Weekly Update » March 20 - March 26, 2008
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Spring Equinox 2008:
The Sun Enters Aries, Then a Full Moon in Libra

By Shelley L. Ackerman
[From my 'Shimmering Stars' column in The Westchester Guardian, © 2008]

Tornadoes in Atlanta, Crane Crashes in New York:

Update from Second Avenue, Manhattan

Last Saturday, after my last phone consultation of the day, I ran downstairs hoping to mail tapes of clients’ readings before the post office closed at 4 pm. Posting my stuff that day was not to be.

As I headed uptown towards 54th Street and Third Avenue, I saw an army of fire engines, police cars, blinking lights, and road blocks. With Second Avenue shut down, I asked a bystander “What happened?”

I was told that a crane on a 51st Street construction site just a few blocks up the street from where I live, snapped and plummeted into several buildings, demolishing one or two of them and possibly killing some people.

While most of the nation’s real estate market is in a downward spiral, Manhattan construction seems to be booming. But in recent months, there have been several horrible fatal mishaps, including a scaffolding accident at a Donald Trump structure being built in Soho and the infamous Con-Ed steam pipe explosion last July. What on Earth is going on?

Astrologically, Jupiter/Saturn pictures have to do with building, and Saturn has been retrograde since December 19, 2007. In the sign of Virgo, Saturn demands integrity, precision, and unwavering attention to detail. Virgo also rules health, routine and integrity. Integrity was nowhere to be found on the 51st Street site:

As of this writing, there has been an arrest of the inspector who falsified a report that said that the crane was in good working order. It turns out that 46 year old Edward Marquette (born May 1, 1961) never inspected the location at all. And even though reports state that the ‘passing grade’ recorded for the crane was not responsible for the tragedy, can we really be sure?

One day after the “freak accident”, CBS’ 60 Minutes ran a highly informative and relevant piece on “The Science of Sleep”.

The upshot is that we are getting much less than we need and this leads to illness and premature aging. Not surprising are the findings that sleep deprivation comes up as a primary factor is many of the world’s most well known tragic accidents, including: Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, the 2003 Staten Island Ferry disaster, as well as the aforementioned Con Edison steam pipe explosion.

Saturn rules structure. This week’s news included a story about the disappearance of Saturn’s glorious rings. Please say it isn’t so. But if it is, what pray tell, does that symbolize?

The Sun in Aries: Wild Times Ahead

Each year the Sun’s entrance into Aries marks the beginning of the Astrological New Year. The chart cast for March 20, 2008 @ 1:48:18 am EDT tells us a lot about the tumultuous months ahead: As a matter of fact, in all of the seasonal ingresses during 2008, there is a hard aspect between the Sun and Pluto. Not since 1972 has this exact pattern repeated throughout the year.

Sun/Pluto aspects always indicated power struggles. This week, Mars is thrown into the mix amplifying the energy by forming a potent and confrontational “T-Square that culminates on March 30th.

What’s disconcerting in the chart cast for Washington DC, (that applies to the goings on of the entire country), is that Mars (the ruler of Aries) is in the 7th house of open enemies. Several astrologers have speculated that an attack of some sort is likely to occur between now and the election in November. Further instability is described by the Moon in Virgo in the ninth house of foreign affairs, which is approaching an opposition to Uranus, hardly a picture of calm.

Raising the Bar:

Senator Barack Obama’s magnificent speech about racism was a triumph. He courageously and thoughtfully responded to his pastor’s controversial and inflammatory remarks. He met the challenge and his critics head on, ignored the chorus of “Americans are too dumb to understand what you’re talking about”, and spoke to the collective’s higher self. It was a fitting manifestation of the Sabian Symbol for the degree of the Full Moon, two Libra, which speaks of a leap forward in consciousness. Check out what Australian astrologer Lynda Hill has to say. The Full Moon on the 21st will up the ante and bring several hidden issues to the surface. Stay tuned.

Chart: Aries Ingress of the Sun
Click for larger view

The Planets This Week:
March 20: Moon in Virgo, Sun enters Aries @ 1:48 am
March 21: Sun Square Pluto @ 4:36am, Moon in Libra 11:45am,
             Full Moon @ 2:40 pm
March 23: Moon in Scorpio @ 10:06 pm
March 24: Mercury conjunct Venus @ 9:30 am
March 26: Moon in Sagittarius @ 10:11 am

* All times EDT.

Weekly Horoscope

ARIES: It’s your time of year, so are you ready for active duty or not? The cardinal grand cross on the 21st will have life coming at you with demands from all sides. Like your other cardinal counterparts (Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) the challenge is to stay heart-centered and to pick your battles. But if you ask me, say “no” to all battles for now and let everyone around you duke it out, if they’re so inclined. The cooler you keep your head, the better you’ll prevail.

TAURUS: The Astrological New Year marks the beginning of a monumental turning point for you, one that will take a few months to play out. The key to making this cycle work as best as it can for you is hinged on your ability to act as stabilizing force in the lives of a few in your sphere who are at the mercy of the elements.. But it’s a two way street: Those very individuals somehow clue you in to the steps necessary to resolve a financial conundrum of your own.

GEMINI: During tense times, there’s always a select few who come out smelling like a rose. This could very well be your Spring ‘08 story if you play your cards right. Force yourself to sit out the potentially edgy weekend and regroup. On Monday March 24, your ruler Mercury joins forces with Venus at the top of your chart at which time your words are golden and everything you say will be music to the ears of those you want to impress.

CANCER: The situation is delicate but filled with opportunities for advancement. The Sun has just crossed the threshold of your tenth house of professional possibilities, but it appears that you and one or more parties are at an impasse. This temporary block will lift and there will be movement and positive new developments by late Wednesday. Be open to a very helpful intervention from someone overseas.

LEO: “Pride goeth before a fall”. Under normal circumstances, the Sun’s entrance into your ninth house of foreign affairs and deserved recognition offers a pleasant and upbeat sequence for you. But nothing is normal or ordinary now. So though you may not feel like keeping your nose to the grindstone, your vigilance on the job and attention to detail at home is needed to keep your head above water and the loonies at bay.

VIRGO: No one in their right mind would ever accuse you of being extravagant, but c’mon, you are capable of profound generosity when someone you love needs you. Well, all of the phone lines are lit and the SOS calls have been coming in fast and furious. So since being all things to all people is out of the question, you must be ready with a plan “b’. One option is to screen your calls and set your email on auto-respond. You really need the time and resources for yourself.

LIBRA: Being the center of attention is always your first choice, but being in the line of fire is not. Unfortunately, this week, the two go hand in hand. Keep focused on the day to day details and perform your tasks as if nothing unusual is going on. What seemed huge and insurmountable will miraculously work out. Grace under fire is your test and your mantra. Support staff and/or co-workers will provide continuity and a life raft to get you through these choppy waters. Be forthright with your appreciation.

SCORPIO: There have been many times when you have been your own worst enemy, and with you there’s an ever present temptation to test your boundaries just once for old time’s sake. But can it for now: On the one hand you should be encouraged to go full steam ahead and put your energy behind a project you believe in. But be attentive to the needs of a higher up who makes it possible for you to have the freedom that you do. He or she is never unreasonable or unfair. Cut them some slack and whatever they ask of you, say “yes’.

SAGITTARIUS: Let the games begin? Well, sort of. The Sun enters your fifth house of good times, but they’re not quite ready to roll just yet. The adage about life being one percent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration was never more fitting. But through the frustration and false starts, new muscle is built and that muscle will come in very handy – very soon. Do not push to make things happen before their time.

CAPRICORN: The Full Moon on the angles of your chart activates every key area of your life at once. And while this would throw most of us, for you it’s business as usual. But what makes this particular week different, is that you are in fact being challenged by someone who is as annoying as they are relentless. The important thing to remember is that you hold the power, and the less you do the better. Let your adversary wear him or herself out while you go out for cappuccino.

AQUARIUS: You know that feeling when you’re upset but you don’t exactly know why? There are things that you need to express, but those who you wish to hear you, are deeply immersed in their own problems. But that will change. Make note of what you want to say and for the time being focus on real estate, re-decorating, and mustering up the courage to request the raise that’s been due you for months.

PISCES: The Sun’s entrance into Aries in your second house of finance is immediately followed by the Full Moon the very next day. There are humungous changes afoot but they may not be apparent immediately. In the next several weeks, you could get a raise, but that’s just a very small part of what’s happening. You’re in the throws of a complete reorganization of your creative, social, romantic and financial life. Visualize what you want and be specific, Hold those images in place until every one of them manifests to your liking.