by Boots Hart, CAP

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Eros and Sedna: The Who, What and Why of Cuddle(d) vs. Coddle(d)

 Nature - by Esteba Fort

If you were looking for two symbols which at first seem very much different, you might well choose Eros and Sedna.

Eros symbolizes just what you think it symbolizes: eroticism and erotic desires.

Sedna is all about an inner fight for maturity which has us wanting to cling to childlike (okay....maybe childish?) dreams instead of being willing to let go and grow up.

And why should we grow up?

Well, according to the Sedna myth, only by owning, accepting and developing our individual power/power of individuality (and the degree of individualization and - yikes! - separation which may be required along the way) can we become able not only provide for ourselves but also become an asset to and influence on others. Even those we don’t know and will never meet.

But plainly that means giving up being taken care of. And that part? Oh, let's be real here...! A lot of us aren’t so keen on that part!

So on the surface, who would think these two symbols have much in common? Nobody, right?
Welllllllll....except for… 

Yes, I’m thinking you’re way ahead of me here. The 'except for' involves looking at both of these symbols as different (or maybe not so different?) ways of expressing our desires.

Is that selfishness? With some...could be! It would at the very least involve individuation - being your own person, right? Or maybe some least sense or quality of egocentricity?

How to figure, how to figure...?

Well, 'how to figure' here most likely starts with recognizing what these two celestial bodies are - and aren't.

Astronomically, Eros is a main belt asteroid, a member of the Amor group. The Amor group is named for “head asteroid” Amor, which interestingly (at least in this discussion) represents platonic love and the loyal regard of friendship. In being  Mars-crossing asteroids, Amor objects come within the realm of our assertiveness. In other words, they represent attributes which are about that which gets past our defensiveness (Mars).

In Eros’ case, at it’s farthest it cycles just inside of Icarus (that famously dangerous habit of ‘leaping before we look’ issue) and Tantalus (being tantalized). So while Eros (desire) isn’t necessarily about leaping before we look, we do have to at least contend with what being tantalized means to us. That Tantalus gets far closer to the Sun than Eros does shows us how dangerously ‘close to the fire’ getting tantalized can be (think moths getting their wings singed). But as Eros stops short of that…indeed short of Venus, our ability to actually attract that which we want? 

 Venus photographed by NASA/JPL/Caltech as to reveal its planet-wide
shroud of sulphuric acid clouds. Long considered the planet of ease (all
I have to do is show up and be pretty?) the reality of Venus the planet shows
us that Venusian attributes are pretty sour, even corrosive. As the saying
goes, pretty is as pretty does - it is therefore what we do which generates
the reactions we want, this being why beauty is only skin deep and
goodness of being what in the end is remarkably powerful.

That should tell us something about desire.

And that just before Eros gets as close as it’s going to get to us (and our Venus)…that Eros crosses the innermost orbital points of Damocles (the danger you don’t see until you take the dare) and Atlantis (giving up what you thought you wanted for the unknown)…that really tells us what the limit of erotic desire actually is.

In a repetitive cycle (which is 1.76 years long, for those marking their calendars) Eros represents life tempting us (Tantalus), forcing us to get beyond our defensiveness (Mars) but then reveals what our temptation may actually involve (Damocles) and in forcing us to let go of the (Atlantis) known gives us a glimpse of what we can truly have and actually come to be….

So what is Eros? Yes, it may feel like desire - and if you're in the mood, erotic desire. But a better name for Eros just may be 'motivation.'

Eros is entering Aquarius on February 1st at 6:31 in the evening (UT/+0). Aquarius being about society and earning our way in the world socially and financially, we can now get motivated, be motivated or face situations which prompt us in various ways to deal with our lack of motivation.

Or even ding us for refusing to comply.

Against this we have Sedna. Eros is a ‘close to us’ precept – its something we deal with actively in our lives. All the main belt asteroids represent such things.

But Sedna?

Geez. Sedna is way, way, WAY out there in the Kuiper Belt. Earth is one astronomical unit (AU) from the Sun. Mars orbits at about 1.6 au’s from the Sun. Jupiter has a pretty oblong orbit – at its farthest it’s 11.85 au’s from the Sun (10.85 au’s from Earth) and when it’s cuddled up “close” it’s 5.458 au’s from the Sun – still 4.458 au’s from Earth.

That’s plenty far away. If Jupiter were really ‘close’ we’d see it’s big red self as bigger than the Sun. But it isn’t. Just how small the Sun really is as seen from here on Earth, that should give us a bit of sense of solar system distances.

But back to Sedna. At its CLOSEST, Sedna is 975.56 au’s from the Sun.

 Yes, that big yellow thing really is the Sun. Considering
how small it is in the sky, it has to actually be really, really
far away! And yet that distance is still only one (1)
astronomical unit (au) from Earth. Sedna is 975.56 au
from the Sun...974.56 au away from Earth.

(And it’s still part of this solar system, yes. Big place, our solar system….)

Remember what we’ve said about fixed stars while wandering through the days? When we look up into the night sky we see a backdrop of stars, against which the Moon and “local” planets move. (Yes, well…that “local” thing gets pretty radical when you get into astronomy, but…)

The point is that the stars – the ‘fixed stars’ as they are known in astrology – are ‘global attributes,’ whether in our life or our world. So Sedna being so far away gives us the notion of this dwarf planet as something relatively major (Sedna is a dwarf planet, after all…) but universal – part of the human “backdrop.”

And what’s more universal than the struggle to grow up against wishing we didn’t have to? 

- full length article on Sedna -

Come February 2nd, Sedna goes direct....which is really why we would be grouping these two items together in today's celestial contemplation.

Given how all celestial stations get a two days before, two days after "station window," that means Sedna's station effects begin January 30th...

...Which means Sedna-ish qualities will be active and effecting us as Eros enters Aquarius.

Got that? So glad!

Then let's get back to the Sedna, which in going direct at 21 Taurus brings in a whole possibly sulky quotient. And definitely a sense of 'deprivation' - though how you interpret that is pretty much about where Sedna and where Taurus falls in your personal natal chart.

But twenty-one Taurus, that has a rep. As a degree, twenty-one Taurus is known for for being tainted with a lack of appreciation which is (unfortunately for us) all too easily translated into tendency to isolate, ignore, deny - or just plain go into defensive-aggressive mode.

Sounds fun, right? (Only kidding....)

Because this is Taurus we are talking about, the roots of whatever discussions (debates? stand-offs?) arise now center on worth/self worth, values, resources and talents.

And that makes this a prime moment when we're likely to ask ourselves whether we are going to walk away or tackle a problem...and really want to walk away. Maybe we'll just do the old 'it's their problem' thing - which is isolating ourselves from having to deal with it. Or maybe we'll just ignore something (or someone) know...because we can!

In fact, don't be surprised if there's a lot of ignoring going around. Or it's close cousin, the 'being stand-offish' routine. Or trying to be 'useful' by not intervening or interrupting....which may be real, and then again may just be another excuse.

Let’s be real...there are SO many ways to isolate ourselves from the crux of various issues. Some do it by being so wretched, no one wants to be around them. Others do it by being (read: keeping themselves) so incredibly busy they’re always in such a whirl that while they don't actually say 'don't bother me!,' their actions are plainly saying ‘don’t bother me!’ for them.

Then there are those who use money, the lack of money, power, control or even "traditions" to build walls with... which is not to be confused with those lacks of opportunity those who would try might indeed make good with if they had the means or opportunity to move ahead.

Speaking of which, there's a whole part of the Sedna story which is about wanting to be taken care of - otherwise known as "spoiled." This may involve money or may not. Yet given the times, and the fact that stats suggest the 'late rate' on payments of loans, credit cards and the like are going up even while retail spending has generally been on a rise...

...yes, I know a lot of people will plead 'holidays.' But the truth is that gifts are not mandatory. To think so is to be self-indulgent in a particularly Sedna (or even Sedna/Eros) way.

And all this is happening a day shy of the New Moon which marks the Chinese New Year. Well, well, well!

We're about to be moving into a Year of the Rabbit. And though I’m not a full-fledged Chinese astrologer, it doesn’t take one to see that these two images occurring just before the Rabbit year takes off is both a sign of the opportunities and challenges yet to be faced.

The real Sedna lesson is that the thing we so revel in – our ‘comfort zone’ as it were – is not our personal power. We only acquire that power when we relinquish all the notions we start out with about what we ‘should want’ or what someone ‘should have’ or how someone ‘should be.’ That's very Taurus! So to have Sedna go direct in Taurus' 3rd, worldly decanate is now life, the world, society, civilization telling us (alas, in a myriad of ways...!) where and how we haven't grown up. Where we are only thinking about our desires and not in fact relying on or even utilizing our greater potential.

As we say that, we should also take a moment to caution a whole corner issue connected to Sedna - the issue of "tapes." No, we're not just talking sound bytes here...when we talk 'tapes' in the Sedna world we're  talking about 'learned habits' which act like tape, binding us in sticky wickets which we are faced with unraveling ourselves from.

Or which life at some point may forcibly sever, dumping us into the cold, cold currents of a life as yet unknown.

If this happens, when this happens, this isn't about any threat - it's really and merely how life tends to work. Life wants us to be as powerful and exuberantly prolific as each of us were born to be. Sometimes we just need…oh, let’s call it a little redirection.

But then, those who insist on acting like children will get told what to do!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sunday January 30, 2011 in Cairo

View of the Nile and Cairo from the Cairo Tower (2007)
photo credit: Radausandei

I can't imagine a more disturbing if educational way to learn about astrology than by watching it unfold in the streets of a country beset by popular or military upheaval.

And yet, there is that old and true expression: those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

The only thing I would add to that is that this isn't just about History (big "h") as in politics, armies and nations. This is also about our single and singular lives as human beings. Cycles work in our lives and come around again and again as surely as they do when it comes to nations and regimes.

People often ask why astrologers 'didn't see this coming.' The answer is, you can't watch every chart and every world location all at once!

If anyone can, I'm not even sure I'd want to meet them, either! (Though I might want to know how many computers they're running...can you imagine?)

However...some 'common knowledge' astrology does stand out in this past week's news. As trouble began erupting in Egypt, the Moon was in Libra. As violence escalated into the dramatic scenes of thousands streaming across Cairo's bridge as the army retreated in front of them, the Moon had moved into Scorpio. As the Moon then moved into Sagittarius, fervency hit the violence point - guns brought out began getting fired.

And again - as I've said before, there are a lot of problems brewing in a lot of places. But I can't cover it all. For purely instinctual reasons, I've focused on Egypt - and I hope no one thinks that means I don't care about anywhere or anyone else.

We each do what we can do. So going back to these global passages of Moon in Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, they are global. So in some measure they operated in each of our lives. The nature of the signs - and how the Moon tends to play out in each sign is what I'm referring to here.

All three signs belong to the zodiac's third, interactive quadrant.

 The zodiacal 3rd quadrant: Libra (air), Scorpio (water), Sagittarius (fire)

All signs in this quadrant act interactively. They may play to the audience, be caught up in what others are doing, exchange ideas, negotiate, try to make their point, or operate in any of a million other interactive modes.

The Libra segment is 'airy' and theoretical. So the Moon moved into and through Libra, in Egypt, the people protested and shouted. Their government replied - and make no mistake, silence says as much as anything else in the world of interactions.

I mean...have you never had someone give you the silent treatment? Makes a real point, does it? As does being ignored or stonewalled. Silence is not always golden nor mute: sometimes it's worth a thousand words!

Scorpio being fixed water, from early on the 26th through early on the 28th, emotional drives made it important to make one's point. That's the typical Scorpio move - to try to gain control, and if possible, to do so  without damaging whatever you're trying to gain.

Not particularly 'gracious' in Scorpio, the Moon is known for bringing out exhibitions of anything between defiance and testy sulkiness in Scorpio...which (sorry to say) sounds apt, considering this is when confrontations began, though people remarked on the lack of looting at that point.

Looting didn't start until the Moon entered Sagittarius come mid-morning on the 28th. And that's another painful if interesting comment. Sagittarius is the realm of astrological fire; Moon in Sagittarius acts with fervency and promotes 'fiery' rhetoric which if not held in check by some greater moral imperative often enough results in actions or statements which, in hindsight, are in some 'realistic' sense regrettable even if in fiery, 'theoretical' or 'conceptual' terms is thought justified.

The other side of Sagittarius is less savory - it rules the judicial system and therefore the theory of 'might makes right.' That there was a prison break during this time speaks to just how far Sagittarius can go; how those prisoners got out will be something worth listening for.

Egypt's White Desert of Farafra
photo credit: Omar Kamel

The Moon will enter Capricorn - Cairo time - just after 4pm on Sunday, January 30th. Capricorn is a 4th quadrant sign. It is thus not person-to-person (or personally) interactive, but global. This societal. This is group oriented. This is national. This is systemic.

Capricorn is the structure of life. It is the thing which like, love or hate it, is the thing you rely on. You know where you stand because Capricorn forces, dynamics and realities define the rules, the boundaries, the necessary routines and regulations of one's life.

The Moon is push and shove in emotional Scorpio. Against this we have it's other bad habit - to act with 'entitlement' and haste - when in Capricorn, an earth sign which fosters and seeks very real results.

Capricorn embodies the quests, questions and directives which are leadership and knowing where we're going and where we stand. Every month when the Moon goes through Capricorn, we are tested as to our sense of proportion and capacity, our ability to do what we want to do against who we know we should be.

The Moon will be in Capricorn - Cairo time - until the wee hours of February 2nd.

So what will happen? That we don't know. I don't pretend to know - there are just too many factors in the air. There are millions of lives, each unique, which are in play and at stake.

But there are some moments which seem apt to look at and learn from.

I am posting only a handful of moments from Sunday, January 30th here for our observation. This does not mean that this is the most critical time, or that there are no other critical times. I am merely saying these are things I noted when looking at an astrological clock (yes, really good astrological software is a wonderful thing!) I thought I would share.

 Sunday, January 30th (2011) - Cairo, 4:39am

It is my understanding that there is a curfew currently in force in Cairo. That would be imaged by the Saturn ruled Capricorn Pluto (control)/North Node (what you should do) at the Ascendant, point of action or activity. These Capricorn points are ruled by the Saturn at 17 Libra (at the top, in green).

With Saturn in Libra, that gives us a rulership by Venus - Libra is ruled by Venus. The Venus of this chart is still in the 12th house of the chart, but already above the Ascendant. Situated at 24 Sagittarius with the Moon at 23 Sagittarius, that tells us that give or take, it's about two hours before that fervent Sagittarius Moon conjuncts that Venus - by which time, Venus will be in the societal streets of the 11th house.

Using the movie term, we now 'cut' to dawn in Cairo...

 Dawn in Cairo - January 30, 2011

Dawn being defined as the Sun rising up over the horizon, here we have the Sun rising in Cairo - with asteroids Hel and Sappho rising just ahead of it.

If I say that Sappho is the poetic universality of humanity and Hel is...well, our Hel, this hardly looks like a pleasant morning.

Interestingly, on the other side of the chart (at the Descendant - where ultimately the Sun sets) we have Photographica, a symbol all about 'what it looks like.' we expect posturing for cameras? Some taped messages going out over the air? Maybe.

Looked at another way, Photographica at the Descendant may represent a change or shift in the 'look of things.' Different images may be offered - or communication means or amounts may change in the world of Cairo, if not the whole of Egypt.

That last line really illuminates one of the big problems of being an astrologer trying to do this work. Someday maybe we will have programs which allow us to say 'tell me when this happens at xyz place.' Or to such-and-such a person. We'll be able to automate our files.

It just hasn't happened yet. So I speak in terms of Cairo but not Tunisia. I can't even get as far as clock watching in Alexandria...

The coastline of Alexandria, Egypt in 2006
photo credit: Jackson550

....or Aswan, which most people don't know know all that much about except for it's dam.

I've had the pleasure of visiting Aswan. I hear it's the hottest place in Egypt during summer - fortunately I was there in a cooler month. It was spectacular. Watching the sun go down in Aswan gave me a profound sense of the great expanses of human time...and how minuscule that is indeed when compared to time on planetary or galactic scale.

 The Nile at Aswan, wandering among river islands.
photo credit: Citadelite (2007)

I'm sure you hear what I'm saying. Egypt is a land filled with people, each of whom has a life as valuable and 'total' as our lives are to us.

And yes, the rest of the world is just the same.

Egypt is far, far more than its famous monuments - though yes, they are really, truly spectacular.

I hope you get to travel there someday. And elsewhere. The world...our well worth getting to know.

So - after dawn. What comes next?

 January 30, 2011 - 7:51am - Cairo Time

By just before 8 o'clock in the morning Chiron (daunting need) is at the Ascendant as Hidalgo and Antares stand at the Midheaven.

This would seem to be a reactionary moment. Chiron is what we are faced with doing that we don't know how to do, and which we can't know how to do except by doing it. Chiron embodies the old saying experience is the best teacher.
But at the same time, Chiron is also all about the need which drives us to try doing those things we don't want to think we need to learn how to do. They often turn out very well - but boy, do we resist learning this lesson or what!

Here pictured at 29 Aquarius, with an Ascendant also at 29, this is an expression of urgency of need and/or the idea that something is 'urgently needed.'
Against this we have Hidalgo and Antares at the Midheaven: a classic question of what one is willing to do to win the day. One of the Royal Stars of Persia, Antares promises success if we do not act out of a desire for retribution or vengeance.

This could be the government taking action. Then again, it could be the people acting out against the government.

It's important to remember here that symbols like Antares are not 'person particular.' The door swings both ways. You can be the underdog of all time who deserves rescue and a chance to get back at your oppressors - but if Antares is around, moderation must be your byword. At some level, it's not so much what you do here as the energy with which you do it.

I suspect no more needs be said.

Two more moments...

 9:03 am (Cairo time), January 30th, 2011

This chart is notable because it has Black Moon Lilith (mass rejection/rejection by the masses) at the Ascendant with headstrong Phaeton just ahead of it.

Meanwhile, 26 Sagittarius - the need to give to others - is at the Midheaven with the Moon and Scylla (of all things!) perfectly conjunct.

There's a huge amount of conviction being displayed here, with with Scylla modifier suggesting stubbornness beyond calculation. That, in terms, suggests some sort of action or activity which goes farther than one might suspect, lasting or holding out even when one might have thought an end must surely have come.

Last but not least (and let's note that all these are morning hour charts) a chart for 10:19am, Cairo time. Many people in the west will be sound asleep.

Maybe having bad dreams? Who knows. But that everyone isn't awake at all times gives us one of those interesting clues about why certain things happen in one place but not another.

With that said, the chart...

 January 30, 2011 - 10:19am (Cairo, Egypt)

This chart has recently-eclipsed Vega at the Midheaven. With Vega is Hybris, easily translated into 'hubris,' or arrogance.
At the Ascendant is Eris Discord - disruption. With Eris is Hebe, the servant. There having been rumors that President Mubarak may name someone as his successor, this well may be a chart connected with that concept. Then again, this may be connected to the 'national servants' which are embodied as Egypt's military.

About twelve minutes before this chart...make it just past 10am Cairo time, TNO/Plutino Ixion and asteroid Child will be atop the 9th house cusp. When I saw this, I wondered whether we would hear about Mubarak's son - already reputedly out of the country (meaning, Egypt).

Ten o'clock in the morning in Cairo is breakfast and rush hour in London. It's the middle of the night in New York. Here where I live in Los Angeles, many will just be going to bed. Out in Honolulu, they're still watching prime time TV (or not...!).

New Zealand will be just sitting down to dinner - dinner tomorrow night to me, but that's just how it works.

We all will get this moment but it will be presented in very different ways, depending on where we are. And where we are makes all the astrological difference.
Yes, there is some part of me which wishes there was a way to know what was happening everywhere all at once.

But then, what would I do with that? The point is how we live our life - not just what we know about it.

There's been a lot of talk about how social media and cell phones and streaming video and all such have made an enormous difference in how we regard what's happening in the Middle East. Revolutions (unfortunately!) come and go. But this is possibly the first time the everyday person has had the ability to use technologies which used to be in the hands of the elite few to make their case!

And further their cause. And get the word out.

To this, as just a tiny footnote I'll also add that this is the first time astrologers far and wide had software powerful enough to watch it.

So time marches on!

Short Term Global Transits and Eclipsing in Progress

Just like scientists of every discipline, astrologers are always learning. That's part of what defines astrology as something other than a 'belief system' - and why the word metaphysics references to the science of 'physics' as opposed to a religion or belief.

So like everyone else, I watched universal factors unfolding in the Middle East with dismay. Obviously I reacted by blogging about the situation Egypt, which has unfortunately only worsened (rapidly) since that post went up.

As I lay a-bed this morning (wishing I could ignore the exercises given me by my physical therapist) I thought about what else I could look at, explore and share with you here at Ye Olde Blog.

The first thing which came to mind was an eclipse map.

You say you didn't know eclipses have maps? Oh sure you know eclipses have just don't know that you know eclipses have maps!

I'll prove it to you. Every time there's an eclipse, some reporter in your local area spends a good three or four seconds telling us where the eclipse will be visible. That's taken from the eclipse path...a track of 'eclipse shadow' which is cast across the face of planet Earth.

Voila - an eclipse map! It's that section of Earth you know as 'where the eclipse is visible.'

So I went to pull up the eclipse map for the January 4, 2011. You know, the by-now famous Solar Eclipse at 13 Capricorn.

And up came this map...


That's a pretty good way of picturing an eclipse which sweeps 'across the Middle East.'

Whether a given country or regime-administration-reign indicated by such a map would be affected by any given eclipse, that we find out by using national and personal horoscopes - just like we did with regards to Mubarak and Egypt.

Also - I should post a disclaimer here: you will (or at least should) never hear any credentialed, ethics toting  astrologer prophesize death. It just isn't done.

With that now said, there's a lot going on. The eclipse has obviously centered it's 'shadowing' effect on Northern Africa. But the rest of us are going through things too. There's a lot of 'clearing the decks' and 'cleaning house' going on. People are sorting out what's important and wrestling with themselves and their own decisions (or ability, or willingness to make them) as much as anything else.

 Jacob Wrestling with the Angel by Leon Bonnat (1876)


People are getting honest with themselves about what their standards are - what they want their world to include or be done with.

Wrestling with their better angels, one might say...

That's very much part of this time which as we may remember is all about the solar eclipse hitting atop Vega - a star all about charisma and symbolic charisma. 

(LINK to blog on January's Solar Eclipse)

Solar Eclipses tend to foreshadow their eventualities by provoking unrest before the eclipse hits, showing up the worst of the "tendency" in the couple of weeks right around when it hits. After that comes a 'blacking out,' an elimination of whatever has been eclipsed.

In this case, that would be the 'power of charisma' - the Vega Factor. So not only will despots fall, but we will be less able/willing to kid (aka charm) ourselves into the kind of complacency which will allow us to deal with anything less than our honest truth.

 'Fixed' star Vega, showing it's debris ring, as
photographed by the Spitzer telescope
photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

It may come out "against" us, it may be with regards to others. Or about what we've been doing to try and place nice, make nice or "pretend" that everything's okay. then what?

Considering we're still in the lunation (first month) after the eclipse, it would seem to be likely that many a 'rock' will be shook loose from its tenuous perch during that time.

That month is up on February 3rd. Which - interestingly - is the New Moon which marks the Chinese New Year.

From now until then, lunar astrology tells us that we have already passed the Last Quarter mark, the Moon's Last Quarter having occurred at 12:58pm (UT/+0) on the 26th - roughly when trouble broke out in Egypt.

The last lunar quarter is associate with making goals manifest and attempts at integration. Of course where goals are divergent and integration fails, then problems show up.

As the weekend ends, the Moon will move into the last of its eight monthly phases, that being the Balsamic phase, a time of releasing the old so that we can move on to the new. For some, this requires a period of purification. For others, there is a recognition of realities and a 'transformation' through the acceptance of what realities are, as opposed to whatever our dreams or expectations may have been.

The transiting Sun conjuncts Ceres at 0:54am (UT/+0)
on January 31, 2011


This rather coincides with the chart snippet shown above - the transiting sun (in blue) conjuncting Ceres (light blue) at 10 Aquarius.

This degree is an interesting one in that it refers to 'where we come from' in life - and the relative effect this has on one's life and thus, our relationship to our society and world.

There is a quality of being able to seize on the idealistic 'right' here which in an interesting not-quite-offset to Scheherazade-Nessus-Amphitrite being all in conjunction at 19 Aquarius, a degree all about the ability to go through 'hell' and like the Phoenix, rise from the fire.

 'Scheherazade Went on with Her Story....'
by Virginia Frances Sterreff (1928)

In this degree we have Scheherazade, a point all about how dire threat can in actuality, bring the best out of us, teaching us what we are truly capable of being and doing. Nessus being 'poisonous jealousy' and Amphitrite the ability to adapt and become happy once we accept our assigned 'tasks' the question thus becomes whether we are using that Nessus poison or reacting to having been on the receiving end of poisonous jealousy, doing good or being productive in spite of all.
This sounds very esoteric, doesn't it? Okay, then lets try it in a simpler, more down to earth tone: can you make the best of a bad situation? Are you willing to hold yourself to your best qualities even when the going gets beyond tough?

Some now will. Others won't. And some...some will realize they didn't and correct their internal course, rising 'like the Phoenix' at this point and to the necessary...(dare I say it?)

All this Aquarian energy is ruled first by Saturn (which we remember has just gone retrograde, right?) and then by Uranus, which is fused with Scheat at the moment at the end of Pisces.

And let us remember that Scheat is always popular  rejection. With Uranus shuddering the status quo, it's the very status quo which is being shuddered, producing the spectacular awful results in the Middle East, but also some quaking in each of our minds and lives.

 Uranus showing its rings in the company of several of its Moons
photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

In short, the Aquarian rule is that if you do the Saturn work, you get lasting and glorious results. Where you have cut corners, foregone standards or being an arrogant so-and-so, the results are as we see in the Middle East: rebellion, insurrection, collapses of various kinds.

Now...let's be real. You probably aren't going to have a private revolt in your back yard. (If you do, be sure to post it on youtube!) But the idea of the point remains true: those who have tried to 'get by' or not play 'by the book' and observe the rules - particularly our own rules - are likely to have problems surfacing now. They may come totally out of left field. And yet somehow, somehow they will zero in and trip you up exactly where you broke with your own standards.

The New Moon of February 3rd is going to have it's own post. That I know because it's already scheduled. But in following this period through it's worth noting that on February 4th at 3:16pm (UT/+0) the Sun will conjunct Mars, doing so at 15 Aquarius.

 The transiting Sun (in blue) conjuncts Mars (in red) at
15 Aquarius 27 on February 4th at 3:16pm (UT/+0)

There are two things to be particularly aware of here. The first is that Sun/Mars is a potentially highly rational...or highly explosive combination. It can even be both, cutting through the prattle with astonishing, often unexpected swiftness.

Given how Aquarius is a fixed sign - which is to say a sign which holds back and plans or hesitates - until the moment comes when it springs into action, this may well be the moment when something gives in your life. And yes, in the world.

Look for unanticipated developments.

Fifteen Aquarius, as a degree is highly fervent. Whatever is done is generally done 'across the board.' And that fits the other side of fifteen Aquarius - namely its position in the zodiac as one of four 'cross-quarter' degrees.

 The zodiac's cross-quarter points

At 15 degrees of each fixed sign is a 'cross-quarter' point - as above. In lunar astrology, by bisecting the four natural quarters of the horoscope wheel, we come up with the eight phases of the Moon.

February 4th is after the end of the Solar Eclipse's "personal" lunation. But figuratively...this is when the Sun reaches the Balsamic 'release point' which would trigger the letting go of the old year and the starting of the new process which (as celestial happenstance would have it) is marked by the February 3rd Chinese New Year New Moon.

More to the point in a greater sense however, this would be a moment of 'release' and 'letting go.' For some of us this will be a situation. Or a feeling. Or a certainty. Or an uncertainty.

On the global scale, one can only hope this causes deadlocks to release without great damage or loss of life.

For all of us, on many levels, this is a chance to learn. Let's hope we do! And that we think of something productive and constructive to do in the coming months as we deal with the letting go of the old and the taking on the challenge of the new, through which we will each be renewed.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mubarak and Egypt's Unrest

The Sphinx and Great Pyramid of Giza
photo credited to Hamish2k (2005)

So I was doing what I do with the news on this past Wednesday...(always a risky thing)...when across the wires came news of unrest in Egypt. Preceded by unrest in Tunesia, perhaps it was unfair of my brain to react to Egypt but not Tunisia, but...

To Tunisia, my apologies. I do happen to be more familiar with Egypt. I've studied its history, its pantheon, its landmarks. I've even been there.

This unrest evolved into full fledged trouble which had the Egyptian government closing down some (if not all) international communications as Thursday became Friday with protests scheduled for Friday the 28th. 

For those who don't know where Tunisia's a fairly small country, not right next door to Egypt but only a country away as you get on your Arabian stallion (or camel) and head west.

Egypt appeals to most people because of its history - land of Pharaohs, pyramids, Cleopatra...but there's far more to Egypt than just that. For one, Egypt is a pretty big place: at 1,001,450 square kilometers, it's twice the size of Spain. Four times the size of the UK. It's actually the 38th largest nation around at the moment.
(Stand by...that world map keeps being redrawn...)

On June 18, 1953, Egypt became the Arab Republic of Egypt - the Egypt we know today.

Arab Republic of Egypt - June 18, 1853
(national chart/set for noon at Cairo)

The Sun of this chart is at 26 Gemini - in exact opposition (direct dynamic) with the Galactic Center. What this suggests is that Egypt is best when it's not a bystander in this world, but a nation which is a participant in the greater world, working to build that world.

You know...sort of like the whole world is a pyramid? There's a whole sector of astrological theory devoted to 'legacies' of say...a national chart. Egypt started with pharaohs, moved on to kings, and now has a president. Nations are 'reborn.'

When they are reborn, there are still traces of old charts which still operate as 'shadows' in the background, as got mentioned in Chart USA article series (LINK). And when it comes to people, let's not even think that charts die when we leave this life. I have yet to see the horoscope of an author (for instance) which doesn't have a big transit when after their death, a movie gets made out of their book.

And if time/space is a continuous fabric and E=mc2'd is the contiguous definition of What Is, those things should all be true.

Which makes us...well, sort of all as eternal as the pyramids. Or the drifting sands of Egypt.

 Map of Egypt

But enough of that romance! Gemini being a sign of choice and being at the top of this chart with fixed star Betelgeuse right atop the Midheaven, Egypt reaches for the choices to be made. But there are things in the way.

Generally, when we look to see what's 'in the way' of achievements, we look to objects in the 9th house of the chart. There we find Juno - a firm, nurturing hand which, being in orb of conjunction with Aldebaran tells us governmental integrity is important.

We also find Pallas - which particularly when found in the 9th and in this case exactly conjunct Aldebaran speaks to the integral necessity for national education and the integrity of the Egyptian court system.

Juno was at 7 Gemini, Pallas at 8 Gemini...and then we have Jupiter at 9 Gemini. Well placed by house but in detriment by sign, this is a Gemini Jupiter representing good intentions which get watered down.

And then we have that big, big jump to the Sun at 26 Gemini conjunct the Midheaven at 27 and Betelgeuse at 28 - a signature of 'can't this be easy?' which tempts all those 9th house figures by being converted to government officials having it easy while being unable to make the hard choices for the country.

By the by...before we get to the messages of the moment, the reason why Egypt is so (rightly) famous for all its history - in the horoscope sense - is interestingly posed by the Galactic Center, the "gift to the world" being at 26 Sagittarius and thus right at the bottom of the chart at the 4th house cusp of 'history and homeland.' Lest we miss the point here, Mnemosyne, symbol of reflecting on what has been, is at 29 Sagittarius, just on the other side of the 4th house cusp.

But if I was Egypt (and no I'm not, even though I did once as a kid dress up as a pharaoh for Halloween) would seem not a really spiffy idea to rest on past historical laurels for national greatness.

Temple of Abu Simbel
photo credit: Marion Golstein (2007)


Two reasons. Reason One is that Hybris (arrogance) is at 0 Capricorn. And 0 Capricorn is only one degree past Mnemosyne. It thus is one thing to explore Egyptian history and another to try and trade on it - a concept which leads us to Reason Two: what we have done is done. So long as we exist, we are born to evolve.

So anyway...trouble broke out in Egypt. For those who have been blog-watching, it broke out as Saturn went on station (to go retrograde) at 17 Libra. This would be conjunct the national Saturn/Neptune in the first house of national identity.

Neptune is a master symbol of illusion - 'illusion' here as a quality being a descriptor which in governmental terms can be anything from propaganda to disappearance to dissolution.

Conjunct Saturn, we know at least that this would be a 'dissolving' of stability - at least for the moment. With Saturn now retrograde for several months, it is to be assumed this is not a 'quick fix' problem.

That same Saturn station having also squared the national 10th house 17 Cancer Uranus/Ceres and the 4th house 19 Capricorn Chiron. The people have needs the government isn't meeting, hasn't figured out how to deal with yet - something. With last July's solar eclipse having been at 19 Cancer setting off what amounts to a t-square (the Uranus/Ceres opposition Chiron with Neptune/Saturn in the middle) situations which arose early in 2010 have now come to eruptive force.

Pharaonic statue at the entrance to the central
corridor of the Temple of Luxor (Egypt)
photo credit: Spitfire ch (2009) 

Of course the recent (January 2011) Solar Eclipse at 13 Capricorn didn't help things. But interestingly, given that the 'standard' orb for conjunctions, oppositions and squares is 5 degrees either way, 13 plus 5 is 18. That means the January eclipse didn't affect Egypt's national Chiron. Nor would it directly affect the national Saturn/Neptune.

What it did affect is the Uranus/Ceres - which taken alone is a change the way you do things signal.

So...okay. With all which is going on, how does this affect President Mubarak?

There are two ways to look at this question. One is how it affects him personally - and the other is how it affects his being President of Egypt.

Mohamed Hosni Sayyid Mubarak became President of Egypt on October 14, 1981. Here's the chart, which by astrological convention is set for heads of state and nations at noon.

It's a 'top of the pile' theory.

 Mohamed Hosni Sayyid Mubarak becomes President of Egypt
October 14, 1981

This chart has either three, four or five major bodies in the 10th house - depending on what you count as major. Just going with the mainline astrological POV however, they would be Ceres at 5 Libra, Saturn at 13 Libra, Jupiter and Sun at 20 Libra and Pluto at 24 Libra.

In short, this is an astrological statement all about how by thinking things through and by being willing to resist influence and be a teacher to a nation. Pluto so close to the top of this chart could be the need to purify the government and/or its methods of operation. It could be a purging of emotionally canted influences on government and the judicial process. There's a  statement made here on Mubarak as a figurehead being asked to change the nation at some intrinsic level, particularly in how it interacts with others.

As described by this chart, the job certainly isn't easy. All those Libra planets (plus Mercury in the 10th at 29 Libra) are ruled by a Venus which is itself conjunct Black Moon Lilith (social denial) conjunct Atropos (endings) and Antares (vengeance).

The whole Venus 'pack' being in Sagittarius, with Sagittarius being ruled by Jupiter, this becomes a mutual reception - a self-feeding cycle which says Mubarak was being asked to do something about things, lest everything backfire in his face.

The heart of this has two faces. One is the Venus (results) in the economy/economic 11th house conjunct Black Moon Lilith, which is either denying society or society feeling denied or society denying Mubarak.

Sun/Jupiter is the other end of this stick - it pretty much says 'be the teacher' or 'get taught a lesson.

Astrologically, Saturn/Jupiter - as a transiting pair - are the symbol of societal rise and fall. The January eclipse squared Saturn, telling us that three years from now Mubarak will not be where he is now. But perhaps more important to us as a signal is that Saturn going on station at 17 Libra is right between the Saturn and Jupiter in this chart. 

This is not what we would expect for things to remain status quo. Something is going to change. If Mubarak stays in office, there will be a social/societal price to be paid. Will that be 'denial' in a whole other form?

If he remains in office, Black Moon Lilith suggests the answer is probably yes.

Last (but not least) to be considered here is Mubarak's personal chart...

As I originally posted this blog, I had an April 1928 birthdate, which a blog reader wrote in to comment on, saying they knew of Mubarak as having a May birthdate - same year. Plus there is no time of birth given for Mubarak.

Tossing the furnished date through Solar Fire (my astrology software)  I find the date furnished - while still not fit to print as a chart with a Moon included - would give Mubarak a Scorpio Moon. And those who know Scorpio Moons know that they are emotionally retentive of what they feel as being what they feel...which in light of Mubarak's reluctance to step down would seem apt.

But let's go to the hard core facts: Saturn's recent (17 Libra) station is unquestionably in opposition to Mubarak's native Aries Sedna and Jupiter while also squaring his Cancer Pluto - unless he's born in some total other year!

Outer planets do move slowly...which in real life most of us rue many a time. Will this just go away? Answer: no! If the matter is one connected with any planet from Saturn (maybe Jupiter, but certainly Saturn) on out, it rarely passes in a flash.

The astrological rule of thumb here would be that the farther out in the solar system the transiting planet is, the longer the transit lasts....with the great exception being when a planet takes a station in close aspect to something in your chart. That being the case, we are looking at a literal 'turning point' in someone's life - as we are apparently looking at here.

If we only thought of this as Saturn taking station atop Mubarak's Sedna, we would question some sort of level of maturity. But that his Sedna is inconjunct calculated  Black Moon Lilith at 17 Scorpio (which would be closer in exactitude to Saturn's station) gives us the message that this has to do with the values (Scorpio) Mubarak either does or doesn't 'jointly' hold with his society.

With Pallas (wisdom) being at 14 Aquarius, one would guess that Mubarak knows the importance of 'matters economic' in running a country. Whether on the international level (with other nations) or as regards how the 'Egyptian State' (i.e., Mubarak) can attempt to use financial liberty to calm or quell the situation - or try and get his own way, the sextile between Saturn's station and this 14 Aquarius Pallas suggests an attempt to 'get things back to a working status quo.'

But that Saturn's station is square Pluto in Cancer is problematic. Being that Cancer is ruled by the Moon, and though we don't know the degree, with a May 4, 1928 birthdate Mubarak would have a Moon in Scorpio, this sets up the testy relationship between Mubarak and his society. The military-trained 'iron-firm hand' so many speak of is not an asset in this situation, but it may be all life has taught Mubarak to know or rely on.

 President Mubarak in 2008 at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East
photo credit: World Economic Forum

Bottom line, it's probably not much fun being President Mubarak at this point. It may even feel perilous, considering that Atlantis (surrender to overwhelming circumstances), Charybdis (needing to continuously work at something) and Nessus (poisonous jealousy) are clustered with his Sedna.

And that calculated Lilith, the things about the society Mubarak doesn't want to deal with? That's conjunct Sphinx. He may be hoping to wait his society out. His society, on the other hand, may be fully willing to do what they need to do to get what they need.

Of course into this comes the real thing - the Sphinx - as emblematic of Egypt's great historical and irreplaceable cultural treasures. Both sides here are likely to say the other is placing all that - and the revenue they bring in via tourism - at stake.

Even worse, there may be a moment of madness when someone actually decides Egypt's priceless art is worth 'holding hostage' or even worse.

Whether Mubarak will retain the Presidency or not - that we can't know without a proper chart. But given that the June 1, 2011 Solar Eclipse at 11 Gemini will conjunct Mubarak's North Node, something is likely to be taken from him between now and then.

What that is, we just don't know yet. With July's 9 Cancer eclipse occurring in conjunction with Mubarak's Pluto and in a bruising semi-sextile to his North Node, what would seem to survive here, with this Gemini North Node being ruled by Mercury/Panacea, is the will to settle grudges and deal with the serious basic concerns of the Egyptian people.

That 4th house arrogant Hybris of the national chart tells us something about the people as well as the history of Egypt as a country. No one wishes any country ill, harm or disruption, but Egypt has a long, long history of such.

And it has endured - which like as not, it always some form.

 Sunrise at Abu Simbel
photo credit: Heinz Albers (