Just a Little AstroEssence 29 August 2017 Show Off



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‘Spanish Dancer’ John Singer Sargent 1879 {{PD}}

What’s the big story today? The queen of the gods, Juno, conjoins Hygeia, indicator of what’s healthy, and we get–healthy Self-assertion? An unhealthy inclination toward vengeance? Or possibly something more subtle in-between. Here our current power and empowerment position (our status, our ability to reach out and get others to comply with our wishes and goals, and our sense of respect given and received within relationship) meets up with a gold standard of ‘what’s healthy’, and our position and choices are judged by us from there–and not necessarily accurately. There are difficulties with seeing through the fog, with sorting real from imagined, with perhaps a little too much hope that something is ideal, in spite of the reality behind it. Listening to instinct will help; deep inside we know how things really are. It’s just a matter of seeing that reality, and accepting it–easier said than done, but possible, nonetheless.

Mars as Seen from Deimos by Howard Russell Butler {{PD}}

Today’s word image is a pair of things observed in real life: a bright green billboard that reads, ‘It’s time to show off’, and then a man wearing a t-shirt with one word on it: Mars. Seen in quick succession, I took these to suggest we need to assert ourselves, to put some part of our essence ‘out there’, particularly something that at one time or another we may have been chided for, told that nice boys and girls don’t ‘Show off’–but behind the showing off was really a need, to express an innate talent or ability. Today, express that thing you do very, very well. You’re not showing off, you’re offering what you’ve got, and that’s the way it’s meant to be.

Just a Little AstroEssence 28 August 2017 Static, Indecipherable



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Albrecht Dürer – ‘Wing of a Roller’ 1511 {{PD}}

Have we seen what’s good for us, and in implementing it, expected to change ourselves, our values, and our interactions? Or have we expected our relationships and what we care about to adapt to us and the changes we’re going through? Today we’re not quite processing accurately our relationship to the social sphere, the facts, or our true empowerment position; our thinking is frizzled by interference and so largely static, indecipherable. This unsureness in our approach will create some (possibly unfortunate) change–but it will only be destructive if we cling to the idea of ourselves as individual islands in need of defense in a hostile social sea, that is, if we expect the world to uncomplainingly accommodate any changes to our viewpoint or behavior. We can’t forget the interconnectedness of all Beings, and we must in particular remember our own commitments and alliances, if we want to get through today without stepping on any feelings or burning any bridges.

Today’s word image is a wing, detached from its owner, lying in the grass. What kind of wing did you see? One from a bird, one made of paper as from a kite, the large metal wing of an airplane, the wing from a costume, one from an angel? Take this as an indicator of some assistance you might be asked to render in the near future, the nature of which is shown by the kind of wing you imagine. For instance, if you pictured an angel’s wing, you might be asked to be someone’s angel, to come to their rescue in some way; the wing of an airplane might, by contrast, suggest someone needs your technical help, or possibly that someone needs your assistance ‘to fly’.

Just a Little AstroEssence 27 August 2017 A Virgoan Cast



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Henry Herbert La Thangue – ‘The Return of the Reapers’ 1885 {{PD}}

The mental processes take on a particular tone today for the Merc retrograde review: we are inclined to look closely at either our power and status situation, or at our health, with strong potential for inspecting those areas where they overlap. It all takes on a highly Virgoan cast, where we closely peruse detail, inspect methodologies, and in some way try to ‘balance the books’. This is likely successful, leading to a nice equilibrium between trimming and getting more, expanding and contracting, and between taking an optimistic approach and a realistic one. Remember what you conclude today, and write it down if you have to–realizations seen at this point will be invaluable post-Mercury direction.

Today’s word image is a woman who sits alone in a darkened movie theater, watching the show for hours. What do you imagine she’s watching? And what does that say about what’s ‘playing’ in your life right now?

Just a Little AstroEssence 26 August 2017 Making Waves



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Henri Privat Livemont – ‘La Vague (The Wave)’ 1896 {{PD}}

We’re concerned about exercising the options of our empowerment position, about flexing our status-muscles, about acting to build the future–and in having this focus, we start something entirely new. This is the promise of the Inferior Conjunction of Mercury and the Sun, coupled with the meeting of Mars and the North Node point. Choices made today will ripple out, gather both momentum and meaning, and assert themselves in our affairs as a wave, one that may have grown surprisingly powerful over the ‘distance’ it will travel. It may be important to note that this isn’t a Neptunian wave, one of creativity and emotion, but a wave generated by physical and psychic action; it’s a different kind of creativity contained within the style and preferences of those things we set in motion. Note, too, that we may not be consciously aware of the ways in which we’re asserting ourselves and our Will until things are well underway. Our disconnect may, in fact, extend to the future point when the wave makes an impact, where it takes us completely by surprise. So, the goal today is awareness of what we’re putting in motion, of the psychic seeds we’re planting, in as nuanced and far-sighted a form as possible.

Vittore Carpaccio – Sant’Orsola polyptich – Incontro e partenza dei fidanzati ‘Departure of the Pilgrims’ c1495 {{PD}}

Today’s word image is the word ‘pilgrim’. In the loosest terms, pilgrims are seekers, motivated at least in part by spiritual considerations. They are also presumed to be wandering or traveling; it’s hard to be a pilgrim staying at home. In what way are you a pilgrim, a seeker, and how conscious are you of what you seek?

And then I remembered this:

When You Are Old by William Butler Yeats

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

Have a lovely Saturday!

Just a Little AstroEssence 25 August 2017 Release



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‘A Reed Cutter at Work’ By Peter Henry Emerson (Cuba, active England, 1856-1936), Thomas Frederick Goodall (England, 1857-1944) – Image: {{PD}}

Saturn stations direct today, the 25th, in Sagittarius, releasing us from the cycle; this either opens the floodgates, allowing forward progress and bringing an end to the most egregious obstacles in our path, or we suddenly find barriers materialized before us, progress halted, sometimes for no reason we can point to, other times by some potential that lingered at the edge of awareness and now steps forward. Whichever way you respond to the Saturn direct-retro cycle, it makes us all cognizant of the passage of time and the reality picture, with change-of-direction points re-orienting us to current circumstances and the work we need to do to affect them.

We also see Venus enter Leo–watch for the roar of vanity and in those who are normally more reticent, a surge of pride, healthy Self-interest, and awareness of Self-worth that helps them earn or collect what’s coming to them. We all see the worth of standing up for ourselves, and for expressing our talents–‘Letting Ourselves Shine’ might be our theme at this time. Accompanying these planetary shifts we have influences that suggest a rejection of what’s wise or practical, probably grounded in mistaken ideas of what empowers us (hint: we may not see the true power of sticking to our values–that’s where the juice is found!) What else flourishes today? Originality, and efforts at improving health and embracing our status all bring rewards or improved circumstances, as does a willingness to put at least some trust in the group.

Photo by Michael Warren, Bristol, UK, released under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Today’s word image is a bluebell.There are iterations of this flower all over the world, but they always make me think of Texas, a place I have mixed feelings about. What place, person, or thing from the past rises up today to remind you of what was, or how far you’ve come, or how you’ve changed, with perhaps the biggest factor being a question: what from this period do you regret, and how can you deal with it now?

Just a Little AstroEssence 24 August 2017 The Cost of Magic, The Need for Facts



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You can be confident as a Valkyrie today, if you’re open to what surrounding circumstances say about who you are. ‘Brünnhilde the Valkyrie’ Arthur Rackham 1909 {{PD}}

There’s a lot going on today, and various forces may push us in contrary directions. Wisdom or practicality gets a dose of the creative, the imaginative, or the delusional, and depending on the individual and the application, could make magic or pull the roof down around us. Big ambitions find big outlets, the social sphere supports our desires (whether we see that or not), and communications travel farther than we expect them to (which may be good or not so, depending on what’s behind those words or ideas). What’s not working so well? The individual ego, the sense of sureness in the identity, suffers whiplash, or feedback that points to inevitable change around who we are; only the facts surrounding matters of actual power, and those realities reflected back to us by the state of relationships and finances (emphasized by the Moon in Libra), hold valid reference points–everything else is a (potentially) costly deception.

Today’s word image is a bench made of bacon. Seriously! The absurdity of this image points to the obvious need for exercise (don’t sit around on our pork!) as well as a need to modify or otherwise attend to the diet. Just a reminder that it never hurts to reform our methods of Self-care and nurture, and that post-Solar eclipse and mid-Mercury retro (and approaching Inferior Conjunction) is the perfect time to do so.

Donate to your favorites, read, and have a great day!

Just a Little AstroEssence 23 August 2017 Love Fest



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Auguste Renoir – ‘Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette’ 1875 {{PD}}

A compulsion to talk about or ponder relationships, Love, or financial matters is part healing action, part need to transform contacts and resources into something more compatible with our highest values or commitments, and part clever, witty thought process applied to the Universal need for change. We are inspired in our thinking about Venusian subjects, and if we can let instincts drive, we can reform our attitudes and interactions in most positive ways, into a veritable Love Fest. Be aware, though, that communications are loving, even if they wound; the speaker may not see the implications behind their own words (thanks, Merc retro!) One other caution: blind spots in those same Venusian areas may be magnified, with instincts providing unreasoned excuses that could sink what we only seek to reform, so proceed with care.

Today’s word image is a candle dedicated to your favorite saint. You say you don’t have a favorite saint, aren’t religious, don’t imbue objects with meaning or a sense of the sacred? Yes, you do, you just haven’t recognized you do it. What’s the most common sacred object in the world today? The cell phone. We tell ourselves it’s a practical matter, but we are emotionally attached, and expect it to ‘save’ us repeatedly. Look at what thing or things you may treat as a kind of totem, or that carry a sense of being sacred, and consider what your decision to designate that thing as spiritually meaningful, done consciously or not, says about you.

Have a wonderful week!

Just a Little AstroEssence 22 August 2017 Noticing Nuance



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Even though this shows a Full Harvest Moon, I think it captures the spirit of the day, especially as we’ll have just had an event of ‘darkness in daytime’ ‘The Harvest Moon’ – George Hemming Mason 1920 {{PD}}

The Sun enters Virgo, pulling our attention to the details, to following the trail of information or assets for what it can tell us, to health matters, to service and where we land on the spectrum from Self-centered to Selfless (hint: nobody is at either extreme), and to ‘the Harvest’–that is, what we will soon reap. It’s the time of year when we account for what we have, prepare for the potential of not having, and assess what we need to do, chiefly through what we think/ know, which of course has its own drawbacks. Do your best to notice nuance, which is not easy during a Mercury retrograde in Virgo, and focus on real-world action that takes matters previously ignored or denied, or that enrage or address injustice, into account. The natural world will not support your ambitions, and neither will authorities; it’s up to the individual alone (Mars in Leo) to be Self-responsible for all chosen or acted upon. A little scary for those used to waiting for permission or the cooperation of others (Libra, I’m lookin’ at you), but taking steps now, in spite of the potential for incomplete info (Merc retro) is the thing to do, at least in part because real-world effects will be so freakin’ obvious.

Today’s word image is: an individual standing in the event shadow, but not looking directly at the eclipse. This is what I plan to do in just a couple of hours. I’m much more interested in how birds and other wildlife react, in the way the appearance of the world changes, so briefly, in the unusual light–for me it’s all about what’s happening here on Earth, rather than the apparent blocking of one body with another, millions of miles away. Of course, what we prioritize, that is, look at, dictates what we interact with, what fills our world, and how we see things; I’m choosing to focus on the light. What about you?

The Solar Eclipse in Leo 2017: The Re-Birth of the Soul



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John William Waterhouse – ‘Mermaid’ 1899 {{PD}}

This is re-published from earlier. Have a safe and joyous eclipse experience!

The Solar eclipse begins on the 21st of August at 11:29 AM PDT at 28 Leo 52. Though I wouldn’t normally count it as conjoined Mars when the spread is just over eight degrees, as it is here, I think we must, considering the part the ego, action, and ‘I Am’ energies played in the partner Lunar eclipse that preceded this event—so we’ll keep the Martian spirit in mind as we assess the eclipse; the Martian Fire is right in tune with the Leo event. This New Moon has been anticipated for some time, because it’s both a total eclipse, and because it will be visible along a path that spans the United States coast to coast. The interesting thing is that, if you’re outside the path of totality, what you’ll see is a partial covering of the Sun by the Moon, rather than the complete eclipse visible elsewhere. So, as with everything, it’s important to keep in mind that where you are determines perspective, and so dictates your experience of the eclipse, as it does so many other things.

Does that mean the eclipse will deliver a different effect to those in the path of totality than it will to everyone else on the planet? Perhaps it will have a different, stronger, or more potent impact on those who find themselves in its path, but I think it’s more of an astronomical spectacle than an astrological one; I don’t anticipate it being any more or less potent than any other eclipse (and remember, we have two Solar and two Lunar eclipses per year, on average, so eclipses themselves are not actually all that rare), though others will disagree.

Maybe we should think of it more as a New Moon in Leo that just happens to be an eclipse; that way we keep the emphasis on the Leo/ Mars ‘I Am’ facets of the event, even as we note that all eclipses serve to ‘wipe out’ certain circumstances that came before, specifically those related to the matters of the House in the natal chart where the eclipse falls, those related to the sign energy in general, and in anything the eclipse contacts in the natal chart by close aspect (no more than three or four degrees, typically, and this can affect expression of the contacted energy or matters of the Houses ruled, if any). But, aside from personal natal contacts, the eclipse draws a more general picture that applies in some degree to everyone; that’s what we’ll look at here.

A Solar eclipse is a seed event, a New Moon the energies of which supersede those that came before, in this case those of the ‘I Am’, the identity, and the Soul Purpose for incarnating as they mesh with the emotions, intuition, and perceptions of the non-physical and non-material. With an eclipse, we see a vibrational inception that will resonate through to the next eclipse set, in roughly six months. In part this tone is set by the sign in which the eclipse occurs, in this case, Leo, emphasizing the individual perspective, individual initiative (due to Mars lingering nearby), and how well the Soul has to this point managed to create circumstances under which it could ‘shine’, that is, live its purpose. So, the attention for the next six months goes to accomplishment in Soul-terms—and of course, that will mean something unique to each individual.

The eclipse forms an out-of-sign trine to a close conjunction of Hygeia and Juno, which makes for a Grand Trine with Uranus; the New Moon also squares Sedna, loosely noviles Ceres, and quincunxes Chiron (and anyone with natal placements at 27 Capricorn-00 Aquarius should expect the eclipse to deliver a wallop, either hurting or healing the involved energies in some significant way). Is it too vague to say expect surprises, shocks, the unexpected, revelations, and the potential for immediate and immersive understanding via the Higher Mind? This may be especially so around literal health as well as the ‘health’ (i.e. effectiveness) of the personal state of empowerment. We may resist what the instincts tell us, at least initially; hidden information that we ‘know but don’t know’ may cause problems, which are meant to draw our attention and contribute to or shape that ‘shock of the new’ we’ll undergo.

Or, rather than a personal shock or revelation, we may experience the eclipse’s ‘big reveal’ through a group choice or interaction. We could find ourselves responding as an individual to something the group requires, testing our willingness to lead, to commit to a philosophical approach to things, or to sacrifice the individual needs for the larger good. We may find we are stronger than we think, forced to adjust our ideas of just what truly injures us, and that may call for adjustments to our Self-image, to the way we see ourselves and so to the way we express ourselves and exert our Will. What occurs may bring forward unique skills, a sense that the individual is ‘the only one who could ‘x’’ and so in some way save the day, or serve the group needs in a major way.

There is a single element of grace here that should enable us to weather anything the eclipse brings: that novile to Ceres says that either Nature, or the sense of personal authority, will provide the support, or the answers, we’ll need. Our own ability to accept complete responsibility for ourselves will allow for the most effective position and response possible; so will acceptance of the ways of Nature, and what they tell us about our part in it.

Don’t you love the Sabian for this eclipse? ‘A Mermaid Emerges From The Ocean Waves Ready For Rebirth In Human Form’. We see an end to immersion in the currents of emotion with their overwhelming influence, dulling the other senses, obscuring the vision and hearing, keeping us below the surface (a symbolic way of saying we aren’t accessing the Air, that is, using reason and the mind, to process things). The mermaid is ready to shed a way of Being that, in terms of imagery, is focused on the feeling nature; she is ready to move on, in the sense of becoming. It’s important we note that going from mermaid form to human is not inherently a move from inferior to superior form, but is a shift in the tools we use to interact, process, and understand. It’s also important to be aware we’re assuming the mermaid will be taking all she’s learned underwater (through the feeling nature) with her; she’s not abandoning emotional perceptions and intuitions, she’s adding to them. As this applies to the eclipse, the symbol suggests each of us will evolve to a next step (literally, in the case of a mermaid!) that expands our skills in dealing with the world. Re-birth usually isn’t easy, or pleasant, and change of any kind can be messy—but it’s also a widening of our horizons and our ability to deal with things that can’t be attained any other way, a journey into new elements, with all the adventure, risk, and need to learn that entails (another mermaid reference!)

One other thing to note: though I don’t usually discuss aspect sets that don’t interact with the event (I find that dilutes the focus on, and so the meaning of, what we’re examining), this time I would like to point to a very close conjunction, only three minutes apart and moving ever closer at the time of the eclipse, of Saturn and Black Moon Lilith. BML is, as we know, a point, rather than a body; Saturn moving closer to perfection with that point suggests either suppression or materialization of rage, or of matters we or others have been working to ignore or deny. This may be a significant side note to the entire eclipse period, and could suggest secrets revealed will become the norm.


Your Weekend 19-20 August 2017 Ideas In Motion



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Asserting yourself doesn’t always bring the results you want. John William Waterhouse ‘Apollo And Daphne’ 1908 {{PD}}

First I want to talk about that prolonged sextile between Jupiter and Black Moon Lilith that lasts through mid-September. I should’ve noted that they stay in sextile as they move on–that means those who have that natal point precise at the beginning of the sextile will see pressure and effect lessen with time, while a whole new set of individuals will find their natal body or point at the apex. Those are 22-25 of Taurus as the pair gradually moves, with Jupiter finally pulling ahead and away by degree after the middle of the month. As pointed out by one thoughtful reader, we do see Saturn enter the mix, along with the transiting Moon briefly, on 30 August, bringing a tendency to either manifest emotions or suppress them, but considering Jupiter-Black Moon Lilith is all about exaggeration, belief, ‘the facts’, and what we have hidden, ignored, denied, or find unjust, we may see both options at work in those who respond to this, with all of us finding either the manifestation of, or suppression of, some Jupiter-BML related matter.

What else do we see at work, pre-eclipse? Saturday the 19th we find we can re-visit in a highly successful way our own thoughts on ‘the facts’, beliefs, what we’ve been taught (or indoctrinated with); we’re likely to see what’s right and wrong about our own ideas, and this offers a moment of clarity vis a vis that Jupiter-BML sextile. If we’ve tried to present our point previously and lacked full success, we should try again today–it will go much better, our manner prone to foster understanding, with a bonus of offering ourselves a sense of freedom from what may have been a pressing need to communicate. What we shouldn’t do is trust instinct to guide us–there’s too big a blind spot around our interests, today–instead be as conscious as possible, and oddly enough, you may want to avoid too many ‘I’ statements; that blind spot shadow takes in the Self-image, which means what we think we see in ourselves may be distorted or immediately challenged by the reality picture.

Winslow Homer – ‘Boy in Boat, Gloucester’ c1880 {{PD}}

Today’s word image is a glum boy waiting alone on a dock for a boat ride. Much depends on how you interpret the picture. Do you see him as sad because he’s alone, or as not looking forward to the boat ride? I saw him as lacking enthusiasm for the activity, and for me that brought up the idea of activities that are presented as ‘fun’ that the individual sees as anything but. Are you subjecting yourself to things simply because someone else thinks you should enjoy it? And on the other hand, if you saw the boy as sad because he’s alone, what loneliness in you needs assuaging, right away?

Sunday the 20th we’ve got an action plan–but in our eagerness to share our originality, our inventiveness, to stand out as unique, we could injure others or our own reputation, and in particular, we could communicate things that might inadvertently damage our relationships or our earning potential. This is a day to step, speak, and share with care, to shine fully aware of what we’re conveying–which can be a tricky thing to do.

Are you expecting that slow-moving thing to get you where you want to go? Illustration by Virginia Frances Sterret {{PD}}

Today’s word image is a pair of turtles slowly approaching each other. Is it romance? A showdown? Will a fight ensue? Will they mate, and how long will that take? Do they even see that they’re heading right toward each other, or is sight not a prominent sense for them? What in your life is moving so slowly you feel it might never arrive, happen, or reveal its true nature? And then what will, or should, you do about it?

Enjoy your weekend!

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Dream time has been very weird lately, hasn’t it? The images are almost undecipherable, the messages cloaked in emotion and not easily sorted out. Don’t take any of it too much to heart; at least some of it is a product of the Universal vibration at present. Rest easy as you can, and know that these images are prophecy only in the way there’s always something coming–and what we see in dream life now may bear little resemblance to the actual future.