by Boots Hart, CAP

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sun in Taurus/Tantalus in Gemini

The story of Tantalus is not a very…uh,….savory one. This is one of those stories about a ticked off grumpy human (Tantalus) who decides to get the best of the Olympians by serving them the ultimate illicit feast – call it a ‘family’ stew recipe best left to the cannibal set.

To say that the Olympians aren’t happy about it is putting it mildly. Faster than a Brit can brew tea Tantalus is summarily caught and sentenced to his own little hell-hole in Tartarus (the Greek Hell, thus the hell-hole.) For an eternity – and maybe more – from that day forward Tantalus was sentenced to standing in a pool of water beneath the boughs of a beautiful and prodigiously productive fruit tree. But he gets none of it. Burning with thirst, every time he stoops to drink, the water disappears. Every time he reaches for piece of fruit, a frisky breeze briskly dances the tree’s boughs just beyond reach.

Artful, those Greeks. They really know how to punish.

In astrological practice however, Tantalus isn’t all bad. It can be, mind you – but it doesn’t have to be. Depending on where its placed by sign and house, depending on how it’s aspected and by what, the astrological Tantalus can resent – and by its movement through the signs and chart time out how we reach to fix those dastardly “sins” we see in real life.

Like many metaphysical symbols, it’s all in how you use it. Or if you use it, rather than allowing it to use you.

That Tantalus is all about us is made evident by the orbital path of this Apollo group asteroid.

And just that, by the way, should say something. Apollo is the god of truth and enlightenment. Asteroids in the Apollo group thus speak to whether we live in enlightenment…or whether we prefer the darkness of denial and human corruption. And still yes, we would know. There are those among us who know right from wrong and who choose to do wrong. There are also those whose mental faculties are incapable of knowing or understanding…they have a true ‘diminished capacity.’ That’s a different thing.

But back to Tantalus. It’s orbit goes from just outside that of Mars (1.675 AU versus Mars’ 1.665 AU) to 0.904 AU, which in solar systemic terms is just outside Venus’s orbit…and right in there with asteroid Sisyphus at 0.874 AU – a fact I mention because Sisyphus and Tantalus are the two great Greek ‘bad boys’ who were each given very specific spots of dishonor in Tartarus.

Both, may I add, were at least partly held as being so despicable for being bad hosts. Back when it was the ultimate no-no to do anything wrong to someone when they were a guest in your home.

by Hendrick Goltzius (c.1588)

When you were a guest in their home…? That’s different! But when you’re the host you’re supposed to play nice.

Emily Post and Dear Abby would have liked Greek hospitality (although I think it was allowed to put your elbows on the table in those times which would have irritated both Emily and Abby to the max!)

But I digress (I seem to be doing that today…) This Tantalus orbit, starting just beyond Venus and turning back just beyond Mars rather describes our desirous nature. And yet, it doesn’t ‘go’ anywhere. So it either empowers us - or it burbles around, eating us up from the inside out.

Given Tantalus’ nature, we would expect Tantalus in Gemini to give us a series of choices as to what to do – one about us and what we want, and one about what we can do to make things better. We should also like as not expect to hear various pieces of ugly information, including some things we have inadvertently “swallowed” without knowing how bad they really are.

Another interesting note for those into sky watching and calendar marking is that Tantalus will reach 11 Gemini – the degree at which there will be a Solar Eclipse come June 1st – on May 12th, a day after Mars enters Taurus and as a separate celestial act, Venus, Mercury and Jupiter all meet up at in Aries.

Speaking of which, (the Solar Eclipse, I mean) since we’re at April 20th, this would be just about the time to start feeling the ‘breakdown’ in matters having to do with the June 1st eclipse. That this times out to be when the Sun is entering Taurus? Well, that just adds a thoughtful note that our values, sense of security, satisfaction and self worth are now all up for…well, let’s just call them ‘flux fodder.’

Considering all eclipses rattle all cages (lives, sorry…) whether they distinctly aspect our natal charts or not, we all get a bit of a ‘check/cross-check’ now and going forward as to whether we’re on our right track. Have you done enough to sort out your ‘stuff’? We all have ‘stuff’ – have you ignored yours or dealt with it? Those who have dealt with it or are dealing with it are likely to weather this period more easily than those who have coasted, ignored or tried to skate by – especially if you’ve tried to get someone else to foot your bill.

Let’s remember the big markers on the wall, too. Pluto, Neptune and Uranus – the transpersonal group (meaning they pertain to events we don’t totally control) - are all in early numbers of respective signs. Pluto is in ‘life structural’ Capricorn. Neptune is in ‘pitting us against our emotional makeup’ Pisces. And Uranus is in Aries – a sure sign we’re supposed to change.

So with an eclipse coming up in Gemini, mental sign of choice and learning, what’cha think the chances are that as the Sun hits Taurus and tests our satisfaction and security that that’s exactly what’s going to get tested?

Maybe we need some new choices?

New priorities?

New attitudes?

With Tantalus hitting Gemini here, I’m willing to make one of those astrologer’s bets that we’re going to hear a lot of…(excuse the expression) mental masturbation going on. People are going to be working themselves up and wanting you to get excited too.

Should you?

Probably the best sorting mechanism astrology gives us right now is that of Neptune. In Pisces, Neptune tells us to deal with the real. Good, bad, indifference, reality is what we have to deal with at the moment. Neptune rewards us with elation when we deal with reality and accept reality and the people in that real world for who and what they are.

That means rich or poor, we’re all human. That means wherever you come from, nobody has the copyright on goodness or evil. We all make simple mistakes – even big mistakes. We are all capable of some pretty terrible behavior.

If what you hear passes the Neptune Acceptance Test, it may hold merit. I’m going to bet Tantalus’ ingress into Gemini is going to raise the level of rancid rhetoric like we have seldom heard.

And to those who dare say such things, I suggest we ask why they would say that. Understanding who people are is far, far more powerful than rejecting them out of hand. It helps us understand – and become more secure with ourselves.

And that’s what Sun in Taurus is ultimately about!

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