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Your Ascendant Zodiapedia “You Are My Sunshine” Leo

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‘Circe’ By Wright Barker 1889 {{PD}}

This continues our look at signs on the Ascendant, as first shared in ECLIPSE:

Leo is a radiant sign, and on the Ascendant, the individual typically glows (or roars, when angry!) That’s no surprise to anyone, I think, but what can be surprising is how sensitive Leo is; rarely do they speak without thinking (that usually happens only when by transit or natally Uranus, or sometimes Mercury, is bedeviling some identity factor), which is notable for a Fire sign, where expression is usually more off-the-cuff and often, off-the-handle. The Lion meets the world ready to engage, to do, and the world responds according to its own nature, not Leo’s, which can be confusing for the Lion, especially early in life. Those initial years incarnate may see the Leo Ascendant person lionized and doted upon, ignored, or anything between, with the result that Leo develops deep sympathy, generosity, and empathy from her own experience—whether that’s directed toward herself or others tells us where on the spiritual evolutionary path Leo falls at any one moment. The maturity of Leo’s response to life is directly determined by 1) whether she is able to take full responsibility for her experiences, and 2) whether she is able to fathom that others are not and never will be under her control, obligated to do as she desires, and/ or counted on for what Leo needs. One of the Lion’s biggest surprises in life is that others are not the same as Leo—they have different values, wants, standards, morals, ethics, and loves—and it’s in learning, accepting, and finally respecting this that Leo comes into her own.

‘El admirador (A Regal Admirer)’ By Daniel Hernández Morillo 1882 {{PD}}

To those observing Leo, he can look like the most talented, loving, or amazing person in the room, or the most conceited and Self-absorbed; it all hinges on the onlooker’s own nature, and this means that Leo can appear drastically different to any number of others observing him at the same time. This, however, doesn’t affect the view of Leo as he looks from the inside out; his viewpoint is consistent in that he’s concerned with the quality, vibrancy, and fulfillment of the life force, first for himself, and then as he matures, for everyone. Whine, shout, or sing, Leo will always let us know what she or he needs; the big lesson comes in learning how to get it.

The Leo Ascendant can be aggressive when she feels her own image of herself isn’t being respected by those around her. It’s one of Leo’s biggest flaws: believing that she can and should control how others think of her. She doesn’t move forward, and doesn’t contact the world effectively, until she realizes that understanding others must be her goal, rather than correcting them–that’s when the lion’s natural generosity blossoms, moving from something done to enhance her own image in her own eyes, to something done out of Leo’s abundance of compassion and regard for the individual.

As long as Leo is wrapped up in passion and its display, she won’t embrace the cool intellectual regard of her own situation (a reflection of the opposite sign, Aquarius) that is necessary to put some distance between the Self and the world. Leo typically starts the journey without distinguishing between herself and everything else, but the more she becomes acquainted with each individual’s unique beingness, with the innovative and inventive nature within, and with the sense of understanding and acceptance of the individual by the group that comes as we become more and more familiar with the concept of the Universe as Love, the more she becomes a radiant example of how to live fully and completely.

Leo is likely very early in life to show both her talents and her Purpose to those around her, but it may be some time later that she actually comes to fully understand these in herself. In childhood she thinks she must shine for others; it is Leo’s particular gift/ curse that she can see the great importance of action to establish the identity, of love and enthusiasm and the celebration of one’s unique personal gifts, but that it may take some years (often depending on the kind and quality of love and support and feedback she received in childhood) before she can incorporate these in her daily existence in such a way that she recognizes their presence, and sees them as her right. The Leo Ascendant teaches us to celebrate ourselves, each other, and the life force that flows through every living creature; meet them where they are, and value them for what they can show us about appreciating the very act of being alive.

‘Una of The Faerie Queene’ By Briton Rivière {{PD}}

Your Weekend 22-25 March 2018 In Mercury’s Wake

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‘Breaking Waves’ By William Trost Richards 1897 {{PD}}

With Merc turning around today, the 22nd, in apparent retrograde (shortly after 5 PM Pacific Daylight Time), we may find ourselves disoriented, just a bit, and in the coming few days we meet some challenging aspects that may feel tougher than they actually are, due to Mercury’s withdrawal of mental continuity and reasoning support. The squares of Venus to Pluto on the 23rd, and the Sun to Mars on the 24th, might engender more confusion initially than anything else; is it you or me, we might be asking, who’s angry, feeling cheated or cheated on, ready to burn it down or fight it out, or is that just a kind of hangover we’ll be suffering from the loss of mental focus and acuity? If we stop and look at each situation carefully, what we’ll see is that we’re reacting to a whole set of suppositions and maybes based on our own extrapolations and fears–the reality picture won’t support these, so a step back and a deep breath is in order.

Mercury feels a lot more dynamic than this picture suggests, doesn’t he? ‘Mercury’ By Peter Paul Rubens c1637 {{PD}}

There’s also a sesquiquadrate of Chiron to the North Node point on the 25th that may make us much more reactive than we should be, hyper-sensitive to the way our wounds may alter or even hobble our desired life direction. So where do we put our energy, where is it all going right? For the 22nd, it’s steady on, allowing instincts to speak and actions to be guided by optimism (Pallas conj Sedna, Mars nov Jupiter). On the 23rd, thinking is still steeped in wisdom, even though ideas may be disjointed or processing sluggish (Merc nov Pallas) and effective actions arise from past choices (Mars nov SN). Too, our values are intact, unsullied by ambition or rank desire (Venus contra-parallel Zeus), making appetites something of a guide, in spite of the potential pitfalls of Venus-Pluto. This plays on through the 24th, as Venus parallels Sedna, continuing the harmony between wants and instincts (with the shadow side being that those same wants may lead us directly into our ‘blind spot’). That’s the day when we may have difficulty seeing what’s motivating our choices and actions (Sun sq Mars)–so something to keep in mind, even as we might benefit from going with the flow. By the 25th we get a big boost to Self-esteem and expression (Sun trine Ceres); personal authority opens doors and empowers in both inner and outer ways. We stumble into luck (Venus qnx Jupiter) and find that restraints and rules really are for our benefit (Saturn sxt Hygeia), which only shows once more why holding back during Merc retro can be effective for any number of reasons.

Have a great weekend, and set your sights on Monday; it’s one of those days: visualize what you want, and with caution, you just might get it!

And here’s a weekend word image: A printed sign in a field, announcing a development to come, and someone has written across it, ‘Nothing is Real’.

 

 

The Viewpoint From the 12th House

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The 12th can be a shadowed place, and we can be less than conscious of energies that reside there. ‘The Florence Griswold House in Old Lyme, Connecticut’ By Willard Leroy Metcalf 1905 {{PD}}

If you’re a chart energy, and you’re sitting in the 12th House, how do you express? If there’s one word that describes the 12th, it’s ‘indirect’—and that makes energy expression sometimes tricky, sometimes cumbersome, and always challenging. This energy can shine out through other outlets, such as when Saturn in the 12th brings discipline, order, and perhaps rigidity to the affairs of the House it rules, and all of it applied unconsciously on the part of the individual; it just seems natural to them, somehow, and there’s typically an assumption that everyone sees the affairs of the House Saturn rules in this same way—and as well that others carry these same energies in that same, ‘hidden’ place. An assumption is a good way to describe an energy placed in the 12th that doesn’t have a deliberately chosen outlet; we tend to see it as ‘just the way things are’ and sometimes it shows as a very prominent characteristic that others see right away and the individual is totally unaware of. The obvious outlets of aspects made and Houses ruled is of course a possibility—but we shouldn’t forget the potential for expression through the functions of the House for the individual: the 12th is just as active as any other House, it’s just that the individual who ‘owns’ the chart can’t observe the effects directly.

Some possibilities for 12th House expression include:

Unconsciously  With this outlet contents of the 12th, including energies of the sign in the 12th, may leak into everything. With this the most important thing one can do is become very familiar with those energies represented by items in one’s 12th, and then watch for these to crop up day-to-day. Spotting them in real life will help attune consciousness to their presence, and so make them that much more manageable. When we have the ruler of other major chart energies here (as in Winslet’s case, see the ‘Moon in the 1st’ article) a huge component of expression of these energies will be influenced by the unconscious; that can make 12th House connections much more important than we may realize on the surface. In Winslet’s case, for instance, ruler of 1st House Sun, Moon, and Ascendant, Venus, sits in 12 in Virgo, suggesting that an unconscious critical attitude toward standards of Being, identity, feeling, and of beauty, worth, and presentation are all inflicted on the 1st House assortment of core identity energies.

Through the Collective  We may experience our 12th House qualities through projection of these qualities onto the Collective (a 12th House Mars individual may see society as angry and aggressive, but not see those same qualities in themselves), or 12th House energies may be the way the individual connects the Self to everyone else. For instance, a 12th House Venus could see her fashion sense and taste as the way she is a part of and in shared experience with the larger social order, with a sense of inspiration running both to her from society, and from her, as she channels the Cosmic, spiritual, or Collective.

Through involvement with Causes and Concepts bigger than the Self  This can include institutions, spiritual movements, mass experiences like disasters or events like Woodstock or the Million Man March. A larger thing creates a common touchstone for many. Here the Self gets lost under the larger label—and so may mistake the cause or idea or concept itself for the personal identity; Chiron in the 12th may be especially prone to this, as the placement draws out the Chirotic inclination to giving up the Self for others—or in less flattering terms, martyrdom.

‘Le Reve’ (The Dream) By Puvis de Chavannes-Orsay 1882 {{PD}}

In Dreams  A 12th House concept may express only through the imagination (a daydream) or in the real-life nocturnal activity; what’s in the 12th may be seen as something unattainable in the form the individual longs for. Someone with Venus conjunct Pluto in Libra here, for instance, may long to be overwhelmed by a romantic relationship; anything less than devastating may not seem to the individual as truly a Love experience.

Overall we have the tendency to either see 12th House factors as ‘very much who we are’ through assuming they are like that for everyone, or we may disown them, exemplifying that 12th House ‘hidden’ quality. That’s a large part of why the old definition of the 12th was the ‘House of Self-Undoing’—if we didn’t discover and own those qualities found in the 12th, we would end up, as another common descriptive phrase put it, needing to ‘serve or suffer’ to make it all right.

12th House Personal Placements in Brief—elaborating on just a potential or two for each of the major personal chart energies:

Mercury here could mean the person’s communications are like a stream-of-unconsciousness delivered directly to the listener, making very clear what the real, underlying thoughts and motivations are. This person may have a direct line to the Cosmic, but may not be especially good at consciously translating what they know so that it’s sharable with others.

Venus in the 12th can suggest someone who doesn’t really know their own beauty or attractive qualities (they may never feel beautiful, no matter their physical state or the feedback they receive, or conversely may assume they are beautiful or easily lovable), who has Love as the motivating foundation behind all action, or who believes they may never know personal love (or who may see the Universe/ God as Love, and so dedicate the life to service). This person may also attract money from hidden or unexpected sources and could be the ‘money man’ behind someone else’s business or efforts.

Mars here can be the classic individual who is exceptionally angry and yet unaware of it—‘butter won’t melt in their mouths’ and yet they always point out (and condemn) the anger in others—no one is allowed to be angry on their watch! This can also be the person who can be highly effective at translating inspiration into action, and who may be unafraid to act on received messages, dreams, or intuitions; they may act bravely without even thinking about it.

The Moon in this spot can mark an excruciatingly sensitive individual, an intuitive or spiritual ‘genius’, or someone who escapes to emotionalism every time they want to hide from the unpleasant. (See my upcoming book on the Moon in the Natal Chart for more details and potentials).

‘Midnight Sun’ By Frants Bøe 1891 {{PD}}

The Sun in this House may make for a natural modesty, an extremely creative individual, a natural Priest or Priestess, or someone who can exert great control and offer great support in a ‘behind the scenes’ position.

Scroll down or click for the latest installment of ‘The Ascendant Zodiapedia’, donate to your favorite astrologers or those who aid you, read, and have a great day!

 

Your Ascendant Zodiapedia: ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It?’ Cancer

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‘Luna’ By Anonymous {{PD}}

Cancer is Love in action; though it centers in feeling (Moon ruler) it shows itself in action (Cardinal sign). Cancer gets into trouble when it feels but doesn’t act; this is when the life-giving force that is the essence of the sign becomes frustrated and stunted, trying to share Love through passive means. The purpose of nurturing is to put Love into action; that is, in essence, what nurturing is, an influx of caring that supports all facets of Beingness. That’s a big order for anyone, and it’s in trying to fill this, consciously or not so, day after day, that Cancer may come to feel hollowed out, used, devoid of enough energy (love!) for him- or herself—and yet the Cardinal push behind the sign may make giving and caring compulsive, anyway—and that means that feeling unloved or sorry for himself is a Cancer pitfall extraordinaire—though it’s also the answer: Cancer must learn to care for her- or himself, to nurture the Self without qualifiers or reservation, in order to be any good at doing for others; after all, we can’t give away what we don’t already possess.

Cancer needs to be especially attentive to the ebb and flow of the emotional reactions; these, when carefully monitored, will signal when the Crab should give, and when she or he needs to reserve loving energy for her- or himself. It’s important to note, the Crab’s reactions may vary, as does the energy available to respond to others with feeling, but the orientation of the feelings themselves, toward others and about circumstances or things, remains surprisingly constant. They don’t change their hearts easily, and may suffer for it. There’s also the matter of mistaking empathy, sympathy, and desire for others to be comfortable with Love in the more romantic sense; the Cancer Ascendant can be misread by others as caring because they want more in the relationship, rather than as caring being the simple but driving force behind the personality, and Cancer herself may confuse the meaning behind the feeling, too, at least initially.

To those looking on, Cancer may seem a vulnerable person with a quickly-changing emotional outlook, temperamental and overly reactive. This may have originated in an early environment that required the Cancer individual be especially sensitive to others. Often the early years involved caring for others even younger or more in need than they (or at least being highly sympathetic toward them, for instance, finishing all one’s supper because “think of the children starving in China”), or required Cancer to accommodate a particularly sensitive caretaker or other adult who, Cancer believed, needed their emotional support. This may have oriented our young Cancer to a service mentality that insists on putting the Self last (guilt is oh-so Cancerian when operating with shadow values), setting them up for a life of feeling drained by various demands that come at them via tradition, rules, expectations, hierarchies, and the harshness of life itself, all reflections of a negative take on opposing sign Capricorn.

Unconscious sensitivities, a Cancer specialty, may show first in stomach or digestive issues, or through skin conditions or in surprising bone breaks, as Cancer reacts unconsciously to feelings or fears, and/ or tries to rid the Self of pollutants of all kinds. Cancer, as the absorbent sponge of the zodiac, may take in emotionally without being consciously aware of what they’re ingesting, and that makes them exquisitely responsive, linking psyche, soma, and emotus at a molecular level that sees little difference among the forms. Feeling permeates everything, for the Cancer individual, and that means they feel about everything, even if that response doesn’t immediately show. Note, too, the relationship between the Moon and the asteroid Ceres in the natal chart for clues as to the kind of physical sensitivities the individual might be prone to.

To the observer, Cancer on the Ascendant is sensitive, almost to a fault, and perhaps gives others the impression that they are continually being monitored or watched—for their own good, of course—and that can make Cancer on the ASC seem older and Mom-ish, no matter the chronological age or sex—awkward! It also, though, fosters a certain amount of Trust with even the unlikeliest of individuals—the feeling is Cancer cares, even if we’ve just met them, or they have no reason to—and that can give others the incentive to take a leap of faith. Cancer’s mere presence, then, can act as a motivator for others. Cancer needs to incorporate into the way they meet the world clear boundaries and structures that protect and honor the Self, a positive expression of Capricornian duty. Looking out from their Cancer Ascendant, these individuals often feel much too easily swayed by the demands of simply being alive, by authority and tradition and obligation, and can wear themselves out trying to respond as they believe they should, with an outpouring of emotional support for others—when stressed, fear or ‘shutting down’, negative Capricorn factors, can be the result. If they can put emotional and psychic boundaries in place, and find a solid vessel in which to secure their own emotional sustenance, they can bring caring to a world that can be too harsh without the Lunar sensitivity and ability to reflect one’s needs and concerns, to gauge the amount of input, support, or nurture needed, and then to fill that individual, situation, or reaction with soothing light.

See my books here, and have a great week!

New Moon in Pisces March 2018 A Goldilocks Moon

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Jessie Willcox Smith – ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ 1915 Illustration for a soap company {{PD}}

The New Moon occurs at 6:11 AM Pacific Daylight time at 26 Pisces 53. Both bodies (Sun, Moon) are applying conjoined Chiron, sextile Sedna and catching Uranus at the rough midpoint, square Vesta, and widely square Mars, the latter two together in Sagittarius, with Mars at the stressful 29 degree mark. The New Moon is also headed toward a sesquiquadrate with the North Node, and is in wide separating trine to Jupiter, which suggests what was recently promised by Jupiter is now in the rear-view mirror, not exactly gone, but at least temporarily losing relevance and certainly making connecting with that Jupiterian potential impossible right now (and we might ask ourselves, what ‘new’ do we need to learn, related to that Jupiter possibility, that will make actually obtaining what we want possible? Look to matters of the House where the New Moon and retro Jupiter fall in the natal chart. The NM Mars could make us feel as if we must act on it–but the time’s not right, yet)–the sesquiquadrate to the North Node only adds to this, making the road ahead appear particularly bumpy from our current vantage point.

Forming so close to Chiron suggests the New Moon brings potentials for hurt or healing–but which? We get a clue in the sextile to Sedna, which finds Uranus at the midpoint; this promises that something prompted either by the instincts or the ‘blind spot’ (that is, that we stumble into, rather than deliberately choose) will bring something unexpected or shocking, will garner the input of the group, or will foster understanding, not just intellectually, but emotionally, even intuitively. We must also consider that the knowledge, opportunity, or belief ‘withdrawal’ suggested by Jupiter may be the source of the wounding or healing. Whatever it is, it challenges our commitments, our priorities, or our highest values, with responsibility one way or another falling back on us and our own (possibly) poor decisions or potentially arising from aggression or conflicts sparked by others. This New Moon gives us the opportunity to reckon with our own and others’ ego urges and assertiveness, and to do so via our capacity for creative thinking, or through applying ideals to the imagination (Pisces); like Goldilocks, we’ll need to ask: Are we too aggressive and Self-involved, or are we giving our own needs too little attention or regard, or are we just right? The NM lays the emotional groundwork to successfully deal with this question, and when Mercury retrogrades in Aries on the 22nd, it will be prime time for reviewing and changing our actions (retro in Fire), particularly the way we act out or express the ego and action urges (Aries); we’ll have this New Moon to thank for a least a portion of our insights.

With Mars at its current position (29 Sagittarius) we may feel we’ll have to act in order to learn, but that would be premature–wait for Merc’s turnaround, as more will then be revealed–at this New Moon point, it’s all about feeling, intuiting, and communing, to discover our precise relationship to the Universe–modifications come later. One thing we may have to face at this time is that there is no difference between our woundedness and our ability to heal–and that in response to that awareness, action need not and often should not automatically be our answer to what’s revealed. Hints as to what follows are found here–

Utagawa Hiroshige – ‘Cuckoo Flying Under a Full Moon’ 19th century {{PD}}

The Sabian symbol for the New Moon in Pisces is, ‘The Harvest Moon Illumines A Clear Autumnal Sky’. This suggests opposites, through the imagery of a Full Moon, and autumn rather than the spring that’s soon to come (at least here in the Northern Hemisphere–for those in the Southern Hemisphere, the message may be simple: in the beginning is the end, and it is now). This could imply for Northerners that New Moon events play out through the summer and come to some sort of peak in the fall, or that what is born with the New Moon has the seeds of its completion, its ending, built in. That suggests not only that if we look carefully we will see the outcome to events already implied in their beginnings, promising a ‘harvest’ proportional to our efforts now, but that what happens now may also bring endings–that is, that the New Moon beginning has arisen from the completion of other cycles, that it’s time for other efforts to naturally terminate, conclude, or die. The imagery may also suggest we note Virgo at this point, in any or all of its guises within the personal life. That means subjects, qualities, and even people we associate with the sign may hold one or more keys to the meaning of events. Earth sits in Virgo, and that means those symbols will be literal, or at least tangible; check also the subjects of the House in the natal chart that holds Virgo for clues as to what may inform the New Moon event. ‘Discernment’ may be a key concept–also ‘criticism’, ‘accountability’, ‘results’. The ‘Circle of Life’ may be extraordinarily apparent right now–embrace this as a natural part of things, and appreciate what you have, in the present.

 

 

Your Ascendant Zodiapedia: ‘Just So You Know’ Gemini

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So, which one is the Gemini? This Ascendant can get a reputation, if they’re careless. ‘Gossip’ by Eugen von Blaas, 1903 {{PD}}

Is Gemini aware of the Universal interconnectedness of things, of the fine web threading among every single thing in the Cosmos, so that tugging on one bit jostles them all? Do we know if Gemini thinks of this as she moves, like a bee, from point to point, from upturned face to upturned face of so many persons, each of whom blossoms under Gemini’s quick wit and inclusive gaze? Does Gemini know she’s the human glue in all this, or, to stick with our previous metaphor, the one responsible for pollinating the world of ideas? I ask because Gemini can be highly ‘other oriented’ (echoing the twin symbology), to the extent that focus can be almost exclusively on the external—and this ‘looking outward’ could be responsible for Gemini’s reputation for flightiness and a concern with surfaces—but when those surfaces connect large webs of others to one another through shared ideas, they are helping create a lovely interconnectedness, a kind of psychic connective tissue for the Universal ‘body’.

An Air sign, the Gemini Ascendant can present as bubbly and chatty, shallow and unconcerned with what others consider ‘serious’—and yet, Gemini is almost always effectively informed, especially as to what’s current, or what needs to be known in the moment—he or she can’t help that their natural delivery is light and deft. Looking out through the Gemini Ascendant, this individual likely views everything in terms of a network—they see the natural connectedness of all things—and it’s this thoughtful ability to connect the dots that makes Gemini so remarkable, as it manifests more as instinct than as mind. Too, they are highly mentally active from the get-go, and this suggests an early environment where thinking on one’s feet was beneficial to survival; it also implies the possibility that mental interaction with the caretakers and with the world was encouraged—or seen as vital to existence—and these individuals are almost always very early speakers and readers. One thing that Gemini almost insists upon is a response from those with whom he or she communicates, and this can open a chink in that cheerful armor, as exchange is a big part of the Gemini identity, and when denied it Gemini can suffer real mental anguish. The Gemini weakness is that the early environment may have convinced them that everything can be sorted out with the mind—and so others may observe Gemini stumbling slightly behind the curve emotionally, especially during teen and young adult years. Gemini is nothing if not a keen observer, though, and uses the Mercurial wit and alertness to get up to speed in a swift and efficient manner.

The Gemini Ascendant can appear to others to be insecure, even petty; if we look at things from the viewpoint of the twins, however, we see that this impression only arises when Gemini doesn’t feel sure she or he has a good grasp of the facts or the current situation. Nerves can make Gemini clam up, but the mentality is never lacking in wit, and this individual typically loves word games, puns, and challenging puzzles, and so can appear to others a bit of the detective, pursuing answers and looking for ‘why’. There is an instinct within Gemini that honors knowledge, learning and discovering, and the ‘Big Picture’, all expressions of opposite sign Sagittarius; as time goes on Gemini uses the networking ability more and more as a teaching, philosophy spreading, and life-improvement strategy, in service to the wider world, balancing the Mercurial urge with the Jupiterian one.

Willful Words, Willful Wants: Mercury and Venus in Aries

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Oh, the lives of the gods! Jean-Honoré Fragonard ‘The Fountain of Love’ c1785 {{PD}}

Looking ahead a bit, there are two days coming up I wanted to discuss; I would describe them as ‘potent’, and so important to be aware of, if only for the potentials they might bring, and the assists they might offer. This first is March 18th: Mercury will still be direct in Aries, but moving very slowly, with less than a single degree to travel before turnaround. It’s also still within orb of a conjunction to Venus, and both are conjoined that day by the transiting Moon, just coming off the New Moon conjunction to the Sun in Pisces. We also see Merc and Venus (and briefly, the Moon) making semi-sextile to Neptune, a square to Black Moon Lilith, and a trine to the North Node point. What strikes me about this is not just the unusual length of time Mercury and Venus have been together (this happens, once in a while, so isn’t that extraordinary), but that they are at this point together in aspect to two energy ‘points’ and the most nebulous influence we find in the chart. That suggests, very generally, that we won’t have a handle on what Mercury and Venus together in Aries means to us. Willful words and willful wants, the ‘I Am’ controls communications and relationships–and if we consider how uncomfortable Venus is in Aries, almost making for a ‘Me vs. My relationship’ scenario–then we can see any number of ways that we may express out of irritation or discomfort or the need to be heard that could greatly affect our connections and even our income. Add to this that what has been ignored or denied or that enrages is causing friction (Black Moon Lilith by square), and we see how easily this will impact life direction (NN by trine)–and yet it may take some time before we’re completely aware of the way what happens in this window changes our relationships, and our personal trajectory. The 18th does offer a glimpse of what has been impacted, through the emotions or the intuition, but that glimpse is withdrawn almost as quickly as it appears–so pay attention when it comes.

Also notable on that day is the Sun-Earth axis at 28 degrees across Pisces-Virgo, with the Sun closely conjoined Chiron. This suggests the obscuring of our wounds, in spite of the attention we may give them–and leads us into the second day of interest, the 19th. The Sun-Earth axis will have moved into the ‘stress’ degree of 29, and the Moon will make final contact to Uranus in Aries and then move into Void status at around 11:30 AM Pacific time. This promises a period of distress, accompanied by a feeling of ineffectiveness should we try to address our upset–and we may not know what to do until the 22nd-23rd, when the Sun-Earth perfects a T-square to Mars, and we finally see where the problem is (or perhaps, what about our actions has caused the problems we face)–strange, considering this is the day when Mercury finally goes retrograde, perhaps withdrawing the ego’s mental barriers that kept us from understanding, allowing us to review, ‘What should I do?’ (Merc retro in Fire). With Mars having entered Capricorn on the 17th, we’ll likely be oriented toward practical, real-world, modest solutions, ones that will take care of problems once and for all, and this period shows us, if we’re willing to see, just how we’ve contributed to issues, and just what we can do to fix them.

And if you haven’t seen it, I recommend Darren Aronovsky’s ‘Mother!’, a story of the eternal cycle helmed by a Zeusian-Plutonic figure and Ceres-Gaia, with man’s religious follies and god-worship and the destructive consequences of these. It suggests an endless interaction between Nature and her tranquility and fecundity, on one side, and man’s insatiable need for god, and god’s insatiable need to be worshiped, and the destructiveness of these needs, on the other. Approach it all as symbolic, with an acceptance of the characters as fluid in terms of identity and labels, and you’ll have fun picking out their roles from myth, religion, and the Collective psyche.

Your Ascendant Zodiapedia: ‘The Caretaker of Comfort’ Taurus

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Lovis Corinth ‘Mädchen mit Stier’ (Girl With Bull) 1902 {{PD}}

My Word dictionary wants me to change ‘Taurean’ to ‘tureen’–strangely appropriate, considering the Bull’s affinity for comfort food 🙂  –Tweeted by me 22 January 2014

Being born with Taurus on the Ascendant signals an individual who understands the physical and material pleasures/ experiences of life—and so is attuned as well to their potential origins, losses, or transformation from one state to another (through the opposing sign, Scorpio). This suggests an early environment where the material experience was prominent—either through appreciation for what surrounded the individual (whether that was luxurious or spare), or through lack that focused the individual on the material surroundings via the issue of survival, above anything else. Taurus might have taken comfort in the physical (food, enjoyments, activities, the learning of skills applied to the environment–typically artisanal or artistic–or exercise of talents) to fill some kind of gap, such as a common childhood loneliness or the experience of early caretakers who either made a huge fuss about the physical (and so focused the child’s values there) or who neglected them completely, leaving the young one to fend for her- or himself.

Taurus on the Ascendant appears to others to be grounded, methodical, aesthetically and especially sensually-oriented, concerned at all times with the material experience. Why is Taurus seen as so steadfast, so reliable? Is it because they’re plodding and dull? Nein! It’s because their priorities have both a practical and an aesthetically pleasing tinge—they are ruled by Venus, after all—and of course that fact lends an awareness of the Other in relationship—so it’s only natural that the Bull channels at least some of her or his Taurean response toward the welfare and comfort of those with whom they interact, and so gains the reputation of willingly looking out for others when they fail to look out for themselves—not a glamorous stance, but an appreciated one, in most cases. Since the material is important to Taurus, that’s where her focus stays—and others may unfairly read a lack of imagination in that. Taurus is about creating an atmosphere, an experience, and acquiring the materials and arena in which to do so—and meeting the world in this way makes for someone unusually competent at procurement and at understanding the worth of what surrounds them—practical indeed.

Remember, Taurus is looking out at the world through this lens, and what Taurus notices is surroundings and the way these make the human organism feel; above all, the Bull is tremendously responsive to the environment. Secondarily, Taurus’ focus on the material means he or she immediately and continually assesses and categorizes what is available and what must be done to create an acceptable ‘comfort level’—and this is a highly positive thing, as everyone benefits: Fire signs may be too busy to see to needs, Air signs who may ignore the material world entirely, and Water signs may be too overwhelmed by feeling to worry about fundamentals. This concentration on what’s right in front of her or him is what gives Taurus the reputation of being a plodder, a title bestowed by those who may assume that the details are beneath them—but when those who think like that are in charge, we find the necessities and the niceties aren’t seen to at all, and consequently our animal Selves suffer. Taurus’ concerns are highly practical ones, and as well, Taurus knows the importance of enjoying the experience—something we could all use a friendly reminder of.

It’s important to recognize that dealing with the material is no less spiritual than meditation or prayer; to see it as such is to miss the reason we incarnate in the first place, and Taurus knows this much better than most. The Taurus Ascendant may find the focus on the physical and on comforts becomes detrimental as the social sphere expands and the education goes forward; there are those who would designate material matters as ‘less evolved’ or sophisticated than say, intellectual pursuits, relationships, or finances—and these individuals would be, if not wrong, then really unpleasant in their snobbishness (which is something the less-developed Taurus knows all too well, when the focus is on luxuries and status within the established social standards). Taurus’ reputation for being stubborn comes from a need to feel grounded—and for the Taurus Ascendant, this can play out as a need to feel sure of the identity, including talents and the asset picture, and to achieve physical comfort, before anything else can be attended to. Stability in all forms is the goal of Taurus.

Eventually, the Bull realizes that it’s not all about warm sweaters, cozy fires, and delicious stews (or cool breezes, swinging in a hammock, and a tall fruity drink in one’s hand!) With time, the Taurean becomes more contemplative and less experiential, and begins to look below the surface of things (the complementary energy of the opposing sign, Scorpio), embracing a sense of mystery in the process, in contradiction to their inborn urge toward security and no surprises. They’ve always known that the unseen is there, affecting things, but it takes both a maturing and a certain level of surety within the physical sphere for Taurus to allow exploration of what she or he can’t see. We need to remember, Taurus is a highly sensitive sign; their involvement with comfort may be a response to an early emotional life that was lacking, as much or more than a response to the physical side of things. This kind of experience can make for a wise counselor or one who knows what others need, materially and spiritually, especially after or during trauma or an emergency. Taurus’ sensitivity to the environment and comfort evolves, translating into a sensitivity to the unseen forces of life and the power to resurrect or remake through manipulation of the material world, reflecting its companion opposite, Scorpio.

Your Ascendant Zodiapedia: ‘It’s War, Isn’t It?’ Aries

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Aries on the Ascendant shares a lot of characteristics with the Warrior Pallas. ‘Pallas Athena’ By Franz von Stuck 1898 {{PD}}

This is the initial installment in a series that appeared previously in ECLIPSE (editing and additions have been made), where we inspect some of the characteristics, assumptions, and impulses with each sign as it captures the Ascendant. This is the symbolic place where we enter the world; the nature of the sign on it suggests both how we meet our environment, and what we believe is necessary to survive in it, and so forms the personality. I try to give a little of both the view from outside (the way others perceive those with the Ascendant in a particular sign) and from the inside (with the individual looking out at the world, and how that Ascendant response may have been shaped). First, Aries on the Ascendant:

Aries is a Warrior spirit, even when the undertaking is domestic, economic, meditative, or pleasurable in nature. Life brings out the ‘Me First!’ competitive spirit of Aries, and he should never be blamed for that. At the same time, one of the things Aries needs to learn is cooperation (a reflection of the opposing sign, Libra). What we see with Aries on the ascending horizon is someone who likely needed to put themselves first in order to survive, or who needed to lead others for the survival of all. Though we may see those circumstances as unlikely in early life, especially the leading of others, all we need think of is a child either left to their own devices to survive day-to-day or one who finds him- or herself in a position to help others survive (I think of a man I knew who, born during the Depression, cooked and cleaned for his three brothers from the age of 5, when his mother was at work in the fields and the two older brothers were doing whatever odd jobs they could find—he spoke of hardly being able to reach the stove top, which made my hair stand on end—a 5-year-old cooking!) Of course, not everyone with Aries on the Ascendant is literally dealing with life or death—but remember, the horoscope is the world as seen from the individual point of view—when we recall that, we can understand how putting Oneself first can become a real need in response to an environment that disregarded the individual or that left him or her feeling adrift on their own. Interesting that this doesn’t foster abandonment issues in most Aries Ascendants, but we may note that abandonment is a problem for the preceding sign, Pisces, reinforcing the idea that each sign is a response to the perception of the sign preceding it; Self-focused survival is the direct result of a fiery, Mars-fueled attitude, a response that says ‘I’m an army of one, you can’t ignore my impact!’—so if there are issues with unsupportive others or being left behind, they are likely hidden behind a flurry of competency, action, and ‘getting’ and ‘doing’.

The Aries Ascendant gives others the impression that she’s chomping at the bit to lead, and to get her own way; this may spring from early experiences that thwarted the Will, that made Aries feel unsafe unless she was in charge, and that may have left Aries in the dust unless she thrust herself to the front of the pack—so you can hardly blame her for wanting to establish her place, for wanting to avoid being lost in the shuffle. The conscious focus is on the ego and the ‘I Am’ statement of what or who Aries asserts as the identity at any one time; this can change with the needs and/ or focus of the ego. Aries is also prone to defend others or to fight whenever there seems to be a reason (which may not, to an observer, justify aggression at all—but Aries can and often does frame aggression in the context of being justified, in the same way that a surgeon often sees the need for surgery—it’s their job); eventually, both a defensive attitude and a willingness to fight can be tamed to suit and support the identity statement, though the latter may never truly be subsumed.

When Aries is the rising sign, the individual meets the world assertively and aggressively, meaning that they both impress the Self on the surroundings and automatically meet others in a competitive spirit. Typically Aries starts out all ‘Me First!’ and, depending on experiences encountered, will evolve to continue to put the Self first in socially acceptable (Libran) ways. Once they become sensitive to others’ (mostly negative) reactions to excessive Self-assertion and interest, they move more and more toward expressions that carry that Libran style. In spite of such evolution, Aries will still always hold a strong competitive spirit in abeyance, and will still assess situations initially on what she or he can get, what can be done, and what kind of impact he or she may be able to make. A competitive or aggressive stance may continue to be presented—they’re always wearing their ‘War Face’, even when that is a smile! Action is a consistent, even eternal, part of the Aries expression, and it’s Aries’ job to learn how to make that action both acceptable to others and meaningful to the Self. Diplomacy, fairness, partnership, cooperation, good manners all become part of the arsenal that allows Aries to get what she or he wants—and that’s good, creating balance and fairness in the best sense, where others aren’t disregarded and yet Aries gets the needs met and makes an impression, which is so vital to Aries feeling their approach to the world is a successful one.

Watch for the Zodiapedia for each sign on the Ascendant, one at a time over the coming days.

What Is Intuition?

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Another re-print from ECLIPSE.

Intuition is something we all have and that we all use, but it’s not necessarily something we are conscious of, or recognize when it’s in play.  Intuition is easily mislabeled; fear, ego, want, or the mind can jump in and convince us that the urge is one of pure information, and intuitive insight, rather than the biased wish, thought, or frightened assumption it really is. How do we recognize real intuition when it arrives? Here are some points that help sort the intuitive inspiration from everything else:

Intuition is instantaneous  We don’t gradually come to an intuitive insight, nor do we cogitate our way there; it’s like a little ‘ping’ inside us that is not centralized in the mentality but fills the awareness.

Synchronicity signals  These needn’t be related directly to the intuitive insight; instead, synchronicities act as a signal that we are traveling along the Path with our senses ‘wide open’, and thus that we are open to those connections, leaps of logic, and ‘right assumptions’ we must make spurred by the intuitive insight.

Not willed, but allowed  Intuition doesn’t appear on command–we can’t will ourselves to have an intuitive insight, and we can’t plan ahead for one. We can allow them to happen–but that involves paying attention every time they do–and too often we will judge them, then push them aside with one rationale or another (“But I’m already committed to ‘x’, I can’t change now!” “Everyone will laugh at me if I bring this up” “That contradicts the way things seem to be!”) We must honor and follow the intuitive prompts we are offered–don’t, and the well goes dry–or at least narrows to a trickle.

Intuition comes whole By that I mean it arrives in the awareness all of a piece, not straggling in bit by bit. However, this is no guarantee that an intuition will hand you what you consider a complete answer or detailed Path. It’s not uncommon to be given a ‘next step’ with no idea of where it will lead, or proof that it’s ‘right’–that’s where our own trust in the Universe comes in, with trust in the Cosmos tantamount to trust in our intuition.

Intuition refrains from bias  Even though an intuition can be highly definitive, pointing very strongly to one point of action or attitude, it does not carry heavy condemnation of other potentials. If we find ourselves wallowing in how bad the varied possibilities except for the one we’ve chosen, then we are likely involved in some sort of ego-persuasive reasoning, not intuition. Intuition gives a ‘clean’ perception that does not waste energy denigrating other options. Period.

Intuition does not spur fantasy  In fact, intuition removes a great deal of the impetus to extrapolate–after we receive and act on a true intuition, we are likely to be in a continued state of openness, one that accepts all possibilities and waits for some indication of what’s to come, rather than pushing forward into a state of ‘I want’.

Intuition rarely presents as words/ a thought  Those who have strong influences from Venus, Neptune, Cancer, or Pisces in the natal chart will know what I’m talking about, while those with a lot of Air or Earth may not be so quick to understand: typically something that presents in words/ a thought is an idea, not an intuition. Remember how I said it comes into the awareness whole and immediate? We may then translate that into words and thought–but if it starts that way, it’s more likely the mind, putting in its two cents–that’s not bad, it’s just not intuition “