Born Today 24 February

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It's time to go after your dreams, Pisces. "Anthony van Dyck self portrait" by Anthony van Dyck - {{PD}}

It’s time to go after your dreams, Pisces. “Anthony van Dyck self portrait” by, who else? Anthony van Dyck – {{PD}}

Recently you’ve gathered support, empowered yourself, made a plan, brought together resources and honed talents–now what, dear Pisces? Time to tap directly into your creativity, and/ or to tackle the subjects of the House in the natal chart that contains Pisces–which of course is also the House where Neptune is currently transiting. Applying ideals, spiritual principals, imagination, and the ability to create the desired image to yourself or to what you’d like to manifest in life is your mandate this coming Solar year, through to your next birthday. It’s time to make ‘the Dream’ a reality, and to communicate it in any way you see fit. Happy Birthday, Pisces, and good luck!

Snapshot of a Life: Photographer Vivian Maier

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Taken at the "Finding Vivian Maier: Chicago Street Photographer" exhibition in Chicago 8 January 2011 http://www.flickr.com/photos/chicagogeek/5337419802/ Author ChicagoGeek Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

Taken at the “Finding Vivian Maier: Chicago Street Photographer” exhibition in Chicago 8 January 2011
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chicagogeek/5337419802/
Author ChicagoGeek Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

What follows is a brief look at the chart of Vivian Maier, subject of a recent documentary, taken from the pages of ECLIPSE.

I heard and saw mentions of her, bits and pieces: amazing photos. dead now. a nanny. walked around Chicago for years, taking photos. Nobody noticed. And then I caught ‘Finding Vivian Maier’, a documentary, on HBO. I was prepared to witness some great photos, and perhaps the sadness of a life not lived to as full an extent, or as widely celebrated, as it might‘ve been. What I saw instead was a portrait of a woman who had been seen as mysterious largely because she was both exceptionally private and thoroughly estranged from any family, who preferred the company of children (whom she often bullied) to that of adults, and with a background involving time spent in the village of her mother’s birth in France that had some acquaintances privately calling her accent phony.

I admit I’ve had a very difficult time writing about Maier, for as intriguing as it is to learn about a newly-revealed talent, Maier as an individual seems to have been difficult, and often unpleasant. By the last third of the documentary I found myself looking away at least as much as actually watching, not out of disinterest, but out of the sense that she was a human being who had inflicted pain on her charges, with the obvious inference that this was because she lacked the Self-awareness to separate her own behavior from the pain that had been inflicted on her—a nasty revelation about the doc’s subject, to be sure, and one I felt ambivalent about: did her faults as a human being detract from the body of work she left behind? Ideally, in my view, the work should speak for itself, but when the life seems to provide such a telling frame for the work, one that may be in stark contrast to what is produced while still holding the reflection of it, it may be unfair to look at one without the other, if only because one would not exist without the other.

With no birth time, we have no Houses, Ascendant, or Midheaven, and so Maier (1 February 1926 ntk New York NY USA–see the Whole Sign chart under “Charts for Articles in ECLIPSE, link above) remains more mysterious than not; however, an Aquarius Sun sextile Sedna, trine Pallas, quincunx Pluto, and opposed Black Moon Lilith suggests an instinctive urge to hide from (and sometimes to battle) what may have felt like destructive, even vindictive, external forces. She may have seen confrontation (the opposition) as the only wise response to the anger or darkness or manipulative (to her) behavior of others (Black Moon Lilith, disowned, seen as ‘the Other’ through opposition), with the need to continually adjust the power expression/ situation (Pluto qnx) just the smart thing to do (Pallas trine).

The Sun is in an interesting spot: it sits more than 9 degrees from retrograde Venus, which suggests to me the potential rejection of the Venusian facets of Beingness; it’s like a statement, “I’m not beautiful, I don’t have money, relationships and Love are not ‘me’” (via the retro status) but if we had a birth time we would have Houses, and so see how the Art of photography was accepted as ‘hers’ when the other Venus qualities seem not to have been—and yet, we need to look no farther than the Ceres-Neptune opposition to Venus to find a possible explanation. This could imply that in rejecting (or in believing it wasn’t accessible to her in the first place) the usual Venusian expression she was able to embrace what opposed it—in this case, a connection to Nature and her ‘natural’ role as an authority (Ceres–which she may have lived as the ‘pseudo-mother’ to a couple generations of children) melded with her photography (Neptune, in Leo—and proportionally she seems to have taken a large number of Self-portraits—even when the lion hides, she doesn’t).

The observational eye of Maier’s camera seems attuned to those who don’t normally receive that much attention; she finds and frames the ordinary, the every day, and appears to make a specialty of informal portraits of those who aren’t used to being noticed. The Venus-Neptune connection could bestow the ability to see and appreciate what’s usually invisible, the beauty that’s typically obscured. Mercury and Jupiter are conjunct in Aquarius=choosing a modern means of communicating, and in contacting the social sphere; with the camera always between herself and her subjects, Vivian may have made an overarching statement about what she truly found worthy by what she chose to photograph—that was her statement, loud and clear. She takes an intellectual approach to society, communicating and recording with something of a cool, dispassionate gaze, through the camera. With Merc-Jupiter opposed Zeus, there’s no doubt that she saw her photos as an expression of ambitions and talent as even on the surface she appeared to deny she had any ambition at all.

Many ask why Vivian didn’t share her work. We see Juno (empowerment) and the South Node (the past) conjunct in Capricorn, and these hook by aspect into ruler Saturn, Uranus, Chiron, Mars, and Ceres-Neptune=this may speak of when Vivian and her mother lived for a time in New York City around 1930 with photographer Jeanne Bertrand, who likely taught Vivian the ‘rules’ of photography, and acted as an example of how taking pictures could empower, by giving the photographer a god-like ability to literally choose what will be seen, to frame, to crop real life to one’s liking. These contacts link empowerment and the past to the ego and action urge, material reality, originality and innovation, the wound/ healing or the Chirotic gift (in this case, in Aries, suggesting a need to heal so that she could do ‘me first’, and so act as an example), and that natural expression and creative energy—and yet the presence of Saturn may have muted the urge to take any action to share the work. The idea could’ve been that empowerment comes from a contained, modest life, where originality and urges toward independence were kept small, offering little encouragement to the Artist within her, who may have been hungry for more, and on a bigger scale (that wide conjunction of the Sun to Jupiter).

In fact, that Ceres-Neptune, so instrumental in her creative stance, is part of a Fire Grand Trine involving Mars and Chiron. This implies that, had she found healing and felt support in this life, she would’ve expressed her personal power (that the Soul required she make adjustments for—Sun quincunx Pluto) through creative action, as a ‘creative authority’ (Neptune-Ceres); but she clearly wasn’t able to heal, and so the creative output was toned down—not exactly hidden, but likely seeming untenable as a lifestyle and means of earning, despite the example of Bertrand.

And what of the clearly implied violations or abuse both suffered and administered by Vivian? There’s a point in the documentary when a portion of the will of Vivian’s aunt is read, (and I paraphrase), ‘I exclude all living relatives, and they know exactly why’. Whatever injury occurred in this family, it spanned generations. Vivian definitely had a Virgo Moon, with ruler Mercury planet of earliest degree, and conjunct Jupiter=does this represent exaggerated critical emotions, something even the strongest motivations would be hard pressed to overcome? It could, and with Jupiter representing society as a whole (and so possibly the children she cared for) conjunct the Sun in stressful relationship to Pluto, Vivian may have related to the children, seeing them as very similar to, even a part of, her (Sun-Jupiter) but have been in constant Plutonian turmoil that expressed through her treatment of them rising from her own past experiences—for if she sees herself in them, then the pain is alive and present, all the time, and she shares it as she experienced it.

Venus opposed Ceres and trine Vesta suggests that, though she at least theoretically valued beauty and relationships (along with all things that would be designated by the two Houses Venus rules, if we knew her birth time), there was a never-ending struggle going on, one where authority figures, particularly maternal ones (Ceres) always won over ‘the girl’ (Venus), with Vivian casting herself as the weaker player, even when she cared for children—that would’ve brought out the Soul-pain (Sun-Pluto), as Vivian would then play the powerful Ceres figure to her ‘spoiled’ and privileged (Venus) charges. The Venus situation becomes a loop of longing and denial, fed over and over through the mechanism of adjustments to the power scenario—with no reasonable resolution in sight.

I thought I’d provide links so that you can see how really crisp and gorgeous her photos are: http://www.vivianmaier.com/ about her life: http://www.vivianmaier.com/about-vivian-maier/ http://vivianmaier.blogspot.com/ http://www.motherjones.com/media/2011/04/vivian-maier-john-maloof http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/03/31/candid-camera-2 (the latter link addresses the film on Maier mentioned earlier) and for info on the very unusual copyright conditions in this case, see this: http://gapersblock.com/ac/2013/08/13/the-curious-case-of-vivian-maiers-copyright/

Born Today 23 February

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John William Waterhouse - 'Ulysses and the Sirens' 1891 {{PD}}

John William Waterhouse – ‘Ulysses and the Sirens’ 1891 {{PD}}

There is some kind of pull you can feel right now, dear Pisces, some kind of Universal attractor, and you are convinced it has a material form–your Solar year, through to your next birthday, may be spent looking for it, but it’s the adventures you’ll have along the way that will matter, at this point. You are inspired, but in a way that hasn’t yet taken shape–and this both pulls you (at the prospect of finding this creative energy) and pushes you (out into the world, looking for the material manifestation of this energy), and the time may be spent in ways that indulge the senses, challenge the material surroundings, may lead to new relationships, and may, perhaps surprisingly, pay real-world dividends–and all of it because you’re following this siren song (though of course, you won’t be lured to crash on the rocks!)–instead, you’ll re-shape your life in ways you won’t be able to anticipate, and you’ll set the scene for those big, inspired changes to come. Happy Birthday, Pisces, and good luck!

Born Today 22 February

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It's in taking care of the mundane that you create opportunity, Pisces. Van Gogh - Kartoffelsetzen 1884 {{PD}}

It’s in taking care of the mundane that you create opportunity, Pisces. Van Gogh – Kartoffelsetzen 1884 {{PD}}

Empowering yourself and establishing a solid place in the world will likely be your aims this year, dear Pisces, through to your next birthday. Taking action will definitely be your motto–but there will be a single key to success, and it may be a very difficult one to implement: don’t try to fulfill ambitions and desires; instead, attend to every other matter that surrounds you. In taking care of everything else, your way to achieve your wants will come clear; but if you pursue ambitions headlong, you will fail. I know! Weird, right? It seems that at this point, when you focus on what you’d like to create, you somehow misinterpret what is needed to achieve your aims, and so neglect what would really be effective. The prescription, then, is to see to all the things you would judge to be unrelated to getting what you want–in taking care of these, you’ll smooth the way to your heart’s desire. Happy Birthday, Pisces, and good luck!

Born Today 21 February

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Hesiod and the Muse by Gustave Moreau (1870) {{PD}}

Hesiod and the Muse by Gustave Moreau (1870) {{PD}}

Initially this coming Solar year, through to your next birthday, you may be going on a kind of auto-pilot, dear Pisces; you may be so caught up in relationship or money-making or aesthetics issues that the focus may be tightly held on yourself and your world. Being focused like this, you might miss the real, underlying cause of so much tension. It’s not about the relationship, finances, or your creative output, but about two things that may seem separate, but which are in reality intimately connected: your personal expression of power in the world, and your connection to and part in Nature. Any internal discord you have concerning your ability to call the shots in your own life, and any disconnect you feel between who you are in daily life and your ‘natural roles’ (as a man or woman, as a part of Nature, as an animal, as a living being, as a sentient being) will propel your behavior and reactions–but it’s only in knowing that what occurs is not about surface matters, but about a need to re-connect consciousness with your innate power, that progress will be made. Happy Birthday, Pisces, and good luck!

Just a Little AstroEssence 21 February 2015: The Dancer and the Football Player

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We'll be very aware we're lacking a certain below-the-surface harmony. Edgar Degas - 1885 {{PD}}

We’ll be very aware we’re lacking a certain below-the-surface harmony. Edgar Degas – 1885 {{PD}}

21 February we have an interesting situation astronomically, with Venus both conjunct Mars (at the same zodiacal degree) and also contra-parallel (each at the same distance from but on opposite sides of the celestial equator). This suggests a built-in struggle between the two energies, which on the surface appear to be together (the conjunction). It may mimic the way those same energies will meet internally (interaction and Self-Will, receptivity and action) or externally (a man and woman, being active while another person is passive, or vice-versa) and clash at a fundamental level. For the individual it may be like having one’s foot on the gas and on the brake at the same time; In interaction with others, it may be like a ballet dancer and a football player who want to team up—their methods, techniques, and ways of interacting are so very different that, though they intend for each to apply their skills in the same game, there’s no one game that suits them both. So, receptivity draws aggression, Love draws anger, Money draws Action, Jealousy draws temper, greed emphasizes individual wants—you get the picture—and of course this is happening in the first degree of Aries, where Mars is at home and Venus is not, suggesting that the easy go-to in uncomfortable situations may be lashing out or taking off. The only way forward may be to walk into any venture with the awareness that you will have contradictory urges within yourself to deal with, and that in any cooperative situation you will be fundamentally taking a different, even opposite, approach or viewpoint than the other party. Too, this aspect set may breed discord in spousal, romantic, or partnership relations, and turning away from individual interactions, we’ll likely find that the social sphere isn’t receptive, either. (Perfecting today: Venus conjunct and contra-parallel Mars, and sesquiquadrate Jupiter)

Born Today 20 February

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Don't be timid, Pisces. 'The goldfish bowl' Charles Edward Perugini c1870 {{PD}}

Don’t be timid, Pisces. ‘The goldfish bowl’ Charles Edward Perugini c1870 {{PD}}

This coming Solar year, dear Pisces, tests your approach to life, with circumstances that require you show originality and use your own unique take on things for success. If you’re already oriented that way, looking for the power expression that’s right for you, ready to determine your territory and to hold sway over it, then things will go well for you; it’s the gentle fishes who are not so sure about their life direction, or who hide their individuality, or who deny their own power and authority, who will have problems. Do your best to step up, and accept that you are a significantly powerful and talented Being–and a few hints to help you this year: your energy supply may feel raw and difficult to gauge–take it easy; relationships and/ or finances may be in crisis this year, but don’t panic–in most cases, these issues can be put on hold–if they’re still there and enlisting your attention in 3 months, then you should address them (this implies that what’s not serious or permanent will drift away before then); and don’t underestimate the strength of your own unique viewpoint–your experiences have made you creative in unexpected ways–it’s time now to call on that. Happy Birthday, Pisces, and good luck!

Born Today 19 February

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'Anemones'  Stefan Filipkiewicz 1907 {{PD}}

‘Anemones’ Stefan Filipkiewicz 1907 {{PD}}

Dear Pisces, you are carrying around a lot right now; you’re a veritable one-person Universe, and though there’s potential for enormous creativity and healing, a lot of energy may be drained into handling clashes of opposites. You may see smoothing out discord, meting out justice, and matchmaking as strengths at this time (they are) but you may be mistaken about addressing the never-ending stream of those needing negotiations, partnering, or a re-balancing of the scales: just ’cause you can do it doesn’t mean you should. Your job this coming Solar year, through to your next birthday, is to reclaim your energy for yourself; you have enormous opportunities to mesh your ambitions and desires with fortuitous timing and the assistance of others to heal what’s broken within and to materialize your own particular kind of power, a clout that will allow creative expression for you at an unprecedented scale. So, let others sort it out–you have dreams to make. Happy Birthday, Pisces, and good luck!

New Moon in Aquarius 18 February 2015: Witness to Our Evolution

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ESA/PACS & SPIRE Consortium/HOBYS Key Programme Consortia

ESA/PACS & SPIRE Consortium/HOBYS Key Programme Consortia

The New Moon occurs at 3:47 PM PST of the 18th at 29 Aquarius 59: ‘Witness to Our Evolution’. Even stretching our usual tight orbs to 4 degrees, we get no contacts, possibly symbolic of the way it’s all about the Moon itself, its last minute in Aquarius meeting with the Sun signaling the end of an era, particularly in terms of the intellect’s capacity to process the new; what comes next is the ability to absorb it. We do find this NM balanced by semi-square between the Arian Uranus and the Capricornian Pluto, suggesting that what is born at the NM moment strikes the perfect, modern ‘blend’ of the Uranian and the Plutonian that has been trying to find equilibrium through these repeated squares. Final perfection between the two occurs on March 16th, with the promise that, even if we don’t understand what is conceived now at the NM, we will understand it by the time the square perfects once again.

The New Moon acts as witness to our evolution; it shows us that we are poised on the brink of a massive shift in consciousness, as individuals and as a species. These tipping points aren’t easy; some resist, dig in to old ways of being and seeing, and reach for previously discarded or discredited methods of interacting out of fear and a sense of disorientation. It’s up to each of us to accept the change that presents itself willingly; otherwise we fall into some form of mindless resistance, and so fall behind.

This is an excerpt from ECLIPSE. You can see my books here

Born Today 18 February

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It's a New Moon today! Photo by USDA {{PD}}

It’s a New Moon today! Photo by USDA {{PD}}

This year, as I’m sure you know, dear Aquarius, your birthday falls on a New Moon–or does it? If you are an Aquarius, then you have one outlook for the new Solar year–but if you were born a Pisces, your year starts one minute after the New Moon, and looks different than for Aquarius. Usually I would just have Pisces people read the next day’s forecast, as it would apply to them–today we’ll do it a little differently.

If you are Aquarius with a birthday today: you are anticipating something exciting this coming year, through to your next birthday, and it will be, if you consider healing a thrill ride. You have the opportunity to recover from some long-lost opportunities that you regret not having taken, some ambitions not followed–you’ve been picking at the threads of what you didn’t pursue–and now it’s time to heal those wounds, chiefly by accepting that you were always on the ‘right’ Path (how can we not be?) and that your real opportunity arrives now. This coming year you will enjoy what may be unprecedented chances to pursue your ambitions and desires–the social sphere and the educational situation both support your goals–so go after what you want! Happy Birthday, Aquarius, and good luck!

If you are a Pisces with a birthday today: you get a fresh start–isn’t that what a New Moon is all about? More important, it will be clear you’ve reached a major conclusion of some situation, venture, approach, or endeavor, and you will now be free (or, you will be if you accept that this really is the end) to begin anew–but where do you start? Assessing the material situation accurately can’t be overstated as a necessary step in moving forward successfully; neither can formulating a plan for the future. Will the plan change along the way? Of course it will, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give your hopes a shape to start out with. The key to getting the best start possible, though, lies with two things: your Willingness to lead, or go it alone, staying true to your own needs and vision, and your ability to bring your entire spirit out of the past (any bits or pieces that call you back to the details of what was) and into the now, where it belongs–retrieval of your spirit is vital–as you’ll need every bit of your formidable energy and attention to forge this new life direction. Happy Birthday, Pisces, and good luck!

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