Pleiades: Seven Sisters
Whenever Mercury enters the sign of Gemini as it did on 5/15/13, it is thought of as Mercury returning “home,” since Mercury rules Gemini. Yet this is even more true according to myth, as Hermes is the son of the Pleiadian sister Maia (the Pleiades are seven sisters in Greek Myth), and the Pleiades star constellation is located at the end of Taurus and the beginning of Gemini in the zodiac. Thus, every time Mercury heads into Gemini, he is coming home to his mother and aunts, as the Pleiades bridge Taurus and Gemini, and the main star of the Pleiades, Alcyone, is located at 0-1 degrees Gemini. However, there is even more reason to honor the Pleiades right now than the fact that Mercury has come home to them in the zodiac, as the Pleiades star constellation is being hit with a lot of major transits connected with eclipses. During the recent Solar Eclipse on May 9, Venus was moving across the Pleiades star constellation, with the Moon soon to be conjunct Venus and the Pleiades on May 10, 2013. Furthermore, on May 15 today Mercury is currently conjunct the Pleiades and in range of a conjunction with Venus, en route to being exactly conjunct Venus at 19 degrees Gemini on May 24 (Mercury-Venus will also be four degrees away from Jupiter at this time). When Mercury and Venus are conjunct on May 24, there will also be a Lunar Eclipse occurring in which the Sun will be conjunct the Pleiades by four degrees, and the Moon will be opposite the Pleiades. If that isn’t enough intense Pleiadian energy for you, the Sun will be conjunct the Pleiades on May 20 when we will have another exact square between Pluto and Uranus. So much Pleiadian energy being stirred up in between two eclipses is fitting, because in between these eclipses we have entered a vortex of time and space out of which deep change can manifest in our life, and the visual of the mesmerizing star constellation of the Pleiades in the night sky looks like a spiral vortex we could transport ourselves through. When the Pleiades came in with the recent Solar Eclipse through Venus transiting it at the same time as the eclipse, my astrology teacher Rosie Finn wrote the following interpretation for 5/10/13 in her monthly newsletter, Plants and Planets:
The Pleiades are so good at teaching us how to live a beautiful life on this planet, how to love and enjoy life, how to get the most out of our trip here and how to evolve just enough to stay and just enough to not feel stuck here. The world is full of possibility and there is abundance- in this world at this time and it is accessible to us, when we vibrate with abundance possibility, open our inner eyes to see, and can recognize the resonance of our true longing in alignment with that which matches that longing in the world.
–Rosie Finn, Plants and Planets, May 2013
I still remember the first time I was struck by the beauty of the Pleiades, in a starry night sky above the Appalachian aka Blue Ridge mountains of Georgia in the Southeast USA. There is something alluring and magical about the shape of this spiral constellation to the human eye, and it does have a strong resonance with human beings as the Pleiades have been channelled into books by a number of authors, including the Pleiadian Agenda by astrologer Barbara Hand Clow. Clow in this book describes the bond and connection between the Pleiades and Earth as resulting from a karmic obligation initiated by Pleiadian entities in ancient times on Earth, and this is similar to other channelled work in the sense of the Pleiades being able to have a direct connection with human beings. In many interpretations of Pleiades energy, as in the passage above by Rosie Finn, the Pleiades are described as having an energy that resonates with life on earth for humans and has wise beneficial guidance for how humans can survive and thrive on a higher level on this planet. As in the quote above, this resonance is often described in terms of aligning the desires of Taurus with the thoughts and expressions of Gemini, aligning our minds and bodies so that we are more truly in alignment with what we want to truly manifest in our lives, and being mindful of the vibration we are emanating with our being. According to many authors, the Pleiades hold the belief that we can manifest abundance in our lives through our intention and vibration, as well as communicate with one another instantly and telepathically without the use of cell phones or instant messaging (cell phones and instant messaging serving as signs revealing our actual potential in this case). The Pleiades are also here to help spark and facilitate human evolution according to many of the channelling authors, and so to me this connects them with the Esoteric Astrology development of the sign of Gemini from a subjective mind relating others to self, through a more objective mind that is able to relate the self to others, and ultimately to a wholistic mind that is able to relate the One (Spirit/Source/God) to self and to others, synthesizing “lower” mind issues to serve the “higher” mind (Oken, p. 177).
It would be wise to keep in mind that the Pleiades will be associated with one of the most intense and significant astrological events of this time period on May 20, 2013 when the Sun will be conjunct the Pleiades at the same time that Pluto and Uranus will be in an exact square aspect. This will be the third of seven squares between Pluto and Uranus (from June 24, 2012 until April 4, 2015), and so has been associated with third chakra issues by many astrologers, including my astrology teacher Rosie Finn who believes it will connect with us aligning our personal Will with divine Will. Some Third Chakra issues from Anodea Judith’s book Eastern Body Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self that could be helpful to keep in mind at this time are as follows (p. 166-7):
Balanced Characteristics: Responsible, Reliable, Balanced effective will, Warmth in personality, Playfulness, Confidence, Appropriate self-discipline, Able to meet challenges, Sense of one’s personal power.
Traumas and Abuses: Shaming, Authoritarianism, Volatile situations, Domination of will, Physical abuse, Enmeshment, Inherited shame from parent, Age inappropriate responsibilities (parentified child)
Deficiency: Low energy, Weak will, easily manipulated, Poor self-discipline, Low self-esteem, Cold emotionally, Victim mentality, Unreliable, Poor Digestion
Excess: Overly aggressive, Need to be right, Manipulative, Temper tantrums, Stubborness, Driving ambition, Competitive, Arrogant, Hyperactive
Healing Practices: Risk taking (deficiency), Grounding and emotional contact, Deep relaxation and stress control (excess), Vigorous exercise, Psychotherapy or other methods to build ego strength, release or contain anger, work on shame issues, strengthen the will, and encourage autonomy
How exactly could the Pleiades help us at this time? To me, that is part of the mystery of it all, and part of the great mystery I associate with the Pleiades. No matter how many different interpretations, stories, and analyses I read regarding the Pleiades, I always feel that there is much more involved with them than is being communicated through language. However, since they are located at a bridge juncture in the zodiac between Taurus and Gemini, it makes sense that they would integrate lessons that can come from the connection between Taurus and Gemini: issues we have with our Mind-Body connection, since Taurus is the sign of human form, and Gemini is the the sign of human mind. One interesting mind-body connection was described by herbalist Carol Trasatto in the May 2013 issue of Plants and Planets (she is the “plants” to Rosie’s “planets”), in which she references how scientists have now discovered a vast network of 500 neurons line our guts, so that our stomach is really like a “second brain” for us. Carol wisely notes that similar to how we can be misled by the misperceptions of our minds, so can our guts mislead us at times due to previous issues, wounding, and trauma. She writes:
Our perception- even somatic, gut-level perception- has been overlaid with imprints of previous experience, messaging, and sensation. Our physical and energy bodies are repositories of impressions; we are dealing with layers of information when we tune into our body wisdom. To most benefit from what our body can tell us, our work is to sensitize our awareness, refine our recognition of sensations, and then also to cultivate discernment regarding whether the messages reflect something true about the present moment or are an echo of habituated protection, now keeping us from experiencing the next level of intimacy with ourselves . . . For instance, physical intimacy with a new beloved may trigger gut sensations felt as fear, anger, shame, discomfort, anxiety, even panic in someone who was violated by touch in the past . . . Rather than rejecting the current lover, the person with such body memories could choose to use the safety of the present dynamic to first recognize and then explore these stored sensations- and work to heal them with the love energy presenting itself as medicine. “Trusting the gut” in such an instance requires self-awareness, courage, and the willingness to understand one’s experience . . . and allow it to transform.
— Carol Trasatto, Plants and Planets, May 2013
The sort of wisdom cultivated by people who work closely with our Earth, such as the herbalist Carol Trasatto, is the type of wisdom I associate with the Pleiades, a star constellation that has had a large and diverse cultural following across our planet since ancient times, well beyond the confines of Greek or Mediterranean culture- especially among indigenous people of the “Americas.” In the same edition of her monthly newsletter, Carol gave an illuminating description of Third Chakra issues that I feel is very timely in connection with the approaching Pluto-Uranus square and intense issues we could become potentially influenced by in the collective culture and collective consciousness, and its connection to the alchemy of plants on our planet connects it for me to wisdom offered through the Pleiades:
The Third Chakra, the solar plexus, is about fire and transformation. In herbal alchemy, when we yield the plant body to fire after extracting its magic with fluids, the resulting salts in the ash- when returned to the liquid- make the remedy more potent. The fire energy available to us via the solar plexus first of all can serve to illuminate and then incinerate those fears, habits, and beliefs that limit our potential. The chakra’s energy can enhance our ability to skillfully exercise will and personal power- especially in the realm of cultivating our intuitive voice and our ability to stand in our own center, free from the influence of collective trance. This freedom allows our actions and our voice to be guided from our inner authority, our relationship with spirit, our life purpose. It is through the right use of will that we may heal the past and bring vision into form.
–Carol Trasatto, Plants and Planets, May 2013
One thing for certain, however, is that the Pleiades are associated with guidance for humans, as they were used in ancient times for agricultural cycles and for navigation. In fact, although there is some debate upon the origins of the name Pleiades, it very likely came from the word meaning “to sail” because the Pleiades are visible in the Mediterranean night sky from the middle of May until the beginning of November, coinciding with ancient sailing season¹. Furthermore, through myth the Pleiades are associated with navigation and guidance through being the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas, who held the celestial spheres on his shoulders and was the God of Astronomy and navigation. Being the daughters of a Titan links the Pleiades with Uranus in myth at this time of the Pluto-Uranus square- in fact, Uranus is their great-grandfather! In case you don’t remember, Uranus was the Sky God mate of Gaia, the primordial Earth Goddess, who through her fathered the new archetypes of the Titans into the world: six sets of twins. Iapetus was one of the sons of Uranus who later became the father of Atlas, who then became the father of the seven sisters of the Pleiades.
Interestingly, Iapetus is also the father of Prometheus- so Prometheus is like the uncle of the Pleiadian sisters. This further mythic connection to another liberating Titan like Prometheus, the archetype of the trickster who brought fire to humans, makes me feel the Pleiades will be more on the side of the shocking yet ultimately liberating and individuating energy of Uranus in Aries during this time of the third Pluto-Uranus square. Since the Pleiades seem to be connected with practices to help humans navigate at a higher level on planet Earth, whatever third chakra healing is required at this time would be wise to put into practice- this could range from needing to ground inside the body and performing relaxation exercises to needing to take greater risks from a warm and heart-centered will-force. There will most likely be deeply destructive and shocking events occurring- I feel the connection of these times with the Pleiades is our need to ride the wave of energy occurring in the moment and focus on the fact we can still manifest abundance and prosperity in our lives through responsible responses to any intense experiences occurring.
The Pleiades are the daughters of the sea nymph Pleione, which also connects the Pleiades through myth to the other significant outer planet energy occuring now besides the Uranus-Pluto square, which is Neptune being in Pisces and in trine to Saturn in Scorpio. The trine between Pisces Neptune and Scorpio Saturn is the silver lining to remember amidst the chaos of the approaching Uranus-Pluto square, and it’s harmonious aspects should be activated by the cacophony from Uranus and Pluto. This trine in water signs between Neptune and Saturn connects with the Pleiades because it goes along with the idea of developing a discipline or practice to help focus and release energies. Our bodies are mostly made of water, and in many ways we are liquid beings possessing a high level of responsiveness to the vibration of our environments, but more importantly by the vibration of our own thoughts, emotions, and being. As the research of Dr. Emoto has shown the transformative and purifying effect of human prayer and intention on water, so can we transform and purify our own being through the power of our mind, intentions, and the vibrations we radiate internally and externally. According to Barbara Hand Clow and others who have “worked” with Pleiadian entities, this knowledge that we can transform our own beings as well as what we are co-creating in our life is part of what the Pleiadians are revealing to us. The Pleiades are also connected with Neptune because two of the seven sisters had children with Poseidon. The mating of the Pleiades with Gods is not uncommon- in fact, six out of the seven sisters did so:
Maia, the eldest, was the mother of Hermes by Zeus.
Electra was the mother of Dardanus and Iasion by Zeus
Taygete was the mother of Lacedaemon by Zeus
Alcyone was the mother of Hyrieus, Hyperenor, and Aethusa by Poseidon
Celaeno was the mother of Lycus and Eurypylus by Poseidon
Sterope was the mother of Oenomaus by Ares.
Merope, the youngest,gained the admiration and attention of Orion. In some myths she marries Sisyphus, becomes mortal, and gives birth to several sons. As a result she is sometimes referred to as the “lost Pleiades,” and is associated with the least bright star in the constellation.
There are many versions in Greek myth of how the seven sisters became stars, but in most of them it is associated with some sort of trauma they experienced as a repercussion of the wars for power amongst ancient deities. To review, Uranus was castrated by his Titan son Cronus (Saturn) who seized power; then Cronus was later taken down by Zeus (Jupiter) who likewise seized the power from his father, and assigned rulerships to his brothers and sisters, including the eldest brother Hades (Pluto), the one currently in a “fight” with Uranus above us today. As a result of the war between the Titans and the Olympians, Zeus took action to ensure that Uranus would not be able to birth more threatening archetypes, so he made the Titan Atlas stand on Earth, or Gaia, and hold aloft the celestial spheres, or Uranus, so that Uranus and Gaia would remain separated. The Pleiades, being the daughters of Atlas, would obviously have been saddened to see their father trapped into this role.
In one story, Orion began to chase the Pleiades after their father Atlas was forced to carry the celestial spheres, and so Zeus transformed the sisters into doves, and then into stars in order to appease Atlas. This version has the interesting aspect of Zeus trying to do something nice for Atlas, when Zeus was the one who forced Atlas to carry the weight of the celestial spheres in the first place. This to me is like a political figurehead making overtures to honor the dead or wounded, knowing full well that they were intricately involved in the complicated karmic stew of events that wounded or killed the person in the first place. We certainly are seeing quite a bit of that these days here in the United States of America. And speaking of the United States of America and our governmental “leaders,” Zeus or Jupiter being in the sign of Gemini during this time reminds me of how the U.S. government is not being very subtle recently about it’s shifting into a totalitarian police state in control of all media forms of communication, able to seize the cell phone records or email history of any individual it wants, at any time. Up until now, many of us have been complicit with this- just look around at the vast number of people obsessively plugged into smart phones, tablets, and mobile devices they are literally carrying with them everywhere, all ultimately connected to the same funding sources that are controlling the media and the government. This also goes along with the Gemini Jupiter use of the media by corporate powers hoping to force as much distracting crap on the American populace as possible on television and through all news outlets, hoping people do not realize what is actually happening right now. Although this has been true for a very long time, the rate of this media deception is becoming extraordinarily alarming to me recently. There will most likely be some significant events occurring in this upcoming time period of the Uranus-Pluto square, so hopefully we the people will start taking the responsibility to wake the hell up. Hopefully, the trine between Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces will help dissolve the illusions underlying the perceptions and reality we are living, and align us more with the actual truth of our lives, giving us the courage to face the truth of our lives in the process and take accountability for being the change we wish to see in the world around us.
But I am getting off my point about how the Pleiades went from being sisters to stars in myth. In the most tragic version I know of, the seven sisters decide to commit suicide because of the deep sadness they were carrying because of the fate forced upon their father Atlas to carry the celestial spheres, or in other variations because of losing their other sisters the Hyades. In this version of the myth, Zeus again decides to honor them by immortalizing them as stars in the sky. I feel this suicide story may be why you will traditionally see some astrologers link the Pleiades with sorrows, misfortunes, and tragedies. However, I do not believe there needs to be such dark energy associated with the meaning of the Pleiades; at most I feel the connection has to do with how we can recover from sorrowful events and cope with our emotions. Because the Greek myths have a clear link between the sorrow of the Pleiades with their father’s involvement in the war between the Titans and Olympians, I feel in particular the Pleiades can help us cope with the trauma of the collective oppression and trauma people around our planet have been subjugated to as a result of world leaders focused upon war, destruction, and manipulating events for gains of global power. When we are facing intense and traumatic times in our collective, if we hope to facilitate and manifest the positive change we want to see happen, we need to be able to keep our own emotions and responses in balance so that we can effectively respond in way that is truly aligned with our inner integrity and authority. These issues are vital to our ability to develop a healthy and balanced use of our Third Chakra, again a chakra likely to be stirred up at this time.
Indeed, the Pleiades have a positive life affirming meaning, and have been a significant star focus, for many groups of people around the Earth in addition to the Greeks, in particular with many indigenous cultures. I know I often explore Greek myth in writing since their myths are the basis of the names we commonly associate with planetary archetypes in Western Astrology, but it is at least as fascinating to explore the mythic meaning of the star constellation labeled the Pleiades by the Greeks, through the mythic lens of other cultures (hopefully I will make the time to do so in a subsequent post). The rising of the Pleiades before sunrise was used by many ancient people to mark their calendars, and by many indigenous people as a time telling device. In the Americas, the Aztecs used the Pleiades as a basis for their calendar, and the Hopi built ceremonial spaces in which a hole in the ceiling would reveal the glow of the Pleiades at a specific time to begin a ritual. Interestingly, in many diverse cultures the seven stars have been seen as seven sisters for ages, such as with the aboriginal people of Australia and the Nez Perce of the Northwest USA. I sense such mystery about the Pleiades that I am hoping to center and sense what types of signs, symbols, and events end up being associated with this time period containing so many astrological connections to them.
Last year at this time, on May 20, 2012 there was a Solar Eclipse conjunct the Pleiades. And as I have already mentioned, this year on May 20 when the Sun is conjunct the star Alcyone of the Pleiades, there is going to be an exact square between Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries. So to honor the date of May 20 and it’s solar connection to the Pleiades, I am going to share some musical work of two geniuses who have birthdays near May 20. Perhaps it is because my natal moon is conjunct the Pleiades at 2 degrees Gemini, as well as the birthday of both of these musicians, but I feel that each of their energies incorporates some of the synthesizing skills of the Pleiades in weaving together musical styles. And music is also a perfect example of the transformation offered through intentional vibration that the Pleiades are here to offer us. The first is a genius of the popular music format, Fats Waller, who was born on May 21, 1904 and below can be heard singing one of his romantic jingles in the unique style that only Fats could deliver:
And Sun Ra, born May 22, 1914. Sun Ra has his own resonance with being in contact with the energy of outer space, having a vision as a young man in which he was taken to a planet he identified as Saturn, where he was told he could respond to the chaos that was coming to his planet Earth through communicating through music. Taking the name Sun Ra, he said he was from Saturn, and his music has an energy to it I associate with the Pleiades, for whatever reason:
- Oken, Alan. Soul Centered Astrology