by Boots Hart, CAP

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Beyond Belief

 Misty graves in Easton Maudit's church yard
photograph by R Neil Marshman (November 2005)

If you’re a regular reader here at astroPPM, you probably remember a post I wrote on parapsychologist (aka “ghost hunter”) Zak Begans not long ago.

Missed it? Well, okay…here’s the LINK.

Most of that post was about how Zak Begans’ chart works – in particular, his Aries Eris/Sun in opposition to Libra Pluto which so plainly marks Zak as a Gen X’er.

But ever since then – which is to say ever since I ran across ‘Ghost Adventures’ I’ve been thinking about the whole subject of ghosts and spirits and what happens to our spirit, our soul, that energy which is ‘us’ when we die.

In talking about this with a friend back east, his perspective was interestingly canny: creation isn’t wasteful. Why go to all the effort to make human beings then waste them? What, are you thinking someone just goes ‘forget the whole thing’? No!

I have to admit…I hadn’t really thought of human creation as ‘going to a whole lot of trouble,’ but that’s one way to view it. Being me, I’d thought of it more in the Einstein (and Mayan) mold: energy is never lost.

Which brings me back to ghosts. There are those who think that the spirits of our loved ones stay with us. That they ‘watch over us.’ A parapsychologist I had the pleasure of working with for several years told me that ‘spirits stay with us for a little while, then go on about their business. They have things to do. They may return – and if they do, it will be on a schedule of 7 years…’ …meaning that someone could conceivably come back 7 years, 14 years, 21 years later and so on.

Seven of course, is a standard Saturn number. It’s also a number well known by those who study human maturation. It’s even apparently rather well known by various legal systems.

Seven gets around, apparently.

And apparently comes back…or is that ‘comes back to haunt us’?

Religion aside (no, I’m not touching that pot of molten brain burners today, thank you…)…taking ghosts as a particular concept, the “popular” ghosts of hauntings and apparitions are apparently not people who are hanging around to watch over loved ones. There’s a lot of discussion about whether they’re tied to a building or to land, which is a discussion which gets all fuzzy when you ask what happens if they’re attached to a given building and the building gets torn down.

Apparently still haunted, this is a photograph of Australia's
Ararat Mental Asylum taken in 1880


In thinking all this over I came to the subject of ghosts who are apparently the victims of suicide. Every parapsychologist I’ve read (or talked to) says that ‘sudden death’ and high emotionality at the time of death (as in suicide, which a friend of mine refers to as ‘a permanent solution to a temporary problem’)…those are two of the major keys to why a person passing over becomes a ghost.

Does this mean that using a weapon is more apt to create a ghost? Does a person who slits their wrists increase their chances of spending the better part of eternity as a ghost than the person who – say – swallows a bottle of pills?

Some ghosts apparently know they’re ghosts. Some don’t. (Denial apparently lives on after death. How human, right?) What happens when someone on the other side freaks out realizing that they aren’t going to escape “this miserable world” (meaning the one you and I are living and breathing in) …and that they’ve perhaps condemned themselves to never moving on?

Could that account for the numbers of cranky...yea verily incredibly upset ghosts we hear about?

 A skull lies amidst the catacombs of Paris (photo credit Dooler, March 2010)

So all these things have been going through my mind. (Alleged or otherwise.) But thought parapsychology has been fairly recently gifted with all sorts of great new electronics with which to probe the rim of our existence on this here-now plane, there does seem to be a dirth of open and organized knowledge.

You know, a database.

I know this because as an astrologer, I formulated a supposition which would have been a.) very interesting to look into and b.) highly informative.

(Interesting plus informative being one of my favorite combinations!)

Here’s the theory: apparently some suicides get caught and remain tied to our 3-D existence (or 4-D, if you add in time) as ghosts. But not ALL suicides get stuck.

What’s the difference?

This should be something astrology could look at. After all, there are patterns in natal horoscopes which at a glance tell us you’re going to have an issue with addiction. I know of one pattern which specifies alcoholism. There are patterns for gluttony, self-absorption, problems with the truth – all sorts of things.

So shouldn’t there be a pattern which would tell us who is going to end up a ghost?

Or is it a combination of natal chart and transits at time of death?

By studying a database of “identified” ghosts (i.e., those we know the identity of and therefore can trace the birth and death dates of) we should be able to come up with an answer. So – yes – I volunteered to walk into the astrological darkness and do this work.

The only problem is that pesky database.

No, there doesn’t seem to be anything openly available on the internet. There are a zillion other things posted about ghosts, but not what you might think is the most basic of basic knowledge: a list of locations, names and dates (birth and death).

So….okay. I take it upon myself to write a few parapsychological types an email, asking if they know where to find such a database.

And do you know what I get back?

From several “official” parapsychology groups, I get nothing. And from the last name on my list, I get a fairly hostile ‘don’t bother us’ message complete with a notification that astrology is ‘totally left field and unaccepted.’

Seriously? I had to laugh! I’m not sure whether serious parapsychology is older than a couple of hundred years. Astrology? It's six thousand years old. I don’t know of any governments which actively use parapsychology, but I do know of several which have routinely used astrologers. Heck, even the Vatican has a corps of astrologers – they’re in the Jesuit Order. The theory there is very much in line with (as it happens) how Jews think (which seems sensible, seeing as Christ was Jewish). The basic idea is this...the more you know, the greater your appreciation for God can truly be.

That aside, life would be a whole lot better – and we’d probably all get a lot farther in that life with a lot less hassle – if we stopped condemning others out of hand just because they think or behave differently than we do. Having a different belief system does not equate with being bad. Science eventually catches up with most things. The parapsychologists are stretching their wings and astrologers are patiently going about their business while the world catches up with the idea of what E=mc2’d really means.

The solar system…the universe…is one. We are, as the Maya appear to have put it…contiguous.

Which would mean that ghost are connected to us.

Which would mean that we’re connected to each other.

And all of that would bring us to what is the far, far greater question: ‘what makes us think we’re separate?’ On a human and individual basis that 'thing' would seem to be the mortal ego. Ego begetting consciousness and consciousness of Self is what stands to protect our survival, what manifests as our survival instinct and which must have some value, or ego wouldn’t have survived.

Yet if it becomes too great, it destroys itself – and others.

I think we stand to learn a vast amount from exploring other dimensions and the map of time/space-plus-time markers which astrology gives us. Maybe we don’t want to eradicate ghosts. But maybe we want to know who’s in danger. A database would be good...and given enough time, maybe someone will say they know of one.

So many people think astrology is a joke. Even those who know astrology isn't a joke tend to use it for matters important, if ordinary. Things like careers, love, where to live, who to start a business with...all that.

But it has the capacity to be so much more. So very much more.

And why are people so unwilling to hear one another. If wishes were horses (and pigs could fly) I wish those parapsychologists had asked ‘how do you think astrology could help here?' Or maybe 'I’m not familiar with how astrology works. Does it actually have any scientific basis and if so, could you explain that to me?’

I would have. But they didn’t ask. And the core of why they didn’t erupted as hostile dismissiveness aimed in my direction.

And to some extent, that’s why ghosts happen.The human dismissing of other humans, our lack of care and civility, the constant plague of 'you're not one of us' which humans don't seem to be able to shake - that's what leads to human tragedy.

And that tragedy leads to ghosts.

So maybe I'll have to shave off some time here and there to track down names, dates and locations of those who known to have passed into ghost-life, suicides et al.

And more importantly, maybe we can all benefit by investing a bit of thought towards why ghosts come to be.

Wouldn't you want to know if you were destined to become a ghost?

Or is that too scary?

If you know of someone who has (or has
access to) a database of identified ghosts
with birth and death dates, I would like to
be connected to them in order to discuss
conducting an astrological study.
Please contact me at

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Weathering Eclipses/Plutonic Gains and Losses

 Hurricane Sandy as photographed by NASA's Terra satellite (MODIS) on Oct 28 2012 at 16.00
(NASA image courtesy Lance Modis Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC)
While people and companies and government agencies go about cleaning up after the storm which hit the east coast of the United States, something else has happened which seems of astrological note.

The New York stock exchanges closed down for two days. Without question, Wall Street (the place, not the industrial complex) was in an evacuation zone. And without question, the heads of financial state wanted (read: needed) investors to feel secure about the functionality of the exchanges. They didn’t need people to get freaked out by having power cutting out or rain, wind or water wreaking damage to undermine confidence in the markets.

But what’s interesting is the general aura of not just Wall Street, but everyone around the storm zone. Let’s keep people safe, they said. As someone who listened to the news for days and days on end after 9/11, there seems a huge distance from what happened then to what is happening today.

Yes, there will be business losses. And yes, the United States is gagging on debt personal and national.

But it seems that life – and the valuing of life and the simple dignity of life is coming to the fore.

October 30, 2012 - A train sitting at Metro-North Railroad's Croton Harmon Station in New York
(photo credit Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York)

Pluto’s conjunction of Facies has meant many things. Facies being a nebula, it’s a reference to ‘many things which together seem like one.’ That can be our life, it can be the way a governor or mayor or individual sees their country and all their fellow countrymen.

Facies has a reputation for ‘evil times’ and selfishness. Pluto represents how we experience the results of our choices and priorities and feel about what results. That Pluto is known as ‘transformative’ is here brilliantly shown by the difficulty, the ‘evil moment’ arising and attitudes reflecting a better value.

That Plutonic ‘outcomes’ always come from our experience in action and interaction with our life is the signature of Pluto being the ‘outcome ruler’ of Scorpio. And Scorpio is famously about (among other things) finance and investments.

Meanwhile, Facies is in Capricorn, the sign of worldly doing and commerce. 

And let’s throw in Saturn. As ruler of Capricorn and currently transiting Scorpio, Saturn is simply always representative of the ‘extent of our human reach.’

So in caring about human beings in the face of a giant storm, in prioritizing the safety of employees without complaining about profits lost, everybody has faced that evil thing which we cannot control and done all ‘within human reach.’

That all this is happening in advance of a Scorpio solar eclipse suggests there’s a lot about this moment which reflects the evolving of our feelings. The eclipse’s position in the last third of Scorpio, an area of the zodiac which brings external forces to one or all of us in forcing us to recognize what’s really important to us…that seems very much part of the moment.

Hurricane_Sandy's damage in Summit, New Jersey
(photo credit Tomwsulcer, October 30, 2012)

As someone who has lived with metaphysical symbols for plural decades it’s hard to express exactly how apt it seems that this moment would come along. Capricorn being all about structures added to the linking of Capricorn/Scorpio as ‘what we structure our lives on and place value to’ …the fact that Saturn often manifests as slow, tough growth even while it represents the limits of life, the limits life places upon us, how we are challenged to live up to our responsibilities as humans which in interactive Scorpio would ask whether we value our fellow man…

I’ve typified Scorpio as ‘cold water’ and metaphysical ice. What I haven’t mentioned lately is Neptune’s position. Neptune is currently sitting at 0 Pisces, still in retrograde, having arrived at that degree back on September 22nd/21st, depending on what time zone you’re in.

And let’s remember, planet Neptune literally controls the orbit of Pluto. There are many threads here, it would appear…as there are whenever and however you talk about Facies.

 Hurricane Sandy's track as generated by NOAA (October 29, 2012)

This storm occurred with Neptune ‘stirring the depths’ of Pisces – which is the image of deep water. Saturn is always cold – and in Scorpio indicates a ‘change.’ The storm came to shore as a hurricane born in the tropics – and once there did the Scorpio thing (interacting) with a colder system, turning rain to sleet and snow.

The storm moved on shore with a Taurus Full Moon in opposition to Saturn…and trine Pluto. That signifies an enormous amount of energy. Untamed, that much energy can be destructive. When harnessed by human beings it can be determined. Organized. Firm and willing to pay the Scorpio/Saturn price.

I mentioned astrometeorology in a prior post. In astrometeorology, Mercury is an indicator of wind. Some thirteen hours before the storm made landfall, Mercury entered Sagittarius, the sign in which Mercury makes it’s most ‘sweeping’ statements, sometimes revealing the unknown or unanticipated, and sometimes overstepping known, even acceptable bounds.

Even safe bounds...and bounds of safety.

 Some of the flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy in New York City, this photo of Avenue C
in Manhattan's East Village was taken on October 30, 2012 by David Shankbone.

But when you take it all in...when you think through what this storm has done, if you put the dollar cost and the inevitable human tragedies which come with such events aside, on a purely metaphysical... philosophic... even spiritual level, this storm seems to have been a good deal.

After all, it showed that we still care about life, limb and our fellow human beings, rich and poor, pretty and plain, young and old.

And that enriches us. That gives us hope. That’s the process by which we feel ourselves feeling, be it sadness for what we lose or gratitude that things weren’t a whole lot worse.

Astrologically, that says Neptune wins – which seems to be our lot and incredibly proper. For if we care not about knowing we exist and that our connections to others mean far, far more than our differences, we have already given in to having - and being - nothing.

Ceres Station/Retrograde

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

When Ceres stations and goes retrograde on October 1st at 3:47 in the afternoon (UT/+0 time) it’s a sign that a very subtle level, we need to let go of planning what to do in life (and how to get there) in favor of taking stock of what we need to do about ourselves, or who we need to be in this life to get where we need to go.

In stationing at 3 Cancer (a first decan degree between 0 and 9 of some sign), not only is the Ceres part of Ceres going station/retrograde signaling that this is about doing what we need to do about ourselves, but that the ‘doing’ part of that is entirely ours to do. Or at least initiate.

So far the cosmic vote is 2-to-0 in favor of our taking stock and doing something about where we are in some way lacking or maybe just not caught up with our life, lifestyle, plans, hopes, dreams…our whatever.
Being that the sign involved here in Cancer, we have a pretty good indication that either the issue has to do with ‘home,’ ‘family’ and who we are in our home or with our family (or whether we have a home or whether we need to do something about that home)…but also – at some level – that whatever needs to be at least acknowledged (if not worked on) is something which was instilled in us early on in life.

Because Ceres opposes Pluto (which is in Capricorn) at this station, life…the world…people in that world…there are external factors in play here. But they’re mostly the signposts which will have by now shown us that we need to reconsider. Take stock and inventory of who we are and how we go about being that person we are.

But this isn’t a simple opposition. We’ve seen a few kite formations of late. And in this one, Ceres is the tail of the kite.

The grand trine part of this kite connects Ceres (in Cancer), Neptune, Chiron and Fomalhaut (in Pisces) and Saturn/Hebe in Scorpio.

Taking our cue from Pluto’s opposition of Ceres, the clue here is likely to be pinpointed as Saturn (responsibility, work, effort, dedication) conjunct Hebe (serving up that which is necessary to sustain life) in Scorpio, a sign which is interactive and emotional by nature. Where we (Saturn) succeed now, we can take it that we are successfully navigating the (Saturn) job of (Scorpio) finding ways and avenues by which we can not just meet other people’s standards in a way which is ‘all them’ or ‘all me,’ but in a manner which works for everybody.

The trick of course is that this is Scorpio we’re talking about. And in all situations and things Scorpio, we want what we want pretty much because to be disappointing is going to hurt.

And what is hurting, exactly?

Answer: our self respect and feelings of value. In other words, our self worth and sense of competency.
And we know that. At some level, the Neptune-Chiron-Fomalhaut angle in the grand trine tells us that part of the reason we’re trying so hard is BECAUSE we’re feeling vulnerable. Whether or not we’re showing it, it’s there.

(Who, US? SHOW our vulnerabilities? Heavens!)

For those willing to be brave about negotiating new ground, that could also now work…

…its just that this can’t be a tap dance. Evaders, deflectors, all that ‘let me skirt/ignore the REAL issue here and just get what I want and be off and about my way’ stuff? That isn’t going to work. Try that about now and Uranus/Venus is likely to represent some effort, some situation, some relationship, some hope you’ve had blowing up in your face.

Or turning around and biting you – whichever applies!

But let’s say that you’ve had a plan to…oh, let’s say clean out the garage. And let’s say said plan depending on someone else coming over to help? Or maybe just to get stuff they left at your house a year ago which you’ve been trying to get them to come and claim?

That’s the kind of thing this grand square combined with the Ceres kite would support, particularly if you have plans – or are going to now make plans on how to use that space which you’re now setting about working to clear out, clean up and put to rights.

Which is another thing we should say about Scorpio. Scorpio is a sign of decay and rehabilitation. Scorpio is about the process of crumbling into toxicity and the detoxing and getting things back on track. Yes, I know – you’ve heard of Pisces being the sign of the addict. And it is. Pisces is the sign all about a different part of this emotional polarity slate – the having given up (usually on yourself, life, or your ability to cope) versus having faith, having hope, being willing to persevere and try, try again to do better. Pisces is all the emotionalism which goes into the state of denial…where Scorpio is that testing emotional time which may make you want to go into denial!

 The water sign cycle starts with Cancer, sign of childhood, family, home, homeland and in time, the habits and sense of culture and heritage we pick up through exposure to such things when young. Scorpio is the testing ground where many of us fall through the 'thin ice' of our emotional psyches, making it not remarkable that Scorpio is (among other things) the sign of psychology. Pisces is that level of emotionality we hold 'in our heart.' Whether that's spirituality, love for someone, the fantasy we have in our head which is never 'as real' in reality...Pisces asks us to hope and is also the emotional isolation, the fantasy or 'escape mechanism' we utilize when things get emotionally tougher than we can bear. Though Pisces is the sign of addicts and prisons, not all forms of 'escape' are harmful - Pisces is also the sign of charity, the inner spirit and sense of spiritualism, service to others and art.   

I’ll put it another way…Scorpio is the bad day which makes you want to go home, put your feet up and have a drink. Pisces is the abject abandonment of standards which goes with being a public, chronic drunk.
These signs are in trine…(and both in trine with Cancer)…which is why we say that what happens in childhood affects your adult life. The ‘basis’ of the emotional experience is Cancerian – the childhood. What your chart pictures as your 4th house (Cancer’s natural house) and wherever Cancer is in your chart is what we know ‘conditions’ you or sets you up for the emotional life lessons of adulthood – the balancing between Scorpio and Pisces where we want to allow ourselves to feel the bad days, but we still want to maintain a sense of hope.

Into which comes Saturn as the emblem of working towards that goal, that hope – or needing to. And that Ceres is now going retrograde in square to Uranus says we need to make some changes or plan on how to deal with changes which have already made or happened in life. Ceres now going retrograde in square to Venus speaks to needing to think through our relationships and relationship dynamics, thinking about what we need to learn, what questions we need to answer for ourselves and in general, where we want to go from ‘here’ in life.

Ceres is going to be in retrograde until February 4th of next year. During this retrograde, it will back up all the way to 19 Gemini. So the “theoretical dotted line” (or dotted line of theory, if you prefer) is about how things ‘said and done’ have led us to make certain choices which though made (Gemini) intellectually or mentally, really have to do with our (Cancer) emotional foundations.

And how well organized, stable, healthy and supportive of our aims they really are.

That Ceres will go direct in conjunction to the Black Moon (Lilith) and the Sun (which at that point will be in Aquarius) says that at some level what we do, don’t do or choose now will have results ‘coming out in the wash’ (as the saying goes) in early February 2013.

Is this kind of transit the living, breathing end? By and large no, unless Ceres is…uh…seriously (or maybe that should be Ceriesly?) focal in your natal chart. Otherwise this is a series of four or five days (remember, all stations get a two day ‘station allowance’ before and after!) when life is calling your attention to what works…and what maybe isn’t really working so well.

Which of course fits with the fact that we are now just days away from a Scorpio Solar Eclipse. 

Monday, October 29, 2012


Rain drops on a window (Frank Vincentz, Dec 2007)

I went to sleep last night thinking about the storm about to move onto the east coast of the United States. And when I woke up this morning, I was still thinking about that storm. I know a lot of people who live in its proposed path and hope all goes well for them.

It led me to the inevitable question about why astro-meteorology isn’t more useful. After all, since the universe is contiguous (it’s all energy of some sort) that we can use celestial objects as ‘markers’ in time space and judge aspects by relative 3-D positioning (which is very Star Trek and all that…) astro-meteorology can work.

The problem is that the current state of software makes working with charts less flexible than – say – Google Maps. Horoscopes are terribly place-specific. If you want to move the ‘spot’ for which your chart is cast twenty miles down the road, you need to cast a new chart.

What we need are chart adjuncts which allow you to move your chart’s location by increments – as you can on Google Maps by 'grabbing' the map and shifting it slightly. We need a way to be able to shift a chart between the totally localized wheel you know so well and the astro-cartography maps of the world.

There has to be a better way. An interim version.

The time thing? That we have licked.  Astrological software already allows us to walk chart forward and backwards through time by seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years.

But location? Not so much. So far we're either in this mode...

A horoscope wheel cast for the time and place of writing this post
 (Los Angeles, CA - 11:05 a.m. October 29, 2012)

Or this mode...

 The same chart as above, here cast as a world astro-cartography map

But if we could…once you found that place where the chart ‘works’ (or centers on) a given idea, to be able to click a button and get the data for the ‘where’ of it all (longitude plus latitude plus real-world town-county-state location), that would be super-spiffy.
No one’s done that yet, no. And I’m no programmer, so it isn’t likely I’m going to be the one to fill this gap.

But when that day comes, I’m going to grow up to be an astro-weatherman.

And in the interim, it just plain annoys me that I can’t know more and - in light of that, be more helpful!

With best wishes to all those enduring hard times and difficult moments whether due to weather or any other cause, here in the USA or abroad.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mercury’s Upcoming Retrograde

 Planet Mercury as photographed by the Mariner 10 spacecraft
(photo credit: NASA-JPL)

As Mercury enters Sagittarius on Monday, October 29th at 6:19 in the morning (UT/+0), life is signaling that this is a time to think things through as we do whatever we do. After passing through the intensity of Scorpio emotional waters where Mercury forces us to think through emotionally provocative situations (or how we feel about things), Mercury tends to rebound into Sagittarius like a spring releasing giant tension.

But from that – often – comes our mistakes. The joy and joie de vivre is great indeed, but with that comes the (ahem…cough, cough) commentary that dancing is swell so long as you don’t dance off a cliff.
Very few of us are Wile E Coyote, after all – and life is definitely not a Warner Brother’s cartoon, even if sometimes it seems like one!

Sagittarius is a sign all about achieving our aims. Sagittarius ‘reaches’ for the top of the chart – and thus all the symbols you find positioned in Sagittarius or in Sagittarius’ native 9th house of your chart are the things which will challenge you along the way. I know one person with an Aries Mercury in the 9th and this person is notorious for talking, never getting around to doing, and screwing up their plans in the process. I know one man whose Sagittarius Sun represents his life struggle with the questions of assertion, authority and taking hard stands.

Like I say…anything in the 9th, anything positioned natally in Sagittarius – those are the things life will leave on the floor just so that we’re sure to trip over them from time to time.

As important to us here (as the whole world now enters approximately five weeks of Mercury in Sagittarius ‘have you thought it through?’ situations) is that Mercury will go retrograde during these next weeks ahead. (Hence its transit of Sagittarius taking five weeks instead of less than half that.)

A note here for Americans and USA election watchers: the 2012 Presidential Election (read: voting day) falls on Mercury’s date of station/retrograde. That says a lot – which is maybe not so much about the election as about how Americans go about electing, voting and the rest of such matters.

And yes, Mercury goes retrograde on November 6th elsewhere in the world too. It will be in retrograde until November 26th…which again for Americans means you’re going to have a Mercury retrograde-tinged Thanksgiving and Black Friday. (Leave extra time for travel and all that.) But most globally and to the point, because of Mercury retrograde, that ‘five weeks’ of Mercury in Sagittarius is going to be spread over a full two months.

Last but certainly not least here is the fact that the next Solar Eclipse is going to happen while Mercury is in retrograde - in Sagittarius. At the moment of the eclipse, Mercury will be at 0 Sagittarius, a degree filled with the potential to have our opinions (thoughts, ideas) swayed someone else. With Mercury in retrograde, this may indicate a moment when we think about what people say versus what they really mean (or) who they really are.

Then again, maybe it’s a moment when we deal/don’t deal with some tendency we have to con ourselves?
That being true, apart from whatever else it may be (which would be plenty), this incoming eclipse may be all about how we allow others to egg, goad, persuade, manipulate or otherwise demand that we do things xyz way…or else?

And is that ‘or else’ real? Or does it really matter?

One of the really good things a Solar Eclipse at 21 Scorpio could do is get us past our fears of what someone else says or thinks about us. At that point we are at least being individuals (though we still may need to clean up our act!).

So that’s on the plus side. Of course, it’s only ten or so hours after the eclipse until Mercury retrogrades back into Scorpio, so it’s likely this is going to be a trying time in some way, shape or form. To have Mercury doing a ‘loop’ back into-and-through Scorpio from Sagittarius – at some level – says to us that it pays to be aware of how important it is to feel secure about ourselves as we move forward in life doing anything. And how it isn’t necessarily about ‘changing’ the other person’s point of view which is important, merely understanding whether your perspective and theirs can coexist in the given dynamic.

Where that works, we go on. We check it out, we have some discussions, we tweak the personal formula and once Mercury goes direct on November 26th, we refocus on getting things in Scorpio gear…
…to be followed by Life delivering it’s check points and reviews as we swing into Mercury-in-Sagittarius application mode beginning on December 11th.

With Mercury not moving into Capricorn until New Year’s Eve (UT/+0 time), that means the whole holiday season is going to be under the influence of the hustle-and-bustle, try, try again Mercury in Sagittarius which may feel very focused on others, but which is really all about how our life interfaces with others…and our greater world.

So happy Mercury in Sagittarius to all of us! After saying all this I sort of feel like as of October 29th we’re all starting out along some sort of Yellow Brick Road which carries us through the end of 2012.

And maybe that’s just what we’re doing. So get your brains together, have courage, don’t forget the little dog, have a heart…and when in doubt (which yes, alas will happen!) remember that if whatever you’re searching for can’t be found in your own back yard, you never really lost it to begin with.

That last statement is – of course – a paraphrase from the famous ending to MGM’s ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ Most of us tend to think of that ‘back yard’ as being our home, our family.

 A publicity still for MGM's film 'The Wizard of Oz' here features Jack Haley as the Tin Man, Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow, Judy Garland as Dorothy and Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion. Evidently the studio still photographs from that era (1939) were not copyrighted as the film was, and are considered to be (more or less) public domain. Early trailers also fall under this provision, though all this changed somewhere along the line.This may mean nothing to you, but it's an interesting manifestation of the shift from the age of trust and emotional universality (the Age of Pisces) into the 'universal worth'/intellectual rights Age of Aquarius we now live in.

But is it really?

What if it’s our life? Then isn’t your ‘back yard’ who you know you should be being…you know, in the back of your brain? In your heart?

Do you have the courage to go there?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Check Point Eclipse: The Taurus Full Moon

 Kites flying (photo credit Jon Sullivan)

When we ‘back up’ and look at astrology as theory, the Sun is a yearly cycle which planets with cycles longer than a year ‘gather’ into blocks of various lengths represent steps in any given process.

We talked some about this in the recent blog on Saturn moving out of Libra and into Scorpio as a step in a greater process. That process is the twelve-part cycle we know as the zodiac.

So everybody here on Earth has just started a 2.5 year cycle of Saturn in Scorpio, during which time, Jupiter will move through two signs (Gemini and Cancer) and start into Leo. During that time, the Sun will go through all twelve signs twice….and be half way through another round.

One of the most touching things I’ve ever read about the ancient Maya is that they thought of the trees as our ‘cousins.’ This evidently comes down to us as part of a mystical belief they had which said that everything ‘comes from the stars’ and no matter what form something is in, its ‘essence’ – that we’d call energy – is never lost, no matter what happens. You can burn a log, a person may die. The essence of what they are both in temporal and spiritual terms – that, the Maya said – was never lost. It would change forms but never be lost.

That idea became part of my life many years ago. And probably because of it, I have come to think of human life as akin to tree rings. Science tells us that we can look at the rings of a tree which lived for thousands of years and see a record of what that tree went through.

Those rings are formed through the pattern of Earth’s cycles. Or to put it astrologically, the Sun going once through all twelve signs. Each round of the Sun through the signs thus describes a single chapter in the book of our lives.

We just don’t have rings. Well, except for those we wear on our fingers!

The point here is that within that yearly cycle of Sun-and-twelve-signs is are the cycles of the Moon. Every 29.53 days, the Moon goes through all twelve signs. Do the math and you’ll find that when you divide the number of days in a solar year (365.2422 days) by the Moon’s ‘standard’ lunar month (29.53 days) and you’ll find there are 12.36 lunar months every year.

Every time the Sun finishes its transit through a sign, figure that the Moon has moved through all twelve. That’s what it comes down to. Lunar astrology being all about our daily, most mortal life, the high points of the soli-lunar cycle thus represent the initiation and ‘high points’ (New and Full Moon) as part of the Sun’s monthly movement through each sign.

This month, the Sun is traversing Scorpio. So it’s time for our ‘Scorpio step’ in a greater social process we refer to as 2012…and you’ll be taking that interactive, emotion-provoking step through wherever Scorpio lies in your natal chart.

(Plus, yes – the placement and conditions of Mars and Pluto as Scorpio’s rulers, where Scorpio is in your solar return chart and any major Mars or Pluto transits which happen to be going on for you.)

What’s interesting (and worth thinking about) is how our secular calendar causes Sun and Moon cycles to overlap. The New Moon is always in the sign of the Sun (as the Moon conjuncts the Sun) and the Full Moon is always in the sign opposing that of the Sun, seeing as that’s where the Moon ‘openly faces’ the Moon and thus receives and reflects the greatest among of solar (metaphysical) ‘illumination.’

Thus we see the Full Moon as a time which is informative…and which reveals things.

But our calendar? Instead of ‘connecting’ the New and Full Moon as designed by the Sun moving through any given sign, our months connect the Full Moon of one sign which the New Moon of the next…which at some level seems like a philosophical process which by design is meant to move us forward.

In any case, this month’s Full Moon is positioned at 6 Taurus – which means the Sun is at 6 Scorpio…with the Moon at 6 Taurus, a degree known for its mental nature. But don’t confuse ‘mental’ with ‘thoughtful.’ Six Taurus is known as a degree where mentality is insightful, but since this occurs early in a sign which has a very distinct undeveloped-versus-developed side, whether anybody’s aim (or choices of the moment) come from their ‘primal need’ Taurus side or the more ‘matured’ ‘I know my succeeding depends on others’ Taurus knowing is entirely individual. The Sabian Symbol here is as follows: ‘THE WOMAN OF SAMARIA AT THE ANCESTRAL WELL’ which Marc Edmund Jones gives the following keynote to: the meeting of the traditional past and of the creative spirit, pointing to the future.

Because this is a Full Moon, it is at this point that we will see signs of where our needs (the going to the well) are being met among others of ‘our kind.’ That refers to some ‘group’ we identify with. It could be our family. Or those of our heritage. The people we work with or a field we are accustomed to working in – or anything else where we are ‘one of the group.’ But whatever that group is (or whatever those groups are) because this is a Full Moon image, there is a distinct Scorpio quality being thrown into the mix. Life (the Sun) is saying that we must work with, or at least now be conscious of a greater group (whatever that may be) beyond our ‘pre-defined’ notion.

 A March Full Moon over Munster, Germany
(Kai Schreiber, March 2011)

How well we are integrated with them…those who we think of as ‘not me/mine’ defines to some degree our success now. And certainly the ease with which we move forward with our plans. That the Sabian Symbol for 6 Scorpio is DEEP-SEA DIVERS is a classic sort of ‘watery’ metaphysical commentary. Against the Moon (instinct, feelings) at 6 Taurus, this describes this Full Moon moment as a very plus-or-minus informing us where we are in the process of coming to understand that, as famously put, no man is an island.

That goes for women, too – obviously!

Any Taurus/Scorpio connection is always about how well we are able to interface with others and life and social systems and the various ‘gatekeepers’ in life so that they will support us in our aims.

And that would be that, except for three things.

One, Taurus and Scorpio are fixed and yin signs a combination which creates a polarity which tends to hold onto things - or things as they are, the ‘status quo’ (Taurus) because the process of (Scorpio) confrontation and emotion-provoking negotiation and compromise feels so personal. What to some might be a simple matter of give or take and ‘normal’ amounts of reluctance to give in…or to go through realizing you’re not right in abstract, or how to build towards some goal or aim…

Let’s face it: nobody likes being wrong. But when you get into Taurus/Scorpio territory (whether by natal chart placement or just in terms of the time of the year)…then the ‘right-versus-wrong’ becomes validation versus invalidation.

And that strikes us a whole lot deeper. That’s painful. Even scary.

And let’s remember…Saturn has just moved into Scorpio. So life is all about finding our chinks right now. The karma, the metaphysics – everything is primed to provoke some really deep fears.

Yet there is a positive point. And maybe…just maybe those among us who encounter the hardest times and the deepest feelings of invalidation are those who also have the chance to gain the most.

There’s a saying in metaphysics: that which you fear you will manifest. Why? Because life wants us to understand that the ‘worst’ can happen and we can still survive it.

So that’s the first thing. The second is simply that we’re now but a couple of weeks away from a solar eclipse which is also in Scorpio, which “compounds” this Full Moon in Taurus by ‘setting the stage’ for that to come. The subject may not be the same, but the emotional stirring is consistent.

For probably a month now…maybe a bit more, most of us have had this ‘lurking sense’ of something which isn’t working. It’s ‘coming apart’ at some level. Being that this incoming eclipse is going to occur at a (3rd decanate) degree between 20 and 29 of a sign, the likely ‘provocation’ is external.

But it’s to understand that ‘they’re’ not the problem. In fact, the mere fact that the more you struggle with ‘them’ the more implacable ‘they’ seem makes the whole struggle worse.

The answer here is pretty simple: their ‘implacability’ is due to the fact that the growing sense of ‘solar instability’ (life becoming destabilized) is not about them. It’s your feeling – it’s your issue. And since Full Moons tend to ‘highlight’ emotions, emotional events or emotional issues, the Full Moon which will occur on Monday, October 29 at 7:51 in the evening (UT/+0) is likely to unsettle things even more.

And for many, there’s more yet to come.

The third thing is that this Full Moon comes to us with the image of a kite:

The grand trine (in blue) is all in water signs – an indication of ongoing or deep seated emotions or topics which set off our emotionalism.

Ceres asks us to plan, or represents ‘our plans.’ Mirzam represents a moment which is evocative or touching…or sometimes touchy. That Mirzam sits so close to Alhena by nature speaks to how others feel about our Purpose and how we feel about whether we are fulfilling that which is either our human-prescribed purpose or our Divinely ordained Purpose - which for most of us are two very different things.

And therein lies a quandary.

In Pisces, sign of feeling ourselves confronted by our feelings, Niobe conjunct Fomalhaut/Bali and Chiron (with Chiron in retrograde) we're concerned about hurting ourselves further, about vulnerabilities - even shame we may not be willing to feel or confront...we're aware, however remotely of being caught between our  need to go forward and things we need to go back and truly deal with.

The third corner of this grand trine starts (and ends) with the Sun – our life, the will and energy with which we live our life, and with which we face in life. The highest number here (9 Scorpio) is occupied by Industria and Pandora: the complications involved in some situation against the very will (and reasons) we have to try and get that ‘something’ done.

Are we proving something to others? Or to our Self? Are we waging some valid fight, or are we just trying not to feel some truth we can’t bear to think we truly need to confront?

Remember: the temptation is to think the issue, the problem, the ‘wrongness’ is in them. The right way through this moment involves putting their right or wrongness aside for the moment in favor of understanding where your quaking is coming from.

With Arachne in this grand trine mix, the indication is that we’re all caught up in what we’re doing even if we would like to (or know we should) be doing something else. There’s something (Tantalus) so tempting that we’re likely to go way over the line with it.

Or maybe we already have.

The top of this kite formation is Hamal conjunct Moon in the sign of Taurus. Here we have described a matter of choice mostly because of the sextile (the green dotted lines) to Fomalhaut on one side and Mirzam-Alhena on the other.

By itself, Hamal/Moon in Taurus would be ‘I have a right to my feelings.’ And that well may be true regardless. But the double sextile to fixed stars here clearly speak to the choice and the question as to whether what we’re doing is what we should be doing. And are we doing it the right way? Or have we succumbed to temptations and compromising or even harming others in the process of trying to achieve some greater aim.

Here’s a spiritual thought to go with all this: that which humans demand often requires…and seems to condone actions and choices which we know are less than what we want them to be while that which is truly Ordained through our creation frees us to be who we are without compromise.

So…while we are freely human, are we the evolved human or not?

That would seem to be the question of the season – and we are being reminded of it now, as the days and weeks unwind before us. We head not to some cataclysm of life, but one of self-respect – without which hope dies and life becomes really not much worth living.

One last note: this Full Moon occurs just a couple of hours after Mercury enters Sagittarius.

Mercury in Sagittarius as its own idea is another post for another day. (Say, tomorrow?) Meanwhile, suffice it to say the combination of this Mercury shift from Scorpio into Sagittarius at the moment of a Full Moon marks this as a time when feelings may well surface as opinions. Or for unexpected emotional outbursts. It also adds to feelings of fervency and conviction, pro or con, right or wrong. Those who seek to fool others may find out that they're only fooling themselves.

Under the best of conditions, Mercury in Sagittarius can indicate rash statements and haste in decisions. Yet when we see Mercury entering Sagittarius in tandem with a figure such as the kite, those 'steering' said kite by its tail will do well.

The 'tail' of this kite is all about thinking without falling prey to temptations where you find them. Since this kite tail is part of a grand trine, the whole of that trine is in play here.

 The Omega or Swan Nebula, 5500 LY from Earth and part of Sagittarius
(NASA, ESA, J. Hester-ASU, April 2003)

So much depends on what we are aiming to do now. Are we living to please other humans? Or are we following the path we were made to follow? Neither are necessarily easy. In fact, both may be equally hard. 

It all comes down to why we're doing things.

But then, it generally does.