The Sun hits the midpoint of the Winter/Summer season at 15° Aquarius on February 4, 2012 at 5:22:23am EST, in the chart drawn for Washington, DC. That's 4:23am Central time.
As a reminder, I draw the chart for the capitol of the US despite living in Texas because the major themes seen in the nation's chart are felt throughout the country. Any mention of House Position is strictly for the US forecast. Everything having to do with planets and signs is for everyone. You can redraw the chart for your country's capitol by changing the time zone and location. Just make sure the chart you get has the sun at exactly 15.0° Aquarius. For example, if you live in Britain, set your location for London and your time for 10:22:23am, Feb 4th. http://www.alabe.com and http://www.astro.com are good free sites.
This is an interesting chart for a couple of reasons. First, there are relatively few aspects, which is fairly unusual. Aspects between planets show us the relationships between those archetypes in the chart, so having only a few means the archetypes are less well integrated into the chart than if there were more aspects.
If we look at the chart's geometry, we see two things right off: one is a big blue triangle. The other is a big red asterisk (made out of oppositions along 3 axes of the chart). Let's break these down and then we'll talk about the Sun, Mercury, and Neptune. Then we'll wrap up with Mercury Retrograde.
The apex of this Grand Trine is Saturn, residing in the last degree of Libra, just five degrees away from the Scorpio Midheaven. These points trine the Moon, down in Cancer, and they all trine Neptune and Chiron in earliest Pisces. Grand Trines are a double-edged sword in that they tend to be lucky and protective -- but they also tend to indicate stasis and overly insular choices. Now, the way out of Grand Trine stagnation is what we call a Kite. If you look at the sextiles (short dashed blue lines) going toward Jupiter, which is just at the beginning of Taurus, opposite Saturn, from both the Neptune-Chiron conjunction and from the Moon toward Jupiter – that little triangle tacked onto a Grand Trine turns the whole thing into a Kite. It means Jupiter is the out-point for the static energy caught up in the trine.
This would be a complete Water Trine if Saturn weren't out of sign, so we can read it as watery with a good dose of Libra air. In a transiting chart, Grand Water Trines are times of intuition, emotion, and creativity. The dose of Libra brings a note of airy artistry. Saturn is a workhorse, of course, and in Libra is striving to create balance where none existed before. Its proximity to the Midheaven shows us where Saturn's going to be working. The Midheaven is the cusp of the Career/Authority house (remember, house positions are for the US forecast only), and its involvement in this Grand Water Trine represents a very public effort toward establishing harmony. (Trines are alllll about harmony!) The Moon is in her home sign of Cancer, occupying the 6th house. The 6th is home to the daily workplace & short-term illness, so look for lunar nurturing and high profile women on this stage. Next, Neptune and Chiron are at the beginning of watery Pisces. Neptune is in its home sign, so the strength is amplified (more below on that), but remember that Neptune and Pisces are both about dreams, glamour, dissolution, fantasy, dissipation, and dissolving boundaries. Chiron is wounded healer who points out our hurt places and helps remedy those wounds.
Take all those points and you get a workhorse, a public goal, a nurturing woman, a dreamer, and a healer all working together to create a harmonious situation. THEN we have Jupiter, our light of faith and enthusiasm on the cusp of the 4th house of home and family acting as the out-point, the way to move this energy into the real world. Sounds kind of awesome, doesn't it? I'm very interested in seeing how it plays out on the macro and micro scales across the next six weeks.
Challenging this Grand Trine/Kite are 3 oppositions.
1. Saturn-Midheaven opposed Jupiter. Remember that oppositions are like tug-o-wars between 2 parties that basically agree about what the point of contention is. Here, Saturn and Jupiter are sitting right on the parental/authority axis in the US forecast chart. That means that for the US, issues of authority vs. nurture will be a BIG deal. This also can be read as State vs. Family and even Male vs. Female. It is significant that Saturn, the consummate Male Authority figure is at the Midheaven in masculine Scorpio. Jupiter is also characterized as male in astrology (Zeus!), but the sign Taurus is feminine. Jupiter, too, rules things like religion, courts of law, zealotry, hype, enthusiasm, and hope. However, the Taurus-Scorpio axis tends to be an axis of materialism, wealth, value, and sensuality, so points of contention involving financial aid for homeowners and maybe something about rights to privacy seem likely.
2. Mars retrograde in Virgo opposed Venus in Pisces. Mars-Venus oppositions are frequently read as sexual tension, though sometimes they can manifest as violence against women, depending on what else is going on in the chart. Mars retrograde is inward, potential energy. If you have anger issues, you may find that you're turning your aggravation inward to yourself instead of directing it out. Or you may excavate old things to be justly angry about things you'd shut away. Mars in Virgo is fantastic energy for detail-work, very productive, very invested in following the rules (and having everyone else do so as well), but again the retrograde energy turns things inward first, delaying active expression. Venus is in messy, splashy Pisces, though, and she's not even a little bit worried about rules. She will not color within the lines. She will not adhere to the dress code, nor will she keep her stuff on her side of the room. Pisces is expansive, and Venus wants to beautify the entire world according to this wild aesthetic. In the US forecast chart, this is happening on the 2nd-8th house axis of self/self-worth-other/what others value. Note this tug-o-war is completely gendered; it doesn't get more gendered than Mars-Venus! However, they're both occupying feminine signs and Mars being retrograde takes quite a bit of the sting out. Still, a world of arguments awaits.
3. Moon in Cancer opposed Pluto in Capricorn. Speaking of gendered oppositions, here we go again. Moon's in her home sign of nurturing Cancer, while Pluto is just risen over the horizon in the US forecast chart, in Capricorn. The planet just at the horizon tends to have a little extra power in any chart, and that's apt for Pluto, planet of power, and for how entirely focused on power the various elements of this chart are. Pluto in Capricorn is extremely potent, active, and successful. Pluto's mission is, always, to transform ruthlessly and remake things from the ground up. In the 12th house, Pluto's attention is on issues of secrecy, long-term illness, and institutions like hospitals & prisons. There may be another push toward workable health reform and it may well involve women or women's health issues in a prominent way. Given the Saturn opposition on the power axis, I suspect we may be seeing something highlighting the way women are disempowered in the workplace and in terms of healthcare.
Sun & Mercury
Briefly, let me mention that the Sun and Mercury are in a near-peregrine island in Aquarius, hanging out all by their lonesome. This creates a rebellious Aquarian spark to the discussion. They have aspects to the lunar nodes, which translates in turn to an affinity with the Moon -- so the Sun's bright spotlight and Mercury's clever debate skills may lend themselves very well to the Moon's side of the Pluto-Moon tug-o-war.
Neptune, is in Pisces from now until 2025! The change of sign of an outer planet represents a fundamental sea change in our underlying attitudes.
Quoting from Lynn Hayes:
Before Neptune was discovered, Pisces was ruled by Jupiter. Jupiter, being one of the personal planets, operates on the worldly plane where Neptune, a transpersonal planet of transformation, inspires us to go beyond this world. Where Neptune governs the direct experience of transcendence, Jupiter presides over the more intellectual construction of what gives life meaning. Jupiter therefore is more concerned with religion and theology where Neptune deals with matters of spiritual experience. Both planets also have a hand in popular culture. Neptune is found in areas of artistry and entertainment, where Jupiter is more involved with the actual media through which entertainment is delivered to the masses.
With Neptune moving into Pisces, there is the potential for tremendous spiritual transformation, but also mass delusion such as has never been seen before. The last time Neptune entered Pisces was in February 1848, shortly after its discovery in 1845. 1848 is the year that the gold rush began in California, leading one reporter to complain that everyone in the state was under the spell of gold fever. This kind of fever, or mass hysteria, is emblematic of Neptune in Pisces.
Neptune in Pisces has all sorts of potential as an underlying theme of the age. To contrast, we can look back at the last fourteen years of Neptune in Aquarius -- unsurpassed creativity in Aquarian technological invention! Before that, during the second half of the 80s through the 90s, Neptune in Capricorn corresponded with incredible corporate expansion. Before that, from the early 70s to the mid-80s, the growth of higher education was unprecedented, and organized religion had not yet begun to decline. Again, Neptune is rarely something you feel actively. The inner planets correspond with vivid events in our lives. When Mercury transits our natal Mars, we tend to lash out. When Venus transits our natal Sun, we tend to compliment people and beautify things. By contrast, the outer planets move so slowly that we hardly know they're there until they transit one of our natal planets and slowly (fourteen years to get through one sign, so that's about 3 years in orb of a natal planet) transform the way we *do* that planet's archetype. (For example, if Neptune spends 3 years on your Sun, you may experience a spiritual and/or artistic transformation, and/or you may face a serious bout with addiction.)
Again, Neptune has its serious benefits and detriments. I'm going to spend some time learning about the history of the world between 1848 and 1862 to get a better understanding of the major themes. What we're dealing with is the spirit of the age instead of specific events. I'm very curious what our world and what our lives will look like between now and 2025.
Mark your calendars!
1. Spring/Autumn is coming!! Equinox is Tuesday, March 20, 2012, 1:14:25am EDT Washington, DC time -- 6 weeks away!
2. US Daylight Time takes effect Sunday, March 11, 2012, at 2:00 am.
3. And just 24 hours later, our next adventure with Mercury Retrograde begins: March 12th at 2:49am CDT (at 6°49' Aries). Merc returns to forward apparent motion on April 4th at 5:11am CDT (at 23°51' Pisces).