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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

  

April 2017

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Important Points of Reference (for astrologers):

Full Moon at 21 degrees Libra conjunct Jupiter and opposite Eris and Uranus on April 10; New Moon at 6 degrees Taurus on April 26; Mercury goes retrograde at 4 degrees Taurus April 9 (goes direct May 3); Venus that went retrograde at 13 degrees Aries on March 3 goes direct at 26 degrees of Pisces exactly square Saturn at 27 degrees Sagittarius that is at the galactic center; Mars in 18 degrees Taurus is inconjunct Jupiter on April 4 and is trine Pluto at 19 degrees April 5; Pluto goes retrograde at 19 degrees Capricorn April 20; Mercury retrograde at 17 degrees Aries is trine Saturn on April 14 and is conjunct Uranus at 23 degrees Aries April 26; Mars enters Gemini April 21 and is square the Lunar Nodes April 23.

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The Retrograding Journey of Venus

Venus, the Goddess of Love and Beauty, has been the stuff of fables and legends through the ages.  She has been abducted and tortured, escaped and released, vilified and glorified, worshiped, her beauty shaped and interpreted by artists in sculpture and portrait.  Venus has been a major contributor to civilization as an architect, lawmaker, designer, decorator, landscaper/gardener, creator of cosmetics, and along with Neptune, a dancer and musician.  She has been said to have started great wars, with the help of Eros’ disruptive sister Eris, (Helen of Troy) and seduced emperors and wielded power (Cleopatra). Interestingly, Venus will soon conjunct Eris on May 29th, generating some disruptive fireworks on her own.  Her male counterpart and opposite is Mars who often is in a love/hate relationship with her.  He is driven to mate with her and needs her desperately, but often wishes she would not interfere with his male activities whether they be in business or war.  Sometimes, he attempts to subjugate and abuse her to show his dominance over the relationship and then is stricken with self-loathing at stooping so low.

The dance of the sexes is written into our genes with Nature simply driving us to reproduce the species by filling us with hormones and brain chemistry that alters our common sense, but brings about the miracle of new life.  Venus' function is less interested in the birth of children and more interested in the seduction part of the cycle that gets you there, but we all know the end result.

In modern times, we have been interested in the emergence of the role of women into positions of power and importance beyond all this, bringing with them a whole spectrum of talents and ideas into the mainstream of civilization and creating marriages that evolve from chemical attraction into genuine warmth and friendship.  The ultimate goal of Venus is successful partnerships; give and take; a flow of masculine and feminine from one to the other; the conceptualization of the notion that instead of ruthless competition bringing about winners and losers, we could have both participants winning together.  Have no doubt, Venus is the "ruler" of currency and is interested in money, property, and assets (ruling the sign of Taurus.)  She is also the Goddess of Justice and Law (ruling the sign of Libra) and governs laws surrounding marriage, commerce, and the distribution of wealth.

What we notice in the astrology of the Venus retrograde cycle is its struggle in the sky from light into darkness and back into the light again.  It seems that Venus must be forced to view its age-old subjugation experiences locked in the biological subconscious before it can ascend into the light and freely express itself as love and beauty fully unleashed and appreciated.  Historically, this transit has been associated with scandals, especially, it seems, in the government.  Before the presidential election last Fall, the recording of Donald Trump discussing his use and abuse of women and how he can hardly control himself in the process, was thought to threaten his chances in the election.  On January 21, there was an historic "women's march", a protest launched in Washington D.C. and around the country. Recently, the news released an investigation by the U.S. Marine Corps concerning the distribution of nude photographs of female service members (their fellow soldiers) among military personnel and veterans on a social media network that promotes sexual violence.  In March, we observed a "working women's" march and protest asking for equal wages and opportunities.  Venus goes direct in Pisces on April 14th, square Saturn on April 15th, and highlights the struggle, once again, for an equal voice for women.  Recently, Pres. Trump offended two of our allies’ female prime ministers, Angela Merkel (Germany) and Theresa May (United Kingdom).

The past several years, protests and judicial decisions have been revolving around gay marriage, rights of trans-sexual people to use the restrooms of their choice, and control of women over their reproductive rights. These issues have polarized this nation's people and have made themselves felt in elections.  The identity crises I discussed in last month's newsletter with respect to Neptune, is playing itself out in this theater - the one that says when it comes to love and sex, we cannot be subjected and forced into our ancient roles, but must respectfully be allowed to fully emerge into the light of truth and be who we finally decide we need to be. 

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The Economy:

The retrograde Venus (currency) square Saturn this month along with Jupiter square Pluto and Mars in Taurus (a financial sign) coincides with a rough ride for the global economy and threatening the stability of currencies.  Venus (partnerships) will likely be undone as, it is my opinion, that nations will begin talking about exiting the European Union, and trade agreements with multiple nations may start to come apart (a promise made by Pres. Trump).  Japan, a troubled nation on many fronts, including their banking system, is at risk at this time. Taurus, an earth sign that is practical and realistic, will set it’s sites on the sovereign debts that have been piling up in Europe, Japan, China, and the U.S. and are beginning to come home to roost.  As Venus stations to go direct, square Saturn that is at the Galactic Center on April 14th, fears concerning an untenable global economy will rise to the surface.

Our Congress can only think of cutting benefits to the masses in favor of massive tax breaks for billionaires with the pretense that corporations will come back here and provide jobs that will bring in more revenue.  (Meanwhile, it will cost taxpayers about $183 million a year to keep Trump’s family in New York City along with his trips to his property in Florida, while his proposed budget recommends cutting the meals-on-wheels program for the elderly and food for school children programs.)  This is a pipe dream.  The factories that return here will simply automate or employ highly tech trained and skilled people, and the elimination of employment for so many whose skills are not up to date across the population will continue to accelerate.  We must face the fact that a jobless economy awaits us in the 21st Century if we do not completely re-envision our notions of what works.  Venus in Pisces is concerned with healthcare.  This square to Saturn (conflict) reveals how complex this issue is and how many millions of people would lose all access to healthcare with the repeal/replacement of The Affordable Care Act with the potential Unaffordable Healthcare Act that was defeated  last month in Congress and will not be revisited in the near future.  With the wild and crazy swings in financial markets this month, I would be on the sidelines for now.

Hope for a better future resides in: re-localization into tech updated cities that reconstruct and “green” their utilities, that raise their own food organically in their own region, that amplify education at all levels, but particularly in hi-tech and the "trades." These cities need to promote small businesses that aid one another, affordable housing architecturally designed to be super energy efficient, healthcare as a shared resource, and, most of all, people who gather in the commons to solve problems themselves that are comprehensible in a democratic manner in which all voices are heard.   This sounds very Utopian and idealistic for now, but may been seen as the key to survival in the future.

Pres. Trump's chart is filled with pressures and conflict between now and early June as Mars transits through Taurus and Gemini. He has been getting credit for the Bull Market on Wall Street with promises for giant tax breaks and deregulation for corporations.  With retrograde Mercury, not much is really going to get done at this time.  Taurus is "bottom line" and the government needs revenue in order to function. This part of the plan to "make America great again" has not been presented in any comprehensible way.

The ongoing investigation of the Trump campaign with mysterious ties to Russia will plague him this month.  He expressed a complimentary/complementary position with respect to Vladimir Putin during the campaign.  This is no surprise to astrologers since the natal charts of Putin and Trump are highly compatible.  An upside to this is that the U.S. and Russia would likely obliterate one another if a war broke out between the two super-powers and there is a need to stabilize this relationship. In August of 2011, Rex Tillerson, currently Trump’s Secretary of State, signed a big oil deal in the Arctic between Exxon and Russia.  In 2014, then Pres. Obama established sanctions with Russia because of their support of Assad in Syria.  There are also vague associations with Trump's family's global economic interests, many of which have been connected to Russian Oligarchs are, one by one, being questioned as a possible massive "conflict of interest" for his presidency.  However, this will take a lot of time to “unravel”.

Bloomberg News published an article on March 13, 2017 entitled: "Kushners Set to Get $400 Million from Chinese Firm.  Pres. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner's family is involved in a deal with a Chinese company (Angang Insurance) with "murky links to the Chinese power structure that have raised national security concerns."   Kushner's $400 million windfall is on the tower building, 666 Fifth Avenue.  It would be worth reading the entire article to get all the devilish details of this ongoing transaction. Trump has appointed his son-in-law to a prominent position in the White House with the “vaguest” of reasons since he has no qualifications for a position in government. There is no investigation of these and other business “conflicts of interest” going on at this time.

The transiting North Node hits Pres. Trump's ascendant next month and the huge Solar Eclipse hits that point on August 21st, highlighting either big successes or massive failures falling directly on his shoulders, depending upon what he can or cannot accomplish. Trump’s Ascendant is conjunct his natal Mars, which could motivate him to lead us into a major war.  This is further emphasized by the coming Saturn/Pluto conjunction in January of 2020, a configuration that usually follows a depression, which I have been predicting would begin this year.  This grim aspect has shown up throughout history to synchronize with the eruption into a global war.   We need to remember that in WWII, the U.S. and Russia were “allies”.  This makes China the “odd man out” and, with the looming crises in No. Korea, they could feel alienated from their past alliances with Russia.  Trump has recently lobbed criticisms at China for its unfair trade practices and/or keeping its currency devaluated compared with the dollar. 

At the very least, Trump will be unable to hide or “cover up” his intentions or actual activities that will increasingly become apparent.  This is also a dangerous year for American presidents revealed in the cycle to which I referred last month, which effected the presidencies of  John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.

The cartel of giant global banks and corporations aligned with powerful governments (called by some the "Deep State") will strongly resist any threat to their power and control for now.  They will pull any "strings" they can to remain intact, including a continuance of their massive manipulation and deregulation of financial markets.  Inevitably, this will come to an end in the 2020s.  They will not "go gentle into that good night" and there will likely be a Hell on Earth in the years between now and 2024 as those who wield power will resort to almost anything to hold onto it.

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The Environment:

Venus's intuition knows that living in concert with nature who sustains us and in cooperation with each other that inspires and helps us, is a pathway to a just and fair society.  I would suggest reading an article published online March 30th by Dan Ross  (http://www/.truth-out.org/news/item/40051) entitled “It’s a Cover-Up, Not a Clean-Up”: Nuclear Waste Smolders in Sites Across the US.  He writes: “The covert project to create the world’s first atomic weapon during WWII, coupled with the nuclear proliferation of the Cold War era, has left a trail of toxic and radioactive waste at sites across the nation that will necessitate, by some margin, the largest environmental cleanup in the nation’s history.”  He describes the sites at Hanford, Washington, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Los Alamos, New Mexico, and West Lake in North St. Louis County, Missouri as extremely dangerous, toxic and leaking radioactive waste, even though billions of dollars have already been spent to clean them up.  It is worth going directly to the article and reading his extensive coverage of this subject, as the damage to the environment and human health is staggering. 

This month's planets are sending out messages loud and clear that it is time to wake up to the fact that as our old world and its institutions dissolve, a new one awaits.  The question is: is the “new world” a dystopian nightmare dustbowl or one that addresses our global crises democratically and effectively?

Pres. Trump is undoing environmental protections that both parties have instituted over the years, including the global climate change agreement which even Exxon/Mobil endorses.  He is undermining all governmental protections that would insure us clean water, safe food, fresh air, and even privacy protections for our information on the internet.  As people wake up to these consequences, they may realize that protective institutional frameworks are in jeopardy.    

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Other Nations:

Russia and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (as mentioned above) are getting a lot of attention as the investigations into the Trump administration's possible collaboration with them to win the election continues.  These investigations are not going away and threaten to undo Trump’s own Republican coalition.  Scandals in Washington tend to correspond with the Venus retrograde cycle, so this will gain momentum this month.  Putin, a dictator and oligarch, is now considered by many to be the most "powerful person in the world."

The Middle East continues to be troubled, as Mars in Taurus effects the chart of Israel who will likely amp up its opposition to Palestinian protests and continue to expand into their territory.  It will also likely push the U.S. to oppose anything connected to the previous nuclear agreement with Iran.

The Syrian civil war will continue as Assad, with the support of Putin, will continue to bomb his nation even though a “cease fire” is still in effect. 

Saudi Arabia is on a slow road to breaking apart.  We are accelerating our involvement in their war in Yemen (that is actually trying to overthrow their present leadership backed by Iran) that is devastating to their civilian population.

Both Egypt and Turkey, presently making deals with Russia, are wrestling with their alliances with the West, the Syrian refugee crisis, Kurdish rebellions, and challenges to their leaders.  Many historians and journalists believe the world is headed toward a crisis with democracy because there is a trend for many nations to elect right-wing Fascist governments.  Turkey, Egypt, Libya are among these nations and this trend is moving across Eastern Europe and even in France.  In The Netherlands, the recent election of their moderate prime minister is a welcome exception.

The EU will likely be fighting for its unity against all odds.  Deutche Bank, the largest bank in Europe has been exposed for corrupt practices, including laundering billions of dollars in drug cartel money.  Their derivatives wing lost huge amounts of money back in 2015.  The burden of the mass migrations from Syria and other failed states in that region into Europe is taxing their economic systems.  Germany may do whatever it can to support loans to nearly bankrupt nations, but many of these nations simply want to opt out, especially Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy.  Italy is also plagued with a cycle of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes that continue this month.

Japan is in a massive struggle on all fronts, as mentioned above.  The period between now and July is very unstable for this nation.

China's massive debt status will be revealed along with pressure put on them by the West to deal with the dangers of No. Korea and their recent threats to global security.  The end of this month, Mars goes into Gemini through early June.  This transit tends to stimulate public discontent in China as well as ramping up warlike activities in No. Korea.  So. Korea is reeling from their recent impeachment of their prime minister, destabilizing the resistance to No. Korea and needing increased support militarily from the U.S. which will likely be forthcoming since Mars will be going over Uranus in America's chart and will hit the Mars/Neptune square in May. This is the most dangerous region right now, and we must be very careful concerning becoming entangled by military engagements as a “solution” to these challenges.

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Weather and Natural Events:

This is a very unstable month for global tectonics (earthquakes and volcanoes) with the Mars transit in Taurus and the afflicted direct station of Venus in Pisces, that includes the "ring of fire" nations and islands.  This transit also tends to coincide with high winds and stormy weather throughout the U.S.  April 23 is particularly vulnerable as Mars is square the Lunar Nodes.  Air travel may be disrupted and I would tend to postpone plans until after May 4th when Mercury goes direct.  Venus's domain is "Mother Nature" who will speak loudly this month.

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Final Thoughts:

Venus and her mythological journeys and meanings gives us all pause to seriously reflect.  What does the goddess of love and beauty mean to us?  Is she simply the goddess of sex and money?  Interestingly, there was a report on CNN last month about a company in California creating and manufacturing robots to look like beautiful women to sell to men who could "fall in love" with and project their fantasies upon an entity without all the "real life" complications and needs women bring into their lives.  Some of you may remember the book and the movie "The Stepford Wives" that eerily resembles this venture that now has morphed into a reality.  With all the talk about robots replacing people in the workforce, this is taking it to the outer fringes of believability.

Children fall in love with their dolls and stuffed animals, but, ultimately, must learn to love the living.  Venus, at her worst, is greedy, jealous, and possessive.  It would lead us to question our knee-jerk responses and biological imperatives vs. what takes human beings beyond this level to something deeper and richer.  It would point to an infantile level of development across our populace that is disturbing.

I don't think somebody who has experienced a truly great love can explain it to those who have not, especially to those who have "commodified" people in general to be used and discarded at will.  Studies of infants and small children reveal that without human affection, cuddling, appreciation and encouragement, they will likely grow up to be severely damaged adults and more likely to fall into sociopathic behavior.  Many who are very cynical about people in general think that history demonstrates to us that this is where we "wind up." Many more think we will always be at war with each other for territory, for resources, for money, for power - all at a time when humanity needs a powerful movement for us to work together to address the looming crises of our times.

The ancient Greeks had different kinds of love in their vocabulary; erotic love, love for a friend, and love of the divine (Eros, Erete, and Agape.)   All the great religions that are still present in our times have their great insights and scriptures addressing this most important, most often illusive, and most wanted experience.  Having personally emerged from a background in Christianity, I cannot forget St. Paul's gift to us in 1st Corinthians 13:

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but I have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude.  Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.  When I was a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.  So faith, hope, love, abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 

Enjoy this holiday season!     

Linda

Linda

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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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