Taking off Febuary

I’m taking off the month of February from all astrology and health consultations so that I can do some healing for myself, and get back to art and painting.

So if you want a reading from me I could do it before January is over. Otherwise, I’ll have to schedule it for March.

As my energy and health have improved, it has been easy for me to get busier, take on more work, and find I’m starting to neglect myself. I have a considerable ways to go to do the internal healing necessary for me to be healthy enough to work full-time and keep a full schedule. So I may be alternating months on and off work. I will probably be able to get to just as many clients, but on a different kind of schedule that allows me to remain more consistent in improving my health.

Thanks for your consideration.
Peace and healing to you all.

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The Saturn Return

The Saturn return is the most frequently mentioned of the planetary return transits in astrology. Too often there are vague and heavy, negative associations given with it. So it is useful to have a precise understanding of what the Saturn return is astronomically. And it is helpful to have a balanced perspective on its astrological meaning.

I. Definitions: What is the Saturn return and how long can it last?

Precise definition: Saturn’s transit back to the precise degree and minute of arc where it was when you were born.

In transit terms: Saturn conjunct natal Saturn. You will begin to experience it when it is still about 5° away. That is months or weeks before Saturn returns to its exact natal longitude (zodiac position). (There are some exceptions to this, which will get a bit technical. I’ll get to them shortly.)

The Saturn return is a transiting planet to natal planet relationship — the transit of Saturn back to the sign degree of its natal position (birth chart position).

It is not Saturn’s return to its natal sign or house.

The reason is because its re-entry to its natal house or sign can occur two years before or even months after the actual transit has begun. When Saturn entered the sign of Cancer in 2003 it was still more than 26° from former U.S. Pres. George W. Bush’s natal Saturn — and a couple years from the beginning of his second Saturn return.

However, Saturn’s transit position here in chart was at 22N36 declination, making a parallel to natal Sun at 22N44. That transit is quite significant, but also very distinct from the Saturn return. It is sloppy astrology and misinformation to put it under the header of ‘Saturn return.’

Again in Bush’s chart: Saturn at 22N30 declination is still in transit parallel natal Sun and edging closer to the conjunction — but still has not begun the Saturn return.

Saturn still far from returning to its natal position even as it enters its natal house. It hasn’t even begun the conjunction to natal Sun yet. So the Saturn return has certainly not started.

With transiting Saturn within 5° of its natal position, Pres. Bush’s Saturn return had begun.

The first Saturn return can only begin well after your 28th birthday. You will feel the effects (at least subconsciously) once the transit is within a 5.5° orb of influence. That could begin months before your 29th birthday.

Example Saturn periods between the cardinal points

Saturn position 1st date 1st return date time lapse
0°00′ Aries: April 7, 1996 May 25, 2024 29 years, 48 days
0°00′ Cancer: June 3, 2003 July 13, 2032 29 years, 40 days
0°00′ Libra: July 21, 2010 Sept 5, 2039 29 years, 46 days
0°00′ Capricorn: Dec 19, 2017 Jan 24, 2047 29 years, 36 days

With its retrogrades, the Saturn return (in longitude) can cover most of a year

During that time Saturn usually moves out of orb (out of the aspect) for weeks. So the action of the transit will not likely be continuous from the earliest beginning of the aspect until its final move out of orb.

However, there are some conditions of declination which allow Saturn to return to its natal declination (parallel aspect) on its way to the conjunction. That can occur a year or more before the conjunction (or linger well after it). So let’s go back to George W. Bush’s chart and look at how this can happen.

Saturn returned to its natal declination (21N02) in 2001. The transit of Saturn parallel natal Saturn began for Bush in late July 2001:

This transit holds many of the same issues in a kind of preview of the longitudinal Saturn return.

This happens most often when a planet is nearer the extremes of declination, which most planets (all but Pluto) arrive at when in the signs of Gemini, Cancer (north declination), Sagittarius, or Capricorn (south declination). See my page on declination for more illustrations and explanation.

II. What is the meaning of the Saturn return?

No planets, not even the old devil Saturn, are here to block your success or happiness. It does time some results forthcoming from your efforts from the previous several years. (7 years since it made its last square to its natal position.)

It may be time to sharpen the focus of your most important priorities into reasonable goals. It may be time to let go of some responsibilities and stick with what you can control.

Saturn is about learning within limitation: lessons and fears we break through to find greater transcendence (the outer three planetary energies). More specifically, it relates to responsibility, goals, parental issues (especially with father), desires for security and control, expectations and standards. Personal integrity, career, and reputation are included. So Saturn relates not only to a healthy sense of personal standards or integrity, but to an egoistic careerism or concern for reputation. It depends on what is framed up in your birth chart.

The Saturn return reactivates all the aspects it made in your natal chart and all its original conditions.

This is why the experience of the Saturn return varies widely from person to person. While there may be some general principles involved, it is an individual experience. Some people have mostly flowing aspects involving natal Saturn. Others may have mostly challenging aspects. Some experience setbacks, others experience make progress.

So it’s like a check-in to see how you’re doing overall with matters related to Saturn. The other transits that accompany the Saturn return also has an effect on how you experience the entire period.

Here is what Robert Hand has to say about it

Saturn conjunct Saturn

This is one of the most important times in your life. A major cycle of experience is closing, and great changes are about to take place. How great these changes are depends largely on what you have been doing with your life over the past several years. Have you been living as you feel you should or as you think others want you to? If you have been doing the latter, Saturn will have a greater impact.

— Robert Hand, Planets in Transit

That’s his opening paragraph on the topic. If you want to learn more about all kinds of transits and more in-depth astrology generally, I highly recommend you buy a copy of Planets in Transit for reference.

Try to maintain a constructive outlook.

While the Saturn return is an important transit, it is not a do-or-die kind of situation. It is not a succeed-or-fail moment either. Too often we fail — or perceive we’ve failed — only because we become frustrated and pronounce judgment on our efforts as inadequate. It is a challenge to stay constructive in our outlook and adjust our expectations or efforts.

My Feng Shui teacher Nancilee Wydra used to tell us students, “The road to success is paved with failures.” What is needed most of the time are mere adjustments in our approach or expectations. Long-term goals are fine, but breaking them down into shorter-term steps can make a huge difference.

What is important enough to your soul growth that you keep developing it?

Saturn’s positive expression is strength rooted in the wisdom gained through experience. What we make of that experience — and how much we’re willing to venture — is up to each one of us.

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The Iodine Solution

My first major article has been published for Health Positive!, my new newsletter on Substack. It is a platform enabling me to direct my writing career into health-positive journalism. Please, read, subscribe, and share.

The Iodine Solution:
How one email saved me a a lot of misery (and a trip to the ER)

Health Positive statement of purpose:
Now more than ever it is time for health-positive news.

Not the typical news-of-the-day, but fresh perspectives, inspiration, and useful information. A perspective that cuts through the confusion of conflicting information to remind you where the power lies in your decisions and health — with you. We were created to be well, not to suffer or live in fear.

Yet it can be a confusing time of conflicting interests and opinions, even from experts.

With HEALTH POSITIVE! I pledge to give you very relevant information and perspective that supports a healthy life. I pledge my best efforts to get to the truth necessary for us to make our best health decisions, keep our health autonomy, and have the healthiest society possible.

I aim for roughly 70-80% practical information and inspiration to support your health at the personal level. That leaves 20-30% of the content for more in-depth reporting and investigation. Those in-depth reports may start out relatively brief. Over time they will get more in-depth.

The focus of HEALTH POSITIVE! will remain on being well as a state of consciousness producing balanced, healthy living in body-mind-spirit.

I believe we were meant to be abundantly alive. I believe in your ability to achieve that. I believe your immune system knows what to do if you only communicate to it what you want and invest in its needs. Optimism and love have power.

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USA Pluto Return

First, a story.

Imagine with me for a moment …

Imagine you are the parent of a teen son. He wants to serve his country and enters the Navy at 17. You have that first picture of him in his military uniform, looking young, fit, and willing. Imagine how proud you feel looking at that picture. And you aren’t worried because he’s serving stateside.

Now imagine getting a call telling you he’d been burned over most of his body. You can’t believe what you’re hearing. Imagine seeing him in pain and disfigured that way for the first time. He’d been here, supposedly safe from all the risks of battle. What happened? You could never seem to get a satisfactory explanation.

Now imagine waking up decades later to the news that your son and thousands of his fellow soldiers had been guinea pigs in an experiment with chemical and/or biological weapons.

I’ll never forget Peter Jennings on ABC Nightly News delivering the horrifying story (24 May 2002) of the Pentagon’s admission to those chemical/biological weapons experiments on our own soldiers.

The sailor in the picture above was then 17-year-old Glenn Jennings when he joined the Navy in 1943. In 1991, upon hearing of soldiers suffering from Gulf War Syndrome, he broke his decades long silence to testify to Congress. As a young sailor he had been locked into a gas chamber at the Naval Research Laboratory within sight of the US Capitol for mustard gas experiments. He never regained his good health; he suffered from ongoing medical problems from the poison gas. The Navy’s threat to him was, “Tell no one or face life in prison” —because they knew what they’d done was wrong.

Whatever mistakes of judgment caused it, whoever was responsible, it still took a multi-agency conspiracy of many complicit individuals to cover it up for decades. And you know that those responsible were all dead by the time the Pentagon made its confession.

I write this article to address both the socio-psychologic intricacies of the US Pluto return and some associated matters of free speech lately given the pejorative “conspiracy theories.” People who crave power and control conspire to get it and to cover up their misdeeds. The US is no exception. Conspiracies are not the exclusive territory of dictators and attempts at coup de’tat.

The astrology of Pluto and its return transit

In astrology Pluto is the planet of power and its unconscious (concealed) use. It represents any concentration of wealth or power, any amassing of resources (banks, etc).

The US Pluto return (which began in 2019) triggers all these aspects and their issues that involve power, abuses of it, domination, war-making, ends-justifies-the-means, and other issues of ethical boundaries and restraint of force.

The USA’s Pluto-related challenges

Just look at the number of major inharmonious aspects the US has with Pluto in its birth chart. All but two (trines to MC-Neptune) are challenging: Pluto opposite Mercury, contra-parallel Sun-Venus-Mars-Jupiter. These are all highlighted and triggered anew by Pluto’s transit to its natal position (give or take several degrees).

  • Pluto rising in the second house shows a core tendency for greed, the hoarding of money and resources. The opposition to Mercury in the 8th shows tendencies for lying and various forms of manipulative deception, especially when there is the potential for financial gain. Mercury opposite Pluto itself is an aspect that further indicates a tendency of the powerful to conspire, but the opposition aspect makes it harder to keep it hidden.
  • Pluto contra-parallel Sun-Venus-Mars-Jupiter completes the picture of an underlying tendency to revert to adversarial uses of power against the better nature of the nation (benefics Sun, Venus, and Jupiter) and to stir up trouble among those who would vigorously opposite it (Mars). That means the US Pluto position shows that those wanting power have a consistent tendency to work in a way that is at odds with the more benevolent and assertive qualities of the nation.

Pluto opposite Mercury: natal and transit

This aspect in the US birth chart shows thought and communication are in tension with power. Common thinking and communication, freedom of speech (Mercury) may be suspicious of, but not entirely attuned to power and how it works. Mercury in Cancer operates more instinctively, emotionally, intuitively than logically. Its retrograde motion shows there is a tendency to go back over the past and re-examine what happened.

The transit renews these tendencies and highlights them for the next few years. Pluto’s return while in transit opposite natal Mercury shows that thinking, journalism, and free speech are very much tied to how US power will be redefined for the next 240+ years.

The mainstream media is beholden to power and outer appearances so it tends to belittle ‘conspiracy thinking’ as if it doesn’t happen. As if it isn’t sustained for decades. As if people don’t conspire or it is truly rare that they do. However, such nascent collaborations and hierarchical abuses of power are as old as humanity its institutions themselves.

Some people just don’t want to believe there is such a complex of ongoing manipulation and deceit, especially at institutions purportedly founded on good intentions. I understand. It is not a pleasant realization to come to. It was not pleasant for me when I began experiencing the effects of it in mainstream medicine and pharmaceutical drugs before I was 20 years old (1990). My outlook towards mainstream medicine and big pharma has been that of a watchdogger ever since. Often the conspiracy is simply one of incompetence, low standards defined by basic greed hiding behind a curtain of shiny PR minded by reputable professionals.

The best thing that we can do to counter behind-the-scenes powermongering and corruption is to point out, talk about, and expose it. Former US Supreme Court Justice, Louis Brandeis:


People who crave power or wealth, but shun accountability do conspire — all the time

So talk of such things isn’t going away. Nor should it.

Americans need to be better at uncovering collaborations of greed and corruption and strewing them out in the light as much as possible during this Pluto return. The more specific and prosecutable the better. In fact, it is our democratic duty to talk about these things and uncover every such conspiracy at all levels of power-mongering and greed. But we need … Less: speculation, jumping to conclusions, or demonizing individuals. More: reason and documented evidence of conflicting interests, greed, corruption, etc. And to expose the lies and hate of the anti-semitism behind right-wing conspiracy paranoia.

That means we will have to deal with governmental institutions of perpetual power. I mean especially those agencies of the federal executive branch that are able to set policies equivalent to law without any Congressional or democratic public process (FDA, FCC, CDC, etc); agencies that have militaristic powers of any kind (CIA, NSA, DOD, DHS, Border Patrol, even state and local law enforcement). A society cannot remain democratic and free if it allows so many agencies unreachable by the electorate to exercise power unchecked and expand those powers over generations.

This is very crucial to how the US handles the Pluto return. How do we deal with agencies of perpetual power? Hierarchies? Authoritarianism? We must use our First Amendment rights to do so — and unite in doing so. Journalists and the press must remain free to question, promote skepticism, and mount public evidence against the corrupt.

This is not easy work. The truth won’t fall out in perfect alignment with our precious partisan biases. The deeper truth cannot be uncovered (or debunked) by quick checks of facts. Those are easier than ever to warp since the internet (especially wiki tools) are accessible by anyone and can be manipulated by those who have something to hide or who are simply trying to establish an orthodox dogma that substantiates their institutional associations and power. Thus, there is confusion between what ‘official’ sources of ‘facts’ say and what those that are observing directly and have nothing to hide say (generally citizen journalists).

This work does not depend on external ‘facts’ but on the internal integrity of individuals, their instincts for truth and justice.

The USA is a very, very powerful nation. It is the furthest reaching empire in the known history of our planet. It is extremely important that its citizens guide and limit its use of power to what is constructive and what keeps the nation true to its ideals of Liberty and Justice for all.

In some ways, Americans have been failing at that and it has taken outsiders like Wikileaks and Julian Assange to wake us up. One of our brightest citizens, Ed Snowden, had to give up all the benefits of being an American, hold on to his ideals and integrity and warn us about some of what is happening behind the scenes.

Footnotes and links:

The story of Glenn Jenkins: https://donmooreswartales.com/2013/02/25/glenn-jenkins-2/ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/us-navy-tested-mustard-gas-on-its-own-sailors-in-1943-the-americans-used-humans-in-secret-experiments-patrick-cockburn-in-washington-reports-on-the-survivors-who-bear-the-scars-1497508.html

Pentagon’s confessions: http://dissidentvoice.org/Articles/DVNS_CBW.htm

1990: Soldiers used as guinea pigs break their silence: https://ahrp.org/1990-fda-approves-waiver-from-informed-consent-soldiers-break-silence/

Former CIA analyst, Ray McGovern’s talk, Russia-gate: Can you handle the truth? //www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngIKjpucQh8

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