Notes for 18 January 2022: Vantage Points

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What a view! Postcard of The Cliff House restaurant, San Francisco c1941 {{PD}}

Today Uranus stations direct at 10 Taurus 49. Stations are typically very tense points, long drawn out ‘moments’ when a body essentially sits still–which is unusual in a Universe where everything is in motion all the time, even when it seems not to be, when that motion is until a tipping point imperceptible, like decay or aging, or when the motion seems to bring a retracing of steps, as in the apparent retrograde of a planet or body. That’s the thing: as with the apparent change in direction of a retrograde cycle, a station is simply the cessation of motion in any direction from the vantage point of the observer. Symbolically this suggests that those who see the body as motionless do so because of where they are, physically (for the observation itself) but also energetically (with a body standing still representing that particular energy in the observer’s life).

So, a sense of ‘stuckness’ may assert itself, a feeling that everything around Uranian energies, both where it’s currently transiting in the individual natal chart and where it’s posited natally and what it rules, won’t change–maybe ever. The sensation is one of things having been this way interminably, and continuing to be so, no end in sight. Its location in Taurus tells us that there’s a material facet to all this, something along the lines of modernization, originality, accident, or the unusual happening with physical (that is, artisanal) creativity, with matters of sustenance and comfort, in areas of security, increase, profitability, and the kinds of nurture that cater specifically to the physical body. We may have recently discovered or uncovered unexpected talents or assets within ourselves or at our disposal, may have found unique ways of earning, providing solace and support, or of assessing ourselves, and all of this facilitated, possibly through challenge or difficult circumstances, by the recent series of squares between Uranus and Saturn, the latter standing for the real world, for the status quo, for authority and maturity, for obstacles and hindrances, for solid results, what we’ve ‘earned’, for constraint and methods applied.

Now they move steadily out of orb, to eventually return to the square in August and perfect in September. That suggests we have the rest of winter, spring, and most of summer during which we may apply those energies separately. Their effects will show in the way they interact with the individual chart; whatever we’ve seen with previous squares between them may seem to go dormant, lose its relevance, or be dismissed as an illusion or a threat/ promise that never materialized. When they do connect again, we’ll likely face either the very same matter we identified before, or a new iteration of it–a contest between what is and what could be, between holding back and moving forward, between innovating or sticking with the status quo, between originality and the safe bet. Just remember, there’s no pat right-or-wrong here; the choices must be made with awareness of our own individual needs and wants, congruent with what the spirit resonates to and can handle (that last is a valid consideration, considering the stresses of life anywhere on the globe in the past two years).

The Moon’s Nodes (remember, these are points, not bodies) slip into Taurus (NN) and Scorpio (SN) today, and that means they’re in the fateful and pressure filled 29th degree of their respective signs. In terms of the general zeitgeist (wait, General Zeitgeist, wasn’t he a Superman villain?) they show a certain axis of energy flow, moving from South to North, that says something about where we’re headed within the social order, and what we’re de-emphasizing or moving away from. In this case, that may translate into a stampede away from what’s too dark or feels too destructive (or transformative–never underestimate the human ability to confuse fear and wisdom), and toward more solid, hands-on forms of comfort, security, and expression. It may be all about soothing the Soul, looking for a corner of the world we feel safe in and can call our own. It’s not a bad impulse, but be careful not to let the initial hit at 29 tense degrees to make you think it’s an emergency. Please, no pushing as we move toward the exits.

The Inferior Conjunction of the Sun and retrograde Mercury falls on the 23rd of January in the wee hours Pacific time, and happens just after the Moon in Libra trines Sun-Moon in Aquarius. The Inferior Conjunction is a point of inception, the seeding of something that will mature or become apparent at the Superior (direct) Conjunction of Sun and Merc, on April 2nd. In this case, this is likely to be an idea, a ‘brave new world’ concept, an ‘experiment’, a revolution, or a falling away of constraints that results in emotional change or realization in our relationships, especially those involving partnership. The inclination we have, or idea that pops into our head, on the 23rd will have repercussions by early April–so choose what you will or won’t act on with care, and at the very least, contemplate until Merc is direct, then decide if acting on that idea will have a desirable effect on our relationships. Here’s a hint: at the point of Superior Conjunction, the Sun and Mercury will also be conjoined Chiron. Will what you do hurt or heal things? It’s under your control.

Be on the lookout, as well, for Mars conjoining Saturn in Aquarius, which occurs just a couple days after the Superior Conjunction, on April 5th. This suggests to me that whatever real-world actions and choices come to the fore at this time are definitely related to what you started/ pondered/ and then chose to commit to during the Mercury cycle. Keep that in mind, as Mars-Saturn in Aquarius could see ourselves or others choosing what we do based on high-flown (and possibly highly theoretical) concepts; that could mean we choose based on ideals that have never been real-life tested–or we splurge on an experiment, rolling the dice just to see what will happen–and in either case, we may not realize we’re gambling or theorizing with actual circumstances and real feelings.

I’m hard at work on the Moon book, and as soon as I can handle it I’ll be offering services once again. I’m also considering offering talks on topics in a venue that allows for a chat function where listeners can talk to me and each other, and ask questions, and this would be on a regular schedule (after the book is done, or nearly done, I’d start). If you’d be interested (or not!) please let me know in the tiny survey below. Thanks!

Full Moon in Cancer 17 January 2022 The Engine of Knowing

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Involving another kind of engine, of course. ‘The Traveling Companions’ By Augustus Leopold Egg 1862 {{PD}}

There are a couple of configurations formed by this Lunar event, and a smattering of other combos worth noting as contemporaneous influences, all under the sensitive Cancer Moon. The Moon ‘meets’ the Earth at 27 Cancer 50 on the 17th at 3:48 PM PST. A Full Moon in Cancer should be a culmination of feeling or intuitive knowing–but of course, once one knows what one feels, one must act.

How do we see that energy channeled? For one, it may scoot along a somewhat loose Finger of God, with Full Moon sextile Sedna-Ceres in Taurus, apex Mars in Sagittarius. This may seem odd, but this suggests to me revelations about what we care about/ how we feel that are prompted or induced by diet of sustenance availability/ weather/ natural events and our intuitive understanding of the message they carry. This pushes us to act on what we know, on ‘the facts’, or on our beliefs–so the emotions and intuition power a kind of engine of faith that drives our inner knowing out into the world so that we may do what it urges us to.

The Full Moon opposes Pluto, Juno, and of course, the Sun, and this is part of a Mystic Rectangle, with the Lunar end as noted sextile Sedna-Ceres, and the Solar end widely sextile the South Node–and so drawing the North Node into the Sedna-Ceres end of the configuration. A Mystic Rectangle promises that the various components are in position to work exceptionally well with one another, and so offers a sum greater than its individual parts. Here we may see that the ‘caring revelations’ we receive with the Lunar event are directly 1) opposite of the matters where we’ve been putting our attention (the Sun), 2) not as destructive or transformative as we may have been telling ourselves, 3) and not as empowering or disempowering as we’ve believed. What we’re shown is the way our fresh understanding under the Full Moon liberates us from certain notions we’d previously carried; things are not as scary, intimidating, debilitating, or serious as they seem, and they either allow us more agency, or at least don’t take our current agency away, as we’d feared.

The Mystic Rectangle employs all the knowledge we’re not conscious of, especially what we’ve gleaned from the past, marries it to our sense of personal authority and responsibility, and gives us power that will effectively shape the future. Now that’s not scary at all, is it? We’re in charge–if we are comfortable with taking on a role that accepts our own power, particularly the power to direct our own course.

We also should note the close conjunction of Neptune and Pallas in Pisces=the ideals, creativity, and spirituality are the conduits for both what’s wise and what’s practical–listen to that inner voice. There is also a T-square with Eris in Aries opposed Zeus in Libra, the arm Juno in Capricorn=when we don’t understand our own potential for authority and power (whether we over- or underestimate our capacity), we end up attracting all the sh*t stirrers every time we go after what we want–so if people seem to be popping out of the woodwork and giving you problems, it’s time to reassess your own abilities and roles. Both these situations offer context and influences active when the Lunar event occurs.

All other contacts are not only past, they’re well past, so we need to look at one other thing: the Sabian symbols. For the Full Moon in Cancer we have: ‘An Indian Girl Introduces Her White Lover To Her Assembled Tribe’. This is more than just an image of a couple from two different worlds, creating a bridge via personal relationship, with one side having first contact with the larger world of the partner, the one from which she came, the one that shaped her; this is an image that emphasizes status differences we may not at first recognize or think of. We’re instead attuned to Love, to see them as two individuals, viewing it as a ‘Love conquers all’ scenario. But, we must consider when the Sabians were delivered in order to decode this image successfully–and the society into which they were delivered was white-controlled and male-dominated, a social order based on the assumption of cisnormativity, and the inferiority of other races and cultures. When viewed through that lens, there might be a belief that the Indian girl is moving up in the world, or maybe even that this is the very reason for the relationship at all–and that only the white lover is being genuine in his feelings–after all, why would he want to be with someone ‘lesser’, except for his emotional involvement? This is all very ugly, viewed from a 21st century position–but we must be clear: there are still plenty of people who would make these assumptions, would read into the image in this very way–or in other ways, such as believing the white lover was superior for leaving the white world and joining a group they might characterize as living a more ‘natural’ way of life. Possible assumptions and judgments abound and are just waiting to be made by the observer.

I’m interpreting the girl of the image as a Native American. Her entire culture was overrun, decimated, changed forever with the arrival of white invaders. And yet, she falls in love, and brings him home to her family (tribe). But we must ask, how much does the white lover’s superior power position affect the interaction? Is a genuine relationship possible between individuals who have unequal power, autonomy, or privilege? We don’t know if her white lover is a male or a female, but considering the era in which these symbols were formulated, I believe the assumption was definitely that the lover is male. Now, it’s not at all fair to assume that the inherent power imbalance between a member of a subjugated group, who also happens to be of a sex that is also viewed as inferior at the time the image was formulated, and a member of the invaders will necessarily infect the relationship–but each individual will undoubtedly bring lots of assumptions and beliefs and reactionary material into the interaction, at the very least.

So, the symbol brings two ‘messages’ to mind: that it’s not enough to know how all the parties to an interaction feel, we also need to be cognizant of the context in which the interaction is taking place. What’s the bigger framework? The social underpinnings and potential assumptions by the parties? And most important, who holds what power? Does the power imbalance require varied things from the parties? Does it confer privileges to some, penalties, pressures, or restrictions to others?

The other message is this: that there’s always a danger of us superimposing our own framework, beliefs, and assumptions onto a situation, ones that spring from our own cultural teachings, experiences, and ideas about others. We have to be aware of what we’re bringing into our interpretation of any situation. If we are, we’ll have a much better chance of truly understanding what’s really happening before us.

All this suggests the Sabian, in the most general way, is a Rorschach for our own assumptions and beliefs, a warning to make us aware of the lenses we use to view the world. For a Full Moon we also look at the Sun’s degree, as this provides the light of the Moon in the first place. This one is, ‘A Large Aviary’. An aviary is, first and foremost, unnatural, in that it’s a human-created place to keep a creature plucked from Nature. No matter how benevolent, it’s still captivity, a system imposed overall in which living things are expected to function–a lot like the social order and the larger cultural context in which we live, and which provides potential frameworks for interpretation of events, come to think of it.

Merc Retro in Aquarius 14 January 2022: Mind Inspired

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Nicolas Poussin c1627 ‘Venus and Mercury’ {{PD}}

Mercury pauses and enters apparent backward motion at 3:42 AM PST of the 14th, and the effect is likely to be subtle but far-reaching. The planet has stationed at 10 degrees, arriving there one day before and remaining one day after; the turnaround itself occurs at 10 Aquarius 20. The Sabian symbol for this degree is, ‘During A Silent Hour, A Man Receives A New Inspiration Which May Change His Life’. This is the heart of it: the retro period brings re-consideration of our ideals, of what we find sacred and honor, of how we wish to spend our days and hours–we look at how we are actually spending our time (what a phrase in English! Equating our lives with the use of any other asset), and how close this comes to (or diverges from) what we truly find of value.

We may find ourselves comparing our current situation to the dreams we have and had, especially those expectations for life that we carried at an earlier time. We are able right now to set aside those rationalizations that may have made us compromise our visions and goals; we see exactly how we may have diluted our aims to accommodate practicality, expediency, and varied duties. Some of these duties and choices, we’ll find, do represent what’s most important, in the form of commitments to others or to causes; some won’t pass the smell test, no matter what we tell ourselves–and this retro is the time to see, acknowledge, and then prepare to do something about the ways in which our thinking and pursuit of Higher Mind goals have gone seriously off-track.

This need for re-consideration is apparent in the contacts Mercury makes at the moment of retrogression. Happening in Aquarius, a Fixed Air sign, we know that previously rock-solid ideas and opinions will be examined by the Higher Mind and vetted through current or near-future conditions–and we know that at least some of the revelations we’ll receive will come through accident, surprise, or rebellion, which in this instance will be necessary catalysts to the examinations we must make.

Mercury will be novile both Neptune-Pallas, planet of creativity, imagination, ideals, and delusions, united with the asteroid of practicality, skills, and wisdom, and the asteroid Vesta, harbinger of what we honor and dedicate our life energies to–in fact, Mercury will turnaround at the midpoint between the other two points. The novile is an aspect that draws the genuinely innovative and ‘genius’ elements from the two bodies in question; in this case, we have four, three of which, in two portions, Neptune-Pallas, and Vesta, aren’t in major contact to each other–but they are through the mechanism of Mercury and his retro mentality of review. We can expect the retro period to offer inspiration as to what we want to use our life energy for, where we want to focus our efforts, and how we can best fulfill our highest ideals, and to offer this in both practical and smart forms. This may or may not reveal itself in material forms (Merc ruler Uranus in Taurus/ ancient ruler of Aquarius, real-world oriented Saturn, just ahead of Mercury in Aquarius), but we will certainly get a solid mental picture of what needs to occur upon direction–and this is contrary to the usual message of letting the mind rest during a Merc retro. In this case, we just won’t be able to. The hamster wheel will keep spinning–just be aware that final conclusions shouldn’t be drawn until well after the tension of retro and direction have passed, in this instance maybe even waiting until once-again direct Mercury passes its retro point, around the 25th of February–which is also the time when Mercury will, just past the retro point, square Uranus.

We have noted that Mercury turns around just short of completing a square to sign ruler Uranus, now in Taurus. This suggests that we won’t actually confront material realities during the retro, that instead those will be delivered through difficult (the square) Uranian circumstances after direction (and those may include through leadership issues, group mandate, innovation, rebellion by ourselves or others against demands or constraints, accidents, surprises, or serendipities, through application of academics or Higher Mind thought, through revelation, invention, or modernization, or through taking an original approach or manifesting an original idea).

At the point of retrograde Mercury will also be in wide conjunction to Saturn–again as with the square to Uranus, not perfected, and so any limitations or constraints won’t be applied to matters, just yet–and sextile Chiron, offering some promise of healing through the retro review. This is a ‘make plans, understand what you really want and care about’ retrograde, with careful attention to aims and extended consideration of wants vital to eventual good decisions. The usual admonitions ‘don’t sign, don’t buy’ are still in force, though as always I would add that if something has been thoroughly vetted or chosen well before the retrograde, proceeding during to complete the deal typically holds no more risk than when Mercury’s direct. Though I often suggest using the feeling senses as the go-to during a Merc withdrawal, this time, as I’ve already noted, it may not be easy or even possible; the less time we spend judging our mental state during this retrograde, the more actual, effective exploration of our priorities and our ability to implement them is likely to get done. The unsuitability of emotions and senses for processing may be shown by the retro moment’s capture of a tight quincunx between the Moon in Gemini and Venus in Capricorn, implying that the feeling nature and relationships/ wants will be generating their own friction, and so might not be available as an alternate conduit for perceptions right now.

Threads Through the Fabric of Time: The Feminine Active, January 2022

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‘Venus with a Mirror’ By Titian c1555 {{PD}}

We’re not talking about females, necessarily, but about the characteristics of the anima side of the energy equation: receptivity, the importance of and effectiveness of the Beingness (as opposed to the Doing urge), the concept of sensitivity and the ability to read the atmosphere (as opposed to trying to actively make an impact on it), and the idea of healthy nurture, which is really a sharing of energy that benefits both parties. These are strong threads running through current events; to respond to them, to expose them, to weave them into something meaningful, is to bring them to awareness and so make their energies accessible and, in accessing them, beneficial in the larger scheme of things.

One of these is Venus retrograde moving toward conjoining Juno, both in Capricorn, perfecting January 6th. During this same period, this pairing will be sextiled by Neptune and quincunxed by the Black Moon Lilith point. This suggests that our ongoing review of matters of the House in the natal chart where Venus is moving backward will be measured through either our assessment of our own empowerment (especially through the status or material accomplishment shown by Capricorn) or through the empowerment status others reflect back to us–and it’s important we use our own dreams and ideals to guide us in judging our abilities–if we don’t, we’ll be susceptible to being misled or deceived, or may be caught off guard by things we’ve ignored or denied that won’t stay buried. It’s a matter of claiming and so harnessing our own creative energies; if we deny those energies expression, it leaves a vulnerable spot, ready to be filled by enterprising, and sometimes ill-intended, others.

The other prominent combination is the late Taurus duo of Ceres and Sedna. The two have been hanging out together for a while–and focusing our attention on expression of personal authority, situations of nurture, negotiations, diet, and Nature, and in particular showing us the way we already ‘know but don’t know’ consciously what we should do, what the answer to our material issues truly is. Pluto is still within trine and Vesta quincunxes, forcing us to acknowledge our instincts and our suppressed knowledge via destructive forces, home matters, commitments, and violations of what we consider sacred. We must respond, and the best way to address this energy is to admit what we’ve been reluctant to see, change what needs to be changed, and align what we honor in real-world terms with what we say we care about.

There’s also a conflict inherent in the square between the animus-oriented Warrior Mars and the anima-oriented Warrior Pallas, he in Sagittarius and she in Pisces. This may appear as an aggressive ‘pushing’ of ‘the facts’ that finds resistance in the form of a kind of practical idealism. Both sides are right, in this case; those with the facts need to be listened to, and they need to frame goals that offer hope, while those focused on ideals need to see that only by dealing with the facts will they make any progress in making things better. If these two would just stop insisting on themselves, they’d find that they actually want the same thing.

And finally, we have the opposition between Eris in Aries and Zeus in Libra. Remember, Eris is a catalyst, and in this scenario, may show as individual Willfulness that just doesn’t want to cooperate in making others’ ambitions and goals attainable. With this we must ask ourselves, ‘Am I going my own way because it’s the right thing to do, or am I simply angry at the idea that I’m not the only one who’ll benefit from cooperative effort?’ That may sound selfish, until we consider that, if we aren’t successfully realizing our own ambitions, the last thing we may want to do with our precious energy is share it; we may see it as a ‘me or them’ kind of thing. Here Eris is acting up only in proportion to how we may feel that others are asking for our support but offering little or nothing in return. It’s a call to re-balance relationships–and to acknowledge that we don’t live or act in a vacuum.

New Moon in Capricorn 2 January 2022 A Grounded Utopia

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Map of Utopia By Abraham Ortelius c1595 {{PD}}

A New Moon in Capricorn promises a fresh emotional grounding, a window during which we see what can bring us a sense of security and a feeling of accomplishment. This New Moon in Cap (2 January 2022 at 12 Capricorn 20 at 10:34 AM PST) brings a little something more: a sense of what’s truly real-world possible for us in the near-future, indicated by the close semi-sextile of the New Moon to Saturn in Aquarius. The conduit the New Moon creates between the ancient and modern rulers of Aquarius, Uranus (which trines the New Moon) and Saturn (which aspects and rules the New Moon and is currently in Aquarius), allows for a harmonious marriage of what is with what could be–but it’s up to us to follow a few simple New Moon hints that will allow us to guide our own personal progressive vision to successful realization.

Is it a reality check if we’re already clear on circumstances, but are shown possibilities for the future? Current energies are operating in a kind of flux that turns the meaning of a reality check on its head; instead of showing us where we’re disconnected from the true nature of things, we’ll be shown how completely aware we are of what is, and how our reality can fold outward from itself, how it and we have the momentum to bring about a bright, shining, personal utopia–or at least, we’ll have the ability to see it, reach for it, aim for it.

The New Moon is novile the South Node, suggesting we have a (temporary) genius for parsing the past and extracting resources, particularly things we’ve discovered or learned (SN Sagittarius) that can help us build our brave new world. The Lunar event is also trine Uranus and sesquiquadrate the close Sedna-Ceres conjunction, all in Taurus. Here the New Moon emphasis may be on innovation, realizing (as in making real) our own original ideas and impulses, and finding ways to create change or progress that both supports and makes use of our instincts and ‘what we know but don’t know’, and that can effectively draw on the actual personal power situation we have command over. It’s all about material or conceptual changes that implement our most unique visions; it’s a statement, presented via the feeling nature: we have what we need to make ‘it’ happen–go out and do it!–and that may introduce the element of surprise, to ourselves at what we’re capable of or equipped for, and to those around us, who may not have realized we are ready and able to shape the future as we truly want it to be (and an approaching semi-sextile of the Sun-Moon to Mars in fiery Sagittarius puts the responsibility on each of us to do what we know is right, in terms of our own knowledge and beliefs).

But, we must first know what those beliefs are, before we can act on them. We have an intriguing Sabian Symbol for this New Moon, one that seems especially applicable, considering the way idea inception seems to be so prominent at this time: ‘A Fire Worshipper Meditates On The Ultimate Realities Of Existence’. The symbol speaks of a dynamic individuality that steps outside its own action urge in order to contemplate the larger mysteries of the Universe. This may indeed be what we do: we may feel grounded, and therefore safe, in taking a pause in order to understand what lies beneath the reality that surrounds us. In doing that, we better see and understand the implications that our own actions may have. A thoughtful period before implementation of goals is required before proceeding; don’t allow yourself to think that this caesura is a waste of time, as without it you won’t truly understand the ultimate effects of what you’re doing.

Also of note: the recent foray of Jupiter into Pisces only aids us in accessing our dreams. The ancient ruler of the sign offers an energy that can lift the innovation and originality to new heights, and can free imaginative and creative impulses that can inform our efforts and our creative product–however, don’t lean solely on the Jupiterian impulse to get things done–you’ll go wildly off-track if you do–instead accept the need for constraint and emotional discipline the Lunar event will remind us of, and use it to harness our natural largesse and generative ability in service of our New Moon new beginnings.

I want to thank my Readers for their support and participation in 2021, and I hope to see each and every one of you here again in 2022. Happy New Year! Sending you all heartfelt wishes for a safe and happy year ahead.

Full Moon in Gemini 18 December 2021 Change of Mind + Standoff: Stagnation and Chaos: Saturn-Uranus Square

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We’re going to get more information, with this Full Moon; we have to be open enough to assimilate it. ‘News from Afar’ By Alfred Stevens c1865 {{PD}}

The Full Moon (8:34 PM PST of the 18th at 27 Gemini 28) forms a Grand Air Trine with Jupiter in Aquarius and Hygeia (of all things!) in Libra. A healthy balance, in thought and relationships, personal and societal. In my mind this announces a theme, more than anything else, one keyed to the event being in Gemini and to the involvement of Air signs: Communication. Obvious, right? But then again, maybe not quite in the way we might initially think.

It seems to signal information exchanged, generated, and/ or coming our way in two sectors: the social one (Jupiter, both one-to-one and on the larger scale) and the personal relationship or financial one (Libra); Hygeia comes in as we are prompted by the Lunar culmination to think about the health of our interactions and cooperative efforts in areas of the social, the intimate, and those where an exchange of energy brings assets, or the opposite, where we are releasing assets in exchange for the energy of others. Since the Moon itself can represent both our individual emotional state and ‘the People’, we may be in for some enlightening and potentially definitive statements in one or both arenas.

Notable is the fact that this Full Moon, though late in the sign, is not bringing a Void on separation; instead we see that the ‘big reaction’, whether on a mass or personal scale, follows (with completion of the trine to Jupiter). Then the Moon goes Void, and we have a brief interlude of ‘floating’ before we can solidify a reliable of our emotions (when the Moon enters Cancer, at 1:42 AM Pacific of the 19th–so about 5 hours after culmination–and boy will we feel, as Luna enters her own sign!)

At the time of the Full Moon that Jupiter contact is the only other major aspect yet to be made, but we can see a couple other contacts that, though in the immediate past once the Full Moon arrives, are still not just active and relevant, but will undoubtedly set the stage for Full Moon events. And, there are a couple of minor or less precise aspects that also contribute to the picture.

There are a pair of quincunxes, to Pluto and Venus, so recently together and still within punching distance of each other, that suggest changes or dissolutions that have recently occurred are not yet completely set in stone–the emotional picture or reactions may not be clear, just yet–but those circumstances will become firmly entrenched, if we don’t do anything (their Capricorn placement tells us this)–though, at this point, it may be the way we think about these things that needs to change, as much as any action is needed. So, whatever your feelings are telling you about these recent shifts must be acted upon, if that’s what’s called for, or possibly just reacted to, with a change of mind–and for at least some of us, this will be precisely the ‘message’ delivered by the Gemini Full Moon.

There’s also a loose sesquiquadrate to Saturn in Aquarius, a semi-square to Uranus in Taurus, and a semi-sextile to Sedna, also in Taurus. This suggests the reality picture, or some constraints or restrictions we’ve been operating under, are part of the impetus behind communications received or the changes we’ve made or are considering. The implication may be that what we thought we were creating turns out to be more constraining or difficult than we anticipated. With Uranus we introduce the element of surprise–but this may be no more than being surprised we didn’t think of these difficulties ahead of time! And finally the touch to Sedna says that what we find out with the Full Moon is very likely either something we know instinctively, or that we have carried below consciousness, and now we have to admit we ‘knew all along what we didn’t know’!

The Sabian for this Full Moon is, ‘Through Bankruptcy, Society Gives To An Overburdened Individual The Opportunity To Begin Again’. I think this specifically applies to the condition of the Venus-Pluto quincunx: we are being offered a do-over, in some sense, one that has not turned out as we planned (Uranus, Saturn). In order to re-make things effectively, we have to acknowledge what this has cost us, or perhaps what we’ve lost (the bankruptcy). Think of this period, rather than as a time for achievement, as a time when we can rid ourselves of burdens that have drained us, and we are able to do this by admitting something we thought would be more profitable has actually been a negative. It’s ‘the truth shall set you free’, but it only works if we’re the ones able to hear, accept, and so act according to that truth.

For a Full Moon we always look at the Sun as light-giver; the Sabian for this Moon is, ‘An Old Bridge Over A Beautiful Stream Is Still In Constant Use’. This points us toward those connections (remember Libra, and the ‘health’ of our interactions as a FM theme?) that are solid, reliable, and that have actually facilitated our progress. This may be where at least a little of that Full Moon truth-telling is needed; do you find it hard to admit who’s really helped you, vs. those people you’d like to think of as supportive, who may not really be (or who may only talk a good game)? Knowing and admitting the reality of the Libran cooperative situation, and the accuracy or misleading nature of communications, will go a long way toward successfully informing our choices, especially those around recent Venusian-Plutonian upset, and changes in the ways and with whom we interact.

And just a word on the Saturn-Uranus square, due to perfect on the 23rd: it may feel like a forced choice between high-minded but constricting options vs. a kind of material (or at least uncomfortable) chaos, but thinking of things in these terms will only keep us from processing both events and how to best respond to them.

And just a word on the Saturn-Uranus square, due to perfect on the 23rd: it may feel like a forced choice between high-minded but constricting options vs. a kind of material (or at least uncomfortable) chaos, but thinking of things in these terms will only keep us from processing both events and how to best respond to them. In reducing it mentally to ‘I can be right and feel unfulfilled, or I can experiment and create chaos’, we may be giving ourselves an excuse for not doing anything, or for acting out in ways that don’t improve the situation.

It’s a bit more like this: we’re trying to implement ideals in real-world terms (Saturn in Aquarius) but we are confronted by more accidents, unanticipated events, anomalies, and original circumstances, particularly material ones or ones that affect (or even threaten) our security and comfort (Uranus in Taurus) than we thought possible. We may need to accept these Uranian events as features, not bugs; if we cast them as serendipitous, we allow ourselves to be more flexible, to learn from what occurs, to see the potentials inherent in ‘happy accidents’, and we can invite ourselves to frame all that happens as the Universe acting in our best interests. Take that tack, and the unburdening we seek is all but inevitable.

Venus Retrograde 19 December 2021: A Personal Renaissance

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Venus is a little more serious in Capricorn–here she is being serious about the Arts: ‘Venus of Poetry’ By Julio Romero de Torres 1913 {{PD}}

Our only imperative in this life is to be. It’s easy to forget that–or maybe, never to learn that, surrounded by a social order that promotes doing and action, that sees value only in what we create, give, or make happen. We receive a message of perpetual pressure to do, to measure ourselves by what we achieve, by the stack of qualifications, money and assets we accumulate, and by the accolades we manage to drag back to our cave (the best cave we can find!) and pile up, dragon-like. We ‘reward’ ourselves with treats, pampering, or even something as essential as rest, when we feel we’ve ‘earned’ them, with our crime being we should value ourselves just because we exist; we are no less worthy for what we don’t do, for the rat race we choose not to run.

Venus in Capricorn can support that societal valuation that we are what we do or what we have, but turning retrograde in this sign offers a new perspective, a potential for freeing ourselves from the link between our impact on the material world and the worthiness of our existence that we may see as natural when it’s anything but. When Venus takes up apparent backward motion we may be able to see the true worth of our efforts, see the genuine usefulness as well as the unreasonable constraints imposed by the status quo, may show us how playing by the rules and judging ourselves by the social order has made appreciation of ourselves just as we are less possible, less obvious, and may have persuaded us that we don’t have worth, unless we conform. Well that’s a crock.

Add to this state the way Venus in Capricorn will pass over Pluto just before going retrograde in the wee hours PST of the 19th, at 26 Capricorn 29. That suggests that just before turnaround we’ll get a glimpse, flashback, or awe-inspiring preview of immense change, a re-making, a re-birth, or a permanent ending that’s coming our way–and that may shake our foundations that are built in Love, relationship certainties, partnership, or financial security. It will be almost impossible to separate our current Plutonian view/ issues from the Venus retrograde–though they may have nothing to do with each other at all.

Pluto will give Venus retro a shadow she doesn’t normally carry, even at times of regression and review, and we are very likely to perceive this as inherent to Venusian matters at this time, rather than as shading provided by the brooding, ultra-serious lord of the Underworld. In Capricorn, this may look like guilt (especially guilt over not being what we consider productive), or like shame (at having our nose to the grindstone, and so missing some Venusian aspect we should’ve attended to), or it could bring a kind of morbid insistence on re-hashing a failed relationship, financial venture, or investment from the past.

Since Venus retrograde is a period of reconnoitering relationships, experimenting with aesthetics and interactions, and trying new, Venus-related activities of the House where this happens, the Houses that Venus rules, and the House where she is placed (the retrograde occurs in the same sign, and so often the same House with Placidus, absolutely the same House with Whole Sign) every 8 years, we are likely to re-visit whatever was cooking the last time Venus turned around here–and that’s where the Plutonian shadow may temporarily fall. The emphasis is always on the matters of the House where the retro occurs, with other Venus-connected factors of secondary relevance, unless receiving an aspect from the transiting body. Sometimes issues dealt with the last time she retrograded here come back in new forms; other times the very same issue springs to life once again, in the very same shape, as if no time has passed at all–and this time around, we are likely to be overly focused on the ways in which something didn’t work, was destroyed or lost, or on our own part in permanent change that the retro cycle prompts us to re-examine and mourn–and that’s even if we are fully aware the change was necessary, or we’re happy with the way things turned out.

This might seem the more obvious choice to illustrate this post. ‘La Nascita di Venere’ (The Birth of Venus) By Sandro Botticelli c1485 {{PD}}

It can feel like deja vu all over again, as they say, when Venus turns backward in the same area every 8 years; it may take a little detective work to see the consistencies and connections to the last time, or it may slap us right in the face with a sense that we’ve been unsuccessful in resolving the issue–or that, not having chosen definitively the last time around, we’re being given the same choice (or opportunity) again.

Also notable may be the way Venus turns around just short of quincunxing the Earth. That suggests that we won’t get the entire meaning of Venus’ retro phase, particularly the implications for our material situation, until later, when Venus finally makes another aspect to Earth/ Sun, slated to happen when Venus meets the Sun in Inferior Conjunction, 8-9 January 2022.

At the time of Inferior Conjunction the two, Sun and Venus, will be roughly semi-square Jupiter in Pisces–so look for big effects, sometimes world or social sphere events mirroring or echoing personal ones, and look immediately for the spiritual ‘message’ delivered by relationships or financial situations–they’ll be telling, but despite new revelations, save choices for after direction, early hours PST of 29 January. Venus will go direct with her first major contact being the Moon, just entered into Capricorn at the moment of direction and slated to meet Venus in just under one day. Emotions rush in, feelings become clear and probably undeniable, and intuition speaks loudly of the meaning of what’s happened during the retrograde.

That’s when we return to our customary tastes and relationship state-of-mind–and when we’re in the best position to assess our findings from the retro period. That’s when we have our personal renaissance, having re-visited and refreshed matters of the natal House where the retro occurs, and re-gained clear consciousness of both Venusian facets of our lives, and the worth of ourselves, being, just as we are.

Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius 3/4 December 2021 Silver Linings

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From John Cobb field notebook: Wm. Helgeson, “Whiskey Bill”, hand-lining for codfish near Pirate Cove. July 1913 {{PD}}

The first thing about the eclipse picture that jumps out at me isn’t terribly obvious, but may be extremely important: the eclipse occurs in a very tight novile to Venus in Capricorn. The novile in a personal chart defines the spark of genius the individual carries; but what is it in an event chart? We could describe it as the Silver Lining, the energies prevalent that, when tapped into, generate remarkable beneficial results. In this case, a New Moon is new beginnings, and an eclipse wipes out what came before; falling in Sagittarius, we find a sense of opportunity introduced by the extinction of a previous way of believing or a change in an accepted set of facts, with this resonating mainly through matters of the individual natal House in which this occurs. Add in a ‘genius’ facet of the practically-oriented, steady, just-a-little-repressed Venus in Cap, and you have a recipe for a brilliant, forward-thinking blueprint that has a solid grounding in relationships, aesthetic standards, and/ or in financial payoff.

Keep in mind, though, that Venus is due to retrograde soon (19 December), and that hints that anything originating now may seem during the retro to lose credibility or to in some way disappoint; that’s when we need to remind ourselves that our Venus-oriented perceptions are definitely altered during a turnaround–and that means that what begins now, though it may appear to be undesirable at retrograde time, is actually what we will want in future. So, any changes to matters begun with the eclipse should be avoided between the 19th and Venus’ direction (29 January). The retro period can show us new things, allow us to try what we wouldn’t have tasted before (out of indifference or a differing standard), with the beauty of that being we can bring back to our regular Venusian way of operating those things we experimented with and still find appealing on direction. Venus retrograde is a time for being adventurous, but not to make irretrievable changes. I always like the example of changing hair color (that’s okay) versus getting a tattoo (permanent!)–one being reversible, the other, not so easily–simply because it’s hard to know what we will regret and what we will find enhances our lives, until Venus is once again direct.

The eclipse falls less than two degrees past (and so still within orb) of a square to Pallas in Pisces, and a quincunx to Uranus in Taurus. These suggest that difficulties arising will contain wisdom or push us in a practical direction, though it’s up to us to figure what response will be to our benefit, and we must be prepared for the unexpected, the serendipitous, the accident, or the infusion of Higher Mind to present circumstances we hadn’t anticipated. In the moment we can draw on the available wisdom, if we are open to seeing how the hard choice or tough situation allows us to respond wisely, or practically, if we can get out of our own way (some may manifest a rebellious streak when confronted by eclipse realities–I can state flatly that would not be the best way to answer circumstances, no matter what they seem to be on the surface).

Though the rest of the eclipse aspects are somewhat wider than our usual orb, in sequence they tell a story. The eclipse will occur after both Sun and Moon have passed over Vesta, with them on their way to conjoin Mercury and as well oppose the Black Moon Lilith point. This series of contacts speaks of the impact of what we find sacred, what we honor, or what we have dedicated our time and energy to on the new beginnings that come about at eclipse time; they also tell of how what we have faith in, what we know, or what we think, will change, and this occurs specifically in the context of either our rejection of the opportunity to acknowledge or deal with matters we’ve previously ignored, or in the context of our embrace of those same issues. Perhaps we face them at eclipse time because we’re better equipped with either fresh knowledge or renewed faith (New Moon in Sagittarius)–or perhaps we shun them for fear that acknowledging buried issues will endanger the New Moon new start. We need to remember that it’s the temporary blocking by the Moon of the Sun’s light on its path to Earth that creates a window of time wherein we get a different view of our own circumstances, one that’s less prone to be overwhelmed by those matters that typically draw our conscious attention. The eclipse offers a moment of clarity–we just have to be willing to see what is, in order to make the most of it.

The Sabian for the Solar eclipse New Moon is, ‘A Widow’s Past Is Brought To Light’. Appropriate, right? I think ‘widow’ in this context implies two things: that we face our eclipse revelations alone, and that we have a past ( a relationship or status) that generates our present–and there’s something about what we’ve created in that past that will now show itself, take ‘center stage’, in a sense. This might be intimately connected to those Black Moon Lilith matters, and if so suggests that our willingness to inspect, deal with, or embrace them will be much more effective than will continuing to ignore or bury them. Just keep in mind that this eclipse offers us new knowledge or faith that will give us the strength or tools to face things anew, and that skills or experiences from the past show their worth now–there’s no better time to make peace with what’s behind us, and so usher in better prospects for the future.

Thank you to all my Readers who comment, ask questions, and email me. I’m not able to answer each one personally, consult, or accept new work, as I’m trying to complete my Moon bookand unfortunately that also means I won’t be addressing your individual questions about the eclipse in your personal chart sent to me or entered in comments. I wish it was the good old days, when I had that kind of time! But, I will add a few things here to help you understand the eclipse in your own chart. Remember, it’s all about new information, or new faith. For this particular event, falling in your 1st House makes it very personal, affecting your way of interacting with the world or even your physical being; in the 2nd, your asset or talent picture, or it changes your own idea of your Self-worth or abilities; in the 3rd we see it affect your writing, thinking, communications, or your physical neighborhood; in the 4th, the beliefs or knowledge about the family of origin or your core view of yourself; the 5th sees matters around your offspring/ creations, your romantic life!, or sees you taking a gamble (or calling one off) based on what you learn or believe; in the 6th, revelations about health or duties are likely; in the 7th, it may seem not to directly affect you–you could instead observe effects in your spouse, the wider public, or you could channel your feelings into Art; in the 8th what changes could seem to happen only to others, or it could affect what others share with you, or hide from you; in the 9th it could prompt a desire to travel, roam far and wide, to further education or apply yourself to religious study, or could involve things happening to in-laws; in the 10th it’s either career-affecting or whatever happens occurs where everyone can see, and probably they can see your reaction, as well; in the 11th the eclipse may trigger a long-held dream, or even present an opportunity for you to contribute the very thing you’re here to offer; and in the 12th, its impact might be felt in changes to your spiritual approach, in interactions with large institutions (ones where you feel like a cog in the wheel), or knowledge or faith may be renewed through the dream life or in communion with the Universe.

Trends and Transits: late November 2021 Under the Influence

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Guido Reni
Drinking Bacchus
c1623 {{PD}}

So what does it mean for the Sun to enter Sagittarius? A dropping away of suspicions, for one. The Jupiter-ruled Sun knows what it knows, and isn’t afraid to broadcast it. We want to be out-and-about, want to travel, want to explore what’s foreign to us, want to learn about new things, want to know what’s wise, what’s practical (these latter as the Sun through Sag squares Pallas in Pisces by sign–we want to know what difficulties we’ll face, especially those unseen or spiritual snags that come to our attention). Ruler Jupiter is in Aquarius, semi-sextile Pluto and sextile Eris, pulling away from a trine to Zeus= we move away from focus on ambition and desire and toward high-minded inquiry, meant to get at the Truth, but if there’s any enmity in the atmosphere, even our most innocent or well-meant probing brings discord. Remember that Eris doesn’t bring disharmony, she reveals it; a clash was already present, just not yet expressed. She helps us get to the Truth, though her methodology may be a little unpleasant. She responds to the unspoken; it’s our response that shows our own motivations and thoughts. Keep that in mind, especially if you’re tempted to point the finger–that inclination indicates we have a bit of our own buried agenda yet to explore and express.

Saturn and Chiron are neatly sextile right now, as are Venus and Mars. These pairings offer an ease of expression, or rather an expressive ‘way out, for some of the energies: Venus is uncomfortable in Capricorn, finding the beauty in order but also chafing against the responsibility that is inherent to the sign; Mars in Scorpio may feel as if every action and choice is somehow underhanded, even when it’s not–the shift of the Sun to Sag may help clear this up–so that everyone with a conscience may feel weighed down by guilt, shame, or regret that is more existential than personal–so the sooner we realize that, the more free we’ll be; Saturn in Aquarius has been struggling to institute modernization in all forms within the reality picture, and this may be the chance, in contacting Chiron in Pisces, to connect to a higher reality, an ideal to guide those real-world efforts. That can work, if we’re able to cut through the fog that emanates from our own hurt and misperception.

We should note the direction of Neptune on December 1st. It’s been stationary on the 20th degree of Pisces since mid-October, and will remain stationary direct on that degree until mid-January 2022. It may have been feeling like progress on the dream just isn’t possible, and that feeling will continue for awhile–but that doesn’t mean you should stop your efforts to bring it into reality. The sense that you’re not moving forward in the creative realm, with implementing ideals, with making the magic happen, is (oh Neptune!) an illusion. Everything you’ve been doing has been contributing to realizing that Neptunian dream, you just can’t see its effectiveness, yet. Yes, for a few of us, the direction will reveal (eventually) how and where we’ve been fooling ourselves, but deception is only possible when it falls on ground fertile for misbelief–otherwise, that attempt to mislead us shrivels and dies.

File away for future consideration the fact that Venus will retrograde on December 19th. This happens late in Capricorn, just after she’s conjoined Pluto, and she’ll still be ‘under the influence’. This may bring a very trying time in relationships and/ or finances–just know that it will not only pass, any destructive potentials will, if indulged in, bring permanent and irrevocable change–so best to see that the strife will pass, that the negatives shouldn’t be acted upon (Mars will be in Sagittarius by then, so rarin’ to get out or lash out), and that exercising Capricornian Self-discipline is the best thing you can do to keep Love in your life.

Right now we’re in what I like to refer to as the valley between eclipses. It’s a period of tension–you can almost feel the air vibrating–and if we resist it, or try to pin down the meaning behind what’s happening, we’ll become exhausted. Just let things be, let them develop, without demanding answers (see Mars, above, for the likely result of pushing too hard). If you haven’t already, or need a refresher, see my take on the recent Lunar eclipse here. All orders for my books through Dog & Sunflower Press will be fulfilled on 30 November. Thank you, everyone!

Lunar Eclipse 19 November 2021 Eraser

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‘Blackboard after Radical Digital Painting Lecture’ By Jeffrey Alan Scudder

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

The most striking thing to me, once again in recent Lunar events, is how few aspects are made, with those that are close also for the most part being minor–or, the aspect is to a minor body, as it is with the eclipse Moon-Earth approaching conjunction to Sedna. Long-time Readers know I see asteroids and other minor bodies as facets of the umbrella larger energy represented by the major planets–so the emphasis this eclipse on smaller entities emphasizes their particular nature, their ‘attitudes’.

This is a partial Lunar eclipse, meaning the Earth, as it lines up on the ecliptic with and comes between the Sun and the Moon, won’t create a shadow that entirely blocks the reflected light of the Moon. In symbolic terms this suggests a ‘mild’ eclipse effect (if that’s even possible!) so that, considering the minor aspect-minor body angle, what we might see are surrounding events that cast a more modest shadow on circumstances than we might expect. Changes, rather than devastation, as we might anticipate with a total eclipse or with strong contact to our own charts (see the previous post for one such example).

The eclipse occurs at 12:57 AM PST of the 19th at 27 Taurus 14, close to conjoining Sedna, suggesting that something might ‘click’ soon after the eclipse: we may realize what we ‘know but don’t know’, what has been sublimated, or only instinctively known, up until now. An eclipse is like an eraser run across the blackboard of life: It can wipe things away, sometimes even bringing a literal ‘clean slate’, but we’ll still see the remnants of what was, the ghost images of what was written before–and with this eclipse, we see that with the separating square from Jupiter and the separating trine of Pluto. Both imply these things are past, but recently enough that they figure into, even shape, the eclipse events. The Moon-Earth combo moving away from a square to Jupiter in Aquarius speaks of difficult material and emotional impacts of having acquired new knowledge or understanding, or of some social injustice or unrest–it may also hint that in some instances, we may have exaggerated the importance of this. The same duo leaving a trine to Pluto says that change or destructive/ transformative influences snuck in easily; only with the eclipse may we begin to realize how much the ground beneath our feet (Pluto is in Capricorn, after all) may have shifted, given way, or heaved up right under us.

We also see two lesser, but in this case probably no less important, aspects: a just-separating quindecile to Mars, and a sesquiquadrate to Venus–which happens to place Venus and Mars in sextile to each other. What may look harmonious on the surface, a blending and cooperative effort of different but equal, or of complementary ‘parts’ or energies, will reveal its more challenging facets under the Lunar shadow. The eclipse aspect to Mars is one that calls out extreme reactions, the obsessive, the disruptive, the restless, and speaks of motivations–in this case, perhaps actions taken or choices made as to what must go, must be eliminated or altered, what steps must be taken, and all with the aim of either ridding ourselves of a negative element or getting to the Truth (Mars in Scorpio).

With the aspect to Venus, we see slightly less tension, and something akin to excessive irritation, the kind that lights a fire under us. Venus is in Capricorn, possibly speaking of dissatisfaction with the status quo, with rules and regs, with constraints, especially societal ones, and these irritations are delivered through tension in relationships or surrounding the financial or asset picture. It could arise from some upset with someone we love and feel safe with, who under the eclipse light suddenly threatens the tidy arrangement we have–or it could be that our own efforts, especially artistic creations or things created out of our own love for them, won’t be appreciated by the larger social order. In any case, these are disruptive and disturbing elements that arrive in our lives in what seems like a very personal form–and so we may not realize everyone is experiencing these effects in some form.

What we thought we had, what has made us comfortable, what we see as assets or talents, is likely to get scrutiny, and get a shake-up, either from us or from the outside world, should we not respond to the need for change. The Sabian for the Full Moon eclipse is, ‘A Woman, Past Her “Change Of Life”, Experiences A New Love’. In this image we have a receptive agent (a woman), specifically post-childbearing years, who finds a new love. That seems to me a lovely reminder of the worth of a human being beyond any socially designated biological role. It’s also an image of optimism, of hope: one doesn’t have a prime for Love–that can happen any time. It’s an invitation to live life to its fullest.

We always inspect the Sun’s Sabian for a Full Moon as well: ‘The King Of The Fairies Approaching His Domain’. What Kingdom do you rule? This speaks of territory, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, that you know is yours, that you have been aiming to completely master, occupy, or return to–you’re almost there, with the notation that the eclipse energy, no matter how it plays out, is meant to get you closer to this destination.

A Point of Fate: the Vertex

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‘Fate’ By Alphonse Mucha 1920 {{PD}}

A Reader has put forward a question on the meaning of the natal Vertex, and she’s interested not least because she’ll be experiencing the upcoming eclipse conjoined this point in her chart. I use the Vertex to add meaning to interpretation for individual charts–it can be very telling of what someone may be especially attuned to and sensitive to, seen by them as matters that are fated, for good or ill–but it seldom figures in to the transit picture, so I don’t often address it here on the blog, the exception being examining an event chart–then it can speak loudly, particularly as to the ‘inevitability’ of an outcome or effect, or to the unavoidable nature of the event itself.

The Vertex is defined as the intersection of the ecliptic (the path of the Sun) and the Prime Vertical (an imaginary circle keyed to a specific location–where the zenith–high point–and nadir–low point–meet in the east and west, these directions as shown in the flat chart). Yes, it’s a not-very-helpful description, but gives you some idea of how this attempts to measure extremes, both high and low, in the life; these tend to be the very kinds of events we see as fated, unavoidable, inevitable, destined. They shape the life, and can send us careening off in entirely new directions–just as eclipse contact to the natal picture can–so in a brief examination of the upcoming eclipse’s contact to this individual’s Vertex I’m hoping to illuminate how the Vertex (and eclipse impacts) have the potential to affect us all, particular to our own individual charts. The combined effect of an eclipse contacting the Vertex is a double-whammy, a wipe-out that shifts the very fate.

The eclipse, falling at 27 Taurus 14 and conjoined Sedna at 28.44, does indeed fall right on this Reader’s Vertex at 26 Taurus 24 in her Whole Sign 8th of other people’s resources and influence. Right away we’re alerted to the way the Lunar energy will impact (possibly even literally, with the eclipse in an Earth sign, echoing the potential for changes in the material situation, assets, talent expression, or comfort picture) the fate, the path forward, the destiny itself. Now, that sounds very dramatic, but the events themselves might not be; it’s not unusual for those path-changing occurrences and decisions to happen quietly, undramatically, unrecognized as the fate-shapers they are. How many times do we expect those life-altering changes to come with a big bang? Too many, as in looking back for those shift points, what we often see are that they happened in those quiet moments when our minds have changed, our attention goes permanently in a new direction, or when a small choices leads to big shake-ups. That should tell us that not all things will be obvious or automatically bring devastating change; instead we should see an eclipse as designating a point of important change or development, that we might not recognize as such.

The eclipse will form the arm of a T-square with this woman’s 29 degree Nodal axis, and with her Mars, which is conjoined her NN. This suggests a life direction challenge offered in the form of a question: What should I do? What action should I take, or choice make? With the eclipse occurring in the 8th House, this may be a choice or action forced by others (and that may be as much this individual’s perceptions as it is the reality of the situation), and the unfortunate thing may be that this individual may feel they owe it to these others to comply–or that the actions of others must be responded to, that the individual has no choice. That’s not a great feeling, by any measure.

The eclipse also sextiles the individual’s natal Juno-Pallas conjunction in Pisces in the 6th (wise empowerment at the everyday level, the kind that is hyper-responsible and likely to make duty and obligations to others a top priority, along with a life-long effort to live in as healthy a way as possible, probably with an orientation to the spiritual and to the good of All–Pisces). Together the eclipse and this natal duo form the base of a transitory Finger of God, apex (the point both are quincunx) the natal Libra Ascendant. This ramps up the sense of what happens with the eclipse being very, very personal, to the point where the individual may feel singled out, even unfairly targeted. Why me? might be the initial reaction–but the practical spiritual orientation will quickly realize there’s broader meaning here, despite the personal circumstances in which it presents. Libra is already inclined to strong awareness of others and what they want–this may make that awareness almost painful in its intensity.

This eclipse also trines her natal Saturn in Capricorn in the 4th–and this Saturn happens to quincunx the natal Cancer Sun in its 00 10th House position. The quincunx suggests a perpetual questioning of the Self brought about by real-world experiences, with the Sun/ identity ‘new’ in the sign of caring and caring for, vulnerability, and emotional and intuitive sensitivity, meaning the Soul is attuning itself to a fresh orientation, a new perspective on the Self and where she fits in to the world. Considering all the ‘Other’ orientation of various natal placements, this should draw our attention to the way this Sun may suggest the individual is learning how she fits in with other, in what ways she’s obligated to them, where and how and for whom she should care–and with that it’s inevitable that there may be struggles to establish boundaries, and guilt about these that others may try to take advantage of.

Add in the eclipse to the Sun-Saturn dynamic and she may get a jolt to the identity–what she thought settled about who she is may prove not to be–and I suspect that what happens with the eclipse could trigger the Libra Moon to react: once Libra realizes things are out of balance, that she may be giving more than is reasonable, that Air element can kick in, diverting what had been an emotional reaction to be assessed by the mind–where lines will be drawn, even if the emotions are uncomfortable with it.

The Libra Ascendant is apex to the Finger, but we see fellow Libra placement, this sensitive and caring Moon, has another role: as part of the base of a Fist of God, as it’s squared at eclipse time by transiting Venus, with a configuration apex of the eclipse, plus transiting Sedna. This speaks of relationships or assets (Venus, which just happens to be ruler of the eclipse) creating difficult emotional responses or situations (the square to the Moon), resulting in an eclipsing event (that is, in something, that happens, or is perceived or felt) that wipes out the ‘old’ path or destiny (eclipse conjoined the natal Vertex), and this is known but perhaps not known consciously, or is felt instinctually (Sedna)–and that may imply that the emotional impact of what happens may actually obscure for a time the true changes that come about or are seeded by the eclipse activity.

Also of note is the Full Moon (which is what a Lunar eclipse is) position of the Sun in this whole thing, as it’s the light giver, literally. For this individual the eclipse Sun will fall in the natal 2nd, once again echoing the Taurean theme of assets and talents, along with concepts of Self-worth and personal finances/ assets. For this Reader, it appears to me the eclipse may bring some tough emotional situations, even showdowns, over who owes what to whom, for this individual requiring a reassessment of what she believes she must do for or give to others. The old way of seeing things is wiped out, particularly, with eclipse contact direct to the Vertex, the previous destined direction; an eclipse comes along and re-writes the book. A redrawing of boundaries may result, the kind that shape the path forward, which give new and perhaps unanticipated form to what, when it arrives, appears to have been destined all along.

I must note that this is the general outlook for the eclipse for a single individual; this applies to no one else. But, discussing it here does allow you to get a glimpse of how, in at least this one instance, the Vertex and an event like an eclipse might interact. I want to thank this Reader, for trusting me to study her chart, and for her generosity in allowing me to write about it publicly, so that others might benefit.

The eclipse report for the upcoming Full Moon will post shortly!

New Moon in Scorpio 4 November 2021 Baggage

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Baggage ticket from a Titanic passenger. {{PD}}

The Moon and Sun meet at 2:15 PM PDT on the 4th at 12 Scorpio 40, just shy of perfecting an opposition to Uranus in Taurus. We may think Halloween is over, but this set-up screams that a shock, shift, change, accident, revelation, revolution, new understanding, or good old-fashioned scare is slated for the Lunar event. We may simply observe this (the opposition), or we may live it ourselves (likely through the House matters where the NM falls in the natal scenario, or the subjects of the House where Uranus is transiting, or the House it or the Moon rules natally), but either way it will shake us, our world, or it may change our viewpoint in radical or unusual ways.

The New Moon is pulling away from a semi-square to Juno but approaching semi-square to Venus, and that may suggest that empowerment issues, struggles to have our way or for supremacy (especially in partnership), and matters of status that have lately been before us give way or resolve in the face of love and the importance of relationships–but that both aspects are semi-squares tells us that the fresh lens of Venus brings attention to a whole other set of factors: the potentials for jealousy, rivalry, lust, competition, especially for love or resources, and for examination of what assets or talents we do or don’t have.Venus is at 29 degrees, under stress, perhaps acting in ways that feel a little desperate, a little deprived. We are letting go of one set of concerns because we recognize the power and sanctity of love–and then find ourselves in danger of sabotaging the very relationships we care most about, because of our own Venusian weaknesses.

This isn’t the whole picture, of course, but it is a more prominent part of things than the relatively minor aspects involved might first suggest. A New Moon in Scorpio means new starts, but in this sign that can be particularly disruptive to our emotional health; we just naturally want to dig, to excavate whatever captures our emotional attention or stirs feeling at this time, and nothing, not a relationship or a person or an onion, does well having those protective layers of skin peeled away.

The Scorpio New Moon makes only one other close aspect, a quincunx to the Black Moon Lilith point. This says that what arises now may come from discomfort (the quincunx) with those matters we’ve been ignoring, are in denial about, or that have enraged us but haven’t yet been addressed. So, Luna opens the door and shines an ever-growing light on what’s bothering us–and that may manifest through a Uranian event like an accident or a Higher Mind revelation, or may channel into relationship issues. It’s the conscience and its conceptions of right and wrong that are sending and receiving right now, so that the more consciously aware you are of your own motivations and needs, of how honest you’ve been and how much you may have deviated from or stayed within the framework of your ideals, the more adept (and less surprised) you’ll be at handling what comes forward.

We have a very Uranian Sabian Symbol for this New Moon: ‘An Inventor Performs A Laboratory Experiment’. This re-focuses us on the importance of Uranus and Uranian elements in this New Moon equation, and points to a few possible questions you might want to meditate on before the Lunar event: how do you feel about shocks and surprises? do you seek them out, enjoying the charge, or do you hate them and the disorienting feeling they convey? do you insist on having control (or that you are in control) and find it offensive when others/ the Universe point out there’s no such thing? how do you really feel about change? do you see it as a catastrophe or a chance to escape? There are two keys in this symbol, ‘Inventor’ and ‘Experiment’, and these offer us a good way to approach this New Moon. We are natural inventors–seeing ourselves that way should show us how much power and creativity we actually carry within–and we are in the midst of one enormous experiment–and that means nothing is certain. All we can do is respond to what comes at us, to what we create, to what’s drawn to us, with the greatest capacity for understanding, and the ability to invent and innovate, that’s most uniquely suited to who we are.

I looked up the Sabian for Uranus, thinking it might give us more detail about what Uranian thing we might expect, and it didn’t disappoint: ‘A Porter Carrying Heavy Baggage’. This points us toward the trigger of all those Black Moon Lilith things we’ve stuffed down into the dark. What we’ve been trying to out run or hide, our baggage, may become too heavy for that part of ourselves we’ve assigned to haul it around. Wouldn’t it be better to drop that stuff off, for good? This New Moon might be the chance to do just that.

A note about Ceres, Chiron, and Pallas at 9 degrees of their respective signs, which would seem to put them in generous orb to the New Moon: you know I’m careful about drawing as precise a Lunar picture as I can be; in this case, these placements, you’ll notice, are all past aspects, indicating the Moon’s contacts prior to meeting the Sun. Since these all occurred in the Dark of the Moon period, I suspect they’re hidden in our own personal dark, carried in the Lunar event but not actively informing it. So, that would say that wisdom, personal power situations, and hurt all affect what happens–they shape it, rather than drive it, intimations of what’s coming like whispers that precede a shout, that you’ll probably ‘hear’ on the 3rd.

The Lead Up to the New Moon 29 October-3 November 2021 A Solidarity Thing

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Enjoy the Day of the Dead, 1 November. A thin veil makes for interesting times. Photo By Tomas Castelazo

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What stands out to me in the run up to the New Moon of November 4th is the way Jupiter sits poised at the midpoint of Pluto, now direct, and Neptune, still retro, and stationary by degree, until direction in very early December. That puts Pluto-Neptune in wide sextile–the gap is almost enough to describe a kind of interested disinterest between the two energies–with Jupiter in Aquarius right in the middle. That suggests Jupiterian subjects will connect, and so then possibly be the outlet for, transformative and destructive creative or delusional energies. The influence, considering Jupiter is in Aquarius, may be the need to know, especially to comprehend with Higher Mind understanding, and this may show in an optimistic attitude, or even one that’s overly optimistic, in facilitating big, permanent change, or in large, transformative creative acts. Every change right now is going to feel good, but not all change will be good change–and therein lies the danger: that, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, change for change’s sake may become the point for some, particularly for those who don’t want to deal with Big Realities like the Truth (Pluto), Rage (also Pluto), Destructive Impulses (guess who?), or Delusions and Deceptions (Neptune cops to this one).

Notice how Mars, at 29 stressful degrees of Libra on the 29th makes us think we must act–and how then it neatly slips into Scorpio AM Pacific of the 30th, essentially translating any frustrations with others into a next step statement of, ‘You had your chance to negotiate, now I’m out to get to the Truth, get to the bottom line, and possibly blow it all up, if you won’t come around.’ That’s an end-of-your-rope stance that isn’t afraid to destroy things if they’re frustrated–and that’s a terrible place to be when trying to make relationships work, because though it feels powerful (and is therefore quite seductive) it’s really bully behavior that dares everyone else to risk their interests, just to appease the tantrum thrower–and includes a willingness to throw the tantrum thrower’s own interests down the tubes, too, if only to show how much they can.

Two other sets of aspects catch my eye on the 30th; these seem to set up a progression of energies through to the New Moon. First is Mercury in Libra’s quincunx to Neptune, with Mercury then moving on over the next two days to conjoin Zeus, separating from Neptune and moving to trine Jupiter over the 31st and 1st of November. This scenario is one of adjusting the creative faculties, especially one’s thinking and ways of communicating, so that they advance the ambitions and so lead to opportunities. It’s short-lived and short-term, but opens an effective window for Self-editing and offers significant opportunities for improvement and career advancement. Vesta square Jupiter only adds to the sense of this being a ‘showdown’ scenario of some kind, with a need to weigh values against opportunities and facts before we go forward.

The other set involves perfection of a conjunction between Venus and Juno in Sagittarius on the 30th.This places them trine Eris (with a brief Grand Trine involving the Moon in Leo extant for a few hours), and semi-sextile Pluto (which of course places Pluto still square Eris). Juno and Venus then move along together, remaining in sync through the 1st. It reads like a solidarity thing: women/ anima energies/ values/ aesthetics/ relationships/ finances are in accord with empowerment options/ status and standing/ efforts to ‘get it done’/ power expression/ matters of partnership. It’s a kind of outreach that makes our own potentials and position stronger, and reveals our power, especially in relationships but particularly in the relationship with the significant other. A small contingent may succumb to a jealousy and revenge matrix that’s always a slim possibility with these two, and considering where they’re placed right now, that would likely come about because of something learned, some info uncovered, that shakes foundational feeling. Maybe that’s where the contacts to both Pluto and Eris come in: if there’s strife to be stirred, and power issues need hashing out, this is when it will occur.

Also on the 30th, the Sun-Earth axis forms a T-square with Saturn, perhaps pinpointing a day when real-world conditions or restrictions become apparent. Consider it a gift that we will be able to see what’s holding us back, because within that knowledge comes the possibilities for how to handle it or fix it.

By the 2nd Mercury steps in to form a Cardinal T-square with Pluto-Eris. Will we never be free of this pair?! Thoughts may be consumed with upsets and our perceptions of those who cause them; we should avoid projection by trying to remain aware of our own role in making current circumstances, especially disruptive or discordant ones. Communications may hold (or may only seem to hold) some scary-ass threats or make us feel as if we’ll never find peace with those involved–but remember this may be more a trick of perception than a reality.

The 3rd looks to be mostly navel-gazing Dark of the Moon territory. Don’t start anything right now, don’t make commitments, and don’t draw final conclusions, either–there’s more to the story, very likely revealed with sudden surprise or revelation as the New Moon will form only 7 minutes before perfecting opposition to Uranus. Hold on to your hats!

Have a wonderful weekend!

24-28 October 2021 Keep An Eye Out For . . .

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You don’t have to invite them all to the party over the next few days. ‘Courage, Anxiety, and Despair Watching the Battle’ By James Sant 19th cent. {{PD}}

That’s kind of a scary title–nobody wants to think about their eyes being outside their heads–but it beats that old saying, ‘Keep your eyes peeled’ That’s extra horrifying. So, now that I’ve filled your mind with eyeball images, let’s get to why we need to stay alert.

The 24th sees the perfection of Zeus trine Jupiter, the Sun quincunx the North Node point, and Mercury quincunx Uranus. Though these aren’t headline-grabbing aspects, maybe they should be, because taken together they suggest unbridled, even bloated ambitions, or just a dangerous amount of optimism, a need to adjust thinking to accommodate the unanticipated, and the need to adjust forward momentum so that it stays true to the core Self. All this could fly under the radar, and really gum things up, but if we’re conscious of these subtle but important influences, we can prevent the kind of de-railing that might begin at this point, as one or more could easily exert an influence that wouldn’t yet feel like a problem.

On the 25th I want to note Venus squaring Neptune and the Moon trining Mars, AM Pacific. Here we see what we value come up against its own ideal, and inevitably, those things will be found wanting. The trine reminds us that it will be amazingly easy to act to correct things–but just as easy to make a show of temper, to demand, to aggress–and no relationship or financial situation was ever made more desirable by just demanding it be so. Use the energy to take action, especially in planning in concert with others (Gemini, Libra), or that at least takes them into account. Finding out that our darlings, including our creative projects, aren’t perfect will come as a shock only to those who’ve been telling themselves a fairy tale in the first place.

For the 26th what stands out to me is the way Ceres has been creeping back to perfect contact to the Black Moon Lilith point, and gets there today, and this happens under a strong Cancer Moon, heightening the feels as Luna moves through her own sign. Is it that confrontations over power or territory make us face things we’ve ignored or denied, or is it that things we’ve ignored or denied now come forward to challenge our personal authority or our rightful (as we see it) sway over others? That may be a chicken-and-egg kind of thing, but one thing’s sure: we’ll be flooded with emotion today, anything from sentimental longings all the way to deeply felt sensations of Love, Hate, and everything in between. Ride the wave gently; not everything we’re feeling today will stick within a situation, and much of it may look different by the time the Moon enters Leo, just after 2 AM Pacific on the 28th.

The 27th Zeus sextiles Venus and trines Jupiter. That’s a rocket ship of exaggerated desire, ambition, and a sense that you can’t live without ‘it’–so if you find yourself saying, ‘I can’t live without it (or her, him, or they)’, you know you’re under a potent spell that will be broken soon enough, if you can just hold back and take a measured approach. The problem lies in the way at this time all proportionality is missing around those things we desire–and that means we could risk a great deal not realizing our wants aren’t really as powerful as they seem to be in the moment.

Many of the other, still extant aspects (like the Eris-Pluto square) have been covered in previous posts. You’ll have to see them there, as there’s one thing I don’t like to do, and that’s repeat myself. (Yes! I’m old and cranky 🙂 ) Have a great weekend!

The Shock of the New: Post-Full Moon of the 20th-22nd 2021

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‘Diana and her Nymphs Surprised by the Fauns’ (detail) By Peter Paul Rubens c1640 {{PD}}

In the couple of days following the Full Moon of the 20th (forming AM Pacific), I’m imagining a scenario that goes something like this: we are hit with, or maybe it’s filled by, the culmination in Aries, with an effect that may be a little stunning, at first. As noted previously, the post-FM period is one that sees the Moon moving into Void territory, and the Sun-Earth axis not making any more contacts in their respective signs, either–and this is likely to make us feel adrift, a floating-in-space feeling that could make for a temporary disconnect, one that allows us time to reflect on what it is that the Full Moon actually showed us or brought us.

By mid-morning PDT of the 21st, the Moon has moved well into Taurus, forming first a square to Saturn=we’re presented with emotional barriers, or our feelings (especially fearful ones) are given form, in some cases literally, or we see an emotional end, of some sort; then sextiling Pallas and forming the base of a Finger of God with apex Mercury, freshly direct=if we can combine feeling or intuition with wisdom (particularly the wisdom we’ve just recently acquired), what we end up with is clarity of thought about others, partnerships, finances, values, or aesthetics.

And then, oh my, in early afternoon PDT the Moon conjoins Uranus. It’s the suddenness of the shift that will stand out, the shock of revelation or revolution or perhaps just the unexpected, something entirely, startlingly new. What it is will depend both on the matters of the House in the natal chart that holds Taurus (the most likely subjects where this surprise will come forward), and also on your own personal relationship with Uranian energies. Do you hate surprises? Maybe you need to ask yourself why. Are you a revolutionary at heart? Then answer this: what do revolutionaries become, when the revolution’s over? Are you a natural innovator or inventor? What happens when you can express that originality? And if invention doesn’t come naturally, how does it feel when you’re forced to improvise?

Being unique can be a massive gift, and a lonely one. The trick with Uranus is to find the group(s) that value your individuality, that see whatever Uranian strength you have as an asset, not something to be tamed or toned down. That may be the challenge with the Moon’s contact to Uranus–we see a unique part of ourselves presented with something, likely material, or comfort or security oriented (Taurus) and we must find a way to innovate, answer, or adapt, using the most unusual and original parts of our personalities, in order to make this time a positive, rather than sending us spinning into negative territory.

Late in the day Pacific of the 21st, the Moon quincunxes Venus in Sagittarius, making us adjust (or possibly just wonder about) how we’re reaching out, and how truly effective it is. Then in the wee hours of the 22nd the Moon begins its traverse of the 20s–first a sextile to Neptune that forms a fleeting Finger of God with apex Zeus=expect to dream about your ambitions, and to take seriously anything you see, intuit, or imagine in terms of meeting your goals; by breakfast Pacific the Moon herself is apex to another Finger, this one with base of Zeus-Juno=adjusting enough to resolve power struggles successfully becomes required; then comes a quincunx to Mars and a trine to Pluto (which also briefly allows another Finger with Moon apex and base of Mars-Juno)=will we preserve our status by holding back, or will we exercise our Will–whatever gives us the greatest power, and so the greatest control over circumstances, is the right answer.

Remember too that the 22nd the Sun-Earth axis is in the final degree of their respective signs, suggesting a heightened sense of tension. By mid-evening Pacific the Moon conjoins Sedna, also at 29 degrees, and we see a final, stressful need to acknowledge either what we’ve missed, or what we ‘know but don’t know’–and then the Moon enjoys a very short Void, beginning at 10:59 PM Pacific, just after the Sun-Earth axis has slipped into Scorpio-Taurus. Again, the floating sensation, the sense that we’ve entered new territory and must acquaint ourselves. The Lunar Void ends at 12:57 AM PDT of the 23rd, as the Moon enters Gemini, and quickly conjoins the North Node, directing us to ponder the emotional implications of the Path we’re on–and the whole thing starts all over again.

I just thought this was a short period of important developments, the kind of thing that can feel like a roller coaster and leave us exhausted if we don’t know what’s going on. Have a wonderful week!

And if you missed the Full Moon discussion–

Full Moon in Aries 20 October 2021 Leave Anger in the Past

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‘Méditation’ By Henri Rachou

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Though the Full Moon (7:56 AM PDT of the 20th, at 27 Aries 26) seems like prime time to lash out, as Mars moves to perfect a T-square by opposing Eris and squaring Pluto (with the Eris-Pluto square only off by 9 minutes), with Mars just separating from a trine to stationing Jupiter, suggesting the time for optimism is past, we’d be wise to realize that 29-degree Sedna in its last Taurean gasp may be stirring things up we’re not consciously aware of. The Aries Full Moon may shout, ‘It’s time to look out for #1!’, with surrounding aspects (like the Mercury-Black Moon Lilith trine=thinking about what we’ve been avoiding/ ignoring, or what enrages us) prompting us to feel we’re finally ready to face things, leading us down a path of misunderstanding and anger.

The important thing to note is that the Full Moon perfects well past the Sun-Moon-Earth contact to Mars, Eris, and Pluto (their positions at 23 and 24 degrees of their respective signs), meaning that all that assertive, upset, hyper-reactive, destructive, Me First energy isn’t something to carry into the present. We may try to justify it with the FM Aries energy, believing we haven’t been standing up for ourselves–but as Maury Povich likes to declare, results in hand: “THAT would be a lie!”

In the period between Mercury’s direction and the Full Moon (just about 48 hours) we’ll be presented with a pretty clear picture of things; the question is, will we admit to ourselves that what’s revealed is the Truth? How honest you’ve been will determine how much you want to use the Arian Moon energy as an excuse to go after what you want, or to attack others. You can be sure that the stronger your urge tp aggress, the more you need to step back and take a personal accounting of reality.

That means that if you succumb to a righteous anger at the time of the Full Moon, you could make some serious mistakes. The Sun, Earth, and Moon are making contact in what is, once the Moon begins to separate, a Lunar Void condition. There are no Ptolemaic (major) aspects to come before these bodies leave the signs they’re in (there aren’t even any minor ones, except for a semi-sextile of Moon and then Earth to Sedna–with Sun quincunxing–but we’ve already accounted for this general influence).

The Sabian for the Full Moon is, ‘A Large Audiences Confronts The Performer Who Disappointed Its Expectations’. In this case, we may be both audience and performer; our job is to confront ourselves over our own behavior, assumptions–over our ‘performance’. A big dose of reality needs to be accepted; so does a reasonable (not exaggerated or martyr-ish) sense of personal responsibility. Those are the ways that Full Moon in Aries events won’t just be brought to a head, but will bring a more complete (and so secure) sense of Self.

The Sabian for the Sun, giver-of-light in the first place, is, ‘A Man Becoming Aware Of Spiritual Forces Surrounding And Assisting Him’. This suggests that we’ll be offered plenty of unseen support. The Universe will whisper at us, giving us a clear (though possibly quite subtle) direction. Will we listen? That’s a question for the ages, as they say.

In The Light of the Full Moon 12 October 2021

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Jupiter mansplains butterflies while Mercury warns Virtue not to point out he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. ‘Jupiter, Mercury and the Virtue’ By Dosso Dossi c1517 {{PD}}

The approach to this upcoming Full Moon will be more than usually loaded with insight and revelation. Mercury officially goes direct once again AM Pacific time of the 18th at 10 Libra 07, trine Ceres-Black Moon Lilith, as apex to a loose Finger of God with base of Uranus sextile Pallas, and just a hair past perfection of an opposition to Chiron. This points to a lot of retrograde activity, most of which we’re not yet even aware of, bringing ideas, realizations, and denouement at the direction point that we may be caught off guard by.

We’ve been thinking about and reviewing relationships of all kinds; the direction says those are still on our minds, with Merc’s forward motion offering a new perspective and the dawning of things we hadn’t considered. We are likely to be more sure in our personal power position, and more confident–and yet we’re also aware of those things we’re not willing to inspect, of those things that we are ignoring or denying, probably because we don’t feel ready to face them yet. Considering our new, post-retro surge of personal authority, we might want to consider those matters that have been particularly difficult to deal with–as there may not be a better time than this period between the direction at 8:16 AM PDT of the 18th and the Full Moon at 7:56 AM PDT of the 20th.

We’ll also likely recognize how at least some of our retro experiences and conclusions may have been (unfairly) influenced by our past and especially our past hurts. That offers us a choice: do we pretend we don’t know that, or do we let go of our defensiveness so that we can revise and repair? You know the right answer to that one.

And finally, the direction point brings us a magic formula of sorts: spontaneity, accident, or Higher Mind inspiration or revelation, combined with inner wisdom and practicality (and that’s vital, that smarts and a sense of being reasonable are applied), gives the potential to create the optimum relationship(s) with both others and projects/ plans with which we’re involved. The message here is: Go with the flow, think on your feet, and don’t be afraid of change. Best interpretation lens is that there are no accidents, and the Universe is perpetually working in our favor–see things that way and anything unexpected, even if it seems negative on initial encounter, becomes a gift.

Hope you’re enjoying your week!

Retrogrades and Directions: October 2021

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Pluto stationed direct just before noon Pacific time on the 6th, but as always when he shifts apparent direction, he’s been squatting at this spot (24 CAP 18) for some time–and he’ll stay at that degree until the final day of November. We feel those stationary periods as times when it seems nothing will ever change in matters related to the stationing body, or those natal elements it touches; in the case of Pluto in Capricorn it may feel as if rotten institutions may never fall, that the destructive goes unchecked, that being resurrected, transformed, or re-born comes with a lot of rules (or that to rise again, we have to be willing to truly transform, particularly in the disciplines we apply to ourselves), that changes feel restricting rather than liberating, or conversely, that change brings understandable rules you’ve needed or longed for, that familiar structure is being altered, possibly through adhering to its own built-in constraints–you get the drift.

For a portion of this period (roughly October 9th through the 16th) Pluto direct-but-crawling will semi-sextile Jupiter in Aquarius as it slows and stations to go direct on the 18th. That may lend to Pluto a sense of Higher Mind understanding that exaggerates what we need to pay attention to–and exaggerates the it-will-never-end-ness of whatever Plutonian effect you’re undergoing. Just expect a sense of stuckness but look also for the light at the end of the tunnel–because that’s what Jupiter’s offering, an optimistic glimpse at opportunity, openings, or knowledge to come.

With Pluto and Jupiter we’re likely to experience their motion change as a lifting, a getting back, a resumption of more positive conditions, but with Saturn, which goes direct on the 11th, it’s a toss-up: we’re either in the camp that does well under Saturn direct but suddenly experiences obstacles and barriers when it retrogrades, or we find Saturn direct a barrier that’s only removed when the planet turns around. For that latter group, the way is clear during the retro period, while direction puts up walls and rules that weren’t there (or weren’t applicable) before. Happening as it is in Aquarius, Saturn’s direction is likely to involve Higher Mind, just as with Jupiter, or understanding, with these things either deepening our knowledge and so our ability to move forward constructively, or tossing obstacles in our path (and the rub is, we’ll understand why those obstacles have appeared, though it may be outside our control to affect them).

And then there’s Mercury, retro in Libra, turning around on the 18th at 10 LIB 09. What will we have learned (the retro was in an Air sign) by then? Something about our relationships, or ourselves within them, or about our values, what we want to invest in, or about what we’re willing to do, to be, in order to get what we want (a version of Love, as we see it). These revelations are useful, though if you haven’t been hit by lightning don’t be disappointed: Mercury works on the mind, and for its retro period it moves the mind out of the way. Especially for predominantly Air types, but true to some extent for everyone, the end of this Mercury retro can feel like you’re groggy, just waking up–but really, you’re just coming back into your mind, after having wallowed in feeling, the senses, and the unseen–and you come back changed, equipped in some way and with some understanding you didn’t have before. Now go out there and use what you’ve learned.

New Moon in Libra 6 October 2021 Friction & Boundaries

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‘Mountainous Landscape by Moonlight’ By Albert Bierstadt 1871 {{PD}}

The Moon and Sun in Libra perfect their meeting (the 6th at 4:04 AM PDT at 13 Libra 24) just before catching up to Mars, uncomfortable in the sign (in detriment, in fact) and so probably looking for company. This gives the Lunar new start a definite edge, a nervy, hair-trigger, even pushy need to go forward–because current conditions chafe. The sense may be that we need to take action, or to get out of present circumstances, or that it’s imperative to get started, or to express the Will, now. And what areas are causing this reaction? Relationships, first and foremost, and possibly in aesthetic matters, areas where fairness or expenditures, especially shared ones, are prominent, but it’s in partnerships, cooperative situations, anywhere our lives rub up against others that the focus is strongest–and Mars says we won’t let what’s causing the itch go without doing something about it.

There are two ways this may play out: one, taking action, probably action most characteristic to the individual (defined by the natal Mars), or two, ego clash, likely through attempts by each side of a scenario trying to impose their Will on the other–just remember, there are no innocent parties here; though aggressions and assertions may look uneven, they carry equal potency (and obstinacy).

The New Moon-Mars is also semi-square Venus and sesquiquadrate Sedna at the stressful 29th degree, which describes a Venus-Sedna opposition. This reiterates the tension in Venusian ruled subjects and adds difficulty trusting our own instincts. What we ‘know but don’t know’ will exert its affect in areas where we actively carry a ‘blind spot’–meaning we’ll be asserting ourselves into precisely the territory we fail to completely comprehend.

New Moon-Mars also finds itself the apex to a Finger of God with base of Uranus-Pallas, and also opposed Chiron. The opposition is separating; that suggests the hurt we feel dates from the past, not the present–and that’s a good thing to know: that we’re not reacting to what is, but to old wounds over what was. The Finger takes an upset, a rebellion, an accident (which can also be a serendipity), a radical new idea or approach, or something the group has required, forced, or otherwise asked for, and combines it with inner wisdom, practicality, or developed skills, with the effect being revealed by either the New Moon event or our actions or choices prompted by it.

The New Moon-Mars also trines Ceres. This major asteroid can represent personal authority and its exercise, Nature with a capital ‘N’ (and via this matters of health and diet, agriculture and natural disasters), and the act of mothering (and how intrusive this may or may not be–think of Persephone/ Proserpina–was she kidnapped, or have we just been told that, the story relayed by an overbearing maternal figure who took it upon herself to negotiate the terms of her daughter being away from the world Ceres controlled?). Ceres is certainly competent at what she does; the question is, does she have the right to dictate whatever it is she’s asserting?

With the Lunar event, this leads us into Willfulness territory, into the ego asserting itself, and just how much assertion is our prerogative, how much is going beyond our mandate. That’s an individual matter; just remain aware that what we act on should be considered in light of our rights and responsibilities, as well as the rights and responsibilities of others. Boundaries are vital, to protect yourself and to protect our relationships from ourselves. We must also consider the effects of NM events on our health; expressions of temper debilitate us, while doing what needs doing can free us–so, probably a delicate balance needs to be achieved.

The Sabian for the New Moon is, ‘In The Heat Of The Noon Hour A Man Takes A Siesta’. That ‘heat’ may be Martian energies, the fiery urge that wants to make things happen, that inadvertently runs over others or fails to apply patience or uses anger rather than inspiration as fuel. The advice the symbol offers is to take it easy, step back from the heat of the Sun (which just so happens to be agitating the emotions of the Moon and jump starting the assertive and aggressive inclinations via Mars), and in so doing rest–that is, the image tells us it’s the wrong time to get into a too-heated situation, to push, to insist.

This image, along with the other aspects formed by the New Moon, adds up to a warning: what occurs at this point may seem inseparable from our own needs, wants, and urges, and the situation will likely stress us, stirring an old wound and making us feel that we must act now. The thing is, Merc retrograde tells us to reconsider those inclinations, and the Finger points to the wisdom to be found in the unexpected. Our job, then, is to see it when it happens, and refuse to act precipitously, or out of a sense that if we don’t do something, we might lose our autonomy. Everything else, most especially the Libra energies and the contact to Venus, tells us that it’s not our independence that could be a casualty of current conditions, but what actually matters most: our relationships with others. Proceed, then, with caution, and leave your hair-trigger responses at the door (or as in the picture, out in Ceres’ domain, to be purified in the night air and around the campfire, where we can re-connect with those important relationships, our ‘fellow campers’).

A side note: this New Moon falls exactly, to the minute, on my natal Sun. I’ll let you know if I see any extraordinary effects.

Update: 23 September 2021

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‘The Shoots of Autumn Crops’ By Zinaida Serebriakova 1908 {{PD}}

I tend not to read current commentary on astrology by my fellow astrologers very often, not because it’s not good, but because reading someone else’s take can get in the way of me seeing something fresh. And it’s the same thing with discussing current conditions: individuals can end up feeding off one another, amping up alarm or extreme views, looking for the most spectacular manifestations rather than the likely ones. For me, the job is one of trying to pinpoint what the experience will be like for most of us, which is one reason I’m not too concerned with discussing everything that forms in the sky, blow by blow; that becomes a fool’s game as many of us only perceive some of the influences in effect at any one time, and too many readers who pursue an endless stream of astrological prediction can end up winding themselves up over multiple possibilities that just don’t pan out. That kind of thing is what burns people out on astrology. They can end up taking the view that they thought there was something to it, but it turned out to disappoint; or, they spend lots of time and emotional energy picking through countless details, hoping to find a nugget, just like the one they found six months (or six years) ago. As a human Being, you deserve to spend your time better (happier, more productively, more effectively) than that, and as an astrologer, so do I.

That’s why I don’t always make a to-do (now that’s an olde-timey term!) of everything that forms, especially when it’s fleeting, but I’ve picked up a lot of chatter (as they say in the intel community) that suggests people are agitated, and looking to the skies for why. Or maybe it’s the other way around, they’re looking to the skies and then deciding they should be agitated. Anxiety in search of a reason.

Seeing this is why I’m here at all–otherwise I’d be working on Jane Austen’s chart right now. (It’s not like she’s waiting for it!) So I’m going to mention a few things–and deliberately skip some overworked and overspeculated-about others–because there’s no need to add to the general atmosphere of drama.

First: Okay! The Sun’s in Libra, and autumn has officially begun. We need to remember that the Solstice and Equinox points aren’t astrological events, other than in the way they signal the entrance of the Sun into a new sign; I prefer to think of them as ‘announcing’ a change in our relationship to the Sun’s light, which is important to us as living creatures. The amount of light available to us (that enters through the eye) affects the workings of the brain, and we all know we need a certain amount of exposure to natural light in order to make Vitamin D. The only Astro result is the same one that happens every month as the Sun changes signs: our attention is drawn to the character of the sign in which the Sun sits, as Sol puts the energies of that sign into a spotlight. Right now that means relationships, especially those of a cooperative or partnership nature, will be central to perceptions, as may earning or our participation in the Arts.

That T-square of Mercury opposed Eris, arm Pluto, really isn’t as alarming as it seems, even with Jupiter trining Mercury, exaggerating things, broadcasting them, making the problems within the social order seem like personal ones we need to own. We’ve been living with the Pluto-Eris square for some time now. Has it been pleasant? Heck no! Scenarios of tension and strife, the kind that enrage us or scare us almost to death, have been flashing before our eyes–the difference, as Mercury enters the picture, is that we’re verbalizing, we’re talking about it, and we’re hearing others talk about it, sometimes in apocalyptic terms. So, take a deep breath, and know that things aren’t worse, they’re just being discussed–and that’s not a bad thing, because talking about it is the first step in addressing issues, of fixing those tense situations.

Venus opposes Uranus, trines Pallas, and semi-sextiles Juno=again, relationships are tough; partners may seem unreliable or just plain crazy, and it may feel like the unfair choice we’re given is: preserve the relationship, or save Yourself. The reality is that choice is false. We don’t need to end the relationship in order to maintain our sense of personal cohesion; we need to see that the relationship is offering us wisdom, or showing us the need for the practical. In recognizing what the relationship is trying to show us, we gain–that’s the point of what’s going on.

Mercury in Libra stations tomorrow (the 24th) and retrogrades late PDT on the 26th. It moves back to re-contact Eris and Pluto, once again raising fears of discord and destruction, then trines Jupiter again, either exaggerating fears or offering the consolation of belief. Faith in what you believe in is the right way to handle this, just make sure the beliefs you embrace are based in, or at least not contradicted by, fact (another Jupiter thing), rather than in fantasy (a danger as Merc moves back to quincunx Neptune and conjoin Zeus, October 4th). Since the retro occurs in an Air sign, we’re meant to re-think things; it’s an especially good time for reviewing, for modifying plans, and for re-assessing relationships (as the journey is in Libra).

One last bit: Ceres sextiles Chiron=subjects as big as climate change and as personal as your diet need to be considered and addressed right now–to wait for the square between these two could force some highly unpleasant circumstances (June 2022).

Have a lovely end-of-week!

Full Moon in Pisces 20 September 2021 Putting Your Finger On It

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Detail of the hand of Oopjen Coppit with Cuffs and pearl bracelet, By Rembrandt 1634 {{PD}}

The Full Moon perfects at 4:54 PM PDT on the 20th at 28 Pisces 13, sextile a 29 degree Sedna and forming the base to a Finger of God with apex Vesta at 00 Scorpio. What happens when feelings reach a zenith (FM), in fact overflow with no boundaries, and spring from the (overactive) imagination (Pisces)? And then reach accord (the sextile) with either those things we ‘know but don’t know’, or our ‘blind spot’ material (Sedna)? In this case, they give us a fresh (00 degrees) deep dive (Scorpio) into our core values and commitments (Vesta). The emotional impact of Full Moon realization is a brand-new take on what we care about most. What have you been dedicating your life (especially your emotional energy) to, and how, after this Lunar experience, will what you honor, find sacred, and commit your energy to, change?

The Full Moon in Pisces promises to make us aware of an ideal or dream we have been assembling, reaching for, or planning for (albeit probably below the conscious level) that is informed by things that are either a deep part of us (instinctive) or that we have absorbed without knowing we have, and these will require a new take on what we regard most highly in life. Look to the House in the natal chart that holds Scorpio to know around what subjects our ideals have, are, or will be changing, and consider that these changes are meant to be toward a dream or ideal form.

The Full Moon is also widely opposed Mars and semi-square Uranus, suggesting that matters of personal Will, ego, identity, or choice may factor in, and that surprises or sudden revelations, especially through accidents or the serendipitous, could be part of the Lunar event. You may ask, is the Full Moon conjoined Neptune? Sextile Pluto? What about quincunx Mercury? No, no, and no–remember, precision in drawing the event picture is necessary to drawing accurate conclusions that reflect the actual Full Moon and what it brings.

In the non-Lunar things I want to note category is the almost perfected at the time of the Full Moon (only one minute past!) trine of Mercury to Jupiter in their respective Air signs. This implies an atmosphere of easily exaggerated thoughts and communications, a tendency to ‘live in our heads’, to over promise, or to believe something we’ve thought, but don’t actually know. The Preacher, The Trickster, The Zealot, and The Persuader will all be overly potent at this time, making those who vibe to these Archetypes unusually influential–and not in a good way.

Then we have the way that, through Mercury, this ties in to a T-square with Mercury opposed Eris, with the arm Pluto. Communication might just naturally open the way for discord; if there are any destructive intents behind words, thoughts, agreements, or random comments, they will fly out like the ills of the world from Pandora’s box–and speaking of minor planet/asteroid Pandora (at 16 Libra 14, and not shown on the chart below), it’s currently forming, with Juno, the base to a Finger of God with apex Uranus. That sounds to me like being too strident about our position, status, or what we believe is owed to us, or vengeful for perceived wrongs (recall Juno had a difficult time feeling disrespected) can combine with poor choice (Pandora) to lead to sudden and quite unintended or out of control consequences. So take care, as all of this creates the atmosphere in which the Full Moon changes and revelations will occur.

One more thing: there’s also a loose Grand Trine of Mars/ Saturn/ North Node-Black Moon Lilith. This suggests taking action right now might inadvertently lead to stasis, perhaps promoting rage or forcing us to deny or ignore things that will turn out to be life direction shaping. Could this aspect also offer security, a solid footing from which to take action? Probably not, as even if things look steady they would be based on what we’re either angry about or in denial of–and that’s not a healthy recipe.

The Sabian for the Full Moon is, ‘Light Breaking Into Many Colors As It Passes Through A Prism’. The image suggests we’ll have an experience that allows us to separate into individual parts of the spectrum what lights (enlightens, illuminates–that is, makes life worth living, translating to those Vestal things we’re dedicated to) up our world–and so we’ll understand better which hues we want to enhance, which we want to move away from. The Sun, provider of light and symbol of ourselves/ the Soul in the individual chart, sits at this Sabian: ‘A Seeker After Occult Knowledge Is Reading An Ancient Scroll Which Illumines His Mind’. It’s in taking a posture of seeking, openness of mind, willingness to learn, that we receive that illumination; the ‘right’ attitude (the attuned attitude) opens the way for the re-assessment of priorities promised by the Full Moon in Pisces.

Everyone, have a wonderful Full Moon! Concentrate on realizing the Full Moon energies and what they can show you about your own priorities, and maybe hold back from too-active communications or actions, as that’s where the booby-traps lie.

Bits & Pieces Mid-September 2021

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Fruit Bowl With Melons By Mauro David

Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 1999

One thing I’d like to say about Eris: Quit blaming her for strife! She doesn’t bring it, she makes space for it–a huge difference. She connects with another energy by transit; if it’s by soft aspect (sextile, trine) she says, ‘You know, I think you need to let that tension out’ and if it’s by hard aspect (square, opposition, with the conjunction going either way), she prods, dares, irritates, or forces, and the underlying tension appears and is expressed. Since an atmosphere of strife is simply two or more conflicting intentions going at one another, Eris can’t be directly blamed, though the sign she’s transiting at any one time can suggest the attitude that spurs what comes next. For example, in Aries (as she is right now) it might be egos that rise up, while in Gemini it’s words, and in Capricorn it might be attempts to stop others, but when in Scorpio wanting to get vengeance, destroy, or reform might be the match to the fuel. Eris is a catalyst; best to see her as making the upset possible, rather than creating it, and don’t forget that oftentimes such expression is for the good, releasing things that no one needs to carry around.

Neptune’s opposed Hygeia right now (only two minutes off exact), suggesting that health matters might be very difficult to assess–and that it may be a ‘do or die’ moment when living our healthy ideals might be vitally important.

Venus will be square Saturn now through late on the 17th PDT, telling us that relationships and/ or finances might look more limited, unloving, restricted, or even ‘dead’ than they actually are. Venus is in Scorpio, prompting her to dig dig dig and it’s just not the thing to do, right now. Saturn says, ‘Let some time pass.’ It’s an unspoken request for emotional lockdown, an attempt to organize by slowing things down–understandable, a kind of restraint that loving (and demanding) Venus needs to practice, in order not to tear it all down.

Add to the above that Mars has just moved into Libra and will soon trine the North Node. Yes, Libra is one of the signs (Taurus the other) where Mars is in detriment–but that only means that the style of the sign doesn’t come naturally to expression of the planet, and that’s okay. Mars can adapt, but right now, before he gets used to being here, he may push too hard in relationships, which would back up Venus’ current inclinations but run them both into a Saturnian brick wall. So, let that make for a double warning: take it easy with others, especially those close to us; ask, but only if you must–best practice is to be gentle, hang back a bit, and absolutely don’t demand–Eris is square Pluto and Earth will perfect semi-sextile tomorrow (which means the Sun will perfect quincunx), and that suggests that pushing too hard could burn it down, have actual material consequences, and perhaps alter our own Self-image if we indulge in such behavior, forever after (and retro Jupiter is in the mix at the same degree, sprinkling the glitter of exaggeration and overdoing–and you know how hard it is to clean that up!!)

Neptune’s also quincunx Zeus right now, suggesting that any ways in which we’ve been fooling ourselves about the ambition and desire picture are currently causing a nagging feeling of upset or doubt, or are playing out through bewildering responses to our efforts. Just know that this is meant to alert you to a need to come clean and stop pretending: refocus on ideals and the essence (rather than the trappings) of the dream itself. And, Chiron sextile Ceres says we have the chance to heal and/ or use the unique skills if we’ll accept personal responsibility–do it now, before a hard aspect forces consequences of not taking responsibility.

If you haven’t seen it, you might want to take a gander at my thoughts on Jupiter and the natal mission it describes here–

Thank you, everyone, and have a great week!

Jupiter in the Natal Chart: What’s Your Mission?

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‘Jupiter and Tetis’ By Dominique Ingres 1811 {{PD}}

In doing some chart work this past week, it occurred to me that Jupiter really does offer us a kind of mission statement, an approach blueprint for what we’re here to do, beyond any Soul intentions (the Sun) or Earthly needs (Earth, always directly opposed the Sun, designating the environment or atmosphere or material requirements necessary to fulfill the Soul’s purpose). This is a thread that likely runs through so much else that you do or strive for; it’s probably a sort of ‘silent component’ that is part of any activity or intention, aside from a stated goal or point. So, here are a few brief potential mission statements for each sign; these are off-the-cuff, so please forgive any shortcomings or things I might have forgotten.

Aries: the mission is to discover who you are. The reason for being, exploring the needs and consequences of action and choice, and to plumb the depths and limits of the personal Will. Showing others the importance of acting, doing. The value of the Self.

Taurus: the mission is to discover forms of harmonious expression of the Self through materiality. To explore the array of bodily needs from survival to luxuries, and the value of refining a necessity (such as food) to an artisanal level. Our connection to Nature through diet and environment. The value of caring for the body and honoring physical needs, and of imbuing the everyday with artistry.

Gemini: the mission is to discover forms of connection and communication. To explore, act as a ‘translator’, in both the language and broadcast senses, and to share the web of perpetual communication that is always present, always informing. Thinking as a necessity. The value of being informed, and the importance of that to our interconnectedness.

Cancer: the mission is to discover what it truly means to care. To nurture and be nurtured, to experience the beauty of keeping another being alive, to guide others with loving energy attuned to their welfare, rather than your own. To soothe and emotionally support. Exploring the concept of sacrifice for others, and knowing when that’s appropriate, when to be avoided. The value of positive action supported by emotional investment.

Leo: the mission is to discover what it truly means to be fulfilled. To explore what efforts and attention are genuinely meaningful, what works to uplift others, what it means to each individual to live optimally, making the most of their talents and opportunities. Learning to ‘shine’ from the core Self. The value of doing and being your best.

Virgo: the mission is to discover the subtleties of discretion and their expression through useful critique and analysis. To explore concepts around accountability and responsibility, and to insure everyone receives what’s due. The value of seeing things and people as they are, and so assessing them for best function/ role.

Libra: the mission is to discover what cooperation and partnership really entail. Exploring recognition of and regard for ‘the Other’. Learning when to put ‘we’ before ‘I’. Seeing when and where aesthetics matter. The value of doing things with others, not out of survival or want, but out of Love.

Scorpio: the mission is to discover what ‘the Truth’ really means. To explore when to dig, when to let things alone. Learning to let go of things in order to clear the way for something else. Developing the ability to know when sacrifice is necessary, and when to ‘try again’. The value of persistence; the good judgment to know when something’s over, and to recognize when something’s real.

Sagittarius: the mission is to discover what Faith really means to you. To explore the middle ground between facts and beliefs, and to know the difference between them. Being willing to discover other ways of seeing and being. Learning how and when to reach out, ‘spreading the word’, and refusing to exaggerate or over-promise. The value of moving forward/ sharing based on real-world facts or on genuine belief, and honoring accumulated knowledge by doing so.

Capricorn: the mission is to discover the importance of feeling secure to the human spirit. To explore the optimal uses of guidelines and structures, literal and figurative; to learn when to follow tradition, when to discard it. Learning to gauge when restraint is needed, and when it must be removed. Offering others a ‘safe place’. Learning positive ways to accumulate in the material world. The value of creating something strong, solid, orderly, that gives a sense of security and shelter and anchors people in reality.

Aquarius: the mission is to discover how to connect with Higher Mind in the moment. Exploring what genuinely reflects elevated consciousness/ core spirituality, what is shallow, academic, or a fad. Seeing the modern, and how it can mesh with what is/ the past. The spirit of innovation, inventiveness. The value of understanding as it supports acceptance and opens the way for ‘the new’.

Pisces: the mission is to discover the Oneness of All. Exploring the source of both creativity and spirit. Learning the means and power of manifestation. Promoting Universality in positive ways that allow distinctiveness and creative expression within the Collective. Showing that the only sacrifice necessary is one of ego. The value of recognizing everything is spiritual.

New Moon in Virgo 6 September 2021 Love Among the Ruins

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Edward Burne-Jones ‘Love Among the Ruins’ 1894 {{PD}}

The New Moon in Virgo forms at 14 Virgo 38 at 5:52 PM PDT on the 6th, with its closest aspect a tidy little trine (just one minute off!) to Uranus in Taurus. This is, of course, like a great big shocking air horn scream: surprise! look out! wtf! At first, it may feel like a ‘love among the ruins’ scenario, finding a big, Universal positive in some sort of fail or calamity, and this may involve a group with whom you’re entangled instituting something of consequence to you personally. The New Moon is, in this case, definitely an inception point to be wary of, though this shock, even if accident-related, isn’t necessarily a negative one; try to take the long view, the one that says the Universe is always working in your best interests, even if it’s very difficult to recognize that. Especially if you have some material facet of your life you’ve been looking to for a result, particularly if that result is of a critical nature or brings an assessment or accounting or even a ‘harvest’, you are more likely than not to get a reality check that’s positive; at the very least, positive in the sense that you’ll now know, without doubt, where you stand.

All the other aspects are a tisch wide, meaning the Lunar energy is largely focused through that Uranian event, though there are a couple if those contacts we should count. The New Moon squares Juno, suggesting power struggles might be a New Moon feature, and it’s in wide quincunx to Chiron–and here’s why we count that: though out of solid orb to the NM itself, Chiron does trine Juno with only 20 minutes of differential, looping it in to the power struggle and implying that those conflicts may, just may, arise from wounds (with a small percentage arising from jealousy, as some use the empowering Chirotic gift and are targeted for it).

One other contact of note: the New Moon noviles Venus. And this may be the ultimate experience of things: whatever occurs brings, is the result of, fosters, or in a few unfortunate cases, denies, Love or material benefit. So, that surprise might be better than we think, after all–and certainly revealing.

The Sabian symbol for the New Moon is, ‘A Fine Lace Handkerchief, Heirloom From Valorous Ancestors’. Something refined and of worth, inherited, may figure in, either through the exercise of talents (especially the Chirotic ones), or with a kind of genius gain of assets or in highly positive relationships–or some combination of these. My sense is this may be quite literal, especially in the ‘family talent’ department, so it wouldn’t hurt to take a look back at where your DNA came from–such an examination could point you toward something newly activated or discovered in yourself. The symbol describes this attribute or endowment as coming from the best of your ancestors–so seek with that in mind.

Just a Few Astro-Notes 2 September 2021

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Here’s a nice picture of a tranquil place for mental escape during the Dark period. Mustoja.jpg Amadvr Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 ee

I’m knee-deep in my Moon book and really shouldn’t be here at the blog, but I just saw a couple of things that I think I should comment on. First is that we’ll be entering Dark of the Moon in about a day; that says, ‘Get your sh*t done now, and then tuck in to a smooth period of contemplation and, as much as possible, withdrawal from the worldly’.

The second is the very-nearly-exact opposition of Mars in Virgo to Neptune in Pisces. A big determiner of how this goes for each of us will rest in the House axis across which the opposition lies; that gives us an outline of the areas where we may most clearly see the opposition manifest. The general effect, though, may be one of two things: either we stop dead in our tracks, uncertain of where we stand, questioning (and probably worrying about) everything, or we put the pedal to the metal and Create (with a big ‘C’–and remember, creative energy fuels every thing, every action, choice, and intention, so be as aware as possible of precisely where your energy is being directed).

We also see Venus-Vesta-Zeus conjoined in Libra, quincunx Pallas (which happens to conjoin Neptune). This suggests being flexible and willing to adjust in relationships, in how we honor others, and in how we pursue ambitions and desires, is the smart way to go–and will help support that big ‘C’ creativity mentioned above.

The Sun is also briefly quincunx both Saturn and Chiron, making for a window when attention to real-world wounds or the ‘reality that hurts’ will allow for adjustments to approach, attitude, and most importantly, viewpoint, thereby giving us a better perspective on things, one where we can either remedy some wound, muster our unique skills to address it, or contain that pain in some way that makes it easier to live with.

And over the coming few days (by the 4th) Mars positions himself to trine Pluto and act as apex to a Finger of God with base of Jupiter sextile Eris. That, my dears, is when we make our move. We change or transform what needs changing, and find we have the power to do it, and our actions and choices should be supported by solid belief and the willingness to stir things up to get things done. We’ll still be in the Dark period, but should find either that we’re able to act because opposing energies are ‘down’ right now, or that we don’t act but plan meticulously, knowing that our plans are well-formed and slated to prevail. It’s a point of greater access to the unseen, and we take advantage of it.

This all leads up to the New Moon in Virgo on the 6th. The big headline there will be the surprise, innovation, invention, or shock factor, as the NM forms a trine only one minute from perfection with Uranus. Also of note at that time: the North Node closely conjoined the Black Moon Lilith point. That suggests we reap the repercussions of those matters that have shaped our future but that we are still in denial of, angry about, or roundly ignoring. Good luck to us all with that!

Have a lovely weekend, everyone, and many thanks!

Notes on Uranus Retrograde, August 2021

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Lightning cloud to cloud (aka).jpg
This image shows a cloud to cloud lightning in a very stormy and rainy night in Zwickau, Germany. Photo By André Karwath aka Aka Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5

Just a few things to take note of during this retro period. Technically Uranus gained retro status on the 19th, but it remained stationary until the 23rd. I like to look at the point a body retrogrades for the picture it presents in relation to other bodies, making a kind of birth chart for the retrograde itself. This can give us the general tone of the period, a snapshot of what to expect, though I have to emphasize, particularly with the slower moving bodies, that the point of retrograde just isn’t, well, as pointed as it is with a quicker moving body. That’s because a slower planet stations for some time both before and after status change, making the retro a window, rather than, once again, a point.

Uranus stationing and reversing always suggests shifts in the Zeitgeist, and in personal momentum, and in each case the individual experiences this in one of two ways: when Uranus is direct, one flows along with the greater ‘group’, accessing inventive and innovative energies relatively easily, with accidents swiftly righted and surprises usually the kind we look back on and say, ‘I knew it!’; then Uranus retros, and things take a somewhat negative turn, with Uranian energies overwhelming or shocking and relationship with ‘the group’ suffering static in the ‘who’s responsible for what’ category. Generally speaking, the individual oriented to this Uranus pattern finds Uranus-related circumstances during the direct phase to be, even if surprising, understandable, with those during the retro period seemingly more random or confusing.

The second type of individual experiences Uranus like this: the direct phase is the one that delivers the electric shock, the trouble with groups and one’s place in them, one seemingly being more methodical and less inventive as this specific energy seems to suffer a short circuit, with accidents feeling arbitrary, things sometimes prompting the question, ‘Why me?’ Then the retro comes along and this kind of individual is suddenly finding much less resistance to the inventive and innovative energies, with sudden events turning out fortuitously and the serendipitous signaling the individual flow within the larger Uranian energies. In this case, the retro gets the Uranian energy out of its own way, allowing the current (and therefore the capacity for understanding) to flow.

This time, Uranus retrograded at 14 Taurus 47, with Mercury soon to perfect a trine and Vesta soon to perfect a quincunx, followed by perfection of a trine from Mars. Everything within this picture is in Earth, except for Vesta in Air (Libra). This made me think that the material world will correspond precisely to the unseen, like a shadow made solid. Thoughts and communications will be shaped into our surroundings and events in surprising or unexpected ways–so be very conscious, during this retro period, with what you’re really thinking and expressing, and take communications from others with this same sort of ‘this is shaping reality’ awareness.

What we experience may challenge, or at least make uncomfortable, our attitudes or practices around those things we feel are sacrosanct–and likely what occurs will show us how we need to modify our values in theory so that they match our values in practice, and vice versa, align our real-world behaviors with the ideals we claim and identify with. And from these things, an awareness of the impact of thought on the material, and the need to modify and align ourselves with those things we genuinely find sacred, we will find the perfect (and perfectly applicable) actions and choices to move us forward.

Also, be aware of how on the 25th the Moon will pass over Chiron in Aries and then Venus will oppose it from Libra. That’s a recipe for emotional wounds to spill out into the open, for relationships awash in the full brunt of feeling, and for the cost of our own wounds to become apparent. Just take care, and be kind, especially with yourself.

Comments on the Air Grand Trine & Friends 20-24 August 2021

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By Peder Severin Krøyer 1888 {{PD}}

An Air Grand Trine has formed, consisting of Venus on her home turf in Libra, Saturn in Aquarius, and Ceres-North Node in Gemini. It’s a little bit like Venus is the hopeful balloon, thinking good thoughts especially about relationships and aesthetic matters, Saturn is the anchor that keeps Venusian optimism connected to both reality and Higher Mind, and Ceres-NN lends thought the authority to lead us confidently in our destined direction. That’s a lot of ‘mind energy’, a lot of ruminating and pondering that won’t be completely conscious–and that’s the thing we need to remain aware of.

For all the overt reasoning and perception that will be going on in this period (and the seemingly super sane and rational way it will appear), we may be faced with influences we didn’t really know were there, until they’re right in front of us. For instance, Venus is sextile Juno by the midpoint of the period, suggesting that our Venusian viewpoint will be confident in its own status and authority–but Venus is also on the move toward perfecting an opposition to Chiron, meaning that despite our good intentions and our Grand Trine inclination toward harmony and balance, the relationship or financial aspect of things may be headed toward hurt, either because we plow forward without enough sensitivity or responsiveness to others (which the circumstances of the GT may encourage), or because we see something in current situations that mirrors old wounds, and react.

Too, there are things that aren’t directly connected to the GT but that are crucial to be aware of, as in the case of the Pluto-Eris square. It’s important chiefly because it’s Cardinal; we can’t hide from that dynamic ‘doing’ energy even if we want to! This means that the Pluto-Eris scenario will be present at the same time (though not necessarily intertwined with) the Grand Trine. So, there’ll be a dynamic situation of conflict, destruction, or serious/ massive change going on while the GT is occupying our minds with other, likely much more personal, ideas. This may create an atmosphere of dissonance, a feeling that ‘I’ve got it together over here, why can’t all those upset people get it together over there?’

And that’s how we may miss the square’s influence in our own lives. That clash is between a rage for Power by one party, and a catalyst energy that’s embodying disharmony already extant but perhaps pushed under the surface, until now, by the other party, and we may be more than a little inclined to believe we’re neither of those entities, that this conflict just doesn’t apply to us. Look more closely: the personal manifestation of this will come as emotional strain (signified by the Full Moon) that is perpetrated via what we ‘know but don’t know’, or by matters that reside in our ‘blind spot’ (both Sedna)–perceptual areas we may try very hard to disown, right now.

Seems like we may have an (overly) emotional scattering of days ahead of us, but I do see at least one way to channel the discord and the ‘living in our heads’ energies effectively: by plunging into the work of the ‘Smart Creative’. That’s the creative thing you know you should do, but are prone to undermine yourself by ignoring. By creative I don’t necessarily mean something in the Arts; that can just as easily apply to anything where you generate and guide the energy to shape, form, or simply do something. It’s about funneling energy from inside you to outside you, into affecting something external, whether that be materials or another human Being (Neptune conj Pallas in Pisces).

If you’re looking for the Full Moon report, or want to re-acquaint yourself with it, it’s here.

Thank you, everyone–have a wonderful weekend, and Happy Full Moon!

Full Moon in Aquarius 22 August 2021: Moment of Crisis

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55 Cancri e: Skies Sparkle Above a Never-Ending Ocean of Lava. Poster from the NASA Exoplanets Exploration Program’s Exoplanet Travel Bureau {{PD}}

‘Moment’ of crisis isn’t quite right, is it? More like decade–but then again, has there ever truly been a time of no crisis? Even if one’s corner of the world was peaceful, or one’s awareness was truncated, there was still turmoil elsewhere–so no, we’ve never been without that condition. It’s just that this Full Moon falls at 29 Aquarius 36, at 5:01 AM PDT of the 22nd of August–and as we all know, that’s a degree rife with tension. So then we must ask, How will the stress of this culmination affect me?

The answer, of course, is found in how this event interacts with the natal chart, but here we must speak in more general terms–and I don’t mean mundane, worldly ones, but in ways that address the individual. A Full Moon in Aquarius promises ends, peaks, denouements, and final pronouncements or dispensations in matters of the natal House where it falls, and/ or in areas where we are involved with rebellion, with being in the avant garde, in areas that touch on Higher Mind or academics, in our group involvements (especially those that include a question of leadership), in what’s most original about us (and by extension, involving our original thoughts or products), in those life areas where we feel most unique or individual, and in matters of the unexpected, accidental, or of the ‘rare bird’ variety.

And what does that 29 degree placement add? Anticipation to the bursting point. Shock. Anarchy. Surprise. Excitement. Chaos. Or a kind of irrelevance of events or perceptions, as we take an academic approach to something that we need to feel. We may find ourselves floored by an ending we never expected, a mishap that changes everything, a sudden revelation that brings understanding (for understanding is the expression of Aquarian divine nature), a fantastically original idea–or a pervasive idea given a whole new approach. Consider the mind blown.

This time the aspect picture looks like it’s written in code: the Full Moon bodies of Earth-Moon have recently passed over Jupiter, the Earth just a few days before, the Moon a few hours, and they can still be considered conjoined. Immediately we know the FM event or experience will be exaggerated, and/ or that we’ve lately been hit with ‘the facts’ or our belief system has sustained a blow or received a revelation, with these related to a material circumstance (Earth) that we then have an emotional reaction to (the Moon)–and no matter which applies to us, the FM brings the moment of Truth (otherwise known as, you got it, a moment of crisis or opportunity) in terms of what this means to us, what concludes, reaches apex, or stops short, providing an opening for something new.

We also have a pair of squares, one rather wide, to Black Moon Lilith, the other close, to Sedna (and these two can be considered widely, out-of-sign conjoined). What comes with the Full Moon is instinctive knowledge, or ‘blind spot’ material, that we’ve hidden even from ourselves–and the difficult, stressful, or urgent Lunar events bring this to light.

The Full Moon also sesquiquadrates Vesta, suggesting events create a need to adjust or otherwise modify what we honor, what we consider sacred–so this challenges the way in which we frame our world and our priorities. And there’s a quindecile to Mars, a prompt to action, likely that involves actions we don’t want to take, or choices we don’t want to make, or the whole thing is just painful, in terms of what we’ve found/ learned/ discovered, and what we must do about it. With any luck, it’s just a matter of having to go outside our comfort zone–so not so bad, really.

It all sounds no fun, but considering the degree at which the Full Moon forms, the involvement of Sedna and BML, and the way Earth and Moon have just met with Jupiter, we would be wise to realize: 1) what we need or are forced to do at this point is truly necessary, that 2) it’s likely something we’ve put off, consciously or not, and 3) though this may bring disarray or upset, at least initially, it not only needs doing, it will clear the way for a fresh and probably more accurate understanding of and relationship with our world.

The Sabian is a wordy one: ‘Deeply Rooted In The Past Of A Very Ancient Culture, A Spiritual Brotherhood In Which Many Individual Minds Are Merged Into The Glowing Light Of A Unanimous Consciousness Is Revealed To One Who Has Emerged Successfully From His Metamorphosis’. Roughly translated: if you’ve done the work, you graduate at this point to a ‘next level’ of consciousness. Not that it’s an up-and-down hierarchy; it’s more like a giant Cosmic map, with each individual ‘location’ being different, rather than superior or inferior to others. Even if you don’t level up, you are promised like-minded surroundings–or put another way, water seeks its own level, so wherever the Full Moon leaves you, you’ll have company.

The Sabian for the Sun, which generates the light in the first place, is ‘An Unsealed Letter’. Something that had been hidden ‘under seal’ is illuminated. Now we know; we would expect no less, with a Jupiter redolent Full Moon in Aquarius!

Eris In Action

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In honor of Eris helping us not be run over.
‘A Woman Defends Her Castle’ From Smithfield Decretals [Decretals of Gregory IX]
Author: Raymund of Peñafort, editor; Bernard of Parma, glossator
France 1300-1340 (text), England circa 1340 (illumination) {{PD}}

So, I thought after yesterday’s explanation of how I see Eris, an example is in order. The current situation with the sitting governor of the state of New York, Andrew Cuomo, involves women speaking up about mistreatment–which seems like an Eris situation, or at least one where she might have something to tell us. How convenient that Cuomo has promised to walk away from the governorship after accusations by at least eleven women of groping, assault, and inappropriate behavior led to a plethora of investigations, a potential impeachment, and (so far) at least one criminal complaint.

As of the 10th’s egregiously Self-serving press conference, the situation has revealed that 1) Cuomo’s made so many enemies during his strong-arm political career that when he needs them he’s without friends, and 2) that in spite of his many excuses, no one’s buying his ‘they moved the line as to what’s acceptable’ reasoning. Touching someone against their Will has always been over the line; Cuomo’s inability to admit he’s wrong is firmly rooted in Self-justification that says, I have the right to do as I please with others–the kind of power statement made by those who both hold power and believe in their own superiority. All his rambling, kitchen-sink speech on resigning the governorship has done is show the world how Cuomo doesn’t grasp that hiding his aggressions behind ‘friendly’ manhandling of both men and women isn’t acceptable–no matter how you characterize it and what you call it.

We have a birth date and place but no time for Cuomo (6 December 1957 ntk Queens New York USA). I drew a noon chart, as this gives us a clear idea of what his Moon situation is–in this case, showing that no matter when he was born, the Moon was in Gemini; this also shows us he was born not long before a Full Moon that will form early hours EST of the following day. No time unfortunately means we have no angles and no Houses, but we can see plenty just from relationships between bodies.

Eris is conjoined Hygeia and Vesta in Aries, and may sextile the Gemini Moon. If the sign in which she sits is any indication (and it is) his Eris may have issues with Will, assertion, and aggression. He may, in a phrase, insist upon himself. This also suggests a focus on ‘Me First’ in areas of health (reasonable) and in what he may commit to and find sacred, the problem with this latter being that, when one believes the decision of what’s sacred, what to respect, is one they are personally granted to make, one doesn’t completely respect anyone or anything else–the viewpoint is instead that they are the final arbiter of every topic and individual’s worth.

Eris’s placement is both a little wide for a quincunx to the North Node, and for a trine to Uranus–only a square to Mercury in Capricorn is in orb, aside from the conjunctions. Mercury in Cap suggests organized, structured, and constructive communications–we saw this in his daily Covid briefings early in the pandemic–but these same briefings also showed a plodding insistence, repetitive expressions, and a notable defensiveness (just think of the nursing home scandals that he managed to, if not bury, certainly dilute their political potency). In square with Eris-Hygeia-Vesta, we see persistent defensiveness over what, and probably how, he communicates, especially in areas of health, commitment, and what should be honored–so with the latter an inclination to reject what the establishment (Cap) thinks is honor-worthy in favor of, again, whatever he decides (Aries).

From what I could find, it appears the press conference began at 11:53 AM EDT 10 August. If that’s even close to accurate, that gives us a Virgo Moon square the natal Sun-Saturn-MC/ Earth-Juno axis, suggesting an emotional point of extreme tension regarding the established professional identity/ reputation and the material empowerment situation, especially the way the fortunes of the material environment ‘turn’, for him, on the empowerment of women. The natal situation with Earth-Juno further suggests that how he treated women he found ‘worthy’ was an integral part of his story–certainly true right now, and perhaps true over and over for him, throughout life.

And what’s transiting Eris doing right now? She’s conjoined his Sedna in Aries, and opposed, only one minute past exact, his natal Jupiter in Libra. aha! Here Eris’s presence may reveal by disturbing the ether, by shaking things up, by seeking justice, as she forces what Cuomo ‘knows but doesn’t know’, his ‘blind spot’ material, out into the open, this only reinforcing the awareness that he really does know what he did was wrong–but that he also allowed himself to continue with this behavior by pretending it wasn’t.

Transiting Eris’s opposition to Jupiter is interesting, if we see it both as his proclivity to push past reasonable boundaries (literally encroaching on others’ personal space) within relationships (Libra), and opportunity, publicity, and popularity, as defined through the public lens. An opposition describes some of what he did in his resignation speech: point the finger of blame at absolutely everyone and everything else, from cultural norms to political enemies to (hold on to your hats for this one) vengeful women.

Currently, transiting Eris is in close semi-sextile to transiting Pallas and square transiting Pluto, suggesting that difficult change, even destruction, stirred up by Eris (remember, she’s a catalyst) contains a certain amount of wisdom. As to the idea that what’s happening is vengeance on the part of the (female) accusers, it’s pretty clear to me it’s not. Transiting Eris is quincunx transiting Venus in this chart, the latter of which was due to be hit by the Moon before it left Virgo, which may at first glance imply this is revenge on the part of the women–but look again: t Eris isn’t contacting his natal Venus, which is at 00 Aquarius, implying a newness for Cuomo in the ‘modern woman’ concept as part of his core perceptions, and t Eris also isn’t in contact with his Ceres at 29 stressful degrees of Cancer, making Ceres a natal out-of-sign opposition to his natal Venus.

That scenario says it was almost inevitable that his reaction to the personal authority and autonomy of women in his life would create problems. Ceres so late in Cancer and under pressure from the modern idea of womanhood (opp to Venus in Aquarius) suggests to me that he’s a bit of a cave man, longing for the days (at least, a time he thinks existed) when women were responsible for nurturing–indeed were required to nurture (and so required to coddle, indulge, and cooperate with) everyone in their sphere. He’s always had trouble treating women Beings as valid in their perceptions and rightfully autonomous as himself; that’s his flaw, not theirs. When we see that transiting Juno is trine his Eris, and transiting Mars is quincunx it, we get the message that it’s his own assertive actions, his own choices, that have put him in this uncomfortable position (the quincunx), and that transiting Juno in Sagittarius has been stirred to speak up for herself, to take her own power back by broadcasting exactly what happened, by getting the facts out into the open.

And to those who say, why didn’t those women speak up sooner? I have to answer: if you’re asking that question, then you’re either oblivious to the system we live in (one in which it’s an uphill battle for women to be taken seriously, to be believed, even after Me Too), or oblivious to the massive power imbalance that made Cuomo, like so many other men, feel it’s their right and privilege to take what they want.

Welcoming Eris to the Fold

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This is the shotgun wedding Eris was supposedly so bent about not being invited to. ‘The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis’ By Peter Paul Rubens 1636 {{PD}}

I make a practice of not jumping too quickly into using a body in astrological analysis; normally I watch and wait, until a consistent interpretation picture forms, one that is born out in chart interpretation. That means I may not publicly use all the chart bodies my contemporaries do (and I use a few they typically don’t), but when I do feel comfortable, sure of it’s meaning after long observation, it becomes a part of every chart reading.

One of the things I’ve learned is that asteroids, dwarf planets (with the exception of Pluto), and other minor objects tend to enhance meaning, refining it and making it more specific, that’s carried in broader terms by one of the major astrological bodies or lights. Eris is no exception; my initial inquiry placed her as goddess of discord and chaos, relating her to facets of major bodies Uranus, Mars, Venus, and Pluto, and to the calculated point Black Moon Lilith. That means though she holds some of the same character and characteristics of other entities or points, she brings her own special viewpoint–and our task is to define that the best we can, sharpening her meaning within the chart over time and from experience and observation.

When I started my investigation of Eris, I looked to both the conclusions about meaning some of my contemporaries have come to, and to the myths about her and her character, and one big thing began to bother me: there are an awful lot of minor bodies named for female goddesses or other entities that are described as “vengeful”; in fact, many of them have rage as their defining (and sometimes their only) characteristic. And yet I don’t see male entities ever characterized that way. They may exact revenge, but it’s described as righteous, as appropriate (read ‘manly’) Warrior behavior or a seeking of justice, a righting of wrongs, as noble, or even just as a display of temper that they’re entitled to, while the female taking the same steps is portrayed as petty, acting from ego, vanity, or jealousy. Women are treated as if their anger is personal and toxic, typically coming from some form of rejection (though often that assertion almost has the quality of an afterthought, as if her anger needed a bland, no-questions-asked raison d’etre), while a man’s anger is seen as a reasonable response, a necessary action, as energy mobilized to redress injustice–and yet when they’re essentially the same thing, dressing them up so differently depending on who is taking the action tells us that the way these entities are described is rife with negative assumptions about women, positive assumptions about men, and the belief that these prejudiced lenses are required to understand these actions–and they are, if we’re talking about making those images fit into Western patriarchal culture.

But if we’re talking about making them speak in astrology, a patriarchal lens doesn’t do us any good at all, except to parse out how images may be distorted. Too, it doesn’t help that Eris is more of a personification of particular traits than an actual goddess, often referred to as Strife, and sometimes equated with Enyo, a Greek goddess of war and sister of Ares. A long list of Eris’s ‘children’ includes starvation, murders, lies, and forgetfulness, and Eris, having been snubbed on a wedding invitation, responded by ginning up the Trojan Wars–or so the most famous story about her behavior claims. Interesting side notes name her sister Aneris as representing Order and Non-Being (so does that suggest that chaos and strife are an integral part of being? I vote Yes), and Eris’ Roman equivalent may be Bellona, or Discordia, depending on how you sort things and who you ask.

In my search she struck me as very much a kind of Trickster in that her purpose seemed much more to sow chaos and confusion than to punish–and though I can’t count how many times I saw her referred to as ‘vengeful’ or ‘angry’, I can say that her characterization was paper-thin. Some have valiantly tried to give her more of a personality, to define her in something closer to three dimensions–but the reality is she appears to be more of a construct around a concept–which makes the attribution of vengeance and spite and rage at not being invited to the figurative party all the more puzzling (or more probably projection, or again, succumbing to the ‘enraged woman’ as some kind of short-hand explanation for everything, an explanation that satisfies the misogynist and the unthinking).

So, the more I searched, the less she seemed to be about creating discord, and the more she seemed to simply embody discord–that is, she seems to represent the state of disorder that is a natural part of the Universe. We can’t know order without the absolute of chaos, but there’s an enormous area in between when things aren’t completely chaotic, but they are discordant, not yet harmonious but with all factors searching for order, searching for pattern and rhythm, not through consciousness but through the tendency of dynamic systems to organize by interacting. In that sense Eris may be a catalyst energy, and that’s one of the functions (maybe the main one) I think she performs: her presence brings out the rage, upset, irritation, and, yes, vengeful inclinations, of others. She may set up the circumstances, but like the Devil, she can’t actually make anyone do anything–at least, that’s my hypothesis.

A couple other ideas on this: she definitely carries a ‘Warrior spirit’, but it seems to be one that responds to the unspoken messages in the environment, to what’s conveyed beneath the surface of things–again, like with the Trickster activity, I’m seeing her as linked more and more to Mercury–and that warrior tone isn’t so much that of a fighter but of an assertive quality–which, if you’re someone who expects smiling compliance from a female, you may interpret as aggressive–so in my reading modifying the martial nature of Mars to something less than the stereotypical warrior, to something more along the lines of confident and sure of right and wrong within the situation.

There might also be a difference in how we see this energy in the charts of males and those of females, just as we see with Juno: my thought is that in the female (or anima identified) chart Eris might indicate what issues she’s willing to fight for or about (this differs from Black Moon Lilith’s willingness to fight, in that BML is enraged, typically because of injustice done–in her case, the anger spurs her to fight, while fighting may or may not be part of Eris’s response); in a male (or animus identified) chart, Eris’ contacts may point to areas where he insists on the ‘upset’ nature of things (or just plain insists upon something, drawing chaos or ire by so doing), or possibly projects his own anger into related relationships or circumstances–but within the male chart, Eris always carrying the sense of ‘these aren’t my energies, they’re really out there’.

The fact that Eris is a dwarf planet, bigger by almost 1/3 than legit major body Pluto, suggests to me that her presence, her impact, is far greater than as humans we consciously acknowledge. Entropy is pervasive, and we may be exceptionally uncomfortable with that pervasiveness; I think it may trigger an animal response in us, so aggressively do we reach for order–because order means we have control of (or at least a chance of controlling) our world–and anything less is threatening, a requirement we acknowledge there are things bigger than ourselves in this Universe.

Many may be uneasy not having an explanation for why Eris would behave the way she does. Is enjoying chaos not enough for them? The tendency is to go straight for the idea that she must be angry, and that her anger must come from being told she can’t have something she wants, but I’m going to refuse that idea for now; instead I want to emphasize that she represents natural stesses that are just part of being alive. Her energy may be most comfortable in that space between chaos and order–and she just naturally brings that to anything she touches. Any results from her presence, then, should be read from where she sits in a chart, what rules her, and what she contacts, specifically as those stresses may ‘trigger’ those related or contacted energies that presumably are in their own, less-than-ordered state. It just may be, this is what Eris is meant to point out.

Of course, these theories of Eris’s meaning will be tested and modified over time–and discarded should they prove to be inaccurate. I’ll be back tomorrow with an example in the chart of a current newsmaker–until then!

New Moon in Leo 8 August 2021: Are We Healing Yet?

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‘Study at a Reading Desk’ By Frederic Leighton 1877 {{PD}}

The New Moon forms at 16 Leo 14 at 6:50 AM PDT on the 8th, and I want to call this a ‘looking back’ Moon (with the exception of one thing I’ll mention last). We keep our usual tight orb and get a very succinct picture: the NM makes a square to Uranus, and a wide trine to Chiron, and nothing else. Both aspects are separating–and that places them in the past. The scenario is of a recent material surprise, group choice, or sudden shift or erratic choice that affects surroundings, comfort level, or asset situation, upsetting, real-world shock, environmental revelation, rebellion, or Higher Mind conclusion, or some combination of these that shook up the scene, and this is either wounding or arose from your own responses to wounds–and the New Moon now delivers a kind of answer to this, in the form of how you as an individual ‘light’ should proceed.

Leo requires you shine–but what does that mean for each of us? The place to let yourself glow out into the social order is outlined by the natal House where this New Moon occurs. Subjects found here tell you where your particular brand of ‘me-ness’ is needed, and welcomed, with the New Moon instruction one of ‘go forth and dazzle!’ Doing so offers healing–though there’s a caveat: we must do our thing, take our light out from under the proverbial bushel for all the world to see, most likely without immediately seeing where and how the healing occurs. We don’t have to take this step on blind faith so much as by having faith that what we do matters, is important, and is a contribution to the good. So, act on matters of the House where the New Moon falls with some confidence, knowing that action here is a necessary part to the healing formula.

I want to point out two other things that are happening at the same time as the New Moon that are likely to figure in: a still extant square between Sedna and Jupiter–this suggesting lingering and significant conflicts between our own inner perceptions and instincts and the public/ wider world and/ or ‘the facts’–and a Finger of God with a base of Pallas sextile Pluto, apex in just a day or two Mercury, this latter with the Moon in just three days, and the Sun in nine days, following behind and filling in, each in turn, the Finger’s apex. This suggests a kind of flow into the future of the New Moon energies as they follow in the wake of wisdom (Pallas) plus change (Pluto) creating a firm, possibly ‘new’, idea (Mercury) of who you are (Leo). Then the Moon comes along and offers emotional illumination of the change that has occurred; the Sun brings the final reveal, a kind of spotlight moment that shows you the real state of your own intentions, and Soul, as it has been shaped by the recent string of events.

The Sabian for the New Moon is, ‘A Volunteer Church Choir Singing Religious Hymns’. This emphasizes the group facet of Uranus, probably signalling that what comes at us is more than just personal, that it may affect many. There’s also that ‘faith in the Self’ aspect, where the New Moon asks you to ‘sing out’–so do, as this is the key to healing–and we all hope for that.

Sharp-eyed readers will notice I’ve added Eris to the chart (she’s there at 24 Aries, looking like a buoy with an anchor, to me), and I’ll be reading the lady in, when applicable, from now on. There’ll be a post soon to come on this new addition.

Thank you, everyone, especially to those who’ve offered individuals they would like to see examined in the upcoming Moon book–and it’s not too late! If there’s someone you’d like to suggest, please do. Have an excellent New Moon experience!

An Update, And A Question

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That’s you and me, getting a gander at this crazy weather. ‘Sunset’ By Caspar David Friedrich c1830 {{PD}}

Hello! I hope you’re all enjoying your summer, no matter how hot, smoky, weird, or stressful–though I suspect most if not all of us are under at least one of those negatives right now. It’s not particularly hot here, but the sky has a visual quality that reminds me of when there are fires nearby, and the sun is shining in that eerie way you see during a Solar eclipse, glowing but strangely subdued, both light and shadow looking unreal.

So now that you have the weather update (!) I’ll tell you why I’m here: in working on the Moon book I find I want to add more examples–and want to know who you as readers might want to know about. The focus of the book is reading and understanding the implications of natal Moon placements, just so you know. These can be historical personages or alive right now–anyone you like. You don’t have to know the placements of the people you’re suggesting–I’ll find those myself. Any suggestions would be appreciated, though I can’t guarantee all (or any) will end up making the final cut, as much depends on the example’s usefulness in conveying a concept or illustrating a point, but again, that’s my job, your only task is to tell me who you’d like to read about. Just put your suggestions in the comments. Thank you!

Also, What’s Up With Jupiter? The behemoth has moved back into Aquarius as part of its retrograde phase, pulling back on our dreams to make us focus once again on the impracticality of what we may have been moving toward. That’s not only unpleasant, it’s as if Jupiter wants to just throw the facts in our faces–as if things don’t change, as if potentials can’t become reality, as if our attempts to expand can’t go forward as we’d hoped–oh but they can. This interlude is only meant to make us approach our opportunities more practically, no matter how Jupiter taunts us like an out-of-control circus clown–it has no business calling us fools, so don’t believe it when it comes at you with that painted face and scary ruffles and big shoes. Whoever’s trying to puncture the dream is the one who’s floundering, who’s lost their dream–so take a moment to understand that, and know how little their critique really means.

Jupiter’s under pressure at 29 degrees, and so is Sedna, which Jupiter is squaring. This is a prescription for feeling our instincts and internal knowledge are untrustworthy. We may feel very shaky inside right now–everything kind of looks the same, and we may sense so much internal uncertainty that even things we would normally trust our judgment on come into question. Sedna is in Taurus, prompting us to feel we don’t understand (Aquarius) what’s right in front of us. I suggest we wait until the New Moon of the 8th to make any decisions or take any steps, since by then Jupiter will have changed degree and, even though will still be in orb of the square, the pressure will lessen, and so will the uncertainty.

It doesn’t help that Ceres and Black Moon Lilith are together in Gemini, infiltrating our thinking with–what? A fear that our personal authority, autonomy, or ability to negotiate our own path may be ruined (or at least seriously impacted) by all those things we may have ignored, are in denial of, or are enraged about and don’t acknowledge. Being conscious of this influence might help us handle it, as we’ll see it invading our minds like some sort of ink poured into water, dark tendrils of negativity spreading and coloring everything, and the sooner we recognize it, the sooner we can identify its effects as not inherent to our perceptions–and so not necessarily accurate or even real.

I’m mindful of the way Michelle Wolf characterizes blogs as a conversation no one wants to have with you (!) so I’ll take off now–see you soon with a New Moon report. Have a great one!

Mystic Rectangle: Where It Leads 28 July-3 August 2021

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‘The Hilly Path, Ville d’Avray’ By Alfred Sisley 1879 {{PD}}

There’s a Mystic Rectangle forming that will be in play through the 2nd of August; let’s walk through the situation, and see where it leads.

A Mystic Rectangle is a configuration made up of a pair of sextiles, with each pair opposing the other; that is, point A sextiles B, and point C sextiles D, with A opposed D, and B opposed C. This generates a certain synergy among the energies, a positive dynamic that otherwise would allow the oppositions to have a greater, and decidedly more negative, say.

Now that you’re thoroughly alphabet-confused, we’ll describe what’s actually in the sky, as the Sun in Leo moves into place to complete the pattern. The Sun sextiles the North Node, forming one end of the rectangle; the other end is the South Node closely conjoined by Juno sextile Earth, the latter approaching conjunction to Saturn. It’s not unusual for the Nodes to act as ‘anchor points’ in the forming of this configuration, and as well for the Sun-Earth axis to move into position, almost as if our energy, attention, and surroundings develop until we reach a point to make choices (relatively easy ones–the sextiles) that have, one way or another, life-direction changing impact.

This config suggests illumination (Sun) of the future (NN) we are currently generating via our thoughts and ideas (Gemini), especially as they make statements about who we are and the role(s) we wish to play (Leo), and the way these notions confront (oppositions) our status, roles, and empowerment circumstances of the past (Juno-SN), specifically as these attempted to expand our horizons, help us learn, or exposed the facts (Sagittarius) and created current material surroundings (Earth) and, subsequently, our reality (Saturn). So, it’s a period of assessment and evaluation focused on ourselves and our methods, and where those ideas and efforts have taken us.

We might initially think immediate action is the answer, as the first two days of the Rectangle coincide with Mars at 29 tense degrees of Leo. The issue is that actions at this point may be purely motivated by ego or a need to put the Self forward, to ‘shine’, because our ‘I Am’, our action urge, is under stress, even panic, wanting to redress and make corrections to our previous conduct, because we see quite clearly where that led, and where it did and didn’t bring success. The ‘I Am’ is roaring during this period, so be prepared for some chest-thumping and a few pirouettes, from ourselves or others, and see them more as blowing off steam than as serious assertions of who we are–and this may happen publicly, is definitely exaggerated, but could generate opportunities or some balloon-ready-to-burst optimism (Jupiter in Aquarius, also at 29 degrees and opp Mars).

Too, we see Ceres-Sedna closely conjoined at 29 Taurus. Though not part of the config, those 29 degree bodies fill the air with tension and encourage rash (and sometimes disastrous) action. In this case this pairing adds a dash of desperate-to-be-seen-as-autonomous (Ceres) to the inner landscape (Sedna), stimulating our ‘blind spot’ material (Sedna) and making us sitting ducks to act out, rather innocently believing we’re following instinct when we’re really riding on a subtle current of info we ‘know but don’t know’ (Sedna).

By the 30th we’re not as prone to act (Mars enters Virgo, and gets a lot more inclined to demand to know the odds, the details, and the stats before doing), and Mercury flies close to the Sun in Leo, adding a prompt to think. Are we, Icarus-like, prone to be blinded by consideration of ourselves and our purpose and intentions, so much so that we flame out and plunge back to earth? Maybe, but the real message here could be that we pull back from being dazzled by our own potentials and intentions, and start to apply our smarts in service of getting closer to our goals.

Superior Conjunction of Mercury and the Sun on August 1st says we’re successful at drawing useful conclusions and making effective plans, and the ability to bring our ideas into solid reality only increases, peaking on the 2nd as Earth and Saturn finally perfect their meeting. Plan accordingly, and expect by the 3rd to get a good emotional reading on life direction and modification of efforts as the Gemini Moon passes over the North Node.

‘Sitting Quietly’ By Li Mei-Shu 1959 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

Today’s Word Image is a woman, seated in a pool of lamplight, in the middle of the night. What, literally or figuratively, is ‘keeping you up at night’? The image suggests awareness at a point when rest would be more appropriate, and could speak of overwork, hyper-vigilance, or an emphasis on being overly responsible, probably for things outside one’s control, as well as a state of worry. Since the woman in the image isn’t doing anything, it may suggest that anxiety without action is just wasted energy, and that it may be keeping us from getting what we genuinely need (in this case, sleep!)

Full Moon in Aquarius 23 July 2021: A Lunar Progress

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‘The Harvest Moon’ By George Mason 1872 {{PD}}

This Full Moon brings with it a couple of perfectly legitimate astrological questions: should the Full Moon at 1 Aquarius 26 be considered conjoined Pluto at 25 Capricorn 24? And what about Saturn at 10 Aquarius 51? Though both bodies are at greater orb than I normally count in a Full Moon scenario, I’m open to the idea of recent or imminent proximity to the bodies involved in the Lunar event as qualifying those bodies as relevant since they have exerted or will exert an influence right before, or soon to come after, the Full Moon perfection–and so may set the stage, or be part of the aftermath, of the Lunar event. This is based in part on the idea of the Moon as showing the passage of time and the development of any situation, and on the idea that the horoscope is a moving picture, a ‘story’ told through the movement and contact of the bodies to one another, with any chart simply a ‘snapshot’ of a moment in time.

In this case, both Earth and the Moon have just come off a conjunction to Pluto in Capricorn, the Earth about 6 days previous, and the Moon a mere 10 hours before. That means that both energies have recently seen their energies meet Plutonian ones, and more than likely we will see these energies reach some sort of peak or conclusion at the Full Moon. Earth and Pluto implies a material change, purge, transformation, or destruction, one that shifts our material view and perhaps changes (even if only temporarily) our surroundings or asset situation or availability–an earthquake, of one kind or another. Pluto-Earth may have made itself known, probably no more than 7, and no fewer than 5, days before the Full Moon–shaking up the scenery, preparing the ground, so to speak, for the emotional event of the Full Moon, which is one of completion, ending, conclusion, the finish to a situation, cycle, or effort, that now must wind down, shift focus, become something else.

Moon-Pluto suggests a trauma, an episode that enrages, a deep hurt, or release from trauma or hurt, a resurrection or re-making of the emotional nature, probably the emotional framework that once supported us and was so familiar, now being torn down, re-fashioned, or eliminated, with the Full Moon offering us a definitive point for this event. We make peace with it, most likely through the support of the group, understanding via Higher Mind, or by taking a ‘modern’ of highly original approach to this Plutonian emotional experience, all these reflecting the Full Moon happening in Aquarius.

And what of Saturn? Both Moon and Earth will reach Saturn relatively quickly, the Moon in about 14 hours, Earth by August 2nd, with the promise that this either brings an end or resolution to the emotional or material upset or change, or that what we feared, formed, or pushed for emotionally takes solid, maybe even literally tangible, form–so, signalling the final shape of events that we can directly trace backward to the Full Moon.

The Full Moon (23 July at 7:37 PM at 1 Aquarius 26) otherwise makes only a few contacts, but one in particular is potent, an Air Grand Trine with Sedna at 29 Taurus-Black Moon Lilith at 0 Gemini, and Vesta at 2 Libra. This suggest that no matter what upheaval, trauma, extremes, or shake ups precede the Full Moon, the situation that comes from it is in balance. The feelings about surroundings or material circumstances find harmony within the support and commitment of others (Vesta in Libra) and those matters that have been in the ‘blind spot’, denied or ignored, that now will not just be dealt with, but ‘satisfied’, in the sense that they will no longer sit in the shadows, exerting unconscious pressure, but be faced in the light, discussed, and a resolution found (again, likely concluding with that Earth contact to Saturn on the 2nd).

The only other contact is the Full Moon’s quincunx to Venus-Hygeia, implying that it’s healthy, of value, for us to deal with these matters–we’re uncomfortable until we do–and good relationships or positive financial situations show themselves and help us navigate.

The Full Moon Sabian is, ‘An Unexpected Thunderstorm’. Yep. Next!

We also look at the Sabian for the Sun, source of the Full Moon light: ‘An Epidemic Of Mumps’. Whatever happens, it’s catching! We’re ‘exposed’ to something that may be rippling through the populace all around us: an idea, likely of how we see ourselves or how we see our role (Leo), based on what will let us shine. It’s the good side of pride, the impulse that makes us every day move closer and closer to expressing our core Self. And that’s good.

Lead Up to the Full Moon, 18-22 July 2021 Fingers Everywhere

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Hand Sketches, Artist Unknown c1600 {{PD}}

See material for the 17th here–

Coming down off that reveal of Sun opposite Pluto, the one that shone a bright light on our real feelings about the destructive nature of what institutions, practices, traditions, and restrictions hem us in (because that’s what we’ll remember about it, not the tortured drama and stress that we actually lived), we may find our attention drawn to material matters and to what hurts, but this time we’ll be a lot more concerned with discovering the smart moves we can make that will pay off or reward us (Finger of God with base of Earth sextile Pallas, apex Venus). We’ll home in on what creative (Pallas in Pisces) take we can apply to material efforts (Earth in Capricorn) that will benefit us, especially in ways that make us shine as individuals or that brings us the regard we crave (Venus in Leo). There’s a small window here for success, so it will take concentration–we have the chance to act through the 20th–and a willingness to deal with things both as they are, and in the smartest way we know how.

There’s another Finger, what I would term a ‘moving’ one as the apex is the Moon in Scorpio, meaning that it will be in effect for a relatively short time, from about 1 AM PDT of the 18th through, max, 10 AM of the same day; the base is a wide sextile between Chiron and the North Node. This Finger points out the emotional costs of not acknowledging the impact that our wounds have on our life direction, and encourages us to ‘purge’–which can mean excavating with care, and then setting about transforming what we find, preferably into a Chirotic gift (check the natal Chiron sign for likely gifts that you can express uniquely, an ‘only you can do it that way’ endowment).

Venus also squares Ceres on the 18th, possibly leading to contests of Will over who has say over whom. Other potential topics include, ‘I Don’t Approve of What You Spent’, ‘We’ll Do What I Say’, and ‘Love Means You’ll Give In To Me’. If you’re getting these kind of Power issue signals, you may want to reassess just what beyond being told what to do this relationship provides–maybe that can be what the Finger of the 21st allows you to reform.

By the 19th Mercury squares Chiron: do you hear whining, do you hear excuses, do you hear a litany of hurts, or do you get a difficult-to-hear message about what others care about? Next question: is the one doing the communicating you?

The 20th we see another brief Finger formed, apex the Sagittarius Moon with base of Mercury-Uranus, 11 AM through 4 PM PDT. This could bring accidents or surprises that expand thinking and open up the feeling nature; the test will be in taking what occurs as a positive thing, as supplying you with knowledge or opportunities you didn’t have before.

The 21st what jumps out at me is another Finger, this one with a base of Sun sextile Vesta, apex Jupiter. This lasts right about up to the Full Moon of the 23rd, and suggests opportunity, reward, or a widening of options if we keep our attention and effort on doing things according to our deepest values. Honoring what we care about will, without any other factor needed, draw to us something that offers bounty or helps make us optimistic about ourselves and our future. And, on the 22nd, Mars quincunxes Pluto. Do the rewards of the Finger arrive through unpleasant or aggressive circumstances? Maybe. What I am sure of is that taking change into your own hands, initiating re-making or cleaning out, will be key to experiencing this in a not-traumatic way; if you sit on your hands and leave it to fate, you could suffer attack or become exceptionally angry at the change that happens without your input or consent.

Good luck! I’ll be back later with a Full Moon forecast.

AstroNotes, Through 17 July 2021: The Crucible of Excess

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Njommelsaska i Lappland by Carl Svantje Hallbeck {{PD}}

I’m a little bit consumed with the upcoming opposition of the Sun to Pluto, perfecting on the 17th, but as I look at the sky patterns for that day, I’m struck even more by two bodies and a point (Sedna-Black Moon Lilith in Taurus trine Vesta in Virgo) all at 29 degrees of an Earth sign, and even more commanding, at that point Earth-Pluto will be trine Ceres (again, Earth placements) and sesquiquadrate the North Node. So, what might seem like a perfectly straightforward aspect (Sun opposed Pluto) seems to burn in a crucible of stress (the 29 degree placements) and difficult, fate-shaping events or, more likely, difficult or fate-determining thoughts or ideas (the North Node is in Gemini). We may be tasked with sorting and committing to what we really value, as opposed to what we instinctively value and what we may value but deny is important to us. This suggests a strong material, health, or instinctual component that works on both the mind/ way of thinking and that brings forward the challenge of how best to serve our highest values (which feel as if they’re under assault)–and that could prompt many of us to either ignore what we know but are loathe to acknowledge, or to unleash a ‘scorched earth’ policy in areas we think are too messy, or too unpleasant, to sort out and deal with. This kind of excessive response (Jupiter is planet of earliest degree, flooding the environment with exaggeration) would indeed shape the future, and probably not in any way we would see as desirable. Pluto-Ceres says it will be easy to be destructive; or, that Nature herself will make change, or even do damage. Better to be willing to look at the Plutonian elements revealed by the Sun’s bright glare without being too judgemental–the ‘warts and all’ glimpse that we get should remind us we’re all human and that on its own is not a sin–and then refuse to overreact–which is exactly what all those 29 degree factors, plus Jupiter, will push us toward. Add that the Moon will trine Jupiter on the 17th, alerting us to the possibility of emotional factors persuading us to justify a too-big response–so just be aware.

During this period through to the 17th, these aspects are accompanied by a lingering meeting of Mars and Venus in Leo, suggesting nothing so much as the kind of romance where each person is thinking more of themselves than they are of the other. I don’t mean that negatively; the Leo placement suggests to me the kind of satisfaction and pride in one’s ability to attract and interact that is part and parcel of the Leo charm (and, admittedly, the Leo ego!) This conjunction promises a short time when relationships that are in some way complimentarily balanced (male/ female, animus-focused/ anima-focused, one where one brings the money or looks, the other the strength or capacity to ‘get it done’, and so on) will shine particularly brightly–so if you’re part of one of these partnerships, time your moves for this window. Even singles will gain by being a little more confident, a little more of a peacock.

Jump back a bit, to the 15th, and we see Earth and Neptune acting as base for a Finger of God with apex Venus. This won’t last long but could bring one of two effects: our idealism is made manifest, and we are rewarded, or we experience the material impact of our delusion, and it costs us. Just another argument for being as honest as possible with ourselves–and that means being as connected to the real world as we can be, and still dream.

The only other thing I want to mention is the still extant sextile between Saturn and Chiron. Here’s where we get a clue about what could be putting us in a bad position in terms of the Finger mentioned above: if our sense of reality (Saturn) is filtered through wounds and hurts, especially those related to our own agency and competency, or around our expression of Will (Chiron in Aries), then we are much more likely to suffer the delusion/ cost expression of the Finger, rather than the rewarding one. Proceed with care.

There was a trend at one point to hide or disguise a mother in a portrait as she held her child, and this is the eerie result. {{PD}}

Your Word Image for the period: a white room, where a dark-eyed, dark-haired woman sits dressed all in white, with a baby, also dark-haired, dark-eyed and dressed in white, who sits on her lap; the woman is upset to learn that this baby, which is her baby, is ‘haunted’. This is an image from a dream and carries a wide variety of possible interpretations, all of which may depend on your definition of what a ‘haunted baby’ really is. ‘Somebody’s baby’ is a phrase that for me brings to mind something special an individual may be deeply engaged with, usually a project or creation they see as uniquely theirs–and if your ‘baby’ is haunted, that may suggest there are unseen or even unperceived influences that are affecting creation.

Or maybe we should look at this more in light of the woman as an individual, and her baby as the part of herself that is extraordinarily young, inexperienced, immature, or undeveloped, ‘new’ in some important way, and the haunting as what’s preventing the maturing of this part of her. Could the baby be a ‘fresh’ thing, talent, characteristic, or project that is being held back by the influence of others, whose criticism or comment has seeped in and may need to be exorcised?

Do you think of a baby as an extension of its parents? In that case it may be that some way that the individual is reaching out into society is being unduly invested with the ‘spirit’ of others–or maybe it’s something as simple as being afraid of something new, something ‘just born’, that we don’t understand. In any case, an interesting image; apply it to your own life as you will.

New Moon 9 July 2021 ‘Do It For Me’

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Statue of Leszek I the White in Marcinkowo Górne. Sculptor: Jakub Juszczyk, 1927

Photo By Krzysztof Mizera

{{PD}}

You might hear that, in one form or another, quite a bit over the coming week or so: “Do it for me” “Do it because I care” “Care because I do” or maybe even “I’m angry because you do (or don’t) care”! The meeting of the Sun and the Moon a 18 Cancer 01 9 July at 6:15 PM PDT is semi-sextile Mars in Leo–a recipe for action or anger prompted by (or disguised as) concern or affection. Is this you speaking to someone else, or someone else hoping to move you? It doesn’t really matter–it’s how you respond, or if the speaker is you, what motivates your efforts, that really counts. But what else does the New Moon scenario tell us? What other influences shape the energy of caring and motivation?

We find Jupiter loosely sesquiquadrate from both the New Moon and Zeus, with Zeus square the New Moon and our system’s largest planet apex to a Fist of God. This suggests intense desire, want, ambition brought to light with all obstacles to achievement glaringly apparent in the Lunar light–and if a way is found to make that New Moon germ of tender concern overcome problems, the reward is plenty, more, abundance, overdoing in some way, a social or material ‘glut’, the support of the public, or maybe the reward is the discovery of ‘the facts’–but in any case, an alchemy that takes what dawns with the New Moon, mixes it with wants and ambitions, and serves up a Jupiterian result.

Maybe we can count the New Moon trine Neptune, adding a dash of delusion, imagination, inspiration, or hokum meant to deceive, and maybe even a gaping opposition to Pluto, which brings a sense of danger, a challenge, to what’s before us (both aspects are approaching, so that helps), but everything else has in my opinion too wide an orb for the aspect to count in a New Moon scenario.

I do however want to note a couple of other contacts, unrelated to the Lunar event, but that are distinctive enough they may ‘flavor’ surrounding occurrences. One is the meeting of Sedna and the Black Moon Lilith point at 29 tense degrees of Taurus=this may suggest material matters make us face what we ‘know but don’t know’, what we’ve been hiding from ourselves, and now see reflected back in real, and potentially crisis, terms.

The other is the sextile between Saturn and Chiron. In the best of times this may act like a punch in the nose, and in the worst of times spells a particularly poignant kind of catastrophe, of a distinctly personal nature. It suggests the manifestation in real-world forms of one’s deepest wounds. Together with Sedna-BML, these may add an aura of pressure or fatedness to that push for action, that appeal to do whatever needs doing in order to reach a goal or realize an ambition–just know that this suggests if we push forward right now, if we coerce others or ourselves, we may end up creating not the dream we’ve been working toward but a circumstance that features our own sore points and vulnerabilities in stark and unmistakable terms.

The Sabian for the New Moon is, ‘A Priest Performing A Marriage Ceremony’. A New Moon is like the couple marrying, the solid Earth and the bright, reflective Moon uniting, but in this scenario, what is the priest? This may be us, because it’s on our initiative that something productive can be made from the New Moon union. It’s up to the individual to 1) use the Martian energy for positive Self-motivation, rather than to push others, 2) to use what begins with the New Moon in such a way that we enjoy a positive Jupiterian ‘gain’, 3) harness the ideals and power of the creative urge to support new starts, and 4) to accept our own power while studiously avoiding wielding it over anyone other than ourselves and our own personal options. The circumstances surrounding both material matters and our wounds will be a delicate one, but the key to navigating successfully will be found in not overreacting, while at the same time striving to be as responsible as possible for ourselves and our choices. Keeping the why of things as clear as possible will go a long way toward keeping everyone in their own lane and focused on what they can do about things, rather than just on what they want.

Have a wonderful New Moon!

Lead Up to the New Moon: Jupiter in Retreat

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‘A Cool Retreat’ By John William Godward 1910 {{PD}}

Does it feel as if some promised bounty, some dream that appeared to be in reach, some knowledge or luck you were counting on, has been, rather stealthily, withdrawn? That may be the subtle (early Pisces) backtracking of Jupiter. Those pull-backs from retrogrades are temporary, yes, but sometimes what was removed wasn’t really there–and in this case, because Jupiter was in at retrograde point the sign of Pisces, what you thought was right there was most likely an illusion, in terms of proximity, at least. This retro period will take you into territory that offers a new, ‘modern’ take on that dream, telling you where it was outdated, and through ‘Higher Learning’ and/ or accident and serendipity, re-shape what you wanted (or wanted to know about) into a more appropriate form for who you are now. That’s the beauty of a retrograde, it can often save us from ourselves by forcing a hiatus–and that may be the benefit here.

Now if you haven’t had something whisked away, then you might be someone who sports a natal retro Jupiter, for whom this is Jupiter’s more characteristic dynamic, making whatever dreams you were inspired to pursue take a pause for inventory as it shifts signs–and that’s a good thing, allowing you to align things and orient yourself in the desired direction–and making your most characteristic approach to opportunity the right approach, for right now. If you’re someone who’s had good things come out of the woodwork, particularly long-delayed benefits or long-ago invested-in dreams, then Jupiter’s retro period is taking you back into territory where the dream of Pisces becomes the intellectual or group demands of Aquarius. You’ll be called to find (or perhaps shape) your individual role within a larger context: as member (or leader) of a group, within a specific intellectual sphere, within the avant garde in your field, within an experimental effort, or as a disruptor for the ‘old’ system. In every case, it’s energy that will change your thinking (Jupiter in Air) before it goes direct and returns to the creative or inspired Piscean path you were on when the retro started.

There’s also a loose Earth Grand Trine of Vesta-Pluto-Ceres, putting Mother Nature, dietary matters, the weather, and those things we take very seriously (what we find sacred, what or whom we’re committed to, matters of life and death, reform, serious change, transformation, responsibility) in focus, and by drawing our attention, allowing us to achieve a kind of balance. It’s do-your-best, steady-as-she-goes with all these areas, and we’re required to show reverence for the larger, natural world and for elemental forces that are beyond us–and if our efforts or responses involve alterations, as long as they are undertaken with an awareness of the importance they carry and the repercussions that could come, things will work out fine. That is, seeing our own choices as making a deep impact on the Collective well-being and the world at large means we’ll make the best choices on both a large and small, personal scale.

Too, South Node and Juno are tightly conjoined right now, with Venus trine both roughly July 3rd-7th. The power dynamics of the past in relationships and in financial arrangements might seem currently cemented in place, but they’re not as unchangeable as we might think. When Venus makes contact we might find that at least one party in any matter wants to make change, to update the power dynamic–and the other may stubbornly hold tight. The need to adjust, to ‘modernize’ the balance, will become obvious during this period, and the Moon’s contact to the North Node on the 6th will make not just the need, but the way to implement change, very clear.

See more about the period up to the New Moon here–

26 June 2021 Underwater

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In the past week we’ve had Jupiter and Neptune both station retrograde, and my attention is drawn to two things: that both are not only in Pisces, but are ancient and modern rulers of Pisces, and that Vesta will first oppose Neptune, then will be joined by Mercury as it squares both, creating a T-square (in place by July 6th). With the first point, the abundance of liquid energy in the form of Piscean creativity and idealism is inspiring (and we add Pallas, wisdom, in Pisces, and the Sun in Watery Cancer, bringing both smarts and focus/ attention to the mix). The retro status changes, though, may take us underwater, submerging the conscious mind in the emotional element, bringing forward the liminal, the half-remembered, the things about which we end up asking ourselves, ‘Was it real, or did I just imagine it?’

The process of the T forming starts with the opposition, with the suggestion that a critical view of the highest values and commitments (Vesta in Virgo) comes up against illusion, delusion, or the need to violate something we’ve ’til now held as sacred, in order to create or reach an ideal; then Mercury comes along to square them both from Gemini, implying a message, information, or our own thought processes make clear the difficulties arising from or caused by the working out of the opposition tension.

The thing with a T-square is the tension; you have to break it, to unbalance it, or you’ll end up with a fulcrum that see-saws between alternatives and resolves nothing. In this case, you’ll have to choose: stick with old established values, standards, and things you find sacred, or pursue the inspired dream or creative goal. The Mercurial information dump may aggravate things, even mislead you, but in the end the choice comes down to the Vesta end of the see-saw (values, what you currently honor) or the Neptunian end (dreams, creative goals), and keep this in mind: when a new desire or life direction seems to conflict with long-time values and commitments, the thing to do isn’t to automatically reject the desire as unsuitable out of hand; instead it should inspire an examination of the values and what you honor, in order to determine if your values are actually current and in accord with your genuine feelings. Even standards may go stale over time–and yet if you find them still viable, still appropriate for you, then you’ll know that the creative urge was more of a whim or a pipe dream, a distraction or a wrong turn, and can let it go, making room for other inspirations more in line with who you are at core.

Full Moon in Capricorn 24 June 2021 A Freeing Up, A Spark of Genius

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Edward Middleton Manigault ‘The Rocket’ 1909 {{PD}}

The Full Moon perfects on the 24th at 11:39 AM PDT at 3 Capricorn 27. A Full Moon in Capricorn can feel awfully final, setting boundaries and rules in no uncertain terms, cutting off the possibility of maybe, scuttling speculation along the ‘if things were only a little different’ lines–but that’s not how it happens, this time. The Moon conjoins the Earth, opposes the Sun, and sextiles Jupiter, implying not an ending or conclusion but an opening up, through opportunity, facts, or an expanded belief system. Granted, this may come via the mechanism of one or more options or alternatives hitting a dead end or conclusion–but that should only reinforce the sense that it’s time to move on, and good things are offered to those who do.

If you’ve got a natal planet at 1-4 of Leo, that body will be apex to a Finger of God, suggesting that the FM events and the wider possibilities they bring will energize the natal planet, showcasing expression of related energies as the logical ‘result’.

Out of this constructive (Capricorn) and optimistic and creative (Jupiter in Pisces) energy comes a new way forward or a new way of seeing things–but there are a couple more subtle contacts the Full Moon makes that we need to take into account. One is the novile it forms to Saturn; a novile promises a spark of genius generated by the combining of the two energies, creating a synergy that delivers more than the sum of its parts. Saturn is reality itself, as well as ruler of the Full Moon, and this could mean real world conditions, or solid material results, could come from Full Moon events–and that they’ll be more than a little special, innovative, or inspired.

We also see the Full Moon sesquiquadrate Ceres in Taurus. Again, the Full Moon brings an emphasis on material matters and ‘tangibles’ (Earth signs Taurus and Capricorn, so many Saturn connections, Earth conjoined the Earth Moon, and now with Ceres, the addition of Mother Nature Herself, the Earth’s ‘personality’, in a way). A sesquiquadrate (135 degrees, + or – 1.5 degrees) is an aspect of agitation and tension, the kind of upset that won’t leave us alone and must be addressed. The irritation that comes from the interaction of Ceres with the Full Moon dynamic may take many forms, but will certainly include some Ceres-related matters with which we become uncomfortable: our own sense of personal authority in some Taurean area, something concerning our health and/ or diet, some situation in Nature that directly affects us (including natural disasters–which I guess Nature doesn’t see as a disaster, right? To her that’s just Self-expression!), something that requires negotiation (especially if we’ve believed we can ‘do it on our own’), some matter of growth or sustenance or even finances, to include something potentially related to Venus’ recent journey (see June 22-23). Something we’ve ‘built’ will need addressing or revision with Full Moon events, either necessitating that (having been brought to a breaking point) or making the need to act on this very clear, though maybe not necessitating action just yet (that could build, finally occurring when Merc and the Sun meet up for the Superior Conjunction, on August 1st in Leo, emphasizing the individual personal nature of the choice or action needed).

Yes, it’s a ‘Strawberry Moon’, and yes, it’s a Super Moon, but neither factors in to the astrological picture. To think so, especially with the latter condition, is to assert that the closer a body is to Earth, the more power it has–which we know isn’t true; just look at the impact a Pluto transit can have, or even in practical terms the way the Sun can burn, while the Moon just glows with the Sun’s reflected light (though I do acknowledge that wonderful effect of the Moon’s pull on the tides of the body–but they’re subtle, so capable of escaping notice).

I really haven’t been feeling the Sabians lately; I’m not saying they’re inaccurate, but rather for my interpretation purposes, they for some time haven’t seemed to expand very much on what we’re getting from the planetary picture. So instead I’ll leave you with a Word Image for the Full Moon period (with significance through to the next Full Moon): an individual’s hands, the left with six fingers, the right with seven. Does this read to you as suggesting the individual is tasked with too much responsibility? Too busy, with ‘too many fingers in too many pies’? Or is it that the individual expects too much from themselves, almost along the lines of ‘if I had more hands, I’d get more done’? Does it strike you as alarming or freakish, prompting you to turn away, suggesting you’re observing something unnatural (or at least, not of the norm)? In some symbolic systems, left stands for the spiritual, and right for the physical world, and the number six for responsibility, the number seven for spirituality; that would then translate as ‘spiritual responsibility, material spirituality’, maybe constituting a message that the two factors, the seen and unseen, must intermingle more, or more completely. Your interpretation may vary, though hands themselves almost certainly imply a ‘Doing’ mode, suggesting a need to take action, and perhaps to find balance or a kind of working relationship between two similar entities.

Lead Up to the Full Moon 22 & 23 June 2021 What’s Practical, What’s Wise

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I’m most interested in two things for this pair of days: a sextile between Juno and Saturn, and a progression of aspects, starting with Venus’ still extant trine to Neptune, then tracing Venus as she goes on to oppose Pluto and trine Pallas, then sextile Black Moon Lilith, and finally sextile Sedna. And of course, Mercury’s station direct afternoon of the 22nd, Pacific time.

The Juno-Saturn pairing suggests that maturity, in the form of accepting responsibility for ourselves and the impact we have, not only offers us stability, support from the material world, but also brings us constructive physical results.

Venus’ journey, on the other hand, either started with great inspiration or great delusion–so we’re already on a massively creative track, or a completely wrong one. The opposition to Pluto will be the jolt that makes clear which Venus path we’re pursuing, and requires we either commit (if it’s the inspired one) or eliminate this direction altogether (if it’s the delusional one).

Important to note, though, that at the same time as the opposition, Venus will also be trine Pallas, offering excellent guidance as to what’s practical, what’s wise–and since this involves Venus, we should expect relationships, finances, or both will be in the mix–but whatever it is, with Venus in Cancer, we’re going to care–just don’t allow sentimentality to masquerade as something worth investing in–because it’s not.

The sextile to BML, followed quickly by one to Sedna, suggests that relationships or financial matters bring a glimpse into areas we may have been ignoring or in denial about, and then our instincts or what we ‘know but don’t know’ chimes in to tell us how to handle what has been revealed. The real trick over these next couple days is to be open, to listen to the inner voice–not the one that gets us in trouble, but the one that makes us say after, ‘I knew it!’–because we did.

Mercury officially re-gains direct status at 16 Gemini 09, and soon after receives an opposition from the Moon in Sagittarius. Information may dawn immediately, delivered with a bit of an emotional punch and an urge to contradict it–but facts are facts, and we’ll have a much better time of things if we accept them and move forward. Also note the Sun-Jupiter trine in Water, promising clarity in belief, perception, social situations, and in the authenticity of any opportunities that come before us. The only thing to guard against is overflowing optimism, just because any overflow, even being overly positive in outlook, always causes a bit of a mess.

Your Weekend 18-21 June 2021 Problems, Not Problems

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Lichtkunstwerk „Silberne Frequenz“ (Otto Piene, 1970/71, Neukonzeption 2012/14) Photo By Dietmar Rabich, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=89122065

Just a few notes on aspects in play this weekend, for your consideration.

On Friday the 18th the trines prevail, to include one between Venus and Neptune-Pallas (the entire period, growing in strength), one between retro Mercury and Saturn, and one between the Sun and Jupiter (stronger each day). Should be wonderful, right? Love and wise ideals work together, we ‘get the message’ (probably in images or feelings, because Merc retro) from the reality picture (and bonus, we are able to ‘control the message’ we convey, a rarity during this part of the Merc cycle), and the sun shines on opportunities, which are abundant. But, to make this all work best, we need to be aware of a few other details: those sunny opportunities may arise out of some unpleasant or hurtful situations–so try to rise above the hurt (instead of just reacting) to see how we can learn, grow, heal, or use our gifts (Jupiter novile Chiron); dreams can become reality right now–and so can nightmares, so use your oh-so-powerful imagination in positive ways (Saturn novile Neptune); and for the entire weekend, be aware of how the past is influencing your actions and choices, and make that work for you, rather than against (Mars approaching trine to the South Node).

For the 19th, two things stand out: the Sun sesquiquadrates Saturn, and Saturn squares and Earth sesquiquadrates Uranus. Suddenly, there are problems, where the way seemed smooth before. It may appear that reality is throwing up roadblocks and material matters are not just unpredictable–it may even feel like inanimate objects are opposing us! All these ‘Stop’ signs are really just ‘Slow’ signs, meant to curb precipitous, headlong progress and make it both safer and more carefully considered. Pay attention and take your time; accidents and shocks will be your indication that you’re pushing too hard, too fast.

Sunday the 20th things may seem a bit tense. Identity crises are a dime a dozen, and fears about our material future, and who will accompany us there, may get the upper hand. These are passing perceptions, born of particular stresses that have been around for a while but are soon to ‘break’, like a fever or a wave. That should tell you that these worries are, well, nothing to worry about! If you do start percolating, get busy with something soothing or creative, as upset now is simply a sign of energy that needs channeling to a worthy destination.

Pluto trine Sedna, Pallas at the midpoint, has been around the whole weekend, but now it seems to come into focus,on Monday, the 21st. Though the Pluto-Sedna contact could read as, ‘ too easy destruction fueled by the suppressed, the instinctive, or what we know but don’t acknowledge’, Pallas at the midpoint of the two says that what is eliminated, changed, transformed, or given power is steered by the inner wisdom, and/ or the sense of practicality. That doesn’t mean what goes down will be seamless or even pleasant, but it does mean that even inadvertently triggered events, encounters, and ‘wars’ will have a smart, ‘house cleaning’ effect, as the world or others offer us the chance to shape our circumstances more to our liking, no matter how random or unanticipated it all seems. Also, the Sun enters Cancer, Earth enters Capricorn, making the feelings a little more tender, material matters a little more cut-and-dried.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Photo By Callan Carpenter

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Killer Whales Hunting a Seal.jpg 2018

Your Weekend Word Image is a scene from a dream: a choppy bay is filled with dolphins colored like orcas (killer whales). The setting is emotional (water), chop suggesting disturbance or turmoil. This points us astrologically toward Jupiter, Neptune, and Venus, all currently in Water signs, to be joined at the end of the forecast period by the Sun–which tells us be patient, illumination will come, if we don’t immediately understand.

Dolphins are intelligent mammals, like us, but potentially even smarter–so, we’re looking at an emotional scenario filled with what seem to be ‘regular’ people. But, and it’s a big one, these individuals have coloration suggesting another animal altogether–and I translate that as them actually being quite aggressive, even predators, in their own way, trying to pass themselves off as reasoned individuals, a ‘we’re just alike, you and me’ that they are signaling is untrue, if we are clear enough (that is, unemotional enough) to see. Hint: your clue that someone is running a number may be that they portray the matter as ‘black and white’, mimicking the coloration of the orca–stark, with no in-between.

Or, these could be intelligent, reasoned others who want to seem more formidable than they are. They try to convince you they are more dangerous, aggressive, or battle-ready than they in reality are–which could leave you in a bad spot if you’re counting on their assertiveness or support.

Jupiter, Neptune, and Venus speak in broad terms to opportunity and knowledge, dreams and illusions, and relationships and finances–all areas where it’s vital to see ‘the Truth’. When the Sun arrives in Cancer on Monday, we should be able to discern precisely the genuine shapes and intents of situations, and the others who people them.

Keeping Our Balance 16 June 2021

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‘Tightrope’ By Paul Klee 1880 {{PD}}

Tomorrow the Sun enters orb of a quincunx to Pluto and perfects a square to Pallas, and more than anything, this may be disorienting, just coming off the Sun’s square to Neptune as we are. The Sun in Gemini isn’t just about communication; it’s as if the very air is charged with information, transmitted invisibly–and yet we know, or at least we suspect, feeling vital revelations as they’re on the verge of forming coherent intel. The contact to Pluto may shake the ground beneath our feet; we suddenly become very unsure of the change we’re witnessing, and question whether we can see its larger meaning. This uncertainty is all because we question our own inner wisdom–or is it that we are being contrary, rejecting the smart or the practical option, because that offers a sense of control, which is something we don’t have if we seem to be acquiescing to a larger authority or a greater wisdom?

So, how do we keep our balance? Accept that we have within us the wisdom and maturity to know what we know, to take the right steps, to do the smart thing. We have the choice to see the nudge from Pluto not as an earthquake but as a display of real power that shows us where we stand in relation, that points out where we do (and don’t) hold true power ourselves. And we can respond to the tough circumstance that calls on us to access our inner adult gratefully, knowing that we have the answer within that will make everything go well–just as long as we aren’t too stubborn, Self-sabotaging, or flippant to ignore it.

Today’s Word Image is a dense forest, uninhabited, where explorers suddenly spot high in the trees a clutch of bright balloons caught in the branches. In blazing ‘new territory’ (in relation to your personal experience) where have you found something incongruous and unexpected? What was your reaction to it? Did anyone try to ‘sell’ you on this being a good thing? Is the shine and flash of celebration distracting you from something important? The reality is, those balloons don’t belong in the woods, and in the end those Mylar creations will be nothing but trash. I think this is a message to not be too impressed by, enamored of, or misled by something, just because it’s shiny–if it doesn’t fit the overall picture, it doesn’t belong there, and treating it as if it does could waste valuable time, or just end up polluting something that should be kept pristine.

Catching My Eye 12 June 2021

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Two things catch my eye today, and I’m not sure how random they may be, considering we’ve just been through the punch/ caress of the eclipse, followed immediately by the Inferior Conjunction. All I can do, I suppose, is share my thoughts.

The first is the lingering together of Ceres and Uranus in Taurus. This has been going on for a while now, and for some reason I’ve been ignoring them–but they’re under my skin, so I guess I’d better pay attention! This speaks of Mother Nature, the sense of personal authority, the ability to negotiate, the sense of personal responsibility, met by (or maybe bedeviled by) accident, serendipity, rebellion, revelation, Higher Knowledge, or the group Will. That makes for a number of combinations that boil down to: shock and shift that affects those things that let us know who we are and what our function is within the larger scheme, that may challenge our sense of ourselves as good, responsible people. And you know how bad and unreasonable people can be when their sense of themselves as upstanding is perhaps pointed out as not-so-much as they pretend.

But what is a shock and shift in slow motion? Because that’s what we’ve had, a slowly dawning reveal of something around our responsibilities and our prerogatives–and this is definitely something in the material world, something affecting our comfort, well-being, or surroundings. Where are you pretending to be responsible, doing the ‘right’ thing, when you’re not? That will have to be answered, one way or another.

The other thing dogging me is the quincunx just now in orb of Mars, newly in Leo, to Jupiter in Pisces. They’re both recently arrived in their respective signs–and things are bound to chafe in any case, as they adjust, so add a dissonance with another body, and you get–maybe a heat rash, with friction, Fire, and Water, or maybe just a maddening humidity. The desire to act, to alleviate the situation, may be both driven by ego and filled with illusion/ delusion–so a waste of effort, time, energy, and in the end not likely to make us feel one bit better. Frustration is the keyword here–so maybe better to sit back and treat it like a sauna (throw your clothes off, luxuriate in the heat, not think too much) rather than rail against a sticky heat you can do effectively little to escape.

Bonus: those with a natal placement in the first few degrees of Libra receive the quincunx as a Finger of God. This couples action or choice with the natal energy, leading to something Jupiterian–public, published, or belief or fact based–with the suggestion that it all turns out as you imagined, but probably exaggerated, in some way.

A final note: in just under two days the Sun perfects a square to Neptune–and considering that Merc is retro right now, don’t strain too hard to sort out what the problem is–you don’t have to, because the ‘problem’ will present itself to you in short order, and from there it will be clear what actually needs doing, most importantly, because the tension may not be caused by a genuine problem at all, just a change we may not have envisioned, until now.

Have a great weekend, and relax–it’s all going to be okay.

Solar Eclipse 10 June 2021 Agreement Between Head and Heart

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Street art by the Norwegian artist Dolk. Taken in Bergen in 2009.

Photo By Gulosten

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The New Moon/ Solar eclipse of the 10th falls at 19 Gemini 47, poised for the next day’s Inferior Conjunction of retrograde Mercury and the Sun. That makes a kind of double energy of ‘new beginnings’, of germination, in both the realm of ideas and that of the matters of the natal House where this eclipse falls for you. The seminal nature of things means we might not immediately know what is getting its start–but in Gemini, it almost certainly will cause a shift in the mentality, a shift in attention.

The eclipse forms a novile with Mars, already unhappy in Cancer and sitting at the 29th degree, desperate to do, to take action, to make ‘it’ happen–always a bad thing, when we feel pushed to do because we care, or worse, to prove we care, or perhaps pushed by others who care (or pushed by others to care, about something that doesn’t move us)–but if you can connect the passion Mars carries to the feeling nature without conflict or pressure, propelled by ideas, by thoughts we truly want to act on, something may be initiated that can help define your current, personal Zeitgeist and inform thinking and the mentality in a ‘fresh’ way. If you can apply the need for action to what you care about you can expect thought-innovation concerning something that really matters to you, ideas and the energy to put them in motion, as well as knowing who or what contacts will change thought into matter.

The eclipse trines Zeus, and forms a wide square to Neptune and wide opposition to Juno. These contacts suggest that ambition and desire fulfillment is the essence of what occurs at the eclipse–and that this may not agree with what we imagine fulfillment will look like. It also suggests that we may find what starts, at least in the beginning, disempowering–but it’s more likely disorienting, asking us to see things in a new light, one that can work out much better than if things unfolded as we would orchestrate them.

Muddy-ing the mix is a wide square to Vesta in Virgo, perhaps suggesting nothing so much as the potential for stiff-necked and judgmental ‘principles’ to get in the way of what needs to be initiated at this time. With that 29 degree Mars we know something must be done, and if we keep our emotional head on straight, and refuse to succumb to emotional pressures, we can start something big, new, fresh, necessary–so though we need considered judgment, an agreement between head and heart, we don’t need a hyper-critical take on what we want to do.

The Sabian for the eclipse is, ‘A Modern Cafeteria Displays An Abundance Of Food, Products Of Various Regions’. That’s an image of choice–a watchword of Mars, which we know is instrumental to what goes down. Note too that it’s a ‘modern’ image, one that provides options we might not have had at other points in time, or even in history–important as it emphasizes the wide reach we now enjoy, the variety at our fingertips, and the wide impact of our own choices, an effect we might not anticipate as we act, but which we should be cognizant of.

Find balance between the head and the heart, and be willing to act–what’s promised is something you’ve long wanted, though be warned, it may not be precisely what you’ve envisioned, it will fulfill the ambitions, the desire nature, the craving you’ve carried–and like so many things in life, surprise us with the form it takes, with what it brings, with discovery about the true nature of what we’ve drawn to us.

Bonus: if you have a natal placement in the 18-21 degree range of Aquarius, you may find this period initiates a new front with a worked-for ambition or aim, likely bringing a workable approach that leads to realization, as your natal placement fills in an Air Grand Trine with the eclipse and Zeus. Congrats!

Mercury Retrogrades 29 May 2021 Re-Consider

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The Lily Pond, a photograph by American photographer Rudolf Eickemeyer, Jr. 1916 {{PD}}

If thoughts seem still as a woodland pond, it may be because Mercury is stationary, ready to technically retrograde at 3:34 PM PDT of the 29th at 24 Gemini 43. (Or, if you can’t seem to light on any train of thought for long, that’s also a Mercurial stoppage of a sort, the kind that sends you round and round through the same ‘network’ of thoughts and offers no definitive satisfactions.)

The Moon in Capricorn will have just quincunxed Mercury shortly before turnaround, giving us the feels and probably making for some frustration: the emotions either seem obvious, sitting right on the surface, or seem to be in the depths, hidden even from ourselves–but most likely is a combination, that comes along with an awareness that, ‘this emotion is right in front of me, but I know I have feelings I just can’t pinpoint!’.

Merc in Gemini prompts some overthinking, and probably a yearning to ‘make progress’ somehow, to make up our minds about things, particularly the matters of the House in the natal chart where the retro occurs–or, we have the need to communicate without really knowing what our message is. There are two tendencies at this point, and you’ll likely choose one: thinking you can think your way through ‘it’, whatever it is, or a personal approach that relies on 1) scattershot attention, so that nothing gets focus, and so nothing gets done/ decided, or 2) turning to others for endless surveys of their opinions, what they would do, etc., which does nothing to move the matter forward.

None of those are wrong, but it is just spinning our Mercurial wheels. A retro in Air asks us to, in broadest terms, re-consider what and how we think of our world, so full awareness of our own subjectivity is highly useful, when we bother to compare it to the facts, the info available, to the prevailing thought on any matter. Again, neither is no viewpoint is inherently more right than any other; it’s in the comparison, the review of our own methods cast against the thinking of the wider world or the group, that we benefit, find mental inspiration, sort the wheat from the chaff.

The Cosmic picture at turnaround sets the stage for the retro period itself, with Mercury roughly three-and-a-half weeks ahead. Here we see Mercury at the point of retrograde pulling back just before, in direct motion, it would’ve conjoined Venus, suggesting a pull back in relationships or financial matters, a wait-and-see, or let’s think about this some more approach. First aspect Mercury in retro will form is a square to Neptune, promising that any fantasies we hope to sustain may hit the rocks on retro review, and also making it difficult to connect to inspiration or the creative ideal, probably because the mind isn’t ready to stick with a single idea, just yet.

Right about the same time Merc will also semi-sextile Mars and square Pallas, warning us: you may get antsy, want to act precipitously, but that wouldn’t be smart, or may be impractical. So don’t indulge in impulse, during this retro time. Inferior Conjunction with the Sun comes on the 11th of June, and should be the starting point for beginning to gather your thoughts. If you’re a wordsmith of any kind, work it and re-work it, and if you’re not, just let the mind sort through things at its own pace, and start paying attention to what occupies your mental space on the 11th. Don’t demand answers until a bit after direction, and you’ll be all the better for it.

Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius 26 May 2021 Facing the Depths

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‘The Gale’ By Winslow Homer 1883 {{PD}}

A Lunar eclipse is by definition a Full Moon, a time when the Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon as they are lined up along the ecliptic, offering Earthlings a few minutes when the Moon is prevented from reflecting the Sun’s light. All bodies in our Solar system are more or less lined up along this plane; an eclipse is a point when a New or Full Moon occurs as the alignment of Sun, Moon, and Earth are closest, allowing either the Moon (during a Solar eclipse) or the Earth (during a Lunar one) to block the Sun’s light to the other body.

This Lunar eclipse falls on 26 May, at 4:13 AM PDT, at 5 Sagittarius 25, and of course does so close to the South Node (with Full or New Moon proximity to the Nodes being one sign of an eclipse). Interesting that the closest aspect formed is a sesquiquadrate with Mars in Cancer. With the ’emotion point’ of the chart itself being the meeting of Moon and Earth (with the Moon on the side of Earth opposite to the Sun), Martian energy in the Moon’s sign and in difficult aspect to the Lunar event suggests either aggressive, angry emotions stirred up by endings or conclusions brought by the Full Moon, or that actions or choices (Mars) made because we care (Cancer) bring forward a tough situation (sesquiquadrate).

The Full Moon is also semi-square Zeus, in wide square to Jupiter, and quincunx Ceres. Our desires (Mars/ Zeus) are under pressure (semi-sq and sesqui), and it doesn’t look like we have the opportunity or support we wanted from the larger social sphere or from the facts themselves (sq to Jupiter), and this may cause a dilemma, a need to adjust course (qnx) and make choices based on a realistic picture of our own authority in the matter (qnx Ceres).

The Sabian symbol for this eclipse is, ‘A Game Of Cricket’. Though we’re likely to take what occurs very seriously, we would do well to keep in mind that everything in life is a kind of game. A lighthearted take, or one that is willing to take reasonable risk, or to not take injury too grimly, will serve us well. Know what you’re risking, make your moves, and be willing to lose once in a while, seeing it as the Universe pointing you in another direction. The game metaphor may be old and even trite, but it applies: to succeed we have to be willing to play, to risk, and to know when a win is really a win, and when it’s a distraction from our actual aims (one indication that it’s a distraction: it seems like an end in itself–also when it only makes us want more/ something else).

The Sun has the Sabian, ‘Workmen Drilling For Oil’. The richness of life is there, if we’re willing to work for it, to ‘drill down’ in the right way and in the right place, if we’re willing to ‘get our hands dirty’, as the saying goes–and that means openness to dealing with the nitty-gritty, putting in the time and effort, hoping we can ‘strike oil’–and knowing there’s no guarantee–and that means when we come up dry (that is, when our goals elude us over significant stretches of time and despite all efforts), we need to be ready to declare it a bust, and move on to more promising ground that is more responsive to our efforts–that latter an important point, when pursuing what we want.

Whether the Full Moon is a trigger, ‘lighting up’ feelings about what we learn, already knew but must now face, or discover (Sagittarius), or an ending that opens space for a whole new way of seeing and understanding the world (Jupiter), we need to see that as an eclipse event, it wipes out old circumstances represented by matters of the House in the natal chart in which the event occurs. We learn might be the motto of this Full Moon as it removes previous conditions and presents us, likely via knowledge gained or revealed, or beliefs tested, with a whole fresh assortment of facts.

If it falls in the 1st, we might learn something about ourselves and our interactions with the world; in the 2nd, something around our true talents or about what assets we bring to the table or are capable of earning; in the 3rd, new knowledge or beliefs change our minds or method of assessment; in the 4th something about the family life is revealed, or we have to face facts about the place we see as our current base, or about who we are, deep inside; eclipse in the 5th in Sag says something about what we must risk, or what we must create, in order to get what we want; the 6th brings knowledge that shakes up the everyday, or that re-orders our sense of duty or obligation; in the 7th we may observe what we need to see about ourselves or our situation acted out by others, or the changes come with or through partners or in response to what our ‘audience’ tells us; in the 8th things shift and are revealed through the act of sharing or interdependence, with our cooperative arrangements likely to re-balance; in the 9th the eclipse may force us to reach out, or makes the very instance of discovery or learning into the event itself; falling in the 10th it’s public–others can see, and that may create changes in the career or status; in the 11th a group of which we’re a part may take on a different role in our lives, or we take on a different one in the group–falling here the eclipse may also alter or deliver a long-sought dream or goal, or pave the way for its realization (or final denial); and in the 12th the Moon’s message may arrive in dreams, meditation, or in a realization about our place in the larger Cosmos, or we may find a new chapter opening when we’re under the sway of something much larger than ourselves.

All these potentials include the possibility of expansion, of widening our world, or of gaining experience; we might also find out about our temper and how it drives us, our true power within our own current situation, the difficult or less attractive parts of our ambitions, or we may discover how much we care, even (or especially) if we thought we didn’t. Prepare to have to face the depths of emotions around things we’ve been framing as casual, as something we can take or leave; the eclipse tells us what we need to know–all we have to do is acknowledge that we really want ‘it’, we deeply care about ‘it’, or that we genuinely need ‘it’–and go from there.

New Moon in Taurus 11 May 2021 What We Want

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‘A Beauty With Doves’ By Charles Joshua Chaplin 19th century {{PD}}

On the 10th, during the Dark of the Moon, we may get a shock, as the Moon conjoins Uranus in the world-weary material realms of Taurus. At roughly the same time, Moon-Uranus sextiles Mars and finds itself caught at the midpoint of Chiron and Mercury-North Node. Normally the Dark period is quiet, at least psychically speaking, the energy muted with many of us having the sense that we’re a little apart from the world. Things happen, but we either aren’t yet aware of them or we’re not aware of the full implication of events, as if we’re having trouble intuiting, or maybe feeling, our connection to what occurs.

This time we we may be surprised, or just enlightened, by some revelation, or even some revolution, that we’re witness to. It affects material matters, our security, or our comfort, and at the same time prompts us to act or choose, with the spurring event either evolving from the convergence of past hurt and current, clear thinking about the future, or leading us to a better understanding of the past, ourselves, and where we want to go–and so making what we need to do to get there clear.

That’s the lead-in to the New Moon, which forms at 11:59 AM PDT on the 11th at 21 Taurus 17. We’ve received some flash knowledge the day before, and we see the results of that in two potent aspects: the NM conjoined the Black Moon Lilith point, and the NM as apex to a perfect Finger of God with base of Juno and Zeus. These tell a story that may be a little scary, a little hard to take, simply because we may be faced with some of the more hidden parts of ourselves–and the things we deny, or repress, or think are behind us when they’re not, are some of the most difficult things we ever have to deal with–and they’re all inside us, so challenge us to be unflinchingly Self-responsible–and that’s never easy.

The conjunction speaks of the New Moon beginning/ event as driven by things we’ve ignored, denied, or that have in the past enraged us. It’s the kind of powerful energy that can move us to major feats, to redemption, but also has the potential to simply enrage us all over again as we’re forced to acknowledge something we thought carefully buried! So, we can make the best of it by recognizing what we’ve put aside and then using it as a catalyst to do what needs doing, or we can sink into an abyss of anger at our own choices, pointing fingers at who’s responsible–but by now it’s obvious, the Finger points at us.

With a base of Zeus (the ambition and desire nature) and Juno (empowerment, status, the role we play), this configuration suggests that the dissonance created by the New Moon revelation/ event is the direct result of our own wants and our attempts to bring them to fruition. These two components of our lives have worked together to bring about this New Moon result, and vice versa, the New Moon tells us a great deal about our actual wants, and our actual empowerment situation.

The New Moon also sextiles Neptune and Pallas (wisdom, practicality, and creative energy are all available to address what comes forward; we just have to make a little effort to apply them), trines Pluto (change or transformation is easy–in this instance a kind of ‘magical power at your fingertips’ aspect), and noviles Chiron. This latter is interesting in light of the 10th, when what occurred (or occurred to us) was related to our sense of hurt (or, in some cases, our very unique personal skills); now a novile says that we have an exceptional ability to heal and/ or utilize that energy in positive ways–it’s so strong, we don’t even really need to try, which means that appropriate healing will occur, even if we don’t see it as such–at least, we may not see it that way yet.

Neptune and the New Moon create another Finger of God base, this one with an apex of Zeus in Libra. This suggests that our purest creative urge, when driven by the New Moon energy (that is, a likely material, Arts-related, or comfort-keyed energy), may inform our ambition pursuit, and possibly connect us with others who can make our desires a reality.

Also of note: Jupiter sits at the stressful 29th degree of Aquarius, signalling one of several things: that the intellect suffers under strain that comes from what we’ve learned or realized; that the social sphere around us is in some way at a tipping point, when feeling (Pisces) will soon overtake the mental lens (Aquarius) we’ve been using for some particular subject; that we’re presented with a crisis or stressful situation that is in reality a major opportunity; that knowledge we’ve acquired or ‘the facts’ of the matter will force us to choose or act–in this case, we’re at the end of the road, there’s no getting out of it.

The Sabian for the New Moon is, ‘A White Dove Flying Over Troubled Waters’. This might be the stance we need to take for what’s coming: bring nothing but a pure kind of peace, an intent to do no harm, to whatever roiling situation you’re faced with. If you find a particular situation is missing something, rather than blaming someone else, what we need to see is that we didn’t bring the missing ingredient, either–and if we choose peace over anything else, as long as it isn’t camouflage for passive-aggression, then we’ll be, at a personal level, in the best position possible to cope, to thrive, to ‘rise above’. And that’s what we all ultimately want, isn’t it? Peace?

Part 2 of What to Keep, What to Give Away: Personal Assets of the 11th and the 2nd Some Examples

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What we have to share with others is rarely as tangible as a piece of fruit. ‘Basket of Apples’ By Levi Wells Prentice {{PD}}

Part 1 is here. In continuation, a couple of quick examinations will make it clear that it’s not always easy to distinguish between our actual talents and those things we are, one way or another, obligated to share with the Collective–and then there’s what we want to be in life, the image we want to have in the world, our ideas and beliefs about who we are, and what the social order tells us we are or expects us to be. All these cloud the talent picture and contribute to confusion over how we best fit with and serve the Collective–and it almost goes without saying, what genuinely serves the world serves us as individuals, as well.

Individual Distortions Can Affect the World: Adolf Hitler

Politicians make good fodder for this study, simply because what they do and are affects so many others—they’re the rare individuals whose personal abilities matter to the largest number of people. Though he’s been studied relentlessly, Adolf Hitler (20 April 1889 6:30 PM Braunau am Inn, Austria) is still a great example of what happens when an identity crisis, and confusion about gifts, takes on serious proportions–and if you’re sick of Hitler, just skip ahead to the next example.

He has Scorpio on the 2nd, the House holding Earth, ruler Pluto in Gemini in the 9th (and co-ruler Mars in Taurus in the 8th); on the 11th we see Leo, with the House holding Saturn and the Midheaven, ruler Sun in Taurus in the 8th. Talents revolved around a serious ability to make a material impact through intense communication that goes far and wide (Pluto in Gemini in the 9th), with personal action supported by others in aesthetics or by offering security or comfort—and obviously he showed this with flying colors, by extreme negative example. (And we note, Pluto is conjoined Neptune, a classic contact of misunderstanding, misinterpretation, confusion–which directly affects his own interpretation of his talents, since Pluto rules the 2nd).

With an Earth element Sun at 00 of Taurus (and with ruler Venus also in Taurus, retrograde), Hitler was almost bound to confuse the just-budding aesthetic sensibilities to which his Soul was then turning attention with the Scorpionic intensity of the House of talent and its ruler placements, which likely made him feel (along with Mars in the 8th) that he was perpetually in danger of having his sense of identity, his manhood, and his Will totally subsumed by others, and specifically by their teachings or philosophies (Pluto in 9th plus potent 8th)—not to mention the way others disregarded his attempts to create a career as an Artist. The ‘too soon’ placement of the Taurus Sun, plus the too heavy emphasis on the ‘permission’ of others—the 8th—or of schooling—the 9th—tell us he was unlikely to make headway as an Artist no matter what—this is in spite of the ‘look what the world could have been saved from’ assertion that laments how, if Hitler had only been accepted into Art School, the Holocaust never would’ve occurred.

This line of thinking is typically offered as if merely giving someone what they want will make them a kind and cooperative individual–and anyone who’s tried to appease another knows this ain’t so. The chart proves Hitler’s frustration was inevitable—(and that it was his choice not to learn artisanship—Taurus—that would’ve begun cultivation of and development of genuine artistic abilities). Because Hitler’s attention remained largely focused on himself, in real terms he may never have consciously addressed why he might be here, and what he might have to offer; he was too caught up in the sense of personal struggle (Mein Kampf, and those 8th and 9th House connections) to get beyond that. But what did he really have to share with the world?

It could be said that Hitler came equipped to share the difficulties fostered by vanity and intricacies of how to ‘shine’ in the social sphere, and what the need for Self-regard, both Self-esteem and Self-awareness (all Leo), will do to someone who doesn’t have that genuine Leonine regard for the Self (and so seeks to form the world around them to supply the esteem they lack). The ability to wield power, to make and re-make, to rise from the ashes (Scorpio/ Pluto), especially mentally (Gemini) and philosophically (9th), is there; he could’ve served as an example of how to find one’s place in the larger order, to cooperate and support others (11th, 8th House Sun), but the insecurities plus the Leo energy seem to have overwhelmed any potential positives–he went straight to bully for and grab the personal glory, as soon as his initial impulses weren’t valued–a childish response that unfortunately had the power of Pluto behind it, to the detriment of so much and so many.

Too, consciousness about what every individual contributes to the Collective, and of the role of an effective group leader (MC In 11th), as well as awareness of the virtues and dangers of elevating a sense of discipline and rules above common sense (Saturn) appeared to have been part of his potential offering—and all these he did share, in one form or another—but until he embraced the individual role within reality and the established order (Saturn in Leo) and the interconnectedness of all people (ruler Sun in the 8th), especially through their interdependence materially (Sun in Taurus) he would live and die unfulfilled—and I think he did just that.

Food For Thought: Anthony Bourdain

The late chef, author, and travel host Anthony Bourdain (25 June 1956 8:35 AM New York New York USA) carved a career not just from his love of and expertise in the world of food, but from his presentation of first the culinary world (in books like ‘Kitchen Confidential’), then the world at large (in several shows such as ‘No Reservations’), through his restless and very particular personal viewpoint, focused through food. The Cancer Sun of course fits someone for whom food occupies an outsized role in the life, and its placement in the 12th House might suggest he would’ve been destined to thrive behind-the-scenes, in the kitchen rather than before the camera–so what happened?

When we look at the 2nd of talents and personal assets in Bourdain’s chart we see an empty House filled by Virgo, with ruler Mercury strong in its own sign of Gemini in the 11th of what one has to give the world, goals, friendship, and group involvement. Now, we know that an empty House doesn’t mean ‘no talent’, but it does place an exceptional amount of importance on the situation of the House’s ruler. We might translate this as a talent for critique and communication (Virgo)–a strong one, with Merc in a sign it rules–with the signal that the ruler landing in the 11th means this is the real talent, the one he was meant to share, no matter how otherwise nurturing life in the kitchen may have been.

The 11th also holds the South Node, which is conjoined Mercury, suggesting past knowledge that can be applied to talent expression, and Venus, which is not only retrograde but is also major body of latest degree in the chart. Venus in Gemini reads as communicating beauty and values, but when we factor in the retro condition and the latest degree position, we may find someone who always ended things, especially relationships and weighing the worth of things, at a mental stalemate; too much mental activity, too much musing over the meaning of things, may have short-circuited his relationships with the things and people he loved–so the world could’ve felt to him a very lonely place, as his own mind created distance with others, or a too-critical note with values or interactions better just enjoyed.

This is important to the talent picture as Venus is both the rewards we receive and the enjoyment we partake in–and Self-expression suffers, nay, doesn’t even happen, if we’re not getting those pay offs. Venus rules the 3rd of thought/ communication, linking it even more firmly to the Mercurial/ talent energy, and also rules the 10th, making it vital to the career–and this latter may carry the implication that the career would never offer the Venusian rewards and good feeling we all look for, considering the connections it has to overthinking and the inevitable disappointments of a naturally critical assessment of things.

Venus is part of two Fingers of God: one sees Venus sextile Sedna, apex Saturn=combining the desires, love, assets with what one ‘knows but doesn’t know’, what the instincts inform of, can successfully shape the real world and the reality picture–that’s hopeful, and certainly one of the ingredients behind his success; the other has Venus in 11th sextile Pluto-Jupiter-Zeus in the 1st of Self, apex the Moon-Hygeia combo in Capricorn in the 6th=at least some of that thinking and re-thinking about relationships, what’s worthy in life, about values may be stirred by ambitions, knowledge of the wider world, and all the fears, sensitivities, and destructive elements he’s seen on a day-to-day basis.

Relationships themselves, even money (Venus), may have felt like the thing that brings opportunity (Jupiter) and allows ambition fulfillment (Zeus), and also promises destruction and power struggles (Pluto)–though the optimistic potential for transformation (Pluto) may have helped him go forward for quite awhile. And, Venus trines Neptune-Vesta in Libra=easy to be misled, to lie to oneself, to imagine things are ideal–and that violates a genuine belief in the sacredness of human interaction (Vesta), especially at an intimate level. Essentially, this may bring cycles of disappointment if ideals or creative perfection aren’t reached. So, lots of conflict inherent in the way the psyche processed relating to others, even as there may have always been a spark of inspiration and hope for the ideal in relationships.

And we haven’t even talked about Mercury much yet! Only two more things here I think might apply to the talent and asset picture. Mercury is apex to a Fist of God with base of Neptune-Vesta square Hygeia-Moon. That suggests there was a basic conflict between maintaining a healthy emotional state and pursuing creative ideals, making ‘the dream’ happen (and this in any area, career, relationship, and so on), with the stress likely coming from the Neptune in Libra tendency to over-romanticize intimate relationships, and Vesta insisting on seeing every close connection as sacred. The continual tension (the square of the base) that arose from knowing that loving relationships aren’t fantasy-perfect (Venus in Gemini trine Neptune-Vesta), that such an ideal wasn’t healthy (square to Moon-Hygeia) pushed the Mercury apex for an answer–but does an unsolvable problem, or maybe a wish like this, have an answer?

The Geminian Mercury outlet probably saw the mind as the ‘way out’, believing it was up to him to sort it out, get his head on straight, so to speak, with belief in the responsibility of the Self strong (Jupiter–the belief system–in Leo in the 1st). With Merc in the 11th, this was a line of thinking (that probably felt like a life-line!) that said pursuit of dreams and goals would almost magically (Neptune is involved, after all) resolve the ongoing tension–and though reaching goals or achieving positive relationships may have temporarily alleviated the dilemma, it wasn’t a permanent answer, as the ideal vs. healthy/ real dissonance continued (Merc sesquiquadrate the base square).

Mercury is also conjoined the South Node and part of a T-square with the North Node, with all squared by Mars in Pisces in the 8th. That Mars placement could put a lot of pressure on a man to live up to his ideal of the ‘perfect man’–and in the 8th his short-comings in this regard could’ve felt very public, with a tendency to project his own beliefs and expectations of perfection onto others, making him feel they were judging him, or pressuring him to meet their standards–and that’s a tough complex to go through life with. The square between Mercury-South Node and Mars could indicate an elephant-like memory for things said to him in the past by others, especially friends or in group situations (8th and 11th)–and we all know how judgements made of us, even casually, can echo for the rest of our lives, sometimes crippling our Self-image unnecessarily.

The T is of course a tense aspect, with the thinking and perceptions melded to the past in some form (in his case, maybe a constant awareness of his own past, which included addiction), and by sheer placement, somewhat contradictory to the idea of progress, of going forward into the future (NN). Mars in square adds stress to every thought (Mercury) and action (Mars)–is this the right thing to do, considering my past, and looking toward, and trying to move into, my future? Again, a refrain that doesn’t have an answer–though a sense of traveling and learning certainly helped him cope (Mars rules the 9th).

Perhaps surprisingly, what Bourdain had to give the world was his unique way of thinking, processing, his critical eye on the world around us, and the way that world is reflected through culture and a culture’s choices about food. That’s a pretty wonderful legacy, opening our eyes, giving us a greater sense of what’s out there to be explored, and emphasizing how no matter our differences, food connects us all.

Pluto Backs It Up

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Hangin’ out with the party planner. ‘Bacchus, Ceres, Proserpina and Pluto’ By Pieter van Lint c1660 {{PD}}

In both senses of the phrase: Pluto enters apparent retrograde (a visual phenomenon caused by our viewpoint here on Earth), and in going back over territory he just crossed, returns, we might say, to the scene of the crime. With this latter meaning we see the god of the Underworld re-trace his steps, with the result for us that anything shaken loose, ripped open, torn asunder, or apparently destroyed or transformed recently (since roughly late December-early January) will get a second look.

Pluto turns around at 26 Capricorn 48, with only a single aspect on the horizon, as Ceres heads toward perfecting a square with the ‘heaviest’ planet in the solar system (yes, it’s a planet! I insist). Heaviest, of course, describes the impact of something so slow-moving, the psychic grind akin to the passage of a glacier over the tundra–it creates tremendous pressure, a weight that flattens in slo-mo whatever is in its path. We might initially think that this is a totally destructive interaction, but in reality it creates, as well. Intense pressure forms diamonds, and releases seeds from their shells as when fire sweeps a forest floor. Pluto can bring the loss or tragedy that sets us on a new and better path, and we need to remember that when something is destroyed, that makes room for a fresh beginning.

The Ceres aspect is already in effect and will remain so as Ceres completes that last little span, with the aspect perfecting and then beginning to separate by the 30th. It’s not unusual for another body to be the instigator in an aspect with Pluto; it’s almost inevitable that the majority of Pluto aspects will be formed as other bodies move into position– seeing Pluto make the contact itself is rare.

Here we have the king of the Underworld in a conflict dynamic with his mother-in-law, who just happens to be Mother Nature herself. Don’t forget, their power stand-off was a formidable one that involved Ceres negotiating for time with her daughter–and Pluto conceding some, which should tell you what a powerful figure Ceres is. Symbolically this is a clash between gods, the meeting of entities that represent and control primal forces, one side chiefly generative in its thrust (Ceres, life-giving) and the other with the capacity to take things to ashes (Pluto, destroying), but with both also containing the opposite ability; that is, death is the inevitable end to life, and from nothing (which we can call death) comes the spark that creates new life (the phoenix potentials of Pluto).

Difficulties between these two were over a third entity, Ceres’ daughter who became Pluto’s wife, Proserpina/ Persephone. I’m struck in this situation by the way two Beings who hold immense amounts of power take it for granted that it’s within their rights to decide the fate of another. Ceres oversteps in a motherly way, trying to control the commitments of a grown daughter, while Pluto oversteps in the way of a partner who sees it as natural that he decides how his significant other spends her time. In essence, neither respects the individuality and autonomy of Persephone; neither sees her as a complete Being with rights of her own.

Pluto is currently in Capricorn, suggesting that his energies are concentrated on breaking down established norms, authority, and structures societal, governmental, and that offer security, dependability, regularity. Ceres squares him from Aries, implying a strong individual Will comes to call out (and so question) Pluto’s destructive priorities. Pluto is always looking for a clean slate, whether that’s a productive approach or not; Ceres is always looking to exercise personal authority, even if it infringes on others. Both have trouble with boundaries (and by trouble I mean neither one recognizes those, unless another equally strong individual steps forward to enforce them).

There’s also the fact that Pluto carries an implicit promise of re-generation, while Ceres carries one of the inevitability of Nature always returning to balance–so at the very least, that tells us that despite the clash, a compromise will be reached when these two meet, a balance agreeable to both destructive and generative energies.

So, we have to ask ourselves what developed since late December that caused something destructive, a loss or elimination or change that struck us profoundly, that in reality has broken open the seeds of a new venture, that has offered greater personal autonomy, or that has altered the power balance or our own relationship with Nature (with this latter think health, or our own efforts at growing or producing natural product, as small as herbs on the windowsill, as big as agribusiness or the construction of a dam). That change-through-loss now offers us a new (or renewed) path–and over this retro period we’ll have the chance to review what changed, to course-correct, and to exercise our own prerogatives along ‘natural’ lines in shaping what the results of that loss or removal will, ultimately, bring.

This will very likely frame itself as some form of You (the ‘I Am’ of Aries) versus the current powers-that-be, which are undergoing inevitable changes of their own (Capricorn). Expect to negotiate; know that Mother Nature will have her say, will figure in (remember that ancient commercial, ‘It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature’? Don’t even try); and be aware that there is a quiet but central entity somewhere that needs to be listened to, if only to show the Universe that you’re not an egotistical brute (Aries) or a rigid conformist (Capricorn) but someone who’s fully aware of and considerate of the impact your choices have on others.

Also note: as Ceres moves away from Pluto, Jupiter comes along by sextile, with the aspect perfecting as both are in 29 tense degrees of their own sign, this on 5 May. Expect feedback over the negotiation/ change/ power struggle, from the social sphere, via irrefutable facts, with an infusion of knowledge, or with a new sense of optimism or access to new opportunities. That should tell you: don’t be afraid of loss or change, something new always, always, comes from it, and whether you are able to see it or not, it’s always to your benefit (eventually, though in-the-moment it can be quite hard to believe–another Jupiterian concept).

The Chiron Return

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‘Chiron and Achilles’ c1922-1925 By John Singer Sargent {{PD}}

What follows is an article re-printed from an issue of ECLIPSE. It’s been edited to remove outdated transit material, and has some new material added.

We reach our early 50s and have our Chiron Return. Up to that point, we’ll have had squares, oppositions, and trines of the transiting body to its natal self, and these have given us direct experience of our primal wound, and possibly our exceptional and unique Chirotic gift, in action. These contact points come at radically different times for individuals, as Chiron has an exaggerated elliptical orbit, and yet it returns to the birth point at a consistent average of 50.7 years. We don’t actually know if it’s a comet or an asteroid, as it exhibits properties of both; but we have been watching it since its discovery 18 October 1977 by Charles Kowal—so we’ve had enough time to get a clear idea of what Chiron stands for in the birth chart, which is a necessary step for any body entering the canon of regularly used astrological placements. Its minor planet designation is 2060, should you want to locate yours at serennu.com.

This is the one Return that really jars the life; it comes at a point when we are likely still feeling at peak professionally (or feeling poised to continue to climb), while personally we may become keenly aware that we are definitely closer to the end of life than we are to the beginning. We are, probably for the first time in our current conscious existence (the exception being for those who have had Pluto conjunctions by transit to the personal bodies of the natal chart), realizing we are vulnerable: to time, to the consequences of our own choices, to changes in the world that challenge our conceptions of ‘What Is’, and certainly to what ‘Could Be’, the threatening potentials for wounds that mostly just seemed theoretical, before.

Other Returns come much more often (even Saturn is headed for his second encounter with the natal placement by the time Chiron goes home), so that we have some personal reference point when they occur—we have been there before–and the outers that take larger forms—communal, spiritual, symbolic—don’t necessarily need that touchstone of personal viewpoint. With the outers we can only expect with any certainty to see phases where they form major aspects to their own natal spots (by square, trine, opposition) so that the natal energies are examined from a different viewpoint than we held at birth, offering a new take on who we are in relation to that energy—we see how far we’ve come, and how we’ve changed, in the energy’s expression or inclusion in the life, but we don’t review things from our initial point, the point of Return.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) roughly 38% of people can expect to live to see their Uranus Return at approximately 84 years, making seeing that Return a much-less-than-sure bet; considering that around 88% of individuals will see their second Saturn Return at approximately 60 years of age, that’s a big difference, a large span of years with only the minor cycles recurring, though Jupiter does make a Return at 72, bringing personal meaning as well as re-aligning us to the social order—but the Chiron Return is the only Return bridging the Saturn cycle and the Uranus one in terms of outer energy reassessment of itself (Astrologer Barbara Hand Clow describes the Saturn-Uranus connection via Chiron as the Rainbow Bridge). By its singular nature, the Chiron Return implies that things are going on there that won’t occur in quite that way anywhere else in the chart or the life.

Of course, any Return brings forward contemplation of the energy, a review of how we’ve handled it, and where that handling has taken us; with Chiron this is about processing not just the primal wound, the one that has been there even before we had language to name it, but also about all the wounds we carry, no matter how they were inflicted. It’s also about healing, with any contact of Chiron to itself setting us up to answer for what we’re not trying to make better. It’s as if the transit energies say, “Okay, you’ve taken inventory of all that hurts you–now what are you going to do about it?” with the silent addendum that it’s healing or nothing; during a Chiron transit to itself, no other measures will address the pain. Allowing healing is the only alternative, at that point in time—or we must face the fact that we are unwilling to heal this psychic, mental, and emotional space within ourselves.

Achilles and the Centaur Chiron By Pompeo Batoni {{PD}}

At any age we can have trouble processing our Chiron injuries, as other transits also stir things up, and in transit Chiron can ‘visit’ our other energies and show them a little hurt! Some ways of dealing that are particular to the Return (in fact, are in some form required at the Return) can be modified and used to address other transits of Chiron to itself. The Return requires us to refuse to be hurt anymore; we need to take the position that externals, including other people, are not the agencies of our pain–we are, in the way we process events and interactions. This is not a hardening of heart that’s called for, but some will misinterpret the energy in that way and close themselves off; we all know people who have suddenly become highly Self-focused and selfish, not with a healthy Self-interest and spirit of exploration and discovery, but in a way that says, “I’ve had enough of others and what they inflict/want!”—Chiron to Chiron is one of the transits that can do this.

We’re facilitated in the use of Chiron’s energies by the anticipated ‘end times’ of December 2012. What actually came to an end, in my view, was our personal inability to access the healing nature of our Chirotic gift directly. Up to then we’d been able to offer others our gift but found it blocked from our own use; we could do for others what we couldn’t do for ourselves. The energy situation was something like that story where everyone at a table has only a very long spoon and is served soup. They find themselves starving, until someone realizes they can feed each other. They succeeded by directing their efforts toward others, and for time immemorial that’s the way it has been; with the 2012 period we found for the first time that we possessed spoons short enough to feed ourselves. That doesn’t obviate the need for service to the community, but it does change the nature of our interactions: we can now give freely, without the background assumption that cooperative efforts are essentially an exchange; now that we can provide healing for ourselves, we don’t show up for others in our own state of need–we instead go whole, and can thereby offer that much more in interaction.

The Return (or another Chiron-Chiron contact) also requires we express the energy in a ‘new’ way; that is, new for us as individuals. Here we are talking about those Chiron-related gifts that may largely lie dormant, but which are still there, ours to give away, and post-2012, to use for our own benefit. Think of your Chiron as a highly unique talent or insight that only you have, shaped from your own experiences and directly related to your sense of compassion (we see this in the myth, when Chiron chooses to take on the pain of another and sacrifice his life, freeing them both from their agony). With each Chiron-Chiron contact, this must evolve, if only just a bit, toward a greater empathy and understanding that carries the ‘style’ of your Chiron placement. For instance, in Aquarius the mandate is to gain a greater intellectual understanding of the world, or it can be to find empathy with ‘the group’, or the courage to stand and act as an individual, with additional specifics related to your own Chiron aspects (and I suggest a look at the Sabian for this body as well, for a symbolic description of the heart of your Chirotic energy—round up, unless your Chiron is exactly on the degree and 00 minutes. For example, with Chiron at 12 Aquarius 19, one reads the symbol for 13 Aquarius).

Lastly, Chiron in contact to itself, but especially at the Return, demands that we have developed a means of communicating with the Universe, with the Divine, or with whatever we consider Greater Than Ourselves. This can be those methods described as divination, meditation, work, contemplation, through dreams or spiritual practice, or some other form of communion that has an underlying purpose of serving others. That’s the important part: that our spiritual practice (which from the outside may not look like spiritual practice at all) is engaged in specifically to aid not just ourselves, but humanity as well. I say ‘humanity’ rather than ‘others’ because what is required is a dispassionate compassion, a level of aid that does not judge to whom it’s offered—it’s offered to All.

With the Chiron Return we may enter a time of being a teacher or mentor, even if that was not a role we enacted before. At the Return point we are perfectly balanced between our store of accumulated knowledge and a mind still open to new things, which can make us both student and teacher in the most dynamic and responsive form possible–so not a bad way, I think, to enter later life.

Right now Chiron is in Aries, trine Mars in Sagittarius. This is a recipe to take personal responsibility for our own healing, to act on what we know, to do our best to share our gifts, especially those based in facts or in faith, the kind that says it’s up to the individual to make a difference. That sounds like a heavy load, and if what action’s needed isn’t obvious to you, just wait about a week (the end of the month)–that’s when the Sun will square Chiron, and shine a bright light on exactly what we need to turn our attention toward, in order to heal it. ˜