What are you, without the things you’re against? We sometimes focus so much on what we reject, hate, despise, that we neglect to define what we’re for, what we want to dedicate our lives to, what we’re striving to achieve. Don’t confuse the ‘wish list’ we put forward as ideal with defining those things we support; what we name as a ‘perfect’ version of ourselves is different (more or less, in most cases) than what we actually spend our time doing, supporting through action, choice, and attention. For instance, we might see ourselves as highly supportive of education in all its forms–but if we’re neither involved in educating others (which requires a certain level of knowledge/ expertise ourselves) or in actively gaining knowledge (as opposed to reinforcing what we already believe/ know), then we aren’t living that concept we see as part of what defines us. And there’s the further temptation to re-frame that as a kind of statement, such as ‘I hate ignorance’–but as we know, hating something we define as the opposite of our ideal doesn’t actually get us any closer to living that ideal, it only sends our energy and attention toward something we’ve already stated we don’t want more of. That’s irony in action.
There are a few places and bodies in the chart that can clue us in to ways we might be prone to mislead ourselves, in terms of aggravating a gulf between who we think we are, and who we are in our interactions with current, three-dimensional reality. First place to look might be the 7th House, the place we are most prone to project the energies it represents. It’s possible to see the negative sides of these in others, and never move on from there, believing, say, that Mercury there gives the experience of others who talk and talk and don’t think, for example, or that Pluto there shows us a darkness in others which we absolutely refuse to see as potentially in ourselves. It’s a matter of ownership: do you see those 7th House energies in all their dimensionality, and accept them as part of yourself? There’s also the possibility that you see the positive qualities of that body but are convinced they belong only to others–Uranus there may seem to grant everyone else freedom that it feels like you’re denied, or Venus there may make you feel like others are beautiful, fortunate, or in some way favored that you can only long to be.
Where Saturn sits, we may have the natural inclination to repress others or judge others, believing it’s the negative qualities of the sign we must rail against–and yet, if we are adequately disciplined and connected to reality ourselves, we are likely to find this judgmental need falling away. We lose the need to judge others (I don’t mean assess, use discernment, or recognize who they are, I mean condemn) when we learn kindness, when we are able to recognize commonalities–and when we can apply that kindness, that realization that we are human, to ourselves.
Neptune is famous for offering up delusions about who we are (especially if connected to the personal planets), but it also tells us what energies align with our genuine ideals, and it points us toward where our creative energy can not just best express, but flourish. Pluto, of course, can frighten, with the glimpse of the darkness it offers, even the threat of our own personal hell, but it can transform us with the way it can offer change, an energy for re-birth and re-making that feels massive and elemental, but that is malleable, when we accept its impact and then strive to shape inevitable change in a desired form.
Chiron, of course, points to the wound, the primal injury that must, if we’re to deal with it successfully, be excavated and recognized, owned and, hopefully, released. Vesta needs thorough examination specifically because it describes what we care about at a Universal, spiritual level; to understand the message of Vesta is to understand, on a most human and individual level, why we are here–or should I say, what we are here to do. As the representative of what we most want to dedicate our life energies to (and this may be literal, in matters described by the sign in which it sits) or symbolic, centering on a concept or value, Vesta can offer us a standard against which to measure every choice: does this resonate with how and where I wish to spend my life energy? If so, carry on! And, once Chiron is to some extent explored, Vesta energy can be combined with the gift that inspection of Chiron will illuminate, the highly specialized thing that only you can offer the world in that very precise way–and you end up with a solid recipe for a rewarding and spiritually fulfilling life path.
Unfettered optimism, a refusal to recognize what’s not relevant, working, or for us as individuals, can be as destructive as a negative pall on every subject; neither approach allows for nuance, context, or the particular talents and viewpoint of the individual. It’s in listening to the Universe, to the response we get from it in answer to our actions and thoughts, and in then following the prompts, not of the ego, but of the Soul, that we’re most likely to find that thing, that circumstance, we don’t even know we’re looking for.
The Ascendant is the symbolic point of entry for the individual, determined by the place and time of birth, the birth chart laying out the relative positions of the planets and lights as potentially observable (or as falling below the horizon) at that moment, at that spot on Earth (for Northern Hemisphere births, the chart is as if you are standing on the spot of birth, facing South, Southern Hemisphere, facing North). In a way the natal chart is a map of you sliding into the world, meeting the environment, showing your face, literally and figuratively, for the very first time–and the Ascendant describes your relationship to that world in a very specific way: it tells us how the individual, on first impulse, interacts with the world, and how that world receives the individual, ‘reading’ them through the attitudes and behaviors characteristic of the sign, the responses indicated in particular by the aspects the Ascendant makes and by the state of the Ascendant ruler, with these often funneled through matters of the House(s) an entity rules or is placed in.
This situation can make for an interesting paradox, as the individual sees themselves as having one particular interpretation of the sign energies in interaction, while the world may read them as having the same or other sign related qualities (and if the individual has Neptune or Pisces in the 1st, or Pluto in the 7th, they may be unable to avoid being a screen for the projections of others). For example, someone with Aquarius on the Ascendant may see themselves as unique, while others see them as too trendy, or too closely following ‘group-think’, or they see themselves as intellectually-oriented while others see them as so quirky they can’t relate or as erratic thinkers or even as so avant garde they leave others in the dust, or they may see themselves as using pure reason to navigate the world while the world sees someone so cold that the ability to find, much less join, their group is hampered–or the opposite, for all these, is possible–it’s only to point out that there are subtleties to viewpoints so that what one believes they’re conveying can be read in another light by those with whom they interact.
The Ascendant and 1st House also describe one’s survival methods–that is, what you believed the environment demanded from you early in life. In the case of Aquarius, the message may have been you have to be smart to survive–or maybe the world will only value you if you are totally original–or you need a role within the group to survive, and one day, you should lead it–or conversely, you’re only safe when you act as an individual–or even you have to be a rebel to be real. This point is in many ways about being seen, and that means one can feel less than, even invisible, if the Ascendant traits aren’t recognized and in some form validated by the world at large (with the potential that validation may come in negative interpretation of the sign qualities).
The way the Ascendant Self-image is mixed, more or less, with early childhood messages from the surrounding world and the way it can foster fears (because it’s natural to think about what you’re told and automatically draw the conclusion that if you don’t can institute disaster) means that operating mainly from the Ascendant energy can create barriers to operating successfully, and to understanding more completely why we were given those messages, as well as whether they’re still valid today. Often they are not; as adults it’s vital we reassess our Ascendant related persona in light of what behaviors and beliefs we still carry that may not serve our life and current reality. For instance, in our example Aquarian, if the message was you’ve got to be both smart and unique, and this individual has a Leo Sun, we may see someone who works very hard to excel, even to best, others, as if their life depended on it–that’s the ‘you’d better do this or else’ childhood message at work–and in Whole Sign astrology that places the Sun in the 7th, making for a built-in conflict, as the person has the urge to stand out from the crowd (which serves the Ascendant urge) but also the urge to partner, cooperate, connect, or to go before an audience and exchange energy that way–all of which to be successful require at minimum some humility, a willingness to see and regard others and their needs as equal to one’s own, and a non-competitive stance–not the easiest, when one is told that one must excel, because excellence can only be judged in juxtaposition with others.
There’s also the matter of the physical Self-image related to the Ascendant. Though our health largely resides in the 6th, and the Self-image of who we are and what talents we possess is found in the 2nd, the image we have of our own body interacting with the world is described in the 1st/ Ascendant. It’s how we picture ourselves in our own minds; as such, the image we hold may exaggerate some things, minimize or distort others, and is very likely to have a level of acceptability and appeal in our own minds that differs, at least somewhat, from how others see and assess our attractiveness (the world almost always sees us in a more positive light than we see ourselves!) This is one of those areas where it’s best to accentuate what we see as positive, and then go forward–otherwise we can judge and censor ourselves out of any number of paths and opportunities–go after what you want, and let the world respond!
What about other points or bodies found in the 1st? They definitely figure in to the ‘reaching out’ persona, and typically are qualities we will see as great strengths–until we push them too far (it’s inevitable, either by exaggerating their importance within the personality, or by giving them the lead, and so allowing those energies to run our interactions), at which point feedback prompts us to see them as our greatest weaknesses–and neither is precisely accurate. We understand these energies, yet they’re so integral to our ability to relate to the world that they are bound to take on too large a role in interaction–and then comes the swing in the other direction, where we condemn them, see them as liabilities, our Achilles heel. It’s only when we put them in perspective (often possible through funneling their expression through the House(s) they rule) that we find their best expression in the interaction equation–at which point they truly do become great strengths.
Let’s look at how something like the Moon in the 1st would play into personality expression and outreach to the world. Moon here makes one exquisitely sensitive and intuitive, especially in terms of allowing the physical reactions to the environment to inform the mind and perceptions–but what happens when one puts one’s feelings first and foremost in interaction with the world? Disaster, that’s what, as there are many situations in life that need to be met first with reason, situational awareness, and a decided lack of emotional response, required to assess reality in the first place. Yes, the feeling state and intuition is highly useful–but can’t always be the first thing exposed. The result is likely to eventually become a volatile, overly sensitive, ‘hurt’ personality that suffers unless met with 100% acceptance and love–and if the interaction ‘feelers’ are out principally for uncritical acceptance, other information won’t have a chance of getting in–with the likely result that feedback is negative, as others find it difficult to deal with what to them is an overly emotional personality.
If we have this 1st House Moon with the previous example of an Aquarian Ascendant, that means Luna rules the 6th, setting up a connection between the health and the emotional state, and offering these possibilities of channeling the sensitivity and intuition into a commitment, duty, obligation, or other work that specifically carries an aura of service. It’s in dedicating the emotional attention to something that takes one outside oneself that the intuitive and emotional nature can truly thrive. If that 1st House Moon were to rule the 9th, for instance, the outlet might be found in sharing knowledge or faith; ruling the 3rd it could be about writing out one’s feelings (anything from a diary to fiction to non-fiction that stirs the emotions), or concern one’s thinking/ ideas, one’s neighborhood (especially the childhood arena, perhaps re-visited), or in communication in general or with siblings in particular. No matter what, there’s a way to channel the energy that gives it grounding and perspective–and that’s what’s important.
And each year, when the Sun crosses your Ascendant, you can feel very vulnerable; there’s a floodlight on you and your interaction with the world, and it can be unnerving (unless you’re one of those people who loves the attention, who feels best when everyone’s eyes are upon them!) I think it’s a kind of animal response, one programmed into (most of) us for safety, and it may prompt us to hide. I suggest another tack, though: work up the nerve to allow scrutiny, and make sure that you’re pushing to the forefront all the things you’re most proud of, happy with, or hoping to connect to others through. You’ll be going into relative obscurity and isolation for the six months the Sun is below the horizon, so allow yourself to be seen–make it a Self-affirming experience. Though this only happens once a year, it’s good to be aware of, for matters of timing, and for awareness of the start of a personal year of your own.
I believe we need to expand the definition of the astrological Chiron. Yes, it’s our wounds, especially that primal one that lives in the core of our Being. And it holds that special gift, that thing we can do like no one else. Chiron also shows where we can offer healing to others–and my own personal theory, that since 2012 we’ve been able to offer that healing to ourselves–that year didn’t bring the end of the world, it brought the end of a world where we weren’t able to give ourselves, to do for ourselves, that soothing and knitting together we’d wished to have but found we could only pass on to others. Now we can give that healing to ourselves, provided we can access our Chirotic energies consciously. So, Chiron covers a lot of vital ground, and I’m not proposing a change in what it signifies so much as a shift in how we think of it.
My recent work has been pointing more and more to the isolating way we’re thinking of Chiron. It hurts! It’s over there! It’s tricky to understand, to access! We’d rather not think about it, probably because Chiron in healed form asks us to be thoroughly responsible for ourselves–and most of us would rather leave a little room for excuses, blame, and a wee bit of slack–and I don’t blame anyone for that.
I’ve concluded we need to think of Chiron not as the wound or the gift or that special healing energy, but as the sum of all experience–because what informs our remembrance of things past as thoroughly as those things that wounded us, or that healed us, or that we excel at? Those are all core components of unique identity, a kind of anti-karma: it’s not the total meaning of what we do, it’s the total meaning of what we undergo, the times we bump up against the world and the world bumps back, leaving a mark, changing us through hurt, through helping define our particular talents, or through a growing understanding of what it takes to recover and go on.
I ask you, then, to think of Chiron as a collection of results, gleaned from experiences that shape us. They feel like facts, like things we’ve been presented with, whole, but they are actually malleable, changing with our changing exposures and interactions. Chiron needs to be seen as the sum of all experiences that change our core concepts of our weaknesses (the hurts) and strengths (original talents and gifts). In that sense, this body informs us, in very clear terms, about where we might be susceptible to pressure that skews our motivations and perceptions (to protect the wound) and where we should hold an unusual amount of confidence (when utilizing our very particular talents), and it shows us precisely where we have a kind of magic touch when it comes to helping others. And those are all pretty useful things to know.
As I’ve said before: if you’re looking for happy happy in your astrology, this isn’t it. Or maybe I should say, if you’re looking to find the way to a clearer understanding of influences at work, both inside yourself and in the outer world, this is the place–at least, one of them. I think becoming more aware is the entire point of astrology–so it just naturally follows that some of what we discuss won’t be sunshine-y. I’m especially interested in the ways we work against ourselves, as these are (typically) not only our biggest obstacles, they’re the things most under our control–and so most easily banished, if we can both accept that they exist, and fathom their workings in our lives.
We typically go on about the qualities, strengths and deficits, associated with the twelve signs, but it may be just as useful to consider that the natural human propensity to some sense of vanity may lead us to believe we have strengths we don’t actually have (cue Venus, as a kind of natural asset deceptor, as she usually persuades us that we are very very good, or very very bad, each in its own way playing to the ego: Mars, and each in its own way persuading us of the worth to our modus operandi of both our negative Venusian characteristics and our positive ones).
By observation I’ve come to believe these deceptions may be seated in the signs opposing the ones we have planets posited in. For instance, if one has a Cancer Sun, one may believe they carry a number of what are actually Capricornian traits in the areas of identity, Soul purpose, and matters of the House that carries Leo–and as we know, operating from a false sense of Self means we won’t understand the effects we’re creating. The world will seem unknowable to us, and a lot more random than it really is, if we’re interacting with an inaccurate idea of our Beingness. Others, and the Universe itself, will be reacting to who we really are, rather than to our ideas of who we are–so you can see how this might send things spiraling into chaos, or at least confusion and a serious mismatch of our efforts to the resulting effects, internally and externally.
I think these connections to opposing sign energies are rooted in our natural desire to attain equilibrium in expression. When we sense a weakness, we may reach out energetically to the opposing strength, as if to say, ‘See? No problem here at all!’ This action misleads us into thinking we are more than suited to meet the challenge–in fact, may see what we’re reaching for as the actual strength we possess–not realizing that denial makes us much more vulnerable than does recognition of reality–because reality is something we can deal with, respond to, and so act on to compensate for any genuine shortcomings.
Here’s an example: Someone I’ve known for years loves music–his Whole Sign 12th House Neptune in Scorpio experiences it as connecting him to the Cosmos, a spiritual experience, one he easily loses himself in–all appropriate for this placement. But, every once in a while he insists on singing publicly, an activity/ talent very much associated with Taurus–and the man is completely tone deaf. I kid him about having only one note–and despite a rather devastating experience as a teen when he got up on stage, volunteering to sing with a band, he now and then again gives public performance a try. Good on him, for his Neptunian idealism, for wanting to express creatively–but the 12th tells us this is something to be done behind-the-scenes, manifesting in research or finding Truth in the Universe or in inspiration gleaned from a dream or tapping a direct conduit to the unseen, connecting the ideals of Neptune with the capacity for transformation of Scorpio, with Pisces on the 4th saying this may be an internal dynamic, solely for personal use, or something done in the home or involving the family of origin (such as in ancestral research)–and he has recently delved into family history and the genetic line, and shows a genuine and quite creative talent for ferreting out the past.
What follows are some hints about what we might be mistaken about, according to sign. The best way to read it is to consider a certain energy or placement for what it expresses in the chart. For instance, if you’re looking at ways you contact and interact with the world overall, you’re talking about the Ascendant, so should look at the sign it’s in to see in what ways you may be assuming traits of the opposing sign. That’s not to say that you might not have these abilities through some other placement, but to look at characteristics in light of the specific function they’re applied to. Take these suggestions as food for thought, signposts that could tell us where and how our own assessments may be slightly skewed.
Aries may see themselves as the one who should assess others, casting themselves in the role of sole and ultimate judge–an ironic blending of Libran focus on fairness and the Martian concept of leadership. The idea may be to push forward as ‘first among equals’, demanding the cooperation of others and ‘forgetting’ that true leadership is about taking the initiative and setting an example others want to follow.
Taurus may presume they have x-ray vision, using it to excavate where they should offer comfort or support. They may confuse their own version of Scorpionic ‘Truth’ for real-world evidence or need that’s right in front of them; the duty may be more to express a version of what they see, to translate it, than to dissect or alter it.
Gemini may look to the Sagittarian horizon, always thinking of bigger or better, of more–and may believe they are the only ones in possession of ‘the facts’, who are optimistic in a sea of pessimists, or who embrace authentic belief. Instead of comparative thinking (a separative approach), connecting with others one at a time or in small clusters would bring information from Big Picture to personal, and so bring into operation one of Gemini’s actual assets, an ability to navigate the niceties of networking and organize information so that it’s useful and applicable to the individual.
Cancer may feel they are the organized, authorized, or disciplined one, by confusing systems and methodologies (Capricorn) with sincerity and intuition as guides (Moon ruled energy). Accepting that the feeling nature is the forward-facing one, for Cancer, may help them see how sensitivity and emotion can be just as reliable as any calendar, list, or rules, when employed by the appropriate person (Hint: that’s you, Cancer!)
Leo may see the desire to roar as more legitimate if they can point to the intellectual reasoning behind it or the academic underpinnings for their position–but who told them they need to justify themselves in the first place? They should know they don’t have to understand (Aquarius) why they are shining (Leo)–their only mandate is to do it.
Virgo may want to present as a dreamer (Pisces)–but they will inevitably get tangled in the details, in giving an account of themselves, if they shun a more hands-on, material, or pragmatic approach. To responsibly deal with what is (Virgo) can be just as creative as imagining what could be (Pisces), delivering satisfaction through accountable focus they may have sought through the nebulous and the unreal.
Libra may believe they need to go it alone–but that’s just not natural to the sign of partnership. They may hide in the Arian pioneer or lone wolf spirit when cooperation seems too costly, in one manner or another, or too difficult–but interacting with and depending on others is precisely what they need to do, to get the most out of a Libran placement.
Scorpio may feel they must be grounded before they can ‘dig in’–which can make for never getting started in the first place. Shying away from reality, the Truth, or the need for change or alteration is poison to the Scorpion, as they aren’t meant to be settled (Taurus), they’re meant to unsettle.
Sagittarius may talk a good game–but when it comes to taking the big steps, making the big gesture, or facing up to the facts, they may dissemble, hiding their true goals from themselves–but they’re only shorting out their own opportunities, in the end. Embrace of the mission (large goal) is their ticket to success, while endless rumination or connecting the information dots will keep them running in a small, tight, ineffective circle–so much for ever hitting that horizon.
Capricorn may believe it’s their feelings that count, when it’s really the rules or Self-discipline that needs to be applied. Measuring things by their warm fuzzies may make Cappy think they’re becoming more versatile, when in fact it may be that they are reluctant to stay on the straight and narrow because of what it will ask (or require) of them.
Aquarius may insist on acting, on making a splash, on drawing attention–and it’s all in service of keeping them from intellectual understanding of what they’re up to. Being unique or original, even changing their mind on the spur of the moment–oh yes–always with the goal of understanding both individually and in the larger context; showing off, or being jealous of those in the spotlight, or believing they know how to show others how to shine–that’s a nope.
Pisces may hide in nitpicking, criticizing, or list-making, believing that their connection to the Cosmos grants them the right–but it’s really more like looking the wrong way through a telescope–you’re not just using it wrong, you’re giving yourself a headache. The Piscean capacity for the Universal must be respected by taking a step back, not by throwing everything under a microscope–creativity needs a free hand, even as it gives things form.
Hi All!Still hard at work on the book. It’s going well, but there’s just so much in the Lunar world! Who’d have guessed? 🙂 I hope you’re having a great week!
So here’s something I saw when researching the Moon book: it’s a compelling current transit picture for former comedian/ actor and now Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. I like to take a peek at newsmakers and historical figures, which can make for some time-jumping strangeness, like today, when I was examining the birth charts of Carl Jung, Napoleon I, Sharon Tate, Jean-Paul Guerlain, John McAfee, and Zelenskyy. It’s a process where I look at many more charts than I end up including in the book, but it’s always interesting, and in this case, maybe a little window into an individual who, until the present crisis, seemed to overall have been assessed as mild-mannered, a pushover, even not up to the task of running a country. The natal chart begs to differ.
Zelenskyy was born 25 January 1978 at 2 PM (Rodden rating A, from memory) in Krivoj Rog, Ukraine. This gives him an Aquarian Sun in the Whole Sign 9th House, conjoined a Venus that is just pulling away from their Superior Conjunction (that being the meeting of Sun and Venus when Venus is direct). The ideal with this man is the concept of understanding, especially others or the partner, via the intellect. Everything has to make sense, and interaction with and group effort with others (and he doesn’t shy away from being leader, when appropriate) is paramount. He moves toward the modern, the innovative, the unique, what benefits the group–he sees the value in that, accepts it as a philosophy by which to live, and strongly believes in Love as an active force in the Universe.
His 3rd House Leo Moon (making him an intuitive communicator, with feelings that support action, but also prone to not knowing if he’s thinking or feeling) touches a number of factors in the natal chart in a sort of chain-reaction way that links them all. The Moon rules the 2nd, suggesting his talent is versatility, an ability to ‘read the room’, to be a bit of a chameleon inspired by that darker side of life, those things that anger or enrage or that most are in denial of (Black Moon Lilith at 00–so highly raw and reactive–the only placement in the House). There’s also a positive sort of sensitivity, and an ability to think on his feet (good for acting/ improv and politics). Luna is semi-sextile Zeus (the feelings guide the ambitions, largely through discomfort that draws attention to needed change), sextile Pluto, ruler of 6th of duty, the everyday, job (an ability to intuit where change is needed, in order to carry out responsibilities), square Uranus, ruler of the 9th (difficulties may come from far away! The individuality may broadcast the beliefs, what he knows, in resistance to or rebellion from the conventional, and this inspires an original approach, ‘being himself’), and trine Neptune, ruler of the career and public image 10th, suggesting he has the ability to be seen as he wants to be seen, to build a career from his creativity, perhaps to mislead, confuse, or act as a screen upon which others project, as well. Moon trine Neptune is a dreamer, and an idealist, no question, with this combo uniting the 2nd and 10th, suggesting this is his core asset, and that it’s meant to ‘go public’.
So, we see a little about who he is, what he’s working with–and along comes the present situation. There are two transit pictures I’d like to mention: one is the way Saturn is just coming to his Aquarian Midheaven–it’s just over one degree from perfection, and Mercury is just separating from the same point. The Midheaven is set at the zenith of the chart, representing the highest point of the sky in relation to the place and time of birth–so also representing peak life achievement or notoriety for the individual. Where Saturn currently is in its journey around the natal chart tells us where we stand in terms of potential recognition and effectiveness of our actions in the real world. This, then, is a peak moment, one that he has been building toward for quite some time. His dream (11th) has Aries values of Self-reliance and Self-responsibility, of getting things done, and with both Eris and the South Node there, this may be a bit of a mission: acting to get away from or deal with the past, to mitigate or resolve strife.
The other interesting thing is a Finger of God, formed as Mars, Venus, Pluto, and Vesta arrive as a temporary apex to turn what is normally a simple natal sextile into a configuration base: Jupiter in Gemini in the 1st sextile Saturn in Leo in the 3rd. These base energies rule 7th and 8th (all others, open enemies, partners, and what is shared with them or contested), and suggest Zelenskyy naturally functions as a communicator and perhaps mediator with others, with his ability to show the social order (Jupiter) what the individual can do, be, or stand for (Saturn in Leo). The apex energies charge this up, collecting and focusing currents like a lightning rod, and suggesting that this normal function for Zelenskyy reaches a powerful realization point revolving around agreements to share or what is owed to whom (the four bodies are in his 8th), what change must occur (specifically what must be destroyed, resurrected, or regenerated, transforming the current condition), and that what’s sacred, to be honored, will be the measure by which this is carried out.
No matter what you think of him, he’s a player who’s found his stage and is having his moment, one that may be mission-fulfilling for him as an individual.
In doing some chart work this past week, it occurred to me that Jupiter really does offer us a kind of mission statement, an approach blueprint for what we’re here to do, beyond any Soul intentions (the Sun) or Earthly needs (Earth, always directly opposed the Sun, designating the environment or atmosphere or material requirements necessary to fulfill the Soul’s purpose). This is a thread that likely runs through so much else that you do or strive for; it’s probably a sort of ‘silent component’ that is part of any activity or intention, aside from a stated goal or point. So, here are a few brief potential mission statements for each sign; these are off-the-cuff, so please forgive any shortcomings or things I might have forgotten.
Aries: the mission is to discover who you are. The reason for being, exploring the needs and consequences of action and choice, and to plumb the depths and limits of the personal Will. Showing others the importance of acting, doing. The value of the Self.
Taurus: the mission is to discover forms of harmonious expression of the Self through materiality. To explore the array of bodily needs from survival to luxuries, and the value of refining a necessity (such as food) to an artisanal level. Our connection to Nature through diet and environment. The value of caring for the body and honoring physical needs, and of imbuing the everyday with artistry.
Gemini: the mission is to discover forms of connection and communication. To explore, act as a ‘translator’, in both the language and broadcast senses, and to share the web of perpetual communication that is always present, always informing. Thinking as a necessity. The value of being informed, and the importance of that to our interconnectedness.
Cancer: the mission is to discover what it truly means to care. To nurture and be nurtured, to experience the beauty of keeping another being alive, to guide others with loving energy attuned to their welfare, rather than your own. To soothe and emotionally support. Exploring the concept of sacrifice for others, and knowing when that’s appropriate, when to be avoided.The value of positive action supported by emotional investment.
Leo: the mission is to discover what it truly means to be fulfilled. To explore what efforts and attention are genuinely meaningful, what works to uplift others, what it means to each individual to live optimally, making the most of their talents and opportunities. Learning to ‘shine’ from the core Self. The value of doing and being your best.
Virgo: the mission is to discover the subtleties of discretionand their expression through useful critique and analysis. To explore concepts around accountability and responsibility, and to insure everyone receives what’s due. The value of seeing things and people as they are, and so assessing them for best function/ role.
Libra: the mission is to discover what cooperation and partnership really entail. Exploring recognition of and regard for ‘the Other’. Learning when to put ‘we’ before ‘I’. Seeing when and where aesthetics matter. The value of doing things with others, not out of survival or want, but out of Love.
Scorpio: the mission is to discover what ‘the Truth’ really means. To explore when to dig, when to let things alone. Learning to let go of things in order to clear the way for something else. Developing the ability to know when sacrifice is necessary, and when to ‘try again’. The value of persistence; the good judgment to know when something’s over, and to recognize when something’s real.
Sagittarius: the mission is to discover what Faith really means to you. To explore the middle ground between facts and beliefs, and to know the difference between them. Being willing to discover other ways of seeing and being. Learning how and when to reach out, ‘spreading the word’, and refusing to exaggerate or over-promise. The value of moving forward/ sharing based on real-world facts or on genuine belief, and honoring accumulated knowledge by doing so.
Capricorn: the mission is to discover the importance of feeling secure to the human spirit. To explore the optimal uses of guidelines and structures, literal and figurative; to learn when to follow tradition, when to discard it. Learning to gauge when restraint is needed, and when it must be removed. Offering others a ‘safe place’. Learning positive ways to accumulate in the material world. The value of creating something strong, solid, orderly, that gives a sense of security and shelter and anchorspeople in reality.
Aquarius: the mission is to discover how to connect with Higher Mind in the moment. Exploring what genuinely reflects elevated consciousness/ core spirituality, what is shallow, academic, or a fad. Seeing the modern, and how it can mesh with what is/ the past. The spirit of innovation, inventiveness. The value of understanding as it supports acceptance and opens the way for ‘the new’.
Pisces: the mission is to discover the Oneness of All. Exploring the source of both creativity and spirit. Learning the means and power of manifestation. Promoting Universality in positive ways that allow distinctiveness and creative expression within the Collective. Showing that the only sacrifice necessary is one of ego. The value of recognizing everything is spiritual.
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.
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.
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 Jupiterand 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).
In our ongoing exploration of specific natal aspects Readers have submitted for discussion (submissions are closed), we focus now on Chiron. Though initially considered an asteroid, it’s currently classified as a Centaur (it was in fact the first-discovered, lending its character to the classification itself), which is defined as an object orbiting the Sun between the asteroid belt and the Kuiper belt–and yet it behaves a little bit like a comet, so also carries a cometary designation (95P), and some even consider it a dwarf planet. All this variety (or is it confusion?) about how to categorize it hints at one of its most prominent characteristics: that what it designates in our natal charts has layers of meaning, an onion of hurt, experience, skill, and unique perspective, all of which can teach us about ourselves and our place within the world.
There is the Chiron hurt, something so deep and pervasive the individual can often be unaware of it; there is what we learn from the hurt, that we can then utilize, to help both ourselves and others; there is a Chirotic gift (or more than one) related to the sign and to our own processing and experience of it, which before 2012 we could offer only to others (and that we can now access–and so ‘do’–for ourselves); and there is a Transpersonal expression of this energy, one that takes the individual, cumulative Chiron knowledge and applies it to the Collective condition. So, Chiron designates qualities that are highly personalized, highly individual, and that with enough effort at understanding and re-shaping, we may at some point in life lift from the entirely personal, reactionary arena to utilization of the ‘gift within the wound’, to, finally, a transpersonal, Collective expression, one where our gift in some way answers a need found in the Collective or out in the world.
(Birth data redacted) I am interested in my Chiron, in Capricorn. I have had numerous struggles with structures and authority figures. I feel that this recent period has been sort of like a final exam or defending my thesis. I know that the wound doesn’t really go away but I feel stronger just putting all the past struggles into context now instead of feeling as though they are coming at me as a series of random tortures. I wonder what you would have to say about a broad now-moment and a future with Chiron in Capricorn. Thanks for choosing my inquiry–if you do!
You don’t ask about an aspect, but rather an entity, a single body, which is okay when it’s one that in the general astrological world still suffers from a state of too little clarity–that is, it’s difficult to see Chiron’s action in the natal chart when we see it in its most simplistic terms, ‘wound and gift’. That tempts us to want to reduce its effects to a clear-cut negative or positive, and that’s not only unproductive, it dismisses our need to look at how truly personal the manifestations of this energy are, how completely they have been tailored to our character, experience, and responses. Neither of those definitions of Chiron as wound and gift is wrong, but those labels do remove the nuances of what can be a very important, even vital, influence for the individual.
For you, Chiron plays a fundamental role in Self-image, with its location in the 2nd of assets and talents, and in Capricorn, the wound almost certainly involves your relationships to and reactions to both structures in the life and the concept of authority, with the initial reaction almost always presenting in response to those who hold authority in your life. At least part of why you may be responding so strongly and personally to Capricorn life areas is this body’s location in the 2nd of Self-image–it may feel that what hurts you also, inevitably, defines you (and we might want to throw in rules, ways in which your Will or feelings have been thwarted or restricted, and matters where you feel it’s ‘all work and no play’, particularly when this stands in contrast to what others around you seem to enjoy).
Does it feel as if the drudgery always falls to you? Where Chiron sits can often seem to be a difficult place, one where we’re denied joy, and if it does for you, dear Reader, that’s not surprising, especially considering that the closest aspect Chiron makes to a major body is its opposition to Uranus–and that may feel as if every time you try to ‘be yourself’ or act spontaneously or think independently (Uranus rules the 3rd) you get a Capricorn response (which may sound like ‘Control yourself’ or ‘Sit down’ or even ‘You’re not allowed’ or ‘That idea’s crazy!’). Compound this with Uranus in the 8th suggesting that others seem to have all the freedom, are allowed to be as erratic, unpredictable, or unique as they want–and that you may feel you have to clean up after them–it may be the only initially perceived path that allows you to feel good about yourself, by complying with these ‘demands’ (and this is supported by Chiron’s semi-sextile to the Ascendant and its trines to Jupiter and Hygeia in the 6th, all possibly making you feel it’s your duty to serve the larger social order, and to modify yourself in order to do so, that being healthy depends on it–but really, being healthy depends on working out your relationship to Chiron and the social order that surrounds you, rather than just complying with it, as you’ll never find peace by conforming).
And, with Uranus in the 8th but ruling the 3rd (as well as the close assembly of Sun, Mercury, and NN–Whole Sign), you may have the feeling that others are either trying to control your thinking, or that they are assessing your mental processes and reasoning as flighty, unreliable, or ‘out there’–and so, by extension, calling you these things (Sun in Aquarius 3rd), reaching into the mentality and insulting the Capricorn wound, which demands adherence to and observance of the rules, the status quo, and authorities. It may seem you are being insulted, expected to be ashamed, every time you act in ways that feel original or unique to you–but that’s an internal mechanism, one that plays out in you but that is spurred by others, even though the message you may be getting is, ‘Who do you think you are?’
One of the most difficult facets of your placement is that this energy is in a highly personal space (the 2nd, the part of you that judges yourself) but doesn’t contact any of the personal planets. Without contact to the personals (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars) one can feel adrift, as if the wider world, even the Universe, is targeting you, inflicting puzzling and unwarranted Capricornian penalties, suppressing your efforts at Self-improvement and earning (2nd)–and unless you can get some perspective, may trap you in ‘Me Against The World’ scenarios that play out over and over in new circumstances, but using old energies. Capricorn Chiron can bring a heavy sense of responsibility, and that’s difficult to fulfill when you feel that authority may consistently be against you (or that authorities have such high expectations or standards for your performance that you feel they’ll never be met).
Born just after a Lunar eclipse, hence the natal Sun and North Node are quite close, and may give a sense that accomplishment is a relentlessly difficult uphill climb, as if the prime moment for presenting what you know and feel has somehow passed. Re-frame this as a sense of completion in terms of being ready to pass things on to others or to cooperate with others in your efforts. A sesquiquadrate of Chiron to Ceres points out how tough the relationship is not just to external authorities but to your own inner sense of being in charge, of granting yourself permission to go forward. Become your own authority, in a sense, and this may offer the freedom you’ve (probably) been seeking.
Though this exercise was about natal aspects, not forecasts, I can suggest this: both personal security about who you are, and about making your way in the world, likely comes from disciplined expression of the talents, especially the creative ones, when applied to achieving specific goals with the cooperation of others (Chiron ruler Saturn conjoined Neptune in Libra in the 11th of goals, wishes, friendship, group involvement); look for others who support your originality and who are accepting of an individuality that’s comfortable for you–and there’s no ‘right’ model for this, that’s what makes it so hard–you have to trust yourself and stay firmly connected to the reality of things, even as you dream and invent. This may be an intense academic stance, may involve the sciences or futurism, may be about creative uniqueness, especially manifesting the imagined in real-world terms, or the way Higher Mind and spirituality are intertwined, and may involve a need to write, speak, or communicate your specific viewpoint to others.
Taking an intellectual approach (Sun and Merc in Aquarius) may initially cause internal conflict as Chiron demands a material response, but seeing that creativity in the current reality (Chiron ruler Saturn conj Neptune) is needed will resolve the tension, without too much conscious effort. Knowing healing is possiblewill go a long way toward repair of the wound; so will seeing the creative or spiritual take material form in the life.