Walter Perschke: Barbara, we started our last interview with you clarifying the kind of astrology we are discussing here. Can you remind us?
Barbara Schermer: Let's distinguish between the horoscope columns and the actual practice of astrology described here. Though they can be fun, newspaper or online daily horoscopes trivialize an art that has had major roles in most cultures and societies for thousands of years. The astrology we are talking about is the study of planetary cycles and patterns that are hidden but knowable. It is an observational art—how is the knowledge of astrology useful in identifying patterns of experience that I observe occurring in my daily life? How can this knowledge help me to live my life well?
Walter Perschke: Thank you. That was helpful. Let's revisit some of the astrological topics we talked about in the first of our interview series with you in November. We have gotten terrific feedback about our last interview. It is a message to me that readers want to be informed of the grand cosmic themes that they can relate to and can use in their daily lives. What's next?
Barbara Schermer: Let's look back briefly at events since our last conversation. You may notice that we've survived the Winter Solstice-Doomsday-Mayan Calendar predictions. We're still here! The world spins on it's axis, the sun rises and sets, the stars come out at night—but that does not mean that all is unchanged in our inner and outer lives. The astrology of these times points toward powerful changes.
We spoke quite a bit in November about the ongoing effects of Uranus square Pluto. (Square is astrological language for planets at a 90 degree angle to one another.) In summary, this powerful transit is sweeping through like a series of intense ocean waves, ebbing and flowing, and having its effect through the spring of 2015. The first wave of Uranus square Pluto began in the fall of 2011 and peaked on June 24, 2012. The second wave occurred this fall and was at its height on September 19, 2012. We compared it last time to the powerful transits that underlay the events of the Sixties. Just look at some of what has happened since we last spoke, reflecting the second phase of this transit:
• Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines were startling reminders of increasing climate change.
• Barack Obama was re-elected and China's Communist party chose their leadership for the next 10 years.
• Social revolutions worldwide gained momentum—legalized pot in Washington and Colorado, legalized same sex marriage in some states, and the US Supreme Court has taken up the case.
• We've seen pushback on GMO's, fracking, gun control, woman's, labor, privacy and gay rights, immigration, education, Social Security and Medicaid.
• Top Generals ended up in tabloid headlines, giving "military affairs" a whole new meaning, along with "counterintelligence" that turned out to be counter to common sense.
• Israel and Gaza exploded but both sides came to their senses before descending to outright war, Egyptians are in the streets again fighting for democracy, and Syria's cruel regime seems on the brink of collapse.
All that and more has happened since The Monthly Aspectarian went to print for Novevember. Outcomes may be uncertain, but the Uranus-Pluto process of intense pressures and explosions of surprise and transformation is clearly underway.
Walter Perschke: You remind us how important it is to pause, look back and remember what we have just gone through. So let's look forward. Would you give us an overview of your insights about 2013?
Barbara Schermer: First let's speak globally, then personally. With Uranus square Pluto the safest prediction of world events is on the side of powerful unpredictability. Expect to make jaw dropping at the news a regular practice. The Uranus/Pluto wave from 2012 is building once again, peaking on May 30, 2013 and again on November 1, 2013. These two dates just indicate the crest of one of a series of waves through the spring of 2015. We are riding the third one now. Think of the deepest current at the depths of the ocean. It is impossible to detect from the surface, yet it is powerfully moving through trenches and mountain ranges below. That current or wave does not just appear and peak for one day. It swells and builds and then crests pushing massive amounts of water forward with extraordinary power and momentum.
This planetary combination is active for the entire year of 2013. We will continue to see the quickening of events, "chain reactions" that seem out of anyone's control. And because of the Internet and social media we know of these events almost instantly. Internally, our own "inner Internet" is registering the acceleration of change in our personal lives.
Walter Perschke: What can we expect in our personal lives in the year ahead?
Barbara Schermer: Writer Tom Friedman says that "The World is Flat" to convey how close we have become to people everywhere. In the view of astrology, you are also the center of your own world, with planets both literal and symbolic circling around you, setting the context for your particular thoughts and actions. Thus astrology is personal as well as universal. Now that we (and specifically you, my readers) are riding this giant wave, don't you want to ride it with balance and grace, both to keep you afloat and to protect you? And wouldn't you want to have some ability to "surf the wave" and to take your own line through the roar and tumble? Staying afloat and having both protection and direction is possible this year, with the aid of three auspicious planetary influences of 2013 that counterbalance the more challenging one we just spoke of. The planet Saturn is now actively making a sextile (60° apart—that's a good thing) to Pluto, getting strongest in March and around the end of September. Saturn is about form and structure. Taking the wave metaphor to the maximum, it's time for you, like Noah in the Bible, to build an ark—a big boat with strong ribs and sturdy hull, but nimble and quick—as both a refuge and a way of getting where you need to go. Your boat will be constructed of acts of discipline and dedicated practice on all levels (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual). Through steady application and effort you will become, as the poet you studied in high school said, "the master of [your] fate, the captain of [your] soul."
Those of you with strong personalities and fierce will may already have the tools you need. In general, all Sun Signs in the element of Earth (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) have natural ability to build structure, and all Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) are comfortable in that element. Scorpios are perhaps the best equipped to deal with stormy seas.
Walter Perschke: Do we get any more help from other astrological influences during this time?
Barbara Schermer: Yes. At any one time there are always helpful influences to counter the more challenging ones. In 2013 one of them is Saturn sextile Pluto that I just described. The planet Saturn also makes another favorable aspect, a trine to Neptune, that is especially active now and through the end of July. This means you now can have greater clarity about your own way forward, as well as greater vision for the earth and for all mankind. Your success at this time is aided by your developing a precise intention. A clear, unambiguous intention, guided by self-awareness, makes for good choices moment to moment, which will direct you to your desired end. But here's the question: Where does your "internal GPS" say you are? And where do you want to go?
Saturn trine Neptune offers a chance for course-correcting your life, especially those of you with Sun signs in Capricorn, Pisces, Taurus, Cancer, Virgo and Scorpio. If these are not your Sun sign it is likely this aspect will be touching one of the other nine planets you have in your birth chart and you will still get its assistance. (Remember, you are not just your sun sign!)
There is a caveat regarding this aspect. Saturn trine Neptune advises, Be careful what you wish for. Since you are connecting more strongly to the subtle realms, there actually is a pathway opening to allow you to instantly manifest. Notice how an intention, even a thoughtless one, is more likely to spring into your life now. There is an even longer planetary influence that supports this, Neptune sextile Pluto—we spoke of it in November. Expect these instant manifestations; their surprising appearances will give you great stories to tell. Recent ones I have heard: a man manifesting the brand of car that two weeks prior he had no money to buy, another who thought "I would love to have an industrial leaf blower to clean my lawn" and a neighbor offering one several hours later and my favorite—someone who dreamt of a colorful snake in a dream and two weeks later a muralist painted one on a blank wall that the dreamer passes several times a day. I love these stories and their jaw-dropping synchronicities. If you have such a story do send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love hearing them.
The last of the three positive influences is Uranus, now in the Fire sign Aries, where it has increasingly picked up speed since mid-December 2012. Uranus in Aries is a very different vibration of energy, almost a polar opposite of Saturn in a water sign. This energy is linked to "out of the blue" lightning strikes of change, insight, and perception. Suddenly lightning strikes and zaps you—new discoveries are made, the world is different, and you are seeing life from a new and higher perspective. Your own life may change in a flash and requires trust that a new path will open. This is especially so for Sun signs in the element of Air (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) or in the element of Fire (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius). Imagine this influence as a flaming arrow that, when aimed high and precisely, blasts and burns through the lower and denser physical, emotional and mental atmosphere. As if we needed it, this configuration evokes and supports even more change, for the world and for you.
We can see this acceleration of discovery and breakthrough taking place in the world by paying attention to daily press releases especially in the fields of science. To appreciate how our knowledge of life is exponentially, check out the website Dailygalaxy.com. I subscribe and here is an example of just one's day's news: "Alien Solar Systems may prove more habitable than ours," and "Origin of human Intelligence linked to a genetic accident 500 million years ago." Also you will notice startling news stories like the recent finding of ice on Mercury! Mercury is 800 degrees, the planet nearest the sun, yet at its north pole is a deep canyon filled with ice. No one had thought of anything remotely like that!
Walter Perschke: Well Barbara, you've given us much to think about as always. The theme seems to be —Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! both collectively and personally. And it seems to me those who are most flexible and adaptable have innate tools to see them through. For others, they are qualities that need to be cultivated and we should use the advice you give us here to best use the planetary influences occurring in the coming year.
Where do people look for more about you and your astrology services?
Barbara Schermer: I offer personal and business consultations by phone that are one hour, recorded on MP3 file, paid via Pay Pal or check. Sessions are $200. For further information and many free and useful articles go to my website, astrologyalive.com, or contact me by email at email@example.com, or (Chicago) telephone: