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© 2010 by Richard Nolle
last revised MAR 31, 2010

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). Also please be aware that, while I never change a forecast once it's published, I do post errata to acknowledge typographical errors and the like.

Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.
-- Oscar Wilde

MAR 30, 2010 Full MoonThe Mars Max cycle continues, Pluto goes retrograde, a new Mercury Max cycle sets in, and Saturn makes the fourth of its five oppositions to Uranus . . . Eliot’s memorable phrase about April being "the cruellest month" has entered the language for reasons literal as well as poetic, it seems to me. Let us savor the poetry, and the beauty that always accompanies April. Let us also recognize that beauty is all the more precious precisely because it is fleeting and fragile. That’s why April is the cruellest month.

March might come in like a lion and go out like a lamb some years – but not 2010. For one thing, storm surges in the air, sea and crust of Planet Earth from late March carry into early April – specifically through April 5, as mentioned in last month’s forecast: "The storms and seismic action (and in this case, tidal surges too) during this period are very nearly SuperMoon-class, what with the lunar perigee and southward crossing of the celestial equator both taking place on the 28th, just two days before the full moon on the 30th" . . . and then there’s the Moon’s April 4 south declination extreme bringing up the rear.

These are the very kind of solar, lunar and terrestrial configurations that signal an increase in newsworthy storms with high winds and heavy precipitation (and subsequent flooding); as well as an up-tick in notable seismic activity, including magnitude 5+ earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Being planetary in scale, this combination of celestial factors is planet-wide in scope. So no matter where you are or will be during the early April geocosmic stress window, it’s not a bad idea to be prepared for heavy weather at least. Still, as I mentioned in last month’s forecast, astro-locality mapping the March 30 full moon, the anchor for this period, shows some special risk zones, including a longitudinal vulnerability running from Adelaide-Melbourne up through Tokyo in the east, across the pole and down across central Greenland and eastern Brazil. I’d also keep an eye on the Sun-Moon horizon arc running through the Middle East (touching Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Turkey), across western Russia and the north of Greenland, and down through Canada, the Pacific Northwest and California – including Vancouver, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

APR 6, 2010 Pluto Station (Retrograde)Pluto’s retrograde station is exact on the 6th, but it’s been within a fractional degree of this point throughout the whole of March – and continues to linger within a half degree well into May. It’s a foreshadowing of the summer T-Squares. For now, it’s rumors and threats of conspiracies and power plays, criminal enterprises and market manipulation . . . These are the themes that lurk just below the headlines, except for the occasional break-out story that ends up going nowhere beyond stimulating a lot of suspicions. It’s enough to preserve a general market (and macroeconomic) trend that looks range-bound with a slight upward bias – until about May, or summer at the latest, when the next panic will likely rear its head.

With the Mars Max still running all month – and the Red Planet starting up a series of strong aspects to President Obama’s chart that will carry through on-and-off from spring into summer – there’s still a lot of tension and even outright danger in the air throughout April. I’ve already described the astronomy and history of this cycle, so I won’t repeat myself here. Suffice it to say that the current Mars Max began on September 23, 2009, when the Red Planet’s daily motion through Earth’s sky dropped below its mean motion for the first time since April, 2008. This relative slow-down was the precursor to the Red Planet retrograde that began on December 20, 2009 and ended on March 10, 2010; as well as the beginning of the biennial Mars perigee phase, as Mars and our home planet made their close approach during the full moon Sun-Mars opposition on January 29, 2010.

President Barack ObamaWith Mars bigger and brighter in the sky, all things pertaining to Mars loom larger and larger in human experience during this period: haste, heat, fire, danger and conflict - literally and figuratively - are more and more on the rise during the Mars Maximum that holds sway into late May, 2010 (the 25th). This means a spike across the whole spectrum of violence, from the individual to the collective, from school and workplace violence to mass murder and spree killings all the way to suicide bombings and other terrorist atrocities. Criminality, terrorism and military conflict are never rare, but they’ve been looming larger and larger in the news since late September 2009, and will continue apace into May of 2010.

From international saber-rattling over Iran’s nuclear program starting with the disclosure of the secret nuclear facility on the day the cycle began, there’s been a steady drumbeat of tension, conflict, murder and mayhem during the current Mars Max. Examples range from the Fort Hood massacre and the Christmas Day suicide bomber attack on a Northwest airliner, to the February 12 start of the major offensive in Afghanistan (one of the target zones right under Mars, as mentioned in my 2010 forecast) and the ongoing carnage in Mexico (another of the target zones mentioned in the 2010 forecast). On the same day the Afghan campaign began, there was the mass murder at the University of Alabama Hunstville (UAH); later that month came a kamikaze attack on the IRS office in Austin TX. (In both these latter two instances, the perpetrator was actually born under a Mars Max.) More recently, there was the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel on March 26, and the female suicide bomber attacks on the Moscow subway system on March 29. Ironically, the very first female suicide bomber attack on the Moscow subway took place in July 2003 – during a previous Mars Max cycle. And likewise the Korean War began under a Mars Max as well. You just can’t make this stuff up.

APR 18, 2010 Mercury Station (Retrograde)The lion doesn’t lay down with the lamb the day Mars Max ends – far from it. After all, there’s a Mars-Saturn conjunction coming up this summer, when the major alignments of the year all happen at once. Mars Max doesn’t produce violence and tension, nor do these things vanish from human experience as the Red Planet recedes from Earth. All I’m saying is, while Mars is in its close approach phase, it behooves us to watch our step and beat our swords into plowshares – holding a few in reserve just in case. This isn’t over until May 25, so stay sharp! (Most especially, I should think, around the 22nd when the Moon aligns with Mars and the Lyrids blaze forth, as well as the 25th and 28th. More particularly, President Obama's security detail might want to be extra vigilant around late April into early May, what with the Mars Max transit across the Sun in his natal chart then.)

Another close approach cycle begins as evening star Mercury reaches its maximum declination east of the Sun on the 8th, the start of a Mercury Max that includes the April 18-May 11 retrograde and the April 28 inferior conjunction, and concludes with the May 26 western elongation maximum. Here again, I have already described this cycle in detail, so I won’t belabor the point. Suffice it to say that Mercury's intersolar (Max) phase is a time for focus, concentration, planning, follow-through and communication - all the qualities of the active and involved mind. In case you haven't noticed, most people are not especially alert and focused most of the time. When this kind of sleepwalking runs into Mercury's Max cycle, with its focus on mental acuity, it doesn't take long for things to go awry. If you're sharp and focused and alert, you can avoid a certain amount of this mess. In fact, you can even prosper by concentrating on tasks that center on thought, planning and communication. But you'll still have to dodge all the chaos created by all the sleepwalkers.

Among the sort of things to be ready for during the current Mercury Max cycle: strikes and other disruptions affecting transportation and communication (e.g. postal, phone, mass transit, trucking, airline, shipping, dock and warehouse workers, teachers and all manner of media). Weather both terrestrial and solar (including geomagnetic storms) can play a part in the kind of breakdowns described here, but human effort (and sometimes malicious action) is a part of the mix as well. Power failures due to infrastructure breakdown and computer network disruptions caused by hacker attacks, software vulnerabilities and the like are also just a crossed wire or a keystroke away from a major mess at these times.

APR 28, 2010 Full MoonThere’s more in the way of storm and seismic shock windows opening up in the sky later this month. One of these is in effect from April 10 (in advance of the northward lunar crossing of the celestial equator on the 11th) through the new moon on the 14th to a day past the Moon’s maximum northern declination on the 18th: April 10-19, in other words. Expect the usual: an up-tick in newsworthy storms and seismic activity (including magnitude 5+ earthquakes and volcanic eruptions). While I’d be surprised if any of this rivals the SuperMoon and eclipse upheavals earlier in the year, the constructions of humankind are notoriously vulnerable to the ravages of nature. And since this occurs after the start of the Mercury Max cycle, it behooves us all to make arrangements as best we can for disruptions that play havoc with airline schedules, highway traffic, shipping and infrastructure (including power, water and communications). Solar and geomagnetic disturbances often figure into snafus of this sort.

As always, alignments of this type – even declination extremes and crossings are alignments – are planetary in scale and scope; so no place on Earth is invulnerable during this period. Some areas of special risk may be suggested by astro-locality mapping, but these are at best zones of special rather than exclusive vulnerability. They include the longitudinal meridian and anti-meridian Sun-Moon lines, running through western Europe and Africa and over the poles across Siberia and through the Pacific Ocean to cross New Zealand. There’s also a Sun-Moon horizon arc sweeping southeasterly through Alaska and the western US and Canada across central Mexico (almost directly through Mexico City), across the South Atlantic to turn northeasterly and across eastern India and western China.

Although none of it rises to the level of an eclipse (like the one accompanying the Haiti earthquake) or even a SuperMoon (like the one that timed the Chile earthquake), there is a combination of factors extending from late April into early May that bears watching. It starts on the 23rd, in advance of the lunar perigee (closest approach to Earth) on the 24th and the Moon’s southward crossing of the celestial equator on the 25th. This is followed in short order by the full moon at 8 Scorpio on the 28th, and then the Moon reaching maximum declination south of the equator on the 1st. Add it all up, and you get a series of geocosmic shock signals extending from April 23 into May 2.

APR 26, 2010 Saturn-Uranus OppositionWhile the level of atmospheric and seismic disturbances during this period looks to be higher than normal, it’s probably not catastrophic on the scale of a Hurricane Katrina or a Haiti earthquake. Expect strong storms (high winds, heavy precipitation and the resultant damage including flooding), plus moderate-to-severe earthquakes (magnitude 5+) and volcanic eruptions to make the news, and be ready just in case. As always, the configuration is planetary in scale, and planet-wide in scope. That said, astro-locality suggests a focus on the Pacific Ocean (centered along the longitude of New Zealand) and the western part of Europe and Africa; as well as a pole-to-pole line from Chicago in the New World to Bangkok in the Old, and a horizon arc that sweeps northeasterly through Tibet, along the Pacific coast of Canada down through Mexico City and the southern tip of South America. (Burma, Bangladesh and Tibet as well as western China are emphasized by the parans of Mars, Mercury, and the Sun and Moon.)

Bear in mind that it doesn’t take a SuperMoon or an eclipse to time some pretty noteworthy disturbances in what Ptolemy called the sublunar world. The Soufriere Hills volcano on the West Indies island of Montserrat erupted spectacularly on February 11, during one of the storm and seismic risk periods mentioned in my forecast for that month ("the 11th through the 17th"). Likewise, Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano began its eruption on March 21, during one of the risk windows identified in my forecast for that month ("the 21st through the 23rd" – remember, my forecasts are for Universal Time). The former eruption took place during the new moon period for February, the latter occurred within a day of the Moon’s north declination extreme for March.

This same geophysical risk period comes as the biggest event in the sky this month is lining up; namely the Saturn-Uranus opposition. It’s the fourth in the quintuple series of this alignment, which began in the fall of 2008 (as the world financial system came within an inch of collapse), and concludes this summer. The combination of lunar factors, the Mars and Mercury Maxima and the Saturn-Uranus alignment make the end of April look like higher drama than we’ve seen in a few months. Late May (the first Jupiter-Saturn opposition) into summer (particularly July and August, as the Jupiter-Pluto-Saturn T-Square forms up) are far more critical than this end of April dust-up. But watch carefully, and you’ll see the outlines of the political and financial crises waiting in the wings. This is a scare, a geopolitical event conducive of panic attacks more than actual apocalypse . . . terrorist attacks, military and paramilitary skirmishes, threats to international commerce fit the pattern, which stops short of actual Armageddon.

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