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© 2010 by Richard Nolle
last revised JAN 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.

We surely know by some nameless instinct more about our futures than we think we know.
-- Arthur Conan Doyle

Synodic Cycle of MarsJanuary won’t leave the stage as February tries to make its big entrance. The Mars Max cycle that began back in September and came into its peak last month is still going strong the whole month long. To top it off, the Red Planet spends the last ten days of the month within just a few degrees of its March 10 direct station. It all adds up to a guarantee that the lion won’t be lying down with the lamb anytime soon. You knew that already. But did you know . . .

Heat, fire, danger and conflict literally and figuratively are abundant all month under the aegis of the Mars Maximum. Elevated tension levels make for the kind of atmosphere that cultivates inflamed passions, hot tempers and rash, even violent action - from interpersonal violence including school and workplace shootings and mass murder to spree killings. This operates at the collective as well as the individual level; which means that terrorist atrocities and international tensions ranging from saber-rattling all the way to military conflict will remain much in the news, as they have since the current Mars Maximum began in September.

This peak is far from passed. The Red Planet remains very near its late January perigee (close approach to Earth) all month long: still big and bright in the sky, as well as in human consciousness. If anything, there’s an up-tick in Mars manifestations late in the month, as the Red Planet retrogrades to within a few degrees of its March 10 direct station at 0° Leo. Be safety-conscious, do your best to avoid or resolve conflict. Otherwise, keep the first aid kit handy, and don’t forget the number for 911 . . . maybe especially if you were born under significant 0° Leo-Aquarius stuff.

The Red Planet ruckus is astronomical in scale, involving as it does whole planets. So don’t think you can escape it by hanging out in a safe house somewhere. Safety is more a state of awareness than say, a state (like Illinois or Punjab, for example). Looking at the January 29 Sun-Mars alignment as the heart of the matter, an astro-locality map for that very moment may suggest some hot zones for the Mars Max phenomenon. India, Pakistan and Afghanistan fall right under the Mars meridian line for the Mars Max peak cycle. The Rocky Mountains from Canada into the US (along with western Mexico) are on the Mars anti-meridian. These are some but not all of the focal zones for the alignment – the Mars horizon arc sweeps northeasterly between Adelaide and Melbourne, for example - and they may well be focal points for some of its more dramatic manifestations. Well, they have been already: the suicide bombings and drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the drug wars in Mexico . . . it gets worse before it gets better.

MAR 10, 2010 Mars Station (Direct)But there are a great many other Mars moments in the cycle as a whole, and so these won’t be the only locales in the Red Planet crosshairs. Take, for example, the March 10 Mars direct station. The astro-locality signature for this event features a Mars meridian/anti-meridian presence on a longitudinal line running through eastern Iran in the eastern hemisphere, and Los Angeles in the west. A simultaneous Mars horizon arc passes northeasterly across central Australia and over Papua New Guinea to cross the Pacific and emerge over Alaska; turning southeasterly over northern Canada to sweep across Quebec and Newfoundland before setting out to sea in the Atlantic. Again: while these zones may be in some sense singled out by the Mars station, the whole of Planet Earth is its stage.

As I’ve said before, apart from the direct impact of the fires, clashes, crashes and explosions that are par for the course under this sort of Mars close pass, some such incidents can raise the possibility of a disruption in the oil and natural gas supply chain and other industries - which in turn can shock the financial markets and set investors and institutions in a mad dash for the exits. The fact that Iran’s nuclear standoff was emphasized when the current Mars cycle began probably indicates that it will play a part in disruptions to the petroleum economy and financial system in general. Just days after the Mars perigee, the US announced plans to speed up the deployment of anti-missile batteries around Iran: the 21st Century equivalent of saber-rattling. China is rattling sabers of its own at the same time, announcing sanctions in response to American arms sales to Taiwan; which sales Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi describes as having "damaged China’s national security".

Mars Max is the close pass between Mars and Earth, the cycle when all things relating to the Red Planet grow in our lives as the planet itself grows bigger and brighter in our skies at night. This isn’t happening only ‘out there’ in the heavens or in the sphere of geopolitics. It’s also taking place within us and in the people around us. Again, look to the headlines from the last couple months to get your bearings. Human viciousness is never in terribly short supply, but nobody not in a coma can fail to recognize that depravity is especially abundant since the current Mars Max cycle got underway.

JAN 31, 2010 Saturn-Pluto Square (Waning)Saturn dallies within a degree of its January 13 retrograde station at 4° 39’ Libra for the whole of February; likewise its January 31 waning (270°) square to Pluto from the same degree. So what I wrote about these January sky signs applies to all of February: "Lots of good-byes, hard choices (often with little choice at all), and settling of accounts. Nobody ends up happy in most of these situations. Not a good time to be a miner, or a chemical worker; and likely a heavy load on health care workers, for some reason. Best strategy: reduce vulnerability to loss as much as possible. Relax, it doesn’t stay this way forever . . . the Venus-Jupiter alignment coming in February will be a welcome antidote. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a world class disaster. Keep your head down and slog through it." (The whole month falls under these configurations; the Moon-Saturn conjunction on the 3rd may be a tipping point.)

The last time Saturn squared Pluto, we had the Dubai debt default, and global markets had a fit. We’ve already seen major equity markets drop significantly around the world in January, coincident with this alignment (and per my forecast). Honduras declared national bankruptcy in late January, and the Euro zone PIGS (Portugal, Italy/Ireland, Greece and Spain) have been teetering for some time now. Another similar shock can’t be ruled out as the quadrature continues in force this month: a big bank, maybe even the central bank of an entire country (which is to say, a national bankruptcy), is certainly a possibility. Also large government agencies and corporations, local and regional governments, a sovereign wealth fund perhaps . . . you get the picture. Admittedly, these are extreme examples – far from certainties just yet, but far from impossible too. I know lots of people like to crank up the drama at times like this, but I’m sanguine. This isn’t the end of days, it’s just another settling of the soufflé. (See my 2010 World Forecast Highlights for a longer term perspective.)

One sign that February brings only a swoon rather than a collapse are the many hazy, dreamy, illusory Neptune factors at work on-and-off throughout the February sky, from the conjunction with Venus on the 8th, to the alignment with the Sun on the 14th and with Mercury on the 27th. And then there’s February’s crowning glory, the Venus-Jupiter conjunction on the 17th. These are very strong suggestions that denial isn’t just a river in Egypt. No matter how scary or dismal things might get, geopolitically under the aegis of Mars Max or financially under the auspices of Saturn’s station squaring Pluto, there remains enough hope and belief that the system which gave us this disaster may yet be saved. Go figure.

FEB 17, 2010 Venus-Jupiter ConjunctionIn the meantime, make hay while the sun shines – as it most especially does around mid-month, when the Venus-Jupiter conjunction at 7° Pisces heralds a time of romance, sympathy and good cheer in abundance. A Valentine’s Day party, a charitable cause, an intimate tête-à-tête, one helluva Mardi Gras – it’s all appropriate to the February 17 Venus-Jupiter conjunction, which is within a few degrees of exact from the 13th through the 20th. An abundance of fun, an excess of good spirits, a general carnival atmosphere . . . and probably a pop in the equity markets on good news relating to petroleum, health care, pharmaceuticals and the entertainment industry. Movies, music, musicals, meds and make-believe . . .

Bear in mind that we’re still under some pretty strong geocosmic storm and seismic signals this month, particularly at the beginning and end. The January 30 SuperMoon lingers, though only through the 2nd, a sign that February has a stormy, rumbly start . . . and finish too, what with another SuperMoon on the 28th. Between the 7.2-magnitude that hit the Solomon Islands on January 4, and the 7.0 that ravaged Haiti on the 12th, you can get some idea of what to expect in early and late February, under the SuperMoons of January 30 and February 28.

My 2009 World Forecast Highlights made mention of a strong storm and seismic potential for "December 28 into early January 2010," with a map showing a danger zone sweeping "northeasterly across southeastern Australia" – which is right where the Solomon Islands lies, and right where the magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit on January 4. Solar eclipses come with wider risk windows, which is why my 2010 World Forecast Highlights described the January 15 eclipse as having "an effective shock window that runs from the 8th through the 22nd, in terms of its connection with disturbances in the skies, seas and crust of our home planet. (Significant storms and seismic activity are likely.)" A 7.0-magnitude quake practically destroyed Haiti on January 12.

JAN 30, 2010 Full Moon (SuperMoon)Curious: my 2010 World Forecast Highlights mentions Jupiter’s alignment with Neptune at the time of the January 15 eclipse. Look at the astro-locality map for that event, and what do you see? It’s a Jupiter line running right over the island of Hispaniola, which Haiti of course shares with the Dominican Republic.

For the first couple days of February, under the remnants of the January 30 SuperMoon full moon, expect an increase in coastal flooding due to higher than usual tides, a gaggle of strong storms with high winds and heavy precipitation (triggering inland flooding), and of course an up-tick in moderate to severe seismic activity (including magnitude 5+ earthquakes as well as volcanic eruptions). We’ve already seen a rash of 5+ temblors during the January 27-February 2 SuperMoon shock window: a 5.8 on the South Mid-Atlantic Ridge and a 5.9 in the Philippines on the 27th, a 5.9 in Argentina on the 28th, a 5.3 in Chile and a 5.2 in Sichuan, China on the 30th, etc. And then there’s been flooding in Bolivia and Brazil due to heavy rains, and a monster winter storm in the eastern US . . .

The geophysical stuff aside, blood runs hot under a SuperMoon like this, what with the Venus-Mars opposition still lingering, so there will be no shortage of storms in the human psyche in the first few days of February as well; which is why the potential for terrorist attacks and military conflict will be running fairly high.

FEB 28, 2010 Full Moon (SuperMoon)I’ve already explained that no place on Earth is beyond the range of a SuperMoon, so it wouldn’t hurt to make ready wherever you are or plan to be during the tail end of this SuperMoon risk window. Still, astro-locality mapping suggests that higher risk sectors align with longitudinal zones running from the US Midwest down through the Yucatan Peninsula and up through Canada, passing over the poles to cross through Russia, western China and eastern India. Horizon arcs sweep northeasterly through west Africa and southeastern Europe, crossing northern Russia and turning southeasterly over Kamchatka to cross out into the open Pacific Ocean. (If that Jupiter thing is still working as it did in Haiti, then there’s a longitudinal arc running midway between Hong Kong and Hanoi that’s worth a look, along with a western hemisphere counterpart that runs from western South America up through Hispaniola and out through Quebec. Again, I’m not saying that life is so safe as to be boring outside these indicated special risk zones; only that some of the more newsworthy events of the day will have ties to these locales.

The February 28 SuperMoon full moon at 9° 59' Virgo points to another newsworthy upsurge in moderate-to-severe seismic activity (including magnitude 5+ earthquakes and volcanic eruptions), plus strong storms with damaging winds and heavy precipitation; along with extreme high tides. In effect from February 25 through March 3, and happening within sixteen hours of the Moon’s southward crossing of the celestial equator, this looks mostly like a storm and flood indicator – probably not on a par the January alignment, but noteworthy in its own right. It’s global in scope by definition, but astro-locality mapping suggests a few special vulnerabilities for the February 28 SuperMoon alignment. These include longitudinal risk zones running from Hong Kong down through Perth in the eastern hemisphere, and from Newfoundland down through west-central South America in the western hemisphere. There’s also a Mars horizon arc of note, along the eastern coast of Australia from Brisbane to Melbourne; as well as a longitudinal Mars zone pretty much centered on Delhi. With the Sun conjunct Jupiter at the time of this SuperMoon, any Jupiter effect (if there is one) is subsumed in the aforementioned zones. (Note to Haiti-Dominican Republic watchers: the Sun-Jupiter line that runs from Newfoundland down through western South America just kisses the coast of Hispaniola.)

While SuperMoon windows at the beginning and end of February represent the most significant geophysical risk cycles of the month, there are a few others worth watching. These additional storm and seismic signals are in effect from the 7th through the 9th (surrounding the lunar south declination extreme on the 8th), and the 11th through the 17th (centered on the new moon on the 14th). Fresh batteries and bottled water aren’t such a bad idea . . .

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