by Boots Hart, CAP

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? 

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