Location : Astro Info / Articles / Winter 2004-05

Winter 2004-05 (published 12/30/04 - revised 1/10/05)

Astrological Highlights 2005:
       Churning of Strange Attractors*

       by Karen Steen, Astrologer

       Part I of this article describes overarching astrological themes of 2005, themes that began with the entry of our outer planets into Sagittarius and  Aquarius/Pisces in 1995 and 2003. Part I also describes the significance of the Moon’s nodes and eclipses in Aries/Libra for 2005. Part II presents specific astrological indicators that develop during 2005, and their correspondence to social and personal developments this year - these events are discussed seasonally as they occur. For personal insight and planning, correlate these themes and events with your personal history, present circumstances, and goals for 2005 and beyond. The locations in your birth chart of these events further specify developments in your personal, social, career, and spiritual life this year.

     *‘Chaos Theory and Astrology of the Early 21st Century’ originally appeared as Part I of this article. It is now a separate article that summarizes major astrological developments from 1980 - 2020, with reference to Chaos Theory (whole systems change) and Strange Attractors. It provides an historical context for the astrological highlights of 2005.

I. Astrological Themes of 2005

Pluto in 2005: Grounding Transformed World Views

     With Pluto’s entry into Sagittarius in early 1995, dramatic events worldwide challenged established belief systems and world views. During that year, Israel’s peacemaking Prime Minister Rabin was assassinated by an Israeli extremist, and the Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed by domestic US terrorists.  An outbreak of Ebola virus in Africa frightened the world with a message of human vulnerability. The Republican Party, led by Newt Gingrich, took control of the US Legislature for the first time in forty years. In what was to become a decade of media consolidation, international corporate media and telecommunication mergers began. The year 1995 also brought a peace plan in Northern Ireland after centuries of conflict there, and international cooperation in space exploration (US/USSR on MIR space station).

     As Pluto slowly proceeded through mid-Sagittarius this past decade, individuals and societies actively engaged Pluto’s challenge to expand belief systems, world views, and international relations as a basis for our emerging global culture. Some individuals and societies fearfully reacted to this challenge, others creatively responded. This past decade saw the fundamentalist Islamic Taliban control Afghanistan, nuclear proliferation in Asia, the beginning of the ongoing Palestinian intifada, the terrorist attacks on the US in 2001, the Republican Party gain control of the executive and legislative branches of the US government, and increasingly extreme weather events. Also since 1995, the European Union has substantially expanded and developed as a global economic and political force, and there are indications it will be a progressive political force. There is growing public demonstrations worldwide against war, environmental destruction, and privatization of natural resources. And, substantial discoveries in anthropology, archeology, and astronomy have greatly expanded the boundaries of our knowledge about our species, our world, and our place in it.

     Beginning in early 2004, Pluto entered the final ten degrees (third decan) of Sagittarius. Now and into 2008, individuals and societies will work to consolidate and implement their responses to Pluto’s global challenge begun in 1995. This past year (2004) gave us the following: completion of the Human Genome Project through international scientific collaboration; the opening of the International Criminal Court in The Hague for global trials of crimes against humanity; and the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty for environmental preservation.

     In 2005, the ratification process for the Constitutional Treaty for the European Union begins; Israeli/Palestinian peace talks will likely resume, finally initiated by the leaders of these countries; and development will begin on the ‘on-line library of everything known’ by Google.com. We will probably see continuing extreme weather in 2005 - droughts and firestorms at least in part caused by global warming, and possible major seismic sequels to the 2004 Sumatra earthquake. In the US, I expect we will see the following: a filibuster battle in the Republican Party’s attempt to control US Supreme Court appointments; responses by organized labor to globalized corporate capitalism; and progressive Christians organizing in response to fundamentalist Christian ideology.

     Especially for individuals with Sun, Moon, or Angles in late degrees of Aries, Libra, or Sagittarius, February and September of 2005 bring Pluto aspects that convey expansive, potentially beneficial social and professional contacts and agreements.

Uranus and Neptune in Mutual Reception for 2005:
                                       Towards a 21st Century Social Paradigm

     Since its beginning in early 2003, the Uranus/Neptune mutual reception has corresponded to more confusion than clarity as a basis for collective responses to global developments. Campaigns of government misinformation that hide ideological agendas, electoral suppression and  fraud, corporate censorship of mass media, mounting conspiracy theories, and political scandals - all corresponding to current outer planet indicators - give us the experience of navigating unfamiliar territory in a foreboding fog.  This sociopolitical fog calls us to abandon reliance on familiar social structures for direction. We are further called to intuit our individual and collective truth and find our way forward together, thereby creating a 21st Century social paradigm.

     As Uranus and Neptune proceed in their mutual reception(1) through 2011, we have the opportunity to intentionally engage this process. With every crisis and new issue that emerges as we proceed unrelentingly toward a global culture, we can work to establish foundations for new social structures grounded in distributive justice, and for truth-based spiritual cultures that transcend religious institutions. A truth based, compassionate response to the challenges of our emerging global society is a creative response to the Uranus/Neptune reception; reactionary ideology and mass public deception are fear based avoidance of this same collective imperative. Discerning the nature of fear based reactions - in ourselves and others - and learning to answer them with truth, vision, and compassion, are necessary for effective creative responses now.

     Barely two years into this eight years process, we have seen developments express both polarities of the Uranus/Neptune mutual reception. This mutual reception brought us massive electrical blackouts on two continents and the imminence of peak oil production(2); we also see increasing public support for  renewable energy resources, and sustainable communities and business practices. Computer technology is being employed for weaponry, public surveillance, and electoral fraud, while telecommunications are being used to organize mass peace and justice demonstrations, grassroots progressive political movements (e.g. MoveOn.org), and for compassionate communication between citizens around the world (e.g. SorryEverybody.com). While neoconservative ideology now dictates US government policy, we also see several populist and progressive governments in South American and Eastern Europe. Finally, the massive outpouring of compassionate support by world citizens for victims of the Asian tsunami, and public leverage in guiding governments responses, is clearly an inspired collective response.

     We can regard the polarized developments of the past two years as a creative dialectic for forging progressive values and social structures, a dialectic that will engage us through this century and into the next. I think it behooves us to embrace this process as the path to realizing the world we want to live in together.

     Through 2005, I expect to see polarized developments continue, associated with the travel of Uranus and Neptune through the early degrees of their mutual reception. Clean coal technology will gain support; the US government will effect its retreat from air quality protection laws; and the world’s leaders will meet for the UN Millennium Development Goals to address global poverty and climate change. Viktor Yushchenko (Ukraine) and George W. Bush - victors in starkly contrasting democratic electoral dynamics - will be inaugurated, while Iraqi citizens may well boycott their historic elections. We may also see the beginnings of a class-based populism in the US.

     Beginning Fall 2004 and continuing through Summer 2005, a Jupiter/Neptune trine in Libra/Aquarius indicates the following opportunities for individuals and societies: to heal and expand relationships - personal, business, and political; to integrate universal truths and spiritual practices into our daily lives and social groups; to infuse greater compassion and inclusiveness into organized religions; and, to expand democracy globally, including in the US and Europe. The recent Ukraine elections correspond to this Jupiter/Neptune trine, as do recent overtures for peace talks by Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and the historic Sudan peace agreement. Also noteworthy is the massive outpouring of compassionate aide by the Western world to the largely Islamic nations devastated by the Asian tsunami. As with all trines, this Jupiter/Neptune trine can also correspond to inertia in individuals and established groups and organizations. The beneficial changes offered by all trines require actively engaging the opportunity with intention and follow-through.

2005 Lunar Nodes & Eclipses Suggest Relative Independence

     The lunar nodes are the points in space where the orbital planes of the Moon and Earth intersect. Always opposite each other in the Zodiac, the Moon’s South Node symbolizes the past, the familiar, inherent resources, karma and loss; the North Node symbolizes the future, expansive experiences, capacities to be developed, dharma and gain. Together the nodes travel backward through the Zodiac, spending 18 months in each sign, corresponding to social events and contacts,  pivotal developments, and opportunities for growth and social contribution.

     The North Node in Aries/South Node in Libra through 2005 indicates this: asserting our independence and expressing our individuality is central to progress during pivotal developments this year. These nodal positions suggest that growth, progress, and social contribution, especially in response to important developments or opportunities, will be made by defining and distinguishing ourselves as individuals, groups, and societies - our perspective, needs, values, and resources - while also acknowledging our relativity and the value of our relationships. The house location and aspects of the transiting lunar nodes in your chart specify this challenge and opportunity through 2005. This yearlong nodal theme is especially significant for people born with Sun, Moon, Angles, or Lunar Nodes in Aries or Libra.

     The intersection of the Moon and Earth’s orbital planes is also the basis of our solar and lunar eclipses - each occur twice a year on average, and in opposing Zodiac signs that correspond to the lunar nodes. Solar and lunar eclipses differ in astrological qualities and effects, each further distinguished by its Zodiac sign, degree of totality, and the lunar node with which it is associated (north or south). Corresponding to crises, precipitous events, and endings or new beginnings, eclipses bring established patterns or preexisting issues to awareness and focus for needed action. Eclipses are also strongly associated with natural events, like earthquakes and extreme weather. Again, the house location and aspects of eclipses specify their focus in individual charts.

     Developments associated with an eclipse can occur up to three months before or after the eclipse date. With paired eclipses as occur in 2005, be alert for new beginnings, endings, and precipitous events during the two weeks between them. Also, events corresponding to 2005 eclipses can resemble important issues or developments from 1986, as eclipse positions are repeated every nineteen years. A total of four eclipses occur in Spring and Fall of 2005 - specific interpretations for these are provided in the Spring and Fall sections below.

II.  Quarterly Events of 2005
     Below are astrological indicators and events occurring through 2005. Except for Saturn’s two years sign change this Summer, these indicators are each in effect for only one to twelve months. They are useful for personal insight and annual planning, as they correspond to unfolding details of long term themes associated with our outermost planets. The locations of these astrological events in your birth chart specify their corresponding developments in your life this year. Eclipses and the Saturn sign change of 2005 should be considered potentially active up to three months prior to their respective occurrences.

Winter 2004-05
     On March 19, Mercury begins its first of three retrograde periods in fire signs during 2005. These three weeks of Mercury retrograde in Aries are best used to catch up with ourselves and our daily life,  for evaluation, revision, and completion of ongoing endeavors and new ones begun in recent months. Details of neglected chores and new projects need attention now before proceeding with them in May. As Mercury is retrograde in Aries, this is a good time to evaluate the adequacy of our decisions and appropriateness of our self-assertion with others in recent weeks.

Spring 2005
     On April 8, a hybrid (near total) Solar eclipse occurs in mid-Aries near the Moon’s North Node. It will be visible in southern North America and throughout Central and South America, indicating a stronger association for people and events in those areas. As a north node eclipse, developments now may be more planned or chosen than unexpected or fateful. Especially for individuals with Sun, Moon, or Angles in Aries/Libra, this eclipse will present a challenge to grow, develop, and refine your will and sense of purpose according to a new collective need. As this is a near total Solar eclipse, associated developments can continue for 12 - 18 months.

     On April 24, the Moon passes through the Earth’s penumbra (partial shadow). While not technically an eclipse, this results in a distinct darkening of the Moon’s surface as viewed from Earth. This will be visible in North, Central, and South America, New Zealand, Eastern Australia, Indonesia, and Antarctica. Occurring in Scorpio near the Moon’s South Node, this penumbral eclipse is associated with events more of a karmic or fated quality - these are opportunities to release outworn or unnecessary personal patterns and structures to allow for growth.

     Especially as these two Spring eclipses frame the winter Mercury retrograde, consider events and developments now as clarifying the way forward in May.

Summer 2005
     In July, Saturn’s conserving, maturing influence moves from the emotional sign of Cancer (since 6/03) into the willful sign of Leo (until 9/07). Corresponding to the sign it travels through, Saturn challenges the adequacy of personal and social structures through limitations, responsibility, and consequences. In the personal signs Cancer and Leo, it has a repressive effect  - on personal and family life when in Cancer, on creative expression and fun when in Leo. Saturn’s challenge in Cancer this past two years has been to deepen our basis for safety and security from external dependencies to deeply felt truth. Saturn’s challenge in Leo through 2007 will be to grow beyond a compulsive need to control our environment and those in it, and to instead develop self-understanding and discipline as a basis for our creative endeavors.

     Leo is the sign of creative expression - that of individuals and social structures - and the means for this creative expression. It is the sign of gold, children, lovers, entertainment, political charisma, and speculation of all types - including romance, the stock market, and business and political risk-taking. While in Leo, Saturn will correspond to developments that limit and conserve activities in these areas. It will also challenge the progress of expansive actions taken when Jupiter traveled through Leo (8/02 - 8/03), which includes the US invasion of Iraq.

     Art and entertainment take on serious tones with Saturn in Leo. Stock markets are often subdued, and startup businesses and children’s programs may contract due to funding constraints. The US dollar will continue to decline in value, and we may see progressive moves away from the dollar as the world’s oil currency. Historically, Saturn’s travel in Leo has also brought confusion in government policies and a loss of public confidence in government. In the US, the Iraq war will continue to weigh heavily on the American people, and we may see organized protest develop from within the military to our continued involvement there. Also, watch for the Bush Administration to wager its ‘political capital’ on a massive public relations campaign promoting its proposed reforms of tax codes, Social Security, and medical malpractice law. The opposition by powerful interests groups - AARP, business retailers, and trial lawyers - to these proposed reforms will correspond to Saturnine limitations of Bush’s (Leo rising) political ambitions.

     As Saturn travels through early Leo toward 2006, we can expect sobering developments in the areas of life where we creatively express ourselves and our felt purpose. Leo’s location in your birth chart specifies these dynamics for you. Generally, creative pursuits and the resources that sustain them, speculative ventures, and relationships with children and lovers are now subject to Saturn’s rigorous accountability. By late summer, we may notice that life is becoming all work, that our endeavors are increasingly exercises in teaching or learning, with little time for recreation. Consequences and follow through on projects begun in 2002-03 will progressively demand priority attention in order to succeed. Our ultimate success will be commensurate with our personal integrity and willingness to assume responsibility for outcomes - no excuses - now and through 2007. Saturn in Leo is about giving form to something of our felt purpose through sustained effort and work. While there may be little time for fun and relaxation, these next two years are an opportunity for disciplined creative work.

     On July 22 and continuing into mid-August, Mercury retrogrades through mid-Leo (as Saturn also enters Leo). This suggests a three week period to catch up with the details of our daily life from these recent months, review our long-term priorities, and clear the way for disciplined creative work in the months to come. We may need to reconsider or revise new endeavors begun earlier in July, so as to prioritize our efforts and recommence our work towards long-term goals beginning in September. Mid-July to mid-August is also a good time to explore personal routines and techniques that build self-discipline for the coming two years while Saturn transits Leo.

Fall 2005
On October 1, Mars will station (stand still) at 23 degrees Taurus - the degree of the formative Jupiter/Saturn conjunction of 2000. Mars will then retrograde through Taurus until early December. This will reactivate decisions and developments from 2000 - global business and ecological concerns, stock markets and social dynamics, and individual decisions and changes made then. Following Mercury’s retrograde in August, this Mars retrograde period is best used to develop resources and tools necessary to take our goals forward during 2006 - 07.
(Also note: In reactivating the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction of 2000, Mars now also reactivates a 200 years pattern called ‘Tecumseh’s Curse’, a pattern of US Presidents being critically injured or dying in office.)

     On October 3, an annular eclipse of the Sun occurs in mid-Libra. Visible only from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, this is a near total eclipse when the Sun appears as a bright ring around the Moon’s black shadow. Associated with the Moon’s South Node in Libra, this Solar eclipse corresponds to relationship or contractual developments of an unexpected or karmic quality. All south node eclipses call for release of something unnecessary or limiting to allow fuller expression of our life purpose. Again, the house location of this eclipse in your birth chart specifies its dynamics for you. Also, important issues or developments for you during 1986 may lend insight into developments now.

     On October 17, a partial eclipse of the Moon will be visible in western North America. Associated with the Moon’s North Node and in late Aries, this eclipse corresponds to completing or integrating past lessons and experiences about appropriate assertion and our relative independence. Developments now may recall those from earlier eclipses this year, or again from significant issues and events in 1986. As a north node eclipse, developments now may have a quality of awareness or choice for you.
(Also note: This eclipse occurs on President Bush’s Midheaven, or highest point in his birth chart, indicating that he may finally admit to past mistakes or consider  perspectives other than his own this Fall.)

     On October 27, Jupiter completes its travel through Libra, which it began in late September 2004. Jupiter’s yearlong travel through Libra corresponds to expansive opportunities in personal, business, and political relationships, cooperative efforts, and legal contracts and agreements based on shared or complementary values and ideas. Jupiter rules travel, foreign affairs, organized religion, higher education, persons in positions of power, banking, and legal codes and systems: opportunities for fortunate contacts and collaborative agreements in these areas are favored through early Fall 2005. Libra’s location in your birth chart, and the houses ruled by Jupiter, specifically indicate these opportunities for you.
Jupiter’s trine aspect with Neptune through Summer 2005 corresponds to opportunities to heal and expand relationships; to integrate universal truths and spiritual practices into our daily lives and social groups; and to infuse greater compassion and inclusiveness into organized religions. With all Jupiter opportunities, and trines especially, we must engage them with equal measures of intention and moderation to benefit fully. Many Jupiter opportunities are like unsolicited abundance delivered to our front door - they call for an active and discerning response.
     The expanded relationships we build through Summer 2005 will be our ‘relationship capital’ as Jupiter enters Scorpio in late October. Whatever the nature of our relationships and shared resources, they will be deepened and intensified now. Beginning in November, Jupiter will trine Uranus and move into a Grand Fixed Cross with Mars, Saturn, and Neptune through September 2006 - this configuration will be discussed in a
Cosmic Pulse article this Fall.

     On November 13, Mercury enters its final three weeks retrograde period for 2005. Its travel now will be from mid-Sagittarius back into Scorpio, suggesting we review how our thoughts and feelings have affected the quality of our lives and relationships in recent weeks. Some internal reconstruction may be in order now to meet the demands and opportunities - personally, physically, and socially - of Jupiter in Scorpio. These three weeks are also a good time for in-depth research and planning for projects and business transactions to be implemented after mid-December.

     For Chiron watchers, the planetoid travels between Capricorn (since 2001) and Aquarius this year, and finally establishes itself in Aquarius this Fall (through 2010). And finally, on December 24, 2005, Venus begins six weeks of retrograde motion from Aquarius into Capricorn, giving us pause to reflect on our collective values and worldly roles as we proceed into 2006.

My very best wishes to you on your journey through 2005http://www.waterbearerastrology.com.

Summary: Astrological Highlights 2005

     Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are considered by Western astrology to be indicators mostly of social, cultural, and global influences and developments. Through 2005, these outermost planets correspond to progressive developments introduced in 1995 (Pluto in Sagittarius) and 2003 (Uranus in Pisces and Neptune in Aquarius). Also, the Moon’s nodes and Solunar eclipses focus their influences in Aries and Libra through 2005.
Winter 2004-05 brings the first of three Mercury retrograde periods this year, each lasting three weeks and indicating a time for evaluation, revision, and completion of matters in progress. Spring 2005 brings two eclipses indicating focused activity or developments. In Summer 2005, Saturn carries its theme of limitation and accountability from Cancer (since June 2003) into Leo (through 2007), and Mercury retrogrades again.
Fall 2005 is especially active as follows: Mars moves through its biannual retrograde period, reactivating the events of  the 2000 Jupiter/Saturn conjunction; two eclipses occur, again indicating focused activity or developments; Jupiter carries its yearlong expansive influence from Libra into Scorpio; and Mercury retrogrades for a final time this year.

Copyright 2005-2013, Karen Steen. All rights reserved.

1) Mutual reception
occurs when two planets occupy the signs of each others astrological rulership.
Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas describes ‘peak oil’ and provides current information about the world’s rapidly dwindling oil and natural gas resources.

About the Astrologer…
Karen Steen is a consulting and teaching astrologer at Water Bearer Astrology & Consulting, Bellingham, WA.  She has practiced astrology since 1984, professionally since 2000. 
Karen is NCGR Level II-III Certified (Astrology), and holds a Master of Nursing in Primary Care from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Louisiana State University. Information about Karen's astrology practice and services is available at her web site

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