by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hel in Pisces

 Casting the Damned into Hell (c. 1467)
by Hans Memling

What a title, right? Well, at least we’re all clear about what's going to be discussed, right?

Yes, asteroid Hel is entering Pisces. To be exact, asteroid Hel will enter Pisces at 9:04am (UT/+0) on March 31th.
We don’t talk most about Hel (though a good many of us could claim to reference it – ahem! – from time to time in ticked off conversation…) so maybe one good way to think about what this asteroid actually really means is to look back at what happened as Hel transited Aquarius – the sign immediately before Pisces.

Hel entered Aquarius on January 10, 2011. And since then we’ve had all manner of social (Aquarian) unrest and violence – some man-made and some simply as functions of our natural environment. All the Aquarian ‘biggies’ got touched on – national/civil economics, personal income, equality, elitism and tyranny (always an Aquarian hot-button!), exile, denigration of individuality, societal systems and – very much in the news – energy, the source of energy and the problems with sources of energy.

So now, Hel enters Pisces. And since Hel will go retrograde in Pisces come July…(and yes, the whole idea of Hel(l) going retrograde anywhere sounds vaguely disturbing)…and not come out of retrograde until October…and continue on through Pisces until February 2012…

…That means we have a good long stretch of Hel in Pisces to deal with.

Like a lot of “minor” asteroids (the astrological of major-versus-minor being probably best judged by  the experience of the beleaguered) Hel isn’t all that well studied. Yet, at least. So my first question when looking at its couple of months in Aquarius versus Hel’s many months-to-come in Pisces would be whether a shorter-term transit would be more intense because its shorter, or will we just all be in Pisces Hel/hell for that much longer?

That, we will have to see. But votes, contemplations and observations on the subject will be welcomed (if you care to tender them) in the months ahead.

Meanwhile, that Hel will reach 20 Pisces before going retrograde suggests an entire period (or process) of getting things to the point you can let go of them which fills our Hel’ish quotient for the next four months or so. Any third decan point (the third decanate being degrees 20 to 29 of any sign) signifies something we don’t control directly – it’s about something which comes to us. It could be a response to something we have done or purposefully created…or it could be merely an incident we then cope with, react to or respond to.

In the case of Hel, one supposes the issue will either be difficult (aaaugh! Opening this pickle jar is Hel’ish!)…or it could be a perfectly wonderful solution to a Hel’ish situation.

Then again, it could be facing our personal Hel – especially when this asteroid will be in retrograde during July, August, September and October.

The whole notion of Hel in Pisces is probably where we should focus first, however. When Hel transited Aquarius, the issues were social and societal. We wondered what could go wrong next. We wondered whether anyone was going to ‘do something’ about whatever was our personal (or global sense of) Hel. The idea of it was problematic, troublesome – and systemic.

So in this shift from Aquarius to Pisces, we need to consider that problems going forward will not be about the society per se, but regarding humanity. 

As we say that, it bears remembering that the up side of Pisces is to unify along the lines of our all being human. Or if you care to extend that, in the sense that all life is life and all life on Earth is at some level connected.

Yes, even right down to the much maligned cockroach. Not that I’m in distinctly in favor of them (shudder!) but there is something to be said for a critter which can survive extended exposure to radiation. Especially at this moment and in this time, such things do seem worthwhile to consider.

On a broader scale however, let us remember that Pisces is about anything and everything which causes us to get more in touch with our emotions and deal with the fact we have emotions – and every ancillary concept which leads to or from that concept. The two fish of the Pisces emblem swimming in different directions is very much a picture of (among other things) how we humans so dislike feeling our feelings. We wall them off, we’re into a thousand different kinds of escapism, we try to ‘choose’ which feelings we’re going to have.

The whole ‘think positive’ and ‘don’t feel bad’ thing is an expression of exactly this. To say one thing is positive and one is negative is a pre-defining of the value of something we can’t know the value of until it happens.

Remember that old saying the burned hand teaches best? Not that I wish anyone a burned hand, but the idea which underlies this and many other expressions – ideas like the addict must hit bottom before they will change…how little Johnny or Mary needs to fall down a few times just so they can learn how to get back up…

…in short, those who try to “eliminate” the plus and minus of deep emotions are assigning something negative to that they reject. And that rejection is in itself a reaction to feeling.

Pisces teaches that we need to accept. Thus all the barriers and walls – they’re all just an evasion of our own humanity. We think all is good because we try to remain upbeat? We’re kidding ourselves. Accepting that we have good and bad days is the human key. Lingering at, or attempting to abide in/at either extreme is the sign of imbalance – the rejection of the normal process of give and take, ebb and flow, plus and minus…

….the acceptance that life has rhythms. With day comes night. The difference between peace and disaster is not always in what happens…its often merely in our ability to accept what happens and deal with it.

And the difference between those ideas, the judging and accepting, the feeling and refusing to feel, the trying to have everything feel good and never deal with the norm? That’s the inherent challenge of Pisces, a sign which in having been called everything from “the garbage can of the zodiac” on down just proves what an incredibly hard time we human beings really have dealing with our feelings.

So with Hel in Pisces we can all assume that all sorts of situations are now going to arise which test our ability to accept realities – particularly at the emotional level. There is no ‘running away’ here; theoretically, the more you try to ‘wall yourself off’ or escape, the more you reject others or parts of your own life, the more you are likely to feel the Hel’ish assault.

It will find you because you do not accept that with existence comes the hard part. The ikky part. The challenging part. The sad part. Whatever it is which you’re not into, that’s what you’re going to feel challenged.

In short, the months ahead are likely to bring feelings of dread. Maybe threat. Maybe concern. Maybe sadness. You’ll want to ignore things, block them out, marginalize them or pretend they’re not an issue.

But they are. And the more they appear, the more you may well struggle.

For those who think it’s about ‘them’ – whether that’s a societal or personal ‘them’ – that’s the biggest thing of all to deal with.

Go wipe off the mirror and take a good look at those eyes – your eyes - staring back at you from that glass. Why things affect you…that’s the question now. Why you will or won’t allow things to be what they are…why you may lie or cover things up or deny…that’s the question now. Why you can’t accept that times change and people change and that we all make mistakes…that’s the thing to ask yourself why about.

 'Hortus Deliciarum' - a 12th century vision of Hell
by Herrard von Landsberg (c. 1180)

And remember…though there may be big changes which need to be made, transiting figures are also indications that changes can be made and that this is the time to make them.

Now…since I’m already ‘going to Hel’ here, a little  confession. Here and there I’ve posted sections of a big spread sheet I use to examine orbital patterns. That you may or may not have seen it isn’t the issue here – what I’m ‘confessing’ is that this is a work in progress. There are literally thousands of points, and as I begin writing about them I go and look up their orbital specifics and such and enter them in the table.

So it wasn’t until today that I looked up Hel. I did know it was a main belt asteroid – and as far as that goes, what with that ‘main belt’ arena being an area pretty much an area between Mars’ outer orbital distance from the Sun at 1.6 AUs (astronomical units) and Jupiter’s closest orbital distance (4.9 AUs), Hel is an object which orbits pretty much in the center of the belt: its aphelion (farthest point) is 2.99 AU and its perihelion (nearest point to the Sun) is 2.4 AU.

So this is a factor we meet up with in life on a ‘rotational’ (orbiting) basis. Those who have Hel prominently placed in their chart either deal with it centrally or embody Hel’ish qualities as part of what they manifest to others…and yes, endure themselves.

Hel was discovered by a fellow named Max Wolf working at Heidelberg. And the date of discovery was March 11, 1921.

The minute I saw that, I stopped – March 11th having obviously been the date of the earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan.

When discovered, Hel was at 20 Leo, and the only thing which jumps off that chart is how it’s in exact opposition to Eos (arising instinct) at 20 Aquarius. So we can say that asteroid Hel is actually meant to evoke reactions in us. Given the position is 20 Leo, we would deduce that the karmic purpose would be all about getting us to be creative and to be open to new ideas and new ways of coping. But clearly with Eos being the opposition here, there’s a real push/pull about what will be accepted and our instincts about whether something is possible or worth trying or even ‘dangerous’ to our reputation or place in this world.

And yet…and yet the Leo/Aquarius polarity lesson still stands: that which we will not attempt, the unwillingness to join the world and contribute to it and be accepted by it…that is what leads to our discomfitures and our deepest feelings of rejection. It’s not about ‘them’ – it’s about us.

Yes, we are different…we’re each and every one of us different. Leo/Aquarius asks us to be different and to find out how that ‘different-ness’ works. Where it ‘fits in’ and how to use it to best advantage to all, from which comes our compensation. Our reward.

Of course…thinking back through all we’ve just talked about, there is the fact that asteroid Hel now is set to move forward through Pisces to 20 Pisces – a perfect inconjunct with the discovery point, a perfect semi-sextile to where Eos stood when asteroid Hel was discovered.

There are two forms of the inconjunct. The first relates to a 150 degree separation and implies work and refining of the effort. The second has a 210 degree relationship and implies finding an answer which will prove emotionally satisfying to both sides. 

From where Hel was discovered to where it will go direct come July is the 210 degree type – so solutions going forward must provide a good answer for all sides of the equation. That so much of society seems so hell-bent on serving its own needs and beliefs at expense to others is exactly not what is required.

Then again, it may be exactly why Hel is entering Pisces, set to make this July turn to retrograde at a point which tests where it (and thus we) all come from – feeling-wise.

And that, considering Mercury having just turned to retrograde makes this a real moment of reflection.

Mercury went retrograde yesterday – March 30th (UT/+0) which means Hel enters Pisces in the station zone of Mercury’s retrograde with Mercury now in retrograde.

The implication is that we are concerned with things which have happened or which we’ve already done or committed to – with Hel’s entrance to Pisces being the ‘twist’ to the tale.

And yes, one hopes not our innards or any tear stained handkerchiefs, though that might be true too. There are all sorts of ways to ‘weight’ or rank who would feel what here, but with Mercury having gone retrograde at 24 Aries and Hel obviously entering Pisces at 0 Pisces, those whose charts are aspected by both points are most likely to feel this ‘transiting hit.’ Those with one or the other chart point important natally…some, but not as much.

But whatever happens remember – this is part of a greater cycle. Some is Mercurial, some is Hel’ish, some has to do with the greater shifts being marked now by Neptune finishing its transit of Aquarius, Uranus having just entered Aries…and most of all perhaps, the overarching shift from the Age of Pisces into the Age of Aquarius.

So set your clocks and mark your calendars: there is more Hel yet to come! And though I know in many of our lives asteroid Hel will seem like a brimstone fire, it’s to remember that like all other parts of life, it’s a lesson.

The real question is whether we are willing to learn that while to not try cripples us, to not learn better, to not take others into account, to think you ‘know’ better is in the end our personal Hel…if one we maybe force others to live with and pay for, which we then get Hel for in the end.

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