by Boots Hart, CAP

Friday, August 31, 2012

Mercury in Virgo

 The Messenger spacecraft gives us a
close-up photo of planet Mercury
(photo credit: NASA-JPL 2009)

Mercury will enter Virgo on September 1st at 2:33 in the morning UT/+0 time - which is still Friday, August 31st in many parts of the world.

Important to this ingress is that its happening just as the Lunar Nodes have changed signs and within the allowance we make for Ixion going stationary-direct.

Mercury enters Virgo September 1, 2012
at 2:33 a.m. (UT/+0)
(Aries Wheel - Location Not Specific) 

With Mercury opposition Neptune, plainly we are up against our feelings, if nothing else. This is a classic signature of confusion and misleading information – and yes, out-and-out lying.

But the first question is who is doing what to whom? Are we fooling ourselves? Lying to ourselves? Are we being misled - and if so, are we a willing party to the deception? Maybe we don’t want to know the truth. Maybe it would be too uncomfortable for us to face that truth or our own errors, lies or failings.

With Mercury in Virgo and Neptune in Pisces, there is a strong polarizing force which may well draw us into hoping for something better…or cast us into the kind of despair which says ‘nothing is going to work if…'

Neptune is a nebulous quality to matters which are at hand now. Virgo being an earthy, tangible sign, Mercury in Virgo represents either the effort we put towards doing something real which may lead to a better tomorrow.

Or a passing acknowledgement (perhaps enjoyment) of the entertaining idea – after which we get ourselves back to our tasks.

Or the wholesale rejection of what could or even should be.

Known for its attention to detail, industrious nature and shamelessly practical ability to deal with many things which for some evoke truly squeamish reactions, Virgo is truly a sign about the here-and-now…what I’m going to do, how I’m going to do and what is something made of. From this comes the legendary Virgo focus.

But to be honest, this focus is sometimes a way of covering up that which Virgo is not so comfortable with – the emotional issue, the emotional reaction to consequences intended or unintended, the more cruel parts of reality. I’ve known Virgos who can deal with blood, guts and the messiness of babies who can’t watch a war movie because that make-believe image is too real for them. I’ve known Virgos who could face medical death but not the emotional repercussions of their callousness.

It truly takes all types in this world, doesn’t it?

The point here is that this Mercury/Neptune opposition will raise all such issues – and more in our own minds than those in others. As a transit, Mercury in Virgo has a very personal quality, though the same placement (Mercury in Virgo, that is) in a natal chart may be all about caretaking and attentiveness to others.

Odd how it varies, isn’t it?

That Neptune is conjunct Fomalhaut at the time of the ingress is a rather sure sign that of our many dreams only those which are decent and considerate of others will succeed.

With Mercury conjuncting Regulus at 0 Virgo (with Kallisto and Edisona a degree ahead) tells us that we the challenges which lie ahead are ours, and not to be put off on others. That we might want to do that is signaled by Lilith/Sphinx-Algol in conjunction with the South Node. It would be so much easier if we could just go on doing like we've been doing!

Unfortunately, we can't. And the change isn't about 'them,' it's about us - an idea which points to the North Node (the direction we're supposed to go) in conjunction with Juno, which is the management of one's resources and all it takes to teach yourself how to be effective.

The idea of the Lunar Nodes having just moved back into Scorpio and Taurus gives us some potent thoughts on where our challenges will come from, be they internal or interactive. With the Nodes always indicating relationship, that can be how we relate to some idea, some group or something like a job, a task or something we’re facing having to deal with. It can also point to how some group receives us (or rejects us) or the more conventional sense of being ‘in relationship’ – whether that’s to someone in particular or just as a concept.

The banana peel on the floor here is formulated as follows: Mercury is entering Virgo. The North Node is in Scorpio and the South Node is in Taurus. By sign this is a harmonious paring. In fact, when you toss Neptune in, by sign we might well think in terms of that magical concept of the magic square – a configuration all about the ability to make things happen with less than extraordinary effort which is oddly (and fairly frequently) plagued by the inability to get into gear or out of your own way when changes become necessary.

Yet the truth of this is that with the Nodes at twenty-nine of their respective signs, by aspect we might as well think of them as being in the 0 Sagittarius/0 Gemini arena. And when we think of combining Virgo-Pisces with Sagittarius-Gemini, what we come up with is a Grand Cross – specifically here, a mutable Grand Cross.

Mutable signs learn and course-correct as they go. And with Neptune as part of this particular Grand Cross there’s more opportunities for idealism, expectations, confusion, indecision and simple lack of understanding (knowledge) implied. So during Mercury’s passage through Virgo (September 1st to September 16th) we will all have to put up with not knowing. This is thus a time which is pretty much defined as one during which we will have to find our way and learn as we go. And though we may not like the idea that things (relationships and our relationship to the world) is changing, the fact is that it is.

We can’t necessarily control things which are changing, but we can choose to change those things within our own life which need changing. That’s very much Virgo and a big plus of Mercury in Virgo is that its a combination of sign and object which tends to focus us in those sort of directions with the promise that diligence, effort and upstanding perseverance will be rewarded.

Also, if needed or necessary, assistance is there for the seeking out.

Jobs, responsibilities, work-a-day ethics and question of how we do (or could do) some things…and how well that works are also emphasized by this passage. That’s great for getting things done and a signal that motivation (particularly self-motivation) is on the rise, against which will come the inevitable Virgo quality of critique. As Mercury moves into Virgo’s second decans (sets of 10 degrees) on September 5th we can expect to feel more critical about what’s going on (in general) and about our own efforts (in particular). Some of us will suddenly get inspired and some of us will tear ourselves down.

And of course, there will be the nay-sayers. Mercury in Virgo has a reputation for what can be intense pessimism and even bouts of depression. If this applies to you, try to remember – this is a very short passage. 

Sometimes all we will need is emotional support – someone to supply the missing Piscean compassion we may not be about to give ourselves right now. And sometimes we need a helping hand. Or the knowing guidance of someone who has walked our road before we even thought to put our tennis shoes on.

Once Mercury rolls into Virgo’s third decan (degrees 20 through 29) on September 10th or 11th (depending on where you are) the world chimes in, making this the likely time to hear back from people you’ve tried to contact, when things you’ve been wanting to take ‘that next step’ with will come to the fore and when things you have put out there (or which you deal with during this period) result in reactions and information…some of which will be fine and some of which is likely to point out what needs doing.

Is Virgo always about mistakes, problems and needed improvements? No – unless if you think all input is negative.

 If life is a journey, Virgo is a sign which asks us to grow in our competence and understanding of all which is at hand, at stake and possible to achieve.

Think of it this way: even geniuses like Michelangelo have had their learning curves. There’s just always something more we can learn!

Considering that Mercury will move on into Libra just as Pluto enters its ‘station window’ to go direct (on the 18th) it’s likely that part of what is going on now will be either in preparation for something about to happen or as the ‘final hurrah’ of something about to end.

One more item here: if you are someone whose natal chart has a point of note between 2 and 10 degrees of Cancer, that point is emphasized in this moment as it would complete the construction of an astrological picture known generally as a Kite.


Kites are another image of opportunity. Composed of a grand trine (in blue) and a pair of sextiles which ‘build upon’ the ongoing ability described by the grand trine, Kites depend on our ability to ‘steer’ them.

In this Kite, Pluto (still conjunct Facies) is at the top of the figure denoting something which can be ‘reached’ or ‘built.’ But to get there, you have to deal with a combination of Chiron in Pisces and Mars in Scorpio in trine plus whatever Cancer point your natal chart places between 2 and 10 degrees of Cancer.

Unfortunately I can’t give you every variation on that Cancer theme, but a little hunting around here on the blog (or out on the internet) will give you basic concepts for whatever point is in your chart.

Then add to that the necessity to face your own vulnerabilities…and how you feel about your  vulnerabilities (Chiron in Pisces) and how these affect who you do and don’t get along with (Mars in Scorpio) and what it’s going to take for you to create bonds and profitable, working alliances with those who you need to get along with (or have the support or cooperation of) in order to achieve those Plutonic “I want my world to change” goals.

It’s a very tall order, I know.

Fortunately, it isn’t all to be done all at once. But during these weeks to come…this is a good time for figuring out what it will take for you to build the world you want.

And don’t we all want that? 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ixion Continued…the Station Playing Out

 Hurricane Katrina as photographed on August 28, 2005
by one of NASA's satellites
(photo credit: NASA-NOAA)

One of the hardest things to do as an astrologer is to write about something very emotional without sounding hard-hearted or unkind.

Believe me, learning to get the emotions out of the delineation is one of the hardest things in all astrology – as it must be in many things (medicine leaps to mind).

Ixion goes station-direct on Friday, August 31st, making August 29th and 30th its station period.

I’ve written a couple of times about how in time, we (the astrological ‘we’ et al) may have to think of this two-day station as more of a three day station. Even more likely, perhaps that astrological ‘we’ should start staring really closely at the data tables to see when celestial objects come to linger in given seconds of degrees.

What’s gotten my attention about this station – and as I write on August 29th, we’re just moving into the station to go direct – is the fact that New Orleans is being hit by Hurricane Isaac.

Hurricane Isaac is hitting New Orleans on the to-the-day seven year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, arguably one of the most disastrous storms to hit the US Gulf Coast in many a decade.

This is where I’m going to start sounding hard hearted. The basics about New Orleans is that it sits in the middle of a swamp. Founded by long-ago pirates who were looking for a place to hide, it became a city in part because of its position at the mouth of the mighty Mississippi River…and in part because people are just dogged enough to build things like levies.

 An elevation map for the central section of New Orleans

In the United States, New Orleans is something of the ‘test case supreme’ for the question of whether you should be “allowed” to rebuild in a flood zone, and if you do, who should pay for recurring damages.

It’s also a test case for love of a place against human sensibility. When does it just not make sense to live in a place which is going to be so problematic?

The astrological point here would be that Ixion represents all those things which in our lives come around time and time again, testing our ability to endure…maybe even survive our own repeated choices.

There’s a lot of this going around. I live in an apartment building where we have a guy known locally as ‘the den mother.’ If you have a problem, he’s willing to help. At least to listen. He’s a charming fellow. He’s also a hard-core, high functioning alcoholic.

Last year his son – a bright and shiny young adult – no sooner bought his first new car (a truck) than he sideswiped two parked cars, totaling them and his own brand new vehicle. Yes, he was drunk. This led to lawyers, court appearances, a couple of weeks of working in the city’s morgue (as a deterrent) and some severe family hassles.

I went to my neighbor and ask if having this apple of his eye, his son, go through this heinously trying (not to mention expensive) DUI process was enough to get dad to take on his own drinking.

The answer: “I don’t know…I’ll have to think about it.”

I knew right there the answer was ‘no.’

My neighbor is now in the hospital. Ixion is going station/direct at 17 Sagittarius, atop my neighbor’s Scheherazade – the emblem of ‘telling stories.’ It’s also in direct opposition to fixed star Rigel, and Rigel is at 16 Gemini for anyone born between 1940 and September 2011.

But even if your Rigel is at 15 Gemini (meaning you were born before 1940) or after September 2011 (which would put Rigel at 17 Gemini), Ixion’s station/direct is in opposition.

Rigel is the image of the teacher. So in opposition, Ixion asks have we yet learned?…as well as…do we realize that little choices count?

This last comes not just from Rigel, but from the fact that Ixion is going station-direct in conjunction with Pholus.

(If you missed the post on Pholus,
it can be found HERE.)

Now we hear that there has been some overtopping of levies in New Orleans. With Hurricane (now tropical storm) Isaac having "only" expanded to a category one hurricane, some will ask whether the Army Corp (or others) have ‘done their job’ or ‘chosen right’ in how they repaired levies. Some will ask whether those who thought ‘everything would be okay this time’ were right to shelter this storm in place.

Then we get back to the original question: how smart is it to have a major city sitting in the middle of a swamp?

One other item of rather giant note is happening this week here in the U.S: the Republican convention in Tampa.

I’ve long ago given up thinking that governments and corporations are going to consult with professional astrologers. For one, there are so many variables with elections and the planning of things like political conventions that its not a sensible thought.

So that being true, what we do instead is look at the astrological influences occurring at the time which is chosen and work with that.

I know, I’m sounding hard-hearted again. But I didn’t schedule the Republican convention for the moment when Ixion was going stationary-direct. That wasn’t me – I’m just observing.

And what I’m observing with is the Republican party’s chart. There seem to be two of them (as happens with such things). The first is for that moment when the term “Republican” seems to have been stickered on the party:

  Republican Party
March 20, 1854 - noon LMT +5:55 - Ripon, Wisconsin
(B rating)

The second is for the Republican Party’s 1st ‘official’ convention, an event which happened on July 6, 1854

 Republican Party - First Convention
July 6, 1854 - noon LMT +5:37 - Jackson MI
(B rating)

In the first chart, Ixion is going station-direct atop the party’s 16 Sagittarius Moon and its 17 Sagittarius Medea…and in opposition to the party’s 14 Gemini Rigel and its 16 Gemini Ixion.

This is Ixion opposition Ixion for the GOP. Positioned from the 12th to the 6th (with Ixion natal in 12 and transiting Ixion in the 6th) this highlights everything the Republicans are talking about…and everything they aren’t thinking about.

As it would – or should, if you’re really looking at this astrologically.

In the ‘First Convention’ chart, Ixion is most involved in opposing Sabine (boxed in, imprisoned) conjunct Edisona (new ideas) from the 3rd (transiting Ixion) to the natal First Convention 9th.

I’d be less than an astrologer if I didn’t point out this is a commentary on education, religion and use of media. Controlling the message would be the obvious cream off the top of this commentary, but it runs far, far deeper than that.

Then of course, there’s the man of the hour: Mitt Romney, for whom we have the following data…

 Mitt Romney
March 12, 1947 - 9:51 EST/+5 - Detroit, Michigan
(B rated)

In Governor Romney’s chart, Ixion goes direct in the 7th house of interactions with others. Fitting? Yes. And it’s going direct just past Romney’s Eros (passion), which being in Sagittarius is ruled by an intercepted Scorpio Jupiter-conjunct-Moon in the 6th.

The Moon is tenacious – emotionally imbedded, one might say – in Scorpio. Conjunct Jupiter, even the most cursory contemplation of Mitt Romney’s life and times leads us to a diverse list of subjects: his life at Bain Capital, his reticence to discuss money and his life as a Mormon, his wife’s battle with MS and his attitudes towards those who work-for-wages as opposed to working-for-wealth.

Love him or hate him, this interception in Romney’s chart tells us he has no experience of what it means to live paycheck-to-paycheck. Nor will he ever have that experience. I can see many passages and changes which will yet come out of this chart. First person financial struggle and poverty are not on the list.

(I’m sure he’s happy to hear that.)

The point here is this: whether he worked for his money or not, is Mitt Romney capable of understanding the situation and lives of others who may have a very different history? That one concepts asks us to consider Mitt Romney’s natal Ixion - which at 12 Libra, puts it right on the 5th house (my fun) side of his 13 Libra 6th house cusp.

That accounts for what so many see as glibness and the Romney ‘out-of-touch’ thing. And there is a quality of Ixion in 5 conjunct 6 which suggests that if Mitt and those in his 'group' are fine that he's going to have a hard time seeing beyond that.

Libra being ruled by Venus, and Venus being in Aquarius reinforces this ‘airy’ quality in Governor Romney. That his Venus is the most highly placed planet in his chart and conjunct his Part of Fortune and MC supports his claim that he wants to be of service. But with Tantalus/Icarus conjunct that MC, he both is and will be seen as someone quick to ‘throw others under the bus’ for his own ends.

Aquarius’ first ruler is Saturn. Romney’s Leo Saturn is in the third house of thought and communication and conjunct Eurydike/Atropos, which I would take to be the cost (Eurydike) of ending (Atropos) or cutting things off. Saturn in Leo being notorious for self-entitlement and the appearance thereof, we get both a descriptor of the ‘cutting off’ of communication (that which some call Romney’s ‘robotic’ quality) and his ability to be a cost (Eurydike) cutter (Atropos).

To see how this works, we look to the ruler of the 3rd house cusp (Saturn being in the 3rd house). That sign is Cancer, which points us back to Romney’s Moon. This tells us that this is not a man who is going to (or maybe even equipped to) deal with solutions which center on the conditions of the everyday working person. Put simply, Romney is a manager. But is that good or bad? There are probably arguments on both sides. Certainly his Aquarian 10th and heavily populated Pisces 11th house tells us he has strong feelings about the world, absolutely. It's also very faith-based. Mitt Romney sees life through a faith-based lens, most of all because he doesn't want to feel himself as part of the bigger picture.

Does that make him a good or bad candidate?

Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts

I happen to be one of those astrologers who thinks presidential elections are relatively easy to predict. My ‘take’ on same is that becoming President of the US (or being re-elected) is a red-letter day in anyone’s life. So you should be able to clearly see who is going to win any election by the transits to their chart and to the ‘ticket’s’ chart on the date of the election…and/or….by transits to said charts on Inauguration Day.

In the last election (2008) there were no clear transits on the date of the election. There were, however, clear differences on Inauguration Day. That President Obama’s chart favored the one (inauguration) and not the other (election) tells us that he was a man looking to do the job and not into the glory or fun of the election. (If it is fun – I have no idea, actually.)

Does this mean I’m going to tell you who will win this year?

No. Why spoil the fun?

But yes, I have looked.

Meanwhile, it’s worth thinking over that the GOP have nominated their man (Romney) at a moment when Ixion is going direct. Next week the Democrats will re-nominate President Obama as Venus moves into Leo. Showy? You bet. Will it be a party? One can guess so.

It could be fiddling while Rome burns, as the saying goes...though this week it would seem more like Rome might be drowning.

But probably the big lessons about Ixion – as a point to use in your own life – are to be drawn from the hurricane. As Ixion goes direct, the impetus which forces us to recognize whether we have learned our lesson about how life really works will come from outside us. With New Orleans and Isaac’s occurrence seven years after Katrina we are reminded of Saturn, as 7 years is a quarter-of-a-Saturn cycle.

It’s the challenge point. So it’s astrologically apt that in this moment, as Ixion goes direct, the ‘solidity’ of the choice and the ‘solid structures’ which remain or which have been built in the wake of Katrina are being tested. Some will stand, some will be found wanting, as will the choices of many who live in the New Orleans area and beyond.

Ixion went retrograde back on March 18th. So we’ve had a couple of months to self-question, and many of us have done well.

Others have simply denied culpability, rationalized their decisions, justified the choices and otherwise, not lived up to what they know is true, just and right.

So it’s a moment in time. Now…and going forward…we get to find out where we’re just kidding ourselves, if we're kidding ourselves, and what the cost of kidding ourselves really is.

I think of my nation, it's people, the folks in New Orleans, my neighbor...and countless others.

Will we get the cost of kidding ourselves? Will we even get the chance to outlive whatever it is...our immaturity, our stubbornness, our arrogant, desperate desires to have things be as we've been told lest we have to be disappointed in that person...or in ourselves for believing them...

Oh, how we do cling to wanting to get our own way.

Does life listen? Seldom.

And that's what the myth of Ixion is about. We get little warnings and lesser reminders. We hear the 'should's' and ignore them.

Then comes the storm and all getting washed away precisely because we got gotten carried away with some airy some internally isolated belief.

For more information on this Ixion station, please
read the prior post. If you're looking for information on
Ixion as an astrological point, there's a feature length
article posted HERE on astroPPM - or you can
find it in the sidebar. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ixion Directs

  Sometimes the vastness of space is the perfect
metaphor for the millions of things which can
happen in life. Above is a photo of the three bright
stars which make up the belt of Orion the Hunter,
a constellation long associated with the ideas of
'hunting and learning' associated with Sagittarius
(photo credit: NASA, 2005)

If there is indeed a reason that all things happen, then we can have hope that there is a reason why we repeat our errors, why we refuse to learn, why again and again our passionate preoccupation causes us to fail to remember what we really value in life.

Ixion’s tale is an arrogant, fearful and painful story. And yet, we all have an Ixion in our chart. We’re all human, and inhuman to ourselves in some strange way. We seem bent on pushing the rules and ignoring things we know full well are there for a reason in life.

So we do the Ixion deed…and then the full light and power of knowledge comes upon us. The punishment we incur may be physical or imposed by forces outside ourselves – in fact, Ixion turning to direct motion would suggest that in the months to come both the temptations and judgments levied upon us for our ‘infractions’ will come from others and our world.

But the real core of the story is about knowing. It’s about Ixion refusing to hold himself to his own word and standards of behavior he knows are only decent and proper.

In the myth, his ‘comeuppance’ is delivered by Zeus the almighty ruler of Olympus known to the Romans and astrology as Jupiter. Jupiter’s role in this story (as in life), is as a symbol of conscious comprehension.

Our conscious comprehension. As much as astrology speaks of Jupiter as ‘expansion,’ and as much as that can represent anything from an increase of your experiences, your bank account balance or you waistline, all of these things mean nothing except for the fact you know and experience them.

That’s Jupiter.

This photo of Jupiter was put together from
an entire series of Voyager 1 images (photo credit NASA-JPL)

As Ixion goes direct on Friday August 31st, we will experience the Ixion precept in a myriad of different ways.

Some of us will realize we haven’t gotten away with something after all. In the story, Jupiter/Zeus finally condemns Ixion for his repeated violations of human standards by having him strapped to a burning wheel which will forever rotate like some gyroscope gone berserk. The turning of the wheel throws Ixion off base, preventing him from ever gaining perspective – which is indeed an ironic punishment for someone who never chose to see how his actions could hurt or harm someone else.

The shame that we feel when we realize we’ve been ‘caught’ is very Ixion. Sometimes its mild – we’re embarrassed. And when we’re embarrassed, most of the time what we’re most embarrassed about is being caught in the act of being human.

So it is with Ixion, the moral and king who felt he never had to care about anyone else. All that mattered to Ixion was what he wanted, what would suit his kingly fancy.

The lesson of the story – and the point – is that there are some limits we dare not cross. Some things are simply not okay. The small things are not accepted, the big things are not acceptable.

And yet we do them anyway. And when we’re caught, we burn with shame.

Ixion’s punishment, we’re told, is disorientation, which in our life is the having to give up the old way of thinking, whether that be entitlement or simple ignorance. We are ‘disorienting’ ourselves when we change our ways – change is disorienting, and when we finally learn our lesson, that thing we determine we’re not going to do any more we become eternally disoriented to.

Because Ixion is a Plutino, we know several things about its effects. For one, given that Plutinos are objects the orbits of which are controlled by Neptune, we know that the balance between the real and false ideal, between the illusion and ecstasy is human ego. If our ego is involved – or to the degree our ego is involved in the (like as not emotional) situation we are dealing with now, that vision of what we want so much…or what we so want to be real – that is going to be disappointed.

Why? Because the universe, a place so vast our lifetime is not even a grain of sand on its beach, that universe will in time operate so as to teach us each and all that we are not in charge of life.

Those bothered by this are either insecure or fearful. The emotions of insecurity and fear will drive us to do amazingly unproductive things in the search for validation, for satisfaction.

And where the indicator for all this is either Ixion in the chart (in transit or natally) or a global Ixion moment such as we’re moving through this week, things happen to change our perspective.

It may be very painful. And then again, the moment of ‘altered perspective’ may not hurt at all. At least now. It is an odd quality with Ixion that when the moment doesn’t hurt, the regrets which linger on – sometimes yes, eternally – hurt more than the terrible confrontation.

And that may be another Ixion lesson. Ixion was a devious man. He preferred to go about his business in a rather manipulative, behind-the-scene sort of way. He did fool many - but probably the biggest fool was Ixion himself. His thinking he could do what he wanted simply because he wanted to was his greatest piece of foolishness.

And maybe ours.

Like other Plutinos, Ixion is not assigned any sort of ‘rulership’ or astrological dignity as yet. But we probably shouldn’t be surprised if when that day comes Ixion is assigned to the Taurus-Scorpio polarity. At their best, Taurus-Scorpio is about the kind of personal confidence which allows us to bring the best out in everyone, knowing that by inspiring people and by finding ways for everyone to shine, not only will life itself be enriched but we will earn respect and – if we want it – the ability to voice our opinion, that being the real seat of validated power.

Fortunately for us (probably), Ixion isn’t in Scorpio or Taurus.

It is however, in Sagittarius. At 17 Sagittarius, to be precise, a second (emotional) decanate degree which right away tells us that emotionally charged situations are the most likely Ixion fodder.

Or situations which evoke emotions. Yes, those too.

That those situations will be vital is told by the fact that as it goes direct, Ixion is conjunct two other objects.

One is Pholus…that little thing which ‘does us in’ (or the little thing which ‘does in’ something we want to do).

The other is Europa,a symbol of getting ‘carried away,’
So even without Ixion’s presence, Pholus and Europa would pretty much speak of ‘getting carried away’ in a rather negative senses.

For those not familiar with Pholus, HERE is the LINK to a recent article on this object

But when we add in Ixion, then comes the ‘oh no, not again!’ quality.

Remembering that Ixion turning direct means it’s been retrograde for a while (since the 18th of March, 2012, to be precise). And considering that retrogrades mean things ‘function on an internal basis’ this suggests that we may not have owned up to something. Or we may not have dealt with it. Or perhaps we haven’t really changed our way at all – that unacceptable thing is still with us, and as Ixion goes direct we either have to face it or the repercussions of not having faced it face us down.

Then we add in the degree 17 Sagittarius, a degree which on one side recalls the innocence of our inner child, a hopeful willingness to do good and hold to the standards of those around us in a simple and trusting way.

But on the other, 17 Sagittarius brings the essence of rejection, and considering this as the degree at which Ixion is going direct, the cost of innocence or rejection – or the pain of feeling rejected may become apparent.

Or perhaps you will have to face something painful for you to own up to, and in giving up your attitude that you “didn’t know” what you were doing you recognize that your living in your own Ixion/Neptunian cocoon of self-serving illusion (delusion?) has cost others – the truly innocent – substantial harm.

Considering Ixion’s orbital position (beyond Neptune in the Kuiper Belt) we can expect whatever happens to come to us in a very ‘out of the uncharted realms’ of unsuspected life.

We can also judge by the timing some of the patterns to current events (which of course do not have to be personal events particular to your life). Granting Ixion the standard two-days prior, two-days after ‘station allowance,’ the fact that Ixion will go direct on August 31st tells us Ixion effects will surface from at least August 29th through September 2nd…and maybe a bit farther out either way depending on your time zone and how Ixion affects your personal chart.

Situations arising prior to the 31st pertaining to unresolved matters will take time to resolve, to heal, to dissipate the feeling of being ‘disoriented by.’ This may be a ‘disorientation’ of your time, your cash flow, your priorities, relationship communications – it could be just about anything. As they come into focus (or ‘get’ you where you live) as Ixion goes into its station, this reflects the prompting, the necessity to think about what could happen, what might happen, probably as a result of something you have resisted wanting to recognize about your priorities, standards or life’s path.

Things which become more focal after Ixion goes direct at 7:11 p.m. UT/+0 time on the 31st are about dealing with consequences – most of all how you feel about yourself. The temptation will be to ‘escape’ or to ignore…and this may even result in your making things worse by picking a fight, creating havoc or finding someone you think will ‘make it better’ when all they’re doing is distracting you from something painful you don’t want to confront.

In the end, if we just remember that all Kuiper Belt objects (i.e., anything which orbits beyond Neptune) evokes our feelings so that we will learn we can benefit in the ultimate sense, if perhaps not in the very moment. Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) often seem to be about what the world can ‘do’ to us, but if as metaphysics teaches ‘everything happens for a reason’ that reason may be about the world needing to be sorted out, yes. But in our life that purpose would also have to be about learning about who we are...and how that differs from who we may want to think of ourselves as, or who we want to be.

 Caught at sunset with the Moon and Venus rising into
a darkening night sky, ESO's Very Large Telescope at
Paranal searches the heavens as painstakingly as
we are sometimes forced to search our souls.
(photo credit: ESO/Y Beletsky, April 2010)

With the Lunar Nodes changing signs on August 30th (as Ixion is just about to do its ‘turnabout’ on the 31st) there is a striking chance that events and situations will reveal our vulnerabilities, particularly through relationships and however it is we conceive of ‘our standing’ in the world – which for some is ethical, for some is monetary, for some is intimate.

Whatever your ‘gold standard’ is, while such matters must be dealt with in real time, perhaps the greater lesson is why you feel as you do about what happens. What does it mean to you? What do you think it ‘says’ about you in the eyes of others and why do you feel that way – or do you even care?

And if you don’t care, what does that say about you?

All such things embody the Ixion concept.

Ixion will go retrograde again on March 21st of 2013. By the time it gets there, Pholus will be conjunct the fixed star Ras Alhague, a symbol of great healing and discoveries on how to heal versus great hurt, harm and destructive potential. With Pholus (the ‘little thing’) standing with Ras Alhague we hare given a connection which plainly speaks to how little things can change lives…our lives and those of others, our lives and that of our posterity, our lives and that of our nation or even our planet.

By going direct now, Ixion draws a dotted line between this moment and times to come. That when that next Ixion ‘turnabout’ occurs it (and Pholus) will be in any degree between 20 and 29 of Sagittarius (Ras Alhague is at 22 Sagittarius) tells us that have have the power to affect our world – and the world has the power to affect us.

So…it’s a cause effect universe, much of which operates merely as a matter of physics. If we have a grace as human beings, it’s that we have the capacity to think. Every great body of teaching, be it spiritual, educational, metaphysical or otherwise urges this one great truism of truisms: as humans, we have the choice to think…or not think.

And when it comes to Ixion, that question becomes will we think not just of our desires but the effect our choices have on the world around us?

To every action there is an opposite and equal reaction, science teaches us.

Ixion factors are the embodiment of that rule at its broadest and most insistent. To have what we want in life, apparently we need to care about something more than the moment and something more than our Self. We also need to face up to who we really are.

Vulnerabilities and potentials are both universal. If we don’t want to have ours preyed upon, taken advantage of or brushed aside, we need to not look at everyone and everything as a resource from which we can reap.

Standards exist for a reason. Those who violate them will be violated in turn. And when we violate our own standards? Then we will forever be goaded by the fact that we fell short of our own truest standards.

That is the Ixion thrust.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Lunar Nodes Changing Signs: A Literal Sign of Changing Times

There seem to be two great schools of contemplation when it comes to the lunar nodes. One camp thinks of the South Node as our past life and thus what we come into this life knowing…with the North Node being the signature of the potential this life holds for us and thus what we should try and learn.

The other camp thinks of the Moon’s nodes as the intersection between our feelings about our own life (the Moon’s path around Earth) and our life in the world (Earth’s path around the Sun, with the Sun representing life).

To put it more simply, the first camp looks to the Lunar Nodes and thinks in terms of Karma. The second group of people looks at the Lunar Nodes and thinks ‘relationships’ (or our attitudes in/about relating to others and our world).

Whichever camp you belong in, two things remain constant, across the board:

1.) Nobody likes subjects connected to their North Node and everybody has an easy time with all things emblematic of their South Node.

2.) The Nodes are changing signs.

Indeed…as of 3:41 a.m. (UT/+0) on Thursday August 30th (2012) the North Node will cycle back into Scorpio and the South Node will cycle back into Taurus.

So between August 30, 2012 and February 18, 2014 (when the Nodes move into Libra and Aries) we are all going to tend to be concerned with our own comfort, our pleasures, our security, our money. This is the easy way to go, it will be the topic of much discussion. And depending on whether you’re in a good or bad position (most of all on a mental-emotional level) with regards to any/all of these above topics, you’ll be very concerned…or more or less unconcerned.

No matter who you are, the South Node in Taurus represents a time to enjoy life…or to learn how to better enjoy the life you have. Despite the South Node’s reputation as a point which represents ‘lack of effort not required’ with either side of the nodal polarity comes a form of ‘focus’ on life, which in this case would be life as it is (South Node), or life as it could be (North Node).

Adding in the Taurus/Scorpio axis, while to be sure some will be selfish or irresponsible, there is a simple sense of ‘presence’ in our lives which given the nature of the South Node speaks of the opportunity to be content with what we have, whatever that may be.

Maybe it’s because we now realize things could be worse? Perhaps the South Node, with its quality of being ‘what we already know’ causes us to appreciate more and crave or whine or compare ourselves with others a wee bit less?

That could be. But whether you start from a basis of fundamental-if-ordinary satisfaction with yourself or a need to make more of yourself, the South Node in Taurus is also a opportunity to make more out of your life.

 A Pink Cloud in a Northern Caifornia Sky at Dawn
 by Jessie Eastland (January 2012)

The problem is…for many, the motivation, the internal determination, the sense of ‘I can (or should) do this!’ may not be there. Under any circumstance and by any name the Taurus/Scorpio axis is about learning to…and learning how to risk ourselves in conjunction with others. What we risk may be our self worth. Or some portion of our ‘worldly worth’ – our money (which is why Scorpio is the sign of investments). What we risk may be our sense of self esteem or the pride we have in our accomplishments.

It could be a product. Or a talent.

Or our love, intimacy, time or trust.

That this Taurus/Scorpio polarity requires that we ‘risk’ is why Scorpio has come to be known as a sign of control. We try to control the risk and therefore protect our Self and our sense of (Taurean) security.

That may be one of the biggest lessons the North Node in Scorpio has to teach us in the months ahead…when to risk, how to risk, and what is sensible to protect from risk through investment. Those who come to understand this, and who come to understand that their issues with control are not so much about ‘the other guy’ as about what may be an entirely reasonable desire to limit personal exposure are like as not doing rather well.

Apart from one thing, that is. Those who try so hard to control things, however they try to do that – what they’re really showing you (and more importantly one would hope, themselves) where they truly feel vulnerable.

While there are times when someone will simply choose not to risk (which is the thoughtful, unemotional and powerful side of Scorpio) and such choices come with a shrug. Or a simply ‘no thanks.’

There’s no control, no manipulation included.

That’s really the way you know how you – or anyone else is playing their Scorpio cards.

With the Lunar Nodes stretched across this polarity, we are all likely to meet up with many a situation which triggers our fear – and the resulting desire to ‘control things’ so that they come out the way we would like.

And that may or may not be fine. It depends on the situation whether it’s truly detrimental or not.

But those who are going to make the greatest advances in their life and, given that these are the lunar nodes and thus at any level an indicator of how we get long in life, those who make the greatest advances going forward are going to be those who recognize their vulnerabilities.

And yes, who deals with them.

So as strange as it sounds, problems and disagreements going on now and which come along as you go forward – they’re really opportunities. The issue is you. And if you recognize it, this is a time when you really can do something about it. North Node in Scorpio is a particularly good time to deal with problems with intimacy. Problems with debt. Problems in the bedroom. Problems with the kind of acceptance or approval would allow you to ‘get ahead’ in life.

Yes, North Node in Scorpio is considered propitious for psychotherapy. But it’s far more than that. This is a time when through examining what doesn’t work we CAN (if we want to) figure out why the problem exists.

And we can change.

The length of this passage is an indication...maybe even something of an invitation to test our changes - to tweak them until they work so that when the nodes do transit back into Aries and Libra come 2014, we're ready to capitalize on all and achieve some really great things.

Things which will express our real selves...and which will be well received and rewarded.

The difficulty here is (of course!) that the ‘working on me’ side of this is all about Taurus. And with the South Node in Taurus there is likely to be some ‘why should I have to change’ sort of feeling in the mix.

That answer is also very basic: you should change if you want to succeed at a level you are not succeeding at now.

It’s simply a choice.

 The Moon and Venus
(photo credit: NASA, December 31 1997)

Of course there is the other side of the eternal ‘door swings both ways’ concept. You may choose not to change anything, and things around you may change so that you must face your insecurities, your vulnerabilities, your fears, your unresolved grief, your resistance to change.

That could happen too.

It’s hard to know who will have the best or hardest time with this passage. Certainly if the nodes in your natal chart are in either Gemini/Sagittarius or Aries/Libra you can expect some shifts. Those with their natal nodes in Aquarius and Leo will face choices and challenges to their ability to perform in some capacity.

For anyone with Sun or Moon in Scorpio, Aquarius, Taurus or Leo (the fixed signs), at the very least this passage signifies the need to examine what your intrinsic values are, and whether what you’re doing in life and how you’re going about doing that is satisfying your inner sense of Self.

This part of the nodal passage can be tricky as solutions which may seem to solve problems at a surface level (or keep problems from arising) may run counter to your ‘who am I?’ on the inside. And just to make this clear: this is not a ‘natal chart specific’ indication. We’re all going to be experiencing some of this between now and when the nodes change signs again in February 2014.

Considering the economic instability of the world at the moment, this passage is particularly poignant. A South Node in Taurus against North Node in Scorpio indicates that while productive solutions involve finding standards which favor universal development of Self (opportunities for everyone to grow) those in charge – those who we might think of as ‘heavily endowed’ or ensconced in positions of wealth and power are not likely to support or favor changes in the status quo.

That would be very South Node in Taurus – a signature which gives us a lack of motivation to change. That part is easy – and it doesn’t matter who you are. From wealth to poverty to happy/unhappily marriages to issues with employment, addiction or just getting off your duff and doing something about something…

…There will be a lot of resistance during this next year-plus ahead. And the reason why there will be resistance is because to change requires looking at ourselves.

And we’re afraid to be disappointed.

But we can change if we want to. We can recognize our fears and vulnerabilities and figure out why they exist. Or maybe just that in spite of their existence that we can cope.

We can learn to stand up for ourselves.

We can learn to be decent with ourselves and others.

We can figure out why we get jealous. Why we feel inept or ‘invisible.’ Why we find it so easy to be obsessed with things which are fun instead of productive.

And when we figure things out, we can decide whether to change things. Or not.

That’s the essence and challenge of Taurus/Scorpio. When you don’t know, compulsions and instinct drive you. Once you do know, then you have the ability to choose - even if that choice is to refuse to choose (which is a form of choice in and of itself, yes).

Like so much else in life, this is not about perfection, it’s about making the choice to be mortal and admit that there's more to this 'being human' thing than you've thought. The Nodes of the Moon change signs about every year-and-a-half. That they do, and their motion of 'cycling back' as the rest of life moves forward is the perfect metaphysical picture of learning through reflection. Or experience. How we do this is individual: some will go out and forge a path into newness and some will learn through life presenting them with challenges or necessities.

Most of us will do a little bit of both. And through learning what works, through finding out (like as not the hard way) how misplaced our priorities are, thus we will muddle through the next step in that education which at some strange level actually keep human life and striving vital.

Oddly enough, that may be the best thing which can happen to us. We like to think that peace and happiness are all we want, but if you look at human history, it's pretty apparent that when nothing's going on, humans get bored. And when humans get bored (or when life gets too easy) human beings cause trouble - initially for others, yet inevitably for themselves.

Taurus and Scorpio are both very strong signs. They have different ways of fighting, but ultimately both express that test which asks us each and all whether we are capable of getting past our own ego stubbornness to that truth of mortal satisfaction which lies in knowing you've done some good rather than than knowing you've had it good.