August 16 Partial Lunar Eclipse at 24 Degrees Aquarius Joins Neptune: A Gift for Mercury in Virgo and John and Elizabeth Edwards Lives Play Out with a Neptunian Cast

Ride the Emotional Roller Coaster but if You Keep a Cool Head the Outcome May be Fine

If you’ve been watching the eclipse, you know that the most elusive of planets, Neptune, will receive a great deal of the impact from the Lunar eclipse. It is so close to the eclipse that the impact will most certainly be significant. Since Neptune is associated with many things, on the high side it can represent idealistic humanitarianism, movies and film, photography, dance, art, spiritual love, spiritual heights, but on it’s low side it represents addiction, scandal, fraud, deception. In the news we can see the scandal aspect of this eclipse play out as the former democratic presidential hopeful, John Edwards, struggles to damage control his recently public affair with Rielle Hunter, a minor player on the stage of Edward’s life until now. The effects of this lunar eclipse will be intense for the next 6 months.

As I stated in my post on the previous solar eclipse on August 1, the eclipse was actually triggered when Mars transited 24 degrees of Aquarius on July 21 and 22, and it set the stage for the events that are now playing out in this eclipse cycle. We may not have recognized it in our lives at the time, but that’s when Mars action set this eclipse in motion.

The Eclipse Blows the Lid Off the John Edwards Scandal

Edward’s birth information, according to the esteemed Lois Rodden Astrodatabank, is 06/10/1953 (June 10, 1953) at 07:02 (07:02 AM) EST(+5:00) in Seneca, S.C. Edwards is identified as the possible father of a the child born to one of his campaign staffers. He has admitted having an affair with Rielle Hunter, but claims to not be the father. As always with Neptune, we have confusion and possible deception that is hard to clear up. It often remains a mystery for an indefinite period of time and is sometimes never solved. Hunter, who is refusing to let her child take a DNA test to determine paternity (Edwards is publicly saying he would welcome such a test and cannot be the father due to the timing of the child’s birth) was hired arbitrarily to shoot videos of the campaign, although she had no previous experience.

Silly Girls and Sillier Men: Neptune can be Higher Spiritual Love or Just an Illusion or delusion or disillusion

She has recently given birth to a child of uncertain paternity and at this writing, she and the child are in hiding. According to various mainstream media news sources (such as the New York Times and the Boston Globe), their relocation has been financed by Edward’s campaign and involves campaign fundraiser, attorney Fred Baron. Baron admitted that he has financed the relocation of Hunter and Andrew Young, another campaign staffer who claims to be the father of the child.

Edwards finds himself in the middle of a major scandal that, like President Clinton’s history of personal indiscretions, is a perfect tool for the republican party to divert national attention from the important upcoming presidential election to Edward’s personal relationships.

Neptune Can Bring Great Disappointments and Falls From Great Heights

Neptune is known for bringing particularly sordid scandals. The sordid twist to this one is that during all of this, Elizabeth Edwards, John Edwards wife, and a woman with extraordinary popularity and credibility, was diagnosed with incurable cancer in 2006, just days from the time when he first confessed his affair to her. They chose to keep it quiet and went forward with their plan for his political candidacy.

Elizabeth’s birth day is July 3, 1949, in Jacksonville, Florida and different sources claim her correct time is unknown. If we consider a solar chart, which is always insightful when we don’t have the correct time, she has a very difficult line up with Neptune, the Moon and the South Node (dragon’s tail) together in Libra. The involvement of Neptune and the South Node with the Moon (the emotions, home, and motherhood) indicate that she sacrifices a great deal for the family, but that she also has some of her most difficult challenges there.

She is a tireless reformer and worker in behalf of the poor and underprivileged, much like her husband has always been. In Hindu or Vedic astrology, aspects to the South Node of the Moon, or the dragon’s tail is the place of true spiritual evolution. In Western astrology we view of it as a place of loss, past lives, and separations. Elizabeth appears to be having both, as expressed through her family and those emotionally close to her. She is greatly respected for her genuine warmth and her maturity.

Her chart would hint that she has been a major influence on her husband’s career, as he excelled as an attorney in that area. Since he has a conjunction of Neptune and Saturn, which can mean difficult identity struggles, especially for a male, we could glean that it is very likely that she has been the hand that steered the ship and determined the values and direction in their lives. Unfortunately it also tells us she has had many disappointments and severe emotional tests in her life. Once again, we see astrology as a blueprint for many fateful events in an individual’s life.

Neptune can be the planet of great disappointment, but also the highest spiritual love. Hopefully Edwards and his wife can find that love in the nightmare the media has made of their lives. While popular opinion would judge and blame him for his love choices, he is a Gemini with the Moon, Jupiter, and Mars in Gemini and Venus in the sensual sign of Taurus. Since several planets are in the variety loving and restless sign of Gemini, variety will play a major role in his love life.

With Uranus, the planet of surprises in the sign of Cancer on his ascendant, he is likely destined to have a few major shocks in his life that would make him feel trapped and fight hard for the freedom to express his individuality. This media scrutiny of his love affair and his family life is certainly one of them. Perhaps it is partly due to the opposition of transiting Jupiter in Capricorn. When Jupiter is in a difficult aspect in our charts, it often indicates an area where we get carried away with excessive behavior. Our sensual pleasures or habits are too extreme. We may max out our credit cards on things we desire but can’t afford or party too much and here Edwards was exposed for his romantic indiscretion.

Neptune and the Eclipse Reveal Edwards’ Secret Life

In Edward’s natal chart, the eclipse and Neptune oppose his Pluto in the second house of finances and values, and by the time the dust clears, he may find that both of those are under siege. With his natal planet Uranus in Cancer close to his ascendant, as I mentioned above, this may be a destiny issue or a past life scenario that was going to play out in this lifetime.

The lunar eclipse and Neptune in his 8th house of finances and secrets (it is the natural Scorpio house), will most likely change his financial picture. Neptune can reveal secrets, and this eclipse cleared the fog off misty Neptune to reveal an unfortunate truth and bring scandal. Neptune can turn everything from wonderful to horrid almost instantly, which may describe Edward’s life at this time. His fall from grace has been from a high place of great credibility and respect, but we should keep in mind that America’s founding fathers were involved in this sort of thing often and at that time, there was not the opportunistic rush to judgment for the purpose of political gain, and to sell newspapers, magazines, and tv news advertisements that there is now.

The Eclipse Scandal Effects the Democratic Election: John Edwards’ Backers Have Lost a Vote That Could Have Furthered Hillary or Barack Obama Against McCain

Voters who have backed him in the past may turn against him and be angry that their trust and their funds were mishandled. Voters who were loyal to Edwards but could have backed either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, may be irate that Edwards didn’t come clean earlier so they could cast their vote for a candidate who was not so vulnerable to scandal. Hillary’s campaign knew of it but chose not to use it to their advantage. Perhaps that is why she only suspended her campaign and did not succeed fully to the nomination of Barack Obama. Now it may compromise the next election by casting a shadow over Obama’s democratic candidacy. Edwards was reported to be in line to get a significant position if Obama was elected, and was even mentioned as a potential running mate for Obama. McCain has a closet full of skeletons, but since he is tucked away in a respectable marriage and it happened long ago, so far he has not been on the rotisserie grill of media scrutiny.

This Edwards scandal comes as a major disappointment to many supporters of the Democratic party. Since Aquarius is a humanitarian sign that is sexually experimental, perhaps a different response to all of this will be part of the eclipse, but that remains to be seen. The recent religious right Republican movement has intensified the sexual puritanism that is part of this country’s history, but it may only mean a double standard for those who are the most outspoken hypocrites. For that group, it often means it’s OK as long as you don’t get caught. This would demonstrate the lower expression of Neptune as it combines deception with religion. During the Clinton impeachment, many and perhaps most of those throwing stones at him, were guilty of the same indiscretions. Perhaps the Aquarian influence during this time will open us up to a more tolerant attitude.

The Eclipse Involvement in the Georgia – Russia Confrontation

The eclipse can also be seen playing out in the conflict between Russia and Georgia, since Russia is an Aquarian country and it is in the path of the previous eclipse. Ancient astrologers were quoted as saying that the armies march in the path of the eclipse. Saturn takes the power of the eclipse and Neptune back to itself, and represents authority. The Russian government and Georgia see themselves as the final authority and moved to get their charges back in line. Now there is a standoff as to who is really the final authority, and the US has jumped in to exercise an interest in a democracy in that area. Saturn in Virgo has an interest in finances and perhaps crops, which may be playing a role in all this.

According to mundane astrology, Russia is Aquarius. Russia responded to the age of Aquarius with the Russian Revolution, a most Aquarian dream of perfect brotherhood. And of course, there is much difference of opinion as to when the Age of Aquarius began, whether the early 1900’s or when Uranus began it’s trek through Aquarius. Even now, when Uranus is in the sign of Pisces, Neptune is in Aquarius and in a mutual reception with Uranus, giving more power to both of them. It may be a time when another major water event may be coming, like a hurricane or a tsunami. It may also bring an earthquake or volcanic eruption.

Watch Out for Saturn (Authority Figures) in the Eclipse

The mixed news is Saturn, which takes the power of the eclipse back to itself, so the word is – stay out of the way of the authorities, and be sure your finances are in order. Don’t attract the interest of authorities, especially the ones involved with money, like banks. The good news is that the power of all this goes back to Mercury in Virgo, where it is strong and may deliver financial benefits, as long as you are careful with the details. In the health area, you could resolve a longstanding health issue if you start a healthy regimen of diet and exercise and get some good advice on natural medicine and a good doctor. This may be a time when alternative medicine, which is often based on ancient wisdom and knowledge, can produce excellent results. It is also a time when western allopathic medicine, which excels at many aspects of medicine, including emergency medicine and pain management, may bring relief from longstanding problems like pain.

The Eclipse Could Be a Gift that Comes through Mercury in Virgo if you Keep a Level Head

If you can remain calm and serene and just step back from all the emotional ups and downs and the wild flailing around that others may be doing, and if you are careful to take care of details, finances, and documents, and keep your daily routine healthy, you may get unexpected benefits from cautious, discerning Mercury in Virgo.

This is partly because Mercury takes the power of the eclipse and the power of Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Mars, Venus, back to itself. So don’t underestimate what is possible now. If you can withstand the roller coaster emotional ride and stay out the the way of authorities, you may make exceptional strides. The key is to use the common sense and attention to detail for which Virgo is known.

The Neptune Factor in the Lunar Eclipse May Account for the Record Breaking Gold Medal Win by Michael Phelps

The record breaking performance in the Beijing Olympics made by swimmer Michael Phelps may also be due to the eclipse’s close pass at Neptune, the planet associated with the sea and water. The warning about Neptune is that is can take you to the highest heights romantically, spiritually, humanistically, and artistically, and then it can crash out of the dream and suddenly and unexpectedly and turn to nothing in our hands. This is not a good time to make relationship commitments but all of that will be more well advised around September 1.

The Neptune involvement in this eclipse gives it a more Neptunian quality. The action of the eclipse will manifest in individual charts according to the aspect the eclipse makes to the planets in the chart. While this is a general discussion of the eclipse, an analysis of your individual chart is necessary to determine how it will play out on the stage of your life. The eclipse will change your life in the sector where it is influencing your chart.

More Eclipse Lore: Past Mars Action Triggered these August Eclipses Last May

Eclipse image from Chinese Feng Shui Website

World of Feng Shui with Lillian Too

One piece of eclipse lore that is rarely discussed is that the action of the eclipses can be triggered by transiting planets, especially Mars, up to nine months before the actual eclipse occurs. For a look back at what the eclipses may be doing in your chart, if you can recall what happened around May 25 – 28, when Mars transited the recent solar eclipse degree at 9 Leo, you may get a view of what is unfolding in your life due to the eclipse. If you look back at your journal, or recall what was going on in your life at the time, you will see what influence the recent solar eclipse will have on you. That’s when the eclipse action began. It may be when the most intense action actually took place, or it may have been a prelude to what the eclipse will bring into your life.

Despite being an astrologer and astrology columnist for many years, this eclipse took me by surprise while I was being distracted by my other work. When I experienced a major change with the food and restaurant column I was writing at the request of a local newspaper publisher, I could have kicked myself for not recognizing the writing on the wall. I, after all, am an astrologer with a twenty-year practice, weekly newspaper astrology column, and a newspaper feature writer with articles that appear in city newspapers. Until recently, my weekly astrology columns ran in several newspapers. Had I vigilantly researched my own chart, instead of just focusing on the charts of clients and my columns, I would have known what was going to happen when I tried to initiate the changes I needed in an eclipse cycle.

Instead, when newspapers across the country were to cut back by at least 20 % over the next few weeks, I was taken by surprise so I did not act in my own best interest. I got a negative, if not incredulous response to my request for either more money or less extra work.

My contract ended on May 26, the day that Mars transited the recent solar eclipse. If I had been looking at the eclipse and where it was in my own natal chart, instead of being absorbed in the local restaurant scene and local food issues (although I love to cook), I would have seen that the eclipse was being triggered by the planet Mars on the exact day that I talked to the publisher. Mars’ action would trigger the August 1 solar eclipse on my Saturn Pluto conjunction. Unless you are a master or an adept with great control, that conjunction can be quite destructive.

Instead of my astrology chart, I was enjoying my assignment at the new RIverHouse Inn restaurant. And since the eclipse is in Leo, the sign of pleasure and enjoyment, I was certainly captivated by the elegance and grace of the restaurant. When I should have been looking at my chart, I was instead concentrating on the RiverHouse Inn’s new menu with items like chili-plum chicken satay and smoked salmon tapas, two chops of herb-crusted baked pork ladled with apple juice jalapeno pecan reduction and peppered sirloin with cognac demi, and seafood items, like pan seared salmon and crab cakes. I was daydreaming about the dinners I would have later in the dining room or on the patio overlooking the Red Cedar River.

When I looked up from the view of the river from where I was writing my notes on the fine linen tablecloth, both literally and metaphorically, I had the ultimate astrologer’s “aha” moment.

I recognized what really happened. The arrangement did not suit me and I had intended to make changes anyway, but I hadn’t quite decided what kind of negotiating I wanted to do with the paper. I’m a Libra, and while I take issue with the commonly held belief that Libra’s are indecisive, I do recognize that Libra’s are constantly weighing and balancing and what I prefer to call ‘redeciding’. So while I was considering my best course of action and enjoying the local restaurant scene, life happened, in the action of the planets.

A few weeks later, the major newspapers in the chain that carried several of my astrology columns made significant cut backs, and the first contract was just a foreshadowing of things to come. It reminded me in the most personal way, why people in ancient times were afraid of the eclipses. It is related to the fear people have always had even in the dark of the moon, which is the two days before any new moon. And while I don’t fear the dark of the moon or the eclipses, I feel they take special handling. I usually meditate and release aspects of my life that have to go in the dark of the moon, and in the eclipses I meditate and ask for inner guidance.

In the Goddess time of pre-King Arthur days, people did not go outside around the time of the eclipses or in the two days of the dark of the moon before any new moon. In the dark of the moon, ancient people believed there was no energy in the world and they believed it was dangerous to go out. They also believed eclipses were downright evil.

The coming lunar eclipse on August 16, is going to pack an extra wallop since it will also involve Neptune. The action of this eclipse was triggered when Mars transited the eclipse point on June 22 and again when Venus transited it’s opposition point on July 7 and 8. So if you take a look at events in your life, or events in the world on those days, especially when Mars made the transits, you will see what the action of the eclipse may bring.

In the Lunar eclipse, it is important to remember that the involvement of Neptune, two degrees away from the exact eclipse point, will make this a rather unpredictable eclipse, and we should look for confusion, art, a spiritual influence, a higher octave of love or a spiritual love, film, and on the lower manifestation, fraud, deception, addictions, and situations that appear to be special and then turn to garbage in our hands, going from the highest inspiration for us to the lowest and most disappointing experiences. For that reason, it is important to hold off on major decisions, legal agreements or signing contracts, and, if we can, to avoid making commitments in relationships.

Important actions or decisions should be avoided for three days before and after the next eclipse, and if possible, two weeks both before and after.

For art. film, or photography, meditation or spiritual activities, it can be a good time but it is still important to be prepared for anything.

The periods of eclipses, from the time the action is triggered by a transiting planet, or until the eclipse itself takes place, are unstable periods when patterns we think are set in our lives may actually shift suddenly out of our lives completely and unexpectedly. It is also the case that people and situations from the past may return to renegotiate a new relationship or just reunite with us, so it is really an example of the saying, “When God closes a door, he opens a window.”

The effect of the recent solar eclipse will last for around 4 and a half years, meaning that it will act as a sensitive point for that long.  Other planets may also trigger its action by transiting a point that aspects it. I’ll have more on the coming lunar eclipse, as we get closer to its date of August 16, 2008.

Mars Trine Pluto – Passion, Drama, and a Possible Breakthrough

Mars in Leo Within Orb of Regulus, One of the Royal Stars of Persia

More information on Graphic and Article on Regulus from Visual Astrology Newsletter

When I see these two powerhouses in fire signs, I watch for dramatic changes. The best you can expect from this aspect is the possible breakthrough of a block in your life or some sort of progress with an authority or power figure, family, or group.

For those of us familiar with fire signs, there is nothing as exciting as watching these two in action. And despite the retrograde motion of Pluto, which just returned from Capricorn back into Sagittarius recently, the thrusting power of Mars in the last degree of Leo may make this an aspect that clears, or at least begins to dislodge, some blocked area of our lives or an attempt to deal with a group or family situation.

Since fire is the sign of the hero archetype, an attitude of “Let’s solve this problem right now” is often followed with a dramatic masterstroke or grand gesture. Pluto often represents groups and often the family, or a group that is like a family. Since Mars is still within the influence orb of the benevolent bright star, Regulus at 28 degrees of Leo (‘The kingmaker’), there may be some positive results, but with Pluto retrograde, there may be secrets involved or information you don’t have about what’s going on. It may also indicate a stubborn resistance much like the old saying ‘the immovable object meets the irresistible force’. Try to work with people and avoid confrontations, no matter how hard it is to bite your tongue. Any argument started under this aspect could get out of hand as quick as a flash fire and escalate before you can stop it.

Since both of these planets can represent sex, there may be an exciting and passionate encounter, but keep in mind possible background influences that are secret. Opportunities to move forward decisively may open up but they may still have challenging knots to be untangled. If you get a chance to travel, there may be hang-ups, or difficulties in transit. This aspect represents raw power but it may have blocks and secrets that may not be apparent. Fire may be involved literally so it isn’t a good time to be careless with anything that involves fire, like fireworks. This aspect will last a few days.

Mars in Leo and the South Node – An Urgent Need to Shed

Leo, illumination from a Book of Hours, Italian, c. 1475; in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York City (MS. G.14)

Leo, illumination from a Book of Hours, Italian, c. 1475; i

Mars in Leo is meeting up with the South Node of the Moon or what astrologer call the dragon’s tail, and this is a karmic meeting. For many people this will mean an urgent need to cut the deadwood out of your life. If you know where your Scorpio and Aries houses are in your astrological birth chart, and, of course, the house Mars and the dragon’s tail are transiting through, you may have some insight about just exactly what you’ll be cutting out of your life, But don’t be surprised if you feel you are just over some major part of your life. It could be your work, a family issue, friends, dysfunctional money patterns, but you will be almost compelled to jettison anything that you think no longer pulls its weight in your life. Since Mars is in Leo, you may feel like being dominant about all of it and drama is the key word here. Leo is always dramatic, so you may find some drama in all this. But it may very well be life changing, no matter how it affects your chart. Think actor and drama and you’ve got the essence of Leo. Find out where Leo is in your chart to see where it’s making the biggest impact. It may help you or it may cause you to rethink major areas of your life, but it will most likely be an area where you feel things or people from the past have to go right now. In Hindu astrology, the South Node of the Moon is called Ketu, and it is considered the point of true spiritual evolution. In Western astrology, we consider it a point of loss, the past as in past lives, or we associate it with leaving. In either case, it may well be the end of a major cycle in some area of your life. Just try to recognize that it’s happening to further your soul’s journey and no matter how difficult or fortunate it may be, it is part of your soul’s lesson in understanding itself. Meditate on the saying, “No one is my enemy, no one is my friend, everyone is my teacher.” That may give you insight during this transition. After the dust settles, just go toward the influences in your life that you feel are part of the new direction.

Mercury in Gemini Retrograde and Uranus

“Le Printemps” (Spring) by Pierre August Cot 1837 – 1883, shows the gentle and fun loving Gemini nature.

On May 26, Mercury is in Gemini, one of it’s strongest signs, began a retrograde motion that will last until the evening of June 19. What that means in a practical way is that this is not a good time to start new projects and that you should save detail work until after June 20, if you can comfortably do it later. This retrograde is more complex due to the difficult aspect from Uranus, the unpredictable planet of surprises. Use extra care with any sort of movement, driving, walking, talking, and also writing. Be sure you don’t hit the button to send your email to a group instead of the intended party. Don’t daydream even if you are tempted. The difficult aspect will make this far more confusing and it may bring unexpected events into your life. The secret to a retrograde Mercury is to go back to projects that didn’t work the first time and try them one more time. Also if you started a project in a retrograde Mercury, it may finally straighten out if there have been regular hassles.

You may also find that letters or messages that someone either sent that got lost, or never got sent, may finally get through. Since Mercury is so strong, there may be travel in the works. Someone could show up unannounced, or someone who wanted to talk to you about something may finally get around to it. Loved ones or someone interested who worked or had a relationship with you in the past may reappear and want to revisit that situation.

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