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On August 24, 2006, astronomers upgraded Ceres to a dwarf planet and downgraded Pluto to a dwarf planet.  When a new planet is found (or in this case elevated), it generally signifies that major world changes are likely to come about. (Uranus heralded individual freedom and with it the American and French Revolutions; Pluto brought atomic energy).

In mythology, Ceres is the goddess of the harvest.  To me, Ceres represents Mother Nature, and I expected her upgrade to put environmental issues at the forefront of consciousness.  In the past four years, global warming has  pretty much become accepted as being a man-made problem.  Former Vice President Al Gore won the Nobel Prize for his environmental work, and the US elected a President who is concerned with climate control.

All of this makes the astrology of the BP oil spill particularly interesting.  The oil spill took place on April 20, 2010, at approximately 9:45 p.m. off the coast of Louisiana.  I have a chart drawn up for Venice, Louisiana, as it is the closest location I could find.

As you can see by looking at the chart, Ceres and Pluto are conjoined in Capricorn within less than 1 degree.  Ceres is direct in motion, but moving slowly as it is coming to a station.  Pluto is Retrograde, moving toward Ceres.  Ceres came to a station on April 28 at 4 degrees of Capricorn and turned Retrograde.  So, the two celestial bodies continued to move together.

As I’ve said, I see Ceres as a proxy for Mother Nature.   Pluto (as well as Neptune) rules oil.  Pluto also rules loss, death, and destruction.  It’s as if the two traveling together highlight the changes that must be made to ensure a safe environment.

To make matters more interesting, the chart also shows a tight T-square (within 1 degree) among Saturn in Virgo, Uranus in Pisces, and the Trans-Neptunian planet Hades in Gemini. Saturn signifies, among other things, blockage.  Virgo has to do with nature, Uranus with accidents and explosions; Pisces with water.

Mythologically Hades and Pluto are the Greek and Roman versions of the same god–the god of the underworld. The underworld is a dangerous and mysterious place, but one full of riches.  Astrologically Hades is much like Pluto. Hades is associated with disintegration, ruin, garbage, breakdowns, and predatory behavior.

So, we find the planets that represent stoppage, accidents, and breakdowns  all in aspect to one another with an orb of less than 1 degree at the time of the largest oil related environmental disaster in history.

Saturn has a 29-year cycle; Uranus, an 84-year cycle,  Hades, an approximate 360- year cycle, making this planetary combination extremely rare and not nearly over. It will continue as these planets enter the cardinal signs. Transiting Uranus entered Aries at the end May. Transiting Jupiter entered Aries in early June. Transiting Saturn enters Libra in July. Transiting Hades enters Cancer in August.  Transiting Pluto is already in Capricorn.

After the accident, Ceres, moving faster the Pluto in Retrograde motion, separated from Pluto.  Meanwhile, Jupiter, the planet of expansion, moved forward to join Uranus at 0 Aries.  0 of cardinal signs in Uranian astrology represents the “world point.”

In early June Ceres at 0 Capricorn formed squares to Jupiter and Uranus in early Aries.  Ceres continued Retrograde and subsequently formed an opposition to Hades in Gemini and a square to Saturn in Virgo.  In July Ceres in Sagittarius forms a square to Mars in Virgo.  Mars then proceeds forward.  In late July, early August, Mars at the end of Virgo and in early Libra, forms squares to Hades and Pluto and oppositions to Uranus and Jupiter.  Ceres turns Stationary Direct on August 9.  In September and October Ceres moves back into the X-cross with Hades, Pluto, Uranus, and Jupiter.

As of this writing, there is an expectation that BP will have the oil spill under control sometime in August.  BP, whose original estimates of the oil leak were 1,000 to 5,000 barrels a day, now estimates the leak at 45,000 to 60,000 barrels a day—an amount which seems incomprehensible to most of us.  Esteemed energy expert Matt Simmons refutes these numbers as still far too low. In a Bloomberg appearance on June 15, Simmons, quoting an estimate from the Thomas Jefferson research vessel, estimated the leak at 120,000 barrels a day.  The Thomas Jefferson also reported that the oil lake underneath the surface of the water could be covering up to 40% of the entire Gulf of Mexico.  Simmons has said the relief well will not work and has supported using a small nuclear explosion as the only solution to fix the problem.

We astrologers have been wondering what cataclysmic event will take place at the end of July – early August when an X-cross is formed among, Mars and Saturn in Libra, Jupiter and Uranus in Aries, Pluto in Capricorn, and Hades in Cancer.  While I wouldn’t bet that a more significant problem with this oil spill is the only candidate for this type of event, based on the planetary action it is certainly one that is in the running.

Joyce Levine is a full-time professional consulting astrologer with 30 years experience.  She serves as a catalyst for her clients to overcome astro/psychological obstacles so that they can achieve their full potential.  Joyce is available for consulting work with individuals, couples, families, and businesses.  Joyce is the Clerk of NCGR, the President of its Boston Chapter, and holds NCGR’s  Level IV Certification in Consulting.  She has been a certified professional member of the AFA since 1979.

Joyce is the author of Breakthrough Astrology, Transform Yourself and Your World; A Beginner’s Guide to Astrological Interpretation Transformational CDs:  Self-Help Series:  Meditation, Creative Visualization, Releasing Anger, and Contacting Your Guardian Angel; and Integrating Astrological Cycles Series:  Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn, and Jupiter.

Joyce can be reached at joycel@joycelevine.com or 617-354-7075.