by Boots Hart, CAP

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mercury enters Capricon

 Francois Rude - Mercury

Have you been feeling scattered? Too busy to bear? Have things and people been appearing from out of left field and disappearing into nothingness without rhyme or reason?

Well, I hope you enjoyed it, because that was Mercury in Sagittarius! And as of December 1 at 12 minutes past midnight (UT/+0), Mercury abandons fiery Sagittarius for earthy Capricorn, ushering in a couple of cooling weeks of focus, clear cut needs and getting things done.

But only a couple of weeks, mind you - Mercury is going retrograde come December 10th. And considering that, we are all on notice that as the calendar page turns, Mercury is going into 'slow-down' mode.

That makes for an odd combination. Mercury moving from fast-paced (even hasty) Sagittarian mode into the cool, calm (sometimes even icy) and collected 'what's the fact here?' Capricorn style of operating is in itself one heck of a deceleration. It's not precisely a matter of's one of style and perspective.

Sagittarius is unbounded. Sagittarius sees few limits except for those its sees as mandatory (i.e., necessary even when annoying) guidelines. Sagittarius embodies the exploring vibe. The experimental vibe. Sometimes the over-the-limit vibe.

(Just what we need right before the holidays, right? Not!)

Against this, Capricorn is all about structure. Capricorn is the very manifestation of accomplishment. Under Capricorn there is less allowance for experimentation and a greater need/demand that what gets done produces concrete (earthy, earthly and quality) results.

In the natural round of the zodiac, both signs are worldly and public; they're about being in and of the world. But they're in different quadrants: Sagittarius is on the right side of the horoscope wheel and therefore about responding to what happens. Capricorn is on the left side of the wheel and thus endemically about pro-active choices and making things happen.

Holding that aside for a moment - and though it seems seems a little counter-intuitive - in the week prior to Mercury retrograde, typically things feel 'urgent.' It's as though we're reluctant or unable to deal with the very idea that matters are about to shift from situational (direct motion) to internal and contemplative (retrograde motion). So don't be surprised to be feeling like you just HAVE TO get things done. Or if others keep spouting such at you.

For science fans, a moment on 'is this reasonable?' Answer: yes. (I know...did you think I would say no?) But the concept is pretty plain when we think (you, know, employ the Mercury component?) on what retrogrades actually are.

Pure and simple, retrogrades of any planet are about a period of time when that planet is on the other side of the Sun from Earth. Thinking of it as thus being 'out of sight,' it's not a huge, giant leap to say precepts associated with such a planet (or whatever waves of geomagnetism or spatial distortion said planet generates by existing and moving through space)...that the direct line of effects which are generated (and symbolized) by that planet are for the period of retrograde, 'interrupted.'

There's no direct (external) line. But the planet still exists. It's precepts are still aspects of our life. So where do we find them? On the inside.

Got it? Good!

And oh (by the way) this also explains why the Sun and Moon never go retrograde. The Moon is never going to be on the 'other' side of the Sun from Earth...and the Sun can't get behind itself. Might happen in some other universe...but not this one! moving into Capricorn, Mercury is still in a public/visible area of the zodiac, but it has left its receptive-reactive-responsive mode and moved into a means of expression which is more prone towards initiation. And thus, so follows our patters of thought, communication and daily operation.

Sagittarius being part of the interactive zodiac quadrant and Capricorn being part of the worldly zodiac quadrant puts yet another wrinkle on all issues. Where in the past few months a lot of discussions have been about what things (people, rules, situations) do for/to me (you, us, everyone)....NOW the order of mentality is going be more about levels of worldly/public functionality and how the need is to change that in order to create effective change

The difference is greatly scope. The third quadrant is more local than the 4th quadrant: think 'group' versus 'globals.'

Into all of which comes that retrograde thing. Whether people are into astrology or not, you may well have noticed a level of distraction going around during the latter weeks of November. People were into getting things 'sorted out' while Mercury was in Sagittarius but now, with Mercury moving into Capricorn, it's going to be a 'what is all of this about REALLY...?' sort of thing.

Mercury in Capricorn doesn't want to hear the talk. Mercury in Capricorn is not even about being happy with the walk. Mercury in Capricorn seeks results. And not just any results, but results which actually work.

Thus we come to the rub (or at least one of them) as Mercury in Capricorn tends to go very distinctly in one of two ways: maximally traditional...brand new and made functional with an eye to quality. The impulse is the same - it comes from the Capricorn desire for 'whatever' to last a really, really, really long time. Those who fight for tradition are wanting to extend what has lasted while those who are looking for today's quality thing want it to last going forward.

Optimally, something lasts the test of time and is in essence, eternal. Unfortunately, that isn't - and can't always be the case. And in this struggle to do the right thing versus the quality thing versus the thing which is going to last and support/mesh with what else (and who else!) we deal with in life - that's where the 'Saturn behind the Capricorn' meets.

From Earth, the planet farthest away that we can see is Saturn. It thus defines the edge and end and extent of our efforts, our reach, and our aspirations. Thus it is our capacity and our goals...and all the reaching, straining, trying, working, investing in ourselves or knowledge or whatever else we have to do to get where we want to go. It's the precept that for what you earn, so you are rewarded. And how if you don't earn (try, structure, mind your time, deal with responsibilities) you end up limited precisely to the degree you haven't tried, earned, minded the rules, been responsible with your time, structured your efforts...and so on.

Capricorn times often center on structure (structuring) and a deep, inherent sense of time itself. As such, Mercury in Capricorn is a time which can fill us with a sense of what we can do...or fears of having to do without. Capricorn entities (government, judicial justice, commerce) often aim to make us think in terms of these ideas in order to get us to take on responsibility.

And yes, they also sometimes threaten us with everything from what will happen if we "don't" do something - a tactic used as often by commercial sectors who want us to think we absolutely "need" things to governments who threaten citizens with what might happen if they dare think a different way or don't support some government effort, etc.

Because Mercury is already beginning to slow down as it enters Capricorn, the sense of urgency and need to get things done is intense. With Mercury in conjunction with North Node going in, there's an added and really marked sense of 'it's expected' or 'this is something I need to get done' which may leave you struggling against a sense of sluggishness which is hard to define and virtually impossible to escape.

This Mercury/North Node conjunction will be in effect until December 19th, describing the heart of 2010's 'holiday season' as one which suggests that pacing  activities and being sensible all along the line is the very best way to go.
Of course...after December 19th, then we get into the 'hot zone' of this season's eclipses. But first things first! That's a Capricorn mantra and thus a good mindset to be mindful of.

Good Mercurial times to us all!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Venus Re-enters Scorpio: Sticking With our Considerations

 Venus and Mercury over Paris
photo credit: Josselin Desmars

Today, a few miscellaneous notes and thoughts on this long, long (long...!) Venus cycle!

The 2008 Venus-in-Scorpio period was late September into October: pretty much when economies around the world began to crumble like so many stacks of crackers hit with a mallet. Mars having joined Venus in Scorpio was the proverbial one-two punch...and certainly serious testimony to Mars/Venus not always being such a plus!

It's all in what we do, people. When we exceed the bounds, we find ourselves what...? Out of bounds, yes!

Venus' 2009 romp through Scorpio began on November 8th (after the US presidential election) and ran to December 1st. If we all remember, this was a time of great fiscal furor around the world.

The Mars-in-Leo touch during this time (describing a natural "whole sign" square between planets) describes rather well how people around the world expressed various mixtures of optimism, disgust, impatience, hope and frustration. Squares are funny things - they are aspects of great strength if/were determination and resources described by both 'corners' of the aspect (in this case, Venus and Mars') are harnessed in equal tandem...and all sorts of headache when we linger in only one point of view. Or cling to the problem instead of opting to find and implement a solution.

Venus and Mars are a pair of lore and mythic proportions. Astrologically, they are far more than about romance and intimate moments, too - they are the premier partners of the greater lunar principle of feeling and response to situational input. So wherever Venus is, it's always good to consider where Mars is, too.

And yes, whatever the sign relationship between them is.

Our retrospect now bringing us into 2010, April had Venus in Taurus with Mars in Leo...the oppositional aspect to Venus in Scorpio/Mars in Leo (Taurus being opposite Scorpio). This is another square, but where the Leo/Scorpio square of 2009 emphasized 'doing,' this 2010 square emphasized 'what's this going to do or give to/for me?' And I think if we all look at news reels for the time, we see that's pretty much what was going on. When things are desperate, everyone gets into an 'okay, something's got to be done' mode. When things then ease up even the littlest bit, a lot of people start thinking more personally.

Or...well, let's be honest here: more selfishly and short-sightedly.

Venus went back into Scorpio mode as of September 8th, 2010 - with Mars joining it in Scorpio about a week later. Remembering that this is the same whole-sign combination which ran when world economies took a tumble, this illuminates how personal planets set a mood but outer planets describe the dynamics.

It would take a good quarter mile of blog space to describe the difference between 2008 and 2010, so we'll just go with the idea that back then we were heading into a dissolving-stripping down process and now we are trying to decide how to rebuild: Venus/Mars as the symbol of creation in progress.

Which yes, does put a whole light on "other" activities!

As we've discussed elsewhere on the blog, Venus in Scorpio tends to be about wanting to get what you want out of some situation when the better road to travel is seeing what is possible to GET out of any situation. One is personal, the other is more global: looking for results and estimating from that what everyone can get in terms of what each person wants.

And that's a really (REALLY) important idea when it comes to anything in Scorpio: we don't get to define to others what they want. We have to ask. And when we can't ask, the default has to be opting for formats which will allow everyone to choose for themselves.
This requires thinking the problem through...which hardly anybody associates with Scorpio! And yet...and yet...Scorpio really only works when we think about what we are doing and choose based on understanding the risks and the values which are causing us to take those risks. Inevitably, those we go 'after' under Scorpio influences can be made to "pay," but in the long run, there is a price. Justice is one thing - and it's not Scorpionic. Vengeance is Scorpionic, as is abject sacrifice. And neither of them are classed as Scorpio pluses.
So we all had this really sticky, sluggish, emotionally daunting, frustrating, self-confronting time while Venus was in Scorpio. It went retrograde on October 8th, and we felt even more confined.
Some of us opted to use Venus retrograde as a time to size things up and get real about our lives - a good and positive use of influence. And as Venus backed into Libra on November 8th, things turned relational and we all began considering how we really should invest a little more...and maybe a little more fairly in relationships of every nature and kind.

As Venus came onto its two-day station 'allowance' (to go direct on November 18th), we got at least one interesting display of how such cycles work - the November 16th news of a royal engagement coming out of Britain.

Clarence House is the official London residence of
Charles, Prince of Wales and sons William and Harry -
and thus the 'source' of the announcement
of William's engagement.

That it happened just before the station tells us that this is an event yet to come. That it happened with Venus actually in Libra at the time described well the news being about relationships...both of the betrothed (to each other) and as a couple, with the world.

For the 'royal watchers' in you: buzz can be expected to continue for yet a bit...with Mars currently in Sagittarius we're all looking for something new to think about and some sense of 'yes, there's more which can happen.'

And yet, there is something of an aura of 'did I go to sleep?' 'Is this still a dream?'

It's as if we all fell asleep beneath a tree which dropped leaves all over us. Now we've awoken and we're shaking off the leaves and getting them out of our hair. We're almost ready to go again.

And reality will hit soon enough - as Mars enters Capricorn in early December. Not to worry - a double dose of hard reality is on the way, folks!
But between the station of November 18th and now, all has seemed more or less pretty buoyant. Lighter. Less oppressive. Almost...unguided.

Then...enter the shark theme: as of November 30th (at 34 minutes past midnight UT/+0), Venus will re-enter Scorpio. With Mars in Sagittarius until early December, the question is one of proportion - what for us and what for others? Have we learned that everyone has rights...or at least should have rights? Have we learned that to have a good life in this world the world itself has to be healthy and functional?

Maybe yes, maybe no. Given that Venus will not clear the shadow of its retrograde (the degrees involved in said recent retrograde) until December 20th, we can expect lingering effects of recent events to hold over until that time. With Mars shifting into Capricorn in early December as mentioned...? And Mercury going retrograde shortly thereafter?

Let's just say the question is as it ever was: have we learned that our security and happiness really does depend on everyone else having a modicum of security and happiness?
Sure, we all know this in theory...we even know it at our core. But will we live it? Can we live that talk and walk that walk?

That's the Venus/Scorpio question.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday, November 28: A Personal Conversation

The following conversation came from an email with one of my favorite people. It’s a very different – if totally apropos - take on many of the influences we’re all going though now. I’ve edited out personal references and added in a few ‘bridge’ words, but otherwise, this is just me in conversation with my friend.

Such is life when you correspond with a metaphysical type, right?
- Boots Hart, CAP

There are two parts of this conversation. The first is this person. The second is how you feel about what’s going on with this person.

It’s one of my most favorite things...realizing how life mixes us together so that through others we experience everything we are supposed to learn. Or supposed to have ‘learned’ us!

Anyway....this person is in the middle of a long-term total and wholesale life transformation. Granting that there are eclipse ‘seasons’ twice a year (every year), I’m thumbing back through my ephemeris and I have to go all the way back to September 2007 before I find where the ‘life is changing’ pattern.

I feel their pain. Honestly.

I will also note that the eclipses on this chart began a relatively easy way with more stressful eclipses working in, ramping up season by season.

Here’s the lore: eclipses are a form of transit (evolutionary process) which lasts a full 3 years. When we have overlapping eclipses (as we do in this case) this both describes the magnitude of the life change and – in most cases – what it actually takes to get us to change.

Life is life – it’s not personal, it just is. If we refuse to cooperate and allow ourselves to be moved by gentler swells, life sends bigger waves...and eventually get us to move.

We are, in essence, arrogant to think that we know better than Life.

We know that. We see that when we see people endlessly chase youth with how they dress or endless rounds of plastic surgery. We don’t see that as easily when we see someone devoted to some effort which we think of as ‘good.’ The lesson is that all things must change. Nothing is as consistent as change, and when we refuse to change, life changes us that in essence, we change whether we want to or not.

At the crux of this is something we might refer to as actually being a form of personal arrogance. This person is vested in an internal conviction as to who they are ‘supposed to be.’ This is like as not, an inherited trait – one would guess it was taught them or bequeathed to them via the maternal side (which wasn’t all positive – that’s plain.)

In essence, this person doesn’t ‘know’ how to be anything other than who they have been being – which again sounds curiously familiar in the world of our various conversations. There is a startling unwillingness in today’s world to acknowledge what seemingly “functional” human beings may not know. This person doesn’t know how to have fun in the same way others don’t know how to react/interact with/around others - as we’ve discussed.

They have found an obviously successful set of compensatory occupations. But that’s what they are - compensations. So this person has become caught in a ‘functionality’ trap which does not give them sufficient internal nurturance-input-allowance to grow. And as I’m sure your learned friend the rabbi has said many times in many ways (paraphrasing others in the process), when we stop growing, we start dying.

This person is undergoing the cycling of their mentality, a process which has to start with a recognition that what 'was' is no longer. Nor are they going to return to ‘that’ ever again. There is still plenty they can do – and if they will start valuing themselves as a person and not just for their functionality as part of a system, they can possibly get to a place where they are not only truly functional but also get properly nourished and nurtured by what they do with their days.

This is a worldwide theme of this moment. There are some who are experiencing it more acutely than others, but we are all going through some form of it.

Now...on to the ‘you’ part. Since it's pretty obvious that you care about this person, this lesson is for you a two-fold dynamic.

One: that you should learn the limit of your personal ability to help and/or “rescue” someone else.

Two: that you should take your talents and intelligence and start aiming that at the greater problem: the world’s willingness to waste the greater potentials of people by not being willing to actually embrace our own wounded-ness.

We each have an area of 'not knowing.' Many, if not most of us learn to compensate exactly as this person has, exactly as you have, exactly as I have. That ‘we all have limits’ you are so fond of telling me  has a great deal of validity, yes. But it also is merely an excuse for our unwillingness to see where we each need help, where we each need to be taken by the hand and gently led through learning how to do something unfamiliar to us.

The change this person need to go through is as painful as it is to you because what they are relearning touches on your un-knowingness. That’s how it works – we get drawn to people who will evoke and arouse in us things we need to learn about…as often through challenge as delight.

I hope that at some point you grasp the real point in your life – namely that when people say ‘I don’t know how to do that’ they are as honest and as earnest as you are being in saying you don’t know how to cope with this situation and how to help your friend.

Give it some thought: the thing you don’t want to believe is the truth here…that you most want to believe is the fallacy. This is the precept of Neptune, for which we are given the primal instruction: allow yourself not to know. 

When the student is ready,
the teacher will come. 

(And seeing that today I’m playing teacher, I’ll take pretzels instead of an apple – they're handy and no know how much I like pretzels!)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pluto/North Node: Society Signs

Diagram of the Pluto/North Node
conjunction of November 27, 2010
6:36am (UT/+0)

In the United States, the Friday after Thanksgiving has come to be known as "Black Friday," a day when shoppers newly fortified by a day of rest and much food descend upon malls, shopping with a vengeance. (Or at least storekeepers hope.)

Originally the name of a stock market crash which occurred in 1869, in modern times 'Black Friday' has come to be about a different bottom line, one where SO much shopping gets done (over the weekend following Thanksgiving, now including 'Cyber Monday' online sales)....that this is when retailers traditionally "go into the black" for the year.

In other words, it's when they finally get out of the 'red' (debt) and begin clearing profits for the year.

Anyway...that's the tradition. You know - in your basic 'pretty good' year. But this year has been anything but - and not just in the United States, but in many places around the world.

And we're not just talking retail - we're talking about this having been a hard year for Earth (and its inhabitants) in general. So when we say that the US goes shopping this weekend as we contemplate Pluto conjuncting the North Node, that's not a specific issue. It's more of a bell-weather. And it's not just about money - it's about how we feel about our life. How life, as a whole, is reacting to the pressures being put upon it.

We all together now on that? This is not about shopping or consumerism except as that is one form of human expression of obligation, wish fulfillment, escapism and/or the ever popular concept of the holidays as the time to 'give the gift' but have it be something useful.

No, I'm not sure how many people are delighted with strictly utilitarian gifts. But sometimes, when life is hard, to have what you need actually is a delight. Yes, even if it's socks, weatherstripping, a new shower head or a vacuum.

(And don't get me started on how much vacuums cost. Never was I ever so happy as when the carpet was removed from my house, taking with it the need to have one. We all have things which just irk us. The price of vacuums is on my list. Petty? Maybe. Honest? Definitely.)

That said, what about this Pluto/North Node conjunction which as we have now noted, is happening late on the USA's biggest shopping day?

 Kyoto's Nishiki market
photo credit: Kazutaka Nakano (March 2009)

The North Node is what we should do. And the simplistic reaction to North Node dictates when astrologer mentions them to client? NO! UGH! BLECH! I've ever seen people get up and walk out of the room when confronted with North Node 'musts.' 

But here's the lore: if we will 'do' our North Node thing, then we can have all the South Node we want. And everybody likes the South Node part of the deal.

So let's start there, with the South Node positioned in a degree of 'garbled messages' which tend to be so unclear that we ignore them. This is a metaphysical signal for 'being isolated in my own thoughts and feelings' which doesn't help matters - whether it's a family budget, a national agenda or a company looking at its own bottom line regardless of the general market or societal trends.

Meanwhile, the North Node and Pluto are both in a degree which is about 'curiosity which can get you into trouble.'

Known vastly and over-simplistically as 'transformation,' Pluto is above all the experience of emotionality...and thus emotional transformations. Pluto symbolizes 'the result of the choice' and the experiences which go along from realizing what has 'come of' what you choose to do, or not do.

Coupled with the North Node, we might think this could be a moment when we go to do whatever we're doing and curiosity draws us in and fascinates us to a degree we do what we had promised ourselves (or others!) not to do. And with two Black Holes bracketing this 4 Capricorn position, the fascination and 'alternative reality' quality associated with Black Holes may do exactly that in many cases.

However...this entire dynamic could have a diametrically opposite effect. Pluto's 'transformative' qualities, often known as create, deny or destroy and which in a natal chart often signify a quality which manifests as an obsession and drive at many, many levels...that may well here represent the changing of habits.

One way we would decide - astrologically - whether this is so, or what this might mean would be to look at the ruler of Capricorn, the sign the North Node and Pluto are in. The ruler of Capricorn being Saturn, we see Saturn here positioned at 14 Libra, the 'mask' and whether we live behind it, or come out from behind it.

With Capricorn being 'the goal' and the 'upheld tradition,' we have to wonder if this combination is about changing (Pluto) the way we deal with the traditions and celebrations we share with others (Libra) and as a society (Nodes) in a very real (Saturn) way.

 United States Federal Reserve Chart
(set for noon as a governmental agency)

With a Quasar (brilliance) just ahead of Saturn and a Black Hole (alternative reality) just behind Saturn and Edisonia (the 'bright idea') in opposition to Saturn...this is if nothing else, a rethinking of what we do and why we do it.

And this may mean a change of attitude on the part of all - whether that means shoppers using cash instead of credit cards. Debt and the pressure/debates which come of same (and which are infamously known for wreaking havoc in marriages) is Pluto. It is the emotional consequence of a (Mars) choice made in a given moment.

That Mars is in Sagittarius' 3rd decanate at this moment guarantees a lot of advertising and going back to our 'Black Friday/Cyber Monday' shopping model, a genuine desire to have things be as they "always have been" on everyone's part - whether you're the merchant trying to promote sales, the buyer wanting to 'have it all' or the anti-commercial person who would like to just go back to a time when holidays were about quiet times of family or contemplation or gratitude...or however anyone thinks of them.

Then there is also a bit of 'indicator history' to contemplate here. The world-wide economic fracas which led to such anguish in 2008 happened as Pluto moved over the MC of the US Federal Reserve's noon (governmental functionality) chart.

With the great heat of the American presidential campaign (replete with name calling and mud slinging) having ignited during March/April 2008, President Obama actually took office as Pluto completed its transit of the Federal Reserve Sun. This is a mark of a previous 'round of thinking' which would have begun one Pluto orbit ago.

Pluto's orbit being 248 years long, that would put the initiation of this 'theoretical' round (theoretical since the Fed wasn't yet in existence) as being in 1761. As it happens, 1761 was the year when George III became King of England - just in time to deal with the American revolution (lucky him!).

 King George III of England in
coronation robes
painting by Allan Ramsay

In the process, the English (and general political situation) also managed to annoy an already vastly over-extended French monarchy - one then headed up by Louis XVI - into entering the war on the side of the (American) colonies. And that exacerbated France's own problems to the degree that it ignited the French Revolution, bringing about the execution of Louis XVI and his wife-of-political mandate, Marie Antoinette.

In short, cycles repeat.

As noted by astrologer Ray Merriman, the US Federal Reserve opened it's doors for business earlier in the day on December 23, 1913. And that chart, I've written about elsewhere (link). But as a US governmental entity we set any applicable chart to noon - under the theory that the government is the 10th house (the uppermost house in any chart) as the Sun is at its zenith at noon and as citizens of any country, we look 'up' to the government as top dog power in our nation.

(No jokes here, please. Several names went through my head too, but we're not going to wax frivolous. At least not at the moment!) when you set the chart to noon, what you come up with a wheel (above) which shows 29 degrees on all four axis points: what the Fed does is critical to the country - and arguably, the world. Cycles repeat and financial controls-markets-reserve banks do not exist in isolation.

Staying with the Fed's governmental chart, the current  conjunction is taking place as Pluto is moving away from the Sun (indicating a great change/upheaval already having taken place and now in motion) heading towards 7 Capricorn, where it will encounter Ceres.

Ceres alone is a symbol of what you have worked for and earned, so you harvest. Ceres success depends on not just wanting the results, but being willing to do all the hard work such as that farmers do in raising their crops.

Link to an article which describes the nature of Ceres in more detail.

In this Federal Reserve chart, Ceres is pictured as being opposition Charybdis, meaning there has to be a constant willingness to keep after various problems. Those problems - again, as described by this chart - are about debt. But not just debt as a concept - debt more specifically as a matter of home-family-real estate and desires.

Considering the interconnected nature of world economics, this clearly denotes the 'consumer culture' as a whole. A 'dominating whole.' If this was only a matter of 'consumerism' (Charybdis ruled by the Fed's governmental 8th house Scorpio Moon), then regulation of interest would be the one key. But Charybdis is an asteroid. Ceres is a dwarf planet.

 Dwarf Planet Ceres
photo credit: Hubble - ACS/HRC

Guess which one is more important? Or to put it another way, which needs to be our greater priority?

Yes, that which we understand is necessary needs to empower the consistency of effort. This cannot be about passion or beliefs or fear - that's anti-Ceres and plainly Charybdis in negative form.

Like as not, this whole discussion comes down to a couple of questions: will we make sacrifices now or later? What does 'sacrifice mean to us? What do sacrifices made in the past which have allowed us to get where we are today - what do they mean to us?

Who are we and what do we really value? What is the difference between what we want (Pluto) and what we should want, or should want ourselves to want (Pluto/North Node)? Where do we talk the talk but totally not walk the (Pluto/North Node) walk, hiding behind our (Saturn) mask of what should be changed and done (Pluto/North Node) but which we're just as happy to leave up to others (Libra) to take on the (Saturn) hard work and the (Saturn) challenges of doing?

Pluto will arrive at 7 Capricorn - the Fed's Ceres - in spring 2011. What we are going through now is a 'lead up' to that. Given how hard it is for societies and nations to change, we all know what 'should' happen, but which won't happen until the proverbial shoe falls.

Or kicks us in some providential part.

March/April 2011 has Pluto going station/retrograde right atop the Federal Reserve Ceres. That transit ends in January 2012, describing 2011 as a year of serious change.
So you can either fiddle and dance now, or pay the piper then. And maybe you'll do some of both. How much is probably up to you, and starts now.

It will be definitely interesting to hear reports of how retailers do over this long holiday weekend. It will tell us much about ourselves...what we're dealing with and what we're choosing to ignore now, and face later.
Stay tuned!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sun into Sagittarius, Mercury into Shadow: Working the Perspectives

A rendering of the 'impossible cube'

So...yesterday was the 2010 edition of a Taurus Full Moon.

And today, we enter into a zone where everything that Full Moon was turns into repercussions, explorations, adjustments and eye-opening moments of realization as the Sun enters Sagittarius and Mercury crosses over into the shadow of what will be a three-week December retrograde.

And yes, it's all about how you see things - beginning with what we've learned so recently on how well (or not well) our values, methods, priorities and choices mesh or don't mesh with others - that Scorpio functionality poke we got from yesterday's Full Moon.

Considering that Full Moon was at 29 Taurus (meaning the Sun was at 29 Scorpio), that makes today the day that the Sun enters Sagittarius, a fire sign known for expansive thinking, discoveries of any and all types... and fiery attitudes, pursuits and proclamations.

Of the three signs in the worldly/interactive zodiacal quadrant (Libra-Scorpio-Sagittarius) one is an airy sign of ideas, theories and 'meetings of the mind' (Libra)... one is an emotional water sign where we experience our own feelings through contending with life and others (Scorpio)....and one is our coming up with ways to affect the world and/or testing out those ideas in the world.

These signs are not just individual experiences. They're a process. Through our interactions with others we experience our Self and recognize what works and what doesn't work. And whether we win or lose, we emerge from the crucible of realization (Scorpio) generally ready to tell the whole world what we've learned - or to set off in the directions of our goals yet again.

That's the Sagittarius part of the process.

Yet as those born under Sun in Sagittarius will probably tell you, the Sagittarian vibe is not just about getting on with what we want to do. The whole idea of Sagittarius involves seeing what works and what doesn't work.

So if you skated (slouched, sauntered, stalked, scurried) or otherwise weathered this year's Scorpio testing without making changes - to life, to your approach, to your companions or how you go about picking what you choose to do and who you choose to do it with - then prepare yourself. These weeks ahead are likely to be full of toe-stubs and rebuffs.

And yes, the occasional 'that's brilliant!' too.

Interestingly, this 'interactive' quarter of the zodiac which has no earth 'tangibility' in it is all about trying to make things happen and be/become real. Does that make sense? It should, if you think in terms of that 'grass-is-greener' sort of logic. Each quarter of the zodiac includes three signs, and in each quadrant, what we are seeking has to do with the missing element.

It's sort of life's version of 'fill in the blank,' yes!

 After Aristotle, these were the four Hellenistic
elements - the basis of the ancient Greek concept of physics.

The Sun representing life, will, energy, we can expect the pace of life to pick up and carry us forward through the next month or so - interestingly (and quite tellingly) in sync with the holiday season.

Fast pace, more is it that the 'busiest' time of the year for most folks (the holiday season) is supported by this karmic, cosmic timing?

Some would say this is a sign of a 'sentient' Being overseeing all of life. But maybe this is just the way life is made. Maybe the fabric of life is just made so that the things which work because of such juxtapositions carry on and become traditions?

Could be. It just could be.

The other thing happening to day is that Mercury is reaching 19 Sagittarius - the degree it will ultimately come back to at the end of its upcoming December retrograde. This forward (to retrograde) /backward (during retrograde) /forward (after retrograde ends) pattern is known as the 'shadow' of the retrograde. Every planet which goes retrograde - which would be everything except the Sun and Moon - describes a 'process' and a period of time bracketed by its periodic retrogrades.

This one starts in Sagittarius, specifically in an emotional degree known for difficulties with the conventional and repercussions of rebelliousness. Nineteen being the last of Sagittarius' emotional degrees there would seem to be a 'climactic' sense of feeling or  conviction here; lore speaks of defeats and difficulties arising out of this degree bringing on bitterness and vengeance.

That this crossing into its retrograde shadow happens with Mercury conjunct Hybris underscores needs to be right and the lengths some will go to be right - or at least to appear that way.

And postulated originally by astrologer Alex Miller with everything found so far in my own work backing this up - where goes Hybris, there to we find an eventual 'comeuppance.' With this degree also being flavored by the 'alternative reality' of a galactic Black Hole, this may thus be the arrogant pronouncement...or the discovery that someone (even...yuk!!) have been oh-so-very wrong.

Given that this cycle concerns Mercury, symbol of thought, communication and daily doings from errands to neighbors to household matters and such...there are like as not parts and details and factors involved no, no matter what happens.

For some, the situation will evolve, take a turn at the station/retrograde and resolve at Mercury's station/direct in late December.

For others, this is a moment of decision which will take from now through Mercury's retrograde to set up, work out or get put in order.

For still another group, this moment launches a month-plus period of personal upheaval.

Whatever happens, watch for events which happen as we go into retrograde (December 10 at 12:05 UT/+0) and come out of retrograde on December 30 (7:22 UT/0+). As with all retrogrades, the day or two to either side of these dates is significant. Information you want or need is not expected to be fully forthcoming until retrograde ends, too. Something is holding you back from being 'fully operational' in some sense.

Many people will welcome this Mercurial 'umbrella' effect ...or at least manifest it as their turning their attention to family and/or holiday matters, forget everything else.

And yet, this can be problematic. Mercury in Sagittarius is notoriously sloppy, hasty, overstated, exaggerated and demanding. Yes, even selfish.

And yes, this goes all the way to the famous 'cutting my nose off to spite my face' degree. So don't be shocked if there's something important or difficult (or even just emotionally hard to grapple with) on the table about now and someone abandons the conversational ship.

Some people will push for what they want now - screw  the cost. Right or wrong, sensible or not, maybe even legal or not, safe or not, possible or not....

You get the idea.

And yet with all that said, this may also be the moment when good sense finally dawns. It sort of depends on where you are in what area of your life coming to this day and time....particularly as Mercury is going retrograde at the degree of Pluto's turning last April.

Had a big turn of events this year? Stand by for the next act...or what comes now, because of (or out of) what happened...or changed...or was denied...or left not fully dealt with back then.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Taurus(Scorpio) Full Moon: Meeting Ourselvs Half Way

 Full Moon over the Grand Canyon
photo credit: Matthew Hunt (September 2005) 

Whenever we talk about a Full whatever sign - we're actually talking about two different signs.

The 'why' of that is simple: a Full Moon is an alignment of Sun, Moon and Earth with Sun and Moon in perfect ("full") opposition (which allows the 'full face' of the Moon to be illuminated by the Sun)...with Earth sitting nearby taking in the lovely view. 

Where that alignment happens (which astrology describes using signs and degrees) and who is hanging around gawking on either side (or commenting from a distinctly discordant quadrant) is how we describe Full Moon effects.

But why would one Full Moon differ from another (give or take bystanders) if it's always Sun opposition Moon? Why do signs exist at all?

That's because, despite Galileo having paid a heavy price in his time for having declared that the Sun was the center of the solar system (ridicule, house arrest ordered by the Vatican...he has so little fun trying to teach his fellow folks the truth of things!) ...despite that, Astrology - which is a study of time/space/celestial effects on Earth and all things Earthly and earthy....that remains geocentric. 

And don't get all frizzled by the term. 'Geo' refers to Earth and 'centric' is 'centered on.' There are a few people out there who practice helio(Sun)centric astrology, but probably 99% of what you read is totally about us. Which makes sense - Earth is where we live.

Taking this back to 'what the heck are signs about?', if you think of Earth as the center of "its" solar system, then in succeeding months, everything comes from a different angle. You comes at us from a different place - which is maybe why we use expressions like 'I got broadside by that one!' or 'it came right at me!'.

And as anyone who plays pool, billiards or works in a car crash laboratory will tell you, angular alignments count. Angles of impact often determine crash safety and effects on passengers. They certainly are what automotive designers build to protect against.

Problem is, there is no defense against life. Life comes at us from whatever angle no matter what.

And with a Full Moon putting the light of the Sun "full" in the eyes of our emotional (Moon) reality (Earth) - that being the basics of the 'highlighting' or 'emotional high tide' metaphorical meaning of any Full Moon....

...well, let's just say it pays to know where life is going to be coming from every month. Which yes, is why I've taken to talking about lunar cycles here on Ye Olde Blog every month.

So this time around, as happens every year about this time, we have the Sun in Scorpio and the Moon in Taurus, as we see here:

Taurus being all about our self worth...with which we go out and get what we want from the world and therefore have in our personal 'coffers' as resources...Taurus is about our sense of security and/or satisfaction as a reflection of our values.

As polarity sign to Taurus, Scorpio is where we risk that self worth and those values with others. The key word in that sense being 'risk,' everything about Scorpio feels 'dangerous.' The investment could go bad. That person we get into a partnership could be a dud. Or betray us. That innocuous person could be luring us in so as the manipulate the heck out of us. The sex could be terrible. That proposal we worked so long and hard on could get rejected. We could get turned down for that job.

But if you think about it, these events - in and of themselves - are not deadly. What's difficult about Scorpio - a water (and therefore emotional) sign - is how we feel going into them (the trepidation, the excitement, the angst, the expectation) ...and how we may feel when things if/when things don't live up to our expectations.

And with Uranus - our solar systemic destabilizing force (cammon...a planet which rolls around its orbit? How throw-a-wrench-in-our-thinking odd is that?)  - with Uranus in Pisces, land of emotional expectations...we are all ripe for a shakeup.

This sort of goes back to the New Moon, every New Moon being the basis of the cycle which leads to the Full Moon. This last New Moon was a sticky one in Scorpio. More precisely, in the emotional district of Scorpio, a sign which is emotional to begin with.

Even more interestingly (or let's say at least as interestingly) was the first of three New Moons which focuses on that number: 13. Next month's New Moon will be at 13 Sagittarius, and the month after that is a Solar Eclipse at 13 Capricorn.

In itself, this is a metaphorical progression which starts in our values and how to get along (Scorpio) which then moves into 'will it work/how to make it work' (Sagittarius) and seeing ultimately if that gets us where we want to go (Capricorn). If so, that equals life renovation. If not, that equals life changes forcing us to renovate.

At the moment, there's been a whole lot of emotional stuff going around. We've all been reflecting, refracting, sorting, interacting and in some cases forging new alliances...and in others realizing through our interactions how we really had it wrong who we were and/or who the other party/parties were or are.

And as soon as a lot of us have gotten past one puzzle, life has thrown another our way. Did we really get the message? If not, have another 'go' at it. If yes, it was on to the next step.

A lot of these messages have, in fact, centered on or come back to our self worth and values...and how that does/doesn't help us in our relationships with others - and in that, moving forward in life.

And all that...? That now comes home in 'Full' format with the rising and shining of our monthly Full Moon.

This does not...repeat NOT mean life will be filled with hilarity or disasters. What it's about is our ability to deal with our underlying humanity. This is about rooting out of us those glitchy, faulty, not-serving-us-well attributes we either don't need, haven't dealt with, or haven't done enough to properly develop. It's not the event of the moment in other words - it's whether you are overly reactive TO the moment. 

We all together on this one? Good, because with this Full Moon being positioned at 29 Taurus, life is likely to push us extra hard!

Twenty-nine being the last degree in every sign, it's known as a 'critical degree' in astro-speak. That's a little over-the-top, but "modern" astro-speak (a lot of it) was developed over a hundred years ago, which ain't so modern. In fact, it tends to be a lot melodramatic. So ignore the word and remember the term; what's meant here is that this is where the sign "presses" to complete its business. It's sort of all of Taurus loaded into one degree or all of Scorpio squished into 29 Scorpio.

For everyday purposes, this is an intensification of effects. So the testing of our values/self-worth is likely to be a tougher or more intense test.

And let me give you the biggest of big clues: we don't win by getting hysterical, angry, exasperated or upset. It seems counter-intuitive, but the solution to all Scorpio problems is to think, not emote - just as the solution to all Taurus problems is to do more, freeing one's  creatively, productive instincts rather than to conserve, hoard, or otherwise cling to what you have (security).

The degree in which the Sun sits (29 Scorpio) which speaks to the source of energy is all about 'adaptation' at all ends of the spectrum, depending on where you start. In all likelihood, solutions for the active begin with quiet reflection and/or studying for the more sedentary among us involve active 'doing something.'

Against this we have the degree of the Moon - and Earth, our 'reality,' if you will. Here we have 29 Taurus, a degree which is described as the 'having trouble doing.' Postulation is easy, but there's a problem with  demonstrating worth. The maladaptive form of this degree indicates bullies, makes excuses, procrastination and resorting to that really annoying sort of passive-aggressive stuff.

And that's where we're coming from? Blech! 

But wait....! Considering how metaphysics works, it's not shocking that this degree (and planets posited in this degree in a natal chart, should you have any) tend to attract the very kinds of provocations which will incite that which is really a form of insecurity.

Why? Because nature (life) constantly tries to help us grow, get out of our own way and otherwise become more successful.

But the process? That's sucky. No question!

And there is also the fact that this Full Moon isn't operating in a vacuum. (Well, other than that of space...) 
What I mean is that there are partners and parties to this Full Moon edition, the conglomeration of which looks rather like this:

The OPPOSITION part of this diagram we've already talked about...and we've touched on Uranus being in Pisces. So let's finish talking about that.

First of all, Uranus is at 26 Pisces, conjunct Byblis. Usually referred to simply as 'old knowledge,' what Byblis is really more about are 'tapes' in our psyche with which we are trying to reconcile. The tendency is to try and explain ourselves or justify our position, beliefs or desires, but where Byblis is concerned, the issue is us and how we understand things. Or, with Byblis here pictured in Pisces, how we feel about our feelings and/or how the world around us doesn't approve of or jive with our emotional perception or position.

Conjunct Uranus in a 3rd decanate 'others' degree, this issue of how others feel or what they say (or say about us, provoking emotional reactions in us) is very much underscored. And Uranus itself is all about the 'different' and the 'changing circumstance' which may be provocations coming from a quadrant which up until now seemed safely serene...or it may be all about our seeing something differently within ourselves.

Or, of course, both!

Lore for this degree speaks to a 'chaotic flow' of ideas which if we master and organize usefully, put us in a position to master ourselves. 

With a SEXTILE to the Moon (sextiles indicating opportunities) we have an opportunity described here to really drill through to the crux of some of our personal problems.

And with this Uranus/Byblis also being in TRINE to the Sun...this is what life (Sun) is trying to get us to really do.

(BTW...with an opposition, what sextiles one end of the opposition pretty much automatically trines the other end of said opposition.)

That doesn't mean this is any better or worse as a moment in time. But there is that to consider - this is just a moment in time. Lunations (lunar cycles), including Lunar Eclipses (one of which we will meet up with next month) are seldom life changing. They often indicate an emotional moment we 'never forget' or a shift of circumstance which will then lead to something solar which will mark our life actually changing.

Think of it this way - again, the Moon is about our emotions and thus reactive. It is thus not the 'thing,' it is how we feel about or react to 'the thing'...especially when the signal involves Taurus/Scorpio.

Moving on, the last set of 'players' in this moment of drama are Neptune and Chiron, with Neptune playing the part of the ideal against the illusion (the mystical magician who incites, eludes, entices and asks what we really know...about ourselves most of all)....and Chiron asks us that really, really pesky question about whether we're going to get off our duff and get to doing that thing we don't know how to do (yet) but which needs doing anyway.

This is an amalgamation of necessity versus insecurity, confusion of ideals with reality and the question of when (or if) we are ever going to stop wishing-dreaming-hoping-postulating-objecting and get to the trial-and-error in life which in time (granting false starts and missteps) gets us where we want to go.

Positioned in Aquarius, sign of society, this obviously indicates a 'social component' to this Full Moon moment. In a 3rd decanate position, the provocation is from 'others,' whether societal or 'personal others' - people in our lives.

In SEMI-SEXTILE to Uranus/Byblis, it's a given that we're in an emotional tangle about whatever is in the works now. That's on top of the Full Moon indicator of the critical degree and the Taurus/Scorpio nature of this moment. Are our values correct? Are our values to be kept private or made public? Do we need to cooperate more with the world (personal or public) around us? Do we need to pay more attention to what we do in the world and maybe the effect that has on our world or on us because of what we do or don't do in that world?

That Neptune/Chiron are also in SQUARE to Sun and Moon in this figure (obviously sitting within orb of the midpoint creating a transiting t-square)...that tells us about the nature of the challenge life is handing us. It's Aquarian. It's about our ability to be part of the world public and our world private. It's about our misgivings about that world and what we are doing about it (probably nothing...much talk, much complaining, musing, postulating...but little doing). It's about what needs to happen in our own life to satisfy that niggling thing inside which makes us - at some level - not so comfy with who we are. Or how we're acting or have acted. How we've chosen.

The amalgamation of this moment is a classic one: it's the reality of our lives versus how we wish things would work with the truth of the rebuttal being not about 'them' but about things inside us. Life is trying to get us to examine our gut. Maybe that stomach ache is more about what we've 'swallowed' - about ourselves. And maybe it was willing, maybe it wasn't. Maybe it was a truth, maybe it was wasn't. Maybe it was useful, maybe it undercut us in ways we were trying so to avoid.

Whatever it is, it's time to at least take a look. And acknowledge, maybe. Some of us will do something about it. Some of us won't. Those who do will move on into a season of evolutionary changes. Those who don't will have change inexorably thrust upon them.

What we do and how we go about doing it - in the end - is individual. There is no right or wrong here, only knowing, ignoring, discovering and/or denying.

What to learn? That we like or that we need? That's pretty much the question - and good luck to all of us with that!