by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Kallisto in Gemini: Are We Beastly?

 Landscape with Diana and Kallisto (cropped)
by Cornelis van Poelenburgh (17th century)

As Kallisto enters Gemini on 1:47pm (UT/+0) on May 5th, we all ‘change gear.’ With the Sun currently about at mid-Taurus (just a day shy of same, if truth be told) this is the astrological moment in which we would be recognizing that what we do (and things we may hold as dearly important) really do affect others. And to the extent that they do…to the extent that we impose our belief, our will, our standards and values on others, we stand to be critiqued and judged accordingly.

What this is then…this is a moment in which to become (Gemini/mentally) aware of our Self. Not ourselves…our Self. And how that Self is seen by others. Or experienced by others, if, when and as what we do affects them.

On the face of it, Kallisto’s story is all about being the innocent, morally upstanding bystander: she’s taken an oath to serve Artemis (Diana) - the goddess of the Moon, the hunt and chastity. And Kallisto (most often spelled ‘Callisto’ in myths) is going about her obedient way when she gets ‘noticed’ by Jupiter.

And hey, there’s nothing like being noticed by Jupiter. King of Olympus and also known as Zeus, Jupiter very definitely has an eye for the ladies. He’s all about knowing them (in the biblical sense) which metaphysically we translate in the planetary sense – seeing that Existence is universal – into knowing one’s world, one’s Self and comprehending why we are as we are, and how to do what it is we value as important. 

Greek myth (like all other “pagan” myths) being about embodiments of facets of the All (Existence) in individual form, Zeus isn’t by definition all knowing. No, this is one king-of-the-gods who learns about life through the experience thereof…which gets us back to his wanting to experience (in particular) all the lovely young thangs he meets up with here and there when on his travels.

Unfortunately for Zeus, his wife (Hera, aka Juno) objects to philandering…but apparently not enough to divorce him, which makes sense if you think of all the Greek gods as facets of our psychology. We may deny ourselves (asteroid Lilith)…we may even deny facets of our world (calculated Lilith). But we know when we’re crossing our own boundaries. We know when we’re breaking our own ‘rules.’

That’s the Jupiter/Hera thing.

So Jupiter does what Jupiter does – he comes down to ‘get to know’ Kallisto a little bit better.

Okay – a lot better. And Kallisto, being a mere mortal, is in no position to object, resist or otherwise defend herself from this ‘invasive life force’…which is much the same as we all deal with in life. Stuff happens. We’re forced to deal with it. It’s beasty! But can we avoid it? No!

So Zeus does what Zeus does and that sets off a giant fracas. Hera is ticked, Artemis is any too happy – and since they’re gods and Kallisto is a mortal, Kallisto is the one who pay the price: Hera turns her into a beast. A bear, to be exact.

And yes, that is her price to bear.

(Sorry, but some puns just can’t be avoided!)

At the end of all things, after much harassment and having to learn a whole new furry lifestyle, Kallisto is forgiven. But in this instance, what has been done cannot be undone…which should tell us that Kallisto the astronomical/astrological asteroid points to life situations and occurrences which can be gotten past…but not erased.

The “damage”…be it to our innocence or reputation or conscience – that is done. But since in the end Kallisto is made into a constellation (Ursa Major, the much loved Big Bear), if we will persevere, if we will accept and move on there is the possibility that we can become a star in some new way, in some new avenue of life.

With yesterday’s blog having been about Edisona entering Gemini we know this is a moment for new ideas and new forms of ‘awareness.’ And this may be on our part, or it may be brought to us – even enforced upon us. Since this is in Gemini, what we have thought or said or chosen to do/not do is like as not what we are dealing with now.

Whether you’re in the ‘taking the oath’ stage, a ‘being overcome’ state, the ‘transformation into a beast’ part of the story, anywhere along a mental-mindful road to acceptance of something which you’ve done or which has happened in your life…or even if you’re now being set among the stars – that’s individual. Given that Kallisto has an orbital period of 4.37 years, you might do well to ask yourself what you were doing half of that time ago (2.18…or a little over 2 years ago). Or a quarter turn ago – just a bit more than a year ago. Did you embark upon something? Was there a turn of events then?

If we think of Kallisto’s story, it rather does have four phases: she takes the oath, she’s violated by Zeus and turned into an animal, she exists as an animal and then is ‘resurrected’ (if you will) as a star.

Kallisto and Jupiter (or) Jupiter notices Callisto
by Nicolaes Pietersz Berchem (1621-1683)

We all go through these cycles. Yours are told through wherever Kallisto is natally in your chart. House, sign, know the drill. We're all always somewhere along this road - for better (ultimately) and for not worse, but more realistic, more sobered...more - maybe - mature as we go along?

And if you don’t know where that is and want to? For that I suggest using the link to in the side bar (under ‘Free Charts’) Just follow the directions. The easiest format to read is the ephemeris ‘list’ format (not the chart) and since Serennu is based in Wales your birth date needs to go into the software generator in day/month/year format (not month/day/year).

The point we’re talking about here is a main belt asteroid. Considering that Kallisto’s ultimate (aphelion) reach finds it in the company of Eurydike (the cost of the thing), Kassandra (the truth which is not believed until proven true) and not all that far from where Circe spells which render us animalistic give way to a more ‘clarified’ and humanistic/humane (read: less selfish, less carnal) as we enter the realm where Eos (the dawning of instinctual understanding/understanding of how instinct works), carries us beyond Amor (platonic love) and Scylla (being eaten up by craven vengeance)….

Kallisto probably stands for our own ability to weather our worst behavior. Now entering Gemini – where it will be until August 1st – we are being put up against our ability to grasp who we are, who we have been, what we could be…and to reconcile the polarity, the very distance between how we wish life would be (and dream it could be) with our ability to damage that life through trying too hard, through trying to fit every situation and person into a single ‘cookie cutter’ concept….by being unwilling to accept that some ideas work, others don’t.

And that life changes.

With two solar eclipses on the way and Kallisto’s transit of Gemini pretty much enfolding them both, we’re likely to see a lot of pretty bad behavior in our world. We’re likely to have situations and opinions and necessities and realities thrust upon us which we don’t want to deal with and yet we have no power to resist (the Zeus factor of life). We may even realize where we have done things which were and remain totally wrong…and yet we can’t change them.

The question isn’t whether you walk away from the place, the person or the situation – the real question Kallisto now poses in moving into mental/choice oriented Gemini is whether you are willing to grapple with who you are and who you are willing to require that you become.

When did being a person get to be so hard? Well, considering what the Greeks have given us as a body of mythic literature…at least a very long time.

And maybe longer. Maybe even since time began?