by Boots Hart, CAP

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ixion and Pholus Station-Direct

Centaur an den Kaskaden in Kassel
(photo credit: Fingalo Christian Bickel, May 2008)

Plutino Ixion and centaur Pholus both have somewhat problematic reputations. They’re not quite the zombies of our character set, but they do seem to tempt us to act contrary to our own best interests.

How they do that is individual - which is to say described by where these points are in your personal chart and where they are going to be going direct, which is at 19 and 20 Sagittarius.

Being that I’m still having some physical difficulties, I’m not going to do a marathon fandango on the lore and astro-theory behind these points.

But never fear - we have links:

Either way, both Ixion and Pholus are about what we don’t want to do, though they act on that desire in very different ways. Ixion acts out (is assertive or pro-active, to use the common terms) and Pholus tends to retreat, single out, ignore or isolate.

As defined by what these points are astronomically, they will also tend to describe different sorts of influences we would meet up with (either in our own heart, mind or soul or through some external prompting). Like better-known Chiron, Pholus is a centaur - one of a number of astronomical objects which act sort of like ‘short range’ comets which unlike “official” comets don’t cycle around the Sun - our emblem of consciousness, existence and will to live.

Because Pholus doesn’t orbit around the Sun, it doesn’t represent any ‘core’ aspect of our personality. It can’t directly affect our life, will or consciousness - except in the sense that in cycling back and forth from just beyond (outside) Neptune’s orbit to just inside Saturn’s, Pholus does indeed cross over Saturn’s orbit, an event which symbolically represents Pholus as a force which can ‘penetrate’ our outer barrier (Saturn).

Pholus is about that which can get to us, or the experience of dealing with ourselves once something has gotten to us. What Pholus doesn’t seem to be is outwardly motivated.

That’s Ixion. Ixion is that ability to do the same thing over (and over) again thinking you will succeed this time. Ixion tempts us to ignore life’s realities in favor of something we believe we are - and in particular, that we are entitled to do, be or have.

And in that, we would be wrong. But that’s the point - where we see Ixion we tend to do think we can ‘get away’ with something (whether in conjunction with others or our Self).

It doesn't work. That’s the Ixion nature: to pursue some path (generally one which is open to us because of some natural talent or simply because of who we are or know how to do) in a singularly self-serving manner until our lack of respect for others and life in general becomes our Self-undoing. Ixion is a Plutino: an object whose orbit around our Sun is governed by a little invisible (to us) force called magnetic resonance - Neptune’s magnetic resonance.

And since Neptune notoriously symbolizes all the many ways we idealize, imagine and so often delude ourselves (lest we have to deal with all that messy ‘being a mortal human being’ stuff), that would be why Ixion always has to do with somewhere in our life where we tend to delude ourselves.

So Ixion tends to ‘act’ and Pholus tends to ‘withdraw,’ which makes things curious when you consider that these two points are stationing at 19 (Ixion) and 20 (Pholus) Sagittarius.

Part one: they’re in conjunction.

Part two: this is the ‘bookend’ to their having gone into retrograde in tandem.

Part three: there is a general traditional notion that degrees vary by nature depending on whether they’re numerically even or odd. Even degrees are ‘receptive-responsive’ and odd degrees are ‘proactive-assertive.’ So that proactive Ixion is going direct at proactive 19 Sagittarius and reactive Pholus is going direct at a responsive degree like 20 Sagittarius tell us that we should expect anything Sagittarian to move towards more polarized or ‘purist’ forms of expression bent on classic Sagittarian aims like expansion, exploration, getting the word (or anything else) “out there” and dealing with objections, blockades or errors in judgment or operational imperatives.

And let’s just say Sagittarius isn’t exactly known for being all that cooperative when it comes to having people or things not cooperate. Famously associated with the legal system, Sagittarius is all about the debate rather than the punishment, punishments legal and otherwise fall under Capricorn (with the exception of guilt, shame and other such emotional torments, all of which fall under water signs).

Moreover, to have Ixion at 19 degrees and Pholus at 20 degrees is something of an indication that a ‘connection’ [the conjunction] is currently in play which links Sagittarius’ ‘fervent zone’ (its second ten degrees) with Sagittarius as a basic signature of things going on in the world.

That Pholus is ahead of Ixion may well say that some of us (those who have Pholus more prominently placed in their natal charts, one would guess) will, upon confronting whatever is going on will retreat, want to retreat... or at least function from a separate and singular perspective. What that gives us may take any number of forms: some of us just have things to do, some people will choose (for any of a number of reasons) to stay uninvolved or at a distance which allows them to be less partial, and some of us will simply ignore, deny or insist on being hard-headed in wanting to believe what we want to believe, never mind anyone else (or the facts, in some cases).

With Ixion just behind Pholus and still in an emotionally charged degree there is a deal of energy driving our needs and convictions, which against Pholus’ instinct to separate and go one’s own way is likely to manifest as various types of confusion and conflict within and without our Self and in that ‘zone’ we have defined as our sphere of operation.

Which one of these influences is strongest and therefore represents which side of this push-pull being individual will make everything a bit more messy, of course. Plus there are certainly those who will feel more of these effects going into the September 3rd (Ixion) and 4th (Pholus) station as opposed to coming out of it.

We give stations a two-days-before, two-days-after ‘allowance’ period (making the full extent of this station from September 1st through 6th), and if you follow this sort of stuff (yes, astrologers collect people stats as opposed to sports stats) what you’ll learn is that events (real time or mental, it doesn’t matter) which occur prior to the actual moment of stationing tend to refer to things which have yet to play out where things which occur after the station tend to reflect a ‘wrapping up’ of matters which have already happened. With this particular station occurring just as Mars and Saturn are parting their Scorpio conjunction things are intense and require the kind of focus which refuses to go off half-cocked, which is to say before what AND why everyone is doing and feeling as they are - before all of that is at least noted, if not well understood.

But let’s be realistic here... Ixion and Pholus are not the kind of life factors any of us like coping with. Sure, we’re all about what ‘the Other’ is doing or saying which we don’t like or maybe want to brush aside... but we’re not as good with ourselves. Their flaws and the problems with situations...? That we see. That, we’re willing to see.

But flaws in our Self? Both of these points refer to personality paths which are Self unaware - and both come from a position which speaks to where or how we tend not to take responsibility for Self, particularly as that pertains to being one human among many, all of whom are equally human.

As for the degrees involved, 19 Sagittarius is known equally for an aversion to ‘mainstream’ standards or ways of doing things... difficulties and trials which specifically test inner emotional (water sign) stamina... in a symbolic offset to the inner emotional tests, an affinity for natural water and waterways. This degree is associated with causes. Yet though having a ‘cause’ (or focus) is a plus, failing to deal with negatives, evils and any lack of inclusive thinking (which with Ixion tend to be ours by definition) is a recipe for bitter... even poisonous pain.

Not theirs, ours.

Though this is only a moment in time and the passage of a few days, what happens now can be important. Ixion has an oddly ‘fated’ quality reflective of this influence as one which brings some very ugly traits to the surface... and whether we like it or not, we’re all human and we all have some spots dappling the landscape of our thinking and personality which in the grander scheme of things are just ugly.

From Pompeii's Casa dei Vettii, a detail from a scene depicting Ixion's punishment which
features Mercury holding the famous caduceus.
(public domain)

With Pholus, personal ethics and morality count. With Ixion, social and societal contracts count. So with Mercury just crossing Virgo's massive black hole M87 (see previous post) just as Ixion takes its station turn, we are almost being invited to see things differently... to see others and our attitude towards those others in an entirely alternative light.

What we do after that... or in lieu of that, should we are so enamored of our own personal vision of things that we’re not even willing to entertain someone else’s truth as truth... that’s up to us. And because that's up to us, that means the karma which comes from what we do or not do leaves us with no one to blame (or cheer) apart from our Self.

But then, that would be the theme here: taking responsibility for what we do, who we are, how we think and feel - and what we allow ourselves to do or be because of that.

Or maybe in spite of that.

Speaking of karma, Pluto (the outcome ruler of Scorpio, sign of karma) is going direct in just a couple of weeks.

So this would seem to be a signpost.

Will we read it? And beyond that, will we heed it - or will some Ixion-Pholus impulse get the better of us?

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