by Boots Hart, CAP

Monday, December 13, 2010

Asteroids, Mars and Pluto - oh, my! (plus a little Mercury note just because…)

 Great Observatories present a 'Rainbow of a Galaxy'
photo credit: NASA-JPL-Caltech-ESA

    Here's the roll-out for this week:

    Monday (December 13): Tantalus enters Pisces

    Tuesday (December 14): Transiting Mars
    conjuncts Pluto - Pelion goes direct

    Wednesday (December 15): Kallisto goes direct

    Friday (December 17): Phaethon enters Aquarius
    - Sphinx enters Scorpio

    Saturday (December 18th): Mercury retrogrades
    back into Sagittarius

    That’s two asteroids going direct, three changing signs, Mercury backing into Sagittarius and transiting Mars conjuncting Pluto.

    Mind you, ALL of this is happening under Mercury retrograde. So no matter what happens in life or the world, the real point is reflective. It’s about what all of this evokes in your personal ‘think tank’ (as author Will James put it in a wonderful children’s book called Smokey the Cow Horse).

    Retrogrades are about challenging ourselves. Learning more about what we’re capable of – by which we don’t mean whether you have the capability or capacity to climb Mount Everest. This is also about whether you are capable of lying to others, or yourself. Are you maybe selfish, even though you constantly ‘do’ for others? Martyrdom can be very manipulative – just as generosity can be controlling.

    Why do you resist certain things or ideas? Why do some things totally fascinate you? Why we are who we are and not something or someone else why we do this and don’t do that, these are all retrograde questions.

    At the moment, specifically Mercury questions. The nuances and details count. The ‘how to’s and what I know/don’t know counts. What I put first, second, tenth and last now counts. What I think I want versus what I do or don’t do now counts.

    Let’s also remember that against this background we have Pluto playing footsie with North Node in early Capricorn. Change, and the need to change, are front and center in our world, and in our personal lives.

    There are a lot of Black Holes being conjuncted and opposed by the North Node, Pluto, Mars and Mercury – all in Sagittarius. There are other ways to see life – will we see them? More importantly, will we tackle them or learn from them or ignore them?

    Also to remember – we had a whole handful of factors (asteroids) move into yang (pro-active) signs just last week. So the engine is there. The need is there. With Mercury retrograde, this equals either some degree of impatience or frustration (for those who continue expecting life to fulfill their desire for gratification) or motivation (for those who recognize what they need to do in order to set things up for success-yet-to-come).

    Thus we come to Monday (December 13th) and Tantalus moving from Aquarius into Pisces at 1:37pm (UT/+0). The myth of Tantalus is a pretty gruesome one. What it amounts to however, is the idea that ‘might’ (of whatever form) does not equal right. Tantalus also delivers a big lesson about spite.

    Bottom line, wherever Tantalus is by transit, that describes a general area of life where we get tempted to exercise power as a matter of ‘because I can’ or because ‘I want to get back at you’ for reasons which are all about my selfishness, or lack of personal self worth.

    A fast-moving Apollo group asteroid which at its farthest orbits just beyond Mars and which at its closest zips just inside Venus (obviously crossing Earth’s path along the way) Tantalus entered Sagittarius on November 4, Capricorn on November 19 and Aquarius on December 1st.

    That ‘Apollo group’ notation does tell us one more thing about Tantalus – that it is, in the end, about revealing the unpleasant truth…about us, others, and life on the whole. With Mercury now in retrograde, this implies we are moving several weeks where our own worst enemy may well be our emotions or emotional expectations, which may just eat us up if, where and when we don’t stop to get a grasp on the difference between our feelings and the intentions of others.

    This is not to say other people are angelic – all is says is that we need to know who is doing what, and why they’re doing it. Disappointments, whether about others or ourselves, are likely to be about disparate sets of emotional standards.

    And what does that mean? Really?

    That would be a Mercury retrograde question. Think about it.

     A hypergiant star's massive outburst
    photo credit: NASA/JPL

    With Tuesday, December 14 as the date of transiting Mars conjuncting Pluto, the cosmic clock strikes a chime of huge and vital potential. The basic symbolism here is ‘creation’ and ‘release’ with the number of ways that can happen being a list as long as the seconds in a day. Discoveries, revelations, good news, bad news, shocking events, exciting surprises, mind-boggling life-changing ideas – it’s all here in the mix.
    What every happens, its big – that’s indicated by the power potential of Mars/Pluto being underscored by Pelion (big challenges) going direct. Direct motion always being an indicator of something which comes at us from outside.

    Mars conjuncts Pluto at 4:14am (UT/+0). Pelion goes direct at 7:56 pm (UT/+0). That puts the Mars/Pluto quality of ‘explosive energy’ (at 4 Capricorn) in a very close-to-exact square with Pelion AND coming to life some hours in advance of when Pelion going direct at 5 Aries, a degree known for ‘presenting problems which cannot be avoided’ even without Pelion being present.

    Getting a hint?

    Let’s also consider what Pelion is. It’s not a ‘regular’ asteroid – it’s a centaur, which adds a whole other note about using our heads rather than going with instincts or raw desires (that being a centaur thing).

    Like we need that the day after Tantalus enters Pisces?

    As for Pelion’s orbit, it has an orbit which is in a celestial intertwining with that of Uranus. Since Uranus is a planet we can’t see with the naked eye, this makes Uranus and Pelion both objects representing things which just ‘happen.’ We don’t get to change it, we don’t get to avoid it, we probably don’t even know its coming.

    Where have we heard that before?

    Those who have planets, axis points or nodal positions between 0 and 10 degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn are going to feel this ‘turn of events’ most acutely. Considering Mercury just having taken its turn into retrograde at 5 Capricorn, this is a whole ‘change of thought’ season for you anyway (in other words, you probably already have gotten the memo, whether or not you want to deal with it!).

    But now, the (Pelion) size of your challenge is really taking shape. Life is really, truly in your face, probably forcing you to do some tall (Mercury retrograde) thinking about how – good or bad - you got to the point where you are now.

    And no, we’re not done! Kallisto goes direct at 1:11am (UT/+0) on Wednesday, December 15. This station taking place at 24 Aries puts the Mars/Pluto (Pelion) energy in Kallisto’s shadow/direct, telling us that there are ‘Kallisto possibilities’ to be had if you bear with.

    Bad pun, that…the ‘bear with’ thing, I mean. Why? Because Kallisto’s story is about vindication in spite of the craven acts of others. It’s a complicated story – but essentially Kallisto vows to serve Artemis – she who we would call ‘emotional insight’ by remaining  chaste.

    But Zeus (Jupiter) takes one look at the comely Kallisto, and perhaps because she doesn’t want to be ‘known’ (in the bliblical sense) he decides to take what he wants. And after the rape, Zeus hide his bad behavior by transforming Kallisto into a bear – a beast to cover up his beastly act.

    Several tragic scenes later Artemis (she of emotional insight) recognizes what’ has happened. And though she can’t undo that which Jupiter has done (we cannot ‘unring’ the bell of knowledge), the power of emotional insight (Artemis) mitigates the transformation by turning Kallisto into the constellation we know today as the Great Bear.

    In other words – to put this in modern parlance, through terrible pain (or maybe in spite of all that suffering), Kallisto becomes a star.

    As a main belt asteroid, Kallisto represents things we learn about as we go through daily life – and life as a whole. The degree of this station reveals to us the pluses and minus of how we use our ‘creative energy,’ with split being generally between being creative in life or pouring all that energy into sexuality. Life now shows us how well that is working for us.

    When combined with all the other influences of this time – and (let’s not forget) the effects of the January Capricorn Solar Eclipse building and thus dissolving some of our ‘life structures,’ the real question would seem to be where our life is taking us, and whether we need to take energy out of one pot and put it into another, whether we are beasts, or whether we are poised to become a star not only in our own life, but in the lives of others.

     The 'almost invisible' aftermath of a giant star's death
    photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

    Come Friday at 4:35pm (UT/+0) on December 17th, Phaethon enters Aquarius. If you didn’t read yesterday’s blog on the Geminids, you may want to start there. Otherwise, as Phaethon enters Aquarius that adds get more itchiness to the ‘let me get this done!’ yang fire (and fieriness of the moment) and yet…

    …and yet, let’s not forget that Mercury is still in retrograde. Considering Phaethon’s headstrong, overreaching quality, that would seem to be part of the theme of the moment: are you overreaching? Have you overreached? Have you taken a big fall or scorched your chances or ‘burned bridges’ in some way, shape or form?

    With this also being the date that Sphinx enters Scorpio (at 10:22pm - UT/+0). We all know the Great Sphinx of Giza – a symbol of patience and endurance. But Sphinxes have other meanings. Oedipus meets a Sphinx along the road who asks him a riddle. Ultimately, that Sphinx represents what he might have learned had he stopped to think everything through.

    With Sphinx being a main belt asteroid which orbits nearer to Mars than Jupiter, this symbol is more about what we do and why we do it. In entering Scorpio, it asks that we have the patience to recognize how others feel and why they feel that way. AND to recognize how having breezed by questions posed along the road we may have ended up exactly where we didn’t want to go – a la  Oedipus (though we’re certainly not referencing the exact circumstances of his story.)

    But there is to recognize that Scorpio is jointly ruled by Mars (first) and Pluto (as outcome of our Mars choices). This again underscores the Mars/Pluto conjunction, the Pelion challenge(s) – whatever that may mean in your life.

    As Mercury retrogrades back into Sagittarius at 2:54pm (UT/+0) on Saturday, December 18, determination softens. Attitudes become less hardened. There’s room for discussion, though be prepared – some people are simply not going to negotiate!

    And that too is part of what we have to learn now. Whether its our standing on or for some point we absolutely know (or maybe have even just learned) the facts are the facts. Reality is reality. Life can be some things we want it to become but it isn’t that way simply because we want it to be that way.

    It’s a busy week. There’s a lot of energy focused within each of our lives and each of our minds. Especially as Mercury re-enters Sagittarius, ‘haste’ becomes a big thing we all want to avoid. That in itself may be a challenge – but being challenged…isn’t that what life is really all about?

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