by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, January 28, 2016

February 2016: Offshore from an Eclipse

Total Solar Eclipse of November 2012 as seen from East Amhemland in Australia's Northern Territory
(photo credit: Amar Dev Singh)
Of the many good reasons to post the monthly reports a couple of days in advance (and indeed even a bit earlier than usual), the fact that TNO (Trans Neptunian Object) Typhon will be going retrograde in late Libra on February 1st would be one more-than-decent reason even if that wasn’t being followed (as it is) by Kallisto going direct on the 2nd at 11 Gemini in conjunction with royal star Aldebaran and in opposition to royal star Antares.

After all, with Typhon going retrograde on the 1st, its ‘station effects’ are going to begin being felt around January 30th, which pretty much means that as this post hits the digital airways things will be getting more… TNO’ish, which is to say less predictable and, in keeping with being beyond giant blue now-you-astrologically-perceive-it, now-you-don’t-have-a-single-clue planet Neptune means February isn’t likely to start out with all of us focused on tying our shoelaces and making grocery lists.

No, things are likely to be a bit more … beyond the realm of everyday consideration, if simply because they’re not what we’re expecting – which on the whole is rather astrologically TNO’ish

So Typhon’s station begins on the 30th (which given the Wonderful World of Time Zones may be during the latter part of the 29th, depending on where you are) ... And then Kallisto’s station effects are going to get layered in atop that – call it as of on January 31st – with all of this taking place with Sun in Aquarius, Mercury and Venus in Capricorn and Mars in Scorpio rounding out the personal planet list, give or take the Moon which changes signs every two days or so.

As for Typhon, Typhon speaks to things on a very basic and primary, even ‘primal’ sort of level. And being that it’s taking station in the ‘I/thou’ world of Libra, this refers to some quality in others, how others are receiving us and what we’re doing, how we are acting to-or-with others, and what any of this says about who we really are in this very moment. Typhon’s turn to retrograde may coincide with needing to deal with or consider life in some very basic sort of way. Or it may be speaking to how we feel about something basic – the joy of a birth, the sorrow at a deal – occurring and needing our attention.

Do we need to do anything? How do we feel about our Self and our life (and what we are doing or not doing) not in comparison with others, but in the sense that we live in a world where we are one among others? What do we think about the state of things?

As for Kallisto, Kallisto’s tale is the not altogether pleasant story about getting blamed for something we haven’t done in such a way that our very existence is affected with no option but to deal with the chaos in the hopes of eventually winning a different, if still worthy ‘reward’ for your patience and perseverance somewhere down the line. In Gemini – and specifically in connection with Aldebaran – the integrity of our positions and choices, those made in this moment as well as those we come into this time embodying – all of that counts, even if we are being treated unfairly or having to deal with some destabilizing ‘stroke of fate.’

Who we are, in other words, will play out in time. That we may be tempted to, or that we may be being prompted to act (or react) out of instinct wouldn’t be unusual now, and certainly with Mars in Scorpio (which is where it will be all month long) there isn’t any lack of intensity about everything we feel or why we feel it.

We may have every emotional rationale, one might say, for what we might want to do or see done. But is that – in the end or down the line – going to be a good thing? Might choices, acts or even our lack of choice to act in time assist us or come back to haunt us?

Neither of these stations are likely to be startlingly obvious unless 27 Libra (the degree Typhon is going retrograde in) or 11 Gemini (the degree of Kallisto’s station) aspects our personal chart – or that of some other entity (a company, town, nation, organization, etc.) with much of ‘public’ effect. That said, Typhon speaking to things which apply to life’s ‘basics’ may well speak to things of ‘basic influence’ which need to be considered or attended to.

Giving our standard ‘two days before, two days after’ allowance means Typhon’s station effects will slacken off on the 3rd with Kallisto’s petering out on or around February 4th. However, seeing as that Thursday (the 4th) is the date that Terpsichore goes into retrograde in conjunction with Black Moon Lilith and in opposition to Uranus, Sabine and Vesta, we shouldn’t be surprised if something unanticipated or unexpected which has its roots in some difficulty or change-of-course already dealt with occurs. With Terpsichore forming the ‘crux’ of the moment, we are either being called upon to rely on something long practiced and well mastered … or we can anticipate finding out why (or how) that which we have relied upon in the past no longer ‘holds up’ or protects us from some unexpected (Vesta) ‘cost.’ Will we make some change – or are we being held in place by some (Sabine) force which is making it impossible for us to do what we want … or at least improbable that we will ‘break out’ of or break away from things which we have come to be committed to? Will Terpsichore’s famous ‘dancing’ ability have us ‘dancing around something’ (avoiding it) or ‘dancing’ our way through some challenge, problem, or process which we know ‘all the steps’ to, for whatever reason?

Sedna Direct (glyph chart)
February 6, 2016 - 19:27 (7:27 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
 Sedna Direct (text chart)
February 6, 2016 - 19:27 (7:27 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)

Beyond all this, Terpsichore’s Thursday (the 4th) station also marks the onset of Sedna going direct and its station effects. So if the old expression ‘size matters’ holds true in things metaphysical and astrological (which they tend to), that means the various asteroid station effects of the week (Typhon, Kallisto and Terpsichore) may have all been leading into (or setting us up for) whatever the energies associated with dwarf planet Sedna stationing at 24 Taurus at 17:24 (5:24 p.m., UT/+0 time) in the morning of Saturday the 6th are going to mean.

With Sedna going direct as part of the grand trine section of an astrological Kite (with Sedna not being in the ‘kite-steering’ position at the tail), that suggests we aren’t going to ‘break out’ of anything at the moment. Indeed, what arises now may point out to us that we may not be able to simply stand up and walk away from something, someone or some perspective or situation. But internally? Personally, and to the extent that Sedna’s stationing at 24 Taurus aspects our individual natal chart, we may now be finding things in flux. And whether that fluctuation has to do with us personally (or anything we are personally doing at the moment), our opinion of things, our insight into what things are, what they mean and what others think of this or that as opposed to what we think of such things – all that may now change.

Or at least we may be realizing it should change. Our encounters with Sedna energies always involve some form of uncomfortable ‘rocking of our emotional boat’ as we try to hold onto some desire for things in life to work the way we were taught they would – or even as we have envisioned they ‘should be’ all along. The lesson with Sedna is how holding (on)to those dreams or images don’t work for us in real time, whether or not such things were ever possible… or even the common way of life.

Sedna urges us to let go of such preconceptions about what ‘good’ or ‘bad’ really are. Why? So that without those ‘pre-determined’ ideas we will access powerful parts of our own ability or personality which can only be fueled by deeply emotional feelings – those we generally keep well ‘submerged’ by external forces of culture or personality. Like Typhon, Sedna speaks to very primal things, feelings and images. But where Typhon generally refers to those ‘primal’ notions we all share, Sedna is more individual, most often referring to ideas or images we have learned early on in life either as part of what our parents, guardians or culture have more or less ‘indoctrinated’ us with as some sort of ‘expectation’ for how life works.

One more item to be remembered however … that which ‘steers’ this kite is Jupiter and the North Node in Virgo, representing our energy and our opportunity to manage the ‘energy’ flowing through life and situations which affect and/or involve others at this time. Whatever happens … from the grungy to the sublime … through all such moments we have an opportunity to learn, and learn maybe most of all as to whether (and how well) we understand the very real consequences which can occur and the nose-dive things can take when we over-control or pay out too much slack, when we act too suddenly or do something which ‘overplays our hand’ – all so much in keeping with that assertive-if-delicate touch required to fly real world kites.

How well do you understand how today’s winds of fortune flow? Is what you think you know the whole of what can be known – and if not, might we not all stand in some sort of danger from our own tendency to think we know best, thus ‘over-guiding’ our kite – possibly into an unproductive, concept downing (and considering Sedna’s involvement, drowning) of some dream which in true Sedna style may be at once false to the core while still deeply believed in and cherished.

Placed prominently in a natal chart, Sedna represents someone whose perspective on life is ‘tested’ on a consistent basis, someone who may or may not represent a force of innovation and human(e) development or a decided failure to develop. (And sometimes both – you just never know!) As opposed to that, transiting Sedna speaks to moments when things happen to cause us to reconsider and sometimes even let go of old myths and cherished beliefs of how life ‘is supposed to be,’ which here – with Sedna in a grand trine with Jupiter/North Node (in Virgo and Moon, Tantalus and Mercury in Saturn-ruled Capricorn, though total upheaval seems unlikely, a change of perspective on what the ultimate goal should be, or what OUR ultimate goal with regards to something should be in some long run or eventuality.

Whatever is going on now, we have an opportunity to gain perspective on it … as well as on that which our involvement, dedication, willingness or whatever else means in terms of the person we actually want to, or need to be. Sedna clarifications being seldom gentle on the psyche, those who feel most internally conflicted, even to the point of feeling guilt or regret about things we’ve done, not done, stood ever-so-staunchly for or entirely rejected – those are the signs that in time we have something to gain from letting go of whatever condition, expectation, motivation or hope we have been holding onto … probably for a very long time. The degree of this station (24 Taurus) has a reputation for operating on the spiritual level, which when we consider Sedna as the energetic and 24 Taurus as the lens through which that energy will be focused suggests a shift of perspective or perception which occurs in part because of what we see going on around us in our office, family, community or world.

But with all of this said, things are unlikely to change in the moment. If - or to the degree - that our realization of what’s possible versus what’s not going to happen the level of our involvement or interest in something may wax or wane leading to some change of activity, direction, priorities or expectations in the days, weeks, months or even years ahead. But at the moment this station transits through our life, most of us are likely to be ‘sticking’ or ‘stuck’ to (or with) something which doesn’t feel optional – at least at the moment.

After Sedna’s station closes out the first week of February, the rest of the UT/+0-timed astrological month looks like this:

Week Two
- (Tuesday, February 9) New Moon at 19 Aquarius
- (Saturday, February 13) MERCURY re-enters Aquarius, exiting its January retrograde shadow

Week Three
- (Wednesday, February 17) VENUS enters Aquarius, Deucalion stations in Scorpio
- (Friday, February 19) SUN enters Pisces

Week Four
- (Monday, February 22) Full Moon at 3 Virgo

Week Five
- (Monday, February 29) Sisyphus stations in Scorpio, Chaos stations in Gemini

What’s the point of the list? The point is just this: given the fact that Mars will be in Scorpio for the whole of February, that means all the basic ‘changes of atmosphere’ or astrological attitude for the month will be occurring between the 13th (when Mercury exits earthy Capricorn and enters airy Aquarius) and the 19th, that being when the Sun exists airy, thoughtful and often entirely abstract-minded Aquarius for the deep water, universally emotional sign of Pisces. What this means to us in a general sense is that as the month heads towards its mid-point, some of the acuity or clarity with which we are seeing things is going to give way to the considering of consequences, particularly those of an emotional nature. Moreover, that the Sun is through Aquarius and moving into Pisces as Mercury and then Venus reaches Aquarius suggests the dividing of most of us into one of two groups: those who find the second half of the month as a period of opportunity they can try to ‘capitalize on,’ and those who will tend to experience the second half of February as a period when they are going to be spectating or in the position of being the ‘audience’ for those working to capitalize on some feeling, desire, opportunity, hope - or even some form of disparate, wandering despair.

As for that New Moon at 19 Aquarius which takes place at 14:40 (2:40 in the afternoon, UT/+0 time on February 9th), 19 Aquarius starts out as a degree said to be loaded with the energy of surviving and rebuilding as well as that which provides the reasons for feeling challenged to survive or rebuild, suggesting a lunar month which is both productive and a bit trying – not to mention this being the lunar month leading into a solar eclipse set to occur at 18 degrees of Pisces on March the 9th. Beyond that, with Venus at 19 Capricorn in a semi-sextile to the New Moon (and conjunct Pluto) one would expect these next weeks to provide a powerful mix of challenges and situations which ask us to weigh our chances as well as our priorities before committing to various decisions.

New Moon at 19 Aquarius (glyph chart)
February 9, 2016 - 14:40 (2:40 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
 New Moon at 19 Aquarius (text chart)
February 9, 2016 - 14:40 (2:40 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific) 
With Mars in square to this New Moon from 18 Scorpio, with Mars conjunct both Deucalion and Sisyphus, some of our choices are going to be driven by, or possibly governed by problems with timing or mistakes of judgment or personal preference which have led to the difficulties and consequences of greater priority or effect, as our Deucalion efforts to ‘avoid trouble or trials’ meets up with our Sisyphus tendencies to think solely in terms of our Self without proper regard for the rights or needs of others. ‘Might making right’ – or at least the attempt to use power to rule the day or determine a course of action which does not take consequences (especially emotional consequences) into account are likely to backfire or cause more trouble than anticipated.

Then there’s a Chirotic and Uranian touch to be considered here, too. On the Uranus side, if we were just to see Uranus at 17 Aries sextiling this New Moon in the company of Maximov, we would expect maximal activity and a maximum of new input, ideas and efforts. But with Uranus and Maximov being accompanied by Sabine (a containing force), we may well feel ‘held back,’ despite all – with good OR bad results depending on where these objects fall natally and by transit in our natal chart.

As for Chiron, Chiron at 19 Pisces speaks to another level or ‘layer’ of self-confrontation as we are each dealing with physical problems which may or may not be serious, encountering frustrations as we do so.

All and all, this New Moon speaks to an energetic recipe for productivity which occurs almost in spite of what we want (or think we want) even as we are each  – to some degree – confronting feelings of not being ‘in sync’ with others. Will we push on? And if we do, are we nobly determined, or merely selfish or some sort of ‘bully’ for doing as we want? Will we accomplish in the short run only to have things fall apart by and by, or are life’s forces going to shut off some avenues of forward momentum, testing our perseverance as thoroughly as our ability to think beyond our own mental ‘comfort zone’?

Moving along a few days, Mercury re-enters Aquarius on Saturday the 13th at 22:44 (10:44 p.m., UT/+0 time), clearing the point at which it went retrograde (1 Aquarius) on that same day, closing out some phase of whatever we have been dealing with since early January.

Mercury in Aquarius (glyph chart)
February 13, 2016 - 22:44 (10:44 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
 Mercury in Aquarius (text chart)
February 13, 2016 - 22:44 (10:44 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Most of us won’t notice this Mercury shift as life’s overall focus is less likely to change than is the attitude or methodology with which we approach our current focus. Being less bent on permanence than Capricorn is, Mercury Aquarius represents a time when we are willing to ‘make a move’ if or where we think it will be or become beneficial, though because Aquarius is associated with the unanticipated or surprising, we shouldn’t expect to know everything which could happen going in. Maybe we will surprise others. Maybe they will surprise us.

And maybe, just maybe that which any group of alliance ‘expects’ to happen, won’t happen.

Mercury in Aquarius is like that. Unpredictable and often representative of that which is funny, daunting, quirky or even utterly shocking, these weeks of Mercury in Aquarius (which ends on March 5th when Mercury moves on into Pisces) can be highly productive, incredibly contentious, delightfully eye-opening or incredibly boring depending on how integrated, organized and on-schedule we are in life combined with how well connected or ‘plugged in’ we are when it comes to functioning in, and as part of the world we live in. With the Sun in square to Sedna there’s something of a natural ‘debate’ set to arise between new and old – or perhaps between the time-tested and modern, the conservative and more liberal, or even that which is fresh versus the accepted, the traditional and/or even habitual.

Another half-week passes and Venus enters Aquarius at 4:18 in the morning of Wednesday, February 17th (UT/+0 time). With Deucalion on station at 17 Scorpio between Sisyphus at 18 Scorpio and Juno plus asteroid America at 17 Scorpio, this is a time when we are all finding our way between that which is plainly and even irrationally problematic (or dangerous) as symbolized by Sisyphus and the (Juno) managing of new situations – ‘new’ (trying anew, renewing) being key concepts which apart from whatever else asteroid America represents (the Americas as continents, the United States of America as a specific nation, ‘Americans’ as inhabitants, interests or other entities based in or originating from anywhere in the continental Americas) … seems in part to typify the general ‘flavoring’ of that which asteroid America adds when in aspect to other astrological symbols.

Venus in Aquarius (glyph chart)
February 17, 2016 - 4:19 a.m. UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
 Venus in Aquarius (text chart)
February 17, 2016 - 4:19 a.m. UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
With this Venus-Aquarius ingress also marking the height of Aquarian energies (with Sun, Venus and Mercury all in this most non-personal of the air signs), does that mean the very freeing of our minds of earthy, earthly (in this instance, Capricorn) influences mean this ingress will allow us to utilize Venus’ symbolism as that which ‘concretes’ whatever we have been working towards in some ‘new’ (America) way? Might something of that nature allow us to (depending on individual situations) navigate some incoming (Deucalion) ‘flood’ or emotional tide which could otherwise threaten to carry us away?  

Deucalion’s station effects will just be closing out as the Sun moves into Pisces two days later (on February 19th) at 5:35 in the morning, UT/+0 time, suggesting that we are still ‘finding our way’ through some sort of situation or complication which requires that we keep our head ‘above water,’ especially in the emotional or moral sense.

As the Sun moves into Pisces, we’re all likely to feel a change of attitude – call it a change in the general mood – as life moves from theoretical into intuitive and feeling mode, bringing on a ‘flood’ of emotional considerations which with Deucalion having just gone into retrograde are likely to ‘hit home’ in fairly short order.

And with Pisces, that ‘hitting home’ idea can mean all sorts of things. At its core, Pisces is a sign which tests our ability to accept the light and dark of life - however that manifests along the way. Known as a sign of ‘wisdom,’ Pisces is also said to operate as a ‘school of hard knocks’ which leaves many standing in the dust of their own expectations, defeated as often by our own determination of cleverness as anything else. Under Pisces, we all experience some sort of self-questioning and we often come up short in our own eyes, leading to one astrologer’s definition of Pisces as the sign having to do with ‘the distance by which we will fail our own expectations,’ and in doing that prove our how mortally human we really are.

To our Self, I mean.

Sun in Pisces (glyph chart)
February 19, 2016 - 5:35 a.m. UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
 Sun in Pisces (text chart)
February 19, 2016 - 5:35 a.m. UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
In the case of this year’s Sun-in-Pisces ingress, the Sun is arriving in Pisces pretty much on its own with only a weak semi-sextile to Venus (in Aquarius) stirring up this and that annoyance or feeling of doubt. With centaur Nessus just ahead and Photographica just behind, grudges and the appearance of hostility (or grudges being held onto) … or some sort of impression(s) left behind become something to be avoided – or at least tended to with care. That as the Sun arrives in Pisces as a formation known as a ‘magic rectangle’ comes together for a couple of days between Jupiter and North Node (in Virgo), Sedna-Capulus (in Taurus), South Node plus asteroid Bali in Pisces and Mars in Scorpio … all that suggests a ‘playing of the cards’ or the arising of some internal understanding about how to make things ‘work’ which assists, supports and aids in both connecting with others and having sufficient insight into how to conduct one’s business, whatever that may be in your individual world or life.

There’s one other thing the Sun arriving in Pisces does which we’re likely to feel and experience, and that’s about how the Sun’s beginning to transit Pisces will trigger a fairly rapid if strangely imperceptible ‘rising of a telling tide’ as the countdown to the March 9th solar eclipse begins in all evocative Piscean earnestness.

More on that on a moment. To conclude out traipse through February’s monthly events before bellying up to the solar eclipse table however, after Friday’s Sun-into-Pisces, first comes a Monday (February 22nd) Full Moon at 3 Virgo at 18:21 or 6:21 in the evening, UT/+0 time.

Full Moon at 3 Virgo (glyph chart)
February 22, 2016 - 18:21 (6:21 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Full Moon at 3 Virgo (glyph chart)
February 22, 2016 - 18:21 (6:21 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Like all Full Moons, this one speaks to a ‘highlighting’ of something in life. Sometimes that amounts to focusing on something which is already going on, and sometimes that means something new or an event which changes the way we need (or want) to see things. In the case of this particular Full Moon, the degree being ‘highlighted’ is 3 Virgo. And since 3 Virgo is a degree which is all about dedication, perseverance, careful detail work and the ability to succeed provided you keep a good head on your shoulders (even if everyone else is losing theirs or acting like a crackpot), that would be a good portion of what we need to remember to ‘apply’ in this moment as we pursue some sort of success. Like as not, given the incoming eclipse we already ‘know’ if something is ‘going wrong’ or if something – a job, a relationship, a hope, an emotional position, a belief – we ‘know’ what (if anything) isn’t working.

(We may still be fighting it, but we know – no doubt!)

Solar eclipses tend to bring out such certainties, such understandings – often weeks in advance of our being (or feeling) sufficiently ‘pushed’ as to do what needs doing, whatever that may be. And for those whose charts are aspected by this Full Moon – in particular if your chart is aspected by both this Full Moon (at 3 Virgo) and the incoming solar eclipse (at 18 Pisces) – this is likely to be an intense sort of time which is either delightful or truly worth a gold-plated trash can (with locking lid, so nothing can get out).

This not being a heavily aspected Full Moon (and with the ingress’ transiting magic rectangle having already broken apart before the Full Moon comes into being), connecting events which occur around the 22nd to other matters of the day or on your schedule may neither be possible nor necessary, suggesting this as an isolated moment to enjoy or work through, depending on whatever happens … and even if nothing happens. Many of us will be in an ongoing ‘work’ mode (working on something, be it personal or professional) with plenty to think about and deal with as Pisces energetics continue dragging whatever we’ve hidden under our psychic bed out into the open for admitting to, owning up to, taking responsibility for and dealing with, even if we don’t want to.

And it’s that last bit – the ‘even if we don’t want to’ – which from the time of the Full Moon may well become a marked ‘theme’ in life, if only for a time … which is to say, until the March 9th eclipse (and its effects) move through and ‘take hold,’ that being a process which can take an hour, a day or several months, depending on how imbedded or invested we are in believing something – generally about our Self – which good or bad, just simply isn’t true.

After the Full Moon of the 22nd, February wends on with some of us ‘shifting gears’ (and focus) in the wake of the Moon’s full phase, some of us simply ‘letting go’ of this or that out of frustration, feeling of ineptitude … or because we come to realize how what we have been trying to do won’t ‘fix’ the thing which needs ‘fixing’ in this moment. Such notions and situations which prompt us to reflect on what we are and what we aren’t, where we have been successful in our pursuits and where we feel (and perhaps are) so overwhelmingly inept arise and get dealt with – or arise and get pushed aside.

And then we get to Leap Year Day – February 29th – on which date Chaos goes direct at 18 Gemini (in square to the incoming 18 Pisces eclipse) as Sisyphus turns to retrograde at 22 Scorpio – in trine to that same eclipse.

Just to mention the somewhat obvious, the whole idea of Sisyphus taking station anywhere in Scorpio is enough to sound notes of fire and caution. In fact, even if the specific degree (22 Scorpio) has a reputation for scattering Scorpio’s normally laser-focused energies, this is a combination of sign and symbol worthy of stopping to consider carefully. This doesn’t mean you need to run and find a hazmat suit (emotional or otherwise) as Sisyphus turns to retrograde, but considering Sisyphus’ endless ability (endless being a keyword here) to knowingly do wrong and for doing things which are unkind and distinctly lacking in compassion, empathy or any other acknowledgement of anyone else’s value, Sisyphus’ stations are known as times when acts born of feeling ‘entitled’  (which most of us have) tend to get indulged on something of a regular basis. (Alas.)

The tale of Sisyphus is an interesting one – and perhaps even more so considering its taking of this retrograde station during the lead-up to the incoming eclipse. The highly intelligent son of a wealthy family which ruled a small city located strategically along a route known for its travelers and commerce, Sisyphus came to be in the habit of spending his days doing as he pleased, befriending some while choosing to imprison, toy with and casually kill others, all with some assurance that due to daddy and mommy’s blind indulgence, ‘the rules’ would never apply to him.

And evidently they didn’t – at least in the case of Sisyphus’ parents. But the forces of immortality (the Olympians) didn’t agree and, when it came to Sisyphus’ choices, certainly didn’t approve.

In fact, Sisyphus’ arrogance earned him one of those ‘mandatory’ guided tours of Tartarus (the hell of Greek myth) complete with assigned and customized punishment.

Not surprisingly, Sisyphus wasn’t enthused. In fact, while in the course of attempting to decline this highly inhospitable offer of eternal unpleasantness, Sisyphus demonstrated his dislike by escaping. But being godly in the Greek sense and good to their last drop in the determination department, the Olympians rejected Sisyphus’ egotistical estimation of his own worth and expertise, rounding him up in less time than the blink of an immortal eye. And once Sisyphus was again in their mythic hands, the Olympians thoroughly consigned him to the never-ending task of rolling a rock up a mountain only to have it escape his grasp and roll back down, requiring of Sisyphus that he make yet another (futile) attempt.

Sisyphus by Bernard Picard (1731)
The mythic Sisyphus stands as an early and mythic warning to anyone who thinks they can either get away with that which harms others or more simplistically, those who take advantage of their own societal position as a means to violate basic societal standards – in this case, the rules of hospitality, which back in the Greek mythic day was a very big deal indeed.

The idea of Sisyphus as a willingness to violate the peace, the rights, the happiness and even the life or lifestyle of someone else remains one half of the astrological Sisyphus equation, with the other half being about whether we – for whatever reason and in spite of who we are in this world (be we mighty or lowly, doctor, lawyer, accountant or tribal chief, soldier, baker, candlestick maker or anything else) – whether are ever entitled to decide the fate of others.

In all likelihood, the combination of Sisyphus and 22 Scorpio will come out in one of several ways. The first would be where the degree’s known capacity for ‘scattering’ defuses or represents the ‘scattering’ of power or any powerful potential fit to harm or even impede others. The second would be where someone else or something else ‘scatters’ or defuses whatever motivating factors exist which might prompt the ‘need’ (read: desire) to act in any Sisyphus sort of manner.

As for Chaos, like Deucalion, TNO Chaos is classed as a Cubewano, meaning it doesn’t have the characteristics of a planet or dwarf planet, it’s not just ‘some asteroid,’ and while being neither one of those is also not caught up in any dance set up by that rather famous Neptunian magnetic resonance which governs orbits among the ‘Plutino’ gang (Pluto, Orcus, Ixion, Haumea, Huya and others). So Chaos’ effects are what they are: just as Cubewanos are not ‘swayed’ by Neptune’s magnetism, so they represent attributes, attitudes and abilities which are simply ‘ours,’ apart from what everyone or anyone else is doing or even has a capacity to do. We could expect this to ‘second’ or underscore ‘Sisyphus’ “I-me-mine” quality, and certainly with Chaos representing not a ‘mess’ (that’s a modern definition of the word, not the definition ‘chaos’ started out with) but rather an ‘unending source’ or ‘endless resource’ – with no specific restriction on what that source is for. In other words, Chaos could represent ideas, money, human support-help-assistance, determination – with the Chaos ‘part’ in being the lack of boundaries or limits on which we can draw.  

As for the degree of Chaos’ station, in going direct at 18 Gemini, Chaos is representing a resource of the airy, verbal, mental, theoretical type. The degree itself being known as one which is prone to choices, priorities and efforts which are undermined by some sort of bias or ‘love’ which figures as a factor in the making of that choice or the setting of the priority, with Chaos going direct as of February 29th (as Sisyphus goes retrograde) it would seem highly likely that issues of bias, those being subjected to bias, and those who are themselves biased are all coming to be in some position where the ability to hurt one’s Self or your own cause (the Sisyphus factor) is going to meet up with a lot of input from others, from the world, from life itself.

Whatever is going to be encountered now (as we come to the 29th and start into March, thanks to station effects) … none of that is likely to be particularly subtle, even when it isn’t exactly ‘in our face,’ or confronting us with every breath we breathe. That in part is because of Sisyphus – Sisyphus isn’t the kind of influence which we ignore or which gets ignored, even when it isn’t ‘aimed’ your way. But even more to the point ... with Chaos going direct at 18 Gemini, this Cubewano's station is primed to serve as a ‘resonating point’ for the 18 Pisces solar eclipse Chaos’ station squares quite literally to the degree.

Oh yes ... the eclipse.

Yes, the eclipse. And with that much said, let’s talk about said metaphysical dinosaur skulking about in the background of this conversation, namely said solar eclipse at 18 Pisces which is set to grace our solar systemic heavens (and individual lives) as of 1:56 in the wee hours of the morning of March 9th, UT/+0 time. Considering this is still March 8th in the Americas (and points west), this would in all likelihood be the best time to discuss this incoming energetic tsunami anyway, as who wants to find out the in’s and out’s of an eclipse when it’s just a scantily-clad week away – as it would be if I waited to have this chit-chat with you until next month?

So let us begin…

Solar Eclipse at 18 Pisces (glyph chart)
March 9, 2016 - 1:56 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
 Solar Eclipse at 18 Pisces (text chart)
March 9, 2016 - 1:56 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Like any solar eclipse – and in particular, with regards to any total solar eclipse (which the March 9th eclipse is), the basic function of the transit is to have something familiar to us and part of our accepted, ongoing life (the disc of the Sun) be ‘eliminated’ or ‘blacked out’ by some fact, factor or facet of-or-in that life (the Moon) which we have no control over. When that happens, we may feel very ‘in the dark’ about what life is about or where we’re ‘going’ in the world as solar eclipses often indicate the loss of, or losing out on some person, method, opportunity, situation or habitual way of dealing with things which has long been our way of handling various needs or challenges.

So solar eclipses are rather by definition an emotional time. After all, astrologically they pertain to the two ‘lights’ of our chart - the Sun and Moon, our symbols of awareness and feeling perception, and let’s face it – no one likes having the rug jerked out from under some part of their life!

That said, any losses associated with solar eclipses are productive and constructive in the long run as the teachings of thousands of years assure us that however painful an event or loss associated with a solar eclipse may be, how such losses represent the removing of whatever has come to be a compromise of or limit of our life’s potential. In fact, with the whole of the solar eclipse ‘transit’ taking 36 months (three years), it has come to be noticed over many a cycle by many an astrologer that the eclipse which comes along and disrupts everything is also likely to be the eclipse which heralds great changes and advances in our lives. Those advances don’t come about instantly to be sure, but about the time 2.5 years of the eclipse’s 3-year ‘unfolding’ have gone by, things which we could never have arrived at – or been able to take advantage of - happen, fulfilling the eclipse’s metaphysical function as an evolutionary timer in human life.

As for this eclipse, it is occurring in Pisces, the sign which gives everyone a bit of the emotional heebie-jeebies simply because of the noted Piscean ability to reduce us to mortal and emotional goo in the face of facts we had been hoping we wouldn’t have to face… but which life is going to make us face anyway. In the world of Pisces, it doesn’t matter how bit or tough you are and it absolutely doesn’t matter how well-defended you are as it doesn’t matter how hard we try, we’re human. That means no matter how hard we try, some part of our psyche is vulnerable – and the reason why it’s vulnerable is because it’s something we don’t want to deal with.

In that sense, Pisces is all about saving us from our Self… though we seldom take it that way.

Hardest on those with any decided ‘need to know’ or define things in concrete or detailed terms Pisces rewards those willing to accept What Is and cope with what happens as it happens. So for whoever or whatever is creating some need to define, ‘lock down’ or spell things out in detail, this incoming eclipse represents a challenge, one which is likely to be more or less intense (or telling) depending on whether any of the planets, nodes, axis points or dwarf planets in our personal natal chart is (or isn’t) aspected with any accuracy by the eclipse’s placement.

Solar Eclipse of March 9 2016 (Map courtesy of NASA-JPL)
So who is going to be directly affected? Check the following list against your personal natal chart. If any planet, dwarf planet, axis point (Ascendant, Descendant, Midheaven or Nadir) or lunar node is positioned as to fall within the scope of the degrees on the list, your chart is being directly aspected by this eclipse.

If not, the eclipse is going to still fall somewhere in your chart and you’re going to see and feel things ‘going on’ in life and the lives of those you know (whose charts are being aspected). For you, eclipse season can still be an unpredictable time – you are simply not the focus of the action.

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CONJUNCTION: 13 Pisces–23 Pisces
When an eclipse conjuncts your chart (particularly the Sun, Moon or Ascendant) your life is going to change in very direct ways which affect who you are seen as, how you feel about your own life and what you are doing in that life. Eclipses by conjunction are never ‘simple experiences,’ and though they may involve either joy or sadness are by their nature disruptive to the personal status quo.

OPPOSITION: 13 Virgo–23 Virgo
A solar eclipse by opposition involves meeting up with something, someone or some situation which confronts us with some aspect of our Self in such a manner that we cannot ignore the implication. Often constructive in the long run, solar eclipses by opposition tend to either interrupt or delay things which are already in progress or about to start, calling attention to facts or factors which must be taken into account ... or mark the final conclusion of some prior effort (or thought) which is no longer useful or applicable.

SQUARE(S): 13 Gemini–23 Gemini (and/or) 13 Sagittarius–23 Sagittarius
Solar eclipses which square our natal chart refer to things which are either sufficiently out-of-balance or qualities/concepts which having not been properly taken into account, must be dealt with before moving on. As with all squares, questions of proportions and priorities are often part of the challenges which arise around the time of the eclipse, though an eclipse-by-square period is likely to be more complex, confusing or chaotic than a transiting square. Through events surrounding the eclipse we become aware of what we are not in control of or working effectively with, leading to either a 'letting go' of whatever is no longer necessary or a clarification of what is truly important.  

TRINE(S): 13 Cancer–23 Cancer (and/or) 13 Scorpio-23 Scorpio
An eclipse by trine is perhaps less notable as an event simply because the ‘effortless’ nature of all trines tends to create situations which, whether initially negative or positive, are more easily navigated or ‘ridden,’ much in the style or sense that a surfer might surf a large wave. As with the surf, the effects of eclipses by trine are likely to be easier to accept as they will tend to feel more ‘natural,’ whether they are regrettable or not.  

SEXTILE(S): 15 Taurus-21 Taurus (and/or) 15 Capricorn-21 Capricorn
The astrological sextile being a curious beast which in its own right offers opportunity but less than a mandate or necessity, the eclipse by sextile will tend to eliminate some opportunities (while in instances offering others) even as our reasons or rationales for acting, interacting or choosing to avoid something completely come into focus or question in our own mind - or in the eyes of others.

INCONJUNCT(S): 16 Leo-20 Leo (and/or) 16 Libra-20 Libra
The inconjunct (or ‘quincunx,’ as it is also known) is a 150 degree aspect which speaks to the need to moderate or modify our means, methodology, rationale, perspective or attitude towards others so as to consider the possibility of consequences which in the end will not be self-governed. The keyword for any inconjunct being ‘adjustment,’ solar eclipses by inconjunct will be marked by elimination of some alternatives with a commensurate ‘forcing of one’s hand’ wherever changes have not yet been made, where they’ve been made improperly and/or wherever the term ‘improper’ refers to a lack of standards, responsibility or where personal ego (demands, choices) have been made the overall priority.

SEMI-SEXTILE(S): 16 Aquarius-20 Aquarius (and/or) 16 Aries-20 Aries
An eclipse by semi-sextile is likely to feel uncomfortable or unpleasant without necessarily damaging the ability to continue what you have been doing - even though events connected with the eclipse may well make it hard to convince yourself that continuing on is a wonderful idea. With semi-sextiles known in the common world of daily transits as having an ‘ego bruise’ characteristic, an eclipse by semi-sextile may well be marked by a period of hard feelings whether or not anything substantial is at stake.

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As for the degree of this eclipse, 18 Pisces is (among other things) an even-numbered degree which is a ‘member’ of Pisces’ second decanate – which is to say, it’s a degree between 10 and 19. And since second decanate degrees of every sign are where that sign’s attributes play out emotionally or through emotional/emotion-provoking experiences, this means 18 Pisces is one of the ten most emotionally charged degrees in a sign which is all about the experience of our own emotionality.

Or, to put it another way, a sign which is all about the experience of our own feelings and how that causes us to feel ‘part of’ (or) alienated from others – be they friends, family, one’s entire society or even that race known as ‘humanity’ as a whole.

As was said to me when I was but a wee and novice astrologer … Pisces is the experience of the distance by which we fail our own expectations.

(And if you think YOU don’t like hearing that, I’m a Sun sign Pisces by birth – imagine how I felt!)

In any case … 18 Pisces is a degree which speaks to a lot of emotional energy and emotionality in us, in others and in everyone’s reactions and responses – and reaction to those emotional reactions and responses. In fact, as eighteen is an even number, we can underscore all those ‘responding’ qualities, as odd numbers tend to initiate (they’re ‘pro-active’) and even numbers refer either to the energy with which a response is made (i.e., intent), or the energy of which brings about the formulation of any given response, including prior experiences as well as dynamics of the moment (i.e., motivations). Specific to the number of the degree, ‘eighteen’ (in any sign) also carries something of a specific quality pertaining to what one has ‘gone after,’ whether physically, emotionally, intuitively or otherwise.

As specifically assigned to Pisces, degree eighteen (read as 19 Pisces or Phase 349 in the Sabian symbols) refers to ‘A MASTER INSTRUCTING HIS DISCIPLE’ – which at once may pertain to our interacting with others or the ‘mastering’ of that inner ‘self’ which owns (or doesn’t own) its responsibility for both the maintenance of dreams and the requirement to deal with factual reality. For better and for worse, this idea of ‘mastery’ is one which is felt throughout the Piscean realm as Pisces is the sign which represents every temptation we may ever feel to ‘abandon’ those structures (internal or external) which define our daily experience of ‘individuality’ because of the strength of the yearning we feel as we want and wish something other than the reality which ‘Is’ to be true.

Notes on this degree speak to matters materialistic, militant, military and mental, with the ‘mental’ part of this list referring to tendencies to risk too much (creating ‘accidental’ conditions), the willingness to be or become aggressive in ‘the wrong cause’ (or to run afoul of our own standards through supporting the wrong side of some question) and qualities of ‘deformation,’ which whether physical, emotional or otherwise have often been there since inception, construction or birth (in the case of a human being).

Moreover, this eclipse – which is to say the position of the Sun and Moon in this eclipse - are sufficiently and seriously enough aspected as to make us think weathering whatever this particular eclipse means in (and to) our life is going to be neither simple nor comfortable.

Most of the time, we look at the chart of an eclipse and we find one – or maybe two points in aspect. Here we have fourteen points in aspect with four of those points being planets (Uranus, Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter), four being notable fixed stars (Vega, Achernar, Rigel and Sirius), four being the four ‘major’ asteroids used by most modern astrologers (Ceres, Pallas, Chiron and Juno) and two being the lunar nodes, which though by definition are necessarily within fifteen degrees of a New Moon in order for there to even be an eclipse, do not have to aspect the eclipse astrologically (which is to say, using standard Ptolemaic aspects).

And yet, with this eclipse, the lunar nodes are right in there at 21 degrees of Pisces (the South Node) and Virgo (the North Node) – a set of placements which beyond all else tells us that relationships, and in particular our ability to relate ‘easily’ or to prefer or choose to relate to those who we find ‘easy’ to relate to (the South Node) is going to be eclipsed. From lowly to high and mighty, from lovers to haters, it would appear that the very emotional bias we have grown used to over the past nineteen-plus years is about to be ‘eclipsed.’

How this happens will be individual – that depends on where the eclipse falls in your natal chart, current solar return plus whatever timely lunar return charts will be in force as March 9th comes upon us. Lunar returns are well worth checking with regards to solar eclipses both because the closer your monthly lunar return falls to the eclipse, the stronger the ‘upsurge’ or ‘outpouring’ of eclipse effects are likely to be, for plus and/or minus.

Also, should you have a birthday between March 4th and March 14th, give or take a time zone at birth (which yes, is worth some persnickety aspect inspection) this means the incoming eclipse will be conjuncting your natal Sun – a sign that life as you know it is going to change in some very basic, and probably substantial way.

That said, at the core of this eclipse is the following list of objects, each of which needs to be understood individually as well as its part in a group: South Node, Sun/Moon, Chiron, Ceres and fixed star Achernar. The Sun and Moon we have already discussed in part – though as this is a solar eclipse we’re talking about it’s worth underscoring the idea that in such a figure the Sun and Moon refer to our life and our perspective or feelings about our life.

To this, we add Ceres – an asteroid which refers to the planning and various kinds of effort which go into getting something ‘from seed to harvest,’ or start to finish if you prefer. Situated at 15 Pisces, Ceres is in an exact conjunction with fixed star Achernar, a combination which speaks to the need to (Ceres) manage, plan, prepare or deal properly with an (Achernar) ‘outpouring’ of something which whether valuable, invaluable or lacking in value is (15 Pisces) unlikely to succeed, thrive or even reach its ‘destination’ without help, direction or assistance. Either as an experience or as something one witnesses, 15 Pisces carries with it some sort of quality of ‘fate’ or ‘being fated,’ with the success of dealing with situations depending (as always in Pisces) on our ability to feel whatever we feel about something, someone or some situation - and to do the ‘right thing’ anyway. And Achernar? As the ‘mouth of the great river’ (Achernar is the last star in constellation Eridanus) Achernar speaks to certain kinds of real life locations as plainly as its winding ‘course’ through a night sky littered with other constellations speaks to ‘finding one’s way’ and ‘navigating’ between various factors which for whatever reason are neither appealing or ‘destined’ to be helpful – at least not at this time.

With Chiron in this mix at 20 Pisces, there is going to be some quality or measure of not knowing ‘how’ or ‘what’ to do. Is that valid? Or have we just been temporizing or ‘going along to get along,’ and is that part of what is now going to be ‘called out’ and ‘eclipsed’ as less than  desirable ‘shadow trait’ we should be ashamed to call our own?

Granting the proximity of the South Node (right in there with Chiron and the Sun and Moon), at least some portion of the ‘not knowing’ is self-willed or that which is coming out now as a choice life has proven mistaken or consciously errant. Moreover, there are likely to be things on Chiron ‘I don’t know what to do about this’ lists which pertain to things of a relatively recent nature … and there are things of a more chronic, ‘inborn’ or of a traditional, long-standing or ‘ingrained’ nature which we have (Pisces) ‘accepted’ not being ‘able’ to do anything about.

I’m sure you’ll be happy to know eclipses are fair in this regard: either list is subject to being exploded, exposed and thereafter ‘eclipsed.’

In other words, if it comes up now, if you can’t get it out of your mental, emotional or spiritual craw now – then that’s part of your list, and to the extent any of us do not take such subjects and challenges on by gearing ourselves up to ‘walk the walk’ (even if our brain is telling us we haven’t a clue as to how to ‘talk the talk’) … well, that’s pretty much the Chiron point.

A diagram of relative orbital paths (with nothing being drawn to scale) showing the orbits of Chiron,
Pholus and Typhon in terms of their distance from the Sun (noted in 'AU' astronomical units) and
how that interfaces with the orbits of planets Saturn (green), Uranus (purple) and Neptune (blue) 
That Chiron’s outer orbital point – the aphelion - is pretty much the same distance from the Sun as transpersonal planet Uranus, and Chiron’s innermost orbital point (its perihelion) coming just inside that ‘the extent of our mortal grasp’ point symbolized by the orbit of Saturn, last planet visible with our naked and very human eye – that very Chiron ‘cycle’ speaks to how things we never would have imagined imagining (Uranus) come to us and become part of our (Saturn) reality on a regularly ‘orbiting’ basis.  And through whatever (Saturn) efforts we make as part of that process of ‘getting a grasp on’ that we need to contend with even if it isn’t (yet) familiar, those things come to be either (Saturn) useful and useable, or some sort of existential warning about life’s limits.

Either way, just as things associated with Chiron have to pass some sort of (Saturn) ‘testing’ to see what they are (or are/are not useful for), such Chiron issues also represent a challenge to human resourcefulness even as they help to ultimately define (to us, in our mind) what we feel our responsibilities are limits really are.

With all the aspecting occurring as part of this eclipse, as the eclipse nears we are likely to feel pulled either by many things, or in many directions. And beyond that, given the existence of a handful of planetary pictures which go with this eclipse plus the notion that this eclipse along with that which will occur on September 1st aspects the charts of nations, leaders and other international ‘players’ …?

Well, let’s just say we should not be at all surprised to find our own lives being lived amidst a sea of overlapping complicated times, each of which is filled with its own twists and turns. And that makes perfect sense – there’s but one Existence in which we all exist, right? So despite the best efforts of mankind to assign class or caste or to divide one from another, the metaphysics of astrology and eclipses affect us all evenly. Things are changing - we’re in a new astrological Age (that of Aquarius) and as such, situations we face are going to change and people will change as they find it necessary (or at least in their own best interest) to take on the effort of changing.

In that new Age, the incoming solar eclipse (in Pisces) is taking place in the 2nd house of that Age, provoking issues pertaining to feelings of security (or how secure we do or don’t feel), whether or not any real threat is aimed at any fan.

In this color-coded wheel of the Aquarian Age, Pisces falls on the 2nd house
(just look for the sign which matches the color of the pink border)

Under this energetic and throughout the Aquarian Age (which is going to last a touch more than another 2,000 years yet), those feelings can easily rise to the level of fear – that’s a common quality associated with the less-liked side of the 2nd house. In fact, throughout the years ahead our fears are going to be prompted time and time again in whatever sort of manner and whether or not there is any real or present threat. It’s part of the process of the Age and the education of those beings who live through that age. So we as humans will find our fears. Or if necessary, we’ll create one or imagine one, all so that (as part of the metaphysical goal of this Age) we can learn to accept who we are and where we are, learning from situations and the actions (positive or negative) of others without being driven crazy by it (or them).

The ‘cause/effect’ of metaphysics of that polarity (Pisces-Virgo laid across the 2nd/8th house polarity of the Age) dictates that to ‘surrender’ to something or someone has to be done not out of emotionalism (whether fear, adoration or anything else) but because part of being human involves confronting our insecurities and vulnerabilities as just that – OURS - whether or not we really want to. And if it takes someone else, or a typhoon, or a war or some other form of loss for us to really feel those vulnerabilities we so fear, that too will be what is going to happen.

Everything happens for a reason, metaphysics teaches. And as part of that, unbeknownst to us, the universe is actually unfolding as it should. So the metaphysical ‘object’ here can't be about losing sight of any real or present dangers, but rather about whatever allows us to (in time) come to understand, govern - and in some cases, eliminate - some part of our instinct to fear things unknown, powerful or so different as to be beyond our current level of understanding. Such instincts have their place, to be sure. But when allowed to (or prompted to) be or become that which we rely on to the exclusion of developing a savvy sort of understanding of that term ‘instinct,’ then we miss out on learning how to differentiate between that we can and can’t control - that being a necessary (2nd house) key to learning how to see things good or bad without becoming ravaged by our own insecurities.    

As to the planetary pictures associated with this eclipse, that list starts with a t-square…

… which, being in mutable signs and ‘rooted’ in Virgo (with Jupiter and the North Node) points to something we feel needs doing and which we are likely to think of as a real North Node “should do” priority, but which with Saturn, Achilles and Apollo at the ‘t’ of the square we are in (Apollo) truth either lacking the (Achilles) skill or personal (Saturn) ‘reach,’ reputation or acquired knowledge/ability to accomplish.

Our ‘aim’ as part of this process is to ‘achieve’ the notion of the eclipse – an ‘exploding’ of some feeling or some myth which with Byblis in the mix, represents something which though unpleasant, unwanted or even unhealthy is or has come to be easy to accept either through excuses which avoid the real subject (or challenge) or an abdicating of saying anything against that which is being (Echo) spread around or blindly repeated without understanding either what is being said or the ultimate cost (the consequence) which though unintended, will come of all that ‘going along to get along’ (Echo has a decided ‘go along to get along’ quality) with those who had hoped most to ‘fix’ some problem by doing the ‘going along’ ending up paying the price.

One other thing to note about this particular planetary picture: IF you’re someone who will use a fixed star and asteroid to complete such a figure (some astrologers will used fixed stars, some won’t), then this Saturn t-square – which by itself speaks to a lack of understanding the ‘whole picture,’ whether that lack amounts to ‘willing ignorance’ or otherwise (including situations where people are determinedly kept in the dark) – then the Saturn t-square becomes a mutable grand square.

What’s the difference?

T-squares are ‘solvable.’ Getting to their solutions isn’t easy, as t-squares present us with situations which feel so individual and personally motivating that we tend to go at them in a very personal (and therefore limited) manner. But if we can take a step back and see ‘through lines’ connecting the challenges we are experiencing with those others are sure to be feeling at the same time, then we’re more likely to indentify the core issue or causal energetic which are  behind most everyone’s problems and challenges, which is where the answer to the t-square lies.

In other words, t-squares are solved by focusing on solving a universal problem which leads to many individual solutions - a quality which can’t be said about grand squares.

Why not?

That answer isn’t one we really want to hear, yet it’s pretty much known as a truth in astrological circles: grand squares present no ‘solutions,’ only coping strategies. This isn’t to say we can’t make great forward strides when a grand square is in play – though in this case, with one of the square’s ‘corners’ being a solar eclipse, we’re like as not in for some sort of revelation … about our Self, that is.

To be sure, such revelations are likely to be more acute in those whose charts are directly aspected by the eclipse (see above for all the aspects), but we’re all living on the same planet – you, me, that tree outside and all the creatures in the sea, air and forest. So we’re all going through something, even if it isn’t getting altogether in our way.

In any case, back to that grand square. Composed of four square angles (which creates two pairs of oppositions), a grand square can – and often does manifest as a whole ‘series’ of things which need our time and attention. Transiting grand square periods are often typified by too much to do or logistics which don’t fit together. Astrologically, every square asks us to ‘weigh’ things against each other, ‘re-balancing’ where needed … which (generally) means ‘do it as it needs to be done, not as you might think you’d like to do it.’ So when you have four squares, there’s bound to be a lot of considering, re-considering and sorting things through – getting interrupted periodically, just to keep things interesting … at least on a cosmic and karmic level, that is.

On occasion, grand squares do allow us to gain perspective on things we otherwise wouldn’t figure out simply because we do get so ‘absorbed’ by some complex or complicated process (mental, physical or otherwise). With this grand square occurring in mutable signs, no goal is likely to be reached in any single bound, nor are we likely to achieve ‘total clarity’ in any single moment. Everything about this figure speaks to piece-by-piece comprehension, some of which is gained quite literally in spite of what we want. Jupiter/North Node in opposition to a solar eclipse in Pisces flanked by the likes of Echo and Byblis speaks to a ‘coming out’ (surfacing) of something emotional and formerly hidden, whether that means someone is trying to put something ‘unworkable’ into the works, some defense of the indefensible (complete with why an indefensible position) being clung to … or where some type of ‘parroting’ (or blind obedience) is creating an atmosphere of emotional denial.

As for that difference between a t-square and grand square – the 4th ‘corner’ in the figure, one of the reasons for paying attention in this instance is simply because of the star and asteroid in question. The star is Rigel – part of constellation Orion, the hunter. Associated with our capacity to teach as well as learn, Rigel is an important star which in this instance is in a tight conjunction with Psyche, one of the larger asteroids around and in every sense the astrological emblem of our mentality and how capable we are when it comes to dealing with issues in our mind.
In opposition to Saturn, Psyche-Rigel suggests either an utter avoidance of facts (or a ‘lack of substance’) or a concreting and ‘making real’ of something through external means. With this opposition occurring in Sagittarius and Gemini, this could be as simple as coming to ‘solidly’ understand something … or as challenging as embarking on some grand effort which will, in the end, teach us many things good, bad and indifferent.

How that – essentially – mixes, offsets or confuses, confounds or contorts whatever we’re dealing with coming from the Jupiter-North Node opposition to the eclipse becomes one part of how this eclipse will ultimately function.

Feeding into whatever this t-square/grand square combination means in your life is an additional factoid concerning Jupiter as Jupiter is part of a grand trine in earth signs (note: the North Node isn’t included here), emphasizing the already-substantial effort to ‘make things happen’ the way we want them to, some part of which (or possibly all of which) is going to end up getting re-prioritized or ‘re-shaped’ as the staunchest of (Jupiter) pronounced positions and determined stances gets overturned or otherwise altered by events surrounding the Pisces eclipse.

In bringing Pluto-Vega-Lilith into the general scenario, energies of denial – whether that refers to what we or others deny about our Selves or some situation - is going to be part of our emotional to and fro and all the ‘noise’ going on in our soul. All the changing of values and altering of appeal (or ‘what’s appealing’) which has gone with these past years of Pluto transforming charismatic-if-troublesome Vega by transit is now combining with asteroid Lilith’s high-quality ability to deny responsibility and involvement – which if you think about it is very much akin to the general Pisces theme of not wanting to feel how we feel when we realize we’re wrong about something we wanted so very much to believe that we have essentially been willing to deceive our Self.  

And then there’s the trine to (and from) Menkar and Amphitrite, both of which speak to ways in which we tend to avoid, ‘run away’ and make excuses (mostly to our Self) about the very thing(s) we need to learn, or learn about – and how, if we would just stop running away and deal with whatever ‘truth’ means in our life, we would (Amphitrite) in time find we no longer have any need to run … nor any need to pretend.

So … are we willing to admit to our Self that thing about our Self which we don’t want to know? How clean and distortion-free are our relationships and whatever other means we have of seeing who we are ‘in life’ – despite whatever we might want to think about our Self?

How all of this goes together is individual – like snowflakes and fingerprints – even though with this solar eclipse occurring in Pisces, the last thing we are wanting to be about (at least emotionally) at the moment is that solitary state of aloneness known as ‘individuality.’ That too is part of the problem, as it always is when an astrological event takes place in Pisces. The same (often extraordinary) Piscean sensitivity which causes Pisces to be associated with creative artistry, intuition and faith often feels like being abandoned by life, by others, by circumstances which land us in situations where all we can feel is everything we’re feeling … some part of which (if not all of which) is feeling so very comfortable.

And into all this comes the eclipse – with its t-square/grand square, its Piscean challenges, its earthy and earthly grand trine … and (oh yes), the figure of a Yod.

And this isn’t just any Yod (as if there is such a thing…). No, this Yod aims right AT the eclipse.

(No wonder things feel odd, right?)

The figure of a Yod is composed of two 150-degree inconjuncts (or quincunxes) which on one end are focused on the same object (in this case, Jupiter retrograde at 18 Virgo) and which at the other end are focused on two objects (in this case, Pallas and Lumiere in Aquarius and Uranus in Aries) which are themselves 60 degrees (a sextile) apart.

Inconjuncts denote ‘adjustments.’ And when two inconjuncts are positioned ‘back to back’ (as it were), the effect is to force us to deal with that point which is a.) half way between the objects in sextile, and b.) in direct opposition to the ‘root’ of the Yod (in this case, Jupiter).

And in this case, that position would be at 18 Pisces: the very degree of the March 9th solar eclipse.

The objects close enough to the eclipse to be within the tight specifications of inconjuncts and semi-sextiles being Echo and Byblis, the energy of the Yod suggests we will be brought to understand there is no option but that which says we must deal with the ‘bringing out’ and ‘exposing of’ things which both exhibit the qualities of Echo and Byblis (in our own mind or life) and which will be exposed to the flagrancies and behaviors of others as they exhibit the energies of Echo and Byblis.

So what do Echo and Byblis refer to?

Byblis energetics tend to be both dynamic and emotionally based – which makes Byblis an object ripe to be ‘turned out’ (or turned ‘inside out’) by the solar eclipse. Rooted in the idea of trying to uphold or defend that which should not be defended, Byblis manifests as all sorts of decisions and choices which we will not only come to regret, but which will ‘mark’ us (at least in our own mind) with an ‘indelible’ sort of ‘stain’ as we live to regret or repent some errant attitude, priority or choice over time.

No, Byblis is not a pleasant commodity. Its effects sometimes lead to personal revelations and enormous changes of direction, estimation and character – and considering that, with Byblis being here connected to the solar eclipse, good may in time come from unpleasant or even ugly events, confrontations or, exposures and explorations made in our head or in conjunction with others as the eclipse moves through.

Just don’t expect to miss out on the ‘ugly’ part. Eclipses – solar eclipses in particular – are so often part of a pressure-filled period that many of us take on half of life’s problems but put the other half off, only to find they won’t disappear. If you’ve heard me refer to ‘eclipse seasons,’ that too is apt as eclipses are not a ‘one-and-done’ sort of event: just as there is a two-month ‘lead in’ and ‘breaking down’ period prior to any given solar eclipse during which events associated with the eclipse and its effects get stirred up in life, so too are there eclipse ‘aftermath’ periods during which we work through whatever has ‘come to light’ as the eclipse ‘eliminates’ or ‘blocks’ some formerly ‘normal’ course of activity or thought.

As for Echo, the story of Echo is one which cautions us as to not just what we should do (or not do) but why we should take a care to how much of our Self we surrender to those we think (or would like to think) “know better” in the process. A nymph living not just on Mount Olympus but in the household of Olympian honcho gods Zeus (aka Jupiter) and wife Hera (aka Juno), Echo served both her master and mistress with the kind of obedience which didn’t even allow her to think about who asked her to do what, or why.

Then came the day when Jupiter (a known philanderer of Olympian proportions) needed someone to distract his wife while he visited with his latest sweet dalliance – and Echo got the job.

Being obedient and not in the habit of questioning Zeus (which let’s face it, could go very bad if said honcho god was in a bad mood), Echo repeated hubby’s story to the wife – and whether Hera bought it in the moment or not, eventually the truth comes out.

Echo and Narcissus by John William Waterhouse (1903, oil on canvas)
And when it does come out, apart from dealing with her unfaithful husband, as reigning Queen of Olympus, Juno punished Echo. For Echo’s willingness to repeat anything anyone else said, Juno stripper her of any ability to say anything BUT what others had already said, creating that we know as ‘echoing.’

While she was at it, according to most accounts Hera (Juno) also banishes Echo from Olympus and indeed, most of society, sending her off into the forest so as to impart a lesson about how those who will not think deserve neither the blessings of ‘a heavenly life’ (in Mount Olympus), nor even the company of thinking human beings in greater society.

Plus as if that’s not enough, once banished to that forest, Echo’s unhappy fate continues. Lonely and undirected, she finally finds another soul – a beautiful young man who also alone, exhibits a great love of staring at his own reflection in a glassy pool of water. His name is Narcissus, and he loves and talks to no one but himself … a strange offset to Echo, the maiden who thinks nothing for or about herself, and who can only repeat what others say.

Thus they go on together, with Narcissus absorbed only by what he can see of himself, and Echo doomed to have no voice of her own and therefore no ‘say’ in anything – including her eternal fate.

In astrological application, Echo refers to that which we have unthinkingly repeated as well as that which we refuse to think about, or which we are not capable of thinking about (either because of a lack of information or a lack of mental capacity, development or functionality). So with this point now being eclipsed, it’s likely that many of the ills associated with such denials, with matters pertaining to those lack information OR mental capacity (or who deal with developmental or other forms of impairment) – many such issues will emerge or get ‘exposed’ during the overarching January-May period which will be affected or ‘colored’ by the March 9 solar eclipse at 18 Pisces.

So all of this … wherever we have/have had any tendency to ‘be’ Echo (or Echoic, as I guess the term would be) while also embodying a bit of that Byblis ‘wanting to defend that which is simply wrong’ whether in our Self or the world around us – all that is and will be continuing to come to light now and throughout the current Eclipse Season. Many of us will get sick of ‘living with our Self’ about something – or more precisely, get sufficiently sick and tired of feeling the way we do about something (someone, some something) that we change as the eclipse comes upon us (i.e., during March) and some of us will chivvy ourselves through March and hit a sort of emotional ‘backwash’ during May, with all of this being less or more intense depending on whether/how this solar eclipse affects your natal (or current solar) chart.

AND BEYOND THAT there is a whole other eclipse to consider here.

No, I’m not talking about the one which will occur at 9 Virgo come September 1st of 2016 (UT/+0).

What am I talking about? I’m talking about the one which happened about two-and-a-half years ago: the eclipse of November 3, 2013 at 11 Scorpio.

And why is that of concern now?

That’s because though the full length (duration) of any given solar eclipse’s effects is 36 months (call it 3 years as Ye Olde Calendar page turns…), at about the two-and-a-half year mark something tends to occur which we could not have done, taken advantage of (pro or con), know to avoid or otherwise handle differently had we not experienced whatever happened back at the time of the original event.

And as that eclipse having featured a grand old Scorpio lineup of Saturn (13 Scorpio), Amphitrite (running away from that which we can benefit from), Deucalion (finding our way through emotional obstacles or tempting situations) and Sisyphus (over-prioritization of self/disregard for others) at 12 Scorpio, Sun/Moon at 11 Scorpio and North Node plus Mercury at 7 Scorpio, there was like as not something of Scorpio’s infamous ‘sting’ which went with events of that day.

So … what have we learned since then (or about that time and who we were coming into that time) which has taught us something about our Self? 

Take a moment - think back to those determined days of self-determination, days during which there was much reaping, a bit of sowing ... and a definite paying of some cost which, whatever form it took was more about the lasting emotional effect left in its wake than anything else. 

That is (unfortunately) generally the Scorpio way – by eclipse, anyway. In Pisces the effect is more diffuse, if every bit as powerful and potentially positive even if with all that positivity comes the inevitable Pisces question: am I just fooling to myself? Is any of this real? Am I noble, or just behaving like some temporarily addled idiot? Have I just walked out on some limb of faith in front of the entire world having somehow forgotten to put my clothes on?

Where we have indeed gained the insight into our Self from the 11 Scorpio eclipse, our knowledge of how we 'work' (i.e., on the inside, in our soul of souls) will help now - in one or many ways. Where we have failed to gain that insight, things will like as not now be seen in a more idealized than realistic manner, raising the chances of 'stinging' (undoing) ourselves in true Scorpio style. 

Stirring this in (metaphysically) with a 18 Pisces solar eclipse which is also sitting at the focus of a Yod suggests allowing events to ‘point us in the uncomfortable direction of correctness’ or our attempting to ‘hold onto’ some “point” (which in the figure would be symbolized by Jupiter) which despite our conviction is unlikely to get us where we think we are going (particularly in terms of long-term satisfaction).

So apart from everything else astrological which is happening globally, and on top of whatever transits you have going on in your personal life ... as we go through February we are going to all be experiencing some measure of growing influences laced with a sincere desire to avoid thinking about things in First Person (I-Me-Mine) terms in favor of finding/searching for vulnerabilities in others. For most of us, at some unconscious level we're looking for some form of assurance that we're 'part of the group' for good or ill. So look for lots of people projecting their problems and desires onto others and things like exploding gossip, and fierce feelings of allegiance (or that allegiance is necessary). Wholesale 'giving up' and other forms of 'abandoning the field of effort' (whether silently or amid some exhibition of the Essentially Dramatic Kind) may also come out of this mix. We all make mistakes - and even if we're normally fine with living with our 'humanness' (and capacity to make mistakes), right now none of us are likely to be feeling all that wonderful about having to live with the truth of where and how we each have led not others, but ourselves astray.

How could we not have known we were just ... wrong? Or that something we could have sworn was SO real was simply a dream?

Sometimes we end up facing such truths anyway. What that will lead to - or what we will go through by dancing our dance of denial only to end up stumbling over our vulnerabilities (past or present) on the way out … most of that is a subject better suited to March.

But meanwhile, there’s plenty of February to know, enjoy, experience, explore and be revealed by ...

... most of all to our Self.

And then this too shall pass as we eclipse our past yet again.

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