Weekly Update » April 02 - April 08, 2009
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Venus Square the Pluto ‘Station’ and Mars Opposite Saturn,
Too Hot for Sagittarian Jiverly Voong, Mass Murder Suspect;
Beacons of Journalistic Integrity:
Bill Moyers with Bill Black, Amy Goodman & Glenn Greenwald
Michelle O & Queen Elizabeth: Who Hugged Who First?

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

Photo: Rich Press

Sadly, the intense transits this week have lived up to their reputation and then some.

When I first wrote about April 1-10 some weeks ago for other columns which require copy way in advance, I highlighted the stress and potential violence of Mars opposite Saturn, which happens roughly every two years.

This time, the potentially deadly opposition was made that much more intense by Venus in hard aspect to Pluto, which stationed retrograde on April 4.

Jiverly Voong

When I mentioned to a relative that this weekend’s Mars-Saturn configuration could throw her off, and to stay away from anyone or anything that might upset her too much, little did I know that somewhere in Binghamton, NY, a gun-obsessed lunatic’s chart would be set off by that very aspect.: Thanks to Detective Bill Warner’s post, we now know that Jiverly Voong (a/k/a Jiverly ‘Antares’ Wong) was born somewhere in Vietnam on December 8, 1967. Though no birth time is available, we know that Voong’s Sun at 15 Sagittarius was set off and aggravated by the Mars/Saturn opposition. He had a “yod” configuration with Mars and Saturn as the base planets and Jupiter at the apex.

And this morning in Pittsburgh, 23 year old Richard Poplawski gunned down three police officers with an assault rife. (No birth data available for Poplawski yet).

But when channeled properly, Mars opposite Saturn in a natal chart, can drive the native to achieve one super-human accomplishment after another, as is the case with Amy Goodman (b. April 13, 1957).

Both Goodman and  Salon.com columnist Glenn Greenwald (b. March 6, 1967) are this year’s recipients of the I.F. Stone “Izzy” Award and were interviewed this week by Bill Moyers. Do not miss this important reminder of journalism’s vital role in maintaining a democracy.

The battle between Venus (values) in Aries (a new beginning) in square to Pluto (what’s hidden) in Capricorn (business structures, government) has delivered many revelations about the toxicity of the banking and business world and the complicit government policies that continue feed the fraudulent behavior of said institutions. At the same url, Moyers’ interview with Bill Black, author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank, (a step by step primer of what went and continues to go wrong) is a keeper. FYI: Wm. Black, who was a an avid Obama-supporter during election '08, doesn't let our beloved and popular president off the hook. He is highly critical of both Geithner and Summers and asks "Why do we bail out those who defraud us?".

Josef Fritzl

Venus/Pluto and the Josef Fritzl Guilty Plea in Austria

We’re more than two thirds through the Venus retrograde in Aries (which began on March 6 and will end on April 17), and true to the ‘return-engagement action of Venus retrograde, I can report a number of “blast from the past” shout-outs (some via Facebook) from friends I haven’t seen or heard from in years. It’s good to be in touch again.

Venus (in Aries) had the first of its three early ‘09 ‘scuffles’ with Pluto (in Capricorn) on February 5, The second was on April 3rd and on May 2nd, a final pass. ‘Hard’ or angular Venus/Pluto aspects, (in this case a 90 degree ‘square’ between Venus and Pluto) have a “Beauty and the Beast” or a Hannibal Lecter/Clarisse Starling quality to them: Whether a Venus-Pluto square is present natally in an individual’s horoscope, or is an aspect between (the Venus and Pluto of) two people, it’s never a simple story or what most would label ‘normal’:

On a personal level, Venus/Pluto aspects can play out as power-battles, abductions, rapes, sex-for-money scenarios, betrayals, or a good old fashioned triangle: Collectively, the tango between Venus and Pluto has economic implications and unfolds as a “who controls the money” saga. Whatever the manifestation, it’s never simple and there’s often a long and wrenching road to a resolution.

It’s interesting that during this Venus-Pluto movement in the heavens, possibly the most horrific monster of a father the world has ever known, Josef Fritzl of Amstetten Austria, shocked everyone including his lawyer, when he pleaded guilty to the abduction, imprisonment, ongoing rape and enslavement of his daughter, and the negligent death of one of their babies. This brutal story is about as ugly as it gets with Venus/Pluto but it serves to illustrate the most distorted end of that planetary duo’s spectrum. No birth times are available for Josef (born April 9, 1935) who has Venus in Taurus opposite Jupiter in Scorpio and his daughter/victim Elisabeth (born April 6, 1966) whose chart has several quinxunxes, but it’s fascinating that Elisabeth’s freedom came (on April 26, 2008) as transiting Uranus (freedom) at 21 Pisces was within a two degree conjunction of her natal Saturn (restriction) at 23 Pisces.

 Venus will square Pluto one last time on May 2nd, oppose Pluto on Aug 1st, square Pluto (from Libra) on Oct 15th, and conjoin Pluto on December 28th. All of these dates are points at which there will be more revelations on these and other “love crimes” and economic betrayals, with some sort of resolution by year’s end- we hope.

Michelle and The Queen

First Lady Michelle and Queen Elizabeth: Who Hugged First?

I swear, it was Queen Elizabeth, but in the end, does it really matter who extended their arm first? Check out the glorious synastry between these charts: Though we have no birth time for Michelle (b. Jan 17, 1964), Royal births are well-documented and public. The Queen (b. April 21, 1926 @ 2:40 am London) is a Taurus with Capricorn rising (Michelle’s Sun close to her ascendant), and Moon in Leo right on Barack Obama’s Sun. Both Elizabeth and Michelle have Mars in Aquarius and Venus in Pisces. The Queen has Jupiter at 22 Aquarius right on Michelle’s Saturn. It was reported that Elizabeth said, “Now that we’ve met, let’s keep in touch.” Sweet.

“HAIR” Opening: Spectacular.

    Thanks to my old pal Harry Haun for including me in his write-up for Playbill. “Hair” was phenomenal, and will probably enjoy a nice long run. I was thrilled to meet Caroline Kennedy, ABC’s Lori Stokes, Tommy Tune, and have some quality time with Melba Moore, Tovah Feldshuh, and Mo Rocca. Rosie O’Donnell generously told me that she was born at 10am (on March 21, 1962), and Elaine Stritch (Feb 2, 1925) said that she thinks she was born at 5 AM, in time for “breakfast at P.J. Clarke’s”.

Chart: Mars Opposite Saturn
Click for larger view

The Planets This Week: All times EST.

April 2: Moon in Cancer; First Quarter Moon @ 10:34 am-
            on Fixed Star Sirius
April 3: Moon V/C @ 4:59 am, enters Leo @ 3:32 pm;
            Venus square Pluto @ 6:27 am
April 4: Pluto stationary retrograde @ 1:33 pm, Mars opposite Saturn @ 8:55 pm
April 5: Moon V/C @ 11:39 am, enters Virgo @ 7:31 pm
April 7: Moon V/C @ 12:52 pm, enters Libra @ 11:22 pm;
            Mercury sextile Neptune @ 8:38 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: Without a doubt, the series of skirmishes that began in early February between Venus in your sign to Pluto in the career sector of your chart has worn you down, but you’ve never been one to give up on a goal - and you’re not about to any time soon. This week, the ante is upped by the opposition between your ruler, Mars, and Saturn. In short, it’s make or break time. The good news is, the muscle you’re building will make you almost invincible. Just see to it that your heart remains relaxed and open in the process.

TAURUS: Can it be that the unsolicited interference of a child or love-interest serves as a perfectly timed kick-in-the-butt needed to get a business partner (or lawyer, or associate) of yours back on track? That could be the case, so in the event that someone near and dear begins to chime in- don’t shut them up. Keep that over-active libido of yours in check: what you think is hidden (a flirtation, an affair, cell phone calls, or Facebook postings) will surely see the light of day and come back to haunt you.

GEMINI: Some terrific idea of yours is in the earliest of stages so let it ruminate a while and don’t force it to manifest before it’s time.  The Mars/Saturn opposition cuts clear across the home/career axis of your chart, and there could be a Hobson’s choice between serving a professional obligation and one that is connected to home and/or family. This time, blood must take precedent. Your boss will understand. Financial machinations will annoy for another week or two, but things will loosen shortly. Stay calm and keep the faith.

CANCER: A road block nearby, train problems or car trouble is likely, so leave ample time (more than usual) to get from place to place and have a back-up plan ready just in case. A partner or spouse is having quite the time of it and won’t budge on an issue right now, so let them be, don’t expect any compassion and revisit the conversation later. If you get too moody and/or needy on the 6th, go to a spa or get some bodywork done to offset it.

LEO: Take care of details at work and concerning your health, lest they get the better of you. Even though you’re feeling on top of the world (and have every right to be), Pluto standing still in Capricorn in your 6th house, demands attention. The saying “the devil is in the details’ should be posted on your bulletin board. Be especially kind to coworkers, underlings, and the invisible people who serve you. Ignoring or ‘dissing’ one of those souls could tuen into something very unpleasant.

VIRGO: Though self-confidence is not necessarily your forte, this is one instance that you must trust yourself. You will be probably be challenged by someone who will not back down easily, and though you always prefer to accommodate, this time, you may simply have to say “no”. On another front, your keen insight may save the day for a co-worker or underling who’s in the process of dropping the ball. If you’re at the doctor, pay attention to what the assistant is doing: He or she may be spacing out at a critical moment.

LIBRA: Lord knows you’ve had enough drama this Spring to last a lifetime, and it feels like you’re on the verge of paralysis. But as all 12 Step Programs teach, “feelings aren’t facts” and the ship you’ve been waiting on is closer to the shore than you think. The opposition between Mars in your 6th house of work and day to day routine, and Saturn in your 12th, while frustrating, may be the last straw that gets you to a life-changing breakthrough. Be prepared to overcome a really bad habit that has plagued you for the last two years: it will help to get you to the next level.

SCORPIO: Here’s a thought: Occasionally a party-pooper stick-in-the-mud type can play the role of lifesaver. Keep that in mind this week, as your co-ruler, Mars, is up for a frolicking adventure in your 5th house of fun and games. The opposition from stern Saturn, (who can play out as a stodgy group that thwarts your every move), while frustrating, could end up sparing you big time. Along similar lines, a road-block in the hood may keep you out of harm’s way. Heed the advice of an older (and wiser) sibling.

SAGITTARIUS: As a rule, you’re not one to pull any punches, and this unedited style of yours has gotten you into trouble from time to time. But this week, your “Sing out Louise” impulse is not such a bad one, especially if it helps a co-worker from making a really bad mistake. Pluto, planet of power and hidden wealth, stands still in your 2nd house of finances. Don’t push the river or insist upon movement in the money department- it’s just not time. Be prepared to go back and rethink strategies and make do with a little less.

CAPRICORN: When all is said and done, Saturn-ruled types can be the ultimate guardians and disseminators of great wisdom. This week, as powerful Pluto stands still in your sign, you will be tempted to yield to something (or someone) very seductive. But be smart and stick to your core values: You’re past the point of acting as if you don’t know what the Stay on higher ground- literally and figuratively, and while you’re at it, go easy on annoying neighbor or a kid brother.

AQUARIUS: The observation of a pushy sibling or meddlesome neighbor should be heeded- they’re seeing something that you can’t. An attempt to straighten out finances via a loan may be rejected by the prospective lender or the terms offered are too severe right now to make it a go. Not to worry, circumstances will shift shortly and all good things to those who wait-for better transits! In the meantime, sign nothing under duress. But over all, keep in mind that you’re being protected through all of ’09 by Jupiter, so none of the small stuff should matter.

PISCES: It’s important that you refrain from going into ‘victim/woe is me’ mode when and if you don’t get your way this week. Though a partner of spouse may stymie your enthusiasm, and a support group doesn’t give you the go ahead you were counting on, because in the long run these blocks and delays will work in your favor.. Use the next few weeks to refine and revisit what you thought was a perfect plan. Chances are you’ll like your revised ‘edition’, (which will be better received) better than the original.