Born Today 25 July


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'Dinner at the Casino' by Gaston La Touche 1902 {{PD}}

‘Dinner at the Casino’ by Gaston La Touche 1902 {{PD}}

Dear Leo, this may be a spectacular year for you–but that doesn’t mean fireworks, prestige, and money delivered in buckets to your door–it doesn’t deny them, either, it’s just that your rewards may actually be on the quieter side, with this year being one you look back on for the rest of your life as both fulfilling and rich with experience. The House(s) in the natal chart (Sagittarius and Pisces, using traditional rulers) ruled by Jupiter are the likeliest areas for abundance, the acquisition of knowledge, experience, or influence, the development of a philosophy of life that can carry you through, and/ or the expansion of your world and your reach so that you permanently and positively change the way you engage with your surroundings forevermore. Know too that this year the emotions are likely to enjoy real stability and to heal so completely that you may feel like a ‘new you’ by the time you reach your next Solar Return. Good luck, and Happy Birthday!

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Born Today 24 July


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Circe by Wright Barker (1889) {{PD}}

Circe by Wright Barker (1889) {{PD}}

Is it possible to have a quiet year and a glorious one simultaneously, dear Leo? Because that appears to be what’s in store for you–and the highlight may be the arrival of Love, Money, or emotional fulfillment that answers a deep desire within you. The only caution, really, is represented by Mercury square Zeus and semi-sextile Black Moon Lilith; this suggests that communications (or matters of the Houses ruled by Merc in the natal chart) will be tested by, and perhaps will reveal to others, your ambitions and desires–and that as a consequence you will either have to deal with what you’d rather not, or stand up for yourself in some significant way. And in between, a genuine spiritual quiet and peace can be yours. Not a perfect mix, but happening within a year with such enormous potential for abundance, happiness, and success, who can complain?

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Just a Little AstroEssence 23 July 2014: Conflict in Thought


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Henri Le Sidaner - Small Table in Evening Dusk 1921 {{PD}}

Henri Le Sidaner – Small Table in Evening Dusk 1921 {{PD}}

23 July thinking is in conflict with ambitions and desires, so don’t look to the mental realm to strategize; leave goal-setting for a later date, and focus instead on what it is about what you want that is causing internal mental conflict in the first place (hint: either your thinking has failed to acknowledge the appetites, or what you want in some way offends your usual mindset). (Perfecting today: Mercury square Zeus)

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Born Today 23 July


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Still Life with Cake - Raphaelle Peale c1822 {{PD}}

Still Life with Cake – Raphaelle Peale c1822 {{PD}}

This coming Solar year, through to your next birthday, may be brimming with optimism and opportunity for you, dear Leo–and is it any wonder, because you’re on the verge of taking a huge step forward in either the area of Self-expression or in one or more matters of the House with Leo on the cusp and/ or that holds your Sun. Don’t be afraid to network–you could find your biggest allies by doing so–and make sure you have all the information you need before acting–action should be the very last step.

Featured Solar Return aspect: Black Moon Lilith trine stationary retrograde Uranus. Strong, clear instincts, a willingness to stand up for yourself, and a willingness to face what might be unpleasant will all support unique and original Self-expression–feeling strong this year may be a given. Happy Birthday, Leo, and Good Luck!

Want vs. Need in the Natal Chart


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Birthdays do seem to be a time when we think about what we want and need. 'The Birthday Party' John Singer Sargent 1887 {{PD}}

Birthdays do seem to be a time when we think about what we want and need. ‘The Birthday Party’ John Singer Sargent 1887 {{PD}}A Re

This is a reprint from 2009; Bon Appétit!

It’s really important to distinguish between what we want and what we need; often, we see them as one and the same or, much worse, confuse the two, or just plain misunderstand, thinking that what we need is only a desire, and denying it to ourselves out of misplaced frugality. We all have both wants and needs, and they’re shown principally by the Moon (needs) and Venus (wants) in the natal chart.

Noting that Venus has been tagged as representing wants, you may protest with, ‘But don’t we all need love?’ And you’d be right, of course we all need love, it’s just that the love we need must be delivered in the form of the Moon–the love we talk about with Venus carries other baggage: lust, jealousy, envy, greed, carnality, and the trappings of romance and courtship–all are forms of ‘Venus love,’ and not truly love at all, but desire. Love that is pure and untouched by these concepts is Amor, while Venus love that is other-directed and objectified is Eros. It remains to the Moon to show us true need, and the form of love that will nurture, comfort, and fulfill emotionally.

Does this mean we shouldn’t call Venus the planet of Love anymore? No, it just means that when we speak of Venus as representing love, we must remain aware that the love Venus represents is that which is typically found in relationship, shown by its rulership of Libra (with the singular exception of the Moon as it carries the maternal love). Venus can also show something about love of the Self (as indicated by Taurus and natural rulership of the 2nd of Self-worth and assets/ talents)–and yet, again, this suggests an outward component to the love, as this focuses on our perceptions of ourselves via the physical, the abilities, and the possessions, including our relationship to the personal finances. Because we live in a material world (sorry, Madonna) there exists a material level at which we will inevitably assess ourselves–and so we take this into account when thinking of Venus, as well.

Neither the Moon nor Venus promises fulfillment of the spirit, though the functions of each can lead to this (the propensity largely indicated in the natal chart by a relationship of either to Neptune, Chiron, the Sun, and sometimes Jupiter). Spiritual love and ideals are the province of Neptune and the Sun (this latter as it represents the Soul itself), but again, these are not separate so much as facets of the concept of love we all carry.

So when we seek love, talk about love, speak of needing to find another to assuage our loneliness, to give our love to, in my estimation we really need to be looking, not at our Venus, but at our Moon, first. This idea was encapsulated in the pop psychology axiom, ‘You can’t love another until you love yourself,’ and indeed, if we have not found the emotional fulfillment demanded by our Moon, we are, in a psychic sense, unable to look away from our own needs, and thus unable to really see and commune with another.

What about desire? After all, we’re in a way programmed to go after what we desire and there’s nothing wrong with that, except that we go after our desires with the expectation that having them fulfilled will fulfill us, when our desires are more about possession than about completion. Our Moon needs, however, are about completion, in the sense that our psyches cannot function as a healthy whole without the sense of having been nurtured, and emotionally ‘filled up’–and we are back to the idea that we cannot give away what we don’t possess–in this case, the sense of completeness, comfort, and nurture that make up the essence of the love we think of sharing with another person.

See my book on The Astrology of Intimate Relationship for how to read a natal chart, and to compare natal charts, for relationship success and potential compatibility

Born Today 22 July


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'The Thames' James Tissot 1876 {{PD}}

‘The Thames’ James Tissot 1876 {{PD}}

You’re on the verge of big big things, my dear Cancer–or are you a Leo? The Sun changes sign today, but no matter, this projection applies to you both equally–a veritable orgy of abundance and opportunity will be yours–just as long as you don’t harm, wound, or hobble anyone else. That means you’ll have to vet each step you take for the impact it might have on others; that’s good, because it insures everything you gain this coming Solar year, through to your next birthday, will be totally positive, carrying no obligations or unforeseen negative consequences. The down side is, you may have to move slower than you’d like, and so may miss an opportunity or two–but be assured, there’ll be plenty to choose from. Happy Birthday!

Born Today 21 July


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Cancer, use the inspiration and healing potential currently available in Pisces to set you on your way. 'Leaping Trout' Winslow Homer 1889 {{PD}}

Cancer, use the inspiration and healing potential currently available in Pisces to set you on your way. ‘Leaping Trout’ Winslow Homer 1889 {{PD}}

Dear Cancer, you can feel luck, fortune, and an expanded world so near, can’t you? But you’re going to have to spend a good part of your year between this birthday and the next waiting, and then you’ll have to do some important planning and networking–and the toughest part may be that much of what goes on with you will be very visible, even public, so that you’re aware of your every choice seen and perhaps scrutinized by others. This may feel awfully unfair, except that by your next Solar Return you’ll have shaped your reality precisely as you’d like, and your choices will have been smart, and needed skills will have been acquired. You’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of where you are now–and that’s really something to look forward to! Happy Birthday!

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Born Today 20 July


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Claude Monet, 1867, Regatta at Sainte-Adresse {{PD}}

Claude Monet, 1867, Regatta at Sainte-Adresse {{PD}}

Action in partnership is the key concept for you this coming Solar year, through to your next birthday, dear Cancer; artistic efforts, cooperative ventures, and financial situations involving others may get the Crab’s share of your attention for this period–and it won’t be easy to deal with. At worst, conflict with others is what brings these areas into focus; at best, you’ll use situations that are at first confrontational to work out solutions that fulfill the wants of both (or all) parties, using your exquisite natural sensitivity, enhanced this year by the Solar Return Moon in Taurus, tripling your ability to both comfort and prosper. It’ll likely be a challenging year where you’ll have to handle some things you’d rather not–but by facing these you have a chance to heal not just yourself, but your world–and that sounds pretty good, no? Happy Birthday!

Born Today 19 July


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Something blocked could flow, or something free-flowing could dam-up--you need to be ready, Cancer. 'Bradberry's Mill Dam in Spring' by Edward Francis Rook c. 1910-1915 {{PD}}

Something blocked could flow, or something free-flowing could dam-up–you need to be ready, Cancer. ‘Bradberry’s Mill Dam in Spring’ by Edward Francis Rook c. 1910-1915 {{PD}}

Dear Cancer, is that any way to celebrate a birthday? You seem to be pushing yourself so hard, pushing to go, to do, to create the perfect partnership, to cooperate flawlessly, to be a Warrior for all you care about–it’s exhausting! Really, you’ll do yourself and everyone around you a favor if you’ll just take a break, treat yourself to some rest, some luxury, and build your reserves back up–because soon there’s going to be a switch in your basic situation, with either a freeing up of what you hadn’t been able to budge, or conversely, a halt to something that was free-flowing–and you’ll need to be ready to do some major adaptation to whichever situation visits you. Too, this Solar year, through to your next birthday, may find you in need of (and possibly really enjoying) a secure and established home front (or its emotional equivalent) to act as a stabilizer, safe zone, and place of recovery from your adventures–that’s where you need to put your immediate efforts, just until you are feeling secure–then you can get back to doing! Happy Birthday!

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Your ECLIPSE Weekend Sampler 18-20 July 2014


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Carducius Plantagenet Ream 'Dessert No. 4' c1865 {{PD}}

Carducius Plantagenet Ream ‘Dessert No. 4’ c1865 {{PD}}

Your weekend sampler, featuring a too-long cake metaphor, a slice (again!) from the article on sibling relationships, and a little glimpse ahead, but just a crumb–have a great weekend!

Today’s image (for the 18th) is a pink cake box, like the kind you get from the bakery, containing a crushed cake and discarded on the freeway on-ramp. This is a sad image; who is so angry or unhappy or spiteful that they moosh a perfectly lovely cake and throw it out the window of a speeding car? Someone who doesn’t like the good things in life, that’s who, someone who is not willing to accept pleasure–and they don’t want anyone else to have any enjoyment, either. Is there someone like this in your life? If so, consider that they may ruin everyone’s cake out of deep sorrow, perhaps out of a belief that they don’t deserve life’s cake. If you find it in yourself, you may want to offer them a slice, and let them know that they really do deserve it–all we have to do is be alive to deserve it!–and we can all have our cake, after all.

Anything posited in the 11th adds layers to the interaction, and typically focuses major attention in 11th House matters. The Moon here, for example, may suggest we see our own mother, those who seem maternal to us, or those with whom we empathize as friend material; an emotional connection may be essential to viewing an individual as a friend, with this placement, and could dominate interaction. So how do our sibling interactions influence our later interactions with friends? Even if there are no other connections, Whole Sign Houses give us the same element in both 3rd and 11th House—and further, we get the same element on the 7th of Others, with all three Houses offering both personal and group or ‘other’ related viewpoints for the chart individual. This implies that the way we relate to friends and groups is very much like, even modeled on, sibling relationships and early childhood experiences (which also fall in the 3rd). With the elements connecting the Houses, we can’t help but translate our experiences in the matters of the earliest part of life (the 3rd) into later events and experiences as our horizons and contacts widen.

19 July are our relationships or finances not fitting smoothly into our reality, or must our reality modify itself to accurately reflect the Truth of our relationships or financial situation? That’s the question we’ll wrestle with all day. (Perfecting today: Venus sesquiquadrate Saturn)

20 July sees us discover the down side to our expansion attempts, our social role, or to knowing what we know; somehow we are seen as responsible for darker elements that are in reality way outside our control. This brings a form of public judgment, an episode where the social circle makes a pronouncement about us—and there’s nothing we can do about it. Just know that what’s communicated is more revealing about the thinking of those making the assessments than it is about you or your choices. Too, our own thinking is influenced by things we’re not aware of—and pushes us in directions we might not anticipate, to undetermined effect—and that could be the same influence that’s causing others to make those judgments of you. (Jupiter contra-parallel Pluto, Mercury semi-square Sedna)

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