by Boots Hart, CAP

Saturday, January 28, 2017

February 2017: Signs of Breaking Through

(image: Dawn over Liverpool, England - photo credit: Green Lane, February 2011)
February is an eclipse month – the first of two which will occur during 2017. And as such, whatever else February may bring, it will tend to focus all of us (to some degree) on things which are not functioning as they ‘should,’ not for external reasons, but because our perspective (and in some cases, priorities) is not seeing things fully or accurately. By the end of this month, a good number of us will be in the process of changing some of the causes of such inaccuracies. But with the lunar eclipse (which comes first) being in Leo and the solar eclipse being in Pisces there is the issue of living with these natural ‘inconjunct’ (by sign) effects.

And that is going to have at least some of us playing emotional ping-pong with our Self as we try to justify things which we do not think are sensible, useful or otherwise.

Now, there are obviously tons of details which go with this eclipse pair. There are with any eclipse (or eclipse pair). But when it comes to this particular lunar eclipse, there are no less than nine (yes, nine!) astro-configurations which are part of this eclipse ... which considering everything else occurring this month made it unreasonable to delve into as part of the monthly article.

So! There is going to be a completely separate post on the eclipses which is going to post as of midnight, February 5th (as calculated for the UT/+0 zone) with all those nuances and details.

Meanwhile, February begins with a New Moon in Aquarius just having occurred on January 28th. With Sun in Aquarius (plus) Mars having just reached Aries, efforts to make our way in the world and build towards personal goals are now under way -- and as part of that, there are two major ‘hold over’ configurations worth noting.

The first is the Pluto t-square which has already been with us for several months.

And the second? The second is a transiting mundane Yod which began on January 27th -- and which will be with us until February 15th.

T-squares indicate stress -- or some challenge which, though it seems bent on defeating us is really an indication of our seeing some situation from a ‘too personal’ (or individual) perspective.

That said, with this particular t-square, we are talking about Pluto, Uranus and Jupiter (with Pluto at the ‘t’). And as Pluto and Uranus are transpersonal forces, this indicates something which we are not going to be able to change, understand or transform simply by deciding to (or) through direct effort, personal or otherwise. With Pluto at the ‘t,’ something we want to see, think of or feel is getting in the way of our ability to (Jupiter) alter our circumstances or 'grow' our abilities. In spite of throwing effort or energy towards the goal (or even against it), things seem bent on proving we are about as ‘in control’ as a cork on a storm-swept wave.

This t-square is going to be with us for a while yet. But because Jupiter will go retrograde as of February 6th, that does indicate some sort of ‘pulling away,’ or a possible lessening of the motivation driving whatever the 'itch' is we are trying to scratch -- at least temporarily. It's unlikely to mean anything has gotten ‘solved,’ though something else taking precedence or priority (either out of necessity or because of interest) may well be the reason why we feel less 'pressured' about things as time goes along.

As for the transiting Yod, Yods are difficult in that they force us to adjust or 'juggle' our estimations and aims as well as our means, methods or priorities, all of which come to us in some combination which we tend to resist (at least initially).

And why do we resist it? Most of the time, we resist the underlying issue presented by a Yod out of some form of conviction which does not work -- or which perhaps once did work but which works no longer. The eclipse article which will post next week will go into Yods (along with a shopping list of other configurations) in more depth, but suffice it to say here that most of the planetary pictures are going to occur during the first half of February, with many of them 'loosening up' or fading away between the time of the lunar and solar eclipses, suggesting a ‘connecting’ or ‘putting things together,’ whether we act on things or not.

So let's just say we are arriving at February's doorstep with a preference for sticking to something. And that, plus noting how Euphrosyne managed to slide into Aries on the last day of January without getting noticed in last post (sorry about that...) the month begins with an increased sense that there is pleasure to be gotten from what we do as opposed to how we feel -- which is generally (if not specifically) always a good thing.

February 1 
February is a month full of asteroids and such changing signs, starting out with Dionysus moving out of Capricorn and into Aquarius in direct motion. A symbol of that we do (or “celebrate”) out of loyalty, devotion or some ‘sacred relationship’ or bond, Dionysus moving from earthy Capricorn into airy Aquarius suggests a shift of emphasis from that which others see as ‘beneficial’ to that which has the capacity to benefit us through support of that which 'the group’ holds to be valuable or viable. How we operate, or go about doing things also takes on added importance, with some among us taking this as an opportunity to expand some form of ‘influence,’ whether for personal or professional reasons. 

February 3 
A day or two later, February really gets to one of its overarching points. And what would that be, considering February is going to host both a solar and lunar eclipse? (Isn't that overarching enough?)

Well, yes. But there's another thing -- namely planet Venus, which in having just entered the shadow of its upcoming March-April retrograde a few days ago on January 30th now enters Aries at 15:52 (or 3:53 in the afternoon, UT/+0 time), shading everything about the upcoming eclipses with our own personal relationship to Things Venusian and our Aries Self.

Venus in Aries (glyph chart)
February 3, 2016 - 15:52 (3:52 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Venus in Aries (text chart)
February 3, 2016 - 15:52 (3:52 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Venus in Aries is not known as Venus’ easiest transit. Why? That would be for one simple reason: Venus is an emblem of ‘connecting’ -- and when we say 'connecting,' that includes everything we do to attract others (and thus connect to them) plus everything (positive and negative) which comes of said efforts from the rewards and the applause to the critiques and rejections.

In other words, no matter how it comes about, Venus ‘connects’ and carries a 'connecting' quality, whether you want to think of it as Venus’ rulership of air sign Libra (where we connect based on the ‘idea’ of what is presented) or  through Venus’ rulership of instinctual earth sign Taurus, where Venus refers to all we do to ‘acquire’ whatever we need (be it food, material goods, support or otherwise) which allows us to be or feel 'nourished' and 'secured.' Things, people, money, opportunities -- Venus is about 'connecting the dots' and that's exactly what gets sticky once Venus is in Aries as Aries is just about us. It's a ‘first person’ sign about us: our goals, our motivations, our physical being. So with Venus in Aries, though we can think of this combination as 'we are our own best reward' ... or possibly how taking care of (investing in) our Self now may pay off later, Venus transit of Aries isn't likely to feel like the most "rewarding" time in its own right -- which is why it tends to get associated with irritations, bad moods, feeling unappreciated (or under-appreciated), deficits, lacks, and physical challenges, none of which tend to produce much satisfaction (in the moment, at least) even if we are devoted and responsible.

Venus will be entering Aries in the company of Euphrosyne, which probably means we have our eye (at least the mental one) on something we think will bolster our ‘cause’ or otherwise do some good. Yet with Mars, Medusa, Charybdis and Tantalus all poised just ahead (at 4 Aries) like some particularly gnarly quartet, things are likely to be harder than we think, particularly as that may involve things things we don’t want to hear, see, or think about, particularly as that applies to how (or how well) we are following our most personal aims, dreams and goals.

If you are an American, there's another thing to consider, namely how the end of Venus' retrograde will be falling on April 15th - which for those who don't know, is tax day in the United States.

(Chock it up to cosmic irony, Americans.)

Irony aside, paying taxes on any Venus station is astrologically apt, and though the 'lead in' to Venus' station/direct moment will be in Aries (and thus loaded with opportunities to 'feel taxed,' whether financially or otherwise), by the time Venus goes direct it will be doing so at 26 Pisces, indicating some joining with a form of 'common cause' whatever that may at that point be. 

Plus there is one more thing about Venus' direct station worth noting ahead of time (in other words, now) ... which involves just this: that same date (April 15th) is the day when Uranus enters its next cycle of activity.

And that makes this April 15th an interesting date involving some sort of 'change' regardless of who we are (and where we live, of course!).

The combination suggests change which evolves from this point -- which may mean situations and events around the time of Venus' direct station will give us whatever kind of ‘push’ we will each find motivational. Moreover, this next Uranus cycle is truly singular in that it has Uranus syncing up with Venus’ station as Uranus enters this cycle...and Uranus syncing up with Saturn’s (9 Capricorn) direct-to-retrograde station on April 18, 2018, as Uranus exits this cycle.

Interesting enough? U.S. tax deadlines aside, the connecting of Venus and Saturn implies a 'subtext' throughout the whole of this next Uranus cycle concerning with stability, finance and our personal (or) individual ability to (Saturn) earn our way in the world and thus (Venus) fulfill our potentials ... plus society's (Saturn/Uranus) willingness to change, update, modernize and increase modern society's structural potentials as well as its flexibility. This period may also be one when relationships form which reveal some 'hidden,' unsuspected, or 'inconvenient' or perhaps incongruous of our Self in someone else, in our relationship with someone else, or in the manner in which someone else is (or isn't) handling their methods of 'relating' to others and the world.

And then we get to the aspects. Having Venus enter Aries in an inconjunct to Black Moon Lilith (at 28 Scorpio) suggests this as a moment when an occurrence or event may afford a choice. Black Moon Lilith always holds some chance of someone or something 'pushing back' or getting 'pushed away,' with 28 Scorpio here underscoring the chance that we are pushing things (or people) away out of some desire to 'master' our Self at some level.

Or maybe we're now coming to recognize that we are (or have) been doing just that. (Stranger things have happened, after all, right?)

Whether we want to deal with such things or not, where we in the end decide on the ‘not’ option, doing that may also outline and (to some degree) shape situations yet to occur under Venus’ (March 4-April 15) retrograde. Plus, since Black Moon Lilith is going to be in opposition to Sedna at this moment, given Sedna’s involvement in the ongoing Jupiter-Saturn-Sedna yod one would suspect Venus’ Aries ingress will time out the arriving at some form of pause or 'sticking point, resulting in a literal or figurative ‘meeting up with’ that which causes us to gain perspective on what (or who) we are involved with ... or possibly what our motivations are for being, or having become involved or otherwise ‘invested’ in something or someone.

As well, with Black Moon Lilith involved, there is going to be something about the situation (or the people involved, including our Self) which is not being seen or accepted for what it is. Whatever occurs now, this moment calls for some form of ‘adjustment,’ with there being a distinct thread of 'why we didn’t know?’ involved even as we find ourselves attending to the issue (or person, or situation) even while having to think through something entirely separate which feels inconvenient or possibly wearying.

Venus in Aries tends to bring out issues with self-interest - the unlovable kind which manifests as selfishness, egotism (particularly that which attempts to hide a lack of self-confidence, guilt or other vulnerability) ...and to get so focused on our personal aim that not no one else seems to ‘exist’ or measure up to our standards (which can get very picky under Venus in Aries). Venus in Aries can also signal a dimming of interest in others, their ideas and perspectives -- inclusive of the possibility that our lack of interest (or attention) may end up compromising or undermining us in some way. Discomforts and unmerited ill will, especially that based on some illusion is also often a Venus in Aries factor as Venus in Aries tends to bring out various ‘lacks of grace,’ whether that is due to a physical clumsiness or tendency towards 'accidents' during this time (or) because we are not 'connected' to others and therefore are missing (or missing out on) things which turn out to be/become important.

Yet with all this, Venus in Aries is also a sign/planet combination which can manifest as discoveries about our Self. Or as lessons in humility, and failures which end up teaching us the very things which go on to become our personal strengths.The idea of taking time (and making the effort) to heal – particularly the healing of our Aries Self is also apt for this time, as is the whole idea of ‘improving our Self, though traditionally astrology teaches that changes to appearance (specifically to appearance) and major financial 'splurges' committed (or committed to) under Venus retrograde tend not to satisfy on a lasting or long-term basis.

And that's true no matter what sign Venus is retrograding in.

Venus will be in Aries from now until April 3rd when, at just after midnight, it retrogrades back into Pisces. After that (which is to say, after it retrogrades back into Pisces and goes direct) Venus will re-enter Aries on April 28th and remain in Aries until June 6th.

That means getting past Venus in Aries will take some four months -- is a far cry from Venus’ more ‘normal’ three to four week stay in a given sign.

And that suggests there is much which we need to learn about our Self (or perhaps by ourselves) ... and that this is when we need to learn it. There is a lot of relying on Self which this indicates lies ahead. Or maybe we will just have to work with what we have -- or from where we are at present without all the 'if's we humans like to propose. During the weeks ahead (particularly once Venus gets into its retrograde) we may be reflecting on what we have learned -- or what we need to yet learn how to do. We may finally come to recognize why (or what) others think we 'lack' or are doing so badly ... or maybe just ineffectively. Under Venus in Aries, situations and encounters  cause us to moderate plans, methods, expectations and schedules, learning things which though not 'fun' are often useful through getting us to be or become more 'rounded,' appealing or 'relatable' in our approach.

Venus curando a Eneas (Venus healing Aeneas) by Merry-Joseph Blondel
(oil on canvas, Prado Museum, Spain)
But with all that said, let's be real here ... this is not most people’s favorite passage. And there are plenty of reasons for that as well. While promoting that better ability to connect (or as part of what teaches us what is needed) Venus in Aries also often coincides with loss, alienation, loneliness, guilt, insufficiencies (physical, financial or emotional), feelings of futility and any number of reasons to feel exhausted or to experience the 'exhausting' of anything, be that funds, time, energy, food, blood, patience, appeal or motivation. As well, with Aries being a ‘hot’ and ‘dry’ sign, this extended Venus in Aries transit may also time out issues of drought, heat or fire, whether in real world terms (such as a physical drought) or through ‘heated situations' or a 'barren stretch' of time where we are unable to secure the support (or even income) that we need -- or even which we merit.
Because there is less sensitivity to others and an increased sensitivity to Self during this time, Venus in Aries can also be a time of disputes and arguments. And though it tends to be known as a time when we are less inclined than usual to care about (or for) others, Venus in Aries experiences often teach us why knowing who others are (and what their lives are really like ) is valuable.

That Venus is entering Aries with Typhon on station and about to go retrograde also says we should not be surprised if, as Venus enters Aries, something important gets touched on or otherwise ‘stirred up.’ Typhon and Venus both refer to the more basic or ‘instinctual’ levels of character and needs, so we may now be asking ourselves ‘what matters?’ -- and perhaps that is what comes to be what we end up working on.

It all depends on who we are.

February 4 
With Typhon turning to retrograde at 1 Scorpio, ideas and subjects of concern are hardly frivolous, though that doesn’t necessarily suggest anything is terribly amiss. Instead, it may simply be pointing to something ‘basic’ or essential which needs attending to, or which deserves a greater measure of our attention.

Might there be something serious in this mix? That’s always a possibility – Typhon does typically refer to that which ‘supports’ other parts of life. And with Venus having just entered Aries, it doesn't seem unusual that we would focus on things basic, vital or essential ... or possibly on why something is (or has become) vital, basic or essential. Given Typhon's position at 1 Scorpio, relationships and our ability (including our willingness) to 'participate' may be lacking – or we may be facing some necessary choice.

Whatever the situation, the nature of our motivations (and those of others, as we see them) now seems likely to create problems or divisions wherever bias or a lack of regard for justice or fairness are involved -- with little latitude or ‘slack’ being likely, particularly if such lacks are due to being ill-informed or not up-to-date. Scorpio being all about testing the solidity and functionality of our inner convictions and confidence, Typhon's station in this degree is likely to raise insecurity of the gnawing and subterranean type.
Does the fact that Typhon's Scorpio station is occurring immediately after Venus enters ‘I/Me’ Aries indicate some sort of ‘being set up’ to be offended? It may feel like that, although with Typhon turning to retrograde the implication would seem to be more about our own feelings (or feelings about others -- which is very Scorpio) which are at stake.

And with Venus entering Aries, it's the combination which may indicate something which makes 'all the difference' to us ... though considering Venus' upcoming retrograde, it may take some good amount of time to get things on some right track. 

With asteroid Germania also moving into Aquarius on this date we also get a suggestion of ‘toughness’ which figures in here – with the pluses and minuses of that being part of the general tug-of-war between things personal and that which has to do with any group, gathering, organization or system of the generally impersonal (and non-intimate) kind.

Little things may get more than the normal share of attention now too -- or, conversely, things may get overlooked or ‘blown out of proportion’ as Jupiter (which is in Libra) is also now moving on station in advance of going retrograde on February 6th, making this a moment when impressions can get made, whether good, bad or indifferent. Proportion often being an issue where Jupiter is involved, so with Jupiter in Libra, minding boundaries, 'lines in the sand' and general manners is sure to count, though that will not stop those who are determined to ‘put it all out there’ about now.

With Sedna also on station and going direct as Jupiter turns to retrograde, the 'trick' (if you will allow the term) is to not ‘impose’ or 'push,' to not overstep the truth and to not rely on that which is merely a dream. Exaggerated drama and dramatic gestures may win hearts, but using exaggeration merely to ‘impress’ is likely to backfire.

It's a typical Jupiter issue, keeping ourselves from going overboard. And yet where Sedna is concerned there is some need to 'let go' or to 'jump ship,' particularly where we have been holding on to dreams cherished since our long ago.

Which will win out here? Probably both -- which means a few personal apple carts are going to get upended, and a few personal dreams are going to get updated, modernized or dealt with in reality ... which may take the whole of Venus in Aries. 

February 5 
As of February 5th, asteroid Apollo (a symbol of ‘enlightenment’ and honesty – in particular with Self) retrogrades out of Leo and back into Cancer, which by itself suggests ‘emotional reflection,’ whether felt in one’s own world or encountered through others.

 Apollo Kaitharoidos.
Marble, Roman copy after an Hellenistic original (photo credit: Jastrow, September 2009)
Plus, with February 5th also being the date when Saturn perfects a conjunction Ixion, though by itself Apollo changing signs generally isn’t the sign of anything big, in combination with the inner stricture of Saturn-Ixion we may find we have more than a little which merits thought, in particular that which we are disinclined to think about until it ‘catches up with us.’

Bottom line, that is the basic Ixion issue – the thing about our Self (or in our nature) which in the long run catches up with us and ruins something – and which sometimes ruins us.

And now, with Saturn representing time and the 'concreting' of reality (or reality in its most 'concrete' form), something Ixion-like is bound to turn up, or be 'realized' -- which may be the gentlest form of such an energetic moment.

With Saturn involved, there are two general directions this mundane transit can take – and just to be clear, any of us may experience one or both effect. The first concerns that Saturn association with ‘concreting’ and making things 'real' in life. We may be doing the concreting, we may be recognizing how 'real' something really is (and how we must therefore treat it as real) ... or we may be confronted with how we have gotten our Self 'stuck' with some now-unchangeable fact about how badly we feel about not having done something 'correctly' when we could.

That Saturn also represents the idea that ‘we get what we earn’ (which is why Saturn also represents all the time, effort dedication and responsibility to Self which goes with all that earning)...  because of same we might think this could be an indication of something good. A reward for hard work and disciplined patience of some kind, maybe?

Unfortunately that isn’t the general indication where Ixion is concerned, as Ixion specifically refers to things we do out of some idea that we are ‘entitled’ to do it, even if (or where) we are not. So there may be a tendency to get 'stuck' with something which we may be very good or capable with, but which we feel unrewarded by. Plus Ixion has this other little trick ... sort of a ‘repeat offender’ quality which says we may just go back to something one too many times now, and find out 'that' (whatever 'that' is) doesn’t work anymore.

Or maybe we are simply in the habit of ignoring rules which exist for a purpose. Or commitments. Or responsibilities.

If we are in any such habit, this may be when good will or forgiveness run out.

That this Ixion/Saturn contact is occurring at 25 Sagittarius tells us this is not something we are doing on our own – others (or our world) are somehow involved. And with 27 Sagittarius being the current position of the Galactic Center, with the Galactic Center representing a ‘positive’ which comes of our having/making positive contributions, that may be a factor. With Ixion being a Plutino, there is a real chance that we have fooled our Self -- or that we will try to. With the Plutino connection (by magnetic resonance) to Neptune (symbol of idealizing and illusion), any Plutino represents something about our character which causes us to get 'carried away,' 'duped' or overly enchanted by things, causing us to lead our Self astray in such a manner that we think we are succeeding right up until the moment comes when everything falls apart – sometimes forever.

It's definitely a Plutino (and hence Ixion) thing.

Ixion by Hendrick Gottzius (Netherlandish 1558-1617)
However ... if Saturn is now ‘perfecting’ its conjunction with Ixion, that does say Saturn has been in orb of Ixion for at least some bit of time. So that means this moment may simply be when something we (or others) have missed focusing on which now ‘comes to a head.’

How long might all this have been going on? (Not to mention 'how long are Saturn and Ixion going to remain in contact?') ... Saturn entered its orb of conjunction to Ixion last December 3rd. Therefore, it is possible that something has been bubbling or meandering around since December whether we have been aware of it or not.

As for the current conjunction, will last until March 4th. Then after Saturn goes retrograde in early April, there will be a second (retrograde) conjunction which begins on May 25th and ends on June 8th. 

The last last (direct) conjunction to Ixion will begin on October 25th and last through November 4th. After that, Saturn will continue to be in orb to Ixion until (interestingly) it enters its home sign of Capricorn on December 20,, 2017.

Apparently we're going to try a lot of things and not all of them are going to work, despite best intentions, hopes, efforts and dreams. Then again, once Saturn reaches its sign of sole rulership (Saturn shares rulership of Aquarius with Uranus), perhaps what we learn now will help us build and achieve something real and lasting as we move forward. 

February 6 
To put it in simplest terms, Jupiter’s annual turn to retrograde motion represents the end of an external (or ‘non-personal’) “season” of growth and the start of a period during which we will grow ‘internally’ through discoveries about who we are ... and aren’t. 

With Jupiter currently in a transit of Libra, these discoveries and ‘enlargements’ of our understanding, whether about our Self or how things work (or don’t work) are going to come through others, or through our involvement with or observation of others.

Whether in direct or retrograde motion, Jupiter in Libra is always about this ‘experience of others.’ But as of 6:54 in the morning of February 6th (UT/+0), Jupiter’s turn to retrograde will have us focusing on facets of our ‘inner life’ and reflecting on who we are and who we do (or don’t) have the ability to be/become. Some of this will cause us to reconsider goals. Some of this will cause us to size up the distance we yet 'have to go' in reaching or achieving the understanding or Jovian 'mastery' of concepts we may have been growing or growing into for many years.

Whatever we are considering, the next few months will be less about expanding our external world than consolidating our inner one and learning who we have become through recent efforts, successes, lessons and defeats. That this may not be an easy process is suggested by a 'restlessness which tends to generate a need to change things’ which is said to be associated with 23 Libra, the degree of Jupiter's station.

Does this mean Jupiter’s station will bring about changes, productive or otherwise? That answer is ‘yes’ – and with Jupiter’s station being very much conjunct fixed stars Arcturus (representing leadership) and Spica (a star which refers to ‘brilliance,’ the questioning of brilliance or the concept of revelation or revealing) at 24 Libra, changes may occur in conjunction with something which we think of as being 'brilliant,' or which we are doing in the name of ‘being brilliant’ while asserting who we need to be -- all while everybody is doing pretty much the same thing.

Does this mean any of what is said or heard now is true -- or not true? No, but that does not necessarily imply malice. In other words, the idea of change may or may not be brilliant and any idea may or may not actually “need” to be done. Some of it may happen because we need to try -- and through trying, learn what we are capable and not capable of. Some of it may happen because we are bidding for attention -- or a bid for position, or some idea of 'power gained from access or connection.'

One other thing here: Spica only moved into 24 Libra as of 2011. Before that, going all the way back to 1939 (the beginning of the Baby Boomer/Pluto in Leo era), Spica was at 23 Libra, and the same can be said of Arcturus, though Arcturus hustled itself into 24 Libra as of 1983.

Why does this matter? This matters because a very large proportion of everyone alive today was born with either Spica or Arcturus and Spica at 23 Libra in their natal chart. And that will put Jupiter’s station in an exact conjunction with those stars, ‘enlarging’ upon their natal qualities for the good and the ouch of it all. Theoretically, this is a great chance to do, join with, convey or promote or perform something, achieving something which is ultimately useful. However with Venus in Aries (and headed towards an Aries retrograde), we could get our Self into a lot of hot water (or maybe just some generally slimy quicksand) by moving too far too fast (or) by trusting (or being partnered) to/with the wrong people or entities.

Remember: Libra (Jupiter's station) is ruled by Venus, and Venus has just entered Aries. That spells all sorts of challenges based on a tendency to either not be able to 'realize' things. 

Anyone with Spica and Arcturus natally at 23 Libra will be particularly subject anything which happens now -- though there is a 'silver lining' to our efforts here as 23 Libra is noted for its qualities of resilience, even when faced with repeated defeats or setbacks. 

Whether your natal Spica or Arcturus are at 23 Libra or not, Jupiter stationing at this degree puts a lot of energy behind such concepts, making this a good time to regroup, rebuild, rethink or to rededicate our Self to the cause of being who we truly are -- as opposed to who others would like us to be, who they think we are, or who we might wish we were but (alas) are not.

Like all odd numbered degrees, 23 carries with it a quality of assertiveness, initiative and ‘pro-activity’ which means our ‘brilliance,’ ability or inability becomes part of our 'tools' of the moment with which to ‘initiate’ things, whether such moves turn out to be productive or not. Against that, 24 Libra (like all even numbered degrees) speaks to the timing of, and nature of our reactions and responses -- which in the case of 24 Libra involves, stems from, or deals with some measure of enigmatic and/or hard-to-describe issues, qualities or aims which either affect important relationships, our ability to 'relate' to things and our ability to understand or be understood. Said to indicate an inability to walk away from the idea of relationships (or any given relationship), 24 Libra is said to be confounded by the nature and what it takes to be in, or deal with relationships, a trait which seems linked to this degree’s affinity for the ‘path less traveled’ and uncommon interests and goals.

Jupiter also has company in its chosen date of stationing, as February 6th is also the date when Sedna will go direct (at 13:40 or 1:40 p.m., UT/+0). The degree here being 25 Taurus, there are important questions about whether what we are doing in life (and with our life) is only for our own benefit and/or the benefit of a ‘chosen few’ ... or whether we are willing to (or whether we value) 'everyday people’ and the world at large without preconception.

According to writings on this degree, tendencies to ‘pull back,' the failure to consider things outside of one's 'personal world' (mental or physical) and the choice to remain ‘in isolation’ where options are available are the negative side of this degree. And with Sedna turning to direct motion in this moment, that may indicate a moment when we are doing the pulling away, or when we are the person being 'isolated' by others -- or maybe just ignored.

All and all, both 'sides' of this dual-station moment are powerful influences. Jupiter seeks to get us to 'grow,' and is now doing so in a manner to cause us to 'grow' relationships or perhaps be/become more mature about (or in) relationships while Sedna stands for everything which forces us to 'grow up' and get realistic so that we can get to the business of doing positive and productive things instead of dreaming, hoping and wishing people and things were as we want them to be. And lest that not be enough to impress you, making this all a little more potent (and therefore capable of indicating potential) is the idea that these two stations -- that of Jupiter and that of Sedna -- are in an inconjunct to each other. 

That means it will be both easier than usual to misjudge in the moment ... and that this may be when we find out how wrong we have been with regards to others, or our general functionality in life.

And by the by ... if hearing that Jupiter and Sedna are inconjunct sounds familiar, it should: both are part of the transiting Yod which began back on January 27th and which will continue on through February 15th:

Any time we see multiple planets stationing on a single day we know there is a potential for major changes, events and shifts of perspective. And even if Sedna is a dwarf planet, given Jupiter’s reputation for the good, bad and insightful (sometimes all at once), February 6th and the days surrounding February 6th are prime time/space real estate for whatever will ‘unlock’ secrets to that which has been holding us back -- or where we have come to think we are more or less than we are (at least at this point).

Beyond the Yod (which admittedly sounds like a sappy movie title), there is also the fact that Jupiter is still in a long-term transiting t-square with Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus + Eris in Aries ... all of which for a time has been ‘converted’ into a grand square by virtue of Vesta moving through an opposition to Pluto.

Grand squares represent either ‘too many things to keep track of,’ an inability to deal with one thing because something else keeps popping up and demanding our attention, time or effect -- or because one thing depends on something else happening (and vice-versa). In tying together all four cardinal signs, this grand square speaks to things which may seem clear or decidedly necessary, with there being willingness (either on our part or that of others) to commit to doing something or responding to some situation.
But is that the best thing to do?

Ordinarily we might think this was just a passage which involves ‘decisions’ or choices we have to make, work with, or participate in the making or changing of with an understanding that things may not turn out exactly as we have planned, if with some confidence of being able to cope. However, with three transpersonal objects (Pluto, Uranus and Eris) and some sort of (Vesta) ‘cost’ involved, there would seem to be things we cannot predict and which we do not control connected with those things which need attending to or dealing with ... and that’s not likely to create much joy in Mudville (i.e., our mortal mind), as no one really likes the idea of ‘possible unknown consequences.’

Plus there are three other things to contemplate with regards to this double station. The first is the idea that Byblis (representing 'indefensible' things we defend anyway) will be moving out of Aries and into Taurus as Jupiter and Sedna do their ‘turnabouts’ -- an act which would seem to heighten the possibility of exposing things we will not like to knowing (especially about our Self or those we have trusted or relied on). There is some sort of note about integrity here, with priorities and standards being questioned or questionable as Byblis moves into Taurus, possibly bringing about an increase of ‘touchiness,’ sensitivity to substances, irritants (including but not limited to allergens) and various kinds of emotional manipulation and conning -- which may be of others and then again, may find us trying to foll our Self.

As for the second and third thing, that starts with the idea that all this is occurring under (solar) eclipse effects only days in advance of the February 11th lunar eclipse, indicating how any or all of what occurs now may have everything to do with the moment -- and which again, may have something to do with some far-reaching possibility or consideration.

And Thing Number Three on this list is how all of this is occurring just as Mercury is finishing its transit of Capricorn, suggesting how any (or all) of this may well touch on, affect, or to be linked to ambitions, our reputation or ‘standing’ with others -- and whatever ‘enduring works’ we have thus far constructed (or) committed to in life.

February 7 
Adapting as things begin unfolding and percolating is renewed as, at 9:36 in the morning of February 7th (UT/+0), Mercury enters Aquarius -- doing so in the company of Germania (ensuring that there will be many of an opinion firmly expressed!) and with Altair, a fixed star associated with the kind of courage which helps us successfully assert ourselves in life, just ahead.

As a star, Altair emphasizes a personal focus on 'timing' and all manner of issues which in Aquarius are going to test our ability to navigate tendencies to ‘jump the gun’ or to hesitate until the chance is lost -- with Altair current position (2 Aquarius) adding in unpredictable Uranus-type effects which can produce sudden changes of circumstance, situation and understanding. There is a natural tension implied here (which will affect our Mercurial thoughts for a few days) as 2 Aquarius requires the flexibility Altair tends to work against -- with all this having distinct positive OR negative potentials considering Altair's tendency to also be associated with thoughts, choices and actions which lack care and concern, making it a ‘touchstone’ for aggression and aggressiveness.

With asteroid Child also moving into Aries (by direct motion) on this date, does that indicate assertion overtaking vulnerability? Does it indicate getting caught off-guard by something? Might we arrive at what we thought was going to be some opportunity only to find our Self in a position of (or) wanting to take a ‘junior’ position?

They might. But then, things are likely to be emotional ... or at least 'moving' at the moment. Maybe not openly, but the stress is there -- and probably has been there for a few days now -- all of which reflects the idea that the lunar eclipse (at 22 Leo) is just a few days away now.

So let’s just talk about that, shall we?

February 11

Lunar Eclipse at 22 Leo (glyph chart)
February 11, 2016 - 00:34 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Lunar Eclipse at 22 Leo (text chart)
February 11, 2016 - 00:34 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
The full and entire tale of the Lunar Eclipse which will occur at thirty-two minutes after midnight (UT/+0 time) at 22 Leo is to be told in a special ‘February Eclipse’ post which will be available February 5th, covering both the solar and lunar eclipses.

That said, having any lunar eclipse occur before the solar eclipse which it is ‘paired up with’ (in the theoretical sense) speaks to some sort of (lunar) emotional or emotion-provoking situation which prompts (or) feeds into a ‘change of course’ which is experienced in keeping with or as the solar eclipse moves through.

Not all of us will experience both eclipses with equal potency, of course. That depends on whether our personal natal chart (or that of a business, country, pet, event, etcetera) is aspected by either – or both -- astrological events, which means its time to get our charts out and take a look to see what is going to be affected...

The general rule here is:the closer the aspecting, the stronger the eclipse effect.’ That said, lunar and solar eclipses differ greatly in ways which seem a trifle counter-intuitive.

How so? Well, let's take a 'for instance' where someone’s chart is going to be aspected (with equal acuity) by both the solar and lunar eclipse. In such a case, while the day-to-day experience of the period around the lunar eclipse is likely to feel more emotional and ‘impactful’ in the moment, it's the solar eclipse which is going to metaphysically mark and describe the overarching personal change which will come out of the given ‘eclipse pair.’

And why would that be? That would be because solar eclipses (in focusing on the Sun) work on, and through our sense of consciousness, essence and view or understanding of life where lunar eclipses (in focusing on the Moon) speak about the emotions and emotional memories (or 'lessons') which annotate and motivate that life and (solar) notion of possibility.

Time-wise, eclipse experiences also vary. While the ideas and situations we meet up with (or tackle) because of a solar eclipse speaks to situations and issues which will evolve over a full thirty-six months (3 years), by the time three months from the moment of a lunar eclipse passes we will be emotionally ‘moving on’ -- even if that moving on is only aiming at dealing with what has already happened. Think of it this way: if the lunar eclipse is the marriage proposal (typically an emotional high point in people’s lives), by the time the proposal is three months in the rear view mirror, either the couple has moved on to planning their wedding and the rest of their (Sun/solar) life, or the parties have (like as not) literally moved on.

In being positioned at 22 Leo, we know this lunar eclipse isn’t just about us and our concerns – there is something, or others involved, even if by implication. According to lore, this degree speaks to issues which center on serving, service and the ‘support’ of others -- or being supported by them. But with that said, it also appears to bring out where we lack any clear understanding of what is truth and what is merely pandering, flattery or some approach which is seeking to 'quiet the emotional storm' without dealing with the real issue (or) the reality of what something is.

That said, intent is not considered the issue where 22 Leo is concerned. There is good intent, but that intent is compromised by emotional shortcomings. Whether such shortcomings indicate someone who is too harsh or too ‘soft’ is individual, but either extreme presents problems now.

As all of this is being focused through the 'Self' development sign of Leo, among other things this may indicate taking something (or someone) 'to heart' now. Or, given how 22 Leo is in the 'non-personal' part of Leo, how easily we may fall into possibly taking something (or) someone 'too personally' either for our own good or for the good of some situation.

Plus there is one other thing which happens on this date. What is that? It's asteroid Atropos, going direct at 23 Gemini (another third decanate, not precisely personal degree).

The Fates by Paul Thumann (1834-1908)
One of the Greek Fates, Atropos is she who ‘cuts the cord’ -- or in mythic terms, she who ‘severs the thread,’ thus “measuring” out the length of a person’s life ... which metaphysically may well refer to the 'life' of an idea, task, choice, mental effort or effort, seeing as we are talking about Gemini. Whatever that end, stop, limit or cut-off is, in being associated with Atropos going direct at 23 Gemini, the indication would be an encounter with some sort of ‘severing’ or ‘severance’ (or the decision to do/not do some pruning) in areas which pertain to (or) require a willingness to sacrifice in (or) to some ‘cause’ with endurance and investment maintained until (and unless) there comes a point of ‘invalidation’ where the idea or belief in the goal or choice falters.

Does this lunar eclipse indicate that sort of moment – one when something once believed in becomes something we need to put aside? It could. Then again, it may indicate an inability to connect (or) stay connected for reasons of time, distance, family, religion, obligations, priorities, society...

... or really, just about anything else, considering the lunar eclipse. With asteroid Niobe pressing through the end of Aquarius (and due to enter Pisces on February 12th) there is a distinct possibility of pride in connection with that which is well and truly done as well as in that which is done well - though where responsibility has been lacking, that may indicate problems which, given the lunar eclipse, may be or become important.  

February 12 
The story of Niobe is a tragic one, though human enough. The mother of fourteen children, instead of simply being proud of them, Niobe began bragging about how each of her lovely flock exceeded the beauty and talent of mother-goddess Leto’s two children -- even if those children were  Apollo (the god of truth, music, healing and enlightenment) and Artemis (goddess of the hunt and of the Moon in all its reflective glory).

Such a course of bragging was, in short, a very bad choice (and if you read much Greek myth, predictably problematic) as in fairly short order Niobe’s children were shot down by that same Apollo and Artemis as a punishment for bragging – and ever more particularly as a lesson about how bad an idea it really is to allow our pride to swell into arrogance and beyond to where we are willing to put human achievements or our concept of Self as an individual on a par with the power of the Divine.

Niobe et Enfants by Anicet Charles Gabriel Lemonnier (1770)
The transits of Niobe are not generally indicative of major moments – few of us put our Self on a par with Divinity these days (which is probably a good thing). And in moving from Aquarius into Pisces, Niobe is signaling a shift of 'theme' more than anything else -- from the realm of ideas and ‘our ability to accomplish’ to more diffuse if emotional subjects which impress through displays of courage, faith, or their willingness to care without needing to have (or put) one’s Self into the equation.

Wherever Niobe is, in theory that is the area of life where we will be most tempted to brag or exaggerate, with the sign (in this case, Pisces) revealing the kind of glitches and gopher hole errors we are most prone to stepping in, with all of this referring to areas of personality where we lack confidence or feel somehow ‘less than’ or vulnerable. In Pisces, a sign which denies ego and teaches us to tolerate feelings of vulnerability, Niobe’s need (or desire) to be seen and admired is the issue; instead of just being proud and happy to have her children, she tried to make her own 'creating' of them the point -- which makes as little sense as the artist who tries to be more important and more admired than their artwork.

February 14 
That Black Moon Lilith is entering Sagittarius at thirty-one minutes after midnight (UT/+0) on February 14th as both Sisyphus and Tisiphone are changing signs doesn’t exactly smack of the general ‘flowers and cupids’ Valentine’s Day recipe, but it may not be all bad either.

And who are Sisyphus and Tisiphone? Sisyphus stars in his own myth as one of mythology’s greatest bad boys by being yet another person who (like Ixion) thought he had the right to create and live by his own standards for human behavior. Like Ixion, Sisyphus was born into privilege (both are sons of local kings) and also like Ixion, Sisyphus was of the opinion he could get away with doing and lying about whatever he wanted to both when it came to local human authorities and with regards to the Olympian gods themselves.

(A bad bet, that.)

With Sisyphus there are two distinct ‘themes’ which outline his ‘sins.’ The first involves the idea of thinking we’re "better," leading to giving our Self 'permission' to use our privilege,  intelligence, position or personal resources as “weaponry” against others simply for the purposes of idle amusement. As for the second 'theme,' that involves hospitality – which may not sound like much now, but which back in Greek mythic days was a point of great and important personal honor, and which metaphysically refers to our personal ability to be 'hospitable' to others, no matter who we (or they) are, how we appear, what we have (or don't have), or what we might/might not have at 'our command.'

As for the story, let's just say that idea of hospitality as a ‘sacred trust’ got more than a bit trod upon by Sisyphus as Sisyphus had developed a casual habit of inviting travelers into his house under the guise of friendship, then murdering his guests for lack of anything better to do with his time.

Whatever Sisyphus refers to in our modern and everyday life (as some sort of concept or notion we meet up with from time to time), once it moves from Pisces into Aries we can expect some clarifications, and with Aries being a personal and assertive sign this could indicate wanting to ‘do away’ with something – be it an idea, a task, a conversation or something we have felt burdened by.

Eventually tracked down and dealt with (which took the Olympians a bit of time) Sisyphus is often associated with lengthy or boring tasks. Why? Because his punishment in Tartarus (the Greek myth version of Hell) is to continuously push a rock up a hill only to have it roll back down again, a situation which ensures Sisyphus will not get bored again ... and which because he cannot ever pause in his task speaks to that which we simply have to do because it needs doing, lest we come to some grim or difficult end.

As for Tisiphone, Tisiphone refers to one of the Furies – spectral beings said to be capable of motivating, goading or pushing us in one direction or another, either providing the kind of energy we need to ‘breeze through’ or ‘blow through’ some task. Yet though Tisiphone can represent something which provokes ‘fury’ or anger, it can also simply represent that sort of 'busy' quality which others see and understand that they 'interrupt at their own peril' (so to speak!) no matter what we may be doing.

With Tisiphone moving by direct motion into Taurus, any part of this suggests a shift from a focus on ‘what’ things are (or could be) to a focus on ‘why’ they are as they currently are, and what our feelings about such a situation are -- or may become ... and the 'instinctive' sort of reactions we have to just that.

In other words, are we comfortable and feeling cozy about things - or sincerely feeling some sort of lack, want or sense of personal security? 

With all of this occurring as Black Moon Lilith enters Sagittarius, there may be something well worth thinking or talking about -- but we (or others) may not be receptive. After all, Black Moon Lilith represents something about our Self which we deny (or) the truth of which is denied by others. And because that 'thing' fails to be 'recognized,' it becomes a stumbling block. Those ideas fit very well with the Sisyphus tendency to deny, ignore or not think about the value of the person or thing which in being denied ends up killing our hopes or efforts. Plus there’s also something of a ‘dotted line’ between Sisyphus (as a character who thought overly well of himself) and Sagittarius as a sign which (like all fire signs) represents a ‘vision’ which in this case is 'seen' to be right, whether it is or not.

Moving on ... with Deucalion (a Cubewano which is associated with the need to keep our head above ‘emotional choppy waters’) going on station also on this date, keeping a lid on things and not allowing matters to erupt into fireworks positive OR negative would seem to be the best course, though that isn’t always going to be easy. Wherever Black Moon Lilith is positioned in our natal chart, the sign, house and degree in which it is placed represents where (and how) we will push others away, whether intentionally or unintentionally --  and (importantly), it doesn’t even matter if we’re right in our assertions: wherever Black Moon Lilith is in our chart, that ‘area’ of life is where we will meet up with (or cause) objections, rejections and denials, whether merited or not.

Black Moon Lilith will be in Sagittarius until November 9, 2017. During that time we will all meet up with situations where we are ‘denied’ because we do not know enough (or because we have not gotten ‘far enough’). Tolerance (ours or that of others) may well run thin, especially where those others come from perspectives (or cultures) other than our own -- or where their beliefs run counter to our own even if 'they' and 'their ideas' are not what the situation is about for us in the long run. 

And so ends the Yod ....referring (in case you’ve forgotten, which is to be forgiven) to the Saturn-Sedna-Jupiter Yod which began back on January 27th.

(Also, happy Valentine's Day!)

February 15 
The reason why the Yod breaks apart is simple: having gone into retrograde motion, Jupiter will ‘back out of’ the 2-degree orb to Sedna as of February 15th. However with that said, and with this particular Yod being effectively put out of business by the dissolving of that inconjunct, that doesn’t mean Saturn (Saturn/Ixion) has done likewise.

In fact, it hasn’t – and isn’t expected to for quite some time yet, which makes Saturn/Ixion (especially in an inconjunct to Sedna) something worth thinking about.

By itself, Saturn inconjuncting Sedna speaks to the idea of ideas (generally long-held ideas and ‘images’ of how things ‘should be’) which either need working on (to make them happen), which need adjusting because they are not sufficiently stable or realistic (the Saturn quotient), or which the time frame for is other than we had wanted it to be, or perhaps realistically thought it would be.

With Ixion as part of this confluence, an 'unwanted' (though perfectly reasonable) someone or something may intervene, making things more difficult or even impossible. And with Ixion on the Saturn (and Sagittarian) ‘side’ of this inconjunct, whatever we do not know or have never understood (or understood the realities, applications or real world parameters of) – is likely to be part of what stops, limits, slows us down or hems us in, forcing some sort of ‘reality check.’

And as said, the whole of this process, growth or concept isn’t going to be accomplished in any short snippet of time as this inconjunct is going to be with us from now until June 22nd -- which is when Saturn’s own retrograde will cause it to back out of the orb of inconjunct to Sedna.

Even then there is more of this Saturn/Ixion experience to go. Once Saturn goes direct in August, it will comes back into its orb to Ixion and inconjunct to Sedna as of October 25th, a state and status which continues into December when, just days prior to changing signs on December 20th Saturn finally exits both its inconjunct to Sedna and conjunction to Ixion, ending months of subterranean ‘repenting at leisure’ (as the old saying goes) even as we will spend much of the year working towards something we really, really want but which we really (really) may not be entitled (or destined) to ever have, attain or otherwise achieve.

In this sense, 2017 will witness the ‘death’ of many an old dreams which have outlived their purpose, scope or time. That isn’t to say such dreams will die easily, or that those who have lost out of some dearly held dream will not be left bereft, confused, unhappy or otherwise grouchy due to lack of motivation even as (given Sedna’s involvement) we also get treated to a deal of grousing of the ‘should’a,’ would’a, could’a’ type. (If you are reading a translation, that last is well-aged American slang for the kind of whining and complaining people do when throwing one’s self on the floor to have a tantrum because you did not get your way is not a good idea.) 

February 16 
Deucalion stationing and turning to retrograde motion at 18 Scorpio a day after Black Moon Lilith exits Scorpio puts these two points a little less than fifteen degrees apart. And as both pursue their paths, with Deucalion in retrograde and Lilith in direct motion, situations and the idea of ‘having to make a choice’ can be expected to increase pretty much throughout the months of February and March.

Deucalion and Pyrrha by Giovanni Maria Bottalla
(c. 1635, oil on canvas, Museu Nacional de Belas Artes)
Being a Cubewano and TNO (Trans Neptunian Object) Deucalion is one of many objects which orbit beyond Neptune in a space district known as the Kuiper Belt. Metaphysically, simply in being in orbit beyond Neptune (the farthest known ‘full-fledged’ planet from the Sun) means Deucalion refers to things we are not (and will not) ever fully know the origins, causes and ‘explanations’ of, and which we will never control. And in Deucalion being a Cubewano (which means unlike a Plutino it is not affected by Neptune) Deucalion astrologically ‘operates’ in a manner different from that we may be familiar with when it comes to Ixion, Pluto, Huya, Orcus, Haumea or AZ84 – all of which follow orbits ‘dictated’ by Neptune’s immense magnetic resonance, meaning the astrology of such points always carries with them some of the infamous “Neptune Factors” which cause us to fool our Self ... or which allow us to be fooled (or deceived) when it comes to others -- or what we can achieve or 'get away' with when it comes to those others.

That is all not part of the astrology of Deucalion, a point which in 'going its own way' refers to our ability (and willingness) to do likewise. As the Deucalion myth greatly parallels the Noah flood story, this point is all about ‘finding our way’ in spite of difficulties, loss or ill will, with our challenge being to 'keep our head' above life's emotional waters.

Perhaps as an indication of the need to think things through, 18 Scorpio (the degree Deucalion is going retrograde in) is known to be one which both brings out grievances even as it also pushes us to do whatever is ‘necessary,’ if little more. A degree with a considerable reputation for ill will, back-biting and envy, that 18 is an even number also tells us whatever ill will is breaking out now (or becoming apparent) is also in response to something. So ... does this suggest a need to deal with why such feelings exist? Are we having to ‘find our way’ through some difficult or emotional situation which feels ‘booby-trapped’ for some reason? Will Deucalion going retrograde in this degree as the Saturn(/Ixion)-Sedna-Jupiter Yod turns into a Saturn/Ixion inconjunct to Sedna speak to some situation where there is a 'saving of Self' followed by the need to deal with feelings (our own and/or those of others) which point out someone (maybe us) not having given a stack of flapjacks about others? 

February 17 
Not all of us will feel Lumiere moving into Aries, but amidst all else this looks like some sort of ‘light' or a feeling ‘lighter’ as we go about our daily business ... which for some of us is going to be simply because we are going about our daily business (as opposed to what could have happened to our us or our plans). No doubt there are some for whom this shift will mean more than or less (Lumiere being focal in your natal chart would suggest that), and though this is as-yet a greatly unstudied point, the concept of ‘light’ – whether applied to attitude, understanding (as in, ‘feeling illuminated') and a sense of feeling substantially unburdened are all applicable here -- which may be useful as February 17th is also the date on which the Sun is at 29 Aquarius (in advance of moving into Pisces on the morrow).

And since the Sun is at 29 Aquarius (a degree known for ‘clear thinking’ whether in service of the needs of others or the need to be responsible) achievements -- or finally 'seeing the path' to success is quite possible now.

February 18 
Having the Sun enters Pisces at 11:31 (UT/+0) in the morning of the same day that Tantalus retrogrades out of Aries (and back into Pisces) would seem to combine the best and worst of human possibilities. After all, Pisces represents charity, compassion, faith, forgiveness and everything we like to think of as being best about humanity as well as all those things like incarceration, addiction, delusion which causes some to refer to Pisces as ‘the garbage can of the zodiac.’

Yet Pisces is that ‘garbage can’ if only because Pisces concerns everything we would like not to have to think about or (in particular) feel ... particularly if or where such attributes pertain to us, whether the thing is big or small. In other words, the subterranean and unconscious emotional corkscrews of the Piscean kind which we get into don't depend on whether our 'transgression' is robbing a bank or sneaking an extra cookie before dinner -- the issue is whether we knew (or know) better and are trying to ignore or deny what we know (or know we have done) to our Self.
Someone once described Pisces to me as ‘the distance by which we fail our own expectations’ – which is apt, though the word ‘expectations’ can easily be exchanged for ‘dreams,’ ‘aims’ or even ‘standards.’ In other words, Pisces is sometimes the difference between what is real and what we thought something would be (or be like), and sometimes the difference between our conviction and the reality of our ability, whether we try, try again or not.

And that’s a curious fact about Pisces; though Aquarius is known as the sign of awareness, accuracy, precision and systemic clarity (hence its association with electronics, engineering and technology), and while under Aquarius we may concern ourselves with ‘the deadline’ and getting things done by that due date or ‘necessity point,’ under Sun in Aquarius it is our mind and our conscious ability to deal with things and ideas which is being tested, informed, improved or pointed out, under Sun in Pisces we end up being pressured by our illusions and delusions as well as our hopes, dreams and fantasies, all of which now become the threads from which our daily experiences are woven as a colorful tapestry.

And yes, we may come to be a bit unraveled in the process. That's the 'down' side of Sun in Pisces, the experience of which is entirely about a conscious experience of our most mortal Self - complete with glitches, mistakes and errors if that's what it takes for us to feel mortal. 

With Tantalus retrograding back into Pisces (out of Aries) in this moment, might that indicate some regret which touches on things (or) people we have undervalued, ‘tossed aside’ or otherwise ‘taken apart’ out of spite or jealousy? It could. Or perhaps, with the Sun now in Pisces, perhaps we are ‘keeping some memory alive’ so that some ill (or evil) deed does not get repeated - even if that means some encounter with, or which we regret.

(painting attributed to Giovanni Battista Langetti/oil on canvas, 17th century, private German collection)
The story of Tantalus is (unfortunately) something of a familiar one ... which may just go to show how often we humans misbehave - and may just prove Greek audiences were no different than modern audiences in having a decided preference for sensational tales. In any case, as with Ixion and Sisyphus, Tantalus was of the opinion that he was on a par with, and therefore able to take on the gods (eternal truth) with his chosen method differing from Sisyphus and Ixion in Tantalus taking it upon himself to kill his son and turn him into a stew which he then served up ‘family style’ (all bad puns intended) to an assembly of Olympians who had stopped by to share a bite of dinner, displaying a willingness not just to 'throw a life away' (sin number one), but to violate the sacred pact of family and parenthood (sin number two) which in the greater sense, considering how all mythological stories are always 100% about us (not us-and-them but rather our Self as an individual) speaks to some part of our nature which is willing to cavalierly sacrifice that which we could create or 'make of our Self' which would continue to contribute to the world at large.

In favor of what? In favor of some 'plan' (read: dream) of being able to either (depending on our perspective) 'fool' or 'trick' fate, or to otherwise gain the upper hand (or "win") based on inhumane or unacceptable compromises which no matter how they manifest are in the end, simply about our willingness to make or not make a particular choice.  

Unfortunately for Tantalus (or at least his plan), the Olympians realized what was going on -- apart from Persephone, who had a bite of shoulder. That being a minor issue fully capable of being fixed by major Olympian deities, said deities summoned Klotho (one of the Fates) to reinstate the son (and fix his shoulder) while sentencing Tantalus for this 'grave offense' to a very special form of personal damnation just outside the Gates of Tartarus next to the niche where Sisyphus is kept busy pushing that a rock up its hill. Wracked by thirst and hunger, Tantalus is doomed to forever stand in a pool of water which drains away when he stoops to drink, with fruit-laden boughs overhead made inaccessible by a mysterious wind which dances the fruit just out of reach every time he tries to grab one.

And so there they remain, the two great ‘sinners' of Greek myth and our internal lives, both of whom were willing to destroy life and potential in order to favor some short-sighted, Self-serving, self-oriented (read: selfish) preference and purpose.

The moral? Don’t mess with Greek gods – they not only have no issue with handing out punishments, they’re sincerely (and unpleasantly) creative about the punishments they end up handing out!

As for the Sun entering Pisces just as Tantalus retrogrades back into Pisces, the idea said move will bring Tantalus into conjunction with fixed star Scheat (which it will) suggests this particular solar month of Pisces doings may well be particularly revealing – particularly of a few less attractive and lovable attributes. And since we are now but a few days away from the solar eclipse (at 8 Pisces) we can also anticipate the heightening (or) ‘ratcheting up’ of feelings, some of which are going to concern areas of life, choices, and piece of ‘personal history’ which raise issues of discomfort (emotional discomfort, that is) with some facet of our very own Self.

Sun in Pisces (glyph chart)
February 18, 2017 - 11:32 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Sun in Pisces (text chart)
February 18, 2017 - 11:32 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
We may be tempted to take some 'easy way out' (or to treat something precious as unimportant) which, in keeping with the Tantalus myth, ends up costing us dearly. And with the Sun entering Pisces and the South Node at 3 Pisces (conjunct royal star Fomalhaut at 4 Pisces), such attitudes may be easy enough to come by, but ultimately lead to a 'dead end' or other type of dissatisfaction or feelings of failure. Keeping our Self 'involved’ or ‘busy’ may feel like ‘the right thing to do,’ and with Niobe at 3 Pisces and Plutino OR10 and Nessus at 4 Pisces, some act we are either (a.) proud of, or (b.) which we have taken pride in doing or accomplishing now may reveal 'errors' or miscalcuation or 'mistaken understanding(s)' which in turn stand to expose difficulties, particularly if the date of the solar eclipse - February 26th - or the degree 8 Pisces applies to your chart either on a natal or solar return level.

Beyond that, seeing as royal star Fomalhaut stands as a promise of success which follows, continues or remains when, where and if we avoid (and have avoided) ‘corruption’ or ‘corrupting’ actions. Amid all else, caring about our own feelings (and happiness) is important. But part of what Pisces, as the last sign of the zodiac teaches is how in the end, our feelings do not exist in a vacuum (and) how being able to feel sorrow, sadness, loss and other so-called "negative" emotions are necessary to the whole of human -- and humanity's function if only because human beings (and therefore life) are a product of emotions and feelings.

That means to the degree ... and only to the degree that we can (and are willing to) deal honestly with all emotions do we stand to develop true wisdom, as opposed to mere mental, moral or societal comprehension.

In any case, with this ingress occurring with Niobe, OR10 and Nessus conjunct Fomalhaut, facing – or having to deal with something which concerns where we have been unfair (most likely with others and most likely because of pride or ego)... that and where we have been unfairly dealt with by others may well surface or come to be 'exposed' now.

Does that mean there will be apologies all around? Maybe, but don’t count on it. With Nessus in this mix, it’s very possible some sort of ‘grudge’ or ill feeling is present -- which may or may not be connected to OR10 (as a Plutino) serving to show where the wrong thing (or person) has been given latitude, priority or grace. And beyond that, with the Sun entering Pisces at the apex of a t-square, this issue of 'discovery' is going to be (as they say) ‘going around’ like the flu at the moment, with all sorts of emotional responses (from the rebellious to the meditative to the disbelieving or apologetic) getting sniffed and sniveled over by many of us.

Being that the objects in a t-square must all adhere to being within five (5) degrees of orb, not all of the points above are in aspect to the other points. (That's why some of the highlighting is different.) And since when drawing t-squares the emphasis is always on 'standard' planets, this one comes down to being basically about the Moon, Sun and dwarf planet Sedna - which produces that basic pride-and/or-ego notion, particularly with regards to something we have counted ourselves as being ‘good at’ (or) ‘in charge of.’

When taken as part of the whole, the Moon at 28 Scorpio as the ‘root’ or ‘generating cause’ of this t-square suggests a need to ‘master’ something -- or something about which we are being (or have been) ‘unfeeling’ because we were 'above it all,' because we were operating from a position of being ‘in charge' (or) because we were simply doing something we have done “so many times” we were more or less on ‘autopilot.’

With Black Moon Lilith conjunct Toliman (also known as Bungula) and the Moon in this figure, much is being ‘hidden from sight,’ or being expressed in a far more subdued manner than usual - none of which is necessarily good or bad. However, with this t-square, particularly as Sedna (aka Sedna/Algol) is in the ‘goal’ position, there does seem to be some reference to some sort of 'right’ (or 'rights') based on an assumption of how things 'should be’ being challenged ... or which is proving to be challenging.

At the base of all here seems to be a series of metaphysical and spiritual questions concerning the general concept of justice and how we respond to the idea of justice because of experience (whether personal or pertaining to others) with prime 'emotional territory' being how all such issues do or don't reflect qualities we are proud of on the ‘humanity’ level.
All of this – from our motivations to goals of the moment – are quite naturally likely to be in service of (or linked to) ideas and matters we are already devoted to, with many of our allegiances having been learned so long ago that they are part of our core imagery whether we consciously approve (or agree) with them or not.

As the Sun enters Pisces, our emotional responsibilities – or how we feel (and whether we care) about how others are affected - are all vitally important and likely to affect our path as the 8 Pisces Solar Eclipse has a decidedly ‘personal’ (as opposed to business) bent. A ‘rising tide’ of feelings – or the tendency to be feeling things about what is going on around us is to be expected. And given the eclipse -- and its position at 8 Pisces, much is likely to be confusing or confused now, or we may be feeling insecure by thing which causes us to feel embarrassed, vulnerable, unqualified (or) unable to 'make a move.

It is to be expected that, with a solar eclipse moving in, many of us will be going through a lot of internal ‘conversation’ of the feeling and not-yet-quite-sure kind with our Self, as solar eclipses in Pisces are fertile ground for those sometimes desperate efforts we make to come to 'a deal’ with our Self. They seldom work -- which is to say, we seldom get to hold onto the ignorance we think is 'better' (but which ultimately is not) ... but then, that is the way of Pisces.

And solar eclipses, for that matter.

February 25 
Having Mercury enter Pisces a day in advance of an eclipse could – in a totally abstract light – be thought of as ‘softening us up’ not for ‘the blow,’ but more in the way that modeling clay has to get ‘warmed up’ by being worked in order to be transformed into something wonderful.

Welcome to clay time. However, as Mercury is entering Pisces in the real world, it is likely there is something we need to think about - and that the lack of clarity which descends upon us as Mercury exiting Aquarius and enters Pisces at 23:07 (11:07 p.m., UT/+0) on February 25th) denotes not a loss of clarity (per se) but rather our finally coming to see the whole (or at least more) of something (or some situation) rather than the limited perspective we have been working with. Mercury being associated with thoughts, choices, priorities, information and our general mentality, Mercury in Pisces may not be as precise, logical or scientific as Mercury in Aquarius, but Mercury in Pisces is more feeling and therefore considered more creative when it comes to the art of moving spirit and soul in the pursuit of ‘human affairs.’
That said, with Mercury being a symbol of mentality and with Virgo (sign of health, work and service) being Pisces’ polarity sign, the tendency for Mercury in Pisces to ‘lift the limits’ on how or what we think about things can be done usefully, responsibly and productively (through works which are creative or compassionate, for instance).

And then again, there is a decided tendency for Mercury in Pisces (particularly the natal placement) to indicate where our thinking tends to ‘color outside the lines’ in such a manner as to have others questioning us - which is also going to come out now, whether to others or to our own (possibly shocked) amazement. We may start questioning our Self – and that may (or may not) be very applicable. With Mercury moving into Pisces just in advance of the eclipse such inspired 'self questioning’ is very much in keeping with the type of transformations we would associate with, and expect to develop as a result of the solar eclipse - and that's just a day away now.

Mercury in Pisces (glyph chart)
February 25, 2016 - 23:08 (11:08 p.m., UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Mercury in Pisces (text chart)
February 25, 2016 - 23:08 (11:08 p.m., UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
This time around, Mercury’s transit of Pisces is going to be short - a bit over two weeks - with Mercury due to move on into Aries as of March 13th. Traditionally, Mercury in Pisces is said to not be Mercury’s most easiest transit because of the lack of clarity and responsibilities which get compromised, misunderstood or forgotten. That said, Mercury in Pisces is also said to be wildly creative if sometimes 'sloppy' or ‘imprecise’ with the 'content' of Mercury in Pisces communications sometimes being very difficult to deal with or understand.

In entering Pisces in conjunction with Plutino OR10 just ahead, ‘rebellion’ or some ‘rebellious’ attitude or idea may come to be more ‘focal’ once Mercury is in Pisces, though with OR10 being a Plutino, that may simply indicate some misunderstanding which gets feisty for a minute. And with Mercury entering Pisces with the Moon just behind (still in Aquarius) and the South Node (and Fomalhaut) just ahead, that which we are ‘rebelling’ about, against, or merely in the presence of may not be easy to sort through. The lunar nodes always refer to ‘relationships’ and our ability to ‘relate’ and the South Node (in particular) pointing to 'preferences’ and the ‘easier thing to do' while there is every reason to think this will applies to situations of (and in) the moment, there may be some (Mercury in Pisces) weakness which needs to be explored (or understood) before we do anything. Plus with Mercury entering Pisces not just in conjunction with OR10 and Fomalhaut (at 4 Pisces) but also in opposition to royal star Regulus (at 0 Virgo), with the solar eclipse also in position to conjunct Fomalhaut, a few ‘cover ups,’ deceptions and lies are due to be ‘exploded.’

Or maybe they and all they concern will just get 'washed away’ by some emotional tsunami. Pisces is a water sign after all, whether in our minds or otherwise.

February 26 
And so we arrive at the 8 Pisces Solar Eclipse. Occurring at 14:58 (2:58 p.m., UT/+0), the fully detailed and nuanced astro-tale of this eclipse is going to be noodled through in a post which will be available as of midnight (UT/+0) on February 5th.

However, there's no reason to keep you in suspense about the basics, so let's take a hop, skip and jump through those...

Solar Eclipse at 8 Pisces (glyph chart)
February 26, 2017 - 14:59 (2:59 p,m., UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Solar Eclipse at 8 Pisces (text chart)
February 26, 2017 - 14:59 (2:59 p,m., UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
The idea that this solar eclipse is occurring at 8 Pisces indicates a focus on matters in (or about) our personal, rather than business or professional life – which both says something and is a ‘tip off’ if someone you know gets overly dedicated to the idea of ‘all business, all the time’ right now.

How so? Because denial is oh-so very Piscean. So we can expect any number of people to either be hiding their feelings (or details of what is going on in their personal life) - maybe just from us, and then again, maybe also from their Self.

And that is not just a not-terribly-helpful (or healthy) thing - it's also exactly the kind of emotional glitch Pisces solar eclipses are made to dismantle. 

In fact, what we may be witnessing with someone who is terribly 'insistent' about avoiding anything personal is the sign of things going badly (or at least painfully) on the inside.

With this eclipse occurring with Neptune at 11 Pisces (and therefore conjunct the eclipse and South Node) some form of ‘letting go’ is needed to get through this period. And though what that 'thing' is going to be is unpredictable, with eclipse, node and Neptune so closely positioned there is more than the average chance of some 'spell' we have been living under 'melting away' during this time.

Some of us will need to 'let go' of what we think of as 'our reality' because of misconceptions. With others, the issue will center around lies. Or illusions - those we want to hold onto as well as those which we have been living under.

Or maybe life is just changing, 'dissolving' our capacity to think something or to continue acting in a given manner. And while that is happening, others of us will be ‘letting go’ of problems and things (or relationships, or our relationship to ideas, beliefs or situations) which no longer work. Whatever kind of 'relationship' the South Node is now pertaining to (one we have with others, with our Self or with some thing or part of our lives) ... that 'thing' is getting 'eclipsed' - it isn't going to be what it was before. And with Neptune involved by conjunction, it's likely some 'veil' is about to be lifted.

So, just what is it likely to reveal?

With Pisces being a water sign, even now it would not be surprising if we did not have a clear indication of what is at stake, what is being ‘lost,’ the cost of that loss or the possibilities of gains yet to be made once we weather this period ahead. With Pisces, we may think we know - and something may change.

But it's what we learn through experiencing that change which is likely to have the greatest effect on us in the long run. Coming to understand things (or) people in a new light or from a new emotional perspective is also likely, with new relationships tending to conribute to the overall alteration of some ‘status quo’ and the possibility of ‘old’ (or already established) relationships proving to be something other than what we thought they were, or were ‘about.’ Depending on how we came to (or into) this period, entanglements may now prove confusing or an unsuspected blessing with luck being easily as important as skill in terms of what happens. Some degree of role reversal (particularly emotional role reversals) is likely, with those who resist being honest tending to be obvious as to their need to ‘pretend’ or to ‘put on airs’ or a social ‘mask.’

On a more positive note, there is a chance for settling old grudges now. On the negative side, there is a decent chance gestures may get made for the sake of appearances or in order to impress - and they may just work (at least temporarily) even if such gestures are obviously hollow or fake.

The first daguerrotype-process photograph ever of a solar eclipse -- taken
on July 28, 1851 at the Royal Observatory in Konigsburg, Prussia (photo credit:Berkowski)
Pisces (and the associated 12th house of a chart) is that force in this universe which negates prioritizing our Self (ego, in other words). It asks us to think in 'wholes' and in a wholly inclusive manner. Under this precept, our efforts to prioritize  Self or personal goals never wins - though there is nothing about Pisces which says we cannot become enriched (or simply rich) through doing things for others. Where therefore, we need to ‘fake’ something in order to benefit others (purposefully) we are unlikely to suffer penalty, and we may even earn a measure of respect. Where, however, we do things in order to ‘keep up appearances’ or to act like we care or are invested in something (or someone), it is to be expected that things will unravel and become at least inconvenient, if not costly on some emotional level.

Long associated with mystics and gurus (as well as convicts and addicts), the energetic known as ‘Pisces’ is that which pits us against our own beliefs and our ability to weather whatever we are most afraid of - or afraid of knowing the truth about in light of what we want to think or feel about who we are and how we live. Associated with the unbounded depths of the ocean and soul, the sign of Pisces is all about experiencing our ability to comprehend, and how and why ‘knowledge of the facts' is not the same thing as that ‘wisdom’ which understands human nature and how bias can undermine and defeat everything we could ever hope for.

Solar eclipses are long term transits which in evolving over a full 3 years (36 months), eliminate things, people, places and activities which are no longer useful to our life, even though we may like or even love them very much. Historically associated with the rise and fall of kings, nations and cultural movements, solar eclipses time the cycles of ‘human evolution’ on both an individual and social/societal scale.

Solar eclipses are magnificent – absolutely. But as a metaphysical force, they (like all astrology precepts) represent energetics which we cannot sway or affect, even if they can affect us to the bone.

That -- and the fact they represent long-term changes which come into our life without our knowing (or having a shred of imput on) where we are going to end up makes solar eclipses the unquestioned 'top of the pile' when it comes to astrological transits.

I wish us all well with this one - and for more information on it, please remember to check the eclipse post which will be available as of February 5th. 

February 28 
As the last aspect of the month, Dionysus is moving by direct motion from Aquarius into Pisces – which is apparently everyone’s favorite sign of the moment.

The name Dionysus is the Greek name for the Roman god Bacchus. And yes, many folks think of both gods (and astrological points) as being the same and connected to that most famous attribute of the Dionysus (and) Bacchus stories, the harvesting and pressing of wine grapes.

In light of that, we could be forgiven for thinking Dionysus (or Bacchus) is just about wine, alcohol or the act of drinking and getting drunk.

Bacchus, Venus and Ariadne by Jacopo Tintoretto
(between 1576-1577, oil on canvas, Doge's Palace)
But astrologically, we would be wrong there, as observation of both yields an association with celebrations, not exactly all that grape treading, wine making and guzzling of the results. What this comes down to is that the asteroid known as Bacchus tends to be more about ‘party’ type celebrations with Dionysus being more about those occasions or celebrations we think of as being ‘sacred,’ a ‘social ritual’ or a 'rite of passage' -- which includes everything from holidays and school graduations to award ceremonies, farewell (retirement) parties and any other occasion which 'marks' a moments in time or some accomplishment.

This shift is not likely to be felt by many of us as the effects of the solar eclipse are likely to be very absorbing and thus have us absorbed in something about now. Yet how we feel about such Dionysus moments – or perhaps something shown to us now about such an event may ‘color’ thinking (ours or that of others).

Eclipse months are generally strenuous. Even when the eclipse isn’t aspecting our chart with any exactness, living in a world and through a time when some large percentage of everyone else is being metaphysically triggered to learn things most don’t want to know (even if it will benefit us in the end) is seldom a genteel experience.

Still, there is much to be happy about when eclipses come around. Mystical and fearsome as they may be, solar eclipses represent the chance to change and revamp and renew and ‘get things right,’ if often enough in ways we never would have dreamed were right.

And that is what makes solar eclipses so daunting. Eclipse challenges are not about our not wanting to do good or to be successful, they are about a very human habit (and psychological need) which causes us to think we know what is important in a universe which is sufficiently vast and intricate as to make that impossible.

Plus they are never about 'just one thing.' Eclipses are about a way of being or seeing, which means they will always affect many parts of our life -- because the eclipse is about us.

With that, happy February. By the time we get to March, having passed another Pisces birthday I personally be chronologically older … and as we all always hope, hopefully we will all be a bit wiser, maybe even because of that which happens over these next few weeks. 

So in the meantime, be well, be You (that's your job) and stand by, as there will be a full-fledged article on February's eclipses available as of midnight (UT/+0) on February 5th.
Note: due to February being a shortened month,
the astroPPM March 2017 article will be available
as of midnight (UT/+0), February 27th
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