Weekly Update » April 09 - April 15, 2009
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Seder at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave,
Venus Slips Back into Pisces
Mars and Uranus Collide on Tax Day

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

Photo: Rich Press

Manic Panic:

Within a seven day period, Passover began, followed by Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and last but not least, Tax Day (on April 15), when the accident-prone combo of Mars and Uranus team up. The last 10 degrees of the Sun’s transit through Aries are historically fraught with static and 2009 will probably be no different.

Astrologically, the celestial activity of the next few days is unsettling. The planetary symbolism runs the gamut from the epitome of spiritual sacrifice to the lawlessness of Bugsy Siegel and everything in between.

How do we maintain our equilibrium with so much contrasting energy crammed into a few short days?


Maybe we should take our cues from the cuttlefish, the ‘chameleon of the sea’ that magically adapts its colors to blend with the environment. Fittingly, with so much Piscean emphasis this week, ABC News featured a charming story by Robert Krulwich on the ‘Ultimate Neptunian’.

Venus retrogrades back into the last degree of Pisces on Good Friday and will linger at 29 Pisces for several days, prompting a week of empathy for those less fortunate (Venus turns direct on April 17th). Pisces is closely linked to Christianity and the poignant 29th degree couldn’t be more appropriate for Easter. But it also promotes a climate in which we are more apt to confuse pity with love. That being said, alcohol consumption should be kept to a minimum.

Mercury will be in and out of methodical Taurus through June 13th, and the alignment with Pluto on the 11th is conducive to some good critical thinking and problem-solving. But on Tax Day, Mars and Uranus, an explosive combination of uncontainable energy conjoin at 24 Pisces. We will probably see some outbursts, tax revolts, computer problems and water-main issues that day. File early or file for an extension.

Rabbi Funnye

Introducing Rabbi Capers Funnye, Michelle Obama’s Cousin - Once Removed

A pleasant surprise in the NY Sunday Times on April 5th was an article entitled “Obama’s Rabbi”. It quickly became the most widely read article that day. Rabbi Capers Funnye is the chief rabbi of the Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in Chicago, one of the largest black synagogues in America. Funnye, born in 1952 (no date available yet) is Michelle Robinson Obama’s cousin, once removed (Funnye’s mother Verdelle was the sister of Fraser Robinson Jr., Michelle’s grandfather). According to the article by Zev Chafets, Funnye converted to Judaism in the early 1970’s “by way of Rabbi Robert Devine, the spiritual leader of the House of Israel Congregation. Devine preached that Africans were the true descendants of the biblical Hebrews, and that Jesus, the Messiah, was a black man.

True Colors

I’ve heard that many times, and it makes sense that Jesus of Nazareth would have been much darker than the Northern-European blue-eyed blonde depiction of him that we’ve come to accept as Gospel.

Anyway, Rabbi Capers Funnye’s got spunk and the next time I’m in Chicago, I’m goin’ to his temple.

President Obama, Please Pass the Matzoh:

    It just gets better and better at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Oh what I would have given to be invited to the very first Passover Seder at the White House. It represented such a full-circle, what with the White House having been built by slaves and the seder’s ritual commemoration of the Jews’ exodus from their years of slavery in Egypt.

Apparently, the president kept the guest list to a minimum which included staffers (who were unable to go home last year at Passover while on the campaign trail), some friends and family. Some were offended at not being invited, but I say “chill”- it’s a beginning and there’ll be other seders.

Kauai Residents Repair Their Own Road

Thanks to Boston astrologer and HR mover and shaker Sally Pelliccia for sending this story: Whether we file this under Saturn in Virgo, Jupiter in Aquarius, Pluto in Capricorn, socialism, or "efficiency-ism", I enjoyed reading about the citizens of Kauai who grew tired of waiting for the government to get off its ass, pooled their resources, and repaired their own road. Probably this is a preview of what's ahead, and in 2010, when Uranus moves into Aries, there'll be many more instances in which frustrated citizens take matters into their own hands.

Chart: Mars Conjunct Uranus
Click for larger view

The Planets This Week: All times EST.

April 9: Libra Full Moon @ 10:56 am, Mercury in Taurus @ 10:22 am,
             Moon V/C @ 9:46 am
April 10: Moon in Scorpio @ 5:23 am, Sun sextile Jupiter@ 9:43 am
April 11: Mercury trine Pluto @ 1:51 am,
             Venus retro re-enters Pisces @ 8:48 am
April 12: Easter- Moon V/C @ 1:28 pm, enters Sagittarius @ 2:01 pm
April 15: Moon V/C @ 12:07 am, in Capricorn @ 1:27 am,
             Mars conjunct Uranus @ 6:01 am.
             Sun sextile Neptune @ 3:55 pm

*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: This week’s Full Moon in your social 7th house of contracts and partners will deliver a sequence of goodies, gift wrapped in a big show of love, support, and appreciation where it matters most. And the embarrassment of riches doesn’t end there: Mercury, the planet of words and ideas enters Taurus (your 2nd house of earnings) and is favorably aspected by Pluto on Good Friday. In the days that follow, a nod from a powerful higher up could change your lot for the better. Don’t look this gift horse in the mouth or shoot yourself in the foot, especially on the 15th when the Mars/Uranus meet-up is will rattle your nerves. Keep whatever it takes to soothe you within reach all day.

TAURUS: The aftermath of the Full Moon is a good one: a misunderstanding at work clears- making your life easier and everyone else happier. Be sure to thank the gracious lady who made it happen. As Mercury enters your sign, a clever idea of yours with plenty of economic potential is met with instant approval from abroad and/or the legal department, but it may take longer than you’d like to move through all necessary channels. As always, your gift of patience will see you through. A revolutionary type shakes and wakes a group that you’re in- ultimately for the better: But stay out of the eye of that storm.

GEMINI: Your ruler, Mercury, enters practical Taurus and some behind-the scenes financial maneuvering to save the day is yours for the asking. Don’t dilly-dally on this one. The Full Moon in your 5th house set off a cycle of creative inspiration and, dare we say, romance? But don’t get distracted. The Mars/Uranus meet-up in your 10th house of professional achievement could shake-up the scene at work big-time. But this is not to be feared: This ‘geyser’ could very well catapult you to career heights you never thought possible. Hey, you love surprises, don’t you?

CANCER: This week more than ever, it’s in your best interest to keep your eye on the big picture and to take the highest road possible at every turn. The Full Moon in 4th house suggests that a family member or spouse may, on the one hand, be the recipient of some positive life-changing financial news, but t it comes with an unexpected jolt to the core beliefs and philosophies of all concerned. Can you be flexible about this for a while? Mercury enters your 11th  house: an investment club may present some viable options. If a sibling-in-law acts up on Tax Day- it’s justifiable, but even so-let your better half handle it.

LEO: What’s so good about Good Friday? Plenty! Besides it being the one day of all 365 known as the astrological degree of ‘exaltation’ of your ruler, the Sun, you’re buoyed by a helping hand from lucky Jupiter in your 7th house of relationships and social affairs. Your star-quality aura will enable you to win hearts and minds where ere you go. Work it to the hilt and share the wealth. Tax-Day can be a bit dicey though: The Mars/Uranus meet-up in your 8th house suggests you’d rather drink than file. If you haven’t filed by the 13th, ask for an extension and do so later. Be careful with alcohol, drugs and ‘sexting’ (sexual-text-messaging), it could get you into some serious hot water.

VIRGO: The Full Moon delivered some delicious good luck in the financials, which will be improved upon by a cooperative team spirit at the workplace. On Good Friday, Venus re-enters your 7th house of partnership and negotiation. Give that gooey-stuck situation (the one that’s been annoying you for months) the old college try one last time, and you may be pleasantly surprised by what comes out of it. Mars conjoins Uranus on April 15th, and someone close may have several screws loose. Stay out of the line of fire and wear a raincoat in case someone goes nuts with a water gun.

LIBRA: That Full Moon will not only feel so nice, but will ease the way for a creative opportunity to pop that changes everything for the better. A romantic interest could appear suddenly on the 15th – but is he or she sane enough to be taken seriously? Time will tell. The same wild energy turns your work environment on its ear. Keep everything a few inches off the ground or more in case there’s more water around than usual. If a co-worker has a melt-down, don’t try to talk sense to him- just calmly remove yourself from the vicinity.

SCORPIO: Mercury enters your 7th house of partnership and important contractual matters between you and at least one other party can be settled to the benefit and relief of all concerned. Venus retrogrades back into your 5th house on Good Friday- do you owe someone you loved and betrayed an apology? A quickie in a hot tub on the 15th is probably too dangerous a guilty pleasure to indulge in- unless you wear a life-jacket. And while you’re at it, stay away from water-sports.

SAGITTARIUS: Make sure the plumbing in and around the home are in tip-top shape as the Mars/Uranus meet-up on Tax Day could either put a tiger in your tank or a Tsunami in your bathroom. But seriously folks, a watery-volcanic geyser-like energy is at hand- so make sure that water and power lines are nowhere near each other. (Blow dry your hair in the bedroom-far away from the sink). On an emotional front- whatever has been pent up between family members will burst. Have a counselor on hand just in case. Does Dr. Phil make house calls?

CAPRICORN: Mercury enters your 5th house of love affairs, speculation and kids and favorably aspects powerful Pluto in your sign.- Can it be that a kid of yours is more level headed about a situation than you are? Maybe yes, maybe no- but don’t risk it. Listen up when he or she speaks- you could end up collaborating beautifully this time. A water main break can mess up your commute on April 15-so leave extra time. In general, it’s not a great transportation week, so rather than rush- file an extension for taxes- computer glitches are possible too.

AQUARIUS: People have been speaking well of you- Might there be uplifting news from a publisher, an institution of higher learning, or from cultured friends overseas?  Whatever it is, it’s an ‘up’ that comes at the right time. As Mercury enters your 4th house- thoughts of how to economize in the home take precedent and with the help of a spouse or partner who is wiling to jump through all kinds of hoops to help, the impossible is achieved. The manic Mars/Uranus meet-up in your 2nd house of finance may generate a stroke of genius that will bring home the bacon- act on it. And finally don’t let a fast-talking neighbor or sibling con you into taking out your checkbook or credit card. If the once in a life time opportunity they urge you to jump on sounds too good to be true- it probably is.

PISCES: Full Moon in 8th house delivered a brilliant financial-advisor, accountant type, or someone who know what they’re talking about to your door-step. Listen up: friends and neighbors may know more than you do and definitely have your best interests at heart. A study group or a shared interest in an academic pursuit proves to be rewarding in more way than one. Venus shimmies back into your sign, have you left any emotional or relationship stones unturned? If so, it’s time to fix. And on April 15th, Mars/ Uranus in your sign make you too hot to handle. Stay out of harm’s way and watch your temper.