Strange Days: Oct. 29 - Nov. 5, 2001 by Mark Lerner


DATELINE THURSDAY OCT. 25, 2001 4:30AM PDT Eugene, Oregon... I begin this article with the transiting Moon in Aquarius and just hours after the first ever USA Progressed Sun conjunction to the USA natal Moon (26+ Aquarius) from July 4, 1776. [See my previous article, Part IX in this series, for background to this story.] As mentioned to you before, this has never happened in our 225-year history as a nation and it won't happen again for 360 years! It represents the illumination, cosmic strengthening and enlightenment of America's Moon. But what is our Moon?

The Moon in any national chart represents many factors relating to the public, mass consciousness and emotions, deep feelings and mood swings of the society at large. However, it still rules our sense of HOME, ROOTS, FOUNDATION as a country because no matter what sign the Moon is in, it rules the 4th sign of the zodiac -- home-, family- and domestic-oriented Cancer. Furthermore, we might define the national Moon as strongly related to our instincts, base fears, needs, desires and even "daily pulse of life." Certainly, our "first family" -- the President, First Lady, their daughters and extended family, including former President Bush and Barbara Bush -- will also share a link to our Moon, as they are our symbolic family and the President and First Lady live at The White House (our national family home).

So is there any proof out there, in recent current events, that 26+ Aquarius is indeed the USA Moon zodiacal placement? This will go a long way to proving that the USA Ascendant is early Sagittarius (7+ Sagittarius). All the national newspaper headlines for October 24 -- remember the precise day of the USA Progressed Sun on our Moon -- focused on The White House being hit by anthrax. Again, The White House is where the first family (Moon) lives and it is the symbolic, national family home (Moon). While it wasn't the actual White House that was struck -- it was the postal facility serving The White House -- it is rather remarkable that our gaze was directed to this key archetypal location within our nation's capital. In addition, President Bush was seen declaring that he doesn't have anthrax himself. The President -- born on July 6, 1946 -- is a Sun-sign Cancer (ruled by the Moon), with his Sun exactly conjunct the USA Sun (13+ Cancer).

To reiterate this emphasis on America's homefront (Moon) at this important Oct. 24, 2001 crossroads of time, note Vice President Dick Cheney's quotation to the media now: "For the first time in our history, we will probably suffer more casualties AT HOME in America than will our troops overseas." [BOLD and CAPS, my addition.] And in an article by the Associated Press (an organization that we might consider the lunar representation or synthesis of the entire journalistic media in America) now we have this headline for a story: NEW WAR COMES HOME FOR MANY AMERICANS. Again, we see the accent on home (Moon).

Beyond the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks on America -- the first attacks of this kind on our home soil (Moon) since the British burned our White House during the War of 1812! -- the current attack is due to anthrax, its spores-bacteria, creating alarm across the nation. And as I reported last time, where is anthrax normally found? Among livestock (Moon) and on farms (Moon-Cancer)! I think we have made a very strong case for the USA Progressed Sun energizing our national Moon right now at 26+ Aquarius.

Another interesting proof for America being born with 7+ Sagittarius appears in the chart printed with Part IX. That's the USA Progressed map for Sept. 11, 2001. You will notice in that horoscope a very exact and unusual conjunction. The USA Secondary Progressed Moon was conjunct the USA Secondary Progressed Vesta -- both at 29+ Taurus -- within 2 minutes of arc! Such an alignment can only occur about every 28 years. I have reported in this series that Vesta is the main astrological key to NATIONAL SECURITY. Vesta rules over organizations like the FBI, CIA, NSA -- clandestine, national groups which have, as their main focus, keeping our country safe and secure. On the night of Sept. 20, as President Bush spoke to a joint session of Congress, he named Governor Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania as our new Director of Homeland Security. His job? To coordinate the efforts of all the clandestine security agencies so that a calamity similar to the Sept. 11th attacks will never happen again.

Tom Ridge was born on August 26, 1945 in Marshall, PA. [Time unknown.] The reason he was selected was not necessarily related to his Sun in meticulous, methodical and organizing Virgo (although it's a great help). He wasn't selected because of his independent, strong-willed and leadership-emphasizing Aries Moon (although that's a great asset, too). And he wasn't selected because his Venus in Cancer is exactly conjunct the USA natal Mercury -- although that must be a big part of his destiny to run this mammoth enterprise. He also wasn't chosen for this job because his natal Mars -- at 22+ Gemini -- is just 1 degree away from the USA Mars (although he is a former distinguished Marine and veteran). He was the right person for this job because his natal Vesta (security) is at 6 Scorpio -- making a precise trine (flowing link) to America's Jupiter (success; greatness; our national chart ruler) at 6 Cancer. Add on the fact that his fateful Lunar North Node (Orbit of the Moon) is focused at 6+ Cancer -- 1/3 of a degree from America's Jupiter. One more point in all this: I suggested in a prior article in this series that in October 1994, America experienced a Progressed New Moon at 19+ Aquarius. These solar-lunar unions in a progressed chart for a country, person, business or any entity can only occur every 29 1/2 years. They become "seed-energies" for the next three decades. Because this Progressed Sun-Moon union for America occurred exactly square to America's natal Vesta (19+ Taurus), I predicted (7 years ago this month) that the 30-year cycle beginning in October 1994 would be mostly focused on NATIONAL SECURITY crises and problems. [Note: Tom Ridge also has Ceres at 9+ Scorpio -- closely trine America's Ceres at 8+ Pisces. I've reported that Ceres -- ruling land, agriculture, farming -- is the only stationary celestial body when America came into existence on July 4, 1776. Thus, Tom Ridge has several, major asteroid links between himself and the USA map. And it is a connection to our HOMELAND literally! And that is his national title -- Director of Homeland Security! More worrisome is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is very concerned about poisons, toxins and even anthrax getting into our food supply. This is another example of the power of all the asteroids in our national time of crisis. In the last article, I told you that in the USA Progressed chart for Sept. 11th, Pallas (intelligence gathering, whether strong or weak) was exactly conjunct our natal Ceres (food supply; land; farms -- where anthrax originates) at 8+ Pisces. As a corollary to all this horror, there are news reports that the Taliban may poison our own air-delivered food drops to Afghans who are starving and homeless in an attempt to blame America for trying to poison innocent refugees of the bombing campaign. Expect to see a whole lot of Tom Ridge in the months ahead.]

But let's move on because we have a war going on in Afghanistan while America prepares for who knows what on the homefront in the days, weeks and months ahead. The world has definitely changed and hopefully we can utilize the Progressed Sun "waking up" our Moon to stir us from a long sleep, dreaminess and subconscious stupor. For the remainder of this article, I want to focus on the strange days coming up from October 29 to November 5, 2001. While I have listed many other dates and times in previous features when significant events in this new battle may occur, this 8-day "twilight zone" is bound to be filled with heart-pounding and mysterious happenings that may shake us to the core.

Here is the line-up of celestial happenings during the bizarre time-period. Monday October 29: The Sun squares Neptune. Tuesday October 30: Uranus stops at 21 Aquarius and goes direct. Wednesday October 31: The Full Moon occurs for our West Coast, Rocky Mountain time zone and Central time zone. Thursday November 1: The Full Moon occurs for the Eastern Time Zone and the second of three Saturn-Pluto oppositions becomes exact in the Western USA. Friday November 2: The Saturn-Pluto polarity occurs for our Central and Eastern zones while Jupiter stops at 15+ Cancer and goes retrograde. Saturday November 3: The Moon in Gemini conjuncts Saturn and opposes Pluto. Sunday November 4: The Moon in Gemini crosses America's Mars (21+ Gemini). Monday November 5: Mars conjuncts Neptune at 6+ Aquarius. Now, let's take a peek at this 8-day cycle to see what may be in store.

First of all, the entire time-period is affected by a combination of Uranus and Jupiter stations, plus the Full Moon happening connected with Saturn-Pluto opposite. While each of these events occurs -- precisely -- at a specific minute on one day, the reality is that the Oct. 29 - Nov. 5 eight days are almost a package of big (Jupiter) shock-waves (Uranus) causing extreme (Pluto) and potentially nightmarish (Pluto) fears, frustrations and restrictions (Saturn). Because at the onset we have a Sun-Neptune square and conclude with a Mars-Neptune union, an aura of chaos, confusion, nebulosity and religious fanaticism surrounds the experience for the whole world. Remember that the Uranus station at 20 degrees and 55 minutes of Aquarius occurs exactly (no orb at all) square to Uranus at 20 degrees and 55 minutes of Scorpio from the birth of Islamic Fundamentalism -- which arrived on February 11, 1979 when the Ayatollah Khomeini officially took charge of the Iranian government. I discussed this in a previous article. This modern birth of Islamic Fundamentalism goes way beyond Iran. The repercussions of this Uranus-Uranus face-off -- in fixed, power signs and continuing into the first part of November -- are incalculable at this time.

Be aware that the Jupiter station at 15+ Cancer is sitting on top of Saddam Hussein's natal Vesta (safety and security issues). He has been a supposed "silent player" in all this, but we need to recall his antipathy for both the Bush family and Colin Powell, who was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Persian Gulf War. I have shared for over 10 years now the intriguing and powerful connection between Colin Powell (born April 5, 1937) and Saddam Hussein (born April 28, 1937) -- both men having the same Mars in Sagittarius, exact Jupiter-Pluto polarity and much more. The Full Moon of Oct. 31/Nov. 1 will be closely conjunct Saddam Hussein's unpredictable and surprising Sun-Uranus conjunction at 8-9 Taurus! Former CIA Director James Woolsey (under President Clinton) has stated his belief (on national television, Oct. 25) that Saddam Hussein could be the force and source behind the current anthrax attack and threat now going on in America. He is not alone in his view. Dr. Khidhir Hamza -- author of Saddam's Bombmaker -- reports about the extraordinary advances in Saddam Hussein's biological, chemical and nuclear warfare programs over the last decade. He appeared on Judith Regan's Fox News program during the weekend of Sept. 29-30. I suggested Saddam Hussein was linked to the Sept. 11th attacks from the very beginning and that he and his secret agents may have been working with Osama bin Laden for quite awhile. Certainly, helping him with funding, weaponry, logistics, technology, militant anti-American followers and perhaps biological germ warfare agents. Let's not be naive. Saddam Hussein is not a religious person and neither is Osama bin Laden. Regardless of all the Islamic ideology tossed around, both of these individuals are wealthy terrorists and therefore share a common bond -- their hatred for the American government, our formerly robust economy and Hollywood-like, decadent society. I will have much more to say about Saddam Hussein in a later article, but for now you can read my original feature on him (from many years ago) which appears further down on our Index Page.

When we examine the Full Moon map via relocation techniques, we find that Pluto (death; extremes; underworlds and caves; terrorists) rises through Saudi Arabia and Iraq while Saturn (fears; blocks; limits) sets close to Teheran, Iran. All three of these countries will be on edge and facing a wide array of conflicts -- internally and externally. Expect a lot of peace overtures coming out of Pakistan, particularly near Islamabad, where Mercury and Venus are conjunct in Libra (negotiation; diplomacy) and overhead. President Musharraf of Pakistan is desperately seeking an early end to the aerial bombardment of neighboring Afghanistan and certainly wants US bombing and attacks to end before the start of Ramadan near the middle of November. His army controls the nuclear weapon facilities in Pakistan and he cannot afford a wholesale rebellion in his country by tens of thousands of young militants who fiercely believe in the rightness of Osama bin Laden's cause. Keep an eye on Indonesia and the Philippines where Pluto is overhead while Saturn is below at the Full Moon. Both of these countries have a large number of Osama bin Laden followers. Even the Koreas are in trouble again with the same Pluto-Saturn polarity above and below. Ouch!

While all this is alarming, realize that the eight days end on Nov. 5 with the first Mars-Neptune union in almost two years. As mentioned in previous articles, Mars and Neptune are both affiliated with and channels for the 6th Ray in Esoteric Astrology. The 6th Ray links with Devotion, Idealism and Religious Fanaticism. It has been the dominant Ray (of 7 Rays) during the 2,160-year Piscean Age and may have much to do with the ending of this long cycle and the birth of the Aquarian Age (associated with the 7th Ray of Ceremonial Order and Synthesis connected to Uranus). While we are playing down the age-old fight between Christianity and Islam, it may very well be that we are nearing an Armageddon-like, World War III that nobody in the West certainly wants. Surprisingly, little has been said in the press in the last seven weeks since the Sept. 11th attacks about Armageddon and a biblical end of the world as described in The New Testament's closing book of Revelation. Who knows what will happen during the strange days of Oct. 29 - Nov. 5? But it ends with the union of two planets which reinforce the power of this 6th Ray -- for good or ill. It is important to note that the next Mars-Neptune union will occur close to Neptune's station in mid-May 2003. This Mars-Neptune conjunction happens at 13+ Aquarius and right on Israel's birthdate of May 14! Because Israel's Sun (born May 14, 1948) is at 23 Taurus -- where the Jupiter-Saturn union of May 28, 2000 occurred -- that country is the center of the world crisis for the next 20 years (until the next Jupiter-Saturn union in December 2020 at 0+ Aquarius, which may time a conception or birth of the Aquarian Age). Israel will be on very shaky ground in May 2003 during the 55th anniversary of its birth. [Important: Ironically, America was born with a very close Mars-Neptune square from 21+ Gemini to 22+ Virgo. It is one of the main challenges in our birthchart. We have discussed this frictional pattern in the pages of Welcome to Planet Earth journal over the last 20 years. It has much to do with the racism question in our country and the battle between religious freedom and intolerance. By the way, the current Mars-Neptune union is at 6+ Aquarius -- right on America's natal South Lunar Node (karma and fate). Much of our national confusion -- about anthrax, security and the war effort -- during the last seven weeks has been due to Neptune sitting on our Nodal Axis.]

In closing this time, let's end on an optimistic, although highly idealistic note. On Tuesday night, Oct. 23 (with the Sun entering Scorpio, the fixed, water sign traditionally ruled by Mars!) -- just following the monthly Moon-Mars conjunction on our natal Pluto (27+ Capricorn) -- the Mars Odyssey spacecraft successfully went into orbit around the red planet. After several failures by NASA in the last few years, the terrible disaster and loss of the Mars Observer in August 1993, and numerous other failures of probes to Mars by the Soviet Union and the USA for over 30 years, perhaps the arrival of this new "Earth toy" circumnavigating around the ancient planet of war, bloodshed and mayhem signals a hope that while we are engaged in fighting another lethal battle at home, we may still find a way to transform our human anger and hatred into an international coalition to achieve peace on another planet. Somehow, it seems way beyond coincidence that we may have an incredibly advanced spacecraft taking color pictures of the surface of Mars and detecting water beneath the Martian landscape (the same water which gives us life on Earth) in 2002 while we destroy one another on our globe -- possibly with biological, chemical or nuclear weapons. As Richard C. Hoagland -- author of The Monuments of Mars -- has indicated, there may very well have been an advanced civilization on Mars eons ago. What wiped out that world? Is the human race somehow connected to life on the planet Mars or another planet in our solar system? Mars has intrigued our astronomers and writers for centuries -- most notably stargazers Schiaperalli and Percival Lowell, and sci-fi writers H.G. Wells and Edgar Rice Burroughs. It remains to be seen what all these Scorpionic mysteries will bring in the days ahead. However, imagine the irony and timing if the Mars Odyssey discovers water on Mars -- indicating the potential for life on that veil-enshrouded planet of war -- or ancient ruins just as we are about to do ourselves in during a self-fulfilling, historic, end-of-the-world Apocalypse. MAY WE ALL WAKE UP TO OUR BETTER NATURES SOONER THAN LATER....

Note: Unfortunately, in concluding this feature on Oct. 26, word arrives that the Taliban captured and brutally executed an Opposition Commander Abdul-Haq, a legendary figure in Afghanistan for his war efforts against the Soviet Union in the 1980s. Haq had been on a USA-supported mission to inspire various Afghan factions in the goal of creating a united political group to govern the nation after the Taliban are defeated. This execution will only stir up more anger amongst the Northern Alliance and the Western nations fighting against Osama bin Laden and his terrorists hiding out in the caves of this mountainous and forbidding land.

Copyright 2001 by Mark Lerner and Great Bear Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved.

[Mark Lerner is the publisher of Welcome to Planet Earth. Reach him by sending an e-mail to or writing to Mark Lerner, The Great Bear, PO Box 12007, Eugene OR 97440. Please see our "Special Offer to Friends of Planet Earth Astrology" for a variety of our astrological services near the top of the Index page.]