by Boots Hart, CAP

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pandora Direct:

Pandora by Harry Bates (1891)
(photo taken by Lee M during August, 2010 while the statue was on
temporary display at London's Tate Museum)

Asteroid Pandora is about to go direct. The famous story about the girl Pandora being about someone whose curiosity drives her to do the one thing which will bring ills and evils into the world is often interpreted as a warning. Don’t do what you know you’re not supposed to do.

But is this really what Pandora is about? If we look at the degree Pandora is going direct in (13 Sagittarius) lore tells us that this degree serves as a lens through which we see – or experience – situations and moments which are testing. That being true of any Sagittarian degree to some extent seeing that the whole of Sagittarius is about seeing how well our plans, choices, efforts and decisions really work (which causes us to learn more about how life works…or could work beyond the limit of our conceptions), this particular degree evidently has a pointed references to that which we value.

Or yes, our values. There seems to be a bit of the Scorpio-Taurus polarity to 13 Sagittarius as it’s a zodiacal point which shows up…or reveals…wherever we have placed too much emphasis. Or too much belief - especially where that focus has to do with something we think is going to ‘protect’ us from life’s un-pleasantries.

Of course like all degrees (objects, cusps, etc.) this degree can embody the concept…or our efforts to prevail in our thinking, stay the course, have our way and get others to sign onto our agenda (so to speak) in spite of the fact we may not be seeing the greater picture. Or that something isn’t working. Or prevailing trends.

Even new fangled trends. 

And once we get this far, 13 Sagittarius actually seems to have a lot in common with Pandora - almost disturbingly so, wouldn’t you say?

This turn to direct is happening under Sun in Leo. So we’re all likely to be plowing along in some pre-determined mode when the ‘box’ gets opened and all the whatever jumps out. Since there are various versions of this story which say the container which gets opened wasn’t a ‘box’ and was a jar, this may be a ‘jarring’ moment in time.

Since Pandora goes direct on August 2nd, that means the ‘station allowance’ for this turnabout (which may or may not feel like fair play) begins on July 31st and runs through August 4th – at least. The more this astrologer watches stations, the more inclined I am to think the window on station effects is three days, not two.

But whatever. From the story we are given to know that when all the problems and challenges flowed out of the jar, the one thing which still kept in ‘bottled up’ was hope. Realizing what she had done, Pandora gawks long enough to let all the difficulties out, then in a moment of brilliance remembers to put the lid back on the jar, which she then clutches to her chest.

Thus, hope is retained.

Or has hope been imprisoned?

When we think of this in Sagittarian terms, can we ‘hope’ to operate with hope if hope is ‘still in the jar?’

It seems likely that situations with twinge about testing this concept – at least for the dates of station involved. And that this happens during the ongoing grand trine in water suggests the effects…or at least our feelings about the effects…are not going to be snap, crackle, pop.

There’s also the fact that Pandora’s station begins as Huya goes direct in Scorpio. So…does that mean that just about the time we’re either trying to (or making good on) putting hard-won lessons (and efforts) to work that we’re going to get a whole new chance to stub our mental toes?

Apparently so. But never fear…there would seem to be an astrological aspirin for this situation – namely Object Hierarchy. And before you finish that sentence which beings with ‘what the….?’ I’ll explain.

Pandora is an asteroid. A main belt asteroid. That defines Pandora as something we meet up with and work through on the way between ‘Start’ (Mars) and ‘Finish’ (Jupiter). Just as in life, there’s a big gap between the ‘us-in-our-personal-world’ and achieving anything in the Big World Out There. This is metaphysically (not to mention metaphorically) reflected by the giant gap between the inner solar system (in order: Sun-Mercury-Venus-Earth/Moon-Mars) and our astrological symbols of coming to understand (aka “getting the hang of it”) which is Jupiter and achievement-pure-and-simple – which is Saturn.

 All those asteroids represent things we meet up with between the point when we start…and where we achieve. And yes, there are gazillions of them – which is pretty interesting when you consider how each asteroid has it’s individual orbital track and orbital time, meaning they mix things up in an endless number of ways for us to come across as we ‘make our way through life.’

So that’s the asteroid thing – against which we have Huya, a Plutino.

Plutinos are not so very huge themselves – Pluto (the one we know best) is a bit less than 20% the size of Mama Earth. But Plutinos do all have something very special working for them: Neptune. And Neptune is mucho large – almost four times the size of our Most Dearest Earth.

At some level, Plutinos all seem to be about getting us to understand the difference between our yearnings and our ‘visions of how things could be’ and reality – our reality and the reality of who we are – which is truly the only thing we have to work with, build on and live with.

Accepting that idea is a most fine starting point. And now, as Huya’s station overlaps into Pandora’s, we’re going to all be having little (or even big) moments which test our ability to hope. Or which test our focus (perspective, perhaps?) on something we had high hopes for, but which doesn’t work.

At least not for the moment. Or in the way we’re approaching it.

With regards to Pandora, we shouldn’t get all flustered. In Greek myth, Pandora is the first woman and thus at some level embodies our innocence. Created at the order of Zeus (who we know astrologically as Jupiter, symbol of comprehension and that learning which leads to greater wisdom) Pandora is made soon after titan (instinct) Prometheus has stolen fire from the gods. Hephaestus (aka Vulcan, the Olympian smithy) is ordered to take some of the clay Prometheus used to make mankind and create the woman Pandora.

Apparently this all happens before Deucalion comes along and there’s the giant flood which wipes out all the ‘evil’ in the world, leading to a second ‘incarnating’ of mankind.

So this is very ‘early stuff’ and as such suggests that any station of asteroid Pandora has to do with ‘first steps’ and things which are new to us.

Or maybe it’s the lesson we learn in this moment which is new.

I guess that's yet to be learned.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Huya, Rainmaker: Direct at 20 Scorpio

La Guajira desert (Macuira National Park) in Columbia
(photo credit: Luis Alejandro Bernal Romero, April 2006)

Lore on the degree 20 Scorpio speaks of a restless sense of self which, though it can be directed to eventual accomplishment is often directed towards short term goals which will garner some sort of personal pleasure.

Or pleasuring.

This shouldn’t be any surprise, as Scorpio is all about all everything and anything which raises our sense of wanting…against which life tends to throw various challenges. These challenges are designed to teach us as to whether our aims and motivations hold realistic water.

More to the point, emotionally realistic water. The Scorpionic thing we aim at tests our sense of proportion and whether we can handle what we ask for. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it is a wholly Scorpio saying – as is the implied threat which goes with it.  

That this sign which is all about passion should be best dealt with coolly and calmly has got to be one of metaphysic’s most superb ironies. But maybe not. What we fail at in Scorpio, be it the job, the partnership, the investment or intimate relationship is an emotional grounding mechanism which sort of warns us not to go any further before we’re really ready to play for all the marbles.

If you’ve ever had an investment go sour or a love affair bite you in the deepest nether region of your feelings, you know that Scorpio sting. It’s part embarrassment, part regret, part frustration and part anger – most of all at ourselves for being so foolish as to not ‘have seen the signs.’

Like I said…Scorpio issues are best approached coolly. Only when we’re cool can we size up the give and take, the emotional negotiation which in making whatever equally worthwhile to all parties involved secures the deal.

Considering that Huya is either the learning of a lesson which through pain can teach us the value of one of our greatest gifts (and in action represent the opportunity to give that gift or put that ‘gift lesson’ into action), this station is a celestial invitation to make more – and better – of our lives.

Or of our lives in the whole of life. But to do that, we have to give to others. Or at least put the ‘lesson learned’ to work as part of what we do to help others. Sometimes Huya represents the motivation which causes us to help. Sometimes it’s the willingness to put what we want on hold in order to help.

However Huya functions however, it is best to think of the process as the point of whatever you do now – which is to say don’t think in terms of what others may think or not think of/about you. Huya is named for a South American rain god – and rain is what creates fertility out of the dry and desiccated, the painfully barren in this world.

Why you do whatever you do is the important part of this Huya lesson. The more you bring your hardest-won altruism to what you do in life, the better your chances to succeed very much in the sense of that old saying ‘cast your bread upon the waters.’ Don’t ‘define’ what you think you are going to get back; whatever you’re thinking of isn’t likely to happen anyway. That we know as part of Huya being on the list of Plutinos – objects (mostly dwarf planets, but others too) which orbit around our Sun representing energies in our world which are ‘colored’ or ‘shielded’ behind – or beyond - a Neptunian veil.

That we all have a Huya in our chart says we are all capable of making great contributions and that our ability to make those contributions depends on our ability (or ‘willingness’ if you will) to a.) accept that our deepest negatives and greatest pain have something valuable to teach and b.) work through whatever the pain and/or negatives are until we realize what it is which we have been given to know.

Once we know, then we can fold that understanding into what we do (or who we are) in life, ‘raining’ that insight into the lives of others, emboldening them with the ability to accept their human realities (which we so often refer to as ‘flaws’ or ‘problems’) which in turn allows them to….blossom.

Huya, Rainmaker: the ability to be that fertile rain which provides that which others need to allow them to break through their hard husks and grow into fruitfulness.

Focused in that ‘fitting in’ realm of Scorpio which tests our ability (most of all) to negotiate with our feelings, this particular Huya station comes to us as a t-square.

With Huya at the ‘t’ of this t-square, the ‘starting point’ is Byblis at 20 Leo, suggesting this whole scenario is about OR centers in something we’re doing which we ‘want to do’ or ‘like doing.’

It probably seems easy enough to do as we’re doing it. But at some level we know it’s not right. It’s not serving its’ fullest purpose. Or maybe it’s not garnering us the rewards or feeling of acceptance (support, respect, etc.) that it should. With Damocles at the ‘goal’ position of this t-square, there’s something about life which feels problematic. Or ‘dangerous.’ And we want to resolve that – at least in our minds, if not in real time.

But there’s something in the way. And that ‘something’ involves whatever our ‘Huya Quotient’ is. For some of us, this will be some Huya power we already own, for some it will represent some Huya potential we need to yet understand.

Whichever side of that question you’re on (and yes, it is perfectly possible to be on both sides of the issue in differing parts of your life) that this Huya station is at 20 Scorpio and therefore in opposition to last May’s 19 Taurus Solar Eclipse tells us that this period (July 27/28 through August 1/2 with emphasis on the moment of station on July 30th) is all about a continuing process which began back in May.

Or more likely, back in mid-late March, which would be when the eclipse shift began to take hold.

In the greater hierarchy of astrological conceptualization, the Solar Eclipse takes center stage. Yet because the Taurus eclipse and this Scorpio Huya moment are in different signs and in opposition, where the March-into-May period was all about us or what we were doing/not doing at a more personal (Taurean) level, now Huya in Scorpio is pointing to the necessity to focus on how we relate to others and the building ourselves into a ‘greater place’ in the world and our world as a thing greater than just about our Self.

That requires digging deep and running some ‘risk’ that we’re wrong. Or vulnerable. Or taking on the realization that our means or method isn’t working or maybe workable.

Here Huya is telling us that our greatest satisfaction comes from and through others. How well we are equipped to deal with that which connects us to others – the fact of it as well as the emotional and deeply human(e) part of it – points to the pluses and minuses not merely of our life in the moment, but in the ongoing ‘processing’ of our life and times as set off by that May Solar Eclipse in Taurus.

Solar Eclipse transits take a full 3 years to evolve. With regards to this year’s May eclipse, it’s barely begun to show what about our lives may have been ‘eclipsed.’

For reference’s sake…

You know if your life has changed over the past few months. You may have finally undertaken something, you may have reached some portal or passage. About now you are realizing – maybe with some difficulty or regret – that in moving forward, something is ‘over,’ done or no longer truly viable.

That’s part of your process. We all have some process to go through now. Considering how we are still under the auspices of a time which both holds us in our emotions and pushes us to deal with our emotional makeup (the grand trine in water), as Jupiter and Mars now press through Cancer and set off an opposition to Pluto in Capricorn, things will change. We will either change them through changing our outlook, attitudes and relationship towards our own feelings about things…or life will provoke/evoke those feelings.

At some level, this is a time all about the need to confront new realities. Or maybe you’re just gaining perspective on your reality and how that needs to change. What was earlier this month (the feeling of being ‘caught up’ in our feelings) now shifts as Jupiter ‘breaks tryst’ with Neptune and Saturn and sets up a new grand trine – this one with North Node and Chiron – which combines with Pluto to form a kite.

The astrological ‘rule’ with a kite asks that we ‘take hold of its tail,’ which here is pictured by Mars, Jupiter, Sirius and Kassandra. We may not (Kassandra) believe that we need to change, but we realize this is a time of change.

Then again, with Huya’s turn to direct, we may now not only see some ‘brilliant’ potential or twinkle of understanding which before now was lost in a myriad of inner space …but at some level recognize that to not own our potential and live to the highest form of our ability is petty, selfish – even self destructive.

Our lives always offer us the chance to do what is easy against the taking on of (North Node) challenges which though difficult, lie between us and a life we know is far more worth living. With Chiron’s influence currently in play, we don’t really ‘know’ how to get our of where we are. Or what that ‘thing’ we could be really involved.

And we never will know except by doing. That’s Chiron’s curse and Chiron’s blessing. Having knowledge is lovely. Utilizing knowledge – particularly for the benefit of all is even better.

Huya involvement in a water grand trine while opposing May’s Solar Eclipse speaks the emotional need to respect ourselves and to be someone we consider worthy. With Chiron and the North Node tied into Huya’s July 30th station, the question now focuses on what we don’t know how to do, but need to do anyway. Our goal is the revitalizing of the basis upon which we feel ourselves living, and the totality of our lives, through which we are able to key in on empowering others (and the world) which in turn will grace us with a fertile existence broader than the sky and beyond 'mere mortal' definition.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Deucalion Direct: The Giving Within

The Deluge (name disputed) by John Martin (1834)

When I sat down to write about Deucalion a couple of days ago (that would be the post for Monday, July 22nd) it just turned out to be too much of a jumble to discuss the point and the point of its station. As with many ‘new’ (to us) points discovered in the last ten to fifteen years, our astrological understanding of Deucalion is still evolving.

Metaphysically, the idea is probably that we should evolve with that understanding. Though it would seem unlikely that nature would ‘expect’ us to know the unknown – one of the sidebars to the greater concept that unbeknownst to us, the universe is unfolding as it should (a cousin to everything happens at the right time) is that as new ideas come along we should at least consider them.

And being humans, we obviously don’t always do that. We get busy, we’re tired, it isn’t our cup of tea, we’re not in the mood…you’ve heard all the same excuses that I have.

There is (of course!) the argument to be made that if we’re too tired to read or think something through, it isn’t the ‘right’ time. To that – as a person I say ‘sure…let’s make popcorn and watch a movie.’ But when I have the astrological hat on, I realize that to bypass, delay, ignore, (fill in with your favorite excuse)…that’s just inviting life to teach us why we really DO want to know that thing or things we are sloughing off like so much water off the proverbial duck’s back.

(I wonder…do ducks get royalties every time we use that expression? Who would we pay them to, the Universal Union of Duckery?)

Whatever that amounts to, Deucalion is going direct as this post hits the feed – on July 24, 2013. It is doing so at 11 Scorpio, the degree which was the degree of Saturn’s mid-February (2013) station-turn-to-retrograde.

 (Yes, it was important enough to get two posts)

And maybe even more importantly, 11 Scorpio is going to be the degree of our next Solar Eclipse.

Said eclipse will be on November 3rd (when the Sun reaches 11 Scorpio – duh!). And that means the six-to-eight week period prior to the eclipse during which we will experience that ‘quivering’ in our hearts and under our psychic feet as life begins ‘shaking out’ those things we don’t need any more…and those things which need to be changed (whether we like it or not)…all that starts in early September.

I can’t remember the last time I saw a year as clearly marked by something like Saturn’s turn at 11 Scorpio in February casting a straight if dotted line to this November’s eclipse, and I’ve been noodling around with astrology for a rather very extremely long time now.

(Thirty-plus years, give or take. So much for a hobby I took up to keep myself busy while I was healing from having broken my pelvis…which by the by, is nothing I suggest you EVER do. It hurts like a supernova explosion inside your body – trust me!)

By decanate definition a degree which is emotional (not to mention being a degree which is part of a deeply emotional sign), 11 Scorpio points us to those things which are ‘native’ to us, and which in particular tie back to our childhood. The central question posed by this degree seems to be whether whoever we have come to be because of or in spite of that background has created a closed circuit, a set of walls or a tendency to retreat to some ‘cave’ – principally for reasons which are emotional. Like all degrees of Scorpio, this one tests not so much whether we’re right but whether we’re willing or able to tolerate being not as right as we thought we were. Maybe there is a better way. Maybe we should be willing to risk that feeling of safety and security which comes with defining our own status quo.

As demonstrated by the trail of stations at 11 Scorpio, to some evocative extent, this ‘degree dynamic’ (as we might call it) underlies a lot of what goes on in our lives – and in life in general – during 2013. And now, with the grand water trine shifting from Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune to Jupiter-North Node-Chiron, evolutionary forces are shifting from ‘who am I in this world and what am I making of myself and my life?’ into a secondary phase of that exploration, growth and education (all symbolized by Jupiter) which is more about ‘how am I going to do this North Node thing I don’t really WANT to do, and which in typical Chiron fashion I feel totally ill-equipped to even know HOW to do or be?’ 

The Fates Gathering in the Stars by Elihu Vedder (1887)

In all of this, Deucalion’s turn to direct motion at 11 Scorpio not only tells us that this time is a 'touchstone' or a 'step' along our metaphysical path to the November Solar Eclipse, but that Deucalion's turn at 11 Scorpio is one ‘key’ to this moment...and perhaps the key to the  entirety of our (Scorpionic) evolutionary, transformative processes for the year.

So does that mean that each and everyone of us - individually and collectively - have much to be gained by referencing, recognizing and understanding our ‘native’ early imprinting?

Probably so.

And yes, the results or responses to same should also be on the table.

Since Deucalion represents the energetic which helps us find our way through whatever it is (and however we manage) to opt out of the greater reality because of longings, fears, over-idealization, self-deception, hurt, cravings, self-absorption… all those Neptune-fostered ‘you think it’s perfect but it’s not’ things, this would be when we need to ask or require of ourselves that we rise above the emotional tide. Whether it’s our (internal) tide, or that which is washing over us courtesy of life or others in our life, this is a moment when we need to allow all the ‘evils’ of our preconceptions to be washed away so that we can re-create and re-populate our lives.

That this sounds more than a little bit like an echo of the Persied Meteor Shower (see yesterday’s blog) only suggests that life is truly “conspiring”…or maybe a better word is gathering momentum to move us out of the old and into something new.

Is it easy? No.

Is this process likely to be instantaneous? No.

But it is what it is, and those of us who resist this shift are likely to feel unseated, even abandoned (at some level) when November’s Solar Eclipse comes along.

As you read this, you may be thinking ‘gee, why wouldn’t my “native” way be the better way to go? Couldn’t Deucalion be indicating that?’

At some level, yes. (And you’re obviously thinking as I did upon thinking this through if you came to that quandary.) Two things only argue against the whole ‘holding the status quo’ and ‘doing things as I’ve been doing them’ thing. One is the Solar Eclipse. Sure, solar eclipses have been known to create something good out of something mediocre…in fact, that’s something of the nature of this most gigundo of transits. Solar eclipses are all about getting us not to compromise, but getting us to be the Authentic Self we were born to be.

Sometimes that means stripping away our coping mechanisms, a process Solar Eclipses are notorious for. They aren’t gentle, they aren’t subtle. When a Solar Eclipse hits your life you KNOW it.

This painting, known as "The Flood" by Paul Merwart (1855-1902) gives us the image of
Deucalion holding his wife Pyrrha above the flood, protecting her as her own. We can see
this image literally, of course. But it may be even more important to see this idea on the philosophical 
level where Deucalion and Pyrrah are our dominant and more subtle or recessive life or
thought processes. In that light, Deucalion is the clarity of thought which carries our less
robust and perhaps more emotional nature - that which holds us above the flood which is all
we have been 'flooded' with which may or may not be applicable to our lives in this moment...
or as we move on. 

So that you have degrees for reference, anyone with any point, node or axis between 6 Scorpio and 16 Scorpio is having a very personal year all about remaking who you are in this world and what your life is built around. (And you already know that. Sorry about the headaches.)

Those with points, nodes or axis cusps between 6 and 16 Aquarius OR Leo are feeling a bit broadsided because things they haven’t considered are knocking them for a loop. (Again, my sympathies.)

Those with points, axis cusps or nodes positioned between 6 and 16 Taurus are either having a hard time standing up for themselves or being opposed by a life which just won’t get out of your face. (Such confrontations with Existence are absolutely exhausting, and you can’t win. My advice is make the change and get past it.)

Two other groups are having the hardest times: those with ‘stuff’ (by now you know the drill) between 9 and 13 Libra OR 9 and 13 Virgo…and those with ‘stuff’ (yeah, I know) between 9 and 13 Aries or 9 and 13 Gemini. Whatever is represented by such Libra and/or Virgo points (always remember – the WHAT is being ‘hit’ by a transit shows us which attribute, habit or area of life needs our attention)…those parts of your life are being challenged in such a way that feels very unfeeling. Even brutal. That bruising is going to continue until you realize the information isn’t personal. WHY you think it IS personal is the core of the issue: solve that and you’ll be on your fluffy way.

As for those 9-through-13 Aries or Gemini points, those areas of your life either need re-tooling, refreshing, refocusing or some out-and-out change. Letting go of what’s easy and taking on your inner core is the crux of things.

With all that said, one other note worth mentioning: Klotho (initiations, beginnings, ‘bringing to be’ energetics) will be going direct on July 28th.

That means that as you read this post, Klotho is just moving into it's July 26-30th station, a fact which makes Deucalion turn to direct something of 'a first domino to fall.'

In turning to direct motion, Klotho represents new things coming to be in the life/world around us and how this is a time when we can bring new and valuable things to life through our own decisions and efforts, which evidently are an adjunct to the representative 'purification' of whatever our 11 Scorpio predisposition, habit or reactive-responsive ‘structural defense’ may have come to be.

In terms of Klotho's station, Deucalion going direct first tells us how to the degree that we have done the work to rise to a level of clarity will we be able to successfully bring what we want to be into being.

Flipping this around, we would also say that Klotho's station happening after Deucalion's makes this rising 'above the emotional flood' something which can lead to new situations, opportunities and a new grace of comfort with others - and life itself.

That Klotho is taking station at 3 Sagittarius emphasizes the good we do in this world and – curiously – again references our ‘native programming’ by speaking to “skeletons in the family closet”…which for some may be systemic, but for many if not most of us tends to be the imprinting we got from our growing-up years.

A note on that: having met up with a whole series of people and situations involving family dynamics (and the results of same) during 2013, it’s well worth understanding that who a parent is in their own right is NOT necessarily who the child internalizes. The child may internalize a perfectly sane parent as ‘a crazy person’ because that child was born (as we see in their chart) as someone who sees things in a new or different or non-traditional light.

Then again, the reverse may be true. We may think our parents are just a little odd when in truth they’re really off the rails. Those differences can be seen in the chart; the well-schooled astrologer will be able to tell you the difference between who you think your parents are and who your parents are for real.

You may not like it. You may not even believe it. But if someone else was sitting in the room during the conversation (or reading the report on such given to you by the astrologer), providing they know your parents they would recognize that difference.

It’s to think about.

In this somewhat less 'traditionally Greek myth' version of the fates known as 'Le Destin' 
or 'The Destiny' by Henry Siddons Mowbray, we see four 'Fates' (not three, as there are in
Greek myth) sitting at a table planning what will yet come or be attempted, all under the omnipotent
watch of nature. Mankind plans, the universe corrects those plans, teaching us the pros
 and cons of life - and our thinking - in the process.

No matter where you are on your journey, the tides of time now seem ripe to force us to give within or to become more willing to be giving from within.

At the moment, insights may well help us ‘rise above the emotional flood’ in our souls.

But whether that helps us sail into brighter and calmer waters? That remains to be seen, as that's the process of the which starting in September leads us into November's Solar Eclipse at 11 Scorpio. The question is always going to be Scorpionic and thus challenging to us at a very deep and intrinsic level.

And it's to remember that though we may be scared of being left to 'drown' in our own emotions, that very statement is about becoming more of who we are. Human beings are emotional creatures. Any effort to escape our feelings only means we're abandoning our Self. Only once we realize that can we begin to understand that it doesn't matter what we have, what we achieve, how fit or pretty we are...none of that matters if we're afraid of the magnitude of our own feelings.

Water is thought to be the most powerful of the astrological (metaphysical) elements. It can quench fire, slowly but surely dissolve the hardest stone and turn what might be only a wind into a hurricane.

Yet water - emotion - is the very stuff of life. Water is the essence of nurturance which turns dessication into fertility. And just as water is a primal force in natural  transformations, metaphysical water - the power and potency of emotions - is creative or destructive. It is the essence of human liberation and the driving force behind all which is devastating to our lives and all life on Earth.

In emotion lies the power of healing, but that power is never generative in and of itself as water contained goes stagnant - which is why from time to time, nature topples our inner walls so we will that we cannot go on alone.     

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Persied Meteor Shower 2013

Star trails photographed at the peak of the 2012 Perseid shower (25 second images taken
every 30 seconds) above Santa Fe and Algondones, New Mexico
(photo credit: John Fowler, August 2012)

Earth passes through something like six or seven different comet trails during its yearly orbit around our Sun. And since comets – in particular the ones we talk about in this sense – come from way, way out there in the solar system, astrologically we think of them (and the trailing bits they leave in their wake for Earth to pass through) as ideas from afar.

In other words, the streaking of ‘shooting stars’ are the twinkles of inspiration – the flash of something we’ve never thought about or perhaps simply haven’t considered – catching our attention as it flies through our mind.

Each meteor shower is named for the ‘radiant point’ from which these ‘showers of light’ appear to radiate from. You would think the comet would get the metaphysical credit, right? No, egocentric (er, geocentric) Earth-bound beings that we are, we think of this ‘shower from the heavens’ from our own terra-life perspective.

Which astrologically makes sense – and which, (oh, incidentally) is one of the biggest factors which separates astrology from astronomy. Though astrology fully acknowledges that the Earth (and by and large, everything else) orbits our local star (the Sun), astrology is geocentric (Earth-centered). That’s because unlike science – the effort to study What Is, astrology asks a slightly different question. Yes, as astrologers we factor in (or we should factor in, let’s say) the physical positions, cycle lengths and nature of the celestial objects we’re talking about.

But astrology is about our life here on Earth. Astrology posits that everything which Exists is a continuum, and thus all works in sync. Nothing changes but that all is changed somewhat. We are born at a moment in time as thus each one of us represents a unique manifestation as part of a Whole we will never know the fullness of, but which we contribute to nonetheless.

So it’s natural…even sensible that from the astrological point of view we would think of meteor showers in terms of their radiant point – that place in the sky where they appear to come from.

In this case, the Persied Meteor Shower which begins on July 23rd and which continues on until August 20th appears to originate in the constellation Perseus.

 Constellation Perseus

As soon as we say ‘constellation Perseus,’ two things seem worth mentioning. The first is that the best known star in this constellation is Algol, a star which doesn’t have this world’s spiffiest reputation. Embodying the energy of the ‘feminine’ (read: responsive) Algol is all about how we tend to respond based on previous experience…and/or in terms of what our personal aims in any given situation really are. Currently situated at 26 Taurus with dwarf planet Sedna close by at 24 Taurus, this pairing would seem to refer to the temptation to be all about ourselves which is so richly seen at this time…and how much better we, the people so busily wanting what we want, would actually be if we let go and ‘dove in’ to that which seems to be rocking our boat.

The Sedna part of this combination seems to surface in that sense that if we do let go, something will ‘drown’ us. And yet, ultimately the Sedna lesson is that only by letting go can we ultimately achieve the self knowledge and personal power which is based not on what we’re used to, but a whole new experience of Self which requires that we surrender to be willing to adapt to…and to adapt the deeper parts of our personality to purposes we cannot know nor fulfill without releasing the expectations, images and habits built into our psyches early on in life.

The other Perseus concept which bears recalling is the idea of who Perseus was: a Greek hero born of a ‘common’ mother who under great duress and substantial daunting handed out by a most unkind and selfish king (who no doubt had a handlebar mustache he enjoyed twirling, as that’s what villains do, right?) …who undertook to journey far from home and with the help of the gods (our purer Self) undertook to slay the gorgon Medusa.

And who is Medusa? Yes, she’s the gal with the dreadfully snaky hair-do. But she’s far more than that. If you’ve never read the full myth of Medusa, I heartily urge you to do so – of all the myths I’ve read as an astrologer, the story of Medusa taught me the most about what it takes to be a human being.

So yes, here’s the link to that page here at Ye Olde Astro-blog:

There are many parts of the Medusa myth which could fit in here. But I’ll choose to cite one in particular, namely how Medusa’s tale embodies the idea of how fearful we all can be when called upon to face in part who we are…but even more so the truth of our personal nature. We will often surrender to being willingly seduced and led astray, undermining the simplest part of being of service to that which we know our mind tells us we should be because accepting our mortality and being the best person we can be (in spite of all) as a member of the human race is just sometimes so incredibly frightening.

As fearful as we are of failing, many of us are also equally fearful – if not more so – of succeeding at something which doesn’t measure up to our most fantastical dreams.

 The Perseus Nebula is about 1043 Light Years from Earth
(photo credit: Spitzer Space Telescope, NASA JPL-Caltech, L Cieza
at the University of Texas, Austin - October 2006)

In a fashion, that part of Medusa’s story fits very well (perhaps disturbingly so!) with Algol-Sedna in late Taurus.

Then we add in the fact that the Perseids lasting most of a month pretty much covers the whole of the time that the Sun will be passing through Leo. And when we do that, the totality of the images seem to speak eloquently to many of the things we know Leo best for…the sparkling personality, the glint of fearless drama, the undaunted potential for creativity, whether that means working with what’s at hand or going after something you desire. As in this mix of Algol, Sedna, Medusa and Perseus factors, Leo can sometimes be so all about the Leo drive that said aim gets in the Leo way. There is a vision which comes with Leo which is unparalleled… along which there’s a propensity for pride (even arrogance) and an ability to be so ‘sun-blinded’ by one’s own vision of what could be… or SHOULD be… (Leo is ruled by the Sun) that the Leo concept self-destructs. Or fails because it hasn’t taken reality (especially that of others) into account.

So we can expect these next few weeks to be dappled with moments of insight, even astonishment. In some moments we’ll be surprised we ‘didn’t think of that before’ and in others we’ll be energized by figuring ‘that’ out at long, long last.

And as all those personal moments glint by, we’ll all also be dealing with continuing water-trine effects – an emotional factor which may well suggest the Sedna challenges of this year’s Persied shower period will be more emotional and feeling than ever.

Having done my astrological homework, I can also say that just before this round’s last Perseid streaks across our skies (on August 17th, to be exact) asteroid Medusa will take its station and go retrograde at 15 Aries. One suspects the days surrounding Medusa’s station will be particularly ‘Medusa-ish.’ Yet as I say that, there are those good parts of Medusa.

Good, you say?

Yes, good. For one, there’s the matter of Pegasus. When Perseus slays Medusa, he puts the offending head in a sack and flies away, courtesy of Mercury’s winged sandals. (And no, we don’t know what Mercury was wearing while Perseus had his shoes. It’s annoying what Greek myth leaves out, but I have no idea who to write a complaint letter to.)

The point is that Medusa’s body is left lying there on the floor of a cave – which apparently was somewhere in Africa, if all the directives have come to us correctly.

In any case, from the throat of that body comes two creatures: the Chrysaor (a giant, sword wielding shepherd of sincerely questionable personality) and Pegasus, everybody’s favorite winged horse.

 Pegasus by Odilon Redon (1900)

(Which says a few things about Pegasus few of us have contemplated, m’thinks.)

But we like Pegasus. The idea of ‘galloping away on wings’ is a very apt description of many a person’s fondest dreams.

And yes – (ouch) – that is part of the whole Medusa myth, and our Medusa problems.

But we still like Pegasus.

The other thing is how Medusa’s head eventually ends up mounted at the center of the shield of Pallas Athena, goddess of wisdom of the dispassionate and self-reflective kind. Isn’t it good to know that if we can just get past our fear of learning something it can end up empowering us doubly – once with the knowledge and again with the knowing we can do that ‘impossible thing’ and get past our fear?

Meteor showers are things of utmost beauty. If you have a chance, go outside one night and watch. You might have to travel to get beyond the city lights, but it’s worth it. As a resident of California, one summer I found myself in Mammoth Lakes during the Persied period. My brother was living there at the time, and he knew all the cool places.

It had been a hot day, which The Brother pronounced as ‘just perfect.’ So after sundown and supper he took me up the mountain to where huge slabs of native rock jutted out of the ground at just the right angle and pitch to make a perfect place to lie back and watch the richly dark, velvet blue sky.

Famous as a ski resort (in winter, obviously) Mammoth is high up in the Sierra Nevada, and even today a fairly small place. These are the very best places to watch meteors…there’s less of the Earth’s atmosphere above and the ambient lights of a small town are low enough that the glory of our galaxy is clear. As a band of stars none of us are likely to know personally, the Milky Way was strewn across that night sky. And there on those sun-warmed rocks my brother and I lay for a couple of hours sharing thoughts, counting stars and wondering what the rest of the universe is like.

Night sky during the Perseid Meteor shower
(photo credit: Mauro Lanari, September 2012)

Whether the universe you’re considering during these next few weeks is the great one we all live in, or the one in your mind, that’s a perfect thing to do during the meteor shower known as the Perseids. When our nature is in sync with all of nature, whether we’re watching the night sky or not, all else seems to have greater harmony, purpose and value.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Deucalion: Freeing Our Will

Scene of Deluge
by Joseph Desire Court
(1827, Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon, France)

TNO Deucalion was discovered on April 18, 1999 – just as everyone on Earth was getting all excited about the new millennium, though I suspect Earth itself didn’t give a fig. That would be left to the Adam and Eve crowd – you know, all us human types who from Fig Newtons to fig leaves seem to be into-fig-gering.
When discovered, Deucalion was classed by astronomers as a TNO (Trans Neptunian Object) and a Cubewano, which is to say one of an entire class of orbiting objects which may sound like a Cuban sandwich (seriously, that’s always what I think when I hear that term) but which really means that the object orbits beyond Neptune and within the ‘district’ where Neptune’s astonishingly potent magnetic resonance controls a whole group of other objects (including Pluto, Ixion, Orcus, Huya and others) – but not Deucalion.

Hence the Cuban sandwich ‘Cubewano’ designation.

Astrologically, that Neptunian ‘resonance effect’ translates as all such ‘Plutino’ objects being ‘subject’ to some of the Neptunian qualities of idealizing against illusion where we are tested about whether we know the ‘boundaries’ on fantasy against our willingness to accept and face real feelings about life’s realities in realistic form and real time. So to have an object (Deucalion) which orbits within this Neptune ‘fantasy-versus-reality’ realm without being ‘colored’ by Neptunian effects tells us that Deucalion is either an object which helps us differentiate between such foggy questions or a notion – information, call it – which comes to us ‘in the midst of the confusion’ where we aren’t sure what is real and what is not real.

So if Neptune is the classic ‘blind spot’ in our chart (which it tends to be, alas) Deucalion represents one of the (Cubewano) ways we can see – or attempt to guide ourselves through or past our own various forms of blindness to…whatever. (That whatever being described in your chart by aspects to natal Neptune and the house and sign where Neptune is positioned.)

Then we get to the myth, which is something of a Greek version of the Noah story, which differs from the Noah tale in several important ways. For one, the ancient Greek concept of deity isn’t singular (monotheism) – its more about seeing life in facets, with a god (which modernists would see as a ‘part’ of the One God concept OR a facet of personality or human evolution/development) in charge of each.

All of which is a touch moot in the Deucalion tale as it isn’t God (or some ‘unknown quotient’ as in being ‘visited’ by a particular god) telling him to build a boat.

Yes, there is a flood. And yes, Deucalion is asked to build a boat. But it’s his dad (Prometheus) who is telling Deucalion to build the boat – which in strictly human terms makes the whole boat building thing not only an interesting version of parental (read: internal) discipline, but an interesting commentary on how the father who stole fire (and who in Greek myth molded mankind from clay) then has to ask his son to save this race of beings he’s created.

Deucalion: Why should I build some giant boat?

Prometheus: Because I told you to! And let's remember, I’m not only your father, I created the rest of mankind! And yes, then you. So you owe me a boatload!

Deucalion: Very’d think you were some freakin’ demi-god, the way you go on, dad! What, if I don’t built the boat? Are you going to fire me or something?

Prometheus: FIRE, is it? I’ll have you know I went to a lot of trouble to steal fire for mankind.

Deucalion: Great galloping Greeks - not THAT story!  Again, dad? Must you?

Prometheus: Maybe I must. But this time I won't, even though heavens to Hades, son, you give me a pain in my liver! Just build the boat and stop pre-pitting my olives! And by the by - I’m NOT a demi-god, I’m a titan. Very primal and all that. I don't know about your generation...but your mother sure appreciates me. At least she did last time I asked.

Deucalion: Like she's going to insult you? Look, I really don’t want to know what kind of a ‘titan’ you are with mom, okay? All I know is that building this boat of yours is going to be one titan-ic pain.

Yes, it is my theory that teenagers were always teenagers. There’s nothing in the history of mankind to suggest otherwise. So the boat got built, got stocked with animals and kin, and thus Titan father (Prometheus) passed to his son the need for not just self preservation, but the preservation of that which is both near and dear to us and necessary to survive.

The one we like…the other we need.

Being positioned beyond the orbit of Neptune, the TNO Deucalion thus represents the understanding that in the midst of whatever confusion, delight or despair (or anything between)…in spite of that lack of clarity (good or bad) we still have to survive.

And if we do…if we take the task on, that helps us to survive whatever flood comes upon us.
As for floods, seeing that any metaphysical reference to water always means emotions or emotionality, between the Cubewano quality and the boat thing, this suggests Deucalion is all about learning how to ‘rise above an overwhelming emotional tide.’ Principally, this ‘tide’ is ours. It may be the fact we’re being swept along by some ‘current’ event, or the Deucalion need may arise through our being provoked or confronted by life.

Whatever the dynamic is, it would seem that the  Deucalion of our natal charts…by sign, by house, by degree, by aspects…represents both the possible venue of challenge to us or the means by which we rise above some flood and thus avoid ‘drowning’ in confusion or through the consequences of some ill-fated choice. But Deucalion is more than that. In being the son of titan Prometheus, Deucalion is ‘born of’ some basic (titan) instinct, which in the case is imaged by Prometheus.

There doesn’t seem to be any Olympian objection to Prometheus having ‘molded mankind out of clay.’ But when Prometheus stole fire and gave it to mankind, all holy Olympian havoc broke out. Mercury and Vulcan were sent out to haul Prometheus’ titanic self off to the top of a mountain where Vulcan chained Prometheus to the rocks so that an eagle could come by every day and peck at his liver.

by Nicolas-Sébastien Adam (Louvre Museum, Paris)

Esoteric traditions regard the liver as more than the physical organ, though there may be some semblance in functionality. To have a ‘good’ liver meant that you are able to function freely - that your body is unencumbered by ‘toxic’ emotionality which in turn causes us to stagnate or become imbedded in, or poisoned by, the inability to ‘process’ life’s (qi) at either a physical, spiritual or emotional level.

That an eagle is sent to peck at Prometheus’ liver suggests imagery of the Olympians (our greater mind or mindful self) feeling a need to keep this liver quality rationed or limited in scope. And when we think of this as specifically focused through  Prometheus’ ‘theft’ of fire – the giving of enlightenment to mankind, titan Prometheus’ punishment would seem to be about ‘knowing too much’ in a manner which is separate from the eternal need for ‘overseeing’ guidance.

There is the temptation to think of this ‘eternal’ concept in modern terms – as in deity. But Greek myth is all about what it means to be human, what it takes to be decent as a human and what humans face as challenges along the way. So this ‘eternal oversight’ would seem to be ours – not from some omnipotent force. And that leads us to think that TNO Deucalion either calls on our awareness of what we do not know or that which we may know about, but need to be careful about, or limit unrestricted use of. Deucalion is not about ‘sin’ as in ‘being sinful’ in the Christian sense. There’s no damnation involved…though if you’re going to talk about a flood it might have been good to have been given a dam as opposed to giving a damn.

No, Deucalion seems to be more about the discovering of better ways which allow us to function freely, but with a consciousness of the penalty to be paid if we overindulge (so to speak) emotionally – and that would be too much emotion or too much constraint on our emotions.

Moderation…finding the balance…rising above the emotional flood…that’s the Deucalion theme.  

Prometheus’ parting ways with Zeus’ ‘this is how the world is’ in giving fire to humans is another way of saying that we have and must have a say in our own fate – that thing we call Free Will. That Mercury is sent with Vulcan to chain Prometheus implies that there is a choice to be made in all things – most of all the Free Will choice whether to face our most titanic and instinctual Self.

What will we each do with our Free Will in finding our way in spite of (Neptunian) allures which, whether positive or awful, are all about tempting us to  abandon our focus on reality?

As son of Prometheus, Deucalion is all about this question of ‘embodying’ Free Will, an idea which when though of in the astronomical sense of a Cubewano (an object which functions free of Neptunian influence) seems sincerely apt. The fact that Deucalion ‘travels’ through this “Neptune zone” suggests it’s purpose and meaning in the horoscope is all about ‘independent’ perspectives – the need to have them and the need to know how to use them. Plutinos (Pluto, Ixion, Huya, etc.) re all about being subject to the allure of that which may or may not be real – the Neptunian sway. Cubewanos like Deucalion are not subject to Neptunian allure and thus represent a different ‘outlook’ on such issues.

And yes, life. And our emotional responses to life.

Discovered in 1999, TNO Deucalion has an orbit of just over 295 years long. It entered Libra (i.e., it left the zodiac’s most personal and introspective signs for the more worldly realm) back in July of 1980 – pretty much as the face of society began shifting into technological mode. Ever since then we’ve been dealing with escalating questions about the use of our mind, whether it’s how children learn in school to whether technology burdens or frees us – and whether that, in and of itself, is a good or bad thing.

Going back to that flood thing again, unlike the biblical flood, the Greek one isn’t caused by rain but rather by that Greek god of oceans himself, Neptune.

(Funny how these Greek gods get around, isn’t it?)

At Zeus’ command, Neptune raises the ocean’s level and floods everything - an interesting comment of late seeing as how we humans are discussing ocean levels now in connection with global warming. The term ‘global warming’ evidently dates back to 1975 (and an article in a publication called Science) which was then ‘popularized’ in 1979 – shortly before Deucalion moved into Libra. And whether you agree or don’t agree with the concept of ‘global warming’ (with its implication that changing temperatures are due to something humans are doing) or whether you’re more of a ‘climate change’ person who thinks Earth simply has patterns of climate and we’re moving into a planetary hot seat period, we’ve been discussing (a typically Libran activity) ever since.

And then the Kyoto Protocol (an international agreement dealing with this question) ended on March 15, 1999 - a scant month before Deucalion’s discovery.


So what happens during this Greek flood idea being floated in this story?

(Yes, I said that.)

Remembering that water is not only emotionalism but everything and anything which evokes those emotions of ours prime and primal (sex, family, money, death, birth, war, finance-credit-debt, threat, control, manipulation, fear, etc.), Deucalion having appeared in our collective metaphysical consciousness with Deucalion at 24 Libra, a degree which focuses on our ability…and our willingness to ‘own’ where and how we do or can affect others, leading to the positives and negatives which result. That this was (and to date, remains) the position of Earth’s current pole star Arcturus (leadership) underscores 24 Libra’s meaning while also suggesting that to utilize Deucalion is to ‘discover’ your power to direct others, or in a greater sense, your life – and through that (thinking of Libra as the cause-effect mechanism), others.

That as Deucalion shifted into Scorpio on October 28, 2003 (UT/+0) our world moved into a time of red-line stress seems (painfully) apt. But maybe that’s apt as the myth tells us that Prometheus’ instructions to his son were about building an ark in which to ride out a storm meant to wash away all forms of evil…the ‘ills’ which would plague mankind.

And in our very mortal life, knowing what is an ill takes a perspective. It’s not just what we don’t like. Nor is voting for the ‘tried and true,’ whether that’s a tradition or way of living, going to work. Thinking that any of us know ‘the way’ for everyone is probably a mistake in a life where a ‘standard’ thing such as a horoscope is sufficiently individual to only repeat once every 26,000 years or so (the length of Earth’s precessional ‘pole’ cycle)…and that’s only if we take just the objects in our own solar system into account.

At some level metaphysics seems to always come back to that which is truly an eternal reality – the fact that while its vital and important to understand ourselves as individuals, we cannot succeed (nor can our world) without everyone taking into account everyone and everything around them.

The ancient call of the Hermeticists – ‘As above, so below’ probably needs updating as by now we think of life as being more about the ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ world, the ‘me and mine’ versus ‘them and all the rest of it.’
But it all means the same thing. And what do we need in order to balance the seemingly endless offsets and diametric oppositions of our individuality against the world and that ‘personal world’ we live in?

Perspective. Dispassionate perspective.

You know, that Deucalion ‘morality’ which is not so much about some ‘rule’ imposed upon us, but that which we know is right, honest and realistic. That which will allow us to have a decent, productive and reasonably fruitful life.

In the myth, the oceans rise and Deucalion and his family ‘rise above the flood’ until finally the waters recede. Depending on which version of the story you read, the ark ‘lands’ (so to speak) in either in Greece or Italy, whereupon Deucalion goes to have a chat with an oracle of Themis.

(Don’t ask me why  no one’s left on Earth but Deucalion, the wife and one oracle. I don’t write these myths, I just report on them.)

And what does the oracle say? Proving that oracles of every age are oblique, this one tells Deucalion to ‘cover your head and throw the bones of your mother behind your shoulder.’

Probably resisting a reply to the effect of “NOW you tell me I should have brought along the bones of my mother?” Deucalion has a moment of thinking through the fact that Themis is a primal sort of god whose name translates literally as ‘law of nature’ (a reference to ‘mother’ and hence Mother Earth or Gaia). And once he gets that far he understands that Earth’s ‘bones’ are rocks and stones. So Deucalion and Pyrrha do as instructed to, and by doing so (re)create the human race. The rocks thrown by Pyrrha become women and those thrown by Deucalion become men.

Pyrrha and Deucalion
by Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (1655, oil on canvas)

In this process, Themis not only empowers the repopulating of Earth after it is cleansed by an emotional flood, but reminds Deucalion of the interconnectedness of all life and what it means to be a human being replete with all the privileges, obligations, gifts and responsibilities which having the power of creation implies. In this, the ‘covering of the head’ is a metaphor for not over-thinking things – which in the astrological sense seems reasonable with Deucalion as to ‘overthink’ would be to invite the kind of second-guessing which would tempt us to be confused and lead us away from Cubewano independence and more into the magnetic resonance of Neptunian sway.

Deucalion is now in Scorpio and will remain in Scorpio until November 19, 2026 – when at 6:01 in the morning (UT/+0 time) it will move on into Sagittarius, having spent the last couple of months of its Scorpio transit in the company of Typhon (another titan) and fixed star Toliman.

This is likely to be a trying time as Typhon symbolizes life’s most basic needs: sleep, food, air, water, sex…against which Toliman a star representing the foot of a centaur (theoretically Chiron). Thus is raised the general question regarding centaurs, that being whether we are able to integrate our conscious and unconscious natures and balance impulse against conscious control. Will we ‘rise above’ our animalistic nature, abandon reason to animal instincts or marry them in a mélange of potency which in this case speaks to the gift given Chiron by Apollo.

And what was that gift?

Enlightenment. Specifically, the curative power to heal…which sadly enough speaks to the ongoing propensity we have for injuring ourselves.

Half a Deucalion cycle before now, Tolstoy was drafting War and Peace and Abraham Lincoln was beginning to fight the Civil War. Both of these are substantial examples of men grappling with the need to gain and understand perspective not only on their life, but the life on a greater plain – and with a greater purpose. Lincoln would ultimately write the following: “The will of God prevails — In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be wrong. God cannot be for, and against the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God's purpose is somewhat different from the purpose of either party — and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect this.”

At the time, Deucalion was in Taurus. Seeing as Taurus is ultimately a sign about learning that satisfaction comes only from harnessing our talents and resources in such a way as to earn the respect of others whether we succeed fully in our efforts or not, this may be good news for us. Both Tolstoy and Lincoln confronting man’s least humane aspects (war, a decidedly Scorpio thing), and to do that they risked all they had – their resources of talent and their time on this Earth.

So if those men achieved their lasting satisfaction and the security of knowing they had done what they were born to do through the trials of the sign in polarity to that Deucalion was traversing, that means that now, as Deucalion transits Scorpio the risk is more about our physical, material security. To feel emotionally safe and ‘above water’ (Deucalion in Scorpio) we probably need to be willing to share. We need to be able to risk our ego in having less, or being ‘less in charge’ so that we're able to do…and know we’ve done more.

Which yes, takes a very 'freed will' to accomplish.