New Moon in Libra — October 16, 2020, 19:31 UT

The New Moon in Libra is opposite the retrograding Mars-Eris conjunction in Aries and square to Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn in Capricorn. Two distant minor planets, centaur 10199 Chariklo and plutino 15810 Arawn are also in conjunction with the Capricorn planets. There is an impressive cardinal t-square pattern formed by all these planets.

A t-square is an aspect pattern formed by two planets opposing each other and both of them squared by a third planet. It is a very stressful configuration. The tension is searching release, which can result in impatience and indiscretion. There are more than just three planets involved in the current t-square and the participants add extra weight to the aspects.

The Sun and the Moon in Libra are opposing Mars (action, passion, anger, aggression) and Eris (chaos, discord, provocation) in Aries. Mars is strong in its home sign, but now it is retrograding, which can hinder its normal behavior and cause huge frustration. Also Eris is retrograding. The empty leg of the t-square, which in this case is in Cancer, could act as the discharge point for the tension, but now the heavy Capricorn stellium concentrates the energy strongly on the apex in Capricorn.

The building energy that the t-square produces is not just a stress factor, but a possibility for successful work if it is handled constructively. Fortunately the New Moon in Libra is concerned of balance and justice. Moreover, the “graceful spinner” Chariklo is in the mix. Chariklo provides support.

The presence of Arawn offers an excellent moment for some serious soul searching. Van Morrison has the Sun-Arawn conjunction in his natal chart, and his works often tell about the spiritual search and healing. In an old interview, when it was a question about the identity crisis he had went through, he said: “…what they call in psychology an identity crisis… What it is as a matter of fact, it’s called growth… The whole point is, dig yourself.” Arawn may have a lot to do with being real, or showing our original essence.

15810 Arawn was discovered in 1994 and named in 2017 from Welsh mythology. Arawn was the ruler of the Celtic otherworld, Annwfn, meaning “the in-world”, derived from an (“in, inside”) and dwfn (“world”). Annwfn was like a paradise, a world of eternal youth where disease was absent and food was ever-abundant.

Jupiter is a planet of faith and self-confidence. It likes to explore and is interested in the search for meaning. Jupiter is now tightly conjunct Arawn. Mercury has just turned retrograde in Scorpio, which for its part is encouraging us to seek within.

New Moon in Leo — August 19, 2020, 02:42 UT

The New Moon at 26+ Leo is in conjunction with Mercury and opposite 5335 Damocles at 26+ Aquarius. The New Moon is in a flowing trine to the exact Mars-Eris conjunction in Aries. The New Moon forms a tight, irritating quincunx to Saturn in Capricorn. The people of Belarus are living this play of planets right now.

5335 Damocles is the namesake of the damocloids, the odd group of small bodies, like aggressive centaurs. Its orbit reaches from inside the aphelion of Mars to outside Uranus. When it was discovered in 1991, it was found to be on an orbit completely different from all others known.

According to the official naming citation, “Legend has it that Damocles, a courtier of the tyrant Dionysius the Elder of Syracuse, was invited to a feast, where he was seated below a sword suspended by a thread. Intended to demonstrate the impermanence of power, the ‘sword of Damocles’ has become a symbol of impending disaster. This minor planet, in an unusual orbit of very high eccentricity and inclination and crossing the orbits of Mars to Uranus, could itself be seen as such a sword during periods of its orbital evolution when it becomes an earth crosser.”

“The Sword of Damocles” is the metaphor for the imminent and ever-present peril faced by those in positions of power. It is often used also in a broader sense, and simply meaning an unexpected peril.

The orbital period of 5335 Damocles around the Sun is nearly 41 years. However, astrologically it spends most of it, around 30 years, in Aquarius, and hurries through the eleven other signs of the zodiac in about ten years. On the current round Damocles made its final ingress from Capricorn to Aquarius in 1994. In April 2021 it will visit Pisces for the first time, and by 2026 has ingressed Pisces entirely.

Belarus declared independence on Aug. 25, 1991. President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko (in office since 1994) is the last dictator of Europe. The election on Aug. 9, 2020, as with previous elections, was not free and fair. The opponents are repressed, the media is not free, and journalists and demonstrators have been brutally beaten. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the opposition candidate has claimed to won the election. The protest on Aug. 16 gathered 100,000 – 200,000 people on the streets of Minsk, demanding the departure of Lukashenko.

In the independence chart of Belarus, Mercury; Jupiter; and Venus are at 25+ — 27+ degrees of Leo, and the transiting Damocles in Aquarius has been hovering opposite them for a few years now (because of the retrogradation phenomenon). The natal Sun of Belarus is at 1+ degrees of Virgo. President Lukashenko’s natal Pluto is at 25+ Leo and his natal Sun at 6+ degrees of Virgo. Is Lukashenko’s dictatorship coming to an end soon now, or will the Sword of Damocles hit later when the transiting Damocles reaches Pisces and starts to oppose both the Sun of Belarus and the Sun of Lukashenko?

People with prominent Damocles:

John Profumo (Jan. 30, 1915 – March 9, 2006) was a British politician whose career ended in 1963 after a sexual relationship with the 19-year-old model Christine Keeler – Sun, Mars and Uranus conjunct Damocles in Aquarius.

James Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955) was an American actor, who died in a car crash. – Sun conjunct Damocles in Aquarius.

Sauli Niinistö (born Aug. 24, 1948) is President of Finland (in office since 2012). Niinistö and his two sons narrowly survived the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. They were in Khao Lak, Thailand, and survived by climbing up and down an electricity pylon and adjusting themselves with the water level. – Damocles at the Aries Point quincunx the Sun in Virgo and square Uranus in Gemini.

William Knox Schroeder (July 20, 1950 – May 4, 1970) was a student at Kent State University, Ohio, when he was killed by Ohio National Guardsmen in the Kent State shootings. – Sun conjunct Damocles in Cancer.

Scooter Libby (born Aug. 22, 1950) is the former adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney. In October 2005, Libby resigned after he was indicted by a federal grand jury concerning the investigation of the leak of the covert identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson. He was convicted. – Sun conjunct Damocles in Leo.

Ellen DeGeneres (born Jan. 26, 1958) is an American comedian and television host. In summer 2020, DeGeneres has faced allegations of abuse, racism and sexual harassment against her staff. – Sun and Venus conjunct Damocles in Aquarius, opposite Uranus in Leo.

Ayrton Senna (March 21, 1960 – May 1, 1994), a Brazilian racing driver, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time. He died in an accident at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. – Sun at the Aries Point semisquare Damocles at the ascendant in Aquarius.

Julian Assange (born July 3, 1971), the founder of WikiLeaks – Mars conjunct Damocles in Aquarius.

Anders Behring Breivik (born Feb. 13, 1979) is a Norwegian terrorist. – Sun conjunct Damocles in Aquarius.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (born Sept. 15, 1984) In 2018 he married American actress Meghan Markle. In January 2020, the couple announced their intention to step back as members of the royal family. — Damocles in Pisces square the lunar nodes (Gemini/Sagittarius).

New Moon in Gemini — May 22, 2020, 17:39 UT

The New Moon occurs at 3+ degrees of Gemini on May 22, 2020. Earlier in the day Mercury, the ruler of the sign, and Venus retrograde conjoined at 20+ degrees of Gemini. Two asteroids, 10 Hygiea (symbolizing health, cleanliness and hygiene) and 4 Vesta (named after the goddess of the hearth, home, and family) are in conjunction with Mercury and Venus.

The New Moon in Gemini is trine Saturn in Aquarius, sextile to Varuna (the great equalizer) in Leo and in quincunx to Zhulong (the indicator of the change in a blink of an eye) in Scorpio. The long term square between Varuna and Zhulong has been developing since 2018. We have now experienced the two first exact squares from the total of seven, the first one in January and the second in April.

Gemini, the butterfly of the zodiac, is a social sign. It is associated with communication, curiosity and traveling. Gemini rules lungs, hands and the nervous system.

Finland has cautiously started to loosen the pandemic restrictions. The primary schools were reopened in a controlled manner on May 14, and the guidelines for senior citizens have been eased. The cafes and restaurants will be permitted to open, with certain limitations, on June 1. Our spring has been cold, but now the weather is quickly warming, too. It feels as if everything in life is lightening.

Gemini, the Twins, is a sign of dualism. We are allowed to enjoy spring and focus on the positive, as long as we remember that Covid-19 is a serious disease, and we still need to take care of ourselves and our loved ones.

New Moon in Aries — March 24, 2020, 09:28 UT

The vernal equinox was on March 20, 2020. The Sun entered Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, and passed the Aries point. It is the point in which the most personal intersects with the larger world around one. The equinox chart shows the themes of the becoming astrological year.

The New Moon in Aries took place on March 24 in the early degrees of the sign, in conjunction with Chiron and Salacia. The New Moon squared the lunar nodes on the Cancer-Capricorn axis and the Pholus-Quaoar conjunction in Capricorn. The tight triple conjunction of Jupiter, Pluto and Mars in Capricorn is squaring Eris in Aries. The New Moon opposed Makemake in Libra.

136472 Makemake is a cubewano discovered 15 years ago, in March 2005. It is one of the five minor planets which officially have received the dwarf planet status so far. The orbital period is 306 years. The discovery team (Brown, Trujillo and Rabinowitz) nicknamed it “Easterbunny” because of its discovery shortly after Easter. In 2008 Makemake was named after the creator god of humanity in the myths of the Rapa Nui, the native people of Easter Island.

The god Makemake was also the chief god of the birdman cult of the Rapa Nui, an annual dangerous competition. The contestants had to swim to the nearby island to collect the first egg of the season of a certain tropical seabird, and then swim back to Rapa Nui. Many lost their lives. The winner was entitled to gifts of food, and his clan would have sole rights to collect the wild bird eggs and fledglings of that season. The winner had to go into seclusion for a year and spend his time eating and sleeping, and could not engage in any other activity. He did this for his community.

We are now in the situation where we need to restrict our living. We need to reduce our social contacts to minimum. Luckily we have phones, the internet, and the social media, so we are not totally secluded. Our pursuit is nothing compared to that of the birdman. We need to do this now for our health care workers and for our community.

Full Moon in Virgo — March 09, 2020, 17:48 UT

The Full Moon in Virgo is opposing the conjunction of the Sun and Neptune in Pisces. We are facing the fear that the rapidly spreading new disease COVID-19 is arousing.

Two first centaurs, Chiron and Pholus, are now in a square aspect. Pholus in Capricorn is conjunct the south node of the Moon and Chiron in Aries is exactly square the lunar nodes. Chiron squared Pholus on March 8, 2020. Astrologer Eric Francis noted recently that the astrology of the current mess is Chiron square Pholus. He described the energy of Pholus being “the metaphoric or literal genie coming out of the bottle.” Please click the following link to read the whole article: Pholus and the Pandemic of Panic.

Last week, Olli Vapalahti, the virology professor at the University of Helsinki, used the same metaphor, when he was interviewed about the coronavirus situation: “Getting the virus back into the bottle is quite difficult.”

Pluto and Eris are now in a square aspect. Eris is the goddess of strife and discord, and she was rejected because of this tendency of hers. A reflection of the symbolism of Eris can be seen in the situation of those people around the world that are now under a travel ban or quarantine because of the virus.

The Full Moon is in conjunction with the centaur 346889 Rhiphonos, which offers a protective image. 346889 Rhiphonos was discovered in 2009. The orbital period is around 35.8 years. In Greek mythology Rhiphonos was one of the twelve Dionysian Centaurs who drew the chariot of the infant Dionysus. Zeus had set them to guard his son Dionysus against Hera’s anger. Dionysus’s mother was a mortal woman, with whom Zeus had an affair. The Dionysian Centaurs were originally sprites, but when jealous Hera found out about their assistance, she transformed them into ox-horned centaurs. Later loyal Rhiphonos was one of the commanders of the centaurs who travelled with the adult Dionysus around the world.

Don’t let fear take over, and keep washing your hands.

New Moon in Gemini — June 03, 2019, 10:02 UT

2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages, a United Nations observance that aims to raise awareness of the consequences of the endangerment of Indigenous languages across the world, with an aim to establish a link between language, development, peace, and reconciliation. Possibly this observance has contributed to the naming of (229762) 2007 UK126 as Gǃkúnǁʼhòmdímà from mythology of Jul’hoan people of Namibia. The naming took place in April 2019.

The New Moon at 12+ degrees of Gemini is in exact conjunction with 229762 Gǃkúnǁʼhòmdímà, a trans-Neptunian object from the extended scattered disc. It was discovered on 19 October 2007 by American astronomers Megan Schwamb, Michael Brown, and David Rabinowitz. The diameter is approximately 600 kilometers, but the body is not spherical. The orbital period is little over 620 years. Gǃkúnǁʼhòmdímà will come to perihelion in July 2046 (the point in the orbit where it is nearest to the Sun).

Gǃkúnǁʼhòmdímà has one known satellite, Gǃòʼé ǃHú, which is one of the reddest known objects beyond Neptune.

The Jul’hoan language, commonly called Ju, is one of the click languages. It is spoken in northeastern Namibia and the Northwest District of Botswana. The Jul’hoan people, or the ǃKung, are a part of the San people, also known as the Bushmen.

From what I read in Wikipedia, equality between the sexes prevails in the Jul’hoan society. Men and women live together in a non-exploitative manner. The Jul’hoan people long to keep peace between people. They believe in the creator, but they also believe that objects, places and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence. They practice shamanism to communicate with the spirit world, and to cure what they call “Star Sickness”. The community has trust in the healers and the teachers to guide them psychologically and spiritually through life.

In Jul’hoan mythology, Gǃkúnǁʼhòmdímà is a beautiful aardvark girl, who sometimes appears in the stories of other San peoples as a python girl or elephant girl. She defends her people and punishes wrongdoers using gǁámígǁàmì spines, a raincloud full of hail, and her magical oryx horn G!ò’é !Hú. The moon of 229762 Gǃkúnǁʼhòmdímà was named after this horn.

At this point I am not able to say much about the astrological meaning of this body. However, Francesco Schiavinotto, an Italian geologist and professor of paleontology, whose hobby is astrological research, has suggested the following keywords for 2007 UK126, long before its naming: “practical / pragmatic genius, empathy for common people, non-teleological thinking, class conflict, intense loneliness and anger engendered by hopelessness, peaceworker, peacemaker, peacekeeper”.

My own, so far somewhat narrow research brought forth these celebrities, who were born with their Sun in conjunction with Gǃkúnǁʼhòmdímà: Chaka Khan, Tracy Chapman, Brian McFadden and Amber Heard.

Full Moon in Scorpio — May 18, 2019, 21:11 UT

The Full Moon on May 18, 2019, is at 27+ degrees of Scorpio. The Sun in Taurus is in strict conjunction with Sedna, one of the most distant icy bodies in our solar system, named after the Inuit goddess of the Arctic Ocean. Sedna represents the utmost edge, both in the solar system as well as in our consciousness.

Sedna’s orbit is exceptionally long and elongated, taking approximately 11,400 years to complete. Sedna never comes inside Neptune’s orbit, not even when it is nearest to the Sun in its orbit, which happens next time in 2076. Sedna is possibly the first known member of the inner Oort cloud. In the astrological chart it moves so slowly that it works almost like a fixed star.

Sedna was discovered in 2003. It has given its name to a group of distant bodies, the sednoids, of which only three including Sedna are discovered so far, but scientists suspect that there are a lot more of them. The sednoids belong to the category of ETNOs (the extreme trans-Neptunian objects), whose orbits could have been disrupted by an as-yet-unknown planet beyond the Kuiper belt, the hypothesized Planet Nine, a body at least ten times more massive than the Earth.

In astrology we observe planetary cycles and when we try to define the nature of a certain transit, we find it helpful to study events in history. We don’t know much about the life 11,000 years ago, when Sedna last time was this close to the Sun and Earth. The climate was warming up, as the Earth was coming out of the ice age. People were hunter-gatherers. The last woolly mammoths were dying in extinction. Why this happened is not quite clear, but a climate change alone was probably not the reason, because mammoths had survived similar changes previously. Advanced hunting might have had something to do with their extinction.

Amazingly some concrete things have stood the test of the millennia up till our time. Göbekli Tepe, located in southeastern Turkey, is one of the most important archaeological discoveries ever. It was built around the same time that the last ice age ended. It is presumed to be a ceremonial site, perhaps for shamanic practices. There are various temples and massive stone pillars at the site. Hundreds of people and massive efforts have been needed to erect the structures. The site proves that at least some humans created permanent settlements long before farming practices started. For unknown reasons the site was then abandoned.

One of the world’s oldest art pieces is a wooden sculpture found in Siberia near Yekaterinburg. The radiocarbon dating has showed that the Shigir Idol is approximately 11,500 years old, carved from a trunk shortly after the end of the ice age. It is about five meters tall and its decoration resembles that of some stone sculptures found at Göbekli Tepe. Scholars think it is possible that the culture which emerged after the ice age and which created big symbolical artifacts, possibly having to do with religious rituals, did not originate in one place, but in several centers in different parts of the world.

The world’s oldest living tree is a 9,550 year-old Norway spruce growing in Sweden. The discovery of this spruce in 2004 coincides with Sedna emerging into our awareness. The tree has survived by pushing out another trunk as soon as the old one has died. It is rebirthing itself.

Astrologically Sedna has been associated with the climate change. We are damaging our planet and civilization dramatically. It is estimated that a million species are at risk, and one third of world’s nature will be destroyed by 2050. The extinction of plants and animals threatens also us humans. We Finns are at the forefront of destroying the planet. This year’s overshoot day of the Finns – the point at which consumption exceeds the capacity of nature to regenerate – was on April 5, a week earlier than last year. If people all over the world were consuming like us, we would need almost four Earths to sustain it. Immediate actions for better are required from each and every one of us.

In mythology Sedna was a beautiful Inuit girl, who became betrayed first by a suitor in disguise and then by her own father. Through a powerful transformation she became the mighty goddess of icy waters. She wants to be heard. If she is happy, she allows the humans to eat from the bounty of the sea. If she is not respected, she sends storms and starvation. The myth gives us hope.

In spite of the dreadful state of our planet, there is still hope. Our youngsters have taken the lead in the combat against time. Greta Thunberg, a Swedish schoolgirl, has initiated the School strike for climate, an international movement of students, who are not attending classes and instead are protesting for immediate action to prevent further global warming. Greta Thunberg was born in 2003, the same year when Sedna was discovered.