If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget about it. This is real astrology for the real world. If it's real astrology for yourself that you want, you can get it by phone or in print. And if you need help deciphering the astrological glyphs in the graphics accompanying this article, see Astroglyphs: Astrological Symbols Guide. Please note: this forecast is expressed in terms of Universal Time (UT).
Take good care of your future, because that's where you're going to spend the rest of your life.
-- Charles Kettering
Four main celestial themes dominate the month of September: the year's signature Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune T-square (within degrees of exact from late July into October), a pair of eclipses (one of them a SuperMoon), a peak in lunar declination, and Mars. All four are continuations of sky patterns very much in play for much of this year, and particularly since July. Look back on the news of the last couple of months, and you've got a pretty good idea of what to expect: huge storms, significant seismic activity (including powerful earthquakes and volcanic eruptions); and, on the human scale, spasms in the fabric of civilization that run the gamut from military and paramilitary (including terrorist) threats and attacks, to seize-ups in financial, political and cultural institutions.
Don't be unduly alarmed. After all, these things will directly and drastically affect only a very small portion of humanity, relatively speaking. (All else being equal, the unprepared are always hardest hit.) In any case it's not as if it all happens on the same day, either: it's a process, already in effect for months now and continuing for some time to come. So don't freak out, but don't somnambulate either.
The last major challenging Mars aspects of 2006 occur this month, so we're in the home stretch for now. (The Mars action really heats up next year.) Headlines for the last few months (corresponding to a string of notable Mars configurations in the sky) have been typical for this kind of celestial pattern: extremes of action, aggression, conflict and confrontation at all levels of human experience, from the individual to the collective. Recklessness, rage, impatience, intolerance and other brutish facets of human nature come to the fore under September's Mars alignments. Fires, explosions, oil and chemical spills, crashes, crime and military or paramilitary threats and strikes (including terrorism) will make even more headlines than usual this month. Tools, weapons and machinery are always dangerous in the hands of the careless, let alone the brutish - and this month, that's more a concern than usual.
If you've been nominally conscious in August, you've seen plenty of these Mars accoutrements: plane and train and ship crashes, fires and explosions, and various and sundry shooting sprees from the personal to the international. Be alert and cautious, steer clear of danger and conflict as much as possible - and otherwise, go in as well prepared as you possibly can. Recognize the potential for aggravation and conflict, try to stay cool and focused, and don't let your guard down. Always remember the first rule of gun safety: don't get shot. Also the second rule: never shoot unless you have to; and if you must shoot, aim for dead center in the chest. (Don't even think about trying one of those Lone Ranger-type "wing 'em" trick shots.)
All things considered, it looks to me as though September is not quite the raging case of Mars madness evidenced in July and August - e.g. the Israeli-Hezbollah war, the Comair crash, the Egyptian train wreck, etc. It's more in the way of a diluted expression of same - intense now and then, off and on the whole month long, not continuous day in and day out. Times to watch for martial outbreaks and other dangers as described above will tend to focus around the 6th (Mars arrives at 29° Virgo, the degree of the September 22, 2006 solar eclipse), the 15th (Mercury conjunct Mars), and the 23rd (the Moon aligns with Mars as the Red Planet reaches 10° Libra, the degree of the October 3, 2005 solar eclipse). A word to the wise: don't make a fetish of these exact dates, because Mars will be within a few degrees of the aforementioned sensitive spots for about a week before and after its precise passage over them. In other words, don't get tunnel vision about a particular date; keep your eyes open and stay sharp coming and going.
Newsrooms follow the "if it bleeds, it leads" principle, by and large; which is to say, take care of the Mars stuff first. Mars stuff is for the most part due to human malice or carelessness, a notable exception being the occasional fire due to natural causes. Mother Nature hardly concentrates on killing and maiming people the way people do, but her rampages more than make up in power what they lack in malice. With the Moon at or near the peak of its declination extremes all year, 2006 has seen plenty of powerful storms and seismic upheaval. We're coming into an especially active period in September, what with the eclipses on the 7th (a SuperMoon) and the 22nd, plus the lunar declination extremes on the 2nd, 15th and 29th.
The September 7 SuperMoon (perigee-syzygy) partial lunar eclipse will be visible in its entirety from east Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, most of Asia, much of the South Pacific and Western Australia. This eclipse's geocosmic risk window extends from the 4th through the 10th, and it's sandwiched right between a pair of strong storm and seismic indicators on the 2nd and the 15th (the Moon's south and north declination extremes, respectively). Moreover, the September 22 annular solar eclipse opens up a wider geocosmic stress zone that runs from the 13th through the end of the month, and includes the year's highest north (on the 15th) and south (on the 29th) lunar declination extremes. (These two tie the marks set on March 22 and April 4.) This same period sees the year's emblematic T-square drawing to within a few degrees of exact all around - and in the same degrees (though different signs) as the eclipse. All things considered, September looks unusually active on the storm and seismic front, and the SuperMoon partial lunar eclipse on the 7th appears to set the wrecking ball in motion.
Being planetary in scale, there's no place on Earth beyond the reach of at least some of the SuperMoon arsenal. Obviously the extreme tidal surges and high surf will only be an immediate problem in coastal areas, and moderate to severe (Richter 5 and up) earthquakes and volcanic eruptions aren't going to happen except in fault zones and in the vicinity of volcanoes. But dangerous weather can strike with high winds and and/or heavy precipitation virtually anywhere on the planet. So be alert, even if you don't live in the eclipse's zone of visibility - and maybe especially if you live under one of the sensitive astro-locality lines for the September 7 eclipse. These include a number of pole to pole north-south lines: one running through Mexico City in the western hemisphere and Delhi in the east, another through British Columbia in the west and Tehran in the east, a third through Chicago in the west and western Mongolia in the east, and a fourth through Rio de Janeiro in the west and Japan, Indonesia and Australia (around Alice Springs) in the east. There's also a series of danger arcs, one sweeping northeasterly from San Francisco up through Edmonton, across central Greenland, and then turning southeasterly to cross Scandinavia and pass through eastern Europe, Turkey and the Middle East, across the Horn of Africa and Madagascar; another through Rio de Janeiro (crossing the Jupiter meridian line there), sweeping northeasterly from there to pass offshore of Scandinavia and then turn southeasterly to pass down through Russia, eastern China, North Korea, southern Japan, Papua New Guinea and eastern Australia; and finally an arc from west Africa through Spain and England, across the Arctic and down through New Zealand.
The crust, sea and skies of Planet Earth won't settle down much in September, what with the annular solar eclipse on the 22nd, which occurs within hours of the autumnal equinox and therefore features the Moon crossing the celestial equator (in this case, from north to south). The geocosmic stress window of this eclipse stretches from the 13th through the end of the month, includes one of the year's highest lunar declination extremes, and occurs as the year's emblematic T-square remains within a few degrees of exact all around. You should know the drill by now: get ready for strong storms with high winds and/or heavy precipitation (in some cases causing flooding, mudslides, avalanches and the like), maximal tidal surges and heavy surf along the coasts, and moderate to severe (Richter 5+) disturbances in seismically active regions - including volcanic eruptions. Being planetary in scale, there's no place on Planet Earth beyond the reach of one or more of these phenomena. The risk may be heightened in the areas where the eclipse is visible, which is limited to northern South America in terms of land masses where the full annular eclipse is visible.
Other risk zones suggested by astro-locality mapping the September 22 solar eclipse include a number of pole to pole north-south zones: one from the Bering Straits in the eastern hemisphere to western Europe and west central Africa in the west; another running from San Salvador through New Orleans and Chicago in the west and Dhaka, Bangladesh in the east; another from the Yukon and British Columbia in the western hemisphere, through Japan, Papua New Guinea and Melbourne in the east. Alaska and the Aleutians are under another danger arc, which sweeps across Madagascar and up through the Middle East and Central Asia; another such arc runs over Argentina and Brazil, crosses the Atlantic and comes down through eastern China, Indonesia and eastern Australia; and finally, there's a Mars horizon line that arcs over Quito, Panama City, eastern Cuba, Washington DC and Quebec in the Americas, crossing Russia, central Mongolia and China to pass through Bangkok, Malaysia and western Indonesia in the eastern hemisphere.
The main event in the September sky is 2006's signature T-square configuration, Jupiter in Scorpio squaring the Saturn-Neptune opposition from Leo to Aquarius. It's a pattern that continues slipping into place all month, like some gestalt in a kaleidoscope. Saturn's opposition to Neptune became exact on August 31, and remains within three degrees throughout September. Jupiter's square to Neptune becomes exact on the 24th, remaining within a few degrees from early September into early October. As I've already indicated, this is an historic celestial configuration, the likes of which hasn't been seen since 535-536. And it doesn't betoken a single, snap event that makes headlines for a single day. Rather it signifies a broad process which is already underway and will continue on into next year. This means that there's a range of things you can expect from it this month, all of which is part and parcel of a trend that's already in progress.
For example, my June forecast spoke of "shaky equity and commodity markets - although oil does well, especially around the 19th - continue this month, the turnaround coming only when Jupiter goes direct. This actually happens in July, but the Giant Planet is within a fraction of a degree of its turnaround in late June." From June through August, there was indeed a turnaround in the major equity markets, although it was temporarily reversed in July at the outset of the latest Middle East mess. With Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune all now closing in on their T-square configuration, I figure the party's over sometime in September. Now's the time to take profits and move into commodities again - the metals in general and the precious metals in particular, as I advised last year.
The markets are only one quantifiable expression of the historic social, cultural and political realignments signified by the Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune T-square, now building on the momentum which has been accelerating for the last couple of months. I've already described this T-square in some detail, and I won't repeat myself here. Suffice it to say that we're in the midst of a configuration unseen in some 1,500 years. Last time saw climate upheaval and a global power shift as great empires went into decay. We're only about a third of the way into the current shift. It will take a dozen or more years - probably until the 2020 Great Chronocrator (Jupiter-Saturn conjunction) - for this process to work itself out. So don't look for the world to change in an instant. Rather than a sudden collapse, it's more like a settling. The soufflé goes flat not all at once, but gradually. Look around you, and say it isn't so.
SPECIAL FEATURE: This month's birthdays of the famous and infamous (with astrological birth charts)