"The natal chart is like a seed and progressions are the unfolding in time of that into the plant it is to become. Transits, are like a daily weather report. In political astrology, these three factors have to be taken into account!"
~ Alice O. Howell
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Recent NewsScope columns at NeptuneCafe:

January 4, 2010 - advise on new year's resolutions, a check into Iran's horoscope, and hero  Jasper Schuringer

Jan 11, 2010 - Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh,  Timothy Geithner, and Casey Johnson's death
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NewsScope for March 8, 2010
by Michael Wolfstar

Mars Turns Direct

Last Thursday, the lone gunman who opened fire at the Pentagon had a history of mental illness, and was targeting his anger at the federal government. However, criminologists have noticed a pattern where such behavior represents a much larger force in society. One angry person may be paranoid, but if thousands of people share the same anger and conspiracy theories, it becomes an ideology.

Astrologically, we are collectively reaching a point where the angriest elements of society are becoming most expressive: Mars turning direct on March 10th is the point of maximum voltage. Those with planets in early Leo or the other fixed signs are most influenced. If the Mars station contacts outer planets or forms hard aspects in a personal horoscope, then expect conflict, confrontation, hasty actions, and potential accidents.

Mars in Leo is motivated to act for a noble cause. Undoubtedly, the Pentagon shooter thought he was doing the right thing. So too will the terrorists and suicide bombers who act out now and over the coming week. In Washington, the efforts at bipartisanship have fallen away, with each party knowing they're taking the right action. And within the parties, bickering and competing ideologies are short-circuiting any progress in a time of dire need.
In Obama's chart, Mars has been hovering over his Mercury. In this energized phase, he's vocalized (Mercury) for the first time his specific plan for health care reform. In a leader's horoscope, Mercury symbolizes his agents or spokesmen. Mars's activation of Obama's Mercury parallels Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's unprecedented expression of his own opinions, putting him at odds with the President's agenda.
The European Union's Identity Crisis

Since NewsScope's article on Greece three weeks ago, several readers have asked about the horoscope for the European Union. The chart I've found most useful is the one set for the Treaty of Rome on March 25, 1957 (6:30 pm CET; Rome). Major transits and progressions to this chart correspond to the gradual political, economic, and geographic evolution of the European nation-state.

The EU Sun is in pioneering Aries, but with Libra Rising, the EU relies on cooperation to get anything done. The progressed Sun's aspects are especially significant to the EU's shifting self-identity.
Jeff Bridges, Best Actor

Winning the 2010 Oscar for Best Actor was in the stars for veteran actor Jeff Bridges. His performance as a washed-up country singer in Crazy Heart won critical acclaim for being his best in a stellar career - especially since he sang his own vocals. Previously nominated four times, film critics acknowledged that this year was his time.

Jeff Bridges was born with his Sun in free-spirited Sagittarius (December 4, 1949; 11:58 pm; Los Angeles, CA), which is located right on the fourth house cusp, showing his strong connection to family. His father, Lloyd Bridges, got Jeff and his brother Beau started in show business with their appearances on the 1960s TV series Sea Hunt. Older brother Beau was his mentor, as shown by Ceres in the third house of siblings.

Not until he received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for the 1971 film The Last Picture  Show was Bridges sure he wanted to be an actor.
For example, the original six members (Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany) officially joined the EU on January 1, 1958 when the progressed Sun was entering the seventh house of partners.

On January 1, 1973 Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom entered the EU when the progressed Sun was quincunx the fateful North Node. Most relevant to current events, Greece joined on January 1, 1981 when the progressed Sun was trine Pluto and transiting Uranus was squaring Pluto (orbs: 0º12' and 0º03'). This identifies Greece with the EU's Pluto, indicating its small, but metamorphic power – for better or worse.

Greece's shaky economy was revealed last September when the EU's progressed Ceres (from the
eighth house of credit) and progressed Pluto were precisely squaring each other (orb 0º01'). The progressed Sun will square natal Pluto over the next two years, suggesting an unfolding identity crisis, a deeply transformative process that will completely re-shape the European Union. This political-economic death and rebirth is underscored by all the outer planets forming hard aspects to the EU Sun in the same interval.
At that time transiting Jupiter was conjunct his Sun, giving him the encouragement to follow in his father's footsteps. With a Mars-Saturn conjunction on his Virgo Ascendant, Bridges has become a serious actor, devoted to his craft.

What's working now for Jeff Bridges is a progressed Sun-Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius. His recent participation with 80 other singers in the charity remake of We Are the World perfectly fits this Aquarian vibe. His progressed Sun will become part of a Grand Trine with his 2nd house Neptune and Midheaven over the next two years, bringing him continued prosperity and success. We can expect to see much more of Mr. Bridges in a variety of social causes and creative ventures.
January 18, 2010 - Haiti's earthquake, the eclipse hits the U.S. chart, and Google fights censorship in China.

January 25, 2010 - the Supreme Court's decision, Feb's Top Five Astro-events, and Heidi Montag's surgery

February 1, 2010 - Toyota's troubles, J.D. Salinger and Howard Zinn, and Hollywood legend Jean Simmons
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February 8, 2010 - the market outlook for 2010, China's 3:00 pm horoscope  and Charlie Sheen.

Feb 15, 2010 - Michelle Obama's Cause, Greece's financial crisis, and Ellen DeGeneris's Q rating

Feb 22, 2010 - the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, March's Top Five, and Olympic snowboarder Chris Klug
March 1, 2010 - Chile's 8.8 earthquake, the Bloom Box, and Alice in Wonderland star Mia Wasikowska