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).
I had given advance notice about this month's Mercury intersolar cycle as the harbinger of "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)." The news of the month has been replete with strike reports from all over the place - more than I've seen in months, I must say.
This particular intersolar and retrograde seems to have been the last straw for a lot of disgruntled workers here and there around the world. In Guinea, a week-long trade unions strike that started on February 27 reduced the normally bustling capital Conakry to a hush. On Monday March 6, the hard-pressed government capitulated, committing to wage increases. That same day in the US, hundreds of steelworkers went on strike at two steel plants in Chicago and one in Burns Harbor, IN. The very next day, Chicago Transit Authority union workers voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike against the nation's second-largest transit system; and north of the border in Ontario, more than 150,000 college students were without classes after their professors went on strike; while in Wales, up to 5,000 university professors across the country joined a one-day UK-wide strike for higher wages. (I had specifically mentioned teachers as a target zone during this cycle, you will recall.)
There's a strong theme of health care workers with grievances in the current round of labor strife. At the same time the trade unions were on strike in Guinea, hospital workers were on strike in the East Bay area of northern California. When they tried to return to work on Tuesday the 7th, they were locked out. Doctors in Mumbai, India were also on strike, having entered the eighth day of their walkout on March 8. They were joined in their action by doctors from Nagpur, who walked out in solidarity with their colleagues in Mumbai.
Strikes aside, those "other disruptions" that I warned would be affecting such transportation infrastructure as "mass transit, trucking, airline, shipping, dock and warehouse workers" etc. have sure made a ton of headlines. The Dubai Ports World flap is the most obvious example there. This is foolishness at best, and cynical manipulation of the American public by its leaders at worst. Shades of Smoot-Hawley . . . which, incidentally, was all the rage on Capitol Hill during the Mercury intersolar phase of June, 1930. The Smoot-Hawley Act went down in history as one of the causes of the Great Depression, and the Dubai Ports World hysteria threatens to rise to the same level of dangerous insanity. Americans are not alone in their stupidity on this count: a rising tide of protectionism can be seen in Europe as well lately.
The DPW disgrace aside, another disruption hit right where I said - in the airline system. It happened on the 7th, when a computer glitch knocked out radar signals over the New York metropolitan area, shutting down air traffic for nearly a half hour at the three major airports there while creating delays and aerial gridlock as far away as Chicago. I had said that "computer network disruptions caused by hacker attacks, software vulnerabilities and the like" could wreak havoc during this month's intersolar cycle, and airline schedules were skewered indeed. The glitch created delays of up to an hour at New York and New Jersey airports, officials said. The FAA claimed that a software malfunction created the problem, while local air traffic controllers blamed the FAA for upgrading its existing computer system too quickly. (How like a Mercury retro situation: people can't even agree on the cause of the snafu.) Ironically, back in July last year, a blown circuit breaker caused a two-hour power outage at Newark Liberty International Airport control tower, with FAA and union officials differing on how well the back-up system worked and whether the incident caused flight delays. And - you guessed it - Mercury went intersolar in July too. Amazing? No, just par for the course.
Incidentally, you may recall I had mentioned that geomagnetic storms would be something to watch for during the Mercury intersolar cycle, as these can play a part in infrastructure disruptions. Sure enough, a solar wind stream hit Earth on March 18th, sparking a geomagnetic storm and auroras over northern US states such as Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan.
I had mentioned in my forecast that the March 14 lunar eclipse presaged "heavy precipitation and unusually high tides . . . notable seismic activity (Richter 5+ quakes, as well as volcanic eruptions and powerful electrical storms . . . from the 11th through the 17th." A prime example was the line of storms that moved through the US southern Plains into the Ohio Valley on the 12th and 13th. Swarms of tornadoes spawned by the storms killed at least ten people, and forced the closure of the University of Kansas. At about the same time, southeastern Europe was hammered by killer storms and heavy rainfall. In the Romanian capital Bucharest, a teenager was killed and two were injured Monday when a tree uprooted by a strong wind, fell on them. Uprooted trees also damaged about 50 cars in the Romanian capital; and in the rest of the country, over 300 towns were without electricity and dozens of roads were shut, due to strong snowfall and storms.
As killer storms were pounding southeastern Europe and the central US, a series of strong earthquakes began shaking the remote New Zealand Kermadec islands group on the 12th. Days of temblors were followed on Friday the 17th by the eruption of a volcano on Raoul Island, killing one worker and forcing the evacuation of the rest. Indonesia's Mt. Merapi volcano was stirring as well. Authorities issued an alert to residents living near the volcano on the densely-populated island of Java island, after a series of 180 tremors were recorded in the vicinity of the 2,911 meter peak.
A couple days after the New Zealand volcanic activity started, an earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale rocked Indonesia's Maluku islands and triggered a small tsunami that killed at least two people and left three missing. It happened on Tuesday the 14th, and sent waves as high as five meters crashing through several villages on Buru Island, destroying more than a hundred homes and damaging hundreds more.
What turned out to be the big news during the March 11-17 geophysical storm window was Cyclone Larry, which formed in the Coral Sea early on the morning of the 18th, local time - the 17th in Universal Time (the time standard used in my forecasts, as noted). Larry quickly grew into one of the most powerful cyclones to hit Australia in decades, tearing into the northern city of Cairns on Monday with winds of up to 290 kph (180 mph), ripping roofs off houses, uprooting trees and flattening crops. There were no reports of deaths, but authorities said about 30 people had received minor injuries. The eye of Cyclone Larry crossed the coast just south of Cairns, the sugar-growing town of Innisfail taking the maximum-category five storm's full force as it left a trail of destruction along 300 km. of coast. "It looks like an atomic bomb has hit the place," according to one local official.
The March 21 to April 5 geophysical stress window centered on the March 29 SuperMoon solar eclipse has so far come through just as I predicted it would in my 2006 World Forecast Highlights (published last year in hard copy and online), as well as in my online March forecast: "powerful storms, tidal surges, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions." The Fiji Islands were hit by a strong Richter-6 earthquake on the 23rd. Another Richter 6 temblor jolted southern Iran on the 25th, flattening buildings and knocking down power lines in the town of Fin. Western Japan was struck by an earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale on the 27th. Hardest hit of all was Iran, where scores of people were killed and over 1,200 people were injured in a series of quakes starting on the night of the 30th, and culminating with a Richter 6.0 temblor on the 31st.
On the weather front, a rare spring tornado hit Hamburg, Germany on the 27th, killing two people and knocking out power to several hundred thousand residents. Three days later Cyclone Glenda lashed the northwest coast of Australia with Category 4 winds of up to 235 kmh. And a line of storms moved through the US Midwest on the 31st, spawning tornadoes that left several people injured and thousands without power in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska. Heavily damaged Montgomery County in southeastern Kansas was declared a disaster area.