by Boots Hart, CAP

Saturday, April 26, 2014

April’s 8 Taurus Solar Eclipse (Pt. 3: Stars and Patterns)

An Annular Eclipse
(photo credit: Sancho Panza, October 2005)

Each of Earth’s yearly solar eclipses is a this case one which in rolling over us on April 29th at 6:15 in the morning (UT/+0) moves us out of a ‘breaking down’ phase where whatever is outmoded gets revealed so as to challenge our values and whatever we value or why we value or prioritize it, for good, bad and indifferent.

From this shift, exposure and need to re-evaluate our perceptions will come a new phase of development, experience and resultant utilization of abilities.

And though we may need such changes, let’s be real - we may not like going through them. There is something about the solar eclipse process which, with all due respect for dentistry is rather like having teeth extracted without painkillers.

There is a level at which we should take that sort of difficulty as a hint, perhaps. Why? Because throughout the millennia, the observation of solar eclipse effects on humans and in this world includes some of our very worst attributes.

You know...that very popular human sport called “being stubborn.”

Mind you, having opinions is lovely and standing for what you believe in and who you are the most necessary of things in this world. (Those who can’t do even that much have a very hard time.) And stubbornness has it’s place - no question. But when we are stubbornly refusing to know ourselves...that’s where eclipses come in.

Eclipses are very mysterious timekeepers. But they do seem to clock out areas of our life which will get exposed to us no matter what else happens and who else does, or doesn’t see.

Also: in the case of eclipses - a “blinding” object in the sky - IF someone else ‘sees’ you in the middle of dealing with your eclipse puzzle, whether or not they react you may be assured that witnessing is part of their own process. In other words (to quote a seriously Leo female I used to work with), ‘it’s so NOT about YOU.’

Well, mostly not. There is this factor of ‘like attracts like’ (metaphysical water/emotions seeking its/their own level) between people at eclipses and for good or bad, whether we like it or not the polarizing effects have much to teach us, if we’re only willing to learn. we value learning more or sticking with a ‘decided upon’ perspective or set of priorities?

Right now...right in this moment as we move into and through the solar eclipse, something will end or get ‘blacked out’ as the metaphysical ‘eclipsing’ of our former ‘norm’ - “the way we thought things were” gets wiped away.

This doesn’t have to be violent. It doesn’t even have to be unpleasant, though eclipses in Taurus tend to be particularly trying as they reveal things which, while they may or may not make us vulnerable in reality, sure feel that way.

It’s a prescription for insecurity - all of which we are being ‘told’ (astrologically) is going to challenge us with our own ability to act on faith...or to be faithful to some promise and/or precept.

Solar eclipses happen about every six months, reminding us of our mortality in the sense that events which happen during ‘eclipse seasons’ operate at a mental latitude omnipotent, humbling and incomprehensible in the moment. The sextile from Neptune (at 7 Pisces) to the eclipse (at 8 Taurus) signals a manifesting, an outpouring or ‘bursting forth’ of all things which confuse and disorient us precisely so that we can see or witness something different...or at least differently than we have seen it.

From that will come a nebulous strew of new perceptions, some of which - at least - will challenge us to be more honest with our Self.

And if we can’t (or won’t) go there...then we feel our own pain most acutely. It’s easy to make excuses now. It’s easy to do that which makes us feel better in this moment. Yet even the most determined (or hard headed, depending) among us are likely to have doubts at the moment. Whatever we’re involved in (or not involved in), there’s no clear path through the fray.

We will cope, of course. With the degree of this eclipse being 8 Taurus this time is simply personal in nature - and equally so for each and every one of us, whether you’re baking cookies at home or being focused on by schools and scads of media on some high profile international stage. In some way reflective of our ability to think ahead, adapt along the way and plan for the proverbial ‘rainy day’ (whether that’s past or present) we are at something of a ‘checkpoint’ in time - an idea quaintly referred to by the eclipse’s Sabian description ‘A fully decorated Christmas Tree.’

Can this reference be religious? It could be, but since the origin of Christmas is northern-hemispheric it’s as (or more) likely that this reference is to cyclic renewal: the idea that late December is when in the northern hemisphere days start growing longer and (solar) renewal is thus promised.

There will be another growing season, another harvest, we have more time, we can try, try again.

Evidently we humans like knowing there’s brighter light ahead. Before Christmas and around the globe humans have always celebrated the moment when we feel life quicken and begin to grow.

We celebrate it in our calendar, we celebrate it when in the moment when we learn of a human’s conception - or see their birth. Such things transcend our differences as societally, culturally, globally accepted moments worth celebrating even in the life of our dearest enemy. maybe we won’t celebrate the birth of their child as they would, but we’d probably stop shooting at them long enough to let them kiss their newborn.

Those who don’t and won’t go that far may win in some short run, but in doing so either seed or reveal their monster/monstrous tendencies...which only begs the question when they’ll notice that the psychic blood being spilled is really theirs.

Solar eclipses are not gentle. Solar eclipses often manifest in group experiences but are always and eternally about us - who we are as individuals and our ability to recognize, realize and/or deal with who we are.

At the moment, this entire process is highly amplified and yet strangely ‘inaccessible’ - that being the manifestation of that pesky Mars still in (Libra) retrograde which remains with us until-and-through Mars’ May 20th station - a station which will open doors to ‘move forward’ starting at the ‘theoretical/mental’ end of things with actions and “progress” (as we see it) slowly picking up pace as we move through June. Prior to May 20th the (Mars/Libra retrograde) ‘gap’ between the ‘me’ and ‘them’ (or ‘it’) of life will tend to feel like isolation. Where we are and where we want to be are just not in synch. We can think of this as being given us a bit of ‘space’ and “mental room” and many of us will do (and have been doing) just that.

But there is that (Neptunian) insecurity. And if there’s anything humans don’t like, it’s feeling insecure.

And why would that be? Could it be that insecurity stems from feeling that our personal power (or power to be the person we are) is being threatened?

Or maybe we aren’t “all that” (with or without the bag of chips)?

The good news is that we’re all in this together. The bad news is that there is no clear-cut solution to whatever it is we’ve gathered onto our plate...nor are we all that happy about having to confront knowing about all those choices which got us to wherever we are at the moment.

But then, so did everybody else. And if E=mc2’d...or if you merely want to think about Existence as a single thing which at whatever level manifests as the whole of what it is in every given moment, then doorknob and your computer, we are ALL energy.

As is all the space between us - which really means we’re contiguous...from which vantage point individuality takes on a whole other perspective: that of knowing our part in order to play our part in a Whole which provides all we need and all we could ever conceive of or want.

So given that, who are we fighting when our feelings prompt us to upset? It’s a whole different question, isn’t it?

And one which is not all that comfortable to deal with as generational shifts continue evolving. Deep within we want things to change - we just aren’t sure that anyone else knows how to do the right thing.

Then again, neither do we. Our lives social, societal, worldly and planetary are all changing, bringing about a wholesale crumbling of old allegiances (Pluto/Sabine) and whatever attitudes or perspectives have outlived/completed their usefulness in our lives, our world, our life and times.

Whatever (Pluto/Vega) appeal brought such qualities to the fore is beginning to fade, asking that we (Pluto) transform our Self - not that (Uranus) change is very easy. The innate difference between Plutonic and Uranian processes has pitted us against our own ability to tolerate inexorable inevitabilities we may or many not like amidst an aura of fractious reactivity, ‘shaking us’ at an entirely (TNO Typhon) primal level and as always, Uranus will manifest as situations which 'exert' change in a more abrupt force where we are unwilling or unable to be sufficiently flexible.

Given the ongoing Mars/Libra retrograde, we may see such displays in others...Or we may feel like someone is ‘doing’ something “to” us (or even with us in mind) when that very concept is far less (if at all) about them and (more or less) entirely about why we’re reacting to them in the manner that we're doing.

We feel like it wasn’t long ago (Diadem @ 9 Libra) when in comparison to this moment, things were simple. And part of us does know that the difficulties of this moment are valuable because whether we like it or not, some of humanity’s most valuable (Diadem) lessons come not from joy but through the discomfort of times when we fight the hardest with our Self.

And this is where solar eclipses get so interesting. In moving over our world they move through our lives erupting in whatever sort of event or situation will bring out our weaknesses - in this case, our weakest values.

Priorities - particularly those we have been comfortable with allowing or identifying with (not to mention being known for) either have or will form  lasting (Lachesis) images (Photographica) we will carry forward for some time to come.

Our challenge: not to get (Europa) carried away and not to (Uranus in Aries) over-react. Innovations and various forms of ‘catching up’ are needed and meeting those needs will require (Uranus change)...and probably some degree of sacrifice (Alpheratz) as we relinquish old ideas and ways of thinking, particularly about who we ‘are’ (or need to be) in our own eyes - or those of others.

That all of this comes to us in the form of a grand cross suggests a period of days...even weeks...which with whatever else they bring will also pose challenges, challenges which through their very lack of resolution cause us to question.

Some of our questions will ask why we’ve (Capricorn) come to this place. Some of our questions will ask what we can do in the (Libra) face of feeling like nothing can be done. Some of our questions will cause us to want to know why it is that as individuals or whatever form of family, group or alliance we have such issues (Cancer) with living a fruitful, peacefully productive life. Are we really at such cross-purposes with an other, or with our (Aries) Selves?

All of which brings us to the most symbolic and astro-mythic figure in this side of this eclipse as represented by fixed stars Hamal and Schedir being at 7 Taurus, just a degree off the eclipse itself.

8 Taurus manifests generally as sensitivities and difficulties, one which feeds the other. Responsibilities become focal whether our issue is a rejection of responsibility or our being overwhelmed in the face of responsibilities we don’t know how to (or simply can’t) handle with the whole of this degree being somewhat more ‘airy’ (idea-driven) than many a more earthy, ‘reality oriented’ Taurean degree. With the eclipse at 8 Taurus it is the ‘idea’ of the value we have lacked - most of all in our Self - which in becoming exposed changes our ‘playing field.’

Against this, 7 Taurus is a highly corporeal degree - and one known for its focus on ‘physical existence.’ Not known as a particularly pleasant degree, 7 Taurus tests our ability to cope with painful realities which at some level are the result of choices made, perhaps over time (read: probably within the last eclipse cycle of 19 years) which did not fully grasp or ‘embody’ the reality of consequences - be they theoretical, physical or...considering the ‘trigger’ on this lesson is a solar changing in terms of how we regard life, whether or not our lives are touched in any moment-to-moment manner.

As for the stars, as primary/alpha star in the constellation Aries the Ram, Hamal (alternate name: El-Nath) stands for either the type of (Saturn/Mars) focus and motivation which could be typified as determined effort’ ...or (at the other end of the polarity string) something akin to limited options’ or ‘restricted range’ (implication: of activity, motion or effectiveness). Like most fixed star effects, Hamal’s ‘backdrop to life’ quality tends to take on some ‘coloration’ from whatever is associated with it or in its constellation (Aries) at the time the star is ‘triggered,’ as it is being by a solar eclipse one degree away.

As photographed by NASA and ESA, HST-G1 (also known as Mayall II)
near the core of the Andromeda Galaxy (Sept 2006)

Metaphysically speaking, the eclipse marks at time which seeks to educate and inform us through the ‘expose’ or ‘release’ all things having to do the energies of Hamal and the principle of all things Aries and currently Aries, giving us to think about the nature of our consciousness, about what we’re doing with our life, about who we’re being and about the innate innocence involved in being human, an innocence and vulnerability of mortality we so often like to (consciously) forget.

The eclipse is in Taurus, to be sure. But with the ‘currently transiting Aries’ list currently being headlined by Uranus and dwarf planet Eris, that points to changes which come about through whatever puts us in position to be tumbled into periods of self-confrontation.

And considering how few people really like that sort of thing, we can hardly expect things to be powder puff pink and cutely rosy. Considering the retrograde implications here (Mars rules Aries), something about ‘them’ hits ‘home’ to (Aries) on a personal level by whatever means will promote careful (even critical) reflection. The more (Libra) ‘married’ we are to ‘them’ or their (Libra) ideas, or the more we tend to impose, restrict or reject others when and where they are simply different, the more difficult things will seem.

In other words, we need to know and be who we are, as do others. But to the extent that this equation (either the being or doing or both) is out of balance, things now won’t ‘pay’ or ‘play out’ as anticipated and the more problematic the moving ‘through’ this eclipse period is likely to be.

Situations have now broken down to where we can either ourselves or feel our own inner walls. Why we have those walls is part of our metaphysical corona - the opportunity to see in Self and life that which ordinarily gets lost in day-to-day doings. Once we get through that...once we get honest (at least with our Self)...then we move on.

Constellations Cassiopeia (center), Andromeda (lower left), part of
Perseus (upper left) and the edge of Cepheus (middle/right)
But that probably will involve dealing with Schedir principles at some level, since of the two stars at 7 Taurus, Schedir is definitely the one related to emotional knot-tying.

The myth behind Schedir is that of Cassiopeia, the beautiful if arrogant and vain queen of Ethiopia. To those who know the tale of Niobe this story will sound familiar - though there are a few key differences. Where Niobe claimed her children were more beautiful than the collective intellectual attributes represented by Apollo (the truth of enlightenment) and sister Artemis (the truth of experience), Cassiopeia merely claimed her children were more beautiful than the sea nymph daughters of Neptune (Poseidon) known as the Nereids - which is another way of announcing that she (Cassiopeia) was so wonderful that things she could do (or produce) would be more valuable to human beings than the products of their (Neptune/Poseidon) feelings.

I’m sure you hear some bad times brewing behind this highly mythic sort of assertion, and for those  pondering in that direction, you would surely be right - although this is not the ‘arrow to the heart’ solution reaped by Niobe for her arrogance. Arrows and such being the things of airy flight, that is not how Neptune (emotionalism) chose to punish Cassiopeia. Instead he sent Cetus (a monster of our unconsciousness or ‘the monstrous image’) to attack Ethiopia itself...which is a curious way of saying that the arrogance of our emotions and/or emotional assertions is fully capable of damaging that we stand for, say we love or are trying to lead, protect or otherwise be in charge of.

How Cassiopeia responded to this situation appears to be not so noteworthy. But when king and husband Cepheus learned of the impending attack he sought out advice from an oracle. And when that oracle said the only way to save his kingdom was to sacrifice his own daughter Andromeda, that’s what Cepheus chose to do. In chose country over family he also chose intellectual ideal over emotional commitment - an idea metaphysics has long spoken of in discussions about mythic male and female character images. They aren’t ‘man’ and ‘woman’ in other words, they’re the naturally assertive and responsive parts of our individual nature... which makes this conversation at least in part about the ‘seed of the child’ within us as Alpheratz - the fixed star in conjunction with Europa in the eclipse’s grand cross - is a star located 

To finish with the myth, Andromeda was duly chained to a rock at the ocean’s edge and abandoned.

Andromeda by Gustave Dore

And just as the monster Cetus appeared, so did hero Perseus while on his way home with the head of Medusa. Having already ‘done battle’ with his own fear of facing fear (Medusa) Perseus was exactly the right fellow to rescue Andromeda from  being living ‘payment’ for her kin’s self-defined, self-concerned values.

As is our more ‘heroic’ self Perseus represents whatever part of us which has seen the bad, which has survived the ugly, which knows to look at fears in reflection. It is not that Perseus - or that we always know how to attack the problem of those dangerous emotions which can appear from the psychic deep to threaten us, but that we need to face the real need to try our best which counts.

So...over the past two months (more or less), life has evidenced and provoked situations and experiences which reveal to us the embodiment of everything which has gone wrong in areas which are (8 Taurus) rather sensitive. The whole idea of trying to deal with something complicated and which seems - at least on the intellectual level - potentially massively destructive probably bothers each and every one of us as we think about it, and that makes facing up to what must be done in facing the physical attributes of whatever is at hand now all the more difficult.

Why that is...and what that value can teach us about other things in our life? That’s for us to sort through, and as the date of the eclipse passes and we give up trying to hold onto some bygone status quo we will indeed do that.

In the meantime... since our emotions seldom let us escape such ‘monstrous’ situations unscathed it’s not surprising that Neptune/Poseidon (our emotionality) imprisoned Cassiopeia - and in classically Greek illustrations her punishment was an evocative one which has come down to us with Cassiopeia as the ‘chained woman.’

A woodcut of Cassiopeia depicted seated in her 'chair of tormentr'
(from the Hyginus 'Poeticon Astronomicon,' courtesy of US Naval Observatory Library

Tied to her throne (her ‘seat of vanity’) constellation Cassiopeia remains ‘on top of the world’ as it circles Earth’s pole, but for fully half the year she is pretty much ‘standing on her head’ - which some think of as an invitation to ‘turn tables’ and reinvent one’s self and some think of as doomed destiny.

Apparently it’s up to us. (Again.)

Through the period of this eclipse - both as we come to it and in its wake as we start a long, three-year evolutionary process we cannot as yet know the end of, Schedir’s involvement may reflect some grotesque or grotesquely negative reality in your world or which has surfaced in your life. Or it may represent your being ‘tied’ by some commitment, promise, legality, situational parameter, custom... something which prevents you from ‘getting up from your throne’ to act. Looking at the myth it would seem the more ‘tied’ or ‘bound’ we are emotionally the more we will tend to attempt to handle matters on more of an ‘externalized’ basis - and that for those choices to succeed we must be ready and willing to face our fears (or our fear of our fear) about something in fairly short order even though the fullness of whatever happens will not become apparent for several years yet to come.

That the name ‘Schedir’ (which comes from Arabic) means ‘breast’ would seem to indicate that some sort of ‘failure to nurture’ (or nourish or even ‘parent’) is involved here, in which case the ‘chain’ would be the connective between that ‘nourishing factor’ and whatever considerations you may be going through with regards to values and valuations or  evaluations being - or which have been exposed since the latter part of February (2014).

As I’ve said (and will no doubt say again), eclipses are difficult to understand while in the ‘break down’ and ‘passing through’ phases. We look back at eclipses in our life and understand what was changing at that time but seldom understand in the precision of the moment what the eclipse is truly about.

All we know are the current circumstances...which is apparently all we should know as, unbeknownst to us the universe functions as it should. And as it does that, irrevocably if effortlessly we are each and every one of us moved individually and in contiguous continuity through our metamorphic processing: stripped of  whatever seeming solid convictions are separating us from being our most self-respected - and therefore validated in value) Self - we are therefore left with the opportunity to better utilize what we are in the support of who we can be: one human among a contiguous E=mc2 many we of this greatly blue planet tend to call 'All.'

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Solar Eclipse Map: Years 2001-2020

 NASA's solar eclipse path map (2001-2010)

Eclipses are interesting beasts. Cycling from one pole of our planet to the other, they spiral around and around our globe, describing a path which in the greater metaphysical perspective we well might see as a helix - or maybe you'd rather think of it as a spiral.

Either concept works...

The spiral stairs of Austria's Admont Abbey as photographed by Jorge Royal (September 2009)’s just how eclipses work - and how from the astrological perspective eclipses clocks various levels of growth, whether that's personal or corporate or national or familial - or anything else.

It's about growth - which is to say, how each thing grows unto its self as reflected astrologically in the chart. Each separate eclipse, singularly and as part of far a longer series of eclipses (each separated by 19 years) lets us know where we are - not with the world, but in terms of being more or less closely aligned with the inner human Self (speaking here to a person's natal chart) that they really are.

So when an eclipse shows up, will we learn something and ‘ascend’ another level? Or will we hold onto or work to preserve some status quo and either "leave ourselves behind" or end up going around in circles? From cycle to cycle (as eclipses repeat) the theory is that we get challenged by ‘like-themed’ situations, dynamics or people...and when that happens we learn whether it’s “just THAT again,” or whether we’ve learned how to be the person we really are on the inside - that person who, while they may well compromise with others, doesn’t compromise when it comes to living at a quality level for who they are as a human being.

That’s the eclipse ‘test’ and the source of whatever ‘breaks down’ at this time - which will of course be followed (as the eclipse flows through) by a 'shift' from 'break down' to adapting and making something positive of all which happens. There is a spectacularly 'nebulous' quality which seems to accompany eclipse periods - and with this April's eclipse being an annular eclipse (one where the dark disc of the Moon doesn't quite cover the disc of the Sun) we've all been living with-and-through several weeks now of strange feelings and feeling strange - however that has manifested.

An annular solar eclipse
(photo credit: Hannibal Poenaru, September 2006)

Eclipses have a funny way of feeling ‘fated’...and in a sense they are, considering we’re each fated by birth to live the life that we end up living.

But what we do along the way? What we focus on, why we invest ourselves in Thing A rather than Option B and whether those choices (and all that goes into them, obviously) are apt - those are the things eclipses are known for wrapping our brains around, reluctant (no, make that often...) though they may sometimes be to take some challenge on.

On the average, Earth experiences two solar and two lunar eclipses every year, though eclipse ‘seasons’ with two eclipse of one type are certainly not unknown: July/August 2009 hosted a two lunar/one solar eclipse passage while June/July 2011 saw us through one lunar and two solar eclipses.

The astrology of solar eclipses tells us that any solar eclipse has an effect, but that those solar eclipse which aspect something specific in your chart are far more potent in a manner which is inexorable, but seldom obvious. By ‘breaking down’ some situation or relationship or effort in your life, the eclipse forces you to ‘fall back’ on something which is important to you, but probably not being fully (or accurately) expressed or included in your life.

And that...slowly but surely...becomes more important in your life because of the eclipse - though whatever is “affected” and what you end up doing may bear no apparent bearing on each other.

You are eclipsing who you were in becoming more of who you should be.

And then....? Well, the way eclipse processes work, because you’ve been ‘eclipsed’ and have thus been “motivated” (read: pushed, shoved, inspired, cornered, dropped, jettisoned) into ‘eclipsing’ who you were being, at around six months shy of the end of the 36-month eclipse ‘life span’ something happens.

That something is something you could not have done or experienced or known even to take advantage of had you not grown past who you were a couple of years ago.

A few pieces of astro-math here for the curious: the three year (36 month) eclipse cycle is six times six months - six months being the final ‘development’ point in the eclipse process (give or take the fact we’ll run into this eclipse nineteen years from now). That ‘sectioning’ of the transit time suggests a cycle which is divided by six - which in zodiacal and astrological terms would be the (360 degree) circle divided into six parts: a Grand Sextile.

Old-time astrological texts refer to grand sextiles (which can alternatively be seen as an interlocking of two grand trines) as the ‘connecting of heaven and earth’ - or that we humans call “fate” - hence the connecting of eclipses to things “fated.”

However...astrologically? Because each branch of the six-sided Grand Sextile is exactly that (a sixty degree sextile) and since sexiles represent opportunities we have to take consciously utilize, a Grand Sextile is - in the eclipse sense most particularly - a series of six 'six month' or "sextile" units of time which have to be 'linked together' in order to get to the 'outcome' (our greatest growth of Self)...and that doesn't begin to finalize until we're on that last "link" - the six months prior to what we might cheerfully call an eclipse's 'expiration date.'

Of course once we are that Self and have done all the work to re-balance our inner attributes through any given eclipse (adding in those which follow)...then we get the benefits of being that more integrated, mortally vitalized person.

Solar eclipses have a reputation for loss, which on one had is entirely well-founded in that they tend to strip away things we like, but which have in the greatest perspective of life outlived their usefulness. If you think of the image of the solar eclipse...

Total Eclipse of the Sun as seen from Hao in French Polynesia
(photo credit: Denys, July 2010)’s also rather apparent that in order to see the unique and special ‘enlightenment factor’ of this moment (represented by the Sun’s corona) the “ambient light of daily life”...has to be blocked out. And what is blocking it out? The Moon - our image of emotionality, values, feelings, nurturance, memory, culture, family, mortality...all that.

So solar eclipse periods tend to be very emotional. Should they be? Probably yes, as our emotions and feeling those emotions (or dealing with them) are part of our very human process.

But in the the end the point is some special quality of consciousness, something unique to us which is at the same time, universal in its meaning. Throughout your life, once activated that point and its position in your natal chart will become a fact or factor you’ll remember and feel yourself remembering as every nineteen years subsequent eclipses re-trigger that degree, too. What happens you feel and what you do...all that is some part of your process - the test we talked about - the most essential part of which is purely about your growth process with/within your Self. If you ‘got it’ the last time around, this time around you will probably get to capitalize on that experience, making your ‘front end’ of any current passage seem more or less easy.

Just remember: your ‘eclipse points’ (and there may be one or many of them) remain active - they’re part of how you were made. So you may excel in one area of your life (which you probably “recognize” as being the ‘echo’ of something you’ve met up with/learned about in the past)...but since that eclipse point is yours for life, even as you’re excelling, something else will be formulating in the mist which approaches the same point from your natal chart in some new and different way.

(Congratulations! Aren’t you excited?)

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

For Astrology Students: the best ‘general’ pointer I can offer on how to know where some trying aspect from 19 years ago is going to burst out like some bad case of metaphysical hives is to say look at the current solar return.

Step one: Look for the house where the eclipse is happening. Think through it's meaning, then look for the planet ruling the sign on the cusp of that house. Is that planet well placed and well aspected (aka "in good condition)? If yes, effects will trend more easily towards the positive. If no, effects will be particularly testing and if left unattended, tend to manifest as problems, upsets and/or slowdowns.

Step two: Look for where the natal point would fall in the solar chart. Think through it's meaning, then look for the planet ruling the sign on the house cusp. If that planet is well placed and well aspected (aka "in good condition), effects will trend more easily towards the positive. If no, effects will be particularly testing and if left unattended, tend to manifest as inhibitions, 'blockages' or blockades of some sort.

Step three: Synthesize the meanings of those houses, adding in any hard (conjunction, square, oppositional) aspects to the solar position.

Step four: Consider the delineation in contrast (or as part of) the whole of the solar chart being presented. If it’s not in theme, you’re looking at an “interruption.” If it is in theme, chances are good that the eclipse in part contributes to an ‘evolution’ of lessons learned the last time around and that will also reflect the houses as noted above. Beyond that, something new and long(er) term is likely to develop.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

This nineteen-year (“Metonic”) eclipse cycle is something worth astro-clocking from critical events in anyone’s early life. That ‘source’...that ‘first time around’ will set a ‘trend’ in a person’s life - just as many things in childhood do.

The corollary of course is that we can’t be ‘learning’ from some ‘first time’ until the ‘second’ time arrives.

....So there you are excelling at/on/as this thing you’ve already learned about. And as you’re feeling all fine and fettled about that, something else - something new and unexpected - arises.

Life goes on. There’s always more to learn.

And because this is an eclipse (a global event), as you’re doing whatever you’re doing, you are also likely to be seeing other people going through their ‘eclipse stuff’ - which is where we tend to project (eclipses are famous for it) and think they have no clue and we’re so hugely clued.

Generally that’s wrong. But you know...people are going to think what they’re going to think as that’s human nature.

Not to worry. If this eclipse has their number on it, they’ll be dealing with their own slice of humble pie, don’t you worry about it. That you might notice them...? Well, that’s that old ‘like attracts like’ (aka “water seeks its own level”) thing, a factor which at eclipse time can act as a weird sort of magnet drawing you into seeing other people in a strange new ‘light.’ So some will confuse, startle or even delight you even as others just as plainly seem to be struggling with their eclipse process - just about to the same extent that you’re struggling with yours.

And sometimes both those things can occur in the very same person - whether that’s you or not you.

What we put out comes back to us....sometimes in the form of witnessing others, or in being witnessed by them. Even in experiencing them as a mirror on our life or times. And though you may like (or not like) this fact, over the thousands of years of years that astrology has existed all the notes and treatises come down to one fact - namely that everything which goes on now is part of your eclipse experience, and therefore some sort of life experience asking to be liberated, experienced and dealt with.

It’s all part of a single universal, highly personal process. What means so much to us means something to others and that ‘something’ may be entirely different if equally valid in their life.

We exist to learn about our lives and we do that through things we meet up with and people we interact with in this world. All things solar systemic apply to all people one eclipse, one planet and many, many human individuals at a time. That even by the most conservative of calculations charts simply can’t repeat but once every 26,000 years is quite enough to give us individuality while simultaneously tying us to the eons.

Every time an eclipse repeats, the path that it follows tracking across our planet Earth varies slightly. It pushes “forward” just slightly, seeming to image life’s effort to get us to move on, grow and evolve as an individual. Also worth noting is that any planet in your personal chart which is ‘hit’ by an eclipse will become a life-long ‘timer’ of sort. Matters pertaining to that point, planet, dwarf planet, axis, node (etc.) will be known - at least by you - to be those you end up ‘dealing’ with over time.

Maybe you’ll master them. (At least some of them.) Or maybe you’ll be mastered by the situations, relationships or efforts they provoke, involve or lead you to becoming involved with. With solar eclipses being the world-wide phenomenon they are, our “eclipse event” will tend to involve others or be something someone else will take note of, though that doesn’t mean eclipses are necessarily ‘societal.’ They can be - eclipses on specific sensitive points of a national or corporate chart could well indicate the beginning of some long (or long-ish) term change in operation or direction. But most eclipse effects are personal and merely end up being noticed by those nearest to us - or with whom we work, live or play.

Solar Eclipse Paths: 2001-2020
(enlargement/the Americas)
(image credit: NASA)

Solar Eclipse Paths: 2001-2020
(enlargement/Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia)
(image credit: NASA)

I'm posting this map to the blog so it will be here for you to think about. Eclipse paths indicate world swaths and longitudinal sections which will experience the eclipse intensely and often an area of the world others ‘look to’ or ‘look at,’ depending on what’s going on.

But the effect - how we take anything and what we do about it? That’s on our plate - each one of our plates. Even when an eclipse hits you full force, how you respond to it is still up to you.

And that in part is how we learn about our world and ourselves through and sometimes because of - even in spite of others.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mercury in Taurus / Neptune at 7 Pisces

Pasaulio Sutverimas II (Creation of the World II)
by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis (1906-1907)

As Mercury enters Taurus this Wednesday (April 23rd at 10:25 p.m. UT/+0 time) some things tone down...just a bit. Feelings of being on edge begin rounding out as life takes on a more genteel and considered, giving tone.

Yet at the same time that things are becoming less ‘cutting,’ they’re also becoming a bit...well, let’s just call it what it is: muddled - which goes to the other astrological matter timing out to Wednesday, namely planet Neptune’s shift into 7 Pisces.

And what’s so special about that?

That’s special because Neptune will remain at 7 Pisces from now through it’s station in early June (yes, I said June) until in retrograde Neptune ‘backs’ out of 7 Pisces into 6 Pisces - which won’t happen until we’re closing in on the end of July.

That’s a lot of time to be spent with Neptune at 7 Pisces, which suggests a metaphysical ‘emphasis’ on this point.

So what would Neptune at 7 Pisces be about? The degree itself is known for changing and changeable conditions and various not-so-very ‘crystal clear’ influences.

And that’s even without adding in any sort of ‘Neptune effect.’ So since Neptune is known for both idealism and illusion, equally promoting elation and desperation depending on our need to experience our feeling would seem that there is an overarching period (the Neptune/7 Pisces factor) which starts now and runs through almost all of July, and as part of that, Mercury is now entering Taurus.

And of course ...just to be fair here...the opposite could also be just as true: as Mercury entering Taurus can be a ‘color commentary’ on the activation of the ‘Neptune/7 Pisces’ theme, so too could we say that Neptune’s entering Pisces is a commentary on the two-week dash through Taurus Mercury is about to make.

The astrology of Neptune starts with its being the last true and full-fledged planet in our solar system as we head ‘out into the unknown’...or maybe just away from our personal consciousness and point of view - all that which is so brilliantly signified by our Sun.

Thus Neptune stands on the edge between all which is known...or even able to be known...and the un(not)known and/or not knowable - a metaphorical image which places planet Neptune in the position of inspiring us to explore (that which is unknown) and that which may well represent ‘the lifting of a veil’ or a ‘melting away of preconception’ or some dissolving of a wall or barrier - whether it’s in our heart or mind or out there in the street - whatever is keeping you from whatever you could experience and grow through experiencing...that’s where Neptune works.

And that’s why Neptune tends to be experienced as painful. We humans like our preconceptions as much (or more) than we like that favorite food from some childhood memory. We scream and scream for change and then cling to the old and known, often limiting ourselves through our reluctance to see beyond our pre-dreamed definition of what nirvana is.

In fact, it would be completely Neptunian (and Neptune-Taurus/Mercury) for me to suggest here that given our mortal and human perspective we have no ability to envision - never mind define - what nirvana may be. Or not be.

That difference...that gap between what we know and what we cannot know is very Neptunian in its ability to get us to wonder - and equally Neptunian in its ability to confound us with our own incongruities. As a psychological indicator the astrological (and astrology of) Neptune leads us through whatever  gives us (or makes us) pause entirely because of this factor, entirely because in our drive to become who we teaches us to excel through personal focus in a world which can’t have every person focused so exclusively on their Self lest we destroy each other in our self absorption.

All of which leads us to the idea of Pisces - the sign Neptune is transiting and co-ruler of. During Neptune’s long (and no doubt resonant) stay at 7 Pisces we will be learning most of all how ‘wise’ our directions, choices and belief systems are. What we will come into all such situations with will be some conviction that ‘we know.’

But do we? Do we really know - or have we been operating on a knowledge of theory?

Where idea meets human experience is expressed variously by the metaphysics of the zodiac. In this case the ‘idea’ of what works for everyone is Aquarian and the emotional triumph or toll is typically Piscean. Ever since Neptune entered Pisces (this time around) back in 2011 events of many kinds have forced us to consider how we are connected to what goes on in our world.

Some of that has been wonderful. Some of our experiences have been exceedingly unpleasant. And why is that? Astrology suggests that some a part of our ongoing (and new) difficulties have to do with us...probably more than a little bit. That tendency we all have to ‘cherry pick’ what we like in a situation, our willingness to ignore or deny things which don’t fit what we want to believe about things...?

Any choice which is not exclusive, or which by nature is restricted by some feeling on our part which negates or excludes the truth of what others feel (whether that’s about us or the subject at hand or anything else)...that is the sort of thing Neptune’s 2011-2025 transit of Pisces is bound to cover. During this time we will all learn a lot about our own orientation towards feelings. We will veer away from them, we’ll do that very Neptunian thing and project them...we’ll even pretend they neither matter nor need to be taken into account.

All such choices will be made on the basis of something we ‘know’ or think we know as fact...and yet after a traverse of the Pisces landscape, many such ‘gut feelings’ which turn out to fears.

Neptune transits tend to teach us to feel our fears not so that we can back away, but so we can begin to understand why we care. And what caring is about. Why it matters not just to ‘them’ but to us - as in for our purely human sake. (Humans don’t do well without feelings).

Through understanding what we care about and WHY we care about it, we come to a better place with, and within our personal Self.

That’s Neptune in Pisces, a process which sounds deceptively simple and even cuddly until we find out its anything but simply because in the world of human beings the known is always easier to opt for than the unknown.

As for Mercury, an everyday transit of Taurus by Mercury would be about about keeping things going the way we want them to go in general, and that’s one major theme we can expect to live through (and hear about) until Mercury moves on into Gemini as of May 7th. There will be a natural mental (Mercury) focus on matters and details having to do with the day-to-day business of living and we can expect at least a surface display of mainstream attention to all things central, societal and functional (read: food, money, transportation, scheduling, power systems, etc.)

Into all this will steal the Neptune/7 Pisces shift. It may well be subtle and for some it will manifest in confusion. So long as our goals are neither ego-driven nor ego-rewarding (individually or collectively) things may go a bit awry but with proper attention from those with ability in the name of the common cause (the term “common” here meaning either ‘common to everyone/all’ or ‘commonly encountered in everyday life’), much can be accomplished.

However...with this being said, Neptune effects (and transits) can be famously painful, particularly if or where we’re used to being ‘in control.’

Neptune processes favor the dissolution of what is most of all so that we can learn more, learn better and move on and Neptune functions as a great ‘societal’ or ‘humanistic’ leveler.

We’ll be thinking about such things throughout this time. Particularly as we move into and through the April 29th solar eclipse events and situations will continue providing whatever it will take to get us to feel.

The good news is that Mercury in Taurus tends towards concrete terms. The bad news is that Mercury in Taurus tends to want ‘proof’ before it does anything.

Venus (on left) and Mercury photographed in the sky above Paris
(photo credit: Josselin Desmars)
And yes, Taurus is a fixed sign - so like all fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius being the zodiacal quartet) it’s ‘pace’ has to do with ‘processing’ something. So in our own world as well as that of others, there is going to be a bit of waiting.

Unpopular waiting, that is. Though capable of the  decent, kind and noble Mercury Taurus does tend to wend something of a bullish way between poles of selfishness and generosity.

And there is one other little thing - beyond how notorious Mercury in Taurus is for moments of sheer, unmitigated stubbornness...those entirely enchanting (read: not enchanting at all) moments of ‘I can, so I will...’ that some strongly affected by this transit will pull through machinations of power, rank or leverage.

That ‘one thing’ is how Mercury/Neptune contacts tend to manifest in anything but the truth because we don’t want to be a universalist...or where we don’t want to feel any “inconvenient” feelings (‘inconvenient to us,’ that is).

When that happens, we tend to dig in. Some of us will be ‘clouded’ by feelings and not have the ‘foggiest’ what to do. Some of us will not want to see or listen - we’ll wrap ourselves in a veil of inner longings (our ‘dream image’) either to confound our own clarity of mind or because seeing, sensing or hearing something would require us to change.

And we’re scared of that. For whatever reasons we’re scared, we’re scared of that...which suggests that as our global mindset shifts from the courageous if often a bit self-centered Mercury in Aires transit (that which is just finishing) for plus and minus we each leave our visionary world of inner mental conviction we arrive at not just the Mercury in Taurus need to ‘get real’ on some very basic level but Mercury in Taurus all ‘aglow’ with promise, we reconsider.

The ‘default” for Mercury in Taurus involves structuring and building what we have so that we can build our way into the future - our future. Taurus is full of promise, with the only question really being whether that promise will get used...and if used, used for what.

Our general times are telling us that some changes are under way. Whether we look at eclipse cycles or the rise of the Aquarian Age some things are slowly but surely passing away and we’re not always comfortable with that.

But that feeling isn’t being ‘caused’ by them. We feel what we feel because we learned to feel that way - and to ignore that is to prevent ourselves from going forward...which is generally unproductive, to say the least.

Also - since I’ve just mentioned the eclipse, messenger Mercury will be moving through 8 Taurus within just a few days (call it April 11th or 12th, depending on your location) and that will tend to either ‘trigger’ eclipse effects for everyone to some extent. It’s therefore not unlikely to expect some people to suddenly see some ‘error’ in their thinking, plans or ways of going about things in general while others will press forward ever so resolutely.

Some things will begin to change at this point. Other things will be proven to be substantially lacking in validity or even feasibility. Even without Neptune’s famously infamous ‘now you think you know you aren’t so sure’ quality this is likely to be a delicate time calling for some form of sensitivity.

Taurus is a sign about basic human need and necessity. It’s a sign all about what it takes to be someone in this world and the kind of bedrock ability to be a person, a mortal human being unto our Self. All the ‘native’ strengths we use in life, all which feeds our needs so that we can exist, carry on and excel - all that is natively Taurus. As Mercury transits Taurus the entire subject of ‘mentality’ is likely to come to center stage as various (Neptunian) truths and fictions come to light in our individual as well as societal lives. With everyone still pushing through a seeming endless set of challenges (reflecting the Venus-Mercury-Mars/Saturn retrogrades which began last December) there will be frustration and a few rash speeches made all around.

Some will avoid truths, some will choose to lie and some will come realize actualities far different from the assumptions they had been proceeding on. In some areas we will find out that things really are as we were thinking they were (or as we were told they were). In others, confusion may reign making some problems simply least for now.

Mercury/Neptune as a signal of duplicitous activities suggests that some will ‘falsify for gain’ or be led astray now. Then again, they may know exactly what they’re doing - or their standards of consideration or for making decisions may be completely different than yours.

What do such things mean?

Nothing about this transit has to be malicious or ‘bad’ though it’s likely that during the next couple of weeks (and yes, on through May into June and July) implications will arise which cast doubts on some ‘known’ (singular or plural)...while other perhaps less “likely” solutions become viable. is not ‘the thing’ which counts: it’s your orientation to your own capacity for balancing feelings against fact, hope against loss, reality against faith which mostly matters and matters most. Without question, some of us will now learn that some ‘theory’ we have been working with or proceeding on the basis of was incorrect...or being incorrectly applied.

Planet Neptune in its natural coloration with moons Proteus at the top, Larissa
at the lower right and Despina on the left.
(photo credit: Hubble Space Telescope, NASA-JPL)

But that’s just life too. Sometimes an idea is just an idea - we can’t put it into play wholesale, but we can be informed by it so that the choices we do make (in part because of our ideas are more acceptable (viable, useful) to everyone else...and thus how we come to be respected, cherished and rewarded by others.

This is one of the great Taurus-Scorpio polarity points: both signs gain more by offering than demanding. The power and control denoted by both Taurus and Scorpio are to be applied to ourselves so that we can bring the best out in that Self and thus earn position, power and that sort of control we think of as leadership.

If and where we can have faith in exploring new ways of approaching foundational issues now, astrology suggests much can come of our efforts and interactions providing we bear in mind that the (Neptune) universal perspective is as yet unclear. That’s not the easiest order to fulfill as Mercury’s two week transit of Taurus is bound to manifest in assessments and question of a practical and pragmatic kind.

Still Neptune teaches that we must allow ourselves not to know...which means we can only try - and when necessary, try again. We evidently don’t know know everything which can happen as yet...and just owning that much may cause ripples in whatever life pond we happen to swim in. Recognizing that seems to be part of our process as Neptune sets us up to experience its call to the experience of altruism, loss, faith, inspiration and despair imaged by the Sabian degree definition ‘A GIRL BLOWING A BUGLE.’

The girl is a young person - this is not a ‘full grown’ moment in time. It is young and therefore innocent as yet of what can happen but still driven by the power of the discovering mind. The image being of a female is not a reference to gender but rather to rather the metaphysics of ‘yin’ and thus the accumulated standing or experience which we are now ‘trumpeting’ (calling) to others with...or which is calling us.

And it just may be both...which brings us to our question: what, to whom and how will we answer that call? Are we willing to understand where that call is coming from and why it's important just now?

Friday, April 18, 2014

April’s 8 Taurus Solar Eclipse (Pt. 2: Sun in Taurus / Eta Aquarids)

Taurus (1907) by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis

It’s about now in the lengthy March 1-May 20 Mars retrograde that things begin feeling really questionable. Mars retrogrades are always long and by nature tend to drag or slow us down. We are now about two-thirds through the retrograde and things are ‘coming out’ which are not one’s finest moments. About now there’s a ‘gap’ - or inability to achieve what we want…and the maintaining of  connections or activities we’re grown used to is likely to raise a couple of question. Are we willing to keep pushing ourselves? Will we continue to believe in what we’re doing should we find we’re alone in our belief?

And that’s not all. Even while slogging through mental Mars quicksand, there are all the intricate convolutions so very typical of the ongoing Ixion/Ras-Alhague conjunction which began back on February 22nd.

Amidst all that, the Sun enters Taurus – an act which on a metaphysical level sets many a thing in motion.

The date: April 20th.

The time: 3:57 in the morning, UT/+0.

Elementally, this moves us from the fiery world of Aries visions and personal conviction-insight-consciousness into the more ‘giving’ and ‘earthy’ Sun in Taurus zone – a time which is about whatever sort of stability, security, nourishment we need in life. Information, food, respect, abilities, money – whatever the basic need is in life, what that need tests is Taurean, as it tests our internal and intrinsic ability to deal with being confronted by the realities (not the ‘vision’) of what will support life…ours and that life in which we live (the world around us, in other words).

Normally this entrance would be one colored by fixed star Mirach at 0 Taurus, supporting a reigniting of the desire to interact in a more-or-less supportive manner because under Sun in Taurus the concept of give-and-take is brought into a basic, almost simplistically easy form. Yet with our 2014 Sun-Taurus ingress also comes a South Node at 28 Aries – just to begin with, and that’s something of a notice about internal-versus-external influences or opinions or ‘directives’ which are raising questions for you, me – and everyone else, too.

Our questions don’t sound the same, but they are: they’re about security – starting with how secure we feel about life, moving from there to how stable or secure we feel with our Self and who we’re being…and moving on from there to others reflecting what we’re feeling, which just may be why so much about life is likely to get us focused on our values.

And specifically, where we are out of kilter with our values. Or where we say we value one thing and do something which demonstrates some dichotomy in our personal character as well as the inaccuracy of stated or ‘vouched for’ standards.

The additional modifiers here are Tantalus at 3 Taurus (conjunct the Sun from ‘ahead’) and Juno at 26 Aries, conjuncting the Sun from ‘behind.’ Sometimes this ‘ahead-behind’ dynamic manifests as things we’ve done or experienced against things which are yet to be done – or even situations which are yet to arise, people we will yet meet, opportunities we will yet choose to avail ourselves or not.

Seeing as I posted on Tantalus just recently, if you would like to read up on Tantalus details here is that link.

Otherwise, with a brief nod to Tantalus as an indicator of our ability (or choice to/not to) weigh decisions correctly for both short-and-long term purposes, this solar ingress looks like exactly what we might expect at a point in time when Earth is rotating towards begin eclipsed from an area of the zodiac where the sense of survival is vital even if the necessity of physical survival isn’t.

And the way metaphysics works, to teach us that…to get us through our ego walls and to the point that we separate those two standards…we are going to come to the solar eclipse having perceived various forms of both. We may see that clearly. Then again, we may not want to see anything.

It’s a question of honesty – not with others (which is yes, what they may think), but with our Self.

This incoming eclipse is about values. Not ‘theirs,’ ours. It isn’t about ‘them’ – it’s about whether our values are what they should be…need to be…can be…and all the falsehoods we may be living, all the  structures we’ve built in the name of defense which really amount to fear. More specifically, ego fears – those threats (real or imagined) that we may not live up to who others think we are – or to the measure of the person we have long told ourselves we’re being.

And once we get that far? Then we have an option to change or not change, depending on the status of that self respect which underlies our self worth – and thus our personal and individual values….and the response that raises in us to whatever others are doing, prioritizing, opting for or investing the strength of their values, their resources, their abilities in.

Also – it’s unlikely that anything which is coming to a head has been ‘of the moment’ or swift coming on. Most of what is at stake now or up for consideration (or lack thereof…) has its origins in the past, separate from the fact that this April’s solar eclipse is a ‘recalling’ of situations and cycles either set off, avoided, initiated, instigated or ‘bought into’ back in April 1995.

Yes, in case you didn’t know eclipse degrees repeat – as do all lunar phases. Known as the Metonic cycle (so named for a fellow named Meton who lived long, long ago) the 19-year eclipse cycle continues to raise questions and issues in our life over and over again, asking us if we’ve ‘settled’ for something which seems comfortable enough…or good enough…or whether we’re living a life which is true to who we are (really) at our core.

Obviously anyone younger than 19 years old has not met up with this particular eclipse degree as yet, and there’s nothing to say that your experience…no matter how old or young you are…is going to be positive or negative when it comes to solar eclipse effects.

The key is your chart. So if you’ve run into any sort of quagmire over the past several months which challenges either how you feel about yourself or those values which you extend into the world or use in managing or operating in your world… this eclipse may well have your name on it. If so, you are not only currently in a state of unresolved flux (a feeling common during the last few weeks before any solar eclipse) but you are feeling challenged in a way which right or wrong, real or imagined has everything to do with how you’re going to feel about yourself.

You know…how you feel when at night you close your eyes and wait for sleep to come.

We are all mortal. That’s one note very much on point here. No matter who we are, no matter where or how we live, there are things we all need like sleep, like food, like the oxygen we breath. We all have feelings, longings, vulnerabilities and dreams. Some will happen, some will not. Some we hold onto as balm and motivation while we struggle towards some goal even if deep inside we know the dream will never be real.

At least we tried.

Yes, at some level, that’s the question now: will we try…or will we simply be trying – or even tried?

That last version could lead to a whole ‘other’ kind of ‘conviction’ – as opposed to being convinced - to be sure…but no matter who we are, no matter what the issue or outcome of some issue currently is, why we care (or don’t care) about Self or others remains the central question.

At least for now. After all, solar eclipses – particularly those which we find difficult, disruptive or destructive – are only in part about the issue of the moment, though that will have to be dealt with one way or another to be sure. And that we don’t (or haven’t) dealt with? That will deal with us through mechanisms set in motion at this time.

All of which brings up another point about Taurus. Though Taurus is the testing ground for inner security, it’s tests most often have some external or externalized factor which must be negotiated in connection with others or your world. Why?

Because it is only through tests and negotiations that we prove our inner security.

No, not to them – to our Self, which is why the truly secure person is immune to what others say…not in the uncaring sense, but in a manner which acknowledges differences without judgment in an accepting and caring manner.

With Taurus, manners count. They don’t have to be perfect, they don’t even have to be polite. They simply need to acknowledge realities – whether we like those realities (or want to admit them) or not. The importance of this may not seem immediately apparent until you consider Taurus as the sign before Gemini – the signature of mentality and communication. That makes Taurus the “12th derivative sign” to Gemini, making it not all that unlikely that a smattering of glitches which test our notions of security and/or what we think is (or isn’t) secure(d) in our opinion…or in reality.

A couple of other items on the menu, at least one of which I suspect will bring great cheer:

ITEM ONE: The Eta Aquarid meteor shower begins on April 19th and lasts through May 28th. As the Lyrids will continue dappling our night skies until April 25th, this means Earth is currently enjoying a double helping of what we might call “meteoric influences.”

Meteor showers are said to bring us ‘sprinkles of inspiration’ and the Eta Aquarids tend to be big scale, large scope and greatly ‘universal’ (if you think of the term ‘Aquarids’ as being akin to ‘Aquarius,’ you’ll be rather close). And perhaps – given the solar eclipse in Taurus – this indicates a time when new ideas are ‘sparked’ which help us see what isn’t working in our lives and what to do about it…or where our actual talents may prove useful.

Perseid meteor shower by John Walker (July 2011)
Then there are the Lyrids, a shower which has its in constellation Lyra – where Pluto is currently applying several-years worth of transit pressure to fixed star Vega, a process which will ultimately result in ‘transformations of charismatic forces,’ whether that means some source comes on line, disappears entirely or is transformed in essence or effect. We’re in “year two” of this 2013-2017 evolution of our time and lives and as astrological symbols go, Pluto isn’t known for manifesting as the ‘situation genteel.’

The bottom line here is this is yet another indication of our changing times…and changing minds. Whatever it is we’re supposed to be learning, as we move through the next week (through the end of the Lyrids on April 25th) things are still in revelation mode. We’re seeing what to do…we may even know how we want to do it…

And yet it’s not time. Something isn’t established or doesn’t yet exist.

So…what has to change before it does?

Well…probably several things. (After all, the eclipse doesn’t take place until the 29th.) But among all of those, astrologically the one thing I think you’re going to care about most is as follows: do you remember that t-square we keep discussing?

You know, that Pluto-Uranus-Jupiter t-square? The one which started rattling our personal ‘change is in the wind’ chains back in late July 2013?

Yes…that one. Well, it’s over.

(insert: sounds of cheering)

Not so's only the t-square which is over. But in that regard, all you have to deal with there is another few days - and the slackening of the t-square effect after that (call it the better part of next week).

So here’s the schedule of the t-square break-up (which to paraphrase the famous song may or may not be hard to do):

1. Jupiter squares Uranus on July 20th at 7:26 in the morning (UT/+0)

2. Jupiter perfects its opposition to Pluto (conjunct Vega) on Sunday, April 10th at 11:06 in the evening, UT/+0.

HOWEVER…with this comes the fact that Uranus (see above) will square Pluto (conjunct Vega) on Monday the 21st (at 6:39 in the evening UT/+0 time).

And that means yes, the t-square is ending. But that only removes the Jupiter goal.

So we’re ending the need to get past some need to break out of limitations or change priorities or recognize our greater potential through greater perspectives.

On the other hand, we’re also ending some opportunities – namely the one which says we could break out of limitations or change priorities through recognition of greater potentials and personal perspectives.

Whichever ‘end’ of this you’re on, your challenges are likely to become more simple and direct as we move through this time, but the shift to get there will require harnessing both ability and willingness to connect to others not through aims, but through whatever Taurus issues are now becoming apparent. Seeing as the 'remnants' of this t-square will become a Uranus/Pluto square lasting through 2015 into early 2016, we are being told that our lives are going to change - in some cases, radically and that those among us who are willing to grow, innovate and remain flexible will do best.

Also...whether you know it or not, the specific and terribly human values which underlie those dimly defined yet all-prevalent mortal forces being felt...? Within that...within whatever vulnerability you feel as you recognize your humanity or that of others, there lie your keys to greater benefits.