by Boots Hart, CAP

Monday, March 14, 2011

Niobe’s Moment, Photographica’s Image, and a bit on the changing of the Ages

 The children of Niobe being slain by Apollo
and Diana by Pierre-Charles Jombert

Niobe goes retrograde at 10:18 (UT/+0) on March 14th at 9 Scorpio, a degree known to test and elicit basic emotional weakness.

If pride goeth before the fall as the myth of Niobe tells us, what we are being confronted with is more than mere pride in self, but rather a moment in which we are brought to question why we are proud and what pride means. 

There’s no question that when we do something well we earn certain rewards. We work, we get a paycheck. We clean the bathroom, we have a nice place in which to take our next shower. We tend to call this ‘pride’ but these sorts of feelings would seem to have more in common with ‘satisfaction’ than pride.

It’s one thing to be pleased that you’ve lived up to your word. That you’ve done what you set out to do. It’s another to strut or primp, to require that others acknowledge or compliment you beyond the simple transaction of work-for-pay already mentioned.

The kind of pride which Niobe represents in the pride which is boastful, the pride which in needing to say ‘I’m better than anybody’ is really a reflection of insecurity and self-worth issues. After all, if you’re truly happy with yourself, who needs to brag?

In going retrograde at 9 Scorpio, this would be a time when we question why we value things as we do. What needs are really driving us? Certainly coming on the heels of Uranus entering Aries, this would be a time to be discovering things about ourselves.

In fact, that’s the up side of Uranus/Aries! Those who will not change, who will not deal with who they are honestly, who simply act out of entitlement will find life turning the tables on them. It may not be instant, but it will happen. Uranus in Aries is the essence of change or be changed…and the Aries side says while self consciousness (vanity), self proclamation (ego) and entitlement (insecurity turned inside out) is easy, so is courage. So is discovering better ways and the truth of our capacity, our ability, our intelligence.

Bottom line, if you’re going to toot your own horn now – you’d better either be a virtuoso tooter or willing to admit you’re working on it!

But getting back to Niobe…given this turn to retrograde at 9 Scorpio this would be a classic time to have a moment of embarrassment. Or when you may look up and have one of those twinges of would’a, should’a, could’a….but (oy!) didn’t!

Do you need to beat yourself up? No. Do you need to admit whatever ‘it’ is? At least to yourself – absolutely!

And to others…? Well, maybe that too. With TNO Deucalion just ahead (at 10 Scorpio) and Kleopatra just behind at 8 Scorpio while you may be able to avoid the ‘moral cost’ (Deucalion) you may do yourself a huge giant cotton candy favor by being knowingly gracious in approaching others (or whoever) being openly ‘knowing’ (Kleopatra) of the whole of the situation…your side, their side, what has gone down, what maybe should have happened…

 A statue of Cleopatra (the astrological Kleopatra)
housed at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
photo credit: E. Michael Smith (2007)

Let us not forget here that all this happens as we are still under the station influence of Hidalgo, which went retrograde on the 12th at 4:23 in the afternoon (UT/+0). That station extending at least until 4:23 in the afternoon on the 14th, the whole idea of nobility and nobless oblige is certainly underscored…as would also be the temptation to be proud. Or to become aware of the cost of pride, be recognize someone else setting themselves up to pay a heavy price because of their pride…there are so many ways to conjugate this idea!

But the point is we have overlapping influences. And while both are about objects going into retrograde, telling us we should reconsider how we come to be in the spots we are in life feeling the way we feel…the truth is, such stations often call out the best and worst in every one of us. And yes, that’s why we might see or recognize these less-than-lovable qualities in someone else – because it’s so pronounced at this time.

Seeing such things in ourselves? Well, that’s probably not as easy. Nobody likes to see themselves in anything but a sterling, rose-scented light. It horrifies many to realize it, but not one of the great monsters of human history has gotten up in the morning thinking about how to be a more terrible person.

If you’ve listened to the news of late - you may be listening to politics, sports, human interest, entertainment…and the process of life is at this moment shaking things up, separating the ‘wheat from the chaff’ as it were. There are literally thousands of stories of the banal-looking person next door who turns out to be a truly terrible – or wonderful person.

This wanting to think well of everyone is a very Piscean Age image. The two fish headed in different directions tied by the (singular) golden cord which is the sign of Pisces among other things describes an age where things tended to be good or bad, pro or con, dominant or submissive – a plus or minus, positive or negative.

In reality, a lot of things are sometimes one thing and sometimes another. If you’re a seven year old and you’re sitting at home studying history at the kitchen table, that’s good. If you’re a seven year old and you’re on a rollercoaster at Disneyland studying history, you’re probably a bit odd (not to mention nauseated. Or maybe that’s just me…).

Some would say this one/other thing duality which is Pisces is because the sign has two rulers: Jupiter and Neptune. So would Aquarius be any different?

Answer: yes. Aquarius is very different when compared to Pisces – just as Pisces is very different when compared to Aquarius. Even if we look at the pictographs or glyphs commonly used for each sign they describe two very different scenarios.

In Pisces, we have two fish going in opposite directions.

In Aquarius – ruled first by Saturn and then by Uranus – we have layers of water.


It’s really a great analogy for what the sign is about; Aquarius asks that we build towards success and earn acceptance not just in this world, but in our own life. You know, the idea of being able to ‘live with yourself’ and all that.

We’re all being tested in that regard. If we have been fine with ourselves, wrenches are probably being tossed in our real or mental works, challenging either our personal status quo (who we are) or life in the world around us, challenging us to grow or adapt.

And the point? (Yes, there is one.) The point is that Aquarius is not about good or bad or even ‘shades of gray’ so much as it’s about reality and realism. The reality is that a bee sting can really ouch and a scorpion sting might be able to kill you. But the reality of that toxin is that it holds medical promise. Someday your life could be saved by a medication derived from scorpion venom.

Is it good? Is it bad? Or is it all in how you use it? That’s one bit thing Aquarius – as an Age – asks us to consider.

But at the moment? Hey, things are primal! That they are, that things are hitting us where we live (as the saying goes) is indicated by Typhon (basic instincts) retrograding into Virgo, the sign which asks can it work? will it work? how to do it so that everything works out well? 

That question may be physical or about our physicality (health). It may be about schedules, jobs, getting food into the house – all those basic how can I make life work? sort of questions. It can be what you should do for others or what you need to do with (or for) others in order to ‘earn’ a place ‘in line’ when it comes time to divvy up opportunities in days, weeks or months yet to come.

The myth of Typhon being about a primal Titan (corresponding to mountains, oceans, rainfall) and that Typhon retrogrades back into Virgo on March 14th at 3:05pm (UT/+0) after having rolled over giant Black Hole M87 tells us we are confronting basic considerations as a result of our concept of ‘what’s going on’ having changed.

And considering Typhon is a TNO, this suggests there’s an actual ‘event’ triggering your thinking.

Plus, all of this is happening not just as Niobe is going retrograde but as we come into the two-day ‘station allowance’ before Photographica goes direct. And that’s an interesting combination. After all, for those who are suffering from a terminal case of pride what often gets them biggest and mostest? Their image.

And Photographica is the astrological concept of ‘image.’ It can be literal – “what do I look like?” It can be our reputation. It can be taking on something new (which might be nicely Uranian/Aries) in order to create a new image for yourself.

Or could it be others trying to make you think they are what they're not? That may now be quite as likely.

'Ascending and Descending' by MC Escher

It would be suspected that we’d hear a lot of proposals during this time, whether true or untrue. People will be looking ahead, painting ‘images’ of what could be. These next few days would be a time for social networking and social networks to be in the limelight or getting your attention, all of which is fine, so long as no one ‘banks’ on anything which might be merely an image….or vote against something again, without knowing the reality. It may be tempting to bet on a dream, and if you’re willing to work for or towards that dream, that’s a whole functional consideration.

But to merely say ‘oh, that sounds nice’ is probably not all that useful. What we want to be true and what is true or workable may well be two different things.

And that’s the real point de jour – don’t buy the packaging, buy the content. Better yet, rent first, then buy. And yes, read all the fine print!

More to come...

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