by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ixion-Ras Alhague

At the center of the Swan Nebula (M17) in Sagittarius, new stars are wrapped in dark hydrogen
(photo credit: NASA, Holland Ford, ACS Team, ESA - April 2002)

If Ixion is the Neptune-controlled…(or perhaps we prefer the term ‘guided’?)…which tests our ability to know the difference between that we can do and that we should do (and the many reasons both positive and negative for such)…then Ixion’s conjuncting of Ras Alhague, a fixed star of some repute is likely to be a period of some upheaval.

Internal upheaval at least…and if we avoid such recognitions of/within our Self, through externally-driven ‘life lessons.’

Sometimes thought of as a ‘non-spiritual’ Greek and philosophical personification of the biblical Cain, Ixion is the universal tendency to have a point or place in life where we tend to repeatedly undermine ourselves (or our efforts) through ‘wrong’ thinking specifically of the ‘dis-connective’ type. In other words, where Ixion is concerned we may insist on having our way…or simply not do ‘that other thing’ (good or bad) we might have had in mind.

With Ixion, we act in haste and repent at leisure…or we choose, in spite of Self and less ‘personally appealing’ options, whatever they may be.

And then there’s Ras Alhague, a fixed star of varying repute. Known sometimes as a great force for healing and in other situations as a ruthless engine of harm, Ras Alhague’s current position at 22 Sagittarius will bring out polarities of either good or ill or show up great efforts along with shocking abdications of responsibility (for what would be indicated by the star’s house and aspects in an individual chart).

As of February 22nd (2014) Ixion will move into Sagittarius, telling us that on some metaphysical level these two sometimes righteous, sometimes raunchy energies will now ‘fuse.’ Considering how slowly fixed stars move – and how Ixion has an orbital period of 249.95 years (about a year longer than the orbital period of Ixion’s fellow Plutino Pluto) – it’s obvious the ‘melding’ of these influences has been coming on for some time. The standard orb of conjunction being 5 degrees, that takes us back to 17 Sagittarius – a degree Ixion entered back in October of 2011.

Seeing that Ras Alhague and Ixion both tend to make things a lot easier or a lot better, part of the question would be how does each object work? Ras Alhague is a fixed star…something which is more like a backdrop than a detail or akin to an ambient feeling in society which you’re aware of needing to be aware of. How to fix things? Are things past fixing? How frustrating is it to have to deal with so much which seems so wrong when so much which is so good could be accomplished?
Against this we have Ixion, a Plutino of ill-repute which may simply serve (ultimately) to show us the folly of such labels as ‘ill-repute.’ Where Ixion is concerned, the folly is ours…and where Ixion is concerned, we will do almost anything not to admit that fact to ourselves – until we get burned.

Totally burned.

So at a fixed star level, what we have to work with (or the times we’re dealing with) include both the opportunity for great healing…and great harm.

(Why am I not liking this post all of a sudden?)

Meanwhile, we have to decide what we’re going to do…and we are likely to do something simply because we want to. Or because it appeals to us. Or will give us what we want in this very short-sighted moment.

For some of us, ‘doing’ is better. For some of us, ‘not doing’ is going to be better.

How to tell them apart? Astrologers would look to your Ixion and Ras Alhague in the natal chart…and again in the solar chart. We would look to see if either point was under any long-term influence by something like Sedna or Eris. We would think about whether your Ixion is located where it’s going to be hit by either of the 2014 solar eclipses, one of which will be at 8 Taurus and the other of which will be at 0 Scorpio.

And then we’d ask you if you have any decided history which applies…which is your clue in thinking this conjunction through without someone like me sitting there gazing at your chart. Ixion involves patterns. Ixion speaks to something we have done at least several, if not many times and never really to our lasting betterment.

This encounter of Ras Alhague and Ixion is likely to end up being a time a time when many of us ‘see’ or begin to understand our ‘patterns.’ Some of us will simply make course corrections. In embodying Ras Alhague’s healing force we may even become someone others look to as an example of what can be accomplished if we just put our Ixion towards  some greater purpose instead of our own desire for gratification.

Then again, some of us will jump wholeheartedly into something thinking it’s all about us and what we can ‘get’ from the situation…or out of, considering the situation. Those who follow this path and prioritize servicing vanities ahead of necessities personal, ethical, moral, spiritual or integral are very likely to hit some sort of very hard wall as Saturn rolls into and through this area of the zodiac early in 2017.

And 2017 is another big year for global economics.

Situated in the Ophiuchus, the quandaries posed by Ras Alhague are very much in keeping with the constellation’s image – that of a hero wrestling with a snake, an obvious image of the wrestling we do with and within our Self...and which Ixion often has us falling prey to.

Kepler's Drawing of Ophiuchus made in the wake of a supernova in 1604
in the constellation's 'foot'

Are we going to repeat our pattern? Or will we finally see something as a pattern and deal with it more effectively?

Whatever our habits…‘vices’…or weak points are, these months and couple of years ahead represent a time when we can finally own up to our ineptitudes (our repeated ineptitudes, in some cases) and in owning our humility, move on.

Or we can reinforce our sense of entitlement – most of all to do that so-very-Sagittarian thing of seeing flaws in the other person’s thinking…even if it’s none of your business. Sagittarius can be a bastion of mental entitlement, the sign which represents and the energetic under which sweeping pronouncements get made which allow for no variety, no differences of opinion or priority.

And with this energetic coming from Sagittarius’ third decanate (the last ten degrees), there is no way to shut others out.

They will have their say.

If that’s a problem, buy earplugs. You have, after all, no more of a right to tell them who they are and what flavor of ice cream their tongue likes best than they have to tell you what sort of music twinkles your toes.

And that – to some great degree – is the heart of this period. During the months of Ixion and Ras Alhague conjunction we’re all going to feel pushed and pulled by our feelings and aims and how they do (and often don’t) work with the priorities and goals of others.

Even people we like.

Even people we love. Or thought we loved.

This is not about ‘giving in’ or ‘giving up’ anything to anyone other than our Self – but that…? That we may well have to do. Or learn to do. All of our choices remain ours.

This is also not any ‘constant’ – that we know because Ixion’s yearly direct-retrograde-direct cycle includes periods from now through to the end of 2015 when our challenges and frustrations will seem stronger or weaker as Ixion moves in and out of 22 Sagittarius.

And what would Ixion represent in those other degrees? Ixion in 21 Sagittarius generates situations through which we test our boundaries of self-assurance in new ways and through new things – which with Ixion is likely to result in some sort of ‘acting out’ or overstepping of bounds (even if that’s just the bounds of good taste on occasion) in an effort to cause us to become more aware of/willing to take on questions of internal balance.

Then there’s Ixion in 23 Sagittarius, which is likely to bring out many a frustration and the kinds of feelings of defeat which can be heedless and uncaring, either to others or with regards to whatever isn’t suiting our Ixion fancy.

Yet put simply, all of this is about where we are out of balance. Such areas are arenas where we don’t maintain stability because our tendency is to go for a solution instead of a restructuring. As with all other astrological signatures, Ixion isn’t about “causing us trouble” – it’s an opportunity to learn about ourselves, often through those standards held by others. But on its own? Wherever you see Ixion in a chart, you know that’s where the person who ‘owns’ that chart could get themselves into trouble – first and foremost with their Self.

All of this is why this encounter with Ras Alhague holds such promise. In Ophiuchus not being on the ecliptic and therefore not being a constellation of the ‘zodiac’ there is no astrological slighting. Yet about every two, three (…ten or twenty) years or so the spirit of fighting for constellation equality seizes people and a huge debate gets started about Ophiuchus as the thirteenth zodiac sign.

The argument is ridiculous – the zodiac is defined as constellations on or across the ecliptic (Earth’s path around the Sun) and Ophiuchus isn’t there.

But that this ‘fight’ keeps getting waged with regards to a constellation which images a hero wrestler wrestling a snake? Without getting coiled into metaphysical snake lore, the quest to overcome and the need to ‘wrestle’ with something can be internal or external.

Either way, during the periods when Ixion and Ras Alhague are (by zodiacal degree) in absolute conjunction we would seem to have a chance to get past a few of our own sticking points.

Whether we have to set them off so as to become aware of them…? And just how that might happen? Those notes are individual.

And maybe we can’t know. Then again, there are the words Ixion is compelled to cry out once he has had but lost his way: 'I should be grateful to my benefactors.'

If nothing else, that would seem to be a clue...though what it means to you is likely to be very different than what that statement means to me.

As well it should.


  1. Interesting as my Ascendant is at 20.13 Saggitarius, and as a Sun Libra I'm always looking for balance. :) My natal Ixion is at 3.43 Scorpio, and conjunct my Jupiter, too - bound to get hit by one of the eclipses coming up too. Fun, fun! Perhaps the lesson is to not take things (or people, or lessons!) for granted? Look for and focus on the silver lining in everything: everything is perfect.

    1. Yes, your natal Ixion will soon be eclipsed - and maybe your Jupiter as well. This April's solar eclipse will be at 8 Taurus (opposing your natal Ixion, given the 5 degree orb allowance)...and next November's solar eclipse will be at 0 Scorpio - absolutely conjunct your Ixion.

      Is everything perfect? Or are we supposed to acknowledge the imperfections and deal with them as part of a reality we should accept? Is there ever good cause to reject the boundary, the 'accepted standard of decency'? All such questions being relative to the chart they're being applied to (of course), it would seem that among other things the trouble in the Ukraine (Kiev) reflects what can happen under this sort of confluence.

      That human nature is not perfect...that indeed is our human perfection. It's what provides for growth.