by Boots Hart, CAP

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hera and Phaethon: Headstrong Additives

  Aeneas tells Dido the misfortunes of the Trojan City
by Baron Pierre-Narcisse Guerin (1815)

With the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Uranus currently in Aries “against” Saturn’s retrograde in Libra, we are in a period of weeks all about pushing for change. That change may be in our world…and then again, may be in ourselves.

Granting that it’s always a whole lot easier to point fingers than look in the mirror (or be honest about  what we see there, never mind cope with it!) there is always the fact that finger-pointing has its downfall too. After all, if you get your way, then you have a new “status quo” to deal with. Are you really prepared to want-operate that?

Meanwhile, Neptune and Venus in Pisces is giving us a period of high hopes for some and total evasion for others. Those who don’t have to deal with realities are not really likely to be walking the responsibly sober, stringent, logical, thorough or narrow.

I’m sure you’re seeing and hearing this every day, all around you. If you aren’t…? Well then, maybe you’re more in the Neptune/Venus camp than not.

Which is sometimes okay, mind you. Maybe you’re on vacation? Maybe you’re working diligently on some sort of project which requires your full diligence and personal investment. So long as you know where you’re going with it and what the ramifications of your efforts are, good for you!

With all that said, yesterday we talked about asteroid House entering Taurus. Today’s point is that asteroids Hera and Phaethon are following suit. (Or maybe that would be ‘following sign’?)

The principle facts here: Hera enters Taurus at 6:13am (UT/+0), which actually means there are a few places where it will have entered Taurus late on April 4th. As for Phaethon, asteroid Phaethon will enter Taurus at 10:22 in the evening (UT/+0) on April 4th – which is already April 5th in some places!

(It’s so hard to please the global calendar!)

So who are Hera and Phaethon in the mythic sense? Also known as Juno (which is a whole other asteroid – and a pretty big one at that), Hera is the mythic wife of Zeus. And never was there a better mythic mate. Sometimes a shrew, sometimes a staunch and supportive partner, known alternately as a loving, protective and stern mother, Hera is Greek myth’s full-time goddess of hearth and home, and frequent immortal nag.

 Jupiter and Juno by Carracci

Shy and retiring? Not Hera. You want petite, demure and helpless? That’s not Hera. Hapless and lacking in opinion is not Hera’s bag.

And don’t even think of referring to this Olympian queen as a nag unless you’re looking to be instantaneously transformed into a rock or something. I’m just sayin’….this is a goddess with a temper who is known to hear the story and decide a fate in less time than it takes for a biscuit to rise in the Olympian oven. (Or yours.)

As for Phaethon, he’s your standard-issue headstrong teenager who knows more than you do (don’t you know that?) and who wants his way even if his way is off-limits. As a matter of fact, if it’s off-limits, Phaethon is probably more interested in it than not. After all, don’t “grown ups” keep all the coolest things for themselves?

Like many teen types, Phaethon embodies that lack of consequence so dictated by the fact that (in humans) the brain is actually going through a whole rewiring thing during the teen years.

And what immortal concept was it to plug the ‘consequence’ circuit back in last? That so could sound like a design flaw!

Anyway, like many a teen, Phaethon is sure that ‘nothing will get him.’ Yeah, it could be dangerous, but for him – not a problem! (And if he says ‘badda-bing’ once or twice, we’ll nominate him for having been born in New York.)

So as you can see, both these points carry with them mythic conceptions describing assurance of conviction. If nothing else, Hera and Phaethon are headstrong – though lets be real here: Phaethon is a signature of ‘reckless insistence’ where Hera indicates a ‘holding to traditional standards.’ And in such, they are very, very different.

Astronomically, they also differ. Though both are technically main belt asteroids, Phaethon’s aphelion (it’s farthest orbital point from the Sun) is just outside Mars’ orbit and it’s perihelion (the nearest point to Yon Sun) is about as close to the Sun as an asteroid can go without getting melted  is a Mars-Earth-Venus-Mercury crossing asteroid. A member of the Palladian (Pallas) group, the point of Phaethon is either to teach us our strength or teach us what the misuse of strength does to us.

In the mythic case, Phaethon ends up burned by his exposure to the Sun (to a crisp) and cast to his death in the sea far, far below.

 The Fall of Phaethon as depicted on an ancient
sarcophagus at the Hermitage of St. Petersburg (detail)
photo credit: Dezidor

Not good. So Phaethon is evidently a warning to moderate our (headstrong) opinions of ourselves and our capacities. Considering he ‘loses it’ when driving Apollo’s chariot, there’s a further comment on being realistic about our ability to control things – especially powerful and/or “beastly” things.

Hera on the other hand is (as one might suspect) a bit more mainstream. Considering she’s the wife who likes home, hearth, hubby and kids, that’s not surprising. But Hera’s no ditzy delicate flower-type. No, she’s Queen of Olympus and every inch worth the power vested in her highly capable hands. The asteroid Juno – Hera’s Roman counterpart – tends to be associated with leadership of a nurturing type. Juno/Hera doesn’t just “command”; this is leadership which is all about understanding who it is you are leading and what their capacities really are – or could be with a little support, training/education and time.

Still, considering Hera’s well known temper (being married to Zeus/Jupiter would probably try anyone) the conglomerate is that of a energy which is highly self-contained, yet aware. One would figure where Hera is present there’s a desire to know, figure it out, then direct the action, the choice, the plan and its ultimate execution.

Astronomically very ‘middle of the (asteroid) road,’ Hera’s orbit is 4.4 years – where Phaethon’s is only 1.43 years long. So meeting up with the temptation to be headstrong, and the chance to win or lose based on our own ability to not overstep our own abilities or personal bound(ary)s is something which comes our way at least twice as often as the chance to really start something long-term viable.

With both these points entering Taurus on April 4th, this is a chance…and maybe representative of the need to check ourselves: where we are in our growth, and what we are relying on. One Hera “round” ago (4.4 years ago) we embarked on some process. About half way through that, you moved from working in/on yourself to seeing how that would play out through/with others and the world.

How has that worked out for you? Has it brought you the (Taurus) security and satisfaction you had hoped it would? If not, this would seem to be a good time to start considering what personal attributes you didn’t bring to the table…and which you may have relied on too much.

For Phaethon, the cycle is obviously shorter: about 1.43 years ago there was some sort of ‘precipitous shift’ in values in your world. How has that affected you? Have you rebuilt? Have you capitalized on what you’ve learned?

This week – the week of April 3rd through 9th – is bracketed by two major astrological “statements”: Neptune entered Pisces on April 4th and (little do you know, but…) Pluto will go retrograde on April 9th.

These two planets connect literally through Neptune’s potent magnetic resonance: the big blue planet we call Neptune controls the orbit of Pluto (and a bunch of Pluto’s Plutino/Kuiper Belt friends!). One could even say that the Plutonic experience of transformational circumstances and the emotions they evoke are a test of how well we handle Neptune precepts.

So is it really a surprise that during these days between their vital moves, our Taurean values are being highlighted? Are we good custodians of our power and our potential? Are we too closed off, too radical, too traditional, too rebellious, too ‘us’-oriented or too risk-prone for our own good?

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