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© 2005 by Richard Nolle
last revised UT 23:08 JUN 30, 2005

If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget it. This is real astrology. See the section above. 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).

The present is the ever moving shadow that divides yesterday from tomorrow.
-- Frank Lloyd Wright

JUL 21 SuperMoon Full MoonThere'll be storm warnings aplenty in July, what with the second closest SuperMoon of the year weighing in on the 21st: the moon rises full that night, but storm-scattered clouds will obscure the view along many miles of shoreline; and great gale-driven tidal surges will send lots of people scurrying for cover anyway. Not that you have to live near the sea to experience this SuperMoon, which will raise high tides in Earth's crust and atmosphere as well as in the oceans: big storms, big earthquakes, big volcanic eruptions from the 18th through the 27th, and especially around the 19th, 21st and 25th. SuperMoon, for the benefit of the newcomers, is a word I coined for my 1979 article in Dell Publishing Company's HOROSCOPE magazine, wherein I predicted Savannah, Georgia getting hit by a hurricane on September 6, 1979. (That issue was on the stands six weeks before Hurricane David hit Savannah on September 6.) The term denotes a new or full moon (syzygy) which occurs when the Moon is at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth (perigee).

Saturn enters Leo this month, on the 16th to be precise: the first time the Ringed Planet holds forth in Leo since its September, 1975 to July, 1978 transit - a sojourn which was interrupted by lapses into the previous (Cancer) and succeeding (Virgo) signs from January to June 1976 and November 1977 to January 1978 respectively. The current Leo sojourn will be continuous, diluted neither by retrograde forays into the preceding sign nor tentative advances into the next followed by regression. It starts on July 16, 2005 and lasts until September 2, 2007, period: one straightforward and (for Saturn) relatively quick sign transit, the first of its kind since the July 1858 to August 1860 straight Saturn shot through Leo.

Saturn cycles are generational in nature, given the approximate thirty years it takes for the Ringed Planet to circle the heavens as seen from Earth. Saturn's 1970s transit through Cancer ushered in the Watergate scandal and Nixon resignation (and a runaway gold market), while its 2003-2005 iteration recently saw the self-outing of Watergate mystery man Mark Felt, better known as "Deep Throat" (not to mention a bull market in gold). My point in this brief reminiscence is simply to point out that Saturn's cycles are historical in nature - not personal, like the far briefer cycles of the Sun, Moon and terrestrial planets; but historical, reaching out from one generation to the next and beyond. So don't expect the world to change in an instant when Saturn changes sign on the 16th. Instead, wait and watch for a slow change in the times, the end of one historic cycle and the start of another.

One change that should be noticeable fairly soon is a drop in the price of gold. With Saturn in Cancer these past two years, the US dollar has been hard pressed. (Cancer is a key financial zone in the horoscopes for the US Declaration of Independence and Federal Reserve.) Ever since Saturn's Cancer retrograde ended in March 2005, the dollar has revived somewhat. The combination of a stronger dollar (with Saturn no longer in Cancer) and a reduced demand for gold (Saturn in Leo) should present buying opportunities for gold aficionados. However there are contra-indications where the precious metals are concerned, what with the Moon being near the peak of its declination cycle from the fall of 2005 through the fall of 2006. So what gold price dips do occur will be short term reversals of a longer term upward trend. As I said, buying opportunities . . .

Mercury's Synodic CycleEven more noticeable this month will be the start of Mercury's intersolar cycle, when the little planet is on the same side of the Sun as Earth. It starts on July 9, when Mercury reaches maximum elongation east of the Sun and shines brightly next to Venus in the evening sky. (Look for the Moon and Saturn together with Mercury and Venus in the western sky after sunset on the 8th.) The cycle continues - and, many believe, intensifies - once Mercury turns retrograde at 20° 28' Leo on the 23rd, reversing its normal counterclockwise apparent motion through the heavens. And it lasts well into August, with key points coming around the August 5 Mercury inferior conjunction with the Sun (as Mercury passes directly between Earth and Sun at 13° 37' Leo); the August 16 Mercury direct station (at l8° 45' Leo, the point where apparent retrograde motion ends); and finally the end of the intersolar period on August 23, when Mercury reaches maximum elongation west of the Sun. Other Mercury flash points along the way come around July 13 (Mercury opposite Neptune at 16° 53' Leo-Aquarius) as well as August 2 (ditto, only this time at 16° 23' Leo-Aquarius) and 26 (ditto once more, this time at 15° 43' Leo-Aquarius). Just remember not to make a fetish of precise dates per se, since Mercury alignments are within a few degrees of exact from a few days before to a few days after the actual alignment - and sometimes even longer than that, during the intersolar period.

These are the times to watch, during the July 9 to August 23 Mercury intersolar cycle. What to watch for is an extreme emphasis on all things Mercurial: communication, thought, planning, travel and transport, commerce, and in general all kinds of networks that facilitate the flow of matter and energy from place to place and person to person. Folk astrology warns of Murphy's Law misadventures aplenty during the Mercury retrograde portion (July 23-August 16 this time around) of the little planet's intersolar cycle, but that's only part of the story. Worse, it misses the point: this is a time when thought, communication and all manner of connections are at the heart of human endeavor and experience. Pay attention, stay focused, and Murphy's Law won't be such an issue for you. But take your eye off the ball, and you'll get beaned for sure.

Human nature being what it is, you may as well plan on most people having their minds elsewhere as usual during this transit. Watch out for them, and for heaven's sake don't be one of them! They're the ones who'll get tripped up by Murphy's Law, ensnared in the mess that happens when everything that can go wrong does. And unless you keep focused on what you're doing, they can trip you up. So exercise due caution and diligence, follow up and follow through, and allow for delays caused by people screwing things up. And if along the way you experience power failures, road and airport closures, computer network crashes, security breaches, incompetence and just plain idiocy . . . . well, you know somebody didn't get the memo.

Emphasized by a string of Mercury aspects, and by lingering through July 25 within a degree of the point where it turned retrograde back in May, Neptune is prominent this month. Also emphasized is Uranus, which remains within a degree of its June 14 retrograde station at 10° 46' Pisces throughout all of July. I've already said that Neptune's retrograde station is likely a sign of developments that change the oil price structure. We're conditioned to think of things like this in terms of oil price hikes. But what about a sudden drop? Don't say it couldn't happen . . . but don't expect it to last, either. While there hasn't been any oil price moderation to date, it ain't over 'til it's over. Meanwhile, some of the other trends I associated with the Neptune station have been much in evidence. "Spirituality, piety, other-worldliness, hypocrisy, illusions, delusions and deceptions" were among the themes I forecast for June and July, and you don't have to look any farther than the latest self-righteous Bob Geldof carnival, the hokey Iranian election, the Italian and Spanish referenda, etc. for examples. It is and continues to be, as I said, "the heyday of the crazies and martyrs, the fundamentalists and the politically pure."

Fire, accidents and violence are always the stuff of headlines, and there's plenty of all three off and on throughout July. The Mars-Jupiter alignment of June 26 remains within a few degrees of being exact into early July, after all. Then there are the July 10 and 27 Red Planet eclipse degree transits. As predicted, the June 26 Mars-Jupiter opposition ushered in "wildfires, building conflagrations, fiery crashes and all manner of flaming headlines" as well as "fiery acts by firebrand humans." Watch for these key Mars dates, and you'll see what I mean. (Remember, Mars aspects tend to manifest from a few days before to a few days after their exact alignment.)

Human-caused mayhem is especially deplorable because it's mostly avoidable, if people would only be decent and responsible. Not so the mayhem of Mother Nature. As I hinted at the outset, this is likely to be a big issue this month, what with the full moon SuperMoon at 29° Capricorn on July 21st. It's in effect from the 18th through the 24th - an interval that includes the Moon reaching maximum southern declination on the 19th - and it looks foreboding: a T-Square configuration with Mars in a critical degree of Aries square (90 degree arc to) Saturn and the Sun on one hand, and the Moon on the other (making its second closest approach to Earth all year). There's bound to be plenty of news focusing on powerful storms, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, high tides and inland flooding during this period. Thunderstorms and fires, tornadoes and cyclones, weather-related crashes: all in all, a good time to be cognizant of potential hazards and to take precautions against them as much as possible. Happening as it does during the Mercury intersolar cycle - a few days from Mercury's retrograde station, in fact - disruptions to power, information and transport are highly likely during this SuperMoon window. Severe weather (including cosmic weather, such as solar flares) and other natural calamities are bound to be at the root of much of the mess that happens during this period, but I also see human mistakes and mischief playing an important part.

JUL 6 New MoonOf course this SuperMoon is global in scope, by definition. So no matter where you are July 18-24, be aware of the sky and the land and, if it applies to your situation at the time, the sea. Sometimes it's high ground you want; sometimes it's a good basement. That said, astro-locality analysis does show a number of suspiciously risky-looking places around the time of the July 21 SuperMoon. These include Central America, the Pacific coast of South America, the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, all of Cuba and Florida plus most of the US Southeast and from there northwest along an arc through the Midwest and Alberta into Alaska and across the Bering Strait; thence bending southeasterly out through eastern Siberia down across the Korean Peninsula and the China coast, passing just off the coast of Vietnam and across Indonesia. I see a couple hazardous pole to pole north-south sectors as well, one cutting right through the middle of China and down through Thailand and Indonesia; and another dropping due south from just east of Juneau (passing just west of Honolulu). Last but not least is another longitudinal north-south swath through Stockholm and Vienna down through Capetown.

The SuperMoon on the 21st isn't the geocosmic stress indicator of the month. July 3-9 is bound to witness and uptick in severe storms and moderate to severe seismic activity as well, what with the Moon reaching maximum declination north of the celestial equator on the day before the new moon on the 6th. Another surge of weather and seismic disturbances (the latter including, as always, Richter 5+ quakes as well as volcanic eruptions), is likely from late on the 11th through the 14th, in association with the Moon's southward equatorial crossing on the 13th. Last but not least, after the SuperMoon disturbances described above finally die down, the August 1 north lunar declination maximum of August 1 will start stirring up tides in Earth's crust and atmosphere as well as seas starting on the 31st.

While we're powerless to prevent the kind of natural disturbances described above, it is within our power to mitigate their destructive effects to at least some extent. Keep a weather eye on the sky during the periods indicated above, and check to ensure that you've got weather gear and emergency plans and supplies ready at hand just in case.

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