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© 2010 by Richard Nolle
last revised FEB 28, 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.

The future is a convenient place for dreams.
-- Anatole France

FEB 28, 2010 Full Moon (SuperMoon)March opens up in the shadow of the February 28 SuperMoon alignment, which remains in effect until the 3rd as noted in last month’s forecast and the 2010 World Forecast Highlights. As always, this means strong geocosmic storm, seismic and tidal surge signals. For example, take the February 27 8.8-magnitude quake in Chile. This couldn’t have been a complete surprise if you read my 2010 World Forecast Highlights, which advised of a "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." I specified that the alignment would be "in effect from February 25 through March 3," and that it would be "global in scope by definition," but with "special risk zones"including "west-central South America". And then there was the so-called "snow hurricane" in the US Northeast, and the tsunami warnings all across the Pacific in the wake of the Chile quake. It’s all standard SuperMoon stuff – well, maybe a little extreme this time around, what with Sun and Jupiter lined up at one end of the sky and the Moon at the other – but it’s the kind of thing we can expect will continue into the first few days of March.

Aside from the tail end of the February 28 alignment, there are no SuperMoon issues in March; in fact there won’t be another until the new moon SuperMoon at 17° 25’ Leo on August 10. That doesn’t mean there are no geophysical shock windows this month, only that they’re likely to be less extreme than what we’ve seen with the December, January and February SuperMoons.

These additional and probably less threatening March storm and seismic signals are in effect from the 6th through the 9th (centered on the lunar south declination extreme on the 7th), the 12th through the 18th (anchored by the new moon and northward lunar equatorial crossing on the 15th), the 21st through the 23rd (bracketing the Moon’s extreme northern declination on the 22nd). Expect an upsurge in newsworthy storms and seismic activity (including magnitude 5+ earthquakes as well as volcanic eruptions) – but probably nothing on the scale of the SuperMoon stuff.

And then comes what looks like the second most important geocosmic shock window of the month, in effect from the 27th through April 5. The storms and seismic action (and in this case, tidal surges too) during this period are very nearly SuperMoon-class, what with the lunar perigee and southward crossing of the celestial equator both taking place on the 28th, just two days before the full moon on the 30th. The Moon’s April 4 south declination extreme brings up the rear.

MAR 30, 2010 Full MoonRegulars know the drill for these storm and seismic risk periods: check the pantry, the bottled water and the "go bag", make sure the batteries are fresh and the tank is full. Stormy weather can strike anywhere of course, and this combination of celestial factors is planetary in scale and therefore planet-wide in scope. Still, there may be some hints as to areas of special risk associated with this late March-into-early April risk window. Astro-locality mapping the March 30 full moon, the anchor for this period, shows a longitudinal vulnerability running from Adelaide-Melbourne up through Tokyo in the east, across the pole and down across central Greenland and eastern Brazil. I’d also keep an eye on the Sun-Moon horizon arc running through the Middle East (touching Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Turkey), across western Russia and the north of Greenland, and down through Canada, the Pacific Northwest and California – including Vancouver, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

On a more human scale, we may as well get used to it: the Mars Max cycle that began back in September remains in force throughout March – and a couple months beyond. Moreover, the Red Planet spends the whole of the month within a couple degrees of one of the three most significant points in the whole Mars Max phase; namely the direct station, the point where a planet’s apparent retrograde comes to an end.

In practical terms, the meaning of all this Mars Max stuff is fairly direct and to the point. It emphasizes heat, fire, danger and conflict - literally and figuratively. Elevated tension levels, inflamed passions, hot tempers and rash, even violent action are the new normal when Mars is in its close approach to Earth, and that’s the keynote of the whole Mars Max cycle. As I wrote in my February forecast, this ranges "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." What to do? Again, as I wrote in my February forecast, "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."

Synodic Cycle of Mars"If it bleeds, it leads" is more than gallows humor in newsrooms everywhere: it’s a guiding principle. It works because there’s never a shortage of violence, aggression and recklessness in human behavior. That said, there’s a surfeit of such stuff during the Mars Maximum phase. As explained in my 2010 World Forecast Highlights, the current cycle began back on September 23, 2009. Since that time, there’s been a surplus of "if it bleeds, it leads". From the Fort Hood massacre to the Christmas Day suicide bomber attack on a Northwest airliner to the February 12 start of the major offensive in Afghanistan (one of the target zones right under Mars, as mentioned in my 2010 forecast) . . . and more recently, the mass murder at the University of Alabama Hunstville (UAH) and the kamikaze attack on the IRS office in Austin TX. (In both these latter two instances, the perpetrator was actually born under a Mars Max.)

I’m not some witch doctor shaking a chicken foot and mumbling incantations here. This isn’t a mystery. It’s really very simple. Once every couple years or so, Mars makes its close approach to Earth. When it does, the Red Planet looms large in the skies of our home planet, glowing bigger and brighter as the two planets draw closer. This first becomes noticeable around the time the Sun and Mars form their waxing square (90°) as seen from Earth. It peaks as Mars and Earth line up on the same side of the Sun (which puts Mars in opposition to the Sun from the terrestrial perspective). Preceding this peak (January 29, 2010 in the current cycle), Mars comes to an apparent standstill in the sky, and then appears to begin moving backwards (retrograde), as Earth pulls up and then passes the slower moving outer planet. During the current cycle, the Red Planet went retrograde on December 20, 2009. The retrograde phase of the cycle ends (March 10, this time around), whereupon Mars slowly accelerates in apparent motion until it’s back up to its mean motion - roughly at the time of the Sun-Mars waning square (270°).

I mention the waxing and waning Sun-Mars squares as approximate markers for the beginning and end of the Mars Maximum because that’s all they are; approximations. This phenomenon is no more about aspects per se than it is about retrogradation. Even though certain Sun-Mars aspects approximate its alpha and omega (the squares), as well as its peak (the opposition), traditional aspects only roughly coincide with the cycle. And even though a retrograde Mars is always a Mars Max, Mars Max is not always a retrograde; there’s a lot more to it than just a reversal in apparent motion. Mars Max is about the relationship between Earth and Mars. The animation accompanying of this article illustrates this, and it’s explained in detail in my 2010 World Forecast Highlights.

MAR 10, 2010 Mars Station (Direct)As I’ve said before, 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 aforementioned major offensive in Marjah, the drug wars in Mexico (which prompted a State Department advisory warning Americans to stay out of that country) . . . it gets worse before it gets better.

But there are other significant 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.

It’s worth remembering – again, as I’ve said before - that 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".

President Barack ObamaThe world includes individual human beings of course, and Mars Max finds expression in this link in the chain of being as well - not just on the macro level, the collective. During this Red Planet cycle, it behooves each and every one of us to be aware of heightened aggression and recklessness – in ourselves and in the people around us. In other words, cultivate calm, deflect rather than engage hostility. Be safety-conscious, especially when tools, weapons or machinery are in your hands – or in the hands of others who are reckless or hostile. As the referee always cautions the boxers at the beginning of every fight, "Protect yourselves at all times." And this goes double if you have important points in your natal horoscope that happen to be in the early Leo-Aquarius polarity; like President Obama, for example, who was born with Mercury at 2° Leo (opposite Jupiter at his birth).

Prof. Amy Bishop I don’t mean to give the impression that Mars Max is only important to people whose natal charts emphasize certain degrees. Your chart may be clear, while the person driving the car about to sideswipe you in traffic or run you down in a crosswalk may have Mars Max factors galore. Take, for example, the case of Amy Bishop, the professor who opened fire on her colleagues at the University of Alabama Huntsville on February 12, killing three and wounding three. This mass murder was happening at the same time as the major offensive in Afghanistan - both occuring under the Mars Max, and both exactly the kind of thing I had predicted. Here's the hidden twist: Professor Bishop not only shot her colleagues dead under a Mars Max, she was born under one too: on April 24, 1965 in Braintree MA. (Date and place from a variety of published sources, including the Boston Herald and the UAH website.) The 1964-1965 Mars Max (roughly late November 1964 to early June 1965) included the beginning of Operation Rolling Thunder in the Vietnam War on March 2, 1965 - the biggest bombing campaign since World War II. Prof. Bishop was born on the very day President Johnson announced that Americans serving in Vietnam would be eligible for combat pay.

And then there was kamikaze pilot Joseph Stack, who crashed his Piper Cherokee plane into an IRS office in Austin, Texas on February 18 – yet another example of the "fires, clashes and explosions" mentioned in my forecast for this Mars Maximum. Mr. Stack too was born under a Mars Max, on August 31, 1956 in Hershey PA, according to DPS records. (The Mars Max in effect when Joseph Stack was born ran from about the end of April, 1956 into January, 1957 – a period which encompasses the outbreak of the Suez War.) It was the most shocking mass murder in Austin since the 1966 Texas Tower shootings – committed by Charles Whitman, who was also born under a Mars Max. You just can’t make this stuff up . . .

JAN 31, 2010 Saturn-Pluto Square (Waning)The strong Saturn theme in effect for the last couple months is still around in March, although it starts to fade the closer we get to April. Lingering within only a few degrees of both its January 13 retrograde station (4° 39’ Libra) and its January 31 waning square (270°) to Pluto, the Ringed Planet is still signaling "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." I figure the Moon-Saturn conjunction on the 2nd, new moon (nearly opposite Saturn) on the 15th, Saturn’s perigee on the 21st (combined with the Sun-Saturn opposition the next day) and the Moon-Saturn alignment and full moon on the 29th and 30th likely indicate the greatest stress points for equities and currencies this month. These are shakes and rattles rather than a death roll . . .

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. Even the British pound has started looking a little dodgy lately. 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 possible. 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. My own sense is that March brings slips and slides rather than a headlong fall off a cliff. May, June and July look a lot riskier, so I expect we’ll probably see a trading range rather than a strong trend in major equities and currencies this month. (See my 2010 World Forecast Highlights for a longer term perspective.)

Last but hardly least, I’d be remiss if I didn’t draw your attention to one of the happy surprise pointers in the sky this month; namely the Venus-Uranus conjunction on the 4th. No, you can’t see it: Venus is pretty well lost in the glare of the setting sun, and Uranus is too dim from here anyway. But I do believe we’ll see its manifestation in human experience, in the news of the day for example. Things like medical miracles, chance reunions, lucky strikes, amazing rescues, outrageous parties, spectacular sexcapades . . . and other moving performances.

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