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‘Merchant’s Wife at Tea’ By Boris Kustodiev 1917 {{PD}}

Friday the 14th we see a perfect blending of ego and action urge with instincts, making for highly successful actions and choices as long as we go totally on those programmed and in-built inclinations. Problems arise from too much conscious attention to values and priorities; this is a time when we quite literally do best to think as little as possible, and to follow the spontaneous instinctive spark we carry within–otherwise, we tie ourselves in knots trying to make material and everyday circumstances meet a ‘purity standard’ that belongs better as an ideal.

Today’s word image is the actor John Wayne. Even when I was a child, he was considered a symbol of American values–but when we inspect those values now, we see their flaws: the embrace of Manifest Destiny, which inherently carries the idea of White superiority; the romanticization of the Western way of life, including its misogynist bent, its assumption of ‘Christian’ values as right and superior, and its lack of regard for both the best interests of animals/ the land, and the rights of other cultures, especially indigenous ones; the idea of rugged individualism, a pernicious code echoing the ‘each man for himself’, ‘survival of the fittest’ ideal which celebrates Self-reliance to an absurd degree, as well as justifying unfettered greed and exploitation, and as fuel for sanctimonious refusal to help others; the romance with guns, which continues today. It may be too much to say we should look at our own ‘John Wayne attitudes’, some way in which we are unquestioningly sure we are carrying the banner of right, or making assumptions about privilege due–it may be enough to look around for and make note of where these ugly Western assumptions may still permeate our thinking, our beliefs about ourselves, our country, or our way of life.

Venus goes direct on the 15th, at 26 Pisces 54; this sends it back toward a re-perfection of that square with Saturn. We get a last taste of barriers, restrictions, obstacles, or required discipline–or we see the cost of those restrictions, or the cost of not having applied them, or what we’ve lost by following (or not following) ‘the rules’, especially as it pertains to relationships. This may present a last, bitter pill, or could show us the difficulty associated with getting what we desire, and though tough, could be the point of delivery–it’s all dependent on previous experience with this square, and the individual impact through the natal chart, especially the unique relationship of each person to the Saturn concepts (which generally dictate whether the retro period represents a ‘taking away’ or an ‘opening the way’).

There’s also a perfection of a Juno sesquiquadrate to the North Node, which on the surface might not seem like much–but when we combine it with the Venus-Saturn effect, with Venus finally leaving her retro phase, we may find, especially if we are female, that empowerment options and circumstances that should help us build our desired future will not be easily exercised. We may find that the patriarchy, the establishment, authorities, elders, or rule-enforcers put obstacles in our way, or try to suppress or stop us. Gaining empowerment is possible, as long as we are willing to work around or be flexible, in terms of those demands or restrictions being made on us.

Today’s word image is a hand-tooled leather bridle. As lovely as the workmanship on one can be, a bridle is essentially an instrument of control, one that works because of the pain it causes (via the metal bit to the sensitive mouth of a horse or other animal). Is there some external control, applied by someone else, that you’re allowing, out of fear of pain if you don’t? What freedom have you allowed to be ‘bridled’, willingly or not? Have you been indoctrinated with the idea that certain behaviors aren’t allowed, that it would be uncivilized (or unladylike, or unmanly) to indulge in them? What’s allowing someone else to ride you–that is, keep on top of you or your performance, in some way–and so control you?

On the 16th we surf an unusually smooth and pleasant minor ‘wave’ of harmonies and sychronicities. Values aid the operation of instincts, actions and choices utilize our most unique skills, and cooperation, especially cooperation between complementary elements (anima and animus, man-woman, assertive and receptive, yin and yang) flows with little effort. It all comes naturally, with the result being that we find the energy and spark to handle what we’ve been ignoring or denying, and in doing so find our personal empowerment options strengthened and elevated.

By Paolo Monti – Available in the BEIC digital library and uploaded in partnership with BEIC Foundation.The image comes from the Fondo Paolo Monti, owned by BEIC and located in the Civico Archivio Fotografico of Milan.This work is free and may be used by anyone for any purpose.

Today’s word image is a single blue balloon, floating up and away from a crowd. That is one of the saddest sights, I think, because it means some child lost their hold; that precious, fleeting pleasure of balloon ownership is, for some probably distraught young one, no more. I find the temporary nature of a balloon part of its appeal; like a flower, you know it doesn’t have a long life–and the fact that they float and fly has always made them special, too. What short-lived pleasure in your life has recently expired? Did you ever think it might simply be practice for enjoying in the moment, and letting go?

By the 17th the real world, as it is right now, is in our faces–and if we handle issues willingly, openly, we find opportunities plentiful and our ability to act unhindered. The issues revolve around deception (by others or our own of ourselves), reality as it is, rather than as we’d like it to be, and how healthy our choices are, at this time; if we can be straight with ourselves over these matters, we will find our personal effectiveness goes beyond anything we’ve been imagining, and that opportunity and support from the social sphere are attracted without any special effort on our part.

Today’s word image is a spider that dangles from a single thread of spider silk above the head of an unsuspecting individual. If you’re afraid of spiders, this might give you the heebie-jeebies–and nobody, frightened of arachnids or not, wants a creepy-crawly in their hair. This may alert us to something undesirable that is ‘hanging over our heads’–and yet we don’t know it, or are not conscious that it poses such a ‘threat’. Maybe the solution is to ‘look up’–or maybe just look around carefully, to be more aware of our surroundings at all times. 

On the 18th we once again see personal power aided by our ability to allow our instincts to call the shots; too, thinking is in line with, and attention is on, the future, allowing us to consciously guide things in the direction we’d like to go. So what’s not working? Wounds around relationships and finances may derail the entire day, unless we are able to set resentments and fears aside and simply listen to the internal pulse of call and intuitive response, without letting negative thoughts intrude.

Today’s word image is an empty closet. You’ve got nothing to hide, right? Or is this a reminder that you’ve got plenty of room, some place clean and ready to hold your things?

On the 19th what we have previously ignored now gets our full attention–and in providing that, we gain in wisdom, practicality, and our ability to affect circumstances. The world is our oyster–and we are poised to start a fresh ‘pearl’, via the Inferior Conjunction of the Sun and Mercury–which is precise about 11:01 PM Pacific time, and occurs just after the Sun’s entry into Taurus. This suggests that the seed planted here may be a physical one, the start of something materially significant, the beginning of a project, idea, or condition that has a material impact, or one involving the senses or sense-perceptions. Just a few hours later, on the 20th, Pluto retrogrades at 19 Capricorn 23, and soon thereafter we see Merc shift back into Aries. This subtly alters our retro period thinking; we change from considering material matters, comfort, and consequences to the potentials behind action and Self-responsibility. We start to consider that we are the ones who can do something about ‘it’. As a backdrop to this, Pluto’s change in apparent direction may simply emphasize the darkness, or the destructive tendencies, inherent in the forces of evolution, transformation, and change. Pluto’s retrograde gives us new appreciation for how close we may be standing to the precipice, and how much more carefully we might want to move–or giving us the urge to either back away to safety, or to jump.

By Dwayne Albert – Originally from en.wikipedia; description page was here., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2974795

Today’s word image is a pair of sleeping dogs. Do we ‘let them lie’, as in the saying, or are they not performing as they should, barking when trouble approaches? Either there’s a topic not to be touched at present, or an early warning system is down.