by Boots Hart, CAP

Monday, February 25, 2013

Venus in Pisces

The Melbourne Aquarium
photo credit: Fir0002, November 2006

Venus entering Pisces has Venus joining a school of planets already swimming their way through the sign of two fishes. (Breast stroke, anyone?) This Venus ingress will occur on February 26th at 2:04 in the morning (UT/+0). And once it happens, that will bring the number of personal planets in Pisces to four: Venus, Sun, Mars and Mercury (which is of course, in retrograde).

Considering there are only five personal planets and that not one of those listed above will be leaving Pisces until mid-March, this says a lot about this moment – and the next several weeks.

Personal Pisces energy is now nearly maximal. We’re not talking generational (societal) and were not talking transpersonal (the unanticipated or unexpected)…we’re talking personal energy: that which we think of as being ‘all about me in my daily life.’ And this isn’t something to fluff off or swim away from. After all, considering the Mars doesn’t transit Pisces but once every two years or so, and given orbital permutations Mars’ transit of Pisces isn’t guaranteed to be during the Sun-in-Pisces period all that often.

In fact, looking back through my ephemeris, it would seem we would have to go all the way back to 1919 to find a time when the Sun, Venus, Mercury and Mars are all in Pisces.

 A page from 'The American Ephemeris for the 10th Century at Noon'
by Neil F. Michaelson, revisions by Rique Pottenger
Looking ahead, we’ll have a couple of days of this configuration in 2026, but neither 2026 or 1919 were timed as to bring the fifth personal planet (using the term astrologically) into the picture. That fifth planet is our Luna Moon. And yes, this year we will be experiencing this ‘perfect personal Pisces storm’ between 6:20 in the morning on March 10th until 11:17 a.m. on March 12th (both times given for the UT/+0 zone).

I’m not crazy about the concept of ‘planetary alignments,’ which if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time you’re probably aware of. Planetary ‘alignments’ is not really a term used much in professional astrology, though astrology does have a term for any time you have three or more planets in any given sign. That situation is known as a ‘stellium,’ and any time you see a stellium you know there’s a lot of energy of that kind being centered in that sign.

Stelliums can be composed of any kind of planetary symbol. You could have Sun, Saturn, Pluto…or Venus, Mercury, Moon…Uranus, Mars, Jupiter (which sounds like a cause to hold onto your hat with both hands!). As long as all the planets are in the same sign, you get that vortex of sign energy astrologers call a stellium.
But in this case, all the planets are personal planets. 

So we know that all this energy is about us. Each and every one of us, as individuals.

And considering this stellium (aka alignment) is in Pisces, and that Pisces is a sign all about events and life situations which confront us with the reality of our feelings…not about ‘them’ but about ourselves, this next few weeks can be expected to be full of many things which evoke our emotions. Or which call our attention to our emotionality – or (considering this is Pisces) or tendency not to want to deal with either reality itself OR the reality OF our emotions…either the ‘how we feel about something’ or why we feel as we do about something.

Or even why we allow people to treat our feelings as they do.

Venus is the last planet to the party. In entering Pisces on February 26th, it brings a certain panache to the mix…but then again, amps up our sensitivity. At once we will want more and hope for more…and be more disappointed when or if things don’t go our way. Or even if they don’t live up to our expectations.

That’s the Pisces thing. In getting us to feel the “distance” or the “difference” between our hopes or expectations and the reality of life and how people and life really are, Pisces becomes a sign about learning how to manage expectations and accept reality and realities, especially when it comes to other human beings and our fantasies of what could be.

Pisces supports faith and faithfulness. But Piscean periods (and Piscean people) will move through our lives as agents of life itself, agents who through their actions force us to confront our own drama. Our own denial. Our own fears. Our own wishes. Our own faith or lack thereof.

We tend to think the fault is ‘theirs.’ And while ‘they’ may be at fault at some level, the feelings and reactions and emotions are ours.

So, what do I mean by a ‘Pisces person’? Yes, there are people in our lives whose charts are heavy-laden with Pisces planets. Inevitably we will see such people dealing with their own expectations, their own love/hate with regards to reality, their own battles with escapism and acceptance.

That’s one sort of ‘Pisces person.’ But the other kind…the one which is far more common is any person who represents the house or situation which stirs up wherever Pisces is in your natal chart.

For instance, if you have Pisces on your 8th house, anyone who comments on your fairness or how you deal with power or power struggles is going to rile you up…as will…anyone who in your life represents sex, financial investments, war, surgery or the general concept of having to operate without having control. Given that there is a side of Pisces which likes not having to ‘do,’ this question of control will be a love/hate relationship which may evolve into wanting the power but not the responsibility. Or maybe the choice but not the accountability for that choice.

Such ‘pro/con’ (love/hate) relationships are common with Pisces. And anyone who stirs up your Pisces house or represents its functionality is someone you are more likely to blame when you get forced to feel something you don’t like to feel.

Especially during these next few weeks. After all, not only are all the personal planets in Pisces, but Pluto and Saturn are also in yin (responsive) signs. In fact, the only two planets in yang (self-assertive) signs are Uranus (in Aries) and Jupiter, which still in early Gemini is in sextile to Uranus.

And that means that life is likely to be stirring up situations and dynamics to test us – each and every one of us – in exactly that Piscean way we need to be more aware of. The Uranus/Jupiter add-on here will be the choice we have between moving through our own issues or blaming, even taking the fight to others - which well may be an example of how dare you try to show me who I am!

So yes, as Venus enters Pisces and unites with Neptune and Fomalhaut we can expect overtones of romance and fun, escapism and fantasy. And that’s just great providing we have our feet on solid mental ground about the difference between reality and real life and whatever good time we’re having.  

Beyond that, during the weekend that the Moon will add to the Piscean quotient, perfecting the personal Pisces quality of it all. Even for the most solid citizens among us this is likely to be a touchy time as on March 11th that Piscean Moon will conjunct Chiron, setting off Chiron’s trine to Saturn, currently retrograde in Scorpio.

Moon/Chiron equals ‘feelings of vulnerability’ or lack or necessity which involves something you don’t quite know how to handle. Saturn always being ‘hard lines’ or limits or reality or life structures, in Scorpio this accents the interactive qualities which I specifically outlined in reference to Pisces on the 8th house (the 8th house being the native house of Scorpio).

This would be a moment for hard facts and real-life decisions. Those of us who are decent with taking on and dealing with responsibility will have less of a hassle than those who aren’t, but no one is likely to love doing what now needs doing.

Feel the feeling and do what need doing anyway.

Remember, Pisces is first and foremost about recognizing how our feelings work and that they exist for a reason. The ultimate Pisces education includes the reason for those reasons, and that’s what most of us really hate getting to. Or admitting, even to ourselves. It’s why we all have things we do to ‘escape,’ and Venus’ transit through Pisces can be prime escapism territory.

So if you’re off on a vacation, great. Just try to remember that even on the finest beach a little sand may get in your daiquiri. Or you could get a sunburn.

Life is not a fantasy. To play, to fantasize while enjoying life? That’s Pisces at it’s best, which is why we associate Pisces with the greatest of actors and artist. All the many ways we are touched by the kindness of others, where we are inspired to be better people, those are Piscean. Helping those in need in Piscean. Understanding the pain and anguish of anyone - even the most heinous of villains, that's Piscean.

Pisces is the sign of charity and caretaking, which is a wonderful thing until or unless you’re sacrificing your own life in the process.

The balance here is the balance of the Pisces/Virgo polarity…doing what we should, letting go of the fantasy. Either way, whether the fantasy is being the hero who sweeps in and saves the day, never making a mistake…or whether the fantasy is every day as a party…Pisces will teach you to moderate that vision until you understand that it is a fantasy.

And then...when that happens...strangely...everything will be far more wonderful. And wonderful things happen.

Does that mean that fantasies are bad?'s our expecting the fantasy to be real which generates disappointments. And the measure of the disappointment is proportional to how deeply we've invested ourselves in wanting to believe that fantasy.

That's just the Piscean process.

With Neptune in Pisces, Venus’ transit of Pisces – particularly the first week or so of it – are likely to be highly unrealistic. That means that part of the challenge is keeping in the back of your mind that nothing is as good or as bad as you might think it is.

Or as someone else might want you to think it is. There is an automatic ‘connective’ quality to Piscean times which means we are vulnerable to being ‘played’ by others. They may say ‘it’s all good’ or ‘it’s all bad’ and you may go with the one which ‘feels’ best to you (Pisces is very big on instinct) or you may be disinclined to believe anyone. Not wanting to deal with things is a common Piscean tactic which once Venus enters Pisces we are likely to see a lot of people resorting to. Like little fishes along a reef, people are likely to ‘flee’ from decisions they don’t want to make and things they’ve done which don’t hold Pisces water.

For some and in some cases, this is just a time when you should accept that they are too afraid, too sensitive to respond in the moment. Fear and over-sensitivity are premier Pisces bugaboos. They can be fun (as in a horror flick) but then again, they can be mass movements which end up creating all sorts of problems simply because people get caught up in mob mentalities.

Whatever happens, as Venus moves into Pisces, the exaltation of this combination asks that we use our opportunities to good use and that we be or become realistic about what our limits are…and who other people are in reality, never mind who we want to think they are.

Does that mean they’re so ‘bad’? No, not always. It means that they’re human – no better or worse off than we are.

Being equally strong is just as hard as coping with feeling you’re weak. But that’s the Pisces reality.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Virgo Full Moon: The Cost of Consciousness

A Full Moon over Old Square in Ljubljana, Slovena
(photo credit: Vid Gajsek, 2012, public domain)

This month's Full Moon will occur on February 25th at 8:27 in the evening (UT/+0) at 7 Virgo.

The idea of the Full Moon is a funny one in that there are so many directions you can go with it as a metaphysical symbol. Some astrologers (and nature or natural spiritualists) think of the Full Moon entirely as an emblem of ‘peak moments’ or ‘fulfillment.’ Others speak of the Moon in a more astronomically-interpretive way, with their Full Moon concept being that of ‘highest reflection’ or ‘greatest emotional or instinctive’ illumination. And I must say…I tend to be among this second group.

But if we think of the Full Moon in the ‘glass half empty or half full?’ mode, since lunar cycles are cycles, there are unquestionably those among us who go from New Moon to New Moon, and those of us who think of life as being only a matter of Full Moon to Full Moon.

In other words, how we react to the “everyday” cycles generally timed out by the Moon is greatly a matter of who we are. Or…is that really about who we choose to be?

There’s a lot of ‘sloganism’ (my term) about this ‘attitude makes reality’ thing and what we hear most often is ‘hold a positive attitude – that will make things happen for the better.’ But is that really true? If it was, wouldn’t we all be sassy-happy by now?

The Virgo Full Moon is about practicality being pitted against emotionality…Virgo Moon, Pisces Sun. And this goes (to my thinking) what the Full Moon is really about stretching us beyond what we already know. The ‘knowing’ part is enlightenment (illumination) and the ‘stretching’ comes from the astro-idea that any opposition asks us to hold two diametrically oppositional ideas in our minds, hearts or lives at once.

In other words, Full Moons are about life (the Sun) being in one sign (in this case, the ‘life is going to get you to feel whether you want to or not’ Pisces life-phase) and the Moon ‘lighting up’ or ‘illuminating’ those things, those factors, those opportunities or challenges we haven’t thought of. Or experienced yet. Or taken into consideration.

Pisces-Virgo is about doing the thing which will work for me in the long run (Virgo) which HAS the greatest affect (and effect) BECAUSE it touches others and thus garners their approval, support and respect. THAT is what leads to my emotional satisfaction, because whether I like it or not, I’m not living on this planet by myself and the more people understand, accept and are with my right to do what makes me happy, the easier my life is going to be.

I’ll put it another way: if Virgo is the effort, the work, the efficiency and effectiveness of our physical life and life or lifestyle (how we go about living), Pisces as the indicator of ‘end of life circumstances’ (retirement/old age pensions, hospitals, emotional acceptance) is the indicator of how well all that works out. When I say that Pisces represents all those things which involve people being scared of feeling their feelings, Pisces is about anything – including late-in-life finances – which refer to anywhere where they might feel helpless. Or where they might be at the mercy of others.

I have always depended on the kindness of strangers,” wrote Tennessee Williams in A Streetcar Named Desire. That line very much embodies the Pisces concept. And every time we have a full Moon in Virgo, we are presented with something of a ‘checkpoint’ on how well we’re doing not only in our effort to balance depending on kindness (ours and that of others) but not depending on them too.

Tennessee Williams in 1953 arriving at the service for Dylan Thomas
(photo courtesy of the US Library of Congress, Prints and Photography Division;
source - New York World-Telegram and Sun, Walter Albertin, photographer)

Which yes, may be a gesture of kindness of a whole other kind – not burdening others.

On a whole other tact, Full Moons often represent a climax or a fulfillment (or failure) of something we’ve been working on. But as they say in the world of parenting teens, it’s a phase. What happens now isn’t the ‘end of all things.’ It’s a phase. If this was the moment when your Significant Dating Other (a whole other meaning for SDO beyond Scattered Disc Objects) “pops the question,” that may mean the ‘undecided’ portion of the courtship phase is over. But the real work of a marriage? That hasn’t even yet begun.

(Come to think of it…having someone ask you to marry them is sort of SDO and Kuiper Belt, isn’t it? All Kuiper Belt objects, SDOs and otherwise, are about getting us to experience things in life we couldn’t otherwise experience. I’m thinking marriage is among them!)

So Full Moons can be the manifesting of a goal. Or maybe even the letting go of a goal. Or maybe it’s just shifting gears.

On to other, pickier facts.

This is the last in a the series of three Full Moons at 7 degrees of respective signs. However – we’re still pursuing a series of 5 New Moons at 21 degrees of successive signs.

That the Full Moons have been in 1st decanate degrees (degrees between 0 and 9 of any given sign) tells us that these past several months have led us (New to Full phase) to issues which are personal level. They may be about the nature of our life. Or our physicality or health. Even our actions, whether that means taking action or the results or consequences of some action.

But others are involved. That much we know because these lunar cycles have originated in New Moons which are all at 21 degrees of respective signs, 21 being a 3rd decan degree (between 20 and 29 of some sign) indicating something we don’t control or that others have a right…even a need to have input on.

This…by the by…is one of the great and easy and interesting things to look at in the charts of people you know. The 1st decanate of any sign is always about the person or something personal. The 2nd decanate is always emotional (yes, even when the Sun or Moon is in an air sign!). The 3rd decan is always about a level of life which involves your having to interact with others or work with others, connect to others or accept/work with input from others.

And here’s the kicker: this isn’t just about YOU in the sense of what YOU want to do or your personality or personal naturethis is also about your life lessons. So life, in its infinitely dispassionate if ever-so-personal way is going to teach you what you need to learn whether you want to learn it or not.

Example: I have a friend with both Sun and Moon in the 2nd decanate. The one thing this person hates is having to deal with emotions and emotionality.

Guess what - that’s because learning to deal with emotions and about their own emotions is a core part of this person's purpose, path and life lessons. (Hint: one of the lights being in a decan gives us a direction. To have both Sun and Moon in a single decanate speaks to directions, lessons, and the general 'shape' of one's purpose.) The sooner this person gets on with dealing with their own feelings and those of others, the happier (2nd decan, right?) they’re going to be.

But just try telling them that.

Example #2: I have a Sun and Moon which are both in the 1st decanate. My life is all about figuring out what to do and not to do. It's about life as it exists, life as it manifests, and it's about my life in particular (including my physicality) and the world around me.

Another part of this? Much to my eternal irritation (and water sign upsetted-ness) I never get help with doing anything until I prove I either figure out how to do it or don’t need help any more.

Go figure.

So looking purely at decans, the months from November (actually last August, but who’s counting) through April 2013 will have been and continue to be – at some level – about recognizing what the world values and is willing to do or not do (or put up with or not put up with) and how we act accordingly. Or how the world responds to how we have acted.

But within this longer cycle there have been mini-phase-cycles. November through March have all been New Moons at 21 degrees of respective signs. And at some level, 21 degrees is always about starting something in the world, doing something a new way in order to create greater effectiveness, or dealing with a ‘new’ tide of sentiment or opinion which is going to effect what we do.

Against this we have had another mini-cycle (yes, we’re in the realm of the many interlocking cycles of time the Mayans called ‘wheels within wheels’) composed of Full Moons at 7 degrees of respective signs.

Seven is the number of ‘the other’ not as that which ‘fits’ with us (which would be 2, the opposition or duality) but which is the corresponding energetic. You know: for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. The tide comes in, the tide goes out. We breathe in, we breathe out. Seven is a corresponding otherness.

And just to be clear here, it’s not karma. Karma belongs to the greater concepts associated generally with the number 8. Karma’s slogan is more do unto others as you would have done unto you…implying that what you do for Person A may come back to you (maybe totally unexpectedly) through Person Q.

Seven is more logical against eight being emotional. Seven says if I do something nasty to you, you’re likely not to like me for it. Eight says if I do something nasty to you, my life is going to become difficult, possibly for reasons totally unconnected to you.

Numbers tell us a lot. Just remember, they need to be  put into context - like everything else!

Okay…with all this now duly said and discussed, 7 Virgo has a reputation for a shyness or a reticence which can be gotten past but which can become overly polarized by 7 Pisces, a degree known for confusion – up to and including levels of mental confusion we would associate with mental illness.

The question at it’s most basic this is: will we connect to the greater message or feeling implied here? Don’t think that you can avoid anything but holding back. The act of doing so may be your 7 Pisces factor, not “theirs.”

Being that 7 Virgo is the current position of Thuban, we should also consider that everything implied by this Virgo/Pisces moment of ‘illumination’ may just possibly be the fixed star “backdrop” against which our own drama is playing out.

Thuban is one of those stars we don’t hear a lot about, but which is active in astrological history. Between about 3,900 BCE and 1,700 BCE, Thuban was actually our pole star (instead of Polaris, which has the job at the moment). Known astronomically as Alpha Draco, Thuban is the ‘head’ or ‘alpha’ star in the rather large constellation of Draco, which today we think of as ‘the dragon’ but which way back when was associated with the infamous snake of Adam and Eve fame.

Constellation Draco as envisioned in a long-ago manuscipt

And that is an interesting cross-reference, seeing as dragons are a positive in Oriental culture and we all know how western culture has villainized snakes. (I’m surprised they haven’t organized as a union and conducted a mass slithering in protest.)

Just to clarify here: Thuban is not in the ‘head’ of the constellation – it’s in the tail. (A whole different tale, yes.) But probably more to the astrological point, this is a constellation which by any measurement is a large one. It also appears in the sky as to seem 'wrapped around' our planet's north pole in a rather 'protective' posture. So it isn't surprising that Thuban seems to be about ‘something precious’ and sometimes the protecting of that ‘something precious.’ In fact, modern archaeologists and metaphysical types both note with interest that in Giza, Egypt, the Great Pyramid (that of Khufu) seems to have been built with one of its internal 'sighting tunnels' aimed at Thuban's position of the day. 

 A New York Times archive photo of the Giza pyramids taken from a
nearby oasis in 1917 (Brown and Dawson)

And that the head of a snake is tucked in the middle of the coil where the muscular tail is left out as the first thing an attacker (or unwary soul) would deal with...that says something about Thuban too.

One other item about Draco should be touched on: because it is a 'polar north' constellation, it isn't visible from all global latitudes. This raises a question you hear of now and again in astrology: whether something which isn't visible in the sky when and where you were born is a viable influence.

My vote here is 'yes.' Why? Because there are plenty of unconscious or 'unseen' attributes in our world and in our lives. Not everything is obvious or evident. Nor - probably - should it be, for reasons both good and bad.

That said, on with the show. The modifiers on the Moon’s side of this Full Moon are Achilles (strength, daring, deft ability), Eurydike (enduring the cost) and Orcus (consequences). So…are we too shy to do what needs doing until the costs become too much to bear? Or is this about doing something about something which we know we need to protect ourselves (and maybe others) from, never mind the cost?

Of course…seldom is life a simple choice between difficult options. Or even a difficult choice between no-brainer, simple options.

Yes folks, this Full Moon comes equipped with a handy-dandy t-square just ready to pickle your puzzles!

Anyone for sour puzzles? Or half-dill puzzling?

This t-square is an interesting one, too. Having finally moved its big red self off 6 Gemini (headaches, anyone?) to 7 Gemini, a degree noted for the following polarity: good luck versus taking the easy way out. Which let’s be real – is very much akin to and therefore part of the whole Aldebaran ‘integrity’ theme.

So here are the ‘rules’ in play here: t-squares work in zodiacal order, passing ‘through’ the “t.” So this one starts in emotional Pisces but has to jump the Jupiter-Aldebaran (thought of integrity) hurdle in order to get to the point where Virgo effectiveness and deft solutions can be put into place. And that the ‘t’ in a t-square is ALWAYS about ego, there’s likely to be a lot of decrying and self-righteous chest pounding about now.

That means…if you are dealing with someone who is indulging in a bunch of huffery-puffery ‘I have a right to my own opinions!’ you may as well let them puff. Your job at the moment is to get past thinking this is ‘all about you’ to the ‘doing something about providing a good basis for proceeding’ on the general level. The puffers are going to be out there, absolutely. And if you can recognize that they’re not coming from a position of strength but really coming from fears of impotence and rejection, you’ll be that much farther ahead.

Appealing to others in terms of integrity is one good idea of the moment. Certainly phrasing things in dispassionate terms and working to get egos out of the discussion while the problem or challenge gets examined for what it is – that’s a great idea to keep in mind.

But remember: ultimately, this Full Moon – like everything else astrological – has a generalized meaning and a meaning which is particular to each person’s chart, life and outlook. This Full Moon in your world is part of the machinery of time-space which is moving you through the process of learning all you need to learn while teaching others things which may be entirely different.

And maybe that’s the point. As we learn to accept our ‘stuff’ as OUR stuff, maybe we can learn who others are without projecting on them all the time. Maybe we can be more supportive…or at least understanding of what their challenges are.

At that point, maybe the Full Moon of the moment will become a ‘Fulfilling Moon.’ And isn’t that what we all want?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

To Be Human…

We must be born. First comes the physical part, then somewhere along the way we learn to think things through…

Then we learn that the existing and the thinking can go together. And that’s when we get born yet again – as a child of our own mind, and in this fertile, fragile world, recognizing that we have potential.

Like children, we exude the great joy of having discovered our power. We revel in the enjoying of creating possibilities and interacting with others.

Then…at some point, something happens. Somewhere along the way, it happens to everyone, if differently. Our power, our delight comes to naught as we realize how different others really are and that pleasing ourselves is no end in itself.

So we stop. We think again. We regret not having learned sooner. We accept that we have…and will make mistakes along the way, and how the pain caused ourselves and others is as surely part of the process as learning how human we…and others…really are, and how hard being human really is.

To realize there are no shortcuts is to be born again.

To allow ourselves to be unique and recognize that others will love us for the good and the imperfections is to be born into a freedom no one can break or take away.

Being human is a process…an ambition…a privilege. And to accept that becoming human takes forever…? That releases us from our bonds of ego, allowing us to unfolds our abilities and through them be reborn not merely human, but humane.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Thank you for enjoying astroPPM.
For my birthday, I am wishing you and
all the people you know and love much
health and a peaceful, purposeful,
sense of human happiness.

May your life be a totally
and truly human...
and humane one.

- Boots Hart, CAP                 


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mercury Retrograde: Small Planet, Big Effects

Asemic grafitti: an abstract calligraphy painting by Matox (Nuno de Matos)
(photo credit Matoxvisual, Oct 2010) 

Have you ever wondered why Mercury retrograde is such a big deal? It’s the first astrological item I ever heard being discussed by news anchors.

Anchor #1: The 405 Freeway is a mess….

Anchor #2: Well, it’s Mercury retrograde – what do you expect?

Is traffic really worse under Mercury retrograde? Or given the Mercury retrograde tendency to ‘hear’ our own thoughts…(hopefully to review them, not that such a thing always happens)…are we just more prone to wanting to project our opinions on how life should be on the world?

This isn’t such a far-fetched concept, if you look at the many charts of successful people which have  Mercury natally in retrograde. We’re used to thinking of Mercury retrograde as a time to go back over our ideas. When we should take time to ‘straighten things out,’ whether what’s being ‘straightened’ is the course of a relationship, our thoughts on something once we do a little reading on it…even our closet.

Writers often have Mercury natally retrograde. I don’t have a collection of programmer charts (not tagged as programmers, that is), but I’ll bet that programmers and all sorts of people in the kind of ‘design’ job which requires testing viability (like engineering) have Mercury in retrograde.  

Retrogrades are the energy of the planetary symbolism turned inward. In other words, we’re not interacting with someone else or some external entity on something, we’re dealing with ourselves.

So for those who want to go around talk to themselves, I can think of nothing better for you than Mercury retrograde.

For the rest of us? Well, it’s kind of ‘meh…’ You know...tolerable, but maybe a bit inconvenient? During Mercury retrograde, time seems to slow down. Things seem to take forever. But since time doesn’t actually slow down in the big sense, what causes that sense of would it hurry up, already?

That must be us. And that’s exactly what’s going on. If the Gemini concept of Mercury is the mental part and the ‘getting things in order’ part of Mercury is the Virgo part, we ‘hear’ ourselves wanting things to get into order. During Mercury retrograde, we will hear our thoughts…and goodness knows, we may even listen to ourselves!

And through that…sometimes there comes a revelation. A greater or deeper understanding of ourselves. Or how maybe someone out there isn’t just bizarre-o…maybe they’re reacting to something in us.

Lots of things change during Mercury retrograde. And though they may change out in the world (yes), the more important things are probably those which we change in our own head, self and lives.

The first of 2013’s three Mercury retrogrades (some years have four, this one only has three) begins on February 23rd, which happens to be your astrologers birthday. (Yes, I have big Mercurial doings planned for this year!) Mercury’s average retrograde being twenty-one days long, this one is going to be a touch longer than average, as it doesn’t end until March 17th (which will make this retrograde 23 days long).

Probably most important to all of us, this retrograde is wholly in Pisces, the sign of all things which provoke, evoke and try to get us to feel our feelings so that we can become aware of why we feel the way we do about things.

This is not some cosmic trick. Pisces is not about trying to emotionally yank the rug out from under you. Pisces is the sign which brings us back to our humanity at isn’t most humane (and sometimes inhumane) point: our emotionality.

People live in their emotions. We like to think we don’t, but we do. And it’s really only to the extent that we are comfortable with our emotions - and emotionally comfortable with our life (which is an entirely different thing) – that we are able to harness our abilities and create the life we really want.

You know, the one which would be emotionally satisfying.

People who can’t handle their emotions are constantly on the run. Constantly rejecting others for fear what they feel will create a need to (gasp!) feel something emotional. Or (heaven forbid) show compassion.

And yet, among the arcades of the great, those who have shown they can make the tough decisions in spite of being a caring person who touch us most deeply.

As human beings, we know we need to feel. We know we need to be okay with what we’re feeling and why we feel that way and why we do or don’t value things …and other people as we do.

One of the hardest things we ever face is trying to understand how someone who does something incredibly heinous can like bunnies. I know that the first time I found out that some of the Nazi architects of the ‘Final Solution’ had kids and dogs and liked gardening, I was left gasping in my agog-ness.

Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac. Like the other three 4th quadrant signs (Aquarius and Capricorn), it’s a sign about universality which only works in our individual lives if and to the extent that we understand the universal need or right or feeling. Those who fail the Pisces test often retreat from life. Or get abandoned by it. Pisces is the sign of the hermit and the guru, addiction and incarceration, solitude and loss, loneliness and nirvana.

Some of those things are great. Some are terrible. And every item on that list is the cause or effect, the provocation or manifestation of emotionalism gone right or gone wrong. And it’s really as simple as this: we love the guru for caring about us and taking the time to teach us. We pity the addict (whatever they may be addicted to) and loathe the criminal for not understanding the value, the need, the humanness which caring about others is.

That’s Pisces.

Mercury is going retrograde at 19 Pisces a degree which is all about the success or failure which comes of grappling with this need to be human and to live a life which is equally humane to yourself as to others. There are texts which speak of 19 Pisces as being specifically a degree which tests our materialistic limits. And to that end, we may now be seeing (or you may be experiencing) critiques or outcomes which have to do at some level with the balance in your life between ‘things,’ ‘money’ and human need…or the need to be human (depending).

With Mars just behind and asteroids Photographica and Amor just ahead, there would seem to be a bit of a ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ quality attached to this moment, but that probably depends on personal charts. But for sure, for sure – with this 19 Pisces station being in trine to the North Node at 20 Scorpio there is something about a ‘should’ in relationships which life is calling your attention to.

On the other hand…if the North Node is at 20 Scorpio, that means the South Node is at 20 Taurus. And if the North Node is a trine to Mercury’s station, the South node is a sextile.

And lookie there…Sedna’s sitting right there at 22 Taurus. How cute. How quaint! How ‘do I do what I want…or do I WANT to do the thing which will work long term?’

No, not cute at all. Mind pretzel-ing? Maybe. But cute? Probably not. After all, Saturn just went retrograde as the Sun entered Pisces, the tale of which was told in the last three posts. (Yes, life is apparently a celestial soap opera.) The (Sun in Pisces) emotional (Saturn) repercussions or consequences for what we’ve done right or wrong in our lives is still rattling our mental cages.

And caged or not, you can’t say ‘mentality’ in the astro-world without getting into the whole Mercurial soup.

With Mercury going retrograde on Saturday the 23rd at 9:42 in the morning UT/+0 (which will still be Friday night if you happen to be in Hawaii or some equivalent time zone) there is a going into/coming out of station effect to consider…and given our two days before, two days after rule that would take us back to Thursday the 21st (do your own time zone warps, please) and forward to February 25th.

And that Saturn thing? Saturn having gone retrograde late on Monday the 18th (UT/+0) would give it a ‘station window’ which extends to February 20th.

Are you getting where I’m going here? Let’s remember, we’re trying to fit giant celestial things into little man-made boxes. Days…hours…time zones…do we really think the universe gives a twinkie about those things?

What I’m getting at here is that the Saturn Station Effect may very easily overlap the Mercury station effect. Especially since Mercury’s ‘run up’ to its station tends to feel ‘pressured’ anyway (the human race being so very prone to acting like White Rabbits in Alice in Wonderland anyway)…the whole of this week would seem to be a-sloshingly awash in water sign doings.

Sun in Pisces. Saturn going station/retrograde in Scorpio. Mercury going station/retrograde in Pisces.

And on the other side of the Mercury station we’re headed into…just over yandrow there’s a Full Moon in Virgo.

So if you were thinking things were going to get less emotional once you get through the weekend, maybe not. They may change tone, yes. Virgo is, after all, an earth sign.

Some of us will no doubt hit the mental bricks this weekend and figure a few things out. Others among us will do their darndest to dart by problems like tiny fish avoiding predators in a tropical reef. A lot of the who-does-which about this having to do with your natal chart, it’s a pretty likely bet that whose who DO have major water sign placements (including you Cancer types…what, you thought you could sidle off and go eat a coconut?)…the water sign folks are going to be doing the breast stroke or dog paddle or simply hitting an undertow (sorry if that’s the case) before the weekend of the 23rd/24th moves through.

But then comes a week which, staring with that Full Moon moment, is likely to grab all those who hung ten when the surf came in.

(Yes, I’m doing a whole kowabunda recitation here.)

Let me just put it this way…by the end of this week, the Sun, Mercury, Mars and Neptune are all going to be in Pisces with Saturn coagulated in Scorpio. Next week will see Venus join the Pisces party, which means we will then have SIX planets in water and two in retrograde.

Which two? Saturn and Mercury. And by the beginning of March, Mercury will have retrograded back to the point where it’s trining Saturn not just by sign but by orb…then (on March 6-7) by degree.

This is serious stuff – literally. When linked astrologically, Saturn and Mercury equal “focusing on the idea” …or possibly the situation. With both in water signs, the first thing which jumps to mind is Matters Fiscal. For those of who are in business, this is prime time territory for discussions, negotiations and doing whatever it takes to get your business house (or life) in order, lest you get caught with your proverbial flippers down as Mars moves into Aries just before Mercury goes direct.

Remember: where Pisces is concerned, the most important thing is getting on an even and realistic keel with yourself. Your smooth sailing depends on your understanding not just why you’re doing what you’re doing with/in your life, but that you really agree with those ideas right down to your spiritual DNA.

Above all, don’t kid yourself. Don’t play games, don’t put on airs, don’t make excuses…this is the time to get honest with yourself. And yes, maybe others.

But first, think it through. That’s the Mercury Retrograde in Pisces thing to do!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Carnival Triumph: Sparking a Corporate Firestorm?

 Title image adapted from a photo of the Carnival Triumph as it was seen
at Half Moon Cay on March 30, 2008
(photo credit: Scott L.)

Fire broke out aboard the Carnival Triumph on February 10th, when the ship was some 150 miles off the Yucatan Peninsula.

 A diagram of the Carnival Triumph's charted course as of February 10 (prior to the fire) when it was just off the Yucatan peninsula going to and from the (incredibly wonderful) island of Cozumel (and yes, I'm biased - I love Cozumel!)
Position and diagram courtesy of

As a human being, I was horrified. The idea of being onboard a boat with a fire…then without propulsion and water just makes me shudder. That everyone got back safe and (relatively) sound is an utter blessing, though I somehow doubt that Carnival’s original offer of refunds and a $500 ‘compensation’ to each passenger is going to…um…hold water.

This would seem to be a situation made for lawyers…which may well be why people call them ‘sharks.’

(To my lawyers, should you read this, I love you and all your highly serrated teeth very dearly.)

But once I get past the perfectly human side of this disaster, then the astrologer takes over. And as an astrologer, this Carnival Triumph event (yes, we call them ‘events’) just begs for astrological examination.

So let’s examine.

The Carnival Triumph was launched on July 1, 1999. We don’t have a time, but we know it was built by a company by the name of Fincantieri in a Monfalcone, Italy, which gives us an Aries chart for the day as follows:

The launch of the Carnival Triumph
July 1, 1999 - (Aries wheel / no Moon or POF shown) - Monfalcone Italy

Because we don’t have a specific time of launch, this chart shows no Moon or Part of Fortune. But on this day the Moon was in Aquarius, which is a nice celestial way of saying that this was supposed to be a ship all about getting away and ‘escaping’ the everyday world…while at the same time an income-producing vehicle.

Now, let’s indulge. I’m taking you along on a little trip through the world of astrological math (just a little one – we won’t go out of port, I promise.) When I cast the chart for noon, the Moon came up at 7 Aquarius. 

Given that the Moon has an average movement of a half-degree per hour, that means that the Moon on this launch chart could be six degrees earlier (at 1 Aquarius) or six degrees later (at 13 Aquarius). But since I can’t see anyone launching a ship at night, it’s pretty safe to say that the Moon on this chart is between 4 and 10 Aquarius.

(You may now disembark from my mathematical journey. Please be sure to take all your belongings with you as you leave, and I hope you’ll travel with Boots’ Brain again soon.)

Doing this calculation got me to the point of understanding that wherever this Moon was on this date when it was daylight, it would have been in conjunction with the South Node of this chart – and Damocles, a combination which is about (Nodal) relationships which are very (South) easy until you take on a big (Damocles) challenge which turns out to be a whole lot more “pointed” (the story of Damocles being about a sword dangling over one’s head) and a whole lot more dangerous (where’s that sword?) than you thought.

Aquarius being the sign of income and the marketplace is the first thing to tip us off that if-and-when this ship would run into trouble, it would ‘point’ straight at corporate income.

And it would seem that Carnival already knew this. Or at least they would have, had they had an astrologer on staff to map out all the metaphysical notices.

This part of our story goes back to the Costa Concordia. Remember that name?

Carnival Corporation's ship Costa Concordia as it lay shipwrecked
just off Giglio Porto in Italy on January 14, 2012
(photo credit: Rvongher, January 14, 2012)

Well, you might – the Costa Concordia is the ship which ran aground just barely off Isola del Giglio, an island just off Italy’s Tuscan coast.

The beach on Isola del Giglio in Italy, with a view of the mainland Tuscany coast in the distance
(photo credit: Patpatpat, August 2005)

What you may not know about this is that Carnival Corporation owns the Costa Concordia. In fact, Carnival is arguably the biggest cruise line in the world. They own Costa and Cunard and the Holland America Line and Ibero and Seabourn and Aida and (yes,) Carnival and the Princess Cruise line.

This company was ‘born’ out of a 2002 merger of Carnival Corporation and Princess Cruises, resulting in the company known as Carnival Corporation, and whose full name is evidently Carnival Corporation & plc. That company has two headquarters – one in the UK (which controls Costa and Cunard and other European lines) while Carnival Corporation as a whole is headquartered in Miami, Florida, which means its Articles of Incorporation are filed in Florida’s state capital, Tallahassee.

And thus we get the following corporate chart:

 Carnival Corporation & plc
From the 3rd revision of the corporate Articles of incorporation (posted online)
 April 16, 2003 - 12 noon - Tallahassee, Florida

Yes, I know…I said the merger was in 2002. And evidently it was, but the Articles of Incorporation that the company is now established under (which you can link to on the Carnival Corporation site, if you’re into that sort of stuff) is evidently the ‘third revision’ and they’re dated April 16, 2003.

And what a chart this is! That Midheaven/IC line at 0 Aries (at the Midheaven) and 0 Libra (at the Nadir) is a poignant statement if there ever was one. The top point is all about corporate awareness – and with Pallas at 29 Pisces conjunct Scheat (the ability to be rejected by society) Carnival Corporation as a company is all about it’s world (Midheaven) image (Aries). With Tantalus conjunct Pallas, the image is a ‘tantalizing one’ – and Carnival knows it’s (Aries) career involves making their company one which is all about that tantalizing (Aries) experience.

At the same time, the bottom point of this chart (0 Libra) is all about knowing that what we give to our customers (implied: the public) has to live up to our promises. Libra is ruled by Venus and the Venus of this corporate chart is in the house of media (the 9th) and in Pisces – so there are some exalted promises made about what people can expect. And with Vesta (what it takes to keep your promises) positioned exactly conjunct the 0 Libra IC (aka Nadir) Carnival can’t afford (literally or figuratively) to make any hollow promises.

Aries being ruled by Mars and Libra (as we said) being ruled by Venus asks where these two planets are. Answer: Mars is at 26 Capricorn and sextile Venus from the 7th house. So this is a good thing.

Or is it?

Having taken a cursory look at Venus, what about Mars? Mars here is pictured as being conjunct Nessus, Sabine and Medusa…a daunting trio under any conditions, never mind difficult maritime conditions. Nessus has an ‘over and over again’ effect, whatever it is. Sabine is ‘being captured’ and Medusa is ‘the fearful truth’ or the ‘fear of the truth.’ So on one hand, this company knows that its representatives and crews need to be reassuring to passengers and very helpful under all conditions. And if there’s one thing we’ve heard about the recent Carnival Triumph fracas, it’s that passengers all seem to think the crew performed magnificently.

But when we look to the ruler of Capricorn – Saturn, we find Saturn in the 12th house of ‘things hidden.’ And not only that, but Saturn is in opposition to Pluto in the 6th house of employees and responsibilities.

Positioned between fixed stars Phact and Bellatrix on one side and Betelgeuse on the other, this Saturn represents the corporate desire to always be reassuring, even in the most difficult of conditions. But especially with the opposition to Pluto, (with Pluto being conjunct fixed star Ras Alhague, which equals making things much better or much worse) because the 6th house would be management and maintenance, it’s likely that we’re going to at some point learn a few things about Carnival Corporation fit to make a corporation go queasy.

And I’m not sure there is such a thing as corporate Dramamine, so….good luck there.

The good news is that with Pluto in the 6th, once this company takes on the task of getting past it’s resistance to upgrading whatever it needs to upgrade, it will do the job. It’s just getting there which could be a bit of a gag-fest.

This t-square ‘starts’ (or in this case maybe ‘activated’ is a better term) by Neptune in Aquarius in the 8th house. That Neptune is at 12 Aquarius, and that’s pretty darn close to the Carnival Triumph’s 13 Aquarius South Node…and pretty much exactly where the Triumph Launch Moon would be if the ship was launched anywhere around mid-late morning.

Heck…even if it was launched in the mid-afternoon, the Moon would still be conjunct the corporate Neptune. But contemplating those possible exact-nesses is interesting, isn’t it?

Mercury/Bali plus Menkar in the corporate chart is pretty easy to understand. Admissions of problems is a public image issue – and this t-square does hit the ‘t’ point in the ‘marketplace’ of the 11th house.

This is also corporate income. You know, the ol’ corporate balance sheet?

Mercury-Bali at the apex of a t-square would be ‘happy thoughts.’ So talking any sort of lack of any kind – not to mention anything which would sour the (Taurus) respect or love the public has for the company is enough to give this company hiccups. (Pass the champagne, please…)

As for Menkar, you gotta feel for them. Menkar is ‘bad friends’ which in this case would be ‘bad word of mouth.’ Then we add in Ceres, the ‘think it through.’ Does Carnival really want people to think through all which could go wrong.

Oh yes…it already has, yes. The Condordia and the Triumph show that life can not be a carnival when cruising with Carnival, that’s for sure.

But more to the point here, especially with Black Moon Lilith involved, we know positively and absolutely that Carnival Corporation DREADS bad word of mouth.

(Could I possibly have some strawberries to go with my champagne?)

There’s also Sedna to consider. And in fact this is a really interesting thing, this corporate Sedna. Positioned at 17 Taurus, it’s within the 5-degree orb of square to Neptune but NOT within 5-degrees to square Jupiter. And that says that Carnival Corporation will be acting ‘childish’ (if a company can be childish) by trying to hide what’s gone wrong.

In fact, that’s the solution to this t-square! Sedna squaring Neptune but NOT squaring Jupiter implies that Carnival can get out ahead of bad press and huge difficulties by making a ‘public value statement’ about all that it is going to do to invest in its ships and make sure that this never, EVER happens again.

(Carnival? Are you listening?)

With Jupiter in Leo conjunct Typhon, there is a primal (Typhon) corporate need to pay attention to – among other things, the (Leo) family aspect of all this. They have a corporate ‘family’ of sub-companies and cruise lines – all of them are likely to suffer if the big daddy whale company doesn’t swallow this problem. There is much to be gained and everything to be lost if families don’t think cruises are going to be safe – not just for themselves, but for their children. I’m betting Carnival knows all about that.

(I think I could use a napkin…my champagne glass is sweating.)

So when is all this shifting and surfacing and ‘thar she blows’ of notable particulars likely to happen?

Well, maybe you remember my having already chatted up the fact that we’re going to have a May solar eclipse at 19 Taurus? And that this November will bring us another solar eclipse at 11 Scorpio, the degree that Saturn was at when the Carnival Triumph fire occurred. Also being the degree where Saturn went stationary-retrograde on February 18th, this Saturn is sort of positioned to put Carnival Corporation ‘on notice.’

This time, nobody died. But they could have, right? Talk about what kind of bad press that would be!
But back to facts. This 11 Scorpio placement (of both Saturn’s station and the November 2013 Solar Eclipse) turns the corporate t-square into a grand square. It sets everything into motion - and not in any sort of gentle way.

Carnival can’t cover enough bases fast enough and we can guess that there’s all sorts of ship rats gnawing through the files. Plus, since between the February Saturn station and that November eclipse we will have the 19 Taurus solar eclipse, that’s when one would expect a lot of seaweed to begin hitting the fan.

Or when the lovely reef of corporate income begins to crumble. You know - as if hit by a ship.

Or maybe this will be when a legal tsunami hits corporate shores.

Take your pick. (And yes, I’m done with the oceanic metaphors.)

And we may hear the first of this even before the eclipse when Pluto goes retrograde in April at 11 Capricorn. This would seem to be a great time for Carnival to get honest and (as they say in politics) more ‘transparent’…not that we can expect this company to turn itself into an aquarium. 

So why the Carnival Triumph have this giant problem? And did Carnival Corporation have any reason to think the Triumph would be a big company…um…headache? (I would have said hurricane, but I did just promise.)

Maybe, maybe not. But here’s the chart for the Costa Concordia disaster, a shipwreck which did result in substantial loss of life.

The chart of the Costa Concordia sinking off Giglio Porto, Italy
January 14, 2012 - 11:45 p.m. - CET/- 1

That event fell on a day when the Sun of the shipwreck chart was on the corporate Moon (exactly) and thus in opposition to the corporate Sun and Eris. With Eris conjunct Hebe (the servant) there’s no doubt but that the company was both shocked at it’s own lack of ‘serving it’s customers’ and how its own ship’s captain was implied in the disaster.

There are any number of ways to look at this chart as an event chart in and of itself. And all of those examinations are unpleasant. There is an aspect of astrology which tends to be a bit like working in the Coroner’s office when you get into death and destruction and it’s far too easy to sound callous when all you’re doing is your job as an astrologer.

But what I will say is this – the thing which catches my astrological eye first and last is the idea that the Nodal axis in the Costa Condordia shipwreck chart is at 13 Gemini/Sagittarius. And though I hesitate to say any such thing, the fact that those nodes are trine those of the Carnival Triumph’s launch (birth) chart in combination with the (Saturn ruled) Mercury of the shipwreck being in direct and exact opposition to the Triumph’s chart…if Carnival was a company which had a staff astrologer who was familiar with all the charts of all their ships, these two items should have popped to the surface, telling Carnival to look lively with regards to the Carnival Triumph.

And there is another thing…one which seems a bit more ‘sledge hammer’ in the metaphysical sense. The loss of life connected with the Costa Concordia did result in law suits. One in particular, having been launched on behalf of a German passenger who sadly lost their life resulted in the Carnival Triumph being seized by the US Courts on March 30, 2012. The ship was released on the 31st…but Jupiter’s position at 13 Taurus (conjuncting Ceres and about to heighten the effect of the whole corporate t-square) is what we might call celestial foreshadowing.

All of this brings me back to the chart of the Carnival Triumph itself. In that chart is a figure known to astrology as a ‘Magic Rectangle.’

 The magic rectangle which is part of the Carnival
Triumph's launch ("birth" or natal) chart

A magic rectangle is composed of two pairs of 60-degree sextiles (with 3 degree orbs) where those planets are also connected by two 120-degree trines and two 180-degree oppositions (both of which are allowed an orb of 5 degrees).

If you read through that ‘recipe’ carefully, it will become apparent that it’s really the tighter sextile orb which makes or breaks the configuration. And this is why the magic rectangle is known as a figure of great opportunity.

This is one of those figures – like a grand trine – which includes a marked ‘pop astrology’ tendency to think of them in very rose-colored glasses sort of terms. That CAN be true. But it doesn’t have to be true. The grand trine is ‘ongoing circuits of energy’ which are incredibly hard to break out of (breaks being noted most often through incidents and events having to do with hard aspects made to one of the three points by an outer planet, dwarf planet or Plutino). So while a grand trine can indicate vast talent or an inheritance you couldn’t spend your way through if you tried to, they can also represent chronic illness and unmitigated unhappiness.
Likewise, the magic rectangle isn’t all sunshine and lollypops. What it seems to function as in many a chart is a talent or ability which plays very well at first. Then, as complacency sets in, all goes sour.

Once this happens, the person (or company) with the magic square needs to rebuilt - pretty much from the ground up (or inside out). But this seems particularly difficult for them, which astrologically is probably the oppositional quality coming to the fore.

All such structures are individual. What they build, when and why they get off track, what they resist and how they ultimately rebuild (if they do rebuild) are told by transits and progressions to the points involved.

But here...? Black Moon Lilith and Ixion in Sagittarius is ‘generating your own bad press through your repeated ignoring of the standards.’ This would be a pretty good indicator that we will hear more about the Carnival Triumph story as time goes by.

Neptune's being involved here…beyond being the obvious references to oceans and such…Neptune is here presented in conjunction with Altair, which I appreciate personally as a client of mine just asked me about Altair. (Is it luck or is it metaphysics?)

 (photo courtesy of the US Coast Guard, February 11, 2013)

Altair – also known as Alpha Aquila – is part of a Greek constellation of the eagle, which sort of takes us into Scorpio territory (the eagle being one of Scorpio’s totem animals) even if the star is currently positioned at 1 Aquarius. Interestingly, this star is associated with the ability to move forward or make progress…which given that the Triumph’s problems began with an engine fire seems more than apt. Occurring in the sign of Aquarius, a sign associated with power also works, though Aquarius’ association is most often with electricity. Granted, that became a big problem on the Carnival Triumph, but was it an electrical fire which began the whole event? That we don’t know yet.

The quality of Altair requires that you move promptly or even quickly. When badly placed, this star is said to manifest as lack of care or concern, which makes us think in the direction of maintenance when it comes to the Carnival Triumph.

This is a definite ‘stand by…we shall see’ sort of question.

If you’re talking about a cruise ship, the Pallas (knowing) – Phaethon (taking risks) – Atlantis in Gemini conglomeration is definitely the magic of the sea with the dangers of the sea. Atlantis is particularly telling here as there is a form of the Atlantis myth (the entity, not the place) which is about having to give up life and all your hopes on dry land in favor of walking into the sea…literally choosing to drown (ostensibly in emotions and the unknown) so as to be reborn happily.

I will leave you to think that one through while I crab-step sideways and continue building sandcastles.

Mercury-Sisyphus here coupled to Eurydike in early Leo is the most damning part of this magic square since this Mercury/Sisyphus is conjunct the corporate Jupiter-Typhon. This would tend to be about a corporate level of what may be cover-ups, but which also might be delays or scheduling problems which amounted to knowing what could happen and just not getting to it.

And the Eurydike commentary on Mercury-Sisyphus? That's 'the cost' and accepting the cost - which could be the cost of the incident or some cost resisted by Carnival Corporation prior to this event.

We just don't know yet. What we do know from the chart of this ship - the Carnival Triumph - and the corporation chart that we haven’t heard the last of this story.

But at least the passengers – bless them! – are all safely back on dry land. Still, if I was on board at this company, I wouldn't be expecting blue skies and smooth sailing.