by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dateblog: February 2013

February starts off in a jumble. Jupiter has just gone direct (on January 30th) and thus it’s “station window” effects the first day (maybe even two) of this month. This Jupiterian event being all about Gemini ideas, choices and whether we have (or even can!) think things through, one expects a lot of noise, if nothing else.

Oh…and communication/transportation issues, too.

That all of this decision making and dealing with details may not just be personal but also manifest on the corporate or national level seems another distinct possibility, as February 1st is the date that Saturn rolls across the date of last November’s 21 Scorpio Solar Eclipse. We probably all remember that as a time when life gave us some promptings which got us all into a baseline realism mode which tossed rhetoric out the window because suddenly the basics of life and life’s necessities mattered most.

Added to this gentle (ahem!) reminder is the fact that come February 2nd, Venus moves into Aquarius as Mars moves into Pisces with Ceres (planning as a major factor) going direct on February 4th and Mercury entering Pisces on February 5th.

A long-range photo of Ceres, which no doubt will soon be improved on as NASA's Dawn spacecraft is due to visit this super-large asteroid within a year and a half or so. Once Dawn gets there, scientists will determine whether Ceres is indeed an asteroid, or whether Ceres' physical characteristics qualify what we think of now as an asteroid as a dwarf planet. What's would that say on a metaphysical level? Considering Ceres is all about planning...(example: what all it will take to turn a pile of seeds in your hand into food in the warehouse)...we can look forward to this 'Dawn-ing' moment as a time when the 'size' of our plans, and how good those plans are either do or don't start meaning substantially more than they do now.  
(photo credit NASA, ESA, J. Parker (Southwest Research Inst.),
P. Thomas (Cornell Univ.) L McFadden (Univ of MD, College
Park), January 23, 2004)
Hence the jumble. Or muddle, if you prefer. But because the Venus/Mars (wanting-getting) relationship here is less personal and more thoughtful than it has been of late, we may find ourselves…and others…thinking less about personal aims and more about what we can do which will create a world or situation which will make it easier for us to get where we want to go in part by making things better for others. Maybe even everyone.

With Mercury entering Pisces on the 5th (within Ceres’ “station window”) however…errors in judgment are likely to surface. As disheartening (or annoying) as that may seem, try to see this as ‘better now than later.’ Those who do a little editing now will be spared disappointments later.

With the New Moon of February 10th at 21 Aquarius, we arrive at a ‘check point’ which also refers us back to last November’s solar eclipse (which was at 21 Scorpio, in a square to this New Moon). Can we afford what needs doing? If not, then we need to consider what that word (‘need’) really means. If the need is real, sacrifices must be made. If the need is really a want, that’s a different sort of adjustment. The best constructs now are a.) based on facts, b.) are well thought through, and c.) those which aim to make a group or social/societal contribution while building something which will become a factor in our personal future.

That’s about it until Saturn hits it’s February 16 -20 station allowance with Saturn going retrograde at 11 Scorpio on February 18th, the day that the Sun enters Pisces.

Clouds over the Atlantic Ocean beyond the coast of Salvador (Bahia, Brazil) on a
 sunny day recalls the universal and oceanic qualities of Pisces, the beauty of life
 and our world and just how big a (Saturn) task can really be. Are you ready to swim
across that ocean? Are you grateful that you don't have to? Many of us will never
 face anything so daunting or so vast as the contemplation of such a challenge, but
it's a good thing to think about as many people will face such things and having
thought through them on our own helps us understand those people, their
situations and perhaps how we can help...or at least learn from
their experiences.
 (photo credit: Tiago Fioreze, July 2008)

Think emotional, think intense, think tests of emotions…especially the kind of emotions which have to do with your values or sense of personal worth (read: self worth).

Sun in Pisces is a yearly time through wholesale, worldwide emotionality…and often the ‘airing’ of our emotions. Adding to the flux, flex, uncertainty and indecision of this moment is that Mercury – also in Pisces – goes retrograde on February 23rd, making its station/slight-of-mind window February 21st through 25th.

Those who experience this confluence as a time to realize what works, what doesn’t work and why one works and the other doesn’t will arrive at the Virgo Full Moon of February 25th and Venus’ ingress of Pisces (on February 26th) with insight and an understanding of what needs to be done next. Those who don’t are likely to feel befuddled as to why their dreams aren’t coming true.

When in doubt, try to remember that the stars in the sky on which we dream are the same stars for everyone. We don’t really succeed in this world without understanding that we’re as human as the next person…and they’re just as human as we are.

We all want our dreams, right?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Planet Which Would Be Sun

Jupiter in the night sky above Old Saybrook, Connecticut
(photo credit: Tushar N Dadarwala, January 2012)

Scientists think Jupiter – the largest planet in our solar system – rather narrowly missed becoming a star. Think what would have happened…! In all likelihood these twin stars would have gone through their billions of years as a binary star pairing, and nothing which today exists between them would have had a hot dog’s chance of existing.

Mercury…Venus…Earth….Moon….Mars….the asteroid belt – none of it would have been there. We all would have simply been crispy dreams in some other dimension’s inner eye.

In this 'Alien binary star sunset,' one of the artists at NASA imagined what
it might look like to live on a world which is part of a binary-star solar system and
watch the suns going down.
(photo credit: NASA, December 2002)

Thank goodness that didn’t happen, right? But thinking in those terms is a good way to give ourselves some inkling about how big Jupiter really is.

Is size everything when you’re a planet? Probably not. Neptune and Uranus are both noticeably smaller than Jupiter (or Saturn, for that matter), but they both manage to be pretty extraordinary.

But Jupiter is pretty fascinating. Imagine for a moment a planet which has an equatorial radius equal to 11,209 times that of Earth. What would it mean if a planet that much larger than Earth turned once around in 24 hours?

But wait…that’s not the whole of it. Jupiter doesn’t take 24 hours to revolve once around on its axis. No, Jupiter, a planet which is over 11,000 times the size of Earth at it’s equator only takes 9.925 hours to complete it’s ‘daily’ turn.

Metaphysically – which is to say astrologically, so windy what? Okay, maybe so windy what is a way to think. But if metaphysics is a direct correlation of What Is into the lessons by which all life functions at whatever various level, then it is in such facts as these that we find the support for Jupiter as the planet of expansion and – in particular – expansion of knowledge, whether that be an inspiration about what may be or could be…or the experience of how things might or do work (Sagittarius)…or whether that’s the kind of knowledge we gain through emotional commitment, emotional confrontation, loss, hope, faith, despair, communal emotions and all the emotionality which comes with stretching our concept of reality against the necessity of not living in some la-la land (Pisces).

That ‘pushing of the boundaries’ is very much tied to (or reflective of, if you prefer) this idea that Jupiter ‘could’a been a contender’…to borrow from a famous movie…in ‘the universal aspiration to be a star.’

And maybe…just maybe by implication…that means that Jupiter represents our efforts to be a star in our own life. Maybe we won’t all glow, throw off solar flares and bend passing light beams (yes, the Sun can do that)…but as we push back our own boundaries, be that through abstract learning, through life experiences or through emotional trial, joy, loss and self-recognition…we are growing into our own ability to be ‘as big as we are’ – embodying our metaphysical natal Jupiter.

Whatever sign your Jupiter is in by birth, that will describe the nature of your growth. Air sign Jupiter people (Jupiter in Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) will grow through learning new ideas. Water sign Jupiter people (Jupiter in Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces) will learn through the experiencing of emotions, be they your own or the witnessing of someone else’s reactions and the empathic ability to understand that.

Earth sign Jupiter folks (Jupiter in Taurus, Virgo or Capricorn) will learn through tangible examples and tangible results. They may be good results or rancid results, but it’s the process, the results, the understanding of the thing on a concrete level that helps someone born with an earth sign Jupiter to learn, comprehend and otherwise expand their knowledge base.

Last (but never least!) are the fire sign Jupiter people – those born with Jupiter in Aires, Leo or Sagittarius. The idea, the possibility and the testing out how that works in reality – even as a concept, is how such a person learns. You may remember Heinlein’s famous term ‘grok’ from Stranger in a Strange Land? Well, ‘grok’ is the perfect fire sign Jupiter term…to envision and imagine as to become and thus understand.

Whatever element you are born with Jupiter as resident of, you will always learn on that basis. But that doesn’t mean you won’t (or shouldn’t!) learn when Jupiter is in some other element – heavens no! If Jupiter is the biggest planet in the solar system (using the term ‘planet’ here in the science, not astrological sense), then it always has a bearing on our life. Learning and expanding our lives is not something which happens now and then. Or only while you’re in school and then not so much. No, Jupiter is always there. It’s a massive influence in our solar system and thus represents continuing to experience and learn and feel ever more about what it means to be a human and have feelings as a primary function in our lives.

So let’s say you’re a person born with Jupiter in an earth sign. What does it mean that Jupiter is now about to go direct in an air sign (Gemini) …or even that it has been transiting an air sign ever since June of 2012? Well…this becomes the law of mental commutatives (yes, I was good in math - thanks for noticing…). In other words, your native earth sign Jupiter now gets to learn about the idea (air sign) of earthiness. Or maybe you’ll be learning about the concrete value (earth) of airy ideas? You may be in the process of getting some sort of (airy) perspective on your earthy values. Or what you think is valuable and what you’re learning is not so important or  necessary.

What about a person born with a fire sign Jupiter? Maybe you’re recognizing the difference between the fire sign vision and the workable (air sign) idea? They not only aren’t the same, the difference between the vision (or emotionally laden expectation) and the thing which really will work (functionality) is often a big huge shock in any metaphysical venue where we see fire signs in play. Why? Because fire signs are there to motivate us, but not to be our reality. For instance…the idea of space travel is fabulous. Who doesn’t like Star Trek, Star Wars and all the rest of that splendidly extra-terrestrial pantheon? But getting to the point where we can roam the universe using warp drives? What we will actually meet out there once human beings finally figure out the mechanics?

That reality – the what it is and what it will take, the myriad of ideas which have to be thought up, thought through and tested out in application…that’s where the fire sign rubber meets the air sign road. Sometimes the fire sign in us ‘sees’ the process from our inspiration to finished product and says ‘oh, piece of cake – I can do that!’ and all is well. But sometimes the fire sign in us gets a glimpse of what it would take – in reality – to get from Inspiration A to Result B and we quail.

Neither is right, neither is wrong. And that’s one of the big Jupiterian lessons: things are what they are. When you quail at the effort, you’re feeling what your emotional limitations are. You’re gaining a better understanding of what you are willing – or emotionally able – to put yourself through on the way to learning more.

Do you see this Moon Gate in the Great Wave Pavilion as our moving through our own challenges or limitations? Or perhaps you see it as the inspirations of elemental fire meeting the airy quality of conceptualized space? 
(credit: 猫猫的日记本, March 2012)

Because the water sign triad (Cancer…Scorpio…Pisces) ends in a sign which Jupiter is initiation ruler of, the whole of the water sign grouping has a bit of Jupiter in it.

What do I mean by ‘initiation ruler’? That’s just about Pisces as one of the three signs in the zodiac which has two planetary rulers. With such signs (Scorpio and Aquarius are the other two, in case you care) the ‘primary’ or ‘initiation’ ruler is the symbolic dynamic we use for getting involved or not getting involved. In Pisces, this is Jupiter-in-water-form, which is emotional knowledge. So we ask ourselves – do I know how I would feel about that? Or, can I deal with that emotionally? And on the basis of the “answer” we get from our Self, we proceed…or we run like the dickens, in which case there’s still a emotional lesson, it’s just one about fear or vulnerability.

Elemental air and water tend to get a bad rap as a combination. You’ll hear people say ‘oh, that just produces fog.’ And yes, it might. Put a Piscean person with a Gemini person and much building of understanding is needed for those two people to get along. These two Sun signs will tend to want to 'explain' their perspective and get the other person to 'see their perspective'...and is it possible? Sure. But when and where water and air meet, there’s sure to be a bit of testing - not by the ‘other’ but in or about the Self.

In other words, that person will cause you to grow through posing questions or introducing you to situations which aren’t slap-dash-easy. Whether you are willing to walk that walk isn’t about them…it’s about you. And that's highly telling, as most people think relationships are about agreeing about everything and not learning about ourselves through interaction.

(No comment on that. Well, aside from what I've already said...!)

But within the Self? What if you have a water sign Sun and air sign Jupiter? Or say, an airy Sun and a watery Venus or Mars? That’s a challenge IN your life. That’s your life as a thing created to cause you to learn – throughout your life – through feeling what you really feel about things…and (air sign) understanding where those feelings come from…and what you (water sign) feel about that.

With Jupiter currently transiting an air sign, those with Jupiter natively in an air sign are most prone to feeling overwhelmed. Or dealing with the idea that there’s so much to do and not enough hours in the day to do it all. Such people are probably having a harder-than-usual time dealing with schedules daily and personal (as in body clock). Turning the brain on, turning it off, getting in gear – you’re probably doing more thinking about how your thinking works than you usually do, and that’s saying a lot!

Not to worry: with its 11.85920 orbital cycle (call it 11.86 years for convenience!) Jupiter spends just under a year in any given sign. So you-we-everyone only has a couple more months to go with Jupiter in Gemini for this round.

Yes, Jupiter will be moving on. But that won’t happen until the latter part of June, 2013.

In the meantime, let’s review…Jupiter went retrograde back in October 2012. When planets are in retrograde, we’re supposed to be ‘using’ that energy on an internal basis. So with Jupiter in Gemini, a sign about mentality, about communication, about schedules, about priorities, we should have been dealing with all these things.

So what did we get? Here in the United States, we got a Congress which debated its own necessity to prioritize the nation’s legislation, we had gun violence which spawned a lot of discussion of gun rights and not half as much discussion about mental health, we had folks inventing and selling themselves on their own facts and figures…we had it all.

In other words, there was a lot of not doing the Jupiter-in-Gemini positive (dealing with the facts and making choices to prioritize) while doing much of the Jupiter-in-Gemini ‘let’s just talk about it and not get anything done’ spinning of the wheels stuff.

However…! While being fairly sure that such nonsense was also going on around the globe, could it be that all such things would occur on a national stage in order that individuals should see the errors and do differently in their personal lives?

This gets down to one of the truly interesting metaphysical questions which could be posed here – about whether that largest of local planets (again, using the term scientifically) functions from the macrocosm (the Big Picture) in order to get us to consider the small details and the little ways we either build our life or fail to become more effective in ‘empowering’ our own chance to become the ‘star’ in our own lives?

Jupiter will go direct on Wednesday, January 30th at 11:38 a.m. (UT/+0). In going direct at 6 Gemini, the focus is on us, on our mentality, on our choices to do, not do, be or not be something in particular, get to everything in general…or do anything at all - about whatever. 6 Gemini being a degree which lends itself to perspective on our emotions and mentality as things separate or joint, this is an excellent time for each or any one of us to deal with whatever our challenges may be.

Where this degree is concerned there is thought to be a tendency to ‘write feelings off’ and accept feeling ‘emotionally inept’ or ‘stupid’ in an overall sense. But the choice is plainly ours, and for some people, this station, this week, these days around the 30th will be when they realize they aren’t emotionally stupid, maybe just reluctant to confront their own feelings. Or to think through why some feelings are so incredibly difficult for them to deal with.

L'education d'Achille par le centaure Chiron (The Education of Achilles by
Centaur Chiron) by Jean-Baptiste Regnault (1754-1829)

In going direct in square to Chiron, dealing with sensitive situations, especially where you feel vulnerable (or even guilty) is very apt, if very tough. And given that Chiron is transiting Pisces, the choices we make, the 'solutions' going forward should test us emotionally. Being that we're talking about a square here, there's a clear indication that your effort to take charge of whatever issues may arise depend on your willingness to face, own and walk through your own weaknesses, your own mistakes, miscalculations, vulnerabilities or whatnot in the process.

Do not try to assign all the responsibility to someone else. If you’re not into taking on responsibility, ask questions – Gemini is a great venue for questions and with Jupiter going direct in Gemini, this is an excellent way to get a difficult conversation under way so that in due course the ‘tough stuff’ can be gotten to and worked out. Just avoid accusations and snarkiness!

With Vesta (the price of keeping one’s promises) at 9 Gemini and exactly conjunct Aldebaran – with both only 3 degrees from Jupiter’s station, this is a chance to learn about what it takes to be the person you want to be.

Of course, if you’re kidding yourself about being that person…? Then don’t be surprised if you get called on your…um….nonsense. False front. Bravado. (Whatever you want to call it.)

With the Sun at 10 Aquarius, all of this is very likely to affect social, societal and interactive situations which have some bearing on your feelings of success or acceptability, either in the worldly sense or in your life. Plus let’s remember – this is all happening with the South Node conjunct Sedna in Taurus. So while it’s easy to want to do just that which is comfortable, that ultimately is going to be (or create) some problem. Since this is also a time when you can let go and can take a new direction with a little less discomfort than at other times (which in business may simply have to do with this being the start of the year), while no one would say ‘jump off that cliff, buddy!’ with Atropos (endings) conjunct Algol (self-serving emotional responses) in late Taurus this may be a time to cut some losses – or some ties or connections – so that you can move on more cleanly or productively.

Sometimes we do just need to clean up our act, yes.

Like all stations, we tend to give two-days-before and two-days-after as a station window, though with a massive object like Jupiter, that may extend to three days post-and-prior.

Whatever goes on now, it’s worth understanding that giant planet Jupiter will be rapidly spinning through its transit of Gemini over the next several months. It’s at 6 Gemini now, which means it will need to move through 24 degrees of the 360 degree orbital circle to reach Cancer by late June.

That, by any planetary measure is truckin’. But when we throw in Jupiter’s size? And Jovian mechanics? And Jupiter’s astrological reputation for ‘going big to the point of overstepping’?

That suggests that starting this week…and for many especially this week…there are great gains to be made IF we take on the hard tasks, prioritize, and maintain a sense of self-proportion.

But given all that, we well may be able to reap a big fat Jupiter proportion of the best of what is to come!

So that’s it for now – and yes, this is a very long post. But what do you expect…we’re talking about Jupiter going direct in Gemini, so there's much to be said and to consider!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Manti Te’o and Princess Diana: Jupiter, Neptune and Neptune / Mercury

 Jupiter's Great Red Spot as photographed by Voyager 1
(photo credit: NASA, February 1979)

Just about the time Lance Armstrong’s two-part Oprah interview hit the airwaves, a weirdly convoluted discussion about American (grid-iron) football player Manti Te’o and his ‘phantom online girlfriend’ also erupted.
From an astrological perspective, is this about sports stars? Or just celebrity?

I’d tend to say maybe both. And here’s why – starting with an Aries wheel of the zodiac indicating the current transiting positions of major planets.

Athleticism and the urge to compete are astrologically two different things. The physicality is Aries – the physical body, the “I Am” of corporeal existence. But the development of the body and the urge to test ourselves against others (otherwise known as competition) is a Leo trait. The real object of Leo is as part of the fixed sign cycle: Taurus, self-worth/resources…Leo, development…Scorpio, learning the worth of your resources or the current ‘state’ of your development process…and Aquarius, finding your place in the world, in the public, in the marketplace – and earning what can be earned depending on what you’ve developed in (or about) your Self.

All that is supposed to ‘complete’ the cycle and bring us back to Taurus having learned how to earn an internalized sense of self respect and self worth. Those who go through all the steps learn a lot. Those who avoid steps along the way, or who maybe inherit a lot of money or a position in the world which ‘allows’ them to ‘shortcut’ the process have an iffier time of it.

(No, we don’t like it, but evidently humans need to strive in order to end up feeling secure with themselves and within their Self.)

Celebrity is also a Leo trait. Leo – among other things – tests and teaches us how to deal with what might be loosely referred to as the ‘narcissism scale,’ hence those who become famous for nothing or famous for being famous, or the fact that we all know the difference between the person who is just ‘well known’ and the person whose depth or artistry or ability to touch our hearts makes them someone who will be known for all time? Not meaning to slight any reality star in particular, many of them are well known – they’re celebrity. But the enduring fame of DaVinci or Gandhi, that’s another thing.

Enduring fame is Piscean, Pisces is the sign of ‘universal emotionality’ where Leo celebrity is more the ‘entertaining image.’

This matters why?

This matters because it appears that a lot of what’s going on at the moment is life getting us to separate fame from celebrity through causing us to see how mortal some of our sports heroes really are.

Uranus is currently transiting Aries. And wherever we see Uranus, our lives in terms of those concepts gets (Uranus) ‘shaken’. Uranus symbolizes change – and all the forces which get us to change or which power that change. So whether the subject is Hurricane Sandy, the terrible doings in Libya, the saber-rattling of North Korea, the shootings in Newtown or the fall of sports heroes, there is an aspect of all of these things which is decidedly about our getting ‘shaken’ at some very primal and personal level, be that totally physical or through the other general aspect of that simple Aries phrase: ‘I Am’ which is so very much the essence of consciousness.

Life shakes us up so that we become aware. So that we will recognize that we value. And that what we do – or don’t do – in or with our lives matters. We all certainly have our ‘stuff.’ We each have a ‘personal mythos.’ And how we feel and relate to that mythos is – astrologically - made up of various symbolic parts. But when it comes to how we feel about sports figures and celebrities in general, there’s the part of that which is about them…and the part of that which is about us.

And that’s absolutely Piscean. Pisces, the sign of two fish headed in opposite directions is about reflections and the tendency to separate reality from the expectation.

 One of the stained glass windows of France's famous
Chartres Cathedral pictures the image of Pisces

But the success of that? That depends on whether we are having faith or supporting someone else (a connective urge) or whether we are avoiding being realistic about life…or our life in particular.

And that’s Jupiter-Neptune, the two co-rulers of Pisces.

One of the things to recognize about Jupiter and Neptune is that as planets, these are the two objects in our solar system which astronomers and other science-types tell us influence other objects. Neptune, as we’ve discussed, has an incredible quality called ‘magnetic resonance’ which literally controls the orbits of many other objects – the most famous of which is Pluto.

Jupiter’s magnetic resonance isn’t quite as obvious as that of Neptune (at least astrologically) but Jupiter does evidently affect the orbits of more than a few objects, notably those with orbits which cross various orbital tracks of planets without ever actually circling around the Sun.

Interesting, eh? Well, that’s what we get when we have a planet – Jupiter – which had it been just a wee bit bigger, might have been a sun.

There’s much to be said about Jupiter and Neptune as co-rulers of Pisces, but let’s go with the basics: Jupiter’s basic symbolism is about learning and knowing…which in Jupiter’s primary sign of (sole) rulership – Sagittarius – is about that vast bank of data we call knowledge. Seeking to know more, learning how ideas work in the world, education, new experiences – that’s all the Sagittarian Jupiter.

But as the ‘in’ door in Pisces, because Pisces is an emotional sign all about not just how we feel, but how we feel about our feelings, Jupiter poses the question ‘do you know your own feelings and why you feel as you do? Is that a valid premise?’

Thus, Pisces becomes the sign of all experiences and things which evoke or promote emotionality, and thus test our knowledge of our own emotions and the validity of those emotions – which is why Pisces is associated with delight as well as despair, and faith, spirituality and idealism on an equal basis with abandonment, loss and rejection.

All these things are coming to the fore now in the form of dozens of issues we’re facing and hearing about. The facts, the ideas, the learning about them and being presented with things which get us to scratching our heads and thinking is as I said in last weekend’s post a demonstration of Jupiter specifically being positioned at 6 Gemini over a period of time in advance of going direct on January 30th.

But the ‘well there’s this, but…’ factor which seems so pervasive whether the subject is Lance Armstrong, national economies, climate change or the current debacle in the life of Manti Te’o – that’s a state of emotional confusion which is being signaled by Jupiter (in Gemini) currently being in square (by sign) to Neptune in Pisces.

Both planets are powerfully placed, though what ‘powerful’ means in this regard differs. And how that differs is best seen through a handy-dandy chart illustrating what astrologers call ‘Essential Dignities.’

Here’s a version of same, showing the two basic types of planetary dignities:

Neptune is in its sign of rulership: Pisces. And Jupiter is currently in a sign of detriment: Gemini. To make this easy to understand, both planetary effects are STRONG. But rulership versus detriment? That’s more or less about ‘achieving the optimal aim.’

Neptune in Pisces is going to push us towards the optimal aim represented by the sign of Pisces: emotional realism and separating the fantasy from reality so that we know when we’re fantasizing and know not to substitute fantasy for reality. Given Neptune’s reputation for ‘dissolving’ that which isn’t ‘real,’ it’s thus not surprising that all the things we have wanted to ‘just think true’ which aren’t so true are melting away at a rapid clip.

Or at least our veneers are. The ‘thing’ probably won’t change. But our regard for it? That will.
And that’s what begins to shift our regard for celebrity. That’s where ‘famous’ can become ‘infamous’ and where notoriety becomes somewhat tarnished in the light of real ability and fame which is earned.

By the by…we tend to LOVE (love, love, love) people who have been one thing and evolved to be the other. Princess Diana, for instance, was initially a celebrity. But through the oh-so Piscean experience of ‘marrying the Prince’ and finding out that life as a princess is not a fairy tale, Diana’s disappointment didn’t stop her from turning around and going out to work with people dealing with the darker Piscean manifestations: poverty, illness, abandonment by society to a life among land mines.

Princess Diana in Bristol at the official opening of the Whitehall Road community center
(photo credit: Rick, May 22, 1987)

The ‘detriment’ of Jupiter in Gemini is that the Jupiterian tendency to expand on what we know may go in the wrong direction. Or overstep bounds of decency or legality or anything else. Through sheer mental (Gemini) strength we may decide and determine to make a choice or to hold onto a choice – even one which patently doesn’t work - come what may.

We may even learn too much. With Jupiter in Gemini, decisions tend to be big. Ideas are big. We’re all pushing ourselves to do more, and maybe too much. Or maybe we won’t listen. Jupiter in Gemini can turn what you want to hear into all you’re willing to hear. And when we add in the square to Neptune and the Piscean quality, in come the feelings. So ideas become convictions and we’re so afraid that we might be wrong that we may end up nailing ourselves to our own proverbial cross.

Pisces has a weird astrological reputation for a reason. We’re all about what we feel, but WHY we feel what we feel? Where that comes from? Why we something scares us? Why something turns us on? Why we deny this or ignore that and give in when we know darn well we should be standing on our own? Those are Pisces questions.

And Pisces being Pisces, the easiest thing to do is point at something or someone, whether it’s your parents or your culture or your faith (or scripture) or something and avoid working to understand your own feelings on the subject because…gosh, that’s so darn scary.
Admitting that under the skin being human is hard and challenging and far more so the more technological and complicated things get? That’s Pisces in a nutshell. (Or clamshell, if you prefer.) And none of this is made any easier by our living in a period of shifting astrological ages.

The Age of Pisces is ending. So being virtuous is on its way out.

 In the Age of Pisces, Pisces (color coded to the
picture's border) is on the first house.

But that doesn’t mean virtue and Pisces values are gone. Far from it.

 In the Age of Aquarius, Pisces (color coded to the picture's border)
is on the 2nd house

In the (incoming) Age of Aquarius, Pisces moves to the 2nd house of the wheel. In the Age of Pisces, Pisces on the first house of the wheel was the manifestation of humanity as being a vulnerable species. Now, in the Aquarian age, Aquarius – the sign of technology – is on the first house. We are our technology. We are our universality. To be elitist or apart or alienated is the vulnerability of the next 2,160 years (that being the length of an astrological age.) And with Pisces on the 2nd house, the Piscean ability to understand our own emotions and emotionality and to (2nd house) value that and utilize emotionality as a resource becomes the basis of the new ‘fixed house’ cycle.

I’ll write a blog just on that sometime. But at the moment, back to the current transiting Jupiter/Neptune square.

Neptune is where inspiration meets fantasy, where faith meets foolishness, where charity meets self-abandonment. Jupiter in Gemini wants to know. And the square between them says that where we can’t know, the high road is tolerance, ambivalence and caring interaction. But let’s face it – this is tough stuff. So in the absence of hard facts, people are going to try to make them up. With this Jupiter squaring Neptune with Neptune in Pisces, life is conspiring in a hundred different ways to get us to feel what we feel and why we feel that way. Or why we feel we need something. We’re being challenged (that’s the square aspect) to not just ‘go with our normal flow’ but to reconsider. 

And yes, maybe to change.

Adding in Saturn, planet of reality and hard facts, passing through Scorpio and we know that most of what is going to happen is going to come at us through others. Manti Te’o’s situation is a really good example of how things can be personal, social and societal all at once. That’s the combination we can expect since Gemini is in a purely personal sign (Gemini), Saturn is in Scorpio (an interactive sign) and Neptune is in Pisces, a global, universal, mass quotient sign.

If you didn’t read the blog on Saturn in Scorpio, you might want to read it. I got a lot of mail on that post, all of it saying it explained a lot of things. So here’s the link:

As of last Friday (January 25, 2013) Saturn moved into 11 Scorpio, the degree Saturn will go stationary-retrograde at come February 18th. This means we have had Jupiter sitting at 6 Gemini and going direct on January 30th while Saturn in now at 11 Scorpio, about to sit there for something just shy of two months, in the middle of which it will go retrograde.
This IS a significant overlap as Saturn and Jupiter as signatures of what we do and build in this world and in our life. Their retrogrades don’t always overlap. But sometimes they do, as shown in this diagram.

Right now we’re in a section of the Saturn/Jupiter synodic cycle which has the ‘expansive spin’ of Jupiterian lessons (Jupiter being just about to come out of retrograde) overlapping Saturn’s moving into position to go into retrograde. So this is a time where the (Jupiter) lesson is being brought into (Saturn) reality focus.

And then (she said, feeling a bit like Rod Serling narrating an episode of The Twilight Zone), then we add in a bit of celestial hocus-pocus. What’s that? That’s about 11 Scorpio – Saturn’s station degree – being the degree of the November 2013 solar eclipse.

To borrow from today’s sports theme, that’s a bit of a celestial lay-up. Put most plainly, those who say ‘that can’t happen to me’ are kidding themselves – a fact underscored by the fact that in going direct at 6 Gemini, Jupiter is activating the ‘Aldebaran Quotient.’

That means this moment is not just about Lance Armstrong or Manti Te’o’s integrity. Or the integrity of those they have dealt with. It’s about what integrity is. And Manti Te’o is a premier example of how you can get in trouble for trying to play the ‘integrity card’ blindly.

 Manti Malietau Louis Te'o
January 26, 1991 - (no time) AHST/+10 - Laie, Hawaii

By all accounts, Manti Te’o is either a spiritual or religious person. I make that clarification because religion is Sagittarian: it’s a body of doctrine, a codification of ideas (and rules) which in theory are supposed to help us to learn about being human and being better humans.

Spirituality is Piscean. It’s emotional. Some people are very spiritual but not particularly religious. Some people are by-the-book scrupulously religious. They’ll follow every calendar date and ritual, but the spiritual part of religion, the carrying the idea in their heart – that’s not their orientation.
In Manti Te’o’s chart, a couple of things leap out at us in this regard. One is that his 20 Scorpio Pluto is in opposition to a 17 Taurus Vesta. Scorpio – as we all know – is the sign of sexuality. (Pisces is also related to sexuality, but it’s more of the sexual fantasy or sensuality quotient we think of as sexual.) Vesta is what it takes to keep our promises. In Taurus, Vesta is about tests of self worth and self respect. So it’s easy to see Vesta opposition Pluto as a person who questions who the right sexual partner is, and what sorts of alliances (sexual and otherwise) to get into.
But with Medea conjunct that Pluto, we have the signal that this is loving the idea of control to the point where it undermines your control. And with Echo within a degree of Vesta’s position, there is going to be a quality of following that you are told to do which ends up creating trouble.
Mind you, Princess Diana also has an opposition to Vesta, but hers is from Neptune. 

 Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales
July 1, 1961 - 7:45 p.m. (-1:00) - Sandringham, England

The challenge here is different. Diana’s Neptune is conjunct Atlantis, and Atlantis is the signature of that we have to give up fighting before we can find our bliss, our happiness in what we find through letting go of – in this case Neptune, the dream.

The opposition to Vesta is also from Scorpio, but Diana’s Vesta in Taurus is conjunct Polyhymnia and Menkar: reconsidering (Polyhymnia) the cost of bad advice or unworkable associations (Menkar) which in her case would have been driven by Neptune, so long as she was ‘clinging’ to the idea that ‘all would be well.’

Once Diana accepted her Neptune quotient – the fame and the fact that the royal commitment wasn’t working – she got her divorce, got her (Taurus) self-regard back on track and that was when she began owning her power.

Menkar is a challenging star. Until we own its temptation to do the easy thing or take the easy way out and convert that power to doing the right thing and standing with those who deserve our support instead of those who merely like it…until then we stand to stumble from one difficulty and rejection to a next. But once we become willing to ‘divorce life’s trappings’ and take on doing what we are truly capable of instead of what others might like us to be, then Menkar becomes a great symbol of the power to do good.

Manti Te’o’s Sedna is at 10 Taurus and his Vesta is at 17 Taurus. With Sedna being the ‘stormy waters’ we each encounter before we ‘take the plunge’ and live as we should, not as we had expected to, between these two points lie Echo, Sappho (universal poetry), Chaos (the endless supply) and Menkar.

As someone who has watched a lot of charts over a lot of years, at a guess, Manti Te’o will probably stub his toe a few more times before figuring out how to let go of thinking he can control life. But it won’t come easily. With Niobe (pride which precedes the fall) at 9 Taurus and conjunct Sedna, this is a proud man who may well express his pride through humility.

The current fracas seems to have come to its raucous head late last year (prior to being exposed now) as we came into and experienced last November’s solar eclipse at 21 Scorpio (conjunct Manti’s Pluto).

That, plus transiting Pluto’s trine of his 9 Taurus Niobe and 10 Taurus Sedna coinciding with this very public debacle may indicate the turn in Manti’s affairs.

But there are at least two more very potent figures in Manti’s chart to be aware of.

The first is that he has Saturn/North Node in opposition to Chiron/South Node. This is a very hard lesson about the practical and pragmatic realities of life which in all likelihood Manti is not going to begin realizing the full parameters of until Saturn approaches and makes its return to its natal position. And that isn’t due to happen for another six years or so.
Before that happens, Pluto will arrive at what may well be the core configuration in Manti Te’o’s chart – though that’s hard to say in the absolute sense, given that we don’t have a birth time. Manti Te’o has Neptune, Mercury, Tantalus and Vega ALL positioned at 15 Capricorn.

Vega is a fixed star all about the powers of charismatic speech. Or powerful ideas. When Vega is activated, we are moved deeply – at our core. In Capricorn, Vega is ruled by Saturn. Hence we know that Manti’s Saturn return (like all Saturn returns) is hugely important, and probably more important to him than others as it’s to-the-degree conjunct his North Node.

Tantalus being ‘temptation,’ the real issue here is Neptune – the ideal versus the illusion – being conjunct Mercury, the symbol of mentality.

This is what everybody is asking about: is he lying? Or was he just lied to?

Neptune conjunct Mercury in the natal chart – in any sign – is a thought process which is ‘ruled’ by whatever sign, house placement and aspects are in play. We don’t know the house, but we know the rulership by Saturn. Manti will have a tendency to idealize and idealistic expectations for himself; how well that works/works out for him would be astrologically told through the house in which the Saturn/North Node fall. But with this Neptune/Mercury configuration trine to the natal Vesta (not the Pluto, just the Vesta) we do know Manti will spend some percentage of his life dealing with internalized ‘expectations’ for himself (fostered by others or societal forces) but that with Pluto opposition Vesta, at some point that mechanism is going to be – or get - altered.

Self determination is the goal here. But what that means is going to be – and to some extent remain - in flux. If and when there comes a day when Manti Te’o makes the same sorts of self-discoveries Princess Diana made, he’ll start working towards his goals for different reasons.

And those reasons will become his fulfillment.

 In a moment of playing weather satellite, NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft
photographed clouds at about 29 degrees north on Planet Neptune
(NASA- JPL August 1989)

Few notes on Jupiter’s current cycle. In going direct at 6 Gemini, Jupiter is obviously activating Aldebaran (at 9 Gemini) but has not yet reached Aldebaran’s position. After going direct on January 30th, Jupiter will slowly begin to pick up solar systemic speed (relative to Earth’s position), and that means it will reach Aldebaran’s celestial position in mid-March of 2013.

We can all look for ‘Edition 2’ of this ‘outing’ of ourselves at that time.

One of the things we may do well to remember is that with Neptune in its ruling sign of Pisces, our current Jupiter-Neptune cycle (the synodic cycle of how these two planets interact with each other as timers of our personal growth) is going to be ‘ruled’ by Neptune, as Neptune is always the ‘outcome’ ruler of Pisces and is currently doing a resident transit of Pisces.

That transit won’t end until 2025, which is the year of Jupiter’s next transit of Gemini.

But getting back to essential dignities, it’s this 2012-2013 Jupiter-in-Gemini and the 2015-2016 Jupiter-in-Virgo transits which are going to have everybody overstepping the(ir) bounds. But if we remember that the whole of Neptune’s transit of Pisces is about creating circumstances which promote those feelings and emotional situations through which we learn the difference between expectations and realities (or maybe the possibilities as opposed to unrealistic impossibilities) maybe we can all accept life with a little more grace…and in that, be kinder to ourselves and others.
At the moment, between Saturn, Uranus, Jupiter and Neptune, it would seem that we’re getting something of a lesson about fame – and about how famous people are just as human, just as insecure as we are…and just as frail when it comes to making good choices.

Which leads to the other part of the question: is the fact that being human is to be imperfect any reason not to try our hardest or hold ourselves to standards?

That’s one of those Neptune/Jupiter questions we each have to ask and answer for ourselves. But it surely is part of the cycle. And for us to be finding, witnessing and experiencing our flaws, our vulnerabilities, our mistakes now? That’s entirely apt, as Neptune is at this point moving forward and rolling over royal star Fomalhaut.

Remember Fomalhaut? You know, the star which promises success ONLY if our dreams and efforts aren’t corrupt, corrupted or corruptive?

The Jupiter-Neptune synodic cycle is 12.7 years long and the last conjunction was on December 21, 2009 at 24 Aquarius. As a degree, 24 Aquarius speaks to tragedies we experience (or witness) which are caused by not thinking things through.

Or maybe…since this is Neptune and Jupiter (the co-rulers of Pisces) we’re talking about, could that be because we don’t want to know?

There is a quality of ‘experience is the best teacher’ which goes with 24 Aquarius. But those experiences? They create hurt and harm and trauma and sometimes just more avoidance.

You know…avoidance which is going to deepen and get routed out in the next Jupiter/Neptune cycle.

The date of this last conjunction (December 21, 2009) was also when royal star Regulus was still at 29 Leo – in direct opposition to Jupiter-Neptune at 24 Aquarius. That adds in the lesson of Regulus, a star which says success will happen (or be lasting) ONLY if or where we avoid vengeance or revenge.

Considering Aquarius’ association with the internet (hello? Manti?) and income (anyone for a down-and-dirty economic discussion?) my thoughts point to the sense of perspective…the learning to feel dispassionately which difficult economies and hard moments like that Manti Te’o (or Lance Armstrong, for that matter) are going through.

This Aquarian idea also brings in why we should be keeping Saturn and Uranus (the co-rulers of Aquarius) in mind when we discuss any sort of current Jupiter-Neptune connections.

It all begins making sense. Strange, startling, evocative success. Where Aquarius is universality and humanity, Pisces is the humanness of our human condition: our vulnerability, our sheer mortal fallibility...and our willingness to forgive, accept and grow from what we learn not so much about others, but about ourselves.

If you care, the Jupiter/Neptune cycle prior to the current one began on January 12, 1997 in the late Capricorn. And yes, this does mean that these conjunctions go forward sign by sign by sign. So the next one will begin

Yes, it does. And that means that the next Jupiter-Neptune conjunction will be in Pisces…which would be with both of Pisces’ co-rulers in Pisces.

Think about it.

To accept reality is the Neptunian lesson. Wherever we see Neptune, we experience tests to see whether we can appreciate life’s most essential qualities. There is – and will be - no black and white here. You can make real friends and never meet them, or see someone every week and end up betrayed.

In the big blue world of Jupiter-Neptune, the question isn’t what happens, its whether you have faith enough in yourself to go on, accept the truth and be a bigger and better person for the experience. Neptune denies ego just as dearly as Jupiter teaches us to utilize our ego in the pursuit of ever-greater understanding. What other people think of us is never as important as what we know we feel about ourselves.

And what we’ve learned about why we feel that way, and that our feelings are real, valid and eternal. Being famously happy is not just the only real kind of fame which works, it’s the only kind of fame Neptune honors – and apparently it has to be earned through the effort to grow in appreciating the value of that which pushes us to the edge with ourselves.