Driving west across the high dessert of Utah, we'd been on the road for two days. The dessert has its beauty, brown and barren across broken hills, but the heat bakes you, driving through the windshield in the late afternoon as the sun slowly dips towards the western horizon. Hours have been followed by more hours as the road rises and falls, making its way across the Rockies. Then the scenery begins to shift. The mountains, which had been spotted with scrub, give way to conifers, not only changing the hue of our environment from brown to green, but also rising up to provide cover, and more importantly, shade from the intense heat. The driving is cooler now, and the wind coming in our open windows inviting. But these are not the pines of the east. Sprinkled among them are deep ravines with flowing streams below us, and great redwoods majestically stretching above us toward the sky. As we cross another crest in the many folds of these ranges, there in front of us, from between a great, green cleavage, nestled in the bosom of Nature's beauty, we spot our first glimpse of Lake Tahoe, a glistening jewel reflected in the setting light of the Sun.
California was admitted to the Union on September 9, 1850, and this gives this state a Virgo Sun and Scorpio Moon. With a coast line which runs from Oregon to Mexico, it's bond to the ocean provides a lush environment, with a good source of rain, fog and moisture. The California valleys are the bread basket of the nation, providing many of our berries and vineyards, as well as artichokes, asparagus, and many other crops. Driving along Route 1, you pass through rows and rows of colored fields lush and rich, healthy and vibrant. Many people are often first surprised to hear that this state is a Virgo, but this is the sign of the harvest, and California certainly qualifies.
A Scorpio Moon is a curious creature, and specifically deals with food and the growing cycle. The three water Moons, Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, are said to be the best for growing most anything. But Scorpio is also said to be the position of the Moon's detriment. The concentrated, high intensity agricultural methods generate an artificial system, force fed by legions of sprinklers systematically planted to choreograph their moisturizing dance together. It breeds both life and death. Properly maintained, it cranks out high quantities of quality produce. But this is such a highly concentrated system that if the wrong parasite manages to work its way into the system, all hell could break loose. The Moon in Scorpio is a passionate placement. Conjuncting Venus in the early degrees of this sign, there are riches to be made in this state, but at the same time, great fortunes can also be lost, with passions and even crimes buried well away from the light of day.
Softening some of the sensuality of this combination is a Mars Mercury conjunction in Libra. Ideals are active here, and placed in the cardinal sign Libra, California pioneers many innovations, whether artistically, socially or even legally (as with the environment), which very often winds up setting the standard for the rest of the nation to follow.
Finally, we'll look at one last aspect pattern in California's chart, which is a Uranus Pluto conjunction in the 29th degree of Aries, inconjuncted by Jupiter in the 29th degree of Virgo. Inconjuncts are the accident aspect, and there is often an abrupt rip, tear or letting go when this alignment is present, especially when it's tied up with Uranus, the planet of unexpected, revolutionary shifts. This outer planet combination makes for radical, dramatic, exciting transformations. California's earthquakes spring to mind, but it's not limited to this. The job market and the tech industry born of California; well, they come and they go.