12th House Webinar

I’m giving a webinar on the 12th House for the ISAR Star Club this upcoming Sunday, July 3 at 12 pm Pacific / 3 pm Eastern time. 

Here’s the description:

Shadow Casting of the 12th House

The twelfth house has a difficult reputation in astrological lore. Known as the place of the bad daimon where Saturn finds joy, it has associations with solitude, loss, and suffering. Yet it is also a liminal place in between time and space, symbolized by the Sun’s rise at dawn cracking open the darkness of night with its radiant light. Like our ancestors who erected stones to cast the shadows of the rising sun, we may discover rich resources within the darkness of the twelfth house in spite of the difficulties inherent within its terrain. We’ll explore the depth of meaning to be found in the twelfth house in natal charts as well as timing techniques.

The webinar is free for ISAR (International Society for Astrological Research) members and otherwise costs $14.99 – you need to be present for the webinar if you aren’t a member of ISAR, and won’t have access to the recording unless you are an ISAR member. 

Here is a link to register:

https://isarastrology.org/event/shadow-casting-of-the-12th-house/

Cancer New Moon

Study for ‘The spirit of the new moon’ 1888 by Arthur Loureiro

Cancer New Moon

The New Moon in Cancer on June 28 comes only a week after the seasonal turning point of the solstice, the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere. Since the New Moon is in the watery, reflective and receptive sign of Cancer, the zodiacal sign where the Moon finds her home, our emotional needs, drives, hungers and desires will become palpably felt. With the New Moon forming an amplifying square aspect with Jupiter in Aries, feelings regarding one’s present circumstances can become magnified, with the fiery presence of Jupiter inducing yearning for satiation of unsatiated hungers, demonstrations on behalf of what we wish to nurture and cultivate within our relationships and community, conflict from the impact of ambitious plans on personal relationships, and courage in taking risks to leave the familiar for the inspiration found in the unknown. The Cancer New Moon harbors a renewal of vision for goals to pursue that will nurture an enlivening of purpose and meaning in the season ahead.

The Cancer Moon is also forming a conjunction with Black Moon Lilith, indicating that the Moon will be at the outskirts of its apogee or farthest point in its orbit. As the wide ranging motion of the Moon signifies the wide range of our perceptions and feelings, the Cancer New Moon being at the point farthest away from us in orbit will bring to the surface insights, symbols, and reflections that have been farthest from our conscious awareness. As Black Moon Lilith is an unconscious balancing point connecting our conscious awareness with what has been cast off or kept in the subconscious, it’s fitting that it is named for a mythological figure who has taken a multiplicity of forms across different cultures but has consistent associations with the wild feminine and being cast off from civilization into the outskirts of the wilderness. As Lilith is also a figure who has been demonized and exiled, the New Moon conjoining Black Moon Lilith can also put us into deeper contact with parts of our inner multiplicity that carry the burden of feeling judged or being ostracized. The tension of the square aspect between the New Moon and Black Moon Lilith in Cancer with Jupiter in Aries can catalyze inner conflicts that create opportunities for bringing parts of our personality out of exile and more fully into the scope of our personality.

In current events, the numerous economic and political crises erupting around the world involving mass populations facing hunger and lack of foundational resources have continued to inspire mass protests. There has recently been a wave of protests and workers’ strikes around the world due to inflation and political turmoil, with the build up of tensions erupting into mass demonstrations such as in Sri Lanka where the longstanding economic crisis has more recently shifted into complete economic collapse. The synergy between the Moon and Jupiter that can inspire mass movements was intrinsic to the Cancer Solstice chart which signifies mundane astrological themes for the season ahead, as there was an applying conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter in Aries when the Sun reached zero degrees of Cancer demarcating the solstice. Furthermore, the forthcoming Leo New Moon on July 28 will form a flowing trine aspect with Jupiter in Aries, with Jupiter’s presence intensified due to stationing simultaneously. As a result, we can expect the numerous conflicts exacerbating food and resource shortages, a well as other societal conflicts, such as the recent reinterpretation of the 14th amendment of the United States Constitution by the Supreme Court in the United States to take away a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, to continue to mobilize widespread action in the season ahead.

There are numerous planets occupying air and fire signs, diurnal zodiacal signs that support active direct action in the world, as the Sun and Moon form their conjunction in Cancer. As a result, there is astrological support for taking action to create change and make significant movement regarding whatever ways personal storylines have been reshaping due to shifts emerging from within and due to a need to adjust to the impact of disruptive external events from around the world. Fortunately, within the emphasis of planets in air and fire signs (Mercury and Venus in Gemini, Mars and Jupiter in Aries, Saturn in Aquarius), Venus in Gemini is applying toward a harmonious sextile aspect with Jupiter in Aries during the lunation. The creative collaboration present within the sextile between Venus and Jupiter can show up through the formation of alliances of support as well as in creative collaborations, and suggests there are opportunities available to find greater support to help with whatever difficulties one is presently experiencing.

Providing an underlying lift of inspirational support drawn from Spirit for mass movements and individual motion is Neptune, as Neptune will be stationing retrograde during the Cancer New Moon at 25°27’ Pisces. Neptune stationing places it in a phasis condition of saturating the astrological landscape with its numinous significations, with the divine archetypal presence of Neptune becoming more present in our daily lives. Neptune in Pisces unleashes a tidal wave that can disintegrate the structures that have been defining identities, dissolving patterns and boundaries as part of a radical reshaping process. Neptune stationing retrograde is an opportune time to reflect upon however Neptune has been washing away the familiar and contemplating the messages we have been receiving from intuition, imaginal realms, and spiritual exploration. Any disillusionment being experienced will be important to pay attention to and remain curious about however it may be bringing reorientation to deeper truths.

From June 28 until December 3, Neptune retrograde in Pisces will slowly recede from 25°27’ to 22°38’ Pisces, bringing a second opportunity to experience its impact in this degree range. Allow the stationing of Neptune to release the illusions of the past that need to be carried out to sea, while opening you to waves of inspiration that can help carry you further than you would otherwise imagine. The stationing of Neptune during the Cancer New Moon makes the forthcoming lunar cycle ideal for taking action on whatever dreams and inspired revelations have been developing.

Seated Giant (1818) by Francisco Goya

Dredging up volcanic volatility underneath the flowing waters of the Cancer New Moon is a tumultuous square aspect between Mars in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn that will become exact on July 1. Moreover, Mars is moving in between Saturn and Pluto, separating from a productive sextile aspect with Saturn retrograde in Aquarius and applying toward a turbulent square aspect with Pluto that may correlate with significant developments in the reordering of personal and global structures. In the United States, the stormy square between Mars and Pluto will be especially potent as the USA approaches its second exact Pluto return on July 10 (meaning Pluto will be returning to the same degree and minute of Capricorn where it was on July 4, 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed). In current events we will likely witness an intensifying of conflicts, while in personal events the intensity may be felt in the deepest recesses of psyche. Mars clashing with Pluto can feel relentless and ferocious, supplying a fuel of fierceness to relentlessly pursue goals in the face of opposition and contention. While we may feel a tenacious resiliency in pursuit of objectives, we also need to temper expectations so we are not consumed by anger if results fall short of our ideals. The tension between Mars and Pluto may feel like being dragged down into the fires of the underworld, yet the intense heat of associated challenges can reforge our will force and put us in touch with new found sources of strength from within.

In the midst of the titanic tension brewing between Mars and Pluto, Mercury in Gemini will be playing an intermediary role as it applies to a trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius and a square aspect with Neptune it will complete on July 2. Mercury will then separate from Saturn and Neptune and fly swiftly through the rest of its airy home of Gemini while applying to a sextile with Mars that it will not complete until Mars enters Taurus and Mercury enters Cancer on July 4. Mercury is moving fast as a visible Morning Star in its airy home, and so while in an optimal solar phase and sign position possesses the full skillset of Hermes for listening, questioning, communicating, mediating conflicts and paradoxes, as well as brokering deals. With Mercury simultaneously in a flowing aspect with Saturn and a tense aspect with Neptune, the Star of Hermes can help sift through the fog of Neptune relative to dreams and ideals to separate out the illusory aspects from that which can be effectively brought into reality, as well as how to effectively organize and structure plans to be grounded while retaining the inspirational influence of Neptune.

The dual entrance of Mars into Taurus and Mercury into Cancer on July 4 is important not only due to them finally completing their sextile aspect, but also due to Mars and Mercury leaving their diurnal domiciles where they directly express themselves with great speed and outwardly directed action into earthy and watery nocturnal signs where they will take a slower pace with greater emphasis on being reflective. Mars entering Taurus is additionally significant because it begins an immense build up of extreme tension that will culminate at the end of the month when Mars in Taurus will form a conjunction with Uranus and the North Node of the Moon in Taurus. The combined presence of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node will likely correspond with another wave of increased volatility regarding the present economic and political crises already taking shape, as well as opportunities for incredible innovation and breaking new ground in development. While the influence of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node will be more acutely felt during the forthcoming Leo New Moon on July 28, the entrance of Mars into Taurus on July 4 with Mercury forming a harmonious aspect will deliver early warning signs and messages regarding the shape of what is to come.

2 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Cancer 1 Decan

The New Moon is in the first decan of Cancer associated with the Two of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we find two lovers coming together in passion and longing, with a caduceus of intertwining snakes and a winged lion arising in the space between their merging desire. Fittingly for the erotic reciprocity found in the symbolism of this image, the first face of Cancer is ruled by Venus and the Moon. Yet Venus is not only about the romanticism of Eros and Psyche, nor the Moon only about the enclosure of their fertile love in the palace of Eros. The Cancer New Moon can thus connect us with the Eros of care, love, and fellowship that weaves community together when focused upon a common purpose that brings practical help and resources to those in need. It can also reveal those in our relational field who we can form mutually supportive dynamics with. As we are entering an extended period of collective volatility, we will need to be actively co-creating community that can flexibly mutate in accordance with the changing societal dynamics.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Mother and Child” to the first face of Cancer, as he wrote that the face holds the hungers of our emotions and biology, the womb that gives birth to us and all of our resulting needs. Yet the nurturance and sustenance present in this face for both biological children and what we birth from our creativity must also be placed within the waxing and waning nature of the Moon and the fact that hunger and loss can lead to “the chain of mothers and children becom[ing] an endless cycle of beasts devouring and being devoured in return.” Coppock further connected the themes of mother and child to the pursuit of romantic love found in the Two of Cups since “it is the perfect support, half-remembered from the womb, that gives rise to the human dream of similarly nursing bonds between committed partners.” Coppock wrote that idealized unions can be realized in the first decan of Cancer, and that the “face’s magical virtue is to establish mutually nurturing relationships.” Coppock declared there is an alchemy of love and need blended together in the first face of Cancer, with the energy circulating between the two participants “as if the two reside in each other’s wombs, simultaneously devouring and being devoured, yet neither is depleted.” The ideal entwining of vessels found in the first face of Cancer can be found within all manner of collaborative relationships and is not limited to the realm of romantic love.

In contrast, the Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the goddess Nike, the goddess of victory, to the first face of Cancer. A daughter of the underworld river goddess Styx, Nike allied herself with Zeus in the war against the Titans, a mythic war resonant with the astrology of the past few years that has involved a massive reordering of society due to a global pandemic and numerous conflicts and power plays for control that have resulted in reaction. Nike served as the divine charioteer of Zeus in battle, while also rewarding victors of competition with the glory of wreathed laurel. In 36 Faces Austin Coppock connected the presence of Nike in the first face of Cancer with the ancient symbolic link between chariots and the body as the vehicle of the soul, symbolism also resonant with the connection in tarot between the VII Chariot arcanum and the zodiacal sign of Cancer.

In connection with Coppock’s symbol of “A Mother and Child” for the first face of Cancer, it’s worth contemplating the significance of Nike being the daughter of the underworld river goddess Styx. Residing in the heart of the underworld, Styx allied herself with the Olympians in their revolution against the Titans, eventually becoming the source of the water by which gods swore oaths, ensuring that the Olympians who replaced the Titans would keep their oaths. Nike and the other children of Styx helped enforce order even amongst the gods, with Nike’s emphasis on victory not only limited to the climatic moment of the victor but also the devoted care and commitment necessary to ensure that what has been gained in victory will not be lost due to carelessness or forgetting what one has sworn to do.

Within the darkness of the Cancer New Moon, give yourself the space to feel all the limitless, nonlinear emotions and messages emanating from the Sun and Moon coming together and fertilizing the lunar fields of Cancer. Though emotional processes unfolding within the darkness of the lunation may feel messy, the harmonious sextile aspect between Venus and Jupiter can correspond with finding support through relationships of mutual care for the new directions emerging to follow. With Venus and Jupiter in the active signs of Gemini and Aries, it’s also an opportune time for helping to organize networks of support within community to care for those in need and helping to mobilize effort on behalf of the changes you wish to materialize in society. The astrology for the rest of 2022 will bring increasing waves of disruptive change across global societies, yet within the chaos will be found great sources of creativity to engage with.

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References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Astrology of 2022 (Part Two)

I recently joined Melissa LaFara on her Energetic Principles Podcast to discuss the astrology for the second half of 2022, from the Cancer Solstice until the the end of the year. We previously did an episode about the astrology for all of 2022 last December (you can watch here), but there was so much to talk about during he first half of the year we had to move quickly through the second half of the year due to time. We thoroughly cover the astrology for the rest of 2022 in this episode, moving through the second half of the year month by month, lunation by lunation. I hope you enjoy it!

Here is a link to Melissa’s Energetic Principles site that has links included to the Soundcloud and You Tube video versions:

https://www.energeticprinciples.com/single-post/ep-podcast-the-astrology-of-2022-pt-2-w-gray-crawford

Here is a link straight to the you tube video version:

Sagittarius Full Moon

Terracotta oinochoe (ca. 430–420 B.C.)

Sagittarius Full Moon

The Full Moon in Sagittarius on June 14 illuminates an active and dynamic period of astrology ripe with opportunities for making significant progress on developing plans and visions. Sagittarius calls beyond the blur of distant horizons, instilling vigor in pursuit of quests for meaning and targeted goals. The Full Moon in Sagittarius can catalyze desire for seeking knowledge beyond present parameters and journeying across external and internal landscapes to experience new sources of inspiration. As the lunation comes at a peak turning point of the year, a week before the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere and the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere, the galvanizing fire reflected in the light of the Full Moon in Sagittarius can rouse a renewed sense of promise for the second half of 2022. No matter how dark the night, Sagittarius is a zodiacal sign especially receptive to the hope instilled each dawn as the light of the rising sun cracks open the horizon.

The inspiring promise that can be felt when watching the rebirth of light during sunrise will be especially potent in the time period surrounding the Sagittarius Full Moon, as most of the visible planets will be direct and visible as morning stars heralding the rise of the Sun. Mercury will be direct and visible in its airy home of Gemini, Venus will be direct and visible in its earthy home of Taurus, Mars will be direct and visible in its fiery home of Aries, and Jupiter will be direct and visible in its fiery triplicity of Aries. With the strong currents of so many planets being direct and visible with essential dignity creating an astrological atmosphere ideal for assertively generating forward momentum, it’s noteworthy that the Sagittarius Full Moon is applying toward a sextile aspect with Saturn retrograde in its domicile of Aquarius as well as a square aspect with Neptune in Pisces. The Full Moon shining light upon the recent stationing of Saturn (Saturn stationed retrograde on June 4) while activating the boundless visionary field of Neptune makes the Sagittarius Full Moon ideal for reviewing life structures and taking stock of progress on larger life goals, finding a balance between making practical assessments and allowing for a more expansive sense of potential to be received and planned for. The Sagittarius Full Moon in aspect to Saturn and Neptune will shine light upon wherever idealistic dreams have led to expectations that need to reconfigured to the reality of one’s circumstances, making adjustments to assumptions and projections to be more grounded while also open to emerging possibilities.

Jupiter in Aries is the ruler of the Sagittarius Full Moon, making the lunation especially fiery and capable of fostering enthusiastic, assertive action. Fire is the element in astrology most strongly associated with Spirit and divine inspiration, possessing a hot and dry quality that invigorates outward action as well as clarifies distinctions in decision making. With Jupiter and Mars in Aries stoking the flames of the Sagittarius Full Moon, there will be ample celestial fire available to bring about a renewal of meaningful purpose and open vision to potential that had previously been restrained or blocked from perception. The fire of the Full Moon in Sagittarius will feed on whatever knowledge and experience inspires us, whether it be from philosophical revelations, captivating stories, or in physical, sensory engagement with the natural world.

Further quickening the tempo of the time period following the Sagittarius Full Moon is the collaborative, harmonious aspect taking shape between Mercury in Gemini with Jupiter in Aries. Mercury in Gemini is applying to its third sextile aspect with Jupiter that will become exact on June 20 around the same time as the Cancer Solstice. Mercury previously formed a sextile aspect with Jupiter on April 26 while direct and on May 19 while retrograde, and so we may gain resolution or reach a new level of growth and evolution regarding projects and relationships that have been developing since the end of April and underwent important renovations during the period of Mercury retrograde in Gemini and Taurus from May 10 to June 3. Mercury in Gemini will reach maximum elongation as a Morning Star on June 16, demarcating the solar phase of Mercury in which the fleet footed messenger planet picks up speed so that it moves increasingly faster than the Sun and likewise increases the pace of mental pursuits. Mercury being powerful by both zodiacal sign and solar phase will amplify capacity for making mental connections, communicating understanding, and flexibly shifting perception and awareness as needed to discover deeper meaning and bring into form the imaginal visions of Jupiter.

In addition to the harmonious interplay between Mercury picking up speed in Gemini with Jupiter in Aries, Mars is further revving up the rhythm of events and action due to occupying its fiery, outwardly directed home of Aries. Yet Mars is also applying to an exact conjunction with Chiron during the Full Moon, adding complexity and possible trials by fire to whatever goals the combined presence of Mars and Jupiter in Aries have been inspiring us to chase after. Mars combined with Chiron in Aries may force us to face whatever old wounds, defense mechanism, or psychological blocks are in the way of claiming a more assertive sense of agency in going after what we want in life. This is the second conjunction between Mars and Chiron since Chiron entered Aries in 2018, with the previous conjunction occurring on July 14, 2020; with Jupiter additionally present in Aries this time, the mentoring side of Chiron will be available to assist in bridging between old, inauthentic identities ready to be released with a more vital sense of self that requires passing through unsettling, radical change in order to become more fully realized. Though the pace of life may feel quickened, the presence of Chiron with Mars invites patience and measured contemplation regarding the next steps to take rather than rushing full speed ahead.

Greek, Silver ring with Maenad (ca. late 5th century B.C.)

Unlike Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter, Venus is not occupying a sign known for speed. However, while Venus in Taurus is known for slowing things down and sinking into a deeper sense of sensation, during the period surrounding the Sagittarius Full Moon the movement of Venus through its fixed, earthy home of Taurus will be actively catalyzing significant developments. Under the light of the lunation, Venus will be separating from a conjunction with Uranus and applying toward a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon in Taurus, as well as applying toward a tense square aspect with Saturn retrograde in Aquarius and a creative sextile aspect with Neptune in Pisces. Since Uranus and the North Node of the Moon are occupying the domicile of Venus, the reception between Venus with Uranus and the North Node will amplify desires for new growth that feels exciting and fosters full passion in being alive. Especially due to the recent experience of eclipses (on April 30 and May 16) in which the Sun was aligned with the North Node of the Moon, the activation of the North Node by Venus will promote taking significant steps and making important decisions regarding whatever new storylines took shape in April and May.

Yet with Venus heading toward a square aspect with Saturn that will become exact on June 18, it will be necessary to bring a reality check toward desires to test which ones can securely take root and blossom in one’s circumstances, versus which ones are not able to align with the demands of necessity. The activation of the longstanding square aspect between Saturn and Uranus that has instigated numerous disruptions to global structures in the past couple of years will bring more issues to the surface revealing personal and collective systems and structures that are at a breaking point or in need of reform. With so many current events causing additional disruption to longstanding issues such as economic supply chains, it can feel difficult for many to plan for the future given so many looming uncertainties. As Venus receives the North Node of the Moon through a conjunction and then moves across aspects with Saturn and Neptune on June 18, pay attention to messages regarding what needs to shift within plans and relational dynamics to align more effectively with changing conditions. As societal and personal structures continue to undergo radical change, there will also be new potential paths opening up full of exciting creative opportunities that the current transit of Venus will also be able to bring to your attention.

10 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Sagittarius 3 Decan

The Full Moon in Sagittarius will illuminate the third decan of Sagittarius associated with the Ten of Wands card illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith.  Human toil, endurance and perseverance are some of the immediate associations evoked by the image of determination, as this card has been associated with oppressive dynamics and limitations we must face and work through when following ambitious desires. The third face of Sagittarius is ruled by Saturn and the Sun, bringing together within its space of relentless determination the polarized tension between the limiting contraction of Saturn and the animating spirit of the Sun. T Susan Chang in her book 36 Secrets on tarot and the decans observed that the image of the wand bearer precariously burdened by the weight of the ten wands blocking his sight suggests the need to “consider carefully whether you are going to drop [the wands] in front of your own stumbling feet, or behind you so you can move on.” Chang wrote that the Ten of Wands can be “our greatest victory- the final forging of our legend,” as well as circumstances in which “we can literally flame out, in an orgy of destruction that consumes either ourselves, or others, or both.” Chang concluded that since the Ten of Wands can signify “a sense of suffocation, being smothered in obligations” it requires creating “a little leeway to breathe freely, play by [Saturn’s] rules and schedule the downtime” as needed.

Austin Coppock ascribed the image of “A Horse’s Skull” to the third face of Sagittarius in his book on the decans 36 Faces, describing how it reveals the unification of mind, body, and spirit through committed work and effort yoked to a goal.  Coppock also wrote that the final face of Sagittarius brings a reckoning regarding whatever needs to be sacrificed in pursuit of desires, noting that “those who walk this face must choose which burdens they will bear to the bitter end, and which are not worthy of such feats of will and endurance.” It’s further significant that both the Picatrix and Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy warn of the “evil inclinations” that can be harbored within this decan for those overly desperate to achieve objectives. Coppock described the intoxicating pursuit of victory that is found in this face, noting a need to realize when the “desperate fervor” of this decan’s power is appropriate and when it is inappropriate and will exact “a heavy toll.”

In keeping with themes of necessity, the Hellenistic text The 36 Airs of the Zodiac proclaimed the presence of the primordial goddess Ananke in the third face of Sagittarius.  Ananke is the mother of the Fates, the overseer of souls incarnating in Plato’s Myth of Er, and is the primordial mother of creation in some strands of Orphic cosmology who governs the cyclic nature of the cosmos. Ananke is the goddess of Necessity whose watchful eyes alert us to whatever actions needs to be taken and whatever responsibilities need to fulfilled as we contend with the burdens of Necessity. Yet as the phrase “necessity is the mother of invention” suggests, Ananke also gives birth to creation with her constraints a necessary aspect of all creative processes that will bring new forms into our world. Honor Ananke and her sacred cycles as you contemplate the insights received during the Sagittarius Full Moon, allowing the limitations of Necessity to help shape and strengthen the creative desires emerging from within so you may clarify the goals worthy of committing yourself fully into following until the end of their manifestation.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron!

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References

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Gemini New Moon

Knitting in the Library (ca. 1881) by Mary Cassatt

Gemini New Moon

Gemini is ever curious, changing, quick to respond and capable of transfiguring forms as swift as a change in wind currents. The Sun and Moon uniting in Gemini is an invitation to question, probe, and tease beyond the obvious into the multiplicity of messages circulating underneath the surface of relations. Gemini holds the archetypal image of the twins, one mortal and one immortal, one bound to the necessity of incarnation, one kindled with the soulful spirit of eros. There is a dynamically restless side to Gemini forever searching for deeper meaning and connections, forever curious in its questioning of all things interconnected within our reality and the multiplicity of selves and identities circulating within its human body. Within the mysterious darkness of the Gemini New Moon, new connections within our many inner parts are ready to be forged with a bridging that opens a brightening sense of new possibility.

The New Moon in Gemini on May 30 holds a burning, passionate force within its darkness that will initiate a period of amplified activity and opportunities for taking action aligned with whatever major life changes have coincided with the recent season of eclipses. The Gemini New Moon is the first non-eclipsed lunation since the Full Moon in Libra on April 16, and so will activate a coalescing into more solid form whatever has been dissolving and undergoing metamorphosis during the recent months of the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in Pisces on April 12, the Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 30, and the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse on May 15. Yet there is simultaneously a theme of stillness, intensified contemplation and discernment as Mercury is in process of slowing down to station direct.

The Gemini New Moon is in the airy domicile of Mercury slowing down in retrograde movement, placing Mercury in position to facilitate mindfulness regarding whatever process of change, loss, and new growth we are experiencing. The divine presence of Mercury saturates the lunation, as Mercury will be experiencing its heliacal rise into visibility as a Morning Star as well as stationing direct on June 3. The fixed, earthy essence of Taurus will be slowing down the tempo of Mercury on top of the fact that Mercury is literally slowing down in order to station in stillness. Thus the intensified nature of Mercury within its current solar phase can help with slowing down the pace of mental pursuits in order to focalize upon practical and tangible concerns, realizing what needs to be reorganized, restructured, rearranged or reordered due to the changing nature of circumstances.

With Venus also present with Mercury within its earthy domicile of Taurus, the arsenal of fertile material resources found within Taurus will be more readily available for the star of Hermes to utilize creatively. However, it’s unlikely to be a time of pure pleasure but rather one demanding discipline, endurance, patience, and artful analysis as Mercury will be stationing direct on June 3 at 26°05’ Taurus while forming a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius and in range of an imaginative sextile aspect with Neptune in Pisces. Moreover, Saturn will also be stationing retrograde at 25°15’ Aquarius on June 4, bringing an intensified presence of the divine nature of Saturn into taut tension with the divine nature of Mercury. With Saturn bringing its penetrating gaze to bear upon whatever work and plans that Mercury has been developing over the course of his recent retrograde phase, there will be a need to be decisive combined with flexibly adapting to whatever challenges emerge to test resolve. Yet it’s not a time for retreating back to the comfortability of one’s previous status quo, but rather to be receptive to unknown potentials and the way old identities and patterns are ready to wash away as a renewed presence emerges to integrate.

Panel with Horse Heads (11th Century)

The initiation of a new lunar cycle is also coinciding with the initiation of a new cycle between Mars and Jupiter, as Mars formed an exact conjunction with Jupiter in Aries on May 29 one day before the lunation. The conjunction between Mars and Jupiter in Aries will supply an upsurge of passionate, inspirational force that can catalyze brave beginnings and bold actions. With Mercury and Saturn simultaneously stationing while holding the tension of a square aspect, it will be important to be mindful of how we communicate, listen, and respond within relationship especially in situations where there is great uncertainty and fear due to the dissolution of what had previously brought stability and security. While there is potential for an increase of conflict within relationships, it’s important to remember how conflict is often necessary within the process of creation. Within the vast relational field between the personal and collective, the immense uncertainty we feel due to standing at a personal crossroads will be mirroring the vaster collective uncertainty stemming from a process of global structures and systems experiencing a great mutation that will continue to necessitate cultivating a flexible, adaptable presence in response.

Matching well with the powerful creative drive supplied by the conjunction of Mars and Jupiter in Aries is the fact that the Gemini New Moon is close to the projected zodiacal degree of the fixed star Aldebaran. Aldebaran is the bright rosy eye of the Bull whose reddish hue connects it with the planet Mars, as Aldebaran kindles the vitality needed to achieve the ambitious desires stoked by Mars. It’s therefore notable that the Gemini New Moon is in a whole sign sextile aspect with Jupiter and Mars in Aries, as the proximity of the lunation with Aldebaran will amplify the capacity to envision the world and forms we wish to create, develop, and build. While the stationing of Saturn in square aspect with Mercury will demand realistic planning and persevering determination, there is also a quality within the lunation that can facilitate expanding the scope of what can be realistically achieved beyond the constraints of previous conditioning.

In addition to Mars and Jupiter in Aries kindling a potent fire underneath the Gemini New Moon, Venus in Taurus will be approaching a conjunction with Uranus in Taurus on June 11 that can correlate with a break from past relationship dynamics or an acceleration of exciting new developments that have been forming over recent months. Since Mercury will still be in the domicile of Venus and beginning to pick up speed during this time, the union of Venus with Uranus will accelerate developments with dynamic power that may feel volatile while also full of emancipatory propulsion. At the same time, as Mercury in Taurus slowly picks up speed it will pass through a flowing trine aspect with Pluto in Capricorn on June 10 that will allow for a deeper integration of desire and felt sense of how to bring our true desires into reality. As a result, over the course of the forthcoming lunar cycle we can expect that as Mercury begins to separate away from its tension with Saturn, we will experience an unleashing of immense currents of change that can facilitate breaking free from old restraints into a more fully authentic, enlivened presence.

8 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

The New Moon in Gemini will arise in the first decan of Gemini associated with the 8 of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image is apt for the fears and grief that have been overwhelming to many during the past years of a pandemic mixed with immense political turmoil and warfare, with old sources of security dissolving. The image of the bound woman has been interpreted as the paralysis that comes from fears running rampant within or triggered in present circumstances.  While some interpretations suggest that the same mental swords enveloping the figure could also be used to cut away the fabric of bondage, it is also important to note the moist and muddy fertility of the ground she is standing on. As Jupiter rules the first face of Gemini, the image also reveals how fear can arise in times when a huge new potential becomes available to step into.  As much as it is possible to release fears related to what has happened in the past that are being projected into the present moment, the more gracefully we will be able to flow into the tremendous change that will emerge from the recent season of eclipses.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Apple of Eden” to the first face of Gemini, linking Eve’s bite into the apple with emerging awareness of “the duality within all things” including the yin and yang of the self. Coppock described that the discovery of the binary and “the multiplicity within all unities, the complexity in apparent simplicities” unlocks “the capacity to code all things” and display clever skills in all of the arts and sciences. Yet in keeping with the image of the Eight of Swords card, Coppock also declared that this opening to abundant flow also “de-centers and sometimes paralyzes its inhabitants.” Coppock noted that the mental acuity of this decan not only generates all arts and crafts, it also directs its prodigious curiosity to explore the multitudinous found within, both the light and the shadow of the deep Self.

In contrast to the tightly bound woman in the Eight of Swords image, ancient texts ascribed a graceful woman of flowing mind and deft dexterity inhabiting the first decan of Gemini.  Ibn Ezra pictured “A beautiful woman standing in the air, and she can sew,” while in the Picatrix we find “A beautiful woman, a mistress of stitching, and with her ascend two calves and two horses.” Indeed, the Picatrix declares it to be “a face of the art of the scribe, of reckoning, of number, of giving and receiving, and of the sciences.” In keeping with the double-bodied nature of the sign of the Twins, we can imagine how the image of a woman gracefully prodigious in arts and crafts is another side of the first face of Gemini to remember in contrast to the Eight of Swords image.

Fascinatingly, the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed Tethus, also known as Tethys,  to the first face of Gemini. Since Tethys is the Titan goddess of fresh water which interconnects and nourishes our earth, we can note her appearance in the Eight of Swords image as the water at the foundation of the figure. Tethys was also the wife of Okeanos, the primal sea divinity of the oceanic field surrounding the world where the Sun rises from at dawn and returns to at sunset, and the mother of river, cloud, spring, stream, and fountain spirits. Daughter of Gaia, Tethys fed her children through the subterranean waters of Okeanos as her name is derived from the Greek word têthê meaning “nurse” or “grandmother.” Moreover, she was often depicted in art with a pair of wings on her brow signifying her role as mother of rain clouds that fertilize the earth, revealing her role of supreme creatrix.

In Hesiod’s Theogony Okeanos and Tethys did not take part in the war between the Titans and Olympians, instead continuing to focus on their immense procreative capacity for generating new life together.  The extraordinary power Oceanus and Tethys produce together for creative generation and setting new life into motion resonates with the fertile quality of the New Moon in Gemini. Let yourself open to the world you may create with your life as the way the wider world has been continues to disintegrate and morph into new pathways of possibility.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

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References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Tethys, Greek Titan Goddess of Fresh Water. https://www.theoi.com/Titan/TitanisTethys.html

Total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio

‘Saz’-Style Drawing of a Dragon (ca. 1540–50) by Shah Quli

Scorpio Lunar Eclipse

“Fate, up against your will . . . “

from “The Killing Moon” by Echo and the Bunnymen

Total lunar eclipses are one of the most striking visual phenomenons of night, as the usually bright, silvery Moon turns bloody, crimson red. The reddening likeness to blood speaks to the catalytic life force that can be released through personal storylines during times of eclipses, with major new developments and desires often overturning the familiar into directions careening off course into a great unknown. There can be passions of eros present as well as overwhelming emotional tides of psyche unleashed that can make a sense of stability difficult to sustain. Dragons have long been a symbol for the chaotic creation unleashed by eclipses, linking the Moon being consumed by shadow with the image of a dragon devouring her light. The dragon symbolism further links eclipses with the ouroboros imagery of a dragon consuming its own tail, mirroring the dissolution of nature that leads to the arising of new forms. The changes that come during periods of eclipses similarly require us to release fixation upon elements of life passing away, while simultaneously the promise of new forms coming together can be felt. The Total Lunar Eclipse on May 15 or 16, depending upon your time zone, is particularly potent in terms of its disintegrative and dissolving impact, corresponding with much larger and sweeping tides irrevocably altering our collective landscape.

According to the essential dignity scheme, Scorpio is a place where nothing is exalted and where the Moon has her fall. Planets and lights in their fall are brought down to low lying places, depressions in the ground and of the mind, yet within their subterranean journey they come to terms with matters that cannot be reached anywhere else. The Moon in her fall of Scorpio feels things intensely and deeply, necessitating a descent into buried emotions and previously hidden sources of information and insight. The eclipsed Moon at 25º17’ Scorpio will have only barely passed through her own South Node at 22º22’ Scorpio when her opposition with the Sun becomes exact.  The nodes of the Moon are intersections between the ecliptic (the apparent path of the Sun that forms the zodiac belt) with the arc of the Moon’s orbit. While the nodes of the Moon demarcate the places of eclipses whenever a New Moon or Full Moon forms in close proximity, they also mark dynamic points of change in lunar latitude that have been tracked by astrologers as far back as the cuneiform tablets utilized by ancient Mesopotamian sky watchers. When the Moon passes through her own south node, it means she has descended from northern latitude to cross the ecliptic en route to traveling as far south as possible within her orbit.

Thus not only does the Moon in her fall symbolize descent, the fact that the Moon is crossing the ecliptic to descend into southern latitude through the gate of her south node further signifies descending into depths. Releasing, emptying, purging, detoxifying, decluttering and decomposing are all typical keywords that astrologers generally link to lunar eclipses aligned with the south node. Similar to how the south node can be a place of sacrificial fires of purification in Vedic astrology, Dane Rudhyar also described the south node as a place of sacrifice as in “making sacred” rather than egoic sacrifice in which we expect something in return.  When the Moon descends across her south node from northern into southern latitude, it is as if the entire arc of material being assimilated since the most recent union with the north node (in this case the recent Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 30) becomes focalized for processing and release. Rudhyar further stated that positive relational material can become assimilated and integrated to produce new seeds of values and experiences when the Moon passes through her own south node, whereas there will be a disintegrative release of more negative relational material.

During the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse the Sun at 25º17’ Taurus will be closely aligned with the North Node of the Moon at 22º22’ Taurus, casting the shadow of Earth across the face of the Moon. Since the Moon holds memories and material from our past as well as unconscious patterns we have been replicating, the alignment of the Moon with her own south node can facilitate a release of past accumulated material as new developments, desires, and presence emerge through the alignment of the Sun with the North Node. Due to the Sun being co-present with Uranus in Taurus while also forming a flowing trine aspect with Pluto in Capricorn, the breakthrough experiences arising in the wake of the eclipse could feel like stepping off a precipice into untold potential like the Fool arcanum in tarot. The trine between the Sun with Pluto as well as the sextile between the Lunar Eclipse and Pluto can help in letting go of resistance to the transformational impact of Pluto that ultimately empowers despite needing to face fears of having to let go of familiar sources of stability in the process.

There has been a long string of previous full moons in aspect with Pluto since the Pisces Full Moon last September 20, 2021 that was sextile Pluto: the Full Moon in Aries square Pluto on October 20, the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 19 trine Pluto, the Full Moon in Cancer on January 18 opposite Pluto, the Full Moon in Virgo on March 18 trine Pluto, and the Full Moon in Libra on April 16 square Pluto. Combined with the extended relationship between Venus with Pluto from December through early March due to Venus passing through her retrograde phase, we have collectively journeyed through a long stretch of needing to surrender to the underworld processes of decay and regeneration brought by Pluto. With the Scorpio Lunar eclipse sextile Pluto, whether we are feeling a new sense of power to claim or feeling powerless in the face of difficult challenges, by facing whatever issues are arising and staying present rather than avoiding through denial or resistance, there will be opportunities for integrating a deeper sense of resilient empowerment out of any experiences of loss or letting go.

The aspect that makes the Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio especially jarring is that it is forming an intensifying square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius. Saturn is moving slower than normal in preparation for stationing retrograde on June 4, bringing increased gravity into the tension formed by the star of Kronos with the eclipse. Saturn’s penetrating gaze and sinuous contemplation will be interfacing with the emotional dynamics and life changes unleashed in correspondence with the eclipse. Saturn demands the taking of responsibility and claiming of authority in acting with accountability and integrity. Yet with emotions and fears collectively running high due to multiple economic crises, polarizing political conflict, and violent warfare, Saturn grinding its motion to a halt while occupying the southern bending of the lunar nodes speaks to the potential for fears and overwhelming emotions having a dissolving impact upon the required boundaries, structures, and dutiful work needed to be implemented. The harsh square aspect between Saturn with the eclipse will make things real, forcing to the surface underlying emotional dynamics and previously hidden material that can be utilized to reassess boundaries within relationships as well as the needed use of time and space in our daily work and relating.

The longstanding square aspect between Saturn and Uranus that dominated the volatile astrology of 2021 and will continue to do so throughout 2022 is acutely triggered by the present eclipse season, as the Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 30 was applying to a conjunction with Uranus and the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse is in a close square aspect with Saturn. There are innumerable sources of rage and grief occurring around the world and within personal storylines, making the process of grieving and processing emotional content especially intense with the Moon also being eclipsed within her fall of Scorpio. Saturn’s tension with the eclipse can bring guidance in how to work with the grief and difficult emotions in ways that can help channel them into needed work and care within our communities and personal circles. Saturn will be bringing lessons in how to sustain the persevering resilience required to patiently, consistently, and reliably persist in building the life we desire for ourselves while contributing to the creation of the kind of world we wish to live in through embodying our most essential values within our thoughts and actions.

tapestry by Leonora Carrington

While the Lunar Eclipse is making a harsh aspect with Saturn, it is forming a flowing trine aspect with Mars and Neptune in Pisces. Mars rules the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse while applying to a conjunction with Neptune in Pisces that will become exact on May 17. The direct channel between the watery Scorpio eclipse and its fiery ruler Mars occupying the extremely passionate, final decan of Pisces can create a tipping point within emotional dynamics that require care and compassion. With Mars closely conjoining Neptune, many may feel a need to dissociate or escape from difficult emotional challenges and entanglements. Pay attention to what can be a healthy distraction or emotionally nurturing pursuit versus forms of escapism that will only lead to becoming further stuck in the quagmires of Scorpio. Mars with Neptune in Pisces ruling such a potent eclipse can also swing toward victimizing and blaming behavior or becoming overly self-righteous and aggressively crusading with belief.

Mars is not only applying toward a conjunction with Neptune in Pisces but also an integrative sextile aspect with Pluto in Capricorn. Altogether these aspects can also facilitate taking inspired action rooted within one’s spiritual as well as personal relationships, finding ways for sources of spirit and imagination to open a larger view of reality and future goals to work through. The alignment between Mars and Neptune is occurring near the same place where there was a conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces on April 12. Whatever new dreams and visions of creative possibility or insight were experienced during the time of Jupiter and Neptune coming together will likely be experiencing an acceleration of development with Mars now coming into contact with Neptune. There will also be a need to contend with whatever disruptions to life structures and relationships were created by the impact of Jupiter and Neptune dissolving the familiar while opening awareness to exciting new possibilities.

In contrast to the ruler of the eclipse and the South Node of the Moon, Mars, forming a conjunction with Neptune, the ruler of the North Node of the Moon in Taurus, Venus, is in close proximity with Chiron in Aries. Venus and Chiron in Aries bring up the wounds we hold within our numerous relationships with humans and the other-than-human, the collective wounds involving the separation of humanity from nature as well as the way our wounds and trauma create separations within our personal relationships. Although Venus and Chiron in Aries can activate relational wounds, they also hold the medicine within their union for discovering the agency required to tend and work through the wounding we carry. Venus and Chiron in Aries also can nurture extraordinary resiliency in bearing one’s personal wounding in order to take action on behalf of what we love and desire to create. Take whatever space is needed for rest and restoration during the time period around the eclipse, finding the relationships in which mutual support and listening are present to engage in.

The Pomps of the Subsoil by Leonora Carrington

Adding to the subterranean quality of the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse is the fact that Mercury is retrograde in Gemini. Mercury is at the threshold of his retrograde journey when he crosses into his phase of combustion with the Sun, entering his most intense psychopomp phase of putrefaction and regeneration as the Moon turns blood red. Fortunately, Mercury is also applying toward a harmonious sextile aspect with Jupiter in Aries that will become exact on May 19. The sextile between Mercury with Jupiter can bring support for attending to whatever issues become stirred up by the eclipses so that we can better understand how to situate ourselves within the life changes we are experiencing. Furthermore, within a week of the eclipse on May 21, Mercury will pass through his regenerative conjunction with the Sun which will bring a reanimation of ideas, seeds for new visions of development, and greater clarity concerning the changes being experienced.

Jupiter in Aries is also receiving Ceres through a catalyzing square aspect in his exaltation of Cancer. Ceres in Cancer in square with Jupiter is another indication of difficult emotional content being brought to the surface for processing and grieving, yet also speaks to the potential of finding ways to take action on behalf of one’s values of care for others in the wider community. Jupiter occupying the first degree of Aries and Ceres occupying the first degree of Cancer place them on the equinox and solstice points of the cardinal axis, pointing to the likelihood that numerous issues relating to the tension between Jupiter and Ceres will become manifest in personal and collective events. Making their dynamic even more powerful is the fact that Uranus in Taurus is occupying the midpoint between Ceres and Jupiter while also at the cross-quarter, fifteenth degree of Taurus. The collective tragedies and crises emerging in timing with the eclipse will have an especially shattering emotional impact as a result, revealing the fault lines of collective issues that need attention and will be the sources of further conflict if left unaddressed. On a personal level, the dynamic between Jupiter, Ceres, and Uranus can activate acute awareness of old emotional patterns in need of release in order to step more fully into the dynamic creative potential emerging.

7 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Scorpio 3 Decan

The Moon will be eclipsed in the third decan of Scorpio associated with the Seven of Cups illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The third face of Scorpio has an amplified alchemical quality that is well suited for the Total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio. Ruled by Venus and the Moon, it is a decan in which we must come to terms with the essential desires driving us through experiences of loss and decay, revealing the heart of whatever matters we are facing in the process. In the image of the Seven of Cups each of the seven chalices holds an embodiment of a desire, such as fame, fortune, lust and other earthly powers. The veiled figure in the center brings to mind the burning desire of Sophia in gnostic texts to gain ultimate understanding, a desire that cast the shadowy veil of the material world we traverse while often overwhelmed by desire like the shadowy figure in the image. Some interpret the image as signifying that through discernment we may choose to follow the one desire that will bring clarity needed to make choices aligned with our inner values and desires.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces linked the Seven of Cups to the third face of Scorpio through their shared meaning of becoming dominated by obsessive desires. Coppock ascribed the image of “A Crow” to the third decan of Scorpio, noting that the essence of this face involves the putrefaction of desire that leads to direct contact with the nature of desire itself. Coppock posited that through the loss of unfulfilled desire, the process of separating our desire from the external objects of desires brings the ability to reseed and regenerate core desires. Coppock wrote that the third face of Scorpio contains a “formula of liberation, for if we were not capable of laying our desires to rest, returning them to pure energy, we would be enchained forever, prisoners of what we once held dear.”

 In contrast, the Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the curious deity Kairos to the third face of Scorpio. You are likely familiar with the term kairos referring to the opportune moment for something to occur that is not confined to the demands of chronological time. Yet Kairos in Greek myth was the youngest son of Zeus as well as the lover of Fortuna, an embodiment of luck and favorable opportunities. Kairos was seen as always moving with winged feet, carrying a razor or scales that represent the fleeting moment in which opportunity comes and goes, the moment we need to seize and not neglect. The presence of Kairos in the third face of Scorpio points toward the importance of being in touch with the ripening of the moment and taking action on behalf of our true desires ripening instead of refraining out of fear.

T. Susan Chang in 36 Secrets linked the Seven of Cups tarot card with the third decan of Scorpio through the power “to transform what is broken, spent, and corrupted into something new and beautiful,” writing that “the way to reap the Seven of Cups’ treasure is to pay your tribute in the form of art: paint, write songs, make music, poetry, dance.” Chang wrote that Venus ruling the third face of Scorpio reveals her secret strength in this decan for works of imagination that see beyond appearances, such as when “the painter who captures the fleeting vision of her inner eye metabolizes her inspiration into art.” Artistic processes and creativity of all forms will be one way to process the material coming up in the weeks surrounding the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse. As the meaning of the third decan suggests, the more deeply we can come into relationship with the material and our associated desires, the greater potential we will have for shedding what needs released from the past in order to experience a renewal and regeneration of our true desires.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

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References

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: the History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Rudhyar, Dane. (1971). The Planetary and Lunar Nodes. CSA Press.

Mercury Retrograde in Gemini & Taurus

Gold ring with Hermes (late 4th century B.C.)

Mercury Retrograde in Gemini

To tell the beauty would decrease, / To state the Spell demean, / There is a syllableless sea / Of which it is the sign.

My will endeavors for its word / And fails, but entertains / A rapture as of legacies- / Of introspective mines.

Emily Dickinson

Ever ready and restless, slippery and sinuous, Hermes is usually imagined as constantly on the move in between places and thoughts, making the necessary connection at the same time his sleight of hand trickiness takes something away. Yet when the star of Hermes stations retrograde, the stillness of Mercury magnifies mindfulness more so than movement and activates wordless revelation rather than wordiness. Synchronicities, signs, and omens take center stage when Mercury stations retrograde, as the pause in the fleet footed messenger’s movement typically delivers vital messages to guide our entrance into a liminal portal of time that can bring about major revisions in storylines. As Mercury will station retrograde in Gemini in between eclipses that activate the radical tension between Uranus and Saturn, the intensification of Mercury’s presence will facilitate attuning to how to most effectively flow and adapt to the life changes emerging from an especially potent eclipse season.

Mercury will station retrograde on May 10, embarking upon a three-week journey in which the star of Hermes will backtrack from 4°52’ Gemini until stationing direct at 26°05’ Taurus on June 3. As Mercury retraces the zodiacal terrain from twenty-six degrees of Taurus to five degrees of Gemini, personal material in need of deeper engagement will become excavated, bringing opportunities for insight that can catalyze significant growth and foster breaking out of stuck patterns. As part of the process, however, we may need to return to longstanding issues in need of release, reworking, or reintegration. After passing through a phase of putrefaction and purification that will be especially intense leading up to Mercury’s union with the Sun on May 21, we may experience renewal on the other side as Mercury returns to forward motion in the beginning of June. Mercury first crossed 26°05’ Taurus on April 26 and will not move beyond 4°52’ Gemini until June 18, creating almost two months of mercurial focus in this range of your natal chart. 

When Mercury stations retrograde he descends from view as an Evening Star following sunset into an invisible phase during which he takes on an underworld role of psychopomp, dredging up whatever issues need our attention. Mercury’s stationing always demarcates an important shift in storylines, however this time it will be taking place during a time period especially ripe for groundbreaking change due to Jupiter entering Aries on the same day that Mercury stations retrograde. Jupiter’s entrance into Aries on May 10 means that the star of Zeus will no longer be inhabiting his nocturnal, watery home of Pisces where he can sink deeply into imaginative, boundless vision. The borderline between Pisces and Aries is perhaps the most catalytic in the tropical zodiac, due to zero degrees of Aries demarcating the intersection between the celestial equator of our planet with the ecliptic. It’s a point of dramatic change and material manifestation, and so with Jupiter entering the first degree of Aries we can expect the changes that have been building in the background to take form as we also experience a speeding up of events.

Fortunately, Mercury is stationing retrograde in one of the most potent sections of the zodiac for the star of Hermes. Within the first five degrees of Gemini, Mercury possesses four out of the five essential dignities for planets: domicile, triplicity, bounds, and decanic dignity. The quicksilver connectedness of Mercury stationing here is ideal for carefully minding the ingress of Jupiter into Aries, surveying the scene for all of the signs and synchronicities mixing and intermingling in surrounding landscapes. Mercury retrograde in Gemini holds vast potential for turning over every facet of the experiences emerging, looking at events from every angle possible, polishing thoughts through rumination and careful contemplation. As Jupiter’s entrance into Aries kindles the fire needed to take a propulsive leap forward, Mercury will tease and probe with a mindful presence ready to peer under the surface of appearances and flexibly facilitate the necessary mutations and shifts.

Mercury (ca. 1538) by Andrea Schiavone

In Between

“Give, and it shall be given unto you / is still the truth about life. / But giving life is not so easy. / It doesn’t mean handing it out to just some mean fool, or / letting the living dead eat you up. / It means kindling the life-quality where it was not, / even if it’s only in the whiteness of a washed pocket-handkerchief.”

from “We Are Transmitters-” by D.H. Lawrence

After Mercury stations retrograde on May 10, the star of Hermes will slowly shift into backwards motion while applying toward an invigorating sextile aspect with Jupiter in Aries that will become exact on May 19. While the collaborative sextile aspect between Mercury and Jupiter can facilitate harmonious growth, it will be taking shape during an extremely volatile astrological period. In between the stationing of Mercury and its exact sextile with Jupiter there will be a total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio on May 15 that will be forming an intensifying square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius. As the previous Solar Eclipse in Taurus was conjoining Uranus, the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse catalyzing Saturn means that this particular pair of eclipses hold immense potential for unleashing pivotal turning points in storylines that change everything. As a result, the building sextile between Mercury and Jupiter can help guide awareness to release what needs releasing and reorder what needs reordering as we undergo a period of accelerated chaotic change within collective and personal events.

Notably, Mercury will be entering its most intense phase of putrefaction and regeneration as the Moon turns blood red during the Scorpio eclipse. As Mercury gets closer and closer to its purifying conjunction with the Sun on May 21, the increasing proximity between Mercury and the Sun will amplify the capacity of Mercury to burn off aspects of personal patterns that need to be let go so that we can find our way to a more vibrant and renewed presence on the other side of the Mercury retrograde period. Mercury can help in attending to whatever issues become stirred up by the eclipses so that we can better understand how to situate ourselves within whatever life changes we are experiencing. Although the symptoms of larger changes taking shape may feel intensely disruptive, Mercury retrograde in Gemini can help unearth and understand the information found within the symptoms that increase awareness for the inner parts and issues of ourselves that need our attention so that we may more fluidly adapt to the external shifts occurring.

It’s further significant that Mercury will ultimately station direct on June 3 while forming a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius as well as an opposition to the degree of the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse. As a result, whatever issues of personal boundaries emerge with the activation of Saturn by the eclipse will be especially important to pay attention to, as Mercury will ultimately bring us back into an intense encounter with Saturn at the end of its retrograde. Mercury’s retrograde journey has the potential to help us regenerate boundaries within our personal relationships so that they maintain a healthy protectiveness while also remaining capable of flexibly shifting as needed. However, since Mars will be applying toward a conjunction with Neptune in Pisces during the eclipse, we may need to pass through a phase of amorphous fluidity in which personal boundaries and structures mutate before coming into more solid form once Mercury ends its retrograde journey in the earthy, fixed sign of Taurus.

In between the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse on May 15 and the purifying conjunction between the Sun and Mercury on May 21, Mercury will be empowered to help us empty and let go of whatever needs to be released so that we have more space available for an influx of new developments and growth instigated by Uranus, the Sun, and the North Node of the Moon being together in Taurus. At the same time that Mercury will form its harmonious sextile aspect with Jupiter in Aries on May 19, there will also be a conjunction between Mars and Neptune in Pisces on May 17 and a flowing trine between the Sun in Taurus with Pluto in Capricorn on May 19. Altogether these aspects can help us work with the powerful mental facility available with Mercury retrograde in Gemini so that we may find the thread to follow through the volatile changes occurring that will lead us to a more authentic and inspiring path moving forward. While some elements of life may need to be sacrificed as part of the process, the active connectivity of Mercury in Gemini will be a great aid in bridging between the known and the unknown.

Pleiades (1885) by Elihu Vedder

Son of the Seven Sisters

Not knowing when the dawn will come / I open every door; / Or has it feathers like a bird, / Or billows like a shore?

“Dawn” by Emily Dickinson

Mercury will be reanimated by uniting with the Sun on May 21. The reseeding of Mercury in solar light occurs as Mercury aligns in between the Earth and Sun by zodiacal degree, as close to us in orbit as possible for Mercury within its cycle. Known as the inferior conjunction of Mercury, it’s a moment of clarifying rebirth that can enhance realization and seed new ideas for the Mercury cycle ahead in which it will transition into becoming a visible Morning Star. While Mercury is within one degree of conjunction with the Sun, even more so within sixteen arc minutes of its solar conjunction, there can be empowerment for tasks associated with Mercury since it is enthroned upon the solar chariot. Older astrological texts named this moment of Mercury’s rebirth cazimi, or being in the heart of the Sun. It’s the cyclical moment when Mercury enters what Demetra George has named the “sanctum sanctorum,” or “the innermost holy chamber of the mystery initiations” found within “the protected space at the heart of the Sun.”

Mercury will enter the heart of the Sun at 00°43’ Gemini near the projected zodiacal degree of Alcyone, the brightest star within the Pleiades star cluster. In the birth story of Hermes told in the Homeric hymn, Mercury is the child of Zeus and Maia, one of the seven sisters of the Pleiades: “Maia, the modest daughter of Atlas, bore [Hermes] after joining in love with Zeus. The company of the blessed gods she shunned, and she dwelled in a shadowy cave where the son of Kronos used to lie with the fair-tressed Nymph in the dark of night . . . and neither immortals nor mortal men knew of it.” The secrecy of the affair between Maia and Zeus that gave birth to Hermes reflects the mysterious secrecy of Mercury during its reanimation by the Sun. It’s important to make space to sift through thoughts and feelings and allow the deeper meaning of insights to emerge in unexpected directions. Mercury becoming reborn in such a powerful place for the star of Hermes has enormous potential for reseeding ideas and visions we will be able to carry forward with our work and presence long into the future. The Pleiades influencing Mercury can open portals of perception into insights formerly hidden from awareness, insights we may continue to clarify until Mercury eventually returns to visibility as a Morning Star in the beginning of June.

There are several supportive astrological aspects surrounding the inferior conjunction of Mercury that portend positive growth and integration eventually emerging from whatever internal process we engage with. Mercury’s conjunction with the Sun is forming a harmonious sextile aspect with Jupiter in Aries, while at the same time Venus in Aries is forming a sextile with Saturn in Aquarius and Mars in Pisces is forming a sextile with Pluto in Capricorn. While Jupiter and Venus together in Aries can inspire leaps of desires and accelerating toward goals and dreams, the intensification of Mercury retrograde in Gemini reveals that a deepening into full presence is required in order to comprehend the larger implications of our present growth process, seeing through appearances into the heart of the matter.

And Then We Saw the Daughter of the Minotaur by Leonora Carrington,

Mercury Stationing in Taurus

And again my inmost life rushes louder, / as if it moved now between steeper banks. / Objects become ever more related to me, / and all pictures ever more perused. / I feel myself more trusting in the nameless: / with my senses, as with birds, I reach / into the windy heavens from the oak, / and into the small ponds’ broken-off day / my feeling sinks, as if it stood on fishes.

“Progress” by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Edward Snow

Mercury will move backwards into Taurus on May 22. A day later on May 23 there will be an exact sextile aspect between Mercury retrograde in Taurus with Mars at the final degree of Pisces, just before Mars enters Aries on May 24. Simultaneously, the Gemini Sun will be in an exact sextile aspect with Jupiter in Aries. Altogether, especially due to the ingress of Mars into Aries on May 24, the return of Mercury into Taurus will take place within an astrological climate otherwise indicating a speeding up of events and acceleration of storylines. Mercury’s time in Taurus is thus fascinating due to the sign of Taurus slowing down the tempo of Taurus on top of the fact that Mercury will be literally slowing down in speed in order to station direct in stillness on June 3.

Mercury’s movement into Taurus is further important due to Mercury no longer being sovereign in his own domicile of Gemini and instead occupying the home of Venus. Venus will initially be in Aries and passing through a supportive sextile aspect with Saturn in Aquarius when Mercury enters her earthy domicile of Taurus, creating an opportunity to perceive what lesson that Saturn has in store for Mercury as Mercury heads into a catalyzing square aspect with Saturn. Less than a week later on May 28, Venus will join Mercury in her home of Taurus and as a result will be able to supply her full arsenal of pleasurable, creative, and artistic resources for Mercury to engage with. Mercury’s movement through Taurus will slow down the pace of mental pursuits and focus minds on more practical and tangible concerns, such as how to reorganize and restructure whatever material and relational concerns have been undergoing a metamorphosis. Making the process incredibly deep will be the presence of Pluto, as Mercury will form a flowing trine aspects with Pluto in Capricorn on May 25 (the trine between Mercury retrograde with Pluto is the second of a three part sequence: the first was on April 28 when Mercury was direct and the third will be on June 10 after Mercury shifts back into direct motion).

The week after Mercury backtracks into Taurus will bring a major shift in movement: on May 29 there will be a conjunction between Jupiter and Mars in Aries one day before there is a New Moon in Gemini on May 30. The Gemini New Moon will announce the stationing of Mercury, as the star of Hermes will be barely moving during the lunation and saturating the astrological atmosphere with his presence due to simultaneously returning to visibility as a Morning Star during his heliacal rise at dawn. A few days later Mercury will station direct on June 3 at 26°05’ Taurus while forming a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius and in range of an imaginative sextile aspect with Neptune in Pisces. Moreover, Saturn will also be stationing retrograde at 25°15’ Aquarius on June 4. Thus the end of May and beginning of June is a time for making it real and bringing into form whatever changes have been brewing as both Mercury and Saturn take on an amplified presence at the same time they will be catalyzing changes through their square aspect. Saturn will bring its penetrating gaze to bear upon whatever work and plans that Mercury has been developing. Knowing this ahead of time, be prepared to face and pass the tests and challenges you can expect Saturn to bring. It’s a powerful moment for bringing the unmanifest into manifestation and initiating the work needed to build a strong foundation of support for future growth.

A week after Mercury stations direct the star of Hermes will still be in the sign of the Bull at the same time a liberating conjunction will take place between Venus and Uranus in Taurus on June 11. Since Mercury will still be in the domicile of Venus and beginning to pick up speed during this time, the union of Venus with Uranus will accelerate developments with dynamic power that may feel volatile while also full of emancipatory propulsion. There will be a lot of empowerment for growth available to utilize due to Mercury simultaneously passing through his final flowing trine aspect with Pluto on June 10. As a result, we can expect the stationing direct of Mercury and shift into forward momentum to unleash major currents of change once Mercury begins to pick up speed and begins to distance himself from the presence of Saturn.

Silver ring with Hermes (late 5th Century BC)

Gemini Returning

Mercury will return to his airy home of Gemini on June 13, a day before the Full Moon in Sagittarius on June 14. Mercury will then reach maximum elongation as a Morning Star on June 16 at the third degree of Gemini a couple of days after the Sagittarius Full Moon, a few degrees away from where he formed his inferior conjunction on May 21. The maximum elongation of Mercury demarcates another threshold to cross, as it initiates us into the phase of Mercury speeding up as well as accelerating our capacity for integrating the many inner changes that took shape during the retrograde. Gary Caton described this solar phase of Mercury as being similar to the rubedo phase within alchemy in his book Hermetica Tryptycha. As we work to integrate the insights and changes in perspective realized during Mercury’s retrograde journey, Caton noted that we should expect to endure a phase of chaotic volatility as we make a commitment to embody a new presence of being.

As a result, the slivery Sagittarius Full Moon on June 14 will announce the return of Mercury to his swift, direct motion as a Morning Star in which he excels at making mental connections, asking questions, and bridging ideas and material resources. As the Sagittarius Full Moon will be forming a sextile aspect with Saturn in Aquarius and a square aspect with Neptune in Pisces, it will interestingly aspect the same two planets that Mercury did when it stationed direct on June 3. When Saturn and Neptune become activated we need to reconcile the dream with the reality, and so Mercury in Gemini will help in attuning with whatever changes have been happening and the adjustments that will need to be made to securely ground developing visions into tangible forms.

Mercury will move past the zodiacal degree where he originally stationed retrograde on June 18, a couple of days before the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere and the Winter Solstice in the southern hemisphere. As we collectively cross one of the most important turning points of the year, Mercury moving quickly direct in Gemini will be able to draw upon the many lessons learned over the course of the past month of retrograde movement to help us reorient and plan for the season ahead. With an easy ear, loquacious lift, and ready response, Hermes will once again, as always, be present to help humanity as we collectively cross yet another crossroads.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

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References

Anthology of Classical Myth: Primary Sources in Translation. (2004). Edited and translated by S.M. trzaskoma, R.S. Smith, and S. Brunet. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.

Caton, Gary. (2017). Hermetica Triptycha: The Mercury Elemental Year. Rubedo Press.

George, Demetra. (2019). Ancient Astrology in Theory and Practice: a Manual of Traditional Techniques. Rubedo Press.

Jupiter & Neptune Talismanic Rings

I recently experienced the complete delight of collaborating with Genie of Psychic Desert on the creation of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces talismanic rings. Genie handcrafted talismanic rings, seven of which are presently still available for purchase, and I wrote the accompanying article.

Here is a link to the article and offerring:

https://www.psychicdesert.com/blogs/celestial-talismans/jupiter-neptune-in-pisces-talismans

Additional info: The Jupiter & Neptune Talisman Rings were hand carved from jewellers wax and cast in sterling silver. The wavy, spiralling aesthetic of the rings is resonant with the archetypal meaning of Jupiter and Neptune united together in Pisces. Each ring is set with a 3 carat hydrothermal emerald. Hydrothermal emeralds are grown rather than mined and share the same chemical composition as their mined counterparts. Emeralds have a long tradition of association with Jupiter: for example, the Picatrix, Henrich Cornelius Agrippa, and William Lilly all listed emeralds as being one of the stones of Jupiter.  The band of the ring features the trident glyph of Neptune on one side and the seal of Jupiter on the other side. These rings have a wide band so I recommend going up a half size to accomodate. 

Each ring comes with a book containing writing by Gray Crawford along with Orphic Hymns to Jupiter, Neptune, Oceanus and Tethys.

The Jupiter Neptune Talismans were completed at the elected time of 10:11 am on 9 April 2022, Brisbane Aust AEST. Jupiter was applying within one degree of a conjunction with Neptune, and was also ruling the midheaven in Pisces while applying toward a close conjunction with the midheaven. The Moon was in her own domicile of Cancer, applying toward a trine aspect with Jupiter and Neptune while also being in the exaltation of Jupiter. 

Jupiter Neptune glyph created by Genie Desert and Gray Crawford

Taurus Solar Eclipse

No. 8 – Special (1916) by Georgia O’Keeffe

Taurus Solar Eclipse

Solar eclipses cloak the life-giving light of our Sun with the blackness of night. The otherworldly experience of night overcoming day has long provoked fear due to the extinguishing of light by eclipses, as well as the dramatic reputations eclipses carry within astrology for irrevocably changing the landscape of our lives. Yet like ancient stories of creation in which life and the spirit of eros emerge from the chaotic chasm of a fertile void, the changes catalyzed in correspondence with eclipses have immensely vast creative potential. The Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 30 is partial rather than total, yet the Moon will still eclipse a substantial portion of the Sun’s light. Due to the eclipse occurring in the fixed, stable, and enduring sign of Taurus, we can expect the impact of the eclipse to have long lasting effects.

The partial solar eclipse at 10º28’ Taurus is closely applying to a conjunction with Uranus at  14º32’ Taurus. The influence of Uranus in Taurus upon the eclipse makes it even more likely than normal for its impact to include unexpected revelations, surprising changes in storylines, and eruptive, propulsive change. The eclipse corresponding with fast changing developments and opportunities is further accentuated by the eclipse aligning with the North Node of the Moon while also applying to a close sextile aspect with Mars in Pisces, as Mars is simultaneously applying toward a sextile aspect with Uranus. The extraordinary volatility of these aspects can overturn and disrupt whatever was formerly stable, yet the supportive sextile aspects involved will also bring opportunities for recovery and readjustment so we may take action while attuning to the changing conditions.

Since Taurus is the earthy fixed sign, it can be the most resistant and stubborn to change, preferring a slow and steady pace that can sink into experiences and sustain as much stability as possible. While it will be helpful to slow down as much as possible, there likely will also be events set into motion that require rapid responses and a willingness to let go of how things had been in order to flow with the currents of change. The fixed nature of the eclipse also means it’s likely that the changes being set into motion will have long-term impact, and so it will be important to slow down as much as possible and find ways to ground into the present moment even when having to adjust to unexpected twists and turns of narratives. It will be best to create space for rest, reflection, and restoration as much as possible.

There was previously a Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 30, 2021 and so there may be important developments taking shape now that link back to the first eclipse to occur in Taurus. However, although the Taurus Lunar Eclipse was in the same sign as Uranus, it was not applying to Uranus and so did not activate Uranus to the same level that the Taurus Solar Eclipse will ignite the Promethean fire of Uranus. With the transiting north node as well as the eclipse in the same sign as Uranus, the whirling vortex of alchemic fire brought by Uranus will be more fully capable than normal of shaking up and reshaping matter, creating deep-seated, tectonic shifts within personal and collective events. We can witness this in numerous collective events presently creating uncertainty in terms of economic policies and supply chains of needed material resources, yet within our personal lives we can also expect to experience a massive reordering of dynamics. While dramatic change can feel scary and precarious, it also unleashes vast potential for the emergence of new creative directions that are more aligned with one’s inner authenticity than the older circumstances becoming dislodged and dissolved.

Taurus is the exaltation of the Moon, and so solar eclipses in Taurus have the unique aspect of the Sun’s light becoming eclipsed by an exalted Moon. Moreover, the domicile ruler of the eclipse, Venus, is not only in her exaltation of Pisces, but also applying to an exact conjunction with Jupiter in Pisces. With the exalted Moon also applying toward a conjunction with her own north node, altogether there can be a felt sense of exalted desire for growth and development that may or may not align with one’s present circumstances. The essential dignity of exaltation is linked to the turning of the wheel of fortune, not only the rising toward desires and honors but also the potential to fall from great heights of achievement or acclaim. Mindfulness and discernment need to be applied to circumstances, whether it feels like a dream is coming true or a dream has been dissolved through disillusionment. The Taurus Solar Eclipse demarcates a major turning point in collective and personal narratives, and so as storylines continue to shift we need to be ready for the unexpected and capable of flexibly making adjustments as needed to bring about desired outcomes.

Eclipses come in families known as the Saros cycle, with the Taurus Solar Eclipse being part of the Saros 119 family. The origin of the Saros cycle ancestry begins at either the south or north pole and then traces a serpentine path around our world every eighteen or so years, moving ahead eleven degrees of celestial longitude each time. Bernadette Brady connected the Saros 119 family of eclipses with father or authority figures, the need to take responsibility, or being a time to accept the commitments that are presented, due to the node of the origin eclipse (May 15, 850 C.E.) being on the midpoint between the lunation and Saturn.

The origin of the eclipse family having a relationship with Saturn further connects with how the Taurus Solar Eclipse is applying toward a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius, although Saturn is just outside the thirteen degree orb many astrologers are willing to give the Moon. No matter what orb you give the Moon, however, Saturn has a strong influence over the eclipse due to forming a close square aspect to the transiting lunar nodes at the southern bending of the nodes. Saturn is also close to the fixed star Deneb Algedi by zodiacal degree as well as in paran in certain locations, a star that is often associated with the ancient creator deity Enki. Enki is furthermore a deity resonant with Saturn being at the southern bending of the nodes, a celestial circumstance not unlike Enki’s habitation of subterranean water.

Within the collective chaos of so much unraveling and reordering, we each need to claim the authority of steering our lives and the lives of our loved ones forward. In some places this may necessitate a confrontation between one’s personal sense of justice and natural law against the societal laws and regulations constructed by governing institutions. The connection between Saturn with Deneb Algedi and furthermore with Enki brings up not only the present laws of the establishment and ordered society, but also the ancient association of new laws and reordering emerging from the depths. A trickster and wise magician bent on reordering civilization with the greater good of the wider community in mind, the flowing freshwater of Enki transfigures the landscape of dry land, creating wetlands and fertile soil in which the food and resources needed to fuel civilization can grow. It will be helpful to take space from the cacophony of current events when possible for restorative descent into inner depths so we may come into deeper embodiment of our authentic integrity.

Drawing No. 2 – Special (1915) by Georgia O’Keeffe

“It was after a day’s rain: / the street facing the west / was lit with growing yellow; / the black road gleamed.

First one child looked and saw / and told another. / Face after face, the windows / flowered with eyes.

It was like a long fuse lighted, / the news travelling. / No one called out loudly; / everyone said ‘Hush.’

The light deepened; the wet road / answered in daffodil colours, / and down its centre / walked the two tall herons.

Stranger than wild birds, even, / what happened on those faces: / suddenly believing in something, / they smiled and opened.

Children thought of fountains, / circuses, swans feeding: / women remembered words / spoken when they were young.

Everyone said ‘Hush;’ / no one spoke loudly; / but suddenly the herons / rose and were gone. The light faded.

“Night Herons” by Judith Wright

Venus is the ruler of the Taurus Solar Eclipse, luxuriating within her exaltation of Pisces while applying to an exact conjunction with Jupiter in Pisces. In fact, Venus is experiencing an otherworldly transit of moving in between Neptune and Jupiter in Pisces, having formed an exact conjunction with Neptune on April 27. The combination of an exalted Venus ruling the eclipse while moving in between Neptune and Jupiter can correspond with vastly different scenarios for people, ranging from blissful experience of the sublime to despair stemming from disillusioning experiences. Even when experiencing the most difficult of experiences, however, the presence of Venus with Jupiter in Pisces delivers the promise of hope and the potential to feel the power of love. When things are falling apart, it’s worth remembering the potential for renewal and rebirth. While we may need to traverse experiences of sadness or suffering, we also have the capacity to imagine ways of moving forward more aligned with the creative force of our eros. Neptune, Venus, and Jupiter in Pisces are aligned with the force of love and the benevolent gifts of love that emerge in even the most difficult of circumstances.

While Venus moving in between Neptune and Jupiter can correspond with a sense of a great dream we wish to have manifest in reality, they also can correspond with disillusioning experiences that bring about a necessary reconfiguration to the reality of one’s situation. There are many examples in current events of inflated egos and economics as well as delusions of grandeur to be wary of, yet at the same time we need to remember our vast capacity to join with others in working to recreate the world in ways that align with our inner values. Within the emptiness of the eclipse’s void is the heart of creation itself, and though it is easy to become cynical and disheartened by the state of the world, the extraordinarily powerful influence of Pisces upon the eclipse points to the ways in which we can persevere in creating the life we wish to live rather than giving up hope.

The Spinner (1873) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau  

Not only are Venus and Jupiter coming together into a conjunction during the eclipse, they are also both applying closely to a sextile aspect with Pluto stationing in Capricorn. Pluto stationed retrograde a day before the eclipse at 28º36’ Capricorn on April 29, saturating the astrological atmosphere and the week surrounding the eclipse with its subterranean influence. The applying aspect between Venus with Pluto is fascinating due to the fact that Pluto has been a large part of the story with Venus over the course of recent months (due to their close proximity with one another in December and January), plus that the recent Full Moon in Virgo formed a close trine aspect with Pluto and the recent Full Moon in Libra formed a close square aspect with Pluto. While it’s likely you have already been engaged in a process of coming to terms with Pluto related material in recent months, the Taurus Solar Eclipse may correspond with a deeper layer of engagement becoming necessary.

Pluto can intensify whatever needs to be released with a volcanic force, and so we need to make space to come into relationship with whatever material is being dislodged by Pluto. Feelings may overflow from places and inner parts that have been denied or controlled, as suppressed memories and passions arise to surface awareness. The powerful presence of Pluto can accentuate our capacity for peering into the emotional sources at the root of our interpersonal dynamics with others, yet we also need to be mindful of how wounds and betrayals from our past can distort perceptions when under the influence of Pluto. Working effectively with Pluto requires honesty, being honest in communication with others and honestly addressing one’s inner feelings rather than avoiding them through denial.

Continuing the theme of underworld initiation within the forthcoming lunar cycle, Mercury will station retrograde at  4º52’ Gemini on May 10. Mercury’s stationing, full presence, and shift into psychopomp role will occur within whatever reverberations from the eclipse are taking place within our lives as we move in between the Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 30 and the Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio that will take place on May 15. As Mercury shifts into retrograde motion there may need to be adjustments and changes in plans in some cases, in other cases a deepening of focus upon objectives already being developed leading up to the eclipse. At the time of the Taurus Solar Eclipse, however, the fresh ingress of Mercury into his airy home of Gemini can bring a helpful injection of curiosity and capacity for making needed connections and insights.

6 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Taurus 2 Decan

The Taurus Solar Eclipse will be in the second decan of Taurus associated with the Six of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we witness a mercantile figure carrying scales of balance in his left hand, while dispensing gold coins with his right hand to figures kneeling on the ground with tattered blankets begging for money. The Six of Pentacles card is typically associated with giving and receiving on the material plane, whether that be through monetary sources or tactile, healing touch. The unifying theme is that there is receiving found in the giving, and giving found in the receiving, with the image of the scales further signifying a sense of internal balance and authenticity found in the process. Through inner harmony transmitted within collaborative exchanges with others, great success and productivity can be achieved in the material realm.

The Moon is the ruler of the second face of Taurus, giving the exalted Moon extra potency in her ability to veil our solar light in mystery. T. Susan Chang in her book 36 Secrets on tarot and the decans described the second face of Taurus as involving “Mysteries at the Threshold,” in part due to the major arcana of the High Priestess (Moon) and Hierophant (Taurus) having symbolic association with the second face of Taurus. Chang noted that the Six of Pentacles card involves both “an act of benevolence that visually echoes the Hierophant card,” while the High Priestess is also involved in the image of the Six of Pentacles as “the spirit that moves one to generosity.” Chang further connected the meaning of the Six of Pentacles with the second face of Taurus as taking the opportunity that arises within a window in time, “a moment in weaving when the warp threads have separated just enough for the shuttle to fly through.” Chang advised that drawing the Six of Pentacles can indicate finding “harmony between your inner and outer selves,” accepting and creating “material opportunities, for yourself and others,” as well as finding “the sweet, cross-quarter magic of the present moment.”

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Linga-Yoni” to the second face of Taurus, bridging images of “procreative unions” and “wanton fertilization” with the practice of virtuous action. Coppock described an alchemical process for the second face of Taurus, advising that the matters generated in this face “must be attended to carefully and consistently,” as “dedication must join fecundity and passions to complete the picture this face provides . . . Passion is necessary for continuing fructification, but those raw powers must be tempered by means of an ordered effort.” With the eclipse joined to Uranus and Venus joined to Jupiter and Neptune, we will need to be mindful that whatever passionate dreams emerge from the shadows of the eclipse will require patience and dedicated effort in order to bring them into reality.

The Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the Horai to the second decan of Taurus, a trinity of goddesses of the seasons and natural cycles of time who are the daughters of Zeus and Themis, goddess of divine law and order. Diodorus of Sicily wrote in the 1st century BC that each of the “Horai was given a responsibility named after her for the ordering and arranging of life for the greatest benefit of mankind” and “furnishing a prosperous life” through “lawfulness {eunomia}, justice {dike}, and peace {eirene}.” In keeping with the Taurean metaphor of cultivating crops, the Horai were worshipped by those planting and tending their field of harvest in alignment with the rising and setting of stars. The presence of the Horai with the eclipse suggests the wisdom of knowing the right time for action performed in the right way.

In her concluding remarks upon the second decan of Taurus, T. Susan Chang in 36 Secrets quoted the opening lines of “The Waste Land” by T.S. Eliot: “April is the cruellest month, breeding / Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing / Memory and desire, stirring / Dull roots with spring rain.” No matter what mixture of desire and memory you have been experiencing, may their stirring with the rains from above bring about a fertilization of your deepest desires from within.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

become_a_patron_button

References

Anthology of Classical Myth: Primary Sources in Translation. (2004). Edited and translated by S.M. trzaskoma, R.S. Smith, and S. Brunet. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.

Brady, Bernadette. (1998). Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark. Weiser Books.

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: the History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Libra Full Moon

Cygne Crépusculaire (Twilight Swan) by Joseph Cornell

Libra Full Moon

The Full Moon in Libra illuminates the polarity between Aries and Libra, the fiery surge of the Ram’s direct passion set against the thoughtful contemplation of the Scales that carefully measures myriad ways of addressing circumstances and relations, turning issues over and over again to explore every facet imaginable. Aries and Libra are movable signs that initiate new directions and set things into swift motion. With the Full Moon in the airy home of Venus and Venus in her watery exaltation of Pisces, desires and emotions may take on heightened importance and catalyze significant momentum along new pathways of development.

Libra is also the exaltation of Saturn, increasing the connectivity and receptivity between the Moon and her flowing trine aspect with Saturn. The patient endurance and mindful ponderousness of Saturn can help in slowing down desires amplified by the lunation in order to come into deeper relationship and embodiment with emerging creative directions. The discernment and discrimination of Saturn can further facilitate clarity in making decisions regarding which paths to follow and which relationships to invest greater time and attention to, as well as what aspects of life need clearer boundaries, greater space and separation.

While the Libra Full Moon is separating from a trine with Saturn, it is applying toward an intensifying square aspect with Pluto. The tension between Pluto and the Libra Full Moon may resurrect core relational patterns and themes that have been operating below the surface of awareness within dynamics with others. Feelings that have been buried or we have tried to be in denial of may erupt and demand attention. Opportunities may emerge to gain greater honesty and clarity regarding relational dynamics, with the propulsive force of Pluto facilitating an excavation of old entanglements to allow for greater freedom of movement forward. While the impact of Pluto upon the lunation can potentially dislodge overwhelming emotions, the transformative influence of Pluto will also allow us to penetrate into the heart of whatever matter we are facing.

The Annunciation (1887) by George Hitchcock

Venus in her exaltation of Pisces is the ruler of the Libra Full Moon, glowing bright in predawn sky within her morning star phase. Within the waves of her watery exaltation, the sensual nature of Venus is amplified by the boundless dissolution of Pisces to allow for release as well as sinking into sensations and knowing of the body. Although Venus is given an exalted status within Pisces, she is not within her celestial home and so does not possess the sovereignty she does in Taurus or Libra. However, during the waning half of the present lunar cycle the star of Aphrodite will be applying toward a conjunction with Jupiter, the planet responsible for her care due to her occupying his home. Periods in which Jupiter and Venus come together are stereotypically in stark contrast to the recent period in which Mars and Saturn came together in conjunction; while it certainly does not mean everything will go well and that there will in fact be many difficult events to contend with, the combination of Jupiter and Venus amplifies desires for procreation and creativity and delivers inspiration where it is needed most. Venus will ultimately form a conjunction with Jupiter on April 30 at 27°58’ Pisces, close to her exact degree of exaltation, at the same time she will be ruling a Solar Eclipse in Taurus at 10°28’ Taurus.

As a result, the unique signature of Venus and Jupiter uniting in a sign in which they both have essential dignity will be set against the strange astrological atmosphere of an eclipse season as we approach the end of April. Eclipse seasons typically bring major shifts in circumstances and relationships, with pivotal new developments arising as older situations and relationships experience a recalibration and rebalancing to make space for the new to more fully arise. This will especially be the case with the eclipse on the side of the North Node of the Moon and in close proximity with the liberating force of Uranus in Taurus. Making the dynamic between Jupiter and Venus even more extreme, however, is the fact that Venus and Jupiter will simultaneously be forming conjunction with Neptune in Pisces. Venus will form a conjunction with Neptune on April 27 at 24°28’ Pisces a few days before the eclipse, with Venus moving in between Neptune and Jupiter at the exact moment the Sun will become blackened by the shadow of the Moon.

I previously wrote an extended exploration of Venus forming conjunctions with Neptune in Pisces you can read through the link here. Within the article I wrote the following:

” . . . These ideas connect to the transformative feelings of love that come with transits of Neptune and Venus, as well as destructive feelings of disillusionment that can awaken self realization. Projections in relationships can be most harmful when they do not have authentic resonance with one’s soul but instead have been conditioned by societal forces. These external conditioning influences are often wrapped up in systematic oppression, necessitating a need to shed the way they impact our gender, sexual, and other personal identities. The more we are able to take responsibility for this work, similar to Jung’s concept of individuation, the better we can gain self acceptance for the authentic desires of our soul. As we do so, we can attract partners who genuinely resonate with our inner life, drawing us into a deepening of the lessons we need on a soul level. We also can gain a healthier relationship with ourselves so that we can foster recovery and restoration when a relationship ends.

It’s not really possible to prevent our unconscious from shaping the relational dynamics we form with others, and this is a gift in terms of the creativity and growth cultivated by the commingling of unconscious fields. We can at least gain awareness that the phenomenon is happening and open to the actual presence and needs of a partner instead of confining them to our own projection . . . As Venus and Neptune begin a new cycle together . . . we can claim the opportunity to reflect upon our unconscious projections. It’s essential that once becoming aware we do not bury the realization in denial but instead sustain contemplation so that it’s pattern may mutate and we may receive insight.”

Furthermore, Venus is receiving both Mercury and Uranus into her earthy, stable home of Taurus. Mercury is applying toward a sextile aspect with Venus during the lunation, while Venus simultaneously is applying toward a sextile aspect with Uranus. At the same time, Mercury is carrying an intensified presence due to rising into visibility again as an Evening Star following sunset as it heads into a conjunction with Uranus it will complete a day after the Libra Full Moon. Altogether, the aspects between Venus, Mercury, and Uranus are full of enormous creative potency that can be directed into any sort of creative work of imaginative vision or practical application. In particular, the combination of Mercury with Uranus in Taurus can help bring down the flights of imagination that Venus within her exaltation of Pisces may gather into embodiment within material forms.

4 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Libra 3 Decan

The Libra Full Moon will illuminate the third decan of Libra associated with the Four of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image above we see what looks to be a knight in prayer, or perhaps a sarcophagus, under a stained glass window of “PAX” or “peace.” This image also evokes a pilgrim in meditative silence within a protected, sacred space, and likewise it can help us find our own balance at this time if we can manage to create our own space for solace in silence. Johannes Fiebig and Evelin Burger in their book on the tarot noted symbols in the image that contrast “inner and outer issues, the abstract world and daily life, perfect ideals and limited reality.” Within the balance of these dualities, we can sense how the figure’s positioning is like a re-balancing of our body and mind, the sword below the figure a tool to cut away the false in order to reveal our essential and genuine presence that can emerge now. In her book on the tarot and astrological decans 36 Secrets, T Susan Chang wrote that when drawing the Four of Swords, “consider it a complex invitation (a) to take a break from the toiling and spinning imposed on us by the external world, and (b) to explore the rich landscape of the inner world . . . the Four of Swords may call for meditation, active imagination, divination work, or sleep. Or it might simply be a general call to recreate and rest for awhile, so you can restore your natural equilibrium.”

Jupiter rules the third face of Libra in the descending rulership scheme, a decan that Austin Coppock ascribed the image of “A Gyroscope” to in 36 Faces. Coppock equated the third face of Libra with “equilibrating movement through a chaotic universe,” linking its meaning to the Four of Swords image with facing that “justice must reconcile itself to an injust world, and peace to a world riven with conflict.” Coppock notably pointed out that earlier images associated with the third decan of Libra as found in such text as the Picatrix and Three Books of Occult Philosophy featured images of “furious indulgence” and “extremes of revelry” such as “violence, gluttony, deviant sexuality, and boisterous joy.” If we can find balance within the wild forces moving through this decan, Coppock suggested it “allows one to see through the eye of the storm” to learn that “equipoise may be maintained in any circumstance- shelter in any storm.”

The Hellenistic text the 36 Airs linked Nemesis to the third face of Libra. Austin Coppock in 36 Faces linked the presence of Nemesis in this decan to her role as “a force which restored balance to life’s chaotic wheel,” acting “to consciously correct the injustices whirl of blind forces” by “restoring right proportion.” One way Nemesis restores balance is through bringing retribution against those carried away by hubris who arrogantly act out of balance with natural forces of change. Her presence with the Libra Full Moon emphasizes the need to rebalance whatever has become out of proportion in our life. We may recognize aspects of our shadow we have been denying, or realize we have been suppressing desires that need to be accepted and cultivated. There are many crises coinciding in collective events calling for action, but in addition to playing a role in creating the change we wish to see in external events, we likewise need to bring attention to tend to the changes occurring internally. May the Libra Full Moon illuminate what needs to be known within and without.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

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References

Burger, Evelin & Fiebig, Johannes. (2013). The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot. Llewellyn Publications.

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Aries New Moon

The Philosopher’s Conquest (1913–14) by Giorgio de Chirico

Aries New Moon

When the Sun and Moon unite in Aries we experience a fiery renewal of bright movement and propulsive new desires. Aries is indefatigable in its capacity for rebirth, return to life, and inspired action. Aries burns with impulsive heat that invigorates passions and motivates direct action. Aries takes its name from the constellation of the charging ram, zodiacal terrain ruled by red hot Mars where our life and light giving Sun is exalted. Always timed with a primal change in season, the Aries New Moon invites contact with the eros emerging from within and ready to bloom into new beginnings.

The Aries New Moon on 1 April 2022 involves the tension of two diametrically opposed astrological themes: Mars uniting with Saturn versus Jupiter uniting with Neptune. While unions of Jupiter and Neptune involve an otherworldly influx of boundless imagination, unions between Mars and Saturn can involve the harshest aspects of strife and suffering we must face in reality. There are constructive ways to work with Mars and Saturn combined together, yet cyclic renewal of Mars and Saturn typically involves brutal collective events such as the present war in Ukraine. The image by Giorgio de Chirico above involves aspects of Mars and Saturn that can feel oppressive in their gravity: wars and technological advances of conquest and the way societal obsession with time and clocks can bring feelings of scarcity rather than the fullness of the present moment which can also be ascribed to Saturn. It’s therefore fitting that the Aries New Moon is applying closely to a conjunction with Chiron, an intermediary mythic and celestial figure who holds the tension between human and animal forms as well as the astrological realm contained by Saturn and the realm beyond that begins with Uranus and extends through Neptune.

The Aries New Moon as well as Chiron are both in the fiery home of Mars as the red planet heads toward a conjunction with Saturn it will complete three days after the lunation on April 4 at 22°24’ Aquarius. Chiron forming a conjunction with the lunation is a good match for Mars in Aquarius, as Aquarius provides a unique atmosphere that can bring out qualities of Mars that cannot be found anywhere else in the zodiac, and Chiron in myth cultivated the unique heroic qualities and gifts of those who learned from him. Mars in Aquarius tends to separate from mainstream thought and utilize unorthodox methods while being driven by intellectual and philosophical ideals, humanitarian concerns, and social movements. Mars in Aquarius will fight over its worldview, yet when necessary can detach from overheated conflict in order to determine the most useful direction to follow for potential growth.

Within the cave of Chiron, as we deepen into awareness of our past wounding we simultaneously discover the ways these past difficulties have brought about the medicine we can create through our being to help others facing the same issues we have faced. Chiron’s link between the realms of Saturn and Uranus is not about transcending the material limitations of Saturn but rather deepening into them in a way that can bring the emancipatory revelations of Uranus into material form and impact in real ways that make a difference in people’s lives. Chiron understands the interconnected nature of all realms and the medicine found in both the plants under his hooves and the stars orbiting above his head, and so further connects with the expansive synthesis of knowledge and understanding simultaneously available through the coming together of Jupiter and Neptune. Chiron can help in utilizing the harsh aspects of life triggered by Mars and Saturn as a catalyst to discover the ways Jupiter and Neptune can not only help in lifting our spirits through ordeals but also finding ways their otherworldly insights can be used in very practical ways that are needed within the wider world.

It’s further significant that the Aries Moon is separating from a conjunction with Mercury while applying to a conjunction with Chiron. Mercury in Aries is speeding into the heart of the Sun, as it will form its superior conjunction with the Sun on April 2 at 13°24’ Aries. The fleet footed Mercury is moving at his fastest speed when dashing into the Sun during his superior conjunction. It’s an especially celestial solar union as Mercury is on the far side of the Sun from the Earth in orbit, experiencing a heavenly communion that seeds its subsequent twilight appearance as an Evening Star. As an old cycle of Mercury dies and the star of Hermes prepares to be reanimated by the creative potency of the Sun, in correspondence we can experience a purification of thoughts, ideas, and perceptions as what needs to be released becomes burned off so that the essential insight emerges like a bright pearl of wisdom.

The fixed nature of Aquarius accentuates the capacity of Mars and Saturn to forge determination when enduring obstacles and resiliently persevering through ordeals in pursuit of targets of focus. When engaged in works of creation and passion through Mars and Saturn, we can weld the passionate, burning energy of Mars to the disciplined, determined focus of Saturn. The inflamed passion and aggressiveness of Mars become tempered by the restraint of Saturn, making it possible to direct the fiery boldness of Mars with a serious focus. It will be helpful to have a meaningful personal project to invest energy into, as Mars and Saturn in Aquarius can catalyze the ambition and initiative required to develop work that may take time to come into fruition but can have a long lasting impact and influence.

Mars and Saturn can also be used defensively, sealing oneself away from outside toxicity in order to contain and guide their building pressure to incite growth within protected space. While Venus recently moved through conjunctions with both Saturn and Mars, she is still in Aquarius and able to lend her eye for aesthetics and design to whatever craftsmanship is being directed by Saturn and Mars. Venus has less pressure on her now that she has separated from Saturn and Mars, but she will be more fully released from their intensifying influence once she leaves Aquarius to enter her exaltation of Pisces on April 5.

Irises (1889) by Vincent Van Gogh

After Venus enters Pisces, she will begin heading towards an eventual union with Neptune and Jupiter that will occur on April 27 and April 30. As Venus moves through her exaltation of Pisces during the waxing half of the forthcoming lunar cycle, she will be able invest her lust, passion, and creative desires into any works of imagination or groundbreaking thought being developed in correspondence with Jupiter and Neptune coming together. In contrast to the intensifying tension that can be constellated when Mars and Saturn come together, the combination of Venus with Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces will provide moments of epiphany, the uplifting hope needed to traverse difficulties, and cultivation of grace and faith in the unknown.

Jupiter and Neptune will form their once-every-166-years conjunction in Pisces on April 12. In my previous article on Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces, I wrote:

“The mystical and otherworldly Neptune awaits Jupiter underneath the waves of Pisces, promising that Jupiter will expand the dissolution of old forms, bringing about a reshaping and reordering of values, perspectives, and beliefs through a disintegrative process. We will need to be mindful of the ways Neptune combined with Jupiter can lead us astray through illusion, escapism, and intoxication, influencing us to be unfocused on mundane responsibilities that need our attention. Although we will need to keep in mind the potential for deluding ourselves when hearing their call from the far-off sea, following the siren songs of Jupiter and Neptune can also reveal insight that unites diverse perspectives and traditions. Just like the muses as daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus share truths that cannot be forgotten, so may Jupiter in Pisces retrieve essential meaning that will emerge from the dissolution brought forth by Neptune and stand the test of time.”

With collective crises like the war in Ukraine happening in correspondence with a new cycle beginning between Mars and Saturn, the muse of tragedy and melodious song, Melpomene will take center stage. Melpomene with her cypress wreath and mask of tragedy can use her melodious voice within the collective storms to guide us in resiliently persevering and inspiring others to do the same. Along with her sisters Cleo (the muse of history), Euterpe (the muse of music and lyric poetry), Thaleia (muse of comedy and good cheer who’s name means “to bloom in abundance”), Terpsichore (muse of dance), Erato (muse of love poetry), Polymnia (muse of many hymns), Ourania (muse of astronomy), and Calliope (muse of epic poetry), the muses will be making streams of inspiration available to luxuriate within as Jupiter and Neptune continue to get closer to one another each day.

3 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Aries 2 Decan

The New Moon in Aries is in the second decan of Aries associated with the Three of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. As the second face of Aries holds the degrees of the exaltation of the Sun, we fittingly find a very solar image in this card of a heroic figuring overlooking a numinous landscape from a mountainous peak.  There are ships heading off into the vast expanse beyond into other worlds for communication and commerce.  Similarly, Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy ascribed an image made for nobility, loftiness of kingdom, and a great dominion to the second face of Aries, and ancient texts are filled with the attribution of images linked to wealth and rulership to this decan. T Susan Chang in 36 Secrets wrote that the Three of Wands goes with “faith win the good efforts you have already made,” investing “in well thought through acts of benevolence,” and “mak[ing] your own rules, and liv[ing] by them.”

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Crown” to the second face of Aries.  Coppock described the focus of this face as being “the world which emanates from an individual” and “the qualities which they choose to embody.”  Coppock wrote that the ability to create one’s own world found in this face leads to not only the attraction and magnetism of others of like-mind, but also to “the key to creating pocket realities which do not obey the laws of the collective reality field in which they exist.”  These associations with the second face of Aries work well with the New Moon in Aries having so much potent fertility for vision being offered by Venus and Neptune joining Jupiter in its watery home of Pisces.

The Hellenistic text the 36 Airs attributed Persephone to the second decan of Aries, an interesting association as she is also a noble figure who bridges the world of the visible and invisible, the goddess who rules the otherworld of soul, death, release, and resurrection. Synchronistically, the Persephone asteroid #399 is at 12º57′ Gemini and forming a sextile aspect with the Aries New Moon. Furthermore, Persephone recently formed an exact conjunction with the dwarf planet Ceres about a week before the lunation on March 22 evoking her mythic return to her mother and the upper world with the arrival of Spring. Persephone’s presence with the New Moon calls us to honor being an eternal soul fully embodied within a material realm of continual life and death.  While we must reconcile ourselves to living in a world of great suffering and death, grieving those who have passed on, Persephone also signifies our capacity for discovering newfound power and strength within ourselves in spite of the wounds we must bear.

Within the darkness of the Aries New Moon, allow yourself to envision the creative realm you can create for yourself to inhabit through the wielding of your own sovereign gifts and talents that can provide uplifting inspiration for others to do the same.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

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References

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Virgo Full Moon

The Heron (1853–56) by John Dillwyn Llewelyn

Virgo Full Moon

The Full Moon in Virgo on March 18 illuminates an astrological atmosphere split between the hard edges of Mars-Saturn and the boundless vision of Jupiter-Neptune. Full Moons bring storylines and emotions to a head, and so to avoid becoming overwhelmed by stress it will be necessary to mediate whatever tests and challenges we are facing in association with Mars and Saturn heading toward a conjunction in Aquarius, while simultaneously being open to receiving the insight and inspiration available in correspondence with Jupiter and Neptune heading toward a conjunction in Pisces. Both alignments will not occur until April: Mars and Saturn will conjoin on April 4 at 22°24’ Aquarius and Jupiter and Neptune will unite at 23°59’ Pisces on April 12. In between now and then, Venus will move through Aquarius past a conjunction with Saturn into Pisces, weaving and leaving a golden thread to follow through whatever creative processes you engage. Moreover, the Full Moon in Virgo is ideal for discerning how to utilize time and prioritize tasks to configure how to best utilize energy. The Virgo Full Moon can help in probing and sifting through available resources and time, analyzing how to best achieve outcomes out of all of the infinite possibilities being offered by Jupiter and Neptune.

Vitally, the Virgo Full Moon announces the heliacal rising of Jupiter, the period in which the star of Zeus returns to visibility as a Morning Star heralding the rise of the Sun. This brings the divine presence of Jupiter into a more intensified expression in our daily lives. Listen for the messages being transmitted by Jupiter for creative solutions, deepening of understanding, opening of compassion, and kindling of inner purpose. It’s a mistake, however, to think that Jupiter becoming visible in its nocturnal home of Pisces means that the events in personal and collective events will all be positive and beneficial. This is not the work of Jupiter in Pisces. Jupiter in Pisces loves the flaws in humanity, the imperfections of forms, the mistakes and the leaps toward grand vision that fall short of perfectionist vision. Jupiter in Pisces supplies love and heart-centered focus, compassion for those that are oppressed, fallen, and vulnerable. Jupiter in Pisces supplies the fertile life force that can lift us through periods of despair, the grace of an angelic hand helping us find a trail of light to follow through a passage of darkness.

Moreover, Jupiter becoming visible in Pisces also will amplify the potency of the conjunction forming between Jupiter and Neptune (to read an article I previously wrote about the Jupiter Neptune conjunction in Pisces, click here). As I previously wrote:

” . . . the nocturnal water of Pisces slows down the pace of Jupiter and invites inward exploration that can enable us to sink into embodiment of our soulful essence. The waves of Jupiter in Pisces can wash over and weave in between the places where we have been fragmented, coalescing a presence that can bring together parts of our inner multiplicity that have become disconnected. By taking our time and acting with the flow of surrounding natural cycles rather than trying to force things to happen, Jupiter in Pisces can create an experience of abundance that allows us to feel more expansive with less by aligning us with our authentic nature and values.

Yet with the dissolving whirlpool of Neptune present with Jupiter in Pisces, the coherence we gain through Jupiter will be important to question. The combination of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces will necessitate a descent into the dissolution of our previous beliefs, embodying the essence that will eventually coagulate out of the disintegrating stirring of our inner life. There will be a need to embrace nonlinear processes rather than insisting on linear progress, as we may need to pass through a disorienting phase of fluidity before we are able to differentiate and clarify the deeper meaning we receive.”

There is an invigorating and pragmatic earth triangle formed during the lunation between the Full Moon in Virgo, Pluto in Capricorn, and the north node of the Moon in Taurus. Rather than insisting on absolute perfection of ideals, the earthy triangle supporting the Virgo Full Moon can be best utilized in focusing on the tasks and work at hand in the moment, allowing the creative process to open up possibilities of new directions that go astray of initial ideals of vision and expectation. Allowing for the communion of creativity can bring the incredibly immense imaginal potential of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces into the forms that want to emerge from being fully engaged in the creative process. Assisting in this process is Mercury. Mercury in Pisces rules the Virgo Full Moon and is applying toward a conjunction with Jupiter it will complete on March 20 and a conjunction with Neptune it will complete on March 23. A true synthesis between Virgo and Pisces is possible at this time, and the results can be stunningly beautiful when allowing for new directions to emerge from the process.

Snake and Moon (1938-1939) by Morris Graves

While the zodiacal sign of Pisces features Mercury, Jupiter, and Neptune coming together, the zodiacal sign of Aquarius has Mars, Venus, and Saturn coming together. However, before Venus and Mars form conjunctions with Saturn in Aquarius, they first must pass through catalyzing square aspects with Uranus in Taurus. Venus will first square Uranus on March 19, followed by Mars forming an exact square aspect with Uranus on March 22. The tension between Venus and Uranus is especially creative and inspirational, as Venus is receiving Uranus into her earthy home of Taurus. There can be liberating flights of creative vision and exciting new developments within relationships, especially when experimenting with new directions and experiences rather than staying stagnant in old patterns and routines.

Venus and Mars have been on a long journey together, moving across the sign of Capricorn into a conjunction with Pluto within the past month. Now that they are engaging Uranus, whatever deepening of feelings and desires have been building now seek release. It will be helpful to find creative outlets and ways to express the energy, allowing the “body electric” as penned by Walt Whitman to sing the song of whatever inspirational force is passing through awareness.

During the waning half of the present lunar cycle, Venus will form a conjunction with Saturn on March 28 only days before the New Moon in Aries occurs on March 31. During this time we can work with Saturn and Venus to apply hard work and diligent effort into bringing into form whatever visions of inspiration we receive in the days following the Virgo Full Moon. We may also experience a sobering of perspective regarding anything we have become too inflated about. It can be a productive time for bringing new forms into reality as long as we remain remain realistic about available time and resources and do not try to take on too much or stretch ourselves past the limits of what is truly possible.

10 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Virgo 3 Decan

The Full Moon in Virgo will illuminate the third decan of Virgo associated with the Ten of Pentacles card illustrated about by Pamela Colman Smith. Fitting for an image of a family enjoying the fruits of their ancestral legacy, the third face of Virgo is ruled by Mercury and Venus. T. Susan Chang in 36 Secrets named special attributes of the Ten of Pentacles including the study and practice of magic, ancestral communication, “an ability to finalize the process from raw material to usable product, a through understanding of monetary infrastructures,” and “the judicious use of rest and silence.” Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces connected the image of “the pensive nature of the elder” in the Ten of Pentacles card with a fundamental question this face asks about wealth: “What, given the fate of all created things, is truly valuable?”

Coppock ascribed the image of “The Sarcophagus” to the third decan of Virgo, writing that “the spirit gazes upon its inevitable separation from matter here, contemplating the consequences of its brief union.” A decan of decay and death, old texts such as the Picatrix and Liber Hermetis contain images of mummification, while Abraham Ibn-Ezra pictured a woman praying with leprous hands. Coppock stated that the third decan of Virgo “has the power to break the pride of all created things by showing them their inevitable end,” yet through facing this inevitability “it grants far reaching sight . . . the ability to look beyond the present, seeing consequences as clearly as actions.” It’s a decan that asks us to come to terms with the legacy and value we wish to leave behind for our future ancestors, a face of learning to embrace the moment due to the death that awaits all of our loves in the end.

Doubling down on the long game during the Virgo Full Moon, the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed the goddess Hestia to the third face of Virgo. Hestia is a sublime guide for the Full Moon, as she holds within her purified gaze the focus necessary to stay true to the essential value we wish to invest into our relationships, work, and community. Hestia is the devoted one with roots in a legacy of sisterhood we can draw from, a spiritual lineage that across tumultuous centuries has sustained respect with every breath for the living force of creation. Hestia holds within her heart a moral compass impossible to manipulate or distract away from the path of love and service that does not abandon. During the Virgo Full Moon, follow the guidance of the life force flowing through your heart as Hestia devotes herself to her flame, allowing the authority of your heart to help in navigating whatever sea changes come your way.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

become_a_patron_button

References

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Pisces New Moon

The Window (1924) by Marc Chagall

Pisces New Moon

Creation stories begin with chaos and water. Perhaps this speaks to the immense, mysterious creativity inherent in Pisces, a sign of ever changing water in touch with the primordial chaos underlying reality. Thoughts and feelings meld and mutate in Pisces, flicker in reflection and mingle in spaces of reciprocity. In spite of whatever disruptive and difficult events have been occurring, the watery New Moon in Pisces on March 2 can enliven awareness for vital forms of creative potency that can emerge in the months ahead. The dark inner ground of the lunation is fertile with imaginative potency bringing sustenance to explorative processes of curiosity, as Pisces is less about claiming definitive meaning and more about absorbing all possibilities. The New Moon in Pisces can serve as a vessel allowing for the mystery of the unsolved in heart and mind, the hidden places of dark thoughts that cloak reason and swirl in dissolution. Like an appearance of Dionysus that shatters stagnancy, unleashes life force, and seeds new visions, the New Moon in Pisces can kindle faith that light and love will return in even the darkest moments of despair.

The New Moon at 12°06’ Pisces is applying to an inspiring conjunction with Jupiter, while separating from a dynamic sextile aspect with Uranus in Taurus. The powerful influence of Uranus and Jupiter upon the lunation will invigorate the soul of liberty, impulses to gain greater freedom through taking in a more expansive vision of potential paths forward. Within the ongoing tension between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus that has set desires for breaking free against constraints that frustrate with obstruction, the recent movements within astrology have emphasized the slow, measured steps of Saturn that stress the need for boundaries and can be cold at times in calculation. The synergy between the New Moon with Jupiter in Pisces and Uranus in Taurus will breathe life and creative inspiration into the containers cultivated by Saturn, allowing a widening array of influences to seep through conditioned boundaries so that a vaster wholeness of one’s present and future possibilities may be taken in.

We may imagine the dazzling Hekate as an intermediary presence for the lunation, helping us mediate the intersection of three major astrological pathways: Jupiter, Neptune, Sun, and Moon combined in Pisces, Mercury and Saturn combined in Aquarius, as well as Venus, Mars, and Pluto combined in Capricorn. Within the potency of their mixture, we may sense a weaving together as well as an untangling of major storylines that have been developing during the past few months. Exploring the multiplicity of feelings and perceptions that may emerge during a New Moon under such an extremely strong Piscean influence can allow for the mystery of the unknown, curiosity in following feelings without an agenda, and sensing more deeply where to focus creative engagement with the wonders of one’s imaginal inner realm.

Zeus holding Hekate (190 – 180 BC)

Jupiter is at the very end of its synodic cycle with the Sun during the Pisces New Moon, releasing what needs to be let go from the visions of the past year to make greater space for what can blossom in the year ahead. Jupiter will form a conjunction with the Sun on March 5 at 14°58’ Pisces, creating an ideal opportunity to envision what you wish to nourish with your soul in the year ahead . As Jupiter becomes reanimated by the Sun, seeding a new Jupiter cycle for the year ahead, quiet moments of stillness and contemplation may bring direct connection with divine inspiration. As a vision begins to take shape, the forthcoming lunar cycle can correspond with implementing the smaller steps and goals that will lead to the bigger dream.

The Pisces Moon is not only applying toward a conjunction with Jupiter during the lunation, but also with Neptune. This means that the lunation will demarcate the crossing of a threshold into an intensification of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces becoming an overwhelmingly powerful influence within the astrological landscape. Although Jupiter and Neptune will not unite until April 12 at 24°58’ Pisces, their ethereal and otherworldly impact will begin to be palpably felt. This may be confusing at times, as the combined influence of Jupiter and Neptune may open doors to other realms and dimensions usually outside one’s day to day perception, feelings and emotions that arrive and even crash like a wave only to recede into the dissolution of the wide open sea. The creative potential of their coming conjunction is boundless, and so the Pisces New Moon marks a time to begin actively engaging with ones dreams and imagination rather than merely daydreaming. [Note: click here to read my full article on the influence of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces]

Ring depicting Eros (3rd Century)

Providing a primordial thrust of emotional impact underlying the lunation is the union of Venus, Mars and Pluto in Capricorn. Venus and Mars will each form an exact conjunction with Pluto within a day of the Pisces New Moon on March 3, with Mars at 27°50’ Capricorn and Venus at 27°51’ Capricorn. Of all three, Mars is at a place of greatest power as their union is occurring at the exaltation degree of Mars. In current events the extreme potency of Mars has corresponded with the eruption of brutal, bloody warfare in Ukraine creating a refugee crisis, while in personal events there may have been eruptions of difficult emotional material from within due to intense relational encounters. Whether the passions being felt are pleasant or unpleasant, it is likely that the alignment of Venus, Mars, and Pluto is dredging up incredibly deep relational material and feelings. Staying with the feelings and curiously exploring them can lead eventually to important insights that can help transform one’s present relational dynamics and patterns. Though transform is often mocked as an overused astrological term, it is very true in this case. There is much more going on than whatever present relational encounters are occurring, as the dynamics will be unlocking deep reservoirs of memories and issues that need one’s attention and inner nurturance.

Vitally, the union of Venus, Mars and Pluto will be bringing together themes and storylines stretching as far back as November 5, when Venus first entered the sign of Capricorn to join Pluto within the same terrain. Looking back to the month of December is particularly important to contemplate as it was when Venus and Pluto became more intensely involved in relationship, in particular leading up to December 11 when they formed their first conjunction, December 19 when Venus stationed retrograde nearby Pluto, and December 25 when Venus formed her second exact conjunctions with Pluto. Their union does not mean that clear answers will be found, only that a deeper layer of emotive material will be unearthed that can continue to be worked with and explored.

It’s further important that within the waxing of the forthcoming lunar cycle, Venus and Mars will form their third and final conjunction of the past eight months on March 6, 2022 at  00°02’ Aquarius. The previous conjunctions between Venus and Mars were at 19°48’ Leo on July 13, 2021 and more recently at 16°53’ Capricorn on February 16 during the time of the Full Moon in Leo. Their present proximity with Pluto is therefore vital to explore in terms of receiving a vaster awareness of whatever desires and creative processes have been stirred up. Since their final union is at the same degree where Jupiter and Saturn formed their great conjunction in Aquarius on Decemberr 21, 2020, we likely will begin to gain greater clarity for the shape of all the relationship changes and reorderings we have experienced since the end of 2020. We are only at the beginning of a new Jupiter and Saturn cycle, yet far enough along to gain greater understanding for all of the changes we have been experiencing and how to best guide ourselves forward. It’s a good time to reflect upon any significant new relationships that have started or deepened since the end of 2020 and how they serve as threshold guardians to the new sense of oneself to claim within ones relationships and creative processes going forward.

Winchelsea: Steps to Queen Elizabeth’s Well by Frederick Evans

The third and final major alignment within the Pisces New Moon is the conjunction between Mercury with Saturn at 19°00’ Aquarius on the same day as the lunation. The stars of Hermes and Kronos uniting supports clear headed vision and an ability to be pragmatic and incisively realistic regarding the stark reality of present circumstances. It’s a beneficial aspect to counter the nebulous influence of Jupiter and Neptune beginning to take shape. The capacity of Mercury to hold polarities and linger within paradox can help in probing the structures and boundaries in place within our relationships and work. We may realize places that need more boundary within communication or areas that have become too constricted and restrained and need loosening.

Furthermore, the conjunction between Mercury and Saturn will bring resolution to the previous Mercury retrograde in Aquarius period that began on January 14 when Mercury stationed a few degrees away from Saturn. It was as if Mercury got just close enough to pick up a message from Saturn without completing the exchange, before backtracking all the way back across the border between Aquarius and Capricorn into a conjunction with Pluto on January 28 and February 11 before returning to finally complete the conjunction with Saturn on March 2. Whatever plans and ideas came up to develop since the middle of January that have gone through periods of delay and renovation can now be returned to with active engagement that has undergone needed time for exploration. There also may be penetrating insights that shatter illusions we have had about situations that have developed in the past few months. Allow the combination of Mercury and Saturn to bring a no nonsense analysis of present dynamics, as things are likely to get much more warpy once Mercury leaves Aquarius in order to join the Sun, Jupiter, and Neptune in Pisces on March 9.

9 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Pisces 2 Decan

The New Moon is in the second decan of Pisces, a face associated with the Nine of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we see a pleased figure in a scarlet cap with a showy plume, signifying his passionate mind dressed with the Eros of his desires. The Nine of Cups is often associated with wish fulfillment, with the golden cups behind the figure signifying the resources needed to gain greater abundance being found within the unconscious and unseen realm of Spirit. The Nine of Cups has also been associated with happiness on both external and internal levels, enjoying feelings of pleasure and satisfaction, and getting what we think we want.  T. Susan Chang in 36 Secrets astutely observed that the Nine of Cups is “the card of wishes, not expectations” that involves the necessity of “appreciating the unexpected,” a good reminder with the Pisces New Moon in aspect with Uranus. Fittingly, Jupiter is supremely powerful in this face, as it is not only the domicile ruler of Pisces but also the ruler of its second decan. With Jupiter present within its own face, the meaning of this decan is especially powerful during the days surrounding the lunation.

Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Net” to the second decan of Pisces in honor of Indra’s net with its many mutually reflective jewels, an overhanging cosmic net that has been interpreted as signifying magic and illusion as well as the interconnectedness of our universe. Coppock wrote that the luxurious satisfaction of the figure in the Nine of Cups card is the product of engaging the process of maintaining “a harmonious relationship between material and spiritual layers of life . . . [such as in] the art of following the Tao itself . . . at play in the material world but not beholden to it.” Coppock declared it to be a face in which “the central conflict is how to reconcile one’s understanding of the true nature of reality with the world-as-it-is,” a “phase in which we are challenged to reconcile beliefs, ideals, and the way things are.”

The link between the second face of Pisces with the depths of the underlying source of our visible reality is especially relevant given that the Pisces Moon will be moving from a sextile with Uranus into a conjunction with Jupiter and Neptune. The 12th century philosopher and astrologer Abraham Ibn Ezra in The Beginning of Wisdom described an image of a beautiful woman sitting on a ship at sea for this decan, wishing to come to land. Similarly, Coppock described the figures of the second face of Pisces as being “anchored in the invisible, yet step forward to play important roles in the visible world.” Make space during the Pisces New Moon to discover if there any aspects of your inner beauty that have been patiently waiting in the oceanic realm of your unconscious, ready to come to shore to be realized. 

Coppock concluded that the crux of this decan centers on fulfillment coming from the harmonizing of one’s inner perceptions with one’s outer life, as torment and grief will overcome those unable to harmonize their outer and inner worlds. Seeking fortune for fortune’s sake will not bring happiness if our visible goals are misaligned with our invisible priorities. As older forms of astrology prioritize the relationships between Daimon and Fortune as well as Eros and Necessity, we must enact Daimon and Eros from our depths rather than only responding to the Necessity and Fortune of our times.  The satisfaction and joy that can be reached through the second face of Pisces comes from a deeper success that is aligned with our soul purpose and embodying the meaning of why we are here at this time. 

The Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed the daimon Dolos to the second face of Pisces, a spirit of deception and trickery. Dolos was an apprentice to Prometheus who famously attempted to duplicate a statue of Aletheia (Truth) that had been perfectly constructed by Prometheus, yet ran out of clay before being able to complete its feet. In Aesop’s version of the tale, the duplicate statue was called Pseudologos (Falsehood) and brought the moral that something false can start off successfully, but with time the real truth will be revealed. Austin Coppock in 36 Faces wrote that the “protean” figures of the second face of Pisces can be “tricksters, liars who try to paint the portraits of their understanding and sculpt the form of their visions,” yet they necessarily fall short as “form utterly fails the profound,” and “the truth cannot be copied.” In fact, Coppock concluded that their creative acts are essential to the meaning of this face, as their “flawed copies are the only manner in which dreams can become real.”

With the Pisces New Moon activating the coming conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces, it will be worthwhile to keep in mind the lesson that something false may start off successfully only later to have the real truth revealed. A balance will need to be found by allowing flights of fantasy to stoke inspiration while not allowing yourself to become carried away by an illusive reflection of your true inner needs and desires. The more we can get in touch with our deepest inner feelings and desires during the darkness of the Pisces New Moon, the better we will be able to focus on the work and relationships that will bring true nurturance to our soul.

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References

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.