1. The Fixed Grand Square Now Forming
2. Monthly – for awhile
3. This Month’s Phenomena
4. Pluto and the Galactic Center (Ed Dearborn)

The Fixed Grand Square Now Forming

By Carole Devine

From time to time the heavenly bodies arrange themselves into particularly important configurations that indicate unfolding events that are more spectacular than usual. This is one of those times. Starting in November when the Sun aligned in a grand square with Neptune, Saturn and Mars, we got an introduction to an ongoing grand square that will weave in and out of orb for the better part of 2006, in which we are going to witness a period of history that is a bit dramatic.

Neptune takes about 14 years to travel through a sign. It is in the middle of Aquarius right now, and those of you born around February 4th to 8th, May 5th to 9th, August 7th to 12th and November 7th to 11th probably can attest to its influence of confusion and lack of direction. Neptune brings this energy to the grand square showing that whatever it represents in any nativity, whether it be the chart of a person, country or event, a certain amount of illusion, deception or confusion will be part of the equation. It’s hard to ascribe natural, positive attributes to Neptune at this time because of its stressful contact with the other planets in the pattern. That doesn’t mean, however, that a particular entity cannot live up to his or her highest potential – it’s just currently harder to do so.

The second slowest planet coming into this pattern is Saturn. In Leo, it will remain opposite Neptune well into the summer of 2007. An opposition is the aspect of overt awareness. With Saturn and Neptune, it speaks of the awareness of taking responsibility (Saturn) for our spiritual (Neptune) truth. The more it affects something in a specific chart, the more personal it is. If it is not contacting anything in your personal chart, it will affect you on the collective level only. This is part of a large cycle between these two planets that started in 1989 around the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall when they were in conjunction in Capricorn. This is the halfway point in the cycle and marks the need to attend to important adjustments concerning the events that went on at that time, whether historical or personal to you. Saturn represents discipline and prudence, as well as fear.

Monthly – for awhile
Because the astrological signatures are so numerous and important right now, I am publishing Cosmic Views each month at the time of the sign ingress (when the Sun enters a new sign). This is a significant time in history, and I feel you need to be kept informed in more detail.


The third planet involved in this is Jupiter, which entered the fixed sign Scorpio on October 27th. It moves faster than the other two, being in a sign only one year, so it will dance in and out of contact with the others. Jupiter adds the element of exaggeration, too much confidence and lack of good judgment. When it is configured with other planets in a positive way, we can experience optimism which usually brings good results. But when paired with Saturn and Neptune in a stressful pattern, we can collectively believe what we want to believe, exaggerate our power or intent, overstep boundaries (Saturn) and in general, really make a mess of things through illusion (Neptune) and lack of good judgment (Jupiter). Remember, though, this is affecting the entire planet, not just one country.

The fourth player in this scenario is a combination of bodies taking turns at bat, filling in the fourth corner. First, there was the Sun earlier this month. Now Mars is coming up to the plate. Mars has been in Taurus since late July and will remain there until mid-February 2006. Usually, Mars scurries through a sign in six weeks, but every other year it lingers in one sign, retrograding and going direct, back and forth, for many months. While in Taurus, it is filling in the fourth corner of this square, first back in August and September when Katrina shook us up, and now it is in orb again until January.

Mars is the personification of violence, rage, anger, impatience and impulsiveness. In personal charts it can indicate a tendency to bullying, childlike behavior. When paired with Saturn it can show frustration, and with Jupiter squaring, an exaggeration of response. With Neptune present, an element of illusion, deception or confusion is also in the mix.

Mars squares Saturn (with Neptune and Jupiter in tight orb of the grand square) exactly on December 27th, and this often triggers the main event that is most needed to teach us the lesson of the times. It will be at ten degrees of Taurus and Leo, which is exactly activating George Bush’s Pluto at ten degrees of Leo. He should feel very frustrated at the time, if not something more significant. Because Saturn is retrograding to an earlier degree of Leo after that, the grand configuration will lose some of its punch early in 2006, but later on in the year, the Sun and other bodies will fill in the space, so it will be enlivened again from time to time.

Living our charts

Speaking of George Bush, I was giving a lecture in Baltimore in September when a member of the audience asked if I thought George Bush was “living his chart.” The question took me off-guard because I had never really thought of people living a chart, but rather, using it as a tool. Later, I gave that some thought, since it was intriguing.

When Mr. Bush was first running for office, I did what I usually try to do and interpreted his chart in the most positive way I could. Anyone can choose to “live” their chart in a positive or negative way. Energy is just that -- energy, but it is what we do with it that builds our character. I was amazed later when I realized that some of his behavior was tending toward a negative expression of his chart – both interpretations still valid but one a positive take on it and the other negative. (Tenacity becoming stubbornness, for instance.) But, can we make a judgment about whether or not a person is living his chart? I don’t think so. We can only have an opinion about it. However, there is another wrinkle to this.

I read an article published in the July 2005 Dell Horoscope by Mary E. Jarvis entitled Can the Inauguration Chart Predict America’s Future? (Thanks to Ed Dearborn for sending it to me.) The inauguration chart is set for the minute a president takes the oath of office. That would be any president – i.e. whoever wins the election. The article makes a case for the life of the president’s term, and is compelling in its presentation of events, drawing many of the same conclusions that others have, using Bush’s and the USA Sibly chart. However, if Kerry had won, it would be the same inauguration chart, which makes one wonder whether it is the person who really has the power, or the destiny of the office that does.

Some time ago I read something by Liz Greene (I believe) about the figure of Hitler and others like him in history. Their charts are no more “evil” than anyone else’s, but they stood out as living their lives in bizarre exaggerations of the worst in their potential. Her comment (if I remember correctly) was that when a collective has an unconscious desire, it chooses a vessel (a particular person) to act it out for them. A group cannot be convinced of an ideology if they don’t believe it on an unconscious level in the first place. Bush was emboldened by a collective consciousness that on some level wanted him to do particular things. The fundamentalist Christian right, perhaps? Ultimately, however, we have to answer for ourselves, personally. Perhaps how we choose to live our charts is the ultimate test, but I doubt seriously that it is determined for us or that we are powerless to do better.

Living the Grand Square

So what does all this mean for you? If you happen to be one of those for whom this grand square is personal. That is, you have points in your chart in the middle of the fixed signs (Aquarius, Taurus, Leo or Scorpio), you need to understand the energies you will be experiencing. Naturally, nothing can replace a personal astrological analysis, but if that is impossible for you, then remember these few things:

1. Much of what is going on is an illusion. (Actually all but love and fear is, but that’s another essay.) If it’s an illness, get a second or third opinion before taking drastic measures. If it is a relationship issue, wait until you have all the facts before drawing conclusions. Career-wise, attempt to put yourself in others’ shoes to try to determine if you may be taking things personally that are not meant for you. If you are frustrated, without a clear direction, now is the time to research options, not to make decisions.

2. Everyone on the planet on some level is feeling the frustration of being powerless. Some, of course, feel this more than others. It is not a time for unleashing anger and resentment, but rather one for heroic effort to be a healer. Try to be the one who diffuses arguments, rather than one who ignites them.

3. Most people who don’t know what is going on will dig in their heels and be immoveable. Stubborn. That is the way the fixed signs act. We’ll all have an inclination toward that behavior. Try to be the one to find common ground and compromise. It can make all the difference in the world.

4. Don’t assume you are right. Probably in the next year no one will have a corner on “right.” There is too much that is unknown, unseen and smoke-screened. Later on, when the truth (about anything) surfaces, you’ll probably be amazed that no one really was accurate about anything. Just love everything and everyone. It always works. In the end, everything works together for good.

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.”

~James Allen

This Month’s Phenomena

Mercury began retrograde motion on November 14, and it will continue until Dec. 4th. The shadow period ends on Dec. 22nd. Double check everything. Venus retrogrades, a rare occurrence, on December 24th at 1 Aquarius. She goes direct on Feb. 3, 2006 at 16 Capricorn. A good time to question your values; what is really important?
Saturn retrogrades on November 22 at 11 Leo and stays retrograde until April 5, 2006 stationing at 4 Leo. A time to repair damage, made more imperative because Mars has been retrograde since October 1st, and stations direct on Dec. 10th at 8 Taurus. Better not to wound at all, than have to heal it. On a good note, Jupiter trines Uranus, an energy of humor and good will, on November 27th. With all this activity, it might be a good idea to not plan too far ahead. Take one day at a time.

Pluto and the Galactic Center

Supplied by Edward Dearborn
Ed Dearborn sent me some material in June about this topic and brought my attention to something I had forgotten about since my days in class in San Diego at the Academy of Astrological Studies. The Galactic Center is the point around which the Sun revolves, but it moves slightly and right now is at 26:57.8 of Sagittarius. Pluto is now approaching that degree. Oddly, just as I was getting ready to write this, someone queried about it on the AFAN interactive list. Synchronicity is amazing!

Ed points out that Pluto will be conjunct the Galactic Center going direct on Dec. 29, 2006. That’s next year, not next month, but it comes very close in March, 2006. Then it retrogrades back to conjoin it again on July 17, 2007, stations within the degree on Sept. 7, 2007 and finally makes a direct conjunction on Oct. 28, 2007. What does that mean? I really don’t know, since I’ve never worked with the Galactic Center nor read anything about it, but Ed is also justifiably enthusiastic about declinations, and he had this to say: “Whenever a planet is within plus or minus of zero declination of the Aries/Libra axis line, that planet is at a strong power point; likewise when a planet is within a ½ degree of the 16 N/S 20’30” declination placement and within one full degree of the 23 N/S 26’45” area. The closer the conjunction is to being exact, the greater the energy that is contacted.

Pluto is within orb of the 16 S 20’30” exact conjunction to this powerful point that equates to the center of each of the fixed signs during late 2006 and most of 2007. When Pluto comes into the proximity of Aquarius in 2024, it will be approaching the power point on the edge of the Ecliptic at 23 S 26’45”. These will, most likely, produce stressful times that can be both hectic, but also be times when great events can appear in the human endeavor! Every “time of struggle” is also blessed with the qualities that provide mankind (those who have been struggling with the problems of the world) with valuable solutions for issues unresolved until the time of crisis!”