by Boots Hart, CAP

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chaldaea (Chaldea) Retrograde in Capricorn

The Inner Gate of Babylon (c. 1960)
photo credit: Richard Peter (1895-1977)

There’s a certain North African dictator whose name gets translated with a dozen different spellings. It happens. Whenever we bring names into English from languages which use a whole other alphabet (such as Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew) we get into this gnarl.

‘Chaldaea’ is the scientific community’s spelling of the name assigned to asteroid number 313, so despite my many varied spellings, this is the one we are going to use. The people of ancient times were the Chaldeans of ancient Babylon.

The asteroid is Chaldaea.

(Ah! I feel so much better now that I've said and disclaimed all that!)

Said asteroid, a metaphysical symbol of ‘times gone by’ and all things merely old, which have endured, or which we think of as ‘traditional’ or even ‘status quo’…that asteroid is going retrograde today, April 30, 2011 at 1:20am (UT/+0).

Where is it going retrograde? At 6 Capricorn, a degree which by nature is about what we ‘do’ – as any degree between 0 and 9 of any sign is. Capricorn being a sign all about the structures which form a framework for our life (and with which we must work or live), this one tests altruism against aggression – much as the nearby fixed star (nebula, actually) Facies – at 8 Capricorn - does.

In an operative mode, 6 Capricorn seems to indicate ‘trouble in relationships’ though depending on what we bring to issues now in operation, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything fatal.

Please note, however – the operative word in that last sentence is ‘necessarily.’ With Atropos (endings) on one side at 5 Capricorn and Pluto (transformational emotions, emotionally-driven transformations, transformations which elicit emotional reactions) on the other at 7 Capricorn, a change – an ‘ending’ to something (as indicated by fateful Atropos)…it would seem to be a’comin’!

But let's be real: this is not a particularly genteel combination. Pluto is known as being ‘inexorable,’ Facies is known for a distinctly ruthless ‘victim/aggression’ quotient and Atropos is just plain factually cold. Snip go the fate’s scissors – the time is over, the ‘life’ of whatever is at stake (the job, the hope, the law, the life, the effort) …it’s over and out of there!

Also - this is not the quickest turnaround in all of celestial history. Chaldaea will go retrograde in 6 Capricorn and then sit around at 6 Capricorn (allowing Atropos to actually catch up and pass it) until May 11th, when Chaldaea finishes up its stay in 6 Capricorn and slides back into 5 Capricorn early on May 12th.

That’s a pretty long time for an asteroid to hang out in one degree. We’d expect that kind of lingering of objects and planets out in the Uranus-Neptune and beyond sort of area. But in a main belt asteroid which only takes 2.375 years to go once around the Sun? That seems to be more than a bit of undue lingering.

So we should plan on some emphasis to go along with this almost-two-week-long event. In metaphysical terms, that would be what lingering in a degree would pretty much be about: emphasis.

And what is being emphasized? The ‘old ways’ are being emphasized and the need to change them, what goes into changing them and what to change them into, most likely. With all this taking place in Capricorn, we should expect this all to take place in a ‘structural’ arena – and yes, it can be about a relationship, some sort of structure (division of responsibility, perhaps?) within a relationship, or the life structures/conditions/options (or lack of same) in life which we all have to relate to…and which evidently need some serious consideration.

But let us also be aware: with this cluster of celestial objects coagulated at 5, 6, 7 and 8 Capricorn, a lot of people are going to look wishy-washy. But is that civility, or is that just the ‘look’ of wimpiness which is being caused by someone else being over-the-top aggressive (ruthlessly so, considering Facies in the mix).

In fact, since Pluto has gone retrograde rather recently….did you happen to read that blog? It’s on Pluto and Facies, which might help with understanding this moment. So here’s THE LINK.

What’s also interesting is that Chaldaea and Atropos…? They’re orbital buddies at their outer orbital (aphelion) point – (Atropos goes just beyond Chaldaea’s 2.375 AU to a 2.395 AU aphelion point) but at their inner orbit (perihelion) point, these two keep different outer space company.

Since we start from the inner solar system and look out, this really says to us that Chaldaea (the old, the status quo, the tradition, the habit) and Atropos (endings) ‘come’ from different points – which sounds perfectly sensible – but that there comes a time when the old must end….or as the expression goes, ‘all things must end.’ 

That seems to be the point – here, particularly, what with Chaldaea, Atropos and Pluto ‘ganging’ up in early Capricorn.

As we see it in the world around us, so we should assume this same ‘vibe’ is working in our lives. You probably know or feel ‘stuff’ is changing…and maybe you know what you need to change or let go of, maybe not. But evidently, this would be a time when we have to come to some realizations. So maybe a crack opens in a relationship, or maybe we see some options, or maybe we realize that we are holding onto some old way of being which not longer works for us.

Getting back to those perihelion (inner) orbital points…who does Chaldaea “run” with when ‘bringing things close’ to be held onto…that being where and what we end up thinking of as our ‘starting point’?

Answer: Chaldaea’s perihelion is at 1.945 AU and the closest asteroids I know of (so far…!) are Hidalgo (nobility of courage) at 1.950 AU, Echo at 1.958 AU  and Hebe (service) on the ‘even closer’ side at 1.937 AU.

You’ll note I didn’t give you any ‘quick definition’ on Echo. That’s because Echo’s story seems central to our understanding of Chaldaea and worth a bit more detail.

A relief of Echo carved into native rock at Parc  del
Laberint d’Horta in Barcelona, Spain

Echo is a servant to Olympian honcho-god Zeus (Jupiter) and his magnificent if often testy wife, Hera (aka Juno). Zeus/Jupiter has a couple of habits which go into this story. One is his legendary record for philandering (read: fooling around). Another is that he tends to go off to do what he wants without taking care of important business (which turns Hera into a goddess of a nag, if a nag nonetheless). Very into forgiving himself (and ignoring his own trespasses whenever possible) Zeus/Jupiter takes to telling servant Echo what to tell the wife when she asks where his immortal self has gotten off to.

And Echo, like a good servant, dutifully repeats what she is told. Does she think it through? Evidently not. Echo might have considered the whole of the Olympian dynamics – namely that she is either “buying into” being put in the middle or that she is totally into saying ‘I’m just into doing my job’ and thinking ignorance (as to what is really going on) not just bliss but a defense against repercussions.

WRONG! At some point Hera (Juno) gets SO mad that she before magnificently heading off to give Zeus a magnificent piece of her magnificent wifely mind, she pauses just long enough to turn Echo into an…echo. Okay – so you think it’s enough to just repeat what you hear? Fine! Than live a life which is confined to repeating mindlessly. 

In other words, the mind we won’t choose to use, we lose.

As it happens, Echo is not all that far away as Chaldaea goes into retrograde: with Chaldaea at 6, Echo is at 11 Capricorn conjunct Scylla, which has just gone retrograde. Since we just discussed Scylla the other day and it’s still in the degree it went retrograde in too, with 11 Capricorn being (by definition) a degree where the sign expresses itself emotionally (because it’s between 10 and 19), there’s likely to be a ‘monstrous’ (Scylla) temptation to just ‘echo’ what we have been told to say, or what’s popular to say – without necessarily thinking any of it through for ourselves.

And since the ‘Echo’ disaster is really about “serving two masters” which don’t agree without having sufficient ‘backbone’ to go with what’s right instead of what’s (emotionally) easy…

Yes well…there’s a lot of that going around, right? And apparently this is another of those moments when our choices is to be the problem or face up to the problem. Considering that the Sun is in Taurus and Uranus, Black Moon Lilith, Venus, Mercury, Mars, Eris and Jupiter are in Aries (that’s a LOT of Aries ‘me-me-me/my opinion’ energy!) the subject matter is going to be values (money or otherwise) and everyone is going to want to be the hero and be right and there will be a lot of sulking going on and attacks ranging from the petty to the bloody.

So who’s right? The person with the facts. While everyone is going to be up in emotional arms the smart course is the course based on facts. Not tradition, not conjecture, not pie-in-the-sky ideals, not accusations…hard core facts. 

Interestingly, Chaldaea entered Capricorn on February 14th – in the midst of much political and personal bru-ha-ha of many kinds all around the world. After going retrograde, it will exit (back out of) Capricorn on June 14. With Sun in Gemini at the time and evolving out of a Gemini Solar Eclipse, this is also going to be a fervent moment but here ‘right’ will have changed into ‘rights’ and ‘righteousness.’

Again, the solid money bets on facts, not what feels good. If the facts are not what it the ‘old way’ it’s time to change and get a better ‘status quo’ to work from. Just let it be based on facts, not exaggerations – which are going to be everywhere about now!

Chaldaea will go direct at 20 Sagittarius on August 9th (in the wake of a Cancer Solar Eclipse) with everyone trying to keep up with what they need to keep up with. Expect a hairy sort of time – but again, those who are working things through with sobriety and care (without simply parroting) will be making slow headway.

Re-entering Capricorn on October 8th, Chaldaea will again reach 6 Capricorn on October 27. And when it gets there, it will be exactly conjunct Icarus (haste). With Capricorn’s ruler Saturn (at 21 Libra) sitting in exact opposition to Eris (at 21 Aries) those who have fought for the sake of fighting will find out why that’s a bad idea. Likewise, those who have fought for a narrow or falsified cause will meet with exposure, dismay or defeat. Only those who are working for the good of all will come out of this in good shape.

And if no one actually has the fortitude to work for the good of all, then there’s just more trouble to be dealt with.

It’s pretty much our choice. But then, isn’t it always? That really is the oldest of old stories – one which isn’t likely to ever go out of date, style or value!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Kleopatra’s Royal retrograde into Libra: What’s in a (Wedding) Day…?

'Anthony and Cleopatra'
Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1885) 

Welcome to one of my all time convoluted blog posts. It's about Kleopatra the asteroid - and Cleopatra the person - and more than a bit about the UK's royal wedding, which considering it hasn't even taken place yet when this blog goes up, is an exercise in illumination of astro-theory and a bit of supposition.

See? I told you it was a mish-mosh...happens. And as for using the impending wedding as an illustration tool, never let it be said I didn’t use an available event!)

So let's start with the obvious: the basic astrological item on the bill of fare today is an asteroid named Kleopatra, which come 7:24 in the evening of April 29, 2011 (UT/+0)…(and yes, that would be London, England time)…will be retrograding back into Libra.

And that means it's retrograding out of Scorpio.

Continuing to lay ground work for the conversation to come, this means that (for all you royals watchers) unless the royal wedding has been amazingly delayed, it will have taken place with Kleopatra in Scorpio.

And considering that Niobe (headstrong pride) is sitting at 1 Scorpio at the moment....? And how Scorpio is always about the emotional investment of the group (the whole group and nothing but the group, which in this case is not only local but pretty much global), this suggests that after said wedding, after all the toasting and dancing and whatnot is done in royally regal form, newlyweds William and Kate will probably be really, really, really, really, really happy to get away from all the pomp and circumstance (read: pompousness which circumstances dictate). You have some 'take the shoes off,' heave the big sigh and slump into a chair time.

Not to mention some personal and private time!

But as we say this with our smile, giggle and wink (which isn't just for fun but also because we all know what a giant headache big events can be, royal or not!) …there is a more universal question. And that is, what does the movement of Kleopatra the asteroid have to say about all this? Can we understand more about the event and the asteroid by taking a closer look at all?

Answer: probably yes. So let's give it a try, shall we?

Obviously the metaphysics of Kleopatra start with the the queen (Cleopatra) for whom this celestial body is named. Okay, so what about Cleo? Well, as a queen, she came to the throne at the end of Egypt’s long, long, long line of headdress and sandal-wearing Pharaohs. She also seems to have actually been a notably unusual soul.

Oh and by the way, the famous Cleopatra? That's  Cleopatra VII (Cleopatra the 7th)…which just proves you can’t keep a good name down. If at first you don't succeed...

Anyway, Cleopatra was not your usual woman...which is probably how she has come to spawn such enticing myths and movies. (Okay, so the movies were not all so enticing – but they were rather regal in their time!) And no, her fame is not just about her having managed to do such a tragically good job of wooing Caesar and Mark Antony at the same time…

Gaius Julius Caesar - the 'Tusculum portrat': 
one of two surviving busts made during his life
photo credit: Tataryn 77 (aug 2010)

And to be sure Cleopatra had some iffy qualities. (Don't we all?) Personally, I happen to think a queen of any country should deign to speak the same language as her people and this wasn’t case with Cleopatra! No, she was all Greek and no local-lingo.

She also apparently wasn’t against rather dislikable practices such as testing out new and promising poisons on unfortunate captives...

Cleopatra Testing Poisons on Condemned Prisoners 
by Alexandre Cabanel (1887)

Yet in spite of this, in many ways Cleopatra would strike us as a modern sort. For one, even if she wasn’t into speaking the national language, she was fluent in more than several  tongues (all puns intended, obviously!) and contrary to what many think today, there were aspects of ancient Egypt – such as women being able to own property and inherit – which Cleopatra would have considered her status quo.

(Odd how from then until now such rights are denied in  some countries, right?)

There’s also the fact that Cleopatra was quite the shrewd politician. This is in fact, her greatest claim to fame - or maybe how she managed to mix the politics and personal was...which yes, does remind us of a royal wedding held as a great spectacle not only for the millions in the realm but for zillions around the globe. There's nothing so personal as a wedding, and yet if you're part of a royal family the politico of being royal in this day and age certainly requires that you let people far and wide in on your most Special Day.

As for Cleopatra, yes, she had a few problems in the romance department. But how many of us (male or female) don’t get our business screwed up when the business of our heart gets involved in the business of  business, political or otherwise?

Yet it's how Cleopatra went about mixing business with the pleasure of power politics which marked her as so unique. Aside from being a shrewd socio-political force of her day, she was not just a great hostess - no, she was a magnificent hostess! One who knew to (and how to) find out all sorts of special little facts about prospective guests and thus have things arranged so that when they arrived they would be utterly charmed and enchanted from the first moment they arrived in the World of Cleopatra. And so she would keep them entertained and enticingly dallied on throughout their stay, sprinkling just enough distraction in with the politics, trade deals and economic chit-chat to keep their eyes dazzled while hers on whatever Cleopatra’s prize of the moment was.

And...well! You know how they say women are drawn to men who exude power? Well! Evidently Mark Antony and Gaius Julius Caesar, two of the most powerful men of their day, they were pretty mesmerized by Cleopatra, too - and by today’s standards she wasn’t even some raving, ravishing beauty.

A Cleopatra VII tetradrachm. She evidently didn't look
much like Elizabeth Taylor. But then, who does?
photo credit: Phgcom (2009)

Was she manipulative? Some would say undoubtedly so...and certainly the combination of political savvy and lusciously immortalized love affairs suggests how ol’ Cleo probably had some substantial Scorpio or 8th house factors in her natal chart!

Which alas…we will never have: there is no precise date (never mind time) for her birth given, so all we have to go on are the records…and the tale of her asp.

Yes, that really bites...

Given all this, it would seem natural for Kleopatra (now we're talking about the asteroid) to have some of the  ‘maneuvering, aka manipulating’ quality we associate with the queen. We might well think the asteroid signifies where 'business' (or requirements, or responsibilities) get mixed with things personal - and whether pleasureful or not.

Considering these qualities, it might also be reasonable to think of Kleopatra the asteroid to have a natural affinity for the public signs (Libra through Pisces) rather than the private signs (Aries through Virgo) and in particular, the 3rd quadrant interactive 'sign natives': Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius.

Now let's think a bit about this whole royal wedding escapade. The engagement was announced in mid-November - just as Jupiter was moving into its station to go retrograde. And that fits the rule: things which happen during a station window but before the actual station refer to things which have yet to happen.

During December, though the date and location had already rather been 'announced' there continued being a dribble and drabble of comments (read: "leaks") about how the couple would have preferred to have a small-ish, more private affair. But alas, matters of state and crown intervened.

During this self same December 2010 was when Kleopatra moved into Scorpio - the specific date being December 21st, the date of a Lunar Eclipse at 29 Gemini (critique of thoughts, critical choices). So what with this being a lunar eclipse period, we would expect some high emotional drama, no? And we got Kleopatra moved through late Libra into Scorpio, we were getting the flip (the planning) of what we are now seeing as Kleopatra is retrograding back out of Scorpio into Libra. And yes, it's very 'Cleopatra royal' - the mixing of personal and state.

So what about the rest of us who aren't lords and ladies except perhaps in our own mind? Well, the same premises exist, just on a smaller scale.

Yet on another level, let us be more astrologically pragmatic: as December's Gemini Lunar Eclipse was part of/marked the settling of date, place and such in  Buckingham Palace wedding circles and that is being played out today, so are matters of our own lives from that time likely to be playing out now as well. That lunar eclipse at 29 Gemini with Kleopatra passing through 29 Libra to reach Scorpio created a period of trining...when things would 'just happen because that's the way they works' (whether we like it or not!).

And as I remember that time (the phone calls, the emails...) I do seem to remember a good number of people not liking everything all that much. There was something of a ‘grab your asp’ high drama signature going on in many a life!

Expect the echos of that now.

 An Egyptian Cobra. The term 'asp' is presumed to be short
for 'aspis' - an old term for any type of venomous snake. For this
reason, many think Cleopatra's famous asp was actually an
Egyptian Cobra.

So now we arrive at today: April 29th. What's the timing here?

Well, as Kleopatra retrogrades through 0 Scorpio heading for its re-entry into Libra at 7:24pm (UT/+0), the Moon will be just be leaving Pisces (encountering our old - ugh! - friend fixed star Scheat) and entering Aries. And this creates an aspect relationship astrology calls an inconjunct. It's a situational energetic which calls for adjustment...which in this case includes the feelings of the public (Scheat/Moon) which aren't, well, delighted.

Let's just go there.

And what's being adjusted? The "I" Aries desire as it meets up with the jointly held emotional values (Scorpio/Moon). This inconjunct only lasts a couple of hours, but it does express some inconvenience to be sure and like as not, feelings of being 'put upon.'

These effects will "set in” around 1:30pm and last until midnight (London time) - and just to add to the joy (not!) will be the Moon opposing giant black hole M87 during the heart of this period.

One would expect - as concerns the wedding of William and Kate - that people will (automatically...let's be real here...) compare it with the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. No, that's not fair. But it'll get done. And if that's the only cloud which dims any of the light on this day that should be good enough, as astrological thinking would tend towards also warning that this configuration suggests that not everything should be expected to run as traditionally or royally predicted.

Why not?

For that we have to consider what 'rules' what, and where those sign rulers are.

Rulership tells us a great deal about the ‘nature’ of an energy's outlet. In this case, we're starting with Kleopatra in where are Mars and Pluto?

To Scorpio, Mars is the pro-active choice, the assertion. And depending on how good, bad or properly involving/appealing that choice is….that leads to the  Pluto ‘outcome’ - the ‘transformative’ emotional experience of the moment, plus or terribly minus.

Libra is terribly different in that it’s an air sign. It’s about the idea, the agreement, the theory of the thing. Ruled by Venus, Libra is the moment where cause become affect and things get realized instead of felt (as they are in Scorpio).

Not that Libra doesn't have it's hard side. There are tough negotiations and fun, relaxed days. There are arguments and blissful agreements. It's all Libra.

Westminster Abbey
photo credit: Tebbetts (2006)

So as we said…barring the unforeseen at time of writing (which is on one sunny, early/mid-April day) Kleopatra will be in Scorpio when the ‘I do’s’ get said, meaning the Mars sense of ‘making it happen’ (active ‘doing’) added to the Scorpio 'joint/joined values' will be uppermost in charge.

Very apt, don't you think? Kleopatra as a symbol of 'the royal importance' to mix business and pleasure at the primal degree of zero Scorpio (any zero degree indicating a "beginning" or 'staring out point) as the wedding - a very Scorpio thing its emotional 'joining together' quality - happens in front of not only family and friends, but politically important people (Cleopatra would approve) and a good part of the global world.

A note here for those who consider marriage to be a Libra thing: the contract between two people is a verbal agreement - that's Libra. The state of two living as one, that's Libra. The joint assets is Scorpio - as is the sexual union, whatever issue may come of that and the 'til death do us part bit.

But marriage, as an institution is Capricorn. Why? Because it's a societally recognized thing, marriage. If two people just go off and say 'we're us' that's Libra. To be recognized as a married couple, to pay joint taxes, to live in the social/societal stature of 'a married couple' - even the fact that your get a wedding license from a civil authority says it's Capricorn. If you can't get married without the license and the license comes from a civil magisterial functionary of some kind, that's Capricorn - not to mention the famous  phrase 'by the power vested in me, I now pronounce you...'

Who do you think 'vests' that power in whatever member of the clergy or justice of the peace performs the ceremony? That would be the city, state, county, or nation - something like that. And that's Capricorn. 

So saying, back to our regularly scheduled episode....'s going to be interesting to see (or more likely, hear about) how things change as the gigundo world-scale party is over and the more personal party begins. As I've heard of this whole event (which goodness knows, could be wrong or could change!) once the grand celebration is over there will be a dinner held for family and friends in the early-ish evening.

Will that fit with a celestial timeclock which at about  7-7:30 in the evening has Kleopatra retrograding back into Libra? One would suppose, no?

At this point Venus (ruler of Libra) gets to do it's Venus-in-Aries number of saying 'its more about the 'us' of it all' - as opposed to the grand affair of royal state.  Wherever they are, William and Kate will likely be at this point really beginning to 'feel married' as a couple instead of going through the massive obligations which as members of a highly aristocratic institution (monarchy) they are required to follow at least to the 't,' if not to the 'x, y and z'.

And as they turn to thinking more about their own lives (and the having survived the great state event) we ourselves will be thinking less in terms of 'them' (whoever that is in our day) and more in terms of 'my life, my world, my personal interactions.'

But wait...wait...wait. Mars and Venus are not even vaguely isolated on this date, so we have to give a thought to that, too! Yes, its easy to think of Mars  wandering along looking soldierly, but that's not quite it. Today has Mars conjunct Eris (you remember her: Eris Discord?) and expansive Jupiter (expansion), all at 21 Aries.

Known as a symbol of 'discordance,' Eris is generally ether social evolution or some kind of discord-revolution. When combined with Mars and Jupiter all in Aries this is energy and attention on the grandest of grand scales against the possibilities of grandstanding all our lives.

And how does that pertain to the royal wedding? Well let's remember that this Mars-Eris-Jupiter trio is not just of the William-and-Kate-moment. No, for them this is going to be in their marriage chart.

So what is 21 Aries all about? Well, simply by its being a degree between 20 and 29 of some sign (any sign!) we know this is about responding to circumstances, input, necessity - all that. And in Aries, this is me responding to those circumstances with Aries attention, action and (hopefully) courage.

That 21 Aries is also specifically known as a degree ‘displaying all one is’ we would assume fits the wedding and it's millions of witnesses. But it also may well be our thinking about ourselves. Whatever happens today, whether you're a wedding-watcher or not, events and thoughts and input may well incite reaction or spur you to move into a mode of being 'more.' Remember - the Moon (our instinctual feeling capacity) is going to be in opposition to M87 during at least part of this time (allowing for adjustment to your local time zone, of course). But as that happens, you may well be seeing or feeling inspired or even just realizing what you could do or what you could be. You could be hearing the 'other side' of something and gaining perspective.

It's just a period which asks us to see alternatives, and maybe even to adopt a few. In seeing those alternatives, our attention may well begin to work on how to get what we want from our world, someone in it, or for our life. Then as Kleopatra moves into Libra (heightening the Venus influence) we're likely to voice or 'know better' what it is we really want.

But this isn't just happening in a vacuum tube either: Venus is in Aries and keeping conjunct company with Pelion (a mountain to be conquered), Mercury (thoughts of self) with this combination in opposition to Saturn (retrograde) at 11 Libra.

On one hand, don’t be surprised if you feel bogged down, ‘hemmed in’ or in ‘bound’ to something. Or someone. Don't be surprised if you think about all the effort it will/would take to achieve your dreams and feel a little queasy.

This could also be a time when we go overboard with others. Why? Because we're tired or frustrated with ourselves. And for William and Kate...well, they know full well going in that their 'private lives' are not going to be entirely private. But with this indicator...? One can only guess that the effects of that are going to be more than even they have come to expect.

All of us face shifting dynamics today...and we're likely to be a bit impatient. No, we don't want to wait - can't I skip the veggies and just have dessert?

No, says life. You have to eat veggies! But dessert? That could make it all very, very worthwhile!

To finish up here about the wedding. Since this blog posts before the wedding even starts, a full telling of the chart tale which will be cast for the ‘I now pronounce you husband and wife’ moment will yet have to wait. But at least we know how the stage has been set, right?

Also: there are always three astrological parties in any two-person relationship. Each person has a chart, and the chart of the relationship makes three.

Think of it this way: many people like being married – they just can’t stand the person they’re married to! And there are those who like another person fine, they just don’t think they’re the right marriage partner. There is the person...and the relationship. The marriage chart is that of the relationship as a married couple. 

Kleopatra the celestial body will remain in retrograde until June 19/20, when it goes direct at 23 Libra, hanging out there with Spica (putting aside one's self for the greater benefit) for a few days before heading back towards Scorpio, which it will re-enter on  pretty much throughout the ill not then re-enter Scorpio until August 12/13 which should be just about the time of the 2011 Persied Meteor Shower under Leo.

Oh gosh. I wonder what we'll learn then...?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Scylla/Chaldaea: Old vs. New - Is it Them, or Is it You?

Glaucus and Scylla
by Bartholomäus Spranger (c. 1580-1582)

In our last blog episode we began talking about Scylla and how as this asteroid was going on station we would be confronted with situations or feelings which could eat us alive or cause us to disregard others…and maybe both….and maybe for reasons we don’t even understand

The myth behind some of that commentary is probably best told by Ovid, though I’m still a little miffed with Ovid myself as that’s the guy who decided ‘chaos’ was more about ‘wreckage’ than potential. Changing innate meanings in order to incite negative emotions is a really old ploy and it’s not helpful. For whatever reason it seems dismally easy for people to be fearful and reject not merely ideas, but the people who are trying to think them through.

So not helpful…as is (similarly) the rewriting of history (which goes on and on and on) and trying to shade old facts to support your agenda. Naughty humans, naughty!

Anyway, so Scylla started life as a beautiful young lovely who inspires love in the heart of a sea god named Glaucus. Apparently she was not very thrilled with him as Scylla’s reaction was to head inland where Glaucus couldn’t get to her.

So what’s a sea god to do? Glaucus goes to a sorceress - Circe, to be precise. Living on an island and still miffed at the loss of her own mortal, Circe will understand his plight, surely!

Well, yes and no. Evidently still on the rebound, Circe falls in love with Glaucus herself – and sets about wooing and cooing at him in her most seductive manner. But seeing as spells which reduce human males to animals (Circe’s specialty) don’t work on sea gods, Glaucus did something Circe was rather offended at – namely, he told her to cut it out and stop plighting her own troth and get to his love affair problems already.

Circe by Charles Gumery
photo credit: Jastrow (2007)

Offended and enamored (a really bad combination in the world of narcissistic sorceresses) Circe goes off and finds the pool where Scylla takes a bath. Into this pool she pours a very particular poison which begins working on Scylla the moment she dips her lovely nymph toe into the water by transforming her into a monster.

The description here is very specific and peculiar…and I don’t mean the part where the monster has twelve feet and six heads with growling wolf heads protruding from Scylla’s waist. No, not that part. What is highly particular here is the emphasis on the fact that the ‘monster overcomes her’ – in other words, the monster form grows up and around Scylla, swallowing her up as she stands there frozen in horror, petrified by what’s happening to her, trying to shoo away this terrible thing which is coming upon her.

This describes a very certain kind of alienation from self and the concept that ‘that which I cannot cope with in my own life I will inflict on others, wittingly or unwittingly’ is the outcome of Scylla’s tale. Rooted in place, in desperation and horror, in loathing of all which has been thrust upon her she reaches out to and destroys everything which comes within reach.

When we think 'rock and hard place' in reference to Scylla
(which is one way to think of it, though Scylla is not just situational
but probably more importantly about our challenges and struggles
of Self...either way, Scilla Castle (or) the Rock of Scylla gives us a
clue as to why we think of it as a rock (or hard place).
photo credit: Adriano (July 2006)

Scylla is going retrograde today, asking us to reflect on where we are Scylla. So ask yourself: do I allow others to go about their business freely? Do I take out on others that I feel miserable about in my own life? Is there someone in my life who I allow to wreak damage because they can’t face “the monster” they feel was thrust upon them wittingly or unwittingly?

Some of these questions just aren’t easy. Having grown up with a fatally ill sister who was bright and talented and funny yet who knew she was dying every day I’ve watched the Scylla story. I understand how this illness affected my sister and the rest of the family, even though said family was rife with people who were otherwise afflicted by their own Scylla problems, which is why my young years were a maelstrom of abuse.

But here’s the bottom line. Certainly as children we are not responsible for what happens to us. As adults and throughout life, things happen. Accidents, illnesses, collapses of economies, tsunamis which create nuclear disasters – disasters have been happening to people ever since there were people. ‘Poisonous’ (to our hopes) situations are  going to keep on happening. Why? Because they’re just part of life.

What happens we can’t always prevent. But unlike the mythic Scylla, we can decide how to deal with the results. The abused child is not responsible for what happens to them in their youth but is 100% responsible for the adult who grows up out of that abuse. Some decide to deal with it and don’t become Scylla, scourge of all who come near. Some simply give in and become the terror who justifies all through a sense of victimization.

Hmmm…feel like you’ve heard that combination of victim and ruthlessness before? Actually, you have; this polarity of the victim-and-abuser/aggressor is the hallmark of fixed star Facies, which sits at 8 Capricorn.

And where is Scylla going retrograde? At 11 Capricorn, a degree known for a determination, an ability to stay on track/in pace with things going on in their world and a forward-thinking mentality which looks for ways to build structures and how to build people and things into structures – all of which is (or can be) highly positive.

But with this comes a tendency to keep secrets and to ‘edit’ what is said in order to gain favor or advantage which can be useful and then again can be all about a simple seeking of personal advantage which comes with a total disregard for people, things and society. The power of persuasion/conviction which goes with 11 Capricorn is exalted, and as this degree stands between fixed stars Facies (the victim/aggressor) and Vega (charismatic speech or thought) it is usually the nature of the celestial object passing through this area of the zodiac (and where Saturn as ruler of Capricorn is either at the time, or in a specific person’s chart) which determines whether the total effect will be for good or…(let’s just be honest here)…the many ills of evil times, evil acts, evil intentions.

 'Fixed' star Vega as photographed by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope
photo credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech

That we all have these degrees in our chart is one thing. That the January 2011 Solar Eclipse hit Vega and ‘let the dogs out’ is another. With Pluto rolling through this area of the zodiac right now, especially combined with Neptune’s just having entered Pisces, land of illusion/delusion as the excuse, we’re going to hear a lot of the worst out of others.

Do they own it? Are they aware of what they are doing and are they willing to dial back what they do in response to how they affect others? That’s the real question.

There’s a whole other issue going on today as well – that’s asteroid Chaldaea (aka Chaldae or Chaldea, representing all things established, traditional, venerated and ‘old’)...which is entering it’s station to go retrograde on April 30th.

The rule with stations being that things which happen before the station will play out in time and things which happen after the station will be the playing out of things which have already been decided on or set in motion, this would seem to be a time when things are taking a turn. Old and/or venerated things are facing a tide of disregard or even obliteration through desperation.

These aspects apply to all of our lives, certainly. Our lives, our nations, our global interests are going through a long term process which in biggest terms we would look back at in terms of the January 2011 Solar Eclipse (LINK to Blog), Uranus’ shift into Aries (LINK to Blog), Neptune entering Pisces (LINK to Blog) and more recently, Pluto’s having gone retrograde (LINK to Blog). I put these links in hoping those who have just joined astroPPM (howdee, by the by...!) will know to read ‘around’ those areas, as there’s just no way to put everything about a subject in a single blog.

Life…and the unfolding of same as delineated through astrology…is simply the biggest soap opera around.

And – surprise! – it’s not fiction!

(I know…shocking, isn’t it?)

But as a moment in this soap opera, I also know a lot of people are thinking in terms of the royal wedding which is slated to happen tomorrow: April 29th, 2011.

This truly is one of those moments when you know that whoever chose the date didn’t ask an astrologer. Not only do I know of not an astrologer in two dozen who would glibly say ‘Sure – get married with Venus in Aries!’ because Venus in Aries asks that we get our ‘happiness quotient’ and feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment from ourselves without external (public) support, but any modern (and western) astrologer who works with things like asteroids would look at this Scylla/Chaldaea combination and say ‘uh, are we trying to support the old-style monarchy or not?’

Obviously the moment of ‘I do’s’ (the actual time) is going to make some difference in how this all turns out. It’s also worth remembering that a wedding is about the relationship more than about the partners who are reporting to the altar. When we marry (or otherwise commit to a relationship) it is our regard for the responsibility we have taken on to that relationship which changes. And this is why the ‘partner’ in the marriage is denoted by Libra, the ‘how we get along with each other’ thing. But a marriage? That’s a commitment. And that points to Capricorn, Saturn and all things 10th house, whether you have Capricorn on your 10th house or not.

So like I say, we’ll have to see how the royal wedding times out. But that it’s happening in this sort of moment suggests that if nothing else, it’s will be, become or experience a substantial change for  traditional standards of British monarchy OR as the standards and practices of the British monarchy evolve.

And for those really into this stuff, as the person with the calendar staring at them from the computer screen, it doesn’t really look like there’s an open slot for a more thorough peek at the royal wedding chart until the week which begins with May 8th.

Meanwhile, just to have this wedding now suggests that someone didn’t feel they could get out of something…even if it’s the date. Or the venue. Or the pomp and circumstance. But whether that becomes the Scylla ‘poison’ which engulfs this couple as people, or their relationship – or any one of us, that’s the question to be dealt with for the moment.

We are without question, now in the ‘breakdown period’ which precedes a solar eclipse, which in this case is the Gemini Solar Eclipse which will take place at 11 Gemini, conjunct fixed star Aldebaran. Just as the January eclipse ‘broke down’ the power of charisma, bringing out the very worst in some used to holding sway and inciting reaction against the status quo, June’s eclipse will be all about integrity – that being Aldebaran’s core concept. The six-to-eight week period prior to a solar eclipse being when ‘break downs’ begin challenging such precept, we can expect (no, I’m not going to quote Dickens – I’ll spare all of us that!)…we can expect a few, if not many people to show their colors at either end of the spectrum. Meaning what? Meaning we should expect to see the very best and very worst we would expect or could be greeted with.

 A poignant July 1997 photograph by Bart Benjamin showing
Aldebaran just about to be occulted (hidden) by the waning crescent Moon

Remember: Gemini is all about choice. Thus Aldebaran is the integrity of our choice or the integrity with which we make our choice or the choice to preserve or depart from a standard of integrity.

All about to be eclipsed, mind you.

And we shouldn’t be surprised if those revealing those aspects or issues are totally surprised at what is revealed…or that we have suddenly changed our mind about putting up with old ways which amount to their getting everything they want while others get nothing. We can expect to see the ‘victim’ card played and attempts to incite fear to be rife.

Whether you react to any of this, whether you rebel against it, whether you refuse to buy into this old and possibly unfair or even manipulative, whether you stand for equality or equal responsibility or whether you simply allow yourself to want what you want regardless of whether you hurt or harm others…

…that’s up to you. And that’s probably the most important thing to remember here: it is up to you. We DO have choices, and we are responsible for those choices…in each and every moment, come each and every day…and particularly in these days and weeks going forward.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Scylla’s station window opens

 Skylla (the Greek Scylla): A terracotta figure which dates
to 460-450 BCE (Currently housed in the British Museum)
photo credit: Jastrow (2006)

Asteroid Scylla is about to go on station. To be more specific here, Scylla will go on station at 9:26pm (UT/+0) on April 28th. Given the two days before/two days after which is granted as a 'station window' when any celestial object goes direct or retrograde, that means Scylla's station begins today (April 26) and continues through April 30th.

Meanwhile, Scylla is going to be going stationary/retrograde at 11 Capricorn. And what is 11 Capricorn known for, you ask? Well, 11 Capricorn is a degree which is canny and deft at manipulating what gets said. You know, the sort of ‘editing’ which keeps you from being a liar yet which in what doesn’t get said avoids revealing what you really mean or possibly intend to do?

11 Capricorn is also not all that far from 13 Capricorn, a degree you're probably sick to death of by now since that was the degree of the infamous January Solar Eclipse which evidently proclaimed open season on global stability. some of that was also signaled by Uranus and Neptune changing signs - particularly the natural events (Japan's earthquake and tsunami, for instance). But the shootings? The rebellions? The general political fracas which is going on around our blue marble world?

That would be solar eclipse stuff. And one of the reasons this 13 Capricorn Solar Eclipse was so interesting (especially in light of everything which has gone on in its wake) is because a.) Saturn went station/retrograde at 17 Libra only a couple of weeks later - and 17 Libra does make a challenging 'pro-active' square with that 13 Capricorn eclipse point.

Plus there is the fact that 13 Capricorn is totally conjunct fixed star Vega, a symbol of 'charismatic ideals' and the ability to say the thing which gets heard. So those who had no voice found one...and those who had been plying their verbal charms all of a sudden found their charms not being considered all that so very charming.

So now Scylla is 're-ringing' this gong. Oh, swell, right? Well, it's probably not quite as eventful a signal as the solar eclipse was - few things top eclipses for astrological portent! But given the Scylla proximity to the current celestial fray and how Scylla is going retrograde...? Let's just take this as a sign that all which has been is not yet done. Shoes yet will drop.

All this is being signaled by Scylla's station/retrograde. And so we enter into this four day period (which yes, includes a royal wedding in the United Kingdom) wearing a mask which comes with 11 Capricorn.

But this isn't just any mask, no! This is a mask which is all about playing the part and doing what needs doing. Yet while we are doing the 'doing,' there will be less than deep and thorough regard for others. Yes, it seems unfortunate, but this is something of a ‘use them and discard them’ sort of time, which should be a caution to everyone.

There’s an old expression which says ‘don’t risk what you cannot afford to lose.’ This saying embraces two concepts, that of risk (being willing to lose if it comes to that) and that of leeway (what can or cannot be lost without putting responsibilities and jeopardizing previously made/essential obligations).

Taking place in Capricorn, this ‘turn’ of affairs concerns ‘structural’ matters and anywhere in life where we deal with the ‘structure’ of our life or factors upon which our life structures depend.

Mercury has just gone direct in Aries. It is still moving slowly and that rather slow movement is through Aries’ most emotional degrees. So expect a lot of emotionality to surface – in thoughts, in words, in deeds. With Sappho having also just gone into Aries we can anticipate a lot of ‘good hopes’ and at least some measure of people rejecting positivity with a hearty ‘you must be kidding!’

With Psyche having just entered Cancer yesterday, we are more aware than ever that events in our world can have real repercussions – and that there are worries which may happen, and realities which must be dealt with.

We’re just more aware.

With Scylla going retrograde, we are getting into the territory of being preyed upon by terrors we don’t really know the origin of. They hold us in place – and as they swallow us up, so we reflexively tend to take it out on others.

Or we realize we have done all these things prior to now, in which case we may well freeze in horror at the realization that we have done – or at least fed into or been standing by, allowing damage to happen which we thought we were defending against…but our feelings were dulled, our facts were incomplete and the need to prove ourselves too overwhelming.

This sounds like a terrible time. In reality, it’s just a few days of terrible soul searching. Those of us who stop now and face off against the real truth and not just our truth can with calmness and clarity defeat the beast – our beast – and in time, emerge from a proverbial ‘rock and hard place’ without loss or major injury.

Well except perhaps, to our most tender ego...