HeavenlyTruth has a new home.
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HeavenlyTruth has a new home.
Please follow me over to my new location at Wordpress to read past, present, and future updates!
Note: The death and rebirth process is something that can be applied to Scorpio, the 8th house, and/or Pluto in our chart. Where you have any of these symbols is the place in your life where the phoenix resides.
My best friend and I like to have fun together, and by fun, I mean sit across from each other and try to make each other cry. Not by insulting each other, or anything involving pinching, but with armchair therapy. She is the only person I've ever met that can actually match, and possibly exceed, my stamina for relentless self(and other)-examination. I have five planets in my 8th house, and two of those planets are my Sun and Moon in Virgo, so the core of me is recharged by Looking Deeply and Figuring It Out. With four planets in Libra, I like to have insightful feedback.
So there we are today, sitting across from each other, me on my second mocha, and she asks me if I want to talk about Fall. I had made a casual statement earlier about being surprised at how hard this year's approach of Fall has been for me, since my official stance is that I Love Fall and Always Have. I've been feeling so vulnerable with the approaching winter and the cold that it just makes me want to, metaphorically and physically, curl up into the fetal position. Since nothing is ever casual with her (it's one of the things I love about her), she had detected that there was much to discuss and prodded.
"Do you think that maybe this year you're feeling too tired to deal with the 8th house?" she said.
"Huh?" I was getting stuck on the word tired. And her bringing up the 8th house. "What do you mean, specifically?"
She speculated that while I've been going through some mid-life transitory stuffs that perhaps the invigoration I normally have during Fall is absent and making the transition of Fall into Winter too emotionally overwhelming.
"Why are you linking this to the 8th house?" I said.
"You are Fall," she said. "You live your life perched on that sharp, narrow edge of transition. That's why you love fall, because Fall is home. But that home is hard. Do you think you've had so much hard this year that you're too tired to live the 8th house this Fall?"
To me, living the 8th house means to continually dive deeply into yourself, to search for your own personal truth even if it scares you and threatens to undo you at times. I have been searching hard this year for meaning and its corresponding direction so I felt I hadn't stopped using the 8th house muscles.
"Well, it depends on what you mean by the 8th house, which, of course, means a number of things. I think maybe you are referring to the part of living the 8th house where I Fuck Shit Up."
Whether I do it on purpose or in response to a crisis in my life, there eventually comes a moment when I accept that I cannot outrun what's chasing me. And it's that moment that I'm able to summon the power to turn and draw my knives. I want it to come. I want it to devour me. I lean into it. I may have a warrior stance but I don't defend. I stand in its way. It consumes me as I consume it. And when it burns through me, I am the next me, raw and clean.
That's living the glory part of the 8th house. But those moments are moments. The bitch is the build up. When you're starting to molt, and it itches, and you're pissy and your life looks like shit, or at least, one part of it. Although there have been mini upheavals, the last time I really fucked shit up was four and a half years ago, when I quit my day job. My life isn't perfect, but I haven't needed to upend things for a while because there's nothing in dire need of destruction. It's all Pretty Darn Good.
So how does an 8th house girl grow in an 8th house way without burning her house down? I more or less believe that when you ask a question and are truly open to the answer, it floats to the surface, even if you don't recognize it. When I asked the question tonight, the answer was compelled to present itself: resistance.
Resistance to leaving the house without your family because you might come home to find them all murdered. Resistance to letting your family drive somewhere without you just in case that was the one time that your magical presence would have stopped the car in the neighboring lane from side-swiping them. Resistance to creating that thing because it might not be good and if others see it, they'll know it. Resistance to saying what you think because someone might disagree with you. These are little opportunities for everyday rebirths. That's how to live the 8th house.
Resist the urge to give into resistance, to reluctance. I don't try to live without fear - I don't see how it's possible or authentic. I live with it. We all do. But it is not me. I don't have to hold it, caress it, and give it shelter. I can lean into it and let it rip right through me to the other side.
"So you can resist resistance. I like that," she said.
"Hey, I think that's the title of my next blog..."
Fall seems inherently transitional, throwing our consciousness forward into a preparational state. As summer ends, we know winter is on its way, and to remain fully present in the moment is challenging. As soon as we're done gazing longingly back at the bounty of summer (some of us longer than others), winter's necessities loom in our mind and we're urged toward making preparations. Mars enters productive, hard-working Virgo on October 15th for about two months, emphasizing this mood and carrying us almost to winter's door here in the northern hemisphere.
As fall begins, so does another build up of the ongoing Uranus-Pluto square, which will peak November 1st, with the new moon in transformative Scorpio, the sign of the Phoenix, just two days later. This energy has been present in varying intensities since the first one in 2012, and the last one will peak next year. This three year period has been one of not-so-gentle change, specifically pushing us toward new beginnings and wrenching old attachments from us, sometimes before we think we're ready. In whatever areas of your life Uranus (in Aries) and Pluto (in Capricorn) touch, you are compelled, through internal need or external necessity, to pioneer radical change.
I and numerous other astrologers have written and spoken extensively about this Uranus-Pluto square period. Astrologer Jessica Shepherd has written a stellar guide to work with this configuration on a personal level. Check her out at moonkissed.com.
While these two are grating on each other, Venus and Mars will come along to further electrify it, from November 12-16 and December 25-30, respectively. With Venus, creativity abounds but the harmony of relationships may be (temporarily) disrupted to provide room for the spark; you may find yourself or your loved one a bundle of contradictions as you both struggle to determine just what it is you really need (and it's likely to surprise and/or frighten you if you can get brutally honest with yourself about it). When Venus turns retrograde on December 21st, you may find your relationship work needs to go deeper before it can move forward. Mars will be in Libra from December 7th and although Libra desires harmony, harmony cannot be achieved by continuity, so when it triggers the Uranus-Pluto square, feathers may be ruffled to say the least. Watch any unfocused or misplaced anger, either directed from or at you, as it can be a clue to what really is trying to force its way out.
The bulk of November brings a small pocket full of planetary goodies, from the 5th to the 25th, from Venus and Mars, perhaps stabilizing the growth that the Uranus-Pluto square is pushing for. Four harmonious sextiles form one after another: Venus sextiles Neptune from the 5th-8th, amping up creativity and inspiration, and also just general good will. It’s a good time for sweet things. A Virgo Mars sextiles Saturn at relatively the same time, extending to the 11th, emphasizing a thread of practicality and productivity throughout.
If you need a little discipline, draw it in during the Mars-Saturn sextile because as Mars moves on to sextile Jupiter from the 16th-21st, you may not be in the mood for as much discipline. This can be a good time for a mini-vacation in body or state of mind. Mars will still be in Virgo so you may still find yourself inclined toward productivity, but aim it at pleasure not just business, especially as the fourth sextile between Venus and Neptune, takes hold from the 20th-25th.
Jupiter in Cancer and Saturn in Scorpio form a cooperative trine through the first half of December which combines the best of both worlds: Jupiter's expansiveness, optimism, and attunement to the possibility and Saturn's discipline and realism. Grow what you love, let go of what keeps you small.
Changes are afoot.
When your job is to assist people in identifying their soul potential and courageously moving toward it, you've got to be walking that talk. My lack of newsletters, facebook posts, and other offerings may have seemed like I've been absent, but in truth, I've been in my 'laboratory' where I hope to eventually be able to offer you many new creations. My progressed moon has been in the first house for two years now, urging me toward a new identity, but unlike I (unconsciously) expected, the outline has not simply waiting for me to step into it. I've had to craft it from the raw materials of self, and in Aquarius, there's been no template appropriate to follow.
I expected that the 12th house period was the letting go and the 1st house would be all about the new, and it is, but I underestimated the impact of the unfamiliar. In the 12th house, I sloughed an old skin. I had no perspective on why it was happening, and had I not had the knowledge of the purpose of the 12th house period, I would surely have gone mad--perhaps I did a little bit anyway. But that was just the letting go part. In the first house, I find myself having to clear away the debris that dropped to the floor. One needs room to work, a clean slate, and in my case, it wasn't automatic. Instead of just one big sweep, it's been tempting to sift through it and try to figure out what parts I can save, but that's all been an attempt to cling to an old orientation and way of life, especially when the new one isn't just sitting there like a vessel waiting to be filled.
When last I posted about the 1st house, I was just entering it, and I shared some of my early observations. Having been moving through it for a while now, here's a few to add to the list:
It has been exceptionally challenging for me to produce anything concrete. Blog, reading, video, class, lecture, book - these all feel like end products, but I am still designing blueprints. I draw on the old model whenever I can, whenever I must, but my libido is invested in this self-making. Finishing anything takes an act of great will, one that I don't always muster. As a double Virgo with Capricorn rising, it's been challenging to my sense of self and self-esteem to not have anything "useful" to point to, to not have a stack of contributions that I've been offering. It has been very difficult to just embody the space, trust the process, and patiently reinforce to myself that it's enough.
The first house experience is about you taking up space, you crafting your own life, so I have to light my own flame. Continually. Often. Over and over. It often goes out. Momentum has been extraordinarily difficult to maintain, especially when the direction is unclear. It is not motivation, but meaning in order to drive motivation, that I've been needing to generate.
I've made what I feel like have been a number of false starts. I haven't signed up for the military or invested my life savings in any radical schemes, but I have been so hungry for direction that any inspiration, no matter how mild, sends me running off to catch it before it dissipates. It then becomes rapidly apparent that this is not the "start your new life kit" I'd been hoping for and I turn around and head back for the crossroads.
I signed up for a summer series of six classes offered by the Jung Society of Seattle on Creating Your Own Red Book (I have discussed the astrology of Carl Jung and his Red Book in previous posts). Carl Jung underwent a massive internal transformation which he documented in his black books and later compiled into the Red Book. During this series, we were introduced to methods and theories of Carl Jung that we could utilize to create our own 'red book', such as active imagination, mandala creation, dream analysis, and synchronicity. This series was profoundly helpful in giving me a 'container' in which to conduct this self-making. The drawings in this blog have all come from my own red book (although mine's blue).
A brief but rapid series of synchronicities prompted me to finally decide that the only thing missing was to apply a little perseverance to the path that I clearly wanted to walk down but kept second-guessing. I am on the Universe's mailing list (you can be too) and one day it said to me:
Usually, the best way to find the yellow brick road of your life, Amy, is to start out on the dusty, dirt one.
And then let yourself become so preoccupied in making the best of it, having fun, and challenging yourself that you actually stop paying attention to the path.
Until, one day, not so long from now, with a new best friend, wearing cool clothes, feeling awesome, a teeny tiny bit taller, fresh from a WOW vacation, looking for the path you just left, you'll notice that it's 24 carats... baby.
And you'll wonder for a long, long time, sipping on some exotic fruit drink, when the transformation actually took place...
Tripping, The Universe
Although I think it is always true, my awareness is constantly drawn up in the fact that I am perpetually unfinished. However, I think the fog is starting to clear. The outline is drawn, and now I am stepping into it, embodying it.
I long for things. Financial freedom. A house in Tuscany. Chocolate. Ok, maybe that last one is just a simple want if I could go get my ass to the cupboard. Wanting is a pleasant enough state if it's immediately coupled with the anticipation and the likelihood of getting what you want. An emptiness in the shape of what you want appears and if you can plug up that hole, you're all set. Nevermind, of course, how frustrating it can be if you can't get what you want or even worse, can't identify what you want.
But longing is a nearly unbearable state. Inherently coupled with longing, it seems, is that the object of desire is forever out of reach or truly impossible to attain. Longing is such a romantic, aching word. Impossible love. It crosses the threshold from the a common, ordinary state of being to an almost otherworldly state and drags our desperate souls with it.
I've noticed that my longings are almost always for something grandiose. Not just out of reach, but literally or figuratively big (except my obsession with owning a tiny home someday. That's pretty tiny, necessarily). I want to live in Paris for a year or two or three, growing intimately familiar with what it's really like to live there, not just visit as a stranger. I want to explore ancient ruins. I want to 'be great'. Not just famous, but great. The biggest things I long for aren't usually stuff. They are experiences.
"But you can achieve those things if you really commit and really want it," I hear you say. Yeah. I can wrestle my inner-wandering-impatient-Gemini-south-node-child into applying itself, and I have here and there. But, wait; I'm not done yet.
It happens a similar way every time. I'll see something beautiful. An internet image of a cabin tucked away in the woods or the sunlight on the blossoming blackberry bushes in my backyard. And (here's my fatal mistake) I'll let it in. And if I don't distract myself immediately, it plants itself in my consciousness and grows. Now I'd like to say I do this next part to set about making a dream a reality like some Oprah-show-success-story but really to it's to reroute or counter the growing pain of longing before it can turn me into a puddle on the floor. I set my earth-sign brain to the task. "How can I make that happen?" Well, perhaps if I sell everything I own, leave my husband because he doesn't want that thing I want, and so on, I can probably have this experience. It's a life-changer, but it is doable. And I don't want to pay that price. So I go back to whatever boring thing I was in the middle of, satisfied that it is entirely within my control to have it but I'm choosing something else. I'm in control.
Yes, I can have things and experiences. But it really comes down to the fact that I can't be everything, have every experience, live every life, all at once in the same body in the same moment. I can open any door but I can't open all of them, and if I try, I won't actually go anywhere since my body can't be everywhere. Occasionally I open one door, but most of the time, I let the longing crush me and I don't open any doors under the weight of it all. It's not the yearning for the end product of a difficult task. It's the yearning for endlessness, limitlessness, wholeness - and not new-age philosophy wholeness, I mean totality of being. An all-being. An everything. Something actually impossible while in an earthly state.
It occurred to me this morning that I have a t-square between Venus, Neptune and Jupiter.
I took some mental inventory of my astrological ingredient cards in my particular recipe:
I think sometimes the pain of not having can be motivation to bring it about. Sometimes you need inconvenience and unhappiness to challenge yourself to commit to what you want when it's almost too hard. You need that push to overcome the resistance. I am used to that kind of challenge. Endure and you'll have a reward in the end (hmm... sound familiar? But I won't go there now). But I wonder if this impossible longing is the purpose and to bear it the only goal. I long to have a bigger spirit but the pain of containing it in this small, mortal body overwhelms me. I feel like that might be the point. I think I'm on to something...
I long for things. You probably do too. Tell me about it.
Most of us ask ourselves at some point, "What makes me ... me?" It's the number one question that draws people to astrology and other typologies and has made it popular enough that most people know roughly what you mean when you ask them what their sign is, and they can usually tell you. Along with their sign, they may also be able to tell you whether they are right or left brained, their enneagram type, their Myers-Briggs designation, their life path digit, or any number of other classifications.
One designation that has become so ingrained in our language that we hardly think of twice about it is introversion versus extraversion. In popular use, it tends to be used to describe people who are more quiet or shy (introvert) as opposed to the people who are outgoing and sociable (extraverts*).
In actuality, the definitions of these designations are still debated. Psychologist Carl Jung posited that people's psychic energy (as differentiated from physical energy) flowed in one of two directions, primarily: externally ('extra') and internally ('intro). Those who were predominantly introverted had their energy flow inward with a focus on the inner world, feelings, dreams, and thoughts. They don't tend to seek out others' company or opinions as often and tend not to collect many friends and acquaintances, but only one or two close friends with whom they establish trust. In contrast, an extravert's psychic energy flows outward. Extraverts turn their attention more often to the happenings in the outside world, and are more likely to become involved in things outside of their own mind. They are also more comfortable in situations of a highly social nature or situations with alot of activity than introverts.
Psychologist Hans Eysenck studied the concept of extraversion and introversion from a more biological approach. He theorized that extraverts and introverts differed in their baseline levels of cerebral cortex arousal, proposing that extraverts tend to have a lower baseline measurement than introverts. Therefore, extraverts seek out the stimulus that introverts might avoid, because they 'need' more cortex arousal, whereas an introvert's baseline level is higher and can too easily become tipped into overdrive with too much external stimulus.
While this specific theory could not be proven in the research, a number of experiments have shown that there is a difference in the ways certain parts of an introvert's brain responds versus the extrovert's brain. Various findings suggest that introverts seem to be more sensitive to stimulation than extraverts, being more quickly and strongly aroused in social or noisy situations. Some findings even suggest that introverts are more likely to have a higher level of response to caffeine and nicotine than extraverts. Brain scans have also shown differences between the two Because of findings like these, many researchers tend to describe extraverts and introverts in terms of their difference in sensitivity to stimulation, rather than simply how 'outgoing' or 'sociable' someone is.
Of course, being an extrovert or an introvert isn't a hard-defined yes or no 'check the correct box' scenario, but is more appropriately measured on a continuum, with some people landing close to the middle and others closer to the edges.
What does this have to do with astrology?
Although I'd adore the categorical simplicity of declaring all the 'yin' signs introverts and the 'yang' signs extroverts, observation shows it's not that simple. Like all things in astrology, the complexities of your specific chart are much richer and more significant than astrological generalities. It's the unique combination and repeated themes in a natal chart that would reveal things like introversion or extraversion. Still, here are some ideas to play with:
I hear you saying "but, but, but" and I agree; there are rebuttals to each argument and I'm making them all in my head as I go (is my Mercury in Libra showing)? Still, I think the chart as a whole, with many of the above possibilities combined and even more I haven't mentioned, can reveal an introverted or extraverted nature. Do you?
You, people: observe, test and report back.
*Extravert, extrovert. You say tomato, I say it's the same thing so don't bug me about it just to sound smart. If you really do want to know, though, Google it.
**Most tests I've come across seem to be biased toward introversion as an answer. Maybe because all those extroverts are out partying and not writing internet quizzes?
Saturn has been traveling through Libra since essentially late 2009 until it enters Scorpio on October 5, 2012. It will deep dive through Scorpio until December 23, 2014, with a brief dip back in June of 2015 for three months.
Saturn represents all things structural and defining, such as buildings, bones, laws and rules (cultural and literal), and limits. It also represents the natural laws in life, what we might call ‘reality’, such as the march of time, in/action and consequence, and the inevitability of change. Up until Uranus was discovered, Saturn was the last of the 7 planets used in astrology and represented the finality of death and judgment (and still does, as the remainder of three planets are about transcending death and limits in various ways).
Scorpio is all things deep, raw, frightening, passionate, death, sex, fears, psychology, the underworld, our subconscious, and breaking through taboo.
I’m sure we’re all giddy with excitement at the thought of this upcoming shift!
Saturn in Scorpio on the Collective Level
Saturn pushes us toward maturity, and one meaning for maturity is simply ripening. The time will naturally ripen for the issues that Scorpio represents: sex, death, bringing taboos to light, and facing fears. It would not be surprising to find the Saturn in Scorpio period highlighting the need for humanity to take responsibility for their sexual abilities, problems, and consequences. The gay marriage issue will probably continue to escalate and concrete attempts at lawmaking around the issue will continue to cascade, as Scorpio rules sexual union and merging. This will be carrying forward the Saturn in Libra work of pushing the issue of equality on all fronts, including but not limited to gay marriage.
The abortion battleground (Scorpio rules our reproductive system) will likely be heightened even more than it already is, coming to a point where decisions and laws must be made (although it’s doubtful that these issues will be thoroughly solved and humming along in order in this one Saturn in Scorpio passage!).
The realities of handling the practicalities (Saturn) of death and dying will likely reach a new peak, as more baby boomers are entering the range of elder.
Pluto, the ruling sign of Scorpio, is traveling through Saturn’s sign of Capricorn, so this mutual reception (when two planets are in each other’s home sign) means that Pluto’s already been at work on this for a while, and will continue to be breaking these things down and opening them up, but it looks like Saturn will probably have to push us against the wall of reality and force us to adapt, grow, and build new structures to accommodating our changing realities.
During Saturn in Libra, the stalemate of polarization and lack of compromise became evident. Sides will still continue to be chosen and defended, but with an even greater amount of ferocity, if that’s possible, as Scorpio brings a life or death, black or white, all or nothing energy with it. It is usually this extreme force that is required to provoke the Scorpionic level of transformation (destruction followed by rebirth/renewal) in the first place since Scorpio is a fixed sign—it doesn’t gradually change and it’s not flexible. It holds on until it’s time to die, and then it races toward the experience and bursts from the flame—hence the symbol of the Phoenix being so representative of Scorpio.
I am no mundane astrologer (astrology of places and events). It’s the world within an individual rather than the world at large that I am drawn to and for which I have more insight. There are countless ways that I have not yet imagined which Saturn in Scorpio will manifest, obviously, but I think these topics will be the biggies.
Saturn in Scorpio on the Individual Level
On an individual level, we’ll be learning to manage our own intensity. Saturn encourages taking responsibility for ourselves and our lives, and acting responsibly as well. We will be working with both ends of the Scorpio spectrum: power and powerlessness. On one hand we are needing to recognize that we have to control and manage our fear, rage, power hunger, obsession, jealousy, or any other number of extreme emotions because we are responsible for the actions we take or don’t take as a result, and/or needing to recognize that we must face our own power (or powerlessness) and recognize the consequences of hiding from it or trying to stifle it out of fear, only to have it blow up in our faces in displaced, rage-filled rants or internally crystallized as pain and illness. We all have some kind of power, and we all have the ability to misuse it. Some of us may find that we need to be mindful of the ways we can hurt others, sometimes with serious consequences, when we misuse it.
Saturn work often begins with unsticking what’s stuck, but while Saturn may be more about the gradual work and daily maintenance approach, in Scorpio we may all be looking at confronting the ‘grow or die’ energy of this configuration in the area of our chart where Scorpio rules, having to face what’s not working in our lives, and what hasn’t been working for a long time, especially where fear is the culprit for stopping growth (and isn’t it always!?). We must be willing to find the courage to push it over in order to reb uild it, which means we have to be without it, or anything like it, for a time before we create something new. It’s the fear of having nothing that often leads us to holding onto the broken something we have, but letting it go is the only way forward. We have to go into the dark before it gets light again, sometimes simply because all the subtle or easy fixes either haven’t worked or we’re just past the point of no return. “It’s not going to go away” Saturn will say, as it sits on your shoulder, following you to work, to bed, to school.
Wherever Saturn travels through your chart during this 2-1/2 year period will be where you simply can’t ignore what you know in your gut is true, even if you don’t want to know it and wish it weren’t true and have been trying to fool yourself and want to just hang on a little longer. Just like we tell our children to summon the courage to open the closet door and prove to themselves that no monster is there, we must do the same.
"A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them." - Carl Jung
The reward of Saturn in Scorpio is as bounteous as the work. Saturn doesn’t promise rewards – that is up to you. But if you do the work, and peel away the mirage, the ‘window dressing’ as a friend calls it, and look at what’s really there (the monster that you think just might eat you), you will almost certainly live through it, and when you do, you will liberate yourself in a way that was not possible otherwise.
Scorpio demands we pass through the flame, not around it. Through Saturn in Scorpio, it is hard experience that makes us wiser, no matter how much our mother lectured us about the exact same thing! Scorpio is about power and powerlessness, not in a worldly sense, but in the sense that we are all human and all are vulnerable to annihilation. Living with the knowledge of life and death in a visceral way is fri ghtening, but it need to not be depressing; this knowledge can fill us with “liveliness, not deathliness” as my mentor, Steven Forrest, has said to me. Stripped away of all a decaying, frail structure that we have tried to trap our fears under, we are able to create new, lasting things in our lives that fulfill our deepest priorities as only a knowledge that we have one life to live can.
Scorpio fills us with a hunger, a yearning to know, to experience, and to pass through, not around, the force of live and living it, even while our ego works to avoid that which might render us powerless or vulnerable. Where do you need to stop putting the fake smile on? Where do you need to settle for nothing less than the truth? What has fear prevented you from doing that is now reaching a critical point? Saturn in Libra had us learning each other’s dance and trying not to step on each other’s feet, but while negotiation is a useful and needed skill, a side effect can be inauthenticity, which Scorpio will not tolerate. The gloves are off. True colors will be seen. Say what you need to say, not out of cruelty or an attempt to prove your power to yourself and others – that will only take you back down the road of misusing power and having consequences slap you in the face – but out of a willingness to be honest and free, even if you feel vulnerable and scared when you strip off that (false) protection.
Where Scorpio resides in your chart represents the area of life where you will be asked to peel off the bandaid (or it may just be ripped off for you), to face fears and acknowledge truths (even if you fear being undone) and accept responsibility for the consequences of doing so.
We've entered the season of Virgo, between the first and second harvest, and even though it's still technically summer, that feeling of reigning the abundance of summer in and channeling it into preparation work for fall has begun.
Mars and the North Node have just entered Scorpio, adding a note of seriousness and intensity to the already efficient pace of Virgo. It's change from the lightness of the Sun in Leo and Mars in Libra and the stakes of whatever we're planning or involved in may feel suddenly higher. It needs to be done, and it needs to be done now and if it's not done now there will be Consequences! The fervency and obsession of Scorpio can whip Virgo into an anxiety-ridden frenzy over the list of Things Undone (guilty!)
“Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.” --Walter Anderson
This level of intensity might be temporary, as Mars leaves Scorpio October 6th for more light-hearted Sagittarius, but Saturn will take up the post in Scorpio where it will remain until late December 2014, and the north node will be there almost as long (Feb 2014). Upon these planet's entry into Scorpio, they make a supportive trine to Neptune in Pisces, softening the hard edges. Inspiration can be found in the dark, in fact, sometimes it can be the best reason to go there.
It really is a time for intense focus and purpose, and Virgo and Scorpio work well together. But this isn't just a time for busy work. While Virgo might normally be satisfied to merrily check things off her to-do list, Scorpio wants to dig at why something's on the list in the first place. Virgo likes a job well done, but Scorpio wants thoroughness. This is a time for true repair, not duct tape. For courage to really change something for the better, not just make the most of what we have.
“In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” --Warren Buffett
Normally that's good advice, making the most of what you have, but if you're going the wrong way, waiting until circumstances are better or the change is easier may not be the prudent and sensible choice it's masquerading as. It might be good old-fashioned fear. Fear of making a mess, fear of making the wrong choice, fear of losing what you have now. Scorpio is the sign of transformation, but it doesn't happen easily. You have to make a major mess first, as the momentum of life crashes to a halt.
“All great changes are preceded by chaos.” --Deepak Chopra
If it feels like high stakes, it is. It's your life. Scorpio is life and death. It strips away what we try and cover ourselves up with: the illusion that life is safe, that you need another television set, that the stable, wrong job is better than no job at all, and many other sensible but potentially deadening ideas. No, Scorpio isn't practical, and it doesn't promise everything will be alright or that you won't have any regrets. It just knows that fear isn't as good of a reason to avoid doing what you know you must as it seems to be.
“Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” --Steve Jobs
Ok, enough with the freaking you out. Scorpio is do or die, and Saturn says the hard work is simply to look deeply and sit with something, until discomfort gives way. The north node encourages the same thing, but Saturn and north node work are things that take practice, and happen sometimes over an entire lifetime. Just keep it in mind. Boldly choose your true north as often as you can bear it. Rest and comfort yourself when you need to.
We are all motivated by different desires. No matter what they may be, Mars plays a large role in how, when, and why we pursue those desires, whether it's fast and furious or slow and steady, whether we are pursuing happiness, security, or success.
Mars stationed retrograde at 23 degrees and 5 minute of Virgo on January 23rd.
A good way to begin to understand the meaning of any planet going retrograde is to run the gamut of re words. For instance, when Mercury retrogrades we're asked to reconsider. When Venus retrogrades, we are often given the opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with someone. During this Mars retrograde period, we're asked to regroup and while it's in Virgo, reorganize.
Virgo is a sign of discrimination and elimination. It shaves away that which is not needed to get to the essential and pares down that which has become bloated and overdone. As Mars retrogrades through this sign until April 14th, sift through your life with an eye on what's useful, necessary, and functional and discard what unnecessarily complicates. Keep it simple.
Virgo may like efficiency, but keeping it simple doesn't always work, especially if Virgo loses sight on what's essential. It is a sign that likes simplicity, but also control. Not only is Mars retrograde, which tends to channel energy inward (see redirect) but it's also in Virgo, which has a hard time letting the energy flow outward without trying to control the flow so much that it risks clenching too hard, stopping the energy flow altogether (see restrict). Over the next couple of months, watch for warning signs of impending implosion due to control issues, excessive anxiety/worry, or stuck energy building up the tension level, like water pressure behind a dam.
Because Mars represents our drive, will, and to a certain extent our power, by extension it also represents our energy, especially physical energy, so keep a watch over your health during this period as well. When we're emotionally clogged, it's easier to get physically backed up as well (Virgo rules the digestive system--guard against anxiety and tummy upset). While it also depends on the disposition of Mars and other energies in your own chart, steady exercise and mindful eating is favored over pushing yourself beyond your limits or an excess of anything during this retrograde period. Plan and direct your exercise and nutrition, but don't deprive: deprivation carries the energy of restriction and self-punishment, a shadow of Virgo. Take your vitamins and wash your hands and all that, too, of course.
Like organizing your closet, organizing your life in a literal and metaphorical way can help you use your resources wisely and be more efficient over this retrograde period. Part of a wise strategy may also be being honest with yourself about what is and isn't in your control, and letting go of the things you aren't really in charge of anyway.
Just like you can't stop communicating for three weeks during Mercury retrograde periods, likewise you can't stop moving forward on anything at all for the nearly three months that Mars is retrograde. However, slow and steady, with probably some periodic readjusting, may be the best pace for now.
An astrologer is always experiencing life on a couple of dimensions (pun intended!) On one hand, they're engaged in whatever is going on in their life at the moment like everyone else, and at the same time, they're wondering what this current event has to do with Mars trining their Midheaven or Pluto squaring their Ascendant. The good and humble astrologer is always taking notes from their life and the lives around them to see astrology in real life action, outside of the key words and fixed descriptions of what a certain astrological event is supposed to produce. Sometimes it takes a pretty horrific event to grab an astrologer's attention away from the analyzing dimension, but still; somewhere in our mind, we are thinking "wow, this is horrible and I'll probably be scarred for life, but what fascinating material for my astrology blog!"
Which is exactly what I have been thinking as I've been experiencing the rare event of my secondary progressed moon entering my first house.
I've been feeling it for about a month, and it's about a week or two away now from the actual crossing over. It's not uncommon to feel these shifts even two months before they happen. In my book, Astrology of the Moon, I compare a progressed moon shift to passing through a tunnel:
Imagine going through a tunnel. You see it approaching ahead of you, even before you enter it. The change in the light and in the air becomes apparent soon after you enter the tunnel and may take a bit of an adjustment if it’s dark. As you continue to move through the tunnel, your eyes adjust and you get used to the new rhythm, the new environment. As you reach the end of the tunnel, you see it coming. The light is changing again, ahead of you. There is a natural anticipation of the shifts that happen as we see them coming. When it comes to the progressed moon, we may see a period of our life approaching. We often feel a change in the air.
Developments in your chart, especially when it comes to the progressed planets, do not tend to happen overnight. While there are times when events in our lives are of such a magnitude that they can alter us forever in a moment, our general evolution is a slow progression. Awareness of new truths and changing attitudes tends to build in us over time, even if the realization of what’s been brewing in our subconscious happens suddenly. There will come a point, as each of these progression periods begin, where you start to notice the shift, notice that you’re feeling differently lately. For many people, this starts even a month or two before the actual progression period begins. Because we are always gradually developing, the shift from one progression to another is a slow build of the changing needs of the heart. But it may also take a month or so of sitting with the new energy to really notice that something has changed for you.
Here is a list (ah, my Virgo heart sings at the word), in no particular order, of the things I've noticed happening for me as I personally experience this shift.
Coming home from another fabulous NORWAC last night, I had this image relentless playing out in my head as all these thoughts was rising: I have just been thrust through the front door and onto the porch, rather abruptly, though not with rude intent. The door slams against my back. Palms and back against the door, heels still on the edge of the threshhold, I stand motionless as I face the world in front me.
But sometimes it seems like a non-stop comedy of errors. Good luck, people.
International Astrology Day is the day that the Sun enters Aries and begins a new astrological year. This year it's on March 20th. Many great events are taking place all around the U.S. and world to celebrate, from conferences, to festivals & fairs, to online events. Here are a few I've found. Get out and meet your local astrological community!
Seattle Washington.TOTALLY FREE EVENT. March 20, noon to 3 pm, Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park. Full details here.
Portland Oregon. $5 admission. March 19, 11:30-4:30. Full details here.
Eugene Oregon. $5-$10 donation suggested. March 19 2-4 pm. Maude Kerns Art Center , 1910 East 15th
San Francisco California. $80. March 19, 10-8. One day conference on outer planets. Full details here.
Los Angeles California. NCGR chapter. $5. March 20, 1pm. Private home of Angel Thompson 1809 Washington Way, Venice, CA 310-779-6878 near Abbot Kinney and Venice Blvd. Ful details here.
Roswell Georgia. FREE. Saturday March 19 from 11am to 7pm; Sunday March 20 from 1pm to 5pm. Details here.
York Pennsylvania. FREE Sunday, March 20, 10 AM to 5 PM at New Visions Books & Gifts 525 Hillcrest Road, York PA. RSVP by March 16 to Lisa Benjamin: Lisa@astromythic.com. Details here.
Omaha Nebraska. Psychic Full Moon Festival, Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 5:00pm - 9:00pm, PS Collective 6056 Maple St, Omaha, NE 68104. "Each reader will list their own prices at their table. Small cover charge at the door." Details here.
London England. Astrological Association of Great Britain. "will be gathering in their usual pub – the Union' at 88-90 George Street, London W1U 8PA from 7:30 PM to 11:00 PM on Saturday 21 March for a few drinks together." Details here.
AFAN, the Association For Astrological Networking, is keeping an updated list which contains these events and new ones as they become known here.
Aries procrastinates because it's too busy racing to comment !FIRST! to every Facebook and Blog post.
Taurus procrastinates because it is too comfy right now. Laziness is the new efficiency!
Gemini procrastinates because it's multi-tasking: write in 12 Across, text John Doe, place that order online ... WHOOPS WHAT'S THAT SHINY THING OVER THERE BERIGHTBACK!?
Cancer procrastinates because it has to make a mix tape to express how it feels about it before it can do it.
Leo procrastinates because it can. The peasants will just have to wait.
Virgo procrastinates because it requires something to be done perfectly and since it will never be perfect, it must never come to be!
Libra procrastinates because it simply can't decide what to do!
Scorpio procrastinates because it's got to get to the bottom of what's really going on before it can do anything about it.
Sagittarius procrastinates because it simply would rather be doing something more fun, and has gone off to do just that.
Capricorn procrastinates because it hasn't delegated, and therefore must do everything.
Aquarius procrastinates because it has to do it in a way no one else has done it yet.
Pisces procrastinates because it hasn't made it back down to earth yet.
Yes, I'm writing this instead of working on what I'm 'supposed' to be working on. That's the beauty of it!
First of all, it makes sense that you'd identify with Leo to some extent. Leo is firey and you have two very strong elements in fire: Sagittarius rising and Sagittarius south node in the first house (possibly the most firey of all influences in your chart). Also, you have Venus in Leo. So there are plenty of factors in your western chart to 'explain' the identification with Leo.
Second, you might be going through something personal right now that wants to embody what you think Leo represents. Just for speculation, I could imagine that if someone was feeling thwarted or stifled for reasons they are unsure of or aren't sure what to do about, then identifying with a symbol that seems to mean more freedom and creativity would certainly give them hope, "true" or not.
This would be less of an astrological right or wrong thing as much as what symbols, metaphors, and archetypes speak to you, inside and outside of astrology. Astrology doesn't 'make you', it's just labels, and it can be useful because understanding the labels sometimes helps you understand more about what's inside. So if you don't want to be a Virgo because you don't like the sign, in a way you can't just change the label and make it true, yet in another way, the label doesn't actually matter anyway in a sense that it's what's inside that matters - the label is only to aid in deciphering the inside. "Mislabeling" something wouldn't change what it is, only the perception of what it is.
And third, perhaps the Vedic system as metaphor and philosophy just makes more sense to you. There are plenty of people form whom that's true (try almost ALL of India at least!) That's a big question that astrologers can't really agree on an answer to amongst themselves anyway. Some astrologers have tried to reconcile it by saying Vedic seems more true for fateful, event-based questions and Western for personality/psychology. Some choose sides. For me, I honestly (and not just to be politically correct, but sincerely) think whatever tool you use, western astrology, vedic astrology, tarot cards, palm reading, dice, tea leaves, phrenology, throwing the bones, runes, or any other silly thing is merely just a tool through which to 'scry', to divine meaning. So they are all 'real' to me, so long as as they are used skillfully and with clear intent. So, this, in a way, is a discomforting answer if you're looking for definition or certainty. But it's an answer that permits a lot of personal experimentation and freedom.
One more thing: astrology is truly only as good as its interpreter. Each sign and planet have a spectrum of traits and that spectrum is wide. Many people, for example, will think that their sign doesn't fit them at all, when really it's not the sign that's flawed, it's the narrow and sometimes poor interpretations of fallible humans trying to dumb down a vast archetype into 20 'key'words or less. Hence everyone thinking that Scorpios are all about sex, and Virgos are always critical and all Cancers think about is having babies. Pop astrology and the true art of astrology are frighteningly far apart.
I just enjoyed watching Believe: the Eddie Izzard Story, and of course, less than half-way through I got curious about his chart. He's got a massive stellium in Aquarius with a Virgo Rising and Pluto right on the Ascendant.
The thing about Eddie that became apparent early on in the docu was not only how relentlessly he worked at his craft (6th house) but also how long it took him to receive any real praise for his work. He knew he wanted to be an actor and performer from age 16 and pressed on, constantly working and refining (Virgo Rising). Clearly it paid off but it was a long time in coming. That Mars/Saturn conjunction in the 5th house (performance) no doubt correlates with that stamina and commitment as well--believing in one's art and oneself.
Eddie Izzard is a transvestite and as that tends to not be the norm in social behavior, one might attribute that as the strongest trait of the 'rebel' Aquarius planets. But so much of Aquarius is being willing to believe in yourself even when no one else does. It's not just about confidence, but about knowing who you are, and Aquarius pursues that by stubbornly (a word many people, including Eddie, use to describe him) sticking to what they know to be true about themselves. They've got to, because so often they encounter situations when they are the only one that does believe in what they know about their true selves.
"It's what I call the madness. If you think you can perform and the whole world is saying that you can't perform then you're obviously mad. If you hold onto that madness and hold onto it and hold onto it and hold onto it for years and then later it comes good and you can actually perform, then it proves that you weren't mad. And you just have to surround that little bit of belief and hold onto it as long as you can."
His south node in Aquarius is conjunct the Sun, which rules his north node and, contrariwise, Uranus, which rules his south node, is in the same sign and house as his north node. With this unofficial 'mutual reception', there seems to be a theme of believing in yourself carried over from the past to the present and future, but moving from the Aquarian way of doing so, which can sometimes fall into the habit of expecting people to think you're a freak and you don't belong and using that as a reason to be on the fringe or not participate in society or show your stuff (except as a way to shock or rebel), to a Leonine way of doing so, which is very celebratory and inclusive, even if it doesn't put one on center stage (or even if it does as in this case!)
His biopic is called "Believe" because of something a friend said to him. During one of his street performances at Covent Garden, someone in the audience had tied him up quite tightly so he could do his escape artist bit, and he couldn't get out; he had to dismiss the audience and have someone else untie him. His friend said: "if you think you can't get out, you will not be able to get out. You have to believe you'll get out; it's psychological."
'You've got to believe you can be a stand up before you can be a stand up, you've got to believe you can be an actor before you can be an actor, you've got to believe you can be an astronaut before you can be an astronaut. You've got to believe; you've got to imagine yourself in that situation,' Eddie says.
Seems like a quintessential statement for a combination of things in his chart: the imagination and faith of a Pisces Moon, and the stubborn dedication of the 6th house planets and Mars/Saturn in Aquarius, surely.
What about his Virgo Ascendant? It certainly echoed the non-stop dedication to work, and it was clear that he was always working to perfecting his act, and he's also not lacking in humility when self-assessing. At one point in the film he's talking about developing his technique for shifting from street/acting performance to stand-up:
"So in the end I decided to just work on one show until it was good and then people would come, as opposed to write shoddy, quick stuff and then shove it in people's faces and say 'look, it's brilliant'. Cuz it wasn't."
With Pluto on the Ascendant in Virgo the dedication can turn into obsession, especially if there's a feeling of not being good enough (and let's face it, there always is when Virgo is present--that's the fuel it burns!). One might chalk his dedication and relentlessness up to the 6th house and Mars conjunct Saturn once again,but other people in his life realize and remark how he always seems to be running from or toward something or both with his relentless schedule (9 in the morning until 3 or 4 am every night, they say!). All of these factors might exhibit these behaviors, but where we find Pluto, we tend to find defense mechanisms and escapist techniques to outrun our fear and our deepest pain. Eddie's mother died when he was young and toward the end of the film when thinking of her, he realizes in an emotional moment: "everything I do in life is trying to get her back ... I think if I do enough things that maybe she'll come back ... yeah, I think that's what I'm doing."
The new year begins with Jupiter, planet of possibility, hope, and expansion, conjuncting Uranus, planet of change, innovation, and rebellion, on January 4th. There is a feeling of "new beginning" with this one, even thought it's at the end of the last sign of the zodiac, and it's compounded by the fact that the first (partial) solar eclipse of the year also occurs on this day (a new moon). Uranus and Jupiter together create a big leap toward freedom: Uranus wanting to crash through barriers and Jupiter wanting to climb higher and higher, neither one wanting to be confined, told no, or follow the rules. In Pisces, heart-centered knowing and intuitive response to life is highlighted. This is happening in 27 degrees of Pisces, so wherever you find this degree in your chart, a revisioning wants to take place.
This is not about picking apart your vision and disillusioning yourself, but actually becoming re-inspired, allowing yourself to hope again. With the first significant planetary meeting being these two 'freedom lovers', and the last year or two being very challenging for many people as the new Pluto in Capricorn energy forced us to deflate and deal with the real, Jupiter and Uranus in Pisces are encouraging you to unfurl from the fetal position. Come out from under that rock. Do you dare to look beyond the survivalism that has governed many of us in the past couple of years? What do you wish for the year? For your future? This is not the time for new year's resolutions (a Capricorn word), it's the time for new year's possibilities.
Fresh off the last Mercury retrograde which ended December 30th, every planet starts out the new year direct, a good feeling of forward motion. Jupiter steps on the gas when it enters Aries on January 22nd while Saturn's putting on the brakes on January 25th, stationing retrograde. Jupiter and Saturn are often considered 'planetary pairs', maintaining a natural yin-yang relationship with each other (Jupiter expanding and hopeful, Saturn contracting and realistic), but the difference between them becomes ever more apparent as they reside in opposing signs. Jupiter in Aries wants to thrust forward, staking its claim, while Saturn, retrograde in Libra, makes it even more challenging to do the Libran work of bridging the gap between people, ideas, systems. Polarities in every corner, from political, religious, business, and social environments are likely to become more apparent and problematic, as the emphasis seems to be tipping from Saturn's admonishment of 'let's all get along' to Jupiter fanning the flame of 'I deserve better and more.' And apparently this is just what we need.
Besides the obvious relationship-oriented Libran energy and the me-oriented Arien energy, a more subtle balancing act is at work. Saturn in Libra is about teamwork and getting sometimes opposing sides to find a compromise, but sometimes in the pursuit of the happy medium, stalemate occurs. Heads butt and no one wants to concede, so nothing gets done. The fire of Jupiter in Aries being direct while Saturn takes a back seat for a while can be used to break up stuck energies by getting us to reconnect with what we want and to act on it while too much vacillation in waiting for everyone to sign on or no one to be offended has been failing.
Can this passion be overdone? Most certainly. With Uranus joining the fray and entering Aries on March 11th, the push for the 'don't-fence-me-in-I'm-gonna-do-what-I-want-with-or-without-your-agreement' is gigantic, and Jupiter's capacity for overdoing things can get the better of us. It's quite possible to use all the rebellious, entitled, impulsiveness to wreck what we've achieved so far. Oppositions are about a balance of energies. We're being given a chance to remember that compromise and sharing doesn't mean the loss of our will or our passion (Aries) and flatlining with a plastic smile on our faces. It means finding a way, finding common ground. From their meeting in Pisces (re-visioning) to Aries (action), we are being urged not necessarily to trample others, but not to hesitate or hold back our desires, either.
'Moderation in all things,' Libra would remind us. 'Including moderation,' Aries would add.
Where Aries begins in your natal chart is where you're being urged to begin a revolution, or continue the one that began last summer when they joined up in Aries in 2010. Jupiter and Uranus will both come within range of squaring Pluto in Capricorn (although Uranus will never be exactly square Pluto--it will get closest around the end of July). Part of the transformative power of Pluto in the sign of Capricorn is to strip away all the dead cells of systems, governments, rules, and structures that don't work and have already begun to decay.
It's not about being opposed to systems, rules, and structures but about creating BETTER systems, rules, and structures that ARE supportive and DO what they are supposed to do. A good visual might be to imagine a building that appears to be in good order simply because it's still standing, but should actually be condemned and demolished because its insides have become completely unsafe and crumbling and its now a fire hazard. Jupiter and Uranus entering Aries and squaring Pluto in Capricorn can be the kind of purging, demolishing fire to create regrowth, but it can be a powerful and destructive force to be caught up in. During the summer months (June-August), each of the personal planets will trigger the energy of this square 2 or 3 times, provoking it and INvoking it, causing this period of time to seem the most volatile and create the most events to manifest. Chaos may seem to reign but creation is always messy.
"Today many things indicate that we are going through a transitional period. When it seems that something is on the way out, and something else is painfully being born. It is as if something were crumbling, decaying, and exhausting itself while something else, still indistinct, were arising from the rubble."--Vaclav Havel
The 'revolution' each of us may have on a personal level is, at its heart, about freedom, and not the kind of passive "I'm grateful to live in a free country" mantra we say when we speak in school about freedom. Whether it's the freedom to discover who you really are, the freedom to speak your mind, the freedom to love who you want to love, the freedom to perform the mission you were meant for in this world, it's about passion, not passivity. It's not about what you have the 'right' to do or be--that almost comes second to the force of doing or being itself. Something is being born and it needs to force of life and the desire for it to do it. This is not about counting your blessings, this is about Seizing The Day.
This is also a time of deconditioning ourselves--not just large systems, but our own internal response to it. We ingest what we are fed by the 'system' and then it regulates us from the inside. Capricorn is about what is considered socially respectable and Capricorn's ruling planet, is in Libra, a sign that knows how to fit in. With Pluto in Capricorn, the it's the deconstruction of what's been conditioned in us as right, appropriate, and the unquestioned traditions of what you're supposed to do to be an upright citizen, a good man/woman/homeowner/parent/you-name-it. Jupiter and Uranus in Aries can speed that deconstruction along, but our personal Pluto-in-Capricorn journey has to start with us recognizing what we've agreed to because that's just the way it's done.
Total anarchy and rebellion isn't necessarily required (frankly, I'm thankful for traffic laws and schools and other things societal regulations have benefitted us) but it's time for these things to be looked at more suspiciously to clear out the cobwebs. Planets or angles in your natal chart between 3-8 degrees of cardinal signs, especially, are being affected deeply by this Pluto deconstruction. What are the 'laws' you have internalized? What have you chained yourself to voluntarily? We are invited to look closely at those handcuffs and see whether or not the key to them doesn't just happen to be in OUR pocket and not the guard's pocket.
Just a couple of weeks after Uranus enters Aries, Jupiter in Aries opposes Saturn in Libra on March 28th, again bringing a confrontation between the work of creating true harmony and real, fair, balanced structures (Saturn in Libra) in a way that isn't so crippling that it debilitates our individual will and growth potential as a force of our own (Jupiter in Aries).There may be an effect where things in our individual lives (and the larger story of the world around us) explode from the pressure of 'revolution meets regulation' and come to a head while these squares are in effect. However, Jupiter will enter Taurus on June 4th and shortly follow it's square up with a trine to Pluto on July 7th, almost as if to say 'now that I've kicked up a fuss and gained a little elbow room for myself, I can play a bit nicer, just so long as I've made my point.' It can also be about stabilizing what has just been 'painfully born.'
Neptune takes its first step into Pisces in over a century, dipping its toe in its own sign from April 4th to August 4th before retreating back to Aquarius until 2012. So far we've seen Neptune in Aquarius, closely aligned with Chiron in the last couple of years, making us aware of our humanity, connecting us, many times through our own woundedness, unifying us THROUGH and BECAUSE OF our humanity. Equal rights become the focus as we are made conscious of the real pain NOT having equal rights creates in the lives of all those people who are considered to stand out in some way because they are not normal (Aquarius: the outcast). Neptune in Pisces takes us further into that, dissolving more boundaries between us, maybe even prompting us to unite in a collective mythology as human beings a la "We Are The World." In Aquarius, we should all, as individuals, have equal rights. In Pisces, we simply are One.
The big paradox here, then, seems to be us figuring out how to be individuals as well as part of a global community. Aries, the beginning sign of the zodiac, the power of the will and life itself, and Pisces, the ending sign of the zodiac, the merge into the great ocean, the dissolving of boundaries--this paradox has our sense of the world and ourselves constantly changing sizes like Alice in Wonderland: Are we one or are we many?
"The single planetary civilization to which we all belong confronts us with global challenges. We stand helpless before them because our civilization has essentially globalized only the surfaces of our lives. But our inner self continues to have a life of its own."--Vaclav Havel
Uniting the best of Aries and Pisces seems to urge us to bring our best selves to the table--not our most behaved selves or our most perfect selves, but our most passionate selves, and contribute that to the global comunity. "Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."--Harold Whitman
As with any craft, the longer you're in it, the deeper you want to go into its components to get better and better at it overall. Most people understand that after you've been doing something a long time and can do it in your sleep, you can get bored with your craft. I've been doing astrology long enough to fall prey to the boredom, I'm sure, but I never get bored.
Instead, I get confused.
I know all the puzzle pieces in astrology. Insert planet A into sign B and all that. Some people might say I've even gotten pretty good at twisting those pieces around into little pockets of meaning (I did write a book and all, I suppose). While many people spend time trying to figure out the next new puzzle on their horizon such as midpoints or sesquiquadrates or the elusive triple-yod-summersault-dismount trickybob, I like to dig as deeply as I can into the elegance of the core components of astrology: the planets, signs, and houses; to re-enchant myself with the foundations themselves. I know it's time for another excavacation when suddenly everything I seem to know about one of these components simply dissolves when I try to pick it up. File empty. These days, ask me about Venus and I'll search my brain's database, only to find that the files have been stolen and a sticky note left in its place: "I.O.U."
And then, like a good little Virgo with Capricorn Rising, I panic and fret while all the while trying to fake it so I can keep my reputation in good standing. Yes, yes, Venus, yes. Be right with you. Just, um, gathering my thoughts and opening up my programs. Wait, where's my laser pointer and my headset?!
It's not that I've forgotten the keywords. I can recite them just as well as the next good little astrological monkey. Venus: Relationships, Charm, Beauty, Creativity, Art, and so on. But it's not enough to parrot the words inherited from every beginning astrology book one's read. This 8th house girl has to know WHY? What are the roots that have birthed these branches? It's come time for me to dig into the very soil from which our modern understanding of the Venus archetype has grown. So I'm dutifully going about it in Gemini south node fashion: a stack of books and a list of mp3 workshop recordings, and back to the myths themselves to do my own distillation process. Hopefully when I stir them all in the 8th-house pot, the themes, truths, and patterns will rise to the Neptune-in-Sagittarius-conjunct-my-north-node frothy top.
Is it a coincidence that I've got the Venus Research bug as it retrogrades in Scorpio, the sign of research and mysteries, over my Midheaven? Goddess, I hope not!
I hope to have more to offer in the future, but my preliminary findings (one with Cap Rising must talk like that to sound official, you do understand) have drawn my attention to the trouble with the white-washed Venus that has been most celebrated. Venus wants to make everything 'pretty', just like herself, right? She wants us all to get along and play nice, or at least pretend to play nice. I'm not interested in standing on a feminism soapbox here as much as I'm interested in wholeness, as in, don't just show me the pretty parts, show me all of it (even you, Venus). It's not about finding the tabloid dirt on Venus to prove how ugly she really is. What really intrigues me is the definition of beauty itself, beyond the symmetry of faces or the argument of pastels over fluorescents. I found this paragraph from Anne Massey's book Venus: Her Cycles, Symbols & Myths to be particularly provocative:
Our view of Venus has become sanitized over the centuries, removing whatever we as a society are not comfortable accepting. This would naturally account for the fact that we still like to place women on pedestals where we can admire their beauty (and no doubt lament the lack of our own in some way by comparison, I'd like to add). Fashion magazines are a prime example. The faces of women who grace the pages have been airbrushed to the extent that there appear to be no lines, creases, or imperfections, let alone a wrinkle or a laugh line. With each brush stroke, a part of the woman's personality has been erased. (italics mine, bold added)
Venus is retrograding through Scorpio right now (I think I mentioned that!), creating a seemingly perfect time for us all to ask questions about the raw truth that lies beneath any image of beauty or any bonds of love. In marital love, for example, we recognize the lines from the age-old vow: "for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part." Well. We can certainly recognize Saturn's stamp on all of that. After all, until death do us part is pretty committed and serious. But we can recognize Venus in it too, I hope (especially in Scorpio). The depth of the passion in a commitment like that has to be profound.
We don't like to think about it, but Scorpio knows the frightening truth of love in the face of poorer, sickness, and death. As Venus retrogrades through this sign, perhaps we are being shown what is terribly beautiful in its power and horror, not just pretty or easy. Singer Lily Allen (May 2 1985) has just lost her baby at 6 months pregnant, while Venus in Scorpio retrograded right over her Pluto. Love meets horror and loss? You betcha.
So what is my point, that Venus, and especially Venus in Scorpio, is actually ugly, frightening, painful and ultimately ends in death? No, it's even worse. That the face of Venus that is love, human love, contains all those things, Scorpio or not. Retrograde or not. It also contains timelessness, ascension, safety through the howling winds that life blows at us sometimes, vulnerability in the best sense, and every love song you've ever heard. Let's honor its raw and provocative power that isn't always pretty, but supersedes prettiness with its elegance and flawed purity.
This is one of the best Venus in Scorpio photos I know, and surprise, surprise, it has nothing to do with leather, vampires, or heavy eye makeup:
With the Sun in Libra, the horoscopes inevitably turn to relationship talk. But with Saturn in Libra too, we're focusing not on true love or happily ever after, but how to make these things real. What are the real steps to finding love and making it last? How do we know we're with the 'right' person? Forget the romance of soul mates, Saturn says. Once you find love, how do you manage to live with them and stay in love?
Astrology, at least predictive astrology, tracks life's internal (and external) clock. The timing of events--when they'll take place and what they might be--is a big deal in astrology, and the biggest question is often When will I get married/find love? Even more important than wealth, a successful career, or a healthy mental attitude, the question of love seems to top the charts.
Can astrology tell you when you'll meet the one? Some astrologers say no. Some astrologers say maybe.
What if a clock, astrological or not, could count down to the moment you meet your soul mate?
In the movie Timer, Oona is dying to meet her soulmate. She obsesses about it and her decisions about life and relationships, even casual ones, are marked by it. She's a woman with a mission. Her timer is blank, which means her soulmate, wherever he is, has not yet had a timer implanted himself. Oona tentatively dates men without timers, convincing them to get one as soon as she can bring it up, so she can see if they are her 'one'. "What's the point in continuing without a guarantee?" she says.
So many questions are brought up by this concept; my Libran Mercury in the 9th house is spinning with weighing the options. Your timer doesn't guarantee you'll instantly like/love the person. It will only identify that they are your soulmate. What if you meet your soulmate before you're even of an age to sustain a mature relationship? What if you get a timer and it says you won't meet your soulmate until your 50s or beyond? And if you're not due to meet your soulmate until much later, do you abstain from relationship and sex until you find your one like Oona, or do you have fling after fling like Steph? What if you accidentally fall in love with someone who's not your soulmate? Gasp! And the big one: should you get one or not?
Would you opt for one? Why or why not?
The timer brings up more questions than just whether or not one has a soulmate. It's based on a big assumption that fate is in precise operation; not just fate in love, but fate in life: that your decisions will lead you to the same place as the decisions of one other specific person and you will meet up at the right and fateful moment. Can't miss. While some people believe in fate to that extent, others think this idea sounds absurd. Yet that's exactly what happens every day - two people find themselves in the right place at the right time and begin a relationship. If it leads nowhere, they think nothing of it. But if it leads to happily ever after, they may look back and think about 'that fateful day,' saying things like "little did we know that our lives were about to change forever..."
Is astrology our timer? Not implanted in our wrist, but in our very DNA, as symbolized by our entrance on earth at an exact moment? This astrologer thinks its not that easy. But nevermind that land mine; try this one on for size: The timer brings up the same question that astrology does for a lot of people:
Do you want to know your future?
It's fun to speculate which signs may want to know the future and which wouldn't. Earth signs Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn might like it so they can plan for the future (and Capricorn will probably take it all the way to the couples retirement plan and have a honeymoon savings account). Fire signs Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, with their love of living in the moment, may not enjoy being confined to a feeling of fatefulness, no matter how lovely the prize. Aquarius might say not out of a distate for being so predictable. Gemini might be too curious to avoid it, and try getting a final answer about the question out of Libra! And the mysterious water signs: I can picture Cancer, with it's desire for security leaving it wanting to know, but I think the water signs in general, including Scorpio and especially Pisces, could go either way: loving the obsession or the romance of it all or respecting the mystery of life and its ability to change and to surprise us, like a moving river.
If the answer can be reduced to an equation in the natal chart, it certainly isn't just sun sign.
But what about the timing of love in astrology, you say? Many say there are time-honored and accurate techniques in predicting love and marriage. But the astrology I've encountered merely shows me potential and freedom in those potentials. If your progressed Venus croses into your 7th house, are you destined to get married, meet your best friend, or begin an art business with a female partner? The potentials are just that: potentials.
So, soul mates, yay or nay? And if so, would you want to know? Here's some wise words in closing from one of my favorite tv gals, whom I have to say, I agree with for the most part:
(ignore the subtitles!)
Though it is my favorite show on television no matter what the season, season 8 of Project Runway hasn't exactly been the most scintillating of all the seasons (I still miss season 4's Christian Siriano, what can I say!?) but it did get somewhat more interesting when Tim dressed down designer Gretchen Jones for "manipulating, controlling and bullying" her team members in episode 5.
Gretchen said she was hurt by what Tim said. In her after show video blog, she said she was trying to be a cheerleader, not a leader. She said she didn't try to tell people what to make but just went around making sure people finished what they'd committed to.
Gretchen has a Capricorn Sun, as well as Mercury in Capricorn conjunct her south node, so she comes with a wealth of instinctual knowledge about how to get things done. She is practical and has a good sense of how to manage time and materials in general, but also an inherent ability to strategize. Not only does Capricorn provide that ability, but Mercury so close to her south node means she inherently comes with a strong and logical mind. When she focuses on a goal, she immediately starts working out the steps to get there.
Capricorn has been called the sign of the 'manager' because of these traits of know-how coupled with an ability to see how the bigger picture needs to shape up. When Gretchen was "making sure people finished what they'd committed to," she was in prime Capricorn form. Capricorn is not known for it's compassion or sensitivity, mostly because of another saying that we find in the astrological literature of Capricorn frequently which is the phrase "ends justify the means." Capricorn is more concerned with getting to the goal than how it gets there. A Capricorn ideally wants to live with integrity and be thought of well, but it's often not about being liked rather than being respected. Getting what they set out to do done and being a person of their word is a Capricorn intention.
However, the excesses of Capricorn's fixation on the end goal can end up manipulative. While Capricorn isn't sneaky in the same way that maybe Scorpio or Gemini might be, they can be quite hungry for accomplishment and prestige. Gretchen seemed to suffer from hubris after her first two wins right out of the gate which probably fueled her solar ego and allowed The Boss to come out, steering others, however indirectly or unintentionally, toward the ends she wanted.
Her seeming backpedaling (according to the judges, not her) on her opinion of Team Luxe's collection (first she seems proud of it, then she's calling it garbage that she had to salvage) can be attributed to her Mars in Libra. For Libra, everything is relative, and her desire for approval (Libra) clashes in her chart with her desire for respect (Capricorn) in sometimes incongruous ways, like it did in this example. We defend ourselves with our Mars too, so her style of defending herself (in Libra) is likely to be in almost siding with the opposing opinion to diffuse the confrontation. Once her Capricorn Sun was sure she wasn't aligned with a success, her Mars in Libra took over to agree and diffuse, hence the backpedaling.
Was she truly hurt by Tim's remarks? Her Pisces moon suggests she was. With Pluto conjunct Saturn in Libra, squaring her nodes, her interactions with other people are probably often the trickiest spot in her life. She probably has difficulty trusting others and sharing space with others, not out of a lack of desire, but with Capricorn being more comfortable for her (south node), the challenge of softening and sharing clashes with her independent and self-sufficient nature, so it's easier to just get things done rather than bringing people's feelings and ideas into the mix and letting it complicate things.
Her Pisces moon, though, suggests she does have a very tender heart and doesn't want to hurt others. But even her Venus in detached Aquarius makes it difficult to see her soft side until you've gained her trust. We can probably expect her to keep trooping on and getting the job done on Project Runway.
It's Carl Jung's would-be 135th birthday today, so in celebration, I'm taking a look at his natal chart. According to Astro.com's calculations, he has about 1-1/2 degrees Aquarius Rising with an "A" birth time accuracy rating. Click the image to enlarge the chart.
Starting with the south node and the past/prior-life carryover influences, his south node is found in Libra in the 8th house, indicating a strong ability and predisposition toward awareness of the nuances of the hidden layers that take place in any human transaction. He would rarely take refuge in certainty, but be more inclined to recognize that for everything he observed and every conclusion one could come to, there were always more possibilities and equally opposite possibilities. He came into this world with an inherent understanding of how to balance these possibilities by committing to none wholeheartedly, at first.
On a personal level, a south node in the 8th house in Libra carries double partnership themes: first through the obvious association of Libra, being the sign of relationship, but secondarily through the 8th house, commonly referred to as the place of "other people's resources." Often a south node in the 8th house finds someone who tends to take shelter in another, whether it's financially, emotionally, or multiple levels, and/or is at least very influenced by the presence of another, as either a symbiotic relationship or a one-sided dependence.
Venus, the ruler of the south node, is found in the 6th house in Cancer. The 6th house experience may find him with a tendency toward subservience or deference to others, especially those who he perceives to be an authority to him in some way. There is an innate humility that may have often worked against him, since the planet that rules his south node also squares it. In Cancer, perhaps this was most often done with family members; or a not so literal translation may be a tendency to withdraw into himself, perhaps to hide a feeling of shame, unworthiness or a sense of not measuring up.
Given the overall amount of 7th house, Libra, and Venus importance in his chart, the tendency toward a being split inside himself or a tendency to project part of what he may see in himself onto another instead, seems great. An example of this is his well-documented feeling of living in two worlds: one in the present as a normal schoolboy, the other as a sort of melancholy, 18th century hermit, studying the mysteries and living in "God's World"1.
Mercury is also squaring his nodes, indicating his opinions, intellect, and ability to communicate what he intuitively knew was at stake in how he was to evolve in the current life. His 'voice,' or lack of voice/speaking up', could have given him some karmic problems in the past.
His north node lies in Aries in the 2nd house, which speaks to a need to end the second-guessing, playing too nice, and hesitating/indecisive tendencies that might accompany a Libran south node, and to be less invested in what others think or will accept (and hiding what they won't accept) and just putting it out there, standing behind it and himself, developing enough confidence in himself to be able to stand on his own without 'backup' or endless justifications, proof, explanations or hand-holding. There no longer needs to be an investment in convincing others to be on his side and supporting him (Libra, 8th house), but a trust in one's own support, power, and will to be more than enough. To go out on a limb for himself, so to speak.
The Venus and Mercury conjunction in Cancer in the 6th house might have him going through the work and study to gain enough skill and practice to be able to back that confidence up. Teachers/partners would probably come along that would spark his own intellect, which he would then carry forward with until it was time to move forward into independence (toward the north node lesson) instead of backward into reliance on the shelter that the teacher's theories and opinions might provide, even if Jung himself differed (which he did, often, the most famous case, but not certainly an isolated one, being the split between he and Freud).
Everything in his chart conspired to move him forward in his soul work, with his cooperation and choice (more or less; some things just land on us and force us forward!) Here are just a few of them:
This may be why the Red Book was such an intense and frightening undertaking for him (which actually began with black books), for it represented a voluntary dive into the madness he perceived that was creeping up on him from around the edges of his sanity. Read more about the Astrology of the Red Book here. Read more about Carl Jung here or here.
1 Reference: Red Book, page 195