A reprint from a January 2013 issue of ECLIPSE:
We typically think that we must, in some form, assert ourselves in order to get what we want out of life: we set ourselves on a Path, think of ourselves as seekers, and actively look for those things we imagine will bring us satisfaction. Rarely do we sit back and allow the Universe to handle the timing; letting what we want come to us is in many ways a foreign concept, especially to the Western-educated mind. But, it’s one I’d like you to entertain, at least temporarily, as we pinpoint some components of the natal chart that promise the possibility of having the Universe serve up our desires, rather than of us having to pursue them–I’m calling them ‘The Great Attractors’.
We have a literal astronomical example in the area of 14 degrees 2 minutes Sagittarius, termed ‘The Great Attractor’. This area is described by astrophysicists as a mass concentration of what is assumed to be dark matter that exerts a gravitational pull on all objects in our region, creating a ‘flow’ in the direction of the constellation Centaurus. The Milky Way (our home) and other nearby galaxies (like Andromeda) are being inexorably pulled in this direction, yet we can’t see what’s pulling us, because the Attractor is hidden by the plane of our galaxy; in other words, our own stardust and matter obscures our view of what’s causing our movement through the Universe. The physical world acts this way in relation to the spirit: the issues we encounter with the material often obscure our spiritual Beingness, our intent. The pull of the Great Attractor is very much how the energies described by the horoscope act within us: they pull us, unseen, in particular directions, the inclinations, talents, and preferences they detail giving us our impetus in specific areas of life and setting us on a unique trajectory, one on which no one has ever traveled in quite this way before. (And just in case there’s any confusion, no, I don’t think the planets actually exert an influence on us–but I do think the planets reflect energies within us, and so act as a kind of ‘shadow play’ we are able to interpret with astrology).
Though we are always attracting things and people and events into our lives, to shift to a conscious mode of engagement with the Universe is to take an enormous step forward in consciousness; the more aware we become of unconscious material, the more ‘in control’ (if there is such a thing) we can be of the manifestations, outcomes, and developments in our lives. Of course, becoming highly conscious doesn’t mean we ‘out’ all unconscious material (after all, we have a 12th House, and it doesn’t disappear upon enlightenment!)–it simply means that we have the best chance of understanding our own energies, and our own intentions, and so in producing and/ or attracting circumstances that we actually want, at least most of the time.
Venus shows us our desire nature, not so much in that lusty, material world way of Zeus (though there is an element of this to Venus, with her concentration on assets and beauty, and her propensity for envy, jealousy, and even greed), but in a way that describes what makes us feel loved, what makes us feel worthy. She by House, aspects, and sign placement tells us what we enjoy, what we want in relationship, what we see as worth earning, what we see as valuable, and what we find seductive. Venus, in a very real sense, describes what attracts us, but also tells what is attracted to us, and so serves to describe our primary attractive energy. The element in which our Venus plays natally gives us a big clue as to what we must initiate in order to prompt the attractive energy: in Earth, material things aligned with our Venus nature (described by the sign) are involved in attracting; with Fire it’s actions or events; with Water, memorable emotional ‘occasions’, feelings, or intuitions; and in Air ideas, thoughts, and communications given and received are energized. This doesn’t mean, for instance, that if we have Venus in Leo (Fire) we can’t gain materially (Earth); it means instead that a great attraction begins with a Fire event. With Venus in a Fire sign, we must act, in order to initiate our attractive ability. It’s true that the attractive energy happens no matter what we do, it’s just that to make the most of it, we should be receptive in the way it describes, in the case of Venus in Leo, opening ourselves to receive by acting.
And what are we pulling in, should we be operating unconsciously? We will attract element-related happenings in the life that are meant to trigger our Venus into conscious use. We may have the experience with a Venus in Libra, for instance, of hearing talk (Libra is an Air sign) that we find unflattering, which prompts us to change our relationship interactions (Venus in Libra) to be more pleasant, more balanced, or perhaps more loving to ‘the Other’–we become conscious of the need for change, so that the energies we’re attracting are harmonious to our natal energies.
Using our Venus consciously means we open to the entire spectrum of what Venus indicates; we open to accepting/ attracting money, love, relationships, assets, the appropriate aesthetic environment, companions, a harmonious material environment within which to express, and to living our values when we utilize our Venus attractive properties as they are keyed to us in the natal chart. We must be relaxed, aware of, and especially accepting of our Venusian components as accurate representations of what we desire. This can be challenging for some, who may de-value their Venus (those who eschew money or whatever ‘currency’ is in use in their world as unspiritual, for example, or those who believe that aesthetics are extraneous–“As long as it works, what’s the difference?”–or those who “Go it alone”, finding relationships draining or bothersome, to cite a few possibilities). We must be comfortable with our own Venus energy; in this case, we must be accepting of and even, in a sense, immersed in our Venus, in order to exert that attractive ‘force’.
We have another Great Attractor in the chart in the form of Chiron. The asteroid of the primal wound, healing, and the skills unique to the individual (skills that I believe were unavailable to personal use until last year; that’s the 2012 ‘shift’, in my opinion, as outlined in the supplement ‘The Elevation of Chiron 2012’) acts very much like the astronomical Great Attractor: it pulls things in, but we don’t have the perspective to recognize what is causing the gravitational force! In Chiron’s case, the wound acts as a psychological ‘black hole’, until we excavate and both uncover our hurt and begin to heal it. Our Chiron, then, will attract to us situations that irritate and stimulate the wound–until we make it conscious. Once we do, it’s like gaining a Super Power: we become impervious to the previous wound, as we can look back on our hurt, understand it, but no longer react to it. As well, we carry a special empathy for those suffering similar wounds; we can in fact recognize these individuals immediately. Once healed, our Chiron still functions as an Attractor, through use of our Chirotic skills; we use them, and send a wave out into the Universe that says: I have this to offer, I’m ready to employ it, and the Universe answers with opportunities, often taken to a Transpersonal level (discussed in ‘Chiron in the Natal Chart’). Often contact from something in someone else’s chart will cause us to either cast them as Wounder (no matter what the reality) or as Healer–and of course, that puts a lot of pressure on any relationship.
We have one other major receptive/ attractive energy in the natal chart, the Moon. Luna represents the ultimate receptive energy; this is the part of us that’s made to absorb, receive, and take in–and so is incredibly vulnerable. It seems to me that the Moon bounces its reflected light out into the Universe indiscriminately, and for the individual this translates as a kind of emotional ‘light’, an aura, of emotional and psychic energy that acts like a beacon, reaching out and meeting the reflected emotional light of others–I think in large part this is how we recognize those who are like us, who welcome us, through a combination of the Moon’s emotional light and the vibratory rate at which this exists. We’ve all had the experience of meeting people who live at a different emotional rate than we do–we don’t feel at home with them, and they don’t feel at home with us. We seek those with whom we feel comfortable, who will offer us comfort by their mere presence–and this is the Moon.
The Moon describes our emotional outlook, our means of processing via feeling, and our intuitive ‘feelers’, with the sign telling us in what form the intuition is likely to be picked up. For the Moon in Taurus, for example, material situations and environments will convey unspoken, intangible information; for a Moon in Scorpio, emotional undercurrents in situations and with individuals will be the most likely conveyor of info; while for a Moon in Aquarius it comes by ‘reading between the lines’, and by processing what is heard and observed in unusual ways. With any Moon sign openness to the energies and perceptive ways of the opposing sign will also figure in; for instance, the Aries Moon, which typically sense through the Self in relationship to others and through action (acting and then, often simultaneously sensing relevant data), may receive intuitive ‘bursts’ in the manner of Moon in Libra, which come through sensing relationships, through aesthetic considerations, and through putting out strong ‘feelers’ into the world. In this example, Aries senses through attunement to the Self while Libra senses by attunement to the Other; all signs can work in this fashion, utilizing the complementary energies of the opposing sign. For instance, Taurus senses through the material and the environment, while Scorpio senses through all that’s unseen or hidden, through what’s purely felt. This sensing mechanism is the conduit by which we not only understand through emotion/ feeling, but attract things, largely by ‘matching’ vibrational levels of the Self to vibrational levels of objects, persons, and places.
Attractor Interplay: Beethoven and Therese Malfatti
Though composer Ludwig van Beethoven (16 December 1770 3:40 AM Bonn, Germany) never married, there was a point when he thought he’d found ‘the One’ in one of his students, Therese Malfatti (1 January 1792 ntk Vienna Austria). At the time of their meeting Beethoven was 40 and Therese 18. Beethoven had many previous romantic relationships, and none of them resulted in marriage, most likely because Beethoven liked to date the noblewomen who took music lessons with him, whose male relatives were often patrons of Beethoven, or who were music patrons themselves–and though he was an acknowledged genius in his field within his lifetime, no one from the upper classes wanted to marry someone with financial troubles and no connections. With Therese, Beethoven was so sure of his own feelings, and sure that she reciprocated, that he wrote a friend in Bonn to obtain his birth certificate, which was needed to marry. In actuality, Therese was an accomplished musician in her own right, but she didn’t confuse admiration for her mentor/ teacher with love. Beethoven misunderstood her affection and wanted the relationship to go forward–with interesting results.
In 1810, Beethoven was invited to a party at the Malfatti home, where he intended to play a song he’d written just for Therese (Bagatelle Wo059) and then propose marriage, but he became so drunk he didn’t play and didn’t propose; all he was able to do was scrawl across the top of the music manuscript ‘Für Therese’. If Beethoven did ever propose to Therese, he was turned down; she married a Hungarian Count in 1816. The bagatelle was unearthed upon Therese’s death in 1851, and published, but Beethoven’s drunken scrawl was nearly illegible. The title was mis-read as ‘Für Elise’ and this piece, which may be one of the most famous compositions in the world, is still called by its misinterpreted label.
When we look at the cross-chart interplay involving the Attractor/ Receptors of Venus, Chiron, and the Moon in the charts of Beethoven and Therese, we may note that other contacts had a strong role in the proceedings, including her Uranus conjunct his Midheaven-Saturn and her Pluto opposed it (he felt exceptionally unique around her, saw her as modern and inventive, intelligent, and sexy! and that all of this reflected well on his career and public reputation); her Sun sits at the rough midpoint of his Jupiter-Pluto conjunction (again with the sexy! and her ability to ‘shine’ on his public role); and her Ceres conjuncts his Mars and opposes his Pallas-Mercury-Ceres (she may have felt like a force of nature to him, stirring up his manhood! and perhaps making him feel that her presence enhanced his ability to communicate wisely); and some strong Saturn contacts probably made it feel to him that this was a permanent thing (their Saturns are trine, though his makes more contact to her planets that hers to his).
Beethoven’s Sagittarius Moon is conjunct his Ceres and trine her Saturn and possibly her Aries Moon–her Saturn (respect for authority and experience, need for security) responded to his emotional overtures, though on his part it may have felt like she was suppressing his intuitive pull toward her. His Moon-Ceres also opposes her Ceres, suggesting a compelling dynamic involving talk/ communion/ and knowledge exchange (Gemini/ Sagittarius) which may have been stimulating for him (Fire on his side) but draining for her (with Ceres in Gemini Air).
The composer’s Capricorn Venus is in an out-of-sign conjunction with her Aquarian Mercury –this suggests to me that there may have been a feeling of appreciating the same things, when in fact they did not–and his Venus snuggles in to her Grand Square/ Cross which involves her Merc-his Venus, her Jupiter-Neptune (plus his Vesta) opposed her Pallas, plus her Vesta in Leo as final point in the configuration. This may have felt to her as if his Venusian need, his appetites, were intruding on her ideal social role, her highest values, her communications, and what she considers wise–he may have felt to her just a wee bit like a social climber–and we’ve already seen how much he thought his social standing would benefit from an alliance.
Her Venus sextiles his Venus and semi-sextiles his Sun while also quincunxing his Mars-Earth. This set of contacts may have felt to her rewarding, in that she could feel his appreciation of her, yet the quincunx likely felt like she just couldn’t be attracted to him–not without him being more ‘manly’ and perhaps having more assets. Her Mars trines his Venus–uh-oh. This is one of the most consistent indicators in my experience for a relationship that will not last; the gender switch of basic energies always seems to create unease in both parties, and inevitably, she is too assertive, and he too soft in some way, for the two to stay together.
Her Chiron sits at the midpoint of his trine of Juno-Neptune to Uranus; this may have signaled her that to be his wife (Juno) would have meant being surpassed in importance by both his uniqueness as an individual and by his creativity, his music–and surely this would wound. Her Chiron also opposed his Pluto, suggesting his sexuality, as well as his well-documented temper, may have made her uncomfortable and perhaps even repelled her, and his Chiron, conjunct his 29 degree Zeus, doesn’t require contact to her chart to draw a picture of how passionate and ambition-obsessed Beethoven may have been, though it does exactly trine her Venus, implying she would very likely have been sacrificed on the altar of his desires–in the end, not a pretty picture, a scenario of something other than a lasting, equitable relationship.