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Four Seasons 


Every year’s a souvenir that slowly fades away.
—Billy Joel

One thing I love about living in the Hudson Valley is that it’s possible to feel the passage of time. We can actually see and feel the seasons changing. The landscape is still dominated by the same natural world that’s been here since the Native Americans ran the place. Our communities don’t exactly tower over the Earth.
I believe that the seasonal rhythm is one of the most significant for an Earth dweller. Many people will tell you it’s one of the things they love the most about living in this part of the country. Midwinter may be rough and midsummer a bit oppressive at times, but the changes are beautiful. And we who live closer to the land are carried along like it’s a cosmic magic carpet ride.

Astrology is based on the seasons. The signs, in particular, are directly linked to the angle of the Sun against the tropics. The Sun’s movement through the signs provides the main backdrop of the many narratives that astrology weaves. Then the other planets either follow the Sun or tell their own stories, though the concept of the seasons is never far away.

If this seemed like an unusually eventful year, this involved planets lining up at the places where the seasons changed. Variously called the cardinal points, the quarter points, the equinoxes and solstices, or (in astrology) the cardinal signs or the Aries Point, we experienced a grand cross extending from early Aries to early Libra; and from early Cancer to early Capricorn. Pluto, newly in Capricorn (which lasts till 2024), held down the low notes.

There was a conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus in early Aries in the spring (both planets are still conjunct, though in Pisces; they will soon return to Aries).

Saturn entered Libra, making the last of three squares to Pluto and five oppositions to Uranus. That is Saturn (the fixed object, boundary of “reality,” dependable structure, or stuck pattern) making aspects to outer planets. We’ve been getting those nonstop since the summer of 2001 (that was Saturn opposite Pluto), followed by Saturn opposite Neptune (2005, the big hurricanes) and then Saturn opposite Uranus (2008 through 2010, exposing the ridiculous “political” divide in the United States). As you can see, when Saturn makes aspects to outer planets, we can go through major restructurings or wrenching changes. And Saturn in Libra contacted two outer planets at once, Uranus and Pluto.

Finally, in the sign Cancer, we have the South Node of the Moon (like an enormous emotional vacuum cleaner, sucking up as many useless patterns as it could get into the nozzle, and shifting many domestic patterns of life), combined with various “minor” points—particularly something called Kronos (used mostly by a small astrological sect called the Hamburg School, also called Uranian astrologers). Kronos in the mix is why we seem to have all kinds of important personages who give the feeling of having recently escaped a treatment program for megalomaniacs.

So in 2010 we had the combination of Saturn making aspects to outer planets, plus the effect of those planets gathering around the place where the seasons changed. And in the midst of this were two truly significant conjunctions: Jupiter conjunct Uranus and Chiron conjunct Neptune. The first happens every 14 years, and the second, approximately every 60 years.

Jupiter-Uranus often comes with technological breakthroughs. That’s hard to measure now, since life is one giant techno trip. This environment is largely invisible; we don’t see it for what it is. Imagine traveling back in time to 2000 and handing someone an iPhone. I admit they’re cool—but I’ll call something a breakthrough when (for example) it looks like cheap solar panels on my roof. To give one example of how this aspect can work, in 1969, a year oddly parallel to 2010 but in an opposite universe, we had the Moon landing, the debut of the Concord (supersonic air travel, cheap if you valued your time at about $3,000 an hour), and the first flight of the 747—all within a few months. I’m familiar enough with the history of 1969 to know that it had some dark pots as well: Charles Manson, and Nixon taking office, breathing new life into the Vietnam War, to name two.
We all went through a lot in 2010, particularly from the winter solstice of late 2009 through the autumnal equinox, when the summer of 2010 ended.

Speaking of...

  • Eric Francis Coppolino on the magic carpet ride of the seasons.

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