A new era

Posted on: 16th January, 2014

Category: Features

Contributor: Kate Arbon

The New Moon on the morning of January 1 in the sign of Capricorn was conjunct the powerfully transformative Pluto. With most of the world’s population focused on New Year resolutions and fresh starts, this introduction has really set a trend for the year ahead. Tuning in to the steady, organisational and practical skills of Capricorn could be helpful, as we negotiate some fairly challenging astrological dynamics in the coming months. When Pluto gets involved he ensures that if change is required, it will happen. Sometimes we like the change and welcome it. Sometimes we resist it with every part of ourselves. Undergoing a painful operation or procedure can be the only way towards healing or greater freedom. Pluto has a job to do. Look where Capricorn falls in your own birth chart to know which area of life is getting some special attention this year. Expect to see the landscape change (metaphorically or literally) on every level during this year. In our physical external world and our metaphysical inner world there will be a noticeable move towards the new era that has been edging in over many years.  In particular, our own thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and perspective will undergo a revolution over the next months.

2014 falls in the midst of a whole wave of planetary movements relevant to the massive change, upheaval, uncertainty and renewal that’s apparent around the globe. The major transits this year feature strong oppositions and square angles, which bring conflict and confrontation between differing standpoints. On an outer level we’ll see this confrontational energy being manifest in every direction around the globe with war, extreme weather, anti-‘something’ protests, power struggles and opposition to just about everything. On an inner level we will be forced to confront ourselves and replace old beliefs with a new awareness.

Astrological hotspots will mean a particularly powerful year for some. If you were born during the first week of January, April, July or October or with significant personal planets in Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn, particularly if those planets are at 11 to 15 degrees you can expect this to be a momentous year. For those born during July or the first two weeks of August, this year is the high point in a 12 year cycle so you can watch out for welcome opportunities and be prepared to make some serious headway. The Fire signs, Aries, Leo and Sagittarius get a positive boost later in the year too.

For an in depth overview of the major themes this year please visit my website at www.katearbon.com and follow the link for 2014 Astrology.

 

Winter Solstice – Spring Equinox: Relationships of all kinds will be under the spotlight during the first quarter of 2014. Throughout January, Venus is retrograde in Capricorn, so now you can take time to reconsider what is of lasting value. Midwinter festivities are over, life carries on and there are lean months to negotiate. This is especially felt whilst the Sun is in the Saturn ruled signs of Capricorn and Aquarius. More than other signs, Capricorn has a strong reputation for realism, sometimes called negativity, but pragmatism can be essential for physical survival. It’s the harsh realities of earthly limitations that confront us now. Stress is often felt where a change in approach or attitude is required.

Venus always brings relationships into focus and this will be a time to evaluate what’s worth pursuing or maintaining. It will highlight where there’s work to be done and effort required. But January is definitely not the time to make drastic major decisions or embark on a new romantic venture or pursuit. Use this month to review your inclinations but put off any action until after January 31.

With Jupiter also retrograde until early March, issues of faith and belief will be tested.  Going backwards through the sign of Cancer, the usually benevolent Jupiter will highlight whatever is vulnerable or needing extra care and nurture in our lives. During late January until late February Jupiter makes a stressful angle with first Pluto and then Uranus as part of the build up to the Cardinal Cross of April. With Mercury also retrograde from February 6 to 28, there is plenty of time to reflect on what has brought us to here. These months will demonstrate where an overly optimistic viewpoint has prevented people from facing up to a situation that is no longer sustainable. With Mars retrograde in Libra from March 1 until mid May there could be a sense of frustration as any forward movement is thwarted. During this time if sheer optimism or positivity has not improved a situation then it’s a sign to cast it off altogether and free up your energy for something new. At the spring equinox, as the Sun moves into Aries to start a new cycle on March 20, the energy builds in intensity as the planets move closer to form a Cardinal cross pattern.

Spring Equinox – Summer Solstice: The second quarter of 2014 holds some of the most significant astrological events of the year. Saturn in Scorpio is retrograde throughout this period whilst Mars maintains it’s retrograde in Libra until mid May. This is not the time to push forward on anything major. Allow whatever comes up for your attention to have significance but any assertive effort will almost certainly backfire on you or at least fizzle out as a non-event. There are still lessons to be learned from what occurred during the past few years and attempts to build up something new now, is lacking the benefit of full hindsight. Endurance and patience are required. The best approach is to slow down, take it easy, and if you have any doubts, don’t do it.

Just hours after Pluto turns retrograde the first Lunar eclipse of the year occurs on April 15 with a Solar eclipse on April 29. During April 20 to 23, Pluto, Uranus, Jupiter and Mars form a cross in the Cardinal signs, Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.

The signature for this formation is freedom of the individual against the control of the state. Similar themes such as the autonomy of local economic systems against homogeneous global corporations will be apparent. On an international level expect this period to spark major events of revolution and rebellion.

A similar T-Square involving Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto during 1648 marked the English Civil War, which saw the demise of King Charles I and Cromwell’s rise. The same dynamic occurred during1793, at the height of the French Revolution.

The stress of the Grand Cross lingers through to early May during which time we have a Solar Eclipse in Taurus on April 29. An eclipse works as a trigger point for themes, which play out in the months to come. By mid May the recent intensity will ease, as Mars starts his forward motion once more. Finally some positive progress can be made and this is supported by Jupiter, as it makes a welcome trine angle to Saturn. Although this is not a complete turn around, it does brings a sense of new optimism blended with practical solutions to implement the required next steps. Over the following weeks the mood is towards much soul searching and reaching for something meaningful from within. Mercury in reflective Cancer turns to retrograde on June 7 and Neptune, the planet of spirituality in otherworldly Pisces, turns retrograde on June 9 until mid November.

Assertive Mars, in people orientated Libra, is now making up for lost time when he makes another difficult square to Pluto in mid June. Expect a show of force, as intentions are made clear. An agenda for action by some may well be in conflict with others who continue to hold on to control.

Summer Solstice to Autumn Equinox: On June 21, the Sun moves into Cancer marking the summer solstice. Having come through the difficult first half of the year we should now be well aware that situations and circumstances will not be returning to how they were in past years. We have passed through a point of no return. The disruption is still ongoing but it’s not neccessarily all disaster and destruction. Making positive changes and establishing patterns that contribute to a new way of being takes courage and a willingness to move beyond the comfort zone.

With Mars currently in Libra our drive is towards social relationships. On June 25, Mars opposes unpredictable Uranus in forthright Aries and this could bring more breaks than unions. This brings ongoing conflicts to a head once more as the urge to move away from restrictive situations is given another boost. When Mercury, in it’s own sign of Gemini, begins a forward motion again on July 1, it may be possible to open up some fresh dialogue or negotiations during the next few weeks. On July 16, the great benefic, Jupiter leaves sensitive Cancer and moves in to regal Leo where he stays for the next year. This move into Leo often coincides with a significant slump in the stock market though it also brings a period of increased opportunities and lucky breaks for the fire signs, Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. This shift will also mark a point when the general trend is towards big and bold statements. When things happen it will be in a big or dramatic way. It’s also possible that those who are more confident or have a greater sense of their personal power may outshine the ‘lesser mortals’ in a race to the top. By mid July Saturn will begin forward progress once more to travel through the last half of Scorpio. Progress can now be made as the dark secrets and subversive behaviour of our governments or others in authority will be out in the public view whilst any attemps to assert manipulative controls will become obvious.

Uranus turns retrograde on July 22 and Mars moves into it’s own sign, Scorpio on July 26..  Mars goes on to make another challenging aspect to Jupiter and a supportive trine to Neptune in early August. Travelling at quite a pace, Mars moves swiftly through to Sagittarius by September 13. As it moves through each sign it brings an assertive energy. This can be helpful for anyone with a Scorpio or Sagittarian Sun if they want to tackle something difficult or challenging. Though it can also make them seem overbearing or argumentative if you are their obstacle!

Pluto turns to go forward on September 22 bringing the focus away from inner personal transformation. Fundamental shifts have taken place and now the outer world will need to adapt to reflect a new perspective.

Autumn Equinox to Winter Solstice: The Sun passes into Libra to mark the Autumn equinox on September 23 and the nights lengthen into winter. The challenging stresses of the spring and early summer have taken their toll and we still have some way to go. The final quarter of 2014 starts with a positive powerful aspect between two giants in fire signs. Expansive Jupiter in Leo is trine a future orientated Uranus in Aries. Expect some uplifting developments or sudden revelations to offer welcome changes. Inventors or visionaries may come to the fore with ideas that will benefit us all. Whilst Mercury travels retrograde, from Libra back into Scorpio again, between October 4 and 25 we have a Grand Fire Trine formation and two eclipses. Between October 5 and 8, Mars, in the sign of the seeker Sagittarius, moves into position along with freedom loving Jupiter and Uranus to form a triangular dynamic. This Grand Trine is one of the most powerful and positive patterns and not only the fire signs will benefit. The Lunar eclipse Moon joins with Uranus in Aries on October 8 whilst the Sun in Libra, at the same degree of the earlier Grand Cross, is flanked by beneficial Venus and the North node to form the apex of a kite pattern. How good can it get? This configuration speaks of invention, inspiration, expansion, motivation, revelation, great spiritual heights, positive social values and also brings in a sense of our collective destiny. Use these days to tune into some very special cosmic vibes.

A culmination of the tense Pluto/Uranus energies occurs when Mars joins with Pluto in early November. This could be expressed as a sudden release of power on a global level or a cosmic kick to old negative habits on a personal level.

The closing weeks of the year bring us the sixth of the seven squares between Uranus and Pluto on 15th December and further events along the same theme, breaking free from control, limitation and oppression are likely as we approach the winter Solstice on December 21.

As the year ends, we will recognise that our world has changed since 2014 started. As individuals, we will have changed too. Thoughts, beliefs, values, have all gone through some transformation and, by the time we welcome in 2015, each of us may have lost something familiar but will have gained something of great value for the new era we are moving into.

 

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Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

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Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

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In May 2016, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed the James Caird lifeboat on the rocky isle of South Georgia. The navigation of that small boat, across 1500 km through icy winds and towering seas, is regarded as the greatest ever feat of navigation. They then trekked across the forbidding and inhospitable mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind on Elephant Island after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

One hundred years later, Crean’s grandaughter, Aileen Crean O’Brien, set off with her sons and partner to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. Join Aileen and Bill to hear of their adventures (and misadventures) on the Southern Ocean and the island of South Georgia.
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