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Astrology with Christine Broadbent


By Christine Broadbent


In 2008 the Earth element embraces us, while Jupiter in Capricorn embraces Saturn in Virgo. From January 28, Pluto too begins to deepen all things Capricorn. With the Water element already in high profile chaos since Uranus entered Pisces in 2003, the Yin elements of Earth and Water now rule. Three planets in earthy signs point to earthy consequences - the impact is on day-to-day life, the way we live, and the state of planet Earth itself.
Small things we take for granted, can suddenly mean so much more in this earthy year. When simple things like fresh water and fertile soil are threatened, ecological awareness accelerates. Under the Capricorn, Virgo influence of 2008 this awareness will move into more bureaucratic forms with wide scale legislation defining personal responsibility. The face of business will also reflect more ecological awareness with a further acceleration of the trend to make looking after the planet, pay. Grass roots concerns will have a renaissance in the market place, with concerns for the planet woven into daily lifestyle. Global capitalism could well begin to show its shadowy, amoral side in much more blatant ways, since Capricorn is also the sign of active ambition. The question of leaders and public servants being appropriate for their position will play a pivotal role in some unexpected changes within the political spectrum.


Gaea is Back

Animals seem to have no trouble accepting it at all but somehow ‘civilised’ humans struggle with actually being dependent on Gaea - mother earth. Rather than a protective, grateful relationship with Earth as so many indigenous people’s have, an economic paradigm has prevailed. It says get what we can, extract, use, profit, consume. Not too much about give back. Gardens in the suburban back yard, on the balcony, anywhere, are naturally popular - we do like to worship Gaea a little bit and get that Nature recharge. What about the bigger garden? What about the despoilation, the once Hanging Gardens of Babylon, ‘cradle of civilisation’ places that are now littered with landmines, spent uranium bullets, toxic chemicals, toxic soil. Not to mention the permanent cloud of industrial smog that covers the ‘Asian Tigers’. Or the closer to home issue of Australia as a potential dump for spent uranium and plutonium. Even without the cloud of human misery that goes with it, the body of Gaea is suffering.
As those giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn dance together and bring earthy goals into focus in 2008, Gaea returns to daily consciousness. Because systemic imbalance and loss of diversity is showing - It’s becoming uncomfortable. 2008 points a practical path of taking care of the small things that matter, of coming down to earth.


Believing that everything is alive, is not just mysticism, it’s modern science. The two started to converge after Einstein took us inside matter and outside the confines of nature as a mechanism and the body, as a set of ‘plumbing’. Each further breakthrough, like Chaos Theory, attests to a universal intelligence. It is not far from the ancient Hermetic principle that ‘The All is Mind’. Modern science knows Earth as a system of extraordinary intelligent subtlety. Yet technologies that ignore the intelligent system, continue to be in the lead. Thus two hundred years of land clearing in “a land of drought and rains” creates deserts. Normal nature is Supernature and it extends into exciting directions for mind/body whole healing. It also offers the hope of turning the desert back into the garden, now that productive Saturn is in the sign of the Earth Mother.

Green is Cool

Saturn offers wisdom, the wisdom of sheer necessity if we want to continue to enjoy the Virgo harvest. Neo-green is smart and cool, Saturn style, a way of living that aims to tread more lightly on Gaea. This is the path of good fortune in 2008 because Jupiter supports Saturn all year, from earthy Capricorn. Ambitions and consumerism and capitalism flirt with green power when Jupiter ‘trines’ Saturn. The reality calls in late February, June, September and November are steps on Saturn’s ladder, when necessity comes a-knocking.

Peeling Back Layers

From 1991 to 1995 Uranus met up with Neptune in Capricorn and the face of business started to change. Global corporate life evolved, while a fabric of international treaties and political alliances shaped a global marketplace. So vast a marketplace, that weapons and nuclear waste are just more ‘products’ like food and clothing.
With Dream-weaver Neptune on team, illusory goals and unclear objectives and tricky moves were standard. One was relocating perceived problems for ‘first world’ nations, to developing ‘third world’ countries like China, Korea and India. These ‘Asian Tigers’ have seen their manufacturing base grow at a phenomenal rate, unimpeded by pollution controls or a protected labour force. For consumers in the ‘first world’, the illusion is complete when the toxic problem is shifted to another part of the globe. Meanwhile, global warming attests to the greater reality of one world.

China’s Checkpoint

In August and September 2008 modern China, a Virgo nation, has its second Saturn Return. (Ref 1) The developments of the last 29 years come of age. The economic reform programme that began then is tested now. Even the cultural heart of the Chinese people is part of the process since Moon and Saturn are conjoined - a symbol for stoic self-sacrifice. A harsh light will be cast on working conditions, the hidden costs of modernisation and the uncontrolled pollution of Chinese industry. The use of ‘still developing’ status to justify wide scale pollution, may be reaching its use by date. The most critical time for China in 2008 is August, September and November.

Consuming Smart - Green Power

Patterns of consumption are set to change in this detail-oriented year. Unregulated pollution presents a convenient way for companies to avoid the costs and difficulties of being a ‘good global citizen’. Profits begin to look very different, if carbon costs start to be calculated. This is coming down the track. Green Power will increasingly flex its muscles on the political stage and show itself in most national elections.

Brazil’s Dilemma

Another Virgoan nation is Brazil, (Ref 1) set to experience tug of war polarities. Saturn’s transit represents a chance for Brazil to grow as a country in life purpose and meaning but also suggests potential restrictions. Brazil, which houses the Amazon Rainforest expresses a particularly poignant polarity - modernisation and poor land-hungry farmers versus the responsibility for the Amazon Rainforest, the lungs of planet earth. With land clearing proceeding at an alarming pace, effects on global warming and unstable weather patterns are already under surveillance. Since Brazil’s independence was proclaimed during the 1822 meeting of Uranus and Neptune in Capricorn, Brazil will be extra sensitive to the big business moves and power plays of Pluto and Jupiter in Capricorn.

Antipodean Bureaucracy

That carbon credits can now be traded on the stock market is notable in itself. Europe’s example seems to show that it does speed up the process of creating environmentally friendly industry. The Antipodes is likely to follow suit. Even though only New Zealand signed the Kyoto Protocol, Australia too will embrace carbon trading. The most notable face of this in 2008 will be a mountain of bureaucracy, as the details are worked out. Virgo says functional efficiency rules and bureaucracy is efficient – to a point. For Virgo things must ‘work properly’, so leadership shuffles and new management styles will proliferate when any new system fails.

Modern Australia is a Capricorn nation and modern New Zealand an Aquarian nation (ref 2). Since Saturn, now in Virgo, rules both signs, extra rampant bureaucracy lies ahead for both countries. 2008 will have a repeating theme of ironing out the details. The eclipse cycle throws in a karmic boomerang whenever important small details are overlooked.


Pluto‘s Last Tango

Pluto, that controversial ‘dwarf planet’ has powerful effects by transit and takes a slow 248 years to orbit central Sun. This means its transformative effects have been a slow burn of over 13 years in Sagittarius. This is transition year - a long last tango in Sagittarius. The heat is turned up just after New Year when an opposition from Warrior Mars energises and challenges issues, in spread-the-word Gemini, media savvy ways. Then it all hangs out, Saggy style, as Pluto digs the dirt. Expect much blustering and blowing and deep secrets showing in the realms of religion and education and travel as 2008 begins.

Mars Mayhem

This volatile opposition began in September 2007, so the bluster dates back and is stirred afresh as ‘retro’ Mars comes back. Some pressure is released in January but the ‘big blast’, their final opposition, occurs in early March when Mars in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn. This high energy pairing is creative but with greater disruptive potential, being the climax in action driven ‘cardinal’ signs. Controversy and clash will manifest through social institutions like the family and how the structures of government influence the individual. Possible scenarios are, rhetoric about the defense of the homeland, decisions involving conflict or harsh punishment and new legislation based on cultural clash.

June’s ‘Retro’ Return

When Pluto’s ‘retrograde’ motion takes it back to Sagittarius for five months in mid June, the last, last tango begins. Until November 26, Pluto is back in the sign of belief slowly signing off - greater depths of religious extremism and wilder scenarios of unsafe travel and bigger fundraisers for saving the planet are unearthed, most specifically when three Full Moons channel Pluto’s energy. These are June 19’s Full Moon when Moon conjoins Pluto, August 17’s lunar eclipse and September 15’s Full Moon.

Drought Proofing Australia

In December 2002 Australia saw a total solar eclipse in Sagittarius and a very tenacious drought was in full swing. Seven years later, that drought has not released its hold. The other drought this extreme in recent times was the Federation drought from 1894 to 1902. The two driest years were 1902 and 2002 - both featured outer planets in opposition across Gemini and Sagittarius Droughts come with the Oz territory but perhaps extremes need that extra Sagittarius Fire.

Appointed in 2003, the Wentworth Group of eminent scientists concluded that land degradation “has been 200 years in the making, and we really need to look again at how we live in this landscape. You can’t drought-proof Australia.” (3) Meanwhile, plans to drought-proof southeast Queensland continue, including a desalination plant on the Gold Coast and a pipeline that will pump recycled water to old style power stations. 2008 does not seem to offer immediate respite from a long drought. There are some moist looking months in March, April and May. (Ref 4) Its main weather feature comes after Pluto goes ‘direct’ in September, with wild Uranian weather mid September. The fiery rush probably gives way to the unpredictable factor implied by Saturn opposite Uranus. Erratic stormy weather may be the build up to a sudden deluge in November and violent storms could be waiting. Flood proofing Australia may be next on the agenda.


From an audacious Mars in Gemini hijacking Pluto in the first week of January, to the tenth year of Dream-weaver planet, Neptune in Aquarius and the third year of Chiron there as well, to this year’s eclipses - Air has it all. The swirls and eddies promise to be stimulating and at times challenging, particularly for Airy Aquarius.
The ‘Head of the Dragon’, that destiny axis formed by the Moon’s Nodes says the karmic lesson is about humanity this year, the progress or perish principle applies.

The Power of the Mind

Aquarius is the sign of the Knower, the Humaniser and fixed opinions come naturally. Yet it is that Aquarius inspiration for change, for booting old ways of thinking out the door, that has arrived, via Inspiration Unlimited – Neptune. Disillusionment also comes with Neptune and can easily dissolve the energy for change. Now action timing has arrived with the North Node of the Moon returning to Aquarius after 18 years away. It forms a healing and visionary trio of Node, Chiron and Neptune. Groups and gatherings for mutual interests or for healing evolve in 2008. More power to influence opinion comes via the Net, that eminently Aquarian creation.

When it comes to the politics of eco-consciousness, the web is increasingly a political tool as leaders and spokespeople come under immediate observation. A turning point has been reached.

Timing Triggers

The first timing trigger is February 7 to 21. A solar eclipse cycle demonstrates the rigid ways of thinking that can eclipse progress. In May the Node joins Neptune, illuminating inspiration. The next eclipse cycle is August 1 to 17. This features an eclipse of Full Moon in Aquarius, transforming attitudes, bringing healing and humanitarian issues to the fore.


Water’s story is all wrapped up with Earth’s story. Planet of change and chaos, Uranus has been there since 2003 but 2008 is special. Uranus reaches the exclamation point of a dance with planet Saturn that began in 1989, when they joined in Capricorn. Together they planted the seeds of deep systemic change in the Capricorn systems of capitalism and money management. Now the changes that had to happen, do happen.

Earth and Water Past

A defining moment in the cosmic dance occurred in the 1960’s when Uranus joined power broker Pluto in earthy Virgo. A shift in thinking occurred as perceptions of health, ecology and gender were transformed, with a sharp spike of awareness when Saturn opposed them from Pisces in1966. Serious concerns went global, like the ‘Worldwide Moratorium on the Taking of Whales’ in ‘66. Many of the predictions made then about the ecological imbalance to come, are in fact occurring now.

Ongoing emotionally provocative events increase with this coming Saturn/Uranus link. It is known for its tensile strength, its forceful resistance, its tendency to dispute, mishaps and to backlash from past mistakes. Many reality checks concerning threats to human health and ecological balance will bite home, particularly from November 2008 to September 2009.

Serve or Suffer

Virgo/Pisces are the service polarity: Pisces is spiritual, religious or intuitive, in its service. Virgo serves the world, keeping the mainstream humming along efficiently. That efficiency is amplified when Jupiter in Capricorn gives support to Saturn for most of the year. Yet Jupiter’s support starts to fade after November 2008, while Saturn’s opposition to Uranus is merely beginning. This means an efficient, practical ‘show us any problem, we can deal with it’ attitude in business, is going to meet a correction point starting from November and stretching through to 2009.

Meeting Uranus is meeting the unexpected, the deluge in one form or another. Whether it be the hard realities of drought, the toxic overload of waterways or sudden shocking events for the sea and its creatures, this is not an easy opposition. This archetypal struggle could also manifest as tensions and struggles between two world power blocs with serious effects on global markets.

Nuclear’s Thirst

Despite the politically expedient claims that nuclear is a ‘clean green’ alternative power source, the reality is that nuclear is a thirsty industry, needing large amounts of water for cooling, which is thereby contaminated. And then there’s the waste. The US nuclear industry has already spent US$7 billion on a proposed Nevada burial site for waste and on developing a ceramic, which will neutralise and bond with the waste. After all that cost, recent UK research has shown the ceramic cannot last even 1,000 years, let alone the 250,000 years required. So the stockpiles mount. More costs mean more global marketing. This potential doomsday industry, will receive probing analysis of its short-term as well as long-term effects, from March on. The November awakening of Chaos master Uranus represents the beginning of eleven months of checks and balances for the nuclear industry.

Saving The Planet Gets “Sexy”

Water rules the feeling function and it is a rise of feeling response to the Earth’s dilemma that will be a strong feature of late February/March and September to November 2008. That consummate achiever, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who went from unknown Austrian body builder to Governor of California, recently reminded the environmental movement to get “sexy”: “We have to make it mainstream, we have to make it sexy, we have to make it attractive so that everyone wants to participate”. He added: “Successful movements aren’t built on guilt, they are built on passion”. (Ref 5) It is the passion for practical changes that is set to rise in 2008.
A point of difference between the environmental awareness that arose in the 60’s to the environmental awareness now, is that rather than being a fringe response linked to a ‘dropout’ image, it is taking shape within urban living, mainstream business and government policies. California is the ‘green’ US state that sets a benchmark.

A Climate of Change

Neither the climate debate, nor the reminders that all is not well, will go away. In November 2006 with five planets in depth diver, Scorpio, the debate took a dramatic turn when a former chief economist of the World Bank (Ref 6) went public with the belief that going green would be a boost for the world economy, rather than an obstacle. Add to this the odd fact that from 1977 to 1985 when oil use fell in the US, its economy grew (Ref 7). Then fuel consumption rose again and fuel efficiency fell. Inefficiency boosts sales. Virgo changes that – efficiency is The Goal and has been since September 2007. Uranus in Pisces will reveal the cracks in the dam and Saturn’s bureaucratic and business systems will be hard tested, sometimes found wanting. This all adds up to positive growth, small scale change that make a difference, a feminine yin solution that cares about detail and pokes holes in grandiose schemes.

Rain Revivifies

The wettest years for Australia were 1974 and 2000. In 1974 Jupiter and Saturn were both in a fertile Water sign and in 2000 they were both in the only fertile Earth sign – Taurus. Since Virgo and Capricorn are the semi-fertile Earth signs, 2008 has a good chance of some revivifying rains.


1) Nicholas Campion, The Book of World Horoscopes, The Wessex Astrologer Limited, 2004. Modern China was ‘born’ when Chairman Mao proclaimed the People’s Republic, September 21, 1949. Modern Brazil was ‘born’ via the proclamation of independence from Portugal on September 7, 1822.

2) Australian Federation on January 1,1901 is modern Australia’s ‘birth’ chart,
The Waitangi Treaty signed on February 6, 1840 is modern New Zealand’s‘birth chart’.

3) As reported in The Weekend Australian Magazine, May 31-June1, 2003, pg 30

4) Moist months are judged on the lunation phase and its ‘rulers’.

5) Arnold Schwarzenegger quoted in the Dominion Post, Wellington, NZ, pg B2

6) Sir Nicholas Stern

7) The issue of fuel efficiency first came before US Congress in the 1970’s. Information from Oil on Ice, ABC Television, 22,2,2007.