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Saturday, July 28, 2018

Astral Weeks July 29 - August 4, 2018


Astral Weeks
July 29 – August 4, 2018


For everyone who survived the longest and most-hyped by the media full lunar eclipse of the 21st century on July 27th, Sunday July 29’s void of course Moon in Aquarius feels like a little bit of breathing room in a dizzying schedule. Inhale! Exhale! Focus on hope and reject lingering fearful thoughts. Let some of the tension that has built up around all the energetic activity dissolve. Practice the Aquarian superpower: detach and keep moving.

The Moon moves into Pisces Sunday evening, enhancing sensitivity and empathy. Last week’s planetary activity was so jarring, we need tender connection to each other more than ever right now. Monday’s Moon in Pisces trine Jupiter in Scorpio invites deeper intimacy, followed by the Moon conjunct Neptune in Pisces in the wee small hours of Tuesday morning. That’s when boundaries and borders between intimate partners become porous and dissolve. If you are smart and you are lucky, you’ve had a pajama party with your most beloved partner going on since Sunday night. 

Take advantage of the relative down time because mellow turns to fierce and fiery when the Moon goes into dynamic, courageous, impulsive, brave, energetic, and sometimes headstrong Aries on Wednesday morning. The emotional energy gets ramped up but may run into a log jam when Retrograde Mars and Uranus make a direct square Wednesday evening strongly in the fixed signs of Aquarius and Taurus, respectively. 

Uranus is the modern planetary ruler of Aquarius, so square his Fixed Air (Establishing Thought) home sign in the Fixed Earth (Establishing Manifestation) sign supports the possibility of revolutionary energy come up hard against the status quo of the establishment. Uranus is also called by some “the higher octave of Mars.” The connections between Uranus/Mars/Aquarius continue to ripple through the end of the week, energizing (perhaps shocking, perhaps merely surprising) the comfortable out of complacency. 

Thursday might feel like power struggles of the heart when Aries Moon trines Mercury Retrograde in Leo, and squares Pluto in Capricorn. Pushing and bullying others to get your way will only result in a complete system shutdown. When you’re tempted to be forceful beyond the spectrum of customary politeness, realize you’re about to cross the line of perhaps not such a quick return. 

Friday sees the Moon enter Taurus, making a conjunction to Uranus in Taurus in the evening, joining Uranus’ supportive trine to Retrograde Saturn in Capricorn. The Last Quarter Moon in Taurus on Saturday, August 4th marks Shabbat Parshat Eikev, a recount of the many blessings the Israelites were receiving as they prepared to enter the Promised Land, and exhortations to remember that their blessings were because they were beloved, not because they were deserving. 

This consciousness of humility and dependence on Divine Grace is important to keep in mind always, never more so than during this time in our collective history. Saturday is also Shabbat Mevarchim, during which we announce the molad, the date and time of the upcoming Rosh Chodesh, the new Month of Elul, which will occur on Shabbat, August 11th, at 7:33 (and 9 chalakim) PM, Jerusalem time. 

A Closer Look at the Skies:
During this week, Retrograde Mars and Retrograde Saturn are inconjunct in Aquarius and Capricorn, respectively. In classical astrology, Saturn is the ruling planet of both Capricorn and Aquarius. Saturn (“Shabbtai” in Hebrew, from the same root as the word for “Shabbat,” meaning Sabbath) is said to be the ruling planet of the Jewish People

Symbolically speaking: Mars (aggression) in Aquarius (humanitarianism, idealism) inconjunct (on a completely different wavelength, invisible to each other) Saturn (the classical ruler of both Aquarius and Capricorn) in Capricorn (traditionalism, ambition, assertive persistence, materialism). It’s like a perfect symbolic picture of the simmering struggle between American and Israeli Jews over the direction the State of Israel is taking, politically and religiously. 

The total lunar eclipse in Aquarius on July 27th conjunct Mars in Aquarius stimulated a series of events that may climax in December of 2020, when Jupiter and Saturn make their conjunction in Aquarius. Following this event, Saturn and Pluto will make a conjunction in Capricorn in January of 2021. The events of this month are the kickoff to the developments climaxing at that time, which according to Jewish astrological tradition (see last week's edition of "Astral Weeks") have a direct bearing on the nation of Israel.

May the One Who keeps Israel neither slumber nor sleep!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Comfort Ye, Comfort Ye My People...

Mars in Aquarius conjunct the Full Lunar Eclipse tonight - the longest eclipse of the 21st Century. It will be fully visible from Israel.

The discovery of liquid water on #Mars was announced just as Mars in Aquarius (the "Water Bearer" in Western astrology, the "D'li" ( דְלִי ) or bucket of pouring water in Jewish astrology) stationed directly across from the illuminating Sun in Leo ("revealing" by its light previously unknown mysteries). 


Aquarius is NOT, however, one of the three signs of the Water element (those are Cardinal Water sign Cancer, Fixed Water sign Scorpio, and Mutable water sign Pisces). Aquarius is the Fixed Air sign, whose symbol (the bucket pouring water), according to the B'nai Yissachar's discourse on the month of Shvat (the Hebrew month associated with Aquarius) represents the outpouring of Torah. 

The three modalities in astrology (Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable) combined with the four elements (Fire, Air, Earth and Water) produce 12 energetic permutations of the Zodiac. Aquarius is Fixed (Establishing) Air (Thought). 


May our thoughts be fixed and established upon that which is good, and may the stars in their course always do the will of their Creator, Who has in times past commanded them to fight for Israel, and in times to come will do so as well.


Tonight: Shabbos Nachamu, Tu b'Av, Total Lunar Eclipse.
May we all be empowered to both give and receive the full measure of comfort and consolation needed by all right now.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Astral Weeks for July 22-28, 2018


Astral Weeks
July 22-28
Sunday, July 22nd sees a lot of movement as the Sun at the final degree of Cancer moves into Leo at 2pm Pacific / 5pm Eastern / 12am (Monday) Israel time. The day starts out with the Moon in Scorpio, but by mid-afternoon and early evening in the US and early morning hours in Israel, the Moon has moved into Sagittarius. We start the day with Water/Water energy and end it with Fire/Fire.

Venus in Virgo sextiles Jupiter in Scorpio, expanding the capacity for deeply analytical introspection which is just about what the doctor ordered as today is the Fast of Tisha b’Av, commemorating the destruction of both the first and second Temples in Jerusalem as well as other devastating historic calamities which befell the Jewish people. 

Morning is the best time to look inward and perform an extremely thorough, if not ruthless, moral inventory. By evening it’s time to forgive yourself and others and re-calibrate your inner compass to your own True North. Those who have not yet discovered the location of either their own inner compass or their own True North are left at the mercy of the direction and opinions of others. 

By Monday, you’ll be so glad Sunday is over you’ll just be grateful to take a deep breath and exhale. The Moon enters Capricorn on Tuesday, shortly after Venus in Virgo opposes Neptune in Pisces. Neptune is sometimes called the “higher octave” of Venus, and this opposition tests Virgo’s practicality against Neptune’s idealism (read: fantasy). It may be beautiful, but is it useful? Moon in Capricorn comes down squarely on the side of material manifestation. 

Wednesday the Sun in Leo squares Uranus in Taurus. Leo/Taurus is a “power square” (the two signs are at a 90-degree angle). Queen Elizabeth II and Barbara Streisand are both Taurus Sun / Leo Moon. and Mick Jagger and Bill Clinton are both Leo Sun / Taurus Moon. Fixed Earth Taurus is indicative of wealth, stability, and status-quo, while Fixed Fire Leo is pride, royalty, and a dramatic/theatrical flavor. Uranus is the planet of instability, unpredictability, originality, and erratic behavior. In Taurus, Uranus brings disruptive change to the status quo. Squared to the Sun in Leo, this may be a challenge to existing leadership. Communicative Mercury stations Retrograde late Wednesday / early Thursday morning at 23 degrees Leo, making an uncomfortable Quincunx (150-degree angle) to power-player Pluto in Capricorn. The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing – in this case, the right side of the mouth doesn’t know what the left side is saying. 

Thursday might be the best day of the year to take a temporary vow of silence, maybe just until Friday, which starts out with Sun in Leo opposite Mars in Aquarius in the wee small hours, followed by the Lunar Eclipse / Full Moon at 4 degrees Aquarius. 

The Lunar Eclipse / Full Moon is the longest (104 minutes total) of the 21st Century. Retrograde Mars in Aquarius conjunct the eclipsed Moon fuels the moral indignation and public passions of “the people.”  Mercury Retrograde in Leo will surely roar when pride is wounded, or gravitas offended. Fresh on the heels of Wednesday’s Sun/Uranus square, likely manifestations are rebellion, revolution, and revulsion against perceived threats to personal and corporate freedoms. Soundtrack? “Blows Against the Empire” by Paul Kantner and the Jefferson Starship. Play it loud. This will NOT be a quiet day for anyone. 

Friday is also Tu b’Av (the 15th of the Hebrew month of Av). The Mishna in Ta’anit 4 tells us: “There were no better (i.e. happier) days for the people of Israel than the Fifteenth of Av and Yom Kippur, since on these days the daughters of Israel/Jerusalem go out dressed in white and dance in the vineyards. What were they saying: Young man, consider whom you choose (to be your wife)?” The Mishna continues: “On those days, the daughters of Jerusalem would wear borrowed white dresses -- everyone would borrow someone else's dress, to not embarrass someone who didn't have one -- and dance in the vineyards.” The Talmud in Ta’anit 30:b fills in some of the backstory, telling us that “tribes of Israel were permitted to mingle with each other.” Men from every tribe were free to marry women from other tribes after the restoration of Benjamin after Israel’s civil war (Judges 21). 

The democratization of the daughters of Israel (Moon in Aquarius) who borrowed white clothing from one another so that none would be embarrassed by her poverty while dancing in the vineyards under the full moon (Leo), on display for potential husbands from various tribes is a perfect symbolic antidote to Friday’s frenetic energy.

Just in time, Shabbos Nachamu begins Friday night. We’ll read Parshat Va’etchanan on Saturday, hear the repetition of the 10 Commandments, and during the Haftarah, the magnificent verses of Isaiah: Nachamu, Nachamu Ami (Comfort ye, Comfort ye my people) will lift our souls and revive our sagging spirits if the rough-and-tumble celestial energies of this week have left us feeling forlorn or just plain worn-out. 

A Deeper Look into Friday’s Full Lunar Eclipse

Friday’s lunar eclipse occurs at a very sensitive point (4 Aquarius), within a -3-degree orb of the upcoming Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction at zero degrees Aquarius in December 2020. This is important because in classical astrology, the Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction above is thought to reflect changes in religion below. The role of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in world history as understood by the great 8th century Persian astrologer Abu Ma’shar was brought into medieval Jewish thought by 11th century Spanish commentator Abraham Bar Hiyya, who emphasized the religious implications of this transit in historical astrology.  

 Important: This Friday’s lunar eclipse is the energetic prequel to the Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction of December 20-24, 2020, which itself is preceded on December 14, 2020 by a Solar Eclipse at 23 degrees Sagittarius – the companion Solar Eclipse to the Lunar Eclipse of June 14, 1946: the day Donald J. Trump was born. 

Yes, let that sink in. Trump was born on the Lunar Eclipse of June 14, 1946. The Sun in Gemini at 23 Degrees opposite and eclipsing the Moon in Sagittarius at 23 Degrees. During the Solar Eclipse of December 14, 2020, the Moon at 23 degrees Sagittarius will eclipse the Sun at the same degree. Bookends? Portends of a parenthetical beginning and ending? The Full Lunar Eclipse this Friday, July 27, 2018, is the kick-off which climaxes in December 2020 – six weeks minus one day after the Presidential Election on November 3rd, 2020. 

The greatest conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter, the conjunction maxima, (Hebrew: ha-dibbuq ha-gadol), was thought by medieval Jewish astrologers to be the indication of new religions ascending to prominence. Bar Hiyya links the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Aquarius and Pisces to the emergence and re-emergence of Israel, just as he associates the conjunction of the two planets in Virgo/Libra to portend the birth of Christianity and the conjunction in Scorpio to signal the birth of Islam. 

Bar Hiyya explicitly associates the dibbuq ha-gadol with messianic expectations in his Megillat ha-Megalleh. Yehudah ben Nissim ibn Malka (13th century Morocco) and Abraham Zacuto (14th century Portugal) both wrote about the conjunction maxima as a prophetic messianic portent. Friday’s Full Lunar Eclipse at 4 Aquarius as a kick-off to the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction at zero Aquarius in December 2020 escalates the global and ever-growing sense of urgency underscoring the common understanding that a profound change of some sort must happen and happen soon. 

May we only hear good news, and may the One Who created the heavens and the earth and everything else imbue us with mercy, grace, and love for one another and for ourselves.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Chodesh Menachem Av Tov!

"Aryeh," Leo the Lion, 6th Century Beit Alfa Synagogue, Israel
The Hebrew Month of Av, which runs from July 13 through August 10th this year, contains both the depths and the heights of the spiritual/emotional energies of the Jewish Year. Our motto this month should be: "When they go low, we go high!"

The Sun is the planetary ruler of Chodesh Av and the Zodiac Sign of Leo, the Fixed Fire Sign, is as fiery as its solar ruler and can roar with both exaltation and indignation like the aryeh, lion (Leo) for which it is named. Proud and passionate, charismatic and dramatic, natural leaders with built-in “star power,” Leo is the king/queen of the jungle. Bask in Leo’s warmth, protection, generosity, and loyalty or suffer the wrath of outraged royalty if you dare!

The month of Av is associated with the Tribe of Shimon, whose flag is decorated with the gates of Shechem, where Shimon and his brother Levi wiped out the entire city in revenge for the kidnap and rape of their sister Dinah

Shimon’s murderous rage reflects Leo’s loyalty and protectiveness towards those they feel responsible for. For naturally noble Leo, noblesse oblige IS “tikkun olam.” Who or what would YOU burn to the ground to protect and defend those nearest and dearest to you? That's Leo's energy when aroused.

The constricted “bein hametzarim” (between the narrow straits) energy of the month between Rosh Chodesh Av and Tisha b’Av takes an abrupt upswing after the 10th of Av, culminating on Tu b’Av, which is the Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse on July 27th

The month of Av is often refered to as "Menachem Av," especially after Tisha b'Av is behind us and Tu b'Av is upon us. "Menachem" means to comfort, and comfort is what the warm, generous, loving heart of Leo does best. 

July 28th is “Shabbat Nachamu,” the Shabbat in which the Haftarah from Isaiah 40 is read, beginning “Nachamu, Nachamu, Ami,” “Be comforted, Be comforted, My People,” is read.This comes right on the heels of Tu b'Av, which our tradition tells us is one of the two most joyous days of the year.   

“Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel said: There were no days more joyous than the 15th of Av (Tu b'Av) and Yom Kippur, for on those days the daughters of Jerusalem would go out in borrowed white clothing, in order not to embarrass those who did not have...and the daughters of Jerusalem would dance in the vineyards.” (Mishna, Ta’anit 4:8).  

Let us comfort one another with words of encouragement. Allow Leo’s emotional generosity to inspire us to be as generous to others as the wealthy daughters of Jerusalem who loaned white clothing to their less advantaged sisters, so that none would suffer social ostracizing shame, and all could dance joyously in the vineyards as one.