Many people don't give much credence to astrology. Many of those that do only look at superficial sun signs. Many read a horoscope daily that tells them of all the good fortune they can have based on some loose and generally perverted form of true astrology.
Me, I give astrology its place in the grand scheme. Specifically, God put these planets and stars in particular arrangements and told us that we'd know the seasons according to their passage. Astrology, to me, is a grand cosmic clock in the sky.
And you can glean a lot of information from the timing of the seasons, especially when it comes to major events or changes in perception and consciousness.
In looking over the January 4, 2011 solar eclipse transits on the "US natal chart" (July 4, 1776 at 5:10pm, Philadelphia), I'm noticing some interesting patterns. Of course, I searched around the web to see what others have said, many of which use fixed stars and obscure asteroids in their readings. Some say "Ooooh - this is a good one!" while others rant about how "bad" the transits are.
There are no good or bad transits. They are merely markers on a calendar - what you do on a given day is up to you.
First thing I notice here, however, is the striking opposition between the placement of the eclipse in Capricorn to the US natal Sun in Cancer. This opposition marks a time of struggle between egos. Another possibility here is that the "great spotlight", i.e. the focus, perception and consciousness of the masses, will be divided between two camps: Capricorn being a material focus dealing with moneys, hard work and wealth; Cancer being a more fluid emotional, patriotic and "security of the home and hearth" type of focus.
Add to this opposition the placement of Saturn, generally thought to denote such things as rules, law and judges, making a return to conjunct the US natal Saturn in Libra, and you have the makings of a tense struggle of the opposing Sun energies trying to divide our focus with Saturn caught in the middle, forming what's called a t-square. A Saturn return is a difficult time to begin with, often associated with being forced to "take responsibility" and, in turn, become mature. Throughout US history, Saturn returns have marked difficulties such as the Civil War and The Panic of 1893, the worst depression to hit the US before the Great Depression in the 1930s.
This sounds like major court battles are brewing (Saturn in Libra), likely over problems with the US economy (Capricorn) and overbearing "homeland" security (Cancer). Overtones of screaming pressures from the masses for "someone" to take responsibility for the mess we find ourselves will appear on both fronts, and the two sides will have only the rule of law to guide them.
Another interesting and significant transit, that's been occurring since middle 2008, is the Neptune conjunction to the US natal Moon in Aquarius. The Moon placement in Aquarius generally is thought to signify the "melting pot" aspect of the US, with many cultures, ideologies and skin colors merging into one great nation of people. This placement also signifies a particular rebellious streak, and a person, or nation, with this placement will absolutely refuse to be told what to do.
But Neptune, often considered to cloak whatever it touches in a bank of "dreamy" fog, transiting here has been causing a lot of confusion, and even delusion, for this part of the US chart. In the summer of 2008, during the presidential election campaign, many Americans suddenly found themselves lost in a sea of smoke and mirrors, a trend that is only beginning to break with this eclipse and wont truly be over until December of 2012 (there's that date again). Between the eclipse and early summer, it will be as if we are seeing the world clearly for the first time in years, as Neptune moves out of the conjunction, only to return again, in a loose orb, around the summer solstice.
Lifting the fog of Neptune will shock this nation of independent free-thinkers after having spent years with the proverbial wool pulled over their eyes, and this eclipse marks the beginning of it. This is likely to be a time of a lot of anger toward media and government, large corporations and institutions.
Venus, often thought to sort of "bless" the place where it resides in a chart, is found in the US natal 12th House. This house is often associated with dreams and subconsciousness, and often fear itself, but in ancient times is was considered more of a wastebasket of placements...that anything present in this house would be flaccid and ineffectual. Venus here would thus lose all its ability to "brighten" the chart with benefic qualities, allowing only the tension present to make the front page. No helping hand will come from the skies.
Pluto, known for explosive, sudden destruction of "old ways", has been slowly transiting through Capricorn, opposite the US natal Jupiter in Cancer. This represents a time of fragility in relation to philosophy and religion. Old ways of thinking are being stripped away in sudden firestorms and media frenzies (Wikileaks certainly comes to mind) and those who try to hold on to those old ways are stripped away with them (Tea Party?). This trend will continue for some time, and will only be exacerbated by the eclipse. Eclipses mark the end of something old and the beginning of something new, and this is exactly what Pluto does best. In Capricorn, Pluto's focus is on institutions and corporations, economy and hard work. Opposing the US natal Jupiter in Cancer shows the plan is to destroy our false beliefs about home, family and security.
The result is the rebellious, angry replacement of our collective "Neptunian delusion" with ideas and systems that are both more realistic and more economical. We will be required to expend copious amounts of elbow grease as we hold on to constitutional principals and reject the failing systems we find ourselves suffering with today.
It's that or face the global power vacuum as corruption, at the highest levels of our largest institutions, is revealed and we do nothing about it.
So the stars are marking a very difficult period emerging for the US. It's not a "bad" period, but one full of challenges and tension. In fact, if we respond to the cosmic call to arms, this may be one of the most important and benefic periods in all of US history! For the three months leading into early spring, we the people become the masters of our nation's fate. What we do during this important time of court battles, revealed secrets and failing institutions will form the foundation of a new future for the US. The eclipse, acting as a delineation between seasons, will turn our focus to these issues and will not let us ignore them.
It's up to us what we do with the day, and this eclipse is marking the beginning of a new planting season. The real question is, will we the people get out of bed in time to sow the seeds of our own future?
And what seeds will we plant?