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©2013 by Richard Nolle
last revised SEP 30, 2013

If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget about it. This is real astrology for the real world, not some mystical mumbo-jumbo psycho-babble word salad. 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, aka GMT). 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.

PLEASE NOTE: This monthís forecast incorporates elements of (and refers to) my complete 2013 World Forecast Highlights (31 8-1/2 x 11Ē illustrated pages), focused, amplified and elaborated with details for the month as appropriate. If youíd like your own copy of the full 2013 World Forecast Highlights, itís available in hard copy by mail ($75) or as a PDF document by email ($50). Orders may be phoned in (toll-free from anywhere in North America to 800-527-8761) and charged to any major credit card. PayPal orders may be placed direct from your own PayPal account page to rnolle@astropro.com Ė or by using the AstroPro PayPal order page.

When beggars die there are no comets seen.
The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.

-- William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

NOV 29, 2013 Comet ISON Comets, eclipses and squares - oh my! Thereís a lot happening in October, from a possible "comet of the century" (with major Mars overtones), to a lunar eclipse, to the Uranus-Pluto quadrature tightening the screws again . . . with a new Mercury Max thrown in for good measure. Letís start with that comet.

The comet called ISON - so named because it was discovered at an observatory of the International Scientific Optical Network - will be looming larger in mass consciousness as it grows brighter in the sky, starting this month. Such attention is hardly unprecedented. From time immemorial, humans have been awed by comets, as the Shakespeare quote above exemplifies.

Thereís already a lot of speculation about ISON, from astronomers arguing for and against the proposition that this will be the comet of the century, to sensationalists warning that itís really the mythical death star Nibiru, come to wipe out all life on Earth - or even an alien spacecraft (reminiscent of the Heavenís Gate death cult hysteria surrounding 1997ís Comet Hale-Bopp). Such craziness!

ISON could turn out to be a really awesome spectacle indeed, if it survives its close encounter with the Sun in November. This is whatís called a sun-grazing comet, meaning one that plunges perilously close to Sol - in ISONís case, less than a million miles away. Some sun-grazers, like Icarus, donít survive flying so close to the Sun.

OCT 20, 2013 Comet ISON ISON is making its first pass from out of the Oort cloud, at the far frontier of our solar system, into the heart of the system. A 2-3 mile wide ball of ice and dust - and, according to astrophysicists like Fred Hoyle, Fred Whipple and Chandra Vickramasinghe - possibly some extraterrestrial life forms of the microscopic variety as well. But donít bother getting a flu shot on ISONís account. Thereís no vaccine for whatever payload ISON may be carrying. And in any case, whatever bits of organic material that might be hitching a ride on ISON will take months or even years after the cometís December 26 perigee (closest approach to Earth, within 40 million miles), before they could possibly float down through the atmosphere - if they survive the journey.

ISON is too faint to be seen with the naked eye now. But it has been spotted by amateur astronomers in September, and should be visible through modest telescopes starting in early October - maybe with good binoculars even, by the end of the month. When it plunges toward its close encounter with Sol in November, we should be able to see it without benefit of magnification. At its November 28 perihelion (closest approach to the Sun), less than a million miles from our local star, it may actually be as bright as the full moon. But it will be so close to the solar disc at that point that it will be lost in the glare. Later, by December - assuming ISON survives its game of chicken with the Sun - the comet should be visible to the naked eye the world over - likely as bright as Venus, with a tail spanning perhaps a quarter of the sky.

NOV 1, 2013 Uranus-Pluto Square For now, although invisible to the eye, ISON may already be making waves. ISON is not only making its close approach to Mars (just under 7 million miles) on October 1, 2013, itís also tracking close to Mars in the pre-dawn skies here on Earth. Mars: the Red Planet, significator of fires, crashes, clashes and explosions. Sound familiar - like maybe a mainstay in the headlines lately? Sure, thereís plenty of other Mars activation going on lately, and a tense background anyway as Uranus squares Pluto. But such an explosion of violence, as Mars aligns with Comet ISON! (ISON is conjunct or very near Mars in late Leo and early Virgo throughout October, near the "new moon in the old moonís arms" on the 1st and 2nd; and on the 26th and 27th, weather permitting, early risers will be able to see Mars, ISON, the Moon and Jupiter all fairly close together in the east before sunrise; and then, come Halloween, itís Mars pierced by ISONís tail as the "old moon in the new moonís arms" rises nearby in the pre-dawn hours.)

These Mars connections are universal, in the sense that they apply to everyone anywhere on Earth during the indicated period. But they may be especially focused on those of us who were born under significant planets in the late Leo to early Virgo region. This would include, for example, everyone born between mid-August to just past mid-September. In addition, it also includes people like US President Barack Obama, who was born with two angular planets (Uranus and Pluto) plus the north lunar node in the Mars-ISON zone. Check your chart! Iím not saying youíre wearing a bulls-eye if these parameters fit . . . but you might be, so choose your battles with care and be sure someone has your back if at all possible.

Between the on and off Uranus-Pluto square that started in 2011 and continues into 2016, and the Mars Max that starts in December this year and continues into August 2014, I figure weíre well into an historical period of social strife and conflict unheralded since the 1930s (when Uranus last squared Pluto), which would have been reaching a crescendo starting in December even without a "comet of the century" hanging out with Mars in the sky at the moment, and all month long.

Itís enough to convince me that we can expect a whole lot more of the fires, crashes, clashes and explosion stuff thatís typical of the kind of heightened Mars presence in the skies of our home planet that weíll be seeing this month. You know, the usual fare: tension, haste, recklessness, strife and conflict at the individual ad well as collective levels. Personally, watch out for ďthe other guy,Ē because at best he wonít be watching out for you or anyone else. Worse, he might be boiling with the kind of aggression and rage that tends to explode seemingly out of nowhere when the Red Planet looms large in the night sky.

US President Barack Obama If you think the family massacres and school and workplace shootings, the shopping mall shoot-outs and such that have been the stuff of headlines lately are done, you can forget it. Theyíre just getting started. Some of this is fundamentally personal, but itís got a larger social and political context. Iím referring to the waxing square (90d arc) from Uranus to Pluto. Itís the biggest thing going in the skies of Planet Earth since 2011, when these two planets first drew within a few degrees of an exact quadrature. Itís coming into even sharper focus this month, heading into its next exact quadrature on November 1.

Donít bother looking for it in the night sky: like Comet ISON (for now), neither Uranus nor Pluto is a naked eye object, after all. But, as the fox said to the Little Prince in Saint-Exupéryís book of the same name, "what is essential is invisible to the eye."

You donít need to see these two orbs in order to recognize the quadrature in action. As I wrote in my 2011 World Forecast Highlights, this configuration is a sign of "more debt crises, government support cutbacks and tax hikes: tightening the screws coming and going. Issues of nuclear proliferation raise geopolitical tensions. Thereís growing fear of sneak attacks and terror atrocities using WMD - the fear is certain, the actuality far less so." It is, as described in my 2012 World Forecast Highlights, the very same Uranus-Pluto square "that heralded the nearly worldwide economic dislocation and labor strife of the 1930s (including US troops firing on the Bonus Army Marchers," and itís in effect from 2011 into 2016.

Dire economic straits give rise to riots, uprisings, revolutions and civil war: e.g. Arab Spring uprisings (now focused in Syria and Egypt), the strikes and protests in Brazil, Greece, Bahrain, Iran, Sri Lanka, the Philippines etc. Thereís an historical association between such things and the Uranus-Pluto square. Such tensions are easily recognized at the collective level. But they also leave a mark on the individuals who make up the collective. The stress of dire straits helps push some people over the edge. Often, they donít go alone and quietly. Suicides are up, yes; but also murder-suicides, suicide by cop, mass suicides and mass murder (school and workplace shootings, etc.). With a comet-Mars connection in place now, and a Mars Max beginning in December, weíre probably getting deeper into this dark shadow this month, and well into next year.

But thereís more to this configuration and these times than just that, as I wrote in my 2012 forecast: "Every coin has two sides, and thereís more to look for in the time and tide of this particular celestial configuration than revolution and barricading the streets. Political programs aimed at redressing social and economic ills are also part of the picture, like the US WPA and CCC or the German Autobahn of the 1930s . . . Likewise, breakthroughs in science and technology that will transform and transmute our lives, our minds, our understanding of the world within us and around us. The two extremes of the material scale - from particle physics to astrophysics - are where the breakthroughs are coming; along with the peculiar middle ground occupied by medicine and biotechnology."

Can anyone argue that we havenít already seen a focus on the trends described above in the last couple of years, under the aegis of the Uranus-Pluto square? From the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement on the social/political front, to the cascading discovery of exoplanets on the macro end and elementary particles at the micro end, the whole of Planet Earth has been in a particle accelerator since 2011.

OCT 18, 2013 Full Moon Penumbral Lunar Eclipse Look for more - much more - in the coming years: this thing has a long run ahead. More to the point, expect these trends to accelerate all month, as we move toward the November 1 partile quadrature of Uranus and Pluto. Riots and revolution, barricades in the streets and snipers on the rooftops, yes. But also breakthroughs to come in astronomy, cosmology and exobiology (exotechnology, even) at the macro end of the scale, and quantum physics at the nano end . . . in between come the medical breakthroughs, the genetic discoveries. And yes, I did most specifically and deliberately say exotechnology. Think about it. Itís the next step beyond exobiology. (Voyager 1, having just left the solar system, is an example of outgoing exotechnology. Itís a two-way street.)

Of course, itís those blood in the streets stories that will make the biggest headlines: "if it bleeds, it leads" is the cardinal rule of journalism. Exacerbating the Uranus-Pluto theme that sets the tone for all of 2013 is the strong undercurrent of danger and viciousness afoot in the world since the Mars and Jupiter alignments turned the Uranus-Pluto square into a T-Square from July into August. Granted, we humans arenít saintly in the best of times, but there has been an unusual spate of ugliness over this time period: thrill killings, hate crimes and other atrocities. We expect murder and mayhem en masse in situations like the uprisings in Syria and Egypt of course - and to a lesser extent the strikes and protests in Brazil, Greece, Bahrain, Iran, Sri Lanka, the Philippines etc. But when it gets personal . . .

With that in mind, I think weíd all do well to remain extra vigilant when it comes to personal safety this month, particularly around the time of the Moon aligning with Mars in the east before sunrise on the 1st, the new moon on the 5th (a T-Square involving Sun, Moon and Jupiter, with the simultaneous Uranus-Pluto square), and the penumbral lunar eclipse on the 18th, closely followed by the Mars opposition to Neptune on the 20th (think sneak attacks, poisonous substances, environmental degradation and the like around that latter window). Expect a surfeit of the usual Mars mayhem: fires, crashes, clashes and explosions, etc. Think safety, be attentive, stay focused - especially in hazardous situations. Be aware that malfeasance is not the only risk now. Thereís a lot of misfeasance (inattention), miscalculation and just plain mischance clouding human awareness and enterprise as the third and final Mercury Max of the year begins on October 9, with Mercury conjunct Saturn and Venus square Neptune. Really: pay attention, stay focused, watch out for "the other guy." Really.

Mercury Max tends to coincide with an outburst of solar activity Ė solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). These in turn amplify geomagnetic energy here on Earth. The most dramatic and obvious manifestation of this is auroral activity, but thatís just the tip of the iceberg. Thereís a greater risk of disruption to electrical and electronic infrastructure (including phone and computer networks and satellite systems) as solar activity increases. People are electrical systems too, and many report feeling fritzy or nervous under solar barrages. Be aware that this is part of Mercury Max Ė and itís especially emphasized around October 9 (when Mercury Max begins) and 21 (Mercuryís retrograde station), as well as November 1 (Mercuryís inferior conjunction with the Sun), 10 (Mercuryís direct station) and 18 (the end of Mercury Max). For more on the meaning and dynamics of the Mercury Max cycle, including the truth about Mercuryís retrograde as well as the so-called "shadow" and "storm" periods, see my detailed article on this subject.

This particular Mercury Max presages more than the usual infrastructure snafus. Since it includes a couple of eclipses and a melding of Mars and ISON with Uranus and Pluto, we can expect an intensification of the political and economic turmoil thatís been so evident since 2011. Remember, turmoil in the financial system underlies a lot of the individual as well as collective turmoil that has been so thematic of this year. Per my forecasts since May, weíre still in a good time to be looking for equity market sell-offs as buying opportunities. Weíve seen plenty already, per the forecast, but theyíre not over yet. But itís not a total market crash: the Venus Max getting underway in November says that what goes down now will rise higher than before when allís said and done. Not everything will, mind you, so be selective.

OCT 18, 2013 Full Moon (Penumbral Lunar Eclipse) Donít forget that market psychology is key to this. You want to buy when everybody else is running for the exits. The solar cycle being near a peak during its magnetic polarity reversal, I figure there will be a lot of scrambled nerves and brains during this period - a recipe for panic. Especially around those key Mercury Max dates as well as the October 18 lunar eclipse (give or take a few days), you can expect an Earth-directed solar outburst, scrambling electrical circuits in our infrastructure, making for disturbances in the human nervous system as well. Be ready, get a grip, watch for auroras as a sign that itís here. And remember that these erratic and unstable impulses operate across the spectrum of human behavior. Theyíre not limited to mass psychology and the markets. Many people feel them personally: nervousness, tension, stress, migraines and other erratic manifestations.

The bigger themes aside, there are storm and seismic signals to be aware of in October. These are the dates when especially severe storms with high winds and heavy precipitation are most likely to be newsmakers, along with notable seismic activity (magnitude 5 and up earthquakes, plus volcanic eruptions). First among these is the shock window centering on the new moon on the 5th, opposing Uranus and forming a T-Square to Pluto, with Mercury and Saturn just a few degrees apart at the time, led by the Moonís southward equatorial crossing on the 3rd and followed by the southward lunar declination extreme on the 9th and the lunar perigee on the 10th. I figure this one is active from late on the 1st into early on the 11th. Next up is the lunar eclipse on the 18th, anchoring a shock window stretching from the 15th to the 21st. Shorter shock windows extend about 30 hours either side of the 23rd and 30th.

All of the geocosmic shock windows mentioned above are, by definition, astronomical in scale. Consequently, theyíre planet-wide in scope down here on Earth. The tides they raise in the atmosphere, crust and seas of our home planet can trigger major storms and seismic action anywhere at all, within reason. The high tide that rolls through Kansas wonít raise much water, and probably wonít trigger much seismic activity. After all, it takes an ocean to get a tide, and some kind of fault or hot spot to produce an earthquake or volcano. That said, there are a few areas of special vulnerability suggested by astro-locality mapping the celestial factors mentioned above.

For example, in the case of the shock window associated with the lunar eclipse on the 18th, which is configured in T-Square to Jupiter, West Africa and Western Europe, east India, central China, western Indochina and Indonesia fall under meridian lines, along with eastern New Zealand and the central Pacific (up through easternmost Siberia. Another meridian line passes through east central Canada and the US Midwest down through the Gulf of Mexico and southeast Mexico. Southeast Mexico is also crossed by a horizon arc that swings down through the Canadian and US plains, emerging on the other side of the world across east India, central China, western Indochina and Indonesia Ė another region to get a double hit. And a third horizon arc crosses southern Alaska and Canadaís northern Pacific coast to swing east and then south across southern Greenland and West Africa to emerge on the other side of the world to run between Australia and New Zealand and, through Melanesia and Polynesia back across the Pacific to the Pacific coast of Alaska and Canada. These are target zones that bear watching, particularly those that get multiple hits.


All astrological charts as well as eclipse and astro-locality maps are calculated and produced using Esoteric Technologiesí Solar Fire Gold Version 7.0.8 Sky map images are screen captures from the Pocket Universe app for iPhone, or produced by Starry Night for Windows. Storm tracks are screen captures from The Weather Channel app for iPhone. Solar activity images are screen captures from the 3D SUN app for iPhone. And earthquake maps are screen captures from Quakes Pro Earthquake Alerts app for iPhone.

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