The Alchemist, oil painting by Joseph Wright

Welcome to the March 2024 Cosmic Weather Forecast by Curtis Lang with Jane Sherry. It's the week of the Vernal Equinox, and here in Winston Salem, we are still on a typical cusp of spring weather roller coaster.

Daffodils in Bloom, Reynolda Gardens, Winston Salem, North Carolina, photo by Curtis Lang

Daffodils in Bloom, Reynolda Gardens, Winston Salem, North Carolina, photo by Curtis Lang


We had a hard, short freeze a couple of nights ago, and the trees in Reynolda Gardens are just beginning to bud, flower and leaf. It's time to clear out the garden and start planting!

At this time of year, gardening is top of mind in Winston, which ranks as the seventh best city in the United States for urban gardening, with over 80 community gardens scattered throughout the city.

The North Carolina Extension Bureau offers classes for gardening newbies at its Urban Farm School, so people living in condos and apartments can not only connect with nature, but learn to grow herbs, fruits and vegetables right in their own neighborhoods. 

Jane in Bethabara Historical Park Community Garden, 2021, photo by Curtis Lang
Jane in Bethabara Historical Park Community Garden, 2021, photo by Curtis Lang

Jane and I had a couple of plots in the Bethabara Historical Park the first three years we lived here, and it was a great way to enter the community, meet people, and disconnect from our electronic devices.

We highly recommend community gardening as a powerful antidote to 21st Century urban malaise.

I'm used to being deluged with bad news every morning as I surf the Web, but today, reading the local paper I got a pleasant surprise.

The City of Winston is replacing the large lawn in one of their downtown parks, on Second Street, with a demonstration garden designed to showcase the benefits of often unruly but gorgeous native plants and flowers.   
New England Asters, Native to North Carolina, photo by Jane Sherry
New England Asters, Native to North Carolina, photo by Jane Sherry

“The hope is to show native plants and being able to reduce the need for herbicide and pesticide. Reducing the need to regularly mow reduces greenhouse gases,” Shaleen Miller, sustainability director for the city, told the Journal, the local Winston Salem newspaper. “We often copy what we see. And we’ve come to see what’s in a lot of yards or in your typical garden store . . .are not native things [but] look neat and trendy,” she said. “And a lot of natives don’t necessarily have those same features. As we have more things that we can copy and show good examples, then there are things that [residents can say] ‘oh, I like that plant, I can bring it to mine as well.”

We've lived in Texas, New York, California and Florida, but we've never lived in a city so supportive of urban agriculture and sustainable urban landscaping and gardening.

Here in Winston, people may be divided by party politics, race, religion, and economic status, but you can strike up a friendship quickly with just about anyone by talking about gardening! We love that!

Libra Full Moon Penumbral Eclipse, Aries Solar Festival Cosmic Weather Forecast

During the Aries interval of 2024, which runs from March 19th through April 19th, we will experience some of the most intense astrological aspects and stellar phenomena this yearly cycle has to offer. 


Penumbral Lunar Eclipse, September 17, 2016, photo by Robert Lee

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse, September 17, 2016, photo by Robert Lee

The celestial fireworks begin at 3:00 AM EDT on Monday March 25th, with a Penumbral Full Moon Eclipse at 5°07' 08" Libra, opposed by the Sun at 5° 07' 13" of Aries.

This appears to be a sweet Full Moon with immense creative potential.

The moon will pass just north of the Earth's umbra, or shadow, and Earth, Moon and Sun will be imperfectly aligned. As the moon passes through the zone of lighter shadow cast by the Earth, a penumbral eclipse, like the one pictured above, will create zones of darker, often reddish, coloration on the moon's surface, as seen from our viewpoint. Throughout this most subtle eclipse, the moon's full disk will remain visible.

For astrologers, penumbral lunar eclipses indicate a subtle transformation of our baseline emotional responses. This is a Full Moon that precipitates increased sensitivity and more pronounced mood swings in many people, and can also indicate a time of necessary, but fairly smooth adjustment in key relationships.

The energy of the Full Moon eclipse can be felt by the sensitive among us about three weeks prior to the event, and the energies persist for around three weeks after the Full Moon night. So the influences symbolized in the chart of this Libra Full Moon will color our consciousness for the majority of the Aries Solar interval of 2024. 

Astrological Chart for Full Moon in Libra, March 25, 2024

Venus conjuncts Saturn in Pisces at the time of the Full Moon Eclipse, and astrologers say this aspect often dampens our emotional responses, making it difficult to relate to others, and creating situations that constrain our desires.

You might be feeling extremely sensitive, thwarted, and even beset by old emotional wounds at the time of the Full Moon.

With both Saturn and Venus in Pisces at the time of the penumbral eclipse, we can hope to precipitate harmonious change as needed in our lives. 

This can be a time to get in touch with our inner wounds, explore the origins of the emotional scars that have isolated us from the reciprocity characterizing satisfying love relationships, and make efforts to release that stuck energy through the power of unconditional love. Healing can flow from our willingness to extend forgiveness -- to ourselves and to others.

With the Full Moon Eclipse in socially conscious Libra in the Ninth House of philosophy and consciousness expansion, we may experience enhanced emotional sensitivity that will enable us to create a new, deeper Libran equilibrium with the significant others in our lives.

Tarot Trump VIII, Adjustment, aka Balance, Thoth Tarot
Tarot Trump VIII, Adjustment, aka Balance, Thoth Tarot, Painting by Lady Frieda Harris
Trump VII is associated with the Zodiacal Sign of Libra

For those involved in spiritual practices at this time, this dreamy Libran Full Moon could open a doorway to higher consciousness.

You can see the fan shaped distribution of planets in the chart shown above for Monday's Eclipse, with most of the planets in Aries and Pisces, opposing the Libran Full Moon, creating an energetic funnel that focuses our attention on [Libran] relationship issues and Ninth house experiences of dreamy, expansive awareness, creating at best a variety of Cosmic Consciousness that is expressed in compassionate camaraderie.

At this time we can share visions of ideal outcomes in our lives and work with our loved ones, friends and family to manifest our highest material and spiritual goals.  

The Sabian Symbol for this Full Moon reflects this potential -- A Man Watches His Ideals Taking a Concrete Form Before His Inner Vision.

The Alchemist Discovering Phosphorus (1771). Painting by Joseph Wright
The Alchemist Discovering Phosphorus (1771). Oil painting by Joseph Wright
Joseph Wright of Derby , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Here we have a resounding call to envision our goals for the next seasonal cycle, just beginning to unfold.

We are also called to focus our intent on manifesting that vision, and then to share that vision with like minded others. Finally we can join together with our partners in life, with one mind, and together, over time, we can work to manifest our shared ideals.

The Libra Full Moon trines Pluto in Aquarius, which imparts a fierce determination to break free of the karmic bonds and inherited familial patterns of behavior that have blocked us as we attempt to manifest our most cherished dreams and visions.

At the same time, the Moon is in a fading opposition to Neptune in Pisces, further stimulating a range of altered states of consciousness. You may indulge in romantic daydreaming, experience intense psychic connections to other people, or even find yourself transported to the transpersonal realms of consciousness where devas, angels, nature spirits, Inner Guides and Teachers reside.

Goethe in the Campagna, oil painting, Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Goethe in the Campagna, oil painting, 1787.
Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

"Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now"said the famous author, philosopher and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. 

In short, this is an ideal Full Moon to celebrate the beginning of the astrological new year, and to courageously aim for the stars.

Once we visualize our goals for the seasons to come, we can joyfully take concrete steps to forge our dreams anew. 

The stars support us as we take first steps into this unfolding seasonal cycle of our Spiral Dance of Life.

Spiral Dance, Glastonbury, 2014
Spiral Dance, Glastonbury, 2014

On March 31st, in the midst of the sweet, empowering energy signature unleashed by the Libra Full Moon Eclipse, we also celebrate the Feast of Easter and the Resurrection of the Cosmic Christ.

To read all about the esoteric significance of this great spiritual festival, and for a special Christ Consciousness Mantra, read our article entitled Eastertide: Uniting with the Cosmic Christ - Honoring the Divine Mother.

Easter is the first of the first of three Global Spring Spiritual events occurring at the time of the Aries, Taurus, and Gemini Solar Festivals.

These festivals were instituted by the Tibetan Ascended Master Dwaj Khul and given to humanity in the middle of the 20th century through the telepathic stenography of Alice Bailey and others in the Theosophical Spiritual Tradition. 

Resurrection of Christ, Matthias Grünewald
Resurrection, Matthias Grünewald, Isenheimer Altar, 1512
Matthias Grünewald , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

These three Solar Festivals are intended to be a focus for our spiritual development, based upon the yearly seasonal cycles in cooperation with the rhythms of the Sun and Moon, and the stellar entities that inhabit the Plane of the Ecliptic, the Zodiac, far beyond our Solar System.

During these three Spiritual Festivals, humanity unites with the Earthly Elementals and with Angelic presences, all presiding over the structure and growth of mineral, vegetal and animal kingdoms, uniting human beings with the Web of Life on our blue-green planetary home.

Awakened humanity, united with the Elementals and Angels associated with planet Earth, joins in collective meditations and spiritual practices, illuminating the physical and subtle realms with energies of love and light during these three Global Festivals.

This Easter the effects of the visionary, enlivening Libra Full Moon Eclipse will amplify the energy generated around the world by devotees of all spiritual traditions. 

During the Easter Festival, in response to the outpouring of love and light on planet Earth, the Spiritual Hierarchy pours forth vast waves of healing energy along all the colors of the Seven Rays, directed toward our blue green planet, with the general goal of accelerating the spiritual progress of all sentient (and non-sentient) beings in our realm, and with the specific goal of supporting humanity on our Ascension Path toward Unity Consciousness here in our physical bodies.

Rainbow Dancing, Photo by Drew Colins on Unsplash
Rainbow Dance, Photo by Drew Colins on Unsplash

Easter is above all a Festival of World-Renewal.

Esoteric Christian teachings tell us that the death and resurrection of Christ infused the energy of the Cosmic Christ into all the realms of creation, from the lowest Underworld to the Earthly plane of existence, and beyond -- to the highest heavenly peaks of existence in subtle energy realms.

In the 21st century, in pursuit of the goal of World Renewal, humanity is required to repair the damage we have done to the Earth's fragile ecosystems, damage that is causing a Sixth Mass Extinction.

The only way humanity can work consciously to restore the ecological balance on planet Earth is to expand our individual and our collective consciousness.

To renew the Earth's water, air, and soil and to restore a balance between human energy consumption and planetary boundaries, humanity must seek to Unify consciousness with the Web of Life on planet Earth, while simultaneously subordinating the egoistic personality to the guidance of Higher Self, Higher Mind and Higher Purpose.

At this time of the Easter Festival, something Divine seeks to restore equilibrium between humanity and the natural environment of Mother Earth. The principle that seeks to restore this equilibrium has been given the name of The Divine Mother


Princess of Disks, Thoth Tarot
Princess of Disks, Thoth Tarot, oil painting by Lady Frieda Harris

This week's liminal moment at the intersection of winter and spring is sacred to The Divine Mother. 

Around the time of the Spring Equinox, in mid-March and through April, the Divine Feminine is adored as Persephone, the Goddess of Spring, Cybele, the Great Mother Gaia, Rhea and by many other names.

It is no accident that Our Lady is Worshipped at this time of year, when the Life Forces are rising, when the chi is rendered visible in the first golden hues to paint the weeping willow branches, when the birds' song serenades you at dawn, when the first robin is sighted, when animals and people alike mate and seek union.

The fecundity of our fields, farms, hearths and bodies is very much present in our consciousness, our daily tasks and all around us for those with eyes to see and hearts to hear.

Now is the time to practice walking meditation.

Go out into nature and observe the earth as it awakens.

Here in Winston Salem the early blossoming Bradford Pear trees have turned totally green, magnolias and cherries are in full flower, and as you drive around this heavily wooded city, the greenery spreads and brightens in color visibly, day by day.

As this Equinox week unfolds in the Northeast US, snowbells appear, daffodils are poking through the cold ground, alliums emerge from hiding, the iris shows us her blades and the first shoots of purifying spring plants make their appearance, bursting through the sometimes still frozen ground.

Violets in Bloom, photo by Jane Sherry, Winston Salem 2024
Violets in Bloom, photo by Jane Sherry, Winston Salem 2024

 Our slumbering winter selves need spring herbs to help enliven our bodies: violets, nettles, or dandelion. You can also use hyssop, angelica, mullein and dandelion as spring tonics, as they too begin their springtime emergence from the awakening earth.  

Now is the time to purge the energetic accumulations of hibernal sloth, clear the energetic residue of the heavy foods of winter from our systems, and to emerge from the gestation of the inner world of wintery contemplation.
Now is the time to rejoice as we move into the increasing sunlight, feast upon early spring green shoots and move our bodies with renewed vigor. Our spring dance celebrating the joy of life's renewal is sacred to The Divine Mother. Eastertide and Passover Season is the perfect time to speak about the need to recognize, name and embrace the return of the Great Mother.

Black Madonna Weeps for Peace, gouache, rubber stamp, ink, pencil, on amate paper, by Jane Sherry, 2024
Black Madonna Weeps for Peace
Gouache, rubber stamp, ink, pencil, on amate paper, by Jane Sherry, 2024

Whether your belief system is secular or new age, whether you are on a self-directed spiritual journey or if you are celebrating traditional religious practices, it is time to hear, acknowledge and awaken to the outpouring energy of The Divine Mother!
We have lived through many thousands of years where the Mother has been denigrated, disempowered and  disenfranchised; where girl children have been dismissed as inessential or far worse, times when girl children have been maimed, killed, sold into slavery or abandoned.

There are still places today where young girls are mutilated as part of their circumcision rites of puberty, robbing them of any future pleasure they may take in the act of sexual pleasure itself, or the union which creates new life or in childbirth.
For thousands of years our very language has been subverted to empower only half of the human population and to heap abuse and violence on the female half of the human family, and on Mother Earth and her creatures as well.
We Receive the Same Signs Again and Again and Still we Refuse to See, gouache and pencil by Jane Sherry, 2024
We Receive the Same Signs Again and Again and Still we Refuse to See, gouache by Jane Sherry, 2024

Even the word devotion has lost its original meaning of consecrating oneself and instead has come to more commonly mean submission to the Divine Patriarch.

The Latin word ‘mater’, the root of the words Mother and Matter, has been defiled by its current meaning of dead substance, devoid of any Divine spark or origin.

Yet in response to this long denigration of the Feminine principle, the Divine Mother still makes her presence known in a new way among people in the reemergence of the Devotion to the Magdalene.


Jesus and a Woman, possibly Mary Magdalene, Stained Glass Window - Church of St. Peter and Paul - Lavenham - Suffolk - England
Jesus and a Woman, possibly Mary Magdalene
Church of Sts. Peter and Paul, Lavenham, Suffolk, England
Adam Jones from Kelowna, BC, CanadaCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

According to many modern Biblical scholars, Mary Magdalene was Christ’s most beloved disciple.

It was Mary Magdalene who anointed Jesus as Messiah on the Mount of Olives during Holy Week with the spikenard she carried in her alabaster jar.

The word Messiah means ‘the anointed one’.

On Easter Sunday, it was Mary Magdalene who enjoyed the visitation of the risen Christ when she came to his tomb in the garden to anoint his body.

Christ Appearing to Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection, William Etty, oil on canvas, 1834
Christ Appearing to Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection, William Etty, oil on canvas, 1834
William Etty , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

It was Mary Magdalene who proclaimed the miracle of Christ’s resurrection to the other Apostles.

This Easter, let us say a prayer in Her name.

For Mary Magdalene is the perfect female example of the Bride of the Divine, the Goddess celebrated in the Hieros Gamos, the Union of the Divine Lovers.

Esoterically, this Sacred Union celebrates the union of the individual soul with the Holy Spirit, of the Sacred Sophia with the Christ principle, the marriage of the eternal energies of Divine Wisdom and Divine Love.

Ultimately, as Margaret Starbird writes so eloquently in Mary Magdalene: The Bride in Exile, "The ultimate union of flesh and divinity occurs in the 'temple of the Holy Spirit' -- each human person."

Together this Easter, let us celebrate the renewal of the miracle and the promise of humanity's spiritual evolution and let us affirm that we will collectively awaken to our responsibilities and restore the balance of life on our maddening, achingly beautiful home planet.

A week or so after Easter, on April 8th, just as the influence of the Libra Full Moon begins to wane, we will reach the energetically potent Full Solar Eclipse at the time of the New Moon in Aries, which has been touted in the mainstream media as The Great American Eclipse, because the path of the Eclipse will travel clear across America, from Texas to Maine. 

Path of The Great American Eclipse, April 8, 2024, courtesy NASA
Path of The Great American Eclipse, courtesy NASA
At the moment of a Solar eclipse, the Moon comes between the Sun and the Earth, casting a shadow across a portion of the Earth's surface.

The shadow consists of two concentric cones. The lighter, outer zone of shadow created on the Earth's surface is the penumbra and the darker, inner zone is the umbra. Within the umbra, the Sun is completely blocked from view.

You can see the path of the total Solar eclipse of April 8, 2024 across America in the image above, from NASA, and you can visit the interactive NASA Eclipse Explorer for a deeper dive into this portentous celestial event. There, you can learn what will be visible in different areas at what times and for how long, see a prediction of the corona, compare this path to previous eclipses, and more. 

Astrologers through the ages have interpreted the passage of a total Solar eclipse across a nation to symbolize the downfall of leaders and reversals of fortune in general.

Ongoing national policy initiatives are likely to encounter severe setbacks, and business as usual will be derailed by outsize destabilizing forces beyond the leadership's control.

Timelapse of Total Solar Eclipse, Photo by Bryan Goff on Unsplash
Timelapse of Total Solar Eclipse, Photo by Bryan Goff on Unsplash

This particular total Solar eclipse occurs during a week filled with the most dramatic astrological aspects of 2024.

The eclipse takes place with Sun at 20º Aries.

This placement indicates that the major theme of the Solar eclipse involves the darkening of the nation's future prospects, symbolized by the Aries Sun.

There is no denying the fact that in 2024 the American people are angry, fearful, and seeking scapegoats for the perceived decline of American power, American culture, and American living standards. We can all see that a revolutionary fervor is gripping the country at the same time that Americans suffer from a powerful feeling of helplessness, linked to profound, widespread dissatisfaction with American politicians, business leaders and news media.

To exacerbate current political anxieties, the 2024 Presidential election is seen as an existential crisis by a large contingent of voters in both parties. Both sides perceive the opposition party as a direct and unprecedented threat to Americans' freedom and well being. The tension has been building for years.

As early as 2022, the British Guardian newspaper reported that "More than two-fifths of Americans believe civil war is at least somewhat likely in the next 10 years, according to a new survey – a figure that increases to more than half among self-identified “strong Republicans”.

Red states vs Blue States Map of America, November 2020, Wikimedia
Red states vs Blue States Map of America, November 2020
AngrCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A nation at war with itself cannot expect to fulfill its role as a leader on the world stage, to overcome its enemies in battle, or to select a new leadership peacefully and successfully.

The Great American Solar Eclipse taking place on the Libra/Aries axis highlights the ongoing dramatic tension between the rights of the individual and the requirements of society as a whole. This tension is reflected in the polarity between the Republican Party's emphasis on individual rights and the Democratic Party's emphasis on collective needs.

On the world stage, the energy signature of this potent total Solar Eclipse in Aries axis indicates that in situations of conflict the nation may choose naked Aries aggression and this may be a self-defeating course of action. 

Mars and Saturn conjoin in Pisces on April 10th, two days after The Great American Eclipse. A Mars/Saturn conjunction traditionally symbolizes expanding warfare, new threats of war, and natural disasters, so the potential for fruitful negotiations in the Middle East and Ukraine wars appears minimal at this time.

Arab-Israeli Conflict, Cartoon by Mahmoud Kahil, 2001, Wikimedia
Arab-Israeli Conflict, Cartoon by Mahmoud Kahil, 2001
Mahmoud KahilCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Especially with Mercury retrograde as of April 1st, there is substantial danger that mental miscalculations combined with incendiary new provocations will result in the escalation of the dangerous, bloody conflicts in the Middle East and in Ukraine.

The stars indicate that the aggressor in any escalation will probably be unable to achieve their objectives, and could be subject to substantial blowback from poorly executed strategies and tactical blunders, characteristic of military operations initiated during Mercury retrograde.

For example, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu remains firm in his determination to extend Israeli military operations into Rafah, where over a million Gazans currently seek shelter from the Israeli onslaught.

This week, "A top Israeli official said his country’s military was ultimately going to invade the southern Gaza city of Rafah and defeat Hamas ‘even if the entire world turns on Israel, including the United States’," according to a report by Bloombergnews service.

There is talk among Israeli leaders of removing a million or more Gazans to camps in the Negrev desert in southern Israel.

Even worse, it is possible that President Joe Biden's announced plan to build a port in Gaza to deliver food to the million+ starving Palestinians held prisoner in Rafah could enable Israel to carry out an unprecedented plan for permanent ethnic cleansing in Gaza that would most likely trigger a MIddle East firestorm.

Gaza Port Pier, Ronnie Kenugsberg Pikiwiki Israel, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons
Gaza Port Pier
Ronnie Kenugsberg Pikiwiki IsraelCC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

"When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked whether he agreed with the recent Victory of Israel conference, which called for the mass expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza, he said the ministers from his government who attended were 'entitled to their opinions,'" according to a report in The Middle East Eye.

But Netanyahu has been preparing to permanently remove the Palestinians from Gaza for months! Netanyahu "had reportedly tasked Ron Dermer, one of his closest aides, with exploring ways to 'thin out' Gaza’s population," The idea was to bypass the resistance of Egypt, the US and Europe to another mass wave of refugees, by opening up the sea as a humanitarian gesture," The Middle East Eye explains.

"Addressing a private meeting of the Knessett's Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, Netanyahu said the [new American built] port could facilitate the removal of Palestinians from Gaza. He added there was 'no obstacle' to the Palestinians leaving the Gaza Strip apart from the unwillingness of other countries to accept them, according to a Kan News journalist," says The Middle East Eye. "If no cogent plan for the day after the war yet exists, there appears to be a consensus on keeping the whole population of Gaza in tents, dependent on aid that Israel alone controls."

Whether the million+ Palestinians in Rafah are trucked to the remote Israeli desert, forced into refugee boats at the new American built Gaza port, or simply held captive in tent cities in the tiny Rafah enclave, this naked ethnic cleansing could cross all the red lines of Middle East countries supporting the Palestinians, and precipitate an explosive, widening regional conflict. 

Meanwhile, European leaders are preparing for massive escalation in the Ukraine war. With Pluto in Aquarius, and the energy signature of America's Pluto return activated throughout 2024, there is even some danger that a Plutonian nuclear conflict could erupt suddenly and unexpectedly this spring.

Marschflugkörper Taurus KEPD 350 auf der ILA 2002, Wikimedia
Taurus KEPD 350 cruise missile at Berlin International Air Show, 2002 JwnabdCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

On March 2nd, the TV station Russia Today featured a leaked recording of a conversation between top German military officials about delivery of powerful Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine.

The long range of the Taurus missiles would empower the Ukrainians to target Russian facilities in Crimea and especially the vital Kerch Bridge that connects Russia with Crimea, and is a major supply line for Russian forces operating throughout the region.

The German government responded quickly.

"While German authorities have not questioned the authenticity of the recording, [German Chancellor Olaf] Scholz said a week ago that delivering these weapons to Ukraine is not an option — and that he does not want Germany to be drawn into the war directly," according to a report in Politico.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Wikimedia
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
European ParliamentCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

"In recent weeks, Scholz has reiterated that he is not considering the possibility of supplying cruise missiles to Ukraine, claiming that it could imply a direct confrontation with Russia and that it would be necessary to deploy German troops on Ukrainian territory for the allied army to be able to use this weapon," as reported in the newspaper El Pais.

"German politics has become embroiled in a debate about whether or not to send long-range Taurus missiles to Ukraine," CNBC reports. "Chancellor Olaf Scholz is firmly against the delivery of the missiles, but the opposition and even members of his own coalition government are supportive."

Here we see the tension between diplomacy and aggression symbolized by this month's Libra/Aries polarity very clearly.

For the moment, fortunately, it appears that Germany is not prepared to engage in a full scale war with Russia.

Emmanuel Macron Boxing, March 2024, Wikimedia
Emmanuel Macron Boxing, March 2024
W1k1Us3r.0924, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons


The same cannot be said of French President Emmanuel Macron, who would like to send 20,000 French troops to fight the Russians in Ukraine, as part of a 60,000 man NATO army, as reported in Newsweek

In an op-ed published by French daily Le Monde on Tuesday March 19th, General Pierre Schill, the head of French ground forces, wrote, "If you want peace, prepare for war," quoting a well-known Latin adage. "The sources of crisis are multiplying and carry with them risks of spiraling or extending," the Commander added.

German Chancellor Scholz has pushed back against Macron's aggressive rhetoric, but there is support for Macron's proposed dramatic escalation of the Ukraine War in Poland and the Baltic states.

In response to the provocative signals emanating from NATO leaders, "President Vladimir Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons if Western powers send soldiers to within striking distance of Russia," as reported in Al Jazeera.

2021 Map of Estimated Global Nuclear Warhead Inventories

The West has “announced the possibility of sending Western military contingents to Ukraine,” Putin said on Thursday. “The consequences for possible interventionists will be way more tragic. . .They should eventually realise that we also have weapons that can hit targets on their territory. Everything that the West comes up with creates the real threat of a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons, and thus the destruction of civilisation,” Putin contended.

Western military analysts believe that Putin's warlike rhetoric is just a bluff. The consensus among military and political leaders in NATO is that Russia does not have the resources to wage a major conflict with the Western alliance.

Russia's President Putin also offered to engage in negotiations to de-escalate the Ukraine war, but was rebuffed by Western allies who do not believe the Russians will negotiate in good faith.

So, as astrology indicates, the global tension between Aries and Libra, between intensification of existing conflicts and diplomatic efforts designed to de-escalate wars in Israel and Ukraine dominates the news cycle this month.

How dangerous are the current Global Crises in Ukraine and the Middle East? Can it be compared to the ancient days of the Cold War, when elementary school children were taught to Duck and Cover under their desks in the event of thermonuclear war?

I was ten years old in 1962, in the sixth grade, in Houston, Texas, as the Cuban missile crisis unfolded. That confrontation generated 24/7 news coverage in an analog world still dependent on radio and three channels of network TV. 

Map showing the maximum range of Soviet missiles deployed in Cuba in 1962, Wikimedia
Map showing the maximum range of Soviet missiles deployed in Cuba in 1962
CIA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

"Many nuclear historians agree that 27 October 1962, known as “Black Saturday”, was the closest the world came to nuclear catastrophe, as US forces enforced a blockade of Cuba to stop deliveries of Soviet missiles," the Guardian newspaper reported in 2022. "On the same day a U-2 spy plane was shot down over the island, and another went missing over Siberia when the pilot lost his way."

That same month, a Russian submarine commander nearly fired a nuclear torpedo after being blinded by aggressive American naval tactics. 

"A 1963 report to President John F. Kennedy approximated 134 million American and 140 million Soviet deaths from a theoretical superpower nuclear exchange," according to The National Security Archive. Of course, nuclear winter would immediately commence, resulting in global crop failures for years to come, dooming the survivors of the nuclear holocaust to slow death from radiation poisoning and starvation. 

This close call did not dampen the ardor of America's Cold Warriors in Washington, and across the country.

Box Cover Art by Rafał Zalewski for Red Menace (2nd Edition)
Box Cover Art by Rafał Zalewski for Red Menace (2nd Edition)

Within a year or two of the Cuban missile crisis, I joined the Middle School debate team at Kinkaid, my school in Houston, which the Bush kids also attended, along with other offspring of Texas' oil elite. After being well coached by my Dad, I won a debate arguing for the proposition, "America should adopt a prophylactic first strike nuclear weapons policy and attack China with nuclear weapons prior to being attacked".  I was warmly congratulated for my victory.

That shows you how easy it is to live with the idea of a nuclear war. My Dad, a Captain in the Air Force Reserve who worked at Exxon, was an early prepper survivalist. Philip had a couple of .22 rifles and pistols only good for hunting rabbits, and some gold and dried food in the attic, in case civilization was destroyed.

We were as ready as we could be and that was good enough.

Frankly, I think the present war in Ukraine is more concerning, crazy and unpredictable than the early Sixties Cold War nuclear stand-offs of my youth.

First of all, today's nuclear weapons are far faster and more powerful than old school 20th century Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles.

Nuclear proliferation has opened up the Nuclear Club. China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea now possess new, modernized weapons of thermonuclear mass destruction.

This means that we live in a less predictable nuclear weapons environment in which national leaders have only minutes to detect and respond to potential nuclear attacks. 

Barack Obama and Joe Biden taking a selfie in 2014. Wikimedia.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden taking a selfie in 2014
White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Oh, and did I mention that President Biden has broken his campaign promises and decided to continue an Obama era first strike policy regarding nuclear weapons?

"Biden has decided not to follow through on his 2020 pledge to declare that the sole purpose of nuclear weapons is to deter a nuclear attack against the United States or its allies. Instead, he approved a version of a policy from the Obama administration that leaves open the option to use nuclear weapons not only in retaliation to a nuclear attack, but also to respond to non-nuclear threats," according to the Arms Control Association website.

In the Cold War the default setting was Mutual Assured Destruction, so both sides put the danger of destroying human civilization front and center as they played their game of 3-D chess with nuclear weapons and conventional armed forces.

Russia and America would destroy one another completely in any nuclear confrontation so there was constant contact between the warring parties, constant communication at the highest levels, to avoid potentially catastrophic misunderstandings. 

John F. Kennedy meeting with Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna, Wikipedia
John F. Kennedy meeting with Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna
Photograph from the U. S. Department of State in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

These days, communications between NATO and Russia are not so good.

President Putin says French Prime Minister Macron has stopped calling him.

To me, that's a bad sign. So is the hybris of Western leaders who say Russia's nuclear threats are just a bluff. They don't seem to care that Russia's hypersonic missiles are advanced technology compared to their own air defenses, and that Russia has more nuclear weapons than anyone in the world today. 

We need leaders in the West who can move past their heritage as White Colonial Overlords and treat their adversaries around the world with a little more respect. Otherwise they are risking a global disaster.
Fortunately, to counterbalance the worrisome Great American Eclipse on the Aries/Libra axis and the incendiary Mars/Saturn conjunction of early April, there are some positive signs in the sky during the next few weeks.

Constellation of Taurus, Star Map by John Flamsteed , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Constellation of Taurus, Star Map by John Flamsteed, 1776
John Flamsteed , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Just a few days after the Great American Solar Eclipse, the most powerful astrological aspect of the year manifests.

Jupiter and Uranus conjoin at 22º Taurus from April 17-20. We began to feel the effects of this powerful, positive conjunction from the beginning of March, and its energy signature will persist in the collective consciousness through the first days of June.

There is a Jupiter/Uranus conjunction about once every 14 years, but this will be the only such conjunction in Taurus in our lifetimes.

Jupiter is the planet we associate with golden opportunities, great good fortune, abundance, and consciousness expansion. 

Hi resolution photo of Jupiter, courtesy NASA, public domain
Hi resolution photo of Jupiter, courtesy NASA, public domain

Uranus is the planet of electrifying, sudden change, political and scientific advances and dramatic reversals of fortune.

With these two planets combined, we have the potential for tremendous changes in the geopolitical, financial, and individual spheres of life.

British astrologer Steve Judd recently pointed out that the conjunction sits right on the Suns of both Palestine and Israel.

This remarkable coincidence leads Judd to foresee an opportunity for resolution of the bloody Gaza conflict, which has now expanded into the Red Sea, Lebanon, and Syria.

Gaza War Crimes, Cartoon by Carlos Latuff
Gaza War Crimes
Carlos Latuff, Copyrighted free use, via Wikimedia Commons

Judd points out that with Mars in Pisces sextile Jupiter on the 19th and Mars sextile Uranus on the 20th, these two positive aspects, combined with the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction, could overpower the incendiary effects of the Great American Eclipse and the early April Mars/Saturn conjunction in Pisces.

We can only hope Judd is right, although Israel's stated intent to pursue mass ethnic cleansing in Gaza makes it very hard to see how a diplomatic solution to the conflict can emerge from the fog of war we see around us today.

Financial astrologers regard the Uranus/Jupiter conjunction in Taurus, the Earthy sign of financial abundance, as a strange attractor, a sort of money magnet, which has historically indicated the culmination of aptly named bull runs on Wall Street, with sky high prices.

Financial astrologers say that this conjunction indicates the end of a market cycle, so overvalued assets will decline in value in a few months after the conjunction, and undervalued assets will begin a new bullish cycle in their turn. 

As I look around the Internet, present time, I see not only some signs of frothy markets, but what appear to be a series of epochal financial bubbles expanding at a record pace.

Blowing Bubbles, Photo by Kayla Farmer on Unsplash
Blowing Bubbles, Photo by Kayla Farmer on Unsplash

Today, Wednesday, March 20th, at 4:40 PM Eastern time, the S&P 500, a good proxy for the stock market as a whole, reached an all time high of 5224.62. 

"The S&P 500 has officially added $10 TRILLION in market cap since its October 27th low," as reported in The Kobeissi Letter, a leading newsletter providing commentary on global capital markets. "Since October 27th, the S&P 500 is up a whopping 1,150 points, or 28%. That means the index has added $10 trillion in 97 trading days, or $103 billion PER DAY since October 27th."

Wow! That's an example of irrational exuberance if I've ever seen one.

But don't take my word for it. Here's what oft-quoted Dr. John P. Hussman of the Hussman Financial Trust has to say about today's market movements: "Based on the valuation measures we find best-correlated with actual subsequent S&P 500 total returns across a century of market cycles, the stock market presently stands at valuation extremes matched only twice in U.S. financial history: the week ended December 31, 2021 (the 2022 peak occurred the next trading day) and the bubble peak in the week ended August 26, 1929. While our investment discipline is to align our outlook with prevailing, observable market conditions, my impression is that investors are presently enjoying the double-top of the most extreme speculative bubble in U.S. financial history."

In other words, this looks like a market top in a world-class financial bubble, which is par for the course with Jupiter and Uranus converging in the money sign of Taurus.

And that's not the only bit of bubble-icious action on Wall Street.

Bitcoin (₿) is a cryptocurrency invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto and started in 2009, when its implementation was released as open-source software, Wikimedia
Bitcoin (₿) is a cryptocurrency invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto and started in 2009, when its implementation was released as open-source software
Jorge FranganilloCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Despite several years of cryptocurrency bankruptcies, rampant fraud, and highly publicized market rigging, Bitcoin is trading at $67,522.71, up a mind-blowing 63.9422% from its price of $41,186.91 just one year ago. Can you say world historical class financial bubble? I know you can!

And all that's nothing compared to Nvidia stock, trading now at $903.72, up 248.927% from its price of $259 just one year ago.

Nvidia has a lock on some 80% of the market for software and computer chips used to power Artificial Intelligence systems, and that's cool, but there's no doubt this stock is in a bubble now.

You can tell because Nvidia now has a historically unprecedented market capitalization, or total estimated worth, of $2.6 trillion on 2023 sales of around $60 billion.

NVIDIA headquarters at 2788-2888 San Tomas Expressway in Santa Clara, California.Coolcaesar, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
NVIDIA headquarters at 2788-2888 San Tomas Expressway in Santa Clara, California.
CoolcaesarCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As a comparison to Nvidia, Microsoft is the largest corporation in America. The market capitalization of Microsoft is $3.16 trillion on sales of $211 billion.

Apple is valued at a mere $2.76 trillion, on 2023 sales of $385.706 billion.

 The market cap of Tesla, another risky, innovative stock is $550.43 billion on 2023 sales of $96.8 billion.

Shares of Tesla, which have been considered nose bleed expensive for years relative to sales, are priced at a bargain compared to Nvidia.

I need to find whoever is buying Nvidia stock and get some of what they're smoking! That would make for a consciousness expanding, personally electrifying Uranus/Jupiter conjunction.

Financial astrologers caution that these bullish runs may continue through June or a little later, but the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction says that what goes up, must come down!

On a personal level the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction at 21º Taurus could signal that this will be a spring to remember!

La Primavera, Sandro Botticelli, Uffizi Gallery, Wikimedia
La Primavera, Sandro Botticelli, Uffizi Gallery, Firenze, Italy
Sandro Botticelli CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Sabian Symbol for 21º Taurus is A Finger Pointing to a Line in an Open Book, an obvious reference to bibliomancy, the art of obtaining intuitive guidance by opening the Bible to a page at random, and randomly selecting a line of text.

Those of us who are open to guidance from the Universe should be on high alert this spring for signs and messages regarding our material and spiritual goals and our significant relationships. 

The Uranus/Jupiter conjunction is an auspicious planetary alignment that speaks of unexpected good fortune and of self-directed magical workings designed to manifest our deepest desires in a way that is beneficial to all concerned. 

Uranus and the Dance of the Stars, painting by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Wikimedia
Uranus and the Dance of the Stars, painting by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Wikimedia
Karl Friedrich Schinkel , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Be prepared for surprises and remember to go with the flow!

Put your fears in your rear view mirror and let the moonglow guide you!

The Universe is on your side during this Aries interval of 2024, and more than likely what's happening is happening to liberate you from repetitive patterns of dysfunctional behavior, outmoded mental maps of the world, stifling relationships, and egoistic attachments to desires of every kind.

You might even be given the keys to the doorway leading into your own personal best future.

No matter what comes up in your world, we affirm that we all will receive the grace and guidance we require to achieve liberation, creativity, material abundance and spiritual progress on our paths in life.

Curtis and Jane, Reynolda Gardens, Selfie
Jane and Curtis in Reynolda Garden, Selfie

Jane and I affirm that we all are receiving the grace and guidance we need to proceed with ease and grace on this tightrope journey between the old, dying world of the Piscean Age and the new, embryonic world of Aquarian creativity barely visible through the fog of 21st Century collective consciousness. 

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." - 1 Corinthians 13:12 

Meditation Moment: In Jerusalem

In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,

I walk from one epoch to another without a memory

to guide me. The prophets over there are sharing

the history of the holy ... ascending to heaven

and returning less discouraged and melancholy, because love

and peace are holy and are coming to town.

I was walking down a slope and thinking to myself: How

do the narrators disagree over what light said about a stone?

Is it from a dimly lit stone that wars flare up?

I walk in my sleep. I stare in my sleep. I see

no one behind me. I see no one ahead of me.

All this light is for me. I walk. I become lighter. I fly

then I become another. Transfigured. Words

sprout like grass from Isaiah’s messenger

mouth: “If you don’t believe you won’t be safe.”

I walk as if I were another. And my wound a white

biblical rose. And my hands like two doves

on the cross hovering and carrying the earth.

I don’t walk, I fly, I become another,

transfigured. No place and no time. So who am I?

I am no I in ascension’s presence. But I

think to myself: Alone, the prophet Muhammad

spoke classical Arabic. “And then what?”

Then what? A woman soldier shouted:

Is that you again? Didn’t I kill you?

I said: You killed me ... and I forgot, like you, to die.

Mahmoud Darwish

- by Mahmoud Darwish, "In Jerusalem" from The Butterfly’s Burden.