by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ask the Astrologer: Our 'Gifts'

 The making of gifts as expressed in Hindu tradition
(copyright Himalayan Academy Publications, used under CCAS license)

Here’s an astrological question which came to me through the LinkedIn door:


Question: What is it that you know in such regards to astrology and being given a gift and not using it?


Yes, I am on LinkedIn. Feel free to email me with questions there - or to send me an invite!

And to the question...well, a couple of things - at least. The first pertains to a star named Alhena, the 'shorthand' for which would be 'Purpose' in our Purpose.

But 'Purpose' is not our Gifts. It's connected to it, so it's worth understanding Alhena's placement in your chart.

Alhena AND the position/condition of our natal Moon, that is. Alhena's current position is 9 Cancer and the Moon rules Cancer.

Once we understand our Purpose, then we can start thinking about what we would need to be gifted with in order to fulfill that Purpose.

Some things we can say about Alhena in general, starting with its placement in Cancer.Cancer is the sign of families, home, homeland, habits, culture (heritage), real estate and the physical land - the very substance of our Earth. Cancer is everything we stand upon physically and emotionally. It's our plan for our life and where we 'stand' in relationship with that plan.

Obviously that will affect our Gifts.

More specifically, Alhena is currently at 9 Cancer, having arrived there in May of 1992. Obviously we can't discuss every degree possible here, but knowing specifics is helpful. Still, here we are in 2012 and what you are doing with your Gifts as that affects your Purpose will be affected by Alhena's being at 9 Cancer, a degree which asks us to balance the possible against that which will overload us or push us beyond our capacities.
That Alhena - a star native to Gemini, the name of which speaks to 'the mark' of (or on) that which 'bears the burden' for long distances or periods of time asks us to choose (Gemini=choice) carefully, in whatever we do. And that would apply to either the idea of our Purpose or our Gift(s), though again, they would seem to be entirely different things.

With Alhena currently undergoing an opposition from Pluto, there are a lot of feelings of desperation going around. Some are just trying to survive, some are trying to achieve some goal, and some are doing all they can not retain power over others. Pluto came into its 5 degree oppositional orb to Alhena back in December of 2010.
I think it's pretty easy to see how much more challenging things have been since that time.
But in terms of Purpose against Gift...Pluto being what it metaphysically is, whatever our difficulties are, they are probably about Life trying to get us to recognize our real Gifts - as opposed to what we may think our Gifts are.
Again, if we don't know what our Gifts really are, then how can we fulfill a Purpose which at least in part depends on our utilizing that Gift?
We all know many a person whose mental teeth have been chattering and rattling like castanets since about the time Pluto took up its opposition. Such people are struggling against themselves. They think someone else or something in this world is 'against' them.

It would seem far more likely that they're in denial about who they a really are. And what they're "supposed" to be doing - in terms of their Purpose, I mean.

 Pierre-Auguste Renoir's 'Dancing Girl with Castanets' (1909)

That Pluto has spent all of 2012 working over (or ‘teaming up with,’ depending how you think about it) fixed star/nebula Facies is life at its most complicated and vicious feeling. Haven't you felt the Facies 'victim-aggressor' impulse? I suspect most of us have.

It's a reaction against feeling vulnerable. And since this is a Plutonic cycle, the temptation is to think that the problem is them. But it can't be. Our Purpose - like our Gifts - are ours. So if we choose to get involved with someone or something which compromises that Purpose or prevents us from harnessing our Gifts, isn't that choice what we really should be thinking about?

Probably yes. And when we come into such difficult and tumultuous times, the teaching is that they occur so that when all else is stripped away, what is left is what we need.

when it comes to our Purpose, wouldn't any huge compromise get in the way of fulfilling our Purpose?

The answer there is probably 'yes.' And because it is yes, there has to be some life (universal, metaphysical) "mechanism" which pushes us in whatever direction we have to be pushed to face not 'them' but our Self.

As part of all this, with Saturn now in Scorpio our tests and opportunities are now interactive. Maybe we need to learn how to compromise. Maybe we need to simply be aware that others do have to be taken into account and that what they want in their life is as important to them as what we want in ours. The mere fact that Scorpio is the opposition to Taurus, with Taurus being the sign of my security, self respect, values, self worth and satisfaction tells us that all that happens in Scorpio tests where we are with our Taurus stuff...and as we discussed last week in the Saturn (and Mercury) enters Scorpio blog, all this happens in an interactive setting.

So through relationships or situations or whatever tests your Taurus worth-self worth-security (etc.), Scorpio acts to help us grow.

Do we want to grow? Maybe yes and probably not. (Let's face it...often absolutely, positively not!!)

But if we are to learn to use our Gifts and thus fulfill our Purpose, we need the best of who we are. And that best has to be valued by us.

Hence the need for self respect and self worth. Not arrogance - arrogance is a fraud. Real self worth does. Arrogance talks. Real self worth builds with respect for all. Arrogance is a function of me/me ego.

Being that Saturn is about the structures we deal with (and build) in our life, it's passage through Scorpio tends to trim emotional 'dead wood.' But it's not an easy process. Yet if we're to love our Gifts, we can't be tied up loving that which has no purpose.

We simply don't have (Saturn) time.
Scorpio is a sign about events, situations and persons which evoke our vulnerabilities, promoting self awareness. Where there is immaturity or ability not strong enough to carry the load, Saturn forces us to grow.

Together, Scorpio and Saturn require us to grow up.

To finish with Pluto, Pluto won’t exit the opposition to Alhena until it reaches 15 Capricorn. That will start in April of 2016 and finally take full effect in November of 2016.

So we have a ways to go with this 'purification' and 'detoxifying' of our lives. And as part of that, the current Pluto-Facies-Alhena is making things so uncomfortable that we have to try.

It makes no sense not to.

There is one other basic comment on Gifts which astrology has to teach. It comes from the extended and variable lore pertaining to those old Lunar Nodes.

The Nodes are often referred to as ‘karmic.’ Some even look to the South Node as a signature of a past life. Whether you think that way or not is up to you, but reincarnation or no reincarnation, it is pretty obvious that the Nodes represent the symbolic connection with 'others' in the general sense - and the challenges we face in relating to others (and our world) which sorts out that which is easy from that which is hard.

 Looking ahead can sometimes feel like floating in space.
(photo credit: NASA-JPL)

I'll outline one example: I have a friend in the medical field. Their South Node is in the 6th house - the house of 'health, work, service' and their North Node is in the 12th house of faith and spirituality.

This person knows an extraordinary number of medical facts. They also see and attend to hundreds of patients.

They're also very into spirituality and religion.

But are they a spiritual person in the tending of their patients and in the being of someone who holds hundreds of lives in their hand?

That's a whole other question. When I met this person, they were a newly minted medical mind. But after a few years, the business of medicine overtook the caring about the patient.

This is very typical of what we see with nodal problems. Wherever we see the Nodes in the chart or by transit, we need to figure out how to 'walk the walk' and not just 'talk the walk,' as it were. 

And if you remember, the Nodes have just moved into a new pair of signs. Yes - Scorpio and Taurus.

What astrology teaches is that when we 'split’ our nodes (which may be clearer as 'not integrating' them as one) we either ‘become broken’ or incur/create 'breakdowns.' The typical pattern for this is to (depending on your personal natal nodes) face problems in areas of life (or)  manifest illnesses which by sign and house are  associated with the South Node. The symbolism is sort of ‘too much of a good (or easy) thing,’ which is common enough among us human types.

Unfortunately when it comes to the Nodes, things can get serious. 'Stress' and problems are the first sign...and we almost always think the stress is about ‘them.’ But on the metaphysical level the problem is generally that we are failing to integrate ourselves into the overarching or greater world-societal dynamic. The ‘split’ is therefore a "reflection" of our ability to relate to our Selves on a realistic basis replete with values which (Taurus-Scorpio) work when put into life practice.

That's what's coming back to us. We're trying to relate to life and life is telling us to get a clue!

Personally, I tend to think things have become ever more difficult as Pluto (symbol of all which is magnetic, obsessive and focal) has moved into and out of the strictly interactive signs (Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio) into the more generalized and worldly signs (Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces). And this isn't really very hard to understand. After all, if Pluto symbolizes (among other things) all we crave...cravings are pretty darn personal. So as Pluto now traverses the zodiac's last four signs its hard to make the vastness of the impersonal systemic realm about us.

Yes, we can try. And some will succeed, though that does conjure up the old saying 'be careful what you wish for - you just might get it!' Pluto moved into Sagittarius in early 1996...for those of you in America, you would remember this as the 'slow chase' OJ Simpson moment.

That really seemed to be the genesis moment from which the whole Twitter-verse, reality-show world, paparazzi-as-stalkers, media spin/hype obsession arose.

And as life has become so much more public, many if not most of us have responded by living much of their life behind a 'societal mask.' They've always existed, yes. But few of us live without a mask, and so few of us know how to take the mask off.

That's another quality to all this Taurus/Scorpio (Nodal, Saturn) activity. Many of us are being umasked.

But as for Nodal lore, it leads to this point: if we persist to live in our nodes as ‘split entities’ OR if we insist on living solely in our South Node, we will – at regular intervals – experience life disruptions. Those disruptions will evoke and provoke your South Node and at some level force us to experience our South Node qualities (or qualitatively) while forcing us to acknowledge North Node needs.
The universe is thus attempting to right the ship and get you back on course.

Being humans however, we tend to want to ignore that. (We are a stubborn bunch, aren’t we?)

What tends to happen is that we weather the ‘storm’ then try to go back to our old ways...which means life has to come along and swamp us (with yet another tsunami) at the next appointed hour. 

 Sometimes life tosses us against unyielding rocks, breaking us - no matter how strong we are - like this wave being turned to foam as it crashing in upon Hana's Red Sand Beach in Hawaii
(photo credit: ToNToNi, June 2006)

The nodes themselves have an 18.6 year cycle. And that cycle is often seen as the 'repeat' interval in people's lives, though it doesn't necessarily start from when we were born. For instance: in my life, I have a regular cycle of nodal crises which began when I was about seven and a half. Seven, fourteen, twenty one and twenty eight are the 'commonly' used Saturn numbers: Saturn's orbit is 29.46 years seven-and-something is a quarter cycle.
All my crises fall at 18.6 year intervals since that first incident at age 7. And yes, it's arguable that Saturn is the strongest planet in my chart.

The bottom line here? Life gives us only so many chances. If we ignore them, we will be excused from life’s table.

Our 'regulation' is symbolized by our Nodes. (And apparently I've done well enough to still be eating my veggies.)

The Nodes are not ‘one here and one there.’ They are an axis of continuum, along which we live…and which color our relationships. The Nodes thus represent not just what we like to do in life and what we don't like to do in life, but how well we deal with our internal attributes - how well we are integrated within ourselves in such a way as to be able to hold onto our connective measures while in any and ALL relationships.

It isn’t easy. But who said being human was supposed to be easy?

Living our Gift requires testing the relationship we have with our Self, as much as anything else.

It isn't pretty, it isn't elegant, but one of the things I've come to think about Gifts (Alhena, the Nodes North and Taurus/Scorpio as an axis) is that if we’re meant to be a runner, we may lose our looks, our job, our house, our spouse, our kids, our eyesight...

...but by gum, we’ll still be able to run.

Life is not always about what we want it to be. Life is often about what we should be which we will find – if we will just go in that direction – that we enjoy far more than doing that which was simple, native and easy.

And in the end, that too is our Gift – and that's the one we give ourselves, and which others love and remember us for.

As for what Purpose we put that to...? That's a different discussion.

 In Barcelona, Spain stands one of the great creations from the mind of Antoni Gaudi - a church whose basilica is photographed above. Surely Gaudi, like every human, had his doubts about whether what he wanted to do was a good or bad idea...whether it would work...whether people would like it. Thank goodness he gave design and architecture a try as his work now stands for all of us to marvel at, enjoy - and be inspired by.
(photo credit: SBA73, Feb 2011)


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