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Shades of Feminine 

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Eclipses always represent an acceleration of karma, and can come with the feeling of drawing back a veil. What emerged in the news throughout May - the exposure of the torture, rape, and murder of Iraqi detainees - fits the imagery and feeling of the total lunar eclipse in Scorpio early in the month. People tracking the astrology will note that the eclipse occurred on the Moon's south node, wherein lies the story of the past, in this case the history of control and death trips associated with this war and every war. Under the spell of the eclipse, nothing could contain it.

I am impressed at the speed with which this information has come out. We started with a morally reprehensible war prosecuted by an illegitimate President and his sick war-hawk "advisors" - his bosses, obviously. In the space of a year, the whole thing was revealed to be a lie, just as layer after layer of the September 11 lie simultaneously emerged. Remember those hearings that unfolded as the April 19 eclipse of the Sun drew near?

I am satisfied that the truth is out. We know about Halliburton's $3 billion contract and how for all practical purposes they are running the war on the ground. We know that after stealing the election the Bush administration made a valiant and ultimately successful attempt to ignore the well-documented terrorist threat. We know the invasion of Iraq was spoken of openly in the first days of the administration. We now know that torture of conquered Iraqis, so long in the planning, was concealed for many months up to Rumsfeld's level.

All we are missing is the smoking gun that shows that Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Wolfowitz planned the September 11 attacks themselves. We already know that their New American Century position paper, published in the late 1990s and still available online, states clearly that they needed such a cataclysmic event to spark and accelerate their agenda of world domination. We can only be thankful that they have failed. Iraq is a gulag in the midst of an instigated civil war, and the US is a few notches closer to a true-blue police state. But the US, if anything, is less of a world power than it has been for many years.

Venus Trump Card
On June 8, the world will experience an extremely rare astronomical event as Venus passes between Earth and the Sun, making the equivalent of an exact eclipse. Called a "transit," this event last occurred on December 6, 1882. No living human has witnessed this event, and no living astrologer has felt its effects.

The Venus transit is the astrological trump card of the year, and perhaps a defining event of our lifetime. Arriving as it does in the midst of the Iraq torture scandal and in the lead-in to the US political conventions, the Olympics, and the US presidential election - interestingly, Tony Blair being up for re-election as well - we would do well to consider this particular sign. My take is that the global events surrounding the Venus transit may not look so exciting, but that what we are seeing is an actual awareness-raising and healing process that is making the reality of war painfully obvious to millions of people like never before.

Let's have a look at this aspect and see if we can read its message, or tune into its potential. Some say astrology works by the Sun projecting the energies of the planets. Now imagine Venus, the planet of love, sex, beauty, and abundance - and the planet of women - passing exactly in front of the Sun like a lens, and pouring across the Earth the concentrated rays of the Goddess.

The last time this happened, we saw the spontaneous creation of the "New Woman," who demanded careers and public roles. "Frequently unmarried, often living with other women, they were associated with educational and political reform, the medical and legal professions, journalism, the arts, and literature," writes the Reader's Companion to US Women's History. In the US and New Zealand, this began the era when the Suffrage movements triumphed - though it took a while longer in here.

And it occurred during the reign of Britain's longest ruling monarch, the beloved Queen Victoria; in our own times, Queen Elizabeth II is serving one of the longest reigns in British history. Though we may not see it today, this is a historic moment for women, and there are signs of progress. In parts of the Arab world, women are raising their voices in a way never before seen under Islam. In the States, lesbians (and gays) are winning the right to marry.

This transit will get results that may reach far beyond what we commonly think of as social issues. In the world of the male right to make endless war, the Venus transit is deeply welcomed news. With all astrology, we have the ability to "program" the event, that is, to see and experience its meaning as a turning point and an opportunity for personal growth, and put it to work for us.

Talk, talk, talk
Spatially the transit means that Venus passes exactly between Earth and the Sun, showering the world with the hot rays of the Goddess. As I said, this is an extremely rare astronomical event. What's unusual to astronomy has high impact in astrology. Looking at the front pages at the newsstands, I'm sure you'll agree we would benefit from the love and compassion that Venus can deliver. The forces of war, greed, and conflict seem to be having their way with us, but there are signs that the tide is turning, first and foremost in the emergence of information, which falls under the general heading of Gemini, where the Venus transit occurs.

Information about what? Well, it looks like about war, but there is another side to the equation. With Venus so strongly present, we have access to information about sex, values, feelings, and receptivity. We deal with these mathematics everyday but generally don't think about it.

We live in a world where war is considered good and sex is considered bad. It's acceptable to exploit women's bodies while avoiding discussions of pleasure. In this environment, pleasure becomes the "moral" issue and violence is treated with a blasé attitude. Many people recognize this hypocrisy but few see the obvious connection between suppressing sex and spurring of aggression.

Gemini governs language, communication, and ideas. It's also the sign associated with the Tarot trump card, The Lovers. I propose that the Venus transit is telling us that the climate is excellent for a sexual revolution, beginning with honest discussion of sex. If the truth is coming out about war, we can be pretty sure that the "life" side of the "life-death" polarity wants to be seen as well.

Every revolution begins with words, and the new sexual revolution will begin when we can speak to one another about sex and pleasure in straight talk. Most of us lack the words to describe how we feel about erotic desires; fewer still have the courage to ask for what we need. Too many relationships are based on what is not said. Honestly now - most people are positively terrified of discussing sex and all its associated emotions.

I'm an advocate of sexual literacy. Reading about sex is a fine starting point; it reminds us that sex is normal, and it really makes discussion easier. We need to be able to speak openly with friends, with lovers, and, most important, with our kids. The world still has a policy of lying to children about sex - mostly through secrets, silence, and disinformation disguised as "religion" - and it's a very mean thing we do. The cause is typically adults' fear of speaking truthfully to their own children.

People have a lot of high-minded ideas about how we're going to rid the world of war, violence, and the devastation of the Earth's environment. Yet in all the years of open discussions about social causes, painfully few have acknowledged there's an issue connected with denial of sex and pleasure. Given how abused sex is and how often it's mixed with violence, we have some healing work to do. And I can assure you that it's possible to go your entire life without opening those doors and paying attention to what's really troubling us. But it's also possible to help yourself, to reach out, to learn, to grow and to love. I have said before that Venus is the most intelligent planet; this is mere common sense.

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