Creation, letting it filter through, disarming ancient armour while dissolving the boundaries of separation from Source.

The Full Moon on October 27 is the third SuperMoon in a row. Potentiating lunar effects, a SuperMoon occurs when the Moon’s orbit is closest to the Earth, and in alignment with the Sun. Technically known as perigee and syzygy, the Moon shines its full illumination on Earth. By now the Sun is in Scorpio and the Moon in Taurus. Scorpio is the zodiac sign of intimacy, sexuality, shared resources and the occult. This lunation sheds light on what may have been ignored and scooted under the rug. It is a time of reckoning as Scorpio energies clear away the superficial, determine the bottom line, and prioritize what is important.

In these mountains of western North Carolina, October air begins to cool, turning into big gusty breaths, swiftly exposing trees to the bare bark and bones. It is an invigorating month of dramatic transition. During the first half of October, it is possible and enjoyable to catch a few more dinners outside on the patio watching shadows grow long in an autumn sunset. Gradually, over the course of October, we find ourselves spending less time outdoors, and more time inside around the fire and lighting candles.

Over centuries, the age-old festivities of Halloween have been honored as a time of turning within, and squarely facing Scorpio’s shadows. As skeletons dance and things go bump in the night, it is good to make light of them with a good dose of spookiness, and a hefty dose of humor. What else is there to do, but laugh at life, laugh with life, and face each day with courage.

Belinda C. Dunn

September 2015

Virgo Solar Eclipse
September 13 @ 2:41 a.m.

Mercury retrograde
September 17 @ 2:10 p.m.

Autumnal Equinox
September 23 @ 4:21 a.m.

Libra/Aries Lunar Eclipse Harvest Moon
September 27 @ 10:50 p.m.

Humanity abides within a living, moving celestial system, coherently orchestrating earthly cycles and aligned in universal rhythms. Looking to September’s sky, we view a month jam-packed with planetary action that will dynamically impact each individual as well as our collective experience. It’s a full, busy and pivotal month on just about every level.

Sandwiched between two profound and powerful eclipses, Mercury enters a retrograde phase as autumn’s seasonal shift calls for even more adjustments. Adding to these significant factors, Saturn enters Sagittarius for the next two years, Venus goes direct on September 6, and Pluto goes direct on September 25. These numerous astrological influences produce one of the most outstanding months of 2015. Obviously, there’s a lot going on, and it can be a bumpy ride without a good dose of flexibility, caution, self-care and compassion.

Let’s begin with Venus, the planet of attraction, love, beauty and harmony. As Venus entered a retrograde phase on July 25, you may have noticed a need to reassess one or more of your relationships. This includes expectations and preferences in relationship as well as habitual patterns of interaction.

Venus joined the Leo New Moon on August 14, enhancing the capacity for open-hearted expression. Venus in Leo is all about authentically and spontaneously expressing warmth, genuine love and vitality in supportive relationships. This influence has set the stage for some bonds of attraction to weaken as other bonds deepen. As Venus goes direct on September 6, you may notice a sense of being able to move forward with more clarity in terms of your closest relationships including how to relate in an honest, open and accountable way.

This brings us to Mercury and its retrograde phase beginning on September 17, and completing on October 9. As a result of this retrograde phase, Mercury is transiting through the zodiac sign of Libra for a lengthy sojourn, August 27 - October 24. Throughout these weeks, you may notice a need for outward relationship adjustments based on the internal emotional clarity that deepened during the Venus retrograde phase. These two planets, orbiting close to our Sun, are working in a tandem to alert humanity to the need for upgraded communication skills.

The symbols for Libra is the scales of balance. Libra will go to great lengths to cultivate and maintain peace and harmony. However, at the core of the incarnation pattern is the soul repeatedly returning to human form to balance the karma scales. This process is not a punishment, but a great gift in learning how to live as a heart, and exist in carefree attunement with Source. It is the area of relationship that humans have the most karma, and it is possible to communicate clearly and definitively with gentle kindness. These weeks will surface and illuminate thoughts and emotions that may surprise and startle, but overall, bring more honesty in changing, shifting and healing dysfunctional relationship dynamics.

While most effects will show up on the interpersonal level, Mercury retrograde in Libra will have major repercussions on the national and international scene. As nations function in an increasingly global society, there are numerous ways the actions of one nation intersect another. These alliances can be difficult and confusing to evaluate as there is a need to bridge the economic and cultural divide. However, just as individuals are challenged to create fair solutions that benefit each, nations are challenged to solve world problems in an equitable manner.

The astrological chart for the United States shows a prominent Saturn, the planet of karma, in the zodiac sign of A Libra. This puts the United States, rightly or wrongly, in the position of being the global peacekeeper. It is a heavy responsibility, and one not to be taken lightly. During this current and crucial stage of evolution, there is a great deal of controversy and confusion as to what is needed to manifest a more peaceful world. During Mercury’s retrograde phase, this essential planet of communication transits and activates the U.S. destiny. Due to an astrological phenomenon known as "the shadow of Mercury," events that conspire late August will have long term impact. Circumstances tend to build and come to a crisis point mid-September, and resolution may not come until late October.

Historically, humans do not have a very good track record in terms of cultivating harmonious relations through peaceful means. However, it is becoming increasingly clear, war is very expensive, and it just doesn’t add up in terms of loss of life, property damage and economic instability. Individually and collectively, humanity is slowly altering methods for resolving differences, turning to diplomacy as the first course of action.

All this said, September and October are months to expect significant events for the United States internally, and its role upon the global stage. Areas of agreement can easily become areas of contention. We will see the need for major diplomatic mediation and negotiations that involve many countries. Within the U.S., considering the animosity and discord in the early stages of the presidential campaign, Libra’s balancing influences can help to disclose duplicity, and further comraderie and alliances based on truth and the collective good.

Adding to September’s big news are two eclipses, a solar eclipse on September 13 and lunar eclipse on September 27. This profound and potent alignment of Sun, Moon and Earth acts as a funnel for raw Divine intent to flow directly into earthly matters. Eclipses are known for uncertainty and change as they tend reveal what is really going on behind the scenes. Historically, those in power would seek counsel from astrologers as to the timing of eclipses. The potential for downfall, conflict and uprisings is more prevalent when an eclipse activates a sensitive degree in the chart of an individual or country.

Eclipses are based on the lunar cycle. A solar eclipse is always a New Moon, and a lunar eclipse is always a Full Moon. September’s solar eclipse is in the zodiac sign of Virgo. This tends to bring issues of disease, food quality, nutrition, employment and worker’s rights to the surface. Watch for themes of wounding, victimization and martyrdom to surge to the forefront as Chiron, the wounded healer, actively engages this eclipse.

September’s lunar eclipse will be a spectacular Harvest Moon visible in the night sky across the eastern United States. Not only is this the fourth total lunar eclipse in a row, but it is a Super Moon, exerting a stronger than normal gravitational pull due to its proximity to Earth. Lunar eclipses are known as times of heightened sensitivity and emotional reactivity.

This eclipse brings issues of self-reliance, personal preference and individual expression into direct confrontation with the reality of interdependence in family, community and society. Thoughtful and clear communication can further resolution when the necessity for negotiation and compromise arises. Knowing this eclipse tends to increase emotionality can be helpful in harmoniously moving through volatile and disruptive situations.

In researching the astrological energies for September, I came across many predictions on the Internet. All you have to do is goggle "blood moon," a term being used for this lunar eclipse, and you will encounter a barrage of drastic and serious predictions for the world’s end. With all this input on a planetary level, along with Hollywood’s portrayal of extreme catastrophe, where do we find the truth of our current predicament?

As light workers, in a world inundated with doom and gloom, pessimism and cynicism, how do we cultivate and enhance a positive, constructive and hopeful approach? Almost everyone can agree that people, society and the world situation leaves room for improvement, but the interpretation of what this actually means is colored by ideology and cultural perspective.

There is hope waiting in the wings as Saturn enters Sagittarius on September 17. This is the zodiac sign of belief. Saturn’s transit through Sagittarius for the next two years will bring the extremes of belief to the forefront. It can exacerbate judgement, it may incite religiosity and open animosities toward those of different opinion, but this is already going on in extreme measure.

The life enhancing possibility of this planetary influence is to illuminate and disassemble erroneous, false and misguided beliefs. This may seem like a small, inconsequential thing in the big scheme of things, but what goes on between the ears of each person plugs into the agenda of large groups, and the collective consciousness. Most of the time, perspective tends to be limited by language, culture, creed, politics, gender, race, etc.

Saturn in Sagittarius can support a neutral and open-minded attitude while enhancing a new view of global connectivity. The potential to respect and delight in diversity will increase. A beautiful example of celestial timing within human affairs is the visit of Pope Francis to the United States on September 22 - 27. This Pope has captured the public’s attention for his bold compassion, pure motives and authentic devotion. Between two eclipses, and the Autumnal Equinox on September 23, his visit can serve to launch Saturn’s transit through the zodiac sign of belief. Watch for clues of this significant trend as it will unfold on the global stage for the next two years.

And there’s more . . . Pluto begins its yearly direct phase on September 25. Pluto is halfway through the zodiac sign of Capricorn (2008 - 2025). This planet of breakdown and breakthrough has been a key player in the Cardinal Climax, a rare astrological configuration that has been in effect since 2010, making its exact alignment with Uranus seven times over the past several years. While these two planets faced off in their 7th square on March 15, they continued to be within what astrologer’s call, "orb of influence."

So far, Pluto’s transit through Capricorn has demonstrated the very epitome of greed, misuse of wealth, waste, pollution, shocking events and violence. Adding to the complex picture of September and October is Mercury and its exact alignment with Pluto on September 9th, 24th and October 22. Even though the repetitive nature of Pluto tends to surface what is suppressed, hidden and unacknowledged, there is potential for some resolution. On one hand, this alignment can help us make sense of the chaos and uncertainty of recent years. On the other hand, there is potential for some distance, perspective and closure.

I must admit, writing this issue of What’s UP has been a wild ride. Just when I thought it was complete, I was reminded of another significant factor to mention. I was captivated, at times overwhelmed, with the shear complexity of the astrological trends for this month, and the issues humanity faces on a global scale. If you have read thus far, I appreciate your patient thoughtfulness in considering these issues, and application of your wisdom, intelligence and heart to the matters at hand. When all is said and done, I realize it is time to step back, dial it back, choose trust, simplicity and relaxation, all of which can most likely do more for the planet than anything else at this most crucial time. No matter what, our hearts are smiling.

August 2015

Leo New Moon
August 14 @ 10:53 a.m.

Virgo/Pisces Full Moon
August 29 @ 2:35 p.m.

On an annual basis, August is typically a transitional month. The Sun in Leo encourages the lighter more playful side of life, reflecting the urge to take full advantage of warm summer days by getting away from it all in the great outdoors. As August unfolds, Virgo, the zodiac sign, of work beckons us back to routine and the daily rhythm of the workaday world.

A sense of transition is furthered by Saturn in Scorpio entering a direct phase on August 2. From birth to death, Saturn marks the cycles of life, revealing the process and purpose of incarnation in human form. It’s deep, pondering, focusing and contemplative energy can take us from myopic, self centered reality to Reality. It is common to resist, and even deny, the lessons of Saturn. This planet of time, space and form removes what is no longer needed upon one’s life path, and brings in what is needed for growth and maturity.

Saturn has been in Scorpio since autumn 2012. These past years have taken most of us beneath the surface of life to dive deeply into the waters of personal empowerment, emotional attachments, sabotaging patterns and the unconscious side of life. In many cases, Saturn has revealed things that we didn’t want to see, or were unable to see until now.

We don’t always agree with Saturn. It tests us to remember and embody the true purpose of life beyond superficial struggles and distractions. Ultimately, Saturn always gets its way in this temporary world. Forms are born, grow and thrive, outlive their usefulness, deteriorate and dissolve back from whence they came. Saturn is the reality check planet, always taking us back to the bottom line.

The first week of August is an excellent time to reflect on how your perspective and life has changed since 2012. What have you had to release ? How have you deepened your perspective in regard to relationships, shared resources and power? Have you been able to delve deeply, surrender to what is, and discover the riches in Saturn’s trials and tribulations? Saturn reminds us that time marches on, and collectively speaking, we are way past the uncertainty of 2012, and mid-way through the major adjustments and adaptations needed to thrive in the 21st century.

As Saturn enters a direct phase, each of us face the necessity and reality of completion. It may be time to call a truce and make a deal, coming to agreement even if it doesn’t feel as satisfactory and fulfilling as you would prefer. August is a month to handle real life details, and wrap up the past. Whether this wrap up is tinged with reactivity, negativity and resistance, or experienced as a beautiful gift of learning grace through life’s challenges, is truly up to each individual. Saturn is the zodiac teacher of attitude, persistence, forbearance and constructively learning from life’s ups and downs.

Within our solar system, Saturn does not orbit alone. Each of the planets are continually moving into and out of alignment with other planets. Astrologers call these alignments aspects. During the first week of August, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter orbit into aspect with Saturn, amplifying the potent reality check described above. In many cases, this energetic alignment will activate significant changes that require attention and adjustment for months to come.

These alignments are rare and have the potential to trigger specific conditions. While effects are dependent on each individual’s personal astrology chart, the overall gestalt can be summarized as the need to re-assess projected goals, evaluate circumstances, and trim away what is no longer vitalizing, enlivening and workable. As Saturn tends to restrict and limit the flow, bring awareness to the areas of your life where the juiciness feels drained. Examine your sense of obligation in terms of time, finances and relationships, and be willing to release what has outlived its relevance.

The Leo New Moon on August 14 holds the promise of new beginnings. A New Moon is always optimal for turning over a new leaf, and setting intentions upon which to move forward. Venus, the planet of love, beauty and harmony, activates this New Moon. Esoterically speaking, Venus is associated with the heart chakra, the center of peace, contentment and happiness.

As you may recall from my article last month, Venus is now retrograde (July 25 - September 6). These are weeks of re-evaluating self expression, literally and figuratively. Venus tunes us into honesty and integrity; how to display it (adornment and decor), how to express it (affection and intimacy), and how to stand strong in one’s personal expression (ethics and morality). On the outer level, you may find yourself upgrading your wardrobe, remodeling your home or beginning creative projects. On an inner level, you may experience clarity in terms of relating, and how you would like to give and receive love. Spiritually speaking, you may find yourself more in tune with your heart’s pure longing for Divine connection.

Another significant planetary shift occurs on August 11 as Jupiter completes its transit through Leo and enters Virgo terrain. Following Jupiter, the Sun enters Virgo on August 23. Additionally, Mercury is like quicksilver, transiting rapidly this month, spending a short time in Virgo (August 7 - 27). As the month unfolds, more than likely, you may notice a palpable shift from the playful, romantic, creative and self expressive side of Leo to the detail oriented, studious, cautious and analytical zodiac sign of Virgo.

Since Jupiter will remain in Virgo for a good year, through to September 2016, let’s examine this influence and extract the potential of Jupiter’s beneficial gifts. First of all, Jupiter gives a boost of optimism, confidence, and even grace, to the areas of life being activated. As Virgo is the zodiac sign of work, service, health and healing, look for improvements in these areas beginning this month and continuing as the next 12 months unfold.

At first glance, these areas may appear unrelated, but in order to serve productively, it is optimal for one’s health to be topnotch. Jupiter in Virgo will support the flow of positive energy between health care givers and those in need of services. It will enhance finding those people that can truly assist, and the discovery and implementation of remedies that effectively deliver the needed results. If you are in need of employment, Jupiter in Virgo will enhance opportunity and working conditions. Overall, Jupiter in Virgo has the potential to improve many aspects of everyday life, especially those things we may take for granted until they are problematic.

By month’s end, a Full Moon illuminates the sky on August 29 with Sun in Virgo, and Moon in Pisces. The astrological chart for this lunation is very interesting as it accentuates the interplay between logic and intuition. Inherent within this interplay is contradiction. We have all experienced the tug of war between thinking our way through problems, and trusting in a heartfelt and spontaneous knowing. The heart actually has a deep and clear knowing which is available in the pause of stillness. Trusting and entering this access point supports listening to the inner voice of conscience and wisdom, in addition to the possibility of facilitating transcendence of the very problem itself.

The astrological dynamic of this Full Moon chart shows Sun and Jupiter joined in Virgo with the Moon in Pisces joining Neptune. This unique combination is supernatural in effect, but it can be disorienting and confusing in terms of practical matters. Contemporary culture, driven by the media, tends to present the supernatural in the context of shadowy, overly dramatic, fearful and horrendous images. This presentation does a great disservice, and couldn’t be further from the truth as it masks and distorts the true gifts of the spiritual life.

Even though the subtle dimensions of life can seem otherworldly and extraordinary, these expanded states of awareness are quite natural and ordinary. In most cases, it is a simple, direct, immediate and physical experience of living without the distortion of preconceived, habitual and conditioned response. It is primarily a feeling state of sensing and seeing the beauty and light within and through form. These apparently miraculous shifts in perspective happen to everyone. They are not to be feared or sensationalized. Even though they may come and go in an instant, they are sign points to an expanded reality.

Over recent months, we have witnessed many breakthroughs in diplomatic and humanitarian issues. For decades the U.S. and Cuba have been at odds, and currently channels of exchange are opening once again. Workable agreements with Iran appear to be underway. The Supreme Court decision on gay marriage is another major development.

These events, and other breakthrough, give tangible evidence of the long term trend of Uranus and Pluto beginning to wane. Since 2010, many advancements have stalled in a stalemate of conflict, indifference, indecision and controversy. With each side digging in their heels of righteousness and superiority, it has been challenging, if not impossible, to come to resolution. But, these planets have served well in wearing down opposition, developing viable solutions, and strengthening the causes of freedom and progress.

JULY 2015

Cancer/Capricorn Full Moon
July 1 @ 10:20 p.m.

Cancer New Moon
July 15 @ 9:24 p.m.

Leo/Aquarius Full Moon
July 31 @ 6:43 a.m.

Summer heat is turned on high as July begins with a Full Moon and ends with a second Full Moon. Known as "once in a blue Moon," this phenomena is based on the Gregorian calender, and the fact that in any given month there are occasionally two Full Moons.

In the Moon’s 28 day orbit around our Earth, the Moon opposes the Sun, and this allows it to receive the Sun’s full illumination. The Full Moon on July 1 activates the zodiac signs of Cancer and Capricorn. The astrological chart for this lunation shows Mars in Cancer closely orbiting the Sun, and Moon in Capricorn closely aligned with Pluto. In mythology, Mars is the archetypical warrior and Pluto, lord of the underworld. To have both of these energies so closely aligned with the Full Moon spells planetary unrest at the least.

For those of you that have been following my article for several years, you may recall the astrological alignment known as the "Cardinal Climax." July is a month when these planetary energies kick up more dust for us to settle in our lives. Just when you think things are winding down, you may uncover more essential pieces to a complex puzzle that is begging to be resolved and put to rest. Over these years, some people have been responding on more psychological/spiritual levels, while others have been forced to make significant changes in their life circumstances.

In some situations, you may choose to give it all a rest by letting go and surrendering the outcome. Other circumstances may boil to a head, and taking action is precisely what needs to happen. Clearly seeing the most effective response is part of this dynamic planetary picture that has been pushing the envelope of change since summer 2010. While I have witnessed the effects ranging across a spectrum of concerns, the bottom line is breakdown to breakthrough.

By the New Moon on July 15, there is an intense alignment of Sun, Moon, Mercury and Mars in the zodiac sign of Cancer that continues to activate the Uranus/Pluto configuration. These combustive and destabilizing influences impact most of July. It’s probably best to "err on the side of caution" as you maneuver through these uncertain waters. Here are particular days to be especially aware: July 6-8, 12-18, 22-27.

The instinctive response of Cancer the Crab is to dive beneath the sand for security. You may find yourself and others instinctively retreating and needing the safe container of boundaries such as home, body awareness, and a warm embrace. So often in our modern world we rely upon containers that are troubled and uncomfortable. The Cancerian energy can help us cultivate ease of being, equanimity, empathy and compassion for self and others.

For better or worse, the zodiac sign of Cancer powerfully effects all Americans. Celebrating Independence Day on July 4, the United States demonstrates many Cancerian traits. This zodiac sign is the protecting parent, setting boundaries and providing safety for the offspring. In this way, the U.S. has repeatedly assumed the role of protector in an attempt to parent its people and the world. The issues of boundaries, authority, economic security and global influence will continue to be major themes as the presidential election of 2016 looms upon the horizon.

The most recognized astrology chart for the U.S. has been cast for July 4, 1776 at 5:10 p.m. According to these calculations, the U.S. is completing a 28 year karmic cycle. In the completion of a cycle, there is less influence and more confusion as to what the country stands for. It is a necessary phase of disintegration, release and re-evaluation. From an astrological point of view, it is fascinating to note that the country will continue to be in limbo until the autumn of 2016. At this point, the country will again emerge on the world stage with a more clearly defined strategy and ideology.

Another interesting planetary player is Venus and its retrograde phase beginning on July 25. Over the course of eight years, the zodiac path of Venus forms a pentagram, the auspicious five pointed star. As the planet of sensuality, adornment, love, beauty, artistry and harmony, Venus is basically a feminine energy. When Venus is retrograde there is a need for introspection and reconsideration of ethical concerns within relationships. It is a time of observing and reviewing behavior.

This can be as simple as upgrading one’s wardrobe or redecorating a room. It can also be more complicated, such as recognizing insincerity in self and others. The human tendency to put on a happy face to please others is ready to get a needed facelift of honesty during a Venus retrograde phase. This internal taking stock serves to insistently press us to get in touch with personal values and what truly matters in the big scheme of things.

Venus also effects national and global events in terms of diplomacy. There tends to be a softening of aggression, another indication of the need to rethink strategy and approach to human relations. Venus is retrograde until September 6, at which point this introspective phase completes with more insight into what is needed for harmony as well as authentic self expression.

An additional boost of Venus energy is due to its close orbit with Jupiter, and both of them can be seen in the evening sky. On July 1, August 4 and October 25, these planets join and shine their healing, uplifting and beneficial rays upon a beleaguered, weary and lost humanity. Together they set the stage for accelerated heart expansion over these coming months.

Our Sun enters the zodiac sign of Leo on July 22, closely followed by Mercury entering Leo on the 23rd. Known as the messenger of the gods, Mercury is the planet of cognition, speaking, translation, listening and learning. Mercury interprets the solar will as it activates the human mind. As part of the Mercury cycle, this joining of Sun and Mercury is a time of synthesis and understanding of the past instilling a resolve to move full speed ahead.

A second Full Moon occurs on July 31, and activates the zodiac signs of Leo and Aquarius. These signs are highly charged as the new age of Aquarius dawns. Their unique message is about authority, styles of leadership and those who are led. Aquarian energies streaming upon the planet encourage a keen and clear look at the ways we give power away to leaders. A true leader leads by example while encouraging each individual to be their best self. We see these themes operating in personal life situations as well as collective consciousness. It is the backdrop to the urge for self expression, respect for each person’s uniqueness, humanitarian outreach and freedom.

At the beginning of each season, Crystal Visions hosts the Quarterly Preview. Together with three other intuitives, we present our take on the upcoming season. Even though we do not confer with each other before the event, we are always amazed at the continuity and consistency of what we share with the audience. This past event in June was no exception as all four of us saw the summer being chaotic and combustive on just about every front of our collective experience.

As I review the planetary forecast for July, the picture comes into focus. Our beautiful Earth is moving into rarefied frequencies whereby many deep and dark shadows are surfacing for the purpose of being lifted into the light for healing. It is as though humanity has been caught in the ego’s snare with all of its self importance, vanity, struggle and strife. Each heart carries an imprint of hurt, wounding and separation, and each heart is being prepared for its awakening.

This is simply the nature of the times we live in as many old patterns are being cleared from deep levels of our personal and collective existence. It is essential to cease giving energy to the shadow, but cultivate faith while lifting up our vision to see a larger plan beyond the little self. It’s a whole new dawn as the Aquarian energies stream upon the planet. Every moment, Source is pouring forth the pristine vibrations of light and love into every nook and cranny of our being, and while this may not be headline news according to consensus reality, this is very good news for each and every being. Enjoy!

JUNE 2015

Gemini/Sagittarius Full Moon
June 2 @ 12:19 p.m.

Mercury Direct
June 11 @ 6:33 p.m.

Gemini New Moon
June 16 @ 10:05 a.m.

Summer Solstice
June 21 @ 12:38 p.m.

June is a transitional month in a multitude of ways. As the final weeks of spring are upon us, it may be tempting to dive headlong into summer activities, and push forward on projects that are more in need of completion than initiation. These first weeks are optimal days to wrap up loose ends in preparation for the next seasonal shift beginning on June 21. As the longest day of the year, Summer Solstice is an auspicious and powerful time to allow the Sun’s brilliant illumination to light your way through any challenges, and lead the way out of stagnation, confusion and darkness.

The Full Moon on June 2 presents paradoxical situations where the need for direction and guidance is quite apparent. In addition to the Sun in Gemini, Mercury is in its retrograde phase and Mars transits Gemini. Three major factors in Gemini propose and activate a challenge to the mind with all of its thinking, posturing, analyzing and conjecturing.

Adding to this unique combination is Moon and Saturn, both in the opposing zodiac sign of Sagittarius. One more piece of the interpretive puzzle is Neptune in Pisces. In astrology this is known as a very tense aspect pattern called a T-square. It only takes three planets to form a T-square, but in this case, there are six celestial bodies!

This alignment presents the opportunity to see things in a new way through careful and attentive listening with mind and heart. A cacophony of voices will be talking at top speed, some may be deluded and confused while others have the potential to be crystal clear. This first week of June is a phase to watch for information overload as digital data has the tendency to fly in our face, whether it is useful or not. In the midst of so much exchange, you may find yourself and others putting unreasonable demands on situations, and perhaps forcing urgent decisions.

A Full Moon is always an active time when a variety of options are presented. This is a potent time of illumination. Answers that have been obscured up to now are ready to be seen. Within all of the movement, flurry and pressure, there is a need for a cautious and patient attitude. When Mercury goes direct on June 11, the pieces of this multifaceted and apparently discordant puzzle have the potential to come together in extraordinary, unifying and unprecedented ways.

Gemini and Sagittarius are the information and wisdom signs of the zodiac. Gemini is raw data, the everyday exchange of information through conversation, technology, travel and education. Sagittarius is information gleaned through inspiration, dreams, vision and spiritual teachings.

Within these potentially oppositional and unbalanced energy pulls, let’s consider Neptune as an integral player in this early June alignment. On June 12, just as Mercury is beginning its direct movement, Neptune enters a five month retrograde phase. In its long term transit through Pisces (2011-2025), Neptune is opening a doorway to worldwide spiritual renaissance.

Humanity is at a potent and transforming choice point as the threshold of this doorway comes into view. While it is up to each being to choose to cross the threshold into the higher vibrations of joy, forgiveness, love and connectivity, there is a collective field of potential building day by day serving each heart in its awakening.

A Gemini New Moon on June 16 will seal the deal of recent weeks. Confusion and information overload tends to stabilize into knowing. There will be more clarity for forward movement based on the weighing of various options, open minded research into possibilities and attunement to the highest and best for all concerned.

Another significant factor to be aware of is Saturn’s transit as it slips back into the potentially murky waters of Scorpio on June 14. This is a recap, a final exam of sorts, for all the breakthroughs and learning of the past 2-3 years. Saturn in Scorpio has surfaced many unconscious and dark motives in the collective field. It has brought humanity face to face with violence, destruction, misuse of power, and the choice point of thriving or dying. It has been a dark time requiring introspection, self examination, admitting mistakes and healing the shadow within.

This year Summer Solstice lands on Father’s Day which is all the more reason to pause in gratitude for the gift of incarnation. It is a potent time to release baggage, cultivate forgiveness, activate creativity and commit to your unique expression.

A harmonious and uplifting planetary combination of Jupiter and Uranus is exact on the 22nd, and together they hold surprising and spontaneous developments for the remainder of July. Venus, the planet of beauty and love, joins the party on June 29 - July 1. As planetary ruler of the heart chakra, Venus has the potential to heal emotional wounds by softening the guarding and defensive posture that most of us take for granted as normal.

This planetary combination will strongly amplify attraction between people and species, and stimulate the universal law of synchronicity. Venus and Jupiter are in Leo, while Uranus continues its long term transit in Aries. These zodiac signs express the elemental of fire instilling a sense of courage, enthusiasm, bravery, freedom and motivation.

There are many fires in this world now. The weapons of man are insanely threatening to overtake and consume social continuity. Wildfire season is beginning across dry arid regions this month. A worldwide water shortage has been predicted. Armageddon, the prophesied final battle of good vs. evil, is seen as a consuming and destructive fire. Just turn on the news, the evidence is clear to see, an enormous transformation is upon planet Earth.

Spiritually speaking, fire is lightest, most refined of the elements. Fire beats the heart, warms and vitalizes bodily functions. Fire mobilizes and elevates the human spirit out of depression and despair. Fire is positive, passionate, uplifting, fundamental and sacred. However, whether we are considering a campfire, the flames of righteousness or the fire of personal will, fire needs to be well tended, directed and respected.

Late June and early July are auspicious times to contemplate fire and what it means to you. What gets you up in the morning to face a new day? How do you cultivate joy, passion and playfulness in your daily life? What inspires you to fight for truth and justice? Even though depression is epidemic these days, and the pull of negativity can sour one’s attitude, these lives are not meant to be lived in stagnation, hopelessness and despair. It is possible to enthusiastically allow these planetary trends to light your fire, illuminate the way ahead, and breath new life into each and everyday.

May 2015

Taurus/Scorpio Full Moon
May 3 @ 11:42 p.m.

Mercury Retrograde
May 18 - June 11

Taurus New Moon
May 18 @ 12:13 a.m.

One of my favorite Rumi quotes reminds me of May. "Let the beauty we love, be what we do, there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground." This 13th century mystic/poet really knew how to cut deeply through the mind, getting to the heart of life, and delivering wisdom for the ages. Truly, the beauty of spring has the potential to dissolve all cares, recharging and renewing body, mind and spirit.

Historically, the first days of May are for celebration. May Day and Beltane honor the cross quarter days, halfway between equinox and solstice. As the Sun moves through Taurus, a grounding, stabilizing energy can be tangibly experienced. It’s time to throw off socks and shoes to feel the earth beneath your toes. It’s time to throw down the picnic blanket, and be lazy for a change. In our increasingly technology driven world, it is essential to establish and maintain a close connection with the magnetic energies streaming upward from the earth’s core. This is a sacred and healing connection.

Between noticeably longer days, and a Taurus/Scorpio Full Moon on May 3, plenty of sunlight and moonlight have the potential to illuminate dark places and lighten the load of seriousness that humans tend to carry. As the zodiac sign of sensuality, possessions, money, and all things physical, the key phrase for Taurus is "I have." As the zodiac sign of death, sexuality and the occult, the key phrase for Scorpio is "I release."

This Full Moon brings up the strong contrast between tangible conditions in this material world, and apparently intangible conditions on the inner planes of consciousness. This is a mystical and magical time when veils between dimensions thin, and it is possible to see what is truly of value. Taurus and Scorpio tell the truth of existence. It is common to react with holding, resistance and fear to these zodiac energies, but the interplay between temporal reality and eternity keeps humanity moving and evolving in the art of flowing on the spiral of ever expanding awareness.

A Taurus New Moon on May 18 offers a new beginning based on what has been released and provides a much needed stabilizing influence as summer months approach. Take time this New Moon to contemplate what is of value to you. While Taurus is about value on the material plane, in the form of money and possessions, it is also about self-worth. This is the month to evaluate your skills and upgrade investments of resources, time and energy. Remember that your internal sense of worth is the personal foundation beneath the exchange of resources in the marketplace of life.

As days lengthen and the school year concludes, May is predominantly a transitional month. This year Gemini takes center stage as Mercury transits this zodiac sign of travel and communication. Due to a retrograde phase, Mercury will remain in Gemini throughout May, June and the first week of July. Additionally, this month begins with Venus in Gemini for the first week, and Mars enters Gemini on May 11. And if this isn’t enough Gemini, Sun enters Gemini on May 21 for its annual sojourn.

First, let’s take a closer look at the upcoming Mercury retrograde phase. More than likely, you will notice activity step up into higher gear on May 1 as Mercury enters Gemini. It may feel like full speed ahead with summer plans, but as Mercury goes retrograde on May 18 there is a slowing, readjustment phase that remains in place until mid-June.

Since Gemini is the zodiac sign of travel, relatives, neighbors, speaking/listening and technology, it is a month to stay flexible and keen to surroundings and potential change of plans. When Mercury goes direct on June 11, things will have sorted themselves out. I repeatedly advise readers and clients that Mercury retrograde is best utilized for completion of projects, review and research. In other words, be open to receive more information before you jump into things.

Now, let’s consider Mars in Gemini (May 11 - June 23). Mars has a two year orbit, so the last time Mars transited through Gemini was summer 2013. Mars is the planet of motivation and bold action. Gemini is naturally curious, restless, changeable, frank and clever. If you have a Gemini in your life, than you know from experience. Geminis are sociable, enjoy a variety of interests, interact with many people of diverse backgrounds, and they prefer to be on the go. As Mars in Gemini energizes planet Earth, we will experience an acceleration and exchange of information. This exchange will take place boldly, bravely, abruptly and spontaneously. There is no holding back the truth when Mars transits Gemini.

Mars was in Gemini on July 4, 1776, and the astrological chart of the United States shows a prominent Mars. We don’t have to look far to see the warrior side of Mars in this country’s attitude. Another noticeable characteristic is the news media and its coverage of current events. From radio to television to the internet, this country has led the way in sharing news with the public. At this juncture in history, the combative, argumentative and positional approach of news media is ready to be changed. Along with dramatic music, quick sound bites, predominantly negative focus and adversarial positions, the public is beginning to see through this approach.

Metaphysically, Gemini plays a very important role as communicator. As Gemini moves through a multitude of experiences and tries on a variety of perspectives, Gemini develops wisdom for what is essentially true. Gemini has the amazing gift of being able to relate to many different types of people, and connect with others based on similarities rather than differences. Therefore, Gemini has the potential to sidestep the pitfall of discrimination and judgement that gets so many people bogged down in relationship problems.

A hallmark of the digital era, technology is making it possible to tap into many different streams of consciousness at the touch of a finger. Isolation is rapidly becoming a thing of the past as boundaries between family, community, race, culture, religion and politics are dissolving and a global society emerges.

In 1970 author Alvin Toffler predicted this process as "shattering stress and disorientation" in his popular bestseller "Future Shock." Humanity and the entire planetary organism is experiencing stress along with the urgent necessity to make adjustments for survival. The future Toffler wrote about is now.

As Gemini aspires toward wisdom, this zodiac sign activates the potential for synergy, the universal law of intrinsic connectivity and cooperation among seemingly divergent parts. This takes consciousness from the apparently separate to behind the scenes of a cohesive and synchronous universe.

Over the next several months, planetary forces provide a unique opportunity for breakthrough into expanded and universal states of consciousness. During Mercury’s retrograde phase it contacts the planet Neptune three times (May 9, 29 and June 23). Symbolically and actually, this means the limitations of linear and programmed concepts are melting into release and surrender to a higher blueprint, possibly beyond current human understanding.

This deep letting go is facilitated during the week of May 25-31. As Mercury joins Mars in Gemini, Mars and Sun activate Neptune. There will be tremendous activity, and it is essential to keep one’s grounding, otherwise frenetic action leads to running around in circles. Some people may be more accident prone. Those individuals with a tendency for mental/emotional instability may experience their condition aggravated. It can all be very confusing and disorienting, so by all means, keep your wits about you.

This is a high energy, high voltage week with strong highs and potential lows. With Neptune in the mix, emotions run idealistically and intensely. See conflicting differences as an opportunity to let go of prejudice, opinion and judgement. Watch dreams, visions and imagination for breakthroughs. This is a universal download, a power surge of pure, divine, intuitive knowing.

As always, it depends on each individual’s state of consciousness, preparation and response. Many people can experience these planetary influences as confusing, confounding, nebulous and disorienting, while others will experience a numinous, uplifting attunement to that which is beyond conceptualization. For most of us, it will be a combination of both. Thus, the highs and lows provide another shake, rattle and roll of planetary awakening in the breaking dawn of a new civilization.

April 2015

Aries/Libra Full Moon Lunar Eclipse
April 4 @ 8:05 a.m.

Aries New Moon
April 18 @ 2:57 p.m.

Life is cyclical, continually regenerating itself and springing forth new forms, and April is the month of renewal. Spring is fully underway now as Easter is celebrated on the first weekend of April. Annually, Easter is observed on the first Sunday after the Aries/Libra Full Moon. This is why the holiday changes year to year. It is based on astronomical timing. As much as Christianity has attempted to disregard and denigrate astrology, many basic premises remain.

The Full Moon on Saturday, April 4 is also a Lunar Eclipse. The seeds were planted for this very potent lunation on a Total Solar Eclipse on March 20, which was also the Spring Equinox. More than likely, you will find circumstances and themes from last month carry over into April for resolution and completion. These eclipses have created quite a stir in electromagnetic spheres and geological structure of Earth. The very fact that they culminate on Easter weekend, symbolically and actually, provide a perfect climate for resurrection on many dimensions.

Eclipses occur every six months as the Sun, Moon and Earth come into alignment. This very alignment activates a cellular cleansing and renewal on many levels, particularly the emotional and physical body. Eclipses have a tendency to illuminate what has been hidden and suppressed. Subconscious emotions tend to be amplified, and people tend to be more emotionally reactive. For this reason, eclipses are a time to be cautious, considerate and compassionate with self and others.

This Lunar Eclipse exactly activates the on-going Uranus and Pluto alignment. While these two planetary powerhouses are slowly pulling away from each other, their transformational energies are still in effect throughout 2015. Creating an environment of uncertainty and upheaval since summer 2010, the 7th and final exact alignment was last month on March 16.

Perhaps a good analogy for this process is an old sidewalk that has shifted through the years, so it is very difficult to safely and comfortably walk. People repeatedly fall into old ruts and gaping holes, and it is decided that this sidewalk needs to be completely torn up before a new one can be laid.

Along comes a jack hammer to tear up the old pathway. It is loud, it gets our attention, it is aggravating and disruptive. As a humanity, this is where we are right now. The jack hammers of Uranus and Pluto are getting our attention. The old ways of living are no longer workable, but the new pavement cannot be laid until the old way of being is completely removed. It is a time for patience, faith and trust in the process of transformation.

While a collective vision of possibility is dawning, it will take some time for the new path to be revealed. At this point, the process can appear overwhelming, aggravating and sometimes hopeless. Old structures are collapsing, and the tendency is to get caught in what is breaking down rather than what is arising out of the rubble. To quote author Elizabeth Gilbert, "The greater the crisis, it seems, the swifter the evolution."

The pressure to evolve personally and collectively can reach an extreme tension as Pluto is stationary retrograde on April 16, and transiting at 15 degrees Capricorn for the entire month. This marks a halfway point in the larger Capricorn cycle that started in 2008 and completes in 2024. The cycle started with the potential for economic collapse, and numerous signs of structural breakdown, ethical decline and moral decay.

Pluto is the mystical phoenix, arising out of the ashes of destruction. Uranus is the lightening bolt of awakening that carries with it an extraordinary mix of innovation and genius. It takes great faith to believe that humanity will once again stroll in the lovely garden of the heart, enjoying the sites, stopping to smell the roses, grateful for each other and our universal connection.

Speaking of gardens, the annual observance of Earth Day is April 22. Perfectly timed with the Sun’s entrance into Taurus on the 20th, this day of honoring the Earth brings out all the positive qualities of Taurus energy. Traditionally, this most grounded and stable of zodiac signs, represents money in the bank and possessions. However, what we share in common is experience of physical incarnation. Taurus stimulates a deep appreciation for the beauty of nature, artistic expression and enjoyment of the sensual side of life.

Recently a reader phoned to share her interesting and timely insights. Just recently, through her service as a dowser, she received strong messages from Earth. Our beautiful terrestrial home is overwhelmed with the instability and stress of environmental degradation, and in the dowser’s words, "about to give up." As a conscious living being, Earth is challenged to assimilate the higher, more rarefied frequencies of light streaming upon her. This dowser asked me to communicate to readers the importance of showing up and expressing real, tangible appreciation each and everyday.

In humanity’s myopic self centered attitude, it is so easy to caught up in personal trauma and drama and forget the very foundation of physical existence. This Earth Day, may we remember that every part of creation is receiving an extraordinary upgrade into higher vibration. We are only beginning to realize and feel these emanations that will change life on Earth as we know it. The Source of Love and Light is close, palpable and real. No matter what it looks like on the surface, a new dawn is coming, and this is very good news.

March 2015
Pisces/Virgo Full Moon
March 5 @ 1:05 pm

Pisces Solar Eclipse New Moon
March 20 @ 5:36 am

Spring Equinox
March 20 @ 6:45 pm

Spring’s renewal is around the corner as winter winds blow away the final vestiges of dark days and frozen ground. March is always a dynamic month as winter turns to spring, and hope arises once again. Warmer days, the fragrance of earth coming back to life as petite flowers carpet growing grass, all this beauty weaves a magic spell, lifting spirits and nourishing the soul.

Planetary trends during the first week of March are diverse, supporting healing and personal empowerment. A Full Moon on March 5 joins the planetoid Chiron, the archetypical wounded healer, and unresolved issues may surface for completion. The zodiac sign of Pisces takes consciousness very deep into one’s universal connection, the ultimate healing balm for soul and spirit, supporting the important realization that the road of life is very long without faith.

Annually, there is always a profound and palpable shift as the astrological new year begins on the Spring Equinox. Energy and vitality soar as Aries, the rambunctious Ram, boldly and confidently come into play. These annual astrological energies feed into the significant evolutionary trend of Uranus in Aries (2010 - 2019) and Pluto in Capricorn (2008 - 2024).

It is rare for these two planets to come into alignment. It takes 84 years for Uranus to transit through the entire zodiac cycle. It takes 246 years for Pluto to do likewise. These enormous cycles mark major transition and development of the collective consciousness, defining generations and trends that are typically beyond the individual.

Uranus entered Aries in June of 2010, thus beginning a series of tense and stressful alignments with Pluto in Capricorn. Since than, these two planets have come into a square relationship with each other a full six times with the seventh, and final, alignment occurring on March 16. Yes, this is now!

Flipping back to the headlines of 2010, we recall the Gulf Oil spill, housing, real estate, unemployment and the economy were the most pressing domestic issues. Progress has been made, but the planetary trend of Uranus square Pluto continues to exert a pull. It is like trying to move forward in a strong headwind. Another analogy can be the necessity to repair a bike tire while exerting the energy needed to bicycle up a steep hill. In other words, the current environment is making it very difficult to get ahead, and most people do not like being held back. Throughout these years, and especially since 2012, many unforeseen obstacles have come to the forefront in our personal lives and collective experience.

I must emphasize there is purpose in the action of Uranus and Pluto, and I encourage your contemplation of recent years in the light of how you have changed and grown in perspective. While sudden and unexpected events may have forced you to release control and attachments, these planets have produced a deep clearing of subconscious material, thereby freeing the psyche to be more connected with Source. Their very action is to surface obstacles and clear the playing field of debris so a new and improved upgrade can surface.

Where does that leave us now? In the previous six times that Uranus and Pluto squared off, one of the planets was retrograde and beneficial effects were held back, curtailed in some way. During this 7th and final square, both planets are direct, allowing a release and genuine turning of the tide. From the global perspective, the wheel of fortune is spinning wildly, and no one knows definitively where it will land. A multitude of challenges remain to be solved, and realistically, it will take years for the full and most positive effects of these tumultuous years to settle into a new and productive rhythm.

However, it is on the personal level that significant changes have been made as Aries is the zodiac sign of the individual, and Capricorn is the zodiac sign of authority. Uranus and Pluto have generated an overthrow of anything standing in the way of self actualization, a shaking loose of everything inwardly, and perhaps outwardly, that stand in one’s way. The very circumstances and challenges have instilled a necessity to be honest and transparent with self and others.

I believe most people are walking away from this planetary configuration with a keen sense of what is important to them, and the courage to move forward in an empowered way. It is a matter of standing up once again, shaking off the dust and dirt, and making a sincere resolve to positively, dynamically and heroically approaches life in constructive ways. As the planet of freedom, Uranus has illuminated the inner shadow by surfacing unconscious programming, thus freeing the psyche from past burdens that may have been carried for decades, if not lifetimes.

Astrologers have given a name to this rare astronomical configuration, and you may recall hearing about the Cardinal Climax in recent years. However, it is during March and April, and the forward momentum of spring, that a variety of spell binding and spell breaking conditions have the potential to climax, culminates and complete. As one of the most rebellious and unstable of planetary combinations, these are months to remain grounded and attentive to surroundings.

In addition to the Cardinal Climax culminating, there is a Solar Eclipse on March 20. Eclipses are known for surfacing what is hidden while revealing what needs to be known. The Solar Eclipse is in the final degree of Pisces and feeds directly into the Spring Equinox, and the Sun’s entrance into Aries. This is a total eclipse with the potential to powerfully release old programming. Together with the equinox, this is an exceptional time to clarify and set intentions for the next 12- month seasonal cycle.

An eclipse cycle goes beyond days, and there is potential for it to activate for weeks and years, depending on the alignment. Look for signs of an approaching eclipse a full four weeks ahead of the exact day. The Solar Eclipse on March 20 is followed by a Lunar Eclipse on April 4. Realistically, the themes, challenges and issues surging to the forefront during late February, March and April are magnified by the eclipses and the Cardinal Climax.

While this planetary configuration has been quite obvious, the way through can remain elusive and difficult to understand. In fact, there are no easy answers, and time will ultimately reveal solutions. A few noteworthy examples include the ongoing stalemate in congress, the U.S. economy in slow motion, the escalation of terrorism, society burdened by numerous laws and regulations, ecological deterioration and more.

The planetary action of Uranus and Pluto is to breakdown structure for the purpose of a breakthrough. March is a month when the necessity for breakthrough becomes so intensely apparent that we will probably see ourselves and others going to any lengths to release what is no longer working. In many cases, stagnation and tension has been mounting for years, therefore the manifestations may appear extreme. Approaching weeks are best met with a welcoming attitude of adaptation, change and transformation.

As the physical body is the most basic structure for incarnation, March is a month to take really good care of yourself. Many things may compete for your time, attention and energy. It is helpful to remember, as the final weeks of winter give way to spring, that staying warm, lightening the diet, implementing a regular daily routine, all this and more, can go a long way in maintaining personal balance. This dimension of extreme contrast can be quite a challenge to understand. Many circumstances tug at the heart for attention and healing, but faith, trust and simplicity are food for the soul in the midst of a spinning world.

February 2015

Aquarius/Leo Full Moon
February 3 @ 6:09 pm

Mercury Direct
February 11 @ 9:57 am

Aquarius New Moon
February 18 @ 6:47 pm

Planetary trends for February collude and collide with deeply entrenched and existing social trends. As our Sun and Mercury transit through Aquarian skies, progress depends on a radical departure from the past and a clean break with limiting patterns and structures. While most people can benefit from this swift kick in the pants, some extreme and reactionary factions of society may take this an opportunity to instigate unruly and rebellious events.

As we look upon the world, several recent events point to Saturn entering Sagittarius in late December, where it will remain through 2017. Sagittarius, the zodiac sign of religion and philosophy, is all about belief. It is common to take belief for granted, but it is the bedrock upon which one’s entire life is built. What one person believes to be true is interlaced with whole groups of cultural perspective and preference.

Saturn in Sagittarius will insist on humanity taking a step back from unconscious programming to see a bigger picture, outside of one’s inherited belief. Our rapidly expanding global society is posed for some wake up calls as survival, peace and progress depend on a synthesis of many different points of view, and a belief structure that is responsible, reasonable, grounded and practical for everyone. The very nature of this challenge is to catapult consciousness to a higher octave of truth.

The pencil, a most basic tool of communication, became the symbol of freedom as people walked through the streets of Paris after extreme acts of terrorism. While comedians in the U.S. were poking fun at this simple, and perhaps outdated symbol, it is all about communication and freedom of speech. Another sign of Saturn’s entrance into Sagittarius is the surprising withdrawal of "The Interview," from American movie theatres as a result of pressure from North Korea. More than likely, we will continue to see extreme events as the potent fuel of awakening in this era of rapid global communication.

As Saturn in Sagittarius will be resonating throughout our global society for several years, it is helpful to realize the high and low side of this very influential zodiac energy. The high side of Sagittarius is a genuine reaching into higher truth for wisdom and attunement to the overarching plan of Creation. Problems and challenges come through interpretation tinged with personal opinion, force and righteousness. History is built on the common adage, "Might makes right." But, forcing righteousness will no longer be tolerated by the majority of people.

A big planetary player this month is Mercury’s transit through Aquarius. Due to its retrograde phase, we begin 2015 with Mercury spending a full ten weeks in this important zodiac sign (January 4 - March 12). Aquarius is the zodiac teacher of collective social consciousness, and humanity’s potential for working together in concert to solve world problems.

As we enter the Age of Aquarius, the themes of freedom, equality, connectivity, synergy and synarchy come to the forefront. Mercury in Aquarius goes direct on February 11, thus the introspective quality of deep winter will begin to find its way into outward expression once again. If you are being drawn to get out and about through social contribution, this is a green light to begin moving forward.

Another interesting factor emphasizing Aquarian themes has to do with the lunar cycle. On January 20 there was an Aquarian New Moon culminating in a Full Moon on February 3. Then on February 18, there is another New Moon in Aquarius within three minutes of the Sun entering the next zodiac sign of Pisces. This is a lot of emphasis on Aquarius!

While Aquarius represents the field of potentiality generating our collective experience, Aquarius has profound implications on the individual level. One of the most basic needs is to feel a sense of belonging, and the zodiac energy of Aquarius is about being unique, true to self and dancing to the beat of your own drum.

Historically, the tribe, culture and family of origin defined one’s life path. Today, the drive to belong takes us beyond the confines of home and hearth into the larger society. Most of us can relate to the intense and extreme feelings of belonging or not belonging, feeling accepted or different. Connection to those around us is a prime motivating force of human nature.

Finding and cultivating one’s tribe and community of fellow travellers upon the path of life is a significant goal driving individuals and society as a whole during this transition into a new age. February is the month to go beyond the comfort zone of what is familiar, and reach out to discover friendship. Valentines Day is not just for romantic love, it speaks to the basic need for friendly interaction with those beyond the scope of the immediate home environment.

Factoring into the planetary trends for February is the zodiac sign of Pisces. Throughout 2015, Chiron and Neptune continue transiting through this spiritually potent sign. However, during the first three weeks of February, Venus and Mars also transit through Pisces. Additionally, the Sun is in Pisces for the concluding ten days of the month. As the final zodiac sign of winter, Pisces speaks to the spiritual quality of dissolution, surrender and release. Pisces drives us to the core of purpose, and levels the playing field. In reality, every being is challenged to discover their purpose for living and the purpose of life itself.

There are no easy answers except to let go and cultivate faith in a higher purpose that is so often beyond human analytical understanding. Pisces relates to immediate and direct experience of transcendental states of consciousness. Neptune in Pisces gives us permission to even go there, while Chiron in Pisces speaks to the core wound of separation from the Source of unconditional love. It is a beautiful combination with great potential for the enormous spiritual awakening that so many of us see and sense.

Finally, we are in the home stretch of an on-going alignment of two major planetary players, Uranus and Pluto. After several years of uncertainty and upheaval, and a full six contacts, on March 15 the seventh alignment perfects in this dance of evolutionary giants. Clearly, we will be feeling the approach of this major turning point all month as both planets are in direct motion and feeding off each other as they build to the Spring Equinox.

Turning the ship of destiny around is no small task, but Uranus and Pluto are up to the job. This combination serves to overthrow and uproot anything standing in the way of self actualization, being true to self and true to Self with a capital S. Inwardly and outwardly, there has been tremendous tension as many structures have outlived their purpose and humanity is challenged to update and renovate core principles as well as basic foundations.

This has affected people in a multitude of different and unique ways. But, the bottom line is a necessity to break free from constrictions to be more aligned with Source and one’s personal destiny, free and unencumbered with programming and baggage from the past. It has been a major cleansing as unexpected events triggered deep release on the subconscious level, spilling over into physical conditions, leaving most of us with a surprising instinct for what is real and true and meaningful.

As substance and circumstances breakdown and lose relevance, an aura of confusion and uncertainty can be felt. I was always a big planner, but no more. It is one day at a time as the flow is rapidly evolving. The most important thing is the essence of one’s intention and commitment to be present and show up.

As I was preparing this article, the words came, "marching orders." At first, I didn’t like either word. I wanted to throw them out, marching sounds so militaristic, and no one likes to be ordered around, especially these days. However, as I contemplated these words, I personally discovered that I have been in a holding pattern of uncertainty, not necessarily knowing how to proceed, and this has been true for most of my clients.

While these are strong words, perhaps a good dose of clarity from Source is just what is needed to begin taking action, to begin moving forward in the light and freedom of all that has been released. No doubt, action is the answer, the perfect antidote to the complexity of these times. February is the month to listen closely to Source within, stay attentive to synchronistic, and be willing to receive personal guidance and direction as the Divine Plan unfolds for each and every being.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 35 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. Email: Phone: 828-215-2101

January 2015

Capricorn/Cancer Full Moon
January 4 @ 11:53 pm

Aquarius New Moon
January 20 @ 8:14 am

Mercury Retrograde
January 21 - February 11

2015 . . . here we are, as spaceship Earth flies through the space/time continuum, soaring into the next phase of evolutionary potential. In my mind, it seems like almost yesterday that Y2K was the big news, but it serves as a reminder to keep perspective in these times of radical challenge and transformation. Despite all human resistance to change, the new can never be stopped

January begins with the Full Moon’s potency and illumination on terrestrial matters. Forming a Grand Cross with the Moon’s nodes while activating the on-going Uranus/Pluto square, the urge to break free from constriction and actualize the promise of New Year’s resolutions is met with a deep stirring of strength and determination in the belly.

While compromise and collaboration are necessary relationships skills, this lunation points to a breakthrough in anything that is holding you back from full participation and contribution. As Sun joins Pluto in Capricorn, it is time to examine, release and consciously dissolve what stands in one’s way. This intense combination supports confrontation, if necessary. For many people, this will function as confronting one’s shadow, and making significant personal changes in attitude and habits, lifestyle and social life.

One of the most significant planetary players is Uranus in Aries (2010 - 2019). Repeatedly, we see the theme of individuals and nations in the process of defining space, territory and identity while throwing off the chains of conformity. At times, this essential process can appear selfish and conceited, but the more we keep an attitude of curiosity and experimentation, the more the pitfall of myopic, self centered action can be softened. In the long run, these years of self discovery will serve to strengthen each individual’s personal connection with Source.

2015 begins within days of Saturn’s entrance into Sagittarius. Saturn marks the cycles of our lives as well as collective circumstances. As Saturn changes zodiac signs every 2-3 years, Earth school curriculum routinely advances to the next level. As many dramatic and major events unfolded in December, Saturn in Sagittarius is beginning to exercise its authority, bearing great weight on the national and international stage.

Annually, the month of January is always an interesting blend of Capricorn and Aquarian energies. Capricorn tends to be conservative, keeping an eye on the past, respectively upholding tradition. Aquarius thinks outside of the box, and thrives in environments that support innovation, always ready to update foundations and institutions that have outlived their purpose.

The month begins with Mars in Aquarius, and by the Full Moon on January 4, Mercury and Venus will have entered Aquarius. Thus, the year begins with an insistent thrust toward the future. There is no looking back now. The zodiac sign of the Waterbearer is ready to pour forth nourishing, fair and equitable solutions upon the planetary community. The reality is that sustainable change has a healthy respect for the past as well as the future. The year begins with an attitude of sifting and sorting through priorities in a rapidly synthesizing global society.

The Aquarian New Moon on January 20 blends with Mercury in Aquarius entering a retrograde phase on January 21. In terms of the elemental energies of fire, air, water and earth, Aquarius is an Air sign. The element of air is about people, communication, speaking, sharing perspective and getting the word out. Along with Saturn in Sagittarius, we will see a tremendous expansion of viewpoint.

During Mercury’s retrograde phase, this essential planet of communication, will contact the planet Uranus twice in January (14 and 28). Due to this retrograde phase, Mercury will go direct on February 11, and contact Uranus for a third time on March 1. Additionally, Mercury will contact Saturn three times, January 5, February 5 & 19. Thankfully, all these contacts are harmonious and condusive to stabilization in these initial months of accellerated movement.

After several years of uncertainty, and a strange combination of stagnation and upheaval, the way ahead begins to take shape for those willing to take a risk and follow through on their hopes and dreams. Watch openly for synchronicity as the guideposts to exhilarating and extraordinary developments. Sudden bursts of knowing clear the air, promoting a defined sense of destiny and connection among those people resonating on similar paths. This enormous vibrational shift into higher gear comes with heightened awareness and freedom.

In addition to the humanitarian community spirit of Aquarius, another interesting and important planetary trend occurs on January 12, as Mars enters Pisces. This is the zodiac teacher of compassion for all beings, especially those downtrodden, neglected and marginalized by society. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Mars joins Neptune in Pisces furthering these themes. As the Age of Pisces draws to a close, these current trends assist in highlighting our common humanity, and the way through challenges to constructive social change.

It is with a happy heart that I am able to share these upbeat and positive trends to assist you in grounding and beginning 2015 with a good, strong start. As always, I am available to meet with you in person or by phone/skype. Thank you for your interest in astrology, feedback and support as I begin my 23rd year of writing What’s UP. What an extraordinary journey this earth walk gives to each and all.

December 2014

Sagittarius/Gemini Full Moon
December 6 @ 7:27 a.m.

Winter Solstice
December 21 @ 6:03 p.m.

Capricorn New Moon
December 21 @ 8:36 p.m.

Another year older, and hopefully, another year wiser, the Grand Finale of December 2014 is upon us. As many odds and ends wrap up to complete the year, there is plenty of action in the planetary sphere to support a month of festivity, renewal and celebration. The energies feel gentler and kinder than recent months. It’s time to take a respite from daily concerns, and allow the zodiac sign of Sagittarius to broaden our perspective through humorous interaction, philosophical inquiry and hopeful enthusiasm. This may sound like a tall order for a world in peril, but Sagittarius is the court jester with a rare talent for putting us at ease while cracking a smile at the seriousness of life.

The month begins like a breath of fresh air, albeit tinged with frost and snowflakes. On December 4, Mars enters Aquarius to give a sociable, unique and unpredictable spin on holiday preparation. Thankfully, there is plenty of fire to heat things up as Sun, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Uranus transit through the fire signs of Sagittarius, Leo and Aries. All these factors line up harmoniously as long as the need for individual expression and flexibility is honored. The fire signs do not like to be told what to do, and the positive qualities of Mars in Aquarius can only thrive in an independent and creative environment.

A Full Moon on December 6 provides plenty of action and exchange of new ideas. With the Sun in Sagittarius and the Moon in Gemini, this Full Moon encourages an adventurous spirit. You may find yourself and others making decisions about travel and education, while speculating on future possibilities. Both these zodiac signs are inquisitive, lively and curious when open to direct experience. Everyone can benefit from a fresh look at life from the standpoint of childlike wonder.

As planetary ruler of Sagittarius, Jupiter is a strong influence as it appears to move fairly slowly throughout the month, turning retrograde on December 8. Jupiter governs the principle of expansion. Many times, this is just what is needed to provide comraderie, healing and relief. A change of pace, a weekend getaway, a luscious sweet, a funny movie, there are many ways to switch it up and take a break. However, Jupiter’s expansion can rapidly overdo. As the holidays are ripe with possibilities and temptation to over spend, eat, drink and be merry, it may be wise to remember that January is around the corner, and maintaining balance is desirable in the long run.

The complementary energy to Jupiter is Saturn, the planet of contraction. Saturn puts a fence around Jupiter’s unbridled enthusiasm. On the positive side,Saturn gives form, discipline and structure to Jupiterian inspiration and ideals. On December 10, Venus enters serious, down to business Capricorn, joining the on-going planetary interplay of Uranus and Pluto on the 20th. The second half of December is filled with the shake, rattle and roll dynamic of global transformation, pushing the envelope of change as we prepare to enter a new year.

On December 16, Uranus and Pluto exactly square off once again. This is the sixth square in a series of seven contacts taking place 2012-15. To get some perspective on the momentous nature of this square, let’s consider that Uranus takes 84 years to orbit the entire zodiac, and Pluto takes 246 years. The last time they contacted each other in exact alignment was fifty years ago in the mid-1960s, the decade of radical accelerated social change.

Having come of age in that era, I can easily recall the palpable intensity, rebellion and urgency for evolutionary change. From civil rights to women’s rights, a raging war in Vietnam, growing awareness of ecological deterioration, the list goes on and on. This current square of Uranus and Pluto is refueling, upgrading and catalyzing the next stages of this initial seeding of consciousness.

To give further perspective, after this current series concludes next spring, these planets culminate by major aspect in 2045-46. Obviously, this is an enormous cycle affecting planet Earth, not just our individual lives. It is about our collective consciousness as a species. Events, breakthroughs, advancements and decisions today are a catalyst within this long term cycle. It is certain, those living in this mid-century will historically evaluate and examine current events as foundational in sustaining life on the planet. Hopefully, they will be looking at what went right and be thankful for the major developments of this period.

This brings me to a question a reader emailed recently. She shared concern that humanity appears to be going backwards, devolving rather than evolving. This was not a question I could easily answer in an email. All it takes is turning on the daily news to wonder the same thing. After giving her question some consideration, I will attempt to put in my little two cents as my response to her from an astrological perspective.

First of all, the Uranus/Pluto aspect is happening against the backdrop of the concluding Pisces Age and the beginning Aquarian Age. This 26,000 year cycle, widely understood and accepted in the ancient Vedic tradition, is beyond our current historical reference point. There is also the turn of the century, the Mayan calendar, and many other reference points from a variety of traditions. But, most people can agree that something momentous and transformative is happening on Earth.

Consider your individual life flow, and when you are in between jobs, degrees, relationships, locations, etc. Within the flux and change, there are decisions to be made, projects to complete, actions to be taken, and very often, a sense of overwhelm in the choices to be made. Add to this, the amazing array of options modern society gives us on a daily basis from what foods to eat, where to live, what car to drive and what new technical device to purchase and than learn.

There are major adaptions happening to our species every moment. Is it any wonder that in the midst of all this stressful commotion people are falling back on the familiar options of acquisition, violence and control? The current direction is not sustainable, this is clear. In many cases, humanity doesn’t know any better, but this is where those that see the light and possibility of day can make a huge difference as frequency holders, as Eckhart Tolle would say.

Pluto is the planetary energy of purification as it brings subconscious material up for transmution. Uranus is the awakener, shaking things loose, freeing the very things that Pluto is surfacing. From the metaphysical perspective, the unresolved karmic condition of humanity, personally and collectively, is surfacing for release, healing and forgiveness. Simply watch a historical movie or read a history book, to remember the Piscean Age has been fraught with violence, confusion, misunderstanding and darkness. To a large extend, humanity is not only lost, but locked into a prison of its own making. But, as priorities shift, and horizons expand, the time is now to regain our footing in the only real and true existence of universal consciousness.

The Aquarian Age is barely beginning. In a 26,000 year cycle, who knows the exact year and time when we are firmly in this new age? We are in the in between place, where choice plays the most vital and pivotal role. It is not easy to choose love when others appear to be choosing otherwise. It is not easy to choose the forgiveness and compassion when the soul is burdened with memory, the stockpile of unresolved lifetimes of hurt and mistrust.

The way forward may not feel easy now, but Uranus and Pluto in square to each other are pushing every single incarnated being to the maximum of their capacity. These planets are insisting on a radical departure from the past in the midst of the maximum resistance. The familiar cravings, habits, programming and patterns touch every level of our existence. This is a very deep planetary cleansing, and the tendency is to hold on, fight and resist.

So often words like compassion, forgiveness and acceptance are thrown around as though we really know what they mean. In reality, humanity has only touched the tip of the iceberg in terms of the celestial assistance and healing available when one drops to their knees in deep spiritual surrender.

In astrology we have a phrase, "trining the squares." Squares are generally stressful, taking a lot of effort and patience in the face of trials and setbacks. They are also confusing, and events can feel arbitrary and disruptive. After this current square pattern of 2012-15, Uranus and Pluto will join in a trine in 2025-27.

Now, please don’t be disheartened with the lengthy perspective of another ten plus years. Each day, every moment is propelling humanity through a very dark, but extremely important passage of taking a good look at itself. The problems are in our face, so to speak. It is no longer possible to avoid, duck and hide, the urgency to surmount and overcome is fueling a global transformation. In fact, it is very important to not make excuses and wait, but to embrace the current state of affairs as the opportunity to participate and make a difference. The exact nature of action is not what’s important. The most important thing is to choose kind and loving lightheartedness for self and others. Share it freely with those around you.

The Grand Finale of 2014 is indeed grand. Three major astrological events occur on December 21. Amazingly on this same day, there is Winter Solstice, a Capricorn New Moon and Uranus goes direct. All three point to a new beginning. This is an optimal time to set intentions that have the potential to carry through into 2015.

Add to this potent mix, Saturn leaves the zodiac sign of Scorpio and enters Sagittarius on December 23. After two years of scouring the depths of internalized Scorpio awareness, Saturn in Sagittarius will propel a good look at the role of belief, for better or worse, in our individual and collective existence. There will be more hopefulness, openness, transparency, exploration and global communication. The shift will be palpable as the new year begins. We are turning a corner. Another swing at the bat, another chance to make the only real and everlasting choice in this eternal dance of life.

Sending you and yours the very best wishes for a bountiful and richly blessed holiday season and Happy New Year.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 35 years experience. She is available for personal consultations.
Phone: 828-215-2101

Belinda C. Dunn

November 2014

Scorpio/Taurus Full Moon
November 6 @ 5:23 p.m.

Sagittarius New Moon
November 22 @ 7:32 a.m.

From start to finish, November is a month for completion of the past in preparation for the future. We can look forward to see a new terrain of planetary forces coming into play by year’s end. In the meantime, as the Sun moves through Scorpio skies, there is work to be done, and significant adjustments to be made on many levels. While Daylight Savings Time ends on November 2, the planets are in harmony throughout this first weekend, supporting the distinctive seasonal shift as northern hemisphere moves deeply into autumn.

It is very important to take care of yourself this month as the physical body is home to soul and spirit on this dimension. The Full Moon on November 6 highlights the final stages of Saturn’s transit through Scorpio (October 2012 - December 2014). It is completely normal to feel weary after a long challenge. After a long battle, the warrior must come home to rest. While there is little fight left, and it is tempting to give in to exhaustion and depletion, it is very important to not give up.

For so many people, these past two years of Saturn in Scorpio have been a battle of epic proportions, showing up in a variety of ways. The primary themes for most people have revolved around the big three areas of money, relationships and health. It has been a somber time. After all, Scorpio is the zodiac sign of endings, the finality of death that opens consciousness to the mysterious realm of rebirth.

Scorpio is when the rubber meets the road, and the vacillating impermanence of this earth dimension is unmistakably driven home. The Scorpian’s stinger has a few more swipes as Venus joins Saturn on November 12, Sun joins Saturn on November 18, and Mercury gives the final exclamation point on the 25th. In actuality, in the darkness of having no fight left, the possibilities become endless if these planetary forces are heeded and engaged in positive ways.

All along, Saturn in Scorpio has been pointing the way up and out of shadowy challenges, pointing the way to mastery. But, the question is, have we heeded the call? Is humanity truly listening? Each person, in their heart of hearts, is receiving answers and guidance, conscience and intuition. The problem is, so often we don’t have the fortitude, trust and perspective to follow through on the subtle, or perhaps not so subtle, guidance being received. Instead, humanity is running around busy, afraid, distracted, and yes ,.... desperately searching.

I was having a conversation with someone recently, and they were metaphorically on their knees, voicing desperation, begging for help. However, every realistic and practical suggestion I made was met with excuses. At first I was frustrated, but upon contemplation, I realized this is a good reflection of the shadows I have been facing in my own nature.

This incident has compelled me to be more alert and committed to follow through on guidance, stop making excuses, and really actualize the discipline needed to thrive in these final months of Saturn’s transit through Scorpio. As the Buddha is recorded as saying, "Easy to do are the things that are bad and harmful to oneself. But exceedingly difficult to do are the things that are good and beneficial."

I had another insightful conversation with an astute psychologist, a close friend that shares my love of astrology. She summarized the current planetary trends in bullet points, "Pluto is about digging deep. Saturn is the discipline to do the work, and with Uranus don’t be surprised at what you find." Not everyone is willing or able to access the deeper levels of psychological inquiry, but there is rich healing available for those courageous to take a look.

The theme of discipline, focus, forbearance and fortitude is furthered this month as Mars in Capricorn joins Pluto on November 10. A few days later on the 12th Mars squares Uranus, activating the on-going planetary trends of recent years. November is a month when issues are due to surface, come to a head, and precipitate the type of crisis that really gets things moving.

Since Pluto’s transit into Capricorn in 2008, on-going challenges have revolved around the economy, employment, financial institutions, corporate and government power. Ruled by Saturn, the planet of karma, Capricorn is one of the most potent of zodiac teachers. Demonstrating its high side, Capricorn aims to excel through ethical standards, integrity and genuine contribution to the overall advancement of society. The downside of Capricorn is selfish shortsightedness that leads to avarice, greed and corruption. It is plain to see, an enormous restructuring is taking place with no end in sight.

Meanwhile, Uranus continues an unrelenting thrust for innovation that includes humanitarian concern and conservation of the planet. While there is a cacophony of voices vying for control, there seems to be little agreement on practical and realistic solutions. While these are clearly the signs of the times, November poses many unique opportunities to deal with extremes, a sense of urgency and necessity for adaptation.

This planetary configuration is like a pressure cooker, ready to shake things up at a moment’s notice. A variety of events on the global stage may prove to be the "straw that breaks the camel’s back." While Mars only joins Pluto every two years, there is a tendency for conditions that have been simmering to be turned up a notch. Acting together, these planets tend to expose, explode and implode, and tension can be quite extreme. Probably wise to take a cautious approach, listen to your intuition, and as my grandmother would say, "keep your wits about you."

Mid-month trends take a turn to the inspirational and altruistic. Neptune in Pisces returns to direct motion on the November 16, while Venus enters Sagittarius on the same day. Together these planets stimulate compassion, unconditional love and generosity, a fitting combination as the holiday season is around the corner. The zodiac signs of Pisces and Sagittarius deal in the abstract realm of faith, hope and belief. This can signal a global event that turns hearts to collective prayer as well as more grass roots events joining people together in spirit.

A Sagittarius New Moon on November 22 really gets the ball rolling in spiritual matters. The Sagittarian Archer aims the arrow of truth into the heart of matters. The search for meaning and purpose in this world of form is ancient, and each culture embodies specific rituals to support this quest. As our global society prepares to transition into 2015, this New Moon sets the pace for giving voice to the truth.

Now, dear readers, these words may appear lofty and beyond one’s personal sphere of influence. Our current world situation, as grim as it appears, thrives on glamour, deceit, fear and misinformation. However, in the dark shadows of Saturn’s transit through Scorpio, much has come to light, and a wealth of trans-formative truth has been discovered.

Sagittarius is the zodiac sign that gets the word out, and we are due for an uprising of voices standing for the good, the beautiful and true. In reality, it is in the small, and apparently inconsequential ways, that truth begs to be expressed and spoken. In the ordinary flow of daily life, there are abundant opportunities to take a hand, look into someone’s eyes and communicate care and kindness. Everywhere the eyes gaze, there are abundant opportunities to take in all the beauty of nature’s bounty and be grateful. Enjoy!

October 2014

Full Moon Lunar Eclipse
October 8 @ 6:51 a.m.

Scorpio Solar Eclipse
October 23 @ 5:57 p.m.

Mercury Retrograde
October 4 - 25

October is a surprising month characterized by twists and turns that leave us on the edge of our seats, anticipating what’s next. Between two eclipses and Mercury retrograde, October promises plenty of action on the astrology scene. It is a big month for turning points, and disclosure of essential information that lights the way for months to come. Many matters that have been hanging in the balance, perhaps stalled, come to a point of definitive crisis. A sense of, "It’s now or never," permeates the airwaves.

Despite the cautionary note of Mercury retrograde, it is possible for decisive clarity to unfold as quickly as October leaves drop from the sky. However, it may take weeks, possibly to mid-November, before the dust settles. The fact that two of the most challenging and game changing of astrological trends coincide, Mercury retrograde and eclipses, gives an additional boost of intensity. Humanity is posed to learn some lessons, raw and undiluted, intense and real.

First, let’s consider each of the eclipses. Second, I will share how Mercury in retrograde motion will be sweeping over the potent eclipse points. Mercury, this vital planet of communication, will act as a trigger for issues surfaced by the eclipses. This will give vital information on timing, and how to surf elegantly through a month of potential ups and downs.

An extraordinarily rare Total Lunar Eclipse occurs on October 8. This eclipse activates the on-going Uranus/Pluto planetary configuration that has been wreaking havoc in so many lives. Recently, at a Crystal Visions presentation, I asked the audience, "How many of you have had on-going challenges that repeat and flare up, just when you hope you are on the other side of the challenge?" Over half of the audience raised their hand.

This is due to the repetitious nature of Pluto that has been in stressful square with Uranus since 2012. The adage that comes to mind is, "Two steps forward, and one step back." When I googled this phrase, it also came up switched to, "One step forward, two steps back." Needless to say, these years have tested the limits of our patience on many levels, individually and collectively. Just when progress is so needed, and even worked diligently toward, another snag seems appear.

Pluto is making sure that all limitations on very deep levels of subconscious programming are surfaced to start anew, fresh and ready to rebuild from a point of strength. This breakdown/breakthrough process is happening for a purpose, although this purpose can remain elusive. It is very important to not give into frustration and project difficulties onto the future, as this only fuels the rapidly dissolving past. This is the time to get out the tools in your metaphysical toolbox and actually use them to facilitate a breakthrough.

This Lunar Eclipse triggers themes around relationships and allies in our personal lives as well as the international stage. Who is with you? Have you needed to release certain relationships, or habitual ways of relating, since the eclipses last spring? It is fascinating to me that, for the most part, human relationship skills are often taken for granted. The assumption is made that we instinctively know how to truly relate to one other, but all we have to do is check the daily news to see this is generally not the case.

The Solar Eclipse on October 23 is zero degrees of Scorpio, thus beginning the Halloween seasonal celebration. Scorpio is the zodiac sign of all things taboo. Just try mentioning the sign Scorpio, and you may see visible shudders. The topics of sexuality, death, occult matters, taxes, wills and shared resources all come under the domain of Scorpio.

Joining with Venus, this Solar Eclipse packs some powerful punch in matters of the heart. It is Scorpio’s job to deepen the loyalty and commitment to a relationship. Just as the trees appear naked and bare by the end of October, Scorpio is about taking off the facade of social convention and being real with self and others. Emotions tend to be raw, undiluted, honest and transforming. October is a month of naturally revealing the truth of things as many hidden truths rise to the surface.

Mercury retrograde adds another exclamation point to all of the above. Entering a retrograde phase on October 4, Mercury literally sweeps three times over the zero degree point of the Solar Eclipse. Talk about decisions and the necessity for clear communication . . . there is no getting away from this one.

My favorite word for Mercury retrograde is review. While the pressure to make decisions is unrelenting, it is recommended to take time to gather accurate information, research all angles, and listen carefully to others as well as your inner guidance. The three sweeps encompass the dates of September 27-29, October 8-11 and November 8-10. Watch these days for important and essential information coming to light.

Another important note as October draws to a close is the fact that Saturn, in its two year transit through Scorpio, reaches the degree of its retrograde last March 2, and begins to explore new terrain on October 26. This factor, in combination with the above, spells out October as a month of endings, breakthrough and potential resolution for long term conditions. By years end, Saturn enters the next zodiac sign of Sagittarius which encourages a significant and powerful pivot toward 2015, and what the future holds for humanity.

Since Autumn 2012, Saturn has been slinking through the murky, scary, confusing and swampy waters of Scorpio. To say the least, it has been a heavy, dark phase for so many of Earth’s inhabitants. These years have raised a multitude of questions about survival of all species, and humanity is approaching an obvious time of reckoning. Glimmers of understanding are flickering in the darkness, ready to be fanned into the flames of constructive action and global initiative.

This Halloween, as things go bump in the night, and little goblins run through our neighborhoods testing their courage and ability to stand up to the darkness without fear, may each of us claim our true heritage as children of a most loving Source. Earth is the ultimate playground to test our wings, refine our choices and choose what Source has been choosing for us all along. We are the ones standing in the way of receiving these most abundant and gracious gifts. Faith, peace, strength, unconditional love, enthusiasm, wisdom . . . all these gifts of the Spirit are present simply for the asking. Enjoy!

September 2014

Harvest Full Moon
September 8 @ 9:38 p.m.

Autumnal Equinox
September 22 @ 10:29 p.m.

Libra New Moon
September 24 @ 2:14 a.m.

September is a month of transition in numerous ways. As the school year gears up, warm weather activities and vacations wind down. Sun transits through the zodiac sign of Virgo represented by a beautiful and virtuous maiden, her arms laden with all the blessings of a rich and abundant harvest. Practical, industrious and grounded, Virgo is the zodiac teacher of learning and experience on the wisdom path. Virgo energies drive us back to work, back to school, and in the case of this September, back to the drawing board.

The image of a drawing board brings to mind the necessity for experimentation, flexibility and possible revamping of proposed projects. On the drawing board of life, there are times when it is advantageous to step back with the critical eye of circumspection, evaluate what is working, and what no longer serves progress. Culling the wheat from the chaff is an appropriate Virgo symbol for this month of September.

Planetary trends over summer months were chaotic, uncertain, as though hidden forces were holding things back. It took deep introspection and insight to weed the garden of life, and get to the bottom of troubling situations and circumstances. There was a tendency for deep reservations, resistance and fear to surface in this process. To a certain extent this trend is complete. There may be some finishing touches, but by mid-September numerous planetary trends help to elevate the mood, and buoyantly stimulate appreciation for what has been released, while encouraging optimism for what is to come.

Harvest Moon on September 8 is a SuperMoon known for intensifying emotional reactivity, weather related events, and shifts in consciousness. This Full Moon offers a unique opportunity to diagnosis and address core wounds in self and others. For some people this will relate to tangible physical/medical conditions. Other may experience this SuperMoon on more psycho/spiritual levels. Healthcare practitioner alert! More than likely, you will be busier than usual this month.

Increasingly, the healing community recognizes the holistic nature of human incarnation. As the well known spiritual song, "Dem Bones," points out, "The toe bone is connected to the foot bone and the foot bone is connected to the ankle bone and the ankle bone is connected to the shin bone." To take this idea further, every bone, organ, muscle, tissue, every single cell is connected in holistic concert with each other. Additionally, the mind cannot be separated from emotion, and in physical form, the body cannot be separated from spirit. While this understanding is recognized in traditional and tribal ways, science has lost sight of this basic reality over recent centuries.

On an archetypical level, much of this evolution of consciousness can be attributed to a small planet orbiting between Saturn and Uranus. Discovered in 1977, Chiron joins our solar family as the archetypical wounded healer. Personal growth and holistic healing came to the forefront during the 1970's. It became acceptable and advisable to come out of denial, acknowledge one’s wounds, and implement a variety of modalities for healing. As Chiron actively engages this entire SuperMoon dynamic, be on the lookout for possible solutions to health issues.

This brings us to the fact that Chiron is currently transiting through Pisces skies (2010-18). This is an interesting position as Pisces relates to soul and spirit, the intangible nature of existence. Over these years, Chiron is pointing the way to a deep healing of the human psyche. While illness can show up in a variety of conditions, ultimately, a genuine and real healing lies somewhere within the nebulous realm of one’s inner life, the meeting place of body, mind and spirit.

Awareness of the subtle bodies, and their role in health is becoming more recognized by the mainstream. Spiritual virtues such as forgiveness, surrender, relaxation, authenticity, honesty and love, are coming to the forefront as core values for living a healthy life. Chiron is truly one of the most fascinating and helpful of planetary influences in these times that put significant demands on the body and psyche to adjust in an increasingly technological, information driven, and interdependent global network.

When we take into consideration the residual effect of numerous lifetimes residing within the subtle energy body, no wonder life can feel overwhelming at times. After billions of years and lifetimes, in this dimension and others, humanity is in the process of purging and clearing the very patterns that caused a separation with Source. We are multidimensional beings, functioning on many levels of consciousness, and this earth body is a small representation of the vastness of existence.

Orbiting between the inner planets of self awareness and the outer planets of transcendence, Chiron has been named the "Rainbow Bridge." Thus, Chiron offers an essential teaching. Physicality is necessary for learning on many levels. It is in this dimension where the theoretical is embodied and learning becomes very basic and real. It is on Earth that humans experience the law of cause and effect, the result of emotion, belief and action. In actuality, the body is a gift to experience Earth school curriculum with repercussions throughout the totality of existence.

Traditionally, Mercury, the planet of communication, is assigned the planetary ruler of Virgo. However, since the discovery of Chiron, many astrologers have come forward proposing Chiron as the ruler of Virgo. This gives a new and expanded picture of Virgo, the zodiac sign of illness and healing. This change of rulership really makes sense to me, and speaks to the major leap of consciousness currently taking place.

For example, I have found that individuals with Virgo prominent in their personal astrology chart, have very strong minds. This is a blessing and a curse. They are very intelligent and alert, but their analytical, detail oriented minds can work overtime contributing to perfectionism, worry, stress and strain. In many cases, this diminishes satisfaction in life.

When Mercury takes a break as planetary ruler of Virgo, and Chiron steps up to the plate, the true nature of this wise zodiac sign comes to the forefront. Virgo has the insight and sensitivity to see what is out of balance, what needs to be healed and embraced. It also takes the tense, perfection driven edge off Virgo to lighten up, and be fully embodied in the physical dimension a gift from Source for purposes of awakening spiritual unfoldment and expansion.

Onward to new horizons! On September 13, Mars, the planet of action, enters Sagittarius. This zodiac sign of long distance journeys includes outer travel as well as inner travel into the realms of soul, spirit, dreams and prophecy. The urge to expand horizons will be palpable, and really encourage an enthusiastic, hopeful departure from limiting conditions of the past. This forward momentum will act as a decisive threshold into autumn months, and the preparation for 2015.

Up until now, Mars has been in the relationship signs of Libra and Scorpio all year. Many conflicts and differences have surfaced, in addition to a competitive, combative, aggressive attitude between individuals and nations. Thankfully, Mars will remain in Sagittarius until late October, lightening the mood, and stimulating the courage to explore what is next around the bend.

Autumnal Equinox on September 22 followed by a Libra New Moon on the 24, presents a distinct shift in direction. Add to this potent combination, Pluto’s stationary direct position on the 22, and life once again provides a breakdown/breakthrough opportunity. It can be helpful to pay attention to the rumblings of change as early as the week of September 7-13.

Pluto reaches a station point twice a year, and the last time was April. As the kingpin of planetary transformation, Pluto has the tendency to surface what is hidden from the conscious everyday mind. I have written extensively in recent years about two planets triggering vast change on almost every level of the economic, social and planetary front. Uranus square Pluto (2012-2015) is a rare planetary combination of intense upheaval, clashing of differences, contrast and conflict.

There is a deep purging going on. On the surface it shows up as chaos, uncertainty, trauma and volatility. If you have not had an on-going repetitive challenge over the past several years, consider yourself fortunate. Astrologically speaking, individuals and nations that are particularly susceptible to these destabilizing forces have this Uranus/Pluto square exactly activating in their charts, but no one is exempt from this process of far reaching and fundamental change.

When humanity comes out on the other side of this dark tunnel, we will look upon a world transformed. It is not as far away as one might think, we don’t have to look too far. Consider what you have had to release since 2012. Consider all the ways you and the people around you have been forced, usually by necessity, to grow and face difficulties in a brave and innovative way. It’s time to take the blinders off, and wake up to a sense of responsibility for the condition of one’s consciousness and resultant life circumstances.

Pluto’s transit through Capricorn (2008-2025) is a generational influence that is pushing, surfacing, and insisting that the extreme inequities of greed, avarice, deception and corruption are in our face, so to speak. It is all the ego’s deluded effort of conquest and competition. Humanity truly has lost its way, and it can feel overwhelming and hopeless.

As Uranus and Pluto stir things up on just about every level of our collective experience, as tumultuous and unsettling this process is, there is very good news. These planets have never failed to surprise and delight me. As the old world crumbles, a new world is being born. All the signs are there for those opening their eyes to beauty, listening to the kindness in those around them, and letting their hearts open to allow the love and light of Source to stream in, radiate in all directions and uphold the true nature of existence on Earth.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 35 years experience. She is available for personal consultations. Email: Phone: 828-215-2101 www.astrodelight.com

Planetary Trends for August 2014

Belinda C. Dunn

Leo/Aquarius Full Moon
August 10 @ 2:09 p.m.

Virgo New Moon
August 25 @ 10:13 a.m.

Planetary trends in recent months have not been smooth and easy. Many people are finding that the human tendency to coast along the path of least resistance no longer gives reliable and stable results. Uranus and Pluto, the planets of sudden and chaotic change, have been at work in overthrowing familiar conditions, the bedrock of daily routine. In reality, Uranus and Pluto have been in stressful relationship since the summer of 2010, so these trends are not new. However, the compelling need for change is surfacing, coming to a head, and demanding the real work of genuine transformation.

In this major shake up of established foundations, caution has been thrown to the wind. The unrelenting pressure of these planets is to evolve, overthrow limitations and act independently despite the consequences or hardships. It is as though we have entered a new land, and the necessary adjustments to unfamiliar terrain may feel beyond the scope of one’s capacity. An attitude of curiosity, experimentation and gratitude can go a very long way in maintaining personal stability and positivity during chaotic and uncertain trends.

Far beyond the rings of Saturn, Uranus and Pluto join Neptune in a trio of planets known for breaking the bondage of limited human perception. Known as transpersonal planets, their role is generational in nature, designed to dissolve social and cultural trends that have outlived their purpose. When these outer planets activate in one’s personal life, it can be difficult to make sense of events from the human perspective. They urge us beyond myopic self created answers to take in the view of a more transcendent reality.

I am giving you this additional background as during the month of August, all three transpersonal planets of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are in retrograde motion. This means we get a break from the unrelenting pressure these planets represent. A break to recoup, establish a new normal, and find some equilibrium in shifting sands of time.

Recently, I heard a phrase appropriate for these summer months, "You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf." Every surfer knows the exhilaration of being on top of the wave and pointedly riding to its natural conclusion. And, as every surfer knows, it takes practice and patience, discipline and focus.

This is where the planetary energies of August come in, and the month begins with Sun, Mercury and Jupiter in Leo. While everyone prefers to ride the waves of life with agility, Leo gives that added touch of noble aplomb, grace and style. Additionally, all personal planets are in direct motion. This provides a strong inclination to come back to one’s self in a strong, clear, confident stance. Ultimately, this can only enhance momentum and clarity as far as one’s personal direction.

Leo the Lion, easily bears the role of king/queen of their personal jungle, keenly aware of their domain of influence. The key phrase of Leo is "I will." We have all heard the old adage, "Where there is a will, there is a way." August is the month to call upon one’s inner strength and conviction to move forward. At the same time, when hitting into waves of resistance, and circumstances do not appear to moving forward as one would anticipate or prefer, than it is time to drop all preferences, and evoke the greater good, the larger Divine Will.

The Full Moon on August 10 puts all the above into perspective. This is another Supermoon, known for its exceptionally strong magnetic pull on the terrestrial environment. A Supermoon occurs when the orbiting Moon is closest to the Earth. Astronomically known as perigee/syzygy, the Moon’s proximity makes the tides stronger, waves more pronounced, and generally destabilizes the environment.

While Supermoons are known for their physical effects, they are also known for intensifying emotions, the watery world of desire and need. This lunation magnifies the contrast between the zodiac signs of Leo and Aquarius. Leo likes to be in charge, and has the tendency to dominate on the stage of life. They make excellent leaders and managers, and generally show a warm interest in the people around them. Aquarians know their own mind, and do not easily bend to the control of others. They tend to be cool, detached and indifferent to the wiles and persuasions of others.

Thus, more than likely, we will see a fair amount of controversy, difference of opinion, and head butting during the month of August. This likely trend also intensifies as Mars and Saturn transit through Scorpio skies all month. Scorpio can be equally rigid in its approach and opinion. It is just a matter of style. The Leo energy wants openness and transparency, and outright display of power. Scorpio is strategic, and secretly vies for power. Aquarius simply goes its own way, and typically doesn’t give others a chance to state their case.

Considering all these factors, the world stage attracts plenty of attention as various leaders come forward to lead their constituencies.

As August comes to a close, Mars and Saturn join in Scorpio on the 25th. This planetary combination can be quite challenging. Mars is the planet of action while Saturn is the planet of limitation. Together, they are the heavy workaholic planets, and may produce a lot of effort for little visible reward. When these planets come together they can trigger deep despair, exhaustion, cynicism and unworthiness. When these obstacles arise, there is a tendency to buy into reality from a very limited and pessimistic point of view. If possible, it is best to take a break, release negativity and avoid depletion resources.

In addition to Mars joining Saturn on August 25, there is a Virgo New Moon on the same day. All these factors spell the end of summer fun, and point the way to a seasonal shift. As children return to school, and schedules once again become more structured, this New Moon may present decisions concerning the realities of work satisfaction and quality of life.

Virgo is the zodiac sign of work, service to others and health. At first glance, these matters may appear to be disconnected. However, upon further examination, the capacity to work and contribute is directly connected to one’s health and well being. This New Moon is an excellent time to set fitness and health goals. Virgo also gives the power of discernment, the ability to see what health habits are destructive and toxic. It is an auspicious time to actively initiate changes in improving your overall health and wellness.

Matters of the heart are prominent throughout August. First of all, each zodiac sign governs an area of the physical body. Leo, is ruled by the Sun, the heart of our solar system. Likewise the physical heart is aligned with Leo. We have all heard the term lion-hearted, meaning courageous, brave and big hearted. At its very best, Leo is a magnanimous and distinguished leader of its tribe. However, we look upon the world stage and see controllers in a variety of guises as they strut about without much heartfelt caring for others. As a choice point, the contrast between self centered domination and magnanimous dominion will be accentuated this month.

Secondly, the planet Venus is very active throughout August. This is the planet of romantic love, affection, beauty and allure. What appears attractive and appealing at the beginning of August, may lose its allure as the month concludes. There tends to be tremendous vacillation in attraction, temperament and desire which can lead to long term changes in the relationship arena. Also, with Mars and Saturn so prominent, very real life circumstances can delay and abort fulfillment of desire. This is not to say that all relationships will meet with these challenges, but the month starts with high expectations and concludes with a more realistic down to earth approach.

Let’s go back to the surfing analogy. Remember those waves breaking upon the shore? Imagine the vast difference between being caught in an undertow, a victim of the wave, and the delight of surfing on top of the wave, a brave rider to the shore. While surfing the wave takes practice and tremendous skill, ultimately there is strength in facing the wave head on and riding it to freedom.

August is a month to realistically appraise your skill level, and your capacity to surmount life’s challenges through perseverance, discipline and wisdom. There are plenty of waves to ride. With one pointed focus, confidence and skill, may you surmount challenges, within and without, and surf with wild and free abandon in the moment at hand.

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: astrodelight.com

June 2014

Belinda C. Dunn

July 2014

Mercury Direct
July 1 @ 8:50 a.m.

Cancer/Capricorn Full Moon
July 12 @ 7:25 a.m.

Leo New Moon
July 26 @ 6:42 p.m.

June, a month characterized by weighing of options, indecision and delay, gives way to movement as Mercury begins a direct phase on July 1. Take a moment to consider and clarify the information and insight you gathered during Mercury’s retrograde period as it provides momentum for the remainder of summer months.

There is a purpose in Mercury’s retrograde period. While mechanical and technical difficulties can be frustrating and tiresome, Mercury slows mental processes long enough to gain perspective, complete projects and restore significant links in communication within one’s inner self as well as relationships. Mercury goes direct in Gemini, the zodiac sign of networking and exchange of information. Decisions that have been held in check are easier to make as July unfolds.

Reading further, you will see that July is the key pivotal month of 2014. Many planetary influences and their resultant conditions seem to approach completion, and there is a sense of moving into new territory. This is due to four important planetary players. Mars completes a 7 month sojourn in Libra, Saturn in Scorpio goes direct on July 20, Uranus in Aries goes retrograde on July 21, and Jupiter enters Leo on July 16. Let’s consider each of these planetary influences one by one.

I have written extensively about Mars in Libra. For seven months relationships have been the uppermost focus. So far, it has been a year of passionate bonding with significant people in your life, while taking a step back with relationships that no longer serve. Some relationships have distanced and dissolved while other key players have emerged into your field of vision. As Mars joins the North Lunar Node in Libra on July 12, this is like icing on the cake in all relationships that have reached a harmonious compromise.

Relationships are a fascinating and vital part of being human, and there is a tendency to take relationship skills for granted as something that everyone naturally knows. However, it doesn’t take much to realize that most people struggle with relating, and this can be at the core of suffering and disillusionment. The desire to bond deeply with another can meet with need, habit, programming and vast differences in point of view. A quick scan of the self help bookshelf will demonstrate that people are seeking more awareness and skill in this essential area of human experience.

The topic of relationship brings us to Scorpio. This zodiac sign of connection covers all ends of the spectrum of deep and intense bonding. While Scorpio is generally considered the zodiac sign of sexuality, it also covers intimacy at all stages of life. From the very beginning of human life, as sperm meets the egg, to the last breath, when one meets and returns to their Creator, Scorpio is there at the forefront of life’s mystery.

Saturn has been in Scorpio skies since October 2012, and retrograde since March 2. Recent years, and especially through the spring months, many of us have been forced to take a good look inside, and shine the light of conscious self awareness into the shadows of fear, trauma, resistance and control. Scorpio always provides potent medicine for the soul to seek the cleansing waters of forgiveness, release old baggage, and choose lightness of being.

As Saturn goes direct mid-month, more than likely, we will see signs of being able to move forward based on the past several years of Saturn’s deep, probing, surrendering and humbling transit through Scorpio. By year’s end, Saturn will enter Sagittarius, so this is the time to wrap up Scorpio themes, and receive clarity based on what has been released, forgiven and transcended. Increasingly, it will be possible to accept a higher purpose in these deeply introspective years as Sagittarius elevates consciousness on higher ground to soar into new horizons.

A fascinating planetary dynamic activates the second half of July. With Saturn propelling us forward, Uranus in Aries says, "No, not so quick... there are still issues in self expression that need to be refined and considered." Uranus in Aries (2011-18) encourages independence, radical self acceptance, and departure from mediocrity and normality. These times insist on a courageous break from old programming and the current cultural paradigm. In order to be honest, spontaneous and free, there is the discovery of self in a new way.

Throughout July, Saturn and Uranus are in stressful and challenging contradiction. Saturn represents tradition, the so called "tried and true" from a social standpoint. Uranus represents departure from the norm, a keen knowing that direction and answers emerge in exploration. There are no shortcuts around this contradiction. What is breaking down has outlived its usefulness. Those people keeping an optimistic eye on innovation are in the position to truly contribute to a new world arising from the ashes of destruction.

To finish off the month, let’s consider the giant of the solar system, Jupiter. Over the past year, Jupiter has been transiting through the zodiac sign of Cancer, driving people to find safety and security within and without. Amidst the intensity, Jupiter has been insisting on finding nourishment. In many respects, it has been a year of nesting, resting and making peace with family, home and environment. For my more outgoing clients, I have found them calling and asking if they are OK as they are used to being more external in their calling and life expression. I assure them that the current trends have been for a return to instinctual self-care.

The past year of getting back to basics, and more rooted in daily life, provide an important stepping stone for the upcoming 12 months. On July 16, Jupiter enters the next zodiac sign of Leo. For those sensitive to energy, a significant shift will be felt. Leo is radiant fire, volatile, dramatic and intense in its expression. On July 22, the Sun enters Leo for its annual transit, joining Jupiter on the 24th and together they engage the New Moon on July 26.

The joining of Jupiter with a Leo New Moon has tremendous potential for goodwill, surges in optimism and humanitarian action. However, Jupiter has a down side. Its expansive influence can fan the flames of entitlement, aggrandizement, power and authority. Those in positions of leadership may be tempted to take control and dictate their agendas rather than keeping the good of all in mind and heart. Watch late July for themes of this nature that tend to continue into August.

Besides the weather, another factor that turns up the heat in July is the Grand Cross/Cardinal Climax planetary configuration. Sun, Mercury and Venus all take a turn in transiting over the destabilizing alignment of Uranus and Pluto (2010-15). While this is a long term pattern, a faster moving planet can activate the configuration and re-energize stressful conditions. Since 2010, this alignment has pointed to the necessity to remodel one’s life more in congruence with current social and world conditions. Maintaining security in an unstable economy, dwindling opportunity, lack of trust in leadership, disgust with congress, serious conflict on the world stage . . . the list goes on.

On July 4, Independence Day, the Sun opposes Pluto. Fireworks will fly in many directions, but Pluto will cast a somber tone over festivities, and the overall mood may be rebellious and insincere as the trend continues through July 8. The celebration of America’s 238th birthday cannot help but bring up questions around leadership, patriotism, history and the country’s future direction. Other days to be aware of are: July 21-24, 27-29.

To conclude, events in July are game changers. On one hand, a look in the rear view mirror will show a variety of circumstances quickly receding in our personal lives and collective experience. On the other hand, don’t spend too much time looking back. There are plenty of hurdles to stay focused upon as humanity rushes full force down the highway of social transformation. And, in the meantime, find a quiet respite beside cool waters and enjoy this extraordinary time of year.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 35 years experience. She is available by phone/skype and in person. Cell: 828-215-2101 - belinda@astrodelight.com

May 2014

Belinda C. Dunn

Taurus/Scorpio Full Moon
May 14 @ 3:16 p.m.

Mars Direct
May 19 @ 9:31 p.m.

Gemini New Moon
May 28 @ 2:40 p.m.

Esteemed poet Maya Angelou likens springtime in North Carolina to heaven on earth. Gazing out my window today, this is surely true. Dogwood and apple tree blossoms grace the sky above, daffodils and violets spread their beauty below. As our Sun moves through the zodiac sign of Taurus, we are reminded of all things beautiful in this dimension of earthly form.

Taurus is the most physical, sensual and earthy of zodiac signs. All the senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch come under the domain of Taurus. Our eyes feast upon every shade of green. Song birds announce the arrival of warmer days, and the familiar smell of freshly mown grass returns. The season’s first ripe strawberries offer the present moment of tantalizing and scrumptious taste. Walking barefoot on earth, perhaps wiggling one’s toes in sand and surf, these tactile sensations provide an elegant foundation for the active outdoor fun of months ahead.

Traditionally, Taurus is known as the zodiac sign of money and finances, bankers and antique dealers. Over the years, I have seen prominent Taurus influence in the charts of massage therapists, ceramic artists, gardeners and beauticians. Satisfaction in these professions comes from a tactile, hands on approach.

Taurus plays a vital and valuable role in the emerging sciences of ecology. Sustainable living is intrinsically linked with development of green technology, renewable energy, ethical consumerism, conservation, environmentally friendly products and production. Additionally, our essential connection with the natural world is emerging in a variety of therapeutic fields. My daughter just spent four days in nature as part of her graduate degree curriculum, summing up the experience in one word, "transformational."

Mystically, the zodiac sign of Taurus works hand in hand with Scorpio. While Taurus is about embodiment and full participation of the senses in earthy experience, Scorpio represents the inevitable conclusion of physicality, the final release of form. The Full Moon on May 14 brings these themes to bear on the auspicious occasion of Wesak Festival, an annual celebration of Buddha’s enlightenment. As the ancient story goes, Buddha was born a prince of great wealth, and his father kept him within the palace, removed and protected from seeing the harsh suffering of old age, sickness and poverty. Of course, as a young man, Buddha’s natural curious nature took him beyond the palace walls. What he saw changed his perspective, thus he set foot upon the path of enlightenment to discover the permanent in the impermanent.

This particular Wesak Full Moon is particularly potent as the Moon in Scorpio joins Saturn in Scorpio. It may be helpful to conceptualize a Full Moon as a seesaw that can balance extremely to one side or the other. This is a highly charged, emotionally sensitive time when the truly valuable things of life are magnified. Saturn can feel heavy, just like those mornings when it can be hard to get out of bed, but Saturn can also provide the impetus to make a realistic appraisal of things and move forward with practical objectives.

Also taking place during the week of Wesak Full Moon is a helpful planetary combination of Mercury in Gemini and Venus in Aries. Venus enters Aries on May 2, and Mercury enters Gemini on May 7, together they harmoniously support all aspects of communication, heartfelt sharing, decisions, travel, networking and social interaction. These planets will most definitely instill clear thinking, a loving attitude, and necessary momentum to make new choices and begin moving into a more outgoing phase.

Another very important planetary development involves a long term transit of Mars. Generally, Mars moves rapidly, but due to a retrograde phase, Mars is in Libra skies for months, December 2013 - July 2014. Mars entered this retrograde phase on March 1, and it may be helpful to consider key relationships that have been present in your life over recent months.

Shining a light on relationship skills, Mars in Libra has served to expose habitual and programmed responses. One of the most malignant and complicated of human tendencies is to disown one’s participation, and project blame on another. Empowerment of self and others is facilitated through taking personal responsibility for one’s past and projections. On May 19, Mars appears stationary as it begins a phase of dynamic and direct action. This is a shift in priorities, and it is now possible to move forward knowing where you stand with the people around you. If you have come to some fundamental realizations about your style of relating and how you would like to be in relationship, than you are not alone. It is always possible to forgive, and make amends.

May is an important month to integrate and stabilize the Grand Cross/Cardinal Climax breakthrough energies of April. This planetary dynamic shook loose irrelevant and outdated perspectives in the collective consciousness. It created a vacuous opening for Source to stream into this dimension. I realize this sounds very abstract, but this planetary dynamic has been precisely activating the most sensitive area of my astrological chart for several years.

Frankly, watching the planets move into this rare alignment, I have been waiting with bated breath for April 2014 (while reminding myself to breath deeply and relax into a sense of safety). As I observed this amazing alignment, and allowed it to unfold, events in April delivered an unmistakable culmination of personal life circumstances that served to dissolve many life patterns that had been set in stone for decades, possibly lifetimes, to be set free.

While I have coached many clients through the Cardinal Climax, I see a repeated theme of challenge that shakes the individual to the core of their selfhood, belief and trust in life. Whether it is an ending of a relationship, loss of property, a stalled career, health concerns for a family member or self, the overall theme is relinquishment of control that places one squarely in the crossroads of surrender.

From the larger cultural perspective, I have determined that Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2024) represents a breakdown of the military/industrial/corporate complex as a deeply ingrained perspective, a way of life. This very idea may appear abstract and idealistic, but the signs are visible. People are fed up and tired of living an inauthentic, shame-based, stressed-out, workaholic life on the treadmill of corporate greed. It will take years to unwind this monster from the social structure, but it is happening in small and big ways.

Listen to the conversations around you for signs of a cultural revolution of great magnitude. The heart of our common humanity and true wealth is becoming more and more evident, increasingly expressed. Pluto transit through Capricorn is exposing the bare bones of value, worth, and the precious power of gratitude in daily life. I love the way popular culture expresses trends. "Ordinary Love," a new song by U2, sums up this subtle, yet very significant shift, in perspective.

"All the beauty that’s been lost before

Wants to find us again.

I can’t fight you anymore

It’s you I’m fighting for

The sea throws rocks together

But times leaves us polished stones.

We can’t fall any further

If we can’t feel ordinary love

And we can’t reach any higher

If we can’t deal with ordinary love

Humanity stands in the crossroads of transformation, and survival depends on growth, change and adaption. While negativity, fear and dissent can rule the day, perhaps the most needed quality is right in front of our noses. When we let down our guard and awaken to everyday beauty all around, the ordinary becomes extraordinary, and the shared heart of humanity rejoices in gladness. 

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 35 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. Check out her site: Email:

Phone: 828-215-2101

Belinda C. Dunn

April 2014

Full Moon Lunar Eclipse
April 15 @ 3:24 p.m.

Taurus New Moon Solar Eclipse
April 29 @ 2:14 a.m.

Held within the embrace of celestial cycles and planetary orbits, Earth is due for a wild ride throughout the month of April. The shake, rattle and roll of planetary aspects accelerates evolution, bringing to mind, the common adage, "there’s never a dull moment." It is a month of surprise and adventure, breakthroughs and illumination. Spring is in full swing, and as our Sun moves through Aries skies, the natural response is to get moving. Additionally, April Fools Day may set the tone for foolish, impetuous, irrational and impulsive action. Anything goes, and more than likely, we will see a vast array of responses as the month unfolds.

Several archetypes from the ancient Tarot card deck come to mind. As the very first card of the Tarot deck, the Fool stands ready, out on a limb, stepping off a cliff into the unknown, with only memory and experience in his backpack. This is a bold step taken with complete trust and faith, and there is no turning back. The other Tarot card that comes to mind is the Wheel of Fortune representing a point of destiny, a time of drastic and irrevocable transformation.

Over recent years, I have written about the Grand Cross/Cardinal Climax as a crossroads for humanity. Planetary trends for April literally urge, propel, insist and catapult movement, whether it is welcomed or not, thought through or not. Events and circumstances demand solutions that require immediacy and action.

To summarize the effects of this rare planetary configuration of the Grand Cross/Cardinal Climax . . . let’s look at the timing. Uranus and Pluto are two main players, and their cycles kick off major social trends. While they show up in our personal lives, they are really beyond self, and represent the historical moment, the "signs of the times." The last time they melded their energies was in the mid-1960's, years characterized by upheaval, rebellion and revolution. If you lived through that decade, you have your own unique memories, and know what I mean. It was a decade extraordinary in its power of disruption. There were significant and major changes in idea, belief and social interaction with repercussions continuing to this day.

Whenever slow moving planets like Uranus and Pluto come together, they produce long term trends that take place over years. The bare beginnings of the current engagement of Uranus and Pluto were obvious in the final months of the Obama and McCain campaign, and well underway at Obama’s Inauguration in January 2009. Enormous institutions that hold society together were exposed for their corruption and greed, resulting in a tsunami of economic upheaval, and a slow, but sure, slide into stagnation, discouragement and disillusionment for the vast majority of the populace.

President Obama’s election, Gulf Oil Spill, mortgage and currency crisis, Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, WikiLeaks, Fukushima, Snowden, stalemate in the U.S. Congress, these are just some of the big picture newsworthy events. Considering the timing of this entire historical trend, we see it beginning in early 2009, and gathering momentum from 2010 to now, and preparing to finalize on March 16, 2015. Realistically, finalize is probably not the most descriptive word. However, astrologically and numerically, the timing of planetary aspects between Uranus and Pluto have their final and exact engagement a short year from now!

So, how does this figure into April 2014? I am choosing to call this month the "climax of the climax." Perhaps better said as the "peak of the peak." Whether we are looking at peak oil, peak greed and corruption, the height of ignorance, domination and control, this is a turning point with dramatic events ready to transpire. The Cardinal Climax is exact, what astrologers call "perfects," throughout April, but especially intense mid-month as it combines with a Lunar Eclipse on April 15.

Eclipses are known for unveiling the substance of issues, revealing the truth of matters, and April’s Lunar Eclipse is no exception. In recent months a tension has been building in the area of relationship; interpersonal, organizations, political parties, government and the governed, nations and world. While this eclipse brings relationship issues to a head, it also emphasizes cooperation, diplomacy and compromise. Communication is always at the heart of relationship, but this eclipse tends to color ideas with self interest, and myopic vision. For those open to a change in view, sudden insight and reversals of opinion and approach are available with flexibility and surrender. However, as much as communication tends to be tricky, resistant and reactionary, opposing forces can serve overall progress. Hopefully, a sense of stability will dawn by the Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 29, holding through May, and the summer months. But no doubt, aftershocks will reverberate for months, and probably for years to come.

Many astrologers see the month of April as a time of great danger for the United States. I realize this sounds dramatic, but keep an eye out for pivotal events that point to long term trends. Individuals, institutions, as well as nations, may be called to protect their image, authority, power and control on the world stage. War drums may beat loud, ecological and humanitarian disasters may occur. Even more corruption is due to be exposed, while the general public may be relatively unaware of what is going on behind the scenes. In other words, there will be overt demonstrations as well as covert, hidden, behind the scenes entanglements that make life complicated for many people.

In considering these planetary trends, especially in regard to the U.S., I am not so sure we are looking at another event on the scale of 9/11, the Iraq War or the Wall Street debacle. In fact, it feels more like a canary in the coal mine, or a frog placed in the pot of cool water whereby the heat simmers on the stove. The country is already in the pot of hot water, the heat is already turned up, and now it is a matter of having the wherewithal to jump out of danger.

In other words, we don’t have to look any further than what is already front and center. The planets cycle together, and history repeats itself. A short four decades ago Uranus and Pluto joined in the sixties, a decade characterized by similar dynamics of irreconcilable differences, and extreme contrast in perspective. The nature of this planetary partnership is to evolve human consciousness up and out of these fundamental differences by laying everything out on the table.

Every planetary combination has its gifts. As I contemplate the high and evolved side of these planets, the Grand Cross/Cardinal Climax presents a new and potent opportunity. Let’s consider the faster moving planets of Mars in Libra (December 2013 - July 2014) and Jupiter in Cancer (June 2013 - July 2014). This position of Mars is the valiant warrior for truth and justice, taking action for fair and equitable solutions. This comes with full realization that the primary battle lies within the human psyche, and peace can only come about when the blame game ceases, and the whole is taken into consideration. Mars in Libra aims to create win/win solutions for all. Jupiter in Cancer is about finding and sustaining roots within family, culture, location and home. Jupiter in this position encourages simplicity, and a reverent, gentle, light hearted walk on this good green earth as nourishing mother nature.

The slower moving planets in this dynamic combination are Uranus in Aries (March 2011 - May 2018), and Pluto in Capricorn (2008 - 2024). Uranus in Aries asks us to boldly follow guidance, act independently when necessary, to stand on our own two feet and be empowered in self reliance as a reflection of direct connection with Source. Pluto in Capricorn emphasizes that true empowerment comes only through human dignity and personal integrity. Greed, supremacy and domination are not sustainable in the long run. Vitally and growth throughout the entire global matrix can only arise from responsible, accountable and practical approaches as the first and foremost way to rebuild from the ground up.

In contemplating these trends, I have come upon the analogy of a wildfire burning the earth. Anything in the path of this fire is burnt to the ground, wildlife scatters in the chaos and destruction. There is the uncontrollable aspect of this type of fire, but there are also fires that are specifically tamed to burn away the undergrowth to make ideal conditions for new growth to arise. To take this analogy to the conditions of daily life, there may be situations that are truly out of control, but this should not stop the careful tending and release of that which no longer serves. Fire purifies and illuminates while clearing the dross and superficial. From these archetypical fires a renewed sense of direction and being arises.

During this month of Easter, the cross is also a potent archetype of crucifixion, surrender and release. With major planets at each of the four points, the Grand Cross/Cardinal Climax creates the tension to evolve through humility and acceptance. The wheel of fortune is turning, and to everything there is a season.

April is a stormy month in many forms, but let’s remember the common adage, "April showers bring May flowers." Along with May’s flowers are warm breezes, rainbows, and fresh green grass filled with fragrant clover and violets. Perhaps this dynamic four pointed Grand Cross is ready to transform overnight into the most rare of clovers, the shamrock. Perhaps this time of trial and trouble is really a time of auspicious good fortune as it clears the undergrowth, preparing the ground of each human heart for a beautiful gift of awakening to the true beauty of all life has to offer.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 35 years experience. A full listing of her services can be found on Belinda is available for personal consultations, and she can be reached by phone, 828-215-2101 and email:

Belinda C. Dunn

March 2014

Pisces New Moon
March 1 @ 2:59 a.m.

Pisces/Virgo Full Moon
March 16 @ 1:08 p.m.

Spring Equinox
March 20 @ 12:57 p.m.

Aries New Moon
March 30 @ 2:45 p.m.

In the final stretch of winter, signs of spring are all around. March is always a dynamic and transitional month. Roaring like a lion, fierce and unrelenting winds blow away the last vestiges of darkness. By month’s end, the days are longer, while glorious green sprouts arise from slumber to show their face. The winds, while still unpredictable, begin to carry a sweet fragrance of gentle days to come, encouraging the proverbial lamb to come out and play, romp and frolic in new found freedom.

March begins with a variety of mixed messages. On one hand, Mercury, the planet of communication, has just stationed direct within the previous 24 hours. (February 28 @ 9:00 a.m.) This is always a sign of forward momentum. Weather related events have been an obvious source of slowing conditions throughout February. Less obvious, but no less stressful, conditions over recent weeks have come with their own set of challenges and delays.

Closely aligned, Mercury and Neptune have made many situations foggy and confusing at best, fraught with dead ends at worst. Typically, when these planets work together, they confuse the landscape with mirages, muddy the terrain with emotional highs and lows, while making conditions hard to diagnosis and get a handle on. Mercury joins Neptune for the final time on March 22, dynamically combining with Spring Equinox to force momentum and decisions based on weeks of introspective guessing, guidance and surrender.

Additionally, during this recent retrograde phase, Mercury joined Saturn, a planetary combination that exacerbates differences in perspective, misunderstandings, cynicism, pessimism and delays. While encompassing weeks, this phase has been exact on January 25, February 19, with final completion on March 11. Needless to say, winter months have tested our patience and fortitude to hang in there and lean into faith and resilience.

A brief word about retrogrades. Retro, of course, means to turn back and review. Now, this is just from our vantage point on Earth, due to varying speeds of planetary rotation. In actuality, we know it is not possible for a planet to go backwards, it is simply an optical illusion, but to anyone that has followed retrograde periods, the effect is quite noticeable.

Upon looking up retrograde in the dictionary, I see several definitions such as, "to turn back; tending toward or resulting in a worse state; treading backward." I have noticed that even the mention of a planetary retrograde period can stimulate dread in many people. But, the definition I am choosing to focus my attention on is this, "to go back over or recapitulate something." Recapitulation is a process of "repeating principal points or stages of development, to summarize."

March begins with a compelling and enormous pause to take stock, review, go back over things, to release what no longer serves and to strengthen what deserves our attention as a foundational component of momentum in the long term. As Mercury goes direct and lends clarity to winter’s introspective phase, Mars and Saturn are stationing retrograde on March 1 and 2, respectively.

Now while this may feel like two steps forward, and one step back, several other images come to mind. A runner preparing for a marathon, crouched low, in position, completely focused and intent on successful completion. Or a wild cat one pointedly stalking its prey. And, as this is the Chinese New Year of the Horse, I am reminded of a race horse in the starting gate, steady, still, alert, ready for the run of its life. Yes, there are hurdles to overcome. Yes, there is an air of anticipation and uncertainty. Yes, there are no guarantees, but the universe, life itself, is giving us mortals a chance to relinquish our hold on things, pause, summarize and take care of things that otherwise would go unnoticed.

That said, this is highly unusual to have three planets in slow motion within days of each other. Let’s take Mars for instance, Mars will be retrograde in Libra until mid-May. It’s time to review the relationships of those you stand with, or perhaps stand against. Forgiveness, anyone? Saturn is retrograde in Scorpio until mid-July, intensifying and accentuating a process of release and relinquishment of control that can be unnerving, but perhaps that is the whole gist of it anyway. The process we are individually and collectively undergoing is happening on very deep, I repeat, VERY DEEP levels.

I am reminded of my mountain driveway that was already in bad shape, but slowly deteriorated over the winter to become a muddy, almost impassable mess. But, the planetary energies in March are not all muddy detours, sinkholes and obstacles. On March 6, the planet Jupiter completes its retrograde phase, pauses and turns direct. Jupiter is the bright spot in the sky. Jupiter offers luck, fortunate circumstances, self confidence, faith and inspiration.

As Jupiter transits through the zodiac sign of Cancer, we will see fortunate developments in the areas of home, family, parenting, location and real estate. This is a pick up and move planetary trend. However, if you are happy in your current location, improvements are forthcoming. In my life, plans are already underway to reconstruct my driveway to a better than ever state, and I expect it to be complete right on time as Jupiter goes direct. The planets never cease to amaze me in their perfect timing!

Highly unusual, there are two New Moons during the month of March. On March 1, a New Moon in Pisces emphasizes the final themes and throes of introspection, circumnavigation and preparation. In the final weeks of winter’s cold, it is very important to stay warm and nourished. Daylight Saving Time begins on the 9th, and a week later a Full Moon in Pisces/Virgo wraps up any loose ends of adjustment, setting the pace for a new season.

Spring Equinox is March 20. As the Sun enters Aries, it is directly overhead at 12:57 p.m. The equinox is always a potent and energizing event. From an astrologer’s point of view, long after New Year celebrations are over, the equinox marks the beginning of a new yearly cycle represented by spring. Once again, we have a chance to set intentions and renew commitments. As always, spring comes with a burst of vitality, verve, drive, passion and desire to get outdoors and ground inspiration. Get ready, get set, GO!

The equinox leads up to a second New Moon on March 30. This is one to watch as it activates the Grand Cross/Cardinal Climax planetary configuration that I have been writing about for several years. Providing a sneak preview of April’s dramatic presentation, it’s time to be on the lookout for events that may lead to surprising conclusions as a new season unfolds. But, more on that in next month’s installment of "What’s UP."

Belinda C. Dunn


Mercury Retrograde
February 6 @ 4:43 p.m.

Aquarius/Leo Full Moon
February 14 @ 6:53 p.m.

Mercury Direct
February 28 @ 9:00 a.m.

February dawns with some major shifts in perspective. First of all, according to Chinese tradition, Year of the Green Horse is officially underway as of January 31st. As the archetypical horse comes into power, we are asked to take the reins of our hopes and dreams and enthusiastically, passionately explore new terrain. Remembering the common adage, "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence," may hold some real value as your horse gallops off to find verdant and nourishing pastures.

To recap, 2013 was a challenging year ruled by the Snake. It was a year of soul searching, shedding old skins, releasing the past and facing shadows within and without. A distinct shift from internal processing in isolation and darkness is upon us as Horse emerges into the light of day. On one hand, Horse needs the structure of boundaries, those fences of physicality and reality. On the other hand, horse is headstrong and craves the freedom to roam.

2014 will bring attention to the structures that hold life together, relationships, social convention, rules, laws and regulations. It is a year whereby the grain is separated from the chaff. Dreams that are viable and real will be easily manifested. Unrealistic and fanciful dreams will meet with form, be tested by existing structures, and need to be reinvented. Horse needs solid ground beneath its feet to take off and race down the track of life.

On January 31 another significant planetary shift took place. The motion of Venus is now direct, and this glowing beauty of a planet is now visible in the morning sky. Venus rules over the flow of ease, affection, harmony and money. Through recent months, Venus in Capricorn has been serious and constrained, cold and isolated, not a conducive placement for passion and ardor. As Venus meets the dawn, she will dispel the darkness of night, another indication of illumination coming our way.

Many factors point to a slow motion ride throughout February. Mercury, the planet of communication, enters a retrograde phase on the 6th, taking its own sweet time until going direct on the final day of February 28th. Not only is there the natural hibernation of winter, but Mercury in Pisces can support the process of visualization, imagination and reclusiveness.

The first half of February is characterized by Mercury in Pisces closely joined with Neptune in Pisces. Pisces is the most mystical, dreamy and idealistic of zodiac signs, naturally lending itself to prayer, contemplation and meditation. However, like a fog, this planetary combination can cast its illusionary spell of glamour. This foggy time can feel confusing and disorienting as it dissolves boundaries of consciousness, opening perception to more subtle and hard to define sensitivities. Those people susceptible to substance abuse or mental illness can be quite challenged with this combination.

The remainder of February, Mercury retrogrades back into Aquarius, the zodiac sign of invention, connection, friendship and community. The Aquarius Full Moon on February 14 closely aligns with Mercury. Therefore watch mid-month for important decisions, insights and inspirational breakthroughs that seem to come out of nowhere. As this is Valentine’s Day, relationships are enhanced, and possibly filled with unique connections, surprises and intrigue.

On February 15, an important time in a Mercury retrograde cycle occurs. Known as the inferior conjunction, Mercury joins the Sun to further the themes of reflection. Astrologer Erin Sullivan has this to say, "This is a ‘new’ Mercury phase. It marks a time to rest and recuperate, scaling down initiatory action and allowing the unconscious to work. Progress is only measured by reflection on its worth, and by looking back one sees how far one has come." Insight, revelation and direction revealed at this point tends to carry forward through to the Spring Equinox on March 20, setting the pace for a dynamic, active and outgoing spring.

Another important element in February’s line-up is the transit of Mars through Libra. In mythology, Mars is the god of war, known for its aggressive, competitive and fighting influence. Since December 7, Mars has been in the zodiac sign of Libra, presenting the rare necessity for cooperation. Libra is all about peace, harmony and skillfully relating to one another as individuals and nations. This combination brings acute recognition to the parts of a relationship that may be in conflict. Mars in Libra encourages facing these conflicts head on while making headway in personal authenticity. It is a time of taking responsibility for one’s point of view, while side stepping the blame game, and seeing through the eye’s of another.

By February 18, the Sun enters Pisces, and the final stage of winter is underway. Maintaining warmth through nourishing foods and self care continue to be very important now. Mystical, contemplative, artistic and gentle, the Pisces time of year is best used for creative projects, humanitarian concerns, healing and spiritual attunement. It is a time of purification on every level, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. You may find yourself instinctively surrendering to what is while finding solace in the present moment.

The second half of February is marked by two other planets in extraordinary relationship with each other as Jupiter and Uranus travel the heavens together. The last time they joined forces was the summer of 2010, which was a major breakthrough season characterized by the Gulf oil spill and other unpredictable events. Exact on February 26, be on the lookout for release of conditions that may have been "set in stone." When these planets join there is a strong desire to take a risk, change, transform and be free.

All in all, February is a month filled with unpredictable breakthroughs that cannot be forced. It is a month less about doing and more about being. Touching into the field of all potential, it is a time to dream new dreams based on what your true self and higher power have in store for you. Currently, from the spiritual and philosophical perspective, there is a tremendous focus on the art of manifestation, but if something is not aligned with the Divine Plan, it cannot come into being.

It takes extraordinary trust to relax into what life has planned. Trusting it is the best, beyond what the little self and mind can possibly dream up. It is just a matter of getting out of the way, and seeking alliance with the most magnificent and glorious universe, filled to overflowing with gifts of love for every being. We live in a rare and unique age, on the threshold of transformation. Doors of new perception are opening wide, and it is simply a matter of moment by moment dropping the old baggage for self and others while embracing forgiveness and accepting freedom. Easier said than done, but throughout February, the zodiac teachers of Aquarius and Pisces gently and compassionately nudge us on our way home to where we really belong.

January 2014

Capricorn New Moon
January 1 @ 6:14 a.m.

Capricorn/Cancer Full Moon
January 15 @ 11:52 p.m.

Aquarius New Moon
January 30 @ 4:38 p.m.

2014 begins with signs humanity can no longer ignore. Hiding one’s head in the sand, pretending, drugging and numbing in a variety of ways, these strategies no longer get us anywhere. Abrupt, decisive and determined, a Capricorn New Moon on January 1, gets the juices going, projects flowing, and resolutions humming.

As the most realistic of zodiac signs, Capricorn brings us face to face with what is not working in our lives, what needs to be released, as well as what needs to be strengthened and focused upon. Only than, can the process of manifestation, Capricorn’s gift, be actualized. However, there is a caveat with Capricorn energy. When one’s focus is exclusively on needs of self tinged with greed, possessiveness, desire for power and control, the process of manifestation is diminished substantially, fraught with complications and delays.

In recent history, it may appear that bullies have a leg up, but in reality they are caught in the snare of illusion with consequences on down the road. As a result of Pluto passage through Capricorn (2008 - 2025), humanity is being tested to rise to the higher ground of integrity and accountability. The only intentions that have any real lasting and contributing value are those taking into consideration the whole, aligned with higher purpose and potential for the entire planetary family. January is the month to align, attune and adapt to your unique and valuable purpose, the great gift of incarnation.

Now, I am not saying this is always an easy process. The very nature of current planetary trends is to throw up every possible obstacle, to leave no stone unturned in the quest for this larger purpose. It is transcendent of anything we have experienced before. It requires a deeper relinquishment of control than ever, a deeper commitment and trust in ultimate goodness than ever. It is mind blowing, and paradigm shifting.

Astrologers call this configuration a Grand Cross, and more recently this shift has been dubbed a Cardinal Climax. A number of planets started activating this phase in the summer of 2010, and continue through Spring 2015. This rare planetary grouping has far reaching results. The disruptions and changes, shifts and transformations have long term impact. Humanity has backed itself into a corner of no return. Earth will never be the same, and the more we realize this is a good and sacred thing, the more we can collectively wake up from a deep and dark trance. The days of holding back and holding on are concluding in dramatic ways.

Grand Cross/Cardinal Climax . . . let’s pick apart these words for meaning. Grand means large, sweeping, important and substantial. A cross consists of a horizontal line and a vertical line. It brings to mind the cross of sacrifice and the crossroads of decision. The cross points to the reconciliation of opposites in order to make powerful, peaceful and informed choices. In astrology, cardinal means to make movement and respond to the need for constructive action. A climax is a culmination, an obvious and noticeable peak.

From the last week of December 2013 through to January’s Full Moon on the 15th, there is a rare chance to see this Grand Cross/Cardinal Climax fully activated. Whether we are looking at peak oil, the peak of greed and depravity, the peak of political turmoil, the peak of ignorance in the face of tremendous technological advancement . . . the list goes on and choice is clear. It is essential to back away from the cliff of no return, and take serious stock of current trends, personally and collectively.

Standing at the crossroads requires careful planning and circumspect navigation. Impetuous action leads nowhere. Habitual reactivity is contagious and only leads to more complications. Playing the blame game simply passes the buck and accomplishes nothing. Cool and calm, collected and connected is the only way through this intersection of destiny.

Cultivating these attributes can feel like a full time job, but they are the meeting place of sanity, and this month of strong Capricorn influence provides an ideal environment to stabilize within the core of your inner being, the center of the cyclone. Long held, suppressed and stagnant conditions are especially susceptible and ready for upgrades during these breakthrough times.

That said, these combustive planetary trends are taking place in very uncertain and volatile economic, political and social conditions. From the fire in one’s gut that says, "enough!" to heroic gallantry, there are many positive advancements underway. One of the major themes of 2014 is security, and how to cultivate safe harbors and calmer waters within the unrest. Discussion revolves around how to do so in the midst of many unknowns.

As the year progresses, these trends have the power to break the gridlock in Washington. However, those forces working to undermine progress will go to any lengths to exert their agenda. As a new congress begins to emerge over the year, leadership will come forward that is more inclusive and aimed toward reasonable cooperation. The first 6 months of 2014 are decisive for the country’s long term progress. As other leaders and countries emerge on the world stage, the U.S. is posed to retract from being the world’s sole policeman and savior. Boundaries and alliances are in a state of flux, and the nation’s identity is being challenged and reformulated.

Watch the week of January 13 for especially noticeable and important developments as the Full Moon on the 15th exactly stimulates the U.S. financial arena. However, Aquarian influences are beginning to be felt as Mercury enters Aquarius on January 11th and Sun on the 19th. There is a balance called for between a past, appearing to be set in stone, and a nebulous and unpredictable future. Many solutions abide on the level of community and grass root developments.

The zodiac sign of Aquarius is light, free and electrical in nature. It is like a thunderstorm coming to clear the air and reveal an unseen landscape. Chinese New Year celebrations on the 31st follow an Aquarian New Moon on the 30th. Additionally, on the final day of January, Venus begins a direct and forward movement after being in retrograde since Winter Solstice. This signals the conclusion of many delays in finances, planning, career goals and relationships.

As I have mentioned in previous articles, 2010 - 2015 are years of unprecedented change. It is a time of revolution, within and without. A keen longing to break free of limitations is the fuel for this transformation. It is not as simple as the popular Monopoly game, and landing on the space to receive a "Get Out of Jail Free" card. This liberation takes planning, patience, diligence, commitment and real work. Whether you are called to personal liberation from destructive habits, or called to action in the world, or more likely a combination of both, it begins with self reflection, goal setting and courage.

As always, January is an ideal month to quietly hibernate and sweetly dream. We live in a world that desperately wants to awaken from a nightmare of its own creation, and dream a new dream. Each moment we choose gratitude, beauty, love and trust, is a moment that builds collective intention for a kinder and gentler world. So simple, yet so profound, step by step, we awaken to a new year. 2014, here we come!

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 35 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. Phone: 828-215-2101 Email: Sign up for FREE monthly E-newsletter at her site: astrodelight.com

December 2013

Belinda C. Dunn

Sagittarius New Moon
December 2 @ 7:22 p.m.

Sagittarius//Gemini Full Moon
December 17 @ 4:28 a.m.

Winter Solstice
December 21 @ 12:11 p.m.

From the depths to the heights, there is a reason Sagittarius follows Scorpio in the natural progression of zodiac unfoldment. Consciousness can dip down into the shadows for only so long before it must soar into understanding and revelation. To dwell too long in the darkness is to keep one’s head down with no regard and gratitude for the gifts of daily existence. Between a Sagittarius New Moon on December 2 and Mercury’s entry into Sagittarius on December 4, consciousness is lifting out of a fairly dark and strenuous journey into the underworld over recent months.

Due to its retrograde movement, Mercury has been in Scorpio since September 29, in addition to a Scorpio Solar Eclipse on November 3 and Saturn’s serious influence. There has been a tendency for the mind to brood in the swamp of complicated emotions, resentments and grudges, stalls and delays. So, if you found yourself out of sorts in recent months, slugging around in murkiness and confusion, than look up as planetary trends are looking up as well. Now, older and wiser, none the worse for wear, it’s time to rest, play, celebrate and rejoice.

Symbolically, the Sagittarian Archer is a centaur, that mythical creature of ancient lore with a horse body and human head. The centaurs were known as a raucous, out of control and purely hedonistic bunch, but there was one centaur that chose to take aim toward the star Antares, right into the heart of Scorpio. This daring and altruistic centaur is known as Chiron, the archetypical wounded healer. Discovered in 1977, the planetoid Chiron is a major player in current times as Chiron doesn’t allow humanity to dwell in denial too long, but pushes the envelope of personal growth and healing.

As a Scorpio Sun with Mercury in Sagittarius, I especially relate to this zodiac symbolism of Chiron aiming into the heart of the Scorpian, truly aiming toward truth with a capital T. Of course, the big Truth is typically hard to come by in the realm of analytical mind and ho hum routine of mundane events. It really does take a willingness and propensity to look beneath the surface of things to see clearly, sift through the false and distorted, and once again soar like an arrow to aim directly toward the center of things, the big picture perspective which is continually beckoning us to new vistas of inspiration and guidance.

Both December’s New Moon on the 2nd and Full Moon on the 17th, put emphasis on these themes. It is a matter of taking to heart the understanding gained from sojourns into Scorpio’s underworld, and emerging unscathed to soar into meaning and purpose. It is not enough to acknowledge problems, dwell on them and reach the impasse of hopelessness. It is a matter of taking the insight and doing something to repair the damage, thereby healing the heart of the problem.

Much has been purged and released in recent months. Truly, a vacuum has been created for new life and creativity to spring forth. Uranus, the planetary wild card, activates both the New and Full Moon in unique ways. Satori, the Zen word for sudden and irreversible illumination, is present for the asking. There is an undeniable breaking free from restriction present all month. Especially watch the Full Moon mid-month as it is highly charged with the element of surprise, and possibly last minute change of plans. Radical ideas break the stalemate of indecision while spontaneity refreshes the mind, energizing the weary spirit.

Another very significant astrological trend begins on December 7 as Mars enters the zodiac sign of Libra. Normally Mars transits rapidly, but due to a retrograde phase in late winter/early spring, Mars will remain in Libra until July 25. Mars will fight for righteousness, but Libra is the peacemaker. This combination presents a quandary of sorts. It is a matter of developing peaceful resolution to conflict without losing sight of the need for active involvement. Mediation and interpersonal social skills play a big part in bridging differences. While this may play out individually in a myriad of ways, the United States destiny is currently on the line. As winter and spring months unfold, look for major developments in terms of the country’s presence on the world stage, and relationship with other nations.

Winter Solstice is exact on December 21. This time honored celebration marks the entry of Sun into Capricorn. This day is also important as Venus in Capricorn enters a retrograde phase (December 21 - January 31). Respect for tradition and ancestry is Capricorn’s hallmark. These influences can bring a heightened sense of reverence for life and one’s unique contribution within the entire fabric of human destiny. My favorite word for Capricorn is contribution. The winter season gives ample opportunity to distill wisdom from the past, and refine goals in moving forward. A serious and mature approach is called for without leaving out ample doses of humor and light heartedness.

Beginning Christmas Eve and continuing throughout the week of New Year’s, there is another opportunity to face the long term shake, rattle and roll, breakthrough energy of Uranus and Pluto. Evident in our personal lives as well as collective experience, these two planets have been catalyzing major planetary transformation since 2011. While there are numerous possibilities, the bottom line is let go of the past, release structures that no longer serve and rapidly come up to speed with current trends. Using the analogy of trying to change a flat tire while driving the car is quite telling as these planets are catapulting humanity out of complacency into action, no matter what the challenges.

During the final week of 2013, Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto join in a unique configuration knows as a Grand Cross. Just as the cross is symbolic of surrender, the Grand Cross energizes a face to face confrontation with the reality of ego consciousness. The ego’s agenda tends to be short sighted and self centered, fumbling and bumbling its way through day to day problems. The Grand Cross can amplify the crisis, but clearly show the need for adjustment and alignment to a larger and more universal perspective.

In recent months as I researched the astrological trends for late 2013, a very compelling word popped into my awareness, "apocalypse," which means many things depending on one’s orientation and perspective. Of course, we have heard this word for years, and it was the buzzword last year as December 2012 loomed on the horizon. But, here we are a year later, and humanity is still braving its way through a morass of challenges on almost every front.

At the same time, I came across an excellent article in "Yes!" magazine written by Robert Jensen confirming my draw to this word, and its immediate and compelling relevance to the Uranus/Pluto trends (2011-2015). Jensen points out that apocalypse is a Greek word meaning, "a lifting of the veil, a disclosure of something hidden, a coming to clarity." He continues by writing, "Speaking apocalyptically, in this sense, can deepen our understanding of the crisis and help us see through the many illusions that powerful people and institutions create. But there is an ending we have to confront. Once we’ve honestly faced the crisis, then we can deal with what is ending -- not all the world, but the systems that currently structure our lives. Life as we know it is, indeed, coming to an end."

As 2013 draws to a close, the Grand Cross, a celestial alignment of major transformation, is a call to action. There is work to be done. While some confusion remains as to the exact strategies and direction this work is to take, the way is clearing and coming into focus increasingly each and every day. 2014 begins with a clarion call to listen very carefully. Listen to each other, listen to the wind, trees and earth, and by all means, listen to that still, quiet voice within that has the blueprint and answers for your unique contribution in these most momentous times.

During this holiday season, I send many thanks to each of you, readers, students, clients, family and friends. You keep me going in this journey of translating the heavens that ofttimes feels like being out on a limb. Your feedback and kind words are the inspiration that lights the fire of my enthusiasm and the road ahead. Sending best wishes to you and yours for a splendid season and Happy New Year. 2014 - Here we come!

Belinda C. Dunn

November 2013

Scorpio New Moon Solar Eclipse
November 3 @ 7:50 a.m.

Mercury Direct
November 10 @ 4:12 p.m.

Scorpio/Taurus Full Moon
November 17 @ 10:16 a.m.

We have all heard the common adage, "between a rock and a hard place." This phrase came to mind as I contemplated the planetary energies for November, and in particular the Scorpio Eclipse on November 3. Phrase Finder, an internet site, gives further understanding in stating, "the dilemma of being in a position where one is faced with two equally unwelcome options appears to lie deep in the human psyche."

How is this unsatisfactory and frustrating dilemma clarified and resolved? Here is where we dive directly into Scorpio waters, at times murky and confusing, at times purifying and sustaining. From an astrological perspective this Solar Eclipse is unique in that it engages numerous planets in its mysterious dance. Gazing at the chart, I see almost all of the planets in close alignment to the Sun and Moon at 11 degrees of Scorpio.

Psychologically speaking, this eclipse initiates an integration process of many diverse factors within the psyche, factors that may have felt at odds with one another or one’s conscious mind. It may be tempting to just focus on outer life circumstances, and witness contradictory circumstances with no real solution. The mind may say one thing, while instinct says another. The emotions may reveal unresolved hurts, while the heart reveals a deeper truth. It can feel like being pulled in many directions, scattered thin, at odds with the world and perhaps oneself. For many, this eclipse can stimulate a deep surrender and release opening a portal to real solutions.

One of the current and key astrological patterns that bears looking into involves the dynamic between the zodiac players of Scorpio and Aries. While Sun, Moon, Mercury and Saturn transit Scorpio skies, Uranus in Aries continues its unrelenting push for freedom. This is a little or a lot stressful. Uranus in Aries is all about personal freedom which, in many cases, can be translated to selfish motives, absorption in individual rights to the detriment of the whole, and numerous other types of misconstrued and corrupted attempts at autonomy. In fact, the more that individuals and groups attempt to force and control freedom, the less freedom is available. But, the definition and boundaries of freedom are confusing, both in our national life as well as personal dilemmas.

As I have stated in recent articles, some people need to become more individualized and self reliant, while others need to back off and be less controlling and dominating. It is up to each individual to really know their self, and where they are on this continuum that is never black and white, but in ever changing flux of shades of grey. A reliable constant lies in the realization that no one truly knows where freedom begins or where freedom ends.

The zodiac signs of Scorpio and Aries are co-ruled by the heavy hitters Mars and Pluto. Scorpio is all about covert, hidden power while Aries tends to engage with up front, in your face, overt power plays. The eclipse can serve to reveal the ego’s antics by dispelling a mass myopic tendency to buy into illusion and stay locked in the chains of self absorption, and lack of sensitivity to the struggles of others.

This eclipse has the potential of major awakening on many levels of our collective and personal experience. In order for this to happen, in order to push aside the rock and a hard place and jump out to freedom and safety, it is a matter of engaging the potential of Scorpio gifts which are frank discernment, realistic appraisal, and honest self reflection.

Scorpio is the most intense and passionate zodiac teacher. After all, the key phrase is "I desire." Desire takes many forms, all the way from life sustaining to life denying. It keeps us alive and kicking, fully engaged, procreative and expressively creative. And, of course, unexamined and habitual desire keeps humanity chained to addiction, on the constant lookout for the next quick fix. While the Scorpian stinger is known to lash out at others, it is, by far, more brutally damaging to self and the potential for a fully lived life.

As a Solar Eclipse is also a New Moon this is an excellent time for turning inward, setting aside agendas, turning off technology and sitting with one’s soul and spirit. Truly, this eclipse marks the beginning stages of retreat, a natural part of the seasonal cycle of autumn and approaching winter. Additionally, Daylight Savings Time concludes on November 3, so many factors combine to shift awareness away from concrete outer matters and into the vast reaches of inner space. It can feel a little wobbly at first, like getting one’s sea legs on a long journey.

Considering that November begins with Mercury in retrograde, there may be a slow start as numerous situations call for contemplation and careful diplomacy to move forward into resolution. Mercury in Scorpio stimulates an astute scouring of the mind to come up with viable alternatives. Even under pressure, if at all possible, hold off major decisions until mid-month. It doesn’t always feel comfortable to stew in it, but comprehensive and positive solutions are found in the pause of a Mercury retrograde phase. As Mercury joins Saturn for the third and final time on November 25, this final week provides extra incentive to be realistic and long range in one’s vision and implementation of goals as a result of patience and strategic planning.

Several other planetary factors combine to make November a very productive month. First of all, Mars in Virgo enhances diligence, discipline, sensibility and methodical attention to detail. A real push to complete projects by year’s end is met with the practical skills to do so. Additionally, on November 5, Venus enters Capricorn, the most industrious, capable and serious zodiac sign. Due to a retrograde phase, Venus will remain in Capricorn throughout the winter, and it is helpful to be on the lookout for direction coming into view this month. More on this next month . . .

A distinct shift of mood and ambiance occurs when the Sun enters Sagittarius on November 21. The Archer, light hearted, philosophical, festive and humorous, aims the arrow upward, away from mundane concerns, upward toward a larger and greater purpose. While November presents numerous snares and challenges, by Thanksgiving there is a sense of having escaped Scorpio’s deadening grip. Out of darkness, another potent Scorpio symbol ascends as the mythical Phoenix arises from its own ashes. It may not be obvious, or fully grasped, but collectively, Phoenix is rising. It is up to each of us to embrace the potential and rise to the occasion with full gratitude for this amazing journey called life on planet Earth.

October 2013

Astrology Forecast by Belinda C. Dunn

Libra New Moon
October 4 @ 8:35 p.m.

Full Moon Lunar Eclipse
October 18 @ 7:38 p.m.

Mercury retrograde
October 21 @ 6:29 a.m.

October is a crossroads month as powerful planetary forces align to produce movement, catapulting many life situations out of stagnation and stalemate into momentum. This month heralds a two-month process that may not wind down until Thanksgiving, so be on the alert to establish your center and hone priorities.

The first indication of these influences takes place on the Libra New Moon of October 4. This is no ordinary New Moon as it opposes Uranus and activates Pluto. Situations that have been held in check tend to erupt into the light of day. Libra is a team player, however Uranus is transiting through Aries skies (2010 - 2018), and the whole dynamic of personal balance within the context of relationship continues to be fed by this planetary influence.

This New Moon can stimulate entitlement, selfishness and arrogance in many relationships depending on the personalities involved. Some people need to develop more self reliance and independence. Others benefit by minimizing controlling behavior, and attuning to the needs of others. Realistically, a healthy relationship is based on a blend of these components. There are times to act in personal strength, and other times teamwork is a necessity. Issues of co-dependency confuse the issues, and it may take introspective soul searching to get clarity on the highest and best way to proceed in any given partnership.

Many opposing factions came into view in recent months. To preserve stability, it is time to harmonize and negotiate differences. These are strongly destabilizing planetary energies, but the good news for October is Libra the peacemaker steps in to mediate these contrasting viewpoints. The symbol of Libra is the scales of balance. These scales are ultra-sensitive to imbalance, and issues of fair and equitable solutions surge into consciousness for the purpose of resolution. On October 7, Venus enters Sagittarius where she will remain a full four weeks. As the planet of harmony and loving kindness, Venus in this position expands tolerance of differences while instilling a sense of humanitarian values. Overall this will benefit global alliances and national partnerships, lifting awareness to higher ground.

Additionally, on October 8 Mercury joins Saturn for the first of three contacts that take place over the next two months. As a planetary force, Saturn provides discipline and restraint. Some people and factions will balk at the restraint, while others dig in and accept limitations as the best and most realistic way to proceed forward. Saturn matures and grows us through adversity, and it is not an easy influence to accept. However, serious conditions demand drastic measures.

Communication provides a foundation for relating, and there are many challenges to clear communication this month. First and foremost, Mercury entered Scorpio on September 29, where it will remain until December 4 as a result of a retrograde phase (October 21 - November 10). Scorpio is not the happiest expression for Mercury as it rules over the serious topics of insurance, wills, death, sexual power and the occult.

When Scorpio is prominent, consciousness takes a turn into the watery depths of emotion. I always say there is a choice of immersion. Scorpio can be a dark, scary, muddy swamp as well as the archetypical well of pure spring water. In order to access pure, nourishing and cleansing water, the bucket of consciousness needs to be sent through the layers of ego to access genuine and direct mystical experience. It takes courage to encounter the shadow side of human nature, and emerge cleansed and renewed.

October and November will provide needed insight into many areas of life where you may have felt blocked as the result of not having enough information. When one is in a quandary, it is best not to push the river. These months require patient and careful navigating. More than likely, significant and destiny altering events will rock planetary consciousness awake to a new level of commitment. As these events ignite the collective spirit they will bring recognition of our common humanity, and the necessity for teamwork to get through challenging times.

If it isn’t enough to be advancing into the headwind of a Mercury retrograde phase, eclipses are also part of this mix. A Full Moon Lunar Eclipse on October 18 furthers the themes of controversy. Those acting in self serving ways will find tremendous restraint imposed upon them. Many bridges can be irreparably burned. There is a sense of finality to a widening chasm of no return. These restraining forces are prominent, and it may take some keen insight and judicial wisdom to "choose one’s battles well."

Typically, eclipse themes are felt as much as four weeks ahead of time, lingering until two weeks after the final eclipse. In this case, planet Earth is on notice for a full six weeks beginning late September and resolving around Thanksgiving. Eclipses are known for removing illusionary veils, and truly much remains to be exposed and addressed.

When I feel into these celestial dynamics . . . an upcoming Scorpio Solar Eclipse New Moon on November 3 AND a Mercury retrograde phase in Scorpio (October 21 - November 10), I can only guess as to the exact nature of erupting situations. Obviously there are many unstable and volatile conditions across the globe. However, it is the magnitude of these eruptions that is significant at this point.

As mentioned previously, Scorpio is known as the zodiac sign representing the shadow side of human nature. Typically, this shadow is denied, repressed, held in secrecy. After all, the Scorpian can deal a lethal blow as it scurries around in the darkness. No doubt, there will be much to view "out there" in the news along with continuing turmoil and lamenting of fate.

As an astrologer, I have watched a timely and perfectly orchestrated universe for decades, and there is a larger plan at work here. Our solar system is providing a rare glimpse into the human condition and nature of reality, summarized simply as, "We have met the enemy and he is us." While there will be pointing of fingers and general confusion as to who the enemy really is, a deeper look will expose the psychological interplay of consciousness known as victim, villain and hero.

Almost every human mind dwells within this interplay. We know it well, and freely toss around the word "victim." But, for every victim there is a perpetrator, the villain. For every victim and villain, there is a gallant and idealistic hero stepping in to rescue and save the day. If we look closely, we can see ourselves playing through these roles on a regular basis. Differentiating between a truly victimized state of vulnerability and need is very different than playing a weak and ineffective position in life. While the "villain" tends to be more disguised and denied, any true healing is a matter of facing the addicted and tormented parts of the inner psyche, the parts that have chosen to turn away from the light. From this vantage point, perhaps each of us are being called to be a hero to our self, each other and the collective consciousness.

Whether we are looking within or without, these months hold great promise for a cathartic purging and release. On the surface, it may appear that power and chaos reign supreme, and things may appear hopeless, but the shadow is being exposed for what it is. The self centered, misguided and defensive human ego is being brought to its knees in the light of surrender to something greater than itself.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 35 years experience. She is available for individual consultation in person/by phone or skype. 828-215-2101 Email: belinda@astrodelight.com

Astrology Forecast for September 2013

Belinda C. Dunn

Virgo New Moon
September 5 @ 7:36 a.m.

Virgo/Pisces Full Moon
September 19 @ 7:13 a.m.

Autumnal Equinox
September 22 @ 4:44 p.m.

Fields and trees offer up a full yield of sustenance for the masses in this season of harvest. The month begins with a New Moon in Virgo represented by the Virgin holding bundles of grain. Her innocence and beauty are magnetic. Her wide-eyed wonder casts a spell of gratitude for the grace of Earth’s abundance from which these bodies come. Earthy, basic, pure and undiluted, Virgo reminds us of the possibilities of perfection.

Now that I have waxed poetic and philosophical, let me fill you in on Virgo’s downside, something I know well as I have plenty of Virgo emphasis in my astrology chart, and I seem to attract clients with similar traits. Out of all the zodiac signs, the Virgin is most attuned with the ideal. Whether it is an immaculate kitchen, just right decor, the perfect hairstyle, Virgo aims for perfection. This is all well and good, as Virgo gets the job done, but when this trait gets out of hand, it can become an over striving work alcoholic tendency that can truly suck the joy out of living spontaneously and compassionately in the dirty, messy trenches of everyday existence.

People without prominent Virgo tendencies, typically don’t get it. It all seems like "much ado about nothing." They don’t necessarily see what begs to be taken care of and attended to. Little things, like dust bunnies and cobwebs, commas and explanation points, can be overlooked unless one has Virgo eyes. Typically dependable, punctual and meticulous, Virgos make excellent employees as they go the extra mile, and deliver the goods. But, the old adage, "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," is only the tip of the iceberg.

My first astrology teacher used to say, tongue in cheek, "Virgo gets the booby prize of the zodiac." At first I was affronted and taken aback. How could one sign be singled out in this way? It didn’t make sense. Now, decades later, I completely understand what he was alluding to. The booby prize is missing out on life as a result of placing undue attention on perfection, an impossible goal. It is one thing to aim for excellence in one’s work, but it is another thing to keep rigid expectations in terms of human behavior. Bottom line, no one is perfect.

A significant part of Earth school curriculum circles around acceptance of imperfection in self and others. The ideal of a Virgin birth has driven western culture for centuries. Generations have been held under the spell Christian values, a code of morality that expects others to behave in a certain way. Only when Virgo relaxes and allows big picture perfection to be the goal, can life become sweet and satisfying.

Harvest Moon is aptly named for the Full Moon before Autumnal Equinox. Historically, the Moon’s full illumination allowed farmers to work longer into the evening, and harvest during the most propitious time. This year’s harvest moon is exact on September 19. Astrologically the Sun is in Virgo, while the Moon is in Pisces. As much as Virgo lends itself to practical common sense, Pisces is otherworldly, opening perception to direct experience of universal consciousness. Feet on the ground, head in the stars, this Full Moon provides the "perfect" blend of walking our talk and living our truth.

Autumnal Equinox is observed annually when the Sun enters the zodiac sign of Libra. This occurs on Sunday, September 22 at 4:44 p.m. I offer this exact time as number 4 in numerology is about grounding and stabilizing foundations. Symbolized by the scales of balance, Libra reminds us of the essential nature of keeping balance in all areas of life expression, especially in terms of relationship.

There are some challenges this month. In order to understand and prepare, let’s begin with Mars in strenuous aspect to Saturn on a Monday, September 9. Lending a serious air to the week, it is helpful to remain persistent and determined in the face of deadlines and demands. Venus joins Saturn the middle of next week, September 18, which once again is a heavier influence, especially in matters relating to the heart. Unresolved emotions tend to burst to the surface for clearing. Affections wax between unsatisfied passion and detached reservation.

Another significant planetary factor is Pluto’s station point on September 20. From our vantage point on Earth, it appears that Pluto is stationary for approximately a week (September 18 - 24) as it begins a forward and direct phase for the next seven months. Pluto is the release valve for collective emotion. For example, a pressure cooker has to be carefully tended to produce the right amount of heat. Circumstances, carefully guarded in secret, tend to surface, and there is no holding back. Pluto is known for its intense, urgent and obsessive quality. It pays to stay alert these days, and not jump conclusions.

Another analogy that comes to mind for mid-September is a jack hammer breaking up a concrete sidewalk. The path, the way, may have appeared to be set in stone, but the unrelenting and forceful demand for evolution and transformation takes priority. On a personal level this can be quite challenging as insight surges to the surface of the conscious mind that will inform life decisions on down the road. This planetary influence breaks down resistance, and it is helpful to remain rested and nourished to face the demands of extraordinary times.

Mercury, the communicator, plays a key role in preparation for Pluto’s station point. On September 14 - 16, Mercury activates the on-going Uranus/Pluto dynamic. Watch all communications as they tend to surface important, even life changing, information. From personal insight to national and international matters, the theme is negotiating the fast-moving rapids of change. Pluto makes it all about power, who has it and how to get it. Whether it is wielding the power of a real weapon, or wielding the power of the tongue, power plays get attention. Misguided, self-centered human willfulness has a lot to learn.

Overall, September promises to be a breakthrough month. Laying the ground for a new season, autumn engages the senses with the ever present reminder of colder days ahead. Insight received this month is like food, sustenance for soul and spirit. Take it in, let it nourish you to the very core of your being, lighting the way ahead.


Belinda C. Dunn

Leo New Moon
August 6 @ 5:51 p.m.

Leo/Aquarius Full Moon
August 20 @ 9:45 p.m.

Robust, determined, noble, vital and magnanimous, those born under the zodiac sign of Leo demonstrate these qualities like the life generating sunshine of our central Sun. As all planets revolve around the Sun, Leos thrive when others admire and respect their gifts. In the northern hemisphere, the Sun is the center of attention this month as the peak of summer’s heat sizzles all in its path, and the only reprieve is to retreat to cooling waters and other recreational activities.

The 28 day lunar cycle begins anew on August 6 with a New Moon in Leo, and culminates with a Full Moon on August 20. Known as an expanding Moon, these weeks tend to be more active, lighting the fires of Leo’s enthusiasm and proclivity for drama and intensity. Leo is all about expression. The integrity of being aligned with one’s inner motives and honest self expression is at the core of the wise adage, "To thine own self be true."

Additionally, people with Leo prominent in their astrology chart are well aware that "all of life’s a stage," and it is a matter of playing the role well, and not hankering or attempting to play an other’s part. A Leo can fake it only so long, and than rebels and breaks away. Having the freedom to be authentic and take risks drives a Leo’s self expression, and everyone is touched by these themes during the course of August.

Leo themes are further stimulated by Mercury’s transit through Leo skies (August 8 - 23). This planet of communication is now moving quickly generating activity based on recent months of pause and reflection. In fact, due to a retrograde phase, Mercury has been in the zodiac sign of Cancer since May 31. Over the past several months, I have written extensively about strong emotions surfacing, and the need for gentle loving kindness with self and others.

The foundations of security, safety, preservation and protection are now in place on many levels. While this trend has affected each of us in specific ways, the overall themes revolve around family, location, nesting and emotional healing. Many people are focusing on relocation this summer, while others are faced with the decision to move over the course of the next year. For others, the focus is on the inner home of intent, emotion, feeling and place within one’s tribe.

The stage has been set, and the environment is optimal for action and advancement. Mars, the planet of action, is transiting through Cancer skies (July 13 - August 28). This trend points to decisions made in recent months are now being tested for validity, relevance and viability in the practical world of form and structure. The overall drive is toward security in the face of current trends that appear to mutate with every twist and turn.

The transforming planets of Uranus and Pluto remain in stressful alignment this month, and while they are not exactly aligned, there are several planets activating this on-going challenge. Uranus and Pluto are known for their sweeping long term societal shifts. These planets were last in alignment during the 1960's when explosive and major events altered the course of history.

Currently, Uranus and Pluto are stimulating an upgrade, an evolutionary push to remain true to the advancements of the last 40 years, while taking things to the next level. Starting in 2010 and in effect until 2015, they spell rebellion, controversy and dissent amongst numerous belief systems and vantage points. As humanity is in the midst of this transformation, the necessity to evolve has its purpose, and the intensity is not going away anytime soon. While the very idea of this can add to stress, it is a matter of adjusting perspective and making peace with the times we find ourselves within.

The potential for positive adjustment is present in August as the beneficial planets of Venus and Jupiter soften the urges for conflict and rebellion, and turn the consciousness toward freedom and reform. When Venus engages Uranus/Pluto (August 23 - 27), watch for ways to harmonize opposing elements within yourself and life circumstances. As the peace keeping planet, Venus holds great potential to show an honest and deliberate way through chaos, but it will be a matter of embracing and seeing the good intentions within all parties.

Jupiter’s influence in August is another story. This is the planet of expansion, so it can enlarge both favorable conditions and difficult circumstances. On the downside, Jupiter can promote arrogance and entitlement. Jupiter’s high side is philanthropy, spiritual wisdom and generosity of heart. The ever present choice between self- centered interest and consideration of others comes into focus starting the week of August 5. Jupiter moves slower than Venus, and culminates with potential for breakthroughs and release during the week of August 21.

Be on the lookout for attempts at huge and sweeping reform, overtly and covertly, personally and collectively. There is a tendency to enlarge problems, manipulate and control outcomes. Pluto serves to purge dark and illegal activities by bringing hidden information to the surface, so watch for slanderous situations on the public level, and possibly in one’s personal life.

Our Sun enters Virgo on August 22 with Mercury closely following on the 23rd, and together they join on the 24th. The earthly and practical zodiac sign of Virgo is a welcome relief, and signals a renewed focus on work, service and education. Details that may have been overlooked previously are clearer now. However, Virgo’s drive for perfection has a potential downside of criticalness and dissatisfaction. Watch for important insights and decisions that set the pace for autumn months.

When I consider the astrological trends for August, I am reminded of roots. After all the summer rain in western North Carolina, I find some of my garden produce adapting, while other plants are not developing due to waterlogged root systems. Metaphorically, this season is asking each of us to dig our roots deep and strongly. To be aware of watery emotion as it surfaces, but not get caught in the torrential downpour of past regrets. To be aware of the pestilence of our times, but not let it eat away at our sanity and peace of mind. To be prepared for challenges, but flexible enough to find comfort and happiness is the moment by moment passing show of life. Enjoy!

July 2013

Belinda C. Dunn

Cancer New Moon
July 8 @ 314 a.m.

Mercury Direct
July 20 @ 2:22 p.m.

Leo/Aquarius Full Moon
July 22 @ 2:16 p.m.

July begins with communication and decisions in back tracking mode. This phenomenon, known as Mercury retrograde, is commonly a time for reviewing all plans, researching possibilities, completing projects and allowing the truth of any matter to surface. This phase is known for its frustrations and breakdown in communication, so attitude adjustments can go a long way in mitigating potential problems.

Basically, mental functions are scrambled, internalized and perhaps distracted. It is a time to proceed cautiously with any major decision, however this necessary pause serves to provide clarity in laying a foundation for months to come. When Mercury goes direct on July 20, resistance and confusion dissolves, and decisiveness carries projects into active mode as July concludes.

Another major planetary factor is Saturn’s return to direct motion on July 8 at 1:12 a.m. Saturn entered a retrograde phase last February 18. When this planet of consequence and karma is in retrograde, life can feel like walking into a strong headwind. It takes more effort to get traction, produce results and get the job done. Long term conditions that have lost their relevancy tend to falter and fall apart during Saturn retrograde. Saturn takes out of our lives what we no longer need, but this process is not always welcome. Saturn matures and grows each individual to admit faults and failings in the process of coming to terms with reality on this dimension.

Saturn is currently transiting through Scorpio skies (2012 - 2015). Just like a scorpion scuttling around in the darkness, Scorpio’s domain is everything dark and hidden, shadowy and secret. Therefore, it is no surprise to astrologers that significant issues around secrecy and privacy are surfacing into the public domain. The debate on these topics is just beginning, and those who have things to hide are put on guard.

Scorpio also rules over all things sexual as couples can no longer deny the inner workings of relationship and the importance of emotional and physical compatibility. Nothing can hide from Saturn in Scorpio’s scrutiny, and emotions can surface intensely and dramatically. Issues around shared resources, money of the partnership, wills, insurance and legacies, are up for examination and renewal. Money and sexuality are integrally linked in the balance of power in many relationships, and July is a month when these matters come into focus.

The final transition of death and the occult sciences also come under Scorpio’s power of transformation. These times are bringing the entire planetary community face to face with the choice of life and death, and the potential for rebirth. The clock is ticking away for humanity on planet Earth. At the heart of occultism is the ancient, secret art of alchemy. While this is known as the process of turning base metal into gold, the dictionary defines alchemy as "the power or process of transforming something common into something special; an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting."

The potential of Saturn in Scorpio is to expose the ego’s subterfuge, and expose the bare bones of reality. In reality, this is a temporary dimension, and liberation from the karmic cycle is dependent on choosing high vibrational frequencies. This is not a choice that can be left up to the moment of transition, but a choice that comes naturally moment by moment when one’s consciousness is steadied in the lighter, finer frequencies of love and light. This is not something abstract and difficult to attain, but given freely and available whenever the human heart opens and chooses forgiveness, positivity and kindness.

Monday, July 8th, the day when Saturn in Scorpio goes direct, is also a New Moon. The combination of these major influences signifies a new beginning in the areas of home, location, family and relationships. It is helpful to affirm that the past is forgiven and forgotten, it is time to move forward within new structure. This includes one’s inner psychological home, the sensual world of perception, emotion and intuition. Along with Saturn, this New Moon sets the stage for emotional purging, and supports renewal of intention and integrity. This is also an excellent week for decisive clutter clearing and otherwise lightening one’s load on many levels.

The next week of July 15-20 is equally dynamic and dramatic. Not only is Mercury going direct by week’s end, but Uranus is a prominent planetary influence. Uranus is the wild card, and anything goes by mid-month. Anticipate sudden reversals of plans and intentions. Unforeseen obstacles can appear out of nowhere. All of a sudden the light dawns, and previous decisions and actions may appear miscalculated, but overall this week’s planetary energies serve to break the grid lock and get the show on the road.

There are two major, rare and unique, planetary patterns activating this month. One pattern is a Grand Trine bestowing opportunities of harmony, intuition, balance and healing. Laying low, going with the flow, allowing things to be and receiving guidance provide access to this opportunity. Spending time in nature and quiet contemplation is complimentary and supportive of this planetary pattern.

The other pattern, known as a T-square, is part of the on-going challenge of necessity to evolve and adapt to current realities on this earthly plane. I have written extensively on Uranus and Pluto and their engagement for a number of years, 2011 - 2015. Many people find themselves consumed by the intensity of circumstances. Problems can appear big and insurmountable, out of control, like being swept along in a tsunami or a wild roller coaster ride. Some days to be especially alert are: July 20 - 22 and 26 - 31.

July 22 is a significant day as Mars joins Jupiter in addition to a Full Moon. Both of these influences are strong and energizing. On one hand, the energy is available to accomplish a great deal. On the other hand, there is a tendency to overdo, perhaps overspend and over commit. Bottom line, there is a lot going on and it is a matter of keeping balance and perspective.

In a recent presentation at Crystal Visions, I shared an overview of summer’s themes: Where/how to promote safety and stability within the limits of structure. Major break down and dismantling of systems is part of the evolutionary trend, so it is a matter of adjusting to long term solutions. Resistence only intensifies the process. Tension can build to a point when dramatic, sudden, perhaps shocking events, occur to free things up.

These times insist on tenacious courage and trust in the face of forces that threaten security, peace and safety. The image of David and Goliath come to mind. It can feel overwhelming, but potential solutions do not abide in the turmoil, but emerge from a new level of consciousness. You may have heard the popular quote from Einstein, "You can never solve a problem on the level it was created."

When push comes to shove, humanity has repeatedly arisen from the ashes of potential demise, renewed and responsive, adaptable and victorious. There is a bigger plan at work here, a Divine Plan. The twists and turns and struggles of daily life serve to illuminate the dawn of a new era. It is happening, and every being is an integral part of this awakening. Discover your place and find your freedom. Enjoy!

June 2013

Astrology Forecast

Belinda C. Dunn

Gemini New Moon
June 8 @ 11:56 a.m.

Sun enters Cancer/Summer Solstice
June 21 @ 1:04 a.m.

Cancer/Capricorn Full Moon
June 23 @ 7:32 a.m.

Mercury Retrograde
June 26 @ 9:08 a.m.

From the routine of work and school to summer vacations, outdoor fun and visitors, June is typically a transitional month. This month is no exception, but there is a special twist as Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, enhances and enlarges this shift. It is helpful to be attentive to your personal flow of attention as the month proceeds. What appears important the first half of June tends to dramatically shift, possibly resolve, making way for new priorities.

In order to understand this shift, let’s take a look at two zodiac signs, Gemini and Cancer. The month begins with Sun, Venus, Mars and Jupiter in Gemini skies, stimulating communication for everyone. Known as The Twins, Gemini can be restless, going in many directions at once, the consummate explorer and networker. Gemini is the social butterfly, moving quickly, never meeting a stranger, and taking in one experience after another. Gemini offers so many exciting and fascinating opportunities to expand one’s horizons.

Now consider what it would be like to be continually on the go without rest or rejuvenation. It is impossible, this social butterfly must come to rest on a beautiful flower for nourishment and quiet. This brings us to the next zodiac sign of Cancer. By necessity, the Cancerian Crab retreats into its shell and the comfort of familiar surroundings. There is an instinctive pull to slow down, turn within, and regain balance. As much as Gemini energy helps us actively explore our world, Cancer energy helps us return to the immediate surroundings of family and home turf.

Establishing and maintaining a sense of rooted stability is essential on so many levels of our being, and the Crab helps us do just that. Emotions are a key component in this process. This is the month to be in touch with emotion as your guidance system. While Gemini has tons of good ideas in theory, Cancer comes along and says, "Is this idea practical? Is it a priority? If action is taken, does it provide stability, safety and security?" This shift from concept to practicality is paramount as the month proceeds.

Here are a few possible scenarios, which may or may not be reflective of your particular circumstances, but can provide some symbolic reference. Summer is the time for home improvement. In theory, a new kitchen sounds amazing, but in process, the realities of cost, time commitment and design come to the forefront, and projects may be delayed.

Another example . . . it appears to be perfect timing to join extended family members for a vacation abroad. In proceeding forward, insurmountable obstacles become apparent and plans need to be modified. One more example, you make plans for a road trip with a group of friends, but when it comes down to it, you would much prefer to stay closer to home and delight in your garden.

These examples show an abrupt turn and change in perspective. There can be many factors involved, and each person’s life flow is unique, but the bottom line urge is to pull back, and focus on practical concerns closer to home. For many people this will involve moving, building a home, selling property. For others, it may involve decisions around the care of other family members, and perhaps a planned family reunion takes on an extra aura of importance. For others, it may be a pull to deep healing work in the release of early childhood influences.

This influence can be clarified by answering three questions. What truly nourishes you? What does it mean to be grounded and centered within your being? Is there anything standing in the way of feeling safe and secure in your personal world? The zodiac sign of Cancer works on inner and outer levels. Emotion, memory and programming comprise the internal home while location, physical structure and family members define the outer home. Taking all of this into consideration, can help us be aware and empowered in terms who and what we invite into our experience of home, the most basic of foundations.

June is a transitional month for a number of astrological reasons. First of all, the Sun makes its yearly shift from Gemini to Cancer on June 21. Known as Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere, this is the longest and lightest day of the year, initiating three months of warmth and outdoor activities.

Another key factor is the planet Mercury begins a retrograde phase on June 26 continuing through July 20. As a result of this retrogradation, Mercury is in Cancer for two entire months, June and July, and the first week of August. Restless and communicative Mercury must slow down and take care of business relating to basic foundations in life. This is a very essential phase as many issues, previously on the back burner, may surface for reconstruction, restoration and healing. It is definitely a return to the basics, an opportunity to strengthen foundations.

Declared its own country on July 4, the United States is governed by the zodiac sign of Cancer. Just to mention a few heated topics, the issues of homeland security, gun control, real estate, home ownership and the economy tend to intensify over summer months. More than likely, there will be specific incidents exacerbating problems, and bringing a focus on fundamental rights of safety. More on this topic next month.

Another key astrological factor is Jupiter’s movement. This massive planet spends approximately 12 months in each zodiac sign. In June of 2012, Jupiter started a 12 month sojourn in Gemini. Think back over your past year. In what ways did you expand, explore and gather new information? What vital role did clear information play in your relationships and decisions? Did education and/or travel enlarge your perspective?

This month, on June 25, Jupiter leaves Gemini and enters Cancer, where it will remain until summer 2014. In many respects, June is the kick-off month to a new phase. Another way to look at this transition time is considering the elements of fire, air, water and earth. Each zodiac sign is governed by an element. In this case, Gemini is air, and Cancer is water. Air is mental and intellectual, while water is instinctual and emotional.

The prevalent shift this month is from thinking to feeling. This can feel like a big change from approaching life based on analyzation to approaching life with intuition. But, no need to worry or try to make this happen. The planetary influences assist in the process for an entire year.

To further accent the shift into feeling is Neptune’s long term transit through watery, mystical Pisces. On June 6 Neptune goes retrograde, and from Earth’s perspective, appears to be at a standstill for days, June 1-15. This intensifies the planet’s action to dissolve the boundaries of consciousness and provide a gateway for expanded perception. The Neptune experience can be very disorienting and hard to integrate for many people. Intoxicants of various kinds can play havoc with everyday reality, so the message is to cultivate present moment awareness, and grounded action.

By month’s end, the element of water is predominant as more than half of the planets are in the water signs of Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. This brings a major focus on emotion. Life may have you navigating the tumult of high seas when you prefer to sit by a quiet bubbling brook. It may feel as though you are trudging through a dark swamp when you prefer a placid, pristine lake.

Receptive, changeable, nourishing and rejuvenating, the watery womb of new beginnings beckons us back to primal, instinctive knowing. Even if storms rage all around, it is time to retreat and regain the balance and equanimity that only quiet can give. It doesn’t matter if it is five minutes or five hours, call a time out for yourself and those around you.

Honor the essential nature and beauty of water, and let the waves caress you into sweet dreams of a kinder and gentler world. Allow the bubbling brook to move through and cleanse old stagnant memories. Let the ocean wash away all preconceived notions of how things should be. There is wisdom in the old adage, "you can’t fight the river." In other words, go with the flow, and you can’t go wrong. Easier said than done, but in the meantime, check it out and allow the planetary currents of June carry you into tranquil and safe harbors.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 35 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. Feel free to email: and phone: 828-215-2101

May 2013

Belinda Dunn

Taurus Solar Eclipse New Moon
April 9 @ 8:28 p.m.

Gemini/Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse Full Moon
April 25 @ 12:25 a.m.

Native Americans refer to trees as "standing people," our brothers and sisters in the plant kingdom. Trees give nourishment, shelter and shade to numerous species. Their roots reach deep into Earth to draw up nutrients, and their branches reach high in sky to inspire our hearts and minds to look up.

To honor Earth Day, we are encouraged to plant a tree. However, on this most recent Earth Day, a Monday, I pulled up to the front of my office building in west Asheville to discover that the most glorious and ancient maple tree in the front yard was being cut down. This enormous tree was one of the main reasons my friends and I were attracted to this location over three years ago. This tree has been hugged, loved, praised and adored, so this was quite a shock to learn its roots were giving way, and it was in danger of falling.

After a few goodbyes and thankful tears, I turned to contemplate the current planetary forces and how this tree is modeling the wisdom of the zodiac. Trees have always been symbols of mystical understanding. As "standing people," trees have a life cycle just like all things in this dimension of form. The current eclipse cycle started the week of Earth Day with a Full Moon Lunar Eclipses on the 25th. I have always said that eclipses reveal what is beneath the surface of things, and therefore produce the necessity for change. In this case, it is pretty obvious, the eclipse revealed a very old root structure no longer able to sustain the weight of a very large tree.

The eclipses are stimulating the zodiac teachers of Taurus and Scorpio. May begins with a wake up call as Mars in Taurus opposes Saturn in Scorpio. On May 5, Mercury joins Mars in this opposition, paving the way for a Solar Eclipse May 9th. Basically, the first half of May continues to carry the themes of late April. These are the themes of release and breakdown in order to rebuild. Emotionally this can be challenging as forms that we have come to rely upon have aged and decayed to the point of passing away. Perhaps other forms have lost their usefulness and relevance. Spiritually this is a very important and essential process as death in its many forms is another evolutionary step in the journey of on-going life.

The key phrase for Taurus is "I have," and the key phrase for Scorpio is "I desire." Clinging to and craving particular forms can really throw an emotional monkey wrench into any semblance of order and peace of mind. These eclipses shine a spotlight into the inner psychological depths of personal expectation, the shadows of wanting and whatever it takes to get those wants fulfilled. But, good old Saturn in Scorpio is like the stern adult saying, "grow up, no more cookies, and by the way, stop jumping on the bed."

Whether heaviness and resistance arises from within or without, May is the month to really examine motivation. What gets you up in the morning? Who/what motivates you? Where is the inspiration, the juice, to stay grounded and productive? What is important and relevant at this juncture? Based on the answers to these questions, some conditions and life situations may need to be dismantled and put to rest. Whether we are looking at finances, health, relationships or even spiritual growth, obstacles to building a strong foundation are up for review and release.

The week of May 7 is super charged, and the Taurus Solar Eclipse on May 9 sets the stage for a mature, down-to- earth appraisal of basic necessities and long term investments. This is an excellent time to make financial decisions in regard to possessions, land and real estate. It is also a very productive time for spring cleaning, clearing clutter and cleaning the slate for future expansion. Taurus helps us find comfort and beauty in simplicity while stabilizing the initiatory energies of spring into a harmonious pace.

Mercury and Sun enter Gemini on May 15 and 20th, respectively. The shift from Taurus to Gemini is palatable. The second half of May is less about release, stabilization and completion, and more about the future and where things are going. The final eclipse in this series culminates on May 25 with a Gemini/Sagittarius Full Moon. These zodiac signs thrive on diversity and change, helping us break out of ruts, see the sights and expand horizons. While a lunar eclipse is generally unsettling, movement will probably feel like a breath of fresh air.

Gemini has been a very important zodiac teacher since last spring. Jupiter has been transiting Gemini skies for a full year now, so be alert to extraordinary potential for breakthroughs in conditions on many levels of personal and collective experience. The days of May 24 - 28 are especially filled with potent heartfelt, heart opening, creative and important events.

I cannot complete the month without mentioning the on-going Uranus/Pluto planetary configuration as it is a backdrop for just about everything else. Once again on May 20, Uranus engages Pluto in a tense face off. Senseless and random acts of violence are due to erupt in society when these planets activate certain personality types. If there is ever a time to make sense of any of this, the latter half of May offers some degree of understanding with which to proceed forward. Take this to bear on your specific life issues as special openings in consciousness are occurring at breakneck speed. Yes, humanity is being shaken to the core, and we can only trust that we are being shaken awake out of a nightmare and into the light of day.

In oriental philosophy, it is said that everything has a front and a back. In other words, everything has two or more sides. To go back to the tree, now that it is removed, the building stands very visible, and in time we will grow to appreciate additional sunshine, and come to plant a new tree. It is a process though, and when life throws a curve ball, we have to roll with the punches. But, it helps to remember this dimension is temporary. Life is not always about getting what we think we want, it is more about moment by moment acceptance in the beautiful, living, breathing, creative and extraordinary adventure we are blessed to be a part of.

Belinda C. Dunn is an astrologer with over 35 years professional experience. Belinda’s down to earth, clear, personalized healing sessions are shared with clients around the world. Email or phone to set up your appointment: and 828-25-2101

Belinda C. Dunn

APRIL 2013

Aries New Moon
April 10 @ 5:35 a.m.

Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse
April 25 @ :57 p.m.

Bright and beautiful, April shines with the rarefied, luminous light of spring. Almost otherworldly, it is as though the special light effects of this season are there to spur distracted humanity to open all senses, and take in the glory of nature’s dramatic display. Throughout the southern states, dogwood trees herald the coming of warmer days, as pure white petals burst into full bloom, the essential reminder of eternal life.

In writing these words, I aspire to paint a picture of harmony and serenity as a backdrop for the intense energies of April as well as the entire year. Every moment, every human can choose peace, beauty and truth. All it takes is the willingness to drop personal agendas and celebrate the blessings so freely given by life itself. So difficult at times, and yet, simply divine when we allow it.

April is a very transitional month, thus there will be ups and downs as things get sorted out. Amidst the seasonal adjustments of a few cold days followed by warmer ones, there is the transition of Mercury into Aries on April 13. I have been writing about this very essential planet for several months in that on February 5, Mercury entered Pisces for an extended stay of 9 weeks. Normally, Mercury moves quite rapidly as messenger of the gods and planet of communication. Mercury influences the thoughts we think and speak, decisions and overall perception. On physical terms, Mercury rules transportation, technology, education, neighbors and relatives.

Transiting through Pisces skies, Mercury has been in its "detriment." This astrological term is used to describe the effects of a planet in a given zodiac sign. Planets are considered to be more at home in some signs than others, and therefore can function weakly or optimally. According to this way of looking at planetary influences, mental function has not been working in optimal fashion, perhaps even detrimental ways, for an entire 9 weeks.

This is why I have encouraged readers to utilize dark winter days for tuning in through prayer, meditation, reflection and creativity. In other words, going back to Spirit’s drawing board to receive guidance and direction in alignment with current circumstances. While there have been many challenges in terms of distraction, dreaminess, forgetfulness and confusion, it has been an excellent time for release of mental programs carried over from childhood and even past lives. Mercury in Pisces has served to support the process of truly forgiving and forgetting.

When Mercury enters Aries on April 13 at 10:37 p.m., a full speed ahead mentality will take hold almost overnight, and Mercury remains direct for the duration of spring. In fact, life circumstances will begin moving so rapidly, that the slow, dreary days of winter will feel like a dream. However, there is a sense of preparedness in those people that have attuned to a new view, and aspire to higher ground. Along with the Aries New Moon on April 10, the visions of winter are ready to bear fruit, and the time to act is now.

Another prominent planetary feature for April is Pluto appearing to remain stationary at 11 degrees Capricorn for an extended period of time. While overarching the month, specific dates are April 7 - 19, with the most critical day being the 12th when Pluto begins 4 months of retrograde. More than likely, there will be big news on the economic front as well as global concerns coming to a head. Even the most stable of circumstances tend to wobble during a Pluto station point.

As mythical god of the underworld, Pluto’s function is to surface subconscious agendas for purging and healing. Pluto’s capacity to transform darkness into light is extraordinary, however, it takes great wisdom to see the overall picture and purpose in the face of these challenges. For example, Pluto was a key planetary player in 9/11. While the general populace had heard of random terrorist attacks, this event changed perception beginning a concerted movement to address some of the underlying causes.

On a collective level, Pluto’s activity brings subversive, slanderous, underhanded activities into view. Government and/or corporate exposures are timely as those in high places can quickly descend into darkness. On a personal level, it is very helpful to be aware of Pluto’s energy as compulsive, obsessive, impulsive and urgent. If you feel like you must do something, say something, enlighten someone, ect.., this is the time to shine the light on yourself and double check all motives in the light of Source. In other words, many problems can be mitigated with consciousness.

The second half of April is blessed with Sun, Venus and Mars entering Taurus, a very earthy, stabilizing and comforting zodiac energy. As the quintessential Taurus celebration, it is quite appropriate for Earth Day to be observed on April 22nd. Planting trees and planting seeds, a worldwide movement is now in place to address the environmental concerns of our day. As gardens germinate with promise, may this movement continue to take hold and overturn outdated mind sets that would see the earth as something to possess and abuse.

Traditionally, Taurus is the zodiac sign governing possessions and finances. Back in the day when I began studying astrology, Taurus was all about banking and business. Nowadays, Taurus governs environmental sciences and the ecological movement. An excellent resource on this topic is the book, "The Great Disruption." Author Paul Gilding puts it all together as he addresses the interplay between the economy, governments, corporations, humanity, and the necessity to actualize real, viable solutions.

A Full Moon Lunar Eclipse on April 25 serves to bring issues around money, worth, value and financial stability to the forefront. As eclipses begin to activate four weeks ahead of time, April is an important month to watch in terms of these themes. This eclipse is the first of three eclipses, and is followed by a Solar Eclipse on May 9, and yet another Lunar Eclipse on May 25. This rare alignment kicks off an important phase centering around the flow of green energy around the globe, and throughout our personal lives.

For a lunar eclipse to astronomically occur, the Sun and Moon are in opposite positions. In this case, the Sun will be in Taurus, while the Moon is in Scorpio. These zodiac signs govern the flow of giving and receiving, acquiring and releasing, desiring and detaching. More than likely, this eclipse will stimulate debate and discussion around finances, inheritance, taxes, investments and ownership.

Lending a serious note to these eclipses, Saturn’s current transit through Scorpio (2012 - 2015) stimulates the tendency is to come from lack rather than sufficiency. While dissatisfaction and greed are rampant, genuine gratitude is the antidote for this pervasive disease of our time. The human ego tends to be busy, distracted from its true purpose, ignoring the comfort and beauty in the simple things of life. When we acknowledge all the blessings of life so freely given, it is apparent, every moment is filled with grace. The zodiac teachers of Taurus and Scorpio are two sides of the same coin in this physical dimension. While they speak to the relativity and passing show of form, they encourage each of us to develop the practice of gratitude as the key to happiness. Enjoy!

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 35 years experience. She is available for personal consultations.
Check out her site: astrodelight.com
Phone: 828-215-2101
Email: Belinda

March 2013

Pisces New Moon
March 11 @ 3:51 p.m.

Mercury Direct
March 17 @ 4:03 p.m.

Spring Equinox
March 20 @ 7:02 a.m.

Aries/Libra Full Moon
March 27 @ 5:27 a.m.

We have all heard the common saying, "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb." In regard to the weather, this is an apt phrase, but this March is a little different in terms of the astrological trends. The month begins with Mercury retrograde in Pisces, the zodiac sign bestowing lamb-like gentleness, sympathy, kindness, spiritual insight, compassion and forgiveness. To further these themes, Sun, Venus, Mars, Chiron and Neptune also transit Pisces skies.

Pisces takes consciousness deep into the waters of introspection. If these waters are frozen, we feel struck, apathetic, ungrounded, and out of touch with reality. As the final weeks of winter make their mark, world weariness can take over before one even recognizes it. Whether it is health matters, cabin fever, too many dark rainy days, the vital energy and motivation needed for everyday tasks can feel lacking. Watch for information, insight and clarity the week of March 4 - 9. Even though Mercury remains retrograde until March 17, this planet of communication joins with Sun and Venus to support inspiration and creative solutions to problems at hand.

Traditionally, Pisces is known as the zodiac sign of redemption, an old fashioned, perhaps religious, word for release. Webster’s definitions are, "to be free from what distresses or harms, release from blame and guilt, change for the better." This is a spiritual transformation, and while the resurrection of Spring is around the corner, we can all tap into the healing rays of really letting go of worldly demands, resting up, not taking on more than we can comfortably handle, and trusting in the cycles of life. The Pisces New Moon on March 11 is an excellent, supportive time for retreat, reflection, purification and release of psychological baggage in preparedness for Spring around the corner.

As March proceeds and Sun’s light intensifies, the quiet, naturally restful days of winter conclude. Annually, Sun enters Aries on the Spring Equinox. As passive and introspective as Pisces can be, Aries is the zodiac sign of initiation and all the vital thrust that goes along with new beginnings. In fact, astrologers observe the Spring Equinox as the most potent time to begin a new yearly cycle.

You will find affirmations and intentions stated in the latter half of March will have great staying power in the process of manifestation. Mars enters Aries on March 12, Sun on March 20, and Venus on March 21. Feel the shift. Recognize the messages of rebirth touching each individual life as the dynamic roar of nature’s awakening is more and more apparent.

Now, Mars in Aries doesn’t mess around, especially when joining Uranus on March 22 and Pluto on March 26. The final week of March is quite intense from a planetary perspective as Sun and Venus join the show, and stimulate an on-going Uranus square Pluto. The combustive, volatile, unstable energies of Spring burst forth in more ways than one, and all of Earth’s inhabitants are definitely in the hot seat.

In review, Uranus and Pluto are considered transpersonal planets, beyond the rings of Saturn, influencing social trends and evolutionary potential. For example, in the mid-1960's they joined to initiate a major awakening of consciousness, a tsunami of change that we are still riding upon. Specific circumstances showed up as the Vietnam war, progressive social movements in racial and gender equality, jet travel for the masses, exploration of consciousness through mind expanding drugs, flower power and the alternative health movement.

In the slow, but sure, orbit of the planets, Uranus and Pluto are back at it. They squared off twice last year, and we can look forward to their engagement twice this year, and twice again in 2014. Their final square will occur in March of 2015, exactly two years from now. So, there is no escape, humanity has reached the point of no return. The relentless push for growth and evolution is here for all to benefit from. However, the initial stages of major transformation usually come with a fair amount of disruption and resistance.

While momentum has been building since summer 2010, let’s consider emerging themes at this historical juncture. The Gulf Oil spill, Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement were the first clear indications that something was out of the ordinary. A call to action still remains, despite some confusion as how to make a difference in the face of Goliath sized problems.

Another very obvious trend is the re-election of the first African American President, and all repercussions from this historic event. Obama is on the "right side of history," as Uranus and Pluto support extraordinary changes in perception. Another example is the recent and tragic school shootings in Connecticut that continue to bring the looming and unavoidable consequences of guns, mental health and school safety into the hearts and minds of every citizen. Unpredictable and extreme weather conditions are another reality, along with economic challenges in the face of a shifting work force and corporate ethics. The list is long, and growing longer by the day.

Astrology is a symbolic system, and we can go back to the planets for clarity in one of the most heated debates of our time, gun control. Uranus in Aries is all about the rights of the individual, but its engagement with Pluto is exposing a fundamental conflict between the rights of a young child to be safe in school, and the rights of an individual to bear arms. Another heated issue revolves around gay marriage and the right of each individual to be in a satisfying partnership with the person of their choice.

The other side of the equation is Pluto in Capricorn and the reality check of corporate greed running rampant, and a disabled government struggling to meet the challenges of responsible control and services. Overall, we can see these trends are insisting on a revision of personal rights within the context of social and community rights. There are no easy answers, but the good news is revealed simply in the process of bringing everything to the table for discussion. This idea applies behind the closed doors of our personal lives as well as front page news.

While these trends are enormous in terms of social and global movements, Uranus and Pluto are pushing each individual to rapidly evolve, come to terms with reality, and drop the past. Many people are experiencing some type of breakdown/breakthrough. Circumstances vary greatly, but the theme revolves around personal accountability, or the lack thereof, in the face of life’s challenges. In other words, each individual is experiencing their personal response within the context of an overall social milieu.

Late March we get another glimpse into the dynamics of Uranus and Pluto. Watch the themes in your life. Yes, significant events will surge into the headlines, but how do they apply to you and your loved ones? What is your personal story within the context of historical trends? The shifting sands of history affect each of us in unique and compelling ways.

On an annual basis, Easter is celebrated the Sunday after an Aries/Libra Full Moon. It is fascinating to see how Christianity retains some observance of the lunar cycle. A Full Moon on Wednesday, March 27 proceeds Good Friday, engaging all of the intense dynamics of breakdown and breakthrough. While human beings struggle with the reality of life on this temporary dimension, the resurrection of life is apparent in the glorious display of budding trees, flowers and fresh green grass. Spring is here at last.

Belinda C. Dunn

February 2013

Chinese New Year/Aquarius New Moon
February 10 @ 2:20 a.m.

Saturn Retrograde
February 18 @ 12:02 p.m.

Mercury Retrograde
February 23 @ 4:41 a.m.

Pisces/Virgo Full Moon
February 25 @ 3:26 p.m.

February begins with an extraordinary alignment of four planets. Setting the pace for several months, Mercury, Mars, Chiron and Neptune join influences, providing an essential boost to the shift at hand. In reflection on 2012 and the Mayan calendar end date, researcher Carl Calleman has this to say, "The nature of a true paradigm shift is that its manifestations cannot be fully predicted beforehand and thus to some extent will be surprising. If not, then the shift would not be a true paradigm shift. " He goes on to say that most of us are in the process of revising notions about reality.

Like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz, we are waking up and realizing we aren’t in Kansas any longer. The metaphorical tornados of 2012 picked us up, landing us on new terrain. Many matters in daily life don’t make sense at the moment. For the time being, a nebulous, fluidity has taken over our sense of direction, beckoning humanity toward a higher perspective. Solutions to current problems remain elusive without a turning to Source, and shifting gears into supernatural knowing. At least this "fact," appears to be clear.

I know, I know! This may sound like more airy fairy metaphysical yearnings from your local astrologer. But . . . check out the first week of February, and be ready to believe! I love astrology, because it grounds our senses while dispelling the confusion of mental musings and programming. Basically, the planet Neptune entered Pisces last year, and it is totally on purpose to feel a little confused and disoriented. We went from black and white Kansas farm fields to technicolor Oz in one short year. Neptune will remain in Pisces through 2025, so the adjustment will take some time.

OK, so what does Neptune in Pisces mean? Revolving in the distant reaches of our solar system, Neptune takes 165 years to orbit the Sun. Therefore, Neptune is a generational influence, affecting whole groups of incarnating souls across the globe. Neptune is a very subtle influence. Most of the time, it is denied, ignored and shoved to the side. Neptune is associated with addiction and all diseases of denial. However, when it is activated and strong, it can be quite striking and difficult to handle simply because it plays havoc with our sense of direction, emotional stability and reality.

Together with Chiron, Neptune has been hanging out in the shadows for months now, but during the first week of February, Mercury and Mars cross over these sensitive points. Later in the month, February 21 - 27, the Sun’s illumination activates these planetary positions. An appropriate analogy for February may be similar to taking a small boat across high seas, losing one’s compass as clouds obscure the night sky. There is nowhere to turn except for an internal sense of direction, pray for guidance, pray for a miracle.

One of the major differences between the planetary dynamics of 2012 and 2013 is a harmonious interface between Saturn and Pluto. Transiting in mutual reception, together they offer the mutual support of a stable, grounding influence despite pressing trends for release and change. Thus, we will continue to see solutions emerge even if situations remain tentative. For example, the real estate market has lost tremendous value in recent years, but some mortgage companies are offering refinancing that takes this into consideration. On February 18, Saturn enters a retrograde phase furthering the notion of patience as foundations are renovated and strengthened.

Obviously, these extraordinary and unusual alignments are not easy. They aren’t easy precisely for one reason that can be easily resolved. What is the answer? The current planetary patterns spell out an unpopular and generally unspoken truth of our existence on planet Earth. Namely, this dimension is temporary. It is not for us to take up permanent residence here. More often than not, life presents circumstances of suffering as the strong medicine and bitter pill of awakening.

Now, here is the shift. When this basic reality is accepted, it opens doors of perception, not with our brain, but with our heart. It opens expansive vistas of Divine Purpose, the refined feelings of sublime peace, compassion, love and care. Whether we choose the stark word of "surrender" to describe this Neptune process, or the gentler word of "allowing," it all points to loosening a grip on perceived reality. Releasing the burden of expectation that we place on ourselves, others and circumstances can create space and freedom for the genuine to emerge. This is the pivot point. Difficult and painful when resisting. Easy, and even joyful, once you get the hang of it.

These planetary energies of transition continue through to the Spring Equinox on March 20, providing a unique blend of perfect situations and circumstances for each person during these final stages of winter. Recently, my dear friend Bodie McCoy, originator of "Oracle of the Heart," compared our current situation to a race car whose engine has to be balanced before it can handle high speeds. He says, "It is necessary to reconfigure mind sets and lift to higher levels, just to cope with current demands."

Now, this brings our discussion to Mercury retrograde starting February 23 and continuing through March 17 (just in time for Spring Equinox). Additionally, Mercury transits through Pisces skies for an extended period of time, February 6 through April 13. Poets, lovers, writers, artists and mystics will love this phase as it stimulates creativity, and inspiration flows from more subtle dimensions of existence. However, from an earthy, practical standpoint, faith, intuition and trust hold the keys for peace of mind.

The Full Moon on February 25 brings all matters to a head. Not only does Mercury turn retrograde a few days before, but Mars adds a dose of intensity, impulsiveness and unpredictability. Mercury joins Mars exactly on February 8 and 26 (put a day on either side of these exact days). These are days to be especially aware of rash words, fevers, accidents and other combustive conditions. People may act out of character, and react emotionally to situations that have been brewing for weeks. On one hand, there is a flood of new information surging to the surface of consciousness, and this can take some getting used to. On the other hand, there is a tendency to jump to conclusions and default to cynicism and negativity.

Be prepared to hear a lot more about frequency, energy medicine and other approaches to holistic healing that can be difficult to wrap our minds around. In fact, Neptune in Pisces is dissolving mental boundaries of time and space, history and belief. Matters that have defied resolution can benefit from the unseen forces of this major alignment in Pisces. This is the month to go back to the drawing board, not with previous agendas and old fears, but with fresh perspective.

These days, especially in metaphysical circles, we hear a lot about manifestation, and certainly new manifestations are needed on almost level of our current collective and personal experience. I hear many stories of struggle and lack in the areas of employment, housing, finances, health and relationship. There are many techniques for manifestation all the way from mantra, affirmation, visualization, elixirs and gem stones. These are all tools, and as such do not provide a bottom line answer. Current planetary alignments open a direct connection to guidance whereby your unique role in the larger plan can be clarified. Once this is understood, embraced and accepted, than tools can give an extraordinary boost.

For decades astrologers have been analyzing and calculating a beginning point for the new age, the Age of Aquarius. The signs all point to NOW! After hearing President Obama’s Inauguration speech, I have no doubt that humanity is fully and firmly on the cusp, albeit the bare beginnings of the Aquarian Age. The hallmark of Aquarius is equality. The President’s words laid bare the ideal of equal rights for women in employment, gay/lesbian rights in partnership, racial equality, and humanitarian rights in affordable healthcare.

The President emphasized the words, "We, the people . . . " over and over again. Aquarius is the zodiac sign of synchronized community involvement, whereby each individual participates in the overall advancement of the whole based on their unique contribution. Believe it or not, but the Aquarian Age is predicted to be the age of enlightenment as humanity discovers how to function at full capacity within the grace of total human design.

I am reminded of all the progress made since last February. A group of my friends traveled across the globe to participate in a meditation retreat that was scheduled on Chinese New Year 2012. The instructor emphasized the conclusion of a spiritual winter, millions of years of darkness for the human race with the bare beginning of spiritual spring emerging during the transitional year of 2012. My friends came home speaking of this spiritual spring when the lotus of each human heart begins to bloom within the rays of Divine Love.

Here we are . . . Chinese New Year is February 10, and humanity can leave the projected fears and drama of 2012 predictions behind. Chinese New Year always begins on a New Moon of Aquarius, and now the entire world population is up to speed with 2013. Even though it may feel like we are lost out at sea without a compass, it’s time to turn this ship around. Who can imagine what we can build together in partnership with our most loving and beneficent Creator that is always giving us the best, if we only have eyes to see, ears to hear, arms to hug, and hands to share.

Belinda C. Dunn is an astrologer with over 35 years professional experience. Experience what a personal consultation can do for you. Precious articles and all services are listed on Email: and phone: 828-215-2101.

January 2013

Capricorn New Moon
January 11 @ 2:44 p.m.

Leo/Aquarius Full Moon
January 26 @ 11:38 a.m.

Moon in playful, dramatic Leo sets the stage for ringing 2013 in celebration and style. Leo bestows firm courage and authentic authority to stand tall while embracing the challenges at hand. By mid-day on January 1, the party winds down as Moon enters Virgo, signaling a return to routine, a return to the multitude of tasks before humanity in building a bridge into a sustainable and harmonious future.

The extraordinary energetic and spiritual shifts of 2012 took us over the threshold into a new era. Humans are not going to get out of their self-created mess as easily as the world ending or UFO’s beaming us up. The very nature of the transformation is the necessity for humanity to wake up, grow up, take responsibility and turn to Creator for guidance and answers.

The astrological influences during the first half of January are earthy and realistic, down to earth and responsible. A Capricorn New Moon on January 11 furthers these themes. Some people will fall with a thud into depressive despair, while others seize the opportunity to set goals and take steps to manifest a determined and disciplined approach to their life situation. While Sun, Mercury and Venus take their turns in transiting Capricorn skies, the long term influence of Pluto in Capricorn will test limits of endurance while honing practical skills for success in this world of form.

Freedom oriented Mars in Aquarius bestows an attitude of breaking free, turning a corner and orienting toward the future rather than belaboring the past. What’s done is done. Throughout January, Mars in Aquarius stimulates a sense of independence and rebellion. The juxtaposition of traditional ways with progressive solutions is stark, and the truth is somewhere in between. It is a phase of honestly sorting through the past to dump what is no longer applicable in the discovery of what is truly valuable.

In addition to Mars in Aquarius, Jupiter transits Gemini skies. Working together these planets with give buoyancy to ideas and synchronicity. It is like having an updraft of angel wings to soar upon. All facets of networking, education, communication and technology are amplified, Many solutions are to be found in sharing information. This is the month to be observant in terms of the insight coming from within you as well as connections without. As the globe shrinks more and more, people are able to tap into their common humanity and purposefully unite on a new wavelength.

The planetary hallmark of 2013 is the continuing engagement of Uranus and Pluto. The front end of this cycle started in spring 2010 with the Gulf Oil spill. Here we saw society’s dependence on oil, finances, and corporations clash/crash with small business, the environment and ecology. There was a breakdown in systems with dire consequences to surrounding areas. This is a good example of how Uranus and Pluto are working together on large community levels.

These planetary energies are showing up in our personal lives in terms of things wearing out and breaking down. Many people have experienced long term health problems coming to a head in the past year. Others are recognizing a breakdown in their established career field. Other people are watching their savings dwindle in handing these problems. And, of course, society cannot ignore the financial impact of systemic breakdowns due to wear and tear, aging, and weather related events.

So where is the good news? Uranus plays the role of awakener and Pluto plays the role of catalyzing major transformation. We can all agree that change is necessary at the juncture we find ourselves in. I would like to give the simple analogy of a bridge spanning a tumultuous surging river. The old bridge, the tried and true way across the water, has been swept away by the flood. It is very inconvenient and a new bridge must be built. There is plenty of controversy as to how best to proceed along with sleepless nights, wringing of hands, talk and planning. But, finally experts come together and create plans for a stronger bridge, a bridge that can withstand the test of time for years to come.

The astrological energies for 2013 give added emphasis on the element of water. The river of life is moving very swiftly now, threatening to sweep away everything in its path. Waters are high, easily breeching any containment wall, and the bridge’s foundations are hidden beneath the water. This "bridge over troubled waters" is our collective agreement to incarnate in these times to witness old structures being swept away, to weather the storm, and trust in a Divine Plan that holds meaning and healing for each of us individually as well as collectively.

Sun enters Aquarius on January 19 and culminates in a Full Moon on January 26. The zodiac sign of Aquarius instills a sense that each person plays a unique role, every individual holds a piece of the puzzle. Not only are we not alone, we cannot do this alone.

This brings me to another significant energy for 2013, and that is the engagement of Saturn in Scorpio with Pluto in Capricorn. This is actually a stabilizing influence in comparison to the past several years. It is a settling into reality, an acceptance of conditions along with far reaching appraisal of the way forward. However, Saturn in Scorpio will shake loose any hidden debris. It will insist on addressing deeper concerns. There is a psychological depth required this year. Pat answers will be swept aside to get to the root, the hidden foundation of the matters at hand.

The energetic push and pull of open, honest, eccentric Aquarius and hidden, mysterious, complicated Scorpio emerges in January. It speaks to community, and each person’s need for intimate fellowship that allows each person to be real, emotional if need be, vent if necessary. There is a whole lot of moving and shaking going on, and the safety and nourishment of friendship plays a most significant role.

I appreciate the opportunity to share 2013 with you. Astrology is a reflection of the vast universes upon universes we bathe in every moment. My astrology teacher always pointed out that we have only a small piece of the whole picture, but this small puzzle piece known as contemporary astrology can give us solace and wisdom in gliding across the "bridge over troubled waters." I look forward to our continued fellowship of the stars in the New Year, and wish you and your loved ones a healthy, peaceful and joyous year.

December 2012

Belinda C. Dunn

Sagittarius New Moon
December 13 @ 3:42 a.m.

Winter Solstice
December 21 @ 6:12 a.m.

Capricorn/Cancer Full Moon
December 28 @ 5:21 a.m.

Here we are, December 2012, the month so long anticipated by Mayan Elders and many traditions across the globe. So far, UFOs have not landed on the White House lawn. Promises of salvation, apocalypse and Armageddon have still not transpired, at least in the forms so many people have forecasted. Despite all the glamourous and frightening renditions from Hollywood, here we are, the collective sea of aspiring, struggling, suffering humanity looking 2013 in the eye.

When we consider the vast reaches of time, it is quite amazing that so many traditions have lined up for Winter Solstice on December 21, 2012. From the Vedic perspective, many are saying the solstice marks the end of the age of darkness known as the Kali Yuga. Numerous Mayan traditions have reached the conclusion that the 5,125 year Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar is complete on this day. Other researchers point to the Sun’s alignment with the center of our galaxy. No matter how we wrap our mind around these significant changes, may we honor our collective aspiration for a major quantum leap into higher, finer, more harmonious frequencies.

Turning our attention to more mundane and immediate concerns, the planet Mercury is completing a retrograde phase that started mid-October. On December 14, Mercury returns to the exact degree of retrogradation marking a new cycle. As mentioned in last month’s article, this Mercury retrograde was particularly striking as it combined with a Solar Eclipse on Scorpio on November 13.

Thankfully, the presidential election is over, and now the country can really begin to move forward. As a result of a strong Neptune influence, one of the hallmarks of recent months has been illusion, and all the ways people can deceive themselves and others, covertly and overtly.

Additionally, Neptune rules the ocean and hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc and devastation on the exact day Mercury and Neptune joined in troubling combination. On December 11, for the third and final time, these planets combine to aggravate, but hopefully bring closure to these uncertain events.

By the Sagittarius New Moon on December 13, holiday celebrations are in full swing. Humanitarian, humorous and inspirational Sagittarius loves a party, and lends a helping hand to those in need. Since the planet Uranus goes direct on the 13th, impromptu gatherings and chance encounters add an element of surprise and exhilaration to the entire week.

The Sun’s entrance into Capricorn on December 21 brings a more somber and respectful tone to a typically extravagant and indulgent season. The zodiac sign of Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn. As much as Sagittarius is immediate, expansive and living for today, Capricorn takes a long, circumscribed view of things.

As the year wraps up, and the "fiscal cliff" looms, Saturn will test and try the boundaries with a strong insistence on coming to terms with reality. Particularly pay attention to the Full Moon on December 28. This lunation exactly aligns with Pluto, and the tension is palpable. Power struggles and survival issues come to the forefront in displays of intense confrontation. Additionally, geological and weather related events are part of the shake, rattle and roll potential of this lunation. All said, our global society is clearly positioned between a rock and a hard place as 2013 begins.

Recently, a friend shared a profound idea with me. It is said that we are "children of God," but perhaps Pluto’s long term passage through Capricorn (2008 - 2025) is about humanity becoming "adults of God." Consider what this implies. On one hand, playful, trusting, spontaneous, innocent, childlike joy holds the keys to the Kingdom. On the other hand, perhaps humanity has made a mockery of what this really means. Humanity is more like a willful, rebellious teenager, running away from responsibility, determined to do it our way.

My friend has been very successful as a woman in a typically man’s world of banking. In true Capricorn fashion, she went on to say that the only real freedom comes from being accountable and taking responsibility. Pluto in Capricorn is taking us to task. The days of unlimited growth, spending and expansion are over. This is not a bad thing, it is simply part of the flow toward sustainable and common sense solutions to our environmental and economic climate.

While Capricorn is a very practical and industrious zodiac energy, it also represents the sage on the mountain top. In all of its wisdom, Capricorn helps us apply discipline, humility, patience and fortitude in the uphill climb. These are spiritual qualities that can help us stay grounded, relevant and engaged in the challenges at hand. Capricorn realizes there are no quick fixes, no more time to run away from reality.

In my heart of hearts, I firmly believe the shift of 2012 is about every being having the chance to release the past and turn to their personal relationship with Creator, once and for all. Being an adult means taking responsibility for this incarnation. To bring purpose and intention to the vicissitudes of life that can so easily be wasted, frivolous, aimless and perplexing. Being adults of God, means we fully accept our Divine inheritance as children of God.

For a decade, I have promised to have a big New Year’s Eve party to initiate 2013 with the idea being that we can put the doomsday predictions of 2012 behind us. The Moon is in Leo this evening, perfect for playful, creative expression. Mars is in harmony with Uranus, adding fireworks of spontaneity and freedom. But, please excuse me, while I head to the mountain top for some quiet reflection. The view is awesome. It is so beautiful to look out upon the world and behold so many dedicated light workers standing together on the threshold of a new era in full acceptance of all the blessings and gifts of being alive on planet Earth at this most auspicious time. Enjoy!


Belinda C. Dunn

Mercury Retrograde
November 6 - 26

Scorpio Solar Eclipse
November 13 @ 5:08 p.m.

Lunar Eclipse
Gemini/Sagittarius Full Moon
November 28 @ 9:46 a.m.

I have been writing in recent months about the zodiac sign of Scorpio. In September the Moon’s North Lunar Node slipped into Scorpio waters. October was marked with Saturn’s plunge into the mysterious depths of Scorpio for the next two years. When the zodiac teacher of Scorpio is prominent, we cannot avoid facing the shadow side of human nature. Another indication of perception turning inward occurs on the first Sunday of November when Daylight Saving Time ends. Whether we are considering the restful quiet of deep sleep, intensive psychological therapy or meditative silence, it is a month of healing inner wounds to restore genuine clarity and perspective.

As 2012 has progressed, we instinctively feel a shift, and a sense of being posed on the precipice of major change. In many instances, there is nothing to do, except put one foot in front of the other, without a clear guarantee the ground is even solid enough to step upon. Like a surgeon’s knife, events in November cut through the seductive ambivalence characterizing this year. Direction begins to emerge from the fog, and the next stage of Saturn’s curriculum is slowly, but surely, in the process of being revealed.

Let’s begin with Mercury retrograde. On November 6, Election Day, Mercury goes retrograde at 6:04 p.m. How’s that for chaos, and the type of unclear results that many have been forecasting? Mercury goes retrograde in Sagittarius, then goes direct in Scorpio on November 26. In many ways, the entire country has been held hostage by the electoral process taking place over the past 18 months. Whether it is an overwhelming focus in news and media, or real progress in collective social issues, things have been hanging, delayed, left undone. Mercury retrograde emphasizes this point in many ways.

Adding to the confusion, this Mercury retrograde phase contacts Neptune three times. Neptune is the planet of idealism and glamour, both factors spinning a web of deception. Many voices and viewpoints are rising up and clamoring for recognition. The words may sound good, but beware, factions behind the noise can use these influences to deceive and mislead. One of the key characteristics of the presidential campaign has been each party accusing the other of lying and deceiving the public. It seems to be the hallmark of this election. Will the real truth please stand up?!

This applies to our personal lives as well. Mental, emotional or physical concerns can surface, and substance abuse is on the rise. Getting a second diagnosis, considering underlying spiritual conditions and utilizing subtle approaches, may be the best course of action. Problems surfacing during a strong Neptune influence respond well to vibrational medicine, and have a tendency to dissolve. However, do not delay if there is a life threatening and serious condition.

Mercury and Neptune also make it difficult and tricky in terms of contracts and decisions in general. Look back to late October. Did you encounter a need to make a decision? It may be appropriate to delay any major decisions until mid-December. Why the delay? You may not have all the facts, others may be withholding vital information, and false idealism can make things look better than they really are. Specific dates to watch: November 6, 13, 17, 20, 22, 26 and December 10, 11.

Add a Scorpio Solar Eclipse on November 13 and a Lunar Eclipse on November 26 and we have a recipe for contrast between the two zodiac teachers of Sagittarius and Scorpio. In mythology the Sagittarius Centaur aims toward Antares, the heart of the Scorpian. The fixed star Antares represents the qualities of ruthlessness, intensity, competition and revolution. While the month begins with high hopes, there are many forces at work in the underground, beneath the radar of daily news, and significant disclosures surge into mass consciousness.

Scorpio looks downward into the depth of matters while Sagittarius looks upward to inspire an all compassing vision of high purpose and truth. This combination of targeting the shadowy source of problems, even if these are difficult to face, and the necessity to move to higher ground is an initiation of consciousness. Issues rising into the light of day are part of the overall shift of consciousness in this pivotal year of 2012. We will see these themes on every level, globally, nationally and personally.

One of the major themes for the next two years is clearly seen in the dynamic between Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn. Known as mutual reception, the function of these two planets cannot be separated, one feeds into the other. Saturn builds foundations, but when these foundations are worn out and no longer applicable, Saturn dismantles these very structures. Pluto is the planet of egoic power, and will fight to retain control and supremacy. However, Pluto also discloses secrets and decomposes that which is not in alignment with Divine Purpose.

Working together, these planets will exponentially intensify many of the issues uppermost on the social agenda. Think economy, government, politics, corporations and infrastructure. Clearly, the dam of status quo, held in check for several years, is on the verge of bursting its banks. Humanity is posed on the threshold of a major systemic breakdown/breakthrough process. Believe it or not, there is good news in this planetary dynamic. For one thing, it is timely. For another, Saturn and Pluto bring out hidden strengths, activating tremendous powers of regeneration. Over the next two years, we will witness the mythical Phoenix rise from the ashes of its own destruction.

On a personal level, it is helpful to recognize that some people can walk on the dark side without conscience or remorse. Typically, older souls doing the Earth plane gig for many lifetimes, cannot get away with taking the walk. It is as though the wheel of fortune spins faster, and karmic payback is more immediate. It is very important to encourage those around us to resist taking a walk on the wild side by participating in activities that are less than on the up and up. It is like playing with fire, and things can get out of control very quickly.

Social factors and economic stressors are playing a part in a deterioration of morality, responsibility and accountability throughout many levels of collective experience. As we are in a cycle of breakdown, loss and release, it is important to honor basic instincts of self preservation and protection in addition to being led by one’s innermost heart.

Another astrological reason for November’s intense and dramatic breakthroughs is the combination of Mercury retrograde AND eclipses occurring simultaneously. When Mercury goes direct on November 26 it is within 3 degrees (very close alignment) of the Scorpio Solar Eclipse of November 13. Eclipses are known to intensify emotional reactivity, activating the fight or flight response. A desperate sense of losing control can dominate the perspective of many.

We can gain much peace and wisdom from observing the cycles of nature. Look out the window, take a walk in the woods. Autumn leaves fall gently to the ground. It is the nature of leaves to fall one day, they do not resist or hold on. Birth, growth and decay are simply natural on this dimension of manifestation. Each part of the cycle holds its beauty and truth.

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Sun enters Sagittarius. The party is on! Light hearted, humorous, fun loving Sag is a perfect compliment for serious, pondering, wise Scorpio. Conversations around the dinner table may be especially tense when opinions dominate. Some families may do well to remember the old adage, and avoid the topics of religion and politics if too heated. But, sharing and airing differences is also part of the process of reaching high ground.

In contemplating, researching and preparing for this article, I have come to the conclusion that the scenarios transpiring before us are part of the purging needed to catapult humanity over the hump of 2012. There are no accidents. All events are in perfect Divine Order. East and west, ancient and modern, scientific and mystical, so many wise ones have theorized and pointed the way to 2012 as the pivotal year when everything changes. The process is happening on every level of our existence. Many of the old ways are no longer sustainable. At the heart of these changes is the human being, growing, unfolding, evolving beyond selfishness, fear and control. It takes extreme trust to let go like an autumn leaf. This is what is being asked of us. To release the past, and forge ahead into a brilliant future while embracing the challenge and good fortune to live each moment in gratitude.

Astrological Forecast

Libra New Moon
October 15 @ 8:03 a.m.

Scorpio/Taurus Full Moon
October 29 @ 3:49 p.m.

The rapid, accelerated change we have come to expect from 2012 continues into autumn months. October is a month of transition in numerous ways as the notable planet Saturn shifts zodiac signs, and amps up pressure for fundamental and necessary transformation on every level of human experience. Saturn is the timekeeper, marking the cycles of life. To every beginning there is an end, and to every end there is a beginning. You will find certain ar