Category Archives: Astrology

The Great American Eclipse 2017

Today marks the beginning of ‘eclipse season’ as the New Moon occurs today in early Leo. This will be followed by the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in mid-Leo on August 7th, and then the total Solar Eclipse in late Leo on August 21st, whose path dissects the U.S. from Oregon moving southeast across the Midwest to South Carolina.

There have been two previous total Solar Eclipses in the last century at the same degree of the tropical zodiac at 28-29 Leo: Aug 21, 1914 and Aug 22, 1979. There have been other partial and annular eclipses at the same degree in 1906, 1933, 1952, 1971 and 1998, but I’m going to focus here on the total eclipses. The 1914 eclipse path went through Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The 1979 eclipse path went through the SW Washington, NW Oregon, northern Idaho, Montana, the northeast corner of North Dakota into central and NE Canada to Greenland.

It’s beyond the scope of this blog to examine the charts for all the countries and states directly within the paths of these total eclipses. To make it reasonable and digestible to the reader, I will focus on the U.S. Government’s chart to see the impact the eclipses had and will have this August on the administrative state, i.e. the government. (The U.S. Constitution and therefore the government went into legal effect on March 4, 1789 at midnight. I’ll be referencing the chart for that moment in time.)

The chart for the US Government/Constitution has 27 Scorpio Rising with its ruler, Mars, at 28 Aquarius. All of the eclipses at 28-29 Leo, whether partial, annular or total over the last century or so have stood in direct opposition to that Mars and square the Ascendant, which forces the government into action to deal with emerging crises. In 1914, it was World War I and the Spanish Influenza epidemic. In 1933 it was countering the rise of totalitarian dictatorships in Europe and Japanese Imperialism as well as taking governmental action against the Great Depression. In 1952, it was the growing nuclear threat from the USSR, the agitation to end the Korean War, which forced the newly elected Eisenhower to go himself to Korea and he ended the war shortly thereafter, and the reactionary political environment in the US called the McCarthy Era. In 1971, it was the oil embargo as a result of US support for Israel. In 1979, the eclipse marked the demise of the Carter Administration over its handling of the Iranian Revolution and embassy crisis in Tehran, which forced the government to take military action that failed. It’s also noteworthy, that the 1979 eclipse path through the Pacific Northwest also brought Mt. St. Helens to life which then erupted nine months later and spread layers of ash all along the eclipse path! In 1998, it affected President Clinton, himself, with the Monica Lewinsky scandal and his resulting impeachment. But Al Qaeda also bombed US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania the day before the eclipse, forcing the US to launch attacks against their bases. In all of these examples, the US Government was forced into action as the eclipse opposed its Mars.

This coming total eclipse will once again oppose the Government’s Mars and square the Ascendant. However, as always, it isn’t just about the degree of the eclipse itself, but also the angles and the other outer planets in relation to the Government chart. At the time of this year’s eclipse, transiting Neptune will be at 13 Pisces conjunct the Government’s Saturn/Sun, Pluto opposes its Jupiter, Saturn squares its Mercury, Uranus sextiles its Mars, and the eclipse Ascendant opposes its Moon. These planetary combinations are rather alarming, but as usual we are aware of unfolding events that will reach crisis stage due to the eclipse.

Transiting Neptune conjunct Saturn, for example, has been hovering there since early January when we first heard the words from the Trump Administration, ‘the deconstruction of the administrative state’. Since just before the election transiting Pluto has been opposing Jupiter, and we’ve been hearing about the subterfuge and efforts of a foreign government to wield influence in the election and the possible involvement of the Trump team in that effort. Transiting Saturn squaring Mercury, ruler of the 10th House/Midheaven (leaders, executive branch, etc), has revealed the limitation, ineffectiveness and resistance to the new President. All of these transits are still in effect at the time of the August 21st eclipse, so we can expect increasing tension and mounting crisis as we approach that date. The eclipse itself often indicates a ‘watershed moment’ in ongoing crises, the resolution of which occurs in the months thereafter.

The following charts are the Secondary Progressed planets for the Government with the Solar Eclipse on the outside, and the US Government chart itself with the eclipse planets on the outside.

As you can see in the Secondary Progressed chart, the Government will have a progressed New Moon two days before the eclipse. Total Solar Eclipses literally ‘cast a shadow/shade’ on a chart. That this shadow should also occur at the same time as a progressed ‘darkening of the Moon’, indicates to me that the Government must in some fundamental way ‘start over’ with new statements of intent. With transiting Uranus conjunct the progressed Midheaven and opposing this progressed New Moon, events related to the Executive Branch will be shocking and upsetting. But I think on some level, since Uranus has been opposing the progressed Sun for a number of months now, the foreshadowing for this eclipse event has been more than evident. We can expect more of the same in the Trump Administration as we’ve experienced him over the last six months, but it will reach critical stage as a result of the eclipse. He will continue to attempt to disrupt and disturb the federal bureaucracy. The actions of the President over the next month will determine the depth of this growing crisis. With Uranus in Aries on the progressed Midheaven, I fully expect rash, erratic, unprecedented actions that bring serious, unsettling consequences for the government.

Transiting Mars as ruler of the progressed Aries Midheaven is at 20 Leo in the eclipse chart squared to the Mercury/North Node conjunction in Scorpio in the progressed chart. The actions of the President will be intensely scrutinized by a media that he will continue to attack. If the media and Trump have a difficult relationship now, the eclipse will intensify the animosity. Transiting Jupiter square Pluto sextile to the progressed Mercury/N. Node conjunction will bring even deeper legal scrutiny of Trump and his administration. And that transiting Mars is in a 3+ degree opposition to Pluto in the 7th, so we can expect very serious power struggles between the president and the legal and congressional investigation teams delving into his campaign’s behavior and his finances. I suspect it will turn into open ‘warfare’.

In the final analysis, given that the Solar Eclipse falls right on Trump’s natal Ascendant/Mars conjunction, with transiting Saturn exactly conjunct his natal Full Moon eclipse in Sagittarius in his 5th, and the eclipse’s rather stunning impact on the chart of the US Government, I suspect he will act impetuously and unwisely in open defiance of the ‘administrative state’s’ resistance to his policies and its investigations of his behavior and financial history. If Trump and his supporters ever really believed he could actually ‘change Washington’ in the way he promised by ‘deconstructing the administrative state’, and apparently by hook or by crook, the eclipse will reveal just how valid or invalid those intentions are.

A perennial question regarding eclipses is the length of time of their influence. I personally don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule here, but subsequent planetary aspects to the eclipse degree are important, and from what I’ve seen, there isn’t necessarily an astrological statute of limitation. The summer of 2018 has a repeat of the Leo eclipse this time at 18 Leo (exactly opposing the government’s Pluto at 18 Aquarius) with 13 Leo Rising (at Washington D.C.) and Uranus Rx on the MC. We may not see a substantial expression of this summer’s 2017 Leo eclipse until then. This 2017 eclipse begins the crisis and sets the terms, but transits to the eclipse chart and the government chart over the next year will bring to light for the public exactly what is at stake. The eclipse on August 11, 2018 exactly opposing the government’s Pluto should prove very damaging to the Trump administration, but the damage can be traced back to this summer’s eclipse at 28 Leo.

Foreword to the Queer Astrology Conference Journal

It has been a year now since the first Queer Astrology Conference took place in San Francisco and it is perhaps time to reflect on what happened there, how it came to be and where it will lead us into the future. There was an initial gathering of interested astrologers last spring in San Francisco, whose discussions and idea-sharing led to the planning of the summer conference. There was surprise expressed by many that there had not been a Queer Astrology Conference before 2013. After all, academic studies in Queer theory and Feminist theory have been part of mainstream intellectual efforts for more than thirty years now, and gays and feminists long ago found a kinship with astrology and astrological studies. So, why was there this cultural lag within the astrological community that has taken so long to bring Queerness and Feminism into mainstream astrological inquiry and criticism, at least to the degree that there could be a Queer Astrology Conference in 2013?

A thorough answer to that question is probably more complicated than what can be outlined in a foreword to these transcripts of last year’s Queer Astrology Conference. There probably needs to be a serious academic study of the history of feminists, gay people and their contributions to the field of astrology. However, there are rather common-sense suggestions for possible answers to the question based on the remembrances and insights of those older astrologers who began moving astrology in a new, humanistic direction in the late 1960s and 1970s, and who knew very well most of the gay and queer astrologers of the period. To that end, my conversations with Donna Cunningham, Alan Oken, Diana Stone, and Erin Sullivan helped me remember some of the queer and feminist astrologers who shaped the study and discipline of astrological practice. They reminded me that the struggle for civil rights, women’s rights and gay rights of that period opened up the previous astrological community to hippies, a new generation of intellectual and well-educated astrologers, Blacks, young Feminists and Gay men. This new generation of astrologers began integrating their life-experiences and their education into astrological practice, and as a result, new astrological theories and ideas began influencing the world of astrology. New concepts like Marc Robertson’s ‘Cosmopsychology’ and Michael Meyer’s ‘Humanistic Astrology’, the influence of classical mythology and archetypes presented by Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung in re-interpreting planets and their roles in human behavior, as well as the continued work in depth psychology originally introduced by Dane Rudhyar in the 1930s (‘The Astrology of Personality’) and promoted and further developed by Liz Green, Howard Sasportas, et al, all served to bring a new astrological culture and a new body of literature into being. Part of this period of innovation included a large number of gay men and women who proved to be a driving force behind this new humanistic approach to astrology.

In spite of the queer and feminist influence in the new humanistic approaches, being openly gay was still problematic in astrological circles in the 1970s and 1980s. In spite of the very nature of astrology, most students and practitioners were not that open to knowing who was queer, much less having open discussions about it. Initially, all of the queer astrologers stayed quite closeted. This was reflected in the society at large, but when the AIDS epidemic began, it decimated the ranks of our gay astrologers. No fewer than fifteen gay professionals died during the epidemic and the initial impetus for a Queer Astrology died with them. Millions died across the country and queer people began to get angry at the lack of response and the general prejudice and ignorance. It became necessary to act up and act out—and that meant change the culture to accept ‘coming out’ as a part of the queer experience. This also began to happen in the astrological community. Gay astrologers began outing themselves, because it was clear that silence meant death. Open discussion, recognition and honest discourse were the goals for those of us who were still alive. Although things began changing in the country and around the world, within astrological circles coming out didn’t seem to make much of an impact. In the final analysis, we had simply lost too many of our most important queer astrologers to AIDS and there just weren’t enough voices left to bring the message home.

That does not change the fact that many gay men were behind the humanistic and psychological approaches to astrological interpretation and they were, in fact, the first phases of what we would now call the ‘queering’ of astrology. However, once we lost so many of our great astrologers in the ’80s-90s, we also lost the momentum in developing a body of openly queer literature, theory and criticism. Without their presence, inspiration and charisma, queerness in astrology simply languished. The global astrological community simply did not evolve any further in its understanding of queer people and their lives. Interpretations of the birth chart most often reflected the archaic, pathological view of queer sexuality as inverted, perverted, confused or simply willful rebellion. Astrologers were still telling people that their sexual identity could be found in the birth chart. Both gay astrologers and gay clientele were still being alienated by those so-called experts who had such answers for them. In fact, many astrologers still believe and maintain that they can find ‘homosexuality’ in the birth chart. This fact alone makes it clear that the process of queering astrology is not complete—we still have hard work ahead of us. However, there is now a new generation of astrologers that has been influenced by Queer and Feminist theory, and they are part of a larger cultural shift that includes and integrates queer and gay people into our mainstream, everyday life. They are open-minded, filled with empathy and new life and intellectual experiences that are beginning to change astrological attitudes, culture and practice, just as my generation did back in the 1970s. They have made it a goal in this postmodern world to deconstruct astrological interpretation and practice and renovate it with queer and feminist theory and criticism. They have begun anew where the older generations’ queer and gay astrologers and their efforts left off.

The Queer Astrology Conference of 2013 was a first step in bringing these new efforts into focus. Their influence is beginning to be felt at mainstream conferences where even the older generation has begun talking about sexuality and relationships in a new light that is colored somewhat queerly. So, I applaud and encourage their efforts here to continue the work that was begun decades ago, work that was influenced by queer and feminist theory, but that unfortunately was left incomplete after the tragic impact of AIDS in our astrological community. The challenge is to develop a new body of astrological literature that will reflect what has happened here and now, as well as fulfill the dream of the previous generation of queer astrologers. This current movement to queer astrology, to organize conferences, and to create a new mode of interpretation must result in the publication of these ideas in our collective body of astrological work. This book is clearly a first effort in creating our future and an excellent start in educating our colleagues as to the nature of the vision.
Gary Lorentzen