Every year at this time I'm casting and reading a lot of astrology—a bit more than usual, in preparation for my year-ahead readings. The result is the combination of an annual book of 12 chapters (one per sign and rising sign) and spoken word audio project (about an hour per sign). This year I'm including a CD of drum and synth grooves (intended, in part, as theme music for my sign readings).
By the time I'm done, I have a large stack of scribbled-on charts, which I've translated into astrology readings that actually do what astrology readings are supposed to do—provide you with current information to reflect on, contemplate and guide your life.
Sixteen prior editions still exist and all are available free. If you can't find one you're looking for, write to me.
The astrology of 2016 is the first major turning point after what I've been calling the 2012-era that spanned from 2008 through 2015. Like many new mini-ages of astrology, this one started with great promise—the election of Barack Obama—and it is ending with an extremely tense and apparently worsening world situation.
The most important question for astrology is, what can we learn about how to adapt, survive and hopefully thrive under the new conditions.
Over the next 18 months, several unusual events open up possibilities for outer and inner progress. They also open up the potential for more serious problems. I'll come back to that in a moment.
In this column I don't typically say much about how I do the astrology that you read every month, and I thought I would start there and then move onto descriptions of the most interesting events of the coming year and a half.
One distinction of my work is that I use both classical techniques I've learned from my teachers (among them David Arner, Geoffrey Cornelius, Robert Hand, and Robert Schmidt). Astrology is an art that long predates the Medieval era that it's associated with, and long predates the birth of Jesus. In something as strange and as abstract as astrology, it's essential to have grounding and roots. These I get from working with traditional astrology.
Then I add modern factors to my charts, working with many newly discovered planets, most of them discovered since I was born, and many of them discovered since 1992. With this dual perspective—traditional and modern—I can stay close to astrology's early roots and at the same time bring my work into the contemporary world and frame of mind. You might say that's the secret to my work, in addition to using a lot that I've learned from my life as an investigative reporter.
These newer planets address our modern psychic state: what you might call the borderline state of mind. Centaurs (such as Chiron, Pholus, and Nessus) are planets that cross the orbits of other planets. They are worlds that work the edges of consciousness. They are all named for mythological figures whose stories can modestly be described as intense. But unlike the usual myths, the centaurs are always thrust into human experience rather than godly.
Their stories are not soap operas. Their themes are always about healing and transformation. There's also a realm of planets beyond Neptune, out in what's called the Kuiper Belt and the Scattered Disk. Those include Pluto, 1992 QB1, Varuna, Sedna, and something you've probably heard of, Eris—and it's Eris that factors the most prominently into the astrology of 2016 and 2017.
Saturn in Sagittarius
But first let's look at what's going on with the most important of the traditional planets, Saturn. Saturn, which recently changed signs from Scorpio to Sagittarius, is a kind of baseline of reality. Sagittarius for its part has been the scene of a huge drama the past 20 years or so, starting when Pluto showed up in the mid-1990s. This was the dawning of the era of globalism, world beat and a surge in fundamentalist ideas (in particular, Jewish, Christian, and Islamic).
Same old same old, but all the more appalling since we're supposedly in the Age of Aquarius, where peace and love are supposed to count for something. Today as I write, a lot of people have the feeling that we're watching World War III take shape.
It wasn't just Pluto that churned up all that fundamentalist energy. A series of new planets were discovered, and many of them made a long, slow passage through Sagittarius. You might say this was the unforgettable fire, which recent events in Paris have demonstrated is still burning out of control.