August 2008
Empowered or Devoured

Dr Strangelove

To conscientious Americans it is nothing short of unbelievable; to international observers it is beyond insanity. The group of militarists who brought us the War in Iraq are actually getting ready to attack Iran. Apparently willing and eager to follow up the most notorious military blunder since Viet Nam with another whose outcome promises to be downright dystopic, Washington has put the bulwark in place in the Eastern bloc to launch the assault.1 It is a scenario right out of Stanley Kubrik’s Dr Strangelove, and it is being championed from no less authoritative a podium than that of the Republican presidential nominee; who, at a restaurant in Pittsburgh last month, was asked to comment on the American exports of cigarettes to Iran. “Maybe that’s a way of killing them”, he said with a smile, while waiting for his cheese and steak sandwich.

The building fires

During a hot July featuring out-of-control fires in California, record-breaking floods in the Midwest and dizzying dodges and zigzags on the campaign trail, the blush started to come off the rose for many fans of America’s big political drama. More and more Obamaphiles are growing weary, it seems, and wary, of their candidate’s inevitable drift towards what is called “the center;” i.e. that swamp of reactive unreason that gives rise to the opinions of the American electorate, whose democratic logic is smothered on an 8-hours-a-day basis2 by disinformation from what is for all intents and purposes a state-run media.

Bush was handed several key victories last month by those worthy public servants who, all evidence to the contrary, continue to be identified as his opponents: the Democrats. Among the most egregious of these dark developments:

–the deadly gift of billions of additional dollars for Iraq, handed over to George by the very politicians who were voted in as peace candidates last November, many of whom are ready to green light his ecocidal attack on Iran; and

–the immunity from prosecution granted to the telecommunications companies who were caught wiretapping citizens – a scandal that evoked all manner of righteous huffing and puffing from these same blue-state Congressfolk just a few scant years ago.3

Though the despicable cave-in to Washington’s telecom buddies was framed as a “compromise”, many disheartened fans of the liberal favorite for president saw the writing on the wall. The FISA vote had presented a stunning opportunity: that of making a pledge to bury the last eight years’ of imperial presidency. But Obama neglected to speak up. Nobody except those shut out of the game – i.e. actual public servants, like Democratic maverick Dennis Kuchinich4, Independent candidate Ralph Nader and newly anointed Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney — is speaking up for the restitution of the system of checks and balances that quite literally defines those democratic ideals now being pimped, with great globs of sentiment and total meaninglessness, by both ruling parties as crowd-pleasing sound bites.

Thus is the stage set for the Cardinal Cross, which will hit the American chart like an arrow to the bullseye.5

Denial and control

Really a series of transits, the Cross of 2009-2014 is a powerful ongoing configuration; and any one of its several constituent parts could inspire a torrent of speculation. Over the months to come Skywatch will continue to address the various aspects of the Cross as they get pushed to the fore by more quickly moving transits, lunations and stations.

Our goal should be to gradually cultivate an approach to the Cardinal Cross years, feeling our way into the transit as it builds; getting to know it intuitively, while, out of respect for the mystery of free will, avoiding the temptation to second-guess the energies afoot. There will be plenty of fear in the air, and our point of focus should be to avoid it like the plague.

With a planetary picture like this, where the primary aspect is a T-square between Uranus, Pluto and Saturn, we will certainly run up against two all-too-human urges: the tendency to deny what is happening around us; and the urge to control our immediate environment. Both are very bad ideas with outer planet transits in general, and with multiple outer-planet transits in particular.

We cannot control the urgencies afoot, either in our personal world or in the collective reality (which is nothing more or less than the compendium of all-of-our personal worlds) but we can and must remain in charge. This is where Saturn’s role in the Cross can shed light on the path forward. Taking responsibility (Saturn) for the radical nature of these times, both individually and en masse, begins by looking at our attitudes. To be energized, even transformed, by the years ahead, entities and individuals must develop a conscious attitude towards the transit. A stance informed by spiritual perspective is the only approach that makes sense.

Empowered or devoured by the Cross

Each of us will go through a series of unique initiations during the Grand Cross years. There will be those who will feel a series of revelations; some may be able to identify within themselves a sense of having been waiting many lifetimes for this period.  Natives with cardinal planets hit by the Cross may experience a burgeoning of long-dormant potential.  All of us should try to locate within our beings the soul intelligence that chose this time to incarnate. Inchoate though this awareness may be, the very act of looking for it will help to get it conscious.

Group entities will fare magnificently or miserably depending on how well they can match their resources to the evolutionary forces now in high gear. We will see certain companies, institutions and governments flourish: those that can loosen up their structures, both physical and ideological, and flex with the changes. Many of these will surprise us. We will hear about someone or something that seemed stuffy and old suddenly becoming a progressive leader of some kind.

The greatest deed that can be done by those alive now to open up and try to channel the urgency of the era in the most respectful possible ways to meet the demands upon us. Is a drought threatening your area? Inform yourself about how it has come about. Is the price of gas keeping you from your annual vacation? Consider the forces at work in the fuel industry. Is your supermarket pulling unsafe foods off the shelves? Check out the information becoming available about GMOs and the way agri-business works. Connect the dots.

Only big-picture thinking will profit us during the Grand Cross years; and revealing the big picture is just what astrology does. Decoding the meaning of an epoch via celestial patterns gives us a road map with which to turn frightening and chaotic energies into power that we can use: that is, it shows us how to channel the energy of the times rather than be devoured by it.

How does astrology show us what this channeling looks like, specifically? Look at your chart.

August preview transits

The New Moon on the first of the month is an eclipse, at 9 Leo. August will be about committing to a new authenticity of creative self-expression. Does your current life situation allow for this? If not, there are some transits lined up that will come in handy.

Where does the twenty-third degree of Pisces fall in your chart? Uranus, known as The Great Awakener, has been hanging around this degree range since the beginning of the year and it will stay here till year’s end. The house in which this degree falls, and the aspects it makes to your other planets, are valuable clues as to how you, personally, can access the revolutionary energies that are already inspiring upheaval in the collective.

On Aug 6th Mars in Virgo will oppose Uranus in the sky, at 22º Pisces. Mars transits always activate whatever they touch, giving us a chance to see, with our own eyes, and feel, in our viscera, what might otherwise be an inscrutable influence. Everything Mars triggers becomes more obvious. During the week of the 4th of August, look for something to occur, either inside of you or outside of you, that gets you into the moment by yanking you out of your comfort zone. Those not in denial will feel themselves grabbed by the collar and pushed into a role of service of some kind.

Mars goes into Libra on August 19th. This dose of Cardinal air will be especially energizing to those individuals with Cardinal planets in their charts. These are the folks who will have the most striking response to the Grand Cross years as a whole. We will talk more about this upcoming.



1 To be part of the grassroots resistance, see>

2The average number of hours of daily TV viewing in the USA.

3 The shameful complicity of both sides of Congress in this episode should be a wake-up call to all those Americans currently hemorrhaging their attention into the football-game-like atmosphere that is the presidential election. It is now a matter of public record that both the House and the Senate, including plenty of Democrats, were privy to Bush’s citizen spying before it hit the media, as well as to many other instances of Bill-of-Rights shredding during his reign.

4 At this writing, Nancy Pelosi, whose office gives her the power to rein in a deranged president who has made himself a king, seems to be considering advancing Dennis Kucinich’s new impeachment proposal. Moreover she has hinted that she is more open than before to citizen input on her decision. This is a cue from Uranus (The People) that concerned Americans might send this woman an email : e-mail– ;

drop her a line:

Office of the speaker

H-232,U.S. Capitol

Washington DC  20515;

or give her a call:


Among the points delineated in Kucinich’s streamlined proposal to impeach Bush: his failure to protect citizens from the WTC attacks despite multiple advance warnings received by the CIA; allowing firefighters and volunteers to do rescues and cleanup in a mortally toxic environment; misleading the country to attack Iraq; violating the voters rights act; criminal negligence in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; impeding efforts to respond to global warming; extraordinary rendition; illegally holding prisoners in Guantanamo Bay; and attempting to overturn the social security system. He also issues an indictment of Nancy Pelosi for failing to carry out the dictates of the constitution to censor the president’s illegal actions.

5 Discussed in detail in my book Soul-Sick Nation: An Astrologer’s View of America (linked top of page).