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© 2008 by Richard Nolle
last revised UT 23:00 FEB 21, 2008
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).

My forecast for the month advised that the "inflamed passions, hot tempers and rash, even violent action" emblematic of Mars' close approach to Earth would remain a particular danger throughout January, along with a greater than usual risk for "accidents in general, and in this case with a special focus on mines, dangerous chemicals and other noxious substances, and the petroleum and nuclear industries." Iraq alone is sufficient to fulfill the violent action aspect of that forecast pretty much every day, but that's too easy. This month's tribal violence in Kenya is something new however, having begun in the wake of the disputed December 27, 2007 election there. It clearly exemplifies the Mars factor at work since late last year: hundreds dead, mobs hacking and beating people to death, burning people alive, etc.

I wrote that "I can't see oil failing to cross the $100-a-barrel threshold before this Mars cycle is out," and that one didn't take long to manifest. On the 2nd, crude oil hit a record $100 a barrel as geopolitical turmoil, tight energy stockpiles, and a weak dollar triggered a flood of speculative buying. "With the military and the militant warlords engaged in a violent tit-for-tat, the risk for oil disruptions in Nigeria remains higher than in the past few months," said Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix. That's exactly the kind of Mars stuff mentioned in my forecast.

January's forecast indicated that a "higher than normal potential for strong storms with damaging winds and heavy precipitation, as well moderate-to-severe seismic activity (magnitude 5+ earthquakes and volcanic eruptions)" would be "in effect from the 5th through the 15th, with the greatest potential coming around the 6th, 8th (the new moon) and 13th." Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano got things started on the 5th, spewing out a huge, billowing cloud of ash and steam eight kilometers high. "Judging by the altitude," said Popocatepetl Operation Plan director Ramon Pena, "it is the biggest smoke cloud we've seen in the past seven years." That was the same day that two strong 6.5-magnitude earthquakes struck off the coast of British Columbia, and killer storms battered the western United States with strong winds, heavy rains and snow that caused widespread power outages, a levee break in Nevada and two deaths in California.

A 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit southern Greece the following day, jolting people from their beds in the southern Peloponnese region. The powerful quake was felt throughout the country, and as far away as Rome. A rare January outbreak of tornadoes raked the US Midwest on Monday the 7th, flattening houses in several states and killing at least two people in Missouri. Another killer tornado was reported in central Arkansas the next day; while three people were killed in Indiana after heavy rain and melting snow pushed rivers and streams over their banks. A 6.9 magnitude earthquake shook a sparsely populated area of Tibet the next day, while northern Algeria took a hit from a 6.3 quake the day after that - the same day that Ecuador's 16,575-foot Tungurahua volcano began erupting.

Right on schedule, per my forecast, the first intersolar Mercury cycle of the year (January 22-March 3) was accompanied by the usual . . .

strikes and other disruptions affecting transportation and communication (e.g. postal, phone, mass transit, trucking, airline, shipping, dock and warehouse workers, teachers and all manner of media). Weather both terrestrial and solar (including geomagnetic storms) can play a part in the kind of breakdowns described here, but human effort (and sometimes malicious action) is a part of the mix as well. Power failures due to infrastructure breakdown and computer network disruptions caused by hacker attacks, software vulnerabilities and the like are also just a crossed wire or a keystroke away from a major mess at these times.

A prime example was the disruption of Internet service across much of Asia and the Middle East, starting on Wednesday, January 30. The cause was reported to be a break in two undersea cables in the Mediterranean Sea. A third undersea Internet cable was reportedly cut on Friday morning, February 1, in a stretch between the United Arab Emirates and Oman in the Persian Gulf. The initial general assumption was that both cuts were accidental, perhaps caused by a ship dragging its anchor. (An abandoned anchor suspected of causing the cuts was found by the crews that repaired the cables.) However, conspiracy theorists have claimed that sabotage was involved. What else would a conspiracy theorist think?

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Richard Nolle, Certified Professional Astrologer
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