Four Seasons | Monthly Forecast | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
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Four Seasons 

Last Updated: 08/13/2013 4:14 pm

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.

What we think of (or, for many people, do their best to ignore) as the news went wild: One of the first events of the year was the earthquake in Haiti, which happened in the midst of a massive Capricorn alignment. The confirmed death toll from an event lasting about a minute was 230,000—one of the most deadly quakes in recorded history. Obviously, the problems in Haiti are not over. They began long before the quake, and an island with next to no resources—and the very place where Columbus “discovered” America—was laid to ruins and had to begin rebuilding itself.

Eleven days later, the United States experienced a legal earthquake that hardly anyone noticed: The Supreme Court voted 5-4 in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission to allow PACs and other organizations to air electioneering advertisements anonymously and with no limit on spending. To paraphrase Keith Olbermann, this is a ruling that says the freedoms inherent in the First Amendment allow you to gut and destroy the First Amendment at will. He rated it as the worst judgment by the Supreme Court since the Dred Scott decision, which held that a black person can never be a citizen—and which led to the Civil War.
This was followed the next month by another quake in Chile, which triggered tsunamis throughout the Pacific. At 8.8 magnitude, it was one of the most powerful quakes on record.

In April, the Earth continued to speak when a volcano in Iceland erupting during Mercury retrograde disrupt air traffic throughout the world. I think this is a good reminder of how little it takes to disrupt so much. People were stranded for weeks in odd corners of the world, waiting for the dust to settle so they could take an airplane home.

Also in April, a quake in Qinhai, China, killed 2,000 people. And the entire Polish government, including President Lech Kazcynski, was killed in an air crash.

The same month brought the BP oil spill—one of those eminently preventable disasters compounded by the mix of greed, corporate domination (BP seemed to be leasing the whole Gulf from the US government, complete with the right to control the Coast Guard, and shoo away regulators and the media), lack of oversight, and total incompetence, all resulting in nearly 90 days of oil gushing into the sensitive Gulf Coast environment. Instead of watching scratchy video images of men hopping around on the Moon, we looked at video of the Earth bleeding into Gulf waters for three months.

This was right around when a bunch of miners got caught underground in Chile and an international drilling team set about the project of getting them out: Two big drilling projects were under way at the same time—relief wells in the Gulf, and a rescue shaft in Chile.

Right when the oil stopped flowing, the midterm election season began and the drama shifted from the physical world to the psychological world. As the economic recovery seemed to take forever in the United States, voters directed their anger at Democrats, while Republican politicians directed their anger at Mexicans, gay and lesbian people, Muslims, the poor, and the elderly. We saw the rise of the Tea Party, a repackaged form of neoconservatism, promising to roll back health industry reform, repeal the minimum wage, and pass an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment. They say they’re for smaller, less invasive government—yet 71 candidates from the Tea Bag movement openly supported criminalizing abortion even in the case of rape and incest. Budget cutters and deficit spending opponents support extending tax cuts for the richest 2 percent of Americans, which would cost the treasury hundreds of billions of dollars in the next decade.

Earlier in the year, I described 2010 as an anti-Sixties moment. Now it’s cool and groovy to be a killjoy “conservative” and you’re supposed to run scared or shut up if you’re a “liberal.” It’s time we eliminate or redefine these terms, and use concepts that are more descriptive of who we are. Do you respect your neighbor’s privacy? Do you believe we would be happier treating the Earth a little more gently? Do you believe everyone has a responsibility to pay our fair share of the costs of society?

When you think of the grand cross in the cardinal signs, remember this confluence of events. Notice how many involve the energy of Pluto in Capricorn—a focus on events deep beneath the Earth, or involving the structure of society.

I am sure we have many parallel stories from the inner worlds of our personal lives, following many of the same themes of restructuring, going deep into the nature of existence, or being forced by circumstances to make changes. Many people are feeling the lack of opportunity presented by the economic situation—and many are going deep into their personal resources, making long overdue decisions about how to change and re-create their lives.

This is the time of year when I spend a couple of months considering the astrology of the next four seasons. I prepare annual readings for the 12 signs, which have a distinctly internal quality: In that branch of my astrology, I am concerned almost exclusively with the internal weather. (In the January edition of Chronogram I will have a preview of my findings.) The task is always ominous because I am aware how sensitive people are to the astrological changes that come and go so rapidly, and how little we know about how to put those movements to work for us.

I can tell you this. The focus of 2011 is twofold. Part one is reconnecting with an inner intuitive sense that will guide us through the next wave of changes (which are focused on June 2012). Pisces, the most creative and intuitive sign, comes under new transits: Chiron shows up to stay for eight years, and Neptune makes its first visit in more than 150 years.

Part two is that we are deeply and dearly needing to revise our notion of what it means to be a “self.” This is a concept that goes unquestioned, as we tend to focus mainly on survival and immediate gratification. Think of all the energy we spend worrying about the bills and putting things into our mouths: And behold, how far past these things does your self-concept actually go? I mean actually and really?

If you define your existence as creative person, as healer, as participant in planetary change, as one helping to create the next generation, as someone who is in business that is in effect creating the future, where does your concept of self fit into the process of what you do?

We’re all aware that there is a kind of revolution happening in the structure of the world, though it looks like a revolution of the privileged and the powerful, defending their wealth and influence. We’ve only seen the first of many upheavals and changes that societies around the globe are going to go through. But for the next four seasons, the emphasis is on what it means to be human in the midst of all these changes. It’s like we’re about to be seized by a culture-wide experience of individuation that gradually drives itself in the direction of the corporate and government revolution, and there is a kind of collision between the individual and the institutional. There, we’re a bit ahead of ourselves: That’s the topic of 2012 rather than 2011. For now, the theme is waking up.

For more information about Eric Francis Coppolino’s extended 2011 forecasts, please check out Don’t forget the hyphen!

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