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).
In case you haven't noticed, January's headlines are right on track with my forecast for the month so far. Back in November, in writing my December forecast, I spoke of "several cycles of heightened potential for strong storms as well as moderate to severe earthquakes (Richter 5 and up) and volcanic eruptions," among them a "period of major turbulence, extending from the 28th on into early January - until early on the 7th." Sure enough, January has opened up with notable storm and seismic disturbances. Northern California started the New year with heavy rain (eleven inches in two days in some areas) and floods (the Russian River crested ten feet above flood stage). Mud and debris also covered the streets of downtown Napa, where officials estimated about 1,000 homes and an unknown number of businesses had flooded, as well as thousands of acres of rural land in the county.
From there, the storm moved into the Rocky Mountains on Sunday as a blizzard, complicating rescue efforts after an avalanche near Rocky Mountain National Park killed two snowmobilers. At the same time, halfway 'round the world, the season's heaviest rain and snow lashed Pakistan's earthquake-hit areas, grounding helicopter aid flights and deepening the misery of survivors who huddled around campfires to keep warm. A Richter 5.8 earthquake rattled Indonesia's tsunami-ravaged Aceh province on Sunday the 1st as well. And then the rains came - days and days of deluge from the skies. All of this on just the first day of the month!
On the 2nd, A Richter 7.3 earthquake struck six miles deep in the seabed near the South Sandwich Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean. Overnight rains triggered flash floods that swept away hundreds houses and schools in central Indonesia early Monday, killing scores of people. This was followed by another landslide on Wednesday the 4th, burying an entire village in the Central Java province. Hundreds were missing and feared dead. Meanwhile, 75 miles south of Homer, Alaska, the Augustine volcano was active the whole first week of the year, with a series of small steam explosions and small ash bursts coming from the summit. (More on that later . . .)
The storm and seismic stuff wasn't the only story in early January. I had explained how most of the month would have "a surplus of Mars energy," and that this is a sign to "watch for arguments, crimes of violence, crashes, fires and military conflict to make even more headlines than usual during this cycle." The wildfires that scorched farms and fields and burned down entire towns in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico sent hundreds of people fleeing for their lives on January 1-2. It was Monday the 2nd when a fire and explosion trapped thirteen coal miners in Tallmansville, WV: twelve dead, one in a coma. Another fire of note broke out in 100-foot-high pile of hurricane debris in the hard-hit Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans on Friday the 13th. This was followed on the 16th by a spectacular diesel fuel tanker truck accident in Queens, NY: the truck overturned and caught fire on a major city highway, blocking traffic and interrupting subway service.
In the crimes of violence arena, a couple hundred Palestinian policemen, firing into the air as they ran through the streets, stormed government offices in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on Monday the 2nd, "to protest at the failure of the Palestinian Authority to fight growing lawlessness." You cant make this stuff up. Here in the States, discharging a firearm into the air is a felony in most jurisdictions, because we have the good sense and civility to recognize that what goes up must come down - and when it's a lead projectile, it can kill people. Apparently in Gaza, cops can riot and smash windows and shoot to protest lawlessness - and endanger the public with deadly force in the process. This is Mars madness at its finest! Any culture that embraces celebratory gunfire is: a) criminal, b) callously negligent, c) just plain st00pid, d) all the above.
Of course the bloody suicide bombers and their ilk have been up to their usual in Iraq. It's always Mars madness there. But it has intensified this month. For example, there were over 180 people - most of them unarmed civilians - killed by the insurgents on January 4 and 5. News reports called it "a dramatic upsurge in bloodshed following the Dec. 15 parliamentary elections." Not to be left too far in the dust, a suicide bomber killed ten people and wounded 50 more when he blew himself up in Afghanistan on Thursday the 5th. This was followed on the 9th by a pair of suicide bombers, who blew up themselves and at least fourteen others in a ceremony at Iraq's Interior Ministry in Baghdad on Monday the 9th. Again not to be outdone, a couple of Taliban suicide bombers took more than two dozen lives in two separate attacks in southern Afghanistan on January 15-16.
Islamist suicide bombers may do more of it than your run of the mill vicious killers, but they're not alone in the current rash of Mars madness. Consider the teenage thugs who took baseball bats to innocent homeless folks in Florida, sending several to hospital and one to the morgue. It happened on Thursday the 12th in Ft. Lauderdale. The next day, still in Florida (near Orlando this time), a 15-year-old student was shot dead by police in a school bathroom while brandishing what appeared to be a semiautomatic pistol - but turned out to be a pellet gun. And then there was the parade in New Orleans on Monday the 16th, that ended up with three people wounded by gunfire from an unknown assailant. Celebratory gunfire? More Mars madness, that's for sure.