by Boots Hart, CAP

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Poet's Corner: Turning to My Light

my bedside lamp

with the twist of a switch,
you’re there
such a simple thing, yet so able to
command my awareness,
touchingly reminding me
of how much you cared
and…dare I say? unfair
was the means by which
the connection suddenly broke,
crossed live wires causing everything
to go up in smoke

yet you remain
because that switch
is still current in my brain
transmitting electricity

through my circuitry,
illuminating in me
an incandescent love,
a glowing filament of
abiding human simplicity

…so with each twist

of that switch
comes a dispelling dark from doubt
the shining of your goodness
rebinding frayed cords of mind

and as my fingers touch the rigid stem
of that which you installed
I get how

I love you now
and loved you then
how very much
I miss my dearest of confidence

in confident friends

and how that counts
most of all in the end

so it happens,

before I sleep
I pause a moment

and think how very sweet
that not once, but twice
you were so nice
in bothering to repair
my bedside light.

boots hart

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Using Ingress Charts

Since I'm always being asked how things like ingresses work, I'd like to offer an example. And not to worry, this isn't all that exotic. It's just about learning how to think in astrologese. 

Let's start with one basic idea however: venue counts. What I mean by that is simple - if we're talking about your natal chart, the subject is you. Any transit to that natal chart is still totally about you. Maybe about how you will interact with others or how offended you will hear when for whatever reason you aren't applauded like some hero returning from deeds of derring do....but it's still about you. 

Your chart is YOUR chart.To paraphrase a (Leo) girlfriend of long ago, it's SO all about you!

Against this we have things like ingress chart. They're not about you in particular. They're about Earth. They pertain to the planet and everything on it - so they're very big picture, impersonal and global POV.

Ironically, astrology refers to such global horoscopes as 'mundane.' Do you know anything mundane about existence on the planet? I sure don't. But that's what it's called - go figger!

Anyway, I live in the United States. And on Monday June 28th, we had a member of our US Congress die. His name was Senator Robert Byrd. He was 92. And he'd served a very, very long time - nine terms, to be exact.

As happens at such moments, reporters asked a flock of other Congress people what they thought of Robert Byrd. And what comes across is pretty clear: Robert Bryd not only knew what had happened in Congress, his country and the world during the time he had served, he was also a repository and reference source on rules of order, state protocol and ancient history. He was something of a patriarch to the whole of Congress. 

He also was known as 'the King of Pork,' meaning that during his tenure he managed to get a whole lot of Federal money sent home to his constituents (literally billions) and when asked, he wasn't ashamed of what he'd done. Not at all.

Why? Because he considered that his job. He had been elected to represent the people of his state, and Robert Byrd took his job as provider very seriously. If a state could be seen as a household, he thought of himself as its breadwinner.

So what's this got to do with the Cancer ingress chart?

Well look at the chart - and since the one in the sidebar is pictured with astrological glyphs, let's put this one in a bit of a more 'plain-speak' format:

 June 21, 2010 Cancer Ingress chart look at the bottom of the chart - where it says "Sun." You'll see that that's opposite "Plu" (Pluto) at the top of the chart. Pluto's keywords are create, deny, destroy. And one of the interesting items which doesn't get talked about much with reference to the 4th house (and Cancer, it's native ruling sign) is that this is often the house of 'endings.' Yes, as in life. 

So that 'ending' thing is one theme of this ingress, as we discussed in the article about the ingress per se. There's a whole theme about global change going on, and the real question is whether we want to make changes or have change forced upon us. (And yes, this does apply to each and every person on said planet too.)

So the ingress happened on June 21st. And ever since then, with every day, the Sun has ticked along through the zodiac at the basic rate of one degree a day (a little less, but let's go with one degree)...such that on this past Monday - the day that Robert Byrd died - the Sun conjuncted Juno.

And what is Juno about? Typically spoken of as 'female strength' (and female head of household, defender of children, protector of the hearth and home, etc.) this symbol shouldn't be viewed in terms of gender. No astrological symbol should - after all, they all appear in every chart. Juno can be a strong female in the household, yes. But it could also be that quality of protectiveness and 'household leadership' which responds to situations as they arise, coping and providing for the good of those in the home. Or homeland.

So as the Sun came to Juno, it's intrinsically Plutonic create, deny, destroy energy was set off in terms of a Juno figure - Senator Robert Byrd.

And that's how ingress charts work. Obviously a lot of things happened. But there was a theme to that day. And once we learn how to use such themes, we come to be able to look ahead, knowing not just when to expect things will happen, but when the time will be right and ripe for us to make our own moves.

Powerful things, ingress charts. Does it make you want to know when the next door will open - and what it will open to?  

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Astrology of Groups: It's elemental, my dear Watson!

 Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes (my favorite Sherlock Holmes)

I worked for almost twenty years in the motion picture industry as a production accountant.

You know, the person who pays all the bills? Sorts out all the costs? Listens to crew members explain why they need just one more (fill in the blank) while bosses are getting totally bent because expenditures they approved, signed for and maybe even ordered has now run things over budget?

Yes, that person.

And while I have a huge respect and enthusiasm for the art form that movies are, I'm also of the opinion that what really goes on behind a camera while a film is getting made is often far more entertaining, frightening and astonishingly unlikely.

Some of the story lines there...? If you put it in a movie, everyone would say 'aw, that NEVER happens!!' But it does. Truth really is stranger than fiction. production accountant, I was keeper and guardian of the payroll records, said records including that most basic of astrological information: birth date data. Because of this, in rare moments when it wasn't raining check requests and I wasn't trying to wolf down cold scrambled eggs (production teaches you to eat what you can, when you can, regardless of temperature) least once a picture I would haul out the start cards and survey all the Sun signs. If I had time, I'd break it down by department, too.

What I found was a very interesting correlation between crews and film subject matter. To name a couple I remember best, I worked on Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2... a classic sort of 'fantasy' horror film. It's crew was overwhelmingly composed of fire and water signs. Considering that fire signs are all about imagination and things imaginary while water signs are feelings and emotion, that rather fits.

As does the idea that the rather huge crew which made Shy People (a story about a family's values being tested amidst the glory of alligators and bayous)...that crew was very much tilted in the direction of water and earth Suns. Family is typified by Cancer - a water sign. Values are typically Taurus, an earth sign.

And bayous? How much more water + earth = mud, silt and swamp do you want?

What I'm saying here is that groups seem to have applicable astrological cohesiveness. It's not always as obvious as crew versus film story type - I know of one extended group of associated people whose abilities to direct others seems expressed by the prominence of Juno in their charts.

But whether it's government administrations or social interest groups, the themes are definitely interesting. And useful. After all, even if planets are scattered all over the zodiacal map, when you're dealing with a group (or just trying to grok them), knowing the 'elemental' truth about who they are AS a group can give you the clue on how to appeal to them as that group!

For instance: back when I was being the Bank of Boots on films I'd use what I knew about a given crew when choosing my words and approach to certain problems. And as shooting wore on and the crew got more tired, I'd fine tune messages and conversations even more. Not to manipulate, but in order to minimize misunderstandings and not try tired brains.

You know - so we could get the job done.

And this didn't just apply on location. Whenever I'd take up habitation in some office at a new studio I'd ask around about birthdays. My cover story was always the same - I need to know so I know when to wish you happy birthday. In most cases you don't need the year to determine a sun sign, and let's face it - people are into that birthday thing. It's nice to know someone cares.

And yes, I did put their birthdays on my desk calendar and make sure they got congratulated.

But at the same time I was able to see what kind of group I was working with.

...Was the office especially airy? If so, I'd put everything out there in question form and possibilities. And when writing memos, I'd make my tone rather literary.

...If I was in a group which was greatly earthy, I'd speak of things in tangible, practical terms, emphasizing values.

...For watery groups, feelings are always in style - whether in writing or verbal form. Always start with how are you feeling today and remember their concerns.

...And those fire signs? Well, fiery folks like fun. Even if the subject is terribly serious they'll always appreciate an interesting comparison or anecdotal metaphor.

It all comes down to appealing to, and being understood by your audience. Call it appealing to the masses...or simply getting along with masters of industry (or the miss or mister of your choice). 

it's simply elemental, Watson...

....You know, that ever so human quality one calls 'elemental lingo.'

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Saul David: My Father the Producer

When in the early 1990's my dad announced to me that he had no intention of going into the 21st century, that struck me strange. After all, he had made Logan's Run, the epic welcoming everyone to the 23rd century.

Right up to the moment when I started digging up clips and posters to write this, all I'd really remembered about Logan was how it had been so on the cutting edge of Special Effects (known in Hollywood abbreviationland as 'FX') - though only bits and pieces got into the movie, there was a whole effort to see maybe sections of the film could be done in holographic imagery. When dad died I found that test reel in his house. And like any dutiful daughter and handmaiden to the film industry, I delivered same to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for preservation - along with his personal copies of The Wizard of Oz and Behind the Green Door and much else.

But as I say...I'd mostly remembered Logan for its effects, it's wonderful color palate (dad was a trained artist, after all) and the Peter Ustinov character at the end of the movie. The character was that of an old man living outside the bustle and bliss of the controlled city environment, a man who though plainly freed by his exclusionary lifestyle was tinged with a haunting loneliness which...well, was very much my dad.

Strange too was how through total coincidence I ended up going to school with Ustinov's daughter Pavla for two years. No, we weren't friends. But at least we weren't enemies - and in an upper crust girl's boarding school/high school, that's saying a lot.

My thanks to Pavla, wherever she may be.

Besides Logan, dad was probably best known for Fantastic Voyage...

...the making of which was notable in my world for strange stories of effects experiments (many of which were simply total 'no go's), dad's continuing fights at the studio (particularly when over one weekend the crew from Lost in Space snuck on his brand new set to film without so much as asking 'may I?') and Raquel Welch's not infrequent visits to the house. 
Raquel was very kind to me, which in the pantheon of women in my life puts her way up near the top. When I wrote my 'early years memoir' nothing would do but to immortalize her encouraging words to me in a budding teen moment when I had just been humiliated by my parents. 

Dad really liked Raquel - and not just for the obvious. There was a begrudging respect in his voice when he talked about her at the dinner table, as if he was impressed that a woman that beautiful could also be intelligent and sensible.

Looking back, when I think of Fantastic Voyage the last thing I come to is how dad had doctors from nearby UCLA Medical Center come to the stage and 'approve' what he had built. Did it look like the real thing - the real human body? 

I gather these MDs had a great time wandering around a 'lung' which filled an entire mammoth sound stage. 'If only...' they probably said in their minds, never knowing microsurgery was soon to be in hand.

But one great truth about this movie never gets talked about - that in many ways its a tribute to my father's desperate fight to keep my sister alive. Debby had Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and from the time I was born my whole live revolved around his fight to keep her alive. That's why he knew those doctors from UCLA. 

Dad lost that fight when I was 14. He never quite got past it.


The Flint movies (there were two of them) were very fun. Dad didn't take a writing credit but he noodled with every line. As the original editor-in-chief who helped build Bantam Books, he had literature in his blood...not to mention the sharpest editing blue pencil on the block.
This being at the tail end of Studio System Hollywood, dad had a few perk cards to play. One of them allowed him to put his savvy artistic fingers (not to mention his twenty-five cents worth) into set design for the two flicks. Because of this, he had made and installed on...I think it was the first Flint set a very beautifully made reproduction of Rodan's Hand of God.
Yes, dad the artist at work.

Following the natural 'way of doing things' of the time, that statue ended up in our house after the picture was finished. I spent my early teen years dusting it once a week - and when dad passed away, that was the first thing I wrapped up ever so thoroughly to have brought to my home. 

Where yes, I continue to dust it once a week.

Dad's first picture was Von Ryan's Express...

...shades of Frank Sinatra, Trevor Howard, Edward Mulhare and a host of talented others. Von Ryan provided me with my first trip overseas - to Rome - and four months of eating flan (otherwise known as creme caramel or caramel custard) for breakfast. Much in the famous mold of Bill Cosby's routine where he's been assigned breakfast 'dad duty' and figures 'hey, chocolate cake is made of wholesome things like eggs, milk and flour, right?', my sister made a brilliant case for 'crema caramella' (as it was known) as the perfect breakfast food, leading to Tony, a handsome, gracious and highly tolerant hotel maitre'd becoming a virtual flan pusher.

The big thing about Von Ryan was not just the elegance of its cast (it was a really good cast) or the great locations, but that 20th Century Fox needed a hit and dad supplied it, becoming - for a time - the studio 'golden boy' until his naturally rebellious nature wore that welcome out.

As I look back now, I get that Ryan was my dad's ode to his own WWII experiences, just as Flint was the embodiment of his personal alter ego - a citified, smart-ass James Bond who didn't just date all the girls but who kept a personal harem devoted only to him.

Oh, how those loyal acorns do fall close to their tree, too...

Dad made two others films, Ravagers...

... and Skullduggery...

...which few people seem to know about. Ravagers was his ode to 'what's happening to this world?' and Skullduggery a display of his endlessly restless intellectual bent - a quality I have inherited to the max, if not always to my benefit. There's a very interesting question dug into Skullduggery, namely: if you found the missing link, would it be man, and therefore entitled to the rights and privileges of humans - or would it be an animal, and therefore to be consigned to being treated as a beast or beast of burden?

There's a whole lot of personal history in that question which I won't go into here, but that would be obvious. Artists, be they writers, producers, painters, musicians - we all write from the well of personal history and internal qualm, quest, confusion or agony. That's just the way it works. If we were happy people, we probably wouldn't be artists - we'd be living in oopsie-poopsie town, USA and repainting our white picket fence once a year would be the highlight of our season.

All this brings me back to Logan's Run. Back when it was made (and dad was head of production at MGM, snarling about the insanities which come with movie studio life) I got that a good portion of Logan was about his own feelings of having been betrayed by society. When he was born, the world venerated the wisdom which only comes with age. So that's what he worked for and looked forward to - he wanted to be a venerated, wise elder in the tribe of mankind.

But somewhere along the way, the rules changed. Old and wise was out, young and naive if filled with promise came in. So if you ever see Logan, wonder not that dad made a film about everyone's life being over at thirty. Astrologically, thirty is just when we emerge from the end of the first Saturn round - the growing up cycle. Society has all sorts of markers about when we become adults: religious tradition puts this in ancient terms around age 12 (one Jupiter cycle being 11.86 years), schools and the military tend to pick 18 (one round of the societal lunar nodes being 18.6 years long) and there's the lingering but still popular notion of 21 - the first Chiron square (to its natal position) which is a clear indication that at 21 we have to figure out how to be adults whether we feel like we know how or not.

But it's really Saturn's 29.46 year-long cycle (and it's half cycle at 14.73...and it's plural cycles) which maps life's 'structure.' And that's  fitting, seeing as Saturn represents time, maturation, dedication, responsibility, earning and achievement and ultimately, the 'as far as we can go' thing. When we reach 29.46 years of age it dawns on us that we're not going to be young we marry. Or we get serious about a career. Or we settle down and buy a house. Or we do all that, plus the family thing. 

Being that dad was born in 1921, this (let's call it) thirty-year mark came in 1951, which is when my sister was born. That says so much which is so plaintive, so sad and so real about my father's life that I scarcely know how to express it. 

Released in 1976, Logan's Run was the first film to be made using Dolby Stereo and it won a bunch of awards, one of which is an interestingly odd 'goddess-robot' statue from the Science Fiction Award people which (no disrespect intended) I tend to think of as my household Buddah. What can I say...? I inherited my father's love of science-fiction and fantasy. I'm just not as good at getting business to listen to me as he was.

(Hello? Book publisher or literary agent needed for memoir and epic fantasy manuscripts. Anybody got one on tap?)

(Dad's probably chuckling. I can almost feel him patting me on my little coconut head.)

The astrological point here is that Logan's Run was made when my dad was 55 - almost at his second Saturn return. It was pretty much the culmination of his work - after that his career...and life...began a slow unraveling which ended with his death in 1996.

I hadn't looked at anything about Logan's Run in plural decades when I decided to write this piece. But as I watched the clips on youtube I was struck by how creepy the Carousel scenes actually are. When I was young, all I thought about was how cool it was to fly all those actors on wires - and how interesting it was that Stefan Wenta (former master of the Warsaw Ballet) was brought in to literally choreograph the scene.

Now all I can see is the haplessness and cruelty of any society which would throw its people away - and the sadness of the Peter Ustinov character who though freed of societal tyranny, did so at great cost to mortal self.

My dad was a very 'old style' guy who valued strong emotions over all else. He hardly was comfortable with love. From my family I learned longing, which finally blossomed not long ago when someone written about elsewhere on this blog finally took the patience of his time to gift me with the warmth of human which I finally learned to love.

The last solar return of dad's life (1995) pictures him having the exact Ascendant-Descendant line of my natal chart. Given that the Asc/Dsc is how we reach out in the world, our relationships to others and the legacy we ultimately leave, this is a perfect picture of his last-minute attempt to connect and make peace in a father/daughter relationship he had endlessly postponed and criticized relentlessly, treating the child on the other end of the stick (me) as possession, object and utterly less than perfect.

And when he reached out, I took his hand because for all the strain between us, my father had rescued me when life itself was at stake. So I would happily...if tearfully...stand with him in kind. Even if I was an 'also ran' to my sister - his pride and long-dead joy - he was someone I respected and yes, feared, but also someone I understood was someone who had undone and undermined himself.

As so many of us do, yes. At some level we are all Logan living in that city under threat of dying at thirty, we are all Logan running from vulnerability or inevitability, we are all in some way that old man living outside the knowing of anyone but ourselves.

And when any of those becomes all we are, that probably becomes our waste. So often what we really need is right there in our own back yard and yet we neglect it, throw it away or undervalue it in some misguided search for richer, newer pastures. It's so what Dorothy (of ruby slipper fame) learns at the end of The Wizard of Oz.

And maybe why dad owned a print of the film. I don't know. But it seems worth thinking about.

I miss my father. He was more than a bit of a tyrant, but I knew I loved him then and can...finally...feel myself loving him now.

So happy birthday dad. Your daughter of blood and soul and talent misses does the world, I'm sure.

Okay, so maybe not the studio heads. But the world? Yes indeed.

Or 'indeedie-do,' as you would say.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Astronomy vs. Astrology: Two Sides of a Universal Coin

  A sunset photo of the Moon, Venus (at left) and 
ESO's Very Large Telescope platform
(photo credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky, April 2010)

The astrology we know today (western/tropical and Vedic) basically began back in ancient Babylon. As yet, there was no science - so astronomy. Not yet.

Astrology was as good as it got - and astrology was a natural way to think in that world where people were still so much a part of the land and at the mercy of its seasons and cycles. You needed to know when to plant and all that. So if Venus rising in a certain place meant the rain was on the way - that was a good thing to know. This shift in thinking had begun when and because people stopped wandering around, choosing instead to choose a place, put down roots and establish  'civilization' (Note please that I said civilization, not civilized). 

It was really one of the BIG steps in human history. Along with figuring out how to roast coffee and make chocolate, in my book. But hey...that may be just me.

As for astrology, its roots go back to about the 4,000 BCE mark, which was when Egyptians began using 'dog star' Sirius as a seasonal marker for tha all-important Nile flood which helped them not starve. And natal astrology? Natal astrology as we know it seems to have come into being somewhere around 700 BCE - in Babylon.

But science didn't start until philosophical early Greeks decided to separate fact from conjecture - a process which started around the year 500 BCE. And which yes, we might say is still being worked on today.

Or not worked on, depending.

Whatever on that score, 500 BCE seems to be about when Greeks like Herodotus started hitching up their togas to sit and have a little serious ponder over a plate of olives and feta cheese. Those Egyptians...they're SO into divination. There must be some facts behind what happens, no? 

And with the discarding of an olive pit and such pithy words, thus was science born.

But that's not to say that astrology was - or is - bunk. Far from it!

A year (maybe two) ago I had a little exchange of emails with one of the fabulous planet hunters at Caltech. If you haven't realized by now (either from what I write here or at Daykeeper Journal) I'm very into science - and more on that in a minute.

The guy I had this exchange with is named Mike Brown - who has a nifty circular (Mike Brown's Planets), and his own well deserved page on Wikipedia. 

(That's it for the links - I promise!)

Anyway, the point I made to the masterful Mike Brown is that back in Babylon, one of his ancestors was probably standing in the public square watching one of my ancestors rhapsodizing enthusiastically (and one hopes, eloquently) about the Moon and the tides. So I was standing I had stood there so many times, and I said to myself....Moon....tides....Moon...tides. 


At this, Mike's ancestor probably heaved a heavy sigh. Oh how looney is SHE? 

Of course by now we know that the Moon does influence Earth's tides. It just took science a couple of thousand years to catch up. So just because we don't know how something works doesn't mean it doesn't work.

But science is catching up. A year or two ago now, someone lovable scientific type (I think they were connected with Hawaii's Keck telescope team, but maybe not...)....he proposed an experiment regarding Relativity.

You know, that Einstein thing.

Now don't go rolling your eyes at me...I'm not going all obscurely scientific and dense here. Basically the idea is that the speed of light has been calculated. That's a 'known.' And Relativity says that large objects (say, a planet...or even better, a star) have such giant mass and gravity (and maybe even gravitas?) that they can literally bend the path of light and thus alter the apparent speed of light. to test this? Well, since we have this handy-dandy star (the Sun) hanging around out there, this science type proposed 'bouncing' a laser beam off Mercury just when the relative positions of Earth, Sun and Mercury would make the straight line between Earth and Mercury zip barely past the very, very, hot edge of said Sun. Theoretically, this should make the light bend, since we KNOW how super gigundo the Sun is (and if you don't know, check yesterday's blog photo).

So okay...there's a pow-wow, the experiment gets approved, the distance from Earth to Mercury (and back) gets calculated and translated into light-time - then at the appropriate moment, the experiment is begun.

And....voila! The Sun's super-deluxe mass did indeed 'bend' the light beam, increasing the amount of time it took that laser to hit Mercury and - 'boing!' - bounce back to Earth.

But what this proves astrologically, and that it proves an astrological premise thousands of years old? That's a whole other thing! And also true!

What do I mean? I mean that the exact moment of that experiment - with it's positioned line-of-site between Earth and Mercury just barely ootching past the Sun...That's what a Mercury station is. And the 'bend' in the light noted by the scientists is exactly what astrologers have been metaphorically saying about Mercury stations since....well, pretty much since ancient Babylon.

By the by here...Mike Brown doesn't dislike astrology. He just sees it as an 'inner' science....(at least so far. Though you never know...he may be reading this blog and be going maybe so...maybe so...) After our correspondence he made yet another comment about astrologers in his circular, saying that if you want information on human effects, that's astrology and not astronomy (in other words, don't ask him).

But that he isn't above your asking an astrologer a question is a substantial and large deal. And one which suggests that the real problem with astrology is that astrologers have themselves not taken the time and such to treat astrology as a science. We're getting there - and  we need to get there, because if E=mc2'd is a true-ism, then the universe seen and unseen is contiguous. You, me, the doorknob, dog star Sirius and planet Neptune, we are all made of the same stuff and at some very intrinsic level, a continuum.

To me, this makes the question of what makes us different not merely about DNA or molecular makeup but far more essential: how is it that we think we are separated and separate? To quote Yul Brynner in The King and I,  'tis a puzzlement.

People ask me about Pluto having been 'demoted' as a planet and I always respond with what one smart-ass astrologer came up with in the moment: who's going to tell Pluto?

Funny? Yes. But beyond that is the fact that astrology shouldn't ignore science. If the universe is contiguous (which it is), then all parts of our life are not only connected within us - hence why our mentality affects our health and vice versa. But it becomes even more than that. If the universe is contiguous, then it's completely logical to see time/space evolution in generational connections and individual lifetimes in positions of what would therefore be the clockwork manifesting of Existence: the planets and every other manner of celestial object.

And if that is true, each and every piece of that Existence - including the spacing of and all such - has meaning in itself, and to us. What it is, how it works, its cycles, its composition, its rotation, and its associations with other objects is not just valid, it's important.

This is why when I write about objects like Typhon, Sisyphus and Damocles (okay, so I wasn't done with the links...) ...when I consider or write about them, I take into account their physical nature and whatever their cycles and orbital paths tell us. If a Kuiper Belt object comes in as far as Uranus but not as far as Saturn, that says something. If Neptune as a planet controls the orbits of certain objects (the Plutinos) but not others (KBOs and SDOs) that means something. 

Astrology should care - because to not care is not just to ignore facts about objects out there in space, but to also not care about our lives and existence as human beings.

That's the other side of nature being totally contiguous: the responsibility which goes with being an astrologer - or human being - rests with us.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mercury in Cancer

 Mercury transiting across the Sun - source: News/CNET

Mercury moved into Cancer today. 

So what, you say?

Well, granting that this may not be earth-shattering news, it does signal a change in attitudes. And tone. Which is valuable to you because it says a lot about what's going to come up for discussion...and what approach is most likely to work whether you're in a negotiation or just some garden variety conversation.

Being a water sign, Cancer is automatically emotional. This tells us that as of today, the emotional approach works better than it would have, say....yesterday.

Yes, things do change just that darn quick - not to mention universally.

So where yesterday's appeal to logic might have gotten you where you wanted to go, today (and for the next while), getting into how others feel...or appealing to them in feeling or heartfelt terms is more likely to get a point across. Or - as they say - win friends and influence people.

With that said however, how you feel about 'things Cancerian' may make you more or less receptive to emotionalism in general, emotional appeals, or discussing feelings - yours or anyone else's...which may make you a card carrying member of the Bah, Humbug! club.

Then again, it may just be something far less dastardly and distinguished (sounds like a law firm, doesn't it?) People with air sign Moons are notorious for not liking how it feels when anyone tugs on their heartstrings. They tend to feel 'played' know, like a harp. And when Mercury transits any water sign, talking to someone with a water sign Moon may tap into some sort of emotional geyser. 

Obviously we can't cover every contingency about every person you may meet up with here. Nor do I expect that you have the chart on everyone you know - heck, I don't even have that! And we're never going to know the data on people we run across  during the average roustabout day. That's just a given! 

But we can say a few conceptual things about Mercury in Cancer which may be rather useful. 

First of all, water signs vary. Cancer is associated with the surf zone - which may explain to you why it's associated with the Moon, seeing as it's the gravitational pull of the Moon which causes tides. From this we draw that the conversational or situational Mercury in Cancer is also going to have not just tidal rhythms, but waves.

How will this work? Well, rather like the surf itself. While Mercury remains in Cancer, every day is going to have surges and ebbs. But apart from that, there's a 'rising tide' to the entire transit of Mercury through Cancer - a transit which begins today (June 25th) and runs to July 9, when it moves into Leo sometime during the day depending on where you be at that time.  

From June 25 through June 29, the emphasis is on what you do, what you're going to do, or what you've done. This may be a testing, or testy time.

Between June 29 and July 4, Mercury will be in Cancer's most emotional decanate (degrees 10 thru 19) which added to the Sun being in Cancer signals an emotional high tide.  Expect feelings and the expressing of those feelings to be more frequent, more fervent, more exultant and more moody during this time.

From the 4th to the 9th, Mercury moves through Cancer third and last decan (degrees 20 thru 29). The third decan of any sign being where others see what we've been up to, now efforts play out  and you see where you stand...or what you yet need to rise to. 

There's another quirk to throw in here too, namely that the Sun and Mercury will be running in conjunction from June 25 through July 1st. And when the Sun and Mercury are positioned close together, the Mercurial thought process gets a bit...well, let's just say 'drowned out' - that works in a water sign, right? 

And if you don't get why this would be? Look at the photo heading this lovely blog piece. That little, itty, bitty dot is Mercury - the whole Mercury and nothing but the Mercury. The Sun is HUGE! It's hard to remember how large the Sun really is. But it is...gigantic, I mean. 

Anyway, during these periodic Sun/Mercury conjunctions, a bit of personal myopia tends to be going around. So during this time - overlapping from the 'doing' sector into the 'feeling' sector, try to think long term. It won't be easy, but try anyway.

To this we should add just a few more thoughts, the most basic of which comes from the idea that Mercury rules two signs: Gemini and Virgo.

Gemini is an air sign all about the 'idea' of the thing and our ability to think, choose and manage life as effectively or badly as we will.

Virgo is an earth sign all about practical, tangible things. With Virgo, the thing works or it doesn't. There's a practical and pragmatic way to get things done and a proverbial means to the end. That doesn't mean that we always do it that way, but Mercury's association with Virgo is all about the search for the effective method, even if we ignore it once we've identified it!

Put these ideas together and you get why Mercury represents curiosity and a need to understand. Thus in Cancer, Mercury sorts through the basics and finds out what works, and what doesn't work. Given its natural position at the bottom of the zodiac wheel, Cancer is about foundations, thus Mercury in Cancer focuses on really basic values, asking what they're 'worth' to you.

This is where the negotiating comes in. Maybe something is worth it to you...maybe it isn't. And since there are always two parts to any conversation (and since Mercury is associated with pluralities) this makes for a lot of questioning. And answering. And asking why someone wants to know.

Hey! What's it to you, bud?

Considering Cancer rules families, real estate, cultural and national heritage, populations (of any size - civic, familial, national, ethnic, etc.), the homeland, end of life issues, childhood, memory, traditions and in families, particularly the father - and that both the Moon and astrological water are metaphors for money (liquidity, one might say), these subjects are likely to be focal points for discussions.

And don't just take this as a finite list - do a little (Mercurial) conjugating!  What do I mean by that? Well, real estate + money = home financing and home loans (or the need for same). Family + end of life issues = wills, trusts, funerals and probate matters. Childhood + memory (or tradition) can equal simple nostalgia or taking a trip half way across the globe in order to explore your personal roots. 

A last few words. There are two big 'general' groups of us right now...those for whom life may be a little odd, but basically stable - and those whose lives have either been totally tumultuous or which have begun 'shifting' through influences beyond control since...(oh....say,) early May. The former group is not being affected by the July 11 solar eclipse at 19 Cancer - the later camp is being affected by said solar eclipse. 

If you're in the first group, Mercury in Cancer may have it's up and down moments (high and low tide with a few particularly large waves) but basically it's just one of those months.

If you're in the second group, Mercury in Cancer may feel like someone is pressurizing the life vessel you happen to be encased in. And while this isn't fatal, it sure is likely to be uncomfortable.

Whoever you are, expect a lot of emphasis on 'how it looks,' many an assumption being made before all the facts are in (much shooting off of mouths) and a lot of things becoming public knowledge which in calmer moments might have been contained or gone unnoticed.

To paraphrase Bette Davis, it's going to be a bit of a bumpy ride. But not necessarily a bad one!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

June 2010 Lunar Eclipse: Change or Be Changed

 Lunar Eclipse 2000 - source: NASA

June 26, 2010 is Lunar Eclipse time. And if you think the chart of said eclipse (below) looks like the Cancer Ingress chart, it does.

But there are some very important differences....

In astrology (like in its sister-science, astronomy), what looks ‘little’ on paper is often a big giant deal...a dot of light in Earth’s night sky can be a supernova measuring light years across. 

So let's start by thinking of it like this: the Ingress chart is a picture of dynamics which unfold over three mortal months. Lunar Eclipses are emotional events…the reverberations and repercussions of which resonate for three months.  Some say six months, but in my experience by the time three months have passed, the biggest part of the upheaval (if there is to be one) is over. You may still be batting clean-up, but the it were...has already been won or lost.

Which brings us to a big point of differentiation between solar and lunar eclipses: even when a solar eclipse is smack dab on one of your chart points, it concerns a form of personal evolution - and it takes time for a fish to become a slogging amphibian which becomes a spraddle-legged reptile which becomes a rapacious dinosaur which then becomes the fluffy, clucking chicken providing eggs for morning breakfast.

(Just're actually serving up a dinosaur over easy!)

As opposed to this, the lunar eclipse which hits your chart with any acuity? They're  notoriously prompt. Like spit-spot on, as Mary Poppins might say (were she an astrologer...which she may be for all I know!).  

Getting back to the point here, an ingress is a solar event. Thus it's it’s about what we do in the course of building, maintaining, managing and having a life. The lunar eclipse is about feelings. So in a sense you might say that an Ingress chart is a calendar - a overview of Earth's next quarter cycle. A lunar eclipse is a moment in time which changes everything. And since the Moon moves from sign to sign every two days, the Moon in an ingress of even a week ago is hardly the same as the one involved here in this eclipse.

And how is it different? Well, as chatted about in the Ingress blog, the season’s Moon is in Libra, a airy sign about the concept of relating to each other, things we learn through relating and how what we put out there is what we become known for. That Moon being in Libra's critical (29th) degree also told us that the ‘relating’ thing is…well, critical! 

Through the whole three months, I mean.

Not only that, but the position of that Moon (as part of the grand trine ‘engine’ of the season) means it’s part of and supportive of solutions to problems as a tool which allows us to ‘get things done’ or advance our cause over the next three months.

Against that, we have this eclipse Moon at 4 Capricorn, a degree known for warmth, depth and its ability to take on the ‘flavor’ of whatever else is at hand, a trait which caused me to compare it to tofu not many days ago. And considering the Moon as metaphysical symbol of nurturance (emotional nutrition)...? That seems apt.


This 4 Capricorn Moon is but on part of the lunar eclipse configuration. To review, eclipses only happen when a New or Full Moon is positioned within specified range of the lunar nodes, which automatically makes them social or societal events.

What happens specifically during a lunar eclipse is that Earth (reality) comes between the Sun (will) and the Moon, cutting off the ‘light of our emotional life’...and our
ability to 'reflect' - to moon over something, one might say! And this taking the ‘pause’ out of the equation is why lunar eclipses are events. You don't get to pause and dawdle a bit while you decide if a lunar eclipse has you in its zodiacal sites. Something happens – boom! 

And it's done. In one minute something isn’t true, in the next it’s your unavoidable reality.

The aspect of will being ‘cut off’ here is represented by the Sun at 4 Cancer – a degree described as 'defiant’ in a very particular way. What way would that be? Well, the habit here is to attempt to substitute your ‘reality’ for the real reality. You know…life. - the world or society you live in. 

This degree's rather Neptunian tinge is so strong that according to the lore, the biggest wallops are going to be felt by those whose egos rely on something (someone, or some activity) which allows them to ‘run away’ from reality. And given that Earth's position (reality) is now ‘cutting’ the connection between this will to continue doing whatever has been giving them their 'feel-good' fix...

...well, let's just say this is a recipe for an emotional ‘thud.’ And we're not talking any  ordinary ‘thud’ neither! That we know because the Capricorn Moon which is the focus of this configuration is exactly conjunct Pluto. And I do mean EXACTLY.

And because Pluto symbolizes transformational change...and BECAUSE it's sitting pretty much atop a galactic black hole, that means this eclipse has the power to be a do-all, feel-all, inexorable-feeling  ‘alternative reality.’

Which in mortal parlance might manifest as incredible insight...or a complete loss of control. And whatever it is, it’s a highly polarizing and very extreme-feeling event.

Plus  let's not forget that Pluto in Capricorn is a general call for changing standards with Pluto acting as verb-of-consequence. So when Pluto gets active in Capricorn, new things may come into being. Old things may get destroyed. Totally unexpected things may happen.This could merely mean you're in for a highly dramatic time. Then again, you may be meeting up with a very painful moment. 

It all depends on what kind of escapist you are - and let's face it, most of us are escapists of one kind or another. this going to be YOU? That would be the important question, right?

For the answer to that, please get out your natal chart. Or go get one (there are links on this page). Even if you don’t have your birth time, the positions of planets will be pretty darn close, though you won't be able to use any of the house lines or the Moon.

Everybody ready now? Okay....then...



....Between 29 Sagittarius and 9 Capricorn (OR) 29 Gemini and 9 Cancer, this eclipse has your name on it with a big tag labeled “DO YOU GET IT NOW?" 

....Between 29 Virgo and 9 Libra (OR) 29 Pisces and 9 Aries, prepare for a challenging moment which requires that you harness both your strengths AND your vulnerabilities.  

....Between 2 and 6 Aquarius (OR) 2 and 6 Sagittarius, disquieting or uncomfortable events are in the offing. Ego bruises are not unlikely: live and learn. 

....Between 2 and 6 Gemini (OR) 2 and 6 Leo: you can’t go on doing what you have been doing – take the hint! 

....Between 1 and 7 Pisces (OR) 1 and 7 Scorpio: this is a moment of opportunity when dealing with a problem depends on your being willing to see the truth and heed it.

 ....Between 29 Aries and 9 Taurus (OR) 29 Leo and 9 Virgo: dead or alive, your chickens are now coming home to roost.


    One more thing to understand about this eclipse. Because Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, and Saturn is currently in a 3rd decan (public, results dependent) section of functionality and propriety-oriented Virgo....

    ....AND in opposition to fixed sign Scheat (bad reception).... 

    ....AND in opposition to Lust/Uranus (new fixations or breaking through a fixation)....

    ...AND in opposition to Jupiter/Tantalus (knowing you’ve done the wrong thing)...

    ...the root of this moment is really about something done some time ago. If that was unproductive (in the 'totality of your life' sense) or really sincerely naughty, expect to encounter a bad time. 

    And the solution is not to try to justify it. Nor will pointing fingers and blaming others really work. The only answer here is to get over yourself and clean up your act!

    But there is good news. And that good news is that while lunar eclipses can be upsetting to the max, they're not (generally) life/death events. If you’ve been a very bad girl or boy, yes, you may need to devote some serious time/effort to rehabilitating your reputation...even with yourself. And those who ignore the handwriting on the wall (in bas relief) now are likely to get some sort of truly uncomfortable come-uppance rather soon...say, in the environs of October, 2010 (give or take 6 weeks). 

    Those effects will be lasting. These are merely temporary. And no, that isn't to say they couldn't be tres, tres ouchy...but what would you prefer, temporary or chronic regret?

    But wait...isn't there even a smidge of a chance this could be a fabuloso and wonderful moment? 

    Why yes...! That could well happen. But again, that would depend on past choices. 

    The great Pluto theme words are create, deny, destroy with the values behind its engine being all about your willingness to risk and learn better. Not more enjoyable…better as in productive and humanity-oriented, not precisely your druthers oriented. And seeing that we're talking a Capricorn Pluto influence, this isn't about  short-term pleasure either. What you're looking for here is the long term investment (and what's worth investing in). And yet....

    ...given the situation what you need to get to that ultimate satisfaction may not be what you think you (Moon) want at this moment. Which is where Pluto/Moon comes in as a unit. In raw terms, Pluto/Moon is 'change of feelings.' Or because the Moon often represents money, women, the state of the body (health or conception/good or bad news) any one of these arenas may get highlighted. 

    If something changes, whatever changes, though you may be very used to it as part of your status quo, for reasons entirely individual, what you have been invested in may have been keeping you from the thing or effort or relationship or life status you really, truly need.

    And let's face it - when you get right down to it, need trumps want every time.

    It's just...well...sometimes we just think we need what we want. 

    But then comes the eclipsing of our reality. 

    Oh yeah...that.