by Boots Hart, CAP

Monday, May 2, 2011

Circe enters Aries: Who’s Casting a Spell on Who?

Odysseus and Circe
by Bartholomäus Spranger (1546-1611)

The tale of Circe is another one of those thoroughly vile-if-pathetic Greek stories – you know, one of those which is rather fascinating to hear but oh boy, aren’t we glad it’s just a myth?

It starts (as all things do) with who Circe’s parents are. Her mother is Persis, an oceanic nymph and father is Helios, otherwise known as Hyperion. Who was he? Well he-Helios was the god of the Sun in the ‘burning,’ ‘animated/alive’ and ‘heated’ sense…but not the ‘enlightened’ or ‘enlightening’ Apollo sort of sense. Helios is the Sun as primal energy where Apollo is all about harnessing that energy and doing something with it.

(Okay, so good or bad doesn’t always figure – Apollo had his bad, bad days, to be sure!)

That Circe’s mother is a sea nymph automatically means we are dealing with ‘the offspring’ of either emotions or instinct….and probably even more often the emotional outcome of things which are ‘born’ of instinct.

So Circe grow up and marries a prince…who in time becomes king. And once he’s king she murders him in order to gain power, control, obeisance from everyone from hither to yon – the usual tyrannical stuff.

Oh – and along the way she had become an herbalist celebrated for her ‘magical’ abilities…which once she started really getting into poisonous substances got her dubbed ‘sorceress.’

So she marries...kills her husband...then begins tormenting and torturing the natives.

(Had there been a court astrologer one would have supposed s/he would have told Circe that she had one heck of a sucky Ixion. Or maybe not. But that’s another matter…)

Rather like in the story of Ixion (LINK) the citizenry rises up against Circe’s psychopathic immortal-ness and it gets sufficiently bad that dad shows up to haul his daughter away to a private island (Aenea) where she won’t get in any more trouble.

Well, at least allegedly. See…remember that ‘who’s the mom?’ thing where the answer is ‘a sea nymph’? Circe has needs. Stuck on an island all by herself she gets lonely. So lonely, in fact, that she begins working on every sailor whose ship happens to end up wrecked on her shores (doesn’t say much for navigational charts in those days, but…) …she wants them to stay. She wants them to love her. She uses all her charms (herbal and otherwise) to try and woo them, becoming ever-more  increasingly freaked out by the 100% desire to check out of Hotel Island Circe. (Which may just prove how much we all hate negative feedback, not to mention really bad Zagat/Michelin ratings.)

Tilla Durieux als Circe
by Franz von Stuck (1913)

Her answer to this predicament is not to deal with herself but to amp up the ‘spells she casts upon these men, turning them finally into animals which could not leave her if they tried.’ 

To be more specific here, she turns the men into swine. (Okay, so there are some cheap laughs here and there in Greek mythology...)

This is about when Odysseus (Ulysses) shows up – he being why we apparently know this story to begin with. Being the witty clever hero that he is, Ulysses avoids becoming enchanted, causes Circe to fall in love with him, gives her a child (or two, according to Hesiod) and then demands she turn all her victims back into men – at which point he says his toodle-loo’s and is off about his Odyssean way.

Mythically described, Circe is thus one of our more primal instincts. And a potent instinct at that, one which can drive us to do things we plainly know are wrong simply because we don’t feel secure enough without them.

Also implied is how before all is done, Circe energies come to a point where they are dealt with calmly and in being given a more appropriate outlet cause us to ‘relinquish’ our urge to be so incredibly needy as to be damaging to others…and ultimately, ourselves.

And where does the astronomical Circe hang out? In the main asteroid belt…between Mars (inception, pro-active assertive ‘doing’) and Jupiter (reaching understanding and/or competency in the how-to-do department). Interestingly (to be sure!) Circle aphelion (farthest point from the Sun) at 2.685au’s sits right between Kassandra (she who knows but is never believed) and the inner orbital point of Eos.

Remember Eos? Well if you don’t, here’s the link to a bit of blognaciousness about her: LINK. What’s interesting here is that Eos is linked to Apollo and thus is the instinct to know…having an instinct which allows you to run at the forefront of knowing (or to know you should!)…or just to plain run away from enlightenment.

So once again, if we think of the solar system as having the Sun-as-the-core-of-our-life at the center and everything around it that we encounter as we move out into our lives (or the world), asteroids are challenges to our understanding of self – who we are and what we do things – which we encounter as we learn how to get from our ‘initiation’ starting point (Mars) to a level of competency in whatever (Jupiter).

And that means the inner rung (or one of the inner rungs – surely there are more, seeing as there are oodles, shoals and schools of ocean nymphs!)…the inner rung or ‘test’ in our quest to master our instinct is the Circe (born of Helios) level…and where that ends, there picks up the tale of Eos and our search for actual enlightenment (Apollo).

Oh yes…at the closest – the perihelion point – Circe is at 2.3956 au’s and thus just inside the outer point of Atropos (fated endings, finality, severance).

Having a hard time there? Let me try again…our natural ‘cut off’ point (Atropos) – at it’s fullest extent, it’s farthest reach goes just beyond where Circe ‘starts’ (and yes, where it ends its cycle) in coming closer to us…then moving away – which may or may not be less of a threat.

And what would tell us about that part? Where Circe is in your chart, of course! By sign and house – and especially if Circe is conjunct, opposite, square or inconjunct some planet, axis, nodal point or whatnot…this describes where we encounter illusions and disillusionment which in the end are not about the “road blocks” but about our own ability not to be overthrown by our needs, possible neediness or out-and-out desire.

Circe is a distraction – not the end or object in itself. But boy, what packages some distractions come in!

At the moment, in entering Aries at 6:04am (UT/+0), Circe will attempt to ‘distract’ us with physicality. Or that there will be demands which seem to say we have to only focus on ‘the now’ or focus ‘right now’ or make a decision ‘right now’ based on details which some (many?) of us are going to get sucked right into, ignoring the bigger picture.

As anything enters Aries it right away faces off across the zodiac against supermassive black hole (Messier) M87. Black holes having the effect of taking us to ‘an alternative reality’ the Aries ingress of the Sun, for instance, always seems to get people thinking about the change of seasons. With Circe, the issue is not the Sun (ongoing time as seasonal changes) but emotions and thus our place in our life – where we are along our way. Those who have been dawdling will probably feel a need to get on the road. Those who have been silent may decide to speak up. Those who have held their tongue and been ‘good’ may well now let everybody know what they really think of them!

(And boy, are a few people going to be surprised, or what?!)

 Helios as portrayed on a silver coin from Rhodes
- Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon (France)

From May 11th through May 23rd Circe will be moving through Uranus/Black Moon Lilith space – be prepared for a lot of general life haywiring.

Then...come June’s Solar Eclipse? Let’s just say I hope you’ve been good..and are planning on being good. Otherwise you may well find something other than coal in your stocking this Cancer solstice season. And from what I hear, Helios isn’t whisking bad folks off to deserted islands any more, so there isn’t any mythic respite.

So I guess we’re going to have to deal with Circe ourselves – and with the Circe within us, each and all. If we can get past the (Helios) primal to the human and thoughtfully (Apollo) directed, that’s probably most of the challenge right there.

I’m telling you…watch out for those astronomical points named for members of water nymph families – they’ll get you every time!

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