February Astromusings – Happy Chinese New Year of the Dog! Solar Partial Eclipse New Moon in Aquarius

Chinese New Year of the Dog 2018

Happy New Chinese Year of the Earth Dog!
The year of the Earth Dog follows after the Year of the Fire Rooster (2017) preceding the year of the Earth Pig (2019)!

Chinese New Year of the Dog 2018 begins on Friday, the 16th of February and ends on 2019 Lunar New Year’s Eve on Feb. 4. The Dog occupies the eleventh position in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac . Your Chinese zodiac animal is the Dog if you are born in one of the following years: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018.

Characteristics of the Dog
In Chinese society, Dogs are the favoured domestic animal because of their loyalty to their owners. And like a Dog, those born in the year of the Dog possess the admirable canine qualities of loyalty and integrity.

Straightforward and frank, Dog does not pay much attention to superficial details and has little patience for frivolity. Yet Dog is capable of playfulness and spontaneity. Honest and trustworthy, Dog makes an excellent friend on whom you can always depend. Dogs won’t hesitate to come to the aid of their friends in times of crisis, champion the underdog and advocate for ideas they believe in.

Stable, honest, practical, dependable, kind, and loyal are Earth qualities. The element Earth enhances Dog’s character ensuring stability and groundedness. The Earth Dog is endowed with some of the finest qualities of all the astrology signs. Earth Dogs have the ability to succeed in their endeavours, and possess nobility of character.

Of the five Taoist elements Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood, this is the year of the Earth Dog. 2018 is the Male or Yang Earth Dog year. Brown is connected to the earth. Therefore, 2018 is also referred to as the year of the Brown Dog. According to Chinese astrology the sign of 2018 Male Earth Dog year is represented by two mountains that sit side by side indicating strong Earth. People will focus on real estate, agriculture, environment, territorial integrity or religious, or spiritual matters.

Being the year of Mountain Dog we could be confronted by a wild dog which could block your path. That implies you might encounter some obstacles before executing your plan. Therefore, you need to use your wisdom to remove the blockage first, then you will see the wide-open road.

Famous people born in the Year Of The Dog
Donald Trump, Prince William, Kate Middleton,  David Bowie, Cher, Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson, Prince, Mother Teresa, Sophia Loren, Donald Trump, Madonna, Alec Baldwin, Dolly Parton, Andie MacDowell, Andrea Bocelli, Charlotte Rampling, Benjamin Franklin, Bill Clinton, Christiane Amanpour, David Niven, Diane Keaton, Ethan Hawke, George Gershwin, Herbert Hoover, José Carreras, George W. Bush, Judi Dench, Kevin Bacon, Linda Ronstadt, Leonard Cohen, Liza Minelli, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Queen Latifah, , Sharon Stone, Shirley MacLaine, Susan Sarandon, and Tommy Lee Jones.

Solar Partial Eclipse New Moon in Aquarius 16 February 2018

New Moon in Aquarius 16 Feb 2018The New Moon Solar Eclipse occurs at 27 degrees 07 Aquarius on 16 February at 8.05 am Sydney summer time. Aquarius rules the 11th house of the zodiac which has dominion of our social networks, our friends, groups and ideals. The event chart of New Moon Solar Eclipse reveals the themes with which we will be dealing. Mercury, the planet of communication, and Juno, the goddess of marriage and women’s rights are both conjunct the eclipse in the sign of Aquarius with Jupiter in Scorpio squaring the eclipse Mercury and Juno. Jupiter also rules law, philosophy, higher education and overseas travel. Being King of the gods, the energy of Jupiter is very powerful so that whatever planets it contacts magnifies the energy it touches. It can cause overconfidence or ego inflation  Added to this is the karmic South Node also in Aquarius.

Jupiter & Juno

Jupiter and Juno – Annibale Caraccio

The archetypes involved in this story are very telling here as Roman Juno and Jupiter or Hera and Zeus in Greek mythology were both husband and wife. However, Jupiter or Zeus, King of the gods, was a philanderer who raped both goddesses and mortals alike fathering children on them much to the chagrin and rage of Juno. Theirs was a very turbulent marriage with each one trying to outdo each other. The asteroid, Juno, in astrology represents commitment in relationships within marriage, business etc. as well as women’s rights and the powerless. Aquarius is ruled by Uranus which represents sudden illumination so this will be a period where there is the great potential to tap into the collective conscious. It heralds the upcoming Age of Aquarius which represents equality, freedom, rebellion, non conformity, higher consciousness and humanitarian endeavour.

With Jupiter in intense Scorpio there will be an opportunity to dig deep in order for us to face the shadow. With it coinciding with the year of the Dog the focus will be on loyalty, integrity. and transparency. The issues that are likely to arise will be whom do we trust with regard to our friends, associates and the people we have hired or elected. Issues such as corruption and wrongdoing are likely to come to a head as the year of the Dog ushers in the theme of loyalty, integrity, trustworthiness and transparency. People or organisations that don’t measure up to these standards will be under the spotlight and held accountable for their past actions with the presence of the karmic South Node. Both Aquarius and Scorpio are fixed signs and the effects of this eclipse will be felt for the next six months.

#Me Too Movement
The prevalence of the Me Too# movement is one of the strong themes of the Eclipse event chart with both Jupiter and Juno and Venus and Mars facing off in the Eclipse chart. Juno and Venus represent the feminine principle just as Jupiter and Mars represent the masculine principle. An interesting piece of synchronicity is that St Valentine’s Day just precedes the solar eclipse. Jupiter, being in the sign of Scorpio which rules sex, death joint finances and taxes will bring these issues to the surface.

Harvey Weinstein and the Weinstein Company is sued
The American movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, co-founder of Miramax, whose sexual abuse and exploitation of his female employees acted as a catalyst for the #Me Too movement is under fire again with New York’s attorney general suing The Weinstein Company and Harvey Weinstein on Sunday, alleging years of sexual harassment and misconduct by the movie producer. The civil suit alleges that the company’s executives and board repeatedly failed to protect employees from Weinstein, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. The suit also names Weinstein’s brother Bob, who co-founded the company.

Q&A panelists for #Me Too#Me Too Q&A
On the eve of the eclipse ABC TV aired its Q&A on the #Me Too movement hosted by Virginia Trioli with panelists, Josh Bornstein, Catherine Lumby, Isabella Manfredi and Janet Albrechtson in an attempt to have a national conversation on women’s rights in the work place. Virginia Trioli opened the discussion by asking how many women in the audience had been sexually harassed with many hands being raised. Catherine Lumby, a Macquarie university academic and Guardian contributor, Isabella Manfredi, lead singer of the Preatures, and Josh Bornstein, an employment lawyer all made positive and often thought provoking contributions.

Josh Bornstein had some constructive suggestions about improving workplace sexual harassment claims: remove the time limits on reporting within six months; remove the caps on damages; start a debate about confidentiality agreements in claims; and force companies to report sexual harassment claims to a central agency.

Both Josh Bornstein and Catherine Lumby did their best to explain how woefully inadequate our justice system is in dealing with rape and sexual assault, highlighting that only 10% of rape cases result in conviction, and how doctors usually advise patients against prosecuting their rape because the trial can be like a “second rape”. Isabella Manfredi recounted her experiences of sexual harassment as a young woman in the music industry.

Physical Abuse by White House Staffers of their Wives
Just this week in the US we have seen two more powerful White House staffers, Rob Porter and David Sorensen, have had to resign after it was revealed they had physically abused their ex wives and ex partners. The initial defence of these men by the Chief of Staff General John Kelly and President Trump exposed how powerful men at the top protect each other.

Trump & Stormy Daniels
Trump sex scandal with porn star Stormy Daniels
Added to this White House scandal is the scandal of Trump paying off porn star Stormy Daniels with hush money to prevent her going public just prior to the US presidential elections in 2016. An adult film star who has been embroiled in allegations of an affair with President Donald Trump is free to tell her story, her manager has said. Stormy Daniels is no longer bound by a non-disclosure contract after Mr Trump’s lawyer admitted he paid her, manager Gina Rodriguez says Mr Trump’s personal lawyer confirmed in a statement to media he privately paid Ms Daniels $130,000 (£95,000) in 2016. Ms Rodriguez says that acknowledgement allows her client to speak freely. The revelations on Wednesday follow US media reports that the porn actress known as Ms Daniels was paid to sign an agreement stopping her discussing an alleged affair. She first said she had a relationship with Mr Trump in a 2011 interview.In a 2011 interview with InTouch magazine, the actress said she was in a relationship with Mr Trump in 2006 shortly after Melania Trump gave birth to his son Barron.

Oxfam Scandal
Oxfam staff have been accused of hiring prostitutes while delivering aid after 2010 Haiti earthquake. Ex-UN operations chief says the problem is widespread throughout aid charities. The prostitution scandal engulfing international aid charity Oxfam is a symptom of a “global problem” in the aid industry, a former senior UN aid worker says. Oxfam has been accused of lacking “moral leadership” by the British Government over misconduct involving prostitutes in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Further accusations have been made claiming that pedophiles have been infiltrating aid organisations.

Barnaby Joyce Scandal – Symbolic of Jupiter Juno Marriage
While here in Australia we have our own home grown scandal with the Deputy Prime Minister being exposed as a hypocrite while ostensibly standing for family values and commitment to marriage having been found out having an affair with his staffer Vikki Campion who is now expecting their baby in April. The anger of the wife, Natalie, who confronted Barnaby’s mistress Vikki accusing her of being a homewrecker is reminiscent of the aggrieved Juno angered by her philandering husband’s ‘sexcapades’. Since the story broke in the Daily Telegraph last week the scandal has escalated with allegations of Barnaby’s other dalliances and sexual misconduct with minors surfacing. What was just rumour and innuendo is now becoming headline news. Thus is the power of Jupiter to blow things out of proportion. Barnaby Joyce is also undergoing his Chiron Return which means he will have to do some soul searching and face his deepest emotional wounds and atone for those he has emotionally wounded. Issues of nepotism have also arisen with the high paying positions his ‘partner’, Vikki Campion, has enjoyed plus his own high expenses for his time in Canberra and his living rent free in a luxury apartment in Armidale owned by his wealthy mate, Greg Maguire. Barnaby Joyce spent more than $10,000 on family reunion travel while having an affair with his former staffer, raising more questions about taxpayer funds being used to support the double life led by the Deputy Prime Minister. With Barnaby Joyce set to become acting Prime Minister next week while the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be on an official to see President Trump the coalition was in further damage control. There have been debates in parliament about what constitutes a relationship – when is someone a partner, with the Prime Minister citing the Centrelink definition.

PM Turnbull Announces a New Ministeral Code of Conduct
On the eve of the South Node eclipse with the Barnaby Joyce Scandal escalating and further damaging the Liberal National coalition Turnbull announced in parliament that Barnaby would be taking leave for a week to reflect on his position as well as a new code of conduct in which sexual relationships between ministers and their staff is banned effective from today and went on to describe Barnaby Joyce’s affair with the staffer as a “shocking error of judgement”. Turnbull acknowledged that his affair had raised serious issues of sex and power inside Parliament House and the deficiencies in the ministerial code of conduct. This move is in line with the US House of Representatives and with the sporting world of the AFL and in the corporate world.

Internecine War within the Coalition
Barnaby Joyce has retaliated against Malcolm Turnbull’s address claiming that the PM’s comments at his press conference yesterday in many instances were inept and unnecessary causing more harm as well as asserting his independence from his coalition partner and his right to remain leader of the National Party. The response of the Labor Opposition leader, Bill Shorten and the Deputy Leader, Tanya Plibersek, claimed that the Liberal National Coalition government is in a full blown crisis. “If Malcolm doesn’t have the courage to sack Barnaby Joyce, then Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t have the courage to be prime minister.”

In keeping with the South Node eclipse a voice from the past resurfaced with the appearance on Sky news of  Junie Morosi, who famously had an affair in 1974 with then-deputy prime minister Jim Cairns. Morosi has slammed the media attention on Barnaby Joyce’s personal situation, calling the interest in the Nationals leaders’ relationships “old fashioned”.

Morosi & Cairns

Jim Cairns & Junie Morosi

Morosi, who was appointed by her lover Cairns to a senior government role that were seen as outside her experience, told The Australian that the complaints about Joyce having won his now-partner Vikki Campion a series of government jobs were just a cover for good, old puritanism on the part of his critics.

Members of the public and the stolen generation applaud Rudd's speech

Members of the public & the stolen generation applaud Kevin Rudd’s apology


Kevin Rudd's Apology to the Stolen Generations

Kevin Rudd’s Apology to the Stolen Generation

Tenth Anniversary of National Apology to the Stolen Generation
Quite rightly Stan Grant claimed on his Tuesday night program of Matter of Fact that the all consuming media scandal about Barnaby Joyce has overshadowed the important 10th anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s apology to the stolen generation and Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull’s report to parliament on Closing the Gap.

Arrest of Malka Leifer, former school principal, for rape and sexual abuse against children
However it is not only men who are having their karma catch up with them during this South Node eclipse period. Malka Leifer who has been sensationally arrested in Israel, is finally facing the prospect of extradition proceedings almost a decade after she fled Australia after being accused of abusing female students at the Adass Israel School in Elsternwick in Melbourne. She was principal of the ultraconservative Jewish school at the time and faces 74 allegations of rape and sexual abuse against children. Since fleeing in 2008 she has managed to avoid extradition by arguing she was too mentally unwell to face court in Australia. However, Israeli authorities swooped on Ms Leifer, who is aged in her 50s, after a month-long undercover investigation by police, which concluded that Ms Leifer was allegedly faking her mental illness. Her arrest has brought relief to her young female victims who have suffered post traumatic stress disorder, post-partum depression and and suicidal ideation. They said their tireless campaign to have her brought to justice will bring closure for them. With the power of South Node Eclipse and the Year of the Dog truth will out!

Resignation of Jacob Zuma
As I write this post on the eve of the eclipse it has just been announced that Jacob Zuma has resigned as President of South Africa, heeding orders by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to bring an end to his nine scandal-plagued years of corruption and cronyism in power.

Royal Commission into Banking
Commissioner Kenneth Hayne QC and senior counsel assisting Rowena Orr made brief initial statements in Melbourne on Monday ahead of what will be an exhaustive 12 months of public hearings into misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry. Home loans, car loans and credit cards will come under the microscope when the Banking Royal Commission holds its first round of public hearings next month. The Commission will hear evidence that suggests consumers have not always enjoyed the.right to be treated honestly and fairly when it comes to home loans,” Ms Orr said. “Some [cases] may involve breaches of the law, while others may fall short of community standards.” The banks will finally be held to account for their misconduct.

Slave like conditions for Domestic Workers in Embassies in Australia
Another example of injustice was exposed on Monday night’s Four Corners when journalist Louise Milligan revealed the shocking mistreatment and exploitation of A at least 20 domestic workers who have escaped embassies and diplomatic residences in Australia, where they were being kept in conditions likened to slavery. Four Corners inteviewed three workers who allege shocking conditions like working for a fraction of the minimum wage. There’s little that law enforcement authorities can do to bring the perpetrators to justice because the employers enjoy diplomatic immunity.

Corporations Pay No Tax
According to an ABC NEWS report online by journalist, Emma Albericci 380 of Australia’s largest companies. ATO corporate tax transparency data — confirmed in email exchanges with company representatives — reveals about one in five of the country’s biggest companies have paid no tax for at least the past three years. Companies who have paid no tax include Qantas, Adani Abbot. Alinta Holdings, Amcor Limited, American Express Australia Limited, Ansell Limited, APN News & Media Ltd. Not one of Australia’s biggest airlines has paid corporate tax since at least 2013 including Virgin and its subsidiary TigerairEtihadEmirates and Qatar. At a time when Australian households have seen their electricity prices soar, the country’s leading energy retailer, EnergyAustralia, hasn’t been paying corporate tax. EnergyAustralia paid no corporate tax for the decade to 2016.

Ten years after the global financial crisis — which they are largely responsible for creating — some of the world’s most prominent investment banks are collecting tidy sums of income in Australia and not paying corporate tax. Among them is Malcolm Turnbull’s old employer, Goldman Sachs, which recently won a lucrative contract with the NSW Government.

Described by Rolling Stone Magazine as, “the great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”, Goldman will be paid $16.5 million as the state’s financial adviser on the sale of the $16.8 billion WestConnex motorway in NSW. The investment bank generated revenue of $1.84 billion over three years but paid zero corporate tax.

The same goes for JPMorgan Chase which raked in $2.2 billion and hasn’t paid corporate tax since at least 2013. Ten years after the global financial crisis — which they are largely responsible for creating — some of the world’s most prominent investment banks are collecting tidy sums of income in Australia and not paying corporate tax. Among them is Malcolm Turnbull’s old employer, Goldman Sachs, which recently won a lucrative contract with the NSW Government.

Described by Rolling Stone Magazine as, “the great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”, Goldman will be paid $16.5 million as the state’s financial adviser on the sale of the $16.8 billion WestConnex motorway in NSW. The investment bank generated revenue of $1.84 billion over three years but paid zero corporate tax.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp hasn’t paid corporate tax for at least 4 years. The media colossus reported total income of $8.5 billion and even boasted a $71 million profit in 2014/15 but no corporate tax was paid.

Neoliberalism’s Trickle Down Economics discredited.
Piketty-capital-21st-centuryThe Age of Aquarius espouses equality of opportunity. French academic and economist Thomas Piketty’s best selling seminal book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, discredits Neoliberalism’s Trickle Down economics. Piketty, arguably the world’s leading expert on income and wealth inequality documents the growing concentration of income in the hands of a small economic elite. This is backed up by Emma Albericci in her report: “There is no compelling evidence that giving the country’s biggest companies a tax cut sees that money passed on to workers in the form of higher wages.Treasury modelling relies on theories that belie the reality that’s playing out around the world. Since the peak of the commodities boom in 2011-12, profit margins have risen to levels not seen since the early 2000s but wages growth has been slower than at any time since the 1960s.” Piketty’s work is the zeitgeist as we move into the Age of Aquarius.

Universal Basic Income
UBIThe resurrection of universal basic income (UBI) proposals in the developed world has gained support from some prominent Australians. UBI proposals centre on the idea that the government would pay a flat fee to every adult citizen, regardless of his or her engagement in skill-building activities or the paid labour market, as a partial or complete substitute for existing social security and welfare programs.
Of the schemes run in developing places like Kenya, Uganda, and India, some have been evaluated statistically, delivering some evidence of positive impacts on educational investments, entrepreneurship, and earnings.
In the developed world, Canada has been trialling a UBI scheme. Finland has also rolled out a trial until the end of 2018 , involving about 10,000 recipients for two years and costing about A$40 million. While Switzerland’s voters just rejected a UBI proposal via referendum, a similar proposal is presently looking like a goer for Utrecht in the Netherlands. Here in Australia, it has been suggested the government might hand out somewhere between A$10,000 and A$25,000 a year to every man and woman.

Free MoneyThe idea of free money has become more popular in recent years thanks to advocates in Silicon Valley like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg. They see universal basic as a cushion for workers whose jobs might be replaced by automation or robots. Advocates argue free money could provide workers with flexibility to retrain for a new career, pursue creative interests, or start their own business.

So on both a collective and personal level this karmic South Node Eclipse in Aquarius represents a portal to clarify and affirm our highest path to make a quantum leap in consciousness. It gives an opportunity to transform our thinking and let go of the past to allow for new visions, to break down our defences where we have become the most fixed, to liberate ourselves from outmoded attitudes and concepts of being. Coinciding with the year of the Earth Dog it will be a year where relationships and organisations will be under the spotlight and will be held to account if they don’t demonstrate honesty, integrity and transparency.

Therapy Dogs

Therapy Dog Trial

Joanne Fuda with Hugo, Felicity Powell with Jezebel, Attorney-General Mark Speakman and Julie Duncan with Amber.


Hugo the Caboodle in Manly Local Court

Hugo the Caboodle inside Manly Local Court

To end on a lighter note there was a news item this week so fitting for the Year of the Dog. It was just announced this week that the trial of therapy dogs begun in April 2017 to lend a floppy ear and friendly paw to assist victims of crime in Manly Court has been such a success that it will now be expanded. “Research shows having a dog to talk to and pat can calm people who are feeling scared and nervous — a phenomenon referred to as the ‘pet effect’.” This therapy has been used with great success for child victims in special circumstances as remote witnesses and victims of domestic violence. it will now be rolled out in ten regional and city court complexes in NSW. Canine therapy is also employed in hospitals, nursing homes and prisons. It goes without saying that the dog is ‘man’s’ best friend!