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© 2005 by Richard Nolle
last revised UT 21:37 JUL 31, 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).

Let him who would enjoy a good future waste none of his present.
-- Roger Babson

JUL 21 SuperMoon Full MoonThe powerful storms and earthquakes of July echo into August, which features another SuperMoon. Like its July 21 predecessor, the August 19 Full Moon SuperMoon is especially significant: it's the third closest approach (perigee) Luna makes to Earth all year. (July's SuperMoon full moon was the second closest perigee.) From Hurricane Emily in the western hemisphere, to Typhoon Haitang and the historic Indian monsoons in the east, July's SuperMoon storms are a good gauge of what to expect this month, particularly during August 14-23 risk window surrounding the SuperMoon on the 19th. And don't forget the elevated seismic risk associated with the SuperMoon. (More on that later.)

Great tides stirring in the seas, crust and atmosphere of Planet Earth are far from the whole story this month. Despite the indisputable fact that storms and earthquakes killed and injured many times the number of people victimized by terrorist atrocities last month, the Islamist murder cult remains front and center in the news. It is to the Islamic world what rock 'n' roll in its heyday was to the Western world: a pop culture movement. The Islamist death cult won't be defeated, it will only be outgrown. Murderous Irish Catholic terrorists, who all along had the good sense not to blow themselves up with their intended victims, recently demonstrated the ability to learn from the revulsion generated by the Muslim suicide bombers: you don't win friends and influence people by blowing up innocent civilians. Will the angry young men of the mudrasas learn that lesson as quickly as the IRA men? If so, figure on at least ten more years of this depravity - and probably a bit longer. The IRA was formed under a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in 1969, the same year Yasser Arafat took control of the PLO; which was shortly after Jupiter aligned with Pluto (October 1968) and while Uranus and Pluto were still within ten degrees of their 1965-1966 mid-Virgo conjunction.

Incidentally, rock 'n' roll came to national attention in the US during the 1955-1956 Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in Leo, which coincided with: the release of the film Blackboard Jungle (featuring the Bill Haley and the Comets' song "Rock Around the Clock"), RCA signing Elvis Presley, and the Everly Brothers first studio recordings. Despite the "rock 'n' roll will never die" sentiments so loudly proclaimed over the years, the musical movement arguably came to an end as an authentic cultural impulse sometime around the time of the 1968 Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in Virgo.

Determining the alpha point of the current Islamist death cult is not easy. Certainly it manifested in 1983 (the Beirut and Kuwait City suicide bomb attacks, as Jupiter aligned with Uranus), and was going strong by 1993 (as Uranus aligned with Neptune the month the World Trade Center was the target of a truckbomb attack). A case can be made that it traces back to 1968, a year with a Jupiter-Pluto conjunction and Uranus still within several degrees of its 1965-1966 conjunction with Pluto. The rage that gave birth to the IRA and PLO the following year had to be burning strong already in 1968. Sirhan Sirhan expressed it by assassinating Robert Kennedy in '68. The student riots in Chicago, Mexico City and Paris, and the civil rights march in Derry, Northern Ireland: all happened in 1968, and all were met with more or less brutal repression. The details are diverse, but the principle is plain: repression begets alienation, which leads to brutal action.

From the PLO in the Middle East to the Red Brigades and IRA in Europe to the Black Panthers and Weather Underground in the US, the 1968 conjunction was followed by outraged people banding together to wage war on their enemies without quarter. The fact remains that the aggrieved parties went demonic at the point they decided that noncombatants were legitimate targets. Arafat's dead, the IRA has declared its own decommissioning, and the student radicals of the 1960s are buying Ensure and Depends by the case at Costco. Only the Islamist death cult that grew out of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war grows and prospers. Why? Because it's a popular culture movement, like rock 'n' roll. It works on a principle of adoration and imitation. It needs no leaders, no recruiters. And its adherents proclaim that jihad will never die, echoing the rockers of times gone by. It'll die though, just like rock 'n' roll, and for the same reason: because the day inevitably comes when it's no longer fashionable or relevant. Until then, jihadists will exult and feel righteous and justified in their hateful, murderous death cult.

Having said all that, it's time to consider this month. In my 2005 World Forecast Highlights, published last year, I had written that terrorist attacks and military clashes on the collective level, as well as accidents and violence at the individual level (not to mention fires and explosions of various origin) were to be expected several days either side of the July 10 and 27 Mars-eclipse passages. The bad news is now history, from the 7/7 London mass transit bombs to the suicide bomb slaughter at Sharm el-Sheik on the 23rd. Which makes the other Mars eclipse alignment mentioned in my forecast something to watch for this month; namely August 6, the day Mars crosses the degree of the October 28, 2004 lunar eclipse at 5° Taurus.

Given that this is a big world and that the jihadists can strike practically anywhere, all any of us can do as individuals is to follow the standard advice the authorities give us: Be safety conscious, stay aware of your surroundings. It is a suspicious irony that London and Sharm el-Sheik were near Sun lines in the Astro*Carto*Graphy maps for the July 10 and 27 Mars-eclipse transits, respectively. In that light, the Sun line passing over southern Japan and central Australia in the August 6 Mars-eclipse transit may look suspicious; or the Mars line over Boston, for that matter. But I wouldn't make too much of it. There's no place the Islamist death cultists won't attack if it suits their purpose, no one they won't kill as an ends to their means.

Bear in mind that, while terror attacks tend to get all the headlines, there's a lot more to these Mars alignments. At the collective level, the several days before and after the August 6 Red Planet eclipse activation will up the ante for military conflict, riots, revolution and the like. Fires, explosions, crashes and other mishaps tend toward the spectacular at times like this. And on the personal level, it's a good idea to steer clear of trouble as much as possible; to be aware that conflict has a way of getting out of hand before you know it. So make it a point to drive defensively, stay alert, and keep your cool as best you can in early August.

Mercury's Synodic CycleAnd then there's Mercury's intersolar cycle. It began when the little planet reached maximum elongation east of the Sun on July 9, and lasts until it reaches maximum western elongation on August 23. Included in this Mercury phase - in which Mercury is on the same side of the Sun as Earth - is the Mercury retrograde of legend, when the little planet appears to move backwards in the sky as seen from our home planet. Mercury's current retrograde began at 20° 28' Leo on July 23, and continues until the direct station at 8° 45' Leo on August 16. Everyone will experience this cycle, but people whose natal charts feature prominent placements in early to mid Leo and Aquarius will be subject to an extra dose, so to speak. While all of August up until the western elongation on the 23rd will be marked by Mercury's prominence, the retrograde phase (through the 16th) will likely be most noticeable; along with a period a few days either way of August 2 (Mercury opposite Neptune at 16° 23' Leo-Aquarius) and 5 (Mercury's inferior conjunction with the Sun at 13° 37' Leo), the 16th (Mercury's direct station at 8° 45' Leo), and the 23rd (when Mercury reaches maximum elongation west of the Sun) and 26th (Mercury again opposing Neptune, this time at 15° 43' Leo-Aquarius).

Knowing what to expect during this cycle is simpler once you realize what it is: Mercury and Earth on the same side of the Sun. All things Mercurial take on a greater importance at times like this: commerce, communication; the transmission of information, ideas and energy; transportation, planning and research - to name some of the more prominent representations. People who focus on these things, who throw themselves into them, will prosper thereby. Anyone who doesn't pay attention to these phenomena will likely get screwed up in the process. So keep your eye on the prize, your full attention on what you're doing. Have your backups and backup plans ready. Take nothing for granted, and follow up on everything. And then double-check it again. Very little goes right without more or less constant supervision at times like this. And given that the human attention span is so easily thrown off track, be prepared for infrastructure breakdowns like power blackouts, communication outages, computer network failures and transportation tie-ups. Even geomagnetic storms and solar activity are likely to get into the act. Most of us will muddle through the August 1-23 Mercury intersolar phase, but those who know what to expect can actually prosper in it.

AUG 5 New MoonApart from all the Mercury and Mars stuff, August has storm signals of the literal variety as well. The month opens with an elevated risk of strong storms with heavy precipitation and high winds, plus moderate to severe seismic activity. It starts with the Moon reaching maximum declination north of the equator on the 1st, intensifies with the new moon on the 5th (conjunct Mercury), and doesn't wind down until after the 10th (following the Moon's southward crossing of the celestial equator on the 9th). Have your foul weather plans and gear ready, be prepared for weather delays if traveling, and if you'll be in a seismically active area during the period, don't be surprised if you feel the earth move under your feet.

Being planetary in scale, there's no place on Earth beyond the reach of the elevated storm and seismic risk factors in effect August 1-10. That said, astro-locality mapping points out a few possible special risk zones. These include central Australia, eastern Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan; eastern Europe and the Middle East plus Scotland and Iceland, the Low Countries, and Germany. In the New World, special vulnerabilities are associated with Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, western Canada, and all of California; also the western Gulf of Mexico, south and north Atlantic coasts of North America, plus the eastern Caribbean and the north Atlantic coast of South America, and an arc from just east of Caracas down through just east of Buenos Aires. Just to be perfectly clear, I'm not saying that these are the only areas of risk August 1-10. But if you'll be in one of these zones, being prepared is an especially good idea.

After a period of relatively normal storm and seismic activity, the next turbulent phase begins late on the 14th, in advance of the Moon reaching maximum declination south of the celestial equator on the 16th. And that's just the start, because the full moon on the 19th, the third closest SuperMoon of the year, picks up where the declination extreme leaves off and then carries on through the northward lunar equatorial crossing on the 22nd. So it's not until after the 24th that a more ordinary condition prevails where the tides stirring Earth's crust, oceans and atmosphere are concerned. (Although there is a brief resurgence of the turbulence from the 27th through the 30th, as the Moon reaches peak declination north of the celestial equator.)

AUG 19 SuperMoon Full MoonLike its July 21st predecessor, this SuperMoon occurs during a Mercury intersolar cycle - in an especially sensitive spot in fact, within just a few days of Mercury's direct station on the 16th. So once again, the infrastructure of information, commerce and electrical connections is susceptible to disruption owing to natural calamities. What kind of natural calamities? The usual SuperMoon suspects: powerful storms with heavy precipitation and destructive winds, tidal flooding along the coasts, inland flooding and mudslides due to the aforementioned precipitation; and moderate to severe seismic activity, including Richter 5+ quakes and possible tsunamis resulting therefrom, as well as volcanic eruptions. Expect news of these things to surge during the August 14-24 SuperMoon window, and make sensible plans and preparations: allow for weather-related delays if traveling (or expecting someone who is), have your household and auto emergency kits checked out and ready just in case, keep an eye on the sky and stay tuned to your weather and emergency information media. Remember that power outages are a distinct possibility, and plan accordingly. While any of us anywhere could find ourselves facing real danger during the indicated period - this phenomenon is cosmic in natural and planetary in scope, after all - most of us will only experience such things second-hand through the news of the day. So make your preparations and stay alert, just to be on the safe side. Then just go about your business: that's the smart strategy.

The planetary scope of the SuperMoon situation notwithstanding, astro-locality mapping suggests a few zones which may be at special risk from tides, storms and seismic activity during the August 16-22 period. Among these is a longitudinal arc running through Ontario, the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Valley, into the Gulf of Mexico and across the Yucatan Peninsula into Central America, and on through the South Pacific. The same arc runs across the other side of the globe, cutting through eastern Russia, western Mongolia, China and Myanmar out into the Indian Ocean, sweeping just off the northwest coast of Indonesia. The entire Rocky Mountain chain lies under another pole to pole arc that clips the south tip of the Baja Peninsula, emerging on the other side of the world to pass over Tashkent and Kabul southward into the Indian Ocean. And then there's the Mars horizon, arcing northeasterly from the South Pacific across central Mexico, grazing Dallas and Minneapolis and then crossing western Ontario and the Hudson Bay; the same line then skims the northern Scandinavia coast to cross the Urals and swing down through Afghanistan and Pakistan before passing over the India Ocean. Another planetary horizon of note in this connection is Saturn's, which crosses from northwestern Africa into western and northern Europe (skimming Madrid, Paris, Copenhagen and Stockholm along the way), swinging across northern Russia and then southeasterly down through Hokkaido across the Pacific to New Zealand. And finally there's the solunar horizon, which runs northwesterly from Lagos on the west African coast up through Tripoli and across the Mediterranean to southern Italy, widening a bit as it heads further north to cut a swath that takes in Rome, Vienna, Warsaw and St. Petersburg.

Last but not least is a celestial factor which, while not being exact until September 2, is really felt throughout August. I'm referring to the direct station that ends Pluto's long cycle of apparent backwards motion in the sky as seen from Earth. The Pluto retrograde began on March 27, and the faraway ice world remains within a degree of its September 2 station at 21° 49' Sagittarius throughout the month of August. Coinciding with the September 1 Sun-Uranus opposition and Venus-Jupiter conjunction, this particular Pluto station looks like the herald of some major profit taking in the financial markets. The old saw about "buy on the rumor, sell on the news" seems appropriate here - only in this case, the news shakes confidence, and might turn out to be just a rumor anyway. It's hard to pin down an exact date for this, given that Pluto is within a degree of its station point throughout August. But the end of the month looks far more likely than the beginning. Which makes late August look more and more like a good time to be on the sidelines, in cash (with a stake in precious metals).

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