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Aires... Mar 21st - Apr 20th

Taurus... Apr 21st - May 21st

Gemni... May 22nd - Jun 21st

Cancer... Jun 22nd - Jul 22nd

Leo... Jul 23rd - Aug 22nd

Virgo... Aug 23rd - Sep 23rd

Libra... Sep 24th - Oct 23rd

Scorpio... Oct 24th - Nov 22nd

Sagittarius... Nov 23rd - Dec 21

Capricorn... Dec 22nd - Jan 20th

Aquarius... Jan 21st - Feb 19th

Pisces... Feb 20th - Mar 20th

 

THE SOOTHESAYER

Linda Schurman
Editor and Publisher

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

  .....from Hamlet by Shakespeare

♦♦

  

August 2017

  

Important Points of Reference for Astrologers:

Lunar Eclipse at 15 degrees Aquarius trine Jupiter and opposition Mars Aug.7; Full Solar Eclipse at 28 degrees of Leo inconjunct Chiron and Trine Uranus Aug 21 (Visible across the U.S. from Oregon to So. Carolina); Jupiter square Pluto Aug.4; Mars sextile Jupiter Aug. 20; Venus opposition Pluto Aug. 14; Mars trine Saturn Aug.22; Saturn goes direct Aug. 25 and is sextile Jupiter on Aug. 27; Mercury goes retrograde in Virgo opposite Neptune Aug.12 and goes direct in Leo trine Uranus Sept.4.

  

The Great Total Solar Eclipse – August 21, 2017:

Eclipses are powerful events that amazed the people who observed them in the ancient world, activating their deepest fears and superstitions and were seen as dire warnings and messages from “the Gods.”  Today’s scientists can comprehensively observe them from telescopes and observatories and, indeed, today, we can even take pictures of them with our smart phones.

Astrologers see messages in these events.  We look to previous similar eclipses and their pathways in past times, the ensuing historic events, and how to contemplate the possibilities and probabilities that may come before us today that can offer insights into our lives and the choices we will need to make. History rhymes.  

The last full Solar Eclipse that approximated the same pathway across the U.S. was on June 8, 1918 at 17 degrees of Gemini on the descendant of the Sibley Chart for the U.S. (July 4, 1776) and near the U.S. Mars.  The outstanding events connected to this event were -  U.S. forces fighting in WW1 ending in the November Armistice, the flu pandemic that spread throughout the world killing more people than died in the Great War, and the Russian Revolution that became the Communist Revolution in which Vladimir Lenin executed Czar Nicholas II and his family.  The “map of the world” was redrawn as Poland and the Baltic States declared independence, Yugoslavia became a new country, and partitions and consolidations were created in the Middle East.  Women’s suffrage was voted for in Great Britain, U.S. women’s voting rights were approved in the form of the 9th Amendment  (did not become enacted until 1920), and in the U.S.,  Daylight Savings Time became law as did the Sedition Act of 1918 making it a crime to criticize the government (later repealed in 1921).

The last time we saw a Lunar and Solar Eclipse near these same degrees of Aquarius and Leo was August of 1998.  Among the events at that time was the collapse of Global Capital Management, the largest hedge fund in the U.S. at that point.  Many Americans in the financial professions thought Russia (after the collapse of the Soviet Union) would turn into a grand capitalist system. The managers of this fund had bought “calls” on the Russian Rupel (a bet that it would gain in value).  The Russian currency collapsed.  For the first time in history, the American taxpayer bailed out a hedge fund, pointing the way to the giant taxpayer “bailout” of the banks in 2008.   A few months later, Boris Yeltsin left the Russian presidency. 

What now?

The great city of Mosul in Iraq is being returned to the government of Iraq as ISIS is being defeated there.  This devastated city is mostly a pile of rubble.   U.S. troops have been assisting the Iraq forces there and it is likely victory will be declared.  There may also be a truce or some kind of peace agreement made in Syria as Jupiter will sextile the eclipse degree between September and October.  The national boundaries drawn in the Middle East in the early 20th Century have already been threatened by the rise of ISIS.

There have been multiple efforts in various states to outlaw and/or arrest peaceful protesters in the U.S.  Many of these protests are against the proposed health care bill in Washington under which more than 32 million people would lose coverage.  The bill failed to pass in July.  Others are objecting to Pres. Trump’s agendas such as lowering taxes on the richest Americans and bowing out of the Global Climate agreement.  Public protest is a guaranteed right by law, but there may be regional attempts to suppress this right.   Equality of rights and privileges for women and LGBT persons have risen over the past several years and are likely to be both disputed and highlighted during this period when so-called “conservatives” control the Presidency, both houses of Congress, and the Supreme Court.

Since the Solar Eclipse will conjunct Donald Trump’s Ascendant and Mars, our attention since his inauguration in January, is drawn to his personal financial activities, his connections to and/or collaboration with Russia, and his ability/inability to deliver on his campaign promises.  Since his Mars is being highlighted, his willingness to threaten war with No. Korea, his effectiveness against ISIS, and his commitment or lack of it to sustain sanctions against Russia because of their military activities in the Ukraine will all be examined very publicly.  He has recently appointed General Kelly to be his Chief of Staff (Mars). Abroad, Trump is seen as not only an “embarrassment” but a real danger with respect to the relationship between the United States and the much of rest of the world.  Many perceive we are losing our position as “the leader of the free world” since he criticized NATO (has since affirmed our membership in the organization), withdrew from the Global Climate Accord, his perceived associations with Vladimir Putin, and his “shape shifting” tweets and personal insults heaped upon his critics.  He has even criticized his own Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  The recent revelations about his son’s connections to Russia during the presidential campaign are already shaking things up.    His so-called “base” has stuck with him.  They will continue as long as they perceive he will get them jobs and are holding out until this happens.  Interestingly, we are discovering how powerful and immune to real prosecution a U.S. president really is.  The Dept. of Justice and the FBI could decide to cooperate with Trump, especially if he decides to fire Mueller.  The Republicans are already showing themselves to be hesitant to oust Trump.  Pres. Trump could issue pardons for his family and it is vague under the Constitution whether or not he could pardon himself.  He has demonstrated a contempt for “the law” in general seeing it for the “little people”.  Sen. John McCain, one of the few Republicans to stand up to Trump for his Russian connections, has tragically been diagnosed with brain cancer. 

Vladimir Putin controls his own international “mafia” with a financial network involved with human trafficking, prostitution, money laundering, torture and murder.  On July 15th, on CNN’s news show, Fareed Zakaria GPS, there was a revealing interview of Bill Browder, formerly a large investor in Russia and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management.  He informed us of the Magnitsky Act enacted in 2014 that stopped Putin (Russia) from offshore money laundering from these activities.  The U.S. also “sanctioned” Russia for their military support of Assad in Syria right in the middle of a huge oil deal Rex Tillerson (now our Secretary of State) was making with Putin.  Exxon was recently found guilty of violating the sanctions and fined.  Browder points to what he thinks is a “deal” made between Trump and Putin that if Putin helped him get elected president, he would revoke the Magnitsky Act and take away the sanctions.  Browder is reporting on this at risk to his life, since we know what has happened to other “whistle blowers” connected to Russia.  Trump has had so many failed enterprises, American banks will no longer lend him any money.  Deutche Bank was his last official lender and he has not paid them back.  Trump has connections financially to Russian oligarchs and money laundering banks on Cypress with links to Russia for many years.  I think a big financial “exposé” lies ahead implicating Trump, his family, and his enterprises.  Interestingly, in July Republicans and Democrats reached an agreement on legislation that allows new sanctions against Russia, Iran and No.Korea – a bill that would limit any potential effort by Pres. Trump to try to lift sanctions against Russia.

Another possibility connected to this time period is increased tectonic activity, especially in the Northwestern U.S. in the path of this eclipse.  There have been a noticeable increase in earthquakes in the Yellowstone Caldera in recent months.   Earthquakes have been shaking up Turkey and Greece with aftershocks continuing. 

I am not optimistic with respect to Congress summoning the will and compassion to construct a fair and decent health care bill by this month.  The eclipses would insure that it will fail to insure the population at this point in time.  The AMA, most doctors and medical professionals, and now, most citizens favor a single payer plan that this extremely conservative congress will be unlikely to pass. Presently the national opoid addiction crisis is stressing the healthcare system. According to an article on Buzzflash at Truthout by Paul Buchheit on June 26, 2017: “The U.S. consumes 80 percent of the world’s opioids, with some states filling more prescriptions than there are people, and with the morbid result that drugs are now killing more Americans than traffic accidents or gun violence.”  The proposed cuts to Medicaid that the previous proposed bill contains would simply deny health care to what is now estimated to be around 30 million.     

The Economy:

Eclipses tend to coincide with big “bubble” peaks in financial markets, followed by selling.  The period between October and December, Saturn transits the Galactic Center for the last time this year and then goes into Capricorn, a recessionary placement.  The last time this happened was in 1987.  I do not know whether there will be a “crash” or simply a “correction” and I do not think the consequences will be as severe as they were then, since Jupiter will be in Scorpio and will sextile Pluto next year.  The global Cartel of giant banks that manage huge mutual funds, including ETFs, have consolidated and thus manipulated the price of stocks, gold and commodities on futures markets to suit their interests.  Fueling all this are retirement funds of “boomers” rolling into just a few large managed funds, which are -  Vanguard, Black Rock, and State Street.   This huge concentration of wealth and thus power in global finance has never been seen before.

The movement of central banks to eventually shift into digital currencies would remove economic choice and privacy from the “masses.”  Derivatives losses in large banks are often “hidden” or covered up and punishment for their criminal violations are frequently minimized.  Hundreds of trillions of notional dollars are in derivatives at this time. Derivatives are virtually enormous bets between 2 entities. It's a valid concern that many losers may not be able to pay up. Several entities in this zero-sum game are banks. Pluto is opposed the rising Mars in the chart of the Federal Reserve in the U.S. this year and through early 2019.   The question at this time is whether the taxpayers will have to finance another “bailout”, especially since the funds to do this are “tapped out.”  There will also be questions raised as to whose interests are supported by the (for-profit privately owned large domestic and foreign banks) Federal Reserve. The dollar has been declining in value and I think this will continue.  Our national debt is huge, is growing, and will get worse with policies giving tax breaks to richest Americans.

Questions arise as to why even though unemployment is reported to be low, wages have not risen, and U.S. productivity is low.  The answer is that most jobs added to the economy are part time, temporary, or contract work.  They are often in service oriented low wage jobs and simply will not support an individual, let alone a family.  Giant, Amazon has become a force to be reckoned with.  Bricks and mortar stores everywhere are closing down and former employers in retail – J.C. Penny, Sears, etc. are laying people off as their profits sink.  Corporations are complaining that there is a “shortage” in skilled labor markets.  This needs to be examined more closely.  First, not everybody has advanced degrees in high level engineering and IT jobs, many of which were “outsourced” to low wage foreign workers since the early 1990s.  Secondly, corporations no longer invest in the training of their employees.  They expect an applicant to walk in the door, automatically knowing their highly individual “applications.”  Thirdly, with the virtual disappearance of the Middle Class and half of the population in the U.S. living at or below the poverty line, how many young people or their families can afford a $60,000 a year education to qualify for these positions?  Lastly, we no longer make things here.  They are made in China, Viet Nam, Mexico, Bangladesh, etc.  Pres. Trump’s promise to bring manufacturing jobs back here will stumble before the attraction to other nations with extremely low wages and no restrictive environmental laws.  We are still in the NAFTA agreement and Trump’s proposed ”reforms” to NAFTA are corporate friendly.  The famous jobs Trump said he “saved” in Indiana have now gone to Mexico.  The products he and his family make and sell are made in China and Bangladesh.  Wall Street’s frothy market is based on Trump’s getting big corporate tax breaks through the legislature and Trump’s problems are delaying anything that looks like that could happen.

The media, except for PBS and NPR is basically “owned” and controlled by giant corporations whose interests lie in their own interest.  Real investigative journalism and standards for truthful reporting are mostly a “thing of the past.”  There is often more time devoted to commercials than time devoted to content.  They are currently “obsessed” with all the Russian collusion and interference with the U.S. election and Pres. Trump’s involvement which is certainly needed,  but is often repetitive and frequently lacking depth.  The public is exhausted with the concentration on this to the exclusion of other important news and people are turning it off.  Good journalism is a necessity to maintain a healthy democracy and it is currently, sadly very rare.  Profits subsume everything else. Sinclair Media, an openly right-wing company, now owns about 70% of the broadcast media.  The corporations need to look at the fact that news channels ratings have fallen like a rock.  They might just improve their profits by telling the truth.

All this being said, we may see a “peak” formed in many financial markets this month.  I see a movement downward in the Fall.

Foreign Nations:

Venezuela:  With the Solar Eclipse and Mars hitting their chart, the current government may collapse this month.  Hopefully, there will be some new people emerging in the Fall to bring this nation together.

Russia:  On PBS July 10th, there was an excellent report on the present culture in Russia and the absolute control that Vladimir Putin exerts over this nation.  They pointed out that Russia through the centuries has craved a “collective identity” under the czars and later under a military Communist dictatorship.   When the Soviet Union collapsed, they lost all this, along with a workable economy.  Putin put Russia’s identity back together by forging an alliance of the Christian Orthodox religion, patriotism, and imperialism.  Human rights come last.  The same suppression and murder of dissidents that had been present under Communism has continued.  People are emotionally connected to the church and “mother Russia”- not to anything resembling individualism or capitalistic enterprise that are culturally hallmarks in the U.S.  Their economy does not benefit most Russians, and is concentrated in the hands of oil oligarchs who share their profits with Putin.  However, Putin is seen as the defender and custodian of Russia and people believe he will “make Russia great again.”  Does some of this sound vaguely familiar?  The August eclipse resonates with historic Russia and will certainly put this nation squarely in the limelight this month. They have recently "slashed" the US Embassy staff there.

No, Korea:  Mercury is going retrograde in Virgo August 12, will go direct September 4th in Leo and move on with a grouping of planets in Virgo in September and October.  All of this reactivates last year’s eclipses in the charts of both No. and So. Korea and will stir up the visions of military activity we have seen recently, especially when Mars enters Virgo September 5th through October 13th.  We already know this is a very dangerous time for the Koreas and some very intelligent foreign policy intervention is needed from both the U.S. and China at this time.

Syria:  As devastated as this nation and its peoples are, I think there is a very real opportunity for a truce or peace agreement here between now and October as Jupiter in Libra makes important positive aspects to their nation’s chart and the Solar Eclipse.

Israel is getting hit by the Mars in Leo this month, activating more protests and violence.  The media in the U.S. has done very little reporting on this nation recently.

Final Thoughts:

We live in challenging times.  Even more than this fact, is that we cannot escape the challenges.  The mass media is “swamping” us with opinions, reports, and often desperate pleas for help by so many in this nation and from around the world.  It would seem that our leaders both in government and industry are the “worst that money can buy”.  We often feel personally helpless to evoke the necessary changes to reverse the tide.  It even seems that there is a lack of compassion, imagination, and vision that are so important for progress toward a better world, a better humanity, a better life!

The old saying “It is often the darkest before the Dawn” is an old saying because history has proven it true!  As an astrologer, looking outward and upward to the constellations, I am of the opinion that great movements toward enlightenment have risen out of lessons learned from first, getting it wrong!  We should never forget the famous quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt: “There is nothing to fear but fear itself!”

Then, there is the “magic” of great people with great ideas that seem to come out of the blue, transforming civilization in ways never before known or understood.  I believe the pathways to greatness lie within all of us.  I believe we can summon the genius, the compassion, and the resolve.

Stay tuned!

Linda

Linda Schurman

 

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"We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth... For my part,  I am willing to know the whole truth;  to know the worst;  and to provide for it."  .....Patrick Henry

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