by Boots Hart, CAP

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Jupiter Stations

This photo - taken in infrared and overlaid with the blue tones from XMM-Newton
X-ray camera - is of the Orion Nebula. The constellation Orion is the home of
Rigel, a star which since time immemorial has represented our ability to
learn, our duty to teach, and the standing we reach or fail to rise to
because of an inability to learn that we are part of the greater
universe and a contributor to it, not apart from it or excused from 
participation with the greater 'clouds' of nuance, emotion and need
...most of all to learn better.
(photo credit: AAAS-Science (Spizer).  Nov 2007

Thursday, October 4th is the 2012 date for Jupiter going retrograde. The actual event takes place at 1:16 in the afternoon UT/+0 time.

There’s a nice kind of ‘touch’ to this occurring on a Thursday since Thursday is traditionally Jupiter’s day. SUN-day is the day of the Sun, MO(o)N-day is the day of the Moon, SAT-urday is Saturn’s day and the rest of the week is a Mars Tuesday, Mercury having a ‘Woten’ Wednesday (those into Germanic gods will know that one), Thursday being Jovian or Jupiter’s day and Friday being Venus’ day.

I’ll explain how they got to be that sometime – or you can just look it up online.

Personally, I’ve always liked Thursdays. Growing up, my (second set) of parents decided that to minimize discussion (think: debate) we each could choose one television program and call that our own. During that hour (or half hour, depending) the rest of the family would have to hush up and resist pushing their agenda…which for my family, took something of an effort.

Anyway, Thursday was my day, the appointed hour was 8 p.m. and the television program was Star Trek. Love or hate the show, at least you now have some insight into my wee quest to stake a claim in this life.

So back to Jupiter. Jupiter is currently transiting Gemini, indicating that life is awash with the opportunity to dissipate our talent or choose to hone in on a plan to get us where we want or need to go. Jupiter is prone to excesses – particularly of the verbal kind – during its transit of Gemini, but that doesn’t mean we have the right to hurt, harm, denigrate, ignore or otherwise compromise ourselves through disrespect of others.

But we may. And this tendency, this concept, this question of whether we will or won’t give ourselves permission to fail our own standards or rise to meet life’s challenges – that’s very Jupiterian.

Yet even if we do fail…even if we go totally kaput until Jupiter-in-Gemini, there is hope because there’s a rationale behind it. Sometimes life has to show us what a problem is, or force us to see and acknowledge that there is indeed a problem before we…ever-stubborn members of the human race that we are…before we will deal with it.

Jupiter in Gemini is a very good time to get to know your own mind. It’s an excellent time to expand on your mental abilities and for freeing yourself up from assumptions or presumptions, habits or misalignments which are causing you trouble in your life.

For instance…I have a friend who is very highly placed in his field. A couple of years ago, evidently this person decided to ‘specialize’ in one particular area within their field of expertise. Unfortunately, as happens in life and in commerce, the world didn’t read their memo: since that time, jobs in their arena of specialization have become fewer and farther between.

So far this person has been trying to squeeze into one of those few remaining jobs instead of realizing that life is saying ‘no, you have a very capable brain – use it!’ and starting to learn anew. And though this is but one person, I hear a lot of stories and I recognize that a lot of us are going through variations on this theme.

Learning anew, learning better, giving up old ways and figuring out how to grow in your abilities – these are all positive uses of Jupiter in Gemini. Pretense, acting out, giving yourself license to treat others as ‘less than’ or lie – those are all examples of negative uses of Jupiter in Gemini.

(Jupiter being expansive by nature, there are a lot more things which could go on the list here. But these are a handful of all the high-and-low points.)
Jupiter's Rings in False Color by Voyager 2
(photo credit: NASA-JPL)

Considering this station is at sixteen Gemini, we know the ‘expressive mode’ of Jupiter of late…and particularly now, during the station, is emotional. Evocative. Even fractious or fervent. From conviction (right or wrong) to debate prone (right or wrong) to refusing to take a stance (right or wrong) the whole aura of conversation of late has been emotional.

Hopefully you’ve chosen your words well. Hopefully you’ve held the reins on what you’ve said and done. Hopefully you’ve made good and productive choices which hold positive and forward potential for you.

Chance are though…you’ve had your moments, as has everybody else.

Sixteen Gemini is not noted as one of Gemini’s strongest degrees. To understand this station, therefore, we look to the ruler of Gemini (astrologers rule: when in doubt, delineate!) and we find that as Jupiter moves into this station on October 2nd, Mercury is at 25 Libra…but that by the time Jupiter’s station effect tapers off (October 6-7), Mercury will have moved on into Scorpio.

The date of that Mercury Scorpio ingress is October 5th. And if I say that Saturn also enters Scorpio on October 5th, you’ll understand that the whole of this period is…well, pretty outstanding. It will start with a fervency with regards to relating to others and how we relate to them and what we mean to them and whether we can get along or find common ground with them…and it will end with a realization that reality is reality. Some of us will definitely be of the ‘life sucks’ opinion…some of us will be of the ‘okay, I really just need to make this work’ opinion…and some of us will be of the ‘I never want to talk-trust-deal with anybody ever again’ (implication: about that or on that level ever again) mood.

(And yes, there will be a separate blog post on the Saturn-Mercury event.)

So this is a turning point in many ways and at many levels. For some of us, circumstances may beleaguer us or disappoint us just so that in the long run, we learn the lesson and stop futzing around. For some of us, cherished plans will come to fruition now only to leave us standing there scratching our heads (or whatever) thinking …now I have to WHAT?

Jupiter in Gemini – oddly – seems to make us think thinks are simple when they’re not. It also tends to make us think simple things are hard. Shakespeare put it well: …’"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings." Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

Underlings? Yes – to that which is there for us to learn. The greatest problem presented by Jupiter in Gemini is thinking we’re All That AND The Kitchen Sink.

We’re not. There’s always more to learn, more to do, more we can do. The easy thing is to focus on our Self and our lives. But very shortly (read: when Jupiter reaches Cancer in June 2013) we’re going to realize that life is not just about us or what we like, what we want to do – life is supposed to have purpose, a purpose which we belong to and participate in, but which encompasses far, far beyond our individuality.

Having said more than necessary there (how Jupiter in Gemini of me, right?) we return to the crux of the station:

The above is a picture of a grand trine in air. Air being…well, airy (duh!) this is something of an image of what’s currently in progress or process. Far from being the ‘lovely things’ pop astrology would have them be, grand trines are notoriously difficult to break out of. I know several people with grand trines in their natal charts who haven’t long struggled with trying to get out of their way. The ‘ongoing energy’ typified by the trine can be life continuing to provide you with something good – yes. But it can also be life continuing to hand you difficulties.

Here we have Jupiter conjunct Cubewano (and maybe a dwarf planet?) Chaos. The designation ‘Cubewano’ refers to an object which orbits in the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune without being affected by Neptune’s rather grand, amazingly encompassing field of magnetic resonance. Pluto, Ixion, Huya and a handful of other objects we know (or are getting to know) are all controlled by Neptune. And thus, astrologically, their effects all include that Neptunian ‘ideal versus emotional disaster’ quality.

With Cubewanos, there is no such effect. How they manage it, I haven’t a clue, since some of them orbit in the same realm as objects which are subject to Neptune’s control.

Don’t ask – I didn’t design this solar system. But it is an interesting phenomenon, and one which asks us questions about immunity physical, psychological, emotional, and maybe even spiritual.

As for ‘Chaos,’ the Cubewano is named for the Greek god Chaos, not the post Roman (post poet Ovid) meaning of messiness and disorder. The original meaning of Chaos was ‘an endless void filled with potential and possibility.’ Chaos was a good thing, something to be inspired by and to draw from. Could you get ‘lost’ in its endless possibilities? Yes. And with Cubewano Chaos currently transiting Gemini, that defines some of our challenges: we need to not get overloaded, overwhelmed. We do need to keep ourselves on track and not dissipate our promise as people or our opportunities in this life by going across our mental line.

Here’s a simple way to think of TNO Chaos: to reach beyond our grasp. Don’t go there! When we try and exceed our current ‘design parameters’ we inevitably undermine ourselves.

Chaos has been moving along at about the rate of one degree a year. But it’s speeding up. It’s at 16 degrees of Gemini now and will enter Cancer on July 20, 2022.
So this is our last year of Jupiter and Chaos in Gemini….at least for this Chaos round of the zodiac – and seeing how Chaos has a 309.1 year orbital cycle, you could perhaps understand why the current need to understand (Jupiter) the ‘Chaos’ situation is so important at this time.

And that leads us right back to how we view Jupiter and Chaos – as an opportunity to learn and grow…or as an invitation to disarray and difficulty. Even if those difficulties end up exposing our vulnerabilities and unresolved hurts – things we can possibly grow through or at least heal to some degree via  acknowledgement – still, difficult is difficult!

But yes, this would be the time and this station would seem to be the place where good and bad, all hits the mental fan. With Rigel – the image of the teacher (and thus our ability to be a teacher in this world and to continuously be a student throughout our life) conjunct Jupiter and Chaos, this is the major nexus of this moment.

From Libra, the Sun is trine Jupiter and conjunct Hebe. And Hebe (the immortal servant) bears witness to all we have, sustaining us throughout our triumphs and foibles of this moment so that we can learn.

But then we come to Medea and Haumea. Dwarf planet Haumea is named for a Hawaiian goddess – a shapeshifter who takes others forms so that she can get what she wants, even from her own children. This is not a pretty thought, especially when we see Haumea positioned with Medea, the embodiment of what we love SO much that we end up destroying our own dreams.
All of this is in Libra – the sign of relationships and how we relate. And the connector between Medea-Haumea and the Sun is Hebe. So we are given to understand that it is how well we “serve” (act) with others which raises or undermines us in this moment.
  Here we see Medea looking down upon the children she would soon
kill out of a desire to prove to Jason (he of the Argonauts) that she
loved him. As an astrological point, Medea is particularly poignant
in its ability to speak to those things in life - our 'creations' - which
we may possibly see come to death because of our own desire to
love...or even to be seen as loving.
(painting dated 1868, artist: Henri Klagmann (1842-1871)

Again, the object is Chaos, Jupiter and Rigel oriented. This is about learning to make better choices when it comes to who we interact with, how we interact with them, the standards of behavior and performance we hold for ourselves and in general, whether we are making choices which are useful or even positive.

That last – the implied question there – comes from the idea that the last point in this grand trine station is Damocles. Damocles is the precept that everything looks easy until you try it…coupled to the idea that nothing is as simple as it seems (hearing a bit of the Jupiter in Gemini vibe being challenged?) and that there are responsibilities and perils we never really realize until we’re put in the ‘hot seat.’

At this time, not even those who are most skilled in avoiding hot seats will be able to avoid them. In fact, those who have taken the Jupiter-in-Gemini position of arrogance and ‘I can do as I please and no, I don’t have to care, I don’t have to try and I don’t even need to listen to you’ are most likely to end up with toasty buns. (And I don’t mean cinnamon – or hot cross!)

For those who have been working hard and choosing with care, you may have your own prices to pay based on your own Medea-Haumea issues. Yes, it’s hard to draw the line sometimes, and sometimes the giving nature simply must learn that giving is not always the answer.

It all comes back to Jupiter, Chaos, Rigel in Gemini.

It all comes back to whether we try, whether we are willing to learn anew, and whether we are inclined to recognize not just that we’re not on this earth alone, but that the benefit of all really does include…and is not just limited to…us.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Venus in Virgo

  The Kiss of Peace by Julia Margret Cameron

People tend to associate Libra with beauty. That works fine as a concept, but in understanding Venus…how it works and why its transit of one sign feels natural and another denotes a somewhat more challenging time is because Libra isn’t beauty as a quality.

Venus is the sense of satisfaction or happiness that anything you consider beautiful or delightful or sumptuous or wonderful evokes. If success makes you happy, to you, successful moments are Venusian. If seeing something beautiful – be it a piece of art, a ballet, a baby laughing or a stunning bit of natural scenery…if that evokes a sense of fulfillment and ‘ahhhhhh….’ feeling in your heart, soul and tummy…whatever it is about that moment, be it the feeling of hot sun on your skin while you’re lying on the beach, that thrill of delight when fireworks light up the sky, that first bite of something yummy which recalls your favorite moment from childhood…

That trigger, that feeling, the ability to conjure that feeling of happy satisfaction – even for just the moment – that’s your astrological Venus.

There are all sorts of places to go with this idea. But certainly if I tell you that much about Venus, then you’ll understand why the person who is unhappy on the inside is never ‘cured’ by the diet or the new love affair or the fancy home or any amount of money.

Venus abides deep in the inner sanctum of our soul. And when in reality you don’t know how to evoke that feeling of satisfaction, security, delight…when your don’t know what will give you a lasting sense of peace, that’s when we know you have an astrological Venus issue.

Getting in touch with our Venus is important. For most of us, our childhood greatly shapes our mortal Venus.

But not always. Sometimes for good, sometimes not so much so, people come and go in our lives and there are those who will teach us more about love and humanity than our parents have.

They evoke our Venus. The touch is theirs...but the Venus is ours.

 Painted by Luke Fildes in 1914, the painting is called 'Motherless' and it depicts a young child in loving arms. So often we think that love comes only from mothers or family...modern society has caused us to become suspicious of each other.It doesn't have to be that way...we each have the ability to reach out, to nurture and to care.

Understanding that as ruler of Libra and Taurus Venus is not about what happens or is given to you but developing a life which will cause those things to happen? That’s even better.

In the merry world of astrology (!!!) there are a couple of forms of planet-sign combination considered a big ‘plus.’ One is rulership. In its sign of rulership, a planet is said to manifest its qualities easily and fully. And as we said, with Venus, those signs are Libra – the sign of interaction and relating where we get to present that person we’ve ‘created of ourselves’ and (hopefully) get the right reaction from others and through that achieve a sense of satisfaction and inner peace…and the other is Taurus, a sign all about self-worth and the satisfaction which comes from having lived a life you can respect and which you find fits you body, soul, spirit, heart and morality.

But there’s another form of positive ‘dignity’ – that’s the astrological name for a planet/sign combination which is by and large a symbiotic plus. That second form of plus is called exaltation. When a planet is in the sign of exaltation that sign, by its nature exalts the qualities associated with the planet in question and its operational imperatives.

With Venus, we not only have to make something of ourselves and our abilities, we have to have the faith to go out there and be that person. Apart from that, everybody knows the quintessential qualities which describe the reactions which elicit that Venus ‘ahhhh…’: appreciation, applause, compliments, admiration and – yes – love.

And the sign which melds the idea of faith and love? That would be Pisces…and yes, Venus is exalted in Pisces. You may know a few Pisces people who seem to be in love with love, right? (We all know a few.)

Taking all that and thinking it through, if Venus is liberated to be faith-inspiring-ly, romantic, sensual and loving in Pisces (which it is), then there are some plus and minuses of Venus in Virgo – the passage just ahead.

Venus will enter the earthy, reality-oriented, deal-with-the-dirt (and dirty jobs) Virgo on Wednesday, October 3rd at 7 in the morning, UT/+0 time. For those who can see dealing with the corporeal and ‘imperfect’ challenges of life with an air of practicality and mindfulness of being of service or 'part of the process,' Venus in Virgo is fine. Anyone with a 9-to-5 job who understands it as a means to their end will be fine.

Venus in Virgo is associated with nurturance...the blessing of the patient parent is Venus in Virgo, the spiritual or medical caretaker is a Venus in Virgo person. Even the soldier who defends us, the person who comes to save us from the stuck sink pipe, the civil servant who does their best despite public hassling, the stock person who hunts down that pair of socks in blue for you...they're all Venus in Virgo figures.

Here, a waste collection truck goes about its business in Prague. From doing service with the knowledge that you're doing some good to service which is done for the good of others, Venus in Virgo honors many. To the extent that things seem difficult, annoying or frustrating in the next few weeks, to the extent that others don't seem to like, approve or support you in the ways that you need help or support...? That may well be the reflection of your own feelings about being of service in this world. Venus in Virgo often reveals the Scrooge so as to prove to others that such feelings exist...and so that the person 'being' Scrooge-ish can see that they need to take others more into account.  (August 2005, public domain)

(And yes, I do know this post is going up early. Take it as a sign that there’s a busy week ahead!)

There are however, a few exceptions and qualifications on those statements above. Remember Regulus? Yes, royal star Regulus is sitting right there smack dab on the Virgo doorstep – at 0 Virgo. Regulus promises success to those who deal with whatever without exacting retribution. Vengeance is a big no-no in the Regulus world.

There’s also the fact that Neptune is at this moment sitting exactly opposite (in zodiacal terms) at 0 Pisces. And Neptune is in retrograde, indicating that it’s ‘yes/no?’ qualities meant to cause us to have faith in truth (read: acceptance of reality) is…well…a mite challenging at this time.

And by implication, about to be challenging throughout the next few weeks while Venus transits Virgo, a passage which ends on October 28th.

There’s also the wee idea (read: fact) that Neptune is in conjunction with (meaning Venus’ conjunction with Regulus is in opposition with) Fomalhaut/Niobe at 4 Pisces and Bali/Chiron at 5 Pisces.

This is an interesting little subtext all its own. Fomalhaut being another of the sky’s four royal stars promises success only where dreams and means are not corrupt, corrupted or corruptive. Conjunct Niobe (a symbol of pride) this is bad news – now and in the weeks ahead - for anyone who has lived/exhibited the kind of boastful pride which got everything Niobe cared about shot down.

Not shockingly, Bali (paradise) with Chiron represents that happiness which we should guard, which we should have taken better care of, and which we need to fix but don’t quite know how to fix…(and which we will never know how to fix until we try!)

 Put all this together and you have a whole bubble, bubble, stewing and making trouble sort of recipe which is in us.

Yes, we may encounter things which prompt us to think about whatever the matter is. For those who are living pretty cleanly, there will be people and situations which no doubt will tempt you or poke you and see if you’re really devoted to steering clear of corruption and vengeance.

And for those who have acted in a manner which was corrupt for the moment or your position in some matter, those who have taken out their spite and ire on others when they shouldn’t have…this Venus passage has your name all over it!

Yes…for you this would be a good time to think through (with yourself) why you did what you did and where that urge came from. If you can be honest with yourself and honest with those who you have hurt, harmed or willfully attempted to dupe, marginalize, sideline or whatever else…then you may really experience some magic in your life.

Metaphysics is a funny thing…we talk about something like this and I refer to the ‘magic’ which may happen and we don’t seem to understand that the good we do in one place may well come back to us in another.

It’s sort of a universal cycle of earning. Considering that right after Venus gets through this relatively trying (not gloriously Venusian) period at hand then comes Venus in Libra (a totally pro-Venusian period) what we earn now may well come back to us then.

Since late April (2012) Venus has been transiting the first six signs of the zodiac. Those signs are all about internal and personal growth, learning, experiences and development. Once Venus enters Libra, it moves into its public, visible, worldly, interactive and contributing phase – a phase much more conducive to Venus effects we like, treasure and long for.

We’re just doing the earning now. Venus in Virgo is all about ‘cleaning up our act’ and fine tuning our abilities to interact with others in such a manner that they’ll like, appreciate and (yes) reward us.

The Regulus-Neptune-Fomalhaut-Chiron suggestions are clear enough. To do them, we have to live less in our heads and desires and more in the realities of whatever our track record really is.

Virgo asks that things be made better, more functional, cleaner and more effective. Venus in Virgo tells us our rewards come through sorting through that recipe and through working towards being someone we would not just like but respect if we met ourselves. There’s an earthiness to Venus in Virgo which can be liberating in its revelations. And so long as we can do that without compromising a prioritization of responsibilities and choices we know work not just for us but for everyone… (that’s the BIG everyone – not just your chosen few!)…then having flung your fling is just fine.

Just remember to rebuild whatever castles you’ve brought down in ruins first. You’ll thank yourself for it oh…in just shy of a month from now!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

An Aries Full Moon: Striking a Working Balance

 A full moon framed in a window of Castelo Belmonte
(photo credit: Ken and Nyetta, April 2011) 

The tale of Pluto’s conjuncting of fixed star Facies…(a nebula which to us Earthlings looks a single point)…that year long work-over of our lives, our feelings, our sense of right wronged…

It’s been something like a bad fairy tale. And yet…it’s reality.

This Pluto/Facies trial by complicated conflicts will continue on until mid-December of this year. Even after that, it will return to give us a little back-paddling stickiness come next September.

Or so. With Pluto, it’s always ‘or so.’ And oh, how we wish it wasn’t! The good can’t come fast enough and the nasty is truly nasty.

We so feel caught between.

Anyway…at the moment the issue is the Pluto/Facies involvement in September’s Aries Full Moon. That Full Moon occurs on September 30th at 3:20 in the morning UT/+0 at the degree of 7 Aries – the degree of the Moon’s position.

 Full Moon of September 30, 2012 (3:20 a.m. UT/+0)
Aries Wheel - Location Not Specific

The Full Moon is always an emotional time. With the Moon sitting at 7 Aries, the Aries part makes this moment not just emotional, but very personal. And with this Full Moon happening at a degree between 0 and 9, we know it has to do with how we feel. Or our personal physical body. Or something we’re doing. Or are thinking of doing. Or need to do.

So this is likely to be a very intense and personally focused time. Plus or minus, we’re each all about ourselves.

With Mars – ruler of Aries – at 25 Scorpio and conjunct the more challenging if profitable North Node (as opposed to the more comfortable, easy yet long-term-dissipation effects of the South Node)…and ALSO conjunct the ‘I’m afraid that was going to happen’ (or ‘afraid you were going to say/think/do that’) Medusa, situations of the moment evoke Scorpio emotions.
And though we are all always tempted to love or hate such Scorpio moments based on what ‘they’ do, the reality of the issue is that Scorpio is always about testing our values and our choices.

Besides, this is not ‘just’ a Mars-Medusa-North Node thing (though that in itself is a loaded statement!). Why not? That would be because Mars-Medusa-North Node is part of a Grand Square formulation:

The Mars-square-Venus quality is likely to lend quite a bit of hurt feelings (read: ego) to the mix here. That Venus is conjunct Achilles and Agamemnon suggests emotional protests – which yes, may well surface in arguments and anger. But please take note: Venus is also conjunct Regulus – the famous fixed star which is all about success which is ONLY garnered where we avoid the pitfall of revenge.

With Achilles and Agamemnon behind Venus (if barely) and Regulus, Sabine and Eos just ahead, some of us are going to be pulling ourselves together to get out of a funk and over our big bad selves in issuing a Mars-Medusa-North Node apology.

At best, no matter who you are or what’s going on, if you can harness the moment in the service of (Eos) recognizing how you have (Sabine) limited yourself and deal with what the truth is and where you may have been shooting yourself in the foot (as it were), that would be a positive. As a figure of emotional responsiveness of the ‘I want it MY way,’ Algol’s opposition to Mars/North Node with Algol obviously in conjunction to the South Node lends a whole air and aura of reluctance to face that which is emotionally challenging to us. And this goes double where a situation is rooted in deeply held values or convictions (on our part) about how we think things “ought to be.”

Wherever you’re reacting from a ‘this is how I’ve ALWAYS done it’ or ‘I CHOOSE to do things my way and everybody else should just get over it!’ sort of perspective, life is going to be particularly challenging, too. Black Moon Lilith at 1 Gemini here is emblematic of choices which are sufficiently narrow to work only sometimes (if that) and in opposition to Mars-North Node this gives us a flavor of rejection or denial or simply not getting what you want out of a situation.

 Expulsao do Paraiso (Expelled from Paradise)
by Obra de Aldo Locatelli (c. 1950-1969)

If you’re not familiar with both forms of Lilith (there are two) I suggest you read a blog post from a while ago called The Two Liliths

The last part of this Grand Square is Neptune. Ah yes…now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t Neptune. Neptune opposition Venus tends to have one of two modes: either it’s dreamy, hopeful and expectant…or its motivational in the sense that you can see what can be, you’re able to dream the dream and that keeps you moving and trying.

Remembering that Neptune in its home sign of Pisces is that thing which dissolves the illusion and ultimately reveals the truth…that tends to say that either we’re disillusioned with something (or someone) or we’re putting aside our self-pleasantries and just devoting ourselves to getting the job done, dealing with whoever and whatever (Scorpio) thing must be dealt with, adapting (Leo) as we go, calling on (Taurus) everything we know we can rely on in our own makeup as well as that conviction as to what can be accomplished…we’re doing all that and (Medusa) braving the Great Unknown, whether that’s our unknown or that of others…in creating something better, in advancing a cause, in building something which in (Neptune) reality can hold (Pisces) water…(which in this case would be the needs of our emotional self respect).

Since this is a grand square, the trick is keeping everything in focus, in balance and in motion. With three out of four corners of this square in fixed signs, those who come into this period already in motion, on the road and in gear will have the benefit of momentum to carry them through current difficulties.

Which yes, leaves the rest of us – those of us who have been thinking, longing, wanting, trying…but not really being honest with ourselves. Those people are likely to hit a high-in-lows at this moment – which fortunately IS only a Full Moon moment.

In other words, it’s part of a greater (life) cycle.

Yes, it is pretty easy to get shortsighted at the moment. Particularly on the emotional level..and particularly when that emotionality comes from a feeling of loss or sheer discomfort with changes necessitated by life’s greater scope.

It’s time to get a plan…or to put your current plan into motion. As we discussed in the last post (on Ceres entering Cancer) those who can undertake a journey knowing that it’s going to take a lot of work, that it won’t all be predictable and that they’re going to have to deal with people who may come from completely different walks of life…those people can  take what could be negative feelings which arise to bite them now and turn that into dynamic energy.

We just can’t be too proud, want things to be too easy or think that we can get away without having to invest our heart, noggin and abilities.

So getting back to the Moon proper – since this is a post about the Full Moon, yes!

All of the above was sort of background…the backdrop against which this Full Moon is taking place. But the Full Moon itself…?

That’s the object of a t-square.

And this is where Pluto/Facies comes into the mix. The way a t-square works, we “start” at the sign which is zodiacally before the sign of the ‘t’ – which in this case is Capricorn.

So this t-square starts with the Sun in Libra, faces the ‘t’ which is Pluto-Facies-Icarus…and the object of a t-square is to ‘achieve’ the Uranus-Moon-Child quotient, which one would suspect is rather like ‘the innocence of a child.’ Or to put that in a slightly more ‘adult’ way…to have things easy again.

It’s just…well, Pluto-Faces is a complication which surfaces out of a lot of gnarly factors which come together. It seems like you can’t fix one thing because another thing isn’t fixed yet.

Add in Icarus and we have the picture of haste having made everything a whole lot worse.

The Lament for Icarus by Herbert James Draper (1898)

Then we consider that all three of these points (like everything else about this Full Moon t-square) is in the first decanate: between the degrees of zero and 9. That means this is all very person. It’s about us, it’s about something we need to do or have done (Pluto-Facies tends to suggest here that this is something already done). And it’s affecting us physically. That may mean ‘physically’ in the simple sense – in terms of our health or physical body. Then again, it may be a question of our social standing or marriage. Or maybe (given all the Taurus-Scorpio in the background) how finances are affecting our ability to do anything about anything.

Sun-conjunct-asteroid House at 7 Libra is a reference to how comfortable we are with ourselves. With the Sun in its sign of fall, the answer is likely to be ‘not as comfortable as we’d like to be with ourselves.’ Where 7 Libra falls in your personal chart, along with where the Sun and asteroid House are natally (and how they’re aspected) will lend additional color to this factor for good and ill.

But plainly we’re considering (or reconsidering) how things are going, the nature of the people we’re interacting with (or not interacting with) – and whether all that is getting us where we want to go. You know…to that feeling of all being simple as it ‘should be’ in our most innocent of childlike dreams?

That thought brings up a good point: Aries can be childlike…or childish. How we have set ourselves up prior to now is like as not delivering results on this choice. If you want ‘permission’ from life to be childish and you’re hanging out with a bunch of responsible, thoughtful people that may not work. If you want to achieve personal freedom (Moon-Uranus in Aries) and you’re hanging out with a bunch of irresponsible folks, then that may not work so well for you.

(Yes, karma is apparently contagious)

There are as many ways these you-me-he-she-it things can manifest as there are leaves on trees. But at some level, whether or what you are/aren’t being to others (Sun in Libra) is setting the stage for successes and headaches of the moment.

Then we come to TNO Typhon. The Greek Typhon is a totally primal figure which references that essential level of life where biological drives manifest as the need to breathe…hunger…exhaustion and the need to sleep…the urge to reproduce…all such things.

To understand a bit more about the nature of Typhon, here’s the diagram yours truly drummed up for the Pholus blog (may it long be remembered) modified so as to include Typhon…and make a blogger’s best attempt to put things a little more to scale.

The point here is that Typhon originates in the Kuiper Belt – it’s a Trans Neptunian Object, hence the ‘TNO’ designation. And anything which comes from way out there (beyond Neptune) on the esoteric level can be thought of as ‘coming through the Neptune reality/non-reality’ gate.

In other words, objects which orbit beyond Neptune (our solar system’s last true planet) are ‘beyond’ that point where the known, where our conceptual ability to predict reality ends. Put all this together and we’re likely to have been drawn into Scorpio (joint/joined) situations (through assertive Mars choice) which at this time are confronting us with complicated, multi-faceted (Facies) situations which evoke emotionally transformative (Plutonic) upheavals at a very basic (Typhon) level.

Whew! That’s a thought-ful, right?

The bottom line here is that t-squares have a time-honored, if-you-can-do-it-you-will-end-up-happy formula. That formula says that we have to get over a “hurdle” (the ‘t’ in the t-square) which is really all about your focus on you. Call it ego, call it selfish, call it personal priority…the astrological rule where t-squares are concerned is plain.

So! If all is good now, probably things are really great. (At least for the moment. After all, this is just a Full Moon we’re talking about!)

And if things are tough, the challenge is to shift your focus to the ‘greater picture’…the what needs to be changed and how you can move to lead the charge, the moment, the effort there.

Oh yes…Diadem. Diadem is a fixed star which represents the ‘crowning glory’ – our most cherished thought, hope, possession, activity (etc.). Positioned at 9 Libra, Diadem is positioned in a degree which is quick to criticize and mentally aggressive, a degree known for its preference to talk (study, examine, think) rather than do. This degree does not favor making decisions…which gives us a hint not just about the present, but about these years we’re all muddling through.

Having entered 9 Libra on December 19, 2003, Diadem won’t be moving on into 10 Libra until December 25, 2075 (merry Christmas a half-century early!). And not only does this echo some of the data we got when discussing Pholus (and the ongoing game of zodiacal tag Pholus is playing with Ixion)…namely, that we live in changing times when it’s easy to complain and long for calmer waters, but when that’s truly not likely to happen.

By the year 2075 (interestingly) Pluto will be where Uranus is right now, a fact which poses suggests that what gets done today (or not done today) has some long-term ramifications.

Fortunately…(if that’s what you want to call it)…upheaval and difficult, challenging times seem to be the hallmark of every shift of astrological age.

So as they say…unbeknownst to us, the universe is unfolding as it should.

We just have to decide to live in this world instead of trying (expecting?) it to work as we want it to.

Is it worth your try?


Monday, September 24, 2012

Ceres in Cancer: Soul Seeding

 Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May
by John William Waterhouse (1909)

Still listed at JPL as a main-belt asteroid (though some sites list Ceres as a dwarf planet), without question, Ceres is a goodly sized object. At some 590 miles in diameter, it’s estimated that Ceres’ mass constitutes one third of the entire mass held by the whole of the asteroid belt.

That’s a big asteroid!

Asteroid...perhaps to soon be Dwarf Planet...Ceres
(photo credit NASA, ESA, J. Parker (Southwest Research Inst.), P. Thomas (Cornell Univ.)
L McFadden (Univ of MD, College Park) January 23, 2004)

We're going to be learning a lot more about Ceres not too long from now, as NASA's space craft Dawn is due to have a little rendezvous with Ceres in 2015. It's at that time that scientists will glue down whether Ceres is to be listed as a dwarf planet or asteroid, according to current rules.

(And yes, stand by. Those rules could change!)

But meanwhile, since if anything counts astrological everything should count astrologically (I simply don't understand those who say Saturn counts but Uranus doesn't), at this point we simply have Ceres, a celestial object we will treat as a 'heavyweight' when it comes to contemplation of the Asteroid Belt. 

As for the Roman goddess Ceres…she was given governance of many things, chief among them agriculture and the entire concept of fertility and ‘bringing things to be.’ This power wasn’t just about the harvest per se, either; Ceres was the goddess of the oxen and the yoke they were harnessed under. She was the goddess of the fertility which grants children and which in those days ‘validated’ a woman’s worth in an ancient world which more than anything wanted to protect against life’s ills through strength in numbers as a survival tool…be that the individual family, the community or the nation.

Ceres also the protector of a commoner’s general legal rights. Apparently this had something to do with the idea that the Roman aristocracy held so much power that they were pretty casual about doing away with folks.

Come to think of it, that reminds me of a little story about the Emperor Tiberius. Son of that famous fiddler, Nero (and his not-so-lovely wife Livia Drusilla), the Tale of Tiberius is one of those grizzly Roman stories which starts with much family oddity. Divorce, remarriage, adoption by stepfather Augustus….it was a normally messy Roman upper class life.

But in Tiberius’ case it all led to Tiberius being a general. And – ultimately – Emperor.

Think of it…Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus. It’s a mouthful.

 A bust of the Roman Emperor Tiberius housed at the Museo Archaeological Regionale
in Palermo, Sicily (photo credit: ChrisO, April 2006)

And Tiberius did his best to live up (or down) to the reputation of his predecessors. The murders, intrigues and promiscuous (often fairly disgusting) sexual dalliances which were part of Tiberius’ life (and that of his wife) are worthy of a lengthy XXX-rated miniseries.

Totally apart from that, Tiberius was also an astrologer. That wasn’t unusual in his time – or times since. People don’t seem to realize how many heads of state and Popes and such have been accomplished astrologers. But true to form, Tiberius put a bit of a new spin on things. (Yes, he was just that kind of guy.) This starts with his being (as many modern astrologers are) of a mind to think he was the least qualified person to read his own horoscope. Why such a thought? It’s the same reasoning which tells doctors not to treat themselves or family members: you can’t do a good job as either doctor or astrologer where you suffer from a lack of perspective.

Yes, this means that the people closest to me are the ones I read charts the least for. I’ve come to recognize this as on one hand an in-built flaw…and on the other, a sign of my actually coming to care about someone on a personal level. Once that happens, I start second-guessing myself when I look at their chart.

I take it as a sign that I should stop looking at that chart and pay attention to the relationship. And yes, it annoys some folks all to pieces. Life is full of such weird compliments – I tell them they’re stuck with the process.

As for Tiberius, being that he felt he was not the guy to be reading his own chart, he kept spies, minions and courtiers on the look-out. And when they’d come across a qualified astrological type, said name was duly delivered to Ye Olde (or not-so-old) Imperial Emperor.

But woe be if you were called to the palace to read the Emperor’s horoscope. Tiberius was the ultimate nightmare client. If you did a bad job, he knew it – and he’d have you tossed off a cliff.

And if you did do a good job with the consultation, then Tiberius would figure you knew his secrets. And as a paranoid type, he couldn’t have that.

So off to the cliff you would go.

Obviously Tiberius’ astrologers had very little repeat business – from him or anyone else.

When I think about Tiberius I become suddenly very happy to be an astrologer in modern rather than ancient Roman times. Then again, I’m not sure he would have called upon a “mere” woman. But maybe. There were a lot of seriously powerful women in ancient Rome.

Anyway, it is to be suspected that many a common person cried out to Ceres for protection when hauled up on charges (trumped up or otherwise) by some powerful or wealthy Roman personage. Would they not be more of an asset to Rome as a fertile living being rather than a dead body planted somewhere as fertilizer?

(Seriously…life in ancient Rome wasn’t cupcakes and flowers.)

From all this, we should understand some important ideas about Ceres - the astrological Ceres, that is. It’s easy to think of Ceres as nurturance and what we have in life as our ‘riches of the harvest.’ But considering that Saturn is everything we do (effort) and all the effort which goes into growing, building, achieving, maintaining and structuring our lives Ceres must be more about the internal attributes and processes which DESIGN the path from stepping stone to stepping stone in reaching our  achievements.

(And while you’re at it, polish the ox harness, will you?)

The above all fits with Ceres as the number one asteroid in the asteroid belt, a region of our solar system which lies between the ‘this is me and my concept of my Self’ inner planets and Jupiter, Saturn (and beyond) realm representing our social, societal and natural world.

And why is any of this of import to us? It’s of import because as of 6:54 am on Wednesday, September 26th, Ceres will move into Cancer.

This is interesting on one level simply because of Ceres’ current transit(ing) ‘pattern speed.’ With an orbital cycle 4.6 years in length, you’d expect Ceres to spend somewhere around four-and-a-half months (or so) in each sign. The difference isn’t huge here as Ceres moved into the preceding sign of Gemini back on June 24, 2012, making it three months (instead of four and a half) of Ceres in Gemini.

Considering that Gemini is all about choosing a plan to make and planning (including figuring out how to plan) that plan, you’d think Ceres would linger in Gemini. But noooo…it scooted right along into Cancer.

And once in Cancer, how long will Ceres linger?

Answer: until June 22rd, 2013, at which point Ceres will FINALLY move on into Leo.

That’s nine months from now – just about twice what we might think of as the ‘mean average’ length of time it takes for Ceres to pass through a sign.

So…does that mean Ceres is stronger or weaker in Cancer? That may be one, that may be the other. But what we do know is that Ceres’ long residence in Cancer tells us that there is a ‘Ceres importance’ being placed on Things Cancerian at this time.

At this time? Do you mean it changes?

Um…yes. In looking ahead at the next time Ceres will pass through Cancer (in 2017), this big mama asteroid will fairly zoom through Cancer in just under two-and-a-half months.

So yes, this is a ‘this year, at this time’ sort of thing which we will do well to think about as a symbolic suggestion, seeing as the asteroid belt represents all the ‘factors’ we need to become aware of and learn about on our way from our personal “I/me” life (the inner and personal planets) to the personal achievement ‘reaching my goal/building my life’ planetary realm of Jupiter and Saturn.

Cancer is the sign of home, hearth and the family as an individual and collective unit. It’s the sign of national culture, cultural heritage and one’s “countrymen” or a national population.

It’s a nation as an expanse of land, complete with natural resources. As the first of three water signs having to do with wealth, Cancer which refers to wealth built or solidified through real estate, or family wealth...which is a little different than inherited wealth, but amounts to much the same thing, that in itself being a natural expression of the trine from Cancer to Scorpio.

(I'm betting you'd like it if I'd write a blog on astrological money versus astrological wealth, right?)

As the sign naturally associated with the bottom slot in the horoscope wheel, Cancer is also indicative of foundational experiences: our childhood (and the family with or without which we experience that childhood).

And Cancer (and the 4th house of the horoscope) denotes attributes, issues and focal points upon which we can build. When you look for the astrological ‘why I’m having trouble in my life as a whole’ you look first to Cancer AND the 4th house (and its rulers and any objects planets posited within). If you have a ‘natural’ horoscope (which is to say, one which has Aries rising and successive signs on each of the 11 other houses) then Cancer, the 4th and the Moon (as ruler of Cancer) is the first thing you look at. But if you have anything but Cancer on the 4th house, then you have to do some combining: find Cancer in your chart (and yes, your Moon).

The mental equation would go like this: Cancer + Moon + theme of the house with Cancer on the cusp + sign on the 4th house cusp + 4th house themes + 4th house cusp ruler + celestial objects in the 4th house + celestial objects in the house with Cancer on the cusp. That will give you the overview of the strengths and weaknesses in your life. (And yes, if that boggles your brain that’s why you consult with a professional astrologer!) It’s not always pretty, but it’s always accurate.

So with Ceres traversing Cancer, what we have is an ‘awakening’ of all the pluses and minuses which are helping or hindering us in our pursuit of a happy, successful life. To use the farming parallel, as Ceres moves into Cancer this will be like buying a farm (no slogan references intended!)…about which you do or don’t know xyz amount.

Ceres arrives in Cancer on September 26th, and we walk around the property. We take in the lack of irrigation, the fact the tractor is dusty, the weeds in the fields. We also note that we do have some implements and there is water on the property.

In other words, there are some native positives…and some things which need working on.

As Ceres passes through Cancer (which I should comment will include a Ceres retrograde period, hence Ceres’ long stay in the sign)…during this time we will either roll our sleeves up and attend to basics or we’ll just continue staring at the problem. Or we’ll ignore it. 

Or maybe you’ll gather up your friends and have something of a free-for-all hoedown, figuring that things are already in disrepair so what the hey! (Or hay, should you have a hay bin.)

Whatever you do, try to remember that Ceres is the sign of planning and laying down and providing the basics…all that which supports the empire we call our life. This is your Ceres and your Cancer and your life, so you can’t ‘blame’ anyone – not even yourself. The land is what it is, our life is what it is at any given moment.

What we do is work with it…and work it. We look at where we are and we look at where we want to go and we think through what it will take to get from here to there. With Ceres retrograding back into Gemini during the months ahead we also need to consider what we have chosen prior to now and what we choose to do going forward as part of growing our life and whatever we need to sustain us in that life.

Those who come into this time with a plan already in motion will be weighing out what they have and don’t have to invest in their efforts.

Some of us will come to this time with a plan and realize it isn’t working. Indeed how, because of where we are in the greater expanse of time and society (or your life) how that plan now can’t work. Such folks will, like or not, recognize during the Ceres retrograde that they need a new plan – some new way of sustaining the empire of their existence.

Some of us will come into Ceres in Cancer with things going along well enough. Then, for whatever reason, the lay of the land changes. A storm destroys the barn, the river overflows its banks and floods the fields, destroying everything you’ve planted. Never mind that in some areas of the world floods are a major source of soil renewal, this is your soil, your life and you need to survive right now.

What are you going to do?

This incoming long (long!) transit of Ceres through Cancer is yet another sign of the times. It tells us that fixes aren’t simple. That it will take time and thought and effort mental and physical to get where we want to go and take care of our needs in the interim. Those who are thinking that the economy is going to straighten out or that an election or political shift is going to fix everything – think again.

In fact, there is some metaphysical argument to be made that the more you think something (or someone) else is going to ‘fix’ things, the more challenges life has to throw at you. The more you think it’s okay not to rotate your crops, maybe the thinner will be your harvest and resources.

And as for those who think they can fiddle and play by night and by day? Think again. There’s an Aesop's fable on this subject…The Ant and the Grasshopper. Basically, the grasshopper has a good time partying around while the ant works and works and works. The seasons (times) change and the ant retreats to its well stocked home while the grasshopper begins to starve. When it turns up at the ant's door, the ant (according to many versions of this story) gives the grasshopper a stern lecture on its idle ways and tells it to dance through the winter.

We should take this story at least figuratively when it comes to Ceres, remembering that we are both sides of this story: we are the ant and we are our own grasshopper and whatever recriminations are going to occur they will be harshest in terms of the recognitions we deal with regarding our Self and whether we have worked hard (or hard enough) or whether we have prioritized 'fiddling around' (ah, fiddling....shades of Nero!)

 The Ant and the Grasshopper, illustration by Milo Winter (1886-1956)
published prior to 1923 (courtesy of Project Gutenberg)

Ceres spending so much time constructing the ‘whole’ of a Cancer passage (folding in a retreat into Gemini) is a statement that the months ahead will bear fruit for those of us who treat our lives as resources, taking on not just that which is easy, but that which needs doing. If that means we need to learn (Gemini) something new or get a new plan, then that’s what we need to do.

Our future is ours to build. But then, it always has been – times are simply now ripe to show that to us in ever-more Earthy terms.