Catching My Eye 12 June 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Solar Eclipse 10 June 2021 Agreement Between Head and Heart

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

Photo By Gulosten

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mercury Retrogrades 29 May 2021 Re-Consider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius 26 May 2021 Facing the Depths

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Moon in Taurus 11 May 2021 What We Want

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Individual Distortions Can Affect the World: Adolf Hitler

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

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

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

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

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

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

Food For Thought: Anthony Bourdain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pluto Backs It Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Moon in Scorpio 26 April 2021 Deep Dive

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‘Moonlight in the Adirondack Mountains’, Photographer Unknown {{PD}}

The Full Moon perfects on the 26th at 8:32 PM PDT at 7 Scorpio 06, with the Sabian, ‘A Calm Lake Bathed In Moonlight’. In Scorpio a lake is dark, with an uncharted floor, mysterious, a symbol of considerable gathered emotion, calm on the surface, but promising something in the depths, maybe something hidden in caves or grottoes yet to be discovered. A Full Moon with this image suggests there’s a large well of emotion, one with many facets of which we’re not aware, that will either reach peak or reach capacity, with the former implying the highest (so most strenuous) point of feeling, while the latter says the dam may break, the feeling overflow, and so need release. This may bring the emotional scenario to an end, or it may allow ‘breathing room’ in order to go forward.

I like tight orbs for a crisp Lunar picture, and here we have lots of contacts that don’t strike me as relevant, at least not in an event chart. They imply some ‘befores’ or ‘afters’ that don’t figure in, with orbs so wide they don’t currently (or won’t for some time) count, so I’ll stick with my usual. There is an approaching opposition to Uranus that promises the FM may take us by surprise; revelations, specifically about secrets, our feelings around our material situation, and shocks, delivered by friends, groups, or an unanticipated ‘modern’ way of doing things, could arise from Lunar events (and then be acted upon via the approaching trine to Mars, and blocked or become a reality by the approaching square to Saturn, with the cost or the payoff announced by the approaching opposition to Venus–but I digress, or maybe jump too much into the future!)

There’s also a sextile to Vesta, which tells us that the Full Moon will in some (relatively easy) way show us something about our values and what we dedicate our time and energy to. Lunar events may show us what needs to go in the commitment department, show us ways to enhance our honoring of and dedication to what we find sacred, and may reinforce responsibilities and relationships we’ve been wavering on, either to clear them out with Full Moon energy, or to enter a new stage of the interaction, a ‘next step’ for the future.

There are two other aspects of note, which with the Full Moon form a Fist of God: Hygeia squares the FM, and both sesquiquadrate Neptune. Health matters, physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, give us a problem we need to resolve–if we do so successfully, we can create an ideal, can reach into the hopes and imagination and bring a desire for ‘perfection’ in some form into being; if we are unable to handle the problem presented, we may retreat to fantasy, confusion-as-an-answer, or ‘drown our sorrows’, at least symbolically speaking. I need not tell you which of those responses is preferable.

We always look at the Sun’s Sabian for a Full Moon, as Sol emits the light that makes the Full Moon possible: ‘A Sleigh On Land Uncovered By Snow’. This speaks of being inappropriately equipped for the situation. What thing are we carrying around, in our heads, in our psyches, or in the physical world, that’s not of use to us at all? This is something that under other conditions we would find quite useful–but right now that’s not where we are, and we may want to think about the unnecessary emotional burden this could signify. Typically we hold tight to things we’re not using when we’re convinced we may need them later, or we have a philosophy of ‘just in case’. This image likely relates to the Fist, telling us that we can take the energy required to maintain the useless thing and translate it into something of an ideal realized, a dream come true, or an inspired perspective–much more useful than allowing something that doesn’t fit the current landscape to take up space.

A Taste of the Weekend

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‘Girl Eating an Apple’ By Godfried Schalcken 1675-1680 {{PD}}

Just a pair of tidbits for your weekend: the first is the Saturday Mercury-Venus conjunction in Taurus square Saturn in Aquarius. Beautiful thoughts and words, accompanied by a celebration of the senses, could be delightful, but also runs the risk of ignoring reality, especially those ‘Higher Mind’ issues that should be guiding us. Even if we ignore our own sensibilities and dive in head first to earthly pleasures, it’s likely the world will throw barriers in our path or otherwise frustrate us–so if you’re suddenly stopped short, it’s a hint that you may have gone too far, or too long, without a needed reality check.

By Sunday Merc-Venus has moved on, and now sextiles Pallas in Pisces. This may be the day we’ve been waiting for! Thoughts, relationships, assets, all support wise choice and use of our most well-honed skills, employed to make a ‘practical fantasy’ a reality. Nothing wrong with that, right?

Have a lovely weekend, stay safe and sound–the Full Moon report follows.

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

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‘The Gift’ By Ángel Zárraga 1910 {{PD}}

This originally appeared in ECLIPSE, and has a second part that will follow.

We start by defining the difference between these two Houses in terms of assets and output; in both Houses we find qualities and talents inherent to the individual, gifts, abilities, and in each House the question is, What should be developed, shared, given away, or used to earn? In the 2nd we find material assets, including those earned through personal effort; we also find inborn talents, those things about us that can be considered a kind of natural asset—this is typically something that can be seen by material application: singing, artistic sensibilities that can be applied in multiple arenas, intelligence that takes a specific form. Our actual property falls in this House, as well (unless it is shared with others, then it is in the 8th).

Any talent we carry in or that is related to the 2nd is something we should rightfully expect remuneration for. These are things we value in ourselves, and that others value about us, and so are willing to pay for expression or sharing of—and these are things or talents with which we can do what we will, develop them or not, share them or not—others can’t really take them away from us, we must let them go (in the case of cash) or ignore or ruin them (in the case of talents or assets), for us to experience their loss—otherwise we can sing (Venus in the 2nd, perhaps) or write great speeches (ruler of 3rd or 9th in 2nd) our whole lives.

The 11th has a much different asset character, though in many instances there may be a little (or a lot) of overlap between 2nd House talents and what we find in the 11th, namely What We Have To Give The World. Rather than purely talents or assets, this House describes very particular inclinations, abilities, and gifts that we have specifically designated as not just worthy of sharing, but that we alone can provide with a special combination of ability, viewpoint, experience, and talent—and we have promised this, in some form, to the world. We are obligated to present these things; we may see fame from this, or give unrecognized, and we may experience very little of the actual asset we are sharing on a personal level. What we share from the 11th flows away from us, and there’s nothing that promises we will receive anything in return. When people say, “That’s what she came into this world to do” they are often referring to this 11th House offering; instinctively others know when it is manifested.

You’ve heard the saying, “Everybody has a story”? The 11th House assets are the equivalent of this in the form of talents, lessons, information, and gifts we have promised to share indiscriminately and on a large scale. When we share 8th House assets, we have an ‘us and them’ mentality, with awareness of how the assets are being distributed, who has what, and so on, while 11th House sharing goes one way, out from us, and we may only partially choose recipients or an audience; these are meant for everyone to partake in if they choose, and can be regarded as gifts to the Collective/ group.

Does that mean we always give away what’s in the 11th? Not necessarily, as the 11th is also the income House of the 10th of career or vocation. The 11th can be tricky to define in this asset sense, as it covers the spectrum from what we wish for, to our goals, to those things that are much more ephemeral, like our attitude toward groups and organizations (and toward the world, by extension), our prayers and intentions, and our hopes—but in with all those things are factors we will share in the course of pursuing our goals, dreaming and hoping, and through interactions with alike others.

The elements can give us a general idea of our proclivities, with Earth signs suggesting material manifestations or a focus on earning for what we do, Air signs implying the world of thought, the intellect, and ideas is the focus, Water suggesting we may appear to others to be more passive or receptive, almost offering the impression that we don’t generate anything, but the Water signs will have a direct link to, and often have the expression of talents shaped, by the emotional experiences, and Fire signs give an activist-orientation no matter what the talent or abilities.

Chiron Pt. 3

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Chiron–what a dandy! {{PD}}

This is part of a continuing series begun last year where I asked readers to send in their questions about aspects, specifically natal aspects, they wanted to know more about.

Hi Julie
I am going to take a step in to play!!
Aspect: Conjunctions..
“blind spots” not noticed in the past, yet now it seems I am aware of that aspects signature more
(Birth data removed)

Be safe!! Love and Blessings!!

Dear Reader,

First, a thank you for your lovely wishes–I hope you’re staying safe, and thriving, well-blessed, too!

A little bit about conjunctions: natally they tend to weld two energies together for a lifetime, particularly if the conjunction is close (say, at or less than 2.5 degrees). This can cause the individual with the aspect to find it particularly hard to deploy the energies separately. For instance, a Moon-Mars conjunction can mean that hurt, sensitivity, intuitive perceptions, or emotional reactions can all be answered with anger, assertiveness, or a hot-footed insistence on doing something in answer to the feeling. This duo may predispose one to a fear that emotional expression may bring only anger from others, or that anger itself is the only acceptable emotion. But, this same combo can also mean that the feeling nature and the action urge can work in well-synchronized harmony, since they (likely) sit in the same sign, and share the same sensibilities (we’ll skip thinking about conjunctions that straddle two signs, for now!) Working together, Moon-Mars could make the individual highly dependent on the feelings to get them moving, or on the intuition to know what to do, with the down side that this could short-cut past the mind, leaving reason ‘out in the cold’ when it comes to choices and actions.

One of the biggest impacts of a conjunction, though, is the way it can make matters of the two Houses they rule (when the conjoined are major bodies) work together. In a Whole Sign chart using the same Moon-Mars example, we would find cooperation between the House holding Cancer and the House holding Aries. It doesn’t matter what sign the conjunction itself falls in, those two Houses would still find their subjects enmeshed, sometimes for good, and sometimes in more difficult ways. By example, we can consider a situation with that Moon-Mars conjunction ruling Aries in the 7th, Cancer in the 10th. This might mean that the individual’s ‘I Am’ and initiative (Aries/ Mars), when triggered through partnership or the creation of Art (7th), will automatically strive to show the emotional palette publicly (10th), through career or in support of the reputation, or even in business. ‘I Care’ (Cancer) would always prompt ‘I Act’, and would likely focus through interaction, presented to an audience or even just the spouse (7th), with the result aimed at enhancing the reputation, furthering the Self’s public cause (also known as the career), or letting the world know what the Self cares about (10th). There are lots of possibilities; it’s the entwined nature of the expression of conjunction energies themselves, and through the Houses they rule, that’s important to keep in mind.

Now just a few observations; this isn’t definitive, by any means. You, dear Reader, have a number of conjunctions we could discuss that I think would be helpful to others, and today we’ll look briefly at two clusters; first, your Chiron-Venus conjunction in Aquarius in the 7th (note: Chiron is novile the Sun, while Venus is closer to a semi-square, though both are novile Pallas), square Mars, opposite the Ascendant, quincunx the South Node, square Neptune, widely opposed the Moon, and sextile Black Moon Lilith; Chiron is also sesquiquadrate Vesta, while Venus makes no contact. This weaves Chirotic energy directly into the personality, into the identity and the Soul’s purpose (all through the Sun contact) in a way that informs the way of Being in the world with a unique viewpoint and a bit of genius via skills, especially healing skills (the novile), playing up the innovative qualities (Aquarius) through the creative Piscean Soul (Sun) and fusing them with Love (Venus). But, Venus’ rougher aspect adds this: that relationships and/ or finances don’t come easily, that there may be lessons to learn to adequately answer the questions, What is Love? What is really an asset (i.e., worthy)? What can–and should I–own?

We get a clue about potential areas of Venusian difficulties via the Houses Venus rules, the 3rd and 10th, which could imply that ways of thinking or communicating may be a big part of the problem, with the ability to understand others (Libra in the 3rd, Venus in Aquarius, the sign of understanding) potentially the main issue. The sextile to Black Moon Lilith implies it may be easy to ignore what you find unpleasant–and that could complicate communication, as well. The 10th may suggest issues are with those in authority, with business practices, gum up the career, or are very visible to those with whom you interact, to the point that they are part of the reputation. Too, with Libra involved, you may be known for your gentle diplomacy–or for your passive-aggression, both Libra specialties! The square to Mars says action and choice always seem to either be forced or come rapped up with difficulties in executing the Will; it isn’t hard to see how mental processing or communication issues could set the stage for awkward reception of your actions and choices.

The fact that the conjunction falls not only in the 7th but so closely opposed the Ascendant may create a tricky dynamic: a kind of echo around choices and actions that asks, ‘Will this hurt?’ and ‘What will it cost me?’ with the added difficulty of either not being sure whether these potentials are coming from the actions of others or from yourself (the 7th, either seen as your own energies or projected as belonging to others)–and this could suggest that you see others as having communication or anger issues that are actually your own, as the Universe loves to confront us with others who show us in bold type our own failings.

The novile to the Sun suggests the Soul finds ingenious ways to express its healing nature and skills (these being the positives associated with Chiron), but also funnels this hesitancy surrounding a sense of vulnerability directly to the identity and may impinge on the Soul moving toward expressing its purpose. But, the Pisces Sun sits in the 8th, reinforcing that possibility of mistaking one’s own methods and motivations for those of others, but also steeped in the creative energies derived from interaction with and cooperation with others. One issue may be that you offer healing even when others don’t want it! perhaps creating the dissonance of the Venus semi-square, making relationship a bit tense at times.

This is it me or is it them? confusion may be central to the Chiron-Venus in 7th in Aquarius: anytime there’s hurt or a potential for healing (with the Self or in relationships), in the asset picture, or in your view of your own talents, you may either 1) intellectualize things, thinking you need to ‘figure it out’ or justify matters before you can accept that healing potential, or 2) see either the healing or the hurt as potentially coming only from others; that is, you may not recognize your part in things (i.e., that others can’t hurt you unless you agree to feel hurt, for instance). The sesquiquadrate between Chiron and Vesta could imply that only when wounded do you consider deviating from your highest values–but with Venus there, Love likely pulls you back from that precipice very quickly.

The approach to Love, Money, and injury, psychic, emotional, or otherwise, may also be intellectualized as a way of Being; that is, you may go deeply into these subjects theoretically, while in the real world you may feel either that thinking about how they operate is enough, or that others are more responsible/ have a more intimate relationship with these matters than you feel you do. This could also show as a tendency to think about things, especially relationships or assets, and feel that you’ve then dealt with them, without taking any action, with the square to Mars showing just how hard that can be for you.

One good potential with that Venus-Chiron/ Mars combo is that you likely work very hard to define and express yourself, and that your sensitivity levels, especially to others, are very high. There is probably a high degree of conscientiousness and a determination not to harm others. It may be vital for you to operate (that is, to act or choose) only when you are both intellectually and heart-centered in any matter–another meaning for the Mars square, then, may be you holding yourself back until you are sure of what you want to do, vetted against all that’s most important to you in life.

And a word or two on the Venus-Neptune square: this is an out-of-sign aspect, with both sitting in Air, Neptune in the 3rd in Libra, introducing the potential for creative, inspired, or completely delusional thinking, and the contact to Venus linking it to relationships again, once through Libra and once through Venus in the 7th. This unites the 3rd, 8th, and 10th Houses, suggesting that thinking and communication are heavily influenced by others and your interactions with them, especially what you share, and that this is part of the reputation, career, or expressed through interaction with authorities or publicly. Do you write? Are you an Artist? If not vocationally, you certainly are in your essence.

There is also the potential for you to associate yourself as a woman with carrying unique skills, with being fundamentally injured, and/ or with innately being a healer. I suspect with you it’s this latter, but any of those are possible, and may make up various facets of the identity specifically associated with womanhood as you see and express it, as well as likely pinpointing a specific feeling of vulnerability within your identity.

Ruler of Aquarius, Uranus, is sandwiched into another conjunction, this one uniting Moon, Jupiter, and Uranus within just over seven degrees of one another, in Cancer in the 12th. So, we have the Moon in its own sign (very strong!) connecting to the Venus-Chiron duo by opposition, bringing the emotions into, and perhaps having them drive, all that we’ve been discussing. In the 12th, the Moon may not make itself known directly, instead having a strong impetus to push out through those natal energies contacted, so that you may be less aware than you know of the influence of the emotions on other life areas (and this may be doubly so with Aquarius putting the stamp of intellectual understanding on so much, possibly unaware of how the feeling nature has a hand in things!) The feeling could be, ‘I’m very sensitive, but not emotional–I’m the most rational person I know!’

There’s a lot to unpack here, but we’ll look at only one thing, the Houses brought together through rulership by these bodies: 5th, 7th, and 12th. That suggests that creative acts (5th) are fueled by feedback from or cooperation with others (7th–as well as giving that creative urge and artistic bent–also 7th), and that this can be a channel for, or overwhelmingly influenced by, a connection to the Cosmic and/ or the unconscious (12th). With the conjunction located in the 12th, this is a powerful recipe to bring spirit as a living, breathing, creative thing into the everyday life–and goodness knows, the world definitely needs more of this right now–

Want to know more about Chiron in your chart? Get my Chiron workbook here–

Difficult Awareness

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‘Seascape with Sailors Sheltering from a Rainstorm’ By Bonaventura Peeters the Elder 1640 {{PD}}

That difficult awareness delivered to us by the recently perfected, current, and future lingering Sun-Pluto Cardinal square will be brought to consciousness by the Sun-Mercury Superior Conjunction of the 18th, which also promised some revelations in line with the recent New Moon. What we’ve seen, become aware of, or seen eliminated, destroyed, or transformed has presented us with a dilemma, as the Sun in Aries asks, ‘What do I do about this?’

We’re likely to see a way forward on the 18th that’s informed by whatever was born at the New Moon. The can-do-ness of that Aries event will finally be able to act on a problem that has called into play the sense of personal authority, responsibility, and that even when we had no clue how to proceed, cried out for action! There is so much ‘doing’ energy in all this that we may be tempted to pick the first action outlet we see, so intense is our desire (no, our need!) to address the Plutonian breakdown; instead we should relax (at least a little): with Jupiter sextile the Sun-Merc and semi-sextile Pluto, Sedna semi-sextile Sun-Merc, square Jupiter, and trine Pluto, and Mars, bless his aggressive little heart, down in Gemini making the mind churn out ‘get going’ talk (and as well aspecting things, with a sextile to Sun-Merc catching Sedna at the midpoint, a trine to Jupiter, and a quincunx to Pluto), all this suggests that facts and/ or beliefs will inform our thinking (so it will be at worst characteristic of who we are, at best thinking firmly planted in the real world and its circumstances), and will permeate our plans and where our attention goes, as will what we ‘know but don’t know’ (information sensed but not seated in the conscious mind–Sedna), and that this will propel us in the right direction, as the social order or our own beliefs about the Universe construct the perfect confluence of issues, events, and occurrences to get us to an important new point in our development–because that’s what’s happening right now, we’re all having things transformed, carved away, removed, or otherwise we’re seeing the power situation take on new shapes and hues, all in the name of moving us around the Universal chess board so we’re in the right place, right time, for the next phase of life. Now more than ever, we are responsible for how we respond–do your best.

Just thought I’d weigh in on that. Also, it’s a great time to address your health, particularly through diet or with environmental factors–you have a lot of juice to re-shape your well-being right now. ‘Til next time, and have a wonderful weekend!

Mystic Stress

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Ankara Archaeology and art museum Venus Late Hellenistic 2nd-1st C BC CC4

That title comes from the Mystic Rectangle perfecting today, with Mars, Sun, Earth, and Juno all at 24 degrees of their respective current signs–and the stress part is Venus, straining at the 29th anaretic degree of Aries. The lady just wants to get out of town, from an atmosphere of the overt, aggressive, and active, to one she’s not only comfortable in, she rules, with Taurus offering a chance to lose the Self to the senses, to enjoy the tactile, the filling and satisfying, the sedating–to get out of the Arian situation Venus (and we) have been in, of steadily mounting stress as she traversed a sign she’s just not at ease in.

The Rectangle takes the Sun-Mars sextile and makes it a dynamic, rather than just a statement about our attention (the Sun) going to what we are, or feel we should be, doing. We add Earth to the mix, bringing in a material element that emphasizes the way what we are investing our energy into at this time will have solid, real-world, or environment-affecting consequences. Juno, a body of empowerment and partnering, brings awareness: what we are doing right now will definitely empower us; our own actions will fashion situations that both give us alternatives and options, and requires that, even in cooperative matters, we must be the agents of our own expression and empowerment. Remember, the mythic Juno was renowned for her anger and vengeful plots–but those arose from trying to control her partner, rather than taking that energy and shaping things as she’d actually like them to be. In this instance, the lesson for us is twofold: we can’t expect others to hand us power, and we must recognize that the prerogative to make the world as we wish it to be is purely, solely, our own.

Also of note: Black Moon Lilith in Taurus and Neptune in Pisces form the base of a Finger of God, apex Zeus in Libra. A Finger always points us to the result of a successful blending of the two base energies. The Black Moon Lilith point in Taurus suggests that what we are denying ourselves in terms of comfort or sustenance, or what enrages us about our material situation, can be re-shaped by the imagination and our own ideals (Neptune)–which can result in ambition and desire fulfillment, particularly in terms of relationships, the Arts, or cooperative or earning ventures.

And by the way, that Jupiter-Sun sextile forming this Thursday may not be the sudden bounty or get-out-of-psychic-jail free card some think it will be. Oh, it could–I’m just looking at the way Jupiter will also be in an Air Grand Trine with Earth and Mars–suggesting that efforts fueled by beliefs or ‘the facts’, pushed by the social sphere, or that present genuine opportunity have a very good chance of succeeding–and that means that sunshine and riches won’t fall out of the sky with no reason, and that what does logically come to us, we’d better be prepared to catch!–but any benefits we gain could be co-opted by the group, or could devolve into intellectual exercises (Aquarius) that short-circuit action (Mars) and so don’t actually manifest in the real world (Earth)–so, something to keep in mind.

Last week I spent a full 24 hours hearing someone say (or sing) the phrase “Everything’s gonna be alright”–by my count, 6 different times in six totally different forms/ media. Late last week and this one have, as far as I can tell, brought a great deal of stress to everyone–but I’m confident hearing that over and over last week was meant to prime recall of that sentiment when things got rough. I hope if you need it, it helps you too.

New Moon in Aries 11 April 2021 Turns in the Road

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‘The Arrival of Spring; Two Roads’ By Maria Yakunchikova 1896 {{PD}}

Even though the New Moon of the 11th, 7:30 PM PDT at 22 Aries 24 is still conjoined Venus, that’s actually a separating aspect; whatever the Superior conjunction of the Sun and Venus was meant to convey around relationships or assets, it’s already come to us, though our emotional reaction to it is still in the future, delivered about 8 hours after this Lunar event (and maybe spurred by what happens at the NM). The same can be said about issues around personal power and authority, boundaries, a sense of autonomy, and even health matters, as the Sun and Moon have each both recently conjoined and are now moving away from Ceres. This suggests we’ve hashed out quite a bit recently, and likely believe we know where we stand–so why does it feel like we’ve made no progress, like we remain rudderless and confused, like we’re yearning for something and reaching come up with a handful of water, lost before we can get a sip?

A New Moon in Aries should spark confidence, a feeling that we can do ‘it’, the courage to take the next step, a sureness about taking the lead in our own lives, and when this NM perfects we may want to make a clear ‘I Am’ statement, not for those around us, but for ourselves, to try and ground us in something firm. We have the fire (Aries) to do (Cardinal sign) something to propel us forward–and this NM in particular we’re buoyed by imagination and a wave of creative energy (semi-sextile to Neptune), and we have big ideas (sextile to Jupiter) for change (square to Pluto) with empowerment as the goal (trine to Juno)–but there’s something about our desires or ambitions (opposition to Zeus) that makes us reluctant, or that maybe even outright prevents, that change we’re dreaming of–the potential for action could dissipate into nothing but talk (sextile to Mars in Gemini).

There’s a (brilliant) way out, and there’s also an issue to be dealt with, before the feeling and action impasse can be broken. One is the novile to Pallas in Pisces. This speaks of the wisdom of the imagination and the creative outlet, of the practical benefits of using our skills to do–and so serve both the Arian New Moon impulse and and the need to circumvent issues that have brought us up short, confused us, or distracted us from what we want and need to sort out. The Sabian symbol for the New Moon says it all: ‘A Pregnant Woman In Light Summer Dress’. The image is one of creative potential. Giving our creativity free rein right now is the smart thing to do; we may ‘birth’ our answer, or we may in the process of expressing make other contacts, or take other turns in the road, that will get us past what’s been holding us at bay. The ‘Summer Dress’ of the image implies the creative urge itself is at its peak of productive potential, just as a garden is at that point in the seasonal cycle. We don’t know how far along that ‘pregnancy’ is; we only know that the creation itself definitely exists, and will, sooner or later, be brought forth.

The thing to be dealt with is described by the New Moon’s sesquiquadrate to Vesta in Virgo. A sesquiquadrate is an aspect that promises difficulty, suggesting both trouble within the psyche (problems with accepting and processing what we’re confronted with, for example) and external factors that contribute pressures or force awareness and/ or force us to stop forward progress, at least in terms of the goal we thought we were working toward. There’s usually a measure of upset or outrage, a ‘This is ruining all my plans!’ plaintive cry as we see we’re given no choice but to halt and re-group.

With this being the New Moon’s contact to Vesta, what we’re likely to be faced with is some form of criticism or critique, internal or from others, that assesses our commitments, our values, or what we’re dedicated to as less-than-sacred. This might come in the form of our own internal monologue that recognizes we don’t care as we think we did, or in internal recognition or external feedback that points to some facet of hypocrisy in what we claim to hold in highest regard. Maybe our actions haven’t been supporting our highest standards, or our choices point to an entire other set of values by which we’re in reality living. No matter what, the Aries New Moon offers us a chance to re-dedicate ourselves to choices and actions that reflect our true values; it gives us a chance to align our walk with our talk, and prove what and who we genuinely care about.

A New Moon in Aries is about choice; the issue for this New Moon may be that we’ve convinced ourselves either we don’t have any, or that our options aren’t ideal. Events at this time are meant to show us that the true circumstances are otherwise–we just need to be brave enough to see that the ideal is possible, and that indeed, we always have options.

A Look Ahead: Early April 2021

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Saddle up! ‘Prospecting for Cattle Range’ By Frederic Remington 1889 {{PD}}

I sit here trying to decide what to write, asking myself, What do they need to hear? What is it that’s causing rough edges, confusion, discomfort, or that hollow, yearning sensation that can distract us from what we see as our goals? I’ve never been an astrologer who could spoon-feed readers sunshine everyday; optimism, yes, but too much sugar makes us diabetic, and too much insistence on only seeing the positives leaves us both delusional and unprepared. So, saddle up, and we’ll take a look at what’s coming.

When I look at the chart for today, the 31st, I’m struck by a few things: the way the Sun in Aries is wedged between the ego-hurt of Chiron and the ego hurt of Venus, with both taking an Aries viewpoint that asks, Where is what I want in all this? Venus points us toward what we don’t have in relationships or assets, while Chiron makes it feel like we’ve always been deprived, always been the victim–and that doesn’t help us in the present one bit. The energy connects like a web, with the Sun trining the South Node, sextiling Saturn–a stuck-in-mud-from-the-past feeling, I’m thinking.

And that Chiron, emblem of the primal wound, the thing we walk through life perpetually sensitive over, is precisely semi-sextile Uranus and in the other direction Pallas, placing Chiron at the mid-point=accidents and surprises, spontaneous events and hurtful incidents, seem like the inevitable denouement to something stupid or impractical we’ve done–but with Vesta quincunx Chiron, trine Uranus, and opposed Pallas, we should take it all a little less personally, as what it really is, is a prompt from the Universe to adjust what we’re dedicating our time and attention to, to adjust our critical thinking (Vesta in Virgo) so that it actually gets us what we want and where we want to go–something about our thinking now is distinctly off: Mercury in Pisces, open to the imagination, is square Juno (wondering why empowerment is so hard!), sextile Pluto (we may be perceiving everything, especially any exercise of power, as just a tad destructive), sextile Jupiter (exaggeration!), and still within proximity of current ruler Neptune, which is like being under the spell of some fantastical Svengali–no wonder we’re having trouble sorting things out!

Part of the issue may be the way Mars in Gemini is sextile Ceres in Aries (making for an overly independent way of going forward, a ‘law unto himself’ way of acting), with over the next ten days or so Venus, the Sun, and even Ceres tightening their contact to Mars–and so bringing all the complexes and paranoia that’s been stewing into our actions and choices, if we don’t address them now. The good thing is that over this period it all moves on from contact with Chiron, suggesting we’ll be less sensitive, less inclined to interpret events or even our own thoughts, as hurtful.

Positives center on a persistent sense that we can take things on, do for ourselves–and that helps us handle much of what else is swirling around, as we are both in reality and in our sense of confidence able to deal adeptly with a more-than-usual load at this time. That’s why it’s so important to point out what won’t be working so well: our own thinking or responses are the things we need to keep in perspective, keep from holding us down or back.

The only thing that stays stuck is the Chiron-Uranus contact–which should tell us that the real weak spot in the days to come could be the tendency to see the spontaneous, erratic, accidental, the sudden, the group action, or the unusual as wounding to us personally. We may process things as getting better, more under our control, and then get offended all over again when something comes along to strike at our sore spot. Try to take a step back, before responding to any hurt over this early half of April–it might do us better to let it go than to pursue our own skewed idea of justice or redress, chiefly because we may not have the entire ‘power picture’–that comes next, when Pluto retrogrades on the 27th, and begins a ‘big reveal’ of hidden power structures, systems on the brink of failure, and stirs a few phoenix-like entities re-born from what we thought was just a pile of ash.

Also, the New Moon of the 11th gets a second stage boost on the 18th, with the Sun-Mercury Superior Conjunction. Time any new venture that you must approach one step at a time for this period–brings a bit of unusual clarity, especially in terms of seeing what’s worth going forward with, at this time.

Full Moon in Libra 28 March 2021 The Balance

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‘Tightrope’ By Paul Klee 1880 CC0

Love is central–or is that a money, asset, or credit situation that takes center stage right now? Either relationships are in focus, or our currency status is, at this Full Moon, which perfects at 11:48 AM PDT on the 28th at 8 Libra 18. All the strongest flow for this lunar event is across the Libra-Aries axis, imbuing the episode with an ‘I/ Other’ dynamic. With Venus so closely opposed the Full Moon, we are likely to frame the Full Moon in terms of what we have versus what others have, and this may be about intangibles like Love or tangibles like property or resources, but in any case brings examination of the balance between the ‘I Am/ I Have’ and ‘They Are/ They Have’. Chiron, also opposed, brings in the consciousness of what we don’t have, or makes it clear what unique skills we possess that can help us get what we want. We may get a new, mature perspective on a number of issues or relationships, and a new attitude born of Full Moon conclusions or culminations, especially in reference to the way injuries, past and current, may be at play in either our emotional or asset situations.

Some things that may be answered: Do we feel unity with others, or are our thoughts focused on the solitary nature of our existence? Do we allow others to hurt us, and then hold those injuries tight for our own reasons? Or do we reject the one who hurt us, and is doing so healthy, or filled with rage (and so taking up our energy when it shouldn’t)? Do we actually believe that others have it easier than we do for no reason? Are we feeling less than rewarded for being who we are? Do we avoid cooperation or forming relationships (especially those centered on romantic love) because we believe it will ‘cost’ us? Have we been withholding use of our skills due to past injury? Do we like cheese? Well, maybe not that last one.

The Full Moon is apex to a Finger of God, with base of Pallas sextile Uranus. This suggests that Full Moon events or revelations (something the Full Moon is known for, bringing complete enlightenment, particularly in matters of the House in the natal chart where this occurs) come about either through a meeting of the practical or skills and the unique viewpoint, or via wisdom applied to the spontaneous or chaotic. What is original to us as individuals combines with either what we can do, or what we know (in the form of a profound Truth), and delivers to us the outcome of an event at this time, or a realization that can illuminate our immediate way forward.

A semi-sextile to Vesta and a sesquiquadrate to Jupiter tells us that hopes to get ‘more’ of what we value, or attempts to honor our beliefs, especially beliefs about what’s sacred, what’s important, will have a rough go of it; it’s likely we’ll have to face certain beliefs, facts, or ways in which we dedicate our energies that are causing problems or are difficult to implement, with the Full Moon requiring us to adjust those beliefs, or modify what we dedicate our time and energy to.

There’s also a loose Air Grand Trine involving the Full Moon, Saturn, and the North Node-Mars (we’re stretching, here). It’s worth noting, though, as in the next hours and days both Earth and the Moon will be perfecting that Trine–and this implies recognition of the energies as working together even at the time of the event gives us a little glimpse into the future. We’re talking about emotional understanding or intuitive perceptions that balance out the mental perceptions and then act as foundation for forward moving actions and choices that will have an effect on the reality picture.

The Sabian for this Full Moon is, ‘Three “Old Masters” Hanging On The Wall Of A Special Room In An Art Gallery’. I think this is a clear reference to Venus; the suggestion may be that we must acknowledge what we treasure, what talents we possess, what we hold dear, our assets, but the issue may be this: if this asset or talent is segregated, off in its own room in a special construct (the gallery), does that mean we are treating it as rarefied, not using it or appreciating what it can do for us? Are we viewing our talents or assets as precious museum pieces, as passive, rather than incorporating their potentials (for earning, for sharing beauty, for generosity, for what they can bring us) into our daily life? Do we keep them in special circumstances because we are in some way saving or ‘hoarding’ them, or does keeping them separate allow us to believe there’s more value in them than we might find should we employ them in the real world? These are Old Masters, after all, possibly a salute to the Chirotic skill each individual possesses that is extraordinary in its uniqueness–so, something we shouldn’t hesitate to share or test, as no one can do ‘it’ quite like we can.

The Sun, Chiron, and Venus, this last ruler of the Full Moon-Earth combo, all share a Sabian: ‘A Crystal Gazer’. The future is written in who we are at core, who we are as a Soul (the Sun), how we respond to our wounds (and you’ll notice the kinds of wounds aren’t important–those are irrelevant, in this context–Chiron), and who, how, and what we love and value (Venus)–and at least symbolically, these matters ‘rule’ (via Venus) and contain the Full Moon ’cause’ (via the light generation of the Sun), so are instrumental to, and in fact inseparable from, the Lunar event.

Family Patterns: What’s Your Element?

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By Unknown author – Photo courtesy of the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs Division under the digital ID ppmsc.06257 {{PD}}

When we consider a return to the family atmosphere (as we do at holidays, or for summer BBQs, to name just two occasions), we may find those gatherings of togetherness and food and sharing inevitably bring us back, to some extent, to our place within that family, with all the feelings, attitudes, closeness, and knee-jerk reactions that go with it. Even the best of relationships can grow strained with time, distance, and conflicting choices. We’re almost sure to both look forward to these reunions (especially after the scourge of Covid) and dread them–at least, we are likely to fear falling back into less-than-positive patterns in interacting with these familiar others, adding to the stresses already extant in our grown-up, everyday lives.

One thing that can help immensely is determining what element dominates within the family, and whether that is your dominant vibe. Sorting this out can explain on what level and through what mechanism (mental, emotional, action-oriented, material) the family is operating (in the Collective sense), and if this is the element through which we are most likely to channel our responses. At its simplest, this is a very straightforward process: draw a ‘family tree’ (or your own version of one) and list the Sun sign and its element for each individual. I can (almost) guarantee you’ll immediately begin to see correspondences, connections in behaviors, the grouping together of some individuals in social settings while others retreat to a lone ‘branch’–and you’ll have the beginnings of where you fit in the mix.

Though, as we know, Sun sign astrology doesn’t provide many answers by itself, we must in this case acknowledge that the Soul (Sun) element is a vital part of the individual’s unique expression; nobody is alienated from their own Soul (no matter how it may appear from the outside!) so when we look at the Sun’s element, we are looking at a crucial vibrational chord for the individual. No matter what else we have in our charts, we respond to that Soul element.

Naturally, the more detailed we can be in our assessment, the more we will be able to draw connections and understand interactions. If we know the Moon and/ or rising sign of the individual, or if we have access to the whole horoscope and can determine the overall dominant element, even better. In particular, the Moon will help us see those close connections that may not be explained with Sun sign elements. For example, I was very close to my maternal grandmother, whose Sun element is Water; mine is Air. Those would seem to ‘talk’ past each other, except that my Moon is in Water–I could empathize and relate to her need to see the world (in essence) through the emotions, even though my predominant viewpoint is a mental one, and she could relate to me, through her Air Moon, making for a kind of personal ‘mutual reception’ that balances shared elements between individuals. We often thought and felt remarkably alike; and this was in contrast to her daughter, my mother, whose Fire Sun and Moon often left us completely in the dark as to her thought processes and her motivations, a double Fire, ‘leap without looking’ approach.

It also helps, though, to consider the Earth sign of the individual (always found exactly opposite the Sun). For example, in the case of relating to my mother, it is possible for me to relate by light conversation, using wit and verbal sparring to find out what she thinks and feels, as her Earth is in Gemini Air; the fact that the body involved is Earth suggests that the conversation must focus on material matters, or at least start out there–then she will open up to relating, to exchanging information. Of course, the more you know about a person’s chart, the easier it is to see why they do or don’t blend with others in a group.

Let’s take a look at a family like any other, the Royal family of England. Specifically, let’s look at how the ladies who’ve married into the family have fit in, or failed to. HRH Elizabeth II (21 April 1926 2:40 AM London United Kingdom) has the Sun at 00 Taurus (some call this ‘the Hitler degree’, as it was also Hitler’s Solar placement, but I find that a little harsh)–so an individual who sets a grounded tone in the family; you’d probably do best to chat about her dogs or hunting or her castles, as finding common points of reference and common comforts and values are the way to relate. Son Charles (14 November 1948 9:14 PM London UK) has Sun in Scorpio–he’s a feeler!–but Earth in Mom’s Sun sign of Taurus–so they relate easily, especially through material matters, and Mom’s Water Earth sign reciprocates–and bonus! Charles’ Moon is exactly conjunct Mommy’s Sun (not an especially unusual parent/ child contact)–so there’s a lot of harmony there, with Charles for the most part bowing to his mother’s preferences–though when feeling triumphs it really triumphs, the case in point being his marriage to Camilla (17 July 1947 7:10 AM  London UK). Her Water Sun and Moon fit in with her husband’s temperament well and relate to the Queen through material commonalities (Camilla’s Earth in Earth! Perhaps representing that Camilla’s family is of the same milieu as the queen’s). Her Water-Earth Sun-Earth combo relates well to her husband through shared feeling about material matters, as well as the strong feeling nature. But what about his ‘old’ wife?

Diana Spencer (1 July 1961 7:45 PM  Sandringham UK) has what should be a very sympathetic placement of Sun in Water, Earth in Earth–so what made for such discord and alienation between herself and the family she entered through marriage? Probably that Aquarian Air Moon of hers. It may have required things make sense, be explained, and be subjected to logic and intellectual examination–not to mention taking her vows quite seriously, at least until she found she’d been deceived by her husband, who never stopped seeing old flame Camilla. The need for ‘shared Air’ may have driven Diana from the family; it could’ve felt like no one spoke of anything important, that information was never really shared–is that really surprising, from a family that lives in a series of castles, who have feelings deeper for their corgis (or at least seemed to, from Diana’s point of view) than what they felt for a woman who essentially just needed to relate?

Charles and Diana’s son William (21 June 1982  9:03 PM Paddington UK) was born in the lee of a partial Solar eclipse, while wife Kate was born on the same day as a total Lunar eclipse (9 January 1982 ntk Reading UK). Weird, no? There may be an implied energy balance of extraordinary extremes in the pairing of these two–William’s dual Water Sun-Moon and Earth in Earth fits the family dynamic neatly (and his 00 Sun placement may sympathize with grandma’s 00 Sun energy), and Kate does, too, with Sun in Earth and Moon-Earth in Water. She may come across as super-practical, and on the inside could be a little more sensitive than other family members, but likely doesn’t let that show except to her husband–who has the freedom of those born into an extraordinary situation to be a little looser in expression and choice. These two fit into the current Royal family like hands in gloves–but as we’ve seen lately, his brother and his spouse haven’t.

Prince Harry (15 September 1984 4:20 PM Paddington UK) has Sun in Earth, Earth in Water–so he should fit in well, right? His Moon in Earth only reinforces this. The answer to Harry’s recent defection might lie in other areas, which I’ll note later–but we have been presented with the family’s treatment of his American wife as the reason, so we need to look there, at least for the trigger to Harry’s leave-taking. Meghan Markle (4 August 1981 4:46 AM Canoga Park California USA) has a Fire Sun and an Air Earth. Uh-oh–she tires them out, agitating for clarity, and probably for due respect (that Fire is Leo, after all!) Meghan’s Earth in Air echoes Diana’s Moon, probably stirring up fears in Harry that his wife may suffer the same hounding and ill-fate his mother did. So, we have our trigger–but is that enough to make Harry dump the institution, and consequently his family, since they can’t seem to see themselves as separate from it?

Though there are many interesting ties between Harry and Meghan, I’m going to point to only two that I think tell the story: Her Chiron conjoined his Moon, and his Sun square her Neptune. She may stir emotional feelings and fears he didn’t even know he had, and she may register to him as ideal (as a media star, the epitome of a particular shad of Neptune) but the dream she represents may present difficult circumstances, challenges to overcome (the square) that speak directly to who he is (Sun). Add to this in Harry’s own chart that his Sun is closely conjoined Zeus, melding his Beingness with his ambitions and desires–and can you imagine a more unfortunate placement for someone who, before William had children, was considered the ‘spare’ to William’s ‘heir’? Leaving may have been the only way for that Sun to fulfill itself–and certainly, he’d already distinguished himself in the military, and in creating the Invictus games, taking a special interest in those wounded in war, just as his mother similarly did in her crusade against landmines. Add to this his Nodal axis at 29 degrees, suggesting pressure, a do-or-die need for fulfillment in the life direction, and he may have felt a kind of unfocused urgency to create an exceptional life–and after a point, leaving the family may have seemed the only way to do it.

Some things to consider: those we are related to, those with whom we’ve grown up, and/ or those with whom we feel ‘obligated’ to share holidays or to gather with for larger reasons may not necessarily need to be a part of our current lives, especially if we associate significant pain with this individual or group. Though we may have quite an internal conflict over the appropriateness of spending the holidays at a distance from some we would normally include, our primary duty is to look out for our own health and well-being. The truth is we can hardly be kind to others if we mistreat ourselves.

A Brief Guide to Families by Element

Some of this might seem a little obvious, and of course there will be variations–I didn’t get into the sub-groups, where a family has a main element and a secondary one, or where there are splinter groups within the larger groups that carry their own elemental themes–but I think you can see where I’m going, and can figure this kind of thing out. It often jumps out as we outline our family tree, revealing alliances we always knew were there, somehow, but hadn’t really consciously acknowledged.

Water families communicate through feelings–and everything, even those things that seem to be material (like gifts) or cut-and-dried (like contracts or wills) are driven by emotion. Water families are often emoters and everything is expressed to extremes–and they’re also the group most likely to punctuate gatherings with fights, swearing, accusations, and copious numbers of tears. They’re as well the group that opens their get-togethers to strangers most easily, who are warmest and most demonstrative, and who may be very uncomfortable if you’re not letting every feeling show, too.

Fire families are just that, full of fire, which means they’re assigning tasks, organizing games, playing sports, or running errands non-stop. All this fosters lots of interaction but with little depth; it’s a matter of each group member doing doing doing beside the others, so engagement is on the surface or minimal. That’s the way they like it, though; to them sitting for hours around the table chatting or watching the snow fall is pointless. This group loves to include anyone who’s a good sport and willing to get their hands dirty; balk at their tasks and you might be seen as ‘being mopey’.

Earth families are all about comfort, and making everyone feel secure; they find fast movement risky, too much talk distracting, and crying a sign of emergency. The stars of this family are the carpenters, cooks, craftspeople, and anyone who offers physical comfort through skill or effort. Their all is aimed toward creating a cozy environment, seeing to plenty of sustenance, and a satisfying material experience–which can be lovely if your idea of a great holiday is to wrap yourself in a ham cocoon in front of the fire, but most of the non-Earth oriented may find the low level of interaction or exercise frustrating, especially as any expression of dissatisfaction is likely to be met with an offer of warm slippers, cocoa, and a big, crush-the-unhappy-out-of-you hug.

Air families communicate endlessly–everything means something, has a message, must be discussed, and is in danger of being misunderstood. For all their emphasis on mental exchange they can be terrible listeners; but they do think about what might make everyone happy, and in that way they can be the most accommodating of the groups, as long as they can relate to what someone else might need. The stars of this family are the witty and the intelligent, the co-operative and the artistic. Words are the currency in this group, followed by expressions of ‘thoughtfulness’, and because there’s so much attention to communication they can be uneven in departments like decorating, activities, or buying enough food–because who’s counting portions when you’re thinking of all the stories you’ll tell at the dinner table?

This work first appeared in ECLIPSE, and has been edited, and modified with the addition of the material on Prince Harry and Meghan.

New Moon in Pisces 13 March 2021 Siren Song

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‘Ulysses and the Sirens’ By Herbert James Draper 1679 {{PD}}

The New Moon perfects at 2:21 AM PST on the 13th at 23 Pisces 03, after recent passage of both the Sun and Moon over Neptune. That puts a haze on everything, a siren song with no clear origin: what are we seeing? what are we feeling? Also past but still in orb: a square to Juno and a quincunx to Zeus, suggesting that just lately we’ve faced some conflict over the legitimacy of our ambitions and our own autonomy. And what lies ahead, within orb now, are a sextile to Pluto (the impulse to burn it all down, out of shaken convictions around the ambitions, desires, and our ability to act on them), and a sextile to Sedna (the impulse to listen to the instincts, to trust what we ‘know but don’t know’, and proceed as planned). Which will we choose? Right now that depends on your relationship to Piscean energies in general, and to transiting Neptune in particular.

Pisces is singing to us right now, of ideals and dreams, of our practicality, skills, and wisdom, of the payoffs awaiting us in Love or Money or maybe just companionship (Pallas, Venus, Neptune transiting there), and the New Moon offers a starting point: face what we want, and either purge it and ourselves (if we find the dream inadequate), or trust ourselves and follow instinctual prompts and the inner knowing. Not a difficult choice, if we know ourselves, if we are not deluded, if we know our dreams, and if we are brave enough to go forward and create, unafraid of what others might say or think. And of course, that little bit at the end may be the hardest part.

The New Moon also falls at the midpoint of the Saturn-Uranus square. That’s reality pushing against the radical, the established pushing against precipitous change, tradition butting up against the modern, authorities clashing with the individual, or with advancement in general. It’s natural for What Is to resist and resent innovation, unless how that improvement is good for all is made obvious from the start–and even then there may be issues. Expect the New Moon to present a point of tension over this kind of revolution, a preview of the coming, just forming Cosmic dream, a glimpse of the future, and look for the positive that will come from letting go and accepting new developments. What’s happening is inevitable; better to have some say in and control over change (by willingly going along), than have it overwhelm when upset and resistance builds too high. Don’t let the siren song of ‘We’ve always done it that way’ stop a good thing.

The New Moon Sabian is, ‘On A Small Island Surrounded By The Vast Expanse Of The Sea, People Are Seen Living In Close Interaction’. I’m seeing this in something of an unusual way: Pisces is the sea, the House of the natal chart an island in the horoscope, with the people in close interaction those we love (Venus), those we idealize or connect with spiritually (Neptune), and those from whose wisdom or practicality we benefit (Pallas). Getting all the human components to mesh in positive ways is something we strive for–and the new start of the New Moon offers a moment when the way to that harmony might be apparent, through the matters of the natal House where Pisces sits. And right now, everybody could use just a little more harmony.

Their Immensity

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By Pravin Mishra – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59437020

You’re not a creature in a body./ You exist as the stars exist,/ participating in their stillness, their immensity. from ‘Telescope’ by Louise Glück

Just stepping in to let you know that I’m no longer doing work for individual clients. Though I’ve had a wonderful time working with so many of you, the end is here. But, those who still have already paid for Horaries awaiting them, or those I’ve already told to contact me or with whom I’ve still got obligations, don’t hesitate to get in touch when you need to. I’m working hard to finish the Moon book, but it just keeps growing! What’s that about? Every time I think I’ve wrangled an angle, up comes another thing that I think, ‘Oh! Can’t not cover this.’ So.

And speaking of the stars and lights and planetary bodies, a couple of small things catch my attention and seem worthy of sharing. We have Pluto trine Sedna in Earth signs=a breakdown of those things that wall us off from what we ‘know but don’t (consciously) know’, a purging of detritus that may have gathered around our instinctual knowledge and responses, freeing up alignment of understanding with The Truth, whatever that may be. This offers a powerful re-making, and simultaneously we see Mercury trine Zeus in Air, giving us the opportunity to have a clear mental conduit for ambition and desire expression. Do actively address these energies, because in a week the transiting Sun moves to the midpoint of Pluto-Sedna, illuminating the Truth and Instinct situation–and if you’ve done the required housecleaning and mental ordering, you’ll have a chance to see the results–that is, a manifestation of the clarity you have (or haven’t) brought to goals, aims, and the things you want. And, Venus makes her conjunction to the Sun on 24 March, after chasing Sol into Aries–which should bring another point when all that housekeeping will pay off, in spite of the awkwardness of Venus having to ‘show her stuff’ in a sign that encourages her to be less-than-subtle.

This Week

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We focus a bit on Neptune this week, over at Fragrantica ‘Triumph of Neptune’ By Bon Boullogne 1699 {{PD}}

I’ve been featured over at my friend, astrologer Zoran Cerar’s site, Fragrantica, in his weekly. Check it out if you’d like!

Be aware, the Sun will conjoin Neptune in just three days, and Venus and the Moon won’t be far behind, with the planet of assets and relationships making conjunction on the 13th. Proceed with ideals front and center, remain cognizant of the possibility of deception (including misleading yourself), and if at all possible, plunge forward with ‘the Dream’, because this is prime time for both seeing it clearly (what a contradiction, with Neptune involved!) and for seeing how to make it pay off.

Have a lovely Sunday, and a great week!

Real-Life ‘Clue’: The Case of the Disappearing Lord

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Lord and Lady Lucan, back in the day. She was just recently found deceased in the same Belgravia house where the nanny’s murder occurred. Fair use, multiple sources

This an ECLIPSE re-print from 2015 with some new material added, a wee mystery to ponder this weekend. Have a great one! jd

If Ian Fleming, Agatha Christie, and Ian McEwan had each jumped into a time machine, met in a mutually agreed upon cozy writing spot, and together woven a story of a dashing noble who gambles himself deep into debt, is suspected of murder, and the very day following the murder vanishes without a trace, they would’ve written something astonishingly close to the life of Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan, a gambler and gadabout who at one point was considered for the movie role of James Bond. Lord Lucan (born 18 December 1934 ntk at Marylebone/ London United Kingdom) took the privilege accorded him due to birth and parlayed that into a miserable marriage and a gambling debt equivalent to half a million dollars in today’s coin.

On the evening of November 7, 1974, the nanny for Lord Lucan’s children was murdered in the basement of the family home. Lucan did not live in the house at the time, but he did come to the house that evening and got into a physical fight with his wife when she came downstairs looking for the nanny, who hadn’t returned with tea, as expected. Both Lucan and his wife were bloodied and bruised, and eventually retreated together to the bathroom to tend their wounds, according to the account of Lucan’s wife, Veronica, and his daughter, who saw them after the fight. Lucan left (presumably before the nanny’s body had been discovered), stopped by a friend’s house in the wee hours of the morning of the 8th, and was never heard from again.

The working theory all these years is that Lucan is the killer; the supposition is that he mistook the nanny, a petite woman with long, strawberry blond hair who bore an uncanny resemblance to wife Veronica, for his alimony-demanding, custody-of-the-kids holding, ex-spouse. There is lots of circumstantial evidence to support this, including the police finding a car he had borrowed that contained his fingerprints, the nanny’s blood, and a lead pipe very similar to the one used to kill his employee. He told the friend he visited that night, who is the last person known to have seen him alive, that he saw someone attacking the nanny through the basement window, and went into the house to help. His wife and son both believe he likely killed himself out of guilt, but no body has been found, and whatever happened, he left without his keys, passport, eyeglasses, and other important small bits, suggesting a certain finality to events, whether he died or changed his identity.

Unfortunately we don’t have a birth time for Lucan, but when we set a transit chart for the early morning hours of the 8th and compare it with the natal placements, we still get some compelling contacts. First we might try to ascertain whether he was of a mind to kill that evening, and especially if he might’ve targeted his spouse. His natal Venus in Capricorn is square his natal Mars in Libra, setting him up to expect conflict in man-woman scenarios, and the midpoint of transiting Ceres-Juno sextiled this Venus, suggesting at that point he could’ve easily seen his wife as a vengeful force of Nature—and with transiting Sedna trine n Venus and Black Moon Lilith sesquiquadrate it natally, he may have been primed to act out, a temporary ‘blind spot’ nicely masking anything about his relationships that would contradict the in-born belief that women were Lilith-like and the carriers of unreasonable rage (as a male-oriented society inevitably characterizes BML energy)—all stoking his resentment of his wife.

We might ask, does Lucan have it in him to kill? Of course, the natal chart can only give clues, not definitive answers, but there are a few interesting things of note. Lucan has a natal Sun-Vesta conjunction, suggesting the potential for him to see himself as sacred, upping the chance he would easily take affront or act out in ways designed to protect himself. His natal Pluto quincunxes his Sun and Saturn, making it apex to a Finger of God, and opposes natal Juno, a recipe for destruction triggered by any threat to what he’s built, especially if it should come from the spouse. His natal Uranus-Pluto square, which may have offered spontaneous, burn-’em-all-down fireworks as a matter of course, was at the time of the murder filled in as a Fist of God by t Neptune, suggesting that those Uranus-Pluto impulses may not have seen clearly their own expression, acted out in defense of an ideal, a fantasy, or a delusion (and see later for more potentials for this config). And there is the way t Uranus is at 29 degrees of Libra, setting up a general atmosphere of strain and sudden action in partnerships of all kinds.

Transiting Mercury was squaring his natal Pluto (difficult messages/ communications/ thoughts that hinted at destruction) and t Jupiter formed apex with these two to a Fist of God. This is a vote for suicide, with Jupiter the planet associated with the leave-taking of death; certainly, dark thoughts could’ve driven him in that direction. That t Merc was also sextile his natal Sun, tying thoughts to his sense of identity and well-being. Too, t BML sextiled his Mercury and both were quincunx t Saturn, forming a Finger of God that implies he might’ve felt enormous mental pressure to do something in the physical world to address things. And, t Sun-Venus were just moving off natal Jupiter, perhaps suggesting to him that suicide might be the most rewarding way out.

Also of note: that in the early morning hours the transiting Leo Moon (the kind we can’t help thinking about ourselves under) squared his (supposed) natal Taurus Moon, while t Uranus had been putting steady pressure on Luna for some time. This argues for emotionally charged tension surrounding the Self, one’s impulses, and the future, while t Saturn squared natal Sedna, suppressing the instincts and perhaps insisting he had no ‘blind spot’, everything was just as he assessed it. t Pallas was also trining that Moon, reinforcing the idea that the emotional reactions were giving him smart guidance, in spite of the results. Should his natal Moon actually be in early Gemini (possible if his birth occurred later in the day), he would still receive a stressful square from the transiting Moon, and we can add one from t Ceres, as well, perhaps making the pressure from females confident and in charge of their own autonomy and domain more than he could bear.

His large gambling debts imply he might’ve been a prime target for a hit, as he’d owed for years and there were no prospects for new income in the future (in fact, his natal Pluto in Cancer square his Uranus-Pallas, clearly spelling out his Self-destructive tendencies, triggered by transiting North Node-Vesta-Neptune, forming a Fist of God—the smack down may have been something he always imagined, and was always headed for—it may even have been something he courted, revering the idea of payback). A 1975 inquest held that he was guilty of the murder and convicted him in absentia, so there’s little incentive for him to ever surface again, if he is alive.  Theories of his fate abound, everything from being whisked from the country by MI5 and hidden in a Greek monastery to being fed to the tigers of zoo owner, gambling hall impresario, and close friend (to whom he presumably owed a lot of money) John Aspinall, but my favorite is that he took off for New Zealand, where he lives still with a goat named ‘Camilla’.

So, to review, it’s Lord Lucan, in the basement, with the lead pipe.

And has the mystery been solved?

Musings on the Signs: Scorpio

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Scorpio and the preceding sign, Libra By Alexander Jamieson 1822 {{PD}}

As stated in a previous post: decades ago I’d written most of a book on something I termed the Void, the ways we malfunction when we deny, distort, or otherwise misinterpret our Lunar needs (those signified by our natal Moon placement). I talked about the Gap, the space between our genuine needs and our misunderstanding of those needs, and our inadequate attempts to bridge the two, with a goal of offering ways to recognize and remedy these imbalances. The book didn’t go anywhere (it was never completed), but it seems like now might be a good time to pick the bones for any tasty bits they may contain, and if I find enough worth passing on to you, dear Reader, I’ll probably also include it in the Moon book (as the fundamental need is based on Luna), with the new book to be finished (I’ve been working on it every day!) sometime before I expire. I hope. Here on the blog I’ll be posting, in no particular order, some of my thoughts on sign needs and dysfunction, for your edification, discussion, and rebuttal, as inspired by that old manuscript. Today, Scorpio.

What does the Scorpion need, with her sting and her exoskeleton and her deeply perceptive nature? She needs to feel powerful, of course. We can see that the defensiveness of the stinger is a response to the emotional sensitivity of Water, and the exoskeleton a response to the Fixed nature of the sign, as the hardness, the unchangeability, gives the sense of protection, surety, security–but what of the ability of Scorpio to peer straight into the depths of the darkness, unflinchingly? Wouldn’t that prompt fear? Yes, and Scorpio’s need, then, is to feel as if she can handle what she sees–and she sees a sense of power as the answer to her needs: power over the emotions and the emotional nature, enough power to feel safe, and enough power not to be threatened by change or the Truth, no matter what meaning that Truth holds.

We all need to feel we can have an impact on our environment; that’s not unique to Scorpio. Without this belief, we succumb to depression and hopelessness, or we try to prove we do have power via ruthless manipulation of people, things, or circumstances. So, this is a normal need, common to everyone, but Scorpio takes it one step further: Scorpio needs to see their impact through real change, transformation of what surrounds them, or through the wielding of Truth, sometimes like a shield, and sometimes like a bludgeon. They’re not just happy knowing that they have freedom of a kind, or that they have chosen or acted; they must change the landscape in deep and permanent ways for their need to be met, and that means they’re compelled to go beyond what the rest of us do. Scorpionic power brings irretrievable shifts and transformations, like casting a spell from which one can’t escape, or drinking poison that has no antidote, and it’s the no-turning-back quality of it that elevates this sign’s urge from a need to A Need–in fact, the principle one for the sign.

A Scorpio who hasn’t yet accepted that power expression as a legitimate need may project that intensity onto others, believing they make her ‘walk on eggshells’ or that they have hidden agendas or prejudices she can’t pinpoint but believes they’re intent on injecting into events, and so results. Scorpio may disown her own power, casting herself as at the mercy of others or circumstances; a listless Scorpio is a Scorpio who is abdicating not just her power but her responsibility, as well. The Will may become incredibly strong in a Scorpio in denial, casting herself as opponent to, well, everything, but she needs to realize that nothing will change (paradox alert!) until she accepts that change is what she exists to make.

Ways to successfully connect to and satisfy our Scorpio energy (for even if we don’t have a placement there, we all have it in our charts, so that at the very least, matters of the House where Scorpio falls will require dealing with this energy) include allowing the experience of unpleasant emotions (we must learn that we can safely look into the abyss, see what we see, and return from it, enlightened in some way. Scorpio teaches us that an encounter with the darkness doesn’t end in oblivion). We must also proactively learn to negotiate; the Scorpionic energy sees these kind of interactions as a contest, a ‘Sting ’til You Win’ scenario. What’s really needed is to understand that successful negotiation requires both parties get something out of the deal–if they don’t, it reveals itself to be a war, with one party collecting the spoils, the other angry and in ruins.

Scorpio energy needs to practice taking steps that make a discernible difference in the life. Start small, until you’re comfortable with the energy, by using Taurean pursuits, such as cooking, artisanal creation, or measures taken to insure comfort, to bring about changes that impact the senses. That will help ground the Fixed Water, with its natural tendency to need but resist flow; in drawing in other elements, and manipulating materials, we give that Scorpio urge something to grab on to, resonating with the Fixed energy, and we offer something tangible that prompts an emotional response, satisfying the Water factor.

When it comes to relationships, it’s pretty obvious Scorpio is more Self-protective than most. What looks like them being mysterious is really them lurking inside their own feelings, unwilling to show those feelings even to themselves. Dark and brooding may seem attractive, but more often than not it’s a symptom, one where unacknowledged and even unrecognized emotion is bubbling to the surface, making disorienting and unsteady feeling in a Scorpio who just wants to nail that feeling down and control it–and if you think of Scorpio disowning the feeling nature, that’s really the picture you get, someone desperately trying to nail water in place! They’ll have to connect that it’s okay to feel a feeling, that just having an emotion doesn’t unleash world-crushing destruction, to the fact that they’ll experience feelings and that those feelings will naturally change and change again, fluctuating as they flow in relationships, and that they’ll be able to handle it. Nothing scares a Scorpio like chaos (though the ones who love it are convinced they’ll get power out of it, making them black hat Scorpions), which is why it’s so ironic that Scorpios who don’t accept their need for power create such chaos around themselves. The other Scorpio fear is too much routine, promising no change at all, that can strike them like a waking nightmare. So go figure. Carpe diem, my Scorpio friends–you can handle it.

Full Moon in Virgo 27 February 2021 Due & Payable

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‘A Jar Of Peaches’ By Claude Monet 1866, well before deteriorating eyesight made the impressionist painter’s work even more impressionistic!

Keeping our nice, tight Lunar event orbs, we see that this Full Moon, falling at 8 Virgo 57 at 12:17 AM PST, makes only a few, crisp aspects–but of course, they tell us everything we need to know.

A Full Moon brings related energies to a conclusion or peak, and in Virgo this most likely involves matters where accounting and balance sheets (including intangible spiritual or emotional ones), criticism and critical discernment (again, including those that are mere thoughts, or that address the personal and subjective, as much as those aimed at the Collective and objective), and the gathering and allotment of some kind of ‘harvest’, are prominent. This can be anything from actual bills due to the subtle workings of Karma, from a quiet judgment inside our heads to a very vocal assessment of someone or something, and from the literal distribution of goods to the gain or loss of rewards, in either case likely anticipated in some, possibly very nebulous, form (a notion that occurs to us, right out of the blue, and is just as quickly gone, for instance).

The Moon-Earth conjunction forms apex to a Finger of God, with base of Chiron-Saturn. Oww! We may be asking ourselves just exactly where and why ‘it’ hurts (or where and why we’re having this sensation, which is not necessarily painful, it may just be new, or something we haven’t felt for a long time), and we may be acutely aware of how our own responses to reality have created this denouement. The presence of Chiron gives us two possibilities: one is that we’re seeing the real-world consequences of our own woundedness, which may have driven previous actions or choices, and so brought us to this point. The other possibility is that we are seeing the results of what we’ve built through unique talent expression, through utilizing that particular ability that is so unique to us.

The Full Moon also trines Uranus and, with a little leniency, the Black Moon Lilith point. This suggests, very simply, surprise, probably centered in something we’ve been striving not to think about, or that has angered us, implying that what’s delivered may have the ring of justice, or the requirement that we accept things as they are. And, we see a sesquiquadrate to Pluto, telling us that whatever occurs may through difficult circumstances change everything, or that the Truth will be exposed, transforming for the good, or conversely the rot will be exposed, with the tough option of cleaning it up. It’s especially hard to know if Pluto in the mix is a good thing, as so much of what Pluto brings, even when the ultimate result is positive, can be especially hard to process, get through, or even survive, and it often temporarily gives an ‘end of the world’ feeling.

The Sabian for the Full Moon is, ‘An Expressionist Painter At Work’. I’m thinking this tells us that we need to take a ‘higher up’ view of events around this Lunar occurrence, one that takes in the broad picture, rather than focusing too much on any one detail (and this Full Moon may throw many details at us, considering its placement in Virgo). It reminds me of a scene in the immortal, Jane Austen inspired work, ‘Clueless’, a movie where the main character, the teenage Cher, describes someone or something (and I’m paraphrasing here) as ‘a real Monet’–that is, a mess if you insist on getting up close to it, but making a beautiful picture if you pull back and take it in at a distance–or, in the case of a person, someone who seems together, until you get a gander at their actual circumstances or coping skills.

We also look at the Sun’s Sabian for a Full Moon: ‘A Jockey Spurs His Horse, Intent On Outdistancing His Rivals’. This suggests that competitiveness may drive us (and is echoed by a minor aspect of the Full Moon, a semi-square to Zeus). What we want, and what we can do about it, is spurring us on at this time. We need to be aware that it’s ourselves, rather than externals, that have created the current scenario, with circumstances we’ve initiated determining its outcome.

It’s a time of ‘getting what we deserve’. If that phrase makes you excited, then good, you know deep within that you’ve been adding to the Collective in a positive way, and it’ll be paying off; and if it makes you uneasy, then just know there’s something, either in your methods or your motives, that needs purging–and Pluto will be around to help.

Thank you, everyone! Take care out there, and Happy Full Moon!

Musings on the Signs: Virgo

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Virgo https://www.raremaps.com/gallery/detail/30844op/virgo-stars-heightened-in-gold-bayer
Johann Bayer {{PD}}

Decades ago I’d written most of a book on something I termed the Void, the ways we malfunction when we deny, distort, or otherwise misinterpret our Lunar needs (those signified by our natal Moon placement). I talked about the Gap, the space between our genuine needs and our misunderstanding of those needs, and our inadequate attempts to bridge the two, with a goal of offering ways to recognize and remedy these imbalances. The book didn’t go anywhere (it was never completed), but it seems like now might be a good time to pick the bones for any tasty bits they may contain, and if I find enough worth passing on to you, dear Reader, I’ll probably also include it in the Moon book (as the fundamental need is based on Luna), with the new book to be finished (I’ve been working on it every day!) sometime before I expire. I hope. Here on the blog I’ll be posting, in no particular order, some of my thoughts on sign needs and dysfunction, for your edification, discussion, and rebuttal, as inspired by that old manuscript. First up, Virgo.

It starts with a fundamental need: for Virgo, the need is to accept ‘what is’. With Mercury as its ruler, we might think that the need would be a mental one, and it is; if we tailor that idea to the proclivities of Virgo, what we find is that the mentality is employed in a function of discernment–and it’s this automatic impulse to judge, sort, categorize, assess, and account for, that is to discriminate via characteristics, that can also describe certain weaknesses, namely a tendency to believe that because the inclination is to judge, that judging is necessary, that every circumstance must be vetted and assessed by the Virgo energy. As in all things, for all people, just because Virgo can, doesn’t necessarily mean Virgo should.

Healthy discrimination and discernment are the ability to perceive differences and/ or comprehend relative worth (‘worth’ being defined as uses and/ or functions) between or among persons or objects. This differs from criticism and judgment in a single, important way: it doesn’t assign a valuation or character of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ to what is. It instead encourages the understanding of what exists and the recognition of its worth without imposing an idea of worthiness, or a moral assessment.

Wherever our Virgo energies are by House, we run the risk of failing or refusing to recognize and accept reality, and when in that state of Beingness we’ll be unable to sort appropriate from inappropriate behavior, or know which is the baby, which is the bathwater. For instance, we can easily discriminate between a butterfly and a moth. We can discern their differing functions and note the variations in appearance. If we make a critical judgment of butterflies and moths, though, we may judge moths to be ugly (no pretty colors) and ‘bad’ (they eat our woolens), while we may judge butterflies to be beautiful and ‘good’.

It’s one thing to recognize disparities and understand differences, it’s quite another to make pronouncements on the worth of, in our example, the moth and the butterfly; that kind of judgment means the conclusions reached aren’t objective absolutes, and if there’s room for disagreement, then one has rendered an opinion, not stated a fact, and so wandered into subjective criticism territory.

By Charles J. Sharp – Own work, from Sharp Photography, sharpphotography, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25023269

To work through the shadow side of Virgo, reality must be seen and accepted; that is, Virgo energy must know all about what makes the butterfly different from the moth, and in acknowledging the factual nature of these differences, let go of the prerogative seized, that of believing Virgo is entitled to judge the value of the life and functions of the moth vs. the butterfly. Two things help in acceptance of ‘what is’: 1) refuse to allow the mind to dictate priorities (as in believing in the rightness of its own judgments), and 2) realize that it’s inappropriate to sit in judgment of anything (and remember, this is much different than discrimination/ discernment). As soon as we give a ‘value label’, we distance ourselves, making the world and others into ‘things’ and reinforcing the proclivity to judge.

The difficult part for Virgo is that the facility for discernment is an asset, a strength–but anything used to excess inevitably warps into a liability–and this is what Virgo faces, the need to learn to accept the way things are, and to use that facility for discernment to determine whether judging is even the right thing for them to do. Assessment is Virgo’s natural response to, well, everything, but not every situation requires forensic dissection, nor is a pronouncement about the state or quality of every component of every situation desirable. Virgo won’t know that until the ability for discernment is firmly focused on reality, and simultaneously awareness is achieved that the autonomy and authenticity of others, and of things, situations, feelings, everything that makes up the fabric of life, has not only its own character, but an unquestioned right to exist, and that those things will be what they are whether or not Virgo judges them. Virgo must learn that the very fact something exists isn’t an invitation for a critique.

For Virgo, this all comes from a pure intent, one that strives to improve everything in its sphere. If we’re talking about a Virgo Moon, then we need to understand that there is an emotional need to feel competent, organized, informed, ready to ‘share the harvest’ in whatever form Virgo recognizes it as taking–and as well, there’s a fear of not having a clear accounting, of not having a sense of who’s responsible for what, and a fear of being in possession of a list of criticisms that aren’t being addressed. These conditions, linked with the Lunar consciousness, will feel like chaos to Virgo, like the Piscean energy of its opposite number has thrown a shroud of fog and confusion over Virgo’s attempt to keep careful, detailed books–and for Virgo, nothing could be (or feel) worse.

Though I’ve focused here on the shadow characteristics of the sign, Virgo excels in some of the most vital qualities to guarantee not just survival, but an ability to thrive. The properties Virgo offers allow us to discern the poisonous berry from the edible one, because Virgo took the time to study the fruit’s characteristics, to note in what ways they differ, and to make remembering (another Mercury function) what we know about these berries important. Virgo’s also the one who wrote down the recipe for berry pie, and paid attention to what conditions the berries needed so that we could plant them close to home. Am I making Virgo sound a little plodding, a little too mundane? But that’s the beauty of it! Virgo knows things, knows the details, and shares that knowledge in a clear and comprehensive fashion–and that’s something we should thank them for.

Things to think about, related to your Virgo energy: consider that interactions don’t need to be tracked on a balance sheet, of who owes what to whom; in what way do you freely serve related to Virgo? Do you ever give anonymously, and keep it anonymous? That would be your Virgo! List things you like about yourself (not physical features) and consider ways you can share these qualities with others in forms that benefit them; what’s the goal, when you offer criticism? How do you feel about partnership and sharing? Those can be two ‘prickly pear’ issues in chart areas where Virgo is located. Do you delight in attending to details, joyously getting lost in the texture of them, or do you resent them, feeling like they slow down progress?

Signs your Virgo energy is operating in shadow mode: overly critical, sometimes using this as the only form of communication, critical of others ‘for their own good’; detail obsessed (and consequently not giving enough attention to the Big Picture; proud of perfectionism; pettiness; lacking a sense of priorities and proportions (for example, making the color of the car as important as its performance); confusing productivity with busyness; fixes and serves even when those efforts are intrusive; the humble-brag of ‘I’m just a worker bee’ (false modesty) no matter what the actual role, accompanied by a laundry list of what the larger organization ‘needs to do to improve’; cattiness or gossip meant to make yourself look informed or better than the one criticized (where Gemini’s gossip is more about spreading info, even when it’s unproductive)

Signs your Virgo energy is operating really well: a rhythm to proceedings/ efforts; not offering an opinion unless asked; being organized in such a way that a larger purpose is served; knowing what information is important, and willingly sharing it; taking on responsibilities without resentment; taking care of the Big Picture simultaneous to attending to meaningful details; having and using good judgment; you know where everything is! work and play are balanced; any debt is well-handled; appreciation of dry humor and word-play; no issues with sorting through possessions, coupled with an ease at throwing out what’s no longer needed; able to edit the life and keep it on track toward goals; the patience to ‘nurse’ things along, when appropriate

Special note for those with: Pluto in Virgo=when activated this can plunge you down a complicated, labyrinthine rabbit hole in matters related to the House where it’s posited, confusing you, stymieing you, causing you to tilt at windmills, or it can make you a genius at organization and research in House areas, with info at the ready to support change, and an always-transforming-according-to-new-information attitude. You’re not scared of change, sex, death, or the Karmic ledger, you just want to always be completely informed about your status with each

Uranus in Virgo=Higher Mind can get bogged down in details or regulations, with this placement, and the group may exert more influence than is healthy, or activation can liberate you from unnecessary constraint, as you read the contract fine print and see that many conditions don’t apply, due to your uniqueness. You can embrace the academic and flow with the serendipitous accident or spontaneous idea or improvisation, just as long as you feel you know what you’re agreeing to

Saturn in Virgo=myopia is the dysfunctional expression of this, where you miss the forest for the seedlings underfoot, but it also means that under other circumstances reality delivers a sparkling, informative load of detail and meaning to you, giving you a navigation and decision-making advantage. Control of information flow or contract terms may be a big deal for you in some way; you’d do well to learn when you can lighten up and enjoy the fruits of your labor, and when it’s paramount you pay attention and buckle down

I hope you’ve enjoyed this! I don’t know when I’ll get back with a post about another sign, but will be back with a Full Moon report within a week. Until then, thank you, and stay safe!

Being of One Mind

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Keeping action aligned with intention is the only way to exert any control over outcomes. Like parents raising a child together, the varied parts of the psyche must work in harmony, so that what they create is healthy and sustainable. Portrait of Army Surgeon Ernst Boman and his Family, By Johan Krouthén 1888 {{PD}}

Do you live straddling two contradictory streams? Do you say, ‘I only spread love and light,’ and then post politically or religiously or racially divisive statements, attend hate-supporting gatherings, or laugh at those who are different (or who are seen as fair game, in your world)? Do you complain about your significant other, openly contemplating (even planning) divorce, flirting or even cheating, and then play up certain dates with all the romantic trappings and expectations, demanding you be treated as ‘the only one’? Do you prize (and require in others), for example, loyalty, or honesty, but reserve for yourself the ‘right’ to be disloyal or dishonest when it suits you (because your reason to do it is always a ‘good’ one)? No, I didn’t think you did, but there are many who do, and frankly, we’re surrounded by them right now! It’s the effect of Vesta opposed Neptune, challenging every single one of us to put lots of daylight between what we honor and treat as sacred, and the natural human propensity to fudge it all, just a bit, to live in a fantasy, to blur the lines or tell a fib, to ourselves or others, in the name of being gentle, or keeping the peace, or getting our way, or just plain avoiding a hassle.

The two energies actually carry a large number of similar themes: ideals, and particularly the imaginative ideals conceived in flawless form through pure creativity, as well as the spiritual ideal applied not just to the individual Soul but to the state of humanity, are all Neptune, while the Vestal counterpart is the identification and treatment of particular beliefs, practices, things, individuals, causes, and ideals in the life as sacred, honored, with aimed-for realization in an ideal form the goal. When these two oh-so-similar energies meet in opposition, we’re faced with embracing one and denying the other–and that’s an ‘all or nothing’ proposition, requiring a clear-cut choice. We can’t just lie a little, at this time, just do a little dishonest or deceptive thing, because battle lines are drawn–we can’t be a little pregnant, a little dead, or a little Neptunian in our behavior, without claiming it all as our own, because that puts us in an anti-position to the Vestal values of dedication, integrity, and the sacred.

As we undergo the New Moon new start, we see not only this opposition but a Venus-Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius that’s notable, because it acts as a kind of positive bridge connecting Vesta-Neptune, the NM, and the Saturn results of later in the month, and it does so via that Uranian-Aquarius commonality. It offers Higher Mind and the belief system a clear understanding of the rewards of a heart-oriented stance, of taking a generous and ideal-guided approach, and offers the opportunity to align the Self with Love, to kindly apply ‘the facts’ to what we care about. When we do that there’s no room for deception, no room to split consciousness along two divergent (and so both inauthentic) paths. If we do by chance grab the wrong end of the Neptune-Vesta stick, we may find ourselves at this point undergoing exaggerated heartsickness or heartbreak, punitively high costs in worldly efforts, we may get a bill for having ignored ‘the facts’, or we may see those beliefs we hold precious directly challenged by something or someone fact-oriented and forward-thinking.

We need to take into account that the Saturn-Uranus square will perfect on the 17th, and is already within orb. This will deliver in real-world terms the results of any rebelliousness, unreliability, erratic behavior, or Self-restriction we’ve imposed–but it will also bring the results of hard work aligned with Higher Mind, inventive or innovative efforts, and those things done in genuine service to the group. This will very likely tie back to the Neptune-Vesta opposition, with that setting the tone, leavened by Venus-Jupiter, showing the outcome to our responses through that mix of Saturnian-Uranian real-world circumstances.

Now, go ‘be intentional’, and of one mind!

The New Moon of the 11th is here–

New Moon in Aquarius 11 February 2021 What Are We Waiting For?

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‘Waiting’ By Henri de Toulouse Lautrec 1887 {{PD}}

The New Moon perfects at 11:05 AM PST on the 11th at 23 Aquarius 16, but before it does, we pass through the pre-New Moon three day period known as The Dark of the Moon, notable for its absence of Lunar light. This is a period when forward momentum can be sidetracked or stalled, and new projects will sputter, fail to get off the ground, or later require a rehaul or restart–and that’s doubly so during Mercury retrograde, currently in effect.

What can we do during this period? Normally we’d do best to drift and dream, meditate and relax, to connect through silence or dreams to the non-verbal perceptions, but during this Dark period we have a slightly different mandate: it starts with the Inferior Conjunction of Sun and Mercury on the 8th, an inception point for development related to matters of the House where the contact occurs, specifically around shifts in thought, plans, and where we’re putting our attention–and it continues as later that day the Sun meets Pallas, with the Moon to pass over Pallas just over two hours before the New Moon perfects. All this speaks to reconsideration of Mercurial subjects that leads to a wiser take on things, and to a smart or more practical new beginning shown by the New Moon event.

Otherwise, this New Moon doesn’t make much notable contact at all. Its closest aspect is a trine to Zeus in Libra, suggesting that Higher Mind revelations (Aquarius) in relationships and their role in ambition and desire fulfillment (Zeus in Libra) will lead to greater understanding–but understanding of what? For some this might be revelation in relationships themselves, a more accurate view of how they work on a daily basis, and what each party gets out of them, but for many of us the emphasis will be on how our interactions with others color, constrict, shape, or curtail our own efforts toward ambition realization. We may become acutely aware of how we modify our efforts to accommodate relationships, and how we modify relationships so we can pursue our goals, and we’re very likely to see where we need a re-think on the whole thing, with this re-consideration informing the latter half of the Merc retro cycle.

Too, Zeus speaks of the power balance within any relationship, the ways in which we get our needs met but must accept that others, too, have needs, and that the clash between these two sets of wants can be chaotic, a contest between our desire for the relationship and our desire for, well, just about anything else that creates an appetite. With Juno, the asteroid of empowerment, and signifier of Zeus’ partner, placed sextile Mercury from her spot in Sagittarius and conjoined the South Node at the time of the New Moon, we definitely see a rise of smoke from smoldering relationship issues, and between the New Moon of revelation and understanding (Aquarius) and the Merc retro cycle, we are likely to find these issues cropping up, many of them as direct power issues and some as an outright clash of wants between partners.

We might also want to count a very loose square to Sedna, only in contention because Sun and Moon are approaching rather than retreating from the aspect. This might give just the barest hint, the vaguest echo, a mere wisp of an idea that trouble may be on the horizon. This might take the shape of Self-sabotaging instincts or an insistence on not admitting that everyone, including ourselves, has a blind spot–and this might be just the time when we need some reflection (the Moon) from those with whom we’re in relationship (that Libran Zeus)–because that’s exactly what we’re offering them, too.

The New Moon Sabian is, ‘A Man, Having Overcome His Passions, Teaches Deep Wisdom In Terms Of His Experience’. I’ve not much to add to that since it seems we’ve already covered this same message via aspects, but will point out that the symbol strikes a hopeful note, as the messiness that is natural to relationships will show us what we need to know, and make us wiser in the process.

Have a lovely week, everyone!

Considering the 12th House

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By Willard Metcalf – National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., online collection, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57432861

What follows is a re-print from an issue of ECLIPSE. Have a great weekend!

When I first studied Astrology (back in the last century!) it was hard to get a straight answer about how the 12th House really worked in an individual’s life. Since this House contains the ephemeral (spiritual experiences and practices, dreams, the unconscious) and big concept entities (large institutions, especially those that work in secret or where people are shut away, such as hospitals and asylums, connection to the Collective and to the Cosmos itself) it’s easy to see why it presents such a challenge to define; typically what was passed on for any House was a kind of shorthand formula, keywords that were meant to tell us succinctly what we had to look for. In the case of the 12th, the phrase was, ‘Serve or Suffer’, explained as the attitude that must pertain to any matters or energies connected to the House—either you served humankind through one of the 12th House concepts, groups, entities, or through a spiritual service or practice, or you suffered. And in spite of all your best intentions, with the unconscious material sitting in this House, just above the horizon (and so just out of your conscious reach), there might still be suffering through that mechanism wherein the unconscious sets up circumstances in order to bring us a particular experience.

‘Serve or suffer’ always struck me as too fire-and-brimstone, too much like the kind of religious admonition that sounds a lot like a threat: “Be good, or you’ll go to hell!” That’s no way to win recruits, and it didn’t really make the 12th House any clearer—if anything, it seemed to ask us to choose a sign-related 12th activity or entity and then to give a part of ourselves to that cause and just hope we’d please the gods and avoid being struck by lightning! That seemed fear-mongering at worst, and just generally less sincerely productive than true service could and should be at best, and it made me think a lot about what the House, and the phrase, might actually signify.

The phrase was probably an easier sell to the astrology student a hundred years or more ago, before questioning authority and exploring beyond what we are told became a daily routine. In that space of time, we’ve seen a Collective shift (and the Collective is ruled by the 12th, of course!) toward a development of inner viewpoint and consciousness within the individual that is no longer quite so willing to become a cog in the machine and, eventually, die—instead we see a demand for at least some fulfillment in life, along with the expectation that we deserve it—not a factor for most people to any significant degree before those Collective changes.

‘Serve or Suffer’ is really about choosing between a Universal viewpoint and a personal one, with suffering being the result of concentrating on the individual experience rather than the Collective need. We are asked to give up our own interests only in this area (and intermittently in the 5th, for our children, and in the 7th, for our partner or our Art), and we’re really not given a choice in the matter; we can choose not to have children or not to partner, but we are obligated to acknowledge our part in the Universe (no matter how small we may feel when considering it!)

Placements in the 12th are typically processed in such a way that we have a very hard time seeing them in ourselves; we will often completely project these qualities, at least initially, and the House anything posited in the 12th rules can become a hot line for expression of the unconscious and for projection of the group psyche: with, for example, Neptune in the 12th and ruling the 4th, we may swear up and down that our entire family is crazy (or creative, or deluded, or liars!) when it really may just be us! This kind of response to the 12th House energy makes it ripe for the ‘Suffering’ half of the equation; if we believe that everyone else in the family is wildly imaginative and creative, and we are not (because that energy within us is ‘hidden’ in the 12th) then we suffer with the feeling that we are ‘less than’ within the family dynamic. Only through excavating and recognizing as our own those 12th House energies will we have a sense of wholeness—until then, we may acutely long for the seemingly missing factors and talents.

In this example, the individual’s need and expectation are for a disciplined, controlled, or real-world grounded approach toward the Universe (Capricorn on the 12th) that can be modeled by or learned from Others, or that can be seen as a guide that brings the 12th House attitude into dealing with Others, Art, and/ or the spouse (7th placement of ruler) and this is being disowned; the individual is seeing others as the agents of the experience, rather than directly living it through the example of others (7th) handling 12th House matters. In the case of disowning the energy, the individual sees others as the ones applying restrictive standards in 12th House areas; in the case of owning the energy, the individual learns about or sees in others examples of dealing with 12th House matters—and applies the discipline, control, or real-world grounding on their own (this is, of course, aside from any other meanings carried by that Saturn placement).

With bodies posited in the 12th, look to the position of the ruler(s) and consider how much you may or may not be projecting these energies onto the matters and individuals represented by the House where they sit, or that they rule. If the 12th is empty, look to the ruler or rulers (in the case of Aquarius and Pisces, adding ancient rulers Saturn and Jupiter, respectively, can give a much more rounded picture) for how much one may be seeing the subjects or entities represented by the House where the ruler is posited as imposing 12th House conditions on you, or on the areas of life in the House(s) ruled by the 12th ruler. For instance, ruler of the 12th in the 8th could mean you see others as having sent you to prison—whether or not this is literal, and whether or not you’ve done anything to warrant it! With ruler of the 12th in the 10th, by contrast, you may see spiritual matters, the caprice of the Cosmos, or the role of large institutions as having a big effect on the career or public reputation. Don’t be surprised if you feel some shame surrounding neglected 12th House energies—this is common, as we tend to hide in the 12th, even from ourselves, those things we find less desirable about ourselves–or we place in the 12th the guilt or regret over not having addressed Universal/ spiritual energies as we feel we should, or we store guilt or shame related to matters or others represented by the House where the ruler is placed. The reality is we need to take our time sorting through, developing, and learning how to use all chart energies—to feel bad about what we need to explore only makes us turn away, drag our feet, and maybe blame it on (or project it on) someone else.

The Weekend Word Image is criticism that freezes you in your tracks. If you’ve received something like this lately, and the effect was to stop your forward momentum, please consider: this may actually have had the goal of keeping you where you are. The critique was a feint, a distraction, meant to shake your confidence, with the real point the speaker’s desire to keep you in a place they are comfortable with. If you see it that way, you can free yourself from some needless Self-censorship, and avoid a detour that’s the opposite of helpful.

So, Should We Panic? Mercury Retrograde

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‘The Magdalen Reading’ By Rogier van der Weyden Before 1438 {{PD}}

No, of course not! Mercury’s apparent retrograde happens often, in the larger scheme of things, and is merely meant to make us pause, to consider information we might have sped past, overlooked, or need to edit. There’s no negative intent; the mischief maker comes forward when we try to ignore that need to slow down and consider. The pause in the forward portion of the cycle is meant to make us reflect on how we process communication (both going in and coming out) and how we reason, and we are supposed to ask ourselves a different ‘framing’ question, relative to each element in which the planet backtracks: what do I think? for Air signs, what do I feel? in Water, what do I need, or how is this affecting the material situation? in Earth, and what must I do? in Fire.

This time the retro happens, and stays within, the sign of Aquarius–‘What do I think?’ with the aim for the re-think directly linked to the meanings related to the sign, in this case, mulling the role of and information from the Higher Mind, the new, inventive, or innovative, with the ultimate goal of understanding. This applies specifically to the matters of the House where the retro occurs, and includes consideration of the element-themed question in relation to any natal bodies or points posited in this sign.

There are currently a great many transiting bodies in Aquarius: the Sun, Pallas, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury, and that means a lot of contact to anything one carries in the sign could be coming from any one, or any combo of, these energies, aside from the Mercury cycle concerns. Add to this the way a Merc retro period, whether we approve or not, removes the ability to think or reason clearly, and we have the recipe for some confusion and not a little bit of frustration. Our attention is here, in the area of Aquarius natally and on the matters of the House that holds the sign (the Sun), we feel pressure to discern what’s wise or practical in related situations (Pallas), we feel the influence of the social sphere (and maybe have the sense that we’re being observed, even as we may be noting opportunities–Jupiter), and we could experience a pushme-pullyou between Jupiter and Saturn, as the energy of expansion and optimism goes head-to-head with caution, the need for boundaries and security, and the pressure to hold back or apply discipline, in an area of the chart that’s already very busy. We may even feel this as a desire to be free, to let go, vs a fear-based urge to hunker down, conserve, to preserve what is, rather than to let loose.

The thing is, Mercury retrograde asks us to stop relying so heavily on the brain. It needs a break, just like anything else! So our best means of handling the need to process information at a time when our usual channels are more or less ‘down’ becomes one that accesses information through senses other than the mind. We need to practice vetting input via the feeling nature; we need to bypass the brain, and listen to the heart.

We won’t, though, necessarily have a clear conduit there, because in asking Venus and the Moon to step in for the mental faculties, we’re asking ourselves to both accept feelings as valid information (with out the kibitzing of the mind), and do our best not to insist on translating what we perceive into the language of the mind, that is, into words. Not an easy task, especially if we’re naturally inclined to sift everything through the thought processes (I’m talking to you, natal Mercury in Air!)

Too, the Lunar perceptions wax and wane, so that the intuition may not always be available when we want it, and both natal Venusian energies and Lunar ones will be affected by any transits they’re receiving, in effect placing a lens over our perceptual abilities that may make them unwieldy or distort what we can glean from them.

That all sounds so pessimistic–but really, this period asks us to practice feeling, to trust the feeling nature to convey valuable intel, and to let the retro period unwind tangled areas where we may lack accurate understanding (Aquarius). This time Mercury turns around without being in major contact with any other energy, and without forming any new aspects for some time, and that suggests a kind of isolation, a period where the mind will be ‘on its own’, so to speak–and that implies an effect similar to meditation, where contemplation occurs whether we intend it to or not, as the mental faculties are largely cut off from their customary patterns of digesting and expressing.

The usual warnings apply, of course, since an unclear mind is one that shouldn’t be making big decisions or commitments. I’m not as convinced that Merc retro has such a clear-cut negative effect on electronics or communication systems, simply because they foul up, retro or no, so take that kind of event with a grain of salt–it’s a truism that once the retro passes we see events during the retro with a different lens–and that means we won’t be judging well during the retro, and that applies to mix-ups and snafus as much as it applies to our own mental processes.

Mercury goes direct on 20 February–so at worst, we just have to wait! And if you’re in need of information on making a purchase during the retro period, check here–

Magic Under the Full Moon

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By Strobridge Litho. Co., Cincinnati & New YorkRestoration by trialsanderrors and Morn – This file was derived from: Zan Zig performing with rabbit and roses, magician poster, 1899.jpg:, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19060350

Such an odd little thing lately, this presence of magic within a larger scenario. It shows up in forms familiar from traditional stage magic acts, but that’s not where the real magic lies; instead the presence of, say, a handkerchief ‘turned into’ a dove by the tap of a ‘magic wand’ on a box is only an indicator of the presence of genuine magic. I know! What’s ‘real magic’ anyway? As far as I can see from recent events, it’s the existence of a force that quite literally can’t be attributed to any known physical action, and that can’t be explained. The top hat, the assistant in spangly dress, the draped table, the disappearing and re-appearing items, the box and saw, the chains and locks on the man placed in the container of water, all are saying: this is pretend magic, now look for the real stuff.

Or are those elements, just as the flourish and the spectacle serve in a magic show, simply announcing that they are distractions, meant to keep us from noticing the behind-the-scenes moves that create the illusion in the first place? Because the stage show and the ‘real’ magic are about illusion, in the sense that we can’t follow one thing to another in a clear fashion–and yet the results are undeniable, as the playing card moves from magician’s hand to the vest pocket of a man across the room, and the thing you never thought would happen, quite magically, does.

Think of real magic as the thrust of energy and intention into the quantum field; just as with stage magic, it’s a kind of sleight of hand, where many of the ‘energy steps’ are unseen, at least from our personal vantage point. With so many bodies and points in Aquarius (Sun, Saturn, Jupiter, Pallas, Mercury) and Taurus (Uranus, Mars, Black Moon Lilith, Sedna) we may be straining to understand (Aquarius) the material world around us (Taurus)–but those signs, one Fixed Air, one Fixed Earth, naturally square each other, with the Fixed modality creating inherent tension in the discord between thought and the material reality. Essentially, we create our own, personal version of sleight of hand as we fail to reconcile the physical with the mental, as some link our minds tell us should be there isn’t.

But, the persistent theme of magic I’ve been experiencing suggests we needn’t strain. All we need to do is take note when something playful comes forward that promises (or at least implies) it will astonish or otherwise amuse–and then we know there’s something working behind the scenes, something making real magic in our lives, and that we should be on the lookout for it. It’s much more easy to both recognize and accept the presence in our lives of the unanticipated benefit, the synchronicity, the fortuitous meeting, if we don’t insist on explaining it.

One of the recent events for me involved a button. I had sewn it to the paper cover of a hand-bound book I’d made years ago, and I just ran across it again after not seeing it for a long time, and reading what I’d written about the incident, it echoed this ‘magic’ very neatly. The button didn’t fall off my clothes (it wasn’t familiar–nothing any of us owned had this precise kind of button), there was nowhere nearby it could’ve come from, I’m sure, as it landed on the open dishwasher door. It seemed as if it were generated from, as the saying goes, thin air, and though I marveled at it, I couldn’t find an explanation for where it came from. I didn’t think about it beyond that until I was standing in the exact same spot a few days later and the lights over the sink started blinking on and off, not like a surge in the power line, but in a very deliberate, turned off then on way, as if someone were at the switch–but they weren’t.

I wondered if someone (let’s just say spirit, in a general way) was trying to let me know they were there. So, presumptuous as I am, I asked a favor: in my mind I pictured a lost earring, one I had been looking for that meant a great deal to me, and I thought about how I wanted to find it; the jewelry was one of those things that feels like you, so when you lose or destroy or misplace it it’s almost like you mourn a little, like a part of you has been misplaced.

Just a moment later I had the urge to walk out to the mailbox, even though I knew it was too early for the mail. I reached the mailbox, looked down, and there was my earring.

Now you could say that some part of my consciousness had registered it when the earring had fallen, and that this was just my unconscious mind prompting me to go back to where I knew it was. But then what about the lights, and the button? I called it spooky, back then, but now think it was just a little magic, making itself known.

Should you be looking for a taste of virtual magic, you might want to check out ‘Derek DelGaudio’s In & Of Itself’ on Hulu, or a series from a few years ago called ‘Shut Eye’, about a con man who finds he’s not the person he thinks he is, also on Hulu.

The Full Moon falls in Leo on the 28th at 11:16 AM PST at 9 Leo 05, closely opposed Jupiter, which the Sun will perfect conjunction to less than 6 hours later, while the Moon will perfect opposition to Jupiter in less than an hour. The Full Moon is also in very close conjunction to Hygeia (only one minute off exact) and a loose novile to Vesta, forms squares to Mars, the Black Moon Lilith point, and Uranus, and a sesquiquadrate to Venus-Pluto, which two are in very close conjunction themselves. There’s also a loose Fire Grand Trine with Chiron and Juno, and if we include the Sun-Jupiter opposition point, we end up with a Kite.

A Full Moon in Leo brings something about ourselves, about our identity, about our passions and reason for Being, into focus, and maybe brings that form of identity or purpose to an end, or readies it for the ‘next step’, but in this instance it almost registers as an afterthought, with the ‘pull’ from Jupiter-Sun balanced between Chiron and Juno giving a dynamism that suggests either facts around the identity, or the Soul in interface with the social sphere, finds a perfect point of empowerment balanced between expression of the unique skills (or capitalization on the wounds) and the level of personal empowerment, and that this is delivered via the Lunar event.

This is healthy (conj to Hygeia) as, no matter what occurs, it will be an expression of the highest values, of what we want at a Soul level (nov to Vesta). Events may arise from conflict, chaos, or the discovery of what’s been hidden or denied (sq Mars-Uranus) and difficult, even threatening, circumstances around Love, relationships, or money, that we may want to classify as ‘moments of Truth’ (sesq Venus-Pluto). So, beneficial things that spring from contention or upset–so look for what good will come from the troubling, the uncomfortable, the needed purge or change, from the ‘Big Reveal’.

Change Is In The Air 23-27 January 2021

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By Michal Klajban – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=89274662

The need to make more time for new and already ongoing projects forces me to cut somewhere–and for now, that will be here at the blog and in personal services offered. I won’t be doing a daily forecast in any form, at least not usually, but will try to go with quick updates for some current conditions and articles now and again. Thank you so much to all my readers, and particularly to those who’ve donated–and that brings me to those who have a recurring donation: only you can stop them–PayPal won’t let me, and all who’ve donated in the past 6 Months are on a list for a free Moon book (another thing I’m hoping to finally finish!) so please, though much appreciated, I won’t be offering the kind of consistent work that deserves your very generous support each and every month. I’ll still leave the link up for now, in case I do something singularly spectacular and you want to tip me! but otherwise I’ll be spending most of my time in other pursuits.

That said, here are a few alerts for the upcoming week, through to the Full Moon of the 28th:

Saturday the 23rd is a little magical, as long as there’s more ‘we’ than ‘I’ in the mix, and as long as power plays are avoided; otherwise, it’s a good time to make plans around ambitions and goals, and, applying a little idealism, imagination, or spiritual mo-jo, you could see a dream or two come true (Keys: Sun conj Saturn, Venus sxt Neptune, qnx NN, and parallel Pluto, Merc trine Zeus)

For the 24th, two things: loving relationships or the Arts offer positive arenas for personal power expression, and a steady mentality wins (Keys: Venus sxt Ceres, Merc contra-parallel Uranus)

On the 25th we’re inclined to charge toward goals and actively shape the future–and we’ll be successful, as long as we use our highest values and commitments as a guide (Keys: Juno parallel Ceres, Mars nov NN, Venus trine Vesta and nov Juno, Sun sxt Chiron and sesq Vesta)

Oh! I don’t like the 26th! We may be confused, deluded, or misled concerning life direction, we may act against our own health interests, we may sacrifice love or a financial source we need to pursue ambitions (with it unlikely to work out–see the first part of this sentence!), we may act erratically, unreasonably, or we may alienate ourselves from the group, and everything that goes down is exaggerated, based on beliefs (and so potentially ‘fact free’), or waving a mirage of opportunity at us that disappears when we approach. Stay in bed today, at least in a figurative sense, and wait out the madness (Keys: a bunch of squares!!)

Things improve by the 27th, with a few caveats. Though upholding values may seem to curtail our power, it may be the way to go, as a healthy mindset that vibes to integrity may be our best asset. If you need to act, to get out there, to secure opportunities, make what you do an expression of pure creative energy, or make it a paragon of spiritual virtue–temporarily take on an Archetype that fits the goal, then shed it and see how really good you feel (Keys: Vesta opp and contra-parallel Ceres, Jupiter nov Neptune and opp Hygeia, Merc contra-parallel Black Moon Lilith and nov Chiron)

One more thank you–I’ve had a great time ‘speaking’ to you and with you all these years, and I know that’s something I’ll miss.

19-22 January 2021 Fevered and Real

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‘Heat’ By Florine Stettheimer 1919 {{PD}}

Today, the 19th, it may seem like our highest values are a nuisance, rather than the foundation of our thinking and responding (Mars sesq Vesta). We’re sure minor power conflicts are chipping away at our autonomy (Pluto semi-sq Juno)–and rather than shrug them off, seeing them for the annoying noise that they are, we’re taking them to heart and overreacting. I’d like to blame that pugnacious Aries Moon, squaring Venus and Pluto through the day, fueled by emotion and throwing punches when its Will is denied–but it might just as easily be Mars and Uranus converged in Taurus, also spoiling for a fight and within square of Jupiter, blowing ‘it’ all out of proportion. Try to remember that today perceptions are skewed toward the reactionary and radical, and that no response is better than an ill-considered, fevered one.

Much the same exists for the 20th, with this handy exception: we see Mercury trine the North Node and Juno quincunx Black Moon Lilith, suggesting that if we are willing to meet those matters we’ve been avoiding with a sense of personal responsibility, and if we’ll do so with the future in mind, we’ll be able to skirt a great deal of the unreasoned and reactive energy filling up the air waves right now. It also helps if we’re willing to note where and how reality diverges from fantasy (Saturn semi-sq Neptune), which should help anchor us in the real world, rather than letting the imagination run wild.

The 21st conjures a powerful set of conditions, as Neptune conjoins Ceres, bringing together ideals, creative energy, and the personal authority to enact these, or uniting delusion with an overwhelming urge to interfere and dictate to others.The world will likely sort itself into these two groups; if you can, surround yourself with those in the former camp, rather than the latter.

The 22nd is a day for repercussions, and what some may call ‘tests’. We are forced to acknowledge the reality of our personal power position in relation to our life direction–how much autonomy, how much say, do we really have?–and we may get a big jolt (or an unforeseen opportunity) arising from our own actions, choices, or assertions–even our simple identity, a statement of ‘I Am’, may bring the social sphere or a fortuitous opening within reach. Answer conflicts honestly, stare straight at what’s presented, and when that helping hand or new chance comes, take it (Ceres sq the Nodal axis, Saturn semi-sq Ceres, Mars sq Jupiter, Mercury qnx Vesta)

Your Weekend 15-18 January 2021 Smoothing It Out

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‘Peacock’ By Archibald Thorburn before 1935 {{PD}}

Why is it that on the 15th it feels like we can’t ‘be ourselves’ and still be taken seriously? There’s a strong disconnect between expression of originality and holding authority; somehow they seem to be at odds, and we are certain to fall on one side or the other, either seeing our ideas and contributions unappreciated, or seeing our empowerment position as plodding and non-creative. The problem is twofold: our thinking is skewed, and we are basing our assessments of things on either poor choices made in the past, or in angry response to what isn’t, anymore. The way out may be this: experiment. With so many energies in Aquarius right now (Saturn, Jupiter, Pallas, Mercury, with the Sun soon to join), it may be that trying something new will at least break the impasse, and may actually offer innovative solutions (Uranus contra-parallel Ceres, Mars sesq SN, Mercury opp Hygeia).

Thinking is smart, aligned with what we know to be right, so why is it that opportunities, and maybe ‘the facts’, conflict with our priorities or what we honor in life? The 16th brings this dilemma forward, and offers an answer: find the worth in what you are ignoring, deriding, denying, or enraged over–and then incorporate this into your reality. It adds depth, dimension, and gain that you otherwise wouldn’t have had a chance at. The mind is attuned to wisdom, and is likely to know it when it hears it (Jupiter sesq Vesta, Venus trine Black Moon Lilith, Mercury conj Pallas).

The past looks awfully pretty from this vantage point, doesn’t it? Especially when we think about relationships–but there’s a reason things are different, now. For the 17th we may feel the current scene trips us up with all that we don’t know or haven’t dealt with, and this would be partly correct–as long as you listen to instincts, and are willing to respect feedback that may point to your ‘blind spot’, you can exceed your own expectations. How to avoid real trouble? Don’t dissipate your energy by setting up a ‘You against the World’ situation–because the world will definitely have greater energy reserves, and so manage to wear you out (Venus parallel SN, Sun trine Sedna, Jupiter sq Uranus, Juno contra-parallel Black Moon Lilith).

Why is everybody so contrary on the 18th? Could it be that when we think we’re asking with a loving attitude, it comes across like we’re trying to take advantage–and that’s causing others to back away or even turn away. The only way to make the relationship right is to look at the past, to the events that may have prompted the other party to see us as manipulative, to put a predatory lens over our actions that takes an innocent request and makes it look as if we’re motivated by Self-interest. Not pretty, but illuminating for us to realize others may see us that way, and useful in that it allows us to rid ourselves of a certain artifice that’s kept us from really connecting–and connecting, of course, makes for better understanding, and better feeling, all around (Venus sesq Sedna, Sun nov SN).

The Weekend has two Word Images 1) a peacock strutting along the side of a busy highway, oblivious to any danger from speeding traffic. What beautiful thing has escaped your control, and is now in danger? What threatens it is specifically linked to it being in the ‘wrong’ place–so get it back to where it belongs.

2) you meet three little girls in a row, all with the same name. Whenever we run into multiples of something, it’s meant to draw our attention; encountering the same name (and in my case an uncommon one, at that: Clarice) suggests almost a deja vu-like repeating of experience. That’s when we should start scouring the landscape for incidents, perceptions, and events that have visited us before, and are now back. Awareness of this can alert us in the moment to the potential to change our response, and so to change the course of events, a kind of ‘learning from history’ episode that allows us to change, dare I say it? Our karma.

Your Week 11-14 January 2021 Echoes From the Future

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‘A Bather (Echo)’ By Jean-Jacques Henner 1881 CC0

On Monday the 11th we have to face where our thinking is taking us, and this can make for distress (fear as we project the current circumstances into the potential future they may bring, or upset generated by compromises to our values and priorities), and for some healing and genuinely inspiring moments, as we get an awe-inspiring glimpse into our true power and the originality and inventiveness we contain as human Beings. It’s a day for deep insight; it’s also a day when things may take on a larger-than-life quality. That should be reassuring: we’ll be seeing into the depths, with components exaggerated in order to draw and focus our attention on what really matters. For some the attention will be on what’s not working; this dissatisfaction will be in direct proportion to one’s honesty about the reality picture and one’s willingness to learn from the past. Expect to face some hard truths about desires and ambitions; also expect some amazing revelations about the Self, some serendipitous occurrences and spontaneous events, and the chance for authentic healing. Note: Mercury, newly entered into Aquarius, the sign of understanding and Higher Thought, will act as apex to a Fist of God with base of North Node square Vesta, offering an unusual depth of comprehension, once we accept the import of living and honoring our priorities and highest values, and the way the results of those commitments may seem to echo backwards from the future; we’ll see that, no matter the source, what we honor will surely shape what comes (Sun sq Zeus, Merc also conj Jupiter, nov Ceres, and sxt Chiron, with Jupiter also sxt the latter, and Mars parallel Uranus).

On the 12th we may face some difficult conflicts, many of them internal, that will require we answer a few questions: what in our relationships hurts us, and are we responsible for that condition? Does the very idea of money carry a wound for us? Do we expect Love to hurt? Do we play games when communicating, and if so, do we believe that withholding info and then springing it on others confers us an advantage? Do we get a thrill out of shocking? Do we resist Higher Thought? Would we rather generate chaos than change our minds about something? All are relevant today (Venus sq Chiron, Merc sq Uranus, Sun semi-sq Juno).

See the report for the Full Moon of the 12th here–

By the 13th we are facing the consequences of our real-world actions, especially those where we misjudged and actually ended up disempowering ourselves. If we use ideals as a guide, we will find valuable answers within spontaneously occurring ideas that are both original and innovative. Focus on the kind of role you want to play in the world, use the power of the creative to craft that role in optimum terms. Make this a mantra: what’s unwise is also unhealthy (Mercury sxt Juno, parallel Saturn, and nov Neptune, Venus trine Uranus, Mars sq Saturn and contra-parallel Ceres, Pallas opp Hygeia).

On the 14th Uranus stations direct, with the likely result a sense of freedom unfolding over the next few weeks as Uranus picks up speed in apparent forward motion–but freedom from what? For the individual this is tied to matters of the House that holds Taurus in the natal chart, and may also show in natal facets ruled by Uranus (bodies or points posited in Aquarius) or in aspect to it natally. Look for a lightening up in attitude and lightning-quick responses, some of which are brilliant–though an overload to the nervous system can definitely cause accidents, if you’re someone sensitive to the electricity Uranus will dump into the ether.

Today we also see examination of many things we’ve recently been avoiding, with the pleasant result that facing the ugly, the hidden, or the embarrassing lays the groundwork for enormous change–so make this purging and re-shaping a positive one (NN nov Black Moon Lilith, Mars semi-sq Neptune, Merc sq BML and parallel Jupiter, Sun conj Pluto).

New Moon 12 January 2021 A Fissure Filled With Light

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Kilauea’s Fissure 8 cone erupting in the early morning of June 28, 2018, in the Lower East Rift Zone. {{PD}}
Courtesy of the United States Geological Survey

Usually we get that ‘wipe out’ feeling/ energy from an eclipse, when the old patterns are disrupted by new ones; this time, we get the same experience from a New Moon as it meets the god of the Underworld. The Lunar event of the 12th falls at 23 Capricorn 13 at 9 PM PST, closely conjoined Pluto–in just over two hours the Moon will perfect contact, while the Sun will take a tad longer, a little more than twenty-four. This suggests the dawning of new emotions or intuitive perceptions that transform our Beingness, or that change what we pay attention to; we are plunged down, to the depths, perhaps in the birth pangs of a new world order arising from the institutions, rules, and constraints of the old order a la Capricorn, and we’re given a clear insight into what this change means for us as individuals.

A New Moon in Capricorn promises two things: new rules, and efforts at ‘building’, whether that’s something intangible, within the psyche, or an actual, literal structure or figurative framework within the social order, but when the Sun-Moon meeting is on the way to conjoin Pluto, we are effectively stunned by the energy–hence the similarity to the eclipse ‘wipe out’. In this particular case, the new feelings, followed by a new sense of ‘I Am’ or ‘I See’, then gets the Plutonian treatment. We can’t be sure if the emotions and changed efforts are undertaken in anticipation of serious, inevitable, even extreme change that is before us, or if they’re the result of such thorough, deep, and irrevocable developments–all we can know is that this New Moon is the first glimpse of an ever-growing light shining at the bottom of the bottomless fissure that opens up beneath us: the New Moon shows us a way out, a new way of structuring or processing, or the resurrection of something, as it delivers an inspiring and instructional glimmer of not only what’s to come, but what we can build from it, that will culminate with the Full Moon two weeks from now.

How much this New Moon will bring change to the individual is dependent on the contacts the event makes to the natal chart. This is precisely why general forecasts aren’t ‘one size fits all’. That said, see below for a brief lesson on reading a configuration filled in by the New Moon event. What all of us will be influenced by: the New Moon semi-square Juno=we see our own relationship to pure Power, and see just where out limits are (but that also means we’ll get some idea of what we’re missing, and so how to go about getting more); New Moon square Zeus=we see where our ambitions, relationships, or desires are making it difficult to start anew, or to make the changes we really want to, or what we learn at the New Moon creates tension or conflict with those ambitions currently on our agenda; and lastly, the New Moon forms an Earth Grand Trine with Vesta and Sedna=I’m counting this despite Vesta being more than six degrees from perfection to Sedna 1) because Sedna is in apparent retrograde right now, so moving back toward Vesta, and 2) because trines are major aspects, and 3) because this configuration is in Earth, same element as the New Moon, and 4) because the presence of Pluto and the Sun together gives a big energy ‘punch’ that I see as carrying farther than I normally would accept. Ties of the placement together make up for the looseness of the orbs, particularly the way the NM and Pluto ‘bridge’ the degrees between Vesta and Sedna. The Grand Trine suggests that what changes/ evolves/ is forced/ transforms/ resurrects at the New Moon is in harmony with our actual highest values, and with our instincts and what we ‘know but don’t consciously know’. We may not see the benefits of the GT energies right away, because they have a good chance of emerging from our own ‘blind spot’, and so carry the feeling that they’re coming from external events, rather than that they’ve been orchestrated by our own intents, even though they have.

‘A Nun’ By Ragnhild Beichmann 1878 {{PD}}

The New Moon Sabian is, ‘A Woman Entering A Convent’. This implies that though what occurs seems excessively restrictive or that it requires an inordinate degree of discipline or supplication, it’s actually based on what we’ve chosen to dedicate our life energies to (Vesta). A look at your Vesta will help tell you the intent behind what manifests, and may give you a greater understanding of the nature of what you genuinely care about in life.

A Little Something on Configurations, as Demonstrated with the New Moon

When judging whether a configuration is formed, we need to keep in mind the various strengths of the aspects. The loose Grand Trine I describe above is allowable at least in part because a trine is a major aspect, and that allows for a greater orb; in the Fist I describe below, we have a square between NM and Zeus, which is a major aspect and so can take a greater orb, but in order to form the Fist, we need both bodies to sesquiquadrate (135 degrees) a third body, and since this is a more minor contact, we need a closer orb, something around no more than two degrees from exact in either direction, which in the following example would be 8 Gemini. In this case, anyone with a natal placement 6-10 Gemini will find their natal energy at the apex of a Fist of God with base of New Moon-Pluto square Zeus. This suggests the New Moon will bring change that arises from conflict over or forces change to the ambitions or desires, particularly as this applies to relationships (Zeus is in Libra). What happens or is revealed by the light of the New Moon shows how the current ambition picture contrasts, and requires modification of, what you’re aiming for, and this is because of what you learn now–and this will affect the natal apex planet, either through expression of its characteristic energies or through something it rules, House or other bodies, in the natal chart. (And just a reminder: please don’t write and ask if the aspect, for instance, applies to your Ascendant at 12 degrees Gemini, or your Sun at 5–I’ve told you the range of things already: anything between 6 and up to but not past 10). Keeping in mind what aspects any configuration contains, and then keeping orbs crisp, will insure you not only get a clear picture, but also that you don’t lead yourself astray or distract with an inaccurate or exaggerated picture, though there are exceptions, as I describe using the example of the Grand Trine aspect, above. Thus endeth the lesson!

Forecast for the 10th is here–

Tomorrow the Weekly will go up. Have a great rest-of-the-weekend!

Your Weekend 8-10 January 2021 Where We’re Coming From

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‘Lonesome Journey’ By Maynard Dixon 1946 {{PD}}

Despite a lot of angry rhetoric, I have the happy feeling that the 8th brings forward the smartest and most loving of feelings–mainly because, in the case of both aggressive communications and loving practicality, everyone’s focus will be on the ideal (with a sad few lost in their own delusions). That means that even under the shouting or harsh expressions, there’s a strong desire to see things become as we would ideally envision. Of course, that also means there are some who won’t recognize boundaries or the rights of others–simply because they lack that kind of awareness in the first place. Everybody’s tired; today may offer a largely unexpected chance to see our own empowerment blossom, to see positive forces win out, for once, if we’re able to see that communications are what they are because the people involved are where they are (mentally, emotionally, psychically speaking). (Mercury enters Aquarius and sq Mars, Venus enters Capricorn and nov Pallas, Uranus qnx Juno, Sun parallel Mercury and sxt Neptune).

Saturday the 9th sees two distinct ‘flows’ of energy, and each of us will likely choose (or maybe, fall into) one or the other. Both show us the power of our words and thoughts to manifest in the material world; one, though, will ‘put us in jail’ in some form, restricting our thoughts or expressions (or even holding us to some promise or discipline we’ve previously claimed), while the other conjures up our beliefs and assertions in real-world terms that show us the positive power of a mind disciplined and clear in intention.

Add to this two other possibilities: 1) that interaction with the social order, or expressing our beliefs or laying out ‘the facts’ will add to our personal authority and enhance our personal power, and 2) that we have a chance to balance opposing energies so that they are complementary to each other. This latter is due to a Venus trine to Mars that can not only see yin and yang in perfect harmony, but can also make taking considered action (the kind that keeps others in mind) pay off nicely. Warning: if you find yourself suffering under that ‘jailed’ sort of energy described above, you do run the risk of spending or aggressing in relationships in an attempt to break the energy impasse and soothe your own frustrations–better not to, though (Jupiter sesq and Sun qnx NN, and Jupiter nov Ceres, Mercury conj Saturn).

By the 10th we have an interesting opportunity: to focus on and honor those things we truly revere and are committed to. This is not only a good chance to see our values in action, it’s a good chance to see where we need to reinforce our values expression in the everyday (Sun trine Vesta). Other influences are minor, describing facets of what we find sacred and how we need to adjust to make these closer to our ideals, especially in the ambitions we pursue and our ability to ‘walk our talk’ (Juno semi-sq Zeus, Mercury semi-sq Neptune).

By grahamc99 from London, UK – ‘Thirty Pieces of Silver’ By Cornelia Parker CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35249890

The Weekend Word Image is 30 pieces of silver. Of course, we know this as coming from the New Testament of the Bible, as the price Judas accepted for betraying Jesus; in current parlance it means much the same, referring to a benefit someone has received for betraying others, a community standard, or some cause it would otherwise make sense for them to support. It’s easy, especially right now, to point to the many betrayals going on publicly, and we’ve all got a short list of others who’ve done us wrong and left us with a permanent feeling of their treachery that will forever color our memory of the relationship. What I would ask each of us to do is to consider the possibility that there is some significant way in which we are betraying ourselves. This most likely comes in one of two ways: either by ignoring a genuine need we have, or it has occurred inadvertently, over time, as we compromise with others. With the first we are acting against our best interests, and we’re likely aware of this but not totally conscious of how much of a betrayal this is of our own needs and well-being. With the second we may have simply crossed a line without realizing it, in an attempt to cooperate with or respect others; in this case, we’ve come to the point of injuring ourselves and failing to fulfill our own needs out of a blurry line between ‘us’ and ‘them’, very possibly caused by us taking on too much responsibility for others’ needs or happiness. The first step is to become conscious of this condition, and the second is to ask, in what way am I benefiting, what is my ‘pay off’, for betraying myself?

Have you gotten your new calendars for the year?

Your Week 5-7 January 2021 Heeding the Warning

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‘Speak! Speak!’ By John Everett Millais 1895 {{PD}}

On the 5th we may want to ask ourselves, How much power is healthy? Ceres quincunxes and contraparallels Hygeia, asking us to adjust our expressions of personal authority, especially when they affect those we take responsibility for or that we hold some power, big or small, over. Thinking may be too highly influenced by the past or by what we get from those relationships (Mercury parallel SN and Venus), making it that much harder to step back and recognize the rights of others–though to embrace what’s genuinely our responsibility will have immense payoffs in ways we never anticipated (Sun nov Juno).

On the 6th Mars enters Taurus–will we breathe a sigh of relief or just get possessive over our stuff? Either way, the shift may allow many to take their foot off the gas and slow their too-aggressive roll. Relationships and finances need careful handling; we’ll be seeing them too much through the lens of the past, with not enough attention on what’s healthy or what we’re sensing below the shiny surfaces (Venus qnx Sedna, sesq Hygeia, parallel SN). Though it may be tough, be hyper-aware of any sensed and unarticulated knowledge–whatever makes your skin prickle as you think about it is worth heeding the warning over–as true power may be hidden, subtle, and so make more of an impact on things than we anticipate–and this is so even of our own personal power, including our buried destructive impulses, so tread with care (Mercury trine Sedna, Sun parallel Pluto).

For the 7th we need to recognize how truly powerful words and communications of all stripe really are today. The past may be too strongly shaping our thoughts and our viewpoint, and because of this inaccurate measuring tool we may end up putting ourselves in a difficult position. Recognize two things to help you get through the day: we are too steeped in old ways to see things clearly right now, and we are thinking so much about power that this may limit our understanding of it as it currently exists in any situation–and that latter means that those who ‘go physical’ today may momentarily get the advantage, but will ultimately suffer the consequences, as they too will be operating with an inaccurate lens. The past does hold beneficial information, we just have to be very clear about what bygone experiences are really telling us (Mercury parallel Pluto, semi-sq Ceres, nov SN).

The Weekend: Your New Year, New You Edition for 1-4 January 2021

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What exciting things does next year hold? This guy thought he knew what was ahead. ‘Leaving the Paris Opera in the Year 2000’ By Albert Robida {{PD}}

New Year’s Eve is just about my favorite point in the year. The idea that time itself has a ‘new beginning’, that we get a fresh start in the midst of life, one that comes without upheaval, trauma, or stepping off a figurative cliff, one that comes on a regular basis, that condones us re-thinking ourselves and our practices so that we can re-make ourselves for the better, makes me happy. We can easily be too hard on ourselves if we make resolutions that for whatever reasons we won’t keep, and it’s common to feel a sense of let down and even like a failure once we leave the party and go back to the demands of the every day. In that vein, I’d like to suggest that we embrace a sense of renewal that isn’t accompanied by a compulsion to judge. It starts with accepting ourselves as we are in the moment, taking in that fresh, open, ‘new year’ energy without treating ourselves as if we’re a building (or Soul) in need of a remodel. Are we all flawed? Of course–the problem comes with the expectation that we have the potential to eliminate every un-perfect thing about ourselves. Let me just remind everyone: there are no perfect people–so don’t hold yourself in the unkind light of unreasonable expectation–instead focus on the things about yourself that you like, focus on what you want to be as a human Being, and go from there.

As noted in my previous post, New Year’s Eve is a day for caution, particularly when we note Venus conjoined the South Node, square Vesta, and parallel Pluto; that’s like a recipe for bad decision-making, based on seeing the past as ‘better’ than now, on feeling that living your highest values only creates conflict and makes things difficult, and perhaps seeing Love as destructive, or that Love and desire lead us to destruction–or will it be that Love already feels eliminated, or that it’s transformed to something dark we never anticipated. Maybe it’s just that we’ll be keenly aware of the dimensionality of Love, that it has many faces, of the way we have trouble recognizing genuine lovingness if we have lived too-attuned to cruelty or indifference, mistaking those for love, instead. And then there are the potential worries about money that so many will face in the New Year; it’s devastating to think that loved ones may suffer for lack of personal resources, which is especially hard to take when we consider how much money goes to bombs, to vanity, is wasted on the useless and the foolish.

Take care, as the old year turns to the new. It’s definitely a time for celebration, not least because of the horrendous events delivered by 2020. New Year’s Day itself shows two opposite sets of influences, so it may read positively for some, negatively for others, or may present a mixed bag that could confuse or make us throw up our hands and declare there’s no way to know what’s up!

We may see true profitability and genuine, concrete expressions of Love and caring that take real-world forms, that manifest in ways we can hold in our hands, and these may be delivered in unexpected and brilliant ways (Venus novile Saturn). We also see creative thinking in good form, and if we allow ideals to guide our reasoning, we could end up making effective changes to life direction (Mercury sextile Neptune and quincunx the North Node).

But, if we hedge our bets by refusing to be truly Self-responsible, if we blame our own most unreliable or erratic impulses or insist it’s the fault of ‘the group’, then we end up making poor choices and unwise decisions just because we’re trying to avoid certain realizations or certain burdens we need to face (Mercury semi-square Juno, Venus sesquiquadrate Uranus, Pallas square Black Moon Lilith).

By Saturday the 2nd of January we’ll be facing a whole new set of positives and a few new challenges. Creative energy and highest ideals can inform choices so that we do the wise thing, the practical thing (Neptune novile Pallas, Mercury trine Vesta), building confidence and leading to innovative decisions and inventive answers to problems, and this helps us on the social scene, in absorbing and using effectively ‘the facts’, in gaining ‘more’ of those positives, and facilitates moving toward our goals (Venus sextile Zeus and novile Jupiter, Sun sextile Ceres).

Negatives? They live in undermined trust of ourselves, in fear that there are dark and divisive things hidden in what we care about or in relationships, and in a refusal to look at what we ‘know but don’t know’, or to accept that we have blind spots, and need others to help us point out and deal with these (Mars contraparallel Juno, Venus sesquiquadrate Black Moon Lilith, Sun sesquiquadrate Sedna). Do you notice a theme? In short, bad things happen when we refuse to look at the whole picture; shying away from reality puts us at a disadvantage–so don’t.

A switch flips for Sunday the 3rd. The magic of Self-responsibility, of that New Year’s work of accepting ourselves, pays off. Healing is possible and actions are inspired; we see the worth of doing what’s wise or practical, and we understand the value in being ourselves (as the old joke goes, be yourself, because everyone else is taken!) The only pitfall may be too much attention to ambitions and goals–if we attend to our own well-being, our careers, accomplishments, and efforts will naturally flow out from there, so no extra attention required (Chiron trine Juno, Jupiter semi-square and Mars novile Neptune, Venus semi-square Pallas, Mercury square Zeus, Sun parallel Venus and quincunx Hygeia).

Monday the 4th there’s only one thing to do: Speak, Think, Communicate the Truth, with a capital ‘T’. That means that what we deal in intellectually must be real, factual, and without ulterior motive for its communication. Words can be power, and can destroy, more completely than usual, so honor yourself and others with a commitment to a positive honesty (Mercury conjoined Pluto).

‘Hyacinth’ By Paul Fordyce Maitland 1883 {{PD}}

Your Weekend Word Image: Hyacinth. I heard this word, which I’d not heard in years, 4 times in less than twelve hours in 4 different contexts. That was enough to draw my attention. So, I went looking for the myth of Hyacinth–do you know it? Hyacinthus was an athletic Spartan youth with whom the god Apollo fell in love. They were throwing a discus (Apollo declared he wanted to “scatter the clouds”) and Hyacinthus, trying to catch the discus, was hit in the head and killed. Apollo used his skills as a healer, but to no avail, and from the blood of his fallen boyfriend Apollo made a flower grow. Though there’s some dispute over what kind of flower this was (as it probably wasn’t what we call a hyacinth today), that’s the legend in a nutshell. So, what does that episode say to me? Well, that depends on if you’re Apollo (the god figure) or the eager youth who is, in terms of both capability and safety, playing way outside his league. Of course mortals break when the gods play with them–so maybe this is a small warning, to know who your playmates really are, and what they’re really capable of.

End of Week, End of Year 30-31 December 2020 The Grifters

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‘Flemish landscape with travelers attacked by robbers’ By Peter Snayers c1645 {{PD}}

In this end-of-week, end-of-year slice, we may have our confidence shaken, we may find the past looking a lot better than the future, and current circumstances may seem to threaten those things we were hoping to gain by fulfilling commitments and living our values. That sounds awful, doesn’t it? After the incredibly difficult year even the luckiest of us have had, nobody needs to feel that what appeared to be solid ground yesterday is suddenly taking on the character of shifting sands. The problem is, there are a lot of grifters just waiting to take advantage of our unsureness. I’ve been noting the proliferation of these types for a while, and had decided not to talk about them (they are what they are, easy enough to see if we clear our vision by choosing to be honest with ourselves), until I saw something particularly egregious today and then took a look at the perfecting aspects for the 30th and 31st and thought, maybe I need to speak up.

The astrology centers on that foundation shake, a hard, rattling jolt that could make us question our dreams, could lead us to see old or outmoded priorities or outgrown values as preferable to those challenging new ones we’ve evolved into, could center on the least glamorous parts of relationships or finances, could try to make us believe that having ‘the dream’ is going to cost us terribly, and could try to persuade us there’s no way forward without compromising our highest standards and values (Vesta sq Nodal axis, Venus sq Neptune, Sun parallel and Venus conj SN–so the latter is also sq Vesta–and Venus also parallels Pluto). It’s overall a glum picture, one that breeds a particular sense of hopelessness; enter those who would profit from it.

Let’s be clear: I’m not talking about those who are simply offering you their services, or those offering advice, even when it’s for a fee. There are many, many people who have experience, learning, training, and/ or skills from which others can benefit, who rightfully deserve remuneration. I’m talking about people who want something, and have a laser focus on getting it; the resource they see may be material, may be intangible (like energy or love) but is in any case an asset to the possessor–and I’ve found that what they target typically corresponds to one’s natal Venus placement or to one’s natal Moon. These are the most receptive energies in the horoscope, attuned to interaction, engagement, partnership, and communion through feeling or intuitive understanding. So, how do we spot a leech?

We don’t want to cast others in an unnecessarily negative light when they may have no ill intention at all, so we must be careful to ask, how do we know they’re grifters, and not offering us a truly beneficial opportunity? Typically, they approach us with a sleight of hand: they seem to be offering us something, a benefit, usually something that has at least one component that can’t really be sold, because it’s an intangible–and they are aggressive in their salesmanship, while distracting with either warnings (“disaster if you don’t!”) or promises (and these have a blinding shininess, appealing as something you’ve always longed for and feared you’d never get, things that carry big labels like ‘peace’ ‘love’ ‘spiritual maturity’). The promise isn’t just that you’ll have a sense of moving along the road; it carries the implication that you’ll reach your destination, that the effort and trials of living will no longer be tough, at least in this one way, with the promise that your life will be infinitely better ever after–and of course, they point to themselves as already having achieved this. For instance, they may promise enlightenment, a sense of well-being, the ability to give your life direction (or meaning, or purpose, or the key to bounty, beyond just informing you of opportunities or abilities you may possess)–things it’s very difficult to say they didn’t provide, after involvement with them, because if it doesn’t happen for you, they can always say there’s something wrong with you, your attitude or the way you applied their coaching, perhaps–and that can be fixed with another round, right?

You’ve probably heard that saying that the greatest trick the Devil ever played was convincing us he doesn’t exist–grifters count on that, count on your honesty, your willingness to believe what they’re attesting to, your unwillingness to see someone as a liar. Whether the grifters focus on telling you that you must protect yourself by listening to them (a fear approach), or that they have the answer, the key, the method, the pipeline to the divine (an ‘I have magic!’ approach), the thrust is always one that makes it clear: they have or know something you don’t, that they’re counting on you (maybe desperately) wanting, when it’s really that they want something from you. Initially their attention to you may feel like the Sun, nurturing, warm, understanding, enveloping, redolent of safety and security, at last–but the Sun can blind, and as you bask in this warmth the set-up for you to hand over that asset they’ve been focused on all along occurs.

I was going to include a detailed account of one of my own personal experiences (no worries–I wasn’t fooled, but this person was a graphic illustration of the evolution of someone who has honed the skill of robbing you to a fine art), but after much rumination I think it would be better to say just this: beware of the huckster with the brilliant smile and the promise. That’s obvious, but also a good reminder for these final couple of days of 2020: don’t be misled: you are all right, for now, just as you are. Inadequate words, but ones that I mean to be reassuring.

Full Moon in Cancer 29 December 2020 Peak Feeling

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‘Thirty-six Peaks of Mount Huang Recollected’ By Shitao 1705 {{PD}}

The Full Moon peaks at 7:28 PM PST of the 29th at 8 Cancer 53, novile Sedna, in wide square to Chiron (and we can read the Wounded Healer as arm to a T, with this Sun/ Moon-Earth opposition), sextile Black Moon Lilith-Uranus, widely trine Ceres, and quincunx Pallas. Is it opposed Mercury? In my opinion, no, as Merc is more than 5 degrees ahead, making it not only a too-large orb for a Full Moon situation but also showing us that the solidity of the Full Moon won’t be available when the transiting Moon catches up to oppose Mercury; Luna will leave Earth behind, so that the impact of Moon opposed Mercury (arriving about 11 hours after the Full Moon) will be a fleeting and solely emotional one, with the feeling nature flooding and possibly overwhelming the mental processes, post-Lunar culmination(very probably prompted by whatever the Full Moon has brought to fulfillment or conclusion).

A Full Moon in Cancer is a peak of caring, feeling, or emotional investment; from here on out we draw back, emotionally speaking, and begin to lessen the emotional impetus behind decisions and perceptions in direct proportion to the way a more objective perspective grows. This is the point when we know how we feel, what we care about; it’s in the aspects the Full Moon makes that we may see our actual emotional stance, particularly around matters generally ruled by the Moon (feelings, intuitions, mothers and motherhood, nurturing, vulnerability, and so on), about matters specifically ruled by the Moon in the personal natal chart (and if the FM aspects the natal Moon, we may have a bonanza of feeling to sort through), concerning matters of the House where the Full Moon occurs, as well as about matters related to the House containing Cancer or bodies posited therein within the natal chart (some of these are redundant, but you get my drift: Moon, Moon, Moon!)

Often the Full Moon can bring a sudden and even surprising recognition of how we feel. In Cancer that sensibility is, in a way, doubled: we see how we feel about feeling! In this instance, the feelings themselves may become the center of attention, beyond whatever spurs them. That can mean that we can potentially turn more of our attention toward ourselves than out into the world–and with the current Full Moon’s set of aspects, this promises to be a potent and largely Self-focused examination of our emotional interaction with the world, and the emotional sensations this generates inside us.

The Cancer Full Moon offers a kind of brilliant insight to those things we aren’t normally conscious of, that we may hide even from ourselves (novile to Sedna). This is valuable information, not to be lightly dismissed, though the temptation is to do just that: the brilliance of a novile is too easily seen as obvious and natural, with the assumption that we’ll see it just as clearly later–which we very well may not.

The Chiron T-square and the quincunx to Pallas speak of each other: if we insist that hurt is stopping our progress (either because we’ve not overcome the wound, or because we blame someone else for the insurmountable harm, or both), it will take adjusting our attitude in order to see what’s wise–that is, we can either re-frame things (which likely involves admitting we needn’t wallow in victimhood), or ignore the need to modify our sense of what’s wise (as currently we are almost certainly seeing our hurt as a statement of what’s just–we are hurt and want others to know what’s wrong and ‘who done it’).

The sextile to the Black Moon Lilith point and Uranus says that we can take an original and inventive approach to solving our issues, if we are willing to admit they exist! and they are indeed under our control (and/ or that we can be assisted by taking a Higher Mind approach, or accept assistance from ‘the group’). It will take a little effort (the sextile), but facing what we’d rather ignore or deny will pay off in unexpected or surprising ways.

The trine to Ceres may put us ‘in tune’ with Nature (including our own bodies), may allow us to understand and align with those who hold power and to do the same with our own, personal sense of authority, may make us aware of the scope of our reach and influence, or all of the above. Add to this that we can fine-tune the health routine right now, addressing larger issues effectively either in Nature or in our physical presence, and we’ll see an overall potential for a healthier New Year, one where we access the flow of our own power.

The Sabian for the Full Moon is, ‘A Small Naked Girl Bends Over A Pond Trying To Catch A Fish’. This doubles up on the symbols for innocence (a child, and being naked), and makes me ask, Why the emphasis on the pureness of Being, on, in essence, not being knowledgeable or Self-responsible? The image brings to mind the old adage about fishing: give a fish, one eats for a day, teach one to fish, they eat for a lifetime–but as I’ve recently seen pointed out, it’s much easier to learn to fish if one isn’t starving! So, I’m seeing this symbol as one of an attempt to be Self-responsible that comes from a place of innocence–and that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Others prey on those who are too innocent, who fail to recognize the full spectrum of human potentials and behaviors, who think that a wide-eyed approach to life is protective when it’s anything but. This corresponds somewhat to the Chiron T-square; if we choose innocence (that is, we lack Self-responsibility, refuse to recognize the spectrum of behaviors available to humanity, and insist that this makes us pure, possibly protected, and potentially superior to those who have dirtied themselves with knowledge and responsibilities), then we inevitably end up playing the victim, since the natural direction of energy’s flow is an outward one, to act on the environment and on others–and if we stopper that flow, the energy backs up like a drain, putting us in the (often unpleasant) position of being acted-upon.

For a Full Moon we also look at the Sabian for the life and light-giving Sun, ‘An Angel Carrying A Harp’. The Sun is a symbol of awareness; it points toward where our attention needs to go. This symbol is one of purity, as well, but this is an active purity with a purpose, one that ‘makes its own music’. It tells us we can have that sense of innocence in two positive ways: behavior that aligns with our Highest Ideals (the ‘angelic’ part), and a channeling of energy outward to something that is both expressive and productive (the harp). So, just maybe, this Full Moon is about not getting stuck in some sort of Self-examination that pushes us to be innocent in all the wrong ways.

Your Weekend 26-28 December 2020 The Winds of Change

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‘West Wind’ By
Winslow Homer 1891 {{PD}}

For the 26th I want to talk about a loose Earth Grand Trine; it’s been in the neighborhood, but overshadowed by other factors, and will likely exert an emotional impact or offer intuitive guidance as the Taurus Moon glides into orb–and that will last for a good chunk of the day. This is made up of Pluto-Jupiter-Saturn (I said it was loose!) trining Vesta in Virgo and Sedna, and for a time the Moon, in Taurus. It suggests our first big feeling revelations related to the meeting of Jupiter-Saturn and how that new, higher mind understanding tells us what structures and strictures we can safely eliminate (or that we must eliminate, for our own well-being). This is all in service to two things: commitments, home in all its guises, and those things we find sacred in this life (Vesta, in Virgo prime to be assessed, trimmed, and our commitment renewed), and those matters, especially material ones, that we are continually striving to become aware of in their entirety, to make conscious what we ‘know but don’t know’, and to remedy ‘blind spots’ and so enlarge both our concept of who we are and our knowledge of our place in the world (Sedna in Taurus). The Moon temporarily inserted into this means we can feel what we need to address, what we need to be aware of, and can process how we genuinely feel about both our roles in life and the changes this awareness requires. This information won’t necessarily be easy to accept, but the steely maturity and ability to face what’s required that comes from that Pluto-Jupiter-Saturn trio, balanced by ‘the facts’ (Jupiter) and the clear understanding of what really matters (Sedna and Vesta), makes this the perfect time to make change, to birth a New You that knows, accepts, and validates where you came from while bringing a wider and more advanced understanding of who you are now into being.

Dare I classify the 26th as a nearly ideal day, rife with the chance for serious gain and the ‘right’ kind of change? Well, I will, as, besides that gangling Grand Trine above, we see Venus novile Pluto and trine Hygeia, making for a super-healthy and profitable (in all senses) dynamic. This flows on in to the 27th, where we find direct access to our most original and inventive personal nature, along with a clear and accessible way to manifest that in the life (Mercury sxt Ceres, Sun trine Uranus). For best results, guard against the temptation of erraticism and rebellion for rebellion’s sake, and concentrate on the more-than-adequate personal power you have at your fingertips right now.

The 28th may bring us up short, make us feel that the past few bucolic days were just a mirage. They were not–they were more like what we can enjoy every day if we’ll only believe we can–the issues generally boiling down to this: if we can face what we may have been resisting, ignoring, or denying, if we can bring ourselves to think about these matters rationally, and if we can be aware of the way these things may be (probably negatively) impacting our Self-concept/ identity/ idea of our purpose, we can make the most of influences by recognizing where and how we are cheating ourselves–and we’ll see how this hurts our confidence, and makes us think we’re inadequate to meet issues that we are really more than ready to deal with (aspect standouts are Uranus sq Pallas, Merc sesq Sedna, Sun trine Black Moon Lilith).

25 December 2020 Bittersweet Hope

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By A. Duro/ESO – http://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1631a/, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50432301

I’m not quite sure why this particular day stands out so distinctly from the others for me–but I’ve learned to listen when that happens, and to share, so that those who happen to read what I’ve written (for nothing’s accidental, is it?) can be alerted to the unusual nature of things, too. Will what happens be the same for everyone? Of course not–it never is–but the broad strokes will be interpreted through the lens of our lives, our circumstances, and so take a unique but overall recognizable shape for each one of us.

There’s something I want to describe as ‘healthy’ in the air. It’s a calming and reassuring influence, an energy of hope–but it isn’t without a bittersweet tinge; let me explain. We see where we are empowered to make our wishes reality, we see clever, inspired means to fulfill desires and goals (Juno nov Zeus), we see our own personal authority and rights clearly, and think constructively in power situations (Merc trine Ceres), and the reality picture is packed with optimistic circumstances and positive opportunities (Jupiter parallel Saturn). Those conditions would make anyone feel pretty positive, right? So it’s something to savor, despite the way so many of us are unable to see and spend time with those we love; we have to accept that the separation is temporary, and if we believe that all is orchestrated with purpose, we see that this time (and maybe most of this past year) has been about discovering, in a very real way, who we are.

The one thing to beware of today is our own sensitivity (Sun sq Chiron); it may overwhelm, as we are conscious of and even attendant to our own hurt, to include the bittersweet changes to the holiday routine, where we remember, think of, and mourn others with special tenderness. Be mindful of all that you have, think with love about all that’s been lost, and know that 2020 was a necessary journey of Self-discovery, no matter how random, chaotic, or arbitrary it seems to have been.

Read about earlier in the week here–

Your Week 22-24 December 2020 Tumbling Down

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By Adi Holzer, Attribution, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12334453

What the heck is up?! Chaotic energies vie with sure-footed ones for most of the week, making for a mix of decisiveness and sheer anarchy. On the 22nd this looks like an alignment of practical, wise approaches to healing (Chiron sxt Pallas), efforts guided by highest values (Mars parallel Vesta), and originality and inventiveness that gains by looking into the dark corners or dealing with what we’d rather not (Uranus conj Black Moon Lilith). But, this latter might also fuel unreliability and rebellion rooted in avoidance, and relationships, no matter how normally benign, will engage in power contests–even, or most especially, when we think we’re not (Venus sesq Mars, semi-sq Pluto, sq Ceres). Conscious attention to everything we do, particularly to our input in interactions, is necessary to keep it all from tumbling down.

The 23rd temper and hurtful words are on the agenda–and again, we may not realize that’s what’s happening until the speech flies from our mouth or the email is already sent! Actions are likely to be destructive even when that’s not our intention. Best use of energy is in deliberately taking on something you want to dismantle, change, transform–focusing on that will keep us sane and help us successfully tackle something we might at other times not have the energy for, so with care, this can be a win/ win (Mars sq Pluto, Mercury sq Chiron).

The 24th offers originality of thought, that spark of inventiveness, spontaneity and a wealth of ideas–especially how each of us as individuals can best fit in with the larger group. Make the most of it (Merc trine Uranus).

This is Christmas Eve, for those who celebrate this holiday, and it’s noteworthy that, astrologically, in this time of clustered forecasts, December 25th gets its own entry–so this is likely to be a day ‘felt’ distinctly by everyone, irregardless of affiliations or ceremony. The 25th to follow!

Thoughts On Jupiter and Saturn, Together Again (Or Still?) + Your Weekend 19-21 December 2020 Expect A Blossoming

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Cherry Blossoms in the Evening, by Matsubayashi Keigetsu, Kabuki-za, Tokyo, Japan 1951 {{PD}}

If you’re an astrology aficionado, you’ve likely been focused for some time on the potentials of this current (as Jupiter and Saturn started out within orb of each other in Capricorn early December-ish, with Saturn going into Aquarius first) and future connection (perfecting at 8:14 AM of the 21st at 00 Aquarius 28 as Jupiter catches up). There’s a lot of material out there, so I won’t try to be definitive; I’ll just offer a few observations. One thing we should note right away is that this is an aspect happening now, and that means it’s happening to everyone–and that makes where it falls in the individual natal chart of prime importance, in terms of sorting out the meaning for each one of us.

What effect we can expect in the natal House where this conjunction occurs? We might want to look at Jupiter in Capricorn as previous beliefs about rules, or maybe freedom provided by structure or an intact system, the scaffolding beneath the social order, or beliefs in institutions, authorities, or elders, and Saturn in Capricorn as the hammer coming down, suggesting areas where we have become completely hemmed in, if possible even more so than ever before, and these applying to one or more subjects of the natal House(s) holding Capricorn. With Saturn’s move into Aquarius, we take a Higher Mind perspective: I see why this is as it is, I understand the human need for boundaries, for understanding the nature of things–and I see where I should (and can most effectively) rebel, and gain true independence. We can flag which barriers need to come down, which authorities to support, and with Jupiter’s Aquarius debut, we start sorting our place in the social order, asking ourselves, to which groups do I genuinely belong, and where should I strike out on my own?

There are so many possible permutations of this, so many potential manifestations, but we can sum up at least one related idea as ‘More Or Less’. We may see a marked expansion of one thing even as we see a diminishing of another. These may be complementary (happening in tandem–more water in the glass means less air) or they may not relate to each other at all (a glass of air, and a glass of water, and ne’er the twain shall meet), or loss and gain, the modernizing of beliefs and life structures (to include those institutions and others we support and regard as holding authority), beliefs coming up against reality (and vice versa), more rules, greater restrictions, real-world opportunities that could lead to positions of authority, an elevation in status, or that might age us in place!

Also consider the way the conjunction could unite matters of the two Houses ruled by these planets. It’ll be a pairing with the Saturn-ruled House following the Jupiter-ruled one, meaning that the larger idea of the consequences of learning from and dealing with matters of one House lead to development of our attitudes toward matters of the following one. For instance, if you have Sagittarius on the 1st and so Capricorn on the 2nd, you may see how your personal efforts to expand, reach out to the world, go adventurin’, to teach or learn, or the famous, bachelor-esque, ‘can’t pin me down’ attitude has brought about some sort of Capricornian development affecting personal assets, earning capabilities, talent expression, or the way you feel about and see yourself. Maybe one’s cavalier attitude in dating the boss’ daughter has made her father consider you unsuited for promotion–or maybe your sunny optimism has created reward, a chance at talent expression, or a promotion you might not have otherwise been offered.

Embrace the Real, or Fail to Heal: For the 19th, we’re offered a crisp, clear view of reality–will we take it in? We see precisely where we are able to exercise our power and prerogatives in the real world (Saturn sxt Juno), and are offered a chance to not only adjust our thinking accordingly, aided by fine-tuned instincts, but find we’re at a point where past efforts coalesce into perceptible results (Superior Conjunction of the Sun and Mercury, Mercury qnx Sedna). There’s only one issue, really, but it’s a major one: we may also become aware of how much we gain by keeping alive our wounds (Venus trine Chiron). Love can heal, but for some of us, it will be a struggle to let go of something we’ve seen pay off so handsomely.

The Devil Made Me Do It: Our challenge for the 20th is to sort fact from fancy, as what’s at stake is much more important than we realize in the moment. We may be tempted to violate our highest values, do what’s unhealthy, spill secrets, harm relationships (this either because we can’t keep what we know to ourselves or because of our own desire to be disruptive), all possibly driven by a deeply held belief that we’re being held back or held down. That’s not true; if we go with unfettered fantasy today, we cause our own downfall (Neptune opp Vesta, Venus qnx Black Moon Lilith and Uranus, and parallel Saturn, Mercury sesq Hygeia).

Be Optimistic: The 21st sees both the Saturn-Jupiter conjunction and the Solstice, the longest night of the year in the Northern hemisphere, the shortest in the Southern. Personal effects may be momentarily overshadowed by larger matters, societal or even global ones–and that’s okay, though in all arenas there will be intimations, at the very least, of shifts in power (Pluto semi-sq Ceres). We’ll have plenty of time going forward to consider the conjunction’s effects; right now enjoy that tinge of optimism in the air (Venus parallel Jupiter). Until then, stay safe, and enjoy this point of extremes in our yearly trip around the Sun!

Your Week 15-18 December 2020 Think On It

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‘Portrait of the Artist’s Son (Heikki Järnefelt)’
By Eero Järnefelt 1887 {{PD}}

This week I’m going to lump Friday in with the weekdays, as it appears to have a ‘set the stage’ vibe for the weekend. And for today, the 15th, we experience a post-eclipse sorting out that requires attention to those things we may find inconvenient (especially our own erraticism) and or what we’d rather ignore or deny (Mercury sesq Uranus and Black Moon Lilith). This benefits both planning centered on ambitions and desire fulfillment and real world matters, allowing us to get a fix on the far horizon, and should be the theme of our week (Merc sxt Zeus, Venus sxt Saturn and entering Sagittarius, Merc nov Pallas). The thing we need to know, though, is that now’s not the time to act, especially on goals and ambitions (Mars contra-parallel and then opp Zeus); this need to remain static continues through Friday the 18th. Use this period to plan, strategize, and consider–you’ll be glad you did, as the mind is naturally attuned to facts, while real-world knowledge from the past presents us with usable alternatives in the present (Saturn nov South Node), with illumination of most situations in their ‘best light’ by the time of the Superior Conjunction on the 19th.

The 16th continues this trend, with the added needed to consider physical matters with a Higher Mind perspective, as Saturn enters Aquarius. We gain, especially via the social scene, when we show others we’re willing to be responsible for ourselves (Jupiter sxt Juno), rather than looking to others to ‘fix’ what’s not working. The 17th builds on previous trends by delivering a little reward of Love or Money that reflects what we truly value, and truly desire–so that’s something to look forward to, with benefits coming from a stroke of genius within relationships, values expression, or in working toward our goals (Venus nov Zeus).

The 18th asks us to deploy our smarts, to take advantage of past social ‘investments’ for what they can yield now, and to be willing to listen to that interior voice known as instinct, because it can inspire ‘right’ choice (Jupiter nov SN, Venus sxt Pallas, Sun qnx Sedna). What’s wise is found in relationship dynamics and in cold, hard numbers, though today it’s still vital we don’t definitively act or choose, because we won’t do or choose well (Mars opp Zeus)–that comes tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s Eclipse

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By Kudaibergen Urinbayev – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46217328

In case you haven’t seen it, here’s something on tomorrow morning’s Solar eclipse–and if it aspects any of your natal placements, there’s something here on what to possibly look for. Have a wonderful eclipse, and stay safe!

Your Weekend 11-13 December 2020 Challenge To Balance

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‘Woman Holding a Balance’ By
Johannes Vermeer c1664 {{PD}}

Catch the report for the Solar eclipse of the 14th here–

Real life is inconvenient, isn’t it? And why oh why, Friday the 11th, are your influences so difficult to balance, so irritating, and why are we so annoyed by others? We think we’re sassy (Mars trine SN, Sun conj and parallel SN, the latter something that happens during eclipse season) when we may really be lashing out based on old hurts; we’re hyper-sensitive, too, going out of our way to protect all those raw spots we’d rather not acknowledge (Vesta parallel Black Moon Lilith) and that’s not smart (Vesta sesq Pallas) as it puts our reactive responses (and our vulnerabilities) on display. How to handle this? Talk it out, communicate, even if our thoughts aren’t especially coherent or if our feelings about things are messy (Mercury trine Hygeia). Problems come when we think our empowerment rests on following our instincts–but today those instincts are either inaccessible or distorted by unrecognized feeling (Juno opp Sedna)–so talk, write, send ‘the message’, concentrate on expressing–that will alleviate tension, probably keep us from getting into it with others, and may reveal ourselves to ourselves, in ways that at other times may be hard to come by.

Something to keep in mind as we approach the Solar eclipse: we’re in Dark of the Moon territory, which means the Lunar impetus behind much of what we do is missing–and that can impart its own sense of drifting, unreality, and ungroundedness to proceedings. Not a time to start anything new, and also not a time to try to pin down our own or others’ feelings. Be kind, be (carefully) receptive, and note what floats in and out of both your own consciousness and your world, as this can give helpful hints to what’s bubbling up from the unconscious or currently hidden from view.

The 12th can be met by following two guidelines (or maybe we should call them warnings): 1) don’t communicate anything that conflicts with your genuine deepest values–it’s not smart, and may get you into circumstances or commitments you will be unwilling or unable to continue (Mercury sq Vesta and semi-sq Pallas); and 2) every single thing before us today, every single item highlighted, spotlighted, or illuminated for us will reflect something we need to attend to, recognize, deal with, or accept (Sun sesq Black Moon Lilith). Don’t look away, and don’t betray your own standards–thus endeth today’s admonitions.

On the 13th our own beliefs or philosophies may be stronger than ‘the facts’, which we will almost certainly misunderstand (Mercury sq Neptune and nov Jupiter); this can be good, if faith is called for, but disastrous if we embrace fiction at the expense of reality. Overall, we may be resistant to the real-world situation in relationships and/ or finances, out of a mistaken idea that this is the way to preserve our power and influence (Venus opp Sedna and parallel Ceres), and we have a complicated relationship to ourselves, as well, being knocked off balance by our own erraticism or originality (Sun sesq Uranus) or by the unexpected or by accident, even as we see the options for ambition fulfillment in the upset, and can pinpoint what’s really smart, if we’re open to admitting or acknowledging it (Sun sxt Zeus and nov Pallas). So, it’s a mixed bag where we’re required to walk a tightrope of sorts; results depend on how quickly we can respond to the winds of change, as well as how invested we are in seeing things a particular way, versus in the most objective one.

Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius 2020 Moon in Blue

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By alyssa BLACK. from toronto, canada – full moon., CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=76519128

This New Moon of the 14th occurs at 8:17 AM PST and is also an eclipse, falling at 23 Sagittarius 08, preceding the Superior Conjunction of the Sun and Mercury at 29 degrees in just about a week. This adds an element of building tension to what is normally with a New Moon a ‘fresh start’ energetically, a clean slate that typically signals the origins of a new beginning. That means new circumstances arrange themselves around an already-tense situation, lending things a ‘jumped into the fire’ quality, and this is even more noticeable because an eclipse on its own signals a wipe-out of previous arrangements–and that means we may find ourselves in the midst of a conflagration (Sag is a Fire sign) that we absolutely have not anticipated–and that quite possibly interferes with manifestation of the new start.

The eclipse doesn’t make many aspects–the major ones are loose, so it’s to the minor ones my attention goes first, as this implies a subtle and nuanced eclipse picture. The eclipse is closely semi-sextile Pluto, suggesting that small discomforts or inconveniences create big change, while the New Moon also noviles Pallas in Aquarius and sesquiquadrates Uranus. This combo implies the influence of the Higher Mind and/ or ‘the group’ in events, with those influences arriving through difficult Uranian means: an accident, a troublesome or unanticipated serendipity, the crashing down of a larger spiritual Truth, the exercise of and surprise brought forward by one’s own originality, or the spotlight on one’s position in (or perhaps alienation from) the group. However, the novile tells us that this spurs or is spurred by something smart, motivated by wisdom or practicality, maybe by the way the Universe presents a set of trying events and then asks, ‘What will you do?’.

Pluto and Uranus both aspecting the eclipse could imply a spark-to-flame destructive event that clears the way for something entirely new–in any case, what happens may be disturbing, upsetting, unsettling, even traumatic, or just unexpected, surprising, but will be for the good (see the Sabian symbol, below).

The square to Neptune is too wide, for my taste, suggesting that we may think that misleading information, the creative urge, the dream, or a mirage, any or all related to the emotional state, is a motivation when it’s really not. Zeus in Libra is sextile the New Moon, suggesting that ambitions involving relationships we want, or the way relationships affect us going after ambitions, is on the agenda. There is a trine to Mars in his own sign of Aries, telling us how easily we may act, based on a relatively sketchy picture or our own hair-trigger temper; the sense is of being profoundly aware that we are all alone, that we must do something, and this may come from events or be the agent of them, and is probably the driver in the relationship scenario: we must act to make a reality of the desired relationship, or we must act in order to fix a situation where a relationship is precluding our ability to go after what we want.

A New Moon in Sagittarius is typically a Moon where we learn something, are exposed to something foreign, or see the origins of new beliefs or philosophies coalesce; the Sabian is, ‘A Bluebird Perched On The Gate Of A Cottage’. Well that’s idyllic, isn’t it? A bluebird is a symbol for happiness, the ‘bursting out in song’ kind, and its position, at ease on a garden gate, suggests a peaceful environment where the bird feels safe, an ‘in its element’ sensibility. As the Sabian for a New Moon eclipse, this might imply we learn or are exposed to something that brings happiness in the way of feeling ‘at home’ in some situation, or with some change or new start that occurs. It’s a reassuring symbol that tells us in spite of any indications to the contrary within the scenario or related to the initial upset, we’ll be happier with our new circumstances than we were with our old ones.

Special note: those with a natal placement between 21 and 24 of Taurus may find the eclipse brings a real ‘do-or-die’ point in matters of ambition and desire fulfillment, relative to the natal energy, which will act as apex to a Finger of God with base of the eclipse and Zeus. What you’ve been aiming for, wanting, even lusting for will be addressed through the energy of the eclipse, and the result will funnel through the natal point. Good luck with that!

Your Week 8-10 December 2020 Take A Bite

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‘Big Mouth Boat in Liberty State Park, NJ’ Photo By
Ludovic Bertron 2009 CC BY 2.0

On the 8th, words could dig deep, carry destructive undertones, be delivered with the dark shadows that lie behind them peeking through, or could transform us–and this goes both directions, both what we communicate and what’s communicated to us. It’s Mercury parallel Pluto, so more subtle than we might expect–and potentially more serious, in terms of creating, possibly inadvertently, permanent or irrevocable change. This can also lend thoughts and reasoning the ability to x-ray matters and see to their essence, but can also make for unnecessarily pessimistic takes on current matters. Words have power right now, and even the unspoken surges with the power to alter or destroy, so take care with what you put out there, and be aware of the deeper undercurrent, the menacing shadow, or the potential seeds of big, serious change carried within each and every message.

For the 9th optimism may swell to bursting–but we should note it’s definitely not accompanied by a clear or straightforward creative urge–our sunny disposition could seriously mislead us (Sun sq Neptune)–so that if we try to ignore or skip over problems in implementing ‘the dream’ we may tie ourselves in a knot, or worse, bite off way more than we can chew (and when that happens, we choke!) Excess, especially material excess, is in the air with Jupiter in Capricorn closing in to perfect a conjunction to Saturn, aspecting Sedna by trine and receiving a semi-square from Mercury and a novile from the Sun. This means we see the opportunity in things, but may not be willing to think it through or to listen to what we ‘know but don’t know’, to incorporate that ‘blind spot’ material that we desperately need to take into account. Do your best and make tentative plans, ones that stick to current rules while still considering the potential for taking innovative turns later.

The 10th sees change happen whether we like it or not. Winners see and deal with what is, are flexible in attitude, and quick to go with the current that carries those inevitable transformative energies so that through participation they can exert an influence. Winners are tuned in to reality, listen to their own instincts, and are willing to do what’s necessary to make change as smooth as possible; losers fight it all and, well, lose (Mars parallel Sedna, Venus sxt Pluto, Mercury nov Pluto, parallel SN, and semi-sq Saturn, Sun parallel Mercury, nov Saturn, and trine Mars).

Your Weekend 4-7 December 2020 An Enlightenment Burger

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By Jean-Pierre Dalbéra from Paris, France – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Buddha_meditating,_Tokyo_National_Museum,_Japan.jpg, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=85721363

If you didn’t like the last post, you’re really not going to like this one, as I ask, When will all the Self-congratulation end? Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for enjoying our triumphs and accomplishments, and there are plenty of people who have trouble recognizing when they have accomplished, when they have created, who fail to see that they have made a difference, and they need to celebrate and be celebrated. No, what I’m talking about is the perpetual Self-talk that honors a desired image, rather than a genuine status achieved.

This is most difficult to sort out when the lauded state is ostensibly framed as a spiritual one; that kind of boast is a ‘humble brag’ with a dual purpose: convince others of our own spiritual purity and elevation, and convince ourselves. I’m speaking of things like confusing spiritual routine and practice (daily meditation, particular kinds of yoga, pilgrimages, sessions with a life coach, spiritual advisor, and yes, astrologer, to name just a few possibilities) with spiritual revelation or enlightenment. One is meant to bring about the other, yes, but it doesn’t guarantee it. Spiritual practice is like eating–it’s meant to sate a temporary hunger, it’s not intended to fill you up for a lifetime. That is, revelation or enlightenments, big or small, can come at any time, in pursuit of or avoidance of any thing–intoning ‘om’ doesn’t prove you’ve earned (and so can claim) a state of enlightenment, any more than eating one proves you’ve earned a hamburger–the two concepts aren’t necessarily causal, aren’t even necessarily connected.

At this point you might be asking, where’s the astrology in all this? Well, we have a duo of aspects for the 4th that, when combined, may exert this kind of pull on the ego, the kind that drives us to let others know just how enlightened (or powerful, or knowing) we are: Mars novile Sedna, and the Sun novile Pluto. The novile is an aspect of brilliance, a flash of momentary genius sparked by the contact of the two bodies. Like two bits of flint, nothing special occurs when they’re on their own, but dash them against the right ‘steel’, and you can start a fire.

In this case, the applying body acts as the crucible to hold the spark–and that means there’s a good chance that the ego, the Will, the role we want to play (with the Sun suggesting idealization at a Soul level), won’t allow the spark to ignite at a deeper level; chances are about even that we’ll see the inner knowing, ‘what we know but don’t (consciously) know’, the instinct or, less frequently, the information that lies in our ‘blind spot’ (Sedna), inform a desire for Power (Pluto), in whatever form that appeals to us–and the siren song of spiritual power can be irresistible, for some.

So, be aware of this potential in yourself, and aware of the potentiality in the world around you. The other influences perfecting right now may make us particularly vulnerable to ego exertions or the need to patch over our vulnerability. The South Node sesquiquadrates Black Moon Lilith, while Mercury quincunxes that calculated spot and squares Ceres–all speak of discomfort with matters we’d rather not deal with, especially a sense of being a victim of the past, or of those who held (or still hold) power over us.

But, there are mitigating influences to be found in Mercury’s parallel to Saturn and trine to Chiron. If we can focus our mind on what’s healed and needs healing (and so how to achieve that healing), and ground this in real-world steps, plans, and decisions that aid these, we don’t have to confront the less savory aspects head-on; we can instead focus on our own and others’ genuine well-being, which isn’t as flashy as a turn around the dance floor with the ego, but is a lot more useful and dare I say, ultimately both honest and soothing.

By the 5th we open the gates to the imagination and to creative energy via relationships and/ or spurred by financial questions, and for some, through a recognized need to live values (Venus trine Neptune). We can find an ideal Love, an ideal Expression, or an ideal financial situation–at least, that’s what it looks like right now–and there’s the potential to gain from taking a spiritual approach to those things we value; that is, vetting material or relationship choices through the lens of what we see as ‘the perfect attitude’.

This may not be immediately easily acted on, though (Venus qnx Mars, Sun semi-square Jupiter and Pallas, Mercury semi-square Zeus), and that’s a good thing, keeping us from over-committing or from an unwise investment. What we can do most effectively, and what we have scads of, is optimism, and possibly a myriad of opportunities to choose from and plan for (Mercury parallel Jupiter). Make efforts theoretical, at this point–‘best laid plans’ are best laid right now.

On the 6th we can draw a gem from the past that offers us a power boost in the present (Pallas nov SN, Sun parallel Pluto). This is available to us if we’re willing to do two things: be flexible in our uniqueness of expression (that is, can we accept an edit?) or our insistence on either being ‘in’ or ‘out’ with ‘the Group’, and willing to question our own values. Remember, it should never be threatening to simply examine what our highest standards really imply–if it is, then those values definitely need examination, as does whatever we’re ‘defending’ by avoiding examination (Mercury qnx Uranus and semi-sq Pluto, Sun sq Vesta).

By the 7th we’re not only feeling strong enough to take those edits suggested yesterday, we can face our own demons and with grace modify our relationships and asset usage to reflect our deepest values. Bonus: this offers healing to what had been a difficult situation (Ceres sextile Black Moon Lilith, Venus qnx NN and sesq Chiron).

Your Week: 1-3 December 2020 Cool Your Heels

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By MarsPF2 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35406445

That’s a really old saying, isn’t it? ‘Cool your heels’–calm down, don’t rush, be patient. Nobody wants to hear it, but sometimes it’s the best advice you can get–and post-eclipse, it almost always applies.

The appetite for astrological updates and in-the-moment commentary is endless, voracious, and I hate to say, indiscriminate. The want for more information about tomorrow is understandable, but also typically accompanied by a lack of processing of the current data. That is, people always want to know what’s coming; they’re looking ahead to the change, rather than to what they can do right now. Even when they’ve received info for today yesterday, they’re asking, ‘What about tomorrow?’ And my answer is, ‘What about it?’

I don’t mean to be glib, I mean to point out that alerting others to what’s coming doesn’t really matter if they have glossed over, consumed and discarded, failed to genuinely understand or apply today’s info. In my view, too many people read astrological material with an eye to feeling it strike a cord. That’s a bias that’s useful to a point, but also only tends to reinforce what they’ve already sensed (or, worse, been simply hoping for, wish fulfillment). If one absorbs only what one already ‘knows’ or wants to believe, one absorbs very little.

It’s a challenge to actually stop and think about information you’ve received that you might find uncomfortable, that might contradict one’s wants, that might be hard to hear–and that challenge can be summed up this way, as a question: Do you want to grow?

Here’s a little catch-up, on what the eclipse brought.

Today, the 1st of December, Mercury enters Sagittarius, and the natural tendency is for the mind to reach out, to roam, to look for knowledge–but unless we are willing to actually see and process what’s before us, we end up skimming over what’s presented, only becoming aware of what corresponds to already-held beliefs. Knowing that’s the inclination, we can use this shift in energy two ways: one is to unfetter our usual way of thinking, allowing the mind to genuinely wander–and that invites us into new, undiscovered, stimulating territory.

The other is a means of alignment, a good way to measure what we take in during this transit: is it factual? That’s a Jupiterian specialty, an association likely growing out of Jupiter’s other tendency, to exaggerate. Being careful to sort belief or philosophy (also both Jupiter-oriented) from facts is important, and will pay off; we can’t be misled if we accept info that doesn’t take a viewpoint, that is made up of bald realities. As CNN’s John King said of the election, “It’s not fraud, it’s math.” (And here’s where I give a gentle nudge to those ‘it’s on the cusp’-ers, those who want to read a placement as if it’s the next or previous House or sign if it’s close to the margin: the math tells you where it is, and what to interpret it as–it’s not up for debate).

If you skipped down to that 1st of December listing, because you told yourself you don’t have time for my jibber-jabber, then ‘cool your heels’ is meant for you directly. Or maybe what I can best say is: this blog isn’t meant for you, and you’ll get very little out of it. You’ll be happier and better served by someone my husband describes as ‘blowing sun sign sunshine’, an astrologer who specializes in the massively general and upbeat. There’s nothing terribly wrong with that; it certainly serves a purpose, it’s just not the purpose I want to serve.

So, by the 2nd we either nail down the practicalities or the wise course to take (Saturn conj Pallas), or we suppress what’s smart in favor of bolstering personal authority or ambition (Merc parallel Ceres and nov Zeus). The interesting thing is, we would normally think this could play out either well (if we respect our own inner wisdom) or badly (if we serve ambition or hubris), but this time it all hinges on whether we value our own highest standards and commitments (Venus sxt Vesta). That’s what determines our real-world success or lack of it–so know what you stand for, before you engage.

The 3rd suggests we may become aggressive, or feel compelled to assert ourselves, out of sheer discomfort (Merc sesq Mars), especially if that’s an irritation that comes from the disparities in our own thinking, or our chafing at what is communicated to us. That could seriously threaten health or relationships, or even the financial picture, and could lead to a disconnect between our effectiveness and our highest values (Vesta contra-parallel Juno, Venus contra-parallel and square Hygeia). Put healthy practices, connections, and commitments first, and try to keep irritability in check–you’ll be glad you did.

Catching My Eye 12 June 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Solar Eclipse 10 June 2021 Agreement Between Head and Heart

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

Photo By Gulosten

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mercury Retrogrades 29 May 2021 Re-Consider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius 26 May 2021 Facing the Depths

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Moon in Taurus 11 May 2021 What We Want

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Individual Distortions Can Affect the World: Adolf Hitler

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

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

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

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

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

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

Food For Thought: Anthony Bourdain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pluto Backs It Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Moon in Scorpio 26 April 2021 Deep Dive

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‘Moonlight in the Adirondack Mountains’, Photographer Unknown {{PD}}

The Full Moon perfects on the 26th at 8:32 PM PDT at 7 Scorpio 06, with the Sabian, ‘A Calm Lake Bathed In Moonlight’. In Scorpio a lake is dark, with an uncharted floor, mysterious, a symbol of considerable gathered emotion, calm on the surface, but promising something in the depths, maybe something hidden in caves or grottoes yet to be discovered. A Full Moon with this image suggests there’s a large well of emotion, one with many facets of which we’re not aware, that will either reach peak or reach capacity, with the former implying the highest (so most strenuous) point of feeling, while the latter says the dam may break, the feeling overflow, and so need release. This may bring the emotional scenario to an end, or it may allow ‘breathing room’ in order to go forward.

I like tight orbs for a crisp Lunar picture, and here we have lots of contacts that don’t strike me as relevant, at least not in an event chart. They imply some ‘befores’ or ‘afters’ that don’t figure in, with orbs so wide they don’t currently (or won’t for some time) count, so I’ll stick with my usual. There is an approaching opposition to Uranus that promises the FM may take us by surprise; revelations, specifically about secrets, our feelings around our material situation, and shocks, delivered by friends, groups, or an unanticipated ‘modern’ way of doing things, could arise from Lunar events (and then be acted upon via the approaching trine to Mars, and blocked or become a reality by the approaching square to Saturn, with the cost or the payoff announced by the approaching opposition to Venus–but I digress, or maybe jump too much into the future!)

There’s also a sextile to Vesta, which tells us that the Full Moon will in some (relatively easy) way show us something about our values and what we dedicate our time and energy to. Lunar events may show us what needs to go in the commitment department, show us ways to enhance our honoring of and dedication to what we find sacred, and may reinforce responsibilities and relationships we’ve been wavering on, either to clear them out with Full Moon energy, or to enter a new stage of the interaction, a ‘next step’ for the future.

There are two other aspects of note, which with the Full Moon form a Fist of God: Hygeia squares the FM, and both sesquiquadrate Neptune. Health matters, physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, give us a problem we need to resolve–if we do so successfully, we can create an ideal, can reach into the hopes and imagination and bring a desire for ‘perfection’ in some form into being; if we are unable to handle the problem presented, we may retreat to fantasy, confusion-as-an-answer, or ‘drown our sorrows’, at least symbolically speaking. I need not tell you which of those responses is preferable.

We always look at the Sun’s Sabian for a Full Moon, as Sol emits the light that makes the Full Moon possible: ‘A Sleigh On Land Uncovered By Snow’. This speaks of being inappropriately equipped for the situation. What thing are we carrying around, in our heads, in our psyches, or in the physical world, that’s not of use to us at all? This is something that under other conditions we would find quite useful–but right now that’s not where we are, and we may want to think about the unnecessary emotional burden this could signify. Typically we hold tight to things we’re not using when we’re convinced we may need them later, or we have a philosophy of ‘just in case’. This image likely relates to the Fist, telling us that we can take the energy required to maintain the useless thing and translate it into something of an ideal realized, a dream come true, or an inspired perspective–much more useful than allowing something that doesn’t fit the current landscape to take up space.

A Taste of the Weekend

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‘Girl Eating an Apple’ By Godfried Schalcken 1675-1680 {{PD}}

Just a pair of tidbits for your weekend: the first is the Saturday Mercury-Venus conjunction in Taurus square Saturn in Aquarius. Beautiful thoughts and words, accompanied by a celebration of the senses, could be delightful, but also runs the risk of ignoring reality, especially those ‘Higher Mind’ issues that should be guiding us. Even if we ignore our own sensibilities and dive in head first to earthly pleasures, it’s likely the world will throw barriers in our path or otherwise frustrate us–so if you’re suddenly stopped short, it’s a hint that you may have gone too far, or too long, without a needed reality check.

By Sunday Merc-Venus has moved on, and now sextiles Pallas in Pisces. This may be the day we’ve been waiting for! Thoughts, relationships, assets, all support wise choice and use of our most well-honed skills, employed to make a ‘practical fantasy’ a reality. Nothing wrong with that, right?

Have a lovely weekend, stay safe and sound–the Full Moon report follows.

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

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‘The Gift’ By Ángel Zárraga 1910 {{PD}}

This originally appeared in ECLIPSE, and has a second part that will follow.

We start by defining the difference between these two Houses in terms of assets and output; in both Houses we find qualities and talents inherent to the individual, gifts, abilities, and in each House the question is, What should be developed, shared, given away, or used to earn? In the 2nd we find material assets, including those earned through personal effort; we also find inborn talents, those things about us that can be considered a kind of natural asset—this is typically something that can be seen by material application: singing, artistic sensibilities that can be applied in multiple arenas, intelligence that takes a specific form. Our actual property falls in this House, as well (unless it is shared with others, then it is in the 8th).

Any talent we carry in or that is related to the 2nd is something we should rightfully expect remuneration for. These are things we value in ourselves, and that others value about us, and so are willing to pay for expression or sharing of—and these are things or talents with which we can do what we will, develop them or not, share them or not—others can’t really take them away from us, we must let them go (in the case of cash) or ignore or ruin them (in the case of talents or assets), for us to experience their loss—otherwise we can sing (Venus in the 2nd, perhaps) or write great speeches (ruler of 3rd or 9th in 2nd) our whole lives.

The 11th has a much different asset character, though in many instances there may be a little (or a lot) of overlap between 2nd House talents and what we find in the 11th, namely What We Have To Give The World. Rather than purely talents or assets, this House describes very particular inclinations, abilities, and gifts that we have specifically designated as not just worthy of sharing, but that we alone can provide with a special combination of ability, viewpoint, experience, and talent—and we have promised this, in some form, to the world. We are obligated to present these things; we may see fame from this, or give unrecognized, and we may experience very little of the actual asset we are sharing on a personal level. What we share from the 11th flows away from us, and there’s nothing that promises we will receive anything in return. When people say, “That’s what she came into this world to do” they are often referring to this 11th House offering; instinctively others know when it is manifested.

You’ve heard the saying, “Everybody has a story”? The 11th House assets are the equivalent of this in the form of talents, lessons, information, and gifts we have promised to share indiscriminately and on a large scale. When we share 8th House assets, we have an ‘us and them’ mentality, with awareness of how the assets are being distributed, who has what, and so on, while 11th House sharing goes one way, out from us, and we may only partially choose recipients or an audience; these are meant for everyone to partake in if they choose, and can be regarded as gifts to the Collective/ group.

Does that mean we always give away what’s in the 11th? Not necessarily, as the 11th is also the income House of the 10th of career or vocation. The 11th can be tricky to define in this asset sense, as it covers the spectrum from what we wish for, to our goals, to those things that are much more ephemeral, like our attitude toward groups and organizations (and toward the world, by extension), our prayers and intentions, and our hopes—but in with all those things are factors we will share in the course of pursuing our goals, dreaming and hoping, and through interactions with alike others.

The elements can give us a general idea of our proclivities, with Earth signs suggesting material manifestations or a focus on earning for what we do, Air signs implying the world of thought, the intellect, and ideas is the focus, Water suggesting we may appear to others to be more passive or receptive, almost offering the impression that we don’t generate anything, but the Water signs will have a direct link to, and often have the expression of talents shaped, by the emotional experiences, and Fire signs give an activist-orientation no matter what the talent or abilities.

Chiron Pt. 3

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Chiron–what a dandy! {{PD}}

This is part of a continuing series begun last year where I asked readers to send in their questions about aspects, specifically natal aspects, they wanted to know more about.

Hi Julie
I am going to take a step in to play!!
Aspect: Conjunctions..
“blind spots” not noticed in the past, yet now it seems I am aware of that aspects signature more
(Birth data removed)

Be safe!! Love and Blessings!!

Dear Reader,

First, a thank you for your lovely wishes–I hope you’re staying safe, and thriving, well-blessed, too!

A little bit about conjunctions: natally they tend to weld two energies together for a lifetime, particularly if the conjunction is close (say, at or less than 2.5 degrees). This can cause the individual with the aspect to find it particularly hard to deploy the energies separately. For instance, a Moon-Mars conjunction can mean that hurt, sensitivity, intuitive perceptions, or emotional reactions can all be answered with anger, assertiveness, or a hot-footed insistence on doing something in answer to the feeling. This duo may predispose one to a fear that emotional expression may bring only anger from others, or that anger itself is the only acceptable emotion. But, this same combo can also mean that the feeling nature and the action urge can work in well-synchronized harmony, since they (likely) sit in the same sign, and share the same sensibilities (we’ll skip thinking about conjunctions that straddle two signs, for now!) Working together, Moon-Mars could make the individual highly dependent on the feelings to get them moving, or on the intuition to know what to do, with the down side that this could short-cut past the mind, leaving reason ‘out in the cold’ when it comes to choices and actions.

One of the biggest impacts of a conjunction, though, is the way it can make matters of the two Houses they rule (when the conjoined are major bodies) work together. In a Whole Sign chart using the same Moon-Mars example, we would find cooperation between the House holding Cancer and the House holding Aries. It doesn’t matter what sign the conjunction itself falls in, those two Houses would still find their subjects enmeshed, sometimes for good, and sometimes in more difficult ways. By example, we can consider a situation with that Moon-Mars conjunction ruling Aries in the 7th, Cancer in the 10th. This might mean that the individual’s ‘I Am’ and initiative (Aries/ Mars), when triggered through partnership or the creation of Art (7th), will automatically strive to show the emotional palette publicly (10th), through career or in support of the reputation, or even in business. ‘I Care’ (Cancer) would always prompt ‘I Act’, and would likely focus through interaction, presented to an audience or even just the spouse (7th), with the result aimed at enhancing the reputation, furthering the Self’s public cause (also known as the career), or letting the world know what the Self cares about (10th). There are lots of possibilities; it’s the entwined nature of the expression of conjunction energies themselves, and through the Houses they rule, that’s important to keep in mind.

Now just a few observations; this isn’t definitive, by any means. You, dear Reader, have a number of conjunctions we could discuss that I think would be helpful to others, and today we’ll look briefly at two clusters; first, your Chiron-Venus conjunction in Aquarius in the 7th (note: Chiron is novile the Sun, while Venus is closer to a semi-square, though both are novile Pallas), square Mars, opposite the Ascendant, quincunx the South Node, square Neptune, widely opposed the Moon, and sextile Black Moon Lilith; Chiron is also sesquiquadrate Vesta, while Venus makes no contact. This weaves Chirotic energy directly into the personality, into the identity and the Soul’s purpose (all through the Sun contact) in a way that informs the way of Being in the world with a unique viewpoint and a bit of genius via skills, especially healing skills (the novile), playing up the innovative qualities (Aquarius) through the creative Piscean Soul (Sun) and fusing them with Love (Venus). But, Venus’ rougher aspect adds this: that relationships and/ or finances don’t come easily, that there may be lessons to learn to adequately answer the questions, What is Love? What is really an asset (i.e., worthy)? What can–and should I–own?

We get a clue about potential areas of Venusian difficulties via the Houses Venus rules, the 3rd and 10th, which could imply that ways of thinking or communicating may be a big part of the problem, with the ability to understand others (Libra in the 3rd, Venus in Aquarius, the sign of understanding) potentially the main issue. The sextile to Black Moon Lilith implies it may be easy to ignore what you find unpleasant–and that could complicate communication, as well. The 10th may suggest issues are with those in authority, with business practices, gum up the career, or are very visible to those with whom you interact, to the point that they are part of the reputation. Too, with Libra involved, you may be known for your gentle diplomacy–or for your passive-aggression, both Libra specialties! The square to Mars says action and choice always seem to either be forced or come rapped up with difficulties in executing the Will; it isn’t hard to see how mental processing or communication issues could set the stage for awkward reception of your actions and choices.

The fact that the conjunction falls not only in the 7th but so closely opposed the Ascendant may create a tricky dynamic: a kind of echo around choices and actions that asks, ‘Will this hurt?’ and ‘What will it cost me?’ with the added difficulty of either not being sure whether these potentials are coming from the actions of others or from yourself (the 7th, either seen as your own energies or projected as belonging to others)–and this could suggest that you see others as having communication or anger issues that are actually your own, as the Universe loves to confront us with others who show us in bold type our own failings.

The novile to the Sun suggests the Soul finds ingenious ways to express its healing nature and skills (these being the positives associated with Chiron), but also funnels this hesitancy surrounding a sense of vulnerability directly to the identity and may impinge on the Soul moving toward expressing its purpose. But, the Pisces Sun sits in the 8th, reinforcing that possibility of mistaking one’s own methods and motivations for those of others, but also steeped in the creative energies derived from interaction with and cooperation with others. One issue may be that you offer healing even when others don’t want it! perhaps creating the dissonance of the Venus semi-square, making relationship a bit tense at times.

This is it me or is it them? confusion may be central to the Chiron-Venus in 7th in Aquarius: anytime there’s hurt or a potential for healing (with the Self or in relationships), in the asset picture, or in your view of your own talents, you may either 1) intellectualize things, thinking you need to ‘figure it out’ or justify matters before you can accept that healing potential, or 2) see either the healing or the hurt as potentially coming only from others; that is, you may not recognize your part in things (i.e., that others can’t hurt you unless you agree to feel hurt, for instance). The sesquiquadrate between Chiron and Vesta could imply that only when wounded do you consider deviating from your highest values–but with Venus there, Love likely pulls you back from that precipice very quickly.

The approach to Love, Money, and injury, psychic, emotional, or otherwise, may also be intellectualized as a way of Being; that is, you may go deeply into these subjects theoretically, while in the real world you may feel either that thinking about how they operate is enough, or that others are more responsible/ have a more intimate relationship with these matters than you feel you do. This could also show as a tendency to think about things, especially relationships or assets, and feel that you’ve then dealt with them, without taking any action, with the square to Mars showing just how hard that can be for you.

One good potential with that Venus-Chiron/ Mars combo is that you likely work very hard to define and express yourself, and that your sensitivity levels, especially to others, are very high. There is probably a high degree of conscientiousness and a determination not to harm others. It may be vital for you to operate (that is, to act or choose) only when you are both intellectually and heart-centered in any matter–another meaning for the Mars square, then, may be you holding yourself back until you are sure of what you want to do, vetted against all that’s most important to you in life.

And a word or two on the Venus-Neptune square: this is an out-of-sign aspect, with both sitting in Air, Neptune in the 3rd in Libra, introducing the potential for creative, inspired, or completely delusional thinking, and the contact to Venus linking it to relationships again, once through Libra and once through Venus in the 7th. This unites the 3rd, 8th, and 10th Houses, suggesting that thinking and communication are heavily influenced by others and your interactions with them, especially what you share, and that this is part of the reputation, career, or expressed through interaction with authorities or publicly. Do you write? Are you an Artist? If not vocationally, you certainly are in your essence.

There is also the potential for you to associate yourself as a woman with carrying unique skills, with being fundamentally injured, and/ or with innately being a healer. I suspect with you it’s this latter, but any of those are possible, and may make up various facets of the identity specifically associated with womanhood as you see and express it, as well as likely pinpointing a specific feeling of vulnerability within your identity.

Ruler of Aquarius, Uranus, is sandwiched into another conjunction, this one uniting Moon, Jupiter, and Uranus within just over seven degrees of one another, in Cancer in the 12th. So, we have the Moon in its own sign (very strong!) connecting to the Venus-Chiron duo by opposition, bringing the emotions into, and perhaps having them drive, all that we’ve been discussing. In the 12th, the Moon may not make itself known directly, instead having a strong impetus to push out through those natal energies contacted, so that you may be less aware than you know of the influence of the emotions on other life areas (and this may be doubly so with Aquarius putting the stamp of intellectual understanding on so much, possibly unaware of how the feeling nature has a hand in things!) The feeling could be, ‘I’m very sensitive, but not emotional–I’m the most rational person I know!’

There’s a lot to unpack here, but we’ll look at only one thing, the Houses brought together through rulership by these bodies: 5th, 7th, and 12th. That suggests that creative acts (5th) are fueled by feedback from or cooperation with others (7th–as well as giving that creative urge and artistic bent–also 7th), and that this can be a channel for, or overwhelmingly influenced by, a connection to the Cosmic and/ or the unconscious (12th). With the conjunction located in the 12th, this is a powerful recipe to bring spirit as a living, breathing, creative thing into the everyday life–and goodness knows, the world definitely needs more of this right now–

Want to know more about Chiron in your chart? Get my Chiron workbook here–

Difficult Awareness

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‘Seascape with Sailors Sheltering from a Rainstorm’ By Bonaventura Peeters the Elder 1640 {{PD}}

That difficult awareness delivered to us by the recently perfected, current, and future lingering Sun-Pluto Cardinal square will be brought to consciousness by the Sun-Mercury Superior Conjunction of the 18th, which also promised some revelations in line with the recent New Moon. What we’ve seen, become aware of, or seen eliminated, destroyed, or transformed has presented us with a dilemma, as the Sun in Aries asks, ‘What do I do about this?’

We’re likely to see a way forward on the 18th that’s informed by whatever was born at the New Moon. The can-do-ness of that Aries event will finally be able to act on a problem that has called into play the sense of personal authority, responsibility, and that even when we had no clue how to proceed, cried out for action! There is so much ‘doing’ energy in all this that we may be tempted to pick the first action outlet we see, so intense is our desire (no, our need!) to address the Plutonian breakdown; instead we should relax (at least a little): with Jupiter sextile the Sun-Merc and semi-sextile Pluto, Sedna semi-sextile Sun-Merc, square Jupiter, and trine Pluto, and Mars, bless his aggressive little heart, down in Gemini making the mind churn out ‘get going’ talk (and as well aspecting things, with a sextile to Sun-Merc catching Sedna at the midpoint, a trine to Jupiter, and a quincunx to Pluto), all this suggests that facts and/ or beliefs will inform our thinking (so it will be at worst characteristic of who we are, at best thinking firmly planted in the real world and its circumstances), and will permeate our plans and where our attention goes, as will what we ‘know but don’t know’ (information sensed but not seated in the conscious mind–Sedna), and that this will propel us in the right direction, as the social order or our own beliefs about the Universe construct the perfect confluence of issues, events, and occurrences to get us to an important new point in our development–because that’s what’s happening right now, we’re all having things transformed, carved away, removed, or otherwise we’re seeing the power situation take on new shapes and hues, all in the name of moving us around the Universal chess board so we’re in the right place, right time, for the next phase of life. Now more than ever, we are responsible for how we respond–do your best.

Just thought I’d weigh in on that. Also, it’s a great time to address your health, particularly through diet or with environmental factors–you have a lot of juice to re-shape your well-being right now. ‘Til next time, and have a wonderful weekend!

Mystic Stress

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Ankara Archaeology and art museum Venus Late Hellenistic 2nd-1st C BC CC4

That title comes from the Mystic Rectangle perfecting today, with Mars, Sun, Earth, and Juno all at 24 degrees of their respective current signs–and the stress part is Venus, straining at the 29th anaretic degree of Aries. The lady just wants to get out of town, from an atmosphere of the overt, aggressive, and active, to one she’s not only comfortable in, she rules, with Taurus offering a chance to lose the Self to the senses, to enjoy the tactile, the filling and satisfying, the sedating–to get out of the Arian situation Venus (and we) have been in, of steadily mounting stress as she traversed a sign she’s just not at ease in.

The Rectangle takes the Sun-Mars sextile and makes it a dynamic, rather than just a statement about our attention (the Sun) going to what we are, or feel we should be, doing. We add Earth to the mix, bringing in a material element that emphasizes the way what we are investing our energy into at this time will have solid, real-world, or environment-affecting consequences. Juno, a body of empowerment and partnering, brings awareness: what we are doing right now will definitely empower us; our own actions will fashion situations that both give us alternatives and options, and requires that, even in cooperative matters, we must be the agents of our own expression and empowerment. Remember, the mythic Juno was renowned for her anger and vengeful plots–but those arose from trying to control her partner, rather than taking that energy and shaping things as she’d actually like them to be. In this instance, the lesson for us is twofold: we can’t expect others to hand us power, and we must recognize that the prerogative to make the world as we wish it to be is purely, solely, our own.

Also of note: Black Moon Lilith in Taurus and Neptune in Pisces form the base of a Finger of God, apex Zeus in Libra. A Finger always points us to the result of a successful blending of the two base energies. The Black Moon Lilith point in Taurus suggests that what we are denying ourselves in terms of comfort or sustenance, or what enrages us about our material situation, can be re-shaped by the imagination and our own ideals (Neptune)–which can result in ambition and desire fulfillment, particularly in terms of relationships, the Arts, or cooperative or earning ventures.

And by the way, that Jupiter-Sun sextile forming this Thursday may not be the sudden bounty or get-out-of-psychic-jail free card some think it will be. Oh, it could–I’m just looking at the way Jupiter will also be in an Air Grand Trine with Earth and Mars–suggesting that efforts fueled by beliefs or ‘the facts’, pushed by the social sphere, or that present genuine opportunity have a very good chance of succeeding–and that means that sunshine and riches won’t fall out of the sky with no reason, and that what does logically come to us, we’d better be prepared to catch!–but any benefits we gain could be co-opted by the group, or could devolve into intellectual exercises (Aquarius) that short-circuit action (Mars) and so don’t actually manifest in the real world (Earth)–so, something to keep in mind.

Last week I spent a full 24 hours hearing someone say (or sing) the phrase “Everything’s gonna be alright”–by my count, 6 different times in six totally different forms/ media. Late last week and this one have, as far as I can tell, brought a great deal of stress to everyone–but I’m confident hearing that over and over last week was meant to prime recall of that sentiment when things got rough. I hope if you need it, it helps you too.

New Moon in Aries 11 April 2021 Turns in the Road

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‘The Arrival of Spring; Two Roads’ By Maria Yakunchikova 1896 {{PD}}

Even though the New Moon of the 11th, 7:30 PM PDT at 22 Aries 24 is still conjoined Venus, that’s actually a separating aspect; whatever the Superior conjunction of the Sun and Venus was meant to convey around relationships or assets, it’s already come to us, though our emotional reaction to it is still in the future, delivered about 8 hours after this Lunar event (and maybe spurred by what happens at the NM). The same can be said about issues around personal power and authority, boundaries, a sense of autonomy, and even health matters, as the Sun and Moon have each both recently conjoined and are now moving away from Ceres. This suggests we’ve hashed out quite a bit recently, and likely believe we know where we stand–so why does it feel like we’ve made no progress, like we remain rudderless and confused, like we’re yearning for something and reaching come up with a handful of water, lost before we can get a sip?

A New Moon in Aries should spark confidence, a feeling that we can do ‘it’, the courage to take the next step, a sureness about taking the lead in our own lives, and when this NM perfects we may want to make a clear ‘I Am’ statement, not for those around us, but for ourselves, to try and ground us in something firm. We have the fire (Aries) to do (Cardinal sign) something to propel us forward–and this NM in particular we’re buoyed by imagination and a wave of creative energy (semi-sextile to Neptune), and we have big ideas (sextile to Jupiter) for change (square to Pluto) with empowerment as the goal (trine to Juno)–but there’s something about our desires or ambitions (opposition to Zeus) that makes us reluctant, or that maybe even outright prevents, that change we’re dreaming of–the potential for action could dissipate into nothing but talk (sextile to Mars in Gemini).

There’s a (brilliant) way out, and there’s also an issue to be dealt with, before the feeling and action impasse can be broken. One is the novile to Pallas in Pisces. This speaks of the wisdom of the imagination and the creative outlet, of the practical benefits of using our skills to do–and so serve both the Arian New Moon impulse and and the need to circumvent issues that have brought us up short, confused us, or distracted us from what we want and need to sort out. The Sabian symbol for the New Moon says it all: ‘A Pregnant Woman In Light Summer Dress’. The image is one of creative potential. Giving our creativity free rein right now is the smart thing to do; we may ‘birth’ our answer, or we may in the process of expressing make other contacts, or take other turns in the road, that will get us past what’s been holding us at bay. The ‘Summer Dress’ of the image implies the creative urge itself is at its peak of productive potential, just as a garden is at that point in the seasonal cycle. We don’t know how far along that ‘pregnancy’ is; we only know that the creation itself definitely exists, and will, sooner or later, be brought forth.

The thing to be dealt with is described by the New Moon’s sesquiquadrate to Vesta in Virgo. A sesquiquadrate is an aspect that promises difficulty, suggesting both trouble within the psyche (problems with accepting and processing what we’re confronted with, for example) and external factors that contribute pressures or force awareness and/ or force us to stop forward progress, at least in terms of the goal we thought we were working toward. There’s usually a measure of upset or outrage, a ‘This is ruining all my plans!’ plaintive cry as we see we’re given no choice but to halt and re-group.

With this being the New Moon’s contact to Vesta, what we’re likely to be faced with is some form of criticism or critique, internal or from others, that assesses our commitments, our values, or what we’re dedicated to as less-than-sacred. This might come in the form of our own internal monologue that recognizes we don’t care as we think we did, or in internal recognition or external feedback that points to some facet of hypocrisy in what we claim to hold in highest regard. Maybe our actions haven’t been supporting our highest standards, or our choices point to an entire other set of values by which we’re in reality living. No matter what, the Aries New Moon offers us a chance to re-dedicate ourselves to choices and actions that reflect our true values; it gives us a chance to align our walk with our talk, and prove what and who we genuinely care about.

A New Moon in Aries is about choice; the issue for this New Moon may be that we’ve convinced ourselves either we don’t have any, or that our options aren’t ideal. Events at this time are meant to show us that the true circumstances are otherwise–we just need to be brave enough to see that the ideal is possible, and that indeed, we always have options.

A Look Ahead: Early April 2021

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Saddle up! ‘Prospecting for Cattle Range’ By Frederic Remington 1889 {{PD}}

I sit here trying to decide what to write, asking myself, What do they need to hear? What is it that’s causing rough edges, confusion, discomfort, or that hollow, yearning sensation that can distract us from what we see as our goals? I’ve never been an astrologer who could spoon-feed readers sunshine everyday; optimism, yes, but too much sugar makes us diabetic, and too much insistence on only seeing the positives leaves us both delusional and unprepared. So, saddle up, and we’ll take a look at what’s coming.

When I look at the chart for today, the 31st, I’m struck by a few things: the way the Sun in Aries is wedged between the ego-hurt of Chiron and the ego hurt of Venus, with both taking an Aries viewpoint that asks, Where is what I want in all this? Venus points us toward what we don’t have in relationships or assets, while Chiron makes it feel like we’ve always been deprived, always been the victim–and that doesn’t help us in the present one bit. The energy connects like a web, with the Sun trining the South Node, sextiling Saturn–a stuck-in-mud-from-the-past feeling, I’m thinking.

And that Chiron, emblem of the primal wound, the thing we walk through life perpetually sensitive over, is precisely semi-sextile Uranus and in the other direction Pallas, placing Chiron at the mid-point=accidents and surprises, spontaneous events and hurtful incidents, seem like the inevitable denouement to something stupid or impractical we’ve done–but with Vesta quincunx Chiron, trine Uranus, and opposed Pallas, we should take it all a little less personally, as what it really is, is a prompt from the Universe to adjust what we’re dedicating our time and attention to, to adjust our critical thinking (Vesta in Virgo) so that it actually gets us what we want and where we want to go–something about our thinking now is distinctly off: Mercury in Pisces, open to the imagination, is square Juno (wondering why empowerment is so hard!), sextile Pluto (we may be perceiving everything, especially any exercise of power, as just a tad destructive), sextile Jupiter (exaggeration!), and still within proximity of current ruler Neptune, which is like being under the spell of some fantastical Svengali–no wonder we’re having trouble sorting things out!

Part of the issue may be the way Mars in Gemini is sextile Ceres in Aries (making for an overly independent way of going forward, a ‘law unto himself’ way of acting), with over the next ten days or so Venus, the Sun, and even Ceres tightening their contact to Mars–and so bringing all the complexes and paranoia that’s been stewing into our actions and choices, if we don’t address them now. The good thing is that over this period it all moves on from contact with Chiron, suggesting we’ll be less sensitive, less inclined to interpret events or even our own thoughts, as hurtful.

Positives center on a persistent sense that we can take things on, do for ourselves–and that helps us handle much of what else is swirling around, as we are both in reality and in our sense of confidence able to deal adeptly with a more-than-usual load at this time. That’s why it’s so important to point out what won’t be working so well: our own thinking or responses are the things we need to keep in perspective, keep from holding us down or back.

The only thing that stays stuck is the Chiron-Uranus contact–which should tell us that the real weak spot in the days to come could be the tendency to see the spontaneous, erratic, accidental, the sudden, the group action, or the unusual as wounding to us personally. We may process things as getting better, more under our control, and then get offended all over again when something comes along to strike at our sore spot. Try to take a step back, before responding to any hurt over this early half of April–it might do us better to let it go than to pursue our own skewed idea of justice or redress, chiefly because we may not have the entire ‘power picture’–that comes next, when Pluto retrogrades on the 27th, and begins a ‘big reveal’ of hidden power structures, systems on the brink of failure, and stirs a few phoenix-like entities re-born from what we thought was just a pile of ash.

Also, the New Moon of the 11th gets a second stage boost on the 18th, with the Sun-Mercury Superior Conjunction. Time any new venture that you must approach one step at a time for this period–brings a bit of unusual clarity, especially in terms of seeing what’s worth going forward with, at this time.

Full Moon in Libra 28 March 2021 The Balance

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‘Tightrope’ By Paul Klee 1880 CC0

Love is central–or is that a money, asset, or credit situation that takes center stage right now? Either relationships are in focus, or our currency status is, at this Full Moon, which perfects at 11:48 AM PDT on the 28th at 8 Libra 18. All the strongest flow for this lunar event is across the Libra-Aries axis, imbuing the episode with an ‘I/ Other’ dynamic. With Venus so closely opposed the Full Moon, we are likely to frame the Full Moon in terms of what we have versus what others have, and this may be about intangibles like Love or tangibles like property or resources, but in any case brings examination of the balance between the ‘I Am/ I Have’ and ‘They Are/ They Have’. Chiron, also opposed, brings in the consciousness of what we don’t have, or makes it clear what unique skills we possess that can help us get what we want. We may get a new, mature perspective on a number of issues or relationships, and a new attitude born of Full Moon conclusions or culminations, especially in reference to the way injuries, past and current, may be at play in either our emotional or asset situations.

Some things that may be answered: Do we feel unity with others, or are our thoughts focused on the solitary nature of our existence? Do we allow others to hurt us, and then hold those injuries tight for our own reasons? Or do we reject the one who hurt us, and is doing so healthy, or filled with rage (and so taking up our energy when it shouldn’t)? Do we actually believe that others have it easier than we do for no reason? Are we feeling less than rewarded for being who we are? Do we avoid cooperation or forming relationships (especially those centered on romantic love) because we believe it will ‘cost’ us? Have we been withholding use of our skills due to past injury? Do we like cheese? Well, maybe not that last one.

The Full Moon is apex to a Finger of God, with base of Pallas sextile Uranus. This suggests that Full Moon events or revelations (something the Full Moon is known for, bringing complete enlightenment, particularly in matters of the House in the natal chart where this occurs) come about either through a meeting of the practical or skills and the unique viewpoint, or via wisdom applied to the spontaneous or chaotic. What is original to us as individuals combines with either what we can do, or what we know (in the form of a profound Truth), and delivers to us the outcome of an event at this time, or a realization that can illuminate our immediate way forward.

A semi-sextile to Vesta and a sesquiquadrate to Jupiter tells us that hopes to get ‘more’ of what we value, or attempts to honor our beliefs, especially beliefs about what’s sacred, what’s important, will have a rough go of it; it’s likely we’ll have to face certain beliefs, facts, or ways in which we dedicate our energies that are causing problems or are difficult to implement, with the Full Moon requiring us to adjust those beliefs, or modify what we dedicate our time and energy to.

There’s also a loose Air Grand Trine involving the Full Moon, Saturn, and the North Node-Mars (we’re stretching, here). It’s worth noting, though, as in the next hours and days both Earth and the Moon will be perfecting that Trine–and this implies recognition of the energies as working together even at the time of the event gives us a little glimpse into the future. We’re talking about emotional understanding or intuitive perceptions that balance out the mental perceptions and then act as foundation for forward moving actions and choices that will have an effect on the reality picture.

The Sabian for this Full Moon is, ‘Three “Old Masters” Hanging On The Wall Of A Special Room In An Art Gallery’. I think this is a clear reference to Venus; the suggestion may be that we must acknowledge what we treasure, what talents we possess, what we hold dear, our assets, but the issue may be this: if this asset or talent is segregated, off in its own room in a special construct (the gallery), does that mean we are treating it as rarefied, not using it or appreciating what it can do for us? Are we viewing our talents or assets as precious museum pieces, as passive, rather than incorporating their potentials (for earning, for sharing beauty, for generosity, for what they can bring us) into our daily life? Do we keep them in special circumstances because we are in some way saving or ‘hoarding’ them, or does keeping them separate allow us to believe there’s more value in them than we might find should we employ them in the real world? These are Old Masters, after all, possibly a salute to the Chirotic skill each individual possesses that is extraordinary in its uniqueness–so, something we shouldn’t hesitate to share or test, as no one can do ‘it’ quite like we can.

The Sun, Chiron, and Venus, this last ruler of the Full Moon-Earth combo, all share a Sabian: ‘A Crystal Gazer’. The future is written in who we are at core, who we are as a Soul (the Sun), how we respond to our wounds (and you’ll notice the kinds of wounds aren’t important–those are irrelevant, in this context–Chiron), and who, how, and what we love and value (Venus)–and at least symbolically, these matters ‘rule’ (via Venus) and contain the Full Moon ’cause’ (via the light generation of the Sun), so are instrumental to, and in fact inseparable from, the Lunar event.

Family Patterns: What’s Your Element?

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By Unknown author – Photo courtesy of the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs Division under the digital ID ppmsc.06257 {{PD}}

When we consider a return to the family atmosphere (as we do at holidays, or for summer BBQs, to name just two occasions), we may find those gatherings of togetherness and food and sharing inevitably bring us back, to some extent, to our place within that family, with all the feelings, attitudes, closeness, and knee-jerk reactions that go with it. Even the best of relationships can grow strained with time, distance, and conflicting choices. We’re almost sure to both look forward to these reunions (especially after the scourge of Covid) and dread them–at least, we are likely to fear falling back into less-than-positive patterns in interacting with these familiar others, adding to the stresses already extant in our grown-up, everyday lives.

One thing that can help immensely is determining what element dominates within the family, and whether that is your dominant vibe. Sorting this out can explain on what level and through what mechanism (mental, emotional, action-oriented, material) the family is operating (in the Collective sense), and if this is the element through which we are most likely to channel our responses. At its simplest, this is a very straightforward process: draw a ‘family tree’ (or your own version of one) and list the Sun sign and its element for each individual. I can (almost) guarantee you’ll immediately begin to see correspondences, connections in behaviors, the grouping together of some individuals in social settings while others retreat to a lone ‘branch’–and you’ll have the beginnings of where you fit in the mix.

Though, as we know, Sun sign astrology doesn’t provide many answers by itself, we must in this case acknowledge that the Soul (Sun) element is a vital part of the individual’s unique expression; nobody is alienated from their own Soul (no matter how it may appear from the outside!) so when we look at the Sun’s element, we are looking at a crucial vibrational chord for the individual. No matter what else we have in our charts, we respond to that Soul element.

Naturally, the more detailed we can be in our assessment, the more we will be able to draw connections and understand interactions. If we know the Moon and/ or rising sign of the individual, or if we have access to the whole horoscope and can determine the overall dominant element, even better. In particular, the Moon will help us see those close connections that may not be explained with Sun sign elements. For example, I was very close to my maternal grandmother, whose Sun element is Water; mine is Air. Those would seem to ‘talk’ past each other, except that my Moon is in Water–I could empathize and relate to her need to see the world (in essence) through the emotions, even though my predominant viewpoint is a mental one, and she could relate to me, through her Air Moon, making for a kind of personal ‘mutual reception’ that balances shared elements between individuals. We often thought and felt remarkably alike; and this was in contrast to her daughter, my mother, whose Fire Sun and Moon often left us completely in the dark as to her thought processes and her motivations, a double Fire, ‘leap without looking’ approach.

It also helps, though, to consider the Earth sign of the individual (always found exactly opposite the Sun). For example, in the case of relating to my mother, it is possible for me to relate by light conversation, using wit and verbal sparring to find out what she thinks and feels, as her Earth is in Gemini Air; the fact that the body involved is Earth suggests that the conversation must focus on material matters, or at least start out there–then she will open up to relating, to exchanging information. Of course, the more you know about a person’s chart, the easier it is to see why they do or don’t blend with others in a group.

Let’s take a look at a family like any other, the Royal family of England. Specifically, let’s look at how the ladies who’ve married into the family have fit in, or failed to. HRH Elizabeth II (21 April 1926 2:40 AM London United Kingdom) has the Sun at 00 Taurus (some call this ‘the Hitler degree’, as it was also Hitler’s Solar placement, but I find that a little harsh)–so an individual who sets a grounded tone in the family; you’d probably do best to chat about her dogs or hunting or her castles, as finding common points of reference and common comforts and values are the way to relate. Son Charles (14 November 1948 9:14 PM London UK) has Sun in Scorpio–he’s a feeler!–but Earth in Mom’s Sun sign of Taurus–so they relate easily, especially through material matters, and Mom’s Water Earth sign reciprocates–and bonus! Charles’ Moon is exactly conjunct Mommy’s Sun (not an especially unusual parent/ child contact)–so there’s a lot of harmony there, with Charles for the most part bowing to his mother’s preferences–though when feeling triumphs it really triumphs, the case in point being his marriage to Camilla (17 July 1947 7:10 AM  London UK). Her Water Sun and Moon fit in with her husband’s temperament well and relate to the Queen through material commonalities (Camilla’s Earth in Earth! Perhaps representing that Camilla’s family is of the same milieu as the queen’s). Her Water-Earth Sun-Earth combo relates well to her husband through shared feeling about material matters, as well as the strong feeling nature. But what about his ‘old’ wife?

Diana Spencer (1 July 1961 7:45 PM  Sandringham UK) has what should be a very sympathetic placement of Sun in Water, Earth in Earth–so what made for such discord and alienation between herself and the family she entered through marriage? Probably that Aquarian Air Moon of hers. It may have required things make sense, be explained, and be subjected to logic and intellectual examination–not to mention taking her vows quite seriously, at least until she found she’d been deceived by her husband, who never stopped seeing old flame Camilla. The need for ‘shared Air’ may have driven Diana from the family; it could’ve felt like no one spoke of anything important, that information was never really shared–is that really surprising, from a family that lives in a series of castles, who have feelings deeper for their corgis (or at least seemed to, from Diana’s point of view) than what they felt for a woman who essentially just needed to relate?

Charles and Diana’s son William (21 June 1982  9:03 PM Paddington UK) was born in the lee of a partial Solar eclipse, while wife Kate was born on the same day as a total Lunar eclipse (9 January 1982 ntk Reading UK). Weird, no? There may be an implied energy balance of extraordinary extremes in the pairing of these two–William’s dual Water Sun-Moon and Earth in Earth fits the family dynamic neatly (and his 00 Sun placement may sympathize with grandma’s 00 Sun energy), and Kate does, too, with Sun in Earth and Moon-Earth in Water. She may come across as super-practical, and on the inside could be a little more sensitive than other family members, but likely doesn’t let that show except to her husband–who has the freedom of those born into an extraordinary situation to be a little looser in expression and choice. These two fit into the current Royal family like hands in gloves–but as we’ve seen lately, his brother and his spouse haven’t.

Prince Harry (15 September 1984 4:20 PM Paddington UK) has Sun in Earth, Earth in Water–so he should fit in well, right? His Moon in Earth only reinforces this. The answer to Harry’s recent defection might lie in other areas, which I’ll note later–but we have been presented with the family’s treatment of his American wife as the reason, so we need to look there, at least for the trigger to Harry’s leave-taking. Meghan Markle (4 August 1981 4:46 AM Canoga Park California USA) has a Fire Sun and an Air Earth. Uh-oh–she tires them out, agitating for clarity, and probably for due respect (that Fire is Leo, after all!) Meghan’s Earth in Air echoes Diana’s Moon, probably stirring up fears in Harry that his wife may suffer the same hounding and ill-fate his mother did. So, we have our trigger–but is that enough to make Harry dump the institution, and consequently his family, since they can’t seem to see themselves as separate from it?

Though there are many interesting ties between Harry and Meghan, I’m going to point to only two that I think tell the story: Her Chiron conjoined his Moon, and his Sun square her Neptune. She may stir emotional feelings and fears he didn’t even know he had, and she may register to him as ideal (as a media star, the epitome of a particular shad of Neptune) but the dream she represents may present difficult circumstances, challenges to overcome (the square) that speak directly to who he is (Sun). Add to this in Harry’s own chart that his Sun is closely conjoined Zeus, melding his Beingness with his ambitions and desires–and can you imagine a more unfortunate placement for someone who, before William had children, was considered the ‘spare’ to William’s ‘heir’? Leaving may have been the only way for that Sun to fulfill itself–and certainly, he’d already distinguished himself in the military, and in creating the Invictus games, taking a special interest in those wounded in war, just as his mother similarly did in her crusade against landmines. Add to this his Nodal axis at 29 degrees, suggesting pressure, a do-or-die need for fulfillment in the life direction, and he may have felt a kind of unfocused urgency to create an exceptional life–and after a point, leaving the family may have seemed the only way to do it.

Some things to consider: those we are related to, those with whom we’ve grown up, and/ or those with whom we feel ‘obligated’ to share holidays or to gather with for larger reasons may not necessarily need to be a part of our current lives, especially if we associate significant pain with this individual or group. Though we may have quite an internal conflict over the appropriateness of spending the holidays at a distance from some we would normally include, our primary duty is to look out for our own health and well-being. The truth is we can hardly be kind to others if we mistreat ourselves.

A Brief Guide to Families by Element

Some of this might seem a little obvious, and of course there will be variations–I didn’t get into the sub-groups, where a family has a main element and a secondary one, or where there are splinter groups within the larger groups that carry their own elemental themes–but I think you can see where I’m going, and can figure this kind of thing out. It often jumps out as we outline our family tree, revealing alliances we always knew were there, somehow, but hadn’t really consciously acknowledged.

Water families communicate through feelings–and everything, even those things that seem to be material (like gifts) or cut-and-dried (like contracts or wills) are driven by emotion. Water families are often emoters and everything is expressed to extremes–and they’re also the group most likely to punctuate gatherings with fights, swearing, accusations, and copious numbers of tears. They’re as well the group that opens their get-togethers to strangers most easily, who are warmest and most demonstrative, and who may be very uncomfortable if you’re not letting every feeling show, too.

Fire families are just that, full of fire, which means they’re assigning tasks, organizing games, playing sports, or running errands non-stop. All this fosters lots of interaction but with little depth; it’s a matter of each group member doing doing doing beside the others, so engagement is on the surface or minimal. That’s the way they like it, though; to them sitting for hours around the table chatting or watching the snow fall is pointless. This group loves to include anyone who’s a good sport and willing to get their hands dirty; balk at their tasks and you might be seen as ‘being mopey’.

Earth families are all about comfort, and making everyone feel secure; they find fast movement risky, too much talk distracting, and crying a sign of emergency. The stars of this family are the carpenters, cooks, craftspeople, and anyone who offers physical comfort through skill or effort. Their all is aimed toward creating a cozy environment, seeing to plenty of sustenance, and a satisfying material experience–which can be lovely if your idea of a great holiday is to wrap yourself in a ham cocoon in front of the fire, but most of the non-Earth oriented may find the low level of interaction or exercise frustrating, especially as any expression of dissatisfaction is likely to be met with an offer of warm slippers, cocoa, and a big, crush-the-unhappy-out-of-you hug.

Air families communicate endlessly–everything means something, has a message, must be discussed, and is in danger of being misunderstood. For all their emphasis on mental exchange they can be terrible listeners; but they do think about what might make everyone happy, and in that way they can be the most accommodating of the groups, as long as they can relate to what someone else might need. The stars of this family are the witty and the intelligent, the co-operative and the artistic. Words are the currency in this group, followed by expressions of ‘thoughtfulness’, and because there’s so much attention to communication they can be uneven in departments like decorating, activities, or buying enough food–because who’s counting portions when you’re thinking of all the stories you’ll tell at the dinner table?

This work first appeared in ECLIPSE, and has been edited, and modified with the addition of the material on Prince Harry and Meghan.

New Moon in Pisces 13 March 2021 Siren Song

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‘Ulysses and the Sirens’ By Herbert James Draper 1679 {{PD}}

The New Moon perfects at 2:21 AM PST on the 13th at 23 Pisces 03, after recent passage of both the Sun and Moon over Neptune. That puts a haze on everything, a siren song with no clear origin: what are we seeing? what are we feeling? Also past but still in orb: a square to Juno and a quincunx to Zeus, suggesting that just lately we’ve faced some conflict over the legitimacy of our ambitions and our own autonomy. And what lies ahead, within orb now, are a sextile to Pluto (the impulse to burn it all down, out of shaken convictions around the ambitions, desires, and our ability to act on them), and a sextile to Sedna (the impulse to listen to the instincts, to trust what we ‘know but don’t know’, and proceed as planned). Which will we choose? Right now that depends on your relationship to Piscean energies in general, and to transiting Neptune in particular.

Pisces is singing to us right now, of ideals and dreams, of our practicality, skills, and wisdom, of the payoffs awaiting us in Love or Money or maybe just companionship (Pallas, Venus, Neptune transiting there), and the New Moon offers a starting point: face what we want, and either purge it and ourselves (if we find the dream inadequate), or trust ourselves and follow instinctual prompts and the inner knowing. Not a difficult choice, if we know ourselves, if we are not deluded, if we know our dreams, and if we are brave enough to go forward and create, unafraid of what others might say or think. And of course, that little bit at the end may be the hardest part.

The New Moon also falls at the midpoint of the Saturn-Uranus square. That’s reality pushing against the radical, the established pushing against precipitous change, tradition butting up against the modern, authorities clashing with the individual, or with advancement in general. It’s natural for What Is to resist and resent innovation, unless how that improvement is good for all is made obvious from the start–and even then there may be issues. Expect the New Moon to present a point of tension over this kind of revolution, a preview of the coming, just forming Cosmic dream, a glimpse of the future, and look for the positive that will come from letting go and accepting new developments. What’s happening is inevitable; better to have some say in and control over change (by willingly going along), than have it overwhelm when upset and resistance builds too high. Don’t let the siren song of ‘We’ve always done it that way’ stop a good thing.

The New Moon Sabian is, ‘On A Small Island Surrounded By The Vast Expanse Of The Sea, People Are Seen Living In Close Interaction’. I’m seeing this in something of an unusual way: Pisces is the sea, the House of the natal chart an island in the horoscope, with the people in close interaction those we love (Venus), those we idealize or connect with spiritually (Neptune), and those from whose wisdom or practicality we benefit (Pallas). Getting all the human components to mesh in positive ways is something we strive for–and the new start of the New Moon offers a moment when the way to that harmony might be apparent, through the matters of the natal House where Pisces sits. And right now, everybody could use just a little more harmony.

Their Immensity

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By Pravin Mishra – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59437020

You’re not a creature in a body./ You exist as the stars exist,/ participating in their stillness, their immensity. from ‘Telescope’ by Louise Glück

Just stepping in to let you know that I’m no longer doing work for individual clients. Though I’ve had a wonderful time working with so many of you, the end is here. But, those who still have already paid for Horaries awaiting them, or those I’ve already told to contact me or with whom I’ve still got obligations, don’t hesitate to get in touch when you need to. I’m working hard to finish the Moon book, but it just keeps growing! What’s that about? Every time I think I’ve wrangled an angle, up comes another thing that I think, ‘Oh! Can’t not cover this.’ So.

And speaking of the stars and lights and planetary bodies, a couple of small things catch my attention and seem worthy of sharing. We have Pluto trine Sedna in Earth signs=a breakdown of those things that wall us off from what we ‘know but don’t (consciously) know’, a purging of detritus that may have gathered around our instinctual knowledge and responses, freeing up alignment of understanding with The Truth, whatever that may be. This offers a powerful re-making, and simultaneously we see Mercury trine Zeus in Air, giving us the opportunity to have a clear mental conduit for ambition and desire expression. Do actively address these energies, because in a week the transiting Sun moves to the midpoint of Pluto-Sedna, illuminating the Truth and Instinct situation–and if you’ve done the required housecleaning and mental ordering, you’ll have a chance to see the results–that is, a manifestation of the clarity you have (or haven’t) brought to goals, aims, and the things you want. And, Venus makes her conjunction to the Sun on 24 March, after chasing Sol into Aries–which should bring another point when all that housekeeping will pay off, in spite of the awkwardness of Venus having to ‘show her stuff’ in a sign that encourages her to be less-than-subtle.

This Week

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We focus a bit on Neptune this week, over at Fragrantica ‘Triumph of Neptune’ By Bon Boullogne 1699 {{PD}}

I’ve been featured over at my friend, astrologer Zoran Cerar’s site, Fragrantica, in his weekly. Check it out if you’d like!

Be aware, the Sun will conjoin Neptune in just three days, and Venus and the Moon won’t be far behind, with the planet of assets and relationships making conjunction on the 13th. Proceed with ideals front and center, remain cognizant of the possibility of deception (including misleading yourself), and if at all possible, plunge forward with ‘the Dream’, because this is prime time for both seeing it clearly (what a contradiction, with Neptune involved!) and for seeing how to make it pay off.

Have a lovely Sunday, and a great week!

Real-Life ‘Clue’: The Case of the Disappearing Lord

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Lord and Lady Lucan, back in the day. She was just recently found deceased in the same Belgravia house where the nanny’s murder occurred. Fair use, multiple sources

This an ECLIPSE re-print from 2015 with some new material added, a wee mystery to ponder this weekend. Have a great one! jd

If Ian Fleming, Agatha Christie, and Ian McEwan had each jumped into a time machine, met in a mutually agreed upon cozy writing spot, and together woven a story of a dashing noble who gambles himself deep into debt, is suspected of murder, and the very day following the murder vanishes without a trace, they would’ve written something astonishingly close to the life of Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan, a gambler and gadabout who at one point was considered for the movie role of James Bond. Lord Lucan (born 18 December 1934 ntk at Marylebone/ London United Kingdom) took the privilege accorded him due to birth and parlayed that into a miserable marriage and a gambling debt equivalent to half a million dollars in today’s coin.

On the evening of November 7, 1974, the nanny for Lord Lucan’s children was murdered in the basement of the family home. Lucan did not live in the house at the time, but he did come to the house that evening and got into a physical fight with his wife when she came downstairs looking for the nanny, who hadn’t returned with tea, as expected. Both Lucan and his wife were bloodied and bruised, and eventually retreated together to the bathroom to tend their wounds, according to the account of Lucan’s wife, Veronica, and his daughter, who saw them after the fight. Lucan left (presumably before the nanny’s body had been discovered), stopped by a friend’s house in the wee hours of the morning of the 8th, and was never heard from again.

The working theory all these years is that Lucan is the killer; the supposition is that he mistook the nanny, a petite woman with long, strawberry blond hair who bore an uncanny resemblance to wife Veronica, for his alimony-demanding, custody-of-the-kids holding, ex-spouse. There is lots of circumstantial evidence to support this, including the police finding a car he had borrowed that contained his fingerprints, the nanny’s blood, and a lead pipe very similar to the one used to kill his employee. He told the friend he visited that night, who is the last person known to have seen him alive, that he saw someone attacking the nanny through the basement window, and went into the house to help. His wife and son both believe he likely killed himself out of guilt, but no body has been found, and whatever happened, he left without his keys, passport, eyeglasses, and other important small bits, suggesting a certain finality to events, whether he died or changed his identity.

Unfortunately we don’t have a birth time for Lucan, but when we set a transit chart for the early morning hours of the 8th and compare it with the natal placements, we still get some compelling contacts. First we might try to ascertain whether he was of a mind to kill that evening, and especially if he might’ve targeted his spouse. His natal Venus in Capricorn is square his natal Mars in Libra, setting him up to expect conflict in man-woman scenarios, and the midpoint of transiting Ceres-Juno sextiled this Venus, suggesting at that point he could’ve easily seen his wife as a vengeful force of Nature—and with transiting Sedna trine n Venus and Black Moon Lilith sesquiquadrate it natally, he may have been primed to act out, a temporary ‘blind spot’ nicely masking anything about his relationships that would contradict the in-born belief that women were Lilith-like and the carriers of unreasonable rage (as a male-oriented society inevitably characterizes BML energy)—all stoking his resentment of his wife.

We might ask, does Lucan have it in him to kill? Of course, the natal chart can only give clues, not definitive answers, but there are a few interesting things of note. Lucan has a natal Sun-Vesta conjunction, suggesting the potential for him to see himself as sacred, upping the chance he would easily take affront or act out in ways designed to protect himself. His natal Pluto quincunxes his Sun and Saturn, making it apex to a Finger of God, and opposes natal Juno, a recipe for destruction triggered by any threat to what he’s built, especially if it should come from the spouse. His natal Uranus-Pluto square, which may have offered spontaneous, burn-’em-all-down fireworks as a matter of course, was at the time of the murder filled in as a Fist of God by t Neptune, suggesting that those Uranus-Pluto impulses may not have seen clearly their own expression, acted out in defense of an ideal, a fantasy, or a delusion (and see later for more potentials for this config). And there is the way t Uranus is at 29 degrees of Libra, setting up a general atmosphere of strain and sudden action in partnerships of all kinds.

Transiting Mercury was squaring his natal Pluto (difficult messages/ communications/ thoughts that hinted at destruction) and t Jupiter formed apex with these two to a Fist of God. This is a vote for suicide, with Jupiter the planet associated with the leave-taking of death; certainly, dark thoughts could’ve driven him in that direction. That t Merc was also sextile his natal Sun, tying thoughts to his sense of identity and well-being. Too, t BML sextiled his Mercury and both were quincunx t Saturn, forming a Finger of God that implies he might’ve felt enormous mental pressure to do something in the physical world to address things. And, t Sun-Venus were just moving off natal Jupiter, perhaps suggesting to him that suicide might be the most rewarding way out.

Also of note: that in the early morning hours the transiting Leo Moon (the kind we can’t help thinking about ourselves under) squared his (supposed) natal Taurus Moon, while t Uranus had been putting steady pressure on Luna for some time. This argues for emotionally charged tension surrounding the Self, one’s impulses, and the future, while t Saturn squared natal Sedna, suppressing the instincts and perhaps insisting he had no ‘blind spot’, everything was just as he assessed it. t Pallas was also trining that Moon, reinforcing the idea that the emotional reactions were giving him smart guidance, in spite of the results. Should his natal Moon actually be in early Gemini (possible if his birth occurred later in the day), he would still receive a stressful square from the transiting Moon, and we can add one from t Ceres, as well, perhaps making the pressure from females confident and in charge of their own autonomy and domain more than he could bear.

His large gambling debts imply he might’ve been a prime target for a hit, as he’d owed for years and there were no prospects for new income in the future (in fact, his natal Pluto in Cancer square his Uranus-Pallas, clearly spelling out his Self-destructive tendencies, triggered by transiting North Node-Vesta-Neptune, forming a Fist of God—the smack down may have been something he always imagined, and was always headed for—it may even have been something he courted, revering the idea of payback). A 1975 inquest held that he was guilty of the murder and convicted him in absentia, so there’s little incentive for him to ever surface again, if he is alive.  Theories of his fate abound, everything from being whisked from the country by MI5 and hidden in a Greek monastery to being fed to the tigers of zoo owner, gambling hall impresario, and close friend (to whom he presumably owed a lot of money) John Aspinall, but my favorite is that he took off for New Zealand, where he lives still with a goat named ‘Camilla’.

So, to review, it’s Lord Lucan, in the basement, with the lead pipe.

And has the mystery been solved?

Musings on the Signs: Scorpio

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Scorpio and the preceding sign, Libra By Alexander Jamieson 1822 {{PD}}

As stated in a previous post: decades ago I’d written most of a book on something I termed the Void, the ways we malfunction when we deny, distort, or otherwise misinterpret our Lunar needs (those signified by our natal Moon placement). I talked about the Gap, the space between our genuine needs and our misunderstanding of those needs, and our inadequate attempts to bridge the two, with a goal of offering ways to recognize and remedy these imbalances. The book didn’t go anywhere (it was never completed), but it seems like now might be a good time to pick the bones for any tasty bits they may contain, and if I find enough worth passing on to you, dear Reader, I’ll probably also include it in the Moon book (as the fundamental need is based on Luna), with the new book to be finished (I’ve been working on it every day!) sometime before I expire. I hope. Here on the blog I’ll be posting, in no particular order, some of my thoughts on sign needs and dysfunction, for your edification, discussion, and rebuttal, as inspired by that old manuscript. Today, Scorpio.

What does the Scorpion need, with her sting and her exoskeleton and her deeply perceptive nature? She needs to feel powerful, of course. We can see that the defensiveness of the stinger is a response to the emotional sensitivity of Water, and the exoskeleton a response to the Fixed nature of the sign, as the hardness, the unchangeability, gives the sense of protection, surety, security–but what of the ability of Scorpio to peer straight into the depths of the darkness, unflinchingly? Wouldn’t that prompt fear? Yes, and Scorpio’s need, then, is to feel as if she can handle what she sees–and she sees a sense of power as the answer to her needs: power over the emotions and the emotional nature, enough power to feel safe, and enough power not to be threatened by change or the Truth, no matter what meaning that Truth holds.

We all need to feel we can have an impact on our environment; that’s not unique to Scorpio. Without this belief, we succumb to depression and hopelessness, or we try to prove we do have power via ruthless manipulation of people, things, or circumstances. So, this is a normal need, common to everyone, but Scorpio takes it one step further: Scorpio needs to see their impact through real change, transformation of what surrounds them, or through the wielding of Truth, sometimes like a shield, and sometimes like a bludgeon. They’re not just happy knowing that they have freedom of a kind, or that they have chosen or acted; they must change the landscape in deep and permanent ways for their need to be met, and that means they’re compelled to go beyond what the rest of us do. Scorpionic power brings irretrievable shifts and transformations, like casting a spell from which one can’t escape, or drinking poison that has no antidote, and it’s the no-turning-back quality of it that elevates this sign’s urge from a need to A Need–in fact, the principle one for the sign.

A Scorpio who hasn’t yet accepted that power expression as a legitimate need may project that intensity onto others, believing they make her ‘walk on eggshells’ or that they have hidden agendas or prejudices she can’t pinpoint but believes they’re intent on injecting into events, and so results. Scorpio may disown her own power, casting herself as at the mercy of others or circumstances; a listless Scorpio is a Scorpio who is abdicating not just her power but her responsibility, as well. The Will may become incredibly strong in a Scorpio in denial, casting herself as opponent to, well, everything, but she needs to realize that nothing will change (paradox alert!) until she accepts that change is what she exists to make.

Ways to successfully connect to and satisfy our Scorpio energy (for even if we don’t have a placement there, we all have it in our charts, so that at the very least, matters of the House where Scorpio falls will require dealing with this energy) include allowing the experience of unpleasant emotions (we must learn that we can safely look into the abyss, see what we see, and return from it, enlightened in some way. Scorpio teaches us that an encounter with the darkness doesn’t end in oblivion). We must also proactively learn to negotiate; the Scorpionic energy sees these kind of interactions as a contest, a ‘Sting ’til You Win’ scenario. What’s really needed is to understand that successful negotiation requires both parties get something out of the deal–if they don’t, it reveals itself to be a war, with one party collecting the spoils, the other angry and in ruins.

Scorpio energy needs to practice taking steps that make a discernible difference in the life. Start small, until you’re comfortable with the energy, by using Taurean pursuits, such as cooking, artisanal creation, or measures taken to insure comfort, to bring about changes that impact the senses. That will help ground the Fixed Water, with its natural tendency to need but resist flow; in drawing in other elements, and manipulating materials, we give that Scorpio urge something to grab on to, resonating with the Fixed energy, and we offer something tangible that prompts an emotional response, satisfying the Water factor.

When it comes to relationships, it’s pretty obvious Scorpio is more Self-protective than most. What looks like them being mysterious is really them lurking inside their own feelings, unwilling to show those feelings even to themselves. Dark and brooding may seem attractive, but more often than not it’s a symptom, one where unacknowledged and even unrecognized emotion is bubbling to the surface, making disorienting and unsteady feeling in a Scorpio who just wants to nail that feeling down and control it–and if you think of Scorpio disowning the feeling nature, that’s really the picture you get, someone desperately trying to nail water in place! They’ll have to connect that it’s okay to feel a feeling, that just having an emotion doesn’t unleash world-crushing destruction, to the fact that they’ll experience feelings and that those feelings will naturally change and change again, fluctuating as they flow in relationships, and that they’ll be able to handle it. Nothing scares a Scorpio like chaos (though the ones who love it are convinced they’ll get power out of it, making them black hat Scorpions), which is why it’s so ironic that Scorpios who don’t accept their need for power create such chaos around themselves. The other Scorpio fear is too much routine, promising no change at all, that can strike them like a waking nightmare. So go figure. Carpe diem, my Scorpio friends–you can handle it.

Full Moon in Virgo 27 February 2021 Due & Payable

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‘A Jar Of Peaches’ By Claude Monet 1866, well before deteriorating eyesight made the impressionist painter’s work even more impressionistic!

Keeping our nice, tight Lunar event orbs, we see that this Full Moon, falling at 8 Virgo 57 at 12:17 AM PST, makes only a few, crisp aspects–but of course, they tell us everything we need to know.

A Full Moon brings related energies to a conclusion or peak, and in Virgo this most likely involves matters where accounting and balance sheets (including intangible spiritual or emotional ones), criticism and critical discernment (again, including those that are mere thoughts, or that address the personal and subjective, as much as those aimed at the Collective and objective), and the gathering and allotment of some kind of ‘harvest’, are prominent. This can be anything from actual bills due to the subtle workings of Karma, from a quiet judgment inside our heads to a very vocal assessment of someone or something, and from the literal distribution of goods to the gain or loss of rewards, in either case likely anticipated in some, possibly very nebulous, form (a notion that occurs to us, right out of the blue, and is just as quickly gone, for instance).

The Moon-Earth conjunction forms apex to a Finger of God, with base of Chiron-Saturn. Oww! We may be asking ourselves just exactly where and why ‘it’ hurts (or where and why we’re having this sensation, which is not necessarily painful, it may just be new, or something we haven’t felt for a long time), and we may be acutely aware of how our own responses to reality have created this denouement. The presence of Chiron gives us two possibilities: one is that we’re seeing the real-world consequences of our own woundedness, which may have driven previous actions or choices, and so brought us to this point. The other possibility is that we are seeing the results of what we’ve built through unique talent expression, through utilizing that particular ability that is so unique to us.

The Full Moon also trines Uranus and, with a little leniency, the Black Moon Lilith point. This suggests, very simply, surprise, probably centered in something we’ve been striving not to think about, or that has angered us, implying that what’s delivered may have the ring of justice, or the requirement that we accept things as they are. And, we see a sesquiquadrate to Pluto, telling us that whatever occurs may through difficult circumstances change everything, or that the Truth will be exposed, transforming for the good, or conversely the rot will be exposed, with the tough option of cleaning it up. It’s especially hard to know if Pluto in the mix is a good thing, as so much of what Pluto brings, even when the ultimate result is positive, can be especially hard to process, get through, or even survive, and it often temporarily gives an ‘end of the world’ feeling.

The Sabian for the Full Moon is, ‘An Expressionist Painter At Work’. I’m thinking this tells us that we need to take a ‘higher up’ view of events around this Lunar occurrence, one that takes in the broad picture, rather than focusing too much on any one detail (and this Full Moon may throw many details at us, considering its placement in Virgo). It reminds me of a scene in the immortal, Jane Austen inspired work, ‘Clueless’, a movie where the main character, the teenage Cher, describes someone or something (and I’m paraphrasing here) as ‘a real Monet’–that is, a mess if you insist on getting up close to it, but making a beautiful picture if you pull back and take it in at a distance–or, in the case of a person, someone who seems together, until you get a gander at their actual circumstances or coping skills.

We also look at the Sun’s Sabian for a Full Moon: ‘A Jockey Spurs His Horse, Intent On Outdistancing His Rivals’. This suggests that competitiveness may drive us (and is echoed by a minor aspect of the Full Moon, a semi-square to Zeus). What we want, and what we can do about it, is spurring us on at this time. We need to be aware that it’s ourselves, rather than externals, that have created the current scenario, with circumstances we’ve initiated determining its outcome.

It’s a time of ‘getting what we deserve’. If that phrase makes you excited, then good, you know deep within that you’ve been adding to the Collective in a positive way, and it’ll be paying off; and if it makes you uneasy, then just know there’s something, either in your methods or your motives, that needs purging–and Pluto will be around to help.

Thank you, everyone! Take care out there, and Happy Full Moon!

Musings on the Signs: Virgo

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Virgo https://www.raremaps.com/gallery/detail/30844op/virgo-stars-heightened-in-gold-bayer
Johann Bayer {{PD}}

Decades ago I’d written most of a book on something I termed the Void, the ways we malfunction when we deny, distort, or otherwise misinterpret our Lunar needs (those signified by our natal Moon placement). I talked about the Gap, the space between our genuine needs and our misunderstanding of those needs, and our inadequate attempts to bridge the two, with a goal of offering ways to recognize and remedy these imbalances. The book didn’t go anywhere (it was never completed), but it seems like now might be a good time to pick the bones for any tasty bits they may contain, and if I find enough worth passing on to you, dear Reader, I’ll probably also include it in the Moon book (as the fundamental need is based on Luna), with the new book to be finished (I’ve been working on it every day!) sometime before I expire. I hope. Here on the blog I’ll be posting, in no particular order, some of my thoughts on sign needs and dysfunction, for your edification, discussion, and rebuttal, as inspired by that old manuscript. First up, Virgo.

It starts with a fundamental need: for Virgo, the need is to accept ‘what is’. With Mercury as its ruler, we might think that the need would be a mental one, and it is; if we tailor that idea to the proclivities of Virgo, what we find is that the mentality is employed in a function of discernment–and it’s this automatic impulse to judge, sort, categorize, assess, and account for, that is to discriminate via characteristics, that can also describe certain weaknesses, namely a tendency to believe that because the inclination is to judge, that judging is necessary, that every circumstance must be vetted and assessed by the Virgo energy. As in all things, for all people, just because Virgo can, doesn’t necessarily mean Virgo should.

Healthy discrimination and discernment are the ability to perceive differences and/ or comprehend relative worth (‘worth’ being defined as uses and/ or functions) between or among persons or objects. This differs from criticism and judgment in a single, important way: it doesn’t assign a valuation or character of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ to what is. It instead encourages the understanding of what exists and the recognition of its worth without imposing an idea of worthiness, or a moral assessment.

Wherever our Virgo energies are by House, we run the risk of failing or refusing to recognize and accept reality, and when in that state of Beingness we’ll be unable to sort appropriate from inappropriate behavior, or know which is the baby, which is the bathwater. For instance, we can easily discriminate between a butterfly and a moth. We can discern their differing functions and note the variations in appearance. If we make a critical judgment of butterflies and moths, though, we may judge moths to be ugly (no pretty colors) and ‘bad’ (they eat our woolens), while we may judge butterflies to be beautiful and ‘good’.

It’s one thing to recognize disparities and understand differences, it’s quite another to make pronouncements on the worth of, in our example, the moth and the butterfly; that kind of judgment means the conclusions reached aren’t objective absolutes, and if there’s room for disagreement, then one has rendered an opinion, not stated a fact, and so wandered into subjective criticism territory.

By Charles J. Sharp – Own work, from Sharp Photography, sharpphotography, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25023269

To work through the shadow side of Virgo, reality must be seen and accepted; that is, Virgo energy must know all about what makes the butterfly different from the moth, and in acknowledging the factual nature of these differences, let go of the prerogative seized, that of believing Virgo is entitled to judge the value of the life and functions of the moth vs. the butterfly. Two things help in acceptance of ‘what is’: 1) refuse to allow the mind to dictate priorities (as in believing in the rightness of its own judgments), and 2) realize that it’s inappropriate to sit in judgment of anything (and remember, this is much different than discrimination/ discernment). As soon as we give a ‘value label’, we distance ourselves, making the world and others into ‘things’ and reinforcing the proclivity to judge.

The difficult part for Virgo is that the facility for discernment is an asset, a strength–but anything used to excess inevitably warps into a liability–and this is what Virgo faces, the need to learn to accept the way things are, and to use that facility for discernment to determine whether judging is even the right thing for them to do. Assessment is Virgo’s natural response to, well, everything, but not every situation requires forensic dissection, nor is a pronouncement about the state or quality of every component of every situation desirable. Virgo won’t know that until the ability for discernment is firmly focused on reality, and simultaneously awareness is achieved that the autonomy and authenticity of others, and of things, situations, feelings, everything that makes up the fabric of life, has not only its own character, but an unquestioned right to exist, and that those things will be what they are whether or not Virgo judges them. Virgo must learn that the very fact something exists isn’t an invitation for a critique.

For Virgo, this all comes from a pure intent, one that strives to improve everything in its sphere. If we’re talking about a Virgo Moon, then we need to understand that there is an emotional need to feel competent, organized, informed, ready to ‘share the harvest’ in whatever form Virgo recognizes it as taking–and as well, there’s a fear of not having a clear accounting, of not having a sense of who’s responsible for what, and a fear of being in possession of a list of criticisms that aren’t being addressed. These conditions, linked with the Lunar consciousness, will feel like chaos to Virgo, like the Piscean energy of its opposite number has thrown a shroud of fog and confusion over Virgo’s attempt to keep careful, detailed books–and for Virgo, nothing could be (or feel) worse.

Though I’ve focused here on the shadow characteristics of the sign, Virgo excels in some of the most vital qualities to guarantee not just survival, but an ability to thrive. The properties Virgo offers allow us to discern the poisonous berry from the edible one, because Virgo took the time to study the fruit’s characteristics, to note in what ways they differ, and to make remembering (another Mercury function) what we know about these berries important. Virgo’s also the one who wrote down the recipe for berry pie, and paid attention to what conditions the berries needed so that we could plant them close to home. Am I making Virgo sound a little plodding, a little too mundane? But that’s the beauty of it! Virgo knows things, knows the details, and shares that knowledge in a clear and comprehensive fashion–and that’s something we should thank them for.

Things to think about, related to your Virgo energy: consider that interactions don’t need to be tracked on a balance sheet, of who owes what to whom; in what way do you freely serve related to Virgo? Do you ever give anonymously, and keep it anonymous? That would be your Virgo! List things you like about yourself (not physical features) and consider ways you can share these qualities with others in forms that benefit them; what’s the goal, when you offer criticism? How do you feel about partnership and sharing? Those can be two ‘prickly pear’ issues in chart areas where Virgo is located. Do you delight in attending to details, joyously getting lost in the texture of them, or do you resent them, feeling like they slow down progress?

Signs your Virgo energy is operating in shadow mode: overly critical, sometimes using this as the only form of communication, critical of others ‘for their own good’; detail obsessed (and consequently not giving enough attention to the Big Picture; proud of perfectionism; pettiness; lacking a sense of priorities and proportions (for example, making the color of the car as important as its performance); confusing productivity with busyness; fixes and serves even when those efforts are intrusive; the humble-brag of ‘I’m just a worker bee’ (false modesty) no matter what the actual role, accompanied by a laundry list of what the larger organization ‘needs to do to improve’; cattiness or gossip meant to make yourself look informed or better than the one criticized (where Gemini’s gossip is more about spreading info, even when it’s unproductive)

Signs your Virgo energy is operating really well: a rhythm to proceedings/ efforts; not offering an opinion unless asked; being organized in such a way that a larger purpose is served; knowing what information is important, and willingly sharing it; taking on responsibilities without resentment; taking care of the Big Picture simultaneous to attending to meaningful details; having and using good judgment; you know where everything is! work and play are balanced; any debt is well-handled; appreciation of dry humor and word-play; no issues with sorting through possessions, coupled with an ease at throwing out what’s no longer needed; able to edit the life and keep it on track toward goals; the patience to ‘nurse’ things along, when appropriate

Special note for those with: Pluto in Virgo=when activated this can plunge you down a complicated, labyrinthine rabbit hole in matters related to the House where it’s posited, confusing you, stymieing you, causing you to tilt at windmills, or it can make you a genius at organization and research in House areas, with info at the ready to support change, and an always-transforming-according-to-new-information attitude. You’re not scared of change, sex, death, or the Karmic ledger, you just want to always be completely informed about your status with each

Uranus in Virgo=Higher Mind can get bogged down in details or regulations, with this placement, and the group may exert more influence than is healthy, or activation can liberate you from unnecessary constraint, as you read the contract fine print and see that many conditions don’t apply, due to your uniqueness. You can embrace the academic and flow with the serendipitous accident or spontaneous idea or improvisation, just as long as you feel you know what you’re agreeing to

Saturn in Virgo=myopia is the dysfunctional expression of this, where you miss the forest for the seedlings underfoot, but it also means that under other circumstances reality delivers a sparkling, informative load of detail and meaning to you, giving you a navigation and decision-making advantage. Control of information flow or contract terms may be a big deal for you in some way; you’d do well to learn when you can lighten up and enjoy the fruits of your labor, and when it’s paramount you pay attention and buckle down

I hope you’ve enjoyed this! I don’t know when I’ll get back with a post about another sign, but will be back with a Full Moon report within a week. Until then, thank you, and stay safe!

Being of One Mind

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Keeping action aligned with intention is the only way to exert any control over outcomes. Like parents raising a child together, the varied parts of the psyche must work in harmony, so that what they create is healthy and sustainable. Portrait of Army Surgeon Ernst Boman and his Family, By Johan Krouthén 1888 {{PD}}

Do you live straddling two contradictory streams? Do you say, ‘I only spread love and light,’ and then post politically or religiously or racially divisive statements, attend hate-supporting gatherings, or laugh at those who are different (or who are seen as fair game, in your world)? Do you complain about your significant other, openly contemplating (even planning) divorce, flirting or even cheating, and then play up certain dates with all the romantic trappings and expectations, demanding you be treated as ‘the only one’? Do you prize (and require in others), for example, loyalty, or honesty, but reserve for yourself the ‘right’ to be disloyal or dishonest when it suits you (because your reason to do it is always a ‘good’ one)? No, I didn’t think you did, but there are many who do, and frankly, we’re surrounded by them right now! It’s the effect of Vesta opposed Neptune, challenging every single one of us to put lots of daylight between what we honor and treat as sacred, and the natural human propensity to fudge it all, just a bit, to live in a fantasy, to blur the lines or tell a fib, to ourselves or others, in the name of being gentle, or keeping the peace, or getting our way, or just plain avoiding a hassle.

The two energies actually carry a large number of similar themes: ideals, and particularly the imaginative ideals conceived in flawless form through pure creativity, as well as the spiritual ideal applied not just to the individual Soul but to the state of humanity, are all Neptune, while the Vestal counterpart is the identification and treatment of particular beliefs, practices, things, individuals, causes, and ideals in the life as sacred, honored, with aimed-for realization in an ideal form the goal. When these two oh-so-similar energies meet in opposition, we’re faced with embracing one and denying the other–and that’s an ‘all or nothing’ proposition, requiring a clear-cut choice. We can’t just lie a little, at this time, just do a little dishonest or deceptive thing, because battle lines are drawn–we can’t be a little pregnant, a little dead, or a little Neptunian in our behavior, without claiming it all as our own, because that puts us in an anti-position to the Vestal values of dedication, integrity, and the sacred.

As we undergo the New Moon new start, we see not only this opposition but a Venus-Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius that’s notable, because it acts as a kind of positive bridge connecting Vesta-Neptune, the NM, and the Saturn results of later in the month, and it does so via that Uranian-Aquarius commonality. It offers Higher Mind and the belief system a clear understanding of the rewards of a heart-oriented stance, of taking a generous and ideal-guided approach, and offers the opportunity to align the Self with Love, to kindly apply ‘the facts’ to what we care about. When we do that there’s no room for deception, no room to split consciousness along two divergent (and so both inauthentic) paths. If we do by chance grab the wrong end of the Neptune-Vesta stick, we may find ourselves at this point undergoing exaggerated heartsickness or heartbreak, punitively high costs in worldly efforts, we may get a bill for having ignored ‘the facts’, or we may see those beliefs we hold precious directly challenged by something or someone fact-oriented and forward-thinking.

We need to take into account that the Saturn-Uranus square will perfect on the 17th, and is already within orb. This will deliver in real-world terms the results of any rebelliousness, unreliability, erratic behavior, or Self-restriction we’ve imposed–but it will also bring the results of hard work aligned with Higher Mind, inventive or innovative efforts, and those things done in genuine service to the group. This will very likely tie back to the Neptune-Vesta opposition, with that setting the tone, leavened by Venus-Jupiter, showing the outcome to our responses through that mix of Saturnian-Uranian real-world circumstances.

Now, go ‘be intentional’, and of one mind!

The New Moon of the 11th is here–

New Moon in Aquarius 11 February 2021 What Are We Waiting For?

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‘Waiting’ By Henri de Toulouse Lautrec 1887 {{PD}}

The New Moon perfects at 11:05 AM PST on the 11th at 23 Aquarius 16, but before it does, we pass through the pre-New Moon three day period known as The Dark of the Moon, notable for its absence of Lunar light. This is a period when forward momentum can be sidetracked or stalled, and new projects will sputter, fail to get off the ground, or later require a rehaul or restart–and that’s doubly so during Mercury retrograde, currently in effect.

What can we do during this period? Normally we’d do best to drift and dream, meditate and relax, to connect through silence or dreams to the non-verbal perceptions, but during this Dark period we have a slightly different mandate: it starts with the Inferior Conjunction of Sun and Mercury on the 8th, an inception point for development related to matters of the House where the contact occurs, specifically around shifts in thought, plans, and where we’re putting our attention–and it continues as later that day the Sun meets Pallas, with the Moon to pass over Pallas just over two hours before the New Moon perfects. All this speaks to reconsideration of Mercurial subjects that leads to a wiser take on things, and to a smart or more practical new beginning shown by the New Moon event.

Otherwise, this New Moon doesn’t make much notable contact at all. Its closest aspect is a trine to Zeus in Libra, suggesting that Higher Mind revelations (Aquarius) in relationships and their role in ambition and desire fulfillment (Zeus in Libra) will lead to greater understanding–but understanding of what? For some this might be revelation in relationships themselves, a more accurate view of how they work on a daily basis, and what each party gets out of them, but for many of us the emphasis will be on how our interactions with others color, constrict, shape, or curtail our own efforts toward ambition realization. We may become acutely aware of how we modify our efforts to accommodate relationships, and how we modify relationships so we can pursue our goals, and we’re very likely to see where we need a re-think on the whole thing, with this re-consideration informing the latter half of the Merc retro cycle.

Too, Zeus speaks of the power balance within any relationship, the ways in which we get our needs met but must accept that others, too, have needs, and that the clash between these two sets of wants can be chaotic, a contest between our desire for the relationship and our desire for, well, just about anything else that creates an appetite. With Juno, the asteroid of empowerment, and signifier of Zeus’ partner, placed sextile Mercury from her spot in Sagittarius and conjoined the South Node at the time of the New Moon, we definitely see a rise of smoke from smoldering relationship issues, and between the New Moon of revelation and understanding (Aquarius) and the Merc retro cycle, we are likely to find these issues cropping up, many of them as direct power issues and some as an outright clash of wants between partners.

We might also want to count a very loose square to Sedna, only in contention because Sun and Moon are approaching rather than retreating from the aspect. This might give just the barest hint, the vaguest echo, a mere wisp of an idea that trouble may be on the horizon. This might take the shape of Self-sabotaging instincts or an insistence on not admitting that everyone, including ourselves, has a blind spot–and this might be just the time when we need some reflection (the Moon) from those with whom we’re in relationship (that Libran Zeus)–because that’s exactly what we’re offering them, too.

The New Moon Sabian is, ‘A Man, Having Overcome His Passions, Teaches Deep Wisdom In Terms Of His Experience’. I’ve not much to add to that since it seems we’ve already covered this same message via aspects, but will point out that the symbol strikes a hopeful note, as the messiness that is natural to relationships will show us what we need to know, and make us wiser in the process.

Have a lovely week, everyone!

Considering the 12th House

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By Willard Metcalf – National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., online collection, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57432861

What follows is a re-print from an issue of ECLIPSE. Have a great weekend!

When I first studied Astrology (back in the last century!) it was hard to get a straight answer about how the 12th House really worked in an individual’s life. Since this House contains the ephemeral (spiritual experiences and practices, dreams, the unconscious) and big concept entities (large institutions, especially those that work in secret or where people are shut away, such as hospitals and asylums, connection to the Collective and to the Cosmos itself) it’s easy to see why it presents such a challenge to define; typically what was passed on for any House was a kind of shorthand formula, keywords that were meant to tell us succinctly what we had to look for. In the case of the 12th, the phrase was, ‘Serve or Suffer’, explained as the attitude that must pertain to any matters or energies connected to the House—either you served humankind through one of the 12th House concepts, groups, entities, or through a spiritual service or practice, or you suffered. And in spite of all your best intentions, with the unconscious material sitting in this House, just above the horizon (and so just out of your conscious reach), there might still be suffering through that mechanism wherein the unconscious sets up circumstances in order to bring us a particular experience.

‘Serve or suffer’ always struck me as too fire-and-brimstone, too much like the kind of religious admonition that sounds a lot like a threat: “Be good, or you’ll go to hell!” That’s no way to win recruits, and it didn’t really make the 12th House any clearer—if anything, it seemed to ask us to choose a sign-related 12th activity or entity and then to give a part of ourselves to that cause and just hope we’d please the gods and avoid being struck by lightning! That seemed fear-mongering at worst, and just generally less sincerely productive than true service could and should be at best, and it made me think a lot about what the House, and the phrase, might actually signify.

The phrase was probably an easier sell to the astrology student a hundred years or more ago, before questioning authority and exploring beyond what we are told became a daily routine. In that space of time, we’ve seen a Collective shift (and the Collective is ruled by the 12th, of course!) toward a development of inner viewpoint and consciousness within the individual that is no longer quite so willing to become a cog in the machine and, eventually, die—instead we see a demand for at least some fulfillment in life, along with the expectation that we deserve it—not a factor for most people to any significant degree before those Collective changes.

‘Serve or Suffer’ is really about choosing between a Universal viewpoint and a personal one, with suffering being the result of concentrating on the individual experience rather than the Collective need. We are asked to give up our own interests only in this area (and intermittently in the 5th, for our children, and in the 7th, for our partner or our Art), and we’re really not given a choice in the matter; we can choose not to have children or not to partner, but we are obligated to acknowledge our part in the Universe (no matter how small we may feel when considering it!)

Placements in the 12th are typically processed in such a way that we have a very hard time seeing them in ourselves; we will often completely project these qualities, at least initially, and the House anything posited in the 12th rules can become a hot line for expression of the unconscious and for projection of the group psyche: with, for example, Neptune in the 12th and ruling the 4th, we may swear up and down that our entire family is crazy (or creative, or deluded, or liars!) when it really may just be us! This kind of response to the 12th House energy makes it ripe for the ‘Suffering’ half of the equation; if we believe that everyone else in the family is wildly imaginative and creative, and we are not (because that energy within us is ‘hidden’ in the 12th) then we suffer with the feeling that we are ‘less than’ within the family dynamic. Only through excavating and recognizing as our own those 12th House energies will we have a sense of wholeness—until then, we may acutely long for the seemingly missing factors and talents.

In this example, the individual’s need and expectation are for a disciplined, controlled, or real-world grounded approach toward the Universe (Capricorn on the 12th) that can be modeled by or learned from Others, or that can be seen as a guide that brings the 12th House attitude into dealing with Others, Art, and/ or the spouse (7th placement of ruler) and this is being disowned; the individual is seeing others as the agents of the experience, rather than directly living it through the example of others (7th) handling 12th House matters. In the case of disowning the energy, the individual sees others as the ones applying restrictive standards in 12th House areas; in the case of owning the energy, the individual learns about or sees in others examples of dealing with 12th House matters—and applies the discipline, control, or real-world grounding on their own (this is, of course, aside from any other meanings carried by that Saturn placement).

With bodies posited in the 12th, look to the position of the ruler(s) and consider how much you may or may not be projecting these energies onto the matters and individuals represented by the House where they sit, or that they rule. If the 12th is empty, look to the ruler or rulers (in the case of Aquarius and Pisces, adding ancient rulers Saturn and Jupiter, respectively, can give a much more rounded picture) for how much one may be seeing the subjects or entities represented by the House where the ruler is posited as imposing 12th House conditions on you, or on the areas of life in the House(s) ruled by the 12th ruler. For instance, ruler of the 12th in the 8th could mean you see others as having sent you to prison—whether or not this is literal, and whether or not you’ve done anything to warrant it! With ruler of the 12th in the 10th, by contrast, you may see spiritual matters, the caprice of the Cosmos, or the role of large institutions as having a big effect on the career or public reputation. Don’t be surprised if you feel some shame surrounding neglected 12th House energies—this is common, as we tend to hide in the 12th, even from ourselves, those things we find less desirable about ourselves–or we place in the 12th the guilt or regret over not having addressed Universal/ spiritual energies as we feel we should, or we store guilt or shame related to matters or others represented by the House where the ruler is placed. The reality is we need to take our time sorting through, developing, and learning how to use all chart energies—to feel bad about what we need to explore only makes us turn away, drag our feet, and maybe blame it on (or project it on) someone else.

The Weekend Word Image is criticism that freezes you in your tracks. If you’ve received something like this lately, and the effect was to stop your forward momentum, please consider: this may actually have had the goal of keeping you where you are. The critique was a feint, a distraction, meant to shake your confidence, with the real point the speaker’s desire to keep you in a place they are comfortable with. If you see it that way, you can free yourself from some needless Self-censorship, and avoid a detour that’s the opposite of helpful.

So, Should We Panic? Mercury Retrograde

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‘The Magdalen Reading’ By Rogier van der Weyden Before 1438 {{PD}}

No, of course not! Mercury’s apparent retrograde happens often, in the larger scheme of things, and is merely meant to make us pause, to consider information we might have sped past, overlooked, or need to edit. There’s no negative intent; the mischief maker comes forward when we try to ignore that need to slow down and consider. The pause in the forward portion of the cycle is meant to make us reflect on how we process communication (both going in and coming out) and how we reason, and we are supposed to ask ourselves a different ‘framing’ question, relative to each element in which the planet backtracks: what do I think? for Air signs, what do I feel? in Water, what do I need, or how is this affecting the material situation? in Earth, and what must I do? in Fire.

This time the retro happens, and stays within, the sign of Aquarius–‘What do I think?’ with the aim for the re-think directly linked to the meanings related to the sign, in this case, mulling the role of and information from the Higher Mind, the new, inventive, or innovative, with the ultimate goal of understanding. This applies specifically to the matters of the House where the retro occurs, and includes consideration of the element-themed question in relation to any natal bodies or points posited in this sign.

There are currently a great many transiting bodies in Aquarius: the Sun, Pallas, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury, and that means a lot of contact to anything one carries in the sign could be coming from any one, or any combo of, these energies, aside from the Mercury cycle concerns. Add to this the way a Merc retro period, whether we approve or not, removes the ability to think or reason clearly, and we have the recipe for some confusion and not a little bit of frustration. Our attention is here, in the area of Aquarius natally and on the matters of the House that holds the sign (the Sun), we feel pressure to discern what’s wise or practical in related situations (Pallas), we feel the influence of the social sphere (and maybe have the sense that we’re being observed, even as we may be noting opportunities–Jupiter), and we could experience a pushme-pullyou between Jupiter and Saturn, as the energy of expansion and optimism goes head-to-head with caution, the need for boundaries and security, and the pressure to hold back or apply discipline, in an area of the chart that’s already very busy. We may even feel this as a desire to be free, to let go, vs a fear-based urge to hunker down, conserve, to preserve what is, rather than to let loose.

The thing is, Mercury retrograde asks us to stop relying so heavily on the brain. It needs a break, just like anything else! So our best means of handling the need to process information at a time when our usual channels are more or less ‘down’ becomes one that accesses information through senses other than the mind. We need to practice vetting input via the feeling nature; we need to bypass the brain, and listen to the heart.

We won’t, though, necessarily have a clear conduit there, because in asking Venus and the Moon to step in for the mental faculties, we’re asking ourselves to both accept feelings as valid information (with out the kibitzing of the mind), and do our best not to insist on translating what we perceive into the language of the mind, that is, into words. Not an easy task, especially if we’re naturally inclined to sift everything through the thought processes (I’m talking to you, natal Mercury in Air!)

Too, the Lunar perceptions wax and wane, so that the intuition may not always be available when we want it, and both natal Venusian energies and Lunar ones will be affected by any transits they’re receiving, in effect placing a lens over our perceptual abilities that may make them unwieldy or distort what we can glean from them.

That all sounds so pessimistic–but really, this period asks us to practice feeling, to trust the feeling nature to convey valuable intel, and to let the retro period unwind tangled areas where we may lack accurate understanding (Aquarius). This time Mercury turns around without being in major contact with any other energy, and without forming any new aspects for some time, and that suggests a kind of isolation, a period where the mind will be ‘on its own’, so to speak–and that implies an effect similar to meditation, where contemplation occurs whether we intend it to or not, as the mental faculties are largely cut off from their customary patterns of digesting and expressing.

The usual warnings apply, of course, since an unclear mind is one that shouldn’