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April 28, 2009

The Swine Flu: The disturbing news about the recent outbreak of swine flu has taken over the headlines around the world. Whether this is another exaggerated case of media driven urgency or a major menace to public health is still to be seen. Recently, Iíve been writing about the wonders of the ongoing conjunctions of philosophical Jupiter, healing Chiron and spiritual Neptune in Aquarius. This inspiring set of symbols, though, might also reflect the threat of a pandemic.

Jupiter is the planet of expansion and, despite its traditionally superb reputation, can signify the dangers of excess. Chiron, discovered in 1977, is associated with healing and the natural health movement. Neptune dissolves boundaries in a cloudy mist that connects everyone and everything. This planetís upside includes faith, compassion and imagination, yet it is also associated with physical weakness. In fact, Jupiter was conjunct Neptune at the time of the devastating Spanish flu after World War I. They were joined in Leo then and Chiron was not nearby so, fortunately, we donít have a precise correlation. Additionally, the fuzziness of Neptune joined with Jupiter can create the illusion of a situation being worse than it really is. Letís hope so.

The cancellation of public events in Mexico carries the message that groups are dangerous in this kind of situation. Yet Aquarius is the sign of groups and the triple conjunction of Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron here signals a possible opening to a new and higher level of collective consciousness. Looking upon one another with fear that we are carriers of illness and death does not build confidence in the community. Yet, the rapid dispersal of disease is a reminder of how deeply our lives are connected, even with people weíve never met. Awareness sometimes comes from undesirable circumstances, yet the message is still the same. No matter how firmly we feel bound in our individual bodies and minds, humanity is one.

The U.S. Rising Sign: A reader asked about the different Rising Signs (Ascendants) that heís seen for the United States chart. These variations occur because of disagreements about the time of the birth of the nation. The event most astrologers use is the moment of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The most popular chart is a Gemini Rising version that makes no sense historically as it occurred in the middle of the night. However, it was originally created by an English astrologer who was looking at the Revolution from the perspective of the UK. Dane Rudhyar and my teacher Barry Lynes both used Sagittarius Rising charts calculated for the late afternoon, which seems to correspond with the signing time mentioned in Thomas Jeffersonís diary. However, Michael Wolfstar uses a Scorpio Rising chart for earlier in the afternoon.

There are some astrologers, like Helen Boyd and Jim Lewis, who used July 6, 1775 based an on earlier declaration by colonial leaders. Others have argued for a 1789 chart based on the U.S. Constitution. Each of these astrologers provides examples for why his or her chart is best. Clearly, the birth of a nation (or any large organization) is a complex process not easily reduced to a single moment. And, the scope of its personality and history is also sufficiently vast that experts can find divergent facts to make their cases.

Personally, Iím a fan of the Sagittarius Rising chart. The Ascendant/Rising Sign describes appearance and the outgoing American, the individual who came from far away for religious freedom (both Sagittarian concepts) and the outdoorsy cowboy seem like a better fit to me than the others. Truth, though, reveals itself from many angles, so the others can be valuable as well.

As published here on my blog.

Blog Index - Links to Jeff's other blogs


Jeff Jawer is well known in the astrological community as an innovative and dynamic teacher, writer and counselor. He is the CEO and co-founder of Jeff holds a B.A. in "The History and Science of Astrology" from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and lectures at astrology conferences throughout the world. His scores of articles have appeared in astrology journals in around the globe.

Jeff is the author of Your Astrology Guide annual with Rick Levine, is a regular contributor to writes the forecast column for The Mountain Astrologer, and celebrity profiles for AOL. Jeff and Rick lead astrology seminars for Heaven and Earth Workshops. He co-founded AFAN and UAC and helped teach the first Astro*Carto*Graphy certification course with Jim Lewis.

Jeff provides private consultations and can be reached by email at


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