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15 August 2018 Crystal Clear

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By Saqibbali – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69544296

It’s a day that feels like we’ll be called to compromise, adjust, modify, or where circumstances presented will be just a tad uncomfortable–and yet, what we need to remember, is that these scenarios 1) are direct reflections of our own thinking, and 2) allow us to clarify and make ‘statements’ (by our actions and choices) about what our highest values and priorities really are. Changes made now may not be very smart, or very practical, but they do say something about our desires, what we’re building, where we’re headed. We make it crystal clear to what and to whom we’re truly dedicated, and others do the same–so we see their priorities, their genuine feelings, as well. Be prepared–there may be a shock or two delivered, as we realize our own actual commitments, and/ or get a big reveal on what those around us really honor–in any case, we ‘get the message’, and it alters things, somehow (Sun trine Vesta and parallel Mercury, Pluto qnx Pallas, Juno qnx Zeus)

By Christopher Michel – A weddell seal. Sweetly made by @melaquino to celebrate my upcoming trip to Antarctica!, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24808848

Today’s word image is a sea lion with human eyes. There is some Leo-themed subject (or Leo person you know) that needs to be re-considered in a humanistic light–that is, re-assessed using both a more objective and more understanding emotion-friendly) lens.

I’ve gotten a large number of service requests lately (thank you!) where I’ve notified the individuals of acceptance but have not been paid, or where I’ve received a request, answered, and am holding a spot but have not been notified as to whether the individual wants the report or not. If you’ve been given a ‘pay by’ date, this does not apply to you. Please, if either of the other scenarios is the case for you, get in touch–I can’t hold spaces indefinitely!

14 August 2018 Bad Habits

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Wojciech Kossak 1912 {{PD}}

With a little effort (for we may resist, telling ourselves that putting aside pre-conceptions is risky, even unhealthy), today we can avoid the usual reactive pitfalls of relationships, those wounds we harbor and then speak or act from without thinking. We can, at least for a time, put reactive bad habits aside. Instead we’ve got a chance to divorce interaction from our sense of hurt or distress, and so see the relationship for what it really is. This also means the way we choose to act will be entirely under our conscious control–so be ready to embrace responsibility more completely than ever before. (Venus contra-parallel Chiron, Sun sesq Hygeia)

Would you describe the prevailing atmosphere as post-eclipse ennui, or is it more of an existential dread thing? Asking for a friend. I’m joking, but as they say, within every joke is at least a kernel of truth–or why else would we laugh? It’s that jolt of recognizing reality and its absurdities that creates the impact. I think recently, and today, the 13th, in particular, we’re really feeling that Fist of God, with base of Juno square Pallas, apex Saturn. That brings all the tension between our empowerment needs (which include the need to feel like we’re having an impact, like what we say and do really matters) and what’s wise, smart, or practical, to the surface–and what do we get when we resolve that tension? Reality, with a big ‘R’! So, current unrest is all about seeing the state of our own effectiveness (and especially the respect we do or don’t receive), and what is the wise way to address it (as opposed to a way completely dictated by emotion, or the reactive nature–which method is bound to be labeled ‘disaster’). Keep a cool head, show others the respect and consideration you would like to be shown, and know that right now dealing well with our environment and our relationships is entirely up to us–it’s a ‘choice to see’–requiring us to observe, register, respond to, and deal with what is, indisputably, right there before us–and so shape and create Reality as consciously as we possibly can. This config dissolves by the 16th, so won’t last too much longer.

Refreshments are here, here, and here, and have a wonderful day!

Uncertainty

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This is a slightly edited re-print from the a June 2013 issue of ECLIPSE.

‘Flower Myth’ (Blumenmythos) 1918, watercolor on pastel foundation on fabric and newsprint mounted on board, By Paul Klee {{PD}}

When considering our own personal trajectory in life, when trying to measure that thing we call ‘progress’, we might think of the way theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg put it: he stated that the more sure we are of where a particle/ object/ person is, the less certain we can be of that particle/ object/ or person’s velocity (speed of movement). When we are very sure of our position, it may actually feel that time has slowed or stopped; we know where we are, and it seems like things will never change. On the other hand, if our life is in tumult, it may feel as if we are hurtling into the unknown; things change far too quickly, and we are hard pressed to adjust.

Undoubtedly, what we want is to feel we are growing and evolving, and it’s true we can’t get to our destination without first knowing from where we’re starting; but, we can be too focused on pinpointing our position, on constantly measuring where we are, looking for the most minute signs of progress, and so essentially, using our energy to stand still–and it logically follows that the more we concentrate on dissecting our current status, the less energy we have available to move ourselves and our goals forward. We must cultivate an awareness in balance, a knowing of where we stand at the same time we are putting our core energy into manifesting our expressions in the world in intended forms.

Is it ever appropriate to be, with all respect to Heisenberg, very very certain of our position, and so very uncertain of our movement or progress? Yes, the Dark Night of the Soul is one such time, as is any hard Pluto transit, or any transit of Neptune, to the personals of the chart or to the Ascendant (Sun, Moon, Merc, Venus, Mars, the asteroids, and sometimes Jupiter, depending mostly on what he rules natally); Saturn hard to the Sun may also call for such intense Self-assessment, and Uranus transits can bring the need up suddenly, with the advent of an accident or shock, or the sudden ‘modernization’ of our world, and the transiting Moon touching our Pluto or Ascendant ruler or Sun can bring such moments, though briefly (with Secondary Progressions to or from the Moon providing an extended experience like this). There are points when we would be wise to turn all our attention inward, to assessing our place and our relationship to our world; the trick is knowing when this is appropriate, and when it is simply Self-indulgent.

Tropical Gardening, 1923 watercolor and oil transfer drawing on paper, By Paul Klee {{PD}}

If astrology tells us anything, it’s that we are meant to live within cycles, exploiting energies at the correct time in order to receive the most benefit; this is one of those times. With Mercury currently retrograde, we are gifted with the ability to process feeling and intuition more easily than when the Trickster is direct. It’s a time to get the mind out of the way, to listen to the Soul and answer its need for beauty, relationship sustenance, and to fine tune one’s association with what one values, including one’s products that carry value for others, and in doing so, we’ll find out a great deal concerning what, and who, we care about.

See the forecast for the 13th here–

13 August 2018 Reality Sandwich

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We’ll have plenty of bread for our reality sandwich. Frans van Leemputten 1891 {{PD}}

We may be force-fed a portion of reality today, but it doesn’t really have to be unpleasant, if we can go with the idea that in order to be empowered in our actions, in order to make smart moves toward goal achievement, we need to see reality, warts and all, as clearly as possible. 99% of current upsets and problems stem from avoidance of or denial of What Is–cure that with a little love, a little talent utilization, a little investment of what you treasure, and a whole lot of respect for what’s healthy, especially in relationships or financial situations (Pallas sxt Zeus, Saturn sesq Juno, Venus opp Hygeia)

And in case you’re feeling peckish–

12 August 2018 Figure It Out

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Porträt der Tochter (Daughter’s Portrait) ‘Lotte’ by Carlos Schwabe {{PD}}
Carlos Schwabe

If you want to do the hard work and get rewarded for it, Sunday’s your day. You probably won’t have to break a sweat, it’s much more about using our powers of observation and thinking logically. We have the perfect set-up for seeing what’s not smart or practical in the reality picture and then changing it (with some god-like savvy and effectiveness) by drawing on talents and valuable lessons we’ve brought forward from the past. A few of us will run off the rails, convinced of something that’s not true, believing it only because they insist on ignoring or denying important facts–but that’s not you, right? Today may show you in some remarkable ways just how much influence and control you have, especially over your own life–you’d do well to step up and accept your power (Pluto trine Ceres, Neptune semi-sq Black Moon Lilith, Saturn sesq Pallas, Mars moves back into Capricorn, Venus trines the South Node).

Solar Eclipse In Leo 11 August 2018 Resolution

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‘Kibara’ By Goyō Hashiguchi 1912 {{PD}}

The Partial Solar eclipse in Leo falls at 18 degrees, 41 minutes on August 11th at 2:57 AM PDT. This event is conjoined Pallas—ah! ‘new wisdom’ is the result of the past two events—with the aspects offering a subtle picture of what it is we’ve gained. A new start in Leo is about ourselves and our identity, and those facets of the individuality that allow us to ‘shine’; the aspects made by the eclipse describe the nature of our attributes, the ways in which we can make our uniqueness known. What begins at this time also has an air of the practical about it, or a sense of skills possessed—but no matter what, a situation that allows us to be our Best Self.

The eclipse-Pallas sextiles Zeus and catches Ceres at the midpoint, even as it semi-squares Venus. This suggests that it’s in the act of reaching for ambition or desire fulfillment that we both gain authority and power and learn what needs to change in relationships or finances in order to make ‘it’ happen. Should we count this as base to a Finger of God, with a loose Neptune apex? Maybe, if we consider that what we likely need to do to fine-tune the ambition picture is rid ourselves of delusions, or utilize our creativity—that’s what can make the whole thing work together.

The eclipse is also apex to a loose Fist of God with base of Saturn and Chiron, and quincunxes Pluto. As apex, the eclipse promises that resolution of conflicts between the reality picture or reasonable restraints applied to our effort, and our own skill set or wounded nature (the latter possibly referring to unreasonable restraints that need removal), offers a ‘New You’, a  fresh expression of identity or purpose, and that this is also an expression of our own wisdom and gifts (Pallas). The contact to Pluto simply tells us adjustment is needed, whether we want to gather power, make a change, eliminate, or transform.

There’s also an Earth Grand Trine that hooks into the eclipse by degree: Ceres (semi-sextile), Pluto (quincunx), and Juno (square). This implies the eclipse may be a spark of sorts, putting into motion material matters that, one and all, are concerned with power and power expression. No matter what else is in play at this time, this Grand Trine reminds us that there are some very real material stakes here, and that even the most innocent of moves holds an ultimate goal of gaining or solidifying the ability to make the individual Will felt and impactful.

If we really want to get loose with things, we can also see that the T-square formed by Juno’s hard angle to the axis  becomes a Grand Cross if we pull Jupiter into the equation. This may remind us that individual development doesn’t happen in a vacuum; others to whom we reach out, look for reactions and interactions, and to get a measure of our own empowerment are part of the picture, and must be taken into account, especially when we think about how beliefs, knowledge, and the capacity to reach out and to accept what we consider ‘foreign’ all shape not just our potentials for success, but our view of our own adequacy, as well.

The Sabian symbol for this New Moon eclipse in Leo is, ‘A Houseboat Party’. That promises a celebration, once we’ve dealt with anything that’s not working on our path forward to Self-expression—but we should also note the party of the image is afloat—that is, hovering on the surface of the water, the symbol of feeling. That tells us that beneath the joy engendered by successful realization of our gifts, skills, and most unique qualities lies a body of emotion, one that it’s entirely possible to sink into, even to lose our joy to. That implies that after this sequence of eclipses we might have a whole new set of emotions to explore—and maybe entirely new feelings related to how we see ourselves (Leo).

10 August 2018 Hidden Forces

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Károly Ferenczy ‘Gardeners’ (1891) {{PD}}

‘Hidden Forces’–that’s sounds ominous, right? Like there’s something out there that may overwhelm us, push past any defenses, change our course–but what we’re really talking about are matters that exert an influence in our lives through the unconscious. We’re vulnerable in so many ways: through the deep, secret fear that we are stupid or foolish, through the power of the social sphere to make us feel inadequate or wrong for being who we are, or through the way, if we inspect the real world that surrounds us without our usual lenses, we see that we’ve fallen short in so many ways. These forces haunt us, and even when we take a step back and use our good sense, spotting these as the worst case scenario, mostly baseless fears that they are, it’s hard to convince ourselves that these are negative interpretations of reality, not reality itself. But here’s what we need to ground ourselves, this time around: we find strength in our wounds–the scar tissue of experience allows us to know exactly what to avoid to prevent injury–so we’re much safer than we might think; originality, uniqueness, and inventiveness are our greatest assets right now, along with resiliency and embrace of our own personal authority–we are arbiters of our own fates, much more than we may normally admit to ourselves–now’s the time to accept our own power and strength; Nature, in some form, is doing us a favor right now–take note; and focus on ambitions, goals, or what you desire–the ‘quiet’ available during Dark of the Moon may allow extraordinary concentration of energy and attention, which lays the groundwork for progress (Chiron semi-sq Juno and sesq Pallas, Mars conj Black Moon Lilith, Mercury sq Jupiter and parallel Uranus and Ceres, Sun sxt Zeus, sesq Saturn and contra-parallel Jupiter).

9 August 2018 Get Smart–Or Pay the Price

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Félix Vallotton, 1893 ‘La Valse’ (The Waltz) {{PD}}

Thinking is smart, even if it lags a bit behind the curve (the “Oh yeah, now I see it!” effect), and we have to make a concerted effort not to fall prey to delusion, fantasy, or deception–so question yourself and your assumptions, question others, question things that don’t seem right, are too good to be true, or that feed a dream you’d previously felt blocked from–you still are. Connecting to reality is tough but necessary in order to move in the right direction, to make things pay. What benefits us? Be willing to modify our individuality so that it doesn’t grate on relationships, curb spending on the unique (which could later in brighter light turn out to be merely freakish), and refuse to dwell on what didn’t go well, or what hurts–that kind of attention will only burn our wounds into our psyche, and we really should just let them go, yes? (Venus qnx Uranus and sq Saturn, Merc conj Pallas and qnx Neptune, Sun sesq Chiron)

Somebody searched “Buying a House During Mercury Retrograde”. I may be uniquely qualified to address this, in part because I’m an astrologer, and partly because I’ve actually done this. It was decades ago, and inadvertent; I wasn’t really thinking about Mercury’s status when we signed–after moving continents and always living in a place someone else owned, I only wanted a place to rest that was mine. We went through escrow, and it was only as they scheduled the closing that I realized we would be signing in the middle of a retrograde–but really didn’t feel I had the authority to stop it (now I wouldn’t hesitate–that’s the juice you get from age and experience!) The reason we’re advised not to make agreements or sign contracts at this time is that there’s inevitably something we don’t know or can’t see. In our case, this resulted in sellers who wanted to close, but didn’t want to get out! They asked to remain for an extra month, offering no compensation–and we said no, and that didn’t sit well. They still drug their feet; their RV and trailers were parked in front of the house when we arrived with our things, but we were in, and they were out, for five years–until we sold. It wasn’t easy–new construction at low prices were going in nearby, and our first realtor was a dud–and nothing moved until we changed realtors and waited for another Merc retrograde–during which we got three competing offers, unusual for that time and place. It was as if we needed to wait for the same sort of energy to get rid of the place that had allowed us to acquire it. Yes, there were some hidden surprises in the sale–that’s inevitable, with the planet so prominent–but buying during a retro seems to come with its own set of difficulties, maybe not what you’d get when you buy during direction, but not insurmountable, all the same. I would advise waiting, though–making an offer or signing now would likely be jumping the gun–almost certainly, you’ll find out something after Merc goes direct that at the least would’ve changed your offer, or even prevented it entirely.

Arnold Böcklin – ‘Summer Day’ 1880 {{PD}}

Today’s daily word image is ‘hydrotherapy’. What does this word conjure for you? Indulge in, or maybe just think about, what this brings to mind, and what it means to you.

8 August 2018 Words Are Like a Box of Chocolates

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir – ‘La Tasse de Chocolat’ c1912 {{PD}}

Today communications of all kinds are like F. Gump’s famous box of chocolates–you never know what you’re going to get. Worse, you also don’t know what you might say! And that’s not even taking into account the unspoken messages, or those written so that we could take them this way, or that, or the ones conveyed by other means, a glance, an action, a choice, an emotional reaction one is unable to hide. A couple of things we can know for certain, in all this: if we react precipitously, we will be doing so out of misunderstanding or the illusion that we are being disempowered by what’s happening (Sun qnx Neptune and sq Juno, Mars semi-sq Neptune), and this starts something with bigger implications (retro Merc and the Sun meet, known as the Inferior Conjunction), to be ‘delivered’ as an ending or fait accompli in a couple of months (at the Superior Conjunction–that is, in direct motion–of Mercury and the Sun). What we need to understand is how we’re listening right now; our perceptions are dented by hurt, anticipating conflict, and relationships or financial matters quite specifically threaten our sense of wholeness and right (Venus contra-parallel Pallas and opp Chiron, Merc sq Juno, sesq Chiron, and semi-sq Venus)–how could any of us hope to make good choices, or even hear what’s coming at us clearly, with such influences? We can’t, so be kind to yourself and others, and realize that what you think you’re hearing/ the message you’re getting is distorted, somehow, and you need to let a little time go by before you respond.

7 August 2018 Yes, But

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Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida – ‘El Pescador’ The Fisherman 1903 {{PD}}

Uranus officially starts apparent backward motion with a semi-square to Neptune and a sesquiquadrate to Ceres, and try though it might, it will not be able to complete a square to Mars anytime soon, which is on its own retrograde and on an ever-widening march toward re-entering Capricorn. The Uranus turnaround may challenge both our fantasies and what we see as our rights; expect to shed an illusion or two, and to have to justify your prerogatives, as others won’t necessarily agree those are your territory–and that may be one of the illusions that falls.

Meanwhile, creative types should mine the past for inspiration and former sources of empowerment–it may be time to employ those same methods again. Cooperation is the word of the day, even though to get there may necessitate giving up a little of our power or denying some of the perqs of our status–but if it gets things moving, it might be worth it. In any case, effort definitely brings reward. It’s obvious today what the smart or practical thing is; now if we can only overcome all our ‘Yes, but . . .’ excuses as to why it shouldn’t be that way–(Neptune nov SN and sxt Juno, Venus sesq Juno and trine Mars, Sun conj Pallas)

6 August 2018 Oh That Tangled Web!

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No real way to completely avoid the spiders, so concentrate on extricating yourself from their webs. ‘Die Schwarze Spinne’ By Franz Karl Basler-Kopp {{PD}}

We are victims of that tangled web we find around us, our part in it mostly being that we were cooperative, stood by in one place long enough to see it woven around us, didn’t object when those first silken threads were laid down! The thing about a web is that all the lines are entangled, each leading to several others, and they to others, and we bouncing in the middle, not sure where to snip to free ourselves. Our wisdom is questioned and others, one way or another, ‘attack’; we reject the social sphere and/ or what we learn (we are smart to), as the facts of the matter simply do not paint an accurate picture of reality–and yet, they do reflect the way our ambitions and desires have shaped things–for the most part, though, not having come out the way we’d hoped, and with a lot more entanglements and consequences (the web) than we’d ever anticipated. Venus’ entry to Libra and trine to Black Moon Lilith is our way out. We once again employ cooperation or partnering with others, but this time with an eye to meeting head on everything we’ve ignored, denied, or been angry about. Too, we may be constrained from speaking out, but that’s mostly about how others don’t want us shining a light on the facts. Do it, though; that will clear the air, and blow a heck of a lot of that web-work, and the sticky situations involved, away (Jupiter sq Pallas, Mars sesq Ceres, Mercury sxt Zeus and sesq Saturn, Sun sq Jupiter).

5 August 2018 Taking Measure

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‘Temperantia’ Edward Burne-Jones 1871 {{PD}}

Do we ever get tired of measuring how well we’re managing to get what we want? How about life direction–is there a moment when we aren’t casting at least part of our psychic energy and attention into the future, trying to measure what’s to come? That ability to live in the moment is supposed to be the key to happiness–which may be why it’s so tough to achieve. Today’s influences don’t help us fix on the here and now; instead they send us off obsessing over future power arrangements (Ceres nov NN), which are too steeped in fantasy, illusion, or misunderstanding to do us any good (Ceres opp Neptune), and fixate our thoughts on what we could’ve had, if we’d only done differently in the past (Mercury nov Venus). How to best handle it? Look to the future by assessing our real assets and current reach, refusing to succumb to illusion by drawing clear correlations between our ideas and what assets we truly hold, including talents. A clear-eyed look at reality will set up the future in terms very close to ideal, if we can manage it, thank you very much!

Today’s word image is smoke but no fire. Take that situation that you believe is some kind of disaster and see it one of two ways: as a false alarm, or as a harbinger of what’s to come–but in any case, it’s not actually in meltdown now.

Appetite for Life: Zeus in Aspect

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God, by Vasnetsov c1890 {{PD-Art}}

In thinking about our unicorns, I also started to think about where in the chart we might look for a truly direct line to our most characteristic desires, because it’s in recognizing and acknowledging our real wants that we begin to align our life so that dream becomes reality–and Zeus seemed the obvious choice. As the god who reigned over all the other gods on Olympus, Zeus is a mythic embodiment of male privilege and authority who clearly placed himself above considerations of the wants, needs, and even rights of others. He took what he wanted, made no apologies (not even to his long-suffering goddess sister/ wife, Hera/ Juno), and answered to no one–which strikes me as the ‘rugged individualism’ Western society has granted as a right to males (especially white males)–to everyone’s detriment. I think we’d all agree that the unfettered appetites of Zeus, his crass and uncaring behavior, and his obliviousness to the hurt and suffering he caused are undesirable–but the way in which he was able to not just pinpoint his appetites, but to act on them, is very desirable, with the proviso that we are able to identify ways in which these can be fulfilled that do not violate our highest values (Vesta), our relationships (Venus), or our Soul’s intents (the Sun), and certainly, that do not violate the rights of others. Easy natal aspects of Zeus to other bodies or points (some conjunctions, sextiles, trines) may show us the way toward our desires (or, point to what impulses we can trust in discovering and fulfilling these desires):

·         Zeus to the Sun: ambitions and desires serve the Soul’s intents and so the Life Purpose. This is no doubt a sweet aspect to have, as it makes for smooth alignment among impulses, desires, and goals; they all mesh successfully with identity and expression. In hard aspect can indicate conflicts between the appetites and the goals.

·         Zeus to the Moon: here the intuition and emotional perceptions aid (or hinder) fulfillment of the desires. The sign in which the Moon sits will profoundly affect the meaning of this Zeus–and may dictate the forms and/ or style used to express ambitions and desires. Nurture and/ or pronounced sensitivity will definitely be involved, and ‘receptivity’ may be a keyword in ambition manifestation; it may be a matter of attraction, as much as anything else.

·         Zeus to Mercury: communication is vital to ambition attainment, so much so that some form of communication may actually be the ambition itself. No matter what the desire, this individual will be saying something with every choice–it’s just in the nature.

·          Zeus to Venus: this brings relationships front and center with the desire nature, and with worldly and material ambition. This is not necessarily as $$ or thing-oriented as it sounds; this can apply Love (with a big ‘L’) to ambitions and desire expression, making for goals that are beauty or caring-infused. Again, a very attractive quality to the ambitions, so that fulfillment seems to come to the individual with little effort (or is denied inexplicably, with hard aspects), often through relationships.

·         Zeus to Mars: contact between these two can set up a scenario where the individual only discovers (or achieves) her or his ambitions because she or he must fight for them (or in struggling for autonomy of expression they find their desire/ ambition), or where they find desires stimulated by the need to best rivals, or to state the ‘I am’ loud and clear. Choice and action are extra important with this contact, having an impact on reaching goals even when one would think the choice or action is irrelevant to achievement.

·         Zeus to Jupiter: the individual may find opportunity in or through the social sphere, or must bow to educational needs or a religious hierarchy in order to meet ambitions. Or, the whole world is their oyster, and the life an oyster banquet! This person’s desires seem to get broadcast whether she or he wants it or not, and others may see them as excessively ambitious, competitive, worldly, or grasping, even when they are not.

·         Zeus to Saturn: opportunities are met through established structures and organizations; mentors and authorities may need to ‘grant’ one’s desires or goals. May have achievement delayed until he or she thoroughly embraces Self-discipline. Can get stuck in a loop of ‘poor me’ and lack of achievement until he or she completely accepts responsibility for the life; then others come out of the woodwork to offer support.

·         Zeus to Uranus: again, opportunities through the group–or one must be highly original in order to fulfill goals. Erratic behavior or ever-changing desires could de-rail achievement. Spontaneity must either be central to or completely eschewed in the life, dependent on which is missing from behavior, in order to meet and fulfill ambitions and goals. Uniqueness may make one a standout–though that’s not always good.

·         Zeus to Neptune: staying on track can be a problem, as this contact can indicate shifting ambition targets and a propensity to follow delusion and accept unreality as legitimate. Imagination and creativity can take one straight to the top, as long as one is careful not to be solely Self-focused along the way.

·         Zeus to Pluto: Opportunity may consistently come into the life via endings or the destruction of systems  or entities–which the individual then resurrects in a new, improved form. Must watch the Self in interaction–showing one’s power may come too easily, and can come across as overbearing.

Interestingly, contact of Zeus to other asteroids seems to emphasize pitfalls found within the ambitions. For instance, with Vesta one may see oneself as having an aggressive prerogative to force others to do what one wants (the Will as sacred), while to Juno and Ceres we see power struggles featured, to Chiron says we may use wounds as an excuse not to achieve (or as fuel to achieve, making the most of the Chirotic wound or skills) & with Pallas a need to learn to follow the inner wisdom or wise counsel, and avoid the impractical, tempting as it may be.

This article previously appeared in ECLIPSE Astrological Journal.

4 August 2018 Focus on Yourself

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By Herman Richir – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37153591

So we have a little formula today for creating both perfect harmony and profit: Value your instinctive responses and what you ‘know but don’t know’ (Venus trine Sedna), especially when it comes to relationships of all kinds, and finances. The mind is a finely-tuned instrument when thought is applied to ourselves and what empowers us, and this is in spite of its retro status–but this holds only so long as we’re not seeking to change, destroy, or transform anything outside ourselves, or overtly looking to gain power (Merc parallel Juno and qnx Pluto). So, focus on yourself, for best results.

By Fondo Antiguo de la Biblioteca de la Universidad de Sevilla from Sevilla, España – Inicial T., CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51654201

Today’s word image isn’t an image so much as this: 2 ‘T’s. Be on the lookout for something with two of this letter in it, something that has these initials, or that appears in whatever way to you. This may make little sense to you, but the gist is this: one T may appear to try and harm the other T, but in the end you’ll realize neither is purely good or evil, they just are. Confused? Join the club, and have a wonderful Saturday!

3 August 2018 It’s Us Vs. Them

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‘One-Shot Jimmie’s’ by Andrew Stevovich, 1988 Photo By Andr.V.S. – The painting was photographed in my studio Previously published: Published on my web-site (http://www.andrewstevovich.com) and my blog (http://andrewstevovich.blogspot.com) as well as several exhibition cataloges., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19053154

At least, it may feel like the social sphere, or our partner, or maybe the facts, or perhaps the whole world, is against our active empowerment and our exercise of all our prerogatives, especially those conveyed by our status or standing (Jupiter opp Juno)–but that’s likely just a projection, where we assign the external world the role of stopping something we know (unconsciously, subliminally) isn’t really something we should do or embrace. Relationships or finances, it doesn’t matter, we know what’s smart (Venus parallel Pallas), we just might not be able to admit that to ourselves, and that’s where the world steps in and prevents something we’ll regret later. Thanks, world! If we’ll just use our highest values as a guide, we’ll know exactly what to do; exhibiting this kind of trust in ourselves both contributes to our healing, and calls forth our sharpest skills. Never mind that it may seem we’re crossing already-tread territory–we’re doing it and getting it absolutely right, this time (Mars retro nov Vesta and sxt Chiron).

1-2 August 2018 Control

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Evelyn de Morgan – ‘Demeter Mourning for Persephone’ 1906 {{PD}}

The 1st we see perfection of a single aspect, Mars square Uranus, but oh, that’s likely to grab us by the hair or other body part and give us a swing or two! In this equation, Mars retrograde in Aquarius is like the pull of an open drain, and Uranus in Taurus is our own Willfulness firmly dug into some facet of our material reality; Mars’ backward slide threatens our comfort, our sustenance, our resource. What we may not realize right off is that what’s happening is caused by our own choices or actions, and so can be changed by us at any time. It’s a wee lesson in just how much control we do have over our own lives–it makes it obvious, it’s much much more than we usually like to admit.

I’m a little put off when I see astrologers and others putting so much emphasis on Ceres/ Demeter as a mother figure. Yes, she’s Mother Nature, making her a kind of overarching symbol of fertility and Life in all its forms, but it’s in her as a personal mother figure that I have complaints. She’s probably best known from the story of how autumn and winter came to be (apparently, it was summer all the time before this). Her beloved adult daughter, Persephone/ Proserpina was abducted by Pluto, plunging Ceres into mourning, until she negotiated 6 months for her daughter above ground with her, and 6 below with her new captor–and the seasons were born, with spring and summer the times when Persephone was above ground, and her mother satisfied.

Now first of all, what kind of mother negotiates the terms of imprisonment for her daughter–what mother says, ‘Okay, kidnapper, you can have her for a while, and then I get her for a while’? That validates a kind of ‘might makes right’ mentality, as if because Pluto was capable of overpowering Persephone, he then had a right to ‘own’ her. Of course, Ceres’ own rule about eating when in Hades preventing one from leaving was part of the reason–Persephone had eaten 6 pomegranate seeds, condemning her to remain–but the real question is, Was Persephone kidnapped at all?

I have this idea that kidnapping is a cover story for elopement–it saves Ceres’ pride if she believes her daughter left her involuntarily–and a mother who doesn’t want to see her daughter grow up and exercise her free will (she ran off with Pluto–sex!–after all) is propagating a dysfunctional relationship, to say the least. So in my mind, Ceres is not so much an indicator of caring motherhood as she is a figure of inappropriately controlling ownership of another human being. She commands her daughter live at her side in enforced innocence, then insists she be given back, like a thing, then uses her power to finagle a deal where her child must spend at least part of her time in her childhood circumstances–and never once is Persephone asked what she wants.

We may tend to dismiss Ceres’ extremity of reaction and that of someone who cares deeply as showing Love–but caring deeply doesn’t remove the need to recognize the validity of others’ choices, their right to Self-determination, or negate their right to be autonomous. It’s an important distinction in all relationships: just because someone cares doesn’t mean they get to control who you are. Notice where Ceres is in the natal chart, with what it interacts, and think of personal authority, negotiative ability, connection to Nature, and inappropriate intrusion on the autonomy of others, especially offspring; leave the mothering to the Moon.

By Edward Kimmel from Takoma Park, MD – Climate March 0905 Mother Nature, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58449830

Speaking of Ceres, on the 2nd we have a single aspect perfecting, this time it’s Ceres sesquiquadrate Black Moon Lilith. Everything we’ve been trying to ignore or deny, or that has enraged us, pops back up in difficult ways when we try to exercise our authority, or when someone else who believes they should have a say over us makes their wishes known. Ceres is smack in the middle of Virgo, and BML is at 29 tense degrees; this implies those ignored matters are at a bursting point and can no longer be pushed aside, and it also means that our own critical faculties may make it very clear what’s wrong, and what must be done. For a number of us, this may spell reactive upsets related to diet or allergies, or even to the smoke from a multitude of fires burning around the globe, and some of these reactions may cause a true emergency. Proceed with care.

Someone asks, ‘Do we need to worry about whether an asteroid is retro or direct?’ I don’t think so, not yet–we haven’t had enough time to monitor each one sufficiently to know if this has an astrological impact. Since a retrograde is apparent, rather than literal, it’s nothing so much as a statement of viewpoint, not something that truly defines meaning. I find our attention is much better spent on learning the potentials of interactions among the planets, delving into the nuances, as so far (thirty plus years in) I’m finding that everything is already presented by planetary relationships–the asteroids only add definition and specificity to ‘statements’ already made in the basic natal chart.

31 July 2018 It’s A Big Deal

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This looks like a big deal. Sandro Botticelli – ‘La nascita di Venere’ (The Birth of Venus) c1485

Or at least it will feel like a big deal, as a magnifying glass hits our sense of personal authority and our finesse at negotiating, causing examination of the sheer extent of our power over our domain and our reach into the lives of others, especially those for whom we’re responsible. It brings opportunity, a chance to communicate cleanly, a better understanding of our own priorities, and just possibly a wicked, enmeshed power struggle between two formidable figures. A scant few may freeze under the glare of attention, even though for most of us that attention will come completely from ourselves. There’s no shame in not being reactive, if it means we won’t lose ourselves to a world that’s expanding well beyond our comfort level (Jupiter sxt Ceres, Mercury trine Vesta).

30 July 2018 In a Nutshell

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Tomás Yepes {{PD}}

A hard day–but only if we rebuke what’s healthy, wise, recommended by our inner wisdom. Too, staying true to genuine values and commitments may cost us, or bring negative feedback–but we’re big girls and boys, so we can just let that roll off our backs, as at this point it’s more important to support our values (including important commitments to others) than to please someone else’s demand or whim. That’s it in a nutshell–have a great start to your week! (Venus sq and Sun sesq Vesta, Mercury sesq and Sun trine Hygeia)

A salute to nut and nutcracker portraitist Elizabeth Tashjian, aka The Nut Lady. She not only painted them, but opened her own nut museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut USA (No restrictions, via the Smithsonian Institution)

29 July 2018 Hurts Or Skills?

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‘The Choice’ By Frances MacDonald McNair 1909 {{PD}}

Will you choose to empower yourself by ruminating on wounds, especially the primal one, or will you muster your most unique skills and apply them to whatever you face? Perhaps surprisingly, there’s no correct answer here; examination of hurts may be needed, so that we see what to let go of, what to change about our own approach, while using our unique skill set is what we should turn to if we are essentially untroubled at the moment. Hints for success: stay calm, list priorities for their impacts on others, then follow through on them, and be very slow to blame anyone for anything, especially yourself (Chiron novile Juno).

Looking for info on the recent eclipse?

28 July 2018 Unleashed

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Frits Thaulow-‘Kanal med vannmølle’ date unknown {{PD}}

We get a break today with the quiet unleashing of certain influences willing to work with certain other influences. We don’t really expect this harmony, and it’s not apparent on the surface, but if we pause and listen it’s there, running like a river under a ribbon of earth, muffled but accessible, if we try. Venus in Virgo parallels Chiron and sesquiquadrates the South Node, suggesting a critical analysis of wounds from the past may occur–but with a solid appreciation for how those have shaped and built our reality in a positive way, how we’ve learned what really matters to us through those experiences (Saturn parallel Vesta, Sun parallel NN). It’s one of those days when our awareness of the past is not just productive, but that it stirs gratitude about where we are and what we have in the present.

Today’s word image is ‘mosaic’. Since it has a very specific meaning for me (I’m a mosaic artist), I’m going to venture that each of us should go with our own associations; at the very least I’d suggest the ‘picture is fragmented’, or that you may still be assembling the pieces.

Looking for info on the recent eclipse?

A Word Image For The Lunar Eclipse

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‘Die Briefleserin’ By Franz Skarbina Before 1902 {{PD}}

I’ve been getting a ‘message’ this morning, and thought I should pass it along, in case it’s a message for you, too: when you reach that point, that limit, where you think, ‘I’ve given myself this much time to ‘make it’, and now it’s time to move on’, look up and see what you’ve been handed–chances are it’s exactly what you asked for, and simultaneously, it’s exactly what you wanted. Probably an example of those times when our intents, wants, and efforts, both energetic and physical, are all aligned. Conversely that might mean if you reach that ‘time to quit going after this’ point and nothing materializes, it really is time to move on.

Remember, the Lunar eclipse in Aquarius promises revelation or understanding, with the addition of new guidance or information added to experience and previous knowledge (the Sabian symbol + South Node), and that all of it is a consequence of our own actions or choices (conjoined Mars). So, the message plus the eclipse is really about acknowledging the role of time in making our choices–and so knowing when we have completed a cycle, when it’s time to move on to the next, by seeing clearly the message we receive at any ‘end point’.

This public service announcement brought to you by today’s influences and the Lunar eclipse. Support your favorite astrologers, artists, and craftspeople with purchases and donations, and accept the Love and Money the Universe is offering to you (and that’s a reminder that we literally won’t see it, unless we are open to receiving it–that is, unless we see ourselves as worthy). Happy and safe eclipse, everyone!

26-27 July 2018 Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius: Consequences

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By Quinn Dombrowski from Berkeley, USA – Implications and consequences of “all is one”, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69798491

The 26th, the eve of the eclipse, brings a dust-up, with Venus novile Pallas, and the Sun quincunx Saturn and opposed Mars. Facing another’s Will or aggression requires adjustment, either to our vision of the reality picture or to circumstances themselves–but if we keep what we care about (Venus) in mind, we are inspired with smart and practical means of handling things.

The Total Lunar eclipse of 27 July 2018 (1:19 PM PDT) falls at 4 Aquarius 44, forming just after contact to, and still within orb of, a retrograde Mars; the Full Moon is also in wide sextile to Chiron and wide square to Uranus, with the latter, ruler of the eclipse itself, forming a T-square with the Sun-Earth-Moon-Mars axis. The only other aspect made is a sesquiquadrate to Venus in Virgo. A Lunar eclipse is a Full Moon, and this one occurs in the crisp, intellectually-oriented, forward-thinking sign of Aquarius, suggesting the event delivers revelation or understanding. Since it’s conjoined Mars, what appears could be the consequences of our own choices or actions, as instituted at the inception point of the previous Solar eclipse/ New Moon, or it could be that what we come to understand drives a current choice or action, with consequences still to be seen. That preceding Moon opposed Pluto, suggesting a power situation revealed, and this Full Moon may be the personal response to it, something driven by our intellectualization of the events that we then act on or choose according to, as we see the outcome of the New Moon start.

The results as manifested at this Lunar eclipse point have the potential for wounding or for calling forth skills (Chiron), but in either instance they show the need to express the individuality, or to accede to the group (Uranus), and all of this is likely spurred by difficulties surrounding relationships, finances, or Self-worth (Venus).

The Full Moon Sabian is, ‘A Council Of Ancestors Is Seen Implementing The Efforts Of A Young Leader’. This suggests that the authority and experience of those who came before plays a vital role in showing us which direction to take; that is, we learn from the past, especially from the experiences of others, appropriate considering eclipses always fall near the Nodal axes, with this Lunar one conjoined the South Node.

Since this eclipse seems so directly connected to the one preceding it, we’ll forgo our usual inspection of the Sun’s Sabian for a Full Moon, since in this case our ‘source’ is the New Moon that came two weeks before. Instead we move on to the next and final component of this eclipse set, the Solar eclipse in Leo.

The 27th besides the Lunar eclipse sees Venus sesquiquadrate Mars and trine Pluto, and Merc parallels Juno, adding to the sense of personal assurance even as it disturbs intra-personal balances and hands Love or Money all the Power. In spite of our own confidence, we must bow to some large concept external that holds sway–but considering the Sabian for the eclipse, this could place us, no matter our age, in the ‘Council Of Ancestors’ in the way that we need this fresh infusion of energy or information input, need to ‘follow the leader’, in this case Love or Money, in order to keep our efforts relevant and our choices effective.

25 July 2018 The Fire In Us

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Georges de La Tour – ‘Newly-born Infant’ c1640 {{PD}}

The big news today is that Mercury moves into apparent retrograde motion at 10:03 PM PDT at 23 Leo 27. With a Fire retrograde, we re-consider what we’re doing–or rather, we re-consider what we think about what we’re doing. It may involve no action at all, other than mental exercises to decide if we like the stance we’re taking toward our own choices and moves, or not. The danger is in reviewing our thinking and then rushing out to change what we’re doing, before Mercury’s direction; that’s a particular temptation with a Fire sign, as our natural response to any altered idea is to do something about it. The problem with that is found in the way the retro period, and usually a bit thereafter, continues to see us reassess, and so further alter, our thinking, meaning we could precipitate change well before we’ve actually reached our final conclusion. The current station prolongs a Fire trine for Merc to Vesta, suggesting that much of what kicks off our retro pondering sessions involves commitments, highest values, and what we honor or find sacred, particularly the intimate partner or the home situation.

Overall, other indicators suggest we’re inclined toward what’s smart or practical, rather than what gives us power–that’s a nice change, for once–but we may overvalue being progressive, part of the group, or modern, and so undervalue individuality, unique expression, or the oddball or unusual. Freedom may become more important for some than any obligation or promise. Those not handling current energies well will display erratic behavior, unreliability, and unpredictability–note this, as it’s important to know who cracks under pressure, who holds up–we see that now.

Please check here for info on all the eclipses, including the approaching Lunar one

 

24 July 2018 The Hornet’s Nest

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Rachel Ruysch – ‘Still Life with Fruit, a Bird’s Nest and Insects’ c1710 {{PD}}

We heal by looking away today, but there’s a trick to it: we have to keep what we truly care about in front of us at all times, rejecting fantasy or delusion or the temptation to lie to ourselves. It’s that effort to ignore what would normally enrage us, or follow our natural prompt to ignore or deny, along with keeping what we love front and center, that will save us, and shape our future positively. We could be tempted to stir the hornet’s nest, out of our own unease at the way what’s smart seems to clash with our priorities and commitments–but this is temporary. Living with the discomfort is preferable to upending things and finding that Self-generated chaos didn’t need to happen, after all. Too, the cost of having the Dream may become clear; such mental and emotional distance may allow us to figure out if we want to pay the piper, whether it will really be worth it, and makes for an excellent point from which to form a plan (Vesta sesq Pallas, Venus nov NN and opp Neptune, Sun trine Chiron and contra-parallel Black Moon Lilith).

The second eclipse of a three eclipse set arrives this week; can you feel it building? I don’t normally subscribe to the idea that you can feel Lunar energy way ahead–it doesn’t make sense, considering how swiftly the Moon moves–but in this case we’re likely to feel growing intensity centered on the effects of retrograde Mars, which will be conjoined the Lunar show. We’re already dealing with Mars’ backward energy, each in her own way according to the impact occurring via the natal contacts, and now Luna comes along and brings home an emotional wallop related to the Martian vibe. And now, some good advice, from Aries Bette Davis (the Ram is always ready to tell you what to do, amirite?):

21-23 July 2018 No Fantasies Allowed

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Pierre Puvis de Chavannes ‘Fantasy’ 1865 {{PD}}

We might feel denied our fantasies, and though in most instances that’s a productive thing, this time it may feel like we’re being punished. In this case, the mechanism of denial has the purpose of waking us up. If we don’t awaken and approach events with eyes open, we end up acting foolishly, undermining health, losing Love or Money over matters we’ve tried to sweep under the rug, and otherwise investing in all the wrong things. Our saving grace is the Sun’s entry into Leo and consequent novile to Ceres; this brings focus back to what’s important to us, personally, briefly un-muddying the Cosmic waters and re-orienting us to our needs and Purpose. If we’re looking for reasons *Why* those waters have been muddied, we need look no farther than Mars retrograde, bringing delinquent behaviors and rash attitudes to the surface, and the approaching Total Lunar eclipse; between the two, we may feel things and ourselves more than a little upended this week (Mars opp Pallas, Venus sesq Black Moon Lilith, sxt Jupiter, parallel Hygeia and contra-parallel Zeus and Neptune, Pallas conj NN, Sun sesq Neptune).

Have a lovely weekend!

What’s Your Unicorn? Finding Energy Wasters in the Chart and the Life

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Moretto da Brescia – ‘St. Justina, Venerated by a Patron’ c1530 {{PD}}

This is an ECLIPSE re-print, slightly modified and edited.

Everybody has one: a vision, idea, or image that we hold as a shining ideal–but that’s not a unicorn. We may have goals or desires that are treated as a holy grail, perfect, revered, and not immediately (or possibly ever) attainable, but those aren’t unicorns, either. Unicorn status isn’t for those things we can work toward and achieve; we reserve this fantastical designation for those things that we are more invested in idealizing and identifying through than actually attaining. What’s distinctive about a unicorn is the way in which we don’t, in any significant sense, try to make this ideal a reality, and yet we may spend a great deal of time talking and thinking about it, fantasizing about it, and letting others know that we have a personal connection to it, and so using it as a personal identifier. We may tell everyone that we hope to catch our unicorn one day–but what makes it a unicorn is the way we make sure we will never make significant steps to capture it and ‘make it real’.

Luca Longhi {{PD}}

It’s one thing, too, if we are pursuing our unicorn, even if we have no intention of catching it; at least we are in motion, in real life, putting out energy that may bring us all kind of surprising results, and even rewards–but just the fact that we would pursue it brings it too much into the practical world to continue its classification as the mythical creature. A true personal unicorn is an idea or goal or ideal we feel almost breathlessly close to, that we feel speaks of who we are at the deepest level–and yet, we have no intention of testing this notion of fit, no intention at all of doing anything that would draw us one whit closer to its presence or achievement in real life. Our Unicorn typically gives us a big chunk of a potential identity, a chunk that reflects what we would or could be, under other circumstances, even in another life–but we are still presenting ourselves, speaking of, and claiming the unicorn goal as if it were a current, living one that is just out of reach.

The problem with this isn’t that we have a dream, but that we may be dishonest in the way we are trying to live within it without actualizing it. That means that we are fooling ourselves into devoting a great deal of mental time, energy, and even spiritual energy (like hope) to something we never intend to have as a part of our lives; and what’s more, much of the energy is spent in trying to ‘sell’ this image to others–and so we waste a goodly amount of time and development potential in the process.

Typically the dream denied that spurs the unicorn is one we cannot accept into our life, for one reason or another. If we believe our own press, we may be priming ourselves to be not just disappointed, but to perhaps regard ourselves as unworthy of true happiness, through failing to rope and ride the single-horned beast of our imagination. I call a unicorn an “energy waster” but it’s really more of a spirit destroyer: when the spirit is engaged in the Kabuki theater of presenting illusion (for that’s what a unicorn is) as a strived-for reality, what we have is a show, not a life.

Signals That Our Unicorn Is Present

St. Margaret of Antioch {{PD}}

We experience myriad daydreams unconnected to our real-life goals (unconnected to the ones we are actively working toward, and specifically those daydreams where we ‘star’ in a way, and featuring a personality often very much different than our everyday persona–the personality of the daydream emphasizes some element of our make-up that is usually muted or even hidden); we fill our conversation with talk of what ‘will be’, even as we are unable to connect the dots from here to there;  we may feel intense jealousy, envy, or anger when we witness someone else living our ‘unicorn life’; we may turn down opportunities with the idea we must stay available for our unicorn; we may buy the ‘trappings’ of our unicorn (but do nothing else toward realization); and we may take up hobbies that have some relation to our unicorn (but that can’t possibly lead to it), that effectively persuade us we are on this track after all.

Possible Chart Clues to Our Unicorn

I don’t mean to demonize Neptune in regard to the concept of unicorns, but it is the most logical starting place, and it is often involved, as Saturn can be, through the mechanism of suppression (in Neptune’s case, it’s a kind of anti-suppression that appears to deal with things, but which in reality is lost in illusion or subterfuge). It’s not unreasonable to see unicorns as a response to denial of a dream–but typically the dream denied that spurs the unicorn is one we cannot allow in our lives–its arrival would disrupt other factors, or call upon us in ways we don’t want to be tested.

Linen warp showing two scenes from Der Busant, a Medieval poem {{PD}}

What we should be looking at, then, are the ways our Neptune has been denied, and our Saturn (which can be internal or external–in the form of authority–or sometimes Uranus or Jupiter–society–when the group overwhelms the individuality urge) has participated in a kind of suppression that leaves the only acceptable outlet an intangible one (at least as far as we are concerned). Ceres may also be involved in suppression, again through an external authority or the real-life maternal figure(s) or in the guise of the ‘internalized mother’. Even Pluto may figure in, as a destructive force or Other that has managed to convince us by its own, powerful assertion that our dream is unattainable, at least for little ol’ us.

We may have hit the aspect jackpot if we find a third body touched by both Neptune and Saturn (or with some combination of these and/ or Pisces or Capricorn, Ceres, or Jupiter, as ancient ruler of Pisces). This will designate the contacted energy as the locus of our unicorn–and so give us a place to start in defining and implementing our denied desires related to that energy. And of course, keep in mind, not all contacts to these energies imply there’s a unicorn trotting behind them.

And if Black Moon Lilith is involved in any way in our dream or goal recipe, we may be dealing either with a goal born of rage (in which case, we can’t attain the dream because we must then let go of our anger, which if this intense likely forms a big chunk of the identity), or with a dream certain aspects of which we are in denial about, with BML’s presence signaling we’ll likely avoid progress at all costs.

Good Hunting, Readers!

We shouldn’t be down on ourselves if we discover a unicorn frolicking on our life’s horizon; instead we should be happy to have located such a distinct and telling signpost of needs denied and desires unexplored. Unicorns can point us toward more realistic elements we can, should, and completely want to incorporate into our lives–and in that way, I guess unicorns really are magical.

Like the blog? Please consider a book purchase, donation, future services purchase, or book review on GoodReads–and a Big Thank You to All who do! And PS: I’ve added a vital little something for the 20th here–

Southern Hemisphere {{PD}}

The Signs in Question: The Query Inherent in Each Zodiac Energy

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U.S. National Archives {{PD}}

“A prudent question is one half of wisdom–                                             Francis Bacon

Here’s a little something for your perusal from a past issue of ECLIPSE:

There seems to be this thrum, like a tuning fork struck, that hums and vibrates and centers the energy of each sign. It offers a note of attunement to which anyone may relate, usually through a planet or point in the natal chart that is placed in that sign. Within this vibration is a question; this is derived from the way each specific energy reaches out, how it connects to others. The question is a background sound, a white noise within the sign’s characteristic harmonic, that lies beneath all interactions conducted within a sign. It’s most obvious in the Sun and Moon, as each inform such a big part of the psyche, but it’s true of all placements: they will carry this particular level of attunement, and through it reach out to the Cosmos. This question springs from the natural uncertainty that all Beings carry, the hesitation that helps our survival, but that can gum up our ability to trust ourselves and act effectively. It is, in short, an expression of energy essence that is looking for confirmation of its rightness.

Each planet and point, of course, will carry this sign energy in its own special way. Mars will deliver the question through assertion; if the sign he’s in is Aries, he may ask, “Will you let me lead?” This will be behind every ego push, every action, every aggression–in the back of the mind of one with this placement, the question of whether others will agree to her or his leadership is always on the table, no matter the actual topic. In Gemini, Mars may act to acquire information; “Share what you know!” may be the background demand, as Mars applies his natural urges to the style at hand.

We’ll look at each sign, and the questions it might bring to the expression of any energy, always remembering that this is background to whatever else is actively going on. With Aries the question is, “Will you let me lead?” or sometimes, “Can I fight for you?” Other times Aries asks, “Should I do it?”, but always the subject is whether the single energy should make a move on its own; the Self is Aries’ primary concern.

In Taurus the query is, “Will this make for security?” or perhaps, “Will this provide comfort?” Taurus is more focused on the environmental condition than on who in particular will benefit–though his or her own position of security or comfort will be the primary impetus for ‘asking’.

Gemini wants to know, “Do you hear me?” and, included in that question is the unspoken plea for interaction via an answer: “Will you share your information with me?” Recall here that the flow of information is more important than anything else; in the sign of the twins it’s a two (or more)-way exchange.

The idea of nurture is prominent with Cancer, and so the question becomes, “Will you let me care?” The Cancerian is asking permission to come into your intimate world, to be one of those who matter–and by extension asks you to care for them, too.

For Leo, a Fire sign just like Aries, the focus comes back to the Self. Leo asks, “Did you see what I can do?” Though it seems conceited, the Leonine urge is about what she or he can add by their mere presence. It is both an example to others of necessary confidence, and the offering of that to everyone contacted.

In Virgo the questions centers in details examined; it may be “What’s not right here?” or it may be “Are you keeping accounts, or should I?” Virgo has the gift of spotting what needs to be altered, and the tenacity to see to each article within a whole through to harvest.

The duality of Libra is the central vibe here, a duality that needs an Other in order to know itself. ‘Will you accept me/ partner with me?” is the constant, unspoken refrain; secondarily, it’s “Where’s the Love?” Libra reminds us of the roles we play for each other.

One might be forgiven for not spotting the question behind the sting with Scorpio; it’s imperative that our Scorpion hide, safely in her cave, even as she asks, “Can I go deeper?” or “Can I tell you a secret?” The psychic probing of this sign knows no bounds, and immediately homes in on what is darkest or hidden–but all with the purpose of bringing in the light.

Sagittarius questions the knowledge involved or the horizon, wondering which direction we should head. “Is there something more we should know?” may be unnerving to accomplices, but Sag will find what needs to be known, and reveal it. They offer a ‘Big Picture’ view by making us think about where we’re going, and what we need to know to get there.

With Capricorn boundaries and the strength of one’s ‘structure’ is questioned. “Where does this end?” and “Will this hold up?” seem like dull places to focus–until we realize how vital the integrity of the structures we rely on truly is. Cappy tests ‘what is’ helping us see reality in the process.

The question for Aquarius might be twofold: “Is it smart?” and “Is it original?”  The Aquarian wants to be reassured that efforts are both effective and modern. Theirs is a standard of intellect and innovation that live up to ideals, and they act as excellent keepers of high goals and especially of relevancy to the present.

Pisces asks, “Did I imagine it?” Orientation to the present and reality are sought, and Pisces’ questions bring creativity to the forefront even as they ground it through Collective experience. They also ask, “Who created this?” in appreciation of Neptunian energy, and in connection with the divine.

17-20 July 2018 Deep Dive

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ADAM MARIAN PETE 5 IMAGES FROM THE CYCLE ” JUMPING GIRL” Photo By Maxemilian PT – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38121737

I want to put the focus on an upcoming conjunction between retrograde Mars and the South Node point, which when it perfects (around the 20th) will also see Pallas conjoined the North Node. At this same time the Scorpio Moon will pass opposed Juno and Earth will conjoin the Black Moon Lilith point, with the whole concoction signalling a pull toward the past, a sinking into the haze of nostalgia, a deep dive into the reasons for why we feel what we feel (and that doesn’t worry about the power situation), a pull that builds and intensifies over the next few days. What we come to understand shifts our preferences, making Martian post-direction choices and actions more in tune with our emotional perceptions and needs, precisely because we are seeing what’s wise for us (Leo placements)–and it tells us that to do the wisest thing we know, or to take the most practical tack, is the way to most successfully shape the future.

Check back over the next few days–I plan to pop in and add to this post. Have a great one!

Added: The 20th Venus parallels Sedna and Mercury parallels Uranus, making us more than a little prone to spontaneous outbursts of the Truth–and that can be a double-edged sword that cuts in both the direction of refreshing honesty and revealing true values, and unveiling hidden feelings, attitudes, and thoughts that were concealed for good reason.

 

17 July 2018 Dedicated Power

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‘Stromschnelle’ – By Gerhard Rießbeck – Germany (with the permission of the artist reproduced and uploaded by Hannes Grobe) CC BY-SA 2.0

Today we find ourselves swept along by a powerfully unavoidable current, one that reflects our true values, and what we actually dedicate our time and energy to. What we honor becomes blatantly clear by what is presented for us to deal with; if we feel our time is being wasted by externals, distractions, or the demands of others, we’re invited to see that that’s exactly where our energy and attention are going on a daily basis. Using this vibe productively requires that we admit to any gap that exists between what we pay lip service to and what we’re in reality dedicated to–it’s only by acknowledging the disparity that we have any hope of living as we profess to. Luckily, being honest opens the way to gain, especially in taking steps to further ambitions and in profiting from ones already taken. All in all, an excellent day, with only ourselves and our foibles holding us back (Pluto parallel Vesta, Venus nov Zeus, Finger of God with base of Hygeia sxt Mars retro-SN, apex Ceres-Venus)

16 July 2018 Beauty and Power

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San Michele Manufacture – Tapestry with the goddess Roma {{PD}}

What more could you want, right? Beauty and a sense of authority, ‘rightness’, and effectiveness combine to make a BIG personal statement–so what’s missing? Love, maybe, or a world that has other people in it! We may become so enamored of our own ability to make a splash or ‘to do’ that we could become neglectful or contrary regarding those things that are actually the bedrock of our daily life–and in turn this may prompt us to act or choose in ways that undermine our actual empowerment (probably in favor of some imagined possible promise). Parse thoughts and messages carefully, for their impact and their import (as in, what’s behind this message?), and do your best to weigh the cost of actions vs. their end-result worth; the temptation may be to act for a short-term gain or high that carries eventual less-than-desirable consequences (Venus conj Ceres, qnx Mars and Hygeia forming a Finger, and parallel Juno, Mars sq Juno, and Merc qnx Pluto).

15 July 2018 Be Practical, Be Smart

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By Close Act – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17340354

It’s all about our levels of practicality, wisdom, and our discernment abilities, today; judgment is put to the test, especially as it concerns communications, our choices, our relationships (especially to ‘the group’), and as it speaks to our own identity and Self-assessment. The better we know ourselves, the clearer our perceptions will be, and the more effectively we’ll choose. Such vague counsel, so dull, right? Well here’s the thing: some people love drama, some people want excitement no matter the source, some people want to feel special, some people glory in their wounds–and these are all destructive attitudes, at core. These are the people who will rebel from the need to meet things with real-world awareness and a no-drama response–and they’ll pay for it, down the road, when something they love, that they find sacred, doesn’t love them back. There–we’ve all been warned. Now go, be fruitful and multiply, avoid power struggles (they’ll just be frustrating) and know that what rewards you at this time also brings you empowerment or supports those circumstances (Chiron trine and Uranus sq Pallas, Mars sxt Hygeia and qnx Ceres, Venus qnx SN and trine Juno, Merc sesq Saturn, Sun qnx Vesta).

Word image for this weekend is a small mouse, eaten by a bigger mouse, eaten by a rat, eaten by an owl. This is a dream image. A mouse is a timid individual, a rat someone who betrays, and the owl is Pallas’ symbol, standing for wisdom. Wisdom über alles? That seems right. Whatever the trouble, inner or outer, meet it with the wisest thing you know. Difficult to go wrong with that prescription.

A word to those with Neptune early in Scorpio natally: Right now you’ve got Uranus opposed your placement of creativity and delusion; this also unites two consecutive Houses in the natal chart. Watch for the ways the subjects of these two Houses may play together, mesh, take on new and surprising forms, and possibly act as outlets for your creative urge–and make sure that is consciously expressed creativity, not the kind that springs from the unconscious and shapes events willy-nilly.

14 July 2018 Sacred Opportunity

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By Étienne Dantoine – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31370497

What is it that we’re offered today? It’s an opportunity related to something we revere, something we find sacred, something we are or would like to commit to–so should we take it? Yes and yes. It serves our ambitions, slakes our desires, gets us where we want to go–but the question we have to ask ourselves is, Do we have to give up any power to get it? Awareness of what it could cost will be everything; make your choice consciously, and you’ll choose well (Juno square the Nodal axis, Jupiter novile and Sun contra-parallel Vesta, Venus sesq Pluto, Mercury sextile Zeus).

13 July 2018 Native Judgment

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William Blake – ‘The Day of Judgment’ 1805 {{PD}}

Really? You’re here for something more, after we just went under the muted rays of a Solar eclipse? I prefer to sit with big events, to let them permeate my viewpoint so I can see their effects–I’m not crazy about rushing on to the next thing, because when we pursue astrological knowledge that way, we end up absorbing very little–in fact, we often end up absorbing only what’s startling, and what agrees with our preconceptions–the first is unhelpful without context, and the second tells us nothing. Inevitably, that attitude creates a demand for info, endless, info, none of which holds a lot of meaning because the individual scrolls and scrolls, looking for–what? How we read our astro info gains great import under these conditions: it usually means that the individual scans pages of info daily, believing they’ll recognize the ‘important’ stuff (or at least the important for them stuff) when they hit it–but that’s not how any of this works. If our native judgment, untrained, is that good at knowing what’s relevant to both present and future, then we wouldn’t seek outside info in the first place–we would have total, unquestioned confidence in ourselves, because, hey, we never would’ve made a choice that with hindsight we judged to be inadequate or, gods forbid, wrong.

So, let’s look at today’s influences with the post-eclipse lens they deserve, and as we always do, selectively, blending influences into a relatively cohesive influence picture. That was a big event, even if you didn’t notice anything right away–it started something, and it may be hard to see that seedling if it hasn’t yet broken the surface. Today’s events will add to the atmosphere in which the eclipse energy unfolds. What’s smart or practical isn’t clear, sullied by our own delusions, the lies we’ve accepted, and what we hope for, rather than what is real, and it might be tough to see what’s destructive, or actually evil, around us (Neptune sesq Pallas, Sun contra-parallel Pluto). Thinking is wounded, and somewhat anti-social in nature (Mercury sesq Chiron and contra-parallel Jupiter). What’s right about our world, at least what’s loving or profitable, will be clear, though (Venus trine Saturn), and we should focus efforts there, on building Love or Wealth into whatever we do–with all else, our perceptions are unreliable.

The Solar Eclipse of 12 July 2018 Through Deep Water

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Anders Zorn 1885 {{PD}}

The Partial Solar eclipse of 12 July 2018 (7:48 PM PDT) falls at 20 Cancer 41 as the Moon, Earth, and Sun align on the same plane, allowing the Moon to ‘eclipse’ the normally dominant Sun at their New Moon meeting. This event also sees Earth, which of course is always opposed the Sun, conjoined Pluto, making its opposition to the New Moon eclipse the centerpiece of the aspect picture; asteroid Zeus forms a T-square with the Sun-Moon-Earth-Pluto axis, and Ceres is semi-square the New Moon. A Solar eclipse, this one in Water, is a new beginning, and that can come gently, like a tide lapping at the shore, or fiercely, like a wave crashing on the beach—but in either case, it brings change, which may slowly pull the sand from beneath your feet, can knock those feet out from under you, and/ or could even wipe the landscape clean in a tsunami, leaving you in an entirely new place. Change, then, is expected, and with Pluto opposed the event and conjoined the Earth, the very ground on which we walk, we may want to be highly attentive to the mix of Water and Earth, emotion and the material, flow and static states, in our world.

This event in a Water sign also emphasizes the emotional component eclipses already carry, as they are mainly Lunar events, with the Moon playing the pivotal role, either in blocking the Sun’s light from us (a Solar eclipse) or acting as the screen on which we observe the blocking of the light (by the Earth, as it moves between Moon and Sun) in a Lunar eclipse. This Solar eclipse event doubles down on the emotional, psychological, and intuitive potentials, making us all naturally hyper-sensitive to the atmosphere around the New Moon. Symbolically this speaks of, in the case of a Solar eclipse, emotions themselves causing a blockage between the material world (Earth) and ‘What Is’, including purpose and intent (the Sun). The block is meant as a disruptor, a point at which the usual view just can’t be adopted, as the light in which we view things is suddenly radically different. We keep this in mind as we look at the particulars of any eclipse event, as consciousness about the larger scenario illuminates the smaller details of the single occurrence.

Here we have the sheer power of Pluto aligned with Earth—and of course this kind of aspect always makes me think of earthquakes or volcanoes—most likely of a personal, symbolic nature, and this directly opposes the meeting of Sun and Moon on the ecliptic, so that we have Earth-Pluto, a material or physical power situation, that is receiving no light, as the Moon prevents it. That suggests that at or following the eclipse we face a real-world challenge that we’re prevented from understanding by our own emotional response.

Too, the challenge puts us in a spot: not only is our authority to respond at issue (Ceres), but we see conflicts with our goals, ambitions, and/ or desires (Zeus). The Sabian symbol for the eclipse is, ‘A Famous Singer Is Proving Her Virtuosity During An Operatic Performance’. This not only speaks of the individual need to express ourselves in a way most characteristic of us as unique individuals—to ‘sing out’—with the eclipse challenge one of performance: show us your stuff! In the context of the eclipse, what we see is that the ability to convey who we are, our strongest and most authoritative identity (Ceres) expressed in an earthly venue (Earth-Pluto) is endangered by our extreme emotional response (the eclipse), which blocks an objective assessment of the situation.

The Earth moves, and we react—and that stops a clear understanding of what’s actually happening, and so of knowing what’s actually affected. The change that happens here is serious, but not necessarily permanent; we may do best to see it more as inevitable reform, events or revelations that present us with personal power and ‘territory’ issues we hadn’t yet faced, and conflicts with ambition fulfillment we hadn’t yet acknowledged. Taking that tack tells us that what elicits our emotional reaction at the eclipse could’ve been anticipated, if we’d realized the extent to which these matters, goal achievement and our power reach, needed our attention to begin with.

Forecast for the 11th is here–

11 July 2018 Balance and Containment

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‘Pallas Athena’ By Franz von Stuck, 1898 {{PD}}

Strangely enough, in that run up to the eclipse, we find circumstances and energies oddly balanced–and the unusual nature of so much stasis tells us we’re in some sort of exceptional place, energetically speaking. We see what has enraged us, or what we’ve ignored or denied, finding our understanding or expression through the instincts (Black Moon Lilith trine Sedna–and this response offers to connect us with our own internal wisdom). We also see a stable scenario around the power situation and our ability to effectively express (Saturn trine Juno), and we see the benefits of ‘being ourselves’, or in keeping it fresh in relationships (Venus trine Uranus). However going too far in the relationship or financial arena could end up wounding some otherwise healthy Venusian expression (Venus quincunx Chiron), and this may only be aggravated with Pallas’ move into Leo, emphasizing the Self a little too much, the smart or practical a tad too little. There’s balance, and then again, there’s containment, and our task it to tell the difference between, and discern the need for, a bit of both.

10 July 2018 Coming Out of the Cave

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Hua Ma Cave, inside looking out. Photo By Hadesvn – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67390337

Jupiter stations direct, and it may feel a little bit like waking up (or coming out of a cave?), as Jupiter in Scorpio edges toward a future trine with Neptune, while Venus heads toward catching up and sextiling Jupiter–or maybe it’s more accurate to say it will feel like falling into or out of a dream, the sensation most accurately described as leaving one state for another. The sense is of wonderful things to come, and it’s probably only exaggerated by the approaching eclipse of the 12th. Other than this feeling of a dreamy shift, we see most of our attention go toward gauging our state of power. It’s all because we’re focused on ambitions and desires (Sun square Zeus) and how we’re not getting what we want–so that leads us to seek real-world avenues to enrich our position (Saturn trine Ceres) even as we must contend with those who hold devastatingly real power, the kind we can’t deny or shrug off or pretend we’ll have any time soon (Pluto sesquiquadrate Ceres). In the power sense it’s a wake-up call–but in all other realms, a chance to dream, and dream big. And maybe, with any luck, this bodes well for the boys trapped in the caves in Thailand–maybe the 10th will see them all out at last.

We’re in pre-eclipse Dark of the Moon territory–be ready

9 July 2018 A Proper Virgin

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William John Wainwright ‘Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins’ Apparently, the smart ones filled their lamps, while the foolish ones didn’t–so it’s about preparedness. {{PD}}

Venus enters Virgo, and what we see, one way or another, is a shift toward wanting to be right, correct, or proper, to be able to stand confidently against criticism or critique–and that can prompt inventory-taking, a discriminating state of mind, and Self-criticism, among other things. Ruler of Virgo, Mercury, is involved in the only other aspect perfecting today, a square to Jupiter–and that suggests that we brace ourselves against verbal (or another form) of attack for good reason! The social sphere, or perhaps the facts, offer some harsh or hard-to-hear material–and our response is to go to that place where we feel unassailably right. So, it’s a day that feels defensive; our best defense, though, might be to graciously accept the facts, rather than to nitpick or criticize in return, and if what’s offered is more reflective of the other’s beliefs, and not actually true–we still come out on top by holding our tongue.

Today’s word image is a potluck gathering where nobody brings any food. With this kind of invitation, individuals are left entirely on their own as to what to bring–and in this case, everyone relied on everyone else to provide. Is there some way you’re supposed to be ‘chipping in’ where you’re instead counting on others to supply what’s needed? Do you see such an occasion as a time when you can make very little effort (bring a small thing) but consume a whole lot? If so, that suggests a sense of pleasure derived from ‘getting more’ than you deserve–is that how you really mean to approach things? Is there some way in which you’re trying to get more out of something than you’re willing to provide? Or do you find such arrangements too haphazard to supply much satisfaction? This could simply be an image of people gathering, anticipating nurture of one kind or another, and not getting it.

OK! I’ll go one more day with this!–through 8 PM PDT of the 9th. And many thanks to all who so generously supported this effort–I appreciate it (and You) immensely!

8 July 2018 Sun Trine Neptune

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By Thomas Quine – God of the Sea, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51659847

Today one new aspect perfects, and it’s perfect: the Sun in Cancer trines Neptune in Pisces. Water, water everywhere, lots of emotions to wallow in, feelings to swallow, escapist behaviors to drink, eat, and immerse our minds in, and it may all seem overwhelming, sink or swim–but it’s much more about getting our bearings and then using our feelings to propel our creativity. We do it by measuring our emotions, and the inclinations they deliver, by our ideals–that’s how we know what to act on, what to eat a cookie to stuff down! With the Taurus Moon sextiling the Sun, we can enjoy an almost perfect day, in terms of creating and/ or in the realms of sensory experience. Pause for deep breaths as you go along–easy to forget to breathe between the emotional response and the sensory overload.

Don’t miss the Weekend Special (even a small amount thrown their way helps, and for any donation of more than $5, let me know and next time you buy services, you get a discount–and all perqs can be banked for later use, if you prefer), and see the upcoming eclipses here–thanks, and have a beautiful day!

Weekend Special

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‘The Cafe Singer’ Edgar Degas 1877 {{PD}}

If you were ever thinking of getting a Horary or single-subject consult from me, but were waiting for a discount, now’s your chance. For three days only (the duration of the rest of this campaign) donate $25 or more to the production of this musical, and get a Horary/ single-subject reading from me OR get a $35 credit on a larger purchase. Just let me know you donated, and expect me to check with the project sponsors, then off we’ll go! Offer ends Sunday the 8th 9 PM Pacific time.

Forecast for the 6th-7th here, and the upcoming eclipses are here–thanks!

6-7 July 2018 Measuring Out Venus

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‘Nadine with Espresso’ 1998 by Andrew Stevovich, CC BY-SA 3.0

“For I have known them all already, known them all:/ Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,/ I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;/ I know the voices dying with a dying fall/ Beneath the music from a farther room./ So how should I presume?”–from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot

Over these two days we may find ourselves meting out our Venus, portioning Love, Money, admiration, artistry, regard, reward, deference, consideration, and care, as it may seem the task of Giving is fused with the need to sort the genuine from the counterfeit; one won’t, can’t, happen without the other. In the Venus realm we must first confront what we’ve been in denial of, what we’ve ignored, and then we must acknowledge what instinct and our sense of ‘knowing but not knowing’ tells us. If we follow it, it’s an effective formula for determining where we should put our energy, and what really matters to us (Pallas sextile Sedna, Venus quincunx Black Moon Lilith and square Sedna).

Two other hints for handling this pair of days: don’t make the mistake of believing that what you see is all there is to the reality of things (Sun contra-parallel Saturn), and notice what people do, not what they say–there may be a concerted effort by some to put up a smoke screen, hoping to make you see their moves as more honorable than they are (Mercury sesquiquadrate Vesta).

See the upcoming eclipses here–and check out my new pages, one on Placidus vs. Whole Sign, and one on the Lilith Archetype. Thank you! Here’s hoping your weekend and mine get off to a great start!

The Eclipses of July-August 2018

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Photo By Naposaurus 2013 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Here are the general forecasts for the eclipse set coming late this summer. Notice that the first two seem strongly connected; I fully expect events around the initial Solar one to lead directly to the events of the Full Lunar one that follows at the end of July.

The Partial Solar eclipse of 12 July 2018 (7:48 PM PDT) falls at 20 Cancer 41 as the Moon, Earth, and Sun align on the same plane, allowing the Moon to ‘eclipse’ the normally dominant Sun at their New Moon meeting. This event also sees Earth, which of course is always opposed the Sun, conjoined Pluto, making its opposition to the New Moon eclipse the centerpiece of the aspect picture; asteroid Zeus forms a T-square with the Sun-Moon-Earth-Pluto axis, and Ceres is semi-square the New Moon. A Solar eclipse, this one in Water, is a new beginning, and that can come gently, like a tide lapping at the shore, or fiercely, like a wave crashing on the beach—but in either case, it brings change, which may slowly pull the sand from beneath your feet, can knock those feet out from under you, and/ or could even wipe the landscape clean in a tsunami, leaving you in an entirely new place. Change, then, is expected, and with Pluto opposed the event and conjoined the Earth, the very ground on which we walk, we may want to be highly attentive to the mix of Water and Earth, emotion and the material, flow and static states, in our world.

This event in a Water sign also emphasizes the emotional component eclipses already carry, as they are mainly Lunar events, with the Moon playing the pivotal role, either in blocking the Sun’s light from us (a Solar eclipse) or acting as the screen on which we observe the blocking of the light (by the Earth, as it moves between Moon and Sun) in a Lunar eclipse. This Solar eclipse event doubles down on the emotional, psychological, and intuitive potentials, making us all naturally hyper-sensitive to the atmosphere around the New Moon. Symbolically this speaks of, in the case of a Solar eclipse, emotions themselves causing a blockage between the material world (Earth) and ‘What Is’, including purpose and intent (the Sun). The block is meant as a disruptor, a point at which the usual view just can’t be adopted, as the light in which we view things is suddenly radically different. We keep this in mind as we look at the particulars of any eclipse event, as consciousness about the larger scenario illuminates the smaller details of the single occurrence.

Here we have the sheer power of Pluto aligned with Earth—and of course this kind of aspect always makes me think of earthquakes or volcanoes—most likely of a personal, symbolic nature, and this directly opposes the meeting of Sun and Moon on the ecliptic, so that we have Earth-Pluto, a material or physical power situation, that is receiving no light, as the Moon prevents it. That suggests that at or following the eclipse we face a real-world challenge that we’re prevented from understanding by our own emotional response.

Too, the challenge puts us in a spot: not only is our authority to respond at issue (Ceres), but we see conflicts with our goals, ambitions, and/ or desires (Zeus). The Sabian symbol for the eclipse is, ‘A Famous Singer Is Proving Her Virtuosity During An Operatic Performance’. This not only speaks of the individual need to express ourselves in a way most characteristic of us as unique individuals—to ‘sing out’—with the eclipse challenge one of performance: show us your stuff! In the context of the eclipse, what we see is that the ability to convey who we are, our strongest and most authoritative identity (Ceres) expressed in an earthly venue (Earth-Pluto) is endangered by our extreme emotional response (the eclipse), which blocks an objective assessment of the situation.

The Earth moves, and we react—and that stops a clear understanding of what’s actually happening, and so of knowing what’s actually affected. The change that happens here is serious, but not necessarily permanent; we may do best to see it more as inevitable reform, events or revelations that present us with personal power and ‘territory’ issues we hadn’t yet faced, and conflicts with ambition fulfillment we hadn’t yet acknowledged. Taking that tack tells us that what elicits our emotional reaction at the eclipse could’ve been anticipated, if we’d realized the extent to which these matters, goal achievement and our power reach, needed our attention to begin with.

The Total Lunar eclipse of 27 July 2018 (1:19 PM PDT) falls at 4 Aquarius 44, forming just after contact to, and still within orb of, a retrograde Mars; the Full Moon is also in wide sextile to Chiron and wide square to Uranus, with the latter, ruler of the eclipse itself, forming a T-square with the Sun-Earth-Moon-Mars axis. The only other aspect made is a sesquiquadrate to Venus in Virgo. A Lunar eclipse is a Full Moon, and this one occurs in the crisp, intellectually-oriented, forward-thinking sign of Aquarius, suggesting the event delivers revelation or understanding. Since it’s conjoined Mars, what appears could be the consequences of our own choices or actions, as instituted at the inception point of the previous Solar eclipse/ New Moon, or it could be that what we come to understand drives a current choice or action, with consequences still to be seen. That preceding Moon opposed Pluto, suggesting a power situation revealed, and this Full Moon may be the personal response to it, something driven by our intellectualization of the events that we then act on or choose according to, as we see the outcome of the New Moon start.

The results as manifested at this Lunar eclipse point have the potential for wounding or for calling forth skills (Chiron), but in either instance they show the need to express the individuality, or to accede to the group (Uranus), and all of this is likely spurred by difficulties surrounding relationships, finances, or Self-worth (Venus).

The Full Moon Sabian is, ‘A Council Of Ancestors Is Seen Implementing The Efforts Of A Young Leader’. This suggests that the authority and experience of those who came before plays a vital role in showing us which direction to take; that is, we learn from the past, especially from the experiences of others, appropriate considering eclipses always fall near the Nodal axes, with this Lunar one conjoined the South Node.

Since this eclipse seems so directly connected to the one preceding it, we’ll forgo our usual inspection of the Sun’s Sabian for a Full Moon, since in this case our ‘source’ is the New Moon that came two weeks before. Instead we move on to the next and final component of this eclipse set, the Solar eclipse in Leo.

The Partial Solar eclipse in Leo falls at 18 degrees, 41 minutes on August 11th at 2:57 AM PDT. This event is conjoined Pallas—ah! ‘new wisdom’ is the result of the past two events—with the aspects offering a subtle picture of what it is we’ve gained. A new start in Leo is about ourselves and our identity, and those facets of the individuality that allow us to ‘shine’; the aspects made by the eclipse describe the nature of our attributes, the ways in which we can make our uniqueness known. What begins at this time also has an air of the practical about it, or a sense of skills possessed—but no matter what, a situation that allows us to be our Best Self.

The eclipse-Pallas sextiles Zeus and catches Ceres at the midpoint, even as it semi-squares Venus. This suggests that it’s in the act of reaching for ambition or desire fulfillment that we both gain authority and power and learn what needs to change in relationships or finances in order to make ‘it’ happen. Should we count this as base to a Finger of God, with a loose Neptune apex? Maybe, if we consider that what we likely need to do to fine-tune the ambition picture is rid ourselves of delusions, or utilize our creativity—that’s what can make the whole thing work together.

The eclipse is also apex to a loose Fist of God with base of Saturn and Chiron, and quincunxes Pluto. As apex, the eclipse promises that resolution of conflicts between the reality picture or reasonable restraints applied to our effort, and our own skill set or wounded nature (the latter possibly referring to unreasonable restraints that need removal), offers a ‘New You’, a  fresh expression of identity or purpose, and that this is also an expression of our own wisdom and gifts (Pallas). The contact to Pluto simply tells us adjustment is needed, whether we want to gather power, make a change, eliminate, or transform.

There’s also an Earth Grand Trine that hooks into the eclipse by degree: Ceres (semi-sextile), Pluto (quincunx), and Juno (square). This implies the eclipse may be a spark of sorts, putting into motion material matters that, one and all, are concerned with power and power expression. No matter what else is in play at this time, this Grand Trine reminds us that there are some very real material stakes here, and that even the most innocent of moves holds an ultimate goal of gaining or solidifying the ability to make the individual Will felt and impactful.

If we really want to get loose with things, we can also see that the T-square formed by Juno’s hard angle to the axis  becomes a Grand Cross if we pull Jupiter into the equation. This may remind us that individual development doesn’t happen in a vacuum; others to whom we reach out, look for reactions and interactions, and to get a measure of our own empowerment are part of the picture, and must be taken into account, especially when we think about how beliefs, knowledge, and the capacity to reach out and to accept what we consider ‘foreign’ all shape not just our potentials for success, but our view of our own adequacy, as well.

The Sabian symbol for this New Moon eclipse in Leo is, ‘A Houseboat Party’. That promises a celebration, once we’ve dealt with anything that’s not working on our path forward to Self-expression—but we should also note the party of the image is afloat—that is, hovering on the surface of the water, the symbol of feeling. That tells us that beneath the joy engendered by successful realization of our gifts, skills, and most unique qualities lies a body of emotion, one that it’s entirely possible to sink into, even to lose our joy to. That implies that after this sequence of eclipses we might have a whole new set of emotions to explore—and maybe entirely new feelings related to how we see ourselves (Leo).

29 June-5 July The State of Things

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‘A Veil’ c.1890 by Louis Welden Hawkins {{PD}}

It’s all about what and how we think during this period, with a brief respite on the 1st to get down and dirty with our feelings, especially about emotions embedded in the real-world scenarios around our relationships, financial situations, and our ability to express aesthetics and values true to us. This is helped along by Juno’s entry into Taurus, pushing us in the direction of empowerment through the senses (so through the material world) and through what we can hold in our hand, what reaches us through the tactile and what we can materially interact with. The focus goes to the physical world, but with Venus as apex to a Fist of God with base of Saturn and Hygeia, we may find all our attention on the disparity between what’s healthy in our interactions or investments and what the real world demands. The state of things looms large, and we may sort matters according to what benefits us, what profit is earned, what is reaped–and as long as we judge things according to our own wants and values (rather than according to others) then this can be a period of fine-tuning and ‘getting right’ with the material world and our inner Venus as it’s reflected by outer circumstances.

We could draw a curve with these Mercury aspects, from confusion, deception, or inspiration, to tough revelations that heal, to enhancement of the reality picture by making health, including attending to what’s so far been ignored, the measure for all things. We may be prone to rebelliousness in our thinking when confronted with what we don’t like, and we may create chaos as a mask for a sense of inadequacy or a fear of appearing weak. The mind can play tricks on us, in its own way, but awareness that our thoughts and consequent actions are building our future is vital to keeping it real, keeping it under control, and keeping it positive.

The outcome to all this, if handled with that eye on the future, should be healthy perceptions that find the best outlets for individual uniqueness and creativity. We stand in our own, earned authority, and express ourselves–and isn’t that what we’re here for?

The 4th, hurt is the song–and as always, our response to it makes the difference between learning and growing and creating, and moping and feeling sorry for ourselves.

Hint for what’s coming: plan ahead for the 5th, when Uranus conjoins Juno, Venus trines Vesta, and the Sun trines Jupiter. These are massively positive aspects for gain we can take advantage of, if we follow a couple of pre-cautions: do all the planning, arranging, and acting before this date, and don’t expect to be able to think on your feet or handle things on the fly, in the moment–that can lead to unfortunate actions and poor choices–instead, plan the outcomes of things for this day. Doing so can multiply the already good potentials and make for an outstanding result.

You may want to check back during the period for Daily Word images, which I’ll add as the inspiration hits. Have a great week, everyone!

‘Bear Family’ By Niko Pirosmani 1916 {{PD}}

Word image for the 29th-30th: two bears face each other across a treat-laden picnic table. It has a cartoon-esque quality, doesn’t it? But what was your first thought when you read that sentence? Did you supply hostility between the two, as if they were going to argue over the picnic spread? Or did you see it as two like individuals, a pair, sharing a summer repast? And does the fact that they are bears, rather than people, say something to you? I assert that this is a bit of a Rorschach for each of us, so take what comes to mind as a kind of statement reflecting your own attitude, particularly toward others in your company, and toward sharing, at this time.

1280px-Winslow_Homer_-_The_Blue_Boat_-_Google_Art_Project

Winslow Homer ‘The Blue Boat’ 1891 {{PD}}

Word image for the 2-3: Pairs of inexperienced paddlers in two canoes try to cross a waterway while holding on, each to the other boat. This suggests the individuals are possibly venturing out into something before they’re ready, and taking measures that make them feel more confident but that actually may contribute to a spill. Where are you ‘testing the waters’, what are you ignoring that you should be doing, and what are you doing that might in reality cause an upset?

Candy-Cane-ClassicWord image for the 4th: a bright red and white striped candy cane. Seems out of season, right? It’s almost like we don’t even notice that kind of candy when it’s not Christmas. What sweet thing are you ignoring because the timing seems off? What joyful thing needs to be noticed and appreciated now, rather than waiting for its customary time and place?

See the new page on Placidus vs. Whole Sign

Word image for the 5th: two people choose to spend a quiet day together, instead of going to a party. There’s no ‘right’ answer here; this simply suggests we should choose carefully how we spend our time, and with whom.

28 June 2018 Black Sheep

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Paul Gauguin ‘La bergère bretonne’ 1885 {{PD}}

We could subtitle this, ‘Mom gets critical, and everybody speaks out’. Ceres enters Virgo, and all who carry a maternal oversight role, or who hold authority over others, or who must negotiate, all need to pull back and apply that initial, critical urge to some thing that’s in their domain, rather than to some one. It’s important to short-circuit that urge to criticize, nitpick, and do a line-item veto on, and at least temporarily re-focus that on one’s Self or a project or effort that is solely one’s responsibility–and this is especially true for those who may have natal Pluto in this area, as their critiques can go from ‘isn’t that curious?’ to Armageddon in no time flat.

There’s also the way everyone will be feeling like speaking out, as Mercury enters Leo–but it’s important to note that this urge will be especially lacking in destruction or transformative energy (contra-parallel Pluto), and that it arises solely from those areas where we feel less-than-empowered (square Juno). So, be aware that behind everything communicated is an idea of (or even fear of) powerlessness–and respond as appropriate.

Communication issues aren’t aided by Venus’ sesquiquadrate to Chiron–that almost guarantees wounds stir things up in relationships and financial areas–but perceptual faculties are aided by instinct, what we ‘know but don’t know’–that is, our ‘blind spot’ material–and so it all boils down to this: how in touch we are with our own inner nature, how honest we are with ourselves and how well we know who we are, dictates how the rest of the influences will play out, as well as how deftly we will handle them (Sun novile Sedna). Those ‘in touch’ will see their perceptions validated in the real world, in a way that empowers and makes for gain–everyone else, hold on for a rough ride, in one form or another.

Bruno Liljefors – ‘Andfamilj i vass’ 1917 {{PD}}

Today’s word image is a duck that can’t swim. What happens when something everyone expects you to do naturally doesn’t happen? How you adapted to that challenge (for we all have areas like this) defines you, beyond any other characteristic or behavior, so it might be a good time to think about how this has manifested in your own life, what you did to compensate, and what that might mean about you. Extreme versions of this are labeled ‘Black Sheep’ within a tribe; it may be tougher, though, to deal with a more mild version, where you’re pilloried but still held close.

See my books here, yesterday’s Full Moon here, and in case you missed it, the new page on Lilith energy here, or support the blog by donation, link at right–thank you!

Full Moon 27 June 2018 Holding Back, Holding Court

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By Ronnie Robertson – Compass Head moon, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56612161

The Full Moon perfects at 9:53 PM PDT of the 27th at 6 Capricorn 28, just after both Earth and then Luna have swept past retrograde Saturn, which should be considered conjoined the event. The energy for this FM is withdrawn, passive, spurring reticence and uncertainty, as it falls directly after Mars’ stationary retrograde pause and in cautious Capricorn. The atmosphere is charged with suppressed, misdirected, short-circuited, stunted, repressed, rule-bound influences, and yet we are invited to survey our handiwork, to examine what we’ve built, and to assess how we need to modify our approach to create what we want in the future, and specifically, how we might want to ‘hold court’ , positioning ourselves to make the most of our individuality, to ‘shine’ (quincunx North Node in Leo).

We may meet the results of our own, Self-imposed discipline, our hard work, or conversely, we see where we should have applied effort. The Full Moon puts the reality picture under a spotlight, one that tells us, quite literally in some cases, the lay of the land. The event axis also forms a T-square with asteroid Hygeia; this dynamic promises either/ or choices presented by the Lunar culmination, neither of which will be truly supportive of us! (the squares–I’m defining health in its broadest context.) So where does that leave us? Knowing where we stand, which is invaluable, with the ability to assess how effective we’ve been, and to see how to modify our efforts for future success (that ‘place’ where we can ‘shine’). Not glamorous, but plenty useful.

The Sabian for the Full Moon is, ‘A Veiled Prophet Speaks, Seized By The Power Of A God’. Wow! We might not expect such an elevated meaning from these modest Full Moon aspects, but that’s the essence of a veil, isn’t it? We have to make an effort, however slight, to see what’s behind it, and to be willing to reveal our own prophetic nature (that is, pure intuitive nature).

Saturn is ‘the Old Man’, certainly a stand-in for a serious, old world kind of god, and the image itself casts us, the individuals basking in the Full Moon glow, as channels for revelation. Do we see that in the chart? We do, if we look at the conjunction of Earth, Moon, and Saturn. That suggests that both material matters, the actual physical surroundings as well as the reality picture overall, will speak to us of divine (that is, spiritual) information, and we’ll have another channel for this via the emotions and intuition (the Moon).

For a Full Moon we also look at the Sabian symbol for the Sun: ‘ Two Nature Spirits Dancing Under the Moonlight’. This suggests that our own celebration of the natural world is what instigates the emotional culmination of the Full Moon. We connect to the Cosmos (consciously or not) and receive our message (the information channeled through us in the Full Moon symbol).

So, listen to your feelings, listen to those interior whispers, and look around you; the world will surround you with symbols, with messages, with meaning, and your own inner wisdom and feeling can translate that into language that makes your situation and state apparent, and the potentials for your future crystal clear.

See the general outlook for the day here, and the chart for the Full Moon, below.

 

27 June 2018 The Hard Realities

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‘Accent on Pink’ By Wassily Kandinsky 1925 {{PD}}

We see the hard edges of reality today, and perhaps run from them (Sun opp Saturn). Understandable, but not helpful. If we’ll only pause for a moment, and really look, we’ll see some genius ways we can benefit (Sun nov Venus). Relationships, situations that call on our values, finances, and/ or those things/ matters of the Houses ruled by Venus in the natal chart, are the gateways–but will we step through and reap the rewards, when we realize we’ll have to adjust our view of the past so that what we learned then is useful now (Sun qnx SN)? A test of stubbornness, no doubt, at least for some of us.

We may also see the gift of speaking from perceptive instincts, or from what we ‘know but don’t know’, and may act as channels for one another–so talk it out, whatever it is (Mercury sxt Sedna). On an individual level, be willing to adjust aesthetics to accommodate inspiration and the creative (Venus qnx Neptune)–again, stubbornness may torpedo perfectly good ideas–but this influence may also affect our communications, so don’t let illusion intrude in relationships or finances. And one final thing to be aware of: those exercising their power are making a concerted effort to ignore or deny certain hard realities–just don’t let that be you.

‘Abendstimmung am Meer’ By Max Jensen 1860 {{PD}}

Today’s word image is a ship, just sailing over the horizon. Have you been waiting for your ship to come in? Well, it’s not coming toward you, but sailing away–you may have misjudged the situation entirely, or maybe are just looking in the ‘wrong’ direction for aid–this is a reminder not to pin your hopes unreasonably on something that may never ‘arrive’, but to instead work with what’s in front of you, with the idea of creating ‘better/ more’. That’s the only way to get ‘there’ from ‘here’.

Have you seen the new page on Lilith energy?

26 June 2018 Ears to the Ground

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Vincent van Gogh – ‘Self-portrait with bandaged ear’ 1889 {{PD}}

Look, as I foresee it, we’re really going to see or feel Mars retrograde today, specifically because he does so parallel to Saturn; that introduces a material or tangible effect, possibly via a withdrawal of energy that has physical consequences. But, and this is really important: today is a day for listening, reasoning, planning, or signing (as long as that signature isn’t the go-ahead for a physical project, rather than a purchase or agreement–which purchase or agreement could, with a little adjustment, be a dream come true as Venus moves toward quincunx with Neptune). Intel comes to us, and matters ignored or denied don’t get in our way–just keep your ears to the ground, and highest values in mind, when going about your business. Watch out, though, for a little something in the moment that seems harmless, even celebratory, but that could be very hard on the health (Mercury contra-parallel Mars and Saturn, opp Black Moon Lilith, qnx Vesta, Sun sq Hygeia).

Today’s word image is a question: What condition from the past is back in your life, and is your current response in any way mirroring old conditions? If so, you’ll need to consciously work to let them go, to remind yourself, until it takes, that things are different, now.

There’s a new page on Lilith (ECLIPSE Readers may recognize it from a 2014 issue, with slight alterations).

25 June 2018 Power Or Duty?

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In Greek mythology, Atlas is the god who supports the celestial sphere (the universe) on his shoulders. This little formation, at Little Finland, is about the size of a soccer ball. When I saw it I immediately thought about Atlas. It was shot in deep twilight. Statement and Photo By John Fowler from Placitas, NM, USA – Tiny Atlas, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24663532

Or maybe that should be power or wisdom, as it seems having and exercising falls to one or the other, but somehow not both; we either do the wise thing, or the thing that makes us felt in the Universe–there’s no in-between. Another version might be having to use sheer force vs. using skills–but you get my drift (Pluto opp Pallas). This feeling that we must choose one or the other arises from a couple of influences: our highest values don’t seem to support showing our personal authority, and they also seem at odds with our own instincts and inner knowledge. The disquiet keeps us off balance–and seems to insist we pick a form, power or wisdom, and go with it (and here we should note they’re not naturally mutually exclusive, it just seems like it, today–Vesta contra-parallel Ceres and qnx Sedna). Only one other influence perfects today, and it’s not really helping: Venus squares Jupiter, and may phrase things as ‘choose intimate relationships over the social sphere’ or ‘money over freedom’ or ‘sticking with values over taking an opportunity’ (that may smell like taking advantage). It’s a dilemma with no resolution, so go with what feels right, and remember, if you’re seeing the world as presenting only two mutually exclusive options, it’s an illusion–aim for a third.

Today’s word image isn’t words but a picture:

‘And a Prayer’ (Not sure if the name listed is the artist’s or his father’s)
Atom Hovhanesyan – Father’s statement: “My son’s work, who passed away” Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

And this on squares, by the wonderful Sagittarian Mind

24 June 2018 The Whole Enchilada

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Photo By Lameirasb CC BY-SA 4.0

Today thoughts and attention are smoothly in line–which may give us the illusion that what we perceive is the whole enchilada, when in reality it can’t help but be only a part of it. Tips for successful navigation: what we’re effective at, what we have the authority or status to make happen, is also what we should be making happen; the future is where ‘it’ is at, so an attitude of investment and a willingness to delay gratification or reward will be beneficial; and don’t sweat future transgressions–they may never materialize (Sun parallel Mercury, Venus parallel NN and sesq Vesta, Vesta trine Juno).

Photo By Fer.goiba CC BY-SA 4.0

Today’s word image is an ‘incomplete’ meal. What makes you feel a meal is complete? Do you have to have dessert? A salad? Something hot? And what do your sustenance expectations say about the way you consume intangibles, like ideas? Food for thought (you see what I did there)

All photos are from–where else?–“Festival de la Enchilada, Iztapalapa 2014”

Photo By Lameirasb CC BY-SA 4.0

23 June 2018 We Are What Empowers Us

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‘The Queen in Hamlet’ By Edwin Austin Abbey 1894 {{PD}}

Today the status we hold, the roles we play, those domains under our undisputed control, define us. This may seem unfairly limiting, but in reality is meant to focus our regard on those things that are truly ours to affect–and that in turn is meant to make us more effective in what we choose to do. The bad thing is we’ll be highly aware of our wounds, of the ways in which we lack or feel we’ve failed, which may prompt a sensitive pull back–but the good news is we can transform these circumstances, via our ideals, our creative responses, and our imaginations. We make the day what it is, by creating what we focus on. Visualize it, and it can be (Neptune nov Juno, Merc opp Pluto, Sun sq Chiron).

By Hein.Mück – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12677057

Today’s word image is a bright but relatively deep shade of blue–let’s call it ‘summer blue’. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, this is an expression of the current season, and meant to alert you to current circumstances or to something that needs consideration/ more attention in your world. If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, this image/ color arrives in the depths of winter, to remind you that what’s dormant now will eventually spring back to life.

June event reminder–

22 June 2018 Double Vision

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‘Twins Clara and Aelbert de Bray’ 1646 By Salomon de Bray {{PD}}

There’s an odd kind of split in the air; it vibrates to the point of disturbing the visual field, distorting some of the senses, and even if we’re not experiencing such a distinct disorientation we’re at least aware that things are off. It’s like in those story lines where the characters are swept into another version of their reality, and they all look at each other and say, “There’s something not right here.” That might be the feeling today, not necessarily that something’s not right, but certainly that it’s existing in two or more states at once, a real-life version of Schrödinger’s cat.

So why the weird vibes? The divide is mostly between external and internal realities, though for some of us the attention will be much more prominently fixed in one or the other. On one hand we have a strong sense of the interior reality being firmly integrated, with no separation among highest values, one’s dedicated energies, our prerogatives, the instinctual nature, and our learned and inherently known internal wisdom. One reason that what I might term our inner sense of honor, of who we are at core, is so solid right now is that we are embracing everything, even those things we’d normally deny or turn away from; another is that we’re seeing all the most creative and positive versions of the past, and drawing from them. There’s also something we might describe mundanely as ‘electricity in the air’, but which I’d describe more as a million tiny fractures in the atmosphere, where the energy of another viewpoint, another fact, another unknown, pokes through.

It can be a massively productive day, hugely inspiring, adding up to much more than the sum of its parts, so don’t be too distracted by that shimmer in the air; focus on that inner strength, that harmony that makes it very clear how to act in our most advantageous and characteristic ways (Sun sxt Uranus, Merc conj Pallas, Neptune nov SN, Vesta trine Ceres and parallel Black Moon Lilith, Juno parallel Sedna).

Today’s word image is two airliners on a collision course; one drops precipitously and avoids disaster for both. Who have you been on a collision course with, and which one of you saved the day by essentially crying ‘Uncle!’? It was a smart thing to do, and you should know there’s no need to return to that disastrous course once again.

See the forecast for the 21st here–

Skillful observations on Trump and the upcoming eclipses, by Astrologer Jude Cowell–

15 August 2018 Crystal Clear

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By Saqibbali – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69544296

It’s a day that feels like we’ll be called to compromise, adjust, modify, or where circumstances presented will be just a tad uncomfortable–and yet, what we need to remember, is that these scenarios 1) are direct reflections of our own thinking, and 2) allow us to clarify and make ‘statements’ (by our actions and choices) about what our highest values and priorities really are. Changes made now may not be very smart, or very practical, but they do say something about our desires, what we’re building, where we’re headed. We make it crystal clear to what and to whom we’re truly dedicated, and others do the same–so we see their priorities, their genuine feelings, as well. Be prepared–there may be a shock or two delivered, as we realize our own actual commitments, and/ or get a big reveal on what those around us really honor–in any case, we ‘get the message’, and it alters things, somehow (Sun trine Vesta and parallel Mercury, Pluto qnx Pallas, Juno qnx Zeus)

By Christopher Michel – A weddell seal. Sweetly made by @melaquino to celebrate my upcoming trip to Antarctica!, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24808848

Today’s word image is a sea lion with human eyes. There is some Leo-themed subject (or Leo person you know) that needs to be re-considered in a humanistic light–that is, re-assessed using both a more objective and more understanding emotion-friendly) lens.

I’ve gotten a large number of service requests lately (thank you!) where I’ve notified the individuals of acceptance but have not been paid, or where I’ve received a request, answered, and am holding a spot but have not been notified as to whether the individual wants the report or not. If you’ve been given a ‘pay by’ date, this does not apply to you. Please, if either of the other scenarios is the case for you, get in touch–I can’t hold spaces indefinitely!

14 August 2018 Bad Habits

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Wojciech Kossak 1912 {{PD}}

With a little effort (for we may resist, telling ourselves that putting aside pre-conceptions is risky, even unhealthy), today we can avoid the usual reactive pitfalls of relationships, those wounds we harbor and then speak or act from without thinking. We can, at least for a time, put reactive bad habits aside. Instead we’ve got a chance to divorce interaction from our sense of hurt or distress, and so see the relationship for what it really is. This also means the way we choose to act will be entirely under our conscious control–so be ready to embrace responsibility more completely than ever before. (Venus contra-parallel Chiron, Sun sesq Hygeia)

Would you describe the prevailing atmosphere as post-eclipse ennui, or is it more of an existential dread thing? Asking for a friend. I’m joking, but as they say, within every joke is at least a kernel of truth–or why else would we laugh? It’s that jolt of recognizing reality and its absurdities that creates the impact. I think recently, and today, the 13th, in particular, we’re really feeling that Fist of God, with base of Juno square Pallas, apex Saturn. That brings all the tension between our empowerment needs (which include the need to feel like we’re having an impact, like what we say and do really matters) and what’s wise, smart, or practical, to the surface–and what do we get when we resolve that tension? Reality, with a big ‘R’! So, current unrest is all about seeing the state of our own effectiveness (and especially the respect we do or don’t receive), and what is the wise way to address it (as opposed to a way completely dictated by emotion, or the reactive nature–which method is bound to be labeled ‘disaster’). Keep a cool head, show others the respect and consideration you would like to be shown, and know that right now dealing well with our environment and our relationships is entirely up to us–it’s a ‘choice to see’–requiring us to observe, register, respond to, and deal with what is, indisputably, right there before us–and so shape and create Reality as consciously as we possibly can. This config dissolves by the 16th, so won’t last too much longer.

Refreshments are here, here, and here, and have a wonderful day!

Uncertainty

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This is a slightly edited re-print from the a June 2013 issue of ECLIPSE.

‘Flower Myth’ (Blumenmythos) 1918, watercolor on pastel foundation on fabric and newsprint mounted on board, By Paul Klee {{PD}}

When considering our own personal trajectory in life, when trying to measure that thing we call ‘progress’, we might think of the way theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg put it: he stated that the more sure we are of where a particle/ object/ person is, the less certain we can be of that particle/ object/ or person’s velocity (speed of movement). When we are very sure of our position, it may actually feel that time has slowed or stopped; we know where we are, and it seems like things will never change. On the other hand, if our life is in tumult, it may feel as if we are hurtling into the unknown; things change far too quickly, and we are hard pressed to adjust.

Undoubtedly, what we want is to feel we are growing and evolving, and it’s true we can’t get to our destination without first knowing from where we’re starting; but, we can be too focused on pinpointing our position, on constantly measuring where we are, looking for the most minute signs of progress, and so essentially, using our energy to stand still–and it logically follows that the more we concentrate on dissecting our current status, the less energy we have available to move ourselves and our goals forward. We must cultivate an awareness in balance, a knowing of where we stand at the same time we are putting our core energy into manifesting our expressions in the world in intended forms.

Is it ever appropriate to be, with all respect to Heisenberg, very very certain of our position, and so very uncertain of our movement or progress? Yes, the Dark Night of the Soul is one such time, as is any hard Pluto transit, or any transit of Neptune, to the personals of the chart or to the Ascendant (Sun, Moon, Merc, Venus, Mars, the asteroids, and sometimes Jupiter, depending mostly on what he rules natally); Saturn hard to the Sun may also call for such intense Self-assessment, and Uranus transits can bring the need up suddenly, with the advent of an accident or shock, or the sudden ‘modernization’ of our world, and the transiting Moon touching our Pluto or Ascendant ruler or Sun can bring such moments, though briefly (with Secondary Progressions to or from the Moon providing an extended experience like this). There are points when we would be wise to turn all our attention inward, to assessing our place and our relationship to our world; the trick is knowing when this is appropriate, and when it is simply Self-indulgent.

Tropical Gardening, 1923 watercolor and oil transfer drawing on paper, By Paul Klee {{PD}}

If astrology tells us anything, it’s that we are meant to live within cycles, exploiting energies at the correct time in order to receive the most benefit; this is one of those times. With Mercury currently retrograde, we are gifted with the ability to process feeling and intuition more easily than when the Trickster is direct. It’s a time to get the mind out of the way, to listen to the Soul and answer its need for beauty, relationship sustenance, and to fine tune one’s association with what one values, including one’s products that carry value for others, and in doing so, we’ll find out a great deal concerning what, and who, we care about.

See the forecast for the 13th here–

13 August 2018 Reality Sandwich

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We’ll have plenty of bread for our reality sandwich. Frans van Leemputten 1891 {{PD}}

We may be force-fed a portion of reality today, but it doesn’t really have to be unpleasant, if we can go with the idea that in order to be empowered in our actions, in order to make smart moves toward goal achievement, we need to see reality, warts and all, as clearly as possible. 99% of current upsets and problems stem from avoidance of or denial of What Is–cure that with a little love, a little talent utilization, a little investment of what you treasure, and a whole lot of respect for what’s healthy, especially in relationships or financial situations (Pallas sxt Zeus, Saturn sesq Juno, Venus opp Hygeia)

And in case you’re feeling peckish–

12 August 2018 Figure It Out

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Porträt der Tochter (Daughter’s Portrait) ‘Lotte’ by Carlos Schwabe {{PD}}
Carlos Schwabe

If you want to do the hard work and get rewarded for it, Sunday’s your day. You probably won’t have to break a sweat, it’s much more about using our powers of observation and thinking logically. We have the perfect set-up for seeing what’s not smart or practical in the reality picture and then changing it (with some god-like savvy and effectiveness) by drawing on talents and valuable lessons we’ve brought forward from the past. A few of us will run off the rails, convinced of something that’s not true, believing it only because they insist on ignoring or denying important facts–but that’s not you, right? Today may show you in some remarkable ways just how much influence and control you have, especially over your own life–you’d do well to step up and accept your power (Pluto trine Ceres, Neptune semi-sq Black Moon Lilith, Saturn sesq Pallas, Mars moves back into Capricorn, Venus trines the South Node).

Solar Eclipse In Leo 11 August 2018 Resolution

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‘Kibara’ By Goyō Hashiguchi 1912 {{PD}}

The Partial Solar eclipse in Leo falls at 18 degrees, 41 minutes on August 11th at 2:57 AM PDT. This event is conjoined Pallas—ah! ‘new wisdom’ is the result of the past two events—with the aspects offering a subtle picture of what it is we’ve gained. A new start in Leo is about ourselves and our identity, and those facets of the individuality that allow us to ‘shine’; the aspects made by the eclipse describe the nature of our attributes, the ways in which we can make our uniqueness known. What begins at this time also has an air of the practical about it, or a sense of skills possessed—but no matter what, a situation that allows us to be our Best Self.

The eclipse-Pallas sextiles Zeus and catches Ceres at the midpoint, even as it semi-squares Venus. This suggests that it’s in the act of reaching for ambition or desire fulfillment that we both gain authority and power and learn what needs to change in relationships or finances in order to make ‘it’ happen. Should we count this as base to a Finger of God, with a loose Neptune apex? Maybe, if we consider that what we likely need to do to fine-tune the ambition picture is rid ourselves of delusions, or utilize our creativity—that’s what can make the whole thing work together.

The eclipse is also apex to a loose Fist of God with base of Saturn and Chiron, and quincunxes Pluto. As apex, the eclipse promises that resolution of conflicts between the reality picture or reasonable restraints applied to our effort, and our own skill set or wounded nature (the latter possibly referring to unreasonable restraints that need removal), offers a ‘New You’, a  fresh expression of identity or purpose, and that this is also an expression of our own wisdom and gifts (Pallas). The contact to Pluto simply tells us adjustment is needed, whether we want to gather power, make a change, eliminate, or transform.

There’s also an Earth Grand Trine that hooks into the eclipse by degree: Ceres (semi-sextile), Pluto (quincunx), and Juno (square). This implies the eclipse may be a spark of sorts, putting into motion material matters that, one and all, are concerned with power and power expression. No matter what else is in play at this time, this Grand Trine reminds us that there are some very real material stakes here, and that even the most innocent of moves holds an ultimate goal of gaining or solidifying the ability to make the individual Will felt and impactful.

If we really want to get loose with things, we can also see that the T-square formed by Juno’s hard angle to the axis  becomes a Grand Cross if we pull Jupiter into the equation. This may remind us that individual development doesn’t happen in a vacuum; others to whom we reach out, look for reactions and interactions, and to get a measure of our own empowerment are part of the picture, and must be taken into account, especially when we think about how beliefs, knowledge, and the capacity to reach out and to accept what we consider ‘foreign’ all shape not just our potentials for success, but our view of our own adequacy, as well.

The Sabian symbol for this New Moon eclipse in Leo is, ‘A Houseboat Party’. That promises a celebration, once we’ve dealt with anything that’s not working on our path forward to Self-expression—but we should also note the party of the image is afloat—that is, hovering on the surface of the water, the symbol of feeling. That tells us that beneath the joy engendered by successful realization of our gifts, skills, and most unique qualities lies a body of emotion, one that it’s entirely possible to sink into, even to lose our joy to. That implies that after this sequence of eclipses we might have a whole new set of emotions to explore—and maybe entirely new feelings related to how we see ourselves (Leo).

10 August 2018 Hidden Forces

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Károly Ferenczy ‘Gardeners’ (1891) {{PD}}

‘Hidden Forces’–that’s sounds ominous, right? Like there’s something out there that may overwhelm us, push past any defenses, change our course–but what we’re really talking about are matters that exert an influence in our lives through the unconscious. We’re vulnerable in so many ways: through the deep, secret fear that we are stupid or foolish, through the power of the social sphere to make us feel inadequate or wrong for being who we are, or through the way, if we inspect the real world that surrounds us without our usual lenses, we see that we’ve fallen short in so many ways. These forces haunt us, and even when we take a step back and use our good sense, spotting these as the worst case scenario, mostly baseless fears that they are, it’s hard to convince ourselves that these are negative interpretations of reality, not reality itself. But here’s what we need to ground ourselves, this time around: we find strength in our wounds–the scar tissue of experience allows us to know exactly what to avoid to prevent injury–so we’re much safer than we might think; originality, uniqueness, and inventiveness are our greatest assets right now, along with resiliency and embrace of our own personal authority–we are arbiters of our own fates, much more than we may normally admit to ourselves–now’s the time to accept our own power and strength; Nature, in some form, is doing us a favor right now–take note; and focus on ambitions, goals, or what you desire–the ‘quiet’ available during Dark of the Moon may allow extraordinary concentration of energy and attention, which lays the groundwork for progress (Chiron semi-sq Juno and sesq Pallas, Mars conj Black Moon Lilith, Mercury sq Jupiter and parallel Uranus and Ceres, Sun sxt Zeus, sesq Saturn and contra-parallel Jupiter).

9 August 2018 Get Smart–Or Pay the Price

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Félix Vallotton, 1893 ‘La Valse’ (The Waltz) {{PD}}

Thinking is smart, even if it lags a bit behind the curve (the “Oh yeah, now I see it!” effect), and we have to make a concerted effort not to fall prey to delusion, fantasy, or deception–so question yourself and your assumptions, question others, question things that don’t seem right, are too good to be true, or that feed a dream you’d previously felt blocked from–you still are. Connecting to reality is tough but necessary in order to move in the right direction, to make things pay. What benefits us? Be willing to modify our individuality so that it doesn’t grate on relationships, curb spending on the unique (which could later in brighter light turn out to be merely freakish), and refuse to dwell on what didn’t go well, or what hurts–that kind of attention will only burn our wounds into our psyche, and we really should just let them go, yes? (Venus qnx Uranus and sq Saturn, Merc conj Pallas and qnx Neptune, Sun sesq Chiron)

Somebody searched “Buying a House During Mercury Retrograde”. I may be uniquely qualified to address this, in part because I’m an astrologer, and partly because I’ve actually done this. It was decades ago, and inadvertent; I wasn’t really thinking about Mercury’s status when we signed–after moving continents and always living in a place someone else owned, I only wanted a place to rest that was mine. We went through escrow, and it was only as they scheduled the closing that I realized we would be signing in the middle of a retrograde–but really didn’t feel I had the authority to stop it (now I wouldn’t hesitate–that’s the juice you get from age and experience!) The reason we’re advised not to make agreements or sign contracts at this time is that there’s inevitably something we don’t know or can’t see. In our case, this resulted in sellers who wanted to close, but didn’t want to get out! They asked to remain for an extra month, offering no compensation–and we said no, and that didn’t sit well. They still drug their feet; their RV and trailers were parked in front of the house when we arrived with our things, but we were in, and they were out, for five years–until we sold. It wasn’t easy–new construction at low prices were going in nearby, and our first realtor was a dud–and nothing moved until we changed realtors and waited for another Merc retrograde–during which we got three competing offers, unusual for that time and place. It was as if we needed to wait for the same sort of energy to get rid of the place that had allowed us to acquire it. Yes, there were some hidden surprises in the sale–that’s inevitable, with the planet so prominent–but buying during a retro seems to come with its own set of difficulties, maybe not what you’d get when you buy during direction, but not insurmountable, all the same. I would advise waiting, though–making an offer or signing now would likely be jumping the gun–almost certainly, you’ll find out something after Merc goes direct that at the least would’ve changed your offer, or even prevented it entirely.

Arnold Böcklin – ‘Summer Day’ 1880 {{PD}}

Today’s daily word image is ‘hydrotherapy’. What does this word conjure for you? Indulge in, or maybe just think about, what this brings to mind, and what it means to you.

8 August 2018 Words Are Like a Box of Chocolates

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir – ‘La Tasse de Chocolat’ c1912 {{PD}}

Today communications of all kinds are like F. Gump’s famous box of chocolates–you never know what you’re going to get. Worse, you also don’t know what you might say! And that’s not even taking into account the unspoken messages, or those written so that we could take them this way, or that, or the ones conveyed by other means, a glance, an action, a choice, an emotional reaction one is unable to hide. A couple of things we can know for certain, in all this: if we react precipitously, we will be doing so out of misunderstanding or the illusion that we are being disempowered by what’s happening (Sun qnx Neptune and sq Juno, Mars semi-sq Neptune), and this starts something with bigger implications (retro Merc and the Sun meet, known as the Inferior Conjunction), to be ‘delivered’ as an ending or fait accompli in a couple of months (at the Superior Conjunction–that is, in direct motion–of Mercury and the Sun). What we need to understand is how we’re listening right now; our perceptions are dented by hurt, anticipating conflict, and relationships or financial matters quite specifically threaten our sense of wholeness and right (Venus contra-parallel Pallas and opp Chiron, Merc sq Juno, sesq Chiron, and semi-sq Venus)–how could any of us hope to make good choices, or even hear what’s coming at us clearly, with such influences? We can’t, so be kind to yourself and others, and realize that what you think you’re hearing/ the message you’re getting is distorted, somehow, and you need to let a little time go by before you respond.

7 August 2018 Yes, But

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Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida – ‘El Pescador’ The Fisherman 1903 {{PD}}

Uranus officially starts apparent backward motion with a semi-square to Neptune and a sesquiquadrate to Ceres, and try though it might, it will not be able to complete a square to Mars anytime soon, which is on its own retrograde and on an ever-widening march toward re-entering Capricorn. The Uranus turnaround may challenge both our fantasies and what we see as our rights; expect to shed an illusion or two, and to have to justify your prerogatives, as others won’t necessarily agree those are your territory–and that may be one of the illusions that falls.

Meanwhile, creative types should mine the past for inspiration and former sources of empowerment–it may be time to employ those same methods again. Cooperation is the word of the day, even though to get there may necessitate giving up a little of our power or denying some of the perqs of our status–but if it gets things moving, it might be worth it. In any case, effort definitely brings reward. It’s obvious today what the smart or practical thing is; now if we can only overcome all our ‘Yes, but . . .’ excuses as to why it shouldn’t be that way–(Neptune nov SN and sxt Juno, Venus sesq Juno and trine Mars, Sun conj Pallas)

6 August 2018 Oh That Tangled Web!

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No real way to completely avoid the spiders, so concentrate on extricating yourself from their webs. ‘Die Schwarze Spinne’ By Franz Karl Basler-Kopp {{PD}}

We are victims of that tangled web we find around us, our part in it mostly being that we were cooperative, stood by in one place long enough to see it woven around us, didn’t object when those first silken threads were laid down! The thing about a web is that all the lines are entangled, each leading to several others, and they to others, and we bouncing in the middle, not sure where to snip to free ourselves. Our wisdom is questioned and others, one way or another, ‘attack’; we reject the social sphere and/ or what we learn (we are smart to), as the facts of the matter simply do not paint an accurate picture of reality–and yet, they do reflect the way our ambitions and desires have shaped things–for the most part, though, not having come out the way we’d hoped, and with a lot more entanglements and consequences (the web) than we’d ever anticipated. Venus’ entry to Libra and trine to Black Moon Lilith is our way out. We once again employ cooperation or partnering with others, but this time with an eye to meeting head on everything we’ve ignored, denied, or been angry about. Too, we may be constrained from speaking out, but that’s mostly about how others don’t want us shining a light on the facts. Do it, though; that will clear the air, and blow a heck of a lot of that web-work, and the sticky situations involved, away (Jupiter sq Pallas, Mars sesq Ceres, Mercury sxt Zeus and sesq Saturn, Sun sq Jupiter).

5 August 2018 Taking Measure

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‘Temperantia’ Edward Burne-Jones 1871 {{PD}}

Do we ever get tired of measuring how well we’re managing to get what we want? How about life direction–is there a moment when we aren’t casting at least part of our psychic energy and attention into the future, trying to measure what’s to come? That ability to live in the moment is supposed to be the key to happiness–which may be why it’s so tough to achieve. Today’s influences don’t help us fix on the here and now; instead they send us off obsessing over future power arrangements (Ceres nov NN), which are too steeped in fantasy, illusion, or misunderstanding to do us any good (Ceres opp Neptune), and fixate our thoughts on what we could’ve had, if we’d only done differently in the past (Mercury nov Venus). How to best handle it? Look to the future by assessing our real assets and current reach, refusing to succumb to illusion by drawing clear correlations between our ideas and what assets we truly hold, including talents. A clear-eyed look at reality will set up the future in terms very close to ideal, if we can manage it, thank you very much!

Today’s word image is smoke but no fire. Take that situation that you believe is some kind of disaster and see it one of two ways: as a false alarm, or as a harbinger of what’s to come–but in any case, it’s not actually in meltdown now.

Appetite for Life: Zeus in Aspect

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God, by Vasnetsov c1890 {{PD-Art}}

In thinking about our unicorns, I also started to think about where in the chart we might look for a truly direct line to our most characteristic desires, because it’s in recognizing and acknowledging our real wants that we begin to align our life so that dream becomes reality–and Zeus seemed the obvious choice. As the god who reigned over all the other gods on Olympus, Zeus is a mythic embodiment of male privilege and authority who clearly placed himself above considerations of the wants, needs, and even rights of others. He took what he wanted, made no apologies (not even to his long-suffering goddess sister/ wife, Hera/ Juno), and answered to no one–which strikes me as the ‘rugged individualism’ Western society has granted as a right to males (especially white males)–to everyone’s detriment. I think we’d all agree that the unfettered appetites of Zeus, his crass and uncaring behavior, and his obliviousness to the hurt and suffering he caused are undesirable–but the way in which he was able to not just pinpoint his appetites, but to act on them, is very desirable, with the proviso that we are able to identify ways in which these can be fulfilled that do not violate our highest values (Vesta), our relationships (Venus), or our Soul’s intents (the Sun), and certainly, that do not violate the rights of others. Easy natal aspects of Zeus to other bodies or points (some conjunctions, sextiles, trines) may show us the way toward our desires (or, point to what impulses we can trust in discovering and fulfilling these desires):

·         Zeus to the Sun: ambitions and desires serve the Soul’s intents and so the Life Purpose. This is no doubt a sweet aspect to have, as it makes for smooth alignment among impulses, desires, and goals; they all mesh successfully with identity and expression. In hard aspect can indicate conflicts between the appetites and the goals.

·         Zeus to the Moon: here the intuition and emotional perceptions aid (or hinder) fulfillment of the desires. The sign in which the Moon sits will profoundly affect the meaning of this Zeus–and may dictate the forms and/ or style used to express ambitions and desires. Nurture and/ or pronounced sensitivity will definitely be involved, and ‘receptivity’ may be a keyword in ambition manifestation; it may be a matter of attraction, as much as anything else.

·         Zeus to Mercury: communication is vital to ambition attainment, so much so that some form of communication may actually be the ambition itself. No matter what the desire, this individual will be saying something with every choice–it’s just in the nature.

·          Zeus to Venus: this brings relationships front and center with the desire nature, and with worldly and material ambition. This is not necessarily as $$ or thing-oriented as it sounds; this can apply Love (with a big ‘L’) to ambitions and desire expression, making for goals that are beauty or caring-infused. Again, a very attractive quality to the ambitions, so that fulfillment seems to come to the individual with little effort (or is denied inexplicably, with hard aspects), often through relationships.

·         Zeus to Mars: contact between these two can set up a scenario where the individual only discovers (or achieves) her or his ambitions because she or he must fight for them (or in struggling for autonomy of expression they find their desire/ ambition), or where they find desires stimulated by the need to best rivals, or to state the ‘I am’ loud and clear. Choice and action are extra important with this contact, having an impact on reaching goals even when one would think the choice or action is irrelevant to achievement.

·         Zeus to Jupiter: the individual may find opportunity in or through the social sphere, or must bow to educational needs or a religious hierarchy in order to meet ambitions. Or, the whole world is their oyster, and the life an oyster banquet! This person’s desires seem to get broadcast whether she or he wants it or not, and others may see them as excessively ambitious, competitive, worldly, or grasping, even when they are not.

·         Zeus to Saturn: opportunities are met through established structures and organizations; mentors and authorities may need to ‘grant’ one’s desires or goals. May have achievement delayed until he or she thoroughly embraces Self-discipline. Can get stuck in a loop of ‘poor me’ and lack of achievement until he or she completely accepts responsibility for the life; then others come out of the woodwork to offer support.

·         Zeus to Uranus: again, opportunities through the group–or one must be highly original in order to fulfill goals. Erratic behavior or ever-changing desires could de-rail achievement. Spontaneity must either be central to or completely eschewed in the life, dependent on which is missing from behavior, in order to meet and fulfill ambitions and goals. Uniqueness may make one a standout–though that’s not always good.

·         Zeus to Neptune: staying on track can be a problem, as this contact can indicate shifting ambition targets and a propensity to follow delusion and accept unreality as legitimate. Imagination and creativity can take one straight to the top, as long as one is careful not to be solely Self-focused along the way.

·         Zeus to Pluto: Opportunity may consistently come into the life via endings or the destruction of systems  or entities–which the individual then resurrects in a new, improved form. Must watch the Self in interaction–showing one’s power may come too easily, and can come across as overbearing.

Interestingly, contact of Zeus to other asteroids seems to emphasize pitfalls found within the ambitions. For instance, with Vesta one may see oneself as having an aggressive prerogative to force others to do what one wants (the Will as sacred), while to Juno and Ceres we see power struggles featured, to Chiron says we may use wounds as an excuse not to achieve (or as fuel to achieve, making the most of the Chirotic wound or skills) & with Pallas a need to learn to follow the inner wisdom or wise counsel, and avoid the impractical, tempting as it may be.

This article previously appeared in ECLIPSE Astrological Journal.

4 August 2018 Focus on Yourself

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By Herman Richir – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37153591

So we have a little formula today for creating both perfect harmony and profit: Value your instinctive responses and what you ‘know but don’t know’ (Venus trine Sedna), especially when it comes to relationships of all kinds, and finances. The mind is a finely-tuned instrument when thought is applied to ourselves and what empowers us, and this is in spite of its retro status–but this holds only so long as we’re not seeking to change, destroy, or transform anything outside ourselves, or overtly looking to gain power (Merc parallel Juno and qnx Pluto). So, focus on yourself, for best results.

By Fondo Antiguo de la Biblioteca de la Universidad de Sevilla from Sevilla, España – Inicial T., CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51654201

Today’s word image isn’t an image so much as this: 2 ‘T’s. Be on the lookout for something with two of this letter in it, something that has these initials, or that appears in whatever way to you. This may make little sense to you, but the gist is this: one T may appear to try and harm the other T, but in the end you’ll realize neither is purely good or evil, they just are. Confused? Join the club, and have a wonderful Saturday!

3 August 2018 It’s Us Vs. Them

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‘One-Shot Jimmie’s’ by Andrew Stevovich, 1988 Photo By Andr.V.S. – The painting was photographed in my studio Previously published: Published on my web-site (http://www.andrewstevovich.com) and my blog (http://andrewstevovich.blogspot.com) as well as several exhibition cataloges., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19053154

At least, it may feel like the social sphere, or our partner, or maybe the facts, or perhaps the whole world, is against our active empowerment and our exercise of all our prerogatives, especially those conveyed by our status or standing (Jupiter opp Juno)–but that’s likely just a projection, where we assign the external world the role of stopping something we know (unconsciously, subliminally) isn’t really something we should do or embrace. Relationships or finances, it doesn’t matter, we know what’s smart (Venus parallel Pallas), we just might not be able to admit that to ourselves, and that’s where the world steps in and prevents something we’ll regret later. Thanks, world! If we’ll just use our highest values as a guide, we’ll know exactly what to do; exhibiting this kind of trust in ourselves both contributes to our healing, and calls forth our sharpest skills. Never mind that it may seem we’re crossing already-tread territory–we’re doing it and getting it absolutely right, this time (Mars retro nov Vesta and sxt Chiron).

1-2 August 2018 Control

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Evelyn de Morgan – ‘Demeter Mourning for Persephone’ 1906 {{PD}}

The 1st we see perfection of a single aspect, Mars square Uranus, but oh, that’s likely to grab us by the hair or other body part and give us a swing or two! In this equation, Mars retrograde in Aquarius is like the pull of an open drain, and Uranus in Taurus is our own Willfulness firmly dug into some facet of our material reality; Mars’ backward slide threatens our comfort, our sustenance, our resource. What we may not realize right off is that what’s happening is caused by our own choices or actions, and so can be changed by us at any time. It’s a wee lesson in just how much control we do have over our own lives–it makes it obvious, it’s much much more than we usually like to admit.

I’m a little put off when I see astrologers and others putting so much emphasis on Ceres/ Demeter as a mother figure. Yes, she’s Mother Nature, making her a kind of overarching symbol of fertility and Life in all its forms, but it’s in her as a personal mother figure that I have complaints. She’s probably best known from the story of how autumn and winter came to be (apparently, it was summer all the time before this). Her beloved adult daughter, Persephone/ Proserpina was abducted by Pluto, plunging Ceres into mourning, until she negotiated 6 months for her daughter above ground with her, and 6 below with her new captor–and the seasons were born, with spring and summer the times when Persephone was above ground, and her mother satisfied.

Now first of all, what kind of mother negotiates the terms of imprisonment for her daughter–what mother says, ‘Okay, kidnapper, you can have her for a while, and then I get her for a while’? That validates a kind of ‘might makes right’ mentality, as if because Pluto was capable of overpowering Persephone, he then had a right to ‘own’ her. Of course, Ceres’ own rule about eating when in Hades preventing one from leaving was part of the reason–Persephone had eaten 6 pomegranate seeds, condemning her to remain–but the real question is, Was Persephone kidnapped at all?

I have this idea that kidnapping is a cover story for elopement–it saves Ceres’ pride if she believes her daughter left her involuntarily–and a mother who doesn’t want to see her daughter grow up and exercise her free will (she ran off with Pluto–sex!–after all) is propagating a dysfunctional relationship, to say the least. So in my mind, Ceres is not so much an indicator of caring motherhood as she is a figure of inappropriately controlling ownership of another human being. She commands her daughter live at her side in enforced innocence, then insists she be given back, like a thing, then uses her power to finagle a deal where her child must spend at least part of her time in her childhood circumstances–and never once is Persephone asked what she wants.

We may tend to dismiss Ceres’ extremity of reaction and that of someone who cares deeply as showing Love–but caring deeply doesn’t remove the need to recognize the validity of others’ choices, their right to Self-determination, or negate their right to be autonomous. It’s an important distinction in all relationships: just because someone cares doesn’t mean they get to control who you are. Notice where Ceres is in the natal chart, with what it interacts, and think of personal authority, negotiative ability, connection to Nature, and inappropriate intrusion on the autonomy of others, especially offspring; leave the mothering to the Moon.

By Edward Kimmel from Takoma Park, MD – Climate March 0905 Mother Nature, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58449830

Speaking of Ceres, on the 2nd we have a single aspect perfecting, this time it’s Ceres sesquiquadrate Black Moon Lilith. Everything we’ve been trying to ignore or deny, or that has enraged us, pops back up in difficult ways when we try to exercise our authority, or when someone else who believes they should have a say over us makes their wishes known. Ceres is smack in the middle of Virgo, and BML is at 29 tense degrees; this implies those ignored matters are at a bursting point and can no longer be pushed aside, and it also means that our own critical faculties may make it very clear what’s wrong, and what must be done. For a number of us, this may spell reactive upsets related to diet or allergies, or even to the smoke from a multitude of fires burning around the globe, and some of these reactions may cause a true emergency. Proceed with care.

Someone asks, ‘Do we need to worry about whether an asteroid is retro or direct?’ I don’t think so, not yet–we haven’t had enough time to monitor each one sufficiently to know if this has an astrological impact. Since a retrograde is apparent, rather than literal, it’s nothing so much as a statement of viewpoint, not something that truly defines meaning. I find our attention is much better spent on learning the potentials of interactions among the planets, delving into the nuances, as so far (thirty plus years in) I’m finding that everything is already presented by planetary relationships–the asteroids only add definition and specificity to ‘statements’ already made in the basic natal chart.

31 July 2018 It’s A Big Deal

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This looks like a big deal. Sandro Botticelli – ‘La nascita di Venere’ (The Birth of Venus) c1485

Or at least it will feel like a big deal, as a magnifying glass hits our sense of personal authority and our finesse at negotiating, causing examination of the sheer extent of our power over our domain and our reach into the lives of others, especially those for whom we’re responsible. It brings opportunity, a chance to communicate cleanly, a better understanding of our own priorities, and just possibly a wicked, enmeshed power struggle between two formidable figures. A scant few may freeze under the glare of attention, even though for most of us that attention will come completely from ourselves. There’s no shame in not being reactive, if it means we won’t lose ourselves to a world that’s expanding well beyond our comfort level (Jupiter sxt Ceres, Mercury trine Vesta).

30 July 2018 In a Nutshell

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Tomás Yepes {{PD}}

A hard day–but only if we rebuke what’s healthy, wise, recommended by our inner wisdom. Too, staying true to genuine values and commitments may cost us, or bring negative feedback–but we’re big girls and boys, so we can just let that roll off our backs, as at this point it’s more important to support our values (including important commitments to others) than to please someone else’s demand or whim. That’s it in a nutshell–have a great start to your week! (Venus sq and Sun sesq Vesta, Mercury sesq and Sun trine Hygeia)

A salute to nut and nutcracker portraitist Elizabeth Tashjian, aka The Nut Lady. She not only painted them, but opened her own nut museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut USA (No restrictions, via the Smithsonian Institution)

29 July 2018 Hurts Or Skills?

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‘The Choice’ By Frances MacDonald McNair 1909 {{PD}}

Will you choose to empower yourself by ruminating on wounds, especially the primal one, or will you muster your most unique skills and apply them to whatever you face? Perhaps surprisingly, there’s no correct answer here; examination of hurts may be needed, so that we see what to let go of, what to change about our own approach, while using our unique skill set is what we should turn to if we are essentially untroubled at the moment. Hints for success: stay calm, list priorities for their impacts on others, then follow through on them, and be very slow to blame anyone for anything, especially yourself (Chiron novile Juno).

Looking for info on the recent eclipse?

28 July 2018 Unleashed

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Frits Thaulow-‘Kanal med vannmølle’ date unknown {{PD}}

We get a break today with the quiet unleashing of certain influences willing to work with certain other influences. We don’t really expect this harmony, and it’s not apparent on the surface, but if we pause and listen it’s there, running like a river under a ribbon of earth, muffled but accessible, if we try. Venus in Virgo parallels Chiron and sesquiquadrates the South Node, suggesting a critical analysis of wounds from the past may occur–but with a solid appreciation for how those have shaped and built our reality in a positive way, how we’ve learned what really matters to us through those experiences (Saturn parallel Vesta, Sun parallel NN). It’s one of those days when our awareness of the past is not just productive, but that it stirs gratitude about where we are and what we have in the present.

Today’s word image is ‘mosaic’. Since it has a very specific meaning for me (I’m a mosaic artist), I’m going to venture that each of us should go with our own associations; at the very least I’d suggest the ‘picture is fragmented’, or that you may still be assembling the pieces.

Looking for info on the recent eclipse?

A Word Image For The Lunar Eclipse

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‘Die Briefleserin’ By Franz Skarbina Before 1902 {{PD}}

I’ve been getting a ‘message’ this morning, and thought I should pass it along, in case it’s a message for you, too: when you reach that point, that limit, where you think, ‘I’ve given myself this much time to ‘make it’, and now it’s time to move on’, look up and see what you’ve been handed–chances are it’s exactly what you asked for, and simultaneously, it’s exactly what you wanted. Probably an example of those times when our intents, wants, and efforts, both energetic and physical, are all aligned. Conversely that might mean if you reach that ‘time to quit going after this’ point and nothing materializes, it really is time to move on.

Remember, the Lunar eclipse in Aquarius promises revelation or understanding, with the addition of new guidance or information added to experience and previous knowledge (the Sabian symbol + South Node), and that all of it is a consequence of our own actions or choices (conjoined Mars). So, the message plus the eclipse is really about acknowledging the role of time in making our choices–and so knowing when we have completed a cycle, when it’s time to move on to the next, by seeing clearly the message we receive at any ‘end point’.

This public service announcement brought to you by today’s influences and the Lunar eclipse. Support your favorite astrologers, artists, and craftspeople with purchases and donations, and accept the Love and Money the Universe is offering to you (and that’s a reminder that we literally won’t see it, unless we are open to receiving it–that is, unless we see ourselves as worthy). Happy and safe eclipse, everyone!

26-27 July 2018 Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius: Consequences

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By Quinn Dombrowski from Berkeley, USA – Implications and consequences of “all is one”, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69798491

The 26th, the eve of the eclipse, brings a dust-up, with Venus novile Pallas, and the Sun quincunx Saturn and opposed Mars. Facing another’s Will or aggression requires adjustment, either to our vision of the reality picture or to circumstances themselves–but if we keep what we care about (Venus) in mind, we are inspired with smart and practical means of handling things.

The Total Lunar eclipse of 27 July 2018 (1:19 PM PDT) falls at 4 Aquarius 44, forming just after contact to, and still within orb of, a retrograde Mars; the Full Moon is also in wide sextile to Chiron and wide square to Uranus, with the latter, ruler of the eclipse itself, forming a T-square with the Sun-Earth-Moon-Mars axis. The only other aspect made is a sesquiquadrate to Venus in Virgo. A Lunar eclipse is a Full Moon, and this one occurs in the crisp, intellectually-oriented, forward-thinking sign of Aquarius, suggesting the event delivers revelation or understanding. Since it’s conjoined Mars, what appears could be the consequences of our own choices or actions, as instituted at the inception point of the previous Solar eclipse/ New Moon, or it could be that what we come to understand drives a current choice or action, with consequences still to be seen. That preceding Moon opposed Pluto, suggesting a power situation revealed, and this Full Moon may be the personal response to it, something driven by our intellectualization of the events that we then act on or choose according to, as we see the outcome of the New Moon start.

The results as manifested at this Lunar eclipse point have the potential for wounding or for calling forth skills (Chiron), but in either instance they show the need to express the individuality, or to accede to the group (Uranus), and all of this is likely spurred by difficulties surrounding relationships, finances, or Self-worth (Venus).

The Full Moon Sabian is, ‘A Council Of Ancestors Is Seen Implementing The Efforts Of A Young Leader’. This suggests that the authority and experience of those who came before plays a vital role in showing us which direction to take; that is, we learn from the past, especially from the experiences of others, appropriate considering eclipses always fall near the Nodal axes, with this Lunar one conjoined the South Node.

Since this eclipse seems so directly connected to the one preceding it, we’ll forgo our usual inspection of the Sun’s Sabian for a Full Moon, since in this case our ‘source’ is the New Moon that came two weeks before. Instead we move on to the next and final component of this eclipse set, the Solar eclipse in Leo.

The 27th besides the Lunar eclipse sees Venus sesquiquadrate Mars and trine Pluto, and Merc parallels Juno, adding to the sense of personal assurance even as it disturbs intra-personal balances and hands Love or Money all the Power. In spite of our own confidence, we must bow to some large concept external that holds sway–but considering the Sabian for the eclipse, this could place us, no matter our age, in the ‘Council Of Ancestors’ in the way that we need this fresh infusion of energy or information input, need to ‘follow the leader’, in this case Love or Money, in order to keep our efforts relevant and our choices effective.

25 July 2018 The Fire In Us

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Georges de La Tour – ‘Newly-born Infant’ c1640 {{PD}}

The big news today is that Mercury moves into apparent retrograde motion at 10:03 PM PDT at 23 Leo 27. With a Fire retrograde, we re-consider what we’re doing–or rather, we re-consider what we think about what we’re doing. It may involve no action at all, other than mental exercises to decide if we like the stance we’re taking toward our own choices and moves, or not. The danger is in reviewing our thinking and then rushing out to change what we’re doing, before Mercury’s direction; that’s a particular temptation with a Fire sign, as our natural response to any altered idea is to do something about it. The problem with that is found in the way the retro period, and usually a bit thereafter, continues to see us reassess, and so further alter, our thinking, meaning we could precipitate change well before we’ve actually reached our final conclusion. The current station prolongs a Fire trine for Merc to Vesta, suggesting that much of what kicks off our retro pondering sessions involves commitments, highest values, and what we honor or find sacred, particularly the intimate partner or the home situation.

Overall, other indicators suggest we’re inclined toward what’s smart or practical, rather than what gives us power–that’s a nice change, for once–but we may overvalue being progressive, part of the group, or modern, and so undervalue individuality, unique expression, or the oddball or unusual. Freedom may become more important for some than any obligation or promise. Those not handling current energies well will display erratic behavior, unreliability, and unpredictability–note this, as it’s important to know who cracks under pressure, who holds up–we see that now.

Please check here for info on all the eclipses, including the approaching Lunar one

 

24 July 2018 The Hornet’s Nest

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Rachel Ruysch – ‘Still Life with Fruit, a Bird’s Nest and Insects’ c1710 {{PD}}

We heal by looking away today, but there’s a trick to it: we have to keep what we truly care about in front of us at all times, rejecting fantasy or delusion or the temptation to lie to ourselves. It’s that effort to ignore what would normally enrage us, or follow our natural prompt to ignore or deny, along with keeping what we love front and center, that will save us, and shape our future positively. We could be tempted to stir the hornet’s nest, out of our own unease at the way what’s smart seems to clash with our priorities and commitments–but this is temporary. Living with the discomfort is preferable to upending things and finding that Self-generated chaos didn’t need to happen, after all. Too, the cost of having the Dream may become clear; such mental and emotional distance may allow us to figure out if we want to pay the piper, whether it will really be worth it, and makes for an excellent point from which to form a plan (Vesta sesq Pallas, Venus nov NN and opp Neptune, Sun trine Chiron and contra-parallel Black Moon Lilith).

The second eclipse of a three eclipse set arrives this week; can you feel it building? I don’t normally subscribe to the idea that you can feel Lunar energy way ahead–it doesn’t make sense, considering how swiftly the Moon moves–but in this case we’re likely to feel growing intensity centered on the effects of retrograde Mars, which will be conjoined the Lunar show. We’re already dealing with Mars’ backward energy, each in her own way according to the impact occurring via the natal contacts, and now Luna comes along and brings home an emotional wallop related to the Martian vibe. And now, some good advice, from Aries Bette Davis (the Ram is always ready to tell you what to do, amirite?):

21-23 July 2018 No Fantasies Allowed

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Pierre Puvis de Chavannes ‘Fantasy’ 1865 {{PD}}

We might feel denied our fantasies, and though in most instances that’s a productive thing, this time it may feel like we’re being punished. In this case, the mechanism of denial has the purpose of waking us up. If we don’t awaken and approach events with eyes open, we end up acting foolishly, undermining health, losing Love or Money over matters we’ve tried to sweep under the rug, and otherwise investing in all the wrong things. Our saving grace is the Sun’s entry into Leo and consequent novile to Ceres; this brings focus back to what’s important to us, personally, briefly un-muddying the Cosmic waters and re-orienting us to our needs and Purpose. If we’re looking for reasons *Why* those waters have been muddied, we need look no farther than Mars retrograde, bringing delinquent behaviors and rash attitudes to the surface, and the approaching Total Lunar eclipse; between the two, we may feel things and ourselves more than a little upended this week (Mars opp Pallas, Venus sesq Black Moon Lilith, sxt Jupiter, parallel Hygeia and contra-parallel Zeus and Neptune, Pallas conj NN, Sun sesq Neptune).

Have a lovely weekend!

What’s Your Unicorn? Finding Energy Wasters in the Chart and the Life

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Moretto da Brescia – ‘St. Justina, Venerated by a Patron’ c1530 {{PD}}

This is an ECLIPSE re-print, slightly modified and edited.

Everybody has one: a vision, idea, or image that we hold as a shining ideal–but that’s not a unicorn. We may have goals or desires that are treated as a holy grail, perfect, revered, and not immediately (or possibly ever) attainable, but those aren’t unicorns, either. Unicorn status isn’t for those things we can work toward and achieve; we reserve this fantastical designation for those things that we are more invested in idealizing and identifying through than actually attaining. What’s distinctive about a unicorn is the way in which we don’t, in any significant sense, try to make this ideal a reality, and yet we may spend a great deal of time talking and thinking about it, fantasizing about it, and letting others know that we have a personal connection to it, and so using it as a personal identifier. We may tell everyone that we hope to catch our unicorn one day–but what makes it a unicorn is the way we make sure we will never make significant steps to capture it and ‘make it real’.

Luca Longhi {{PD}}

It’s one thing, too, if we are pursuing our unicorn, even if we have no intention of catching it; at least we are in motion, in real life, putting out energy that may bring us all kind of surprising results, and even rewards–but just the fact that we would pursue it brings it too much into the practical world to continue its classification as the mythical creature. A true personal unicorn is an idea or goal or ideal we feel almost breathlessly close to, that we feel speaks of who we are at the deepest level–and yet, we have no intention of testing this notion of fit, no intention at all of doing anything that would draw us one whit closer to its presence or achievement in real life. Our Unicorn typically gives us a big chunk of a potential identity, a chunk that reflects what we would or could be, under other circumstances, even in another life–but we are still presenting ourselves, speaking of, and claiming the unicorn goal as if it were a current, living one that is just out of reach.

The problem with this isn’t that we have a dream, but that we may be dishonest in the way we are trying to live within it without actualizing it. That means that we are fooling ourselves into devoting a great deal of mental time, energy, and even spiritual energy (like hope) to something we never intend to have as a part of our lives; and what’s more, much of the energy is spent in trying to ‘sell’ this image to others–and so we waste a goodly amount of time and development potential in the process.

Typically the dream denied that spurs the unicorn is one we cannot accept into our life, for one reason or another. If we believe our own press, we may be priming ourselves to be not just disappointed, but to perhaps regard ourselves as unworthy of true happiness, through failing to rope and ride the single-horned beast of our imagination. I call a unicorn an “energy waster” but it’s really more of a spirit destroyer: when the spirit is engaged in the Kabuki theater of presenting illusion (for that’s what a unicorn is) as a strived-for reality, what we have is a show, not a life.

Signals That Our Unicorn Is Present

St. Margaret of Antioch {{PD}}

We experience myriad daydreams unconnected to our real-life goals (unconnected to the ones we are actively working toward, and specifically those daydreams where we ‘star’ in a way, and featuring a personality often very much different than our everyday persona–the personality of the daydream emphasizes some element of our make-up that is usually muted or even hidden); we fill our conversation with talk of what ‘will be’, even as we are unable to connect the dots from here to there;  we may feel intense jealousy, envy, or anger when we witness someone else living our ‘unicorn life’; we may turn down opportunities with the idea we must stay available for our unicorn; we may buy the ‘trappings’ of our unicorn (but do nothing else toward realization); and we may take up hobbies that have some relation to our unicorn (but that can’t possibly lead to it), that effectively persuade us we are on this track after all.

Possible Chart Clues to Our Unicorn

I don’t mean to demonize Neptune in regard to the concept of unicorns, but it is the most logical starting place, and it is often involved, as Saturn can be, through the mechanism of suppression (in Neptune’s case, it’s a kind of anti-suppression that appears to deal with things, but which in reality is lost in illusion or subterfuge). It’s not unreasonable to see unicorns as a response to denial of a dream–but typically the dream denied that spurs the unicorn is one we cannot allow in our lives–its arrival would disrupt other factors, or call upon us in ways we don’t want to be tested.

Linen warp showing two scenes from Der Busant, a Medieval poem {{PD}}

What we should be looking at, then, are the ways our Neptune has been denied, and our Saturn (which can be internal or external–in the form of authority–or sometimes Uranus or Jupiter–society–when the group overwhelms the individuality urge) has participated in a kind of suppression that leaves the only acceptable outlet an intangible one (at least as far as we are concerned). Ceres may also be involved in suppression, again through an external authority or the real-life maternal figure(s) or in the guise of the ‘internalized mother’. Even Pluto may figure in, as a destructive force or Other that has managed to convince us by its own, powerful assertion that our dream is unattainable, at least for little ol’ us.

We may have hit the aspect jackpot if we find a third body touched by both Neptune and Saturn (or with some combination of these and/ or Pisces or Capricorn, Ceres, or Jupiter, as ancient ruler of Pisces). This will designate the contacted energy as the locus of our unicorn–and so give us a place to start in defining and implementing our denied desires related to that energy. And of course, keep in mind, not all contacts to these energies imply there’s a unicorn trotting behind them.

And if Black Moon Lilith is involved in any way in our dream or goal recipe, we may be dealing either with a goal born of rage (in which case, we can’t attain the dream because we must then let go of our anger, which if this intense likely forms a big chunk of the identity), or with a dream certain aspects of which we are in denial about, with BML’s presence signaling we’ll likely avoid progress at all costs.

Good Hunting, Readers!

We shouldn’t be down on ourselves if we discover a unicorn frolicking on our life’s horizon; instead we should be happy to have located such a distinct and telling signpost of needs denied and desires unexplored. Unicorns can point us toward more realistic elements we can, should, and completely want to incorporate into our lives–and in that way, I guess unicorns really are magical.

Like the blog? Please consider a book purchase, donation, future services purchase, or book review on GoodReads–and a Big Thank You to All who do! And PS: I’ve added a vital little something for the 20th here–

Southern Hemisphere {{PD}}

The Signs in Question: The Query Inherent in Each Zodiac Energy

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U.S. National Archives {{PD}}

“A prudent question is one half of wisdom–                                             Francis Bacon

Here’s a little something for your perusal from a past issue of ECLIPSE:

There seems to be this thrum, like a tuning fork struck, that hums and vibrates and centers the energy of each sign. It offers a note of attunement to which anyone may relate, usually through a planet or point in the natal chart that is placed in that sign. Within this vibration is a question; this is derived from the way each specific energy reaches out, how it connects to others. The question is a background sound, a white noise within the sign’s characteristic harmonic, that lies beneath all interactions conducted within a sign. It’s most obvious in the Sun and Moon, as each inform such a big part of the psyche, but it’s true of all placements: they will carry this particular level of attunement, and through it reach out to the Cosmos. This question springs from the natural uncertainty that all Beings carry, the hesitation that helps our survival, but that can gum up our ability to trust ourselves and act effectively. It is, in short, an expression of energy essence that is looking for confirmation of its rightness.

Each planet and point, of course, will carry this sign energy in its own special way. Mars will deliver the question through assertion; if the sign he’s in is Aries, he may ask, “Will you let me lead?” This will be behind every ego push, every action, every aggression–in the back of the mind of one with this placement, the question of whether others will agree to her or his leadership is always on the table, no matter the actual topic. In Gemini, Mars may act to acquire information; “Share what you know!” may be the background demand, as Mars applies his natural urges to the style at hand.

We’ll look at each sign, and the questions it might bring to the expression of any energy, always remembering that this is background to whatever else is actively going on. With Aries the question is, “Will you let me lead?” or sometimes, “Can I fight for you?” Other times Aries asks, “Should I do it?”, but always the subject is whether the single energy should make a move on its own; the Self is Aries’ primary concern.

In Taurus the query is, “Will this make for security?” or perhaps, “Will this provide comfort?” Taurus is more focused on the environmental condition than on who in particular will benefit–though his or her own position of security or comfort will be the primary impetus for ‘asking’.

Gemini wants to know, “Do you hear me?” and, included in that question is the unspoken plea for interaction via an answer: “Will you share your information with me?” Recall here that the flow of information is more important than anything else; in the sign of the twins it’s a two (or more)-way exchange.

The idea of nurture is prominent with Cancer, and so the question becomes, “Will you let me care?” The Cancerian is asking permission to come into your intimate world, to be one of those who matter–and by extension asks you to care for them, too.

For Leo, a Fire sign just like Aries, the focus comes back to the Self. Leo asks, “Did you see what I can do?” Though it seems conceited, the Leonine urge is about what she or he can add by their mere presence. It is both an example to others of necessary confidence, and the offering of that to everyone contacted.

In Virgo the questions centers in details examined; it may be “What’s not right here?” or it may be “Are you keeping accounts, or should I?” Virgo has the gift of spotting what needs to be altered, and the tenacity to see to each article within a whole through to harvest.

The duality of Libra is the central vibe here, a duality that needs an Other in order to know itself. ‘Will you accept me/ partner with me?” is the constant, unspoken refrain; secondarily, it’s “Where’s the Love?” Libra reminds us of the roles we play for each other.

One might be forgiven for not spotting the question behind the sting with Scorpio; it’s imperative that our Scorpion hide, safely in her cave, even as she asks, “Can I go deeper?” or “Can I tell you a secret?” The psychic probing of this sign knows no bounds, and immediately homes in on what is darkest or hidden–but all with the purpose of bringing in the light.

Sagittarius questions the knowledge involved or the horizon, wondering which direction we should head. “Is there something more we should know?” may be unnerving to accomplices, but Sag will find what needs to be known, and reveal it. They offer a ‘Big Picture’ view by making us think about where we’re going, and what we need to know to get there.

With Capricorn boundaries and the strength of one’s ‘structure’ is questioned. “Where does this end?” and “Will this hold up?” seem like dull places to focus–until we realize how vital the integrity of the structures we rely on truly is. Cappy tests ‘what is’ helping us see reality in the process.

The question for Aquarius might be twofold: “Is it smart?” and “Is it original?”  The Aquarian wants to be reassured that efforts are both effective and modern. Theirs is a standard of intellect and innovation that live up to ideals, and they act as excellent keepers of high goals and especially of relevancy to the present.

Pisces asks, “Did I imagine it?” Orientation to the present and reality are sought, and Pisces’ questions bring creativity to the forefront even as they ground it through Collective experience. They also ask, “Who created this?” in appreciation of Neptunian energy, and in connection with the divine.

17-20 July 2018 Deep Dive

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ADAM MARIAN PETE 5 IMAGES FROM THE CYCLE ” JUMPING GIRL” Photo By Maxemilian PT – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38121737

I want to put the focus on an upcoming conjunction between retrograde Mars and the South Node point, which when it perfects (around the 20th) will also see Pallas conjoined the North Node. At this same time the Scorpio Moon will pass opposed Juno and Earth will conjoin the Black Moon Lilith point, with the whole concoction signalling a pull toward the past, a sinking into the haze of nostalgia, a deep dive into the reasons for why we feel what we feel (and that doesn’t worry about the power situation), a pull that builds and intensifies over the next few days. What we come to understand shifts our preferences, making Martian post-direction choices and actions more in tune with our emotional perceptions and needs, precisely because we are seeing what’s wise for us (Leo placements)–and it tells us that to do the wisest thing we know, or to take the most practical tack, is the way to most successfully shape the future.

Check back over the next few days–I plan to pop in and add to this post. Have a great one!

Added: The 20th Venus parallels Sedna and Mercury parallels Uranus, making us more than a little prone to spontaneous outbursts of the Truth–and that can be a double-edged sword that cuts in both the direction of refreshing honesty and revealing true values, and unveiling hidden feelings, attitudes, and thoughts that were concealed for good reason.

 

17 July 2018 Dedicated Power

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‘Stromschnelle’ – By Gerhard Rießbeck – Germany (with the permission of the artist reproduced and uploaded by Hannes Grobe) CC BY-SA 2.0

Today we find ourselves swept along by a powerfully unavoidable current, one that reflects our true values, and what we actually dedicate our time and energy to. What we honor becomes blatantly clear by what is presented for us to deal with; if we feel our time is being wasted by externals, distractions, or the demands of others, we’re invited to see that that’s exactly where our energy and attention are going on a daily basis. Using this vibe productively requires that we admit to any gap that exists between what we pay lip service to and what we’re in reality dedicated to–it’s only by acknowledging the disparity that we have any hope of living as we profess to. Luckily, being honest opens the way to gain, especially in taking steps to further ambitions and in profiting from ones already taken. All in all, an excellent day, with only ourselves and our foibles holding us back (Pluto parallel Vesta, Venus nov Zeus, Finger of God with base of Hygeia sxt Mars retro-SN, apex Ceres-Venus)

16 July 2018 Beauty and Power

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San Michele Manufacture – Tapestry with the goddess Roma {{PD}}

What more could you want, right? Beauty and a sense of authority, ‘rightness’, and effectiveness combine to make a BIG personal statement–so what’s missing? Love, maybe, or a world that has other people in it! We may become so enamored of our own ability to make a splash or ‘to do’ that we could become neglectful or contrary regarding those things that are actually the bedrock of our daily life–and in turn this may prompt us to act or choose in ways that undermine our actual empowerment (probably in favor of some imagined possible promise). Parse thoughts and messages carefully, for their impact and their import (as in, what’s behind this message?), and do your best to weigh the cost of actions vs. their end-result worth; the temptation may be to act for a short-term gain or high that carries eventual less-than-desirable consequences (Venus conj Ceres, qnx Mars and Hygeia forming a Finger, and parallel Juno, Mars sq Juno, and Merc qnx Pluto).

15 July 2018 Be Practical, Be Smart

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By Close Act – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17340354

It’s all about our levels of practicality, wisdom, and our discernment abilities, today; judgment is put to the test, especially as it concerns communications, our choices, our relationships (especially to ‘the group’), and as it speaks to our own identity and Self-assessment. The better we know ourselves, the clearer our perceptions will be, and the more effectively we’ll choose. Such vague counsel, so dull, right? Well here’s the thing: some people love drama, some people want excitement no matter the source, some people want to feel special, some people glory in their wounds–and these are all destructive attitudes, at core. These are the people who will rebel from the need to meet things with real-world awareness and a no-drama response–and they’ll pay for it, down the road, when something they love, that they find sacred, doesn’t love them back. There–we’ve all been warned. Now go, be fruitful and multiply, avoid power struggles (they’ll just be frustrating) and know that what rewards you at this time also brings you empowerment or supports those circumstances (Chiron trine and Uranus sq Pallas, Mars sxt Hygeia and qnx Ceres, Venus qnx SN and trine Juno, Merc sesq Saturn, Sun qnx Vesta).

Word image for this weekend is a small mouse, eaten by a bigger mouse, eaten by a rat, eaten by an owl. This is a dream image. A mouse is a timid individual, a rat someone who betrays, and the owl is Pallas’ symbol, standing for wisdom. Wisdom über alles? That seems right. Whatever the trouble, inner or outer, meet it with the wisest thing you know. Difficult to go wrong with that prescription.

A word to those with Neptune early in Scorpio natally: Right now you’ve got Uranus opposed your placement of creativity and delusion; this also unites two consecutive Houses in the natal chart. Watch for the ways the subjects of these two Houses may play together, mesh, take on new and surprising forms, and possibly act as outlets for your creative urge–and make sure that is consciously expressed creativity, not the kind that springs from the unconscious and shapes events willy-nilly.

14 July 2018 Sacred Opportunity

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By Étienne Dantoine – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31370497

What is it that we’re offered today? It’s an opportunity related to something we revere, something we find sacred, something we are or would like to commit to–so should we take it? Yes and yes. It serves our ambitions, slakes our desires, gets us where we want to go–but the question we have to ask ourselves is, Do we have to give up any power to get it? Awareness of what it could cost will be everything; make your choice consciously, and you’ll choose well (Juno square the Nodal axis, Jupiter novile and Sun contra-parallel Vesta, Venus sesq Pluto, Mercury sextile Zeus).

13 July 2018 Native Judgment

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William Blake – ‘The Day of Judgment’ 1805 {{PD}}

Really? You’re here for something more, after we just went under the muted rays of a Solar eclipse? I prefer to sit with big events, to let them permeate my viewpoint so I can see their effects–I’m not crazy about rushing on to the next thing, because when we pursue astrological knowledge that way, we end up absorbing very little–in fact, we often end up absorbing only what’s startling, and what agrees with our preconceptions–the first is unhelpful without context, and the second tells us nothing. Inevitably, that attitude creates a demand for info, endless, info, none of which holds a lot of meaning because the individual scrolls and scrolls, looking for–what? How we read our astro info gains great import under these conditions: it usually means that the individual scans pages of info daily, believing they’ll recognize the ‘important’ stuff (or at least the important for them stuff) when they hit it–but that’s not how any of this works. If our native judgment, untrained, is that good at knowing what’s relevant to both present and future, then we wouldn’t seek outside info in the first place–we would have total, unquestioned confidence in ourselves, because, hey, we never would’ve made a choice that with hindsight we judged to be inadequate or, gods forbid, wrong.

So, let’s look at today’s influences with the post-eclipse lens they deserve, and as we always do, selectively, blending influences into a relatively cohesive influence picture. That was a big event, even if you didn’t notice anything right away–it started something, and it may be hard to see that seedling if it hasn’t yet broken the surface. Today’s events will add to the atmosphere in which the eclipse energy unfolds. What’s smart or practical isn’t clear, sullied by our own delusions, the lies we’ve accepted, and what we hope for, rather than what is real, and it might be tough to see what’s destructive, or actually evil, around us (Neptune sesq Pallas, Sun contra-parallel Pluto). Thinking is wounded, and somewhat anti-social in nature (Mercury sesq Chiron and contra-parallel Jupiter). What’s right about our world, at least what’s loving or profitable, will be clear, though (Venus trine Saturn), and we should focus efforts there, on building Love or Wealth into whatever we do–with all else, our perceptions are unreliable.

The Solar Eclipse of 12 July 2018 Through Deep Water

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Anders Zorn 1885 {{PD}}

The Partial Solar eclipse of 12 July 2018 (7:48 PM PDT) falls at 20 Cancer 41 as the Moon, Earth, and Sun align on the same plane, allowing the Moon to ‘eclipse’ the normally dominant Sun at their New Moon meeting. This event also sees Earth, which of course is always opposed the Sun, conjoined Pluto, making its opposition to the New Moon eclipse the centerpiece of the aspect picture; asteroid Zeus forms a T-square with the Sun-Moon-Earth-Pluto axis, and Ceres is semi-square the New Moon. A Solar eclipse, this one in Water, is a new beginning, and that can come gently, like a tide lapping at the shore, or fiercely, like a wave crashing on the beach—but in either case, it brings change, which may slowly pull the sand from beneath your feet, can knock those feet out from under you, and/ or could even wipe the landscape clean in a tsunami, leaving you in an entirely new place. Change, then, is expected, and with Pluto opposed the event and conjoined the Earth, the very ground on which we walk, we may want to be highly attentive to the mix of Water and Earth, emotion and the material, flow and static states, in our world.

This event in a Water sign also emphasizes the emotional component eclipses already carry, as they are mainly Lunar events, with the Moon playing the pivotal role, either in blocking the Sun’s light from us (a Solar eclipse) or acting as the screen on which we observe the blocking of the light (by the Earth, as it moves between Moon and Sun) in a Lunar eclipse. This Solar eclipse event doubles down on the emotional, psychological, and intuitive potentials, making us all naturally hyper-sensitive to the atmosphere around the New Moon. Symbolically this speaks of, in the case of a Solar eclipse, emotions themselves causing a blockage between the material world (Earth) and ‘What Is’, including purpose and intent (the Sun). The block is meant as a disruptor, a point at which the usual view just can’t be adopted, as the light in which we view things is suddenly radically different. We keep this in mind as we look at the particulars of any eclipse event, as consciousness about the larger scenario illuminates the smaller details of the single occurrence.

Here we have the sheer power of Pluto aligned with Earth—and of course this kind of aspect always makes me think of earthquakes or volcanoes—most likely of a personal, symbolic nature, and this directly opposes the meeting of Sun and Moon on the ecliptic, so that we have Earth-Pluto, a material or physical power situation, that is receiving no light, as the Moon prevents it. That suggests that at or following the eclipse we face a real-world challenge that we’re prevented from understanding by our own emotional response.

Too, the challenge puts us in a spot: not only is our authority to respond at issue (Ceres), but we see conflicts with our goals, ambitions, and/ or desires (Zeus). The Sabian symbol for the eclipse is, ‘A Famous Singer Is Proving Her Virtuosity During An Operatic Performance’. This not only speaks of the individual need to express ourselves in a way most characteristic of us as unique individuals—to ‘sing out’—with the eclipse challenge one of performance: show us your stuff! In the context of the eclipse, what we see is that the ability to convey who we are, our strongest and most authoritative identity (Ceres) expressed in an earthly venue (Earth-Pluto) is endangered by our extreme emotional response (the eclipse), which blocks an objective assessment of the situation.

The Earth moves, and we react—and that stops a clear understanding of what’s actually happening, and so of knowing what’s actually affected. The change that happens here is serious, but not necessarily permanent; we may do best to see it more as inevitable reform, events or revelations that present us with personal power and ‘territory’ issues we hadn’t yet faced, and conflicts with ambition fulfillment we hadn’t yet acknowledged. Taking that tack tells us that what elicits our emotional reaction at the eclipse could’ve been anticipated, if we’d realized the extent to which these matters, goal achievement and our power reach, needed our attention to begin with.

Forecast for the 11th is here–

11 July 2018 Balance and Containment

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‘Pallas Athena’ By Franz von Stuck, 1898 {{PD}}

Strangely enough, in that run up to the eclipse, we find circumstances and energies oddly balanced–and the unusual nature of so much stasis tells us we’re in some sort of exceptional place, energetically speaking. We see what has enraged us, or what we’ve ignored or denied, finding our understanding or expression through the instincts (Black Moon Lilith trine Sedna–and this response offers to connect us with our own internal wisdom). We also see a stable scenario around the power situation and our ability to effectively express (Saturn trine Juno), and we see the benefits of ‘being ourselves’, or in keeping it fresh in relationships (Venus trine Uranus). However going too far in the relationship or financial arena could end up wounding some otherwise healthy Venusian expression (Venus quincunx Chiron), and this may only be aggravated with Pallas’ move into Leo, emphasizing the Self a little too much, the smart or practical a tad too little. There’s balance, and then again, there’s containment, and our task it to tell the difference between, and discern the need for, a bit of both.

10 July 2018 Coming Out of the Cave

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Hua Ma Cave, inside looking out. Photo By Hadesvn – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67390337

Jupiter stations direct, and it may feel a little bit like waking up (or coming out of a cave?), as Jupiter in Scorpio edges toward a future trine with Neptune, while Venus heads toward catching up and sextiling Jupiter–or maybe it’s more accurate to say it will feel like falling into or out of a dream, the sensation most accurately described as leaving one state for another. The sense is of wonderful things to come, and it’s probably only exaggerated by the approaching eclipse of the 12th. Other than this feeling of a dreamy shift, we see most of our attention go toward gauging our state of power. It’s all because we’re focused on ambitions and desires (Sun square Zeus) and how we’re not getting what we want–so that leads us to seek real-world avenues to enrich our position (Saturn trine Ceres) even as we must contend with those who hold devastatingly real power, the kind we can’t deny or shrug off or pretend we’ll have any time soon (Pluto sesquiquadrate Ceres). In the power sense it’s a wake-up call–but in all other realms, a chance to dream, and dream big. And maybe, with any luck, this bodes well for the boys trapped in the caves in Thailand–maybe the 10th will see them all out at last.

We’re in pre-eclipse Dark of the Moon territory–be ready

9 July 2018 A Proper Virgin

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William John Wainwright ‘Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins’ Apparently, the smart ones filled their lamps, while the foolish ones didn’t–so it’s about preparedness. {{PD}}

Venus enters Virgo, and what we see, one way or another, is a shift toward wanting to be right, correct, or proper, to be able to stand confidently against criticism or critique–and that can prompt inventory-taking, a discriminating state of mind, and Self-criticism, among other things. Ruler of Virgo, Mercury, is involved in the only other aspect perfecting today, a square to Jupiter–and that suggests that we brace ourselves against verbal (or another form) of attack for good reason! The social sphere, or perhaps the facts, offer some harsh or hard-to-hear material–and our response is to go to that place where we feel unassailably right. So, it’s a day that feels defensive; our best defense, though, might be to graciously accept the facts, rather than to nitpick or criticize in return, and if what’s offered is more reflective of the other’s beliefs, and not actually true–we still come out on top by holding our tongue.

Today’s word image is a potluck gathering where nobody brings any food. With this kind of invitation, individuals are left entirely on their own as to what to bring–and in this case, everyone relied on everyone else to provide. Is there some way you’re supposed to be ‘chipping in’ where you’re instead counting on others to supply what’s needed? Do you see such an occasion as a time when you can make very little effort (bring a small thing) but consume a whole lot? If so, that suggests a sense of pleasure derived from ‘getting more’ than you deserve–is that how you really mean to approach things? Is there some way in which you’re trying to get more out of something than you’re willing to provide? Or do you find such arrangements too haphazard to supply much satisfaction? This could simply be an image of people gathering, anticipating nurture of one kind or another, and not getting it.

OK! I’ll go one more day with this!–through 8 PM PDT of the 9th. And many thanks to all who so generously supported this effort–I appreciate it (and You) immensely!

8 July 2018 Sun Trine Neptune

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By Thomas Quine – God of the Sea, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51659847

Today one new aspect perfects, and it’s perfect: the Sun in Cancer trines Neptune in Pisces. Water, water everywhere, lots of emotions to wallow in, feelings to swallow, escapist behaviors to drink, eat, and immerse our minds in, and it may all seem overwhelming, sink or swim–but it’s much more about getting our bearings and then using our feelings to propel our creativity. We do it by measuring our emotions, and the inclinations they deliver, by our ideals–that’s how we know what to act on, what to eat a cookie to stuff down! With the Taurus Moon sextiling the Sun, we can enjoy an almost perfect day, in terms of creating and/ or in the realms of sensory experience. Pause for deep breaths as you go along–easy to forget to breathe between the emotional response and the sensory overload.

Don’t miss the Weekend Special (even a small amount thrown their way helps, and for any donation of more than $5, let me know and next time you buy services, you get a discount–and all perqs can be banked for later use, if you prefer), and see the upcoming eclipses here–thanks, and have a beautiful day!

Weekend Special

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‘The Cafe Singer’ Edgar Degas 1877 {{PD}}

If you were ever thinking of getting a Horary or single-subject consult from me, but were waiting for a discount, now’s your chance. For three days only (the duration of the rest of this campaign) donate $25 or more to the production of this musical, and get a Horary/ single-subject reading from me OR get a $35 credit on a larger purchase. Just let me know you donated, and expect me to check with the project sponsors, then off we’ll go! Offer ends Sunday the 8th 9 PM Pacific time.

Forecast for the 6th-7th here, and the upcoming eclipses are here–thanks!

6-7 July 2018 Measuring Out Venus

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‘Nadine with Espresso’ 1998 by Andrew Stevovich, CC BY-SA 3.0

“For I have known them all already, known them all:/ Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,/ I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;/ I know the voices dying with a dying fall/ Beneath the music from a farther room./ So how should I presume?”–from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot

Over these two days we may find ourselves meting out our Venus, portioning Love, Money, admiration, artistry, regard, reward, deference, consideration, and care, as it may seem the task of Giving is fused with the need to sort the genuine from the counterfeit; one won’t, can’t, happen without the other. In the Venus realm we must first confront what we’ve been in denial of, what we’ve ignored, and then we must acknowledge what instinct and our sense of ‘knowing but not knowing’ tells us. If we follow it, it’s an effective formula for determining where we should put our energy, and what really matters to us (Pallas sextile Sedna, Venus quincunx Black Moon Lilith and square Sedna).

Two other hints for handling this pair of days: don’t make the mistake of believing that what you see is all there is to the reality of things (Sun contra-parallel Saturn), and notice what people do, not what they say–there may be a concerted effort by some to put up a smoke screen, hoping to make you see their moves as more honorable than they are (Mercury sesquiquadrate Vesta).

See the upcoming eclipses here–and check out my new pages, one on Placidus vs. Whole Sign, and one on the Lilith Archetype. Thank you! Here’s hoping your weekend and mine get off to a great start!

The Eclipses of July-August 2018

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Photo By Naposaurus 2013 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Here are the general forecasts for the eclipse set coming late this summer. Notice that the first two seem strongly connected; I fully expect events around the initial Solar one to lead directly to the events of the Full Lunar one that follows at the end of July.

The Partial Solar eclipse of 12 July 2018 (7:48 PM PDT) falls at 20 Cancer 41 as the Moon, Earth, and Sun align on the same plane, allowing the Moon to ‘eclipse’ the normally dominant Sun at their New Moon meeting. This event also sees Earth, which of course is always opposed the Sun, conjoined Pluto, making its opposition to the New Moon eclipse the centerpiece of the aspect picture; asteroid Zeus forms a T-square with the Sun-Moon-Earth-Pluto axis, and Ceres is semi-square the New Moon. A Solar eclipse, this one in Water, is a new beginning, and that can come gently, like a tide lapping at the shore, or fiercely, like a wave crashing on the beach—but in either case, it brings change, which may slowly pull the sand from beneath your feet, can knock those feet out from under you, and/ or could even wipe the landscape clean in a tsunami, leaving you in an entirely new place. Change, then, is expected, and with Pluto opposed the event and conjoined the Earth, the very ground on which we walk, we may want to be highly attentive to the mix of Water and Earth, emotion and the material, flow and static states, in our world.

This event in a Water sign also emphasizes the emotional component eclipses already carry, as they are mainly Lunar events, with the Moon playing the pivotal role, either in blocking the Sun’s light from us (a Solar eclipse) or acting as the screen on which we observe the blocking of the light (by the Earth, as it moves between Moon and Sun) in a Lunar eclipse. This Solar eclipse event doubles down on the emotional, psychological, and intuitive potentials, making us all naturally hyper-sensitive to the atmosphere around the New Moon. Symbolically this speaks of, in the case of a Solar eclipse, emotions themselves causing a blockage between the material world (Earth) and ‘What Is’, including purpose and intent (the Sun). The block is meant as a disruptor, a point at which the usual view just can’t be adopted, as the light in which we view things is suddenly radically different. We keep this in mind as we look at the particulars of any eclipse event, as consciousness about the larger scenario illuminates the smaller details of the single occurrence.

Here we have the sheer power of Pluto aligned with Earth—and of course this kind of aspect always makes me think of earthquakes or volcanoes—most likely of a personal, symbolic nature, and this directly opposes the meeting of Sun and Moon on the ecliptic, so that we have Earth-Pluto, a material or physical power situation, that is receiving no light, as the Moon prevents it. That suggests that at or following the eclipse we face a real-world challenge that we’re prevented from understanding by our own emotional response.

Too, the challenge puts us in a spot: not only is our authority to respond at issue (Ceres), but we see conflicts with our goals, ambitions, and/ or desires (Zeus). The Sabian symbol for the eclipse is, ‘A Famous Singer Is Proving Her Virtuosity During An Operatic Performance’. This not only speaks of the individual need to express ourselves in a way most characteristic of us as unique individuals—to ‘sing out’—with the eclipse challenge one of performance: show us your stuff! In the context of the eclipse, what we see is that the ability to convey who we are, our strongest and most authoritative identity (Ceres) expressed in an earthly venue (Earth-Pluto) is endangered by our extreme emotional response (the eclipse), which blocks an objective assessment of the situation.

The Earth moves, and we react—and that stops a clear understanding of what’s actually happening, and so of knowing what’s actually affected. The change that happens here is serious, but not necessarily permanent; we may do best to see it more as inevitable reform, events or revelations that present us with personal power and ‘territory’ issues we hadn’t yet faced, and conflicts with ambition fulfillment we hadn’t yet acknowledged. Taking that tack tells us that what elicits our emotional reaction at the eclipse could’ve been anticipated, if we’d realized the extent to which these matters, goal achievement and our power reach, needed our attention to begin with.

The Total Lunar eclipse of 27 July 2018 (1:19 PM PDT) falls at 4 Aquarius 44, forming just after contact to, and still within orb of, a retrograde Mars; the Full Moon is also in wide sextile to Chiron and wide square to Uranus, with the latter, ruler of the eclipse itself, forming a T-square with the Sun-Earth-Moon-Mars axis. The only other aspect made is a sesquiquadrate to Venus in Virgo. A Lunar eclipse is a Full Moon, and this one occurs in the crisp, intellectually-oriented, forward-thinking sign of Aquarius, suggesting the event delivers revelation or understanding. Since it’s conjoined Mars, what appears could be the consequences of our own choices or actions, as instituted at the inception point of the previous Solar eclipse/ New Moon, or it could be that what we come to understand drives a current choice or action, with consequences still to be seen. That preceding Moon opposed Pluto, suggesting a power situation revealed, and this Full Moon may be the personal response to it, something driven by our intellectualization of the events that we then act on or choose according to, as we see the outcome of the New Moon start.

The results as manifested at this Lunar eclipse point have the potential for wounding or for calling forth skills (Chiron), but in either instance they show the need to express the individuality, or to accede to the group (Uranus), and all of this is likely spurred by difficulties surrounding relationships, finances, or Self-worth (Venus).

The Full Moon Sabian is, ‘A Council Of Ancestors Is Seen Implementing The Efforts Of A Young Leader’. This suggests that the authority and experience of those who came before plays a vital role in showing us which direction to take; that is, we learn from the past, especially from the experiences of others, appropriate considering eclipses always fall near the Nodal axes, with this Lunar one conjoined the South Node.

Since this eclipse seems so directly connected to the one preceding it, we’ll forgo our usual inspection of the Sun’s Sabian for a Full Moon, since in this case our ‘source’ is the New Moon that came two weeks before. Instead we move on to the next and final component of this eclipse set, the Solar eclipse in Leo.

The Partial Solar eclipse in Leo falls at 18 degrees, 41 minutes on August 11th at 2:57 AM PDT. This event is conjoined Pallas—ah! ‘new wisdom’ is the result of the past two events—with the aspects offering a subtle picture of what it is we’ve gained. A new start in Leo is about ourselves and our identity, and those facets of the individuality that allow us to ‘shine’; the aspects made by the eclipse describe the nature of our attributes, the ways in which we can make our uniqueness known. What begins at this time also has an air of the practical about it, or a sense of skills possessed—but no matter what, a situation that allows us to be our Best Self.

The eclipse-Pallas sextiles Zeus and catches Ceres at the midpoint, even as it semi-squares Venus. This suggests that it’s in the act of reaching for ambition or desire fulfillment that we both gain authority and power and learn what needs to change in relationships or finances in order to make ‘it’ happen. Should we count this as base to a Finger of God, with a loose Neptune apex? Maybe, if we consider that what we likely need to do to fine-tune the ambition picture is rid ourselves of delusions, or utilize our creativity—that’s what can make the whole thing work together.

The eclipse is also apex to a loose Fist of God with base of Saturn and Chiron, and quincunxes Pluto. As apex, the eclipse promises that resolution of conflicts between the reality picture or reasonable restraints applied to our effort, and our own skill set or wounded nature (the latter possibly referring to unreasonable restraints that need removal), offers a ‘New You’, a  fresh expression of identity or purpose, and that this is also an expression of our own wisdom and gifts (Pallas). The contact to Pluto simply tells us adjustment is needed, whether we want to gather power, make a change, eliminate, or transform.

There’s also an Earth Grand Trine that hooks into the eclipse by degree: Ceres (semi-sextile), Pluto (quincunx), and Juno (square). This implies the eclipse may be a spark of sorts, putting into motion material matters that, one and all, are concerned with power and power expression. No matter what else is in play at this time, this Grand Trine reminds us that there are some very real material stakes here, and that even the most innocent of moves holds an ultimate goal of gaining or solidifying the ability to make the individual Will felt and impactful.

If we really want to get loose with things, we can also see that the T-square formed by Juno’s hard angle to the axis  becomes a Grand Cross if we pull Jupiter into the equation. This may remind us that individual development doesn’t happen in a vacuum; others to whom we reach out, look for reactions and interactions, and to get a measure of our own empowerment are part of the picture, and must be taken into account, especially when we think about how beliefs, knowledge, and the capacity to reach out and to accept what we consider ‘foreign’ all shape not just our potentials for success, but our view of our own adequacy, as well.

The Sabian symbol for this New Moon eclipse in Leo is, ‘A Houseboat Party’. That promises a celebration, once we’ve dealt with anything that’s not working on our path forward to Self-expression—but we should also note the party of the image is afloat—that is, hovering on the surface of the water, the symbol of feeling. That tells us that beneath the joy engendered by successful realization of our gifts, skills, and most unique qualities lies a body of emotion, one that it’s entirely possible to sink into, even to lose our joy to. That implies that after this sequence of eclipses we might have a whole new set of emotions to explore—and maybe entirely new feelings related to how we see ourselves (Leo).

29 June-5 July The State of Things

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‘A Veil’ c.1890 by Louis Welden Hawkins {{PD}}

It’s all about what and how we think during this period, with a brief respite on the 1st to get down and dirty with our feelings, especially about emotions embedded in the real-world scenarios around our relationships, financial situations, and our ability to express aesthetics and values true to us. This is helped along by Juno’s entry into Taurus, pushing us in the direction of empowerment through the senses (so through the material world) and through what we can hold in our hand, what reaches us through the tactile and what we can materially interact with. The focus goes to the physical world, but with Venus as apex to a Fist of God with base of Saturn and Hygeia, we may find all our attention on the disparity between what’s healthy in our interactions or investments and what the real world demands. The state of things looms large, and we may sort matters according to what benefits us, what profit is earned, what is reaped–and as long as we judge things according to our own wants and values (rather than according to others) then this can be a period of fine-tuning and ‘getting right’ with the material world and our inner Venus as it’s reflected by outer circumstances.

We could draw a curve with these Mercury aspects, from confusion, deception, or inspiration, to tough revelations that heal, to enhancement of the reality picture by making health, including attending to what’s so far been ignored, the measure for all things. We may be prone to rebelliousness in our thinking when confronted with what we don’t like, and we may create chaos as a mask for a sense of inadequacy or a fear of appearing weak. The mind can play tricks on us, in its own way, but awareness that our thoughts and consequent actions are building our future is vital to keeping it real, keeping it under control, and keeping it positive.

The outcome to all this, if handled with that eye on the future, should be healthy perceptions that find the best outlets for individual uniqueness and creativity. We stand in our own, earned authority, and express ourselves–and isn’t that what we’re here for?

The 4th, hurt is the song–and as always, our response to it makes the difference between learning and growing and creating, and moping and feeling sorry for ourselves.

Hint for what’s coming: plan ahead for the 5th, when Uranus conjoins Juno, Venus trines Vesta, and the Sun trines Jupiter. These are massively positive aspects for gain we can take advantage of, if we follow a couple of pre-cautions: do all the planning, arranging, and acting before this date, and don’t expect to be able to think on your feet or handle things on the fly, in the moment–that can lead to unfortunate actions and poor choices–instead, plan the outcomes of things for this day. Doing so can multiply the already good potentials and make for an outstanding result.

You may want to check back during the period for Daily Word images, which I’ll add as the inspiration hits. Have a great week, everyone!

‘Bear Family’ By Niko Pirosmani 1916 {{PD}}

Word image for the 29th-30th: two bears face each other across a treat-laden picnic table. It has a cartoon-esque quality, doesn’t it? But what was your first thought when you read that sentence? Did you supply hostility between the two, as if they were going to argue over the picnic spread? Or did you see it as two like individuals, a pair, sharing a summer repast? And does the fact that they are bears, rather than people, say something to you? I assert that this is a bit of a Rorschach for each of us, so take what comes to mind as a kind of statement reflecting your own attitude, particularly toward others in your company, and toward sharing, at this time.

1280px-Winslow_Homer_-_The_Blue_Boat_-_Google_Art_Project

Winslow Homer ‘The Blue Boat’ 1891 {{PD}}

Word image for the 2-3: Pairs of inexperienced paddlers in two canoes try to cross a waterway while holding on, each to the other boat. This suggests the individuals are possibly venturing out into something before they’re ready, and taking measures that make them feel more confident but that actually may contribute to a spill. Where are you ‘testing the waters’, what are you ignoring that you should be doing, and what are you doing that might in reality cause an upset?

Candy-Cane-ClassicWord image for the 4th: a bright red and white striped candy cane. Seems out of season, right? It’s almost like we don’t even notice that kind of candy when it’s not Christmas. What sweet thing are you ignoring because the timing seems off? What joyful thing needs to be noticed and appreciated now, rather than waiting for its customary time and place?

See the new page on Placidus vs. Whole Sign

Word image for the 5th: two people choose to spend a quiet day together, instead of going to a party. There’s no ‘right’ answer here; this simply suggests we should choose carefully how we spend our time, and with whom.

28 June 2018 Black Sheep

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Paul Gauguin ‘La bergère bretonne’ 1885 {{PD}}

We could subtitle this, ‘Mom gets critical, and everybody speaks out’. Ceres enters Virgo, and all who carry a maternal oversight role, or who hold authority over others, or who must negotiate, all need to pull back and apply that initial, critical urge to some thing that’s in their domain, rather than to some one. It’s important to short-circuit that urge to criticize, nitpick, and do a line-item veto on, and at least temporarily re-focus that on one’s Self or a project or effort that is solely one’s responsibility–and this is especially true for those who may have natal Pluto in this area, as their critiques can go from ‘isn’t that curious?’ to Armageddon in no time flat.

There’s also the way everyone will be feeling like speaking out, as Mercury enters Leo–but it’s important to note that this urge will be especially lacking in destruction or transformative energy (contra-parallel Pluto), and that it arises solely from those areas where we feel less-than-empowered (square Juno). So, be aware that behind everything communicated is an idea of (or even fear of) powerlessness–and respond as appropriate.

Communication issues aren’t aided by Venus’ sesquiquadrate to Chiron–that almost guarantees wounds stir things up in relationships and financial areas–but perceptual faculties are aided by instinct, what we ‘know but don’t know’–that is, our ‘blind spot’ material–and so it all boils down to this: how in touch we are with our own inner nature, how honest we are with ourselves and how well we know who we are, dictates how the rest of the influences will play out, as well as how deftly we will handle them (Sun novile Sedna). Those ‘in touch’ will see their perceptions validated in the real world, in a way that empowers and makes for gain–everyone else, hold on for a rough ride, in one form or another.

Bruno Liljefors – ‘Andfamilj i vass’ 1917 {{PD}}

Today’s word image is a duck that can’t swim. What happens when something everyone expects you to do naturally doesn’t happen? How you adapted to that challenge (for we all have areas like this) defines you, beyond any other characteristic or behavior, so it might be a good time to think about how this has manifested in your own life, what you did to compensate, and what that might mean about you. Extreme versions of this are labeled ‘Black Sheep’ within a tribe; it may be tougher, though, to deal with a more mild version, where you’re pilloried but still held close.

See my books here, yesterday’s Full Moon here, and in case you missed it, the new page on Lilith energy here, or support the blog by donation, link at right–thank you!

Full Moon 27 June 2018 Holding Back, Holding Court

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By Ronnie Robertson – Compass Head moon, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56612161

The Full Moon perfects at 9:53 PM PDT of the 27th at 6 Capricorn 28, just after both Earth and then Luna have swept past retrograde Saturn, which should be considered conjoined the event. The energy for this FM is withdrawn, passive, spurring reticence and uncertainty, as it falls directly after Mars’ stationary retrograde pause and in cautious Capricorn. The atmosphere is charged with suppressed, misdirected, short-circuited, stunted, repressed, rule-bound influences, and yet we are invited to survey our handiwork, to examine what we’ve built, and to assess how we need to modify our approach to create what we want in the future, and specifically, how we might want to ‘hold court’ , positioning ourselves to make the most of our individuality, to ‘shine’ (quincunx North Node in Leo).

We may meet the results of our own, Self-imposed discipline, our hard work, or conversely, we see where we should have applied effort. The Full Moon puts the reality picture under a spotlight, one that tells us, quite literally in some cases, the lay of the land. The event axis also forms a T-square with asteroid Hygeia; this dynamic promises either/ or choices presented by the Lunar culmination, neither of which will be truly supportive of us! (the squares–I’m defining health in its broadest context.) So where does that leave us? Knowing where we stand, which is invaluable, with the ability to assess how effective we’ve been, and to see how to modify our efforts for future success (that ‘place’ where we can ‘shine’). Not glamorous, but plenty useful.

The Sabian for the Full Moon is, ‘A Veiled Prophet Speaks, Seized By The Power Of A God’. Wow! We might not expect such an elevated meaning from these modest Full Moon aspects, but that’s the essence of a veil, isn’t it? We have to make an effort, however slight, to see what’s behind it, and to be willing to reveal our own prophetic nature (that is, pure intuitive nature).

Saturn is ‘the Old Man’, certainly a stand-in for a serious, old world kind of god, and the image itself casts us, the individuals basking in the Full Moon glow, as channels for revelation. Do we see that in the chart? We do, if we look at the conjunction of Earth, Moon, and Saturn. That suggests that both material matters, the actual physical surroundings as well as the reality picture overall, will speak to us of divine (that is, spiritual) information, and we’ll have another channel for this via the emotions and intuition (the Moon).

For a Full Moon we also look at the Sabian symbol for the Sun: ‘ Two Nature Spirits Dancing Under the Moonlight’. This suggests that our own celebration of the natural world is what instigates the emotional culmination of the Full Moon. We connect to the Cosmos (consciously or not) and receive our message (the information channeled through us in the Full Moon symbol).

So, listen to your feelings, listen to those interior whispers, and look around you; the world will surround you with symbols, with messages, with meaning, and your own inner wisdom and feeling can translate that into language that makes your situation and state apparent, and the potentials for your future crystal clear.

See the general outlook for the day here, and the chart for the Full Moon, below.

 

27 June 2018 The Hard Realities

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‘Accent on Pink’ By Wassily Kandinsky 1925 {{PD}}

We see the hard edges of reality today, and perhaps run from them (Sun opp Saturn). Understandable, but not helpful. If we’ll only pause for a moment, and really look, we’ll see some genius ways we can benefit (Sun nov Venus). Relationships, situations that call on our values, finances, and/ or those things/ matters of the Houses ruled by Venus in the natal chart, are the gateways–but will we step through and reap the rewards, when we realize we’ll have to adjust our view of the past so that what we learned then is useful now (Sun qnx SN)? A test of stubbornness, no doubt, at least for some of us.

We may also see the gift of speaking from perceptive instincts, or from what we ‘know but don’t know’, and may act as channels for one another–so talk it out, whatever it is (Mercury sxt Sedna). On an individual level, be willing to adjust aesthetics to accommodate inspiration and the creative (Venus qnx Neptune)–again, stubbornness may torpedo perfectly good ideas–but this influence may also affect our communications, so don’t let illusion intrude in relationships or finances. And one final thing to be aware of: those exercising their power are making a concerted effort to ignore or deny certain hard realities–just don’t let that be you.

‘Abendstimmung am Meer’ By Max Jensen 1860 {{PD}}

Today’s word image is a ship, just sailing over the horizon. Have you been waiting for your ship to come in? Well, it’s not coming toward you, but sailing away–you may have misjudged the situation entirely, or maybe are just looking in the ‘wrong’ direction for aid–this is a reminder not to pin your hopes unreasonably on something that may never ‘arrive’, but to instead work with what’s in front of you, with the idea of creating ‘better/ more’. That’s the only way to get ‘there’ from ‘here’.

Have you seen the new page on Lilith energy?

26 June 2018 Ears to the Ground

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Vincent van Gogh – ‘Self-portrait with bandaged ear’ 1889 {{PD}}

Look, as I foresee it, we’re really going to see or feel Mars retrograde today, specifically because he does so parallel to Saturn; that introduces a material or tangible effect, possibly via a withdrawal of energy that has physical consequences. But, and this is really important: today is a day for listening, reasoning, planning, or signing (as long as that signature isn’t the go-ahead for a physical project, rather than a purchase or agreement–which purchase or agreement could, with a little adjustment, be a dream come true as Venus moves toward quincunx with Neptune). Intel comes to us, and matters ignored or denied don’t get in our way–just keep your ears to the ground, and highest values in mind, when going about your business. Watch out, though, for a little something in the moment that seems harmless, even celebratory, but that could be very hard on the health (Mercury contra-parallel Mars and Saturn, opp Black Moon Lilith, qnx Vesta, Sun sq Hygeia).

Today’s word image is a question: What condition from the past is back in your life, and is your current response in any way mirroring old conditions? If so, you’ll need to consciously work to let them go, to remind yourself, until it takes, that things are different, now.

There’s a new page on Lilith (ECLIPSE Readers may recognize it from a 2014 issue, with slight alterations).

25 June 2018 Power Or Duty?

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In Greek mythology, Atlas is the god who supports the celestial sphere (the universe) on his shoulders. This little formation, at Little Finland, is about the size of a soccer ball. When I saw it I immediately thought about Atlas. It was shot in deep twilight. Statement and Photo By John Fowler from Placitas, NM, USA – Tiny Atlas, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24663532

Or maybe that should be power or wisdom, as it seems having and exercising falls to one or the other, but somehow not both; we either do the wise thing, or the thing that makes us felt in the Universe–there’s no in-between. Another version might be having to use sheer force vs. using skills–but you get my drift (Pluto opp Pallas). This feeling that we must choose one or the other arises from a couple of influences: our highest values don’t seem to support showing our personal authority, and they also seem at odds with our own instincts and inner knowledge. The disquiet keeps us off balance–and seems to insist we pick a form, power or wisdom, and go with it (and here we should note they’re not naturally mutually exclusive, it just seems like it, today–Vesta contra-parallel Ceres and qnx Sedna). Only one other influence perfects today, and it’s not really helping: Venus squares Jupiter, and may phrase things as ‘choose intimate relationships over the social sphere’ or ‘money over freedom’ or ‘sticking with values over taking an opportunity’ (that may smell like taking advantage). It’s a dilemma with no resolution, so go with what feels right, and remember, if you’re seeing the world as presenting only two mutually exclusive options, it’s an illusion–aim for a third.

Today’s word image isn’t words but a picture:

‘And a Prayer’ (Not sure if the name listed is the artist’s or his father’s)
Atom Hovhanesyan – Father’s statement: “My son’s work, who passed away” Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

And this on squares, by the wonderful Sagittarian Mind

24 June 2018 The Whole Enchilada

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Photo By Lameirasb CC BY-SA 4.0

Today thoughts and attention are smoothly in line–which may give us the illusion that what we perceive is the whole enchilada, when in reality it can’t help but be only a part of it. Tips for successful navigation: what we’re effective at, what we have the authority or status to make happen, is also what we should be making happen; the future is where ‘it’ is at, so an attitude of investment and a willingness to delay gratification or reward will be beneficial; and don’t sweat future transgressions–they may never materialize (Sun parallel Mercury, Venus parallel NN and sesq Vesta, Vesta trine Juno).

Photo By Fer.goiba CC BY-SA 4.0

Today’s word image is an ‘incomplete’ meal. What makes you feel a meal is complete? Do you have to have dessert? A salad? Something hot? And what do your sustenance expectations say about the way you consume intangibles, like ideas? Food for thought (you see what I did there)

All photos are from–where else?–“Festival de la Enchilada, Iztapalapa 2014”

Photo By Lameirasb CC BY-SA 4.0