by Boots Hart, CAP

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Dateblog: April 2015

 There are a lot of things I could say about April 2015 even if we’re just limiting that to the astrological in nature. For instance, I could point out how all that fresh green in the ‘April 2015 by Sign’ graphic - an increasing green which increasingly asks ‘how Taurean is my outlook?’ as the month goes along.

And for the uninitiated (or merely forgetful), ‘more Taurean’ means stubbornly peaceful on the positive side ... and perfectly placid about anything and everything up to (and possibly including) that which grows out of nurtured resentments and steadfast (even stubborn) allegiances to judging everything on a physical basis to the negative side. (Aren’t you happy you asked?)

I could also point out how the whole of April’s second half - as always - is going to be sprinkled (literally, on the metaphysical level) with asteroids, those ‘sparks of insight or inspiration’ and on occasion those ‘shots in the dark’ we not only take and see others taking but associate with the two meteor showers (the Lyrids and the Eta Aquarids) which happen every year about this time.

But no, that wouldn’t be where I would think we should start with considering April, as a personal astrological ‘ranking’ (i.e., how my big dog brain sees it) would start with the Lunar Eclipse at 14 Libra which will occur on April 4th with barely a hiccup in time passing before Jupiter goes direct four days later, on April 8th. And while I was saying that, I would point out that Lunar Eclipses represent ‘feeling’ or emotional times, and how while they’re neither as magically life transformative if spectacularly hard to see (in our own lives, at least for a while) as solar eclipse effects, lunar eclipse are at least polite enough about our time and effort to exude their effects downright promptly - which means that anyone with a major (planet, dwarf planet, node or axis) point between 4 and 24 Libra, Aries, Capricorn or Cancer (the cardinal signs, in other words) ... those people should not be expected if something arises or originates in the area(s) of life associated with those lunar eclipse “sensitive points.”

And then there’s Jupiter, for which the same suggestion goes, with the difference being that Jupiter is going direct at 12 Leo, which means the degree spread is from 2 to 22 degrees of Leo, Aquarius, Taurus or Scorpio should take special note.

More on both subjects in individual posts, of course - but that’s where I was thinking we should start. While not precisely a symbol of emotions or feelings, things which are associated with Jupiter  ... the effects, the opportunities, the encounters, the challenges, the news, the discoveries and enlightenments ... those Jovian (Jupiter) things tend to be associated with emotionality.

So how interesting that these two things are laid out (eclipse first) so that as we enter April things get more interesting and expressive, whatever else that may mean!

Plus Pluto will be going retrograde this month. And that Pluto does that (on the 17th) as Planet Earth (our lives) moves into the ‘meteor zone’ suggests a time when many things are being considered, parts or pieces or segments of which has us the (Taurus) necessity or value involved in doing or even thinking that we need anything other than the being content in any ... or every ... or various given moments.

Maybe with so little in the way of air sign influence in this month’s mix (not to discount the Libra lunar eclipse or Venus’ impending transit of Gemini - shown above in light blue) ... maybe that will cause people to stop talking about the ‘idea of the thing’ or spending time and energy dissecting notions in favor of dealing with (earth sign) facts, evidence and history.

Then again, with as much fire sign energy (above, in golden yellow) being present in the mix, maybe what we need to deal with is how many people are simply unable to deal with realities - and why that is, or has come to be true. Fire plus earth influences tend to trend either towards the highly dynamic and often creative, or forms of what we might call ‘scorched earth’ policies as we simply discard or disregard all manner of facts, realities and necessities as, blind to all else, we follow some notion which may or may not have any real world basis or application.

How all these things are going to work out in - and through each one of our lives is still a mystery, of course. And in the wake of the 29 Pisces eclipse, some part of that is likely to be lived out through the (lunar eclipse) relationship venue or through how we (do or don’t, can or can’t) relate to someone. With the solar eclipse having occurred on March 20th, as April begins a good number of us are going to be coming to the ‘end’ of some alliance, relationship or  need to attend to a particular issue. Or their tolerance is wearing thin. Or they’re disenchanted (disappointed) with someone or something for having not lived up to some internal standard which isn’t about them at all, but rather about something we long to delude ourselves about as if we don’t ... well, then we’d have to feel all some sort of negative we really (REALLY) don’t want to feel.

That ‘thing’ ... if there is one ... we will project and ascribe to being about ‘them’ or ‘that.’

But it isn’t. It isn’t about ‘them’ - it’s about us ... which would be why this month being so Taurean holds so much promise, and a chance for much insecurity - not with ‘them,’ but as (or because) we finally figure out how the security we seeking so ardently is never solidified or damaged by things or people on the outside.

It’s all about who we are - and how we got that way, which is plenty to think about (and live the experiencing of) throughout April.

Bon voyage to us all!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Mercury in Aries, Mars in Taurus

super-volcano Tierazon fractal
(image credit: Soler97 - public domain)
Mercury and Mars are changing signs on the same day - March 31st. Any time we see a planet changing signs we pay attention, as those are the kinds of astrological notices which will be reflected in real time changes of attitude and emphasis.

And those changes of attitude and emphasis often result in shifts of perspective - and thus the choices which result from those perspectives, depending on which planet moves in what kind of sign.

That being the norm when only one planet changes signs, we would expect that two planets changing signs would increase variables, options and complications - especially as there’s no guarantee those planetary or sign essences get along!

In this case, there’s some good news on that score as both Mars and Mercury are personal planets. So at least we know that Mercury entering Aries at 1:45 a.m. (UT/+0) virtually in tandem with Mars entering Taurus at 16:28 (4:28 in the afternoon, UT/+0) is all about us - each one of us - and what we’re (Mercury) thinking, saying and (Mars) doing... or not thinking, saying and doing - astrological symbols can as easily manifest as symbolic spigots which are turned off as on, after all.

That Aries is ruled by Mars is also worth noting - this quality of Mercury being in Mars’ most personal ‘home sign’ speaks to a lot of (Mercury) mental (Mars) energy being stirred up, motivated,  invested in and applied towards things which either are very personal ... or which pertain to something which affects others/us very blatantly or personally.

The Mercury side of this pairing speaks to a clarity and decisiveness of mind, manner and speech. Mercury in Aries has a reputation for courage - and sometimes even a little testiness, whether called for or not. That Mercury arrives in Aries by passing over 29 Pisces - the degree of the March 20th eclipse-- also says there are qualities of ‘having been burned’ ... or something being in ashes ... or having lost something, whether that means your interest in something (or someone), your keys, your phone - or even something which for you, has functioned as a support, validation or personal comfort, this last being a sideways reference to Mars in Taurus.

As a sign, Taurus refers to our security and ability to feel comfortable with what we’re doing, who we’re being, with how life works and in a very real and almost overriding sense, whether we’re feeling comfortable with our day-to-day existence. Associated with the 2nd house of the chart, Taurus-the-sign generally applies to our likes and dislikes, our generosity (or lack thereof) and the sort of want or desire which (eventually) leads to Gemini investigations and plans on how to get what we want - which makes sense when we think of Aries, Taurus and Gemini as primary and basic signs about the necessities of life and our life-long process of learning more about how to apply our (Taurus) abilities as we (Gemini) figure out how to (Aries) get from where we are to where we want to go - either literally or figuratively - so we can (Aries) be seen as the person we want to be seen as and (Taurus) feel intrinsically comfortable about who we are, that being what ultimately allows us to own, assemble and act on our own (Gemini) thoughts and/or ideas.

How we go about any of this is of course obnoxiously personal - no two people are going to go about doing things exactly the same way, and despite the all-too common expectation that others should act like our clones, its not ‘their’ problem when our estimation of who they are (or aren’t) doesn’t pan out.

That’s about us.

And lest we forget, Mars has been transiting is home sign of Aries since mid-late February. Why is this important? Because Mars in Aries, besides having a habit of manifesting as an impulse to focus on what we’re doing also tends to do two other things. One: Mars in Aries tends to manifest as reasons why we need to focus on what we’re doing ... and two: for those who have a habit of going overboard here and there in life, the period denoted by Mars in Aries tends to be a time when we either do that ‘going overboard’ thing (which we then will have to deal with under Mars in Taurus - with there being a tendency to try and stonewall one’s way through) ... or Mars in Aries becomes a time when we find out that we have gone overboard in the past, which now leaves us to cope with consequences and repercussions ... most of all the internal ones ... during the time that Mars transits the sign of Taurus.

Sounds jolly, doesn’t it?

Compared with the Sun, everything seems small - particularly Mercury!
(photo credit NASA)
Actually, there is nothing which says we can’t all have a perfectly nice time moving forward ... except for glitches of human nature, that is. There’s a lot of energy centered in first quadrant signs at the moment - so we are each and every one of us going to be taking things personally for a while yet, and in all likelihood, whatever is occupying our ‘top level’ mentality is going to have a distinct tinge of ‘how is this going to work for me?’ being included in the mix in light of other things we also deem important.

This issue of priorities and the associated need to juggle things so that priorities and deadlines can be met is seldom simple under this sort of combination, and since Mercury in Aries/Mars in Taurus can get us so entangled in our own thoughts and frustrations we may break out in a rash of surliness from time to time, though Mercury isn’t going to be in Aries all that long. Mercury will only be in Aries until April 14th, outlining the idea of a brief couple of weeks of up-and-down intensity decorated with bubbling events, a few gasps of delight - and the occasional eruption of irritation.

Even ire.

Where things don’t go well, some measure of not feeling ‘good enough’ or that we’ve done enough is likely to figure as Mars in Taurus represents the kind of motivation which gets us to do something new because we’re unhappy (or even disgusted) with things as they stand. That can of course, be serious. Then again, it could just be a matter of having something sink in - such as how that unkempt garden really isn’t going to neaten itself up, meaning if you want a nicer garden, you’re going to have to deal with your mess in a proactive manner.

This quality of inertia which gets pitted against motivation in various ways is to be expected with Mars in Taurus: Mars represents the drive to get things done and here is paired up with Taurus, a sign whose fixed modality is famous for not liking to be hurried.

Taurus always seeks to know the benefits and possible down sides before committing to, or initiating an act or action. And when we add the Mars ‘push’ to that, irritation of the ‘don’t push me!’ type is easily provoked. Mars in Taurus is often very good at getting things done very correctly: this is a combination which when not headed in the self-indulgent direction can manifest as a considerable power of observation and a focus on matters which is both nuanced and insightful, often focusing on what motivations really are.

Which makes sense, as Mars in Taurus tests our ability to risk anything, be it our feelings, our money, our time, our loyalty or anything else, testing it more or less specifically through our ability to operate in (or through) any milieu while remaining aware of our various personal need(s) or interests as an individual.

So if Mars in Taurus tests our ability to remain balanced, aware and positive on an internal basis (and as that may apply to what we do on an external basis)... what do we think Mercury in Aries is going to add?

Mercury being about thought, communication and that which ‘communicates’ anything (a thought, a piece of mail or a person) from one place to another ... in Aries, all that becomes very dynamic because Aries is very much a sign about being who we are and getting those things done which we need done in order to accomplish our personal aims.

Make that OUR aims.

Yes, Aries can be a little ‘it’s all about me’ oriented, which when added to Mars in Taurus could spell a couple of weeks of Mercury-in-Aries boisterousness, fervency, enthusiasm, immaturity, wanting to be heard - and of course, a bowlful of Mercury in Aries opinions - before Mercury moves on into Taurus as of April 14th (UT/+0).

Then again, Mercury in Aries plus Mars in Taurus can equal the sort of putting-your-head-down-and-plowing-through determination which leaves talking to others, preferring to say less and do more.

So much depends on who we are ... and if we have any real idea about who we are - and how that may vary from who we’re being during this time. For those who have taken on the facing of their own psyche and how they wall things (or people, or the fact others have feelings) out, though things may not yet be perfect or perfectly wonderful, there is the beginning of a sense that things can - and will be better provided we work for, and towards such ends.

And for those who haven’t learned anything - or who have spend the period of the eclipse swaddled in what they want to feel about people and things and the direction of life...? Well for them, the Aries Mercury/Taurus Mars period is likely to be a time in which they try things, but not much works all that well because there is a lack of true ‘connecting’ with the world and values of others.

Either way, Mercury will conjunct the position of fixed star Alpheratz (with Uranus sitting right there) on April 7th, a combination which is scattered, messy and a bit clumsy at one end of its spectrum and expressive of sudden changes which can be effected quite ‘gracefully’ or through a great deal of disruption with the difference between exactly those we see in the eclipse. In other words, are we owning our part in some greater picture, or are we merely projecting and pointing fingers out of some instinctive need to NOT consider our part in whatever ill, problem or challenge?

Mind you, whatever you are dealing with may or may not be perfect. It may even be part of the greater emotional pressures we would expect as a result of the eclipse because so many of us don’t want to face our own emotional issues (biases, gaps, manipulations, projections, etc.) About now, how we react becomes more real to us - we ‘see’ or ‘feel’ ourselves doing something, and that something may be just what we swore we weren’t doing.

Or maybe we’ll catch ourselves doing that thing we were all up in arms about someone else doing so recently.

It’s that kind of moment. Mercury in Aries not only gets us to expressing our thoughts (and feelings) but is a signal that we will be thinking about our Self - and not just what we need or want, but also about who we’re being and what we’re doing.

Why do we insist on not understanding our own feelings? Are we so insecure with who we have chosen to be - and if so, what does that say about us?

Depending on where you are (i.e., your time zone), Venus also will be moving from Taurus into Gemini on April 11th or 12th. And as Venus makes that move, Mars will be crossing over (and re-activating) the degree of last year’s 8 Taurus eclipse - the one which conjuncted fixed stars Hamal and Schedir.

That eclipse occurred on April 29, 2014. And during that time, Mars was in retrograde in Libra - which tells us that as Mars conjuncts these still-sensitive points, matters which refer to last year or which have grown out of situations which began or took a turn during last April or May will now be being called back into focus, raising a lot of lingering - or new - feelings and thoughts. Where last year we may have been in one ‘place’ about relationships and learning about relationships (speaking to Mars having been in a Libra retrograde) at that time, now we see our Self either more clearly or from a perspective which is sufficiently different as to give us new reasons to reassess.

Maybe nothing is over. Maybe everything is just beginning. But maybe it’s not. Maybe something which seemed entirely valid then (under Mars retrograde) no longer seems valid - or even possible now.

A few days after that (on the 14th), Mercury will move on into Taurus - and Mars will still be in Taurus, setting us up for a period of days (April 18th through the 27th) where Mercury and Mars are within orb of conjunction - with the exactitude of conjunction occurring on the 23rd/24th, depending on what time zone you live in.

Why mention this?

Looking southwest from the Mars Pathfinder landing site, two hills known
as the Twin Peaks are seen in the distance.
(photo credit NASA, JPL, September 1999)
Answer: because Mercury plus Mars in Taurus, in an emotionally evocative degree of Taurus is the kind of energy we would expect would want - or require (need) an outlet.

But why we would so want an outlet ...? That’s the Taurus question. And the answer there is simple: we do not want to be wrong. About what, is individual. But if you listen to what goes on during these days, whether that’s listening to the voices in your head or listening to your family or listening to the world at large as it goes about its business ... what you’re likely to hear are two very different ‘voices.’

The first is all about itself and its own perspective - exclusively. The other is all about a global or holistic perspective and how the ‘whole’ empowers individuality.

Once May dawns, Mercury will be in Gemini and working through its approach to another retrograde station as Mars finishes up its transit of Taurus. There will be more discussion and a smattering of new ideas with a lot of push-and-pull about the wisdom of everything (and anything) as Mars passes over fixed stars Capulus (at 24 Taurus) and Algol (at 26 Taurus) between May 3rd and 7th (the dates being a bit variable depending on what time zone you live in). Algol in particular carries a ‘purposeful negative’ tendency which can be indicative of the ‘pain’ we go through in doing something difficult or accomplishing something important to us. And because this star tends to represent a certain level of emotional preoccupation (within our Self) it wouldn’t be all that surprising if something went awry either because of a simple disagreement or the sort of lack of precision in communicating things which so often happens when we’re preoccupied and “not in the mood” to stop and have a long discussion.

But that’s the long run. The next few weeks ahead are all about the Mercury in Aries us and all which (Mars in Taurus) matters to us. Why it matters and whether that works well with the rest of our current existence is what we will look to first - hopefully remembering as we do so that after today comes a tomorrow which also matters.

And not just to us ... or in the terms which we define.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Niobe Direct

Niobe in Neustrelitz by Ruchhoff-Plau (2007)
With Juno still at 3 Leo and Nemesis at 4 Leo (and both in direct motion) asteroid Niobe will go direct at 2:59 (UT/+0) in the morning on Saturday, March 28th.

The degree? 6 Leo, which right out of the gate points to things which are personal and which have to do either with who we are being or what we are doing ... which could be a very good thing -  and then again, could be a bit of a pain in the very (very) low back.

And that pain in the back part isn’t exactly what anyone is likely to need at the end of a week which has seen Nemesis, Ixion, Pholus and Sisyphus tripping switches through their stations fantastic.

The central issue with Niobe is pride, and the biggest problems we tend to see in connection with Niobe (either in transit or by natal placement) have to do with being overly proud. But Niobe is not merely about those who strut around proclaiming how magnificent they are. This is an energetic which can be seen in what we are proud of. Or how we go about showing or displaying our pride.

Niobe - particularly if there’s a badly placed natal Niobe involved (or one which is under stress by aspect) - Niobe can be an indication of not being proud enough of what one does. Or not knowing how to take a proper amount of pride in what we do.

It can even indicate no even having any pride in one’s Self, which may sound like a matter of self-worth and confidence - which it is sometimes. But in combination with other things in the chart, Niobe could also indicate the kind of lack of pride in Self which happens because you’ve been beaten down too far. Or where someone is so beleaguered or ill that they’re beyond the ability to focus on those simple things which denote the common level of pride-as-care we all normally exhibit in keeping ourselves reasonably clean and healthy and in doing things as we should (i.e., in accordance with personal responsibilities as well as society’s rules and standards).

The myth of Niobe is fairly straightforward: a queen in her own right, Niobe brags about how her mortal children were more numerous, beautiful and talented than the children of the gods ... specifically Apollo (enlightenment) and Artemis (feeling reflection).

And in return, the gods - specifically Leto (also known as Latona), the mother of Artemis and Apollo - punishes Niobe for her ‘immortal arrogance’ by sending those very children (Apollo and Artemis) to shoot down Niobe’s children so as to demonstrate the difference between mortal and immortal abilities and attributes and teach Niobe some sense of limits and place.

Niobe recognizes her mistake, but it’s too late. Her children are dead ... and in mythic terms, it was her pride which killed them. So although most Niobe’s effects fall far short of physical deadliness, evidently we humans do have some sort of habit of ‘killing’ things we create through sheer pride about having making it or making it happen. Sometimes we brag too early on - before we realize we aren’t actually up to some task. Sometimes we take our eyes off what we’re doing to talk about it, and in that moment when we’re not looking, everything just runs off a cliff.

In either case (as in most cases where Niobe is active) it’s the assumption or presumption of success or glory which gets us in trouble. Maybe someone hears us bragging and beats us to the punch. Or maybe we are so desiring to ‘look good’ that we claim we’ve had some part in something we haven’t really done.

And that’s the key to Niobe pride: it isn’t about ‘the thing’ (or person, in the case of one’s children) - it isn’t about being proud of what someone else has done for their sake or their growth or their success. It’s about us - our ego wanting acclaim so that it feels validated.

In other words, the pride of Niobe is not about something we feel successful and secure about - it’s an instinctual voicing or embodying of our desire not to feel ‘less than’ or less viable.

Under astrologically normal circumstances, we would expect any Niobe station to bring out such feelings - most of all so we can feel our insecurities, recognize them for what they are and alleviate them (or put them aside) so they don’t become a point upon which we fall, defeating ourselves by ‘killing’ all chance for success or personal victory. But this isn’t a ‘normal’ moment. There was a total solar eclipse just a few days ago, which means we are all - each and every one of us - still being exposed to whatever will get us past our desire to not feel or not cope with our feelings about something. And most of those ‘something’s (at least our feelings about them) are quotients we would just really rather nobody knew about. Yes, we really wish there was someone we could talk about such things with ... but when we’re in our Niobe mode, we tend to not feel very comfortable talking about such things.

It would ...probably hurt our pride to do so, and whenever Niobe is in astrological ‘play’ we have to assume we may be more quick to react or take offense than we otherwise might be - which may be part and parcel of ‘other things’ (read: eclipse things) which are going on ... and then again, may be something new and totally not connected to all the many things in motion (some of which, due to the eclipse, may either not be in motion at the moment or not going in the direction we’d like them to go).

And lest we miss the message (or feel not tested enough) then there’s the energetic of 6 Leo, a degree which itself is all about pride - specifically, how that energy is manifested or directed. As with the myth of Niobe, part of the 6 Leo question is whether we have done sufficient self-reflection as to be accepting of who we are (and aren’t) so we don’t act boastful, arrogant, dismissive or denigrating of others. One writer even speaks of 6 Leo as having a tendency to manifest with the kind of impulsiveness coupled with  insecurity which almost surely leads to self-defeat.

All of this may just occur in the moment. It may also be part of the pressure we feel ‘within’ which causes us to ‘flee’ matters connected to the eclipse itself (and the weaknesses it seeks to help us uncover, detoxify and in time, convert to neutrality or strength) into some nexus of contemplation (or some self-involving matter) which echoes situations, feelings, distractions or ways in we dealt with things some two-and-a-half years ago when a solar eclipse at 21 Scorpio triggered a long string of evolving circumstances which itself took a turn soon after November 13, 2012.

So that’s where things are as Niobe goes on station - plus the flavor of the aura of thematic strains playing about many a choice made ... and (one suspects) a number of choices which get made which in the end are wholly devoted to avoiding something out of pride ... or perhaps more evocatively conjugated, out of pride in one’s emotional stance, whatever that may be or not be with however many people are in your individual life.

But then we stop to ‘give a think’ back on that subject of Juno and Nemesis at 3 and 4 Leo (respectively) as Niobe comes to its station. Nemesis in the ‘lead’ recalls prior information, either received or given ... though probably not fully heeded (or perhaps delivered with a proper amount of something connective or having to do with accessibility in the mix). Against that, Juno/Nemesis as a ‘unit’ (of sorts - and only temporary) speaks to leaving something behind.

And that leaving? It was inevitable, as much as we might not have wanted it to be true ... or as much as we might not have wanted to admit to our Self that in the end we have to be who we really are.

The reality of that life, that is.

But lest you think this is the end of this tale, it isn’t. As a celestial object at this point in its orbit, Juno is moving through zodiacal degrees faster than Nemesis is. (Part one: such things can vary, due to orbits not being perfectly round. Part two: not much faster, but faster.) What this comes out to be in astrological/calendrical terms is a month or so where Juno catches up and passes Nemesis (the conjunction runs from April 6-16) ... after which Juno catches up to Niobe on April 26th.

That conjunction occurs at 9 Leo, with the Moon at 23 and Jupiter at 3 Leo (and no longer in retrograde - that’s over on April 8th, UT/+0) on April 25, 2015.

It also happens with the the Nodes having backed their lunar selves back into 9 Libra (and Aries) at a moment when Neptune is wending its indistinct way through 9 Pisces.

That equals a Yod.

Technically, we can all expect this Yod’s effects to become apparent as of April 14th - and prior to that, we’ll all just have the joy of North Node inconjunct Neptune, otherwise known as a fantasy head-scratching quandary entitled “what should I do here?”

Seldom do I think of a Yod as a lovely thing, nor do most people (just ask anyone with a natal Yod - they can get to feeling a bit vice-like at times). And the reason for this is that the ‘fated’ quality of the Yod, that which is either ‘I can’t do anything but this’ (i.e., a lack of physical options) or ‘I don’t want to do this but I know I have to’ (lack of emotional options)... the sum of which pushes us off the ‘spot’ we’re standing at (also known as “stuck on”), in some way forcing us to adapt a position which is workable considering all circumstances, seeing as circumstances dictate that something must be done.

This is accomplished through adapting to (or adopting, if you must merely act the part) an ‘airy’ sort of dispassionate, friendly-to-all-for-the-sake-of-discussion (ideally Libran) sort of point of view, becoming the facilitator to the solution even if it’s a solution you don’t like now but which will ultimately earn you the ‘currency’ (respect, money, alliances, whatever...) which will stand you in better stead down the line.

(Please note: I said better stead, not necessarily excellent stead.)

Yods force us to adjust our approach to being who we are - which in this case (with Neptune representing the ‘point’ we want to ‘stand’ on) says something about indefinites and something about (9 Pisces) some sort of attraction to that which is just difficult enough to present us with situations to which there are no ‘right’ (totally right) answers ... and how, in not making a choice we are - far from avoiding those results we are claiming to be concerned about - how we are/have been really looking for a way to not face how we might feel if things went sour.

And perhaps even more to the point, all which we would anticipate ourselves feeling while not knowing how things were going to turn out.

Meanwhile, while all this is going on on our very real and mortal human plane, and while all such considerations do indeed have real and tangible Real World considerations ... on the metaphysical plane the issue really is how we are facing some internal and infernal personal puzzle.

This being a Yod, we will want to remain in that Neptunian intangible limbo, probably dancing some dance (most of all with our Self) - on some deep and deeply personal level. But the solution to our problem (whether we know it, like it or not) is said to be at the opposition point to that ‘base’ of the Yod’s “Y” - the Neptune of it all (at the moment).

And that point is 9 Virgo, a degree known for its ability to cause us to ‘check in’ with how ‘long term pragmatic’ something is in terms of the whole of our life or some very long duration against what gain or success it might offer in the short run.

In other words, where the Neptune/Pisces side of this polarity is an emotional reality check, the Virgo (solution) side of this Yod’s equation points to something realistic, tangible and useful - with this dynamic being part of why we need to adjust our  Niobe attitude or emphasis as our feelings about either the issue or our feelings about it take a (Yod) turn. Furthermore, as part of this process ... or as a result of it ... there is an ‘adjusting’ of how something is represented, a trait which lore tells us is particularly likely to be needed where drama or ‘showiness’ has stood in for ability or willingness to tackle a challenge.

And because the Nodes are involved, we know we are not alone in whatever is going on. Either we are part of a group (of any size), or what we are involved in affects others.

Also, since it’s the North Node which is involved in the Yod, that means the South Node is not just at 9 highly dynamic and self-motivated/motivated towards Self degrees of Aries, but it’s also in a semi-sextile with Neptune.

So nobody wants to do what they need to do at the moment. You don’t as you experience this moment, the other guy doesn’t as they experience this moment ...

And lest you think ‘I’ll wait this out,’ - which in the case of some transiting Yods would be just fine - with this, you may or may not be defeating your own purpose to play the endurance-cum-avoidance card as the North Node in this figure is conjunct and therefore described by fixed star Diadem: ‘a wonderful and idea which is so powerful to embody, to teach and to learn from,’ which in 9 Libra tends to have us thinking we know how things work when in the long run, by some means we are destined to create whatever goad will then become a lesson which in a classic Virgo (tangible) manner is likely to come with some sort of ‘price tag.’

And in some way ... perhaps large, perhaps small ... all of this starts as Niobe goes direct.

Call it a pebble falling into a well of self-acknowledgement.

Monday, March 23, 2015

You Were Searching ...

A photograph of the Trifed Nebula in close detail
(photo credit: Hubble, NASA, Jeff Hester/Arizona State University, January 2008)
It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve taken on any of your search terms (how time flies when you’re approaching an eclipse...!) so let’s get back to seeing what nuances and noodles you’re looking for - and how I can help, considering our rather odd, Google-driven search term connection.

Today I'm starting with Pholus, as Pholus seems to be earning a lot of search time of late...

Wherever we see Pholus, we know that we have a push-pull, pro-con sort of ‘argument’ (most of all with/within our Self) about getting or being involved and why that may be true.

Wherever we see Chiron, we know how in order to conquer the challenge, we have to undertake the challenge - often (most often) without knowing everything that we’d like to know going in. Chiron daunts us by confronting us with what we want, but don’t know how to do - which in some ways is like Pholus, and which therefore (depending on the sign, house placement and other aspects) which will, at least initially, manifest in a strong sense of hesitation or a knee-jerk tendency to say ‘no’ long before you say ‘yes,’ simply out of emotional habit.

With both points, asking yourself why you don’t want to try something (or be involved) is key. Beyond that, given how Chiron points to needed growth and Pholus speaks to separating one’s will or self from something (or someone), it is entirely possible (again, check house, ruler of house, aspects to Chiron/Pholus, etc.) that this conjunction could point to some area of life where you can only succeed if or as you learn how to separate yourself from the thing at hand - in which case this conjunction would represent the (Chiron) need to develop the sort of (Pholus) perspective which is used to produce better results through non-involvement - as would be the case with a surgeon, lawyer or other profession where the work should not be influenced by a personal or intimately emotional connection.

While Mercury in and of itself is not considered the indicator of career in a natal chart, there is no question but that our habitual way of thinking, learning and communicating influences success (or the lack of same) when it comes to our careers.

So what about Mercury in Pisces - a combination not exactly known for crispness of logic even though there are any number of Mercury in Pisces people doing well in very exacting fields like technology and finance?

The thing to understand here is why Mercury in Pisces is considered “fuzzy” - that being because Mercury in Pisces, to use a common expression, it ‘feels you.’ In other words, where Mercury in an air sign considers ideas and where those ideas could lead in formulating a direction, where Mercury in an earth sign will lead us to consider what kind of time, effort and resources we need to get something done, Mercury in a water sign has a natural affinity for considering and taking feelings into account. So when thinking in Mercury terms about the choice of a job, Mercury in Pisces would support any endeavor which requires an the ability to understand emotions and communicate in a feeling manner or any career which aims to, or which has the ability to tap into or affect the emotions of others, particularly on a basic or instinctive level.

Examples: singer, broadcaster, nurse, psychologist, human resources or social worker, politician, member of the clergy, actor, writer, philosopher, spy (particularly foreign), veterinarian (in particular, large animals).

Dairy cows on pasture in Ireland (photographer unknown)
All the cows I've ever met were very nice to me - maybe
they knew I have a Mercury in Pisces?

This is one of those conjunctions which will vary very widely depending on sign and house placement. That said, as Typhon speaks to our ‘survival basics’ and all which affects us in some deep and undeniable way, to have Typhon conjunct the Sun is to live a life which is on some level sort of hit-or-miss simply because while that which affects you affects you vitally, that which doesn’t affect you simply gets a big shrug.

Daily doings can also be taken more seriously by such a native than they are by others, creating individual interpersonal and/or social difficulties - even at the same time that mass effectiveness remains unimpaired.

A person born with this conjunction may have a hard time taking things lightly. Then again, that which they consider important will never be forgotten. This tendency to be a bit ‘all or nothing’ about things is going to be a periodic part of a Sun/Typhon life experience, but doesn’t necessarily describe who such a person is, being instead an indication of how and what they will tend to act on, or react to.

Fixed star Aldebaran is one of the royal stars of Persia, all of which guarantee success ONLY when a particular human attribute (habit, tendency) is avoided.

In the case of Aldebaran, that quality would be our integrity - integrity of word, deed and being. So when Aldebaran is in the 7th house, because the 7th is the house where “I” meets “Thou” so that we can see how things go (giving us input on what’s working and not working for us), being true to who you are and who you have said you are had better ... just for starters ... match.

But that’s the issue - this isn’t necessarily about ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ In other words, this is more about honesty and owning up to who and what we are (and aren’t) than anything else.

Until, that is, others get involved. (And because this is the 7th house, other people are most often involved.) Once someone else is in the conversation (or situation), then our interacting with them becomes part of the Aldebaran equation - at which point their integrity needs to be equal to ours, whatever that may mean.

And if it isn’t? Then we will not succeed because the 7th house person we have chosen to associate or interact with is not our (Aldebaran) match.

The whole subject of generations is messy. Society has its sense of generations and generation names (which I cannot tell you what they’re based on, as I haven’t a clue) and astrology has its generations, those being based on the transit of dwarf planet Pluto through the signs.

And yes, these terms differ. Widely. Society, for instance, seems to be thinking of the ‘Millennials’ as people who ‘came of age’ around the time of the millennium. Astrology, on the other hand, defines the Millennials as the Pluto in Sagittarius tribe - a group of people born between 1996 and 2008, during the time when Pluto was transiting Sagittarius.

Known astrologically as Pluto in Scorpio, astrology’s Generation Y is as wide-ranging a generation as any other. It is also the first water sign generation since Pluto in Cancer, the generation which in keeping with its opposition sign (Capricorn, sign of structure) is the generation which (Pluto) restructured the world’s structures, laying the Cancerian foundations upon which our modern world was then built, generation by generation.

This idea of oppositions is important in astrological generational theory, as it’s the issues of the opposition sign with the sign Pluto is transiting which gives us an image of any given generation’s triumphs and challenges. With Gen Y, security will be an issue. And that makes sense, seeing as Scorpio is the sign of threat and war and rape and violence - all which scares us in the world is Scorpionic, just as everything about our Self or our very existence which can scare us is Piscean.

With Scorpio and Taurus also being the signs of investment and ‘my resources,’ this generation will also deal with the transformations of monetary values (and many core values as a whole). A lot of operational methodologies which apply to money and resources will change through the efforts of this generation and in reaction to what is thrust upon this generation as a group.

Issues of control and power which are so famously Scorpio will also be faced and/or faced down by this generation as well. They will extract prices and pay the price for the emotional games being play by their own and others, in the long run forcing the rest of society to recognize the true cost of playing ‘fear games’ with human beings.

The price will be high. Many in this generation will fall afoul of the desire to control and the desire for power, creating a good deal of havoc physical, financial and otherwise. Some will resort to violence. Others will retreat and reject society and/or the ‘structure’ they see as being the problem. Ultimately it is this second group which will challenge violent trends and take on the growing problems of toxicity physical, financial, spiritual and emotional, but getting to the point where Gen Y recognizes their ability to change things and their responsibility merely as part of the human race to do so will take time.

This generation is more easily alienated than it is enchanted. Yet to their credit, the Pluto in Scorpio Generation Y tribe is also going to be the first generation since Pluto in Cancer which not only can bear to hear the “bad stuff,” but which is openly willing to hear such things as this generation knows the world is not just ‘pretty’ and that the richest among us are those who can ‘afford’ to feel everything as life presents its full spectrum of the beautiful and the ill.

There being enough to talk about with just points theses days, I hardly ever discuss midpoints.

But they can be important. Knowing the midpoints which (for instance) are conjunct or cuddled up to your Sun, Moon, Nodes - and any of the axis points (etcetera) can explain more about the plus and/or minus that you experience when that facet of your personality is called into use or specifically to the fore.

In this case, Eos is an asteroid. Named for the goddess of the dawn, Eos was said to ‘rise from her home at the edge of the ocean’ ... which in mimicking the movement of the Sun makes Eos a particularly interesting astrological symbol in that it combines attributes of water (the ocean), air (rising into the sky) and (the Sun’s) fire.

But there is no earth - so nothing about Eos is tangible, which goes with the usual astro-sense of Eos, that being of a ‘dawning,’ ‘beginning’ or something which ‘starts’ because it occurs to you. With Eos there is always a before ... and then there’s a ‘now’ - and that Now is always enhanced by the mere fact that we are enlightened (we rise, we glow) because something has happened or changed, or just because we know it has happened, something has changed, or something is about to occur.

Dawn in the Naples gulf
(photo credit: Cannedcat (recolored for post)
As for Jupiter/Pluto, this is the combining of the power to transform with the power to excel, enhance, enlarge and/or increase, all of which is somewhat more likely than usual to go ‘overboard’ (whether literally or figuratively) as given enough energy and range, Pluto trends towards obsession - and there’s nothing like Jupiter’s unlimited expansion principle to provide just that push.

So this combination may work in several ways. When any part of this conjunction is transited, there’s a lot of energy to change some part of a status quo ... or which does change the status quo.

What this effect is would be gets read by house, by aspects, by object transiting, by planet ruling the sign on the cusp of the house - all the usual stuff. In particular, since this combination by itself does not guarantee anything but a moment of excitement or motivation, there will have to be something larger or connecting to this association which ties it into some greater effort. Without that, Eos + Jupiter/Pluto could simply mean a moment of excitement, with nothing apart from a lovely memory coming of it’s existence and passing.


(That's it for now ...hope this helps ...more soon!)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Nemesis, Ixion, Sisyphus, Pholus

Is the glass which you are operating in a half full or half empty mode?
(photo credit: Derek Jensen, December, 2005)
There are a couple of ways to look at a group of astrological ‘bad boys’ being clustered immediately in the wake of an eclipse. They could indeed indicate the final tipping of a situation or the crumbling of some inner resistance we’ve been trying to ‘wall’ ourselves away from something with.

But if you’re already in the middle of eclipse processes - and yea verily right at the moment when, with the eclipse hardly having left our skies, we would expect things to change, happen, transform, be revealed or otherwise have us in the process of dealing with the energies of the eclipse, many of which we don’t like.

How do we know we don’t like them?

Answer: because it took an eclipse to get us to move off some previously established way of thinking, seeing, acting, choosing, doing, feeling and yes, even thinking.

Besides, these stations have to happen sometime ... so why not now, while we’re all primed to make a few changes now that eclipse forces have pried up a couple of our normally welded-and-reinforced emotional positions, principally those which are all about what we don’t want to know about our Self lest we have to feel things we don’t want to (or are afraid to) feel about our Self while we’re dealing with newly revealed facts. And considering how eclipses are the impactful and global transits that they are, surely all of us are going to be grappling some of our own things even as life is asking us to deal with others who are either asking their own questions or just beginning to see or recognize various facts others have known (or known specifically about them) for some time.

Years, maybe. Even decades.

All of this currently centers on the idea that there are four celestial objects going on station and changing direction within the space of four days (from Sunday through Wednesday) after the previous Friday’s eclipse.

Not that any of this is necessarily a one-and-done sort of thing. Any one of the objects being discussed here (Nemesis, Ixion, Sisyphus and Pholus) may manifest independently. Plus, who is to say that the less than delightful reputation earned by these points isn’t part of a greater eclipse which in many cases is about revealing ills and errors of judgment so they can be corrected or properly eliminated?

How these four points are going to manifest will also vary. For instance, of the four, Nemesis and Sisyphus are main belt asteroids, which like all of the asteroids which orbit between Mars and Jupiter merely represent those things we encounter in the course of everyday life. Known for its quality of ‘forewarning’ (or being forewarned) Nemesis often simply represents something we have heard about, though it certainly can be that thing we have been warned about - or the fact that we may be called upon to issue some warning to others. In the wake of the eclipse, this Nemesis could represent that ‘they told me so’ moment when yes, we do finally ‘see’ what someone has been trying, trying, trying to tell us.

by Gheorghe Tattarescu (1853)
(re-colored for posting purposes)
Then again, it could be a moment when we undertake something which will teach us why we shouldn’t do something - or at least in the way we’re approaching it - so that we become the essence of Nemesis for others down the line. In fact, the chances of ‘being’ the Nemesis party are increasing, not decreasing as Nemesis’ March 22nd station is Nemesis going direct: moving from a personal and more private or ‘internal’ mode into a more public, worldly and external mode - to which we add 4 Leo as the degree.

But wait ... do you recall Juno’s turn to direct at 3 Leo just a bit ago?

That was March 13th. And now, nine days later, Nemesis is going direct at 4 Leo with Juno just behind, still at 3 Leo. Juno will arrive at 4 Leo as of March 28th, increasing the ‘volume’ of issues having to do with managing some sort of information for two days, after which Nemesis will move ahead and the volume will slowly, slowly drop - at least in our mind.

As for Sisyphus, Sisyphus differs from Nemesis by the fact that it is an ‘inner system’ comet-type object with an orbit which at its farthest from the Sun is at 2.9 AU (AU = astronomical unit: the mean distance from Earth to the Sun) ... which puts it right in the thick of the asteroid belt, and which at its perihelion (the point closest to the Sun) is only at 0.87 AU, which means that in the course of its orbit, Sisyphus comes past Mars and past Earth, ending up just shy of Venus.

Metaphysically that says Sisyphus represents that which can breach our personal will and get ‘behind’ (or inside) our sense of individual assertion - which is part of the rather raggedly sorry story which is that of the mythic Sisyphus.
Sisyphus by Bernard Picard (1731)
Sisyphus was a well-born young Greek with basically everything to live for and not a lot in the way of problems ... except for his peculiarly twisted nature. Considered exceptionally intelligent, Sisyphus used to go out into town and befriend travelers, sometimes inviting them to be a guest in his house - as was the custom in those days.

But once those travelers accepted Sisyphus hospitality, all bets were off. In spite of customs of the day which very clearly held that host should not harm guests (in return for which, guests were forbidden to bite the hand which was feeding them), Sisyphus was convinced he was so clever (and indeed, so much more clever than anyone else) that he could do what he wanted - which in this case, included murder.

Moreover, Sisyphus was not even deterred from his trail of ill deeds when the Olympian gods stepped in, resulting in a not-so-delicate dance of crime-and-Olympian-punishment which ended with Sisyphus being condemned not just to Tartarus (the Greek form of Hell), but to a special little niche - one of two - just at the very gates of Tartarus where as an example of what not to do and who not to be, Sisyphus now spends his eternity rolling a rock up a hill ... only to have it roll back down the hill so he will then be forced to roll it up the hill again.

In this way, the mythic Sisyphus stands as a warning: don’t think the fact that you’re clever and can do something means you should do anything. Talents and privileges of status are gifts some have and some don’t have, making this ‘non-standard equipment’ precious - which is different than something which would make the person with the talent intrinsically precious.

All of which makes the idea of Sisyphus as something we encounter which ‘penetrates our (Mars) defenses’ quite apt. And when add on a little considering of Sisyphus as a member of the Apollo group of asteroids, Sisyphus should have some ability to ‘enlighten’ us (in the best Apollo tradition), even if that enlightenment comes through finding out how wrong something is in some fashion which could be termed “the hard way.”

Not that this has to be disastrous. After all, there are all those little lessons we learn in life - often about things which someone ‘warned’ us about (shades of Nemesis...) or which they told us should be done XYZ way, but we didn’t listen. Or we preferred to do otherwise.

And sometimes we learn that our ‘better’ wasn’t better at all. How all we did through our stubbornness was ‘kill’ some chance for our own success or happiness.

Voila: Sisyphus.

Not that Sisyphus is going on station alone. As Sisyphus goes direct at 29 Cancer (a degree known for various kinds of weaknesses, vulnerabilities or lacks) Ixion will be going retrograde at 23 Sagittarius, speaking to emotionally-driven positions, challenges and/or suspicions which are either projected or possibly completely groundless.

Ixion by Hendrick Gottzius (1558-1617)
Moreover, this probably isn’t the first time such emotional positions have arisen - not in present tense, and not in terms of the whole of our lives.

Why would that be? That would be because Ixion is part of this conglomeration, as with Ixion, part of the point is that it’s not the first time which gets us ... it’s the fact we simply don’t learn. For some, they can’t be bothered. Others are sure they can do (read: get away with) something which might be a problem for others but not for them ... which with Ixion in play is often wrong, more wrong and most painfully incorrect.

However this manifests, the combination of Ixion and Sisyphus is likely to indicate a personally trying period which some will deal with by ‘bulldozing’ through, and which others will experience as a chance to really see what has happened, what we have done and what we may be poised to do or choose, all of which will be tapping on the lock-box of our conscience - that being in the end where the turns and twisted fates associated with these two points to first and last.

In other words, do we have a conscience? Do we listen to that conscience? Does that conscience take only our position into account, or is our conscience willing to be accountable for the position we put others (and maybe everyone) into?

Sisyphus represents that place in our personality where others seem so unimportant that we become able to treat them as inconsequential, just as Ixion represents that place in our personality where we think rules, standards and realities don’t apply to us. And here they are taking stations in degrees which speak to vulnerabilities and emotional jealousies.

Plain and simple, this is not terribly positive combination unless utilized as part of a greater process of self-reflective discovery. Why we are victims, why we are perpetrators, why we think its okay to treat anyone or anything on this planet (or elsewhere) simply as we please without any regard for others and long-term effects on life in specific and general - those are Sisyphus-Ixion questions.

Moreover, because Ixion comes to the party with Neptunian magnetism as part of its essence, a significant number of people will be more likely to create problems and deny that they are part of some problem (or making the problem far worse) than we might expect at other times.

It depends on how clear we are not just on who we are, but who we aren’t - and why either-or-both things would be true.

Especially now.

(Suggestion: think eclipse)

There is another group here, of course - those who have come to some form of miraculous (or perhaps crunch-worthy) realization as the eclipse has reached full potential. For them, Ixion-Sisyphus will like as not indicate some sort of ‘further unfolding’ of things past and present, with the eclipse representing all those things we go through and think through whenever we change course or change our personal ways.

A couple of days elapses before Pholus goes on station, which given the Pholus-type tendency to withdraw or pull back from ‘the fray’ (or the point of some issue) may be anything - a time of reflection, a time of working behind the scenes, a time of regret or even mourning.

Like Ixion, Pholus’ orbit has its farthest point from us (and the Sun) out beyond Neptune in the Kuiper Belt. So Pholus always represents something which isn’t ‘commonly’ met up with or known. Unlike Ixion, however, Pholus is not a Plutino - i.e., an object whose orbit is controlled by Neptune’s magnetism, and which therefore in part embodies Neptune’s astrological magnetism. So there isn’t the kind of idealism or the chances for disillusionment (and disappointment as to the reality of one’s life) which seems so much a part of Ixion’s transits - and its position in our natal chart, along with that. But that doesn’t mean Pholus is an ‘easy’ astrological influence - it isn’t. For one, Pholus is a centaur. So with Pholus we know there is always some sort of lurking internal/interior ‘battle’ between the ability (or willingness) to think things through calmly, logically and rationally and that sort of hot blooded emotionalism (of whatever flavor) which can get us into trouble - or even killed (literally or metaphorically, as in the ‘killing of an idea’ or the ‘killing’ of some effort).

Having gotten as close to us (and the Sun) on June 3, 2012 as it is going to get over the course of its 91.3 year-long orbit, Pholus is currently headed away from us. And as the Sun represents our consciousness, that suggests Pholus is astrologically ‘standing in’ at present and serving as a marker for a retreat from consciousness ... or perhaps a conscious retreat from something (depending on your personal Pholus). Furthermore, with Pholus going retrograde in 26 Sagittarius there is an ‘invisible’ suggestion that this ‘retreat’ - for positive or otherwise - is going to be most seen or more often adopted as a mode of operating (or coping) by those whose birth charts would have the Galactic Center at 26 Sagittarius.

And that would include just about everyone born roughly between the latter part of 1938 and October, 2010.

Currently positioned at 27 Sagittarius, the Milky Way’s Galactic Center (‘GC’ for short) is a point which functions as a form of astrological ‘gateway’ through which we project what we are and what we have to give in this life to this world. Since it is in Sagittarius for everyone (that part being all about where our solar system is vis-à-vis the center of the Milky Way) the positive is judicious expanding of knowledge or opportunity through what we do ... and the negative is the injudicious limiting of knowledge and/or opportunity, however that functions in your life and personal world. Where your Jupiter is natally, the sign it is in natally, and how the planet which rules that sign often gives us an indication of how we’re going to feel about giving to the world - and how we define ... or how well we define what we have to give, and the mode through which we will end up giving it. 

A VISTA photo-mosaic of the Milky Way's central district, which lies in constellation of Sagittarius.
Some million stars are in this photo.
(photo credit: ESO VISTA, Dec 2009)
And since this is a cause-effect, ‘for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction’ sort of universe, this also helps us understand how well our efforts to give work, and - oh by the way - why Pholus going retrograde can be problematic.

Put simply, Pholus stations can mark a moment when our unwillingness to give or our efforts to give go awry.That may be ‘give’ as in “giving a present,” or it may be ‘give’ as in “giving an inch” or even “giving in.” Whatever it is, when a Pholus station aspects your chart, things may take a turn for the worse or better, depending on what we’re doing in that moment - and why we’re doing it. Pholus often backs away from the ‘strong move’ and that which will benefit others more than the Self, which metaphysically speaks to the classic sort of self-concerned emotional (centaur) challenge we see with Pholus, Chiron, Nessus, Pelion, Ceto, Asbolus, Typhon and all the other centaurs wherever emotionality gets stirred up.

More to the point here however, is the idea that Pholus is going retrograde at 26 Sagittarius, the natal position of the Galactic Center for everyone born between late 1938 and October, 2010. Known as a degree imbued with creative flexibility and a wide array of abilities and interests which causes many people and many things to be either marveled at or completely misunderstood, those born with their Galactic Center at 26 Sagittarius are asked to be selective about personal and intimate alliances if generous with social contributions - all of which may now be on the wane (with Pholus going retrograde) ... OR which may now be brought to the forefront of discussions as we reflect on how we have or haven’t utilized our talents properly due to some sort of personal, internal (Pholus-type) ‘separation’ which causes us to not identify with others, or which inspires us to actively choose not to ‘fight that fight,’ even if something will be lost because of that choice.

With Mars in the third decanate of Aries, a lot of energy is flooding towards motivational ideas which, with Mercury in Pisces, may be either not that well thought through (yet) or in need of revisions, editing, validation, research, discussion and in general, a cool, collected and sober review of much going on.

All of this is still being driven by the eclipse. So as much as we will still be wanting to think all the flaws and ‘faults’ are ‘theirs,’ some are bound to originate much closer at personal hand.

Considering that, are we willing to look not only at what we we are holding on to, but why - in reality - we’re holding onto it? Is that choice really about ‘the good’ - or just something we want others to think is good because it benefits us and validates what we want to think - most of all about our Self?