Weekly Update » January 29 - February 04, 2009
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It’s Mercury Direct on Super Bowl Sunday;
Venus Enters Aries, and Mars Enters Aquarius

By Shelley L. Ackerman
[From my 'Shimmering Stars' column in The Westchester Guardian, © 2009]

Photo: Rich Press

Mercury Station on Super Bowl Sunday :-)
Venus and Mars Change Signs:

The innermost planets are where it’s at this week: Mercury stations direct on February 1st, making it a strange travel day to say the least, but it could prove to be very entertaining for those watching the Steelers and the Cardinals play to win in Tampa at Super Bowl 43.

Planetary stations (especially involving Mercury) are notoriously troublesome where movement let alone sports is concerned. The number 43 (as in Bush II) is no bargain either in my book. And then there’s Venus at the last degree of the zodiac on the fixed star “Sheat” (is that the malaise that’s been affecting nearly everyone I speak with?) making the aspects for Sunday’s game just a tad funky. Ticket sales are down too, with many unable to spend the extra cash to go anywhere.

Before week’s end, both Venus and Mars change signs: Venus enters the pre-retrograde shadow period (the actual retrograde from March 6-April 17) and will be almost entirely in fiery Aries through June 6th!

And speaking of fire, it appears that hell has been located: A bizarre far away “hot flash” planet that is visible from Earth near the Big Dipper, is said to swing from 980˚ to 2240˚ in a few hours- on a regular basis! Sweet.

Mars transits airy, brilliant, and innovative Aquarius from February 4th through March 14th. The interplay between these two passion planets (Venus and Mars) for the next several weeks will be exciting and electric to say the least. Romance is likely even for those who have been sitting it out for a while, but the vibes are less than stellar for long term commitments, at least for now.

Rooting for the Steelers!

Biden to Labor Officials: Welcome Back to the White House

At a ceremony on Friday during which President Obama signed three executive orders that he said would “reverse many of the policies towards organized labor that we’ve seen these last eight years, policies with which I’ve sharply disagreed”, VP Joe Biden took the stand and a swipe at former VP Cheney and welcomed organized labor back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Cheney turned 68 today, which is also FDR’s 127th birthday. This after his workable but ‘imperfect’ $819 billion stimulus plan was passed by the house. As we all know, not ONE republican voted for it. So much for bi-partisanship! Nevertheless, democrats remain optimistic about it passing in the Senate, though it’s mathematically impossible without some support from across the aisle.

Still raking it in

President Obama sharply criticized the more than $18.4 billion in bonuses for Wall Streeters in 2008. Calling it “shameful and irresponsible”, Obama said “What we're going to need is for the folks on Wall Street who are asking for help to show some restraint, and show some discipline, and show some sense of responsibility”. I still can’t believe that we have such a reasonable man in office, Hallelujah! The only thing missing is for taxes to be raised for EXXON whose record-breaking profits continue to soar despite what everyone else is going through.

But all in all, in the past week, it seems that thinking in general is back in vogue. And in the spirit of reaching across the aisle, I hereby recommend David Brooks’ column entitled “What Life Asks of Us”. Though I don’t necessarily go along with his ultimate conclusions, I did relish his presentation of two ways of looking at things: One being the results of a liberal arts education and the other more along the lines of thinking institutionally. It’s a very good read.

Chart: Mars in Aquarius
Click for larger view

The Planets This Week: All times EST.

Jan 29: Moon in Pisces
Jan 30: Moon V/C @ 4:24 am, enters Aries @ 10:25 am
Feb 1: Moon V/C @ 1:08 pm, enters Taurus @ 5:09 pm,
           Mercury stationary direct @ 2:11 am
Feb 2: Venus enters Aries @ 10:42 pm
Feb 3: Moon V/C @ 8:27 pm, enters Gemini @ 9:14 pm
Feb 4: Mars enters Aquarius @ 10:56 am

*Moon v/c = ‘void of course’, Best for spiritual not earthly pursuits

Bonus: 2009 Astro Crib Sheet

Major Planetary Activity for 2009.

Mercury begins 09 @ 0˚Aquarius07’ & ends 2009 @ 19˚Capricorn29’ Rx
Mercury Retrogrades 2009:
Jan 11-Feb 1, May 6-30, Sept 6-29, & Dec 26-Jan 15, 2010
Venus begins 2009 @ 27˚Aquarius48’ and ends 2009 @ 7˚Capricorn13’
Venus Retrograde: March 6-April 17, 2009
Mars begins 2009 @ 3˚Capricorn57’ and ends 2009 @ 18˚Leo54’ (Retro)
Mars turns retrograde on December 20th (thru March 10, 2010)
Jupiter begins 2009 @ 29˚Capricorn02’ and ends 2009 @ 26˚Aquarius15’
Jupiter enters Aquarius on January 5, 2009
Jupiter Retrograde: June 15-Oct 13, 2009
Saturn begins 2009 @ 21˚Virgo46’ Retrograde and ends 2009 @ 4˚Libra30’
Saturn Retrograde: Dec 31, 2008-May 16, 2009
Saturn enters Libra on Oct 29, 2009 (will retrograde back into Virgo in 2010)
Uranus begins 2009 @ 19˚Pisces15’ and ends @ 23˚Pisces05’
Uranus Retrograde: July 1-December 1, 2009
Neptune begins 2009 @ 22˚Aquarius27’ and ends 2009 @ 24˚Aquarius34’
Neptune Retrograde: May 28-November 4, 2009
Pluto begins 2009 @ 1˚Capricorn16’ and ends 2009 @ 3˚Capricorn17’
Pluto Retrograde: April 4-September 11, 2009

Weekly Horoscope

ARIES: As Mercury (planet of communication and transportation) turns direct in your career house, the freeze on your professional life begins to thaw: Through patience and persistence an elusive goal is clearly within reach. In the next several weeks you become unusually interested and involved in group activities and are especially stimulated by the people you come into contact with. If a romantic interest develops, enjoy but keep it light and a little distant for now.

TAURUS: If you snooze, you lose: It’s all systems go professionally and legally. If there are issues you’d like to see fixed, take the bull by the horns (yes, that means you) and put some energy behind it. Wait for everyone else to do their part first and you’ll miss the boat entirely. An emotional risk may be necessary but when it gets down to it, you’ll dig the experience. A four month exploration and review of what’s bothering you on a deep level is at hand. Go with it.

GEMINI: Saturn (planet of karma) in persnickety Virgo is no picnic. But much of the agony that you’re experiencing on the home front could be self-inflicted. Rather than have this unnecessary pain be a larger part of your life than it needs to be for the next few months, why not figure out what’s really bothering you? If you’re willing to go there, you’ll see that those who you’ve demonized or projected your shadow upon are pretty innocent of the trumped up charges you’ve accused them of.

CANCER: “Yes We Can” was and remains the victorious slogan of Election ’08, and this should carry you forward as you navigate your way through some murky and confusing financial waters this year. The good news is that as Mars enters your 8th house of joint resources you have about six weeks of added strength to tackle the problem with gusto and with the help of a clear-sighted pro who thinks out of the box. Don’t dilly-dally too long: Take him or her up on this special offer pronto and get to work!

LEO: Delays on the work-front begin to resolve themselves as this week sees the beginning of a wild and stimulating season of romance, battle, and negotiation. And what could be more exciting? In days of old, you’d be advised to take up fencing- but a martial art (Tai-chi?) will serve you just as well. The ultimate results of all of this back and forth banter may not be clear till the second week of June: Enjoy the process and the journey as best you can. This is an adventurous sequence so don’t overbook yourself.

VIRGO: Roll your sleeves up and dig in as you never have before: The enlivening combination of Mercury direct in your creative 5th house, Mars in Aquarius in your 6th house of health, work, and routine, and Venus in your 8th house of passions that run deep, and the Earth-Ox energy (of the Chinese New Year) combine to give overcome Saturn’s limiting influence and give you the mojo to climb Mount Everest or fly to the Moon. The choice is yours. This could be a time of tremendous accomplishment if you focus and prioritize: it’s what you do best.

LIBRA: A creative and innovative approach to handling ALL of your relationships begins this week, but it requires a special alertness and diligence on your part to work it to your advantage: A number of fascinating people will be entering and re-entering your life: Consider how to approach and engage with each and every one of them in a new way and pay attention to how you see yourself in each of them. You’re about to clear many self-defeating old patterns.

SCORPIO: Resist the temptation to stir the pot with your family at home and use your powerful transformative energy to further the peace process. Think of your blood ties as friends or as business associates that you must get along with in order to survive. As Mercury turns direct, communication and transportation issues improve. There may be an opportunity to invest in property with a group- if so, don’t dismiss too quickly, it may be a good one.

SAGITTARIUS: To hell with what’s going on in the economy, you’re in for quite a few weeks of party time and it doesn’t have to be too expensive to enjoy it to the hilt. There could be someone who tempts you to take a few steps outside your vows or if you’re single, that tempting so and so may not be totally available. Keep the focus on neighbors and siblings for now and you’ll avoid complications later. Mercury-direct in your money house sets those financial wheels in motion again.

CAPRICORN: Tongue-tied no more, Mercury direct in your sign on Feb 1st, makes it easier to ‘Sing out Louise’ and say what’s been on your mind for a spell. But the good news doesn’t stop there: Mars in your 2nd house of finance and Venus in your 4th house of home and family combine to offer a magical blend of creativity and opportunity to revisit your roots (literally and figuratively) and get them in better shape for the tasks ahead. Keep this quote by Ernest Dimnet in mind: “Architecture of all the arts, is the one that acts the most slowly but the most surely on the soul.”

AQUARIUS: Mars enters your sign and through mid-March you have twice as much energy to get thing done: And with the Sun and Jupiter also in your sign, you can move mountains. Since Aquarians are usually way ahead of everyone else, be tolerant of others’ slowness and inability to keep up but follow your own counsel just the same. You’re in a position to lead and if the circumstances present themselves, by all means, step up to the proverbial plate!

PISCES: Your psychic abilities are in overdrive as is your sensitivity to any environment you happen to be in. To avoid burn out, it is imperative that you sleep a little more and stay out of crowds as much as possible. This is tough if you work in a department store, are in the military, or must ride public transportation during rush hour. But just the same, protect yourself and try not to absorb any more energy than necessary. If this confuses you, it’s time you learned about how unseen energy works. The writings of Piscean Edgar Cayce are a good place to start.