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‘La fille à la cigarette’, Anders Zorn, 1892 {{PD}}

Mars enters Leo, and we may be hard pressed to control ourselves; we’re either reacting out of fear, anger, or a desperate attempt to avoid something, or we’re feeling like victims of the sudden, the accidental, or of group-think. The rough part is that we feel especially competent, poised to exert our Will, show our skills, or dazzle with our desires or our goals–so sitting back while we receive some shocks from the Universe seems almost impossible.

We need to be careful, particularly in relationships and finances, that ‘unhealthy’ attitudes and emotions (specifically, those that have been denied or kept hidden, even from ourselves) don’t leak out and interfere with, even derail, conscious intentions. In fact, to be as honest within our own minds as possible is the only effective way to get a handle on what swirls around us. Wisdom and practicality offer avenues for and means of empowerment–everything else is essentially spinning our wheels.

Today’s word image is a half-smoked cigarette smoldering in an ashtray. This is actually a memory of mine, from when I was five. Someone had left a cigarette burning, perched on the edge of the ashtray, and just within reach of my infant brother’s flailing little fists (can you imagine? Nowadays most people wouldn’t even smoke in the same room as a baby!) My brother beat the air, made contact with the cigarette, flipped it onto the table, where it proceeded very quickly to burn through the varnished top. I ran for the adults, who at first ignored me, then finally responded–only to chastise me for touching the cigarette! Then began a round of recriminations among the adults: why did you leave a lit cigarette where the children could get at it? Why weren’t you watching the baby? Julie was watching the baby. You don’t have a small child watch another small child! And so on. For years after, every time I saw that burn mark on the table, I remembered the conflicting issues of that day: how I’d felt like I’d saved the day but was treated as if I’d caused the problem in the first place, and how each adult had gone to great lengths to make anything or anyone other than themselves responsible for events. The imprint it left on me was to make me feel automatically overly responsible for circumstances in my environment that were beyond my authority and beyond my control. Is there some area in your life where you have taken on a sense of responsibility, culpability, or even mission for which there is no way you should be held accountable? Astrological note: at the time of the event (I just happen to be clear on the day, as it was my brother’s one month birthday), transiting Black Moon Lilith conjoined my Jupiter, which was sextiled by transiting Mars, together making a Finger of God with apex natal Black Moon Lilith, and transiting Mercury was conjoined my natal Neptune, giving us a picture of why I wasn’t listened to or was misunderstood, how I might’ve been an easy target for blame (all that BML), and suggesting that being ignored concerning speaking out, ‘what I have to give’ (Jupiter rules my 11th) enraged me in a way I wasn’t conscious of!

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