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Welcome to 2012



First, a historical note. Did you know that when Christopher Columbus “discovered” America, the thing he discovered was Haiti? So the island that was shaken and the country that was shaken to rubble has a hallowed place in the dark history of the New World, as the place where European feet first touched the ground. There, they met the native Tainos, one of the Arawak people; and made a settlement, called La Navidad, on the north coast of present-day Haiti.

Thus began a holocaust. In 2007, US News and World Report said that from an estimated initial population of 250,000 in 1492, the Arawaks had dropped to 14,000 by 1517. How did that happen? There’s the famous entry from Columbus’s log, reporting his first encounter with them; that pretty much explains it.

“They brought us barrels of cotton thread and parrots and other little things which it would be tedious to list, and exchanged everything for whatever we offered them. I kept my eyes open and tried to find out if there was any gold, and I saw that some of them had a little piece hanging from a hole in their nose. I gathered from their signs that if one goes south, or around the south side of the island, there is a king with great jars full of it, enormous amounts. I tried to persuade them to go there, but I saw that the idea was not to their liking. They would make fine servants. With 50 men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”

So much for Pat Robertson’s theory the Haiti quake happened because the Haitians had made a pact with the devil at Bois-Caiman near Cap-Haitien on August 14, 1791. Yes, those in the slave revolt used Santeria at the commencement of the rebellion; that is historically documented. But even in the unlikely event that has some kind of karmic influence, it doesn’t explain what had happened on Hispaniola for the prior 300 years: brutal slavery at the hands of the Spaniards and the sugar-addicted French. Bad things have been happening in Haiti since Columbus laid eyes on the place.

Is this about something much bigger? Are we getting a message that this is so big, it’s a comment on the story of the entire New World?

Yes, earthquakes happen, and they can happen anywhere. For example, there is an active geological fault line running down the Hudson River. The Indian Point nuclear power plant sits atop a newly identified intersection of two active seismic zones. We in New York who don’t even experience tremors could wake up to the Earth shaking one day next week or in 5,000 years.

The Aries Point and the Earthquake

The Haiti earthquake occurred in the days before a solar eclipse, mixed up with an 11-planet alignment in Capricorn and Aquarius. Yet in the midst of that alignment was a specific astrological marker: the Aries Point.
That’s the location of the Sun on the first day of Northern Hemisphere spring. The Aries Point, literally the first degree of the sign Aries, is extended by astrologers to include all four cardinal signs: the early degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, all of which are sensitive to Aries Point effects.

I often characterize the Aries Point as “the personal is political,” in that the news that occurs around the time of an Aries Point event always affects a lot of people and also has a property of merging the personal and the collective realms. The world crashes into our living rooms. Everything happens at once. On the same day, relief efforts are underway from one of the deadliest earthquakes in recent history, and possibly in a very long time; congressional hearings on the banking crisis that nearly toppled the economy are proceeding. Citigroup was leveraged 68:1, debt to assets. There are no new regulations in place to prevent it from happening again.
Suddenly there’s a new terrorist alert coming out of Yemen; and a new war. Most people hadn’t heard of Yemen until a month ago. One near-miss incident on one flight is causing some to respond as if 9/11 had happened again.

A trial was underway in San Francisco to determine the constitutionality of banning same-sex marriage; talk about the personal being political. This trial is uniting one of the nation’s top conservative attorneys, Ted Olson—the US government’s lawyer under George Bush—with one of the stalwart “liberal” movements. Finally, a defection.

Then, in the approximate flavor of Mercury retrograde in Capricorn (on the Aries Point, with Pluto two degrees away), Google is considering pulling out of China.

That Was Just the Warm-up

This is a snapshot of the culmination of Mercury retrograde, two eclipses and a massive alignment within about 60 degrees of sky: a lot of pressure, a lot of Aries Point. Mars (the ruler of Aries) is retrograde, too: That lasts all winter, and you could look at it as Mars being a bit reserved and feeling cramped in his style; or Mars calling us all to look inward and search out our true sense of self. That the retrograde takes place in Leo puts Mars opposite Aquarius, the sign of conformity to groups. We are just coming out of one of the most impressive phases of mass hypnosis that a talented, astrologically literate fantasy writer could ever make up. That would be based on a decade of Neptune in Aquarius, the drug of the masses being denial, Facebook, and Fox News.

Chiron is now conjunct Neptune, a rare event that is about clearing up all that fog and seeing through the denial, delusion, deception, and false idealism of Neptune in Aquarius.

But here’s what I’m here to tell you: We ain’t seen nothin’ yet. I can say this with some confidence after studying Aries Point effects for about 10 years, and knowing a little about the astrology of 2010. All the fuss about 2012 is the Aries Point, but we are fully into the aspect pattern right now, as planets begin to gather in the early degrees of the cardinal signs.

Of course the Flying Saucer People (who may be right) probably don’t know that; yet the Mayan astrologers seem to have had a clue: Their long count comes to its transition on December 21, 2012, with the Sun in the first degree of Capricorn, that is, aspecting the Aries Point precisely. The issue is not the Sun, itself; what the Mayans were looking at was where the Sun would be located, precisely on one of the cardinal points, and where they would be aligned at this time in the precessional cycle.

Before that happens, we have the spring of 2010. And here’s a bit of what we get. The big event involves a conjunction in the first degree of Aries: the conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus, two very influential planets. Jupiter leaves Aquarius and moves into Pisces on Sunday, but it does something unusual: It cuts clear across Pisces and stops in the first degree of Aries, where it stations retrograde.

Uranus, meanwhile, has been in Pisces for nearly seven years. If you’re a Pisces you’ve been on a wild ride, no doubt; but we’ve all been feeling this one as the morph of the technical world with the dream world, as a sense of bizarre instability and emotional restlessness. Uranus moves into Aries in June, right when Jupiter does, and we have the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction on the Aries Point. The last time these two planets teamed up with Aries Point involvement, it was in Libra the summer of 1969. That was the summer we had the Manson murders, the Moon landing, and Woodstock, among many, many other news events that get eclipsed by these big three.

What is this conjunction about? From a political angle, we see many signs of a mass movement or uprising—even here. It could be aggressive, or even militant; it could just be highly energized. I recognize that there are occasionally protests in our time of history, but we still don’t identify with this as being a time of rebellion or uprising against the many injustices that are being perpetrated. This seems strange, given all the years and years of abuses taken by the American public, and by extension, the public of many other countries. Most people will still tell you they don’t know what to do about these things. Jupiter-Uranus to me looks like an invention, and in part, an invention of identity; one that can identify with the ability to respond.

Yet the influence of Aries could have certain individuals becoming extremely gung-ho about their “ideals” and Uranus could have them convinced they represent a “group.” Jupiter can lead people to think they know more than they do. The theme of the hour is precisely the opposite: Figuring out how little we know and getting some perspective on all this group identification that has been dominating the political landscape of our era.

When Jupiter and Uranus meet on the Aries Point, they will be in alignment with Saturn and Pluto, which have already been stirring up plenty of change. In total, this is the 2012 alignment; the big leverage point, which has a series of peaks over the next three years. Pluto in Capricorn all by itself represents the banking collapse, the near-total dysfunction of Congress, and many other aspects of corporate and government decay. Astrologers have seen this coming for years; in articles years ago I was describing a banking crisis though I did not know exactly what form it would take. Notably, when Chiron crossed Capricorn beginning in late 2001, we had the aftermath of the 9/11 event, the Enron scandal, Worldcom going down, Arthur Andersen, and a variety of government scandals involving the FBI and US intelligence ignoring the warning signs about the imminent attacks.

What I said at the time was that Chiron in Capricorn was a kind of readiness exercise for Pluto’s arrival; if we learned the lessons then, we would not have to go through them again. Now it seems the entire economy has turned into one giant Enron.

An Awakening of Consciousness

Jupiter and Uranus in Aries add a lot of energy to this equation. But they add something else, something we really need: self-awakening. The thing about Aries is that it is deeply connected to themes like self-awareness. Aries is the original sign of I Am; it turns the key to existence, to action, and to desire. Uranus is a revolutionary force, forward thinking and provocative. It could have been named Prometheus just as well. The “fire of the gods” is the core of self-awareness, which of course all religions seem to have an issue with. Better to leave it all to God, than to be entrusted with the responsibility of making decisions.

Then comes Jupiter. Jupiter magnifies things and is an excellent compliment to Uranus because it brings in a wisdom aspect, a cultural attribute, and something worldly. And this sounds like it has the potential to be a sudden, spontaneous awakening of awareness, in particular, of self-awareness.

Opposite Jupiter/Uranus is Saturn in Libra, which is about taking relationships seriously. The ‘60s were great and all, but one of the missing pieces was a reverence for relationship. That was a problem. What happened in the ‘60s was not really a sexual revolution; it was the unleashing of long pent-up desire. There is plenty of sex going around these days, but most of it is not what you would call conscious or honest, and that is what we need.

At the same time, in the same era, many of the people who aspire to do the work on themselves are afraid of sex or sexual contact; a good few—you must know some of these folks—are chipper and spiritual and associate sex with the “baser instincts.” Many people are trapped in relationship paradigms that force them to suppress who they, or is it who we, are; and it looks like that issue may finally catch fire. We sure could use the heat.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Your charts suggest strongly that you are making some decision involving marriage. You might be thinking of creating a marriage or of ending one; or you are formulating your thoughts on the subject. Here is what I see: You have a concept that marriage simplifies things. This is consistent with the old expression “tying the knot.” There’s nothing so simple going on, however. In truth, your charts present a complex situation regarding not just a relationship, but also your whole idea of what a relationship is. What I suggest is that you shift the entire thought process from ‘relationship’ to yourself. The most important relationship is the one you have with you. When we confuse our inner relationship with the one we have with others, that is called projection. It may not be literally true that whatever you are saying about, or appreciate about, or dislike, in others is true of you; but you would be wise to look for the connection points. In this project, you will learn something from photos. Photos are interesting because they are historical documents and projection screens. Photographs of you, of loved ones, family photos and in particular wedding photos will tell you a lot right now, in the sense of providing useful information. At the moment, certain pictures will paint a thousand words.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Nearly every Taurus I know is struggling with their career. This seems to be a life-theme of your sign. Let’s pretend that has something to do with all the activity in Aquarius, your career house. Going back quite a long way—five years, 10 years, even 15 years, depending on how you count—there’s been constant change, movement, and an odd sense of insecurity about what you want to do, or what you “should be doing.” You’ve had plenty of ideas along the way, some of them excellent, but less in the way of traction or stability. Perhaps you know what you want, not how to make it work for you. Remember that most of our experiences train us to compromise passion and curiosity, or to expect certainty and incontrovertible correctness of the plan. Sure, that happens. More often, we find ourselves involved with events, uncertain where they will lead. Through many such experiments, we can arrive in an interesting place. What you have going on is subtler than either of those usual paths. At the moment, you have a rare perspective (think of it as visual, from a high place) that you didn’t have before. Use it to observe the ways you have been conditioned to not know what you want; to want what others want for you; and to doubt your own ideals, for the sake of others. What would your life be like, if you moved all that out of the way?

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Last month’s Mercury retrograde was pretty impressive, and its affects are still working out. For you, it was all about agreements. You tend to live your life trying to figure out what others expect from you, rather than determining what you want. In the tangle of opinions, obligations and pushing and pulling and sorting out the details, I trust you’ve learned to make this distinction. It’s not only okay to want; whatever the Buddhists may say, desire is your organizing principle. It’s the value by which you decide what to decide, including what to do and who to associate with. Jupiter in Pisces, which just crossed the potent midheaven angle of your solar chart, is offering you a wild card of desire. This may be arriving as an idea or a vision, or it may be an opportunity you’re not sure is solid. I promise you one thing: This qualifies as something different. It may take you a few weeks to catch on, but now that you have a clue I suggest you look carefully and make a decision while you’re still excited. One of the distinctions between this and the kind of opportunity you’re accustomed to involves going beyond your usual sense of scale, to something much wider; so wide, indeed, that you may not recognize it for what it is, or selling yourself short because this seems too good to be true.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Life would be easier, were the playing field level. Usually it’s not, and it’s slippery, and some people cheat. The deeper issue, though, is what game you are playing, and the rules that you apply. Deeper still is making sure you take full authority over your own life. Two games show up on the radar as being particularly dangerous to your peace of mind. One is retribution; the other is teasing. It’s possible to tease yourself, and it’s possible to get revenge on yourself; if humans are good at two things, it is luring themselves with what is unavailable and self-loathing (in its many subtle forms). Remember that guilt is not an indicator that you are wrong. Rather, it suggests you have an issue to work out, potentially that you don’t believe your life is your life. It’s altogether better if we get those around us on board with the process of mutually freeing ourselves from guilt. But you don’t need anyone’s permission; that’s part of the game. When we feel guilty the tendency is to blame ourselves or seek forgiveness; a better approach is to offer forgiveness for what you think has been done to you. It may indeed be unclear who is responsible for what, or who is perpetuating any dysfunction. Account for the ways you are perpetuating anything distasteful to you, and change your act on the spot.

Leo (July 22-August 23)

There has hardly been a more magnificent time to get clear on the intentions of your relationships. Indeed, it is happening without your deliberate intervention; you seem to be coming into alignment both with yourself and with the people around you. In an odd way, this quality is morphing from your sense of individuality to your sense of mutual purpose in one-to-one experiences, and this is shifting your group encounters. By alignment, I mean sense of purpose and mutual understanding of one another’s most important values. One of your gifts to the world is to love people despite their seeming flaws and to hold yourself out with dignity as a whole person, understanding perfectly well that you’re not perfect. You now have an opportunity to see how those seeming imperfections provide sources of strength and awareness. This really is the key to enlightenment, in these days when one of the most pressing psychological issues is self-loathing, and when the lack of self-understanding seems to verge on total. It’s deep in your nature to use mistakes, misunderstandings, and paradoxes as footholds for learning and awareness; it’s good times when the people around you get into that same mode, and that is approximately what you have going on now. In simple terms, everything is an opportunity to raise awareness. Every seeming fact implies a question. How you see yourself directly influences how you see others.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You may not have counted the rewards of so much restless instability in your relationships going back so many years. The planetary setup has not lent itself to your romantic ideals; you probably canceled your subscription to Modern Bride in 2004. Yet one benefit of what you’ve been through has been to take nothing, and nobody, for granted. There has been no prefabricated scenario that was supposed to come true. You developed a knack for liking and loving people despite their wild oddities, despite what your parents would think; despite what you thought you would think. People have pushed you and challenged your beliefs and made sure you couldn’t hide in your mental box for long. In moments when spontaneous changes happened, you learned to move on. You leaned to envision the future rather than obsess over the past. But something has been missing: a degree of comfort, a space of authentic respite, an actual sense of benefit. Over the past year, you have gained an unusual new depth of clarity and focus, and I imagine you determined that was an omen of positive developments to come. Let that clarity give you the discernment to know healthy, loving influences when they manifest for you. You have been through enough, over enough time, for this to be truly possible. Lay down that restlessness for a while and open the door to love.

Libra (September 22-October 23)
You are not really caught in a situation you cannot get out of—but someone else may really be certain they are. You cannot convince them of the reality of their situation, but you can figure out for yourself that you have options. Having options is another way of saying that you are at a turning point. I suggest you make peace with the possibility that someone you care about may not quite see themselves at that place where a decision is necessary; to the contrary, they may be at a point of maximum chaos and confusion. Even on a good day, you have little choice but to negotiate with the world on your own terms. You are, at least, aware of your situation, and that provides the closest thing to a guarantee that you are going to work it out sooner rather than later. The risk you run is getting drawn into someone else’s drama, their romantic ideals, or their sense of fragmentation. Keep an eye on that third one. It’s the one most likely to drive you nuts, because when people are feeling fragmented those around them tend to respond in fragments. Note: the issue that is troubling them is likely to be a past idea of what a relationship should be, and the way that gets tangled up in the simple reality of life. Give the situation ‘til mid-March to work out; I think it will.

Scorpio (October 23-November 22)
You may be questioning your treatment of someone important to you. You have become deeply sensitive to how someone feels in the environment of your emotions. In any form of emotional healing, step one is getting beyond the guilt that is so deeply entrenched in our relationships. The usual way to do that is by “not caring,” and obviously that’s not the answer; you would not be here unless you cared. One way to process guilt is to forgive yourself so that you can forgive everyone else. Most guilt, indeed, nearly all of what we think others think, is projection. Projection is something that is happening internally that we are then perceiving or ascribing to some experience or event “outside ourselves.” Just like you cannot write on a movie screen and change the plot, you cannot write on the world or on your relationships and change the underlying feelings. That is why you have to start with you. One thing that is clear is the extent to which you are subject to group dynamics. Much of what you’re dramatizing in your relationships right now involves what happened to you as a child, and that, in turn, created a situation where you don’t feel safe being yourself. So, let’s short-circuit this whole psychological process and summarize it as one question: What would you do if you felt absolutely safe being exactly who you are?

Sagittarius (November 22-December 22)
I’ve noticed something about some Sagittarians I know, which is that they don’t seem to mind living in half-renovated places. I guess when you feel like you came from a different galaxy, living on Earth like it’s a camping trip isn’t so bad; you don’t mind if your house is wrapped in Tyvek or your bedroom floor is made of plywood as long as it keeps out the rain. Or do you? Jupiter has arrived in Pisces, which is the place we look for information about the home environment of Sagittarius. I suggest you take a series of swift steps to transform your home into someplace you’re actually comfortable. Finish work in progress; make a list of anything that’s broken or out of place and repair or remove it. Get someone who knows Feng Shui to come and help you arrange things to maximize the efficiency of energy flow. Clean, clean, clean—with Dr. Bronner’s soap and water, not chemicals. If you don’t like where you are, now is the time to make an easy move to someplace better. All of this will have useful material effects, and the sense of closure that you get from fixing that which was long broken will help you feel more settled, like you’re here on the planet to stay for a while, and your home is a place where others who love you feel welcome.

Capricorn (December 22-January 20)
Do you know those e-mail things designed to prevent you from writing to people if you’re drunk? The one with a series of arithmetic questions to make sure you’re clear enough to handle yourself? I suggest installing one of those on your entire life this month. Be careful what you do under the influence of any substance. “Do” includes say and do; it includes what you don’t do; and most of all, this includes how you respond to what you feel and what you think. You’re under a mix of influences that could lead you to act uncharacteristically, impulsively, or “not really coming from you.” Your emotional confusion is calling on you to take conscious, careful steps with the people you love, particularly with yourself. This month’s planetary set-up won’t prevent you from feeling clearly who you are, unless of course you let it do so. Yet you must be especially careful with substances, which will emphasize some emotions over others, sometimes contradictory. In itself this is not a bad thing; every emotion is valuable for what it teaches you. It’s just that you don’t want to act on certain darker sentiments; better to acknowledge and make peace with them. To give another example, if you want to have sex with someone on a few glasses of wine, first make sure they’re still interesting when all you’ve had is a coffee—preferably not the next day.

Aquarius (January 20-February 19)
Why are you the way you are? You seem to have lost contact with your motives—which you’re finally figuring out, now that you’re back in the groove of listening to them again. In the journey of awakening, you’re in that delicate space of playing snooze tag with yourself, only it’s not a single day you’re preparing to embark on; it’s the rest of your life. Denial is a peculiar state, unique to human consciousness; the ability, in essence, to pretend we’re not aware of something that we are actually aware of. Denial presumes that there is something to deny, and that we have a motive to keep it from awareness. If you notice that you’re struggling to admit something to yourself, break it down into what that something is, and why you might not want to acknowledge it. While you’re pondering that, here is another question: Is this whole thing a dance around how you were treated as a child? Are you covering up for someone else’s psychological stance toward you? Once that pattern is established, it can establish a pattern that the mind copies, which then propagates and takes root in many other relationships. See if you can get to the original motive; the original transaction that led you to learn any mode of response that involved pretending or denying that something obviously true was not. Get clear about that and much else will come into focus.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)
For a long time, longer than you may care to admit, you’ve grown accustomed to a certain kind of progress in your life; behind the scenes, or in theory, or in principle. Fortunately, you have a rich inner life, and this enables you to stay interested in existence even in times when movement is slow or invisible, or when fulfillment seems unlikely. Yet this has caused you to live in two worlds, one being a world where so much is happening and where you can envision what is possible, and another where the people around you seem oblivious to their own potential and where potential, in general, seems frozen. Get ready for something different. Jupiter arriving in your sign is going to do a lot in a short time, all of it in visible, tangible ways. If you write plays, you may find them suddenly being produced on the live stage. If you write books, you are likely to discover people interested in publishing you. If you drum alone, you will surely find other drummers. What was solitary can now become social; what you were sure was worthless to the world now suddenly may have a high value. Yet to manifest this potential, you must do what is perhaps the most challenging thing for a Pisces: think in a forward direction; exist outside your previous states of confinement; leave behind your prior role of victim of existence for your new role as benefactor.

Eric Francis Coppolino writes daily at PlanetWaves.net.

Photo by Eric Francis Coppolino.
  • Photo by Eric Francis Coppolino.

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