6 January 2017 The Everyday Crucible



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By H005 - Own work, Public Domain,

By H005 – Own work, Public Domain,

The AstroEssence: Our tiny, narrow, life-on-earth focus will be on the struggle to wring rewards from our ambitions and desires, to fulfill ourselves; we’re trying to get the kind of support and cooperation (Zeus in Libra) we believe will facilitate and bring what we want from ‘the Dream’ (Venus in Pisces). But, simultaneously, our all-perceiving, Cosmic focus will, whether we are conscious of it or not, temper the identity through transformative fire–and this may be an actual experience of breakdown or change, where the individual is ‘destroyed’, left shattered, or undergoes involuntary loss, or, more likely, it will involve an off-stage metamorphosis (that is, something that happens to the Soul, but without our consciousness undergoing a direct experience)–and today is the point where this process, or its results, may be revealed. Expect in some way to see yourself differently, or to learn something fundamental about who you are that you’d never before realized (Venus sesq Zeus, Sun conj Pluto)

From John Tenniel's illustrations for Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland {{PD}}

From John Tenniel’s illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland {{PD}}

Today’s word image is more like a little story, and comes from a series of dreams I’ve had lately, that seem to fit the Sun-Pluto conjunction perfectly. The most coherent of these involved a group of scientists who were convinced the world would end in disaster; their answer was to round up a group of 60 people and genetically manipulate them so that they weren’t just human, they also carried the code for every other living thing, becoming part plant and part animal, and even were made to embody various facets of culture. I distinctly remember more than one person who became part book (literally having body parts made of paper!) and one who carried a space for ‘blue’! One person, a woman, seemed to be very angry about the transformations, stating she just wanted to be pure emotion, but everyone else was happy with what had been done, because they enjoyed what seemed to be a more objective or perhaps just wider sense of the world and what existed in it.

For those born with the Sun at 16 Capricorn: Change is definitely on the horizon, but the news flash is that it will be driven, not by your choices and wishes so much as by accident, surprise, revelation, and emotions, and so will not, in the end, actually be under your control–and that’s the thing you need to accept about all that develops this coming Solar year, through to your next birthday. You may have mentally minimized the role of others or the Universe in making things happen, and now events will conspire to remind you you’re not in charge. A useful lesson, and one that will serve you very well, once you completely acknowledge the truth of it. Good luck, Cappy, and Happy Birthday!

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5 January 2017 Shock Troops



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By Christian Juel Mollback 'Cactus with Scarlet Blossoms', Irina, 2014-05-10 22:35, CC BY 2.0,

By Christian Juel Mollback ‘Cactus with Scarlet Blossoms’, Irina, 2014-05-10 22:35, CC BY 2.0,

The AstroEssence: We are prone to be highly aggressive, maybe most especially when we fear we’ll have our independence taken away by ‘the group’. All we can really do is refuse to deploy the shock troops, and instead take actions and make choices supported by faith, facts, and/ or the larger social order, in service to bringing our ambitions and goals to reality. A ‘stay in your own lane’ day that can have surprising benefits, not the least of which is that by focusing on our own goals we draw the positive attention of those in power, or who can offer aid. Originality brings the cooperation of others and gives us greater reach; watch for the surprising and the unexpected, and be willing to part with your shekels if in some form it affords you wisdom (even if that means you learn where not to invest time, energy, or funds!) (Uranus trine Juno, Mars parallel Jupiter and Zeus, and contra-parallel Sedna and Uranus, and nov Ceres, Venus conj Pallas)

Today’s word image is something I’ve seen three times in the past two days: a car trunk secured with nothing but tape. In the first instance, it was a sparkling Mercedes with what actually appeared to be Scotch tape (that thin clear tape used for wrapping presents) neatly applied on either side of the trunk; I joked about it to my husband, wondering aloud if the hostage knew how easily they could escape, but by the time I saw it the second time . . . let’s just say I started to wonder how much we’re packing around with us that we could oh-so-easily just let go.

For those born with the Sun at 15 Capricorn: Are you actually ready to transform, or are you just happy to know that change is coming, even if it’s difficult, messy, or leaves destruction in its wake? That’s a question you need to answer this coming Solar year, through to your next birthday, because without knowing how you really feel about creating upset in current situations (which will progress anyway, no matter what you believe), you may go into things believing nothing will happen until you’re ready–which is exactly the opposite of what will occur, and precisely what I’m trying to warn you about. So, resolve to BE AWAKE, and to believe what you see; nothing comes at you without plenty of advance notice, though that may be subtle or easily ignored. And don’t let communications stress you–make it a habit to read between the lines, so that you’ll know what to take seriously, and what to blow off. Good luck, Cappy, and Happy Birthday!

4 January 2017 Jupiter, Jupiter, Jupiter!



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By NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University) -

By NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University) –

The AstroEssence: Jupiter’s contact to Uranus is getting all the press, but I want to talk about another pair of the Behemoth’s contacts that are currently very close, the sextile to Saturn and the quincunx to Chiron (which of course gives us a square between Saturn and Chiron). First a note on the Jupiter-Uranus opposition: there’s a tendency to characterize a major aspect between the slower-moving bodies as having some kind of blanket effect on everyone, but like any aspect, it may appear more or less potently in the individual life–and this one may only be observed as we watch the social order (Jupiter) in conflict with groups or rebellious individuals (Uranus). If this opposition aspects any bodies in the natal chart, you’re probably feeling the conflicts over freedom, belief, dependability, originality, independence, and reasoning (beliefs vs. facts vs. higher mind intellectual rationales); where this opposition falls in the chart may also pinpoint the areas, relationships, and subject matters where, whether it touches natal bodies or not, the conflict may be felt. But remember, these are big concepts, and may not always be obvious to us in the moment–and we must be careful not to project our expectations onto the atmosphere or into life events; instead we must be aware of potentials, but not too prone to attribute everything to a single celestial event. Now on to those other Jupiter contacts.

Jupiter connects it all; here with its moon Ganymede. NASA/JPL - {{PD}}

Jupiter connects it all; here with its moon Ganymede. NASA/JPL – {{PD}}

The sextile of Jupiter to Saturn, and the quincunx to Chiron, both speak of real-world conditions impacting us, shaping our world views and actually wounding us via material matters, restrictions and denials, rules and authorities, and/ or the requirements made of us when we build or achieve (and yes, we may think, ‘Jupiter-Uranus!’–but it may be Saturn-Chiron). We’ll have to adjust to these conditions, or suffer hurt; but the up side is that these stresses may also call forward unique skills, and the involvement of Jupiter tells us that we have the needed facts, the faith, and/ or the optimism to tackle issues. Bonus if you have any natal bodies at 18-22 Taurus: this would act as apex to a Finger of God with base of Jupiter-Saturn, suggesting that the Taurean energy is the key to expanding your opportunities or your world.

We also feel a slight but perverse current in the direction of altering what we already know to be wise that stirs unneeded upheaval within relationships and financial matters. The need may be to perfect what we care for most, with the intellectual itch we feel with Merc in Sagittarius urging us on, but do your best not to let an inclination to be contrary override some more than acceptable standards and practices already in place. Ask yourself, Will this really make things flawless? The answer is, likely, no (Perfecting today: Pluto semi-sq Pallas and Venus, Venus qnx Vesta, Mercury enters Sagittarius)

Tidbit: With Sedna opposed Black Moon Lilith across the Taurus-Scorpio axis, doors will open–the question is, Do you want to go through them? If you choose to enter, expect a deep and slightly disturbing (that is, unsettling in the way certain matters just. can’t. be. ignored) experience.

Das Schokoladenmädchen (Fräulein Baldauf) (1744) Jean-Étienne Liotard {{PD}}

Das Schokoladenmädchen (Fräulein Baldauf) (1744)
Jean-Étienne Liotard {{PD}}

Today’s word image is a harried waitress moving from unoccupied table to unoccupied table. This symbol may ask us to consider what we’re really serving, in our day-to-day hurry; a look at not just our activities, but the purposes they serve and the way they affect others, may also be in order. No one wants to waste effort ‘serving’ something that, in some sense, is empty.

For those born with the Sun at 14 Capricorn: Ambitions may push against instincts and what you know deep within this Solar year, through to your next birthday; you may spend the entire time trying, in one form or another, to reconcile your desires and aims against the sense that you shouldn’t proceed toward them, at least not with the individuals you are currently planning to work or march into the future with. A few things to measure your feeling against: look at the implications behind the material situation; you may be assuming this will go a certain way favorable to you when your inner voice is trying to tell you it won’t–and count only the facts and actual material accomplishments, not plans or brags, if you want an accurate picture of things. Good luck, Cappy, and Happy Birthday!

3 January 2016 Beneath the Surface



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An almond tree, blooming beneath a covering of snow. Photo By Àngela Llop - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

An almond tree, blooming beneath a covering of snow. Photo By Àngela Llop – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The AstroEssence: Years ago my father owned a small almond ranch in the California desert, in a place you’d never guess would make for good farming–and yet the remarkable thing was that, just below the alkaline crust of earth ran a small but powerfully rushing river. Influences today are subtle but, if you tap into them, potent, like that surging water below bare soil; it provided more than enough water, but only when accessed with a pump–otherwise nature didn’t find it easy to puncture that brittle clay crust, and little grew. We may find a strong undercurrent in the reality picture that somehow contradicts our own values–it may feel as if we’re hopelessly old-fashioned, out of step, or naive, unable to tap in to the rush of feeling below the surface–and this may mess with our sense of values, giving us the feeling that it would be smart to review what we dedicate our energies to–and it would. We need to punch through, to access what flows below the surface, to be sure that what we’re committed to indeed matches our priorities and values. What we’re likely to find is that our minds have been on what mattered all along–and once we’ve reviewed things, we can renew our dedication with confidence (Vesta qnx Pallas, Saturn contra-parallel Vesta, Merc sxt Venus)

'Job Lot Cheap' by William Michael Harnett 1878 {{PD}}

‘Job Lot Cheap’ by William Michael Harnett 1878 {{PD}}

Today’s word image is a tall stack of newly acquired, ‘to read’ books. According to the website Open Culture, this is “Tsundoku, which literally means reading pile, is written in Japanese as 積ん読. Tsunde oku means to let something pile up and is written 積んでおく.” The Japanese word as it applies to books is a play on the concept of letting anything pile up–as if all piling up in the world were voluntary! Though some treat it as a thing we shouldn’t do, equating it to hoarding, acquiring books to be read in time gives me a great deal of pleasure, and the joy of being able to go choose from that pile when it’s time for a new book is something I celebrate and look forward to. The matter then seems to be: are we sure that what we’ve allowed to accumulate actually has a reason for being, that it serves a purpose? Would we be better off without it, or does its very existence enhance our lives?

For those born with the Sun at 13 Capricorn: You’re heading toward big commitment, and big change–are you ready? You appear primed to act on your feelings this year, but need to be aware that at least some of those emotions are based more in fantasy or idealization of someone or something than they should be. You need to find that balance between impulse and belief, between hurt/ retreat and the real world as it is, and between the urge to go it alone and the need to find a place within the group. If you can sort those topics out during the upcoming Solar year, through to your next birthday, you may find yourself transformed, and with it what surrounds you. Good luck, Cappy, and Happy Birthday!

2 January 2017 Being Modern



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Not exactly new, but it still feels fresh. 'Yellow-Red-Blue' 1925 Wassily Kandinsky {{PD}}

Not exactly new, but it still feels fresh. ‘Yellow-Red-Blue’ 1925 Wassily Kandinsky {{PD}}

The AstroEssence: Actions and choices are inspired by our own unique viewpoint; there’s no need to stress over being original, modern, or to fear we won’t be in the avant garde–we act with a flourish that is both current in style and accurately reflects the intellect–even radically so. This spurs smart and practical thinking, and boosts confidence, which means we’ll benefit by knowing our own territory and then exercising our Will within it (Mars nov Uranus, Venus parallel Juno and enters Pisces, Mercury sxt Pallas)

Today’s word image is a quiet drink before the fire, marking the end of the holiday season, and the beginning of the New Year. It seems we need to be conscious of what is ending right now; to wrap it up willingly, with style, may be the best way to reconcile ourselves to the fact that time is passing, and we must move on, much as we might wish to linger in the sparkling settings, the dazzling fireworks, and the well wishes that come even from strangers. Acknowledging that one way or another we are required to ‘come back down to earth’ isn’t something to regret, but something to embrace, as it’s only those Capricorn-flavored, nose-to-the-grindstone times that allow us to appreciate so much the celebrations of good fortune, family, and friends. Happy New Year, y’all–

For those born with the Sun at 12 Capricorn: This Solar year, Cappy, it seems you achieve the perfect balance between expansion and contraction, between reaching out, getting more, and pursuing goals with optimism, and carefully maintaining what you’ve already built. It’s not glamorous, but it is a period when your foundations, and by extension your power, can make tremendous gains, and so solidify a growing reputation and the status this conveys. Take care that this is a positive growth in the reputation; also be aware that some people in your sphere will not be happy with your advancement–and it will be necessary for you to decide how to handle feedback meant to slow you down (my suggestion: reject it!) Also, let emotions and intuition lead–big rewards could come from this. Good luck, and Happy Birthday!


1 January 2017 Keep It Low Key



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Dawn in Joshua Tree California, USA 7 October 2013 Photo by Jessie CC BY-SA 3.0

Dawn in Joshua Tree California, USA 7 October 2013 Photo by Jessie CC BY-SA 3.0

The AstroEssence: What we refuse to intuit will hurt us; that is, if we disdain instinctive knowledge for a more commonly agreed-upon reality, we will suffer from those things hidden, ignored, or that enrage, and this will both skew thinking and undermine our efforts to see to our health and well-being. Too, actions may not have the results we expect them to; it’s a day best spent in low-key or creative pursuits (Black Moon Lilith opp Sedna, Neptune sq Hygeia, Mars parallel Neptune, Merc qnx Vesta)

For those born with the Sun at 11 Capricorn: It’s all about Love and Assets this year–and you may face challenges in both arenas, with the big danger that you may be feeling too erratic, too rebellious, or are too intent on being ‘original’, and so end up tanking both social standing and any real opportunity to achieve goals and meet desires. So, Self-control is obviously the key to success this coming Solar year, through to your next birthday. Bonus: if you have something natally at, or when transiting bodies pass through, 16-22 Gemini, consider this a highly fortuitous time, when results will go far beyond the effort you put into them, and ‘luck’ is with you, so watch the skies–speaking of which, Good Luck, Cappy, and Happy Birthday!

31 December 2016 It’s All Relative



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Michel Zeno Diemer - 'The Ahırkapı Lighthouse' before 1939 {{PD}}

Michel Zeno Diemer – ‘The Ahırkapı Lighthouse’ before 1939 {{PD}}

The AstroEssence: Our confidence levels determine how adept we are at going after what we want today, and this is measured in two ways: how well we’ve reconciled our personal sense of injury with those wounds ‘approved’ by the social order (are we open about our hurt, is there shame surrounding it that makes us hide, do we feel acceptance of our injuries, perhaps through supportive foundations or groups, or do we feel no one is capable of understanding our precise wound?), and how closely connected to the ‘ideal’ (whatever that may be in your own mind) our steps to address or remedy our wounds have been. If we feel we’ve been effective at doing what we could to alleviate our pain (even if we still hold that pain), then we are likely to be highly aware of our own power within the life situation, and so wield it in the name of getting what we want/ deserve; if we’ve not, for one reason or another, been willing to see to our own health, we may find the power to affect things taken from our hands. We could call it a moment of living karma, and we could note that the degrees of successful deployment of our energy are relative, mostly to our own understanding of hurt and reward. We may be preoccupied in the moment, however, with our own actions and choices, with some of us following the dream, some allowing the ego to lead (or mislead), some allowing inspiration to flow through, and some taking creative action of significant proportions. The day holds a lot of potential; don’t be hard on yourself if you find at the end of it that you review and see many more layers to things than initially appeared (Juno sxt Zeus, Jupiter qnx Chiron, Mars conj Neptune and both sq Hygeia, Venus nov Pluto, Sun sesq Sedna)

For those born with the Sun at 10 Capricorn: Review of the past, of past accomplishments, and particularly of the things that may have kept us from doing or being is on the agenda–and it’s tremendously effective fuel to create present-day change. You are at the perfect point as an individual to use the intellect and your deep sense of understanding to transform the life; you have a clear idea of how you want to live and who you want to be, and you can make it happen. It may not be easy, but it will be immensely rewarding, especially in the way you can reinforce relationships, and all interactions based on love. Good luck, Cappy, and Happy Birthday!

30 December 2016 Finding Magic



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We might be facing matters through our dreams, too. 'Brünnhilde lies asleep, surrounded with magic fire' By Arthur Rackham 1910 {{PD}}

We might be facing matters through our dreams, too. ‘Brünnhilde lies asleep, surrounded with magic fire’ By Arthur Rackham 1910 {{PD}}

The AstroEssence: Today it’s all about what’s been hidden or ignored; it can’t be avoided any longer, and it touches perceptions, communications, and relationships in a distinct way, making us very unsure of where our attention needs to go. We’re easily distracted, easily mislead, but may find that in attending to the ignored and denied real magic occurs. Face the unpleasant and look for inspiration, creative impetus, and the ideal, among the weeds (Venus parallel Black Moon Lilith, Mercury trine NN and nov BML, Sun sxt Neptune and semi-sq BML)

For those born with the Sun at 9 Capricorn: This Solar year, through to your next birthday, represents a creative peak for you; you may produce the most imaginative or original work you’ve ever done at this time, or you may be inundated with ideas that you’ll spend years bringing into reality. In either case, it’s a time when those impulses toward the ideal, in whatever form, should be followed–just don’t fall into the small minority of those with this Sun degree who will either build this year’s empire on deceit, or who will be thoroughly deceived themselves. Financial and relationship situations will be tested; stick to your values, and all will be well, even if doing so brings a (temporary) rough time. Good luck, Cappy, and Happy Birthday!


29 December 2016 Lost in Translation



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Pierre-Auguste Renoir - 'Joueuse de guitare' c1897 {{PD}}

Pierre-Auguste Renoir – ‘Joueuse de guitare’ c1897 {{PD}}

The AstroEssence: What does it mean that Uranus goes direct during a Mercury retrograde? Possibly that the higher reasoning and intellect go into overdrive, but find the concepts and information are un-relatable, either because one can’t seem to find the right words, or because the ideas themselves remain indistinct. Communication, then, becomes difficult, and it may appear each individual doesn’t know her or his own mind–but that’s not so, it’s just a problem translating that electric impulse of pure knowledge into a language that can be understood. The Arts offer a great way to funnel this higher mind material, and as well offer a way to link instincts with those matters too long ignored or denied–they need to be worked out, and music or dance or the visual arts, any venue that employs one’s artistic impulse, even untraditional ones, provide a perfect outlet–but take care that relationships or financial situations don’t become venues for working out the neglected–that likely only results in upset. It’s a really good time for inventors and those looking for a unique approach, as new and startling concepts and work-arounds occur to us, and we take a kind of ruthless view of what we care about, both as a housecleaning measure and one that offers to make the changes we seek. The best approach overall might be to be gentle with ourselves and others, in order to avoid a too radical purging, and to keep from doing what we can’t take back (Uranus goes direct, Pluto contra-parallel Vesta, T-square Venus as arm to a Black Moon Lilith-Sedna opp)

Today’s word image is two tickets to the theater. A theater experience is a companionable one; we typically go with others, in order to have even more individuals act out a story, to entertain us. Are you part of the audience, or are you an act-er? Each has its place–right now there’s a need to either appreciate what you’re being presented with, or to act out what you truly want to present to others.

For those born with the Sun at 8 Capricorn: It’s the dawning of a new emotional era for you, one that will change the way you think–and that change is driven not just by a new viewpoint, but by the inclusion of new information and ‘facts’ you weren’t previously aware of. This is good overall, but may disturb the equilibrium of your life in the moment. Be aware: new agreements lead to new situations–and these may or may not fit with what already is. You’re actually on the way, this Solar year through to your next birthday, to making a dream come true–so careful progress that acknowledges what has changed, and what’s still solid, is vital to success. Good luck, Cappy, and Happy Birthday!

Please see the previous post for the New Moon assessment.

28 December 2016 The Capricorn New Moon: The Big Bang



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'The Helix Nebula' Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

‘The Helix Nebula’ Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Astro and Lunar Essence: We enjoy a New Moon in Capricorn at 10:53 PM Pacific time at 7 CAP 59, but it’s not the only activity we need to note. This New Moon conjoins the Sun-Mercury Inferior Conjunction (the meeting that occurs when Mercury is in the midst of the retro cycle) with this tying the NM beginning into the action via the sextile of Mars and Merc, Merc’s conjunction with the Sun, and the Sun’s integral part in opposing (and creating) the New Moon phenomenon. As well, there is an emphasis on action, choice, and what we as individuals can do or make happen–and this builds toward, and then likely finds expression through, the New Moon moment.

The fact that the New Moon falls in Capricorn suggests that what begins may be either constructive/ positive, setting something solid in motion that allows for the establishment of a new beginning, or that it may signal restraint or an ending, with the Sea Goat’s conservative and cautious nature put to work in our own best interests as we refrain from, or put an end to–and so set something new in motion.

The NM is of course still sextile Mars and approaching sextile to Neptune; it’s also roughly semi-square both Black Moon Lilith (remember, that’s a point, rather than a body) and Venus (which places the NM at their midpoint), and semi-sextile Hygeia. These contacts are, in the larger scheme of things, relatively minor–and yet they accumulate their modest effects by gentle pushes to the ether, this way and that. The result is that what begins now is creative (though don’t assume that’s positive! or that it comes in a traditionally recognized creative form) as it feeds on both matters ignored or denied, and on those health issues (mental, physical, spiritual, emotional) that are nibbling at the edges of our consciousness with worry or the soon-to-be undeniable recognition of some health matter that must be addressed. Right now, though we likely become aware of these issues, we aren’t forced to move on them–that point likely comes later, at the Superior Conjunction.

And, with the coinciding of the NM with the Inferior Conjunction, we see a moment in time where what begins may be larger than we realize, and we’re fortuitously offered a timeline along which we can expect at least a partial result, with the Superior Conjunction (when Merc is once again direct and meets the Sun). This can result in our own version of the Big Bang as something that coalesces now reaches a point of intensity that brings bigger-than-the-sum-of-its-parts results with the SC of 5 March. We should note the Superior Conjunction occurs midway through Pisces, giving the events a dream-come-true potential, or one of unreality or deception.

'Lady at the Window' Caspar Netscher (circa 1639–1684) {{PD}}

‘Lady at the Window’
Caspar Netscher (circa 1639–1684) {{PD}}

The Sabian for the New Moon is, ‘In A Sunlit Home Domesticated Birds Sing Joyously’. Considering all the other contacts in play at the time of the NM, this implies that what occurs may bring something out into the light, creating an opportunity for Self-expression and peace within the ‘home’ of the individual (internally or within surroundings)–but the word ‘domesticated’ suggests this is done with passions or forces that have been ‘tamed’, rather than with something new–and this implies that the new start may grown out of mastery of the Self, the environment, or one’s already adept qualities or abilities.

(Mars parallel SN, semi-sq Ceres, and sxt Mercury, Vesta sesq Juno, Saturn sq Chiron)


For those born with the Sun at 7 Capricorn: You are poised between acting (which may be rash or out of anger) and creating (which may be inspired or confused)–and the best way to choose exactly how you will use your energy should be determined by what supports your health best in all its facets. Looking out for your well-being is the key to solidifying your authority and your place in things (your status). Once you choose how to go forward, you’ll find yourself re-thinking what was–but be bold, embrace your choices, and don’t allow regret to cloud what could be a year full of achievement. Good luck, Cappy, and Happy Birthday!