by Boots Hart, CAP

Friday, November 7, 2014

November 7-16: Kallisto, Mercury, Damocles, Nessus and the Leonid Meteor Shower

The Leonid meteor shower as photographed from space
(photo credit: NASA, JPL, February 2005)

Barely in the wake of November 6th’s Full Moon, asteroid Kallisto goes direct. That it does so in Aquarius suggests that the message (or ‘experience’) of Kallisto is something we will experience either very much with others - or in a sense of isolation as we oppose or are opposed by others. As a symbol of the need to endure and the reality that sometimes the thing we must endure is not of our making, Kallisto sometimes represents patience and sometimes represents durability, dedication or adherence to a thought, cause or needed activity or action.

And then sometimes Kallisto represents that force - be it something which happens (the ‘force’ of an event) or the fact that something we have tried to change, or even which we depend on, how despite all that external status quo (or resistance) is holding out or holding fast against all which is being thrown against it.

Landscape with goddesses Diana and Kallisto by Cornelis van Poelenburgh (17th century)
As for the degree Kallisto is going direct at, that would be 21 Pisces, a degree which simply because it’s a third decan degree between 20 and 29 of some sign cannot be purely personal: there is some quality of influence or interaction, whether responded to or not, with a bit of emphasis here on the ‘responded to’ sign as all odd-numbered degrees have a subtle tendency to assert or take independent action where even-numbered degrees are shaded slightly towards responding to current input from the environment.

In the case of this particular Piscean degree however, this tendency to act is somewhat muted...even convoluted by the instinct to plan - even to deceive, though as this degree functions through a framework of time, such deceptions are more likely to end up being us fooling ourselves, not others.

Whether this has to do with something in the moment or something from long ago which is affecting current thinking or choices...that’s all individual - as is our tendency to cling to truths as opposed to myths we prefer to believe - or are even afraid to not believe.

And that’s just where this week of days start. As we move from date to date and day to day things are unlikely to get a whole lot more clear or clearly clarified, and for a lot of people that is going to be confusing, frustrating and disappointing - even as others are feeling elated, excited and delighted...with none of it pertaining to reality or fact.

The reason for that would be Planet Neptune, which in going direct early on the 16th (early in the UT/+0 time zone, that is) is providing us with a marker which asks us to allow ourselves not to know...and which tests how well we are equipped to deal with not knowing.

In theory, what this describes is a situation where all the confusion or excitement, the discouragement or idealization is a point of view and perspective, sure enough - but where it also may well be all and only about our desire to feel what we want to feel and to not feel what we would simply hate to feel.

About our Self, that is - and that note is provided by the fact that Neptune is going direct at 4 Pisces, a degree which on its own is about our individual ability to face and deal with our own emotions (part one) and with the fact that we are one human being amidst a sea of life, human and otherwise, on this planet.

How do we feel about that?

Even more importantly - and more to the point of Pisces, how do we feel ABOUT how we feel about that?

Pisces is so often an endless hall of emotional mirrors. We feel, we feel ourselves feeling, we sense the feelings of others and feel for them even as we feel ourselves sensing how mortal, how human this business of feeling really is. Emotions can be enriching. Emotions can also be innately deadly.

Emotions are human - and in going direct at 4 Pisces, Neptune is dissolving our barriers and removing that which stands in the way of our coming to some greater understanding of how intrinsically emotional we are...And how emotions and our willingness to feel feelings, good and bad, ours or those of some very great extent define both the grief of our mortality and the potential for glorious goodness which is part of our humanity.

And as that happens, our mistakes and achievements become more real simply because Neptune is going direct at 4 Pisces, that being the current position of fixed and royal star Fomalhaut.

You remember Fomalhaut, right? The star which promises success only if our aims (dreams, efforts, feelings, etc.) are neither corruptive, corrupted, coercive, corroded or corrosive?

(Yes, I majored in Thesaurus - you have no idea.)

This Neptune station, occurring exactly at the royal star’s position is likely to be a stirring occasion (all puns and realities intended)... hence the extended period of affect and a very strong likelihood that things which are revealed during this time (and just after Neptune’s station) will have long-term and lasting effects.

Kallisto goes direct on November 6th - and just over twenty-four hours later (at 23:10 or 11:10 p.m., UT/+0 on the 7th) Mercury re-enters Scorpio.

To recall for a moment: Mercury originally entered Scorpio (this year, that is) back on September 27th before going retrograde at 2 Scorpio on September 4th. And when Mercury went into that retrograde, it did so while trining Neptune, which makes this incoming Mercury moment part of an entire cycle which questions illusion, self-delusion and through eliciting our tendencies to opt for what we want (or consider correct), our ability to require of Self that we don’t choose based on emotion rather than fact.

When we ignore that... when or where we do choose or attempt to get others to choose based solely on some feeling... those actions will backfire and undermine or defeat us. Maybe not immediately, but in time... and probably lastingly.

This station is Neptune’s last exact conjunction with Fomalhaut for the next 160-plus years. Where the lesson is ours to learn, such ‘last passes’ tend to exacerbate issues more than otherwise, even without our having just experienced a solar eclipse which at 0 Scorpio would be very much in trine to Neptune’s station - a factor which enhances both the duration and likely effects of this station. So we should expect to see, hear and feel variable behaviors which overlie, betray or reveal vulnerabilities both in those on the ‘doing end’ and those on receiving ends of various things. We should expect an unwavering if indistinct (and virtually impossible to describe) sense that we’re not ‘in charge’ where we most sincerely (even desperately) want to be in charge - without any way to know if what we’re feeling is valid or not.

And where we're oh-so confident? Well, seeing as such convictions are bred, born and harbored in the heart of the human ego, Neptune is bound to deny them.

In other words, such notions will - now or in time - prove either incorrect, flat-out wrong, unworkable, damaging, unlovable or just plain not what you had imagined... idealized... clung to with all your heart in the depths of those nights filled with longing.

You know - during those Neptunian times.

Oh yes, it’s enough to drive a few people crazy... (even more than a few)...making these days ahead all about what we will get ourselves to do or be or face or tackle in spite of that weakness which says 'I just don't like it' (when you know that's an excuse) or when we insist something else is more important despite knowing that just isn't true.

It isn't the thing we're talking (or thinking) about which is the native weakness. It's our willingness to not take that high, hard road - that being OUR weakness.

However willing we are to face whatever our vulnerabilities are, particularly as that pertains to something 'old' or from our past and despite our attempts to protect or defend that 'old' or traditional thing which we stand for and stomp for on merits...but which in truth we would feel most vulnerable without.

And the mix up of influences isn’t complete yet. Kallisto goes direct approximately a day after the Taurus Full Moon, Mercury re-enters Scorpio about twenty-four hours after that - and a day after Mercury re-enters Scorpio, Damocles goes direct.

'The Sword of Damocles' by Richard Westall (1812)

The story of Damocles is one of those ‘well all do it’ sort of things. It centers around a courtier (Damocles) who, while standing around the king’s court looking courtly comments about how the job of a king is downright easy. Why, if Damocles got a chance to run the kingdom...

Unfortunately for Damocles, the king is not only listening, he’s irked just enough by the courtier’s offhanded remark that he orders Damocles to take his place for a bit so Damocles can see if a king’s job is truly all wine and roses.

And it’s in that very minute when Damocles plants the appropriate body part in the seat of the king's throne when he realizes what he’s gotten himself into, for above hangs a sharp and dangerous sword.

It's right above his head.

And it’s hanging by a hair.

Wherever we find Damocles in the chart, that’s the area of life (and by degree, the specifics of the issues in that life) where we face having to learn that though something may look easy, it’s not only not simple, but also possibly fraught with personal dangers. And wherever we find Damocles by transit, that would be where things and situations promote a peculiar combination of 1.) heightened awareness and 2.) concerns of some seriousness or importance - both of which become far harder than they "need to be" as we become ever more aware of the need to manage very different priorities.

Speaking of managing, the Juno grand trine discussed in the previous post will be in force through late on the evening of November 8th. 

In going direct in Aquarius, Damocles references social, income, systemic and societal matters which are also more difficult than they look. Whether actually dangerous or not (danger implied by Damocles often merely has to do with the ‘puncturing’ of our an idea or inflated ego stance) these are moments meant to connect an idea or theory with the reality or realistic approach. That the degree involved here is 19 Aquarius emphases tenacity, intellectual exchanges (spoken or otherwise, successful and otherwise) and an ability to get to the crux or core of an issue even if doing so could be rather painful.

And unsuspected.

Remember: what we do now which is meant to coerce doesn’t work. That which we do or opt for now which is based only on what we want or our dreams will not work. There is a ‘ranking’ in astrological influences which in this moment still says that whatever else is happening the ‘big deals’ are really the big deal - and that’s not Damocles, that’s Neptune and the Solar Eclipse, twin factors which at this time are ‘feeding’ back and forth still challenging us to get past what we like to what we really need to fix FIRST within our Self, then in the world around us.

The last addition to this piling on of effects in the wake of the Full Moon would be centaur Nessus going direct at 27 Aquarius on November 10th, an event which happens as Mercury finally exits its retrograde shadow. (Think of this as adding ingredients in making a cake batter before you put it in the oven and you’re pretty close to the workable notion.) So to whatever we are dealing with which pits our (Kallisto) desire to preserve the old even though that is gone, forcing us to proceed on a new basis, even though Mercury has left the airy Libra arena and immersed itself in more intense (and sometimes choppy) Mercury in Scorpio waters, even though things aren’t quite as easy as we thought they were going to be, now we’re on new ground.

That’s what Mercury exiting its shadow means: we are moving into an area of experience, operation or discussion which is - and should be - based on a new perspective and all which has been learned to this point with an eye to moving forward.

A carved relief of Mercury (Hermes) in Stuttgart, Germany
(photo credit: Ecelan, 2009)

And just to recall: 2 Scorpio (the degree Mercury went retrograde at, which now becomes the ‘gateway’ to new experiences) is all about who we are and how we go about being who we are.

2 Scorpio is about character and the character we choose to be, who we want to be - and in some venues, how that plays against the expectations or desires on the part of others with regards to who they want us to be, with a particular emphasis on whether we are ready to accept the responsibility (or whether we have accepted the responsibility) for who we are and what we do or have done.

Deianeira and the dying centaur Nessus by Howard Pyle (1888)

How interesting then that Mercury exits its shadow just as Damocles going direct points us back to external matters (current or past) which look easier than they really are. Because Mercury is doing this as centaur Nessus goes direct there is a quality of ‘again’ (or repetition) here which speaks to ill will being carried forward beyond all limits of reason. Often thought of as something of an influence which ‘poisons the well,’ Nessus always points to unbridled passions which in whatever form are harmful both to the originator and others - though seldom (if ever) to the object of loathing and disregard...which in Nessus’ going direct at 27 Aquarius speaks to some a tie between past, present and future (a connection through time) which now is defended or insisted upon. With Nessus there is no shyness about exacting a ‘blood cost’ for that one thinks just - and yet just that act of insisting is often wrong, no matter how its presented or justified. This degree often manifests with a friendly, calm demeanor just as Nessus is well known for being an unkind, even blindly heartless influence which surfaces after a period of perfectly civil integration and association.

All of this happens as this period begins to evolve. And once Nessus goes direct and Mercury exits its shadow, then we have the rest of the Monday-through-Friday work week to deal with that before the onset of the Leonids on November 15th, just before Neptune goes direct. (Expect a separate post on Neptune and Venus next week.)

So what do we know about the Leonids? For one, they aren’t Earth’s longest meteor shower - this year’s edition will begin on the 15th and be over by November 20th.

On the other hand, the Leonids are ‘thick.’

What is a ‘thick’ meteor shower? Well, due to the fact that the comet responsible for the Leonids (Tempel-Tuttle) has an orbit which comes close enough to Earth that its ‘sprinkles’ (the meteorites we see streaking across the sky at night) don’t have much time to spread between where they are thrown off by the comet and where they cross Earth’s orbit.

(And just for the record here, we’re talking about ‘close’ in astronomical terms - which is still plenty far away.)    

All this amounts to a generally high rate of meteors per hour - a real plus for meteor watching. More to the metaphysics however, given that meteor showers are known as times when we get ‘sparked’ by ideas and input, that may spell a time when new thoughts, ideas and influences appear almost as fast as we can perceive them.

And yet...that the Leonids begin just a day in advance of Neptune going direct (and Venus entering Sagittarius) - does that say our ‘new ideas’ or ‘takes’ on given subjects are wonderful or terrible? Does this just add to the confusion or help straighten things out?

That, and why that is...that’s probably what we’re about to go through learning - again.

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