Explosions in the Sky 

For the week of April 28-May 4, 2010.

There's simply no way to predict what this week's astral weather will deliver. I'm writing five days prior to the fourth exact Saturn/Uranus opposition, and you're likely to be reading this column two or three days after that potent contact. But the dilemma of taking this week's pulse isn't purely a timing issue. First, Uranus interactions always indicate unforeseen plot twists. Second, we don't experience the full effect of difficult astrological interactions until the planets start to separate and the tension releases. What's more, because there has been so much disruption since this series of oppositions began in September 2008, it's not possible to know the overall effect until well after the last opposition, which occurs on July 26. But that doesn't mean we won't be reactive to the upheaval and the uncertainty. For the next several months, the psychic and emotional atmosphere will grow increasingly erratic and unsettled. Expect the unexpected is the best advice I can offer. And don't be surprised if daily life resembles plot twists and time signatures as complex as the final episodes of Lost.

Volcanic eruptions seem to be a part of the Saturn/Uranus disruption. Eyjafjallajokull and the power of its smoke cloud are a dynamic metaphor for the power of Saturn/Uranus. It not only disrupted the routines of daily life, but also offered a pretty obvious signal of nature's strength. We may think we are in control, but on closer observation ... not really. I've been fascinated with this plume, awestruck by the simplicity of its effect: Mother Earth is letting us know who has the power. Many of the comments I've read online have commented on an angry Mother Earth — and just in time for Earth Day. But there have also been many more comments on the undeniable interconnectedness of our lives. If only we could extend that awareness to all the areas of life, not just air travel.

By the time you read this, Katla may have erupted as well, triggering even greater travel and commerce chaos. In my volcanic stupor, I did a little research, looking up the other dates of Katla's eruptions. The last major Katla event was in 1918 — curiously, under a Uranus/Saturn opposition: Saturn was in Leo, and Uranus was in Aquarius. Uranus is active in the charts of all nine recorded Katla eruptions, which makes sense if you think about Uranus as the symbol of explosive events that disrupt and disturb. But don't whip out those astro proof-meters just yet; to draw any serious correlation between earthquakes and Uranus, the research would have to cover all known earthquakes over a substantial period of time.

But I am not searching for proof of astrology's validity. I am simply curious about the condition our condition is in. I am content to look at Eyjajallajokull's plume, as well as the possibility of Katla's eruption, as archetypes of the collective unconscious. From that view, volcanic eruptions symbolize violent emotional outbursts, the inability to contain psychic pressures, or long-repressed feelings that refuse to stay dormant or denied — an apt model for our cultural milieu.

If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon sign, read that, too.

ARIES The goal this week is to stay grounded in present time, a position that translates into putting one foot in front of the other — even if you're tempted to take off on a private personal adventure.

TAURUS There is a real possibility that too many obligations, even those joyfully accepted, could turn into burdensome chores. Be careful what you agree to do, and no matter what else, make sure you have fun.

GEMINI Try not to let the thoughtless words of others corrupt your peace of mind, but also avoid retaliating with zingers that have the half-life of Plutonium. The "silence is golden" mantra might be your best choice.

CANCER You may think the argument is about money, but the disagreement is much deeper than the dollar. This confrontation is about ultimate value, so be prepared to take a stand for what matters most.

LEO Don't waste a moment being a victim. Adjust your attitude and you'll find a way to cope with all the niggling details you or others may have previously overlooked and that are creating frustrating hassles and delays.

VIRGO Be clear about your intentions, as well as how you want to implement those plans, and you'll not only clear your mind, but you'll also inspire others to follow your example.

LIBRA As is almost always the case, you must choose: Assume a rigid stance and risk negative consequences, or soften your heart and search for a win-win compromise that will work for everyone.

SCORPIO Assume the leadership role, graciously, and you'll take charge with style and passion as you simultaneously inspire others to step into their own power.

SAGITTARIUS Take the time to set your house in order by reviewing your relationships, your finances, and all other important themes. Thoughtfully organized priorities will put you in a positive position for what lies ahead.

CAPRICORN It is about what's said, but it's also about what hasn't been said. Evaluate recent conversations with significant others, personal and professional, and see what still needs to be included in those exchanges.

AQUARIUS Rather than assuming a defensive or offensive posture with partners, stay in the neutral zone. While there are differences that need resolution, you'll find a reasonable solution if you can maintain an unbiased view.

PISCES Expect several surprising career developments or opportunities to open up new possibilities. I'm not suggesting you quit the job you have; I'm simply advising you to prepare for change.

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