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:
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.
I was recently interviewed by Melissa LaFara on her Energetic Principles Podcast giving an astrological forecast for 2022. There are a lot of big themes for the year that we discussed including the lunar nodes changing to Scorpio and Taurus, eclipses in Taurus and Scorpio amplifying the tension between Saturn and Uranus, Uranus conjunct the North Node in Taurus, Jupiter conjunct Neptune in Pisces, and much more. We also give a more detailed overview month to month.
Here is a link to watch it on YouTube which is helpful to see a visual of the astrology transits we discuss:
Here is a link to listen to our discussion on SoundCloud:
New Moon in Aquarius
The New Moon in Aquarius on February 11 contains a catalyzing undercurrent that will overflow into external events and experiences in the month ahead. With the Sun and Moon joined by Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn all in the sign of Aquarius together, there will be reshaping and reordering of personal and societal systems as we individually and collectively reorient to the extreme volatility of the past month. The year of 2021 began in the wake of the great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius, followed by the turbulent force of Mars and Uranus in Taurus unleashing a chaotic charge that accelerated the changing dynamics underway and forced numerous issues to the surface in need of addressing. The New Moon in Aquarius initiates a lunar month that has supportive astrological aspects for adapting and recalibrating to the changing currents flowing through the wider collective as well as within our inner life.
Although the New Moon in Aquarius is separating from a discordant square aspect with Mars in Taurus, the disruptive square aspect that has been taking shape between Uranus in Taurus and Saturn in Aquarius is intensifying in magnitude. With Mars and Uranus in Taurus volatilizing the gathering of planets in Aquarius, issues and material that had been stuck will become dislodged and released. Since we simultaneously will be experiencing the final phase of Mercury retrograde in Aquarius in the week following the New Moon, contents of our inner psyche that had been buried or hidden may flood our awareness. We will need to tend to our inner life with care so that we do not become so overwhelmed that we lose capacity for clarity in perception.
The New Moon is at the same zodiacal degree as the projection of the fixed star Deneb Algedi upon the ecliptic. The symbolism and star lore of Deneb Algedi fits well with the surrounding astrology of the lunation having an unusually large gathering of placements in the sign of the Water Pourer. Deneb Algedi is a star in the tail of the Goat-Fish constellational image, associated with the Babylonian creator god Ea and the Sumerian creator god Enki who brought the gifts of civilization from his realm of subterranean water. 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. The vast intellect and sacred eye of Ea understands the fathomless depths of metaphysical laws and how they may be integrated into human systems of law and order. Bernadette Brady wrote that like the “justice-oriented ancient god who was seeking to bring civilization to his people,” the star Deneb Algedi “continues to be reflected in the laws of the establishment, and the structure of civilizations that yield ordered societies.”
There is obvious synchronicity between the New Moon in Aquarius being at the same degree of the zodiac where Deneb Algedi is projected, as governing bodies and legal systems around the world are presently engaged in yet another phase of restructuring systems to address the many ways the pandemic has continued to reshape societal issues. In your personal life, explore what gifts are ready to emerge from the subterranean water within that can be brought out to share with your community. Seek to discover how you can reorder your personal structures and systems to be in flow with the changing currents altering the landscape, while staying centered within your own sense of integrity. Let the influx of so many placements in Aquarius help you claim your authority to reshape your life in accordance with the principles and wisdom that dwell within your own inner waters.
Venus and Jupiter will form a conjunction in Aquarius as the New Moon forms in Aquarius, forming their exact conjunction only four hours before the lunation. The union of Venus and Jupiter can kindle hope and faith, yet their conjunction in Aquarius will not appear as a visible omen in the sky as both Venus and Jupiter are presently invisible under the beams of the Sun. However, although Venus has recently entered its underworld phase of becoming invisible, Jupiter is preparing to re-emerge into visibility as a Morning Star heralding dawn in the week following the New Moon. As Venus is at the beginning of burning off what needs to be released from its past cycle, Jupiter is bearing the wisdom that has been gestating during the past month in which it has burned off the dross of its past cycle. Due to not being visible, the union of Venus and Jupiter may be most deeply felt within the realm of imagination, memory, and unconscious depths.
The union of Venus and Jupiter will have a restorative and vivifying influence upon the final week of Mercury being retrograde in Aquarius. Mercury has had a busy week leading up to the lunation, as it was reanimated by the Sun on February 8 and then formed a disruptive square aspect with Mars in Taurus on February 10. No matter how frustrating or disorienting recent events have been that have corresponded with the intensifying aspects between Mars with Mercury and the Sun, take the time to explore the deeper meaning of the disruptions and what they may teach you about the changing dynamics taking shape around you. Whether you have felt new desires stirred within or found yourself pulled into conflict with others, as Mercury slowly begins to separate from Mars in the days ahead you will be able to gain a greater sense of what needs to be released and let go from recent experiences, versus what aspects hold important lessons for you to contemplate and gain greater realization regarding.
Following the New Moon in Aquarius, Mercury will form a conjunction with Venus in Aquarius on February 13 followed by a conjunction with Jupiter in Aquarius on February 14. These days following the Aquarius New Moon can be extremely fertile for creativity and coalescing greater clarity regarding difficulties we have experienced in recent weeks as well as the path for us to follow into the year ahead. Venus and Jupiter will feed Mercury with new inspirations and visions to gestate as it begins to slow down to station direct on February 20. With Venus, Jupiter, and Mercury all combining in Aquarius while in their invisible phases, we will have potential for turning within the unbound realm of imagination to deconstruct any difficulties or obstacles we have been facing. Listen to guidance from within, allowing your unconscious to reconstruct responses to setbacks and give you greater access to the inner visions that can be brought into the world through your creative expression.
At the same time that Mercury is slowing down to station direct on February 20, the first exact square aspect between Saturn and Uranus will take place on February 17. There has already been a great many examples of rupturing in collective events that have correlated with the square that has been forming between Saturn and Uranus, with the mass protests of farmers in India being especially apt with regard to the symbolism of Uranus in Taurus. However, as the first square finally becomes exact we may gain sharper clarity for a fuller picture of how this incredibly catalytic aspect has been shaking up our life and perspective. Within the tension between Saturn and Uranus, the secure walls surrounding our sources of stability can be disrupted with lightning strikes that unleash rapid change. Prometheus steals the fire that liberates the mind of humanity, yet must suffer enduring consequences. Forces enlivened by new visions of emancipation clash with those seeking to protect the traditions that hold up the status quo.
With Saturn in its airy home of Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus there will be opportunities to find new ways of combining wisdom and insight from ancient lineages within modern applications that can address the numerous crises erupting around the planet. Yet the volatility created by their friction can also lead to increased division within groups that have already been engaged in polarized conflict, as well as lead to separations within personal relationships. Since Saturn in the fixed sign of Aquarius can exert control through manipulating sources of information, it’s a fitting correlation that within many of the conflicts occurring both sides feel like they are attempting to liberate the other side from having their thought and perspective manipulated by external sources. With Mercury slowing down to station retrograde at the same time as the square between Saturn and Uranus, we will be well served by stepping back from escalating conflict to perceive where the other perspective is coming from and discerning ways to bridge viewpoints and find some semblance of common ground. Once Mercury stations direct it will continue to move forward toward a conjunction with Jupiter as the Moon waxes toward fullness, increasing our capacity for making needed reforms and course corrections.
As groups and relationships splinter and fragment, there will also be increased opportunities to form new alliances, collaborations, and develop important new relationships. There can be a lot of fertile creativity found within those meeting on shared paths of purpose, as well as opportunities to help form new organizations that can meet the emerging needs of surrounding communities. As the Saturn and Uranus square becomes exact we will also gain greater clarity regarding what is falling apart and collapsing, and what will need to be built and developed to address the systemic issues being exposed. With Venus in Aquarius also forming a waning square aspect with Mars in Taurus at the same time Saturn forms its square with Uranus, we will need to make adjustments within our personal relationships in accordance with whatever larger collective changes are taking place. Notice how your internal values have been shifting, and find ways to communicate your changing needs to those you are in relationship with.
We also need to keep in mind the long view in the sense that the radical realignments in societal and personal structures that will correlate with the tension between Saturn and Uranus will be taking place over the next two years. While we may be seized with a feeling of needing to change everything rapidly, in many cases a more patient process will be helpful in developing a more stable path forward into the unknown. Rather than overturning everything in our life, we can instead choose to begin integrating the liberating insights of Uranus, experimenting with how to take steps in living from our rejuvenated realizations rather than remaining in the old status quo. With Jupiter and Venus combining in Aquarius at the same time, we can embrace a more expansive sense of wholeness that can hold within it our radically shifting perceptions. Rather than live from the side of Saturn that conforms to group dynamics for security, we need to work with Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus in ways that allow us to shed whatever we have built up over time that no longer authentically aligns with us.
Aquarius 3 Decan
The Aquarius New Moon is in the third decan of Aquarius associated with the Seven of Swords image illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Knot” to the third face of Aquarius, using the symbol of a knot to explore the karmic binds that keep us stuck in the known and familiar rather than liberating ourselves to enter the unknown. Coppock described the stealthy figure in the image of the Seven of Swords card as having already undergone a process of not only deciding to leave a frustrating situation but also having already contemplated what is worth saving. There is a risk of exile and the uncertainty of no longer having the stability of the structures being left behind, but the figure has determinedly chosen the unknown over the known.
The Moon is the ruler of the third face of Aquarius, and so the Moon being renewed in its own face points toward gathering the inner resolve required to experiment and take creative risks. By listening to the Aquarian guidance of doing things differently and looking at things with a different perspective, we will more naturally find the resources we need to support the new direction taking shape in our mind. The New Moon in Aquarius can help us cultivate a healthy dose of detachment from the all-consuming drama and conflict with current events, just enough space to gain the widening of perception needed to discover solutions and forge supportive connections with others.
The Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed Osiris, lord of the dead and the otherworld, to the third face of Aquarius. Furthermore, the Osiris asteroid is at 27°28′ Aquarius during the lunation, and so the New Moon is applying toward a conjunction with the Osiris asteroid. There was also a union of the Isis and Osiris asteroids at the same time as the great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn during the recent solstice, only four degrees away in Aquarius. The presence of Osiris with the Aquarius New Moon brings themes of fertility and regeneration to the forefront. Osiris calls us to find resources and enrichment within the depths of our unconscious so that we will be able to nurture our own metamorphosis rather than needing to seek the kind of external validation that could condition the change underway. Osiris possesses a sacred quality of surrender to the process of regeneration, surrendering to all of the suffering that must be endured in order to fully nurture and realize our creative potential.
Thom Cavalli in Embodying Osiris wrote that if we wish to embody the Osiris archetype, “we must take into account his ‘individuation’ as he matures into a cosmic archetype. What he does is not for self-gain but for the benefit of all. Ultimately, the spirit of the dead arrives in the duat, the fitting place for him to reign as god of the dead and master of unconscious forces.” The intention held by Osiris to serve the benefit of all from his place in the netherworld is not unlike the focus of Enki and Ea upon the greater good from his seat within subterranean water. If we have experienced increased fragmentation recently, just like Isis was able to meld together the dismembered body of Osiris for reanimation, so may we rejuvenate an authentic presence in the month ahead. If we have had to unravel the knots that had bound together our secure identity within recent months or the past year, the catalyzing winds of the New Moon in Aquarius can inspire us to retie a sacred knot that may contain and protect whatever we need to nurture and grow in the lunar cycle ahead.
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Brady, Bernadette. (2008). Star and Planet Combinations. The Wessex Astrologer.
Cavalli, Thom. (2010). Embodying Osiris: the Secrets of Alchemical Transformation. Quest Books.
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.
White, Gavin. (2014). Babylonian Star-Lore. an Illustrated Guide to the Star-Lore and Constellations of Ancient Babylonia. Solaria Publications.
I’m happy to share a conversation I had recently with Rachel of Aeolian Heart Astrology who recently began her own podcast called the Stargazer Podcast. If you haven’t already noticed Rachel’s writing previously I suggest checking it out at https://aeolianheart.com as well as the benefits you can receive by joining her Patreon. I’ve read Rachel’s writing for many years and always enjoy her creative and imaginative perspective, so it was a delight to have the chance to speak with her.
We spent most of our time talking about the nuances planets in fall compared with planets in exaltation, including if the ruling planet of your ascendant is in its fall, which is the case with both Rachel and myself. We also spend extra time on how we can reimagine working with Jupiter in its fall of Capricorn in transit, including through the mythopoetic form of the divine Pan.
You can listen to our conversation here:
Ceres and the 2020 Pandemic
The krater above was created near the end of the life of Empedocles, who declared that forces of love and strife are at the root of creation. On the left is a crowned Persephone, while on the right stands her mother Demeter. In between are Hermes and Hekate, deities who are honored at the crossroads and whose divine service bridges the upper world of life with the underworld of death. Though we yearn for the coming together of love, collective crises remind us that we necessarily must also face the separations of strife. With the COVID 19 pandemic causing mass quarantines around the world and a shutdown of many aspects of local and global economies, we have collectively entered a liminal seclusion at the crossroads of civilization, contemplating how to contain the coronavirus while coming to terms with the irrevocable changes it will cause in societies around the world. Just as Demeter is overseeing the mysterious scene in the krater above, so is her astrological archetype involved in the pandemic through the form of the dwarf planet Ceres.
The COVID 19 pandemic has been connected by astrologers with the conjunction between Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn that formed on January 12 and was volatilized by a Lunar Eclipse in Cancer on January 10, as the first reported death from the coronavirus was on January 11. Astrologers have also brought up that Saturn and Pluto were forming an intensifying square aspect with Eris, a dwarf planet named after the goddess of discord. Astrologers have also pointed to the seeds of the pandemic being sown during the Solar Eclipse in Capricorn on December 25/26 as the existence of the coronavirus became more widely known in China at the end of December. The Capricorn Solar Eclipse was also conjoining Jupiter in its fall in Capricorn, signifying that issues such as stocks and speculation, the air travel industry, schools, colleges, congress, conferences, bail-outs, and charity would become activated.
Yet we must also remember that both Ceres and Mercury were part of the Capricorn solar seeding between January 10 and January 13. Mercury was reborn in the heart of the Sun seeding its evening star phase during the Lunar Eclipse in Cancer: thus the star of Hermes carried forward a message gathered from the union of Saturn and Pluto. Robert Hand has remarked that the obstruction of breathing caused by the coronavirus can be linked to Mercury being part of the Saturn and Pluto conjunction. By the time Mercury became visible as an evening star at the end of January, cases of coronavirus were already being reported in the USA, and then during the dissolution of Mercury retrograde in Pisces and Aquarius there were miscommunications in how to prepare to contain the coronavirus until the need for drastic measures to be taken became clear by the time Mercury stationed direct on March 9. The significations of Mercury are clearly involved in the coronavirus fallout, including the mercantile systems that have been falling apart as well as the Internet technology that has been mobilized to sustain commerce. Moreover, the date given for the earliest known infection from the coronavirus was on November 17, 2019 at the same time that Mercury was retrograde in Scorpio and made an announcement due to returning to visibility in its morning star phase, stationing direct three days later on November 20.
Although Ceres does not carry the same gravity of ancient significations borne by the traditional seven, her archetypal connection with the pandemic is obvious. Demetra George in Asteroid Goddesses wrote that Ceres “symbolizes the process of birth, death, and renewal” as well as signifies procreation and productivity, food and food related industries, labor unions and workers, strikes, unemployment, GNP, commodities and consumers, issues around nurturance and nourishment, nurses, hospices, and those who serve in social services, childcare, and the education system. The mass stoppage of productivity from businesses, the mass closure of schools that nurture young minds, is not unlike Ceres withdrawing her ripening of food and production of growth following the abduction of her daughter by Pluto. While health care systems and medical professionals have been the most burdened and overwhelmed by the pandemic, panic grocery shopping has also led to a depletion of food within markets.
I have a good friend born with Ceres conjoining Pluto (in the 8th whole sign house, 7th quadrant house) in square with a conjunction of Mercury and Mars in Capricorn (in the 11th whole sign house, 10th quadrant house), with Mercury applying to a partile square with Ceres. He has long associated his professional career working in a local food cooperative with the Ceres signature in his birth chart, and I thought of his Ceres signature as he told me how he had been working overtime hours up to fifty-four hours a week to help stabilize the food cooperative due to shortages in staffing with many staff members not wanting to work as drastic quarantine guidelines were introduced in our city. At the time of this writing, he told me he is having trouble ordering enough supplies to restock the shelves of the food cooperative due to the disturbance the pandemic has caused to the food chain.
Of course, not all of the people putting themselves on the frontline to tend to those infected by the coronavirus have a strong Ceres signature in their birth chart, nor do all those suffering from the widespread impact of the coronavirus. However, there are many astrological indicators that we have collectively entered a time saturated with the living symbolism of Ceres. Coming into deeper relationship with Ceres as we confront the great unknown of the pandemic can be fruitful for nourishing our capacity to grieve our losses, mediate our fears, and open ourselves to the ultimate renewal and return to creative potency that will follow the dissolution of the crisis. Below is the chart for the exact conjunction between the Sun and Ceres set for Washington D.C.:
Solar Seeding of Ceres with Saturn Pluto
The moment in which Ceres was reseeded with solar light was closely conjoining the midheaven of the chart set for Washington D.C., therefore making the new synodic cycle of Ceres loom large over the unfolding events stemming from the Saturn Pluto conjunction within the USA. In the story of Demeter/Ceres, an inconsolable Demeter consults Hekate (a goddess associated with the lunar cycle, in this case the Lunar Eclipse conjoining the North Node in Cancer, the home of the Moon) over the whereabouts of her missing daughter. Hekate directs Demeter to consult Helios (a meeting resonant with Ceres conjoining the Sun), leading to Demeter finally understanding that Pluto has abducted Persephone (also known as Kore or Proserpina) into the underworld and out of her reach.
On the same day that Ceres united with the Sun, the first identified case of COVID 19 was reported outside the borders of China in Thailand. Within a week of Ceres conjoining the Sun, on January 20 the first case of COVID 19 in the USA was reported in the state of Washington. Events then rapidly led to quarantine measures around the world that led to many aspects of the economic and educational system to be shut down, mirroring the next phase of Demeter’s story in which she withdraws her powers of procreation and productivity from the Earth as she becomes immersed in grief and rage and enters the darkest depths of her divine being.
The pandemic has laid bare the injustices of modern civilization, and so Ceres symbolizes the need for grief and expressing rage against societal oppression and inequity. For nine days Demeter refused to eat and mourned, a fasting that Tim Addey in The Seven Myths of the Soul interpreted as representing “the need to purge the concerns of matter from our perception if we are to rediscover the soul lost in hyle (matter).” The ensuing purgation of Demeter’s emotions can be likened to the threshing of grain governed by Ceres that reveals the essential vitality hidden in the shedded husk. Through coming to terms with the losses that will flow forth from the pandemic, within the collective catharsis we can regain focus on the most essential values to rebuild societal and personal structures around.
Carl Jung connected Demeter, Persephone, and Hekate with the darkest parts of the psyche in his book The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, and Richard Tarnas in Cosmos and Psyche declared that Jung’s concept of the shadow is one of the main significations of the archetypal combination of Saturn and Pluto. Tarnas wrote that while Saturn signifies “judgment, guilt and shame, suppression and repression, splitting and separation, denial, the inferior, that which is regretted and negated,” that Pluto simultaneously signifies both “the dark depths of the personality” such as “impulses for power, domination, lust” as well as “healthy instinctually from which healing, wholeness, and a higher consciousness can ultimately emerge.” On a collective level the pandemic has led to a confrontation with the shadow of civilizations while simultanesously calling for us to confront our own personal shadows.
In astrology when Pluto erupts from the depths on a mass collective level, as new forms arise and old forms break apart, we need to allow ourselves to let go of the way things have been in order to reorient with the changing forces taking shape. The union of Pluto and Saturn in Capricorn combined with the South Node of the Moon and eclipses has been challenging due to the emphasis Capricorn has on the ancient and traditional, the structures and beliefs that have endured across time and the figures who have gathered strength and skill through a wealth of experience. On the one hand we need to recover and cultivate the aspects of our myriad civilizations that bring stability and order in ways that meet the needs of people, yet on the other hand numerous aspects of the old order also must now fall apart in order to clear space for new forms and structures to take shape.
Making everything more intense has been the fact that the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto occurred close to the South Nodes of Saturn and Pluto, almost exactly conjoining the South Node of Saturn. This means that the movement of Saturn and Pluto around their entire orbital arcs descended to intersect with the orbit of our Earth around the Sun while they came together in conjunction. Dane Rudhyar in The Planetary and Lunar Nodes described the planetary nodes as “a focusing channel for the release of . . . a quality of being which is related to the space of its entire orbit,” revealing “the manner in which the essential quality of a planet affects the very structure and the roots of our individuality as a member of the human species.” Due to Saturn and Pluto uniting close to their own South Nodes, it means that the archetypal meaning of their entire orbital arcs was crashing down across the ecliptic together, flooding events with their significations like a great deluge. Therefore the dragon imagined by astrology that appears with eclipses in this case was a truly chthonic combination of the Moon, Saturn, and Pluto.
Dane Rudhyar likened the archetypal process of planets conjoining their South Nodes with the death and decay of the Fall season, as well as the importance of incubating and gestating the seed that will bring forth new life. There is a sacrifice necessary, a release of what must die in order to bring forth what needs to be born. We have been simultaneously experiencing the extremes of Saturn and Pluto, the putrefaction of their poisonous toxicity as well as the empowering discipline and reordering of their more ideal significations. With numerous issues sweeping across global societies sourced from an accumulation of oppressive toxicities built up over time, it further stresses the need as individuals within our global civilization to face our collective as well as individual shadows. There is potential to bring a degree of purification and reparation to the intersection of societal inequities with us as individuals, but the gravity and weight of the accumulated toxicity is so overwhelming it can feel difficult for many to muster the agency needed.
Yet there is something about the collective impact of the pandemic that seems to be reawakening within people the power that can be wielded when united by common cause. Just as Demeter forced Zeus and Hades to compromise through withdrawing her procreative capacities, so has there already been news of people beginning to organize labor and rent strikes to protect those vulnerable to the economic devastation brought by the pandemic. The union of Ceres with Saturn, Pluto, and the South Nodes of Saturn and Pluto is also a reminder of the more ancient form of Ceres as the Great Goddess who predated the patriarchy. Demetra George in Asteroid Goddesses described how the rape of Persephone was not recorded in myth until the time of the Homeric Hymns, and that Ceres as the Great Mother in ancient Crete was integral to fertility rituals through giving birth to Plutus, the god of Earth’s wealth.
In spite of the heartbreak of loss we must face from the pandemic, the stasis it is causing within so many societal structures will be opening opportunities to reimagine our relationship with wealth and the natural resources of Earth. Tim Addey in The Seven Myths of the Soul wrote that concerning the two gifts that Demeter brought to humanity, “grain and the mysteries, she chooses to withhold the lesser – that which nourishes the mundane body – in order to recover her daughter, who represents the soul.”
Ultimately after securing the return of her daughter for part of the year from Hades, Demeter brought the gift of Mystery rites and corn to humanity. Though she endured traumatic wounds she would have to nurture, Demeter delivered a source of profound spiritual understanding to humanity in addition to her gift of agriculture that would provide abundant physical nourishment. Some believe that the Eleusinian Mysteries involved a reenactment of Persephone’s descent into the underworld, Demeter’s search, and Persephone’s ascent and reunion with Demeter. In the Homeric Hymns, Demeter’s search leads her to Eleusis, future site of the Mysteries, where she retreats into a temple built for her and withdraws her procreative force from the world- “the most dread and terrible years . . . for mortals upon the fruitful earth.” There is also an alternative version of Demeter’s search that takes place in Arcadia in which Demeter gives birth to a daughter after being raped by Poseidon, a daughter whose name cannot be known by the uninitiated.
Many cultures today are disconnected from their ancient lineages of initiation into the Mysteries and the sacred realizations they offered for humanity. We find remnants of the transformation of consciousness they brought in the popular use of “underworld initiation” symbolism to describe the meaning gained when enduring experiences of death, loss, and grief that ultimately lead to a rebirth. It is common within astrology to use similar underworld symbolism when discussing the impact of Pluto transits or difficult conjunctions such as between Saturn and Pluto. Demetra George in Asteroid Goddesses used similar symbolism to describe the influence of Ceres. At the time of this writing it is impossible to know what levels of death and loss will come from the 2020 pandemic, but the great unknown mystery regarding the future it has stirred up across the world has created something like an underworld initiation we will be traversing as a collective.
In the Arcadian version of Demeter’s mourning she claims seclusion within a cave and does not re-emerge until being finally noticed by Pan, the wild shepherd god of nature who is one of the living images of the Capricorn constellation. After Pan notifies Zeus of Demeter’s whereabouts, the Morai (also known as the Fates) are sent to mediate and are able to coax Demeter back into the world. Similarly the pandemic has brought about a confrontation with our fate, as we are each being asked to discover what wants to emerge from our seclusion within our inner caves. Many are experiencing states of deprivation and emotional overwhelm, yet we can also sense how there is a purging taking place that can bring about a powerful renewal and realization of what is most important to us as a global society beyond the emphasis on national borders brought by Saturn and Pluto. As Demetra George wrote about Ceres:
To prepare for the moment of death, one must learn to experience “little deaths” every day through the process of letting go. While letting go may seem frightening at first, it is actually a necessary part of the cycle of life/death/renewal. In this transformative process, nothing new can be reborn until something old first dies. Thus, whenever we cling to a person, thing, or situation that has outlived its purpose, we only prevent ourselves from experiencing the abundance of renewal. At this point, a Ceres transit will inevitably come along, denoting our need to confront our fears of dying and to realize the truth of the Ceres-Scorpio death secret- that release is the precursor to rebirth.
–Demetra George, Asteroid Goddesses
Ceres in the Aries Ingress Chart
The Aries ingress chart above is set for Washington D.C. and so signifies events in the forthcoming astrological year for the USA. No matter your location, however, Ceres is playing an important role in the Aries ingress due to her proximity with the Moon and Venus. The Moon always signifies the people in mundane astrology, and since it is applying within five degrees to a conjunction with Ceres in Aquarius there is an important relationship between Ceres and the people everywhere. Yet Venus in Taurus is intercepting through a square aspect with the Moon, while Venus simultaneously is also applying toward a square aspect with Ceres. The meaning of this configuration for your locality will depend in part upon the house placements of the Moon, Ceres, and Venus as well as the houses ruled by Venus and the Moon.
Using the Placidus house system shown above, Ceres and the Moon in Aquarius are in the third house signifying topics like communication networks, media, the Internet, transit, and education. With Uranus on the sixth house cusp, it signifies a disruptive shock to associated topics such as public health and sickness, epidemics, workers and labor unions, and the healthcare system. Venus ruling the sixth and applying toward Ceres in a square aspect, while the Moon is also applying to a square with Venus brings conflict around these topics, though there is a degree of reception due to Venus being in the exaltation of the Moon. In addition Venus rules the seventh house of relationships which includes foreign relations on a national level, as well as the eleventh house that is connected with congress and legislation and has already been evident in the U.S. congress attempting to address the pandemic through legislation.
From a whole sign perspective, Ceres and the Moon in Aquarius are in the fourth house of land, crops, the people, homes, and the oppositional political party which in the U.S. presidential election this year would be the Democratic party. Venus is bringing the significations of the seventh house of relationships and the twelfth house of hospitals, hospices, institutions of charity and welfare into its contentious square aspect with the Moon and Ceres. Aries is the sixth place in whole sign, making Mars in Capricorn the ruler of the pandemic in the third whole sign house applying toward a conjunction with Jupiter ruling the second house of finance. Jupiter being struck by Mars indicates the devastation the USA will experience with its economy this year.
Altogether it is clear that the significance of Ceres in the Aries ingress chart is relevant for people being sequestered at home, with the Moon and Ceres in signs of Saturn and in the fourth whole sign house. There is also a link to children being constantly home with parents due to schools around the country being closed, as Ceres involves the way we are nurtured by our parents and the way in which we nurture our children. Demetra George in Asteroid Goddesses stated that psychological complexes such as attachment disorders that are passed down generationally within families are also connected with Ceres. The pandemic has brought a dramatic change to family dynamics within the United States, with parents and children who normally have breaks from one another through work and school now together at all times. While this can bring about positive relational growth within family dynamics, it also presents the risk of neglect and abuse occurring within families overburdened by stress who lack the necessary coping and parenting skills. The Moon’s application toward Ceres in the Aries Ingress chart stresses the importance of mothers and a need to focus on parenting issues and resources.
The Moon and Ceres placed in the third house of the Placidus chart also points toward the use of technology to sustain the engagement of children with their education from home, workers converting to telework from home, as well as the use of technology to nurture the relational needs of people in general through communication that can transcend social distancing. Many people are learning for the first time that they can productively telework from home, which will have major implications for labor in the future. There will be immense changes stemming from the pandemic in the way we work and utilize technology and communicate with one another through our work. The Aries ingress chart suggests that Ceres is tending to the regeneration of the way we work within labor systems that will emerge from the pandemic in the USA, while also calling for a confrontation with the present condition of the healthcare system. As we deepen into the devastating economic impact of the pandemic, we may also witness the presence of Ceres through the use of general strikes and other forms of advocacy to renegotiate housing and labor agreements.
Sacred Grove of Ceres
When I presented my webinar Pan’s Return: Jupiter in Capricorn last year when Jupiter entered Capricorn, I shared the story of Erysichton in Tales from Ovid due to the presence of Ceres with the conjunction between Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. The manner in which it warns of the overconsumption of natural resources to feed an insatiable hunger brings to mind the devastation to the environment caused by modern industries, and how current anger and activism over pollution, fracking, climate change, indigenous water rights, and other environmental concerns can also be connected with the astrological archetype of Ceres.
Erysichton was an arrogant King of Theassaly who ordered the cutting down of every tree in a sacred grove of Ceres, an ancient wood that had never before had a single tree felled by axe. Among all of the trees, one impressive oak stood out:
“Its boughs were bedecked with wreaths / And votive tributes – each for a prayer / Ceres had sometimes granted. Dryads there / Danced a holy circle around its bole / Or joined hands to embrace it.”
Erysichton nonetheless demanded his men to cut down the oak, and when they reluctantly refrained he grabbed an axe and struck the oak, causing blood to gush out from its bark. After one of his men protested, Erysichton cut off his head with his axe. The oak then spoke:
“I live in this tree. I am a nymph, / Beloved by Ceres, the goddess. / With my last breath, I curse you. As this oak / Falls on the earth, your punishment / Will come down on you with all its weight. / That is my consolation. And your fate.”
After Erysichton ignored the warning and cut down the oak, the nymphs of the sacred grove mourned in black and cried out to Ceres to punish the transgressor. Ceres listened and sent a mountain spirit in her chariot pulled by dragons to the realm of Hunger, to bid Hunger to take possession of Erysichton’s stomach and curse him with insatiable hunger.
As a result of the curse from Hunger directed by Ceres, Erysichton craved bigger and bigger bowls of food until not even a whole city could satiate him, nor a whole nation, to the extent that as he drained entire continents of its resources his hunger grew even larger until he had converted every one of his possessions into what he could devour except for his daughter.
And so Erysichton sold his daughter into slavery to supply himself with more resources to quell his insatiable hunger. Yet before she was turned over to the highest bidder, his daughter instead turned toward the sea and stretched her arms out toward Neptune who listened to her and disguised her as a fisherman. Since her disguise allowed her to escape slavery, Erysichton devised a scheme of repeatedly selling his daughter into slavery, since her ability to repeatedly transform herself and escape enabled him to continue to sell her into slavery over and over again. Ovid concluded:
“All to feed the famine in her father. / But none of it was enough. Whatever he ate / Maddened and tormented that hunger / To angrier, uglier life. The life / Of a monster no longer a man. And so, / At last, the inevitable. / He began to savage his own limbs. / And there, at a final feast, devoured himself.”
The balsamic, waning phase occurring for most of 2020 between Jupiter and Saturn is bringing an end to a two hundred year era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in earth signs that began in 1802. The most recent earth era of Jupiter and Saturn began midway through the Industrial Revolution and has involved massive plundering of our Earth for natural resources to feed the insatiable drive for power within global empires during the past two hundred years. It’s all been more than enough to enrage Ceres.
The tale of Erysichton is further compelling when we combine the astrological archetype of Neptune with the role played by the god of the sea in the story. There has been a misuse of the gift of Neptune to feed the hunger of empire, deploying illusions to trick and deceive so as to devour and hoard a disproportionate share of natural resources. In the USA we see this in a president who constantly tells lies and then utilizes the deceptive nature of the corporate media to declare that its “fake news” means you can’t trust their coverage of him lying. There are innumerable other examples around the world of global powers manipulating the populace through the illusions of Neptune such as in the use of deceptive media and propaganda.
Since we are in transition of moving from a two hundred year era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in earth signs into a two hundred year era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in air signs, it is more important than ever to come to terms with the way global empires have been manipulating people through their control of the Internet and implementation of Neptunian illusions through the world wide web. This is obvious when looking at the chart cast for the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius on 21 December 2020, as Neptune will be applying toward a crucial square aspect with the transiting lunar nodes:
Ceres and the Great Conjunction
The chart above for the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius in 2020 is set for Washington D.C. and so relates to the United States of America. Just as in the Aries ingress chart for 2020 there is an applying square aspect between Venus and Ceres. However, while it is a waxing square in the Aries ingress, it is a waning square in the great conjunction chart. More importantly, since the USA chart has Taurus rising it means that Venus is representing the people of the United States in the chart. Many astrologers would note that Venus is separating from a sextile aspect with the Jupiter and Saturn conjunction but is out of orb from applying to a major aspect with another planet, leaving it isolated. However, when considering Ceres we can see that Venus is in fact closely applying to Ceres. The square aspect signifies difficulties to work out involving the significations between Venus and Ceres, but since Venus is receiving Ceres into its exaltation and bounds it does suggest there is potential for something constructive to be ultimately worked out between them through an arduous process.
Ceres is located in the eleventh whole sign house, and in the Placidus chart above Ceres is emerging from the suffering and isolation of the twelfth house into the eleventh house of the Good Daimon and hope. As the eleventh house connects with congress and legislation in mundane astrology, perhaps this can point to the populace in the United States demanding legislation connected with significations of Ceres such as policies involving unemployment, labor relations, agriculture, healthcare, and environmental concerns. Remember, since this is a great conjunction chart it relates to the next twenty years in the United States.
Ceres is also co-present with Neptune and the Moon in Pisces in the chart for the great conjunction. Venus, representing the American populace, is applying toward a square aspect with Neptune eleven degrees away while also applying toward a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon twelve degrees away- in both cases Venus is heading toward a dissolver. Due to the square aspect formed with the transiting lunar nodes, Neptune is presenting as a fundamental issue in need of addressing in the great conjunction chart. This is not only the illusion of the “American Dream” or what exactly is meant by “Make America Great Again,” but a radical exploration of what we imagine is possible to create together in the United States. The great conjunction chart warns of the danger in being swept up in the illusory excitement of new technology and the popular ambitions of the times, at the cost of deep descent within to uncover what we truly wish to create from our imagination.
The square between Neptune and the transiting lunar nodes is further complicated through the asteroid Vesta in Virgo being in a partile opposition with Neptune and also forming a square with the lunar nodes. You may have also noticed in the previous chart shared for the Aries Ingress in 2020 that Vesta is angular and conjoining the descendant in the chart for the USA. In the chart for the great conjunction, Vesta is at the northern bending of the lunar nodes, while Neptune is at the southern bending, with both of them on the cusps of the difficult sixth and twelfth houses in the Placidus house system (from a whole sign perspective they are in the much more positive fifth and eleventh houses). The opposition between Neptune and Vesta suggests nebulous difficulties that need to be sorted out, but we can find hope in the presence of Vesta who is capable of gathering community around her hearth fire to focus attention on a unified goal.
The deeper significance of Ceres in relation to the chart for the great conjunction is found through considering the nodes of Ceres. The heliocentric north node of Ceres is close to twenty degrees of Gemini, while the heliocentric south node of Ceres is close to twenty degrees of Sagittarius. This means that the transiting lunar nodes will be aligning exactly with the nodes of Ceres, further meaning that Neptune will also be forming a square aspect with the nodes of Ceres. Similar to how in 2019 the transiting lunar nodes and eclipses aligned with the nodes of Saturn and Pluto, we will be entering a period in which eclipses and the lunar nodes will be aligning with the archetypal significance of the entire orbital arc of Ceres. In fact, a week before the great conjunction on 14 December 2020 there will be a total solar eclipse in Sagittarius occurring within a few degrees of the South Node of Ceres.
Since Ceres will be approaching the southern bending of her own nodes as Jupiter and Saturn form their conjunction, the dawn of a new era between Jupiter and Saturn will also be a critical time to question and reimagine our relationship with Ceres and her mythopoetic meaning.
Ceres will eventually form an exact conjunction with Neptune on 21 January 2021, one day after the next President of the United States will be inaugurated on January 20. The union between Ceres and Neptune will also occur at the same time that Ceres is beginning to form an exact square with her own nodes as well as the transiting lunar nodes. Issues rooted in the union between Ceres and Neptune will be inescapable during this time period, and suggests an underlying theme involving the next administration in the United States as well.
With Neptune and Ceres at the southern bending of the lunar nodes as well as the nodes of Ceres, we will need to enact a deep dive into subconscious depths to get at the root of the issue. Jupiter in Aquarius is the ruler of the south nodes of Ceres and the Moon, making our relationship with the conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn an intrinsic crux of the matter. There could be archetypal re-enactments of the relationship between Ceres and Neptune in myth, such as the transfiguration of Erysichton’s daughter by Neptune or the rape of Demeter by Poseidon. Fundamentally it is a profound opportunity to reimagine our relationship with Ceres as a global society.
Altogether this brings a strong connection between Ceres with the shift into 2021 and the new era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in the air triplicity. As a global society we we will need to figure out how to nurture ourselves and provide for the needs of our community through the symbolism of the air triplicity. While the ascending sign of the Ceres Neptune conjunction is in the air triplicity in the chart cast for the USA above, its ruling planet Venus is in earthy Capricorn receiving an exalted Moon into its earthy home of Taurus through a superior trine. Since both the Moon and Venus are also applying toward a sextile with the conjunction between Ceres and Neptune, it re-emphasizes the need to reimagine our relationship with the earth element in the new era of the air element we are entering.
As an interesting aside adding to the mythopoetic connection of Ceres with this time period, there is also a co-presence in the great conjunction chart between Ceres and her daughter Persephone in Pisces, as the Persephone asteroid will be at 22 to 23 degrees of Pisces when Jupiter and Saturn form their great conjunction. This also places Persephone at the southern bending of the nodes of the Moon and Ceres, and also in a catalyzing square aspect with the total solar eclipse in Sagittarius on December 14.
[Note: in case you are wondering, Ceres never quite reaches a conjunction with the Persephone asteroid while direct- they get closer and closer to one another until both end up stationing retrograde around 9 November 2021 with Ceres at thirteen degrees and Persephone at 15 degrees of Gemini. They will not finally form an exact conjunction until both are moving direct on 23 March 2022 at 10º17′ Gemini close to the fixed star Aldebaran. While some sort of archetypal reunion may take place between Ceres and Persephone around the time of the Aries ingress in 2022, it’s fascinating that Ceres and the Persephone will be traveling for so long in such close proximity to one another]
South Node of Ceres in Sagittarius
“What happened in Eleusis was the separation and reunion of the dual goddess Demeter-Kore (Deó), she who sometimes appears as two barely differentiated figures, cloaked in the same mantle. It was the drama of the reflection that detaches itself from the body, from every object from the earth even- to then be reunited with its origin. But only in certain recurrent moments. Like the eclipses.”
— Roberto Calasso, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, p. 210
Demetra George has taught that there is a curious significance between the fact that the heliocentric nodes of Ceres in Gemini and Sagittarius form an exact square aspect with the heliocentric nodes of the asteroids Juno and Pallas Athena which are in Virgo (North Node of Juno and Pallas Athena) and Pisces (South Node of Juno and Pallas Athena). One compelling deduction involves the fact that Mercury is the ruler of the north nodes of Ceres, Juno and Pallas Athena, while Jupiter is the ruler of their south nodes. During a talk on Ceres that Demetra gave at the 2011 Evolutionary Astrology Conference, Demetra theorized that the meaning of Ceres having her North Node in Gemini and South Node in Sagittarius could involve an evolution from faith to reason.
Whatever meaning we can draw from Ceres having her South Node in Sagittarius and North Node in Gemini will be more fully felt when we experience the total solar eclipse in Sagittarius conjoining the South Node of Ceres on 14 December 2020. Demetra’s idea of balancing faith with reason is interesting, as it suggests a need to draw upon our intuitive abilities and capacity for faith without neglecting our rational side that can use reasoning to gain a more objective perspective regarding our circumstances. This makes a great deal of sense in relation to the pandemic, as it has brought the importance of listening to scientists and medical experts rather than those who are simply following their gut over how to navigate the crisis. It also makes sense due to us entering a new cycle of Jupiter and Saturn beginning in Aquarius, as Aquarius is perhaps the most rational air sign and its rulership by Saturn will demand utilization of reasoning when addressing humanitarian concerns.
Since we are entering a new era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in the air triplicity, it is compelling that the North Node of Ceres is in Gemini and that Ceres was in Aquarius forming a flowing trine aspect with its own North Node in the Aries Ingress chart for 2020. The North Node of Ceres in Gemini conjures the torch-bearing, relentless searching of Demeter who the Homeric Hymns tells us “sped like a bird over land and sea, searching.” There is a pull for Ceres to be curious, to ask questions and demand answers, to forge new connections across diverse fields and harvest deep meaning through the swing of her sickle.
Out of the great disruption and catharsis we will experience during the transition of moving from an era of earth into an era of air, Ceres can help in tending to the renewal of our societal structures that will emerge. We will receive an initial impression of the meaning to be found through the North Node of Ceres in relation to all of this when Venus stations retrograde conjoining the North Node of Ceres in Gemini on May 13.
Ceres Retrograde in 2020
Finally, it is worth noting the section of 2020 during which Ceres will be retrograde. Ceres will station retrograde on 6 July 2020 at 12º49′ Pisces about eight degrees away from Neptune, and will station direct on 18 October 2020 at 28º36′ Aquarius. This means that Ceres will be stationing retrograde during the Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn that will be taking place on July 4 or 5, depending upon your time zone. If the degree range of Ceres retrograde sounds familiar, it is because it is the exact same degree range as the Mercury retrograde in Pisces and Aquarius that we experienced from February 16 through March 9, 2020.
With regard to the United States of America, it’s significant that Ceres is stationing retrograde during a Lunar Eclipse that will be taking place on the Fourth of July holiday in most time zones in the country. Furthermore, Ceres will ultimately station direct close to the same degree as the Aquarius Moon in the United States chart cast for July 4, 1776, such as the famous Sibley chart. Once again we find yet another sign of Ceres being an unusually important influence on the United States in 2020.
I asked my friend and colleague Jason Holley to share some of his thoughts on Ceres retrograde in 2020, as he previously inspired me to give more importance to periods of time when Ceres is retrograde during a lecture he gave on Ceres. Jason generously shared a few paragraphs with me that I will now share with you:
“Ceres transits in general seem to correspond to the need to descend, something that both Persephone and Demeter do in the Greek story. Persephone is taken just before she plucks the narcissus flower: narcissistic identifications fall and are defeated when Ceres transits – we are brought ‘down to earth’ and back to basics if we have ascended too high; or we are brought to the underworld if we have denied and avoided it.
In my work as a therapist, I have seen that retrograde Ceres periods seem to correlate to times when unconscious and implicit material comes forward in what are called in relational psychoanalysis ‘enactments’. These are experiences where a person or group, unable to meaningfully articulate or symbolize particular traumatic experiences, instead re-enacts them with whoever happens to be around. There is often a serious rupturing of the relational fabric, sometimes unrecoverable, but often recoverable with perseverance and leading to profound gifts such as those Ceres gave to humankind at the end of the story: Agriculture (a new relationship with the earth) and the Mysteries (a new relationship to spirit).
The upcoming Ceres retrograde in Pisces feels to me like the tsunami of collective grief, anger, and emotional overwhelm that will follow and accompany the seismic level of loss of human life and economic instability of the coming weeks and months. It is in the midst of this wave that we will be challenged to find the deep and embodied groundedness that Ceres represents. Those of us who can access this, even if only transiently, will be called upon to help the even greater numbers of individuals whose coping resources are quite simply overwhelmed.”
Jason’s description of a “tsunami of collective grief, anger, and emotional overwhelm” is prescient, as Ceres will be retrograde during an incredibly volatile phase of Mars being retrograde in Aries that will be forming a discordant square aspect with Saturn, Jupiter, and Pluto in Capricorn. Furthermore, Ceres will be stationing direct on October 18 during the beginning of an intense Mercury retrograde in Scorpio, with Mercury retrograde in Scorpio forming an opposition with Uranus in Taurus as Ceres stations.
The section of 2020 beginning in September already looked immensely volatile and chaotic when looking ahead to 2020 long before the emergence of the pandemic. Jason’s illumination of the implicit material that can erupt during Ceres retrograde means we will need to place extra importance on nurturing our inner life, as those able will also need to be nurturing and protecting the vulnerable among us.
There is something different about Demeter from the other deities of the Greek pantheon. Her love and grief were so enormous she made herself an incarnated mortal to feel it all. Due to Demeter’s complicated mythology in various versions, Tim Addey wrote in The Seven Myths of the Soul that as “mother-sister-wife-daughter of the Creator God,” Demeter is “especially concerned with the proceeding into life by the soul.”
Addey also wrote that as goddess of fruitfulness, Demeter is most closely aligned with the phase of the hero’s journey in which the hero returns from the other world with the elixir to bring into their home community. To Addey, the hero under the influence of Demeter “is no longer serving his own perfection but the universe’s perfection,” operating “essentially” and “from his very being” rather than out “of mundane conquest.” From now until we are on the other side of the pandemic, consider what elixir you are gathering and tending to return with.
Torch bearing, universal mother, bringer of seasons, nurse of humanity, goddess of seeds and abundant fruit, Demeter, may your ancient strength and compassionate heart be present in each and everyone of us.
Of Dioh divine mother of all, divinity with many names,
Holy Dimítir, nurturer of children, bestower of bliss,
Oh divine one, who cultivates the grain, who apportions all good things,
You who rejoice in peace and our difficult labors,
Presiding over seeds, bequeathing abundant grain, thresher, producing the green fruit,
You dwell in the hallowed valley of Ælefsís.
Oh charming, lovely one, you give nourishment to all the mortals;
You were the first to yoke the ploughing oxen,
And you produce a lovely and abundant life for mortals;
You promote growth, familial companion of Vrómios, splendidly honored,
Torch-bearing, holy one, you rejoice in the summer’s fruit of the sickle.
You are from the earth, you appear, you are gentle to all.
You bless us with progeny, oh lover of children, holy one, maiden who nurtures the young,
You yoke dragons to your chariot with a bridle,
Whirling and circling about your throne as you cry out in ecstasy.
Only-begotten, Goddess bearing many children, mighty queen of mortals,
Creator of many things, you bloom with flowers, blooming with holiness;
Come, happy one, pure one, heavy with the fruits of summer,
Bring down peace and lovely order to our world,
With riches and blessings and a life governed by good health.
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 am currently offering a 50% discount on all natal consultations for patrons until further notice.
Addey, Tim. (2000). The Seven Myths of the Soul. The Prometheus Trust.
Anthology of Classical Myth: Primary Sources in Translation. (2004). Edited and translated by SM Trzaskoma, RS Smith, and S Brunet. Hackett.
Calasso, Roberto. (1993). The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony. Knopf.
George, Demetra with Bloch, Douglas. (1986). Asteroid Goddesses. ACS.
Hill, Judith. (2013). Eclipses and You: How to Align with Life’s Hidden Tides. Stellium Press.
Hughes, Ted. (1997). Tales from Ovid. FSG.
Rudhyar, Dane. (1971). The Planetary and Lunar Nodes. CSA Press.
Tarnas, Richard. (2007). Cosmos and Psyche. Plume.
So far my site has been a labor of love I have been doing for free, and so I am thrilled to launch a new phase of my astrological career through Patreon. By supporting me on Patreon with a monthly subscription you will enable me to not only continue providing the work I have been doing for free, but to also expand the scope of what I am offering. My goals include offering more written content about foundational astrological concepts in addition to the writing about temporary transits I have been doing, as well as creating videos about essential astrological theory and principles.
There are two levels of supporting my work on Patreon at this time: a $3 per month subscription or a $9 per month subscription.
Supporting me with $3 per month is a way to show appreciation if you have been enjoying my writing and teaching about astrology. The $3 per month tier gives you access to special discounts on consultations with me and online courses I offer, as well as access to content that I will only be releasing to patrons.
By supporting me with $9 per month you will gain access to an active learning community with me through a Zoom meeting each month. In these monthly sessions I will teach astrological content, answer questions, and facilitate discussions with you and other patrons about the astrological content you are interested in. These sessions will be scheduled around the time of the first crescent light of each lunar cycle, and I will notify you at least a month in advance of the time and date. I will send a video recording of every session to all patrons on this level, so if you are unable to participate live in person you will still be able to watch the recording. The first “Crescent Light Session” will be on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at 7 pm Pacific Standard Time.
I was interviewed by Adam Sommer on May 23, 2019 for his Holes to Heaven podcast about Mercury cycles. We talk about Mercury’s synodic cycle and how to begin applying its phases to the secondary progressed chart.
If you become more interested in Mercury in the secondary progressed chart, I have a recording available to purchase from my site in the “store” section from UAC 2018. It’s called “The Light and Shadow of Mercury in the Secondary Progressed Chart,” and I will send you a copy of the slides as well. It’s much more clear how to use it with more details and examples than we were able to provide in this podcast.
I’m also available to give you a consultation about Mercury in your secondary progressed chart if you would like to get deeper with its meaning in your life.
Click below to listen:
New Moon in Aries
The New Moon in Aries on April 5 kindles the star fire of inner soul force and determination in the face of collective events that feel overwhelming with their historical weight. 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. Aries burns with impulsive heat that invigorates our passions and motivates us to take direct action. There is cosmic synchronicity of this propulsive force initiating a new lunar month during the same time that the combined impact of Saturn and Pluto with the South Node of the Moon in Capricorn is intensifying. Wielding the fire of Aries will not move mountains, suddenly change world politics, or be able to cut through every obstacle we face at this time. Yet we still need to claim the courage to use our force of will to shape the aspects of life we are able to create and guide, surrendering to the need to mediate the barriers and limitations out of our control.
The Aries New Moon comes at the turning point of the astrological year. This is usually the case as in the northern hemisphere the season of Aries occurs during the rebirthing of Spring and the daily increase of light. However, in 2019 with the transiting lunar nodes and eclipses occurring in the signs of Cancer and Capricorn, the New Moon in Aries is occurring at the midpoint between eclipses while forming a change inducing square aspect with the Capricorn Solar Eclipse that happened on January 6, 2019 as well as the Cancer Solar Eclipse that is coming on July 2, 2019. This makes it an ideal time to recenter and regroup regarding whatever shifts have been taking shape in your life, summoning inner strength to respond to whatever needs repair or restoration. It’s also ideal for initiating and generating forward momentum and decisive action regarding whatever goals you want to achieve in the next six months.
Hours after the Moon unites with the Sun, the waxing Aries Moon will move through a catalyzing square aspect with Saturn, Pluto, and the South Node of the Moon in Capricorn. Since the Aries New Moon is applying to a square with the transiting lunar nodes it means it is at its bending, in this case the southern bending in which the Moon dips as far south in latitude as it will reach during its lunar cycle. This is a maximum peak of volatility, and in a southern direction indicates a higher charge of unconscious impulses motivating behavior. A day after the lunation, just after the Moon has reappeared in light in its slender waxing crescent shape, the Moon will form a conjunction with Uranus in Taurus on April 6. There likely will be some explosive collective events during this time, yet on personal levels we will also need to be ready for rapid developments to erupt. The Moon is carrying an emancipatory charge that is facing the friction and resistance of large, oppressive societal forces. We can receive liberating, breakthrough insights during this time and by working hard to bring ideas into form we can cultivate greater strength in the process. At the same time, it will be necessary to be aware of the best use of energy in terms of what we can change and what we cannot.
A day before the New Moon, the asteroid Vesta will ingress into Aries and begin applying to a conjunction with Chiron in Aries. The co-presence of the fiery communion between Vesta and Chiron with the New Moon in Aries draws awareness inward toward the most essential and rarified desires and values to focus attention on. What aspects of your life, what elements of your goals and dreams are irreplaceable and bring forth all of your strength and vitality to protect and nourish? During hard and difficult times when faith is tested, when natural disasters or collective calamities and crises strike, the gift offered is complete clarity regarding what matters most, where are attention needs full unequivocal engagement. Chiron and Vesta are inviting you to join them around their fire, a place of inclusivity, listening, sharing, and empowerment, a protective circle in which you can plant the seed of the vision you most wish to create and cultivate in the season ahead.
Mars in Gemini
Mars in Gemini rules the Aries New Moon, separating from a sextile aspect with Chiron in Aries and applying toward a square aspect with Neptune in Pisces that will not complete until April 25. Mars leaving Taurus and entering Gemini brings increased speed, electricity, and curiosity toward the striving will force signified by the red planet. With Mars in Gemini forming a whole sign sextile aspect with the New Moon in Aries, there is increased potential for taking action and making gains on whatever plans and visions have been taking shape during the Mercury retrograde in Pisces period that dominated the month of March. Mars in Gemini brings increased capacity to handle multiple tasks at a time and decipher connections between diverse interests, with the building tension between Mars and Neptune in April capable of severing awareness from an illusion. A main challenge will be keeping Mars from becoming detrimentally distracted in the airy home of Mercury.
Mercury in Pisces is now moving direct as a Morning Star and finally beginning to separate from its extended conjunction with Neptune in Pisces that expanded visions yet restrained our capacity for quickly and clearly making needed connections and communication. Mercury at the time of the Aries New Moon is a week away from reaching maximum elongation as a Morning Star, meaning that we are entering the phase of Mercury in which we must gather the bravery, faith, and resources needed to embody whatever changes of mind and vision emerged into awareness during the past month. Mars in Gemini has the necessary flexibility to shift and mutate as needed as we figure out how to reshape and rebuild life structures. Yet Mars under the influence of Mercury combined with Neptune also brings risk of becoming inflated, self-righteous, and ungrounded, characteristics we will need to guard against especially if conflict erupts.
Feeling the Fishes
There is a potent pulse of Pisces underlying the Aries New Moon. Just as Mercury is beginning to separate away from a conjunction with Neptune, Venus in Pisces is applying toward a union with Neptune that will complete on April 10. The combined influence of Venus, Neptune, and Mercury in Pisces has a multivalent impact which can range from the sublime to the delusional. The influence of Venus exalted in Pisces increases capacity for us to not only envision a reality in which we may behold soulful desires, but to also alter reality to bring about manifestation of deeply felt values and connections. Hopefully the long phase of Mercury retrograde in March helped clear minds of cobwebs and illusory conceptions, but as Mercury is finally separating from Neptune it will still be worthwhile to claim space for inner reflection and meditation to help enhance clarity. Jupiter in Sagittarius is ruling all of the Pisces planets and can facilitate inner knowing that supports their potential for inner vision as long as we center within authentic inner values rather than being swayed by external conditioning influences.
As Venus forms its conjunction with Neptune on April 10, Mercury will simultaneously be applying to its third and final square aspect with Jupiter in Sagittarius. All of this is happening at the same time that Jupiter is stationing retrograde on April 10 at 24º21′ Sagittarius. When planets station their archetypal influence saturates the landscape, and so with Jupiter ruling Venus, Neptune, and Mercury it will intensify experience and meaning. The period of April 10 and 11 notably brings a higher degree of resolution to the wild journey Mercury has been on since February, as Mercury previously formed a square aspect with Jupiter on February 22 and March 24. There will be an opportunity for deepening into clearing or clarification of misleading beliefs while simultaneously receiving intimations of the course to follow into the future. Venus and Neptune will be playing the part of pulling awareness into the pleasures and wisdom of the senses and can be best utilized for soothing stress and creating an atmosphere of recovery, restoration and healing.
The mystical influences of Venus uniting with Neptune and Mercury contesting Jupiter goes well with the added meaning of Jupiter stationing retrograde. Jupiter shifting into retrograde motion pulls the outward expansion and quest for freedom of Jupiter in Sagittarius into inner horizons, helping one to cohere inner meaning from the free ranging experiences of Jupiter’s time in Sagittarius. Jupiter will remain retrograde until stationing direct on August 11 at 14°30′ Sagittarius
Saturn – Pluto – South Node
The month of April initiates us into an intensification of the complex gravitas constellated by Saturn, Pluto, and the South Node of the Moon coming together in Capricorn. By the end of April, both Pluto and Saturn will have stationed retrograde with Saturn coming within three degrees of Pluto (Saturn and Pluto will not complete their conjunction until January 12, 2020). The deepening we experience in April into what to expect from the beginning of new cycle between Pluto and Saturn is amplified due to the transiting South Node of the Moon being in the same place, with Pluto conjoining the South Node of the Moon during the Aries New Moon and Saturn conjoining it by the end of April.
These aspects alone would signify immense karmic issues erupting across societies, but the added influence taking things to an even more extreme degree is that the alignment of Pluto, Saturn, and the South Node of the Moon is also happening in the same area as the South Nodes of Pluto and Saturn. This means that the archetypal meaning of the entire orbital arcs of Saturn and Pluto are crashing down across the ecliptic, flooding events with their significations. We tend to imagine the lunar nodes as a dragon in astrology, yet what we have in this alignment is a three headed (or headless) dragon involving not only the lunar archetype but Saturn and Pluto as well. The shadow of the Self described in the work of C.G. Jung can thus be applied to all of global civilization, with numerous issues sweeping across global societies representing the accumulated toxicities and oppression built up from ages past.
At its highest potential, this massive alignment offers opportunities for confronting societal issues and attempting to purify their intersection with us as individuals. Fundamentally, the New Moon in Aries points to the importance for each of us as an individual to claim responsibility for our behavior and intention, becoming accountable for the wider collective impact of our individual actions. While Pluto and Saturn have numerous negative and difficult significations, they also both connect with the empowerment found within our unconscious depths and our capacity to apply hard work and discipline toward manifesting and protecting what is most important to us, building or tearing down structures as needed.
Aries 2 Decan
The New Moon 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.
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” (p. 59). 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” (p. 60). 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, Neptune, and Mercury aligned in Pisces and being received by Jupiter in Sagittarius.
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. Additionally, the Persephone asteroid #399 is at 16º Capricorn and forming an almost exact square aspect with the Aries New Moon. 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.
There is a further link with Persephone’s presence in this face with the sabian symbol for sixteen degrees of Aries where the union between Sun and Moon takes place: “Nature spirits are seen at work in the light of sunset.” Dane Rudhyar connected this symbol with “attunement to the potency of invisible forces, of nature,” commenting that these “nature forces act as guiding and balancing-harmonizing factors.” As one of the gifts astrology offers us is coming to terms with natural cycles so that we can flow and harmonize with them, we will need to keep in mind during April the necessity of both surrendering to natural processes of death and rebirth while claiming responsibility for doing what we can to shape matters and offer our own resources for support.
Youth of delight, come hither / And see the opening morn, / Image of truth new born. / Doubt is fled & clouds of reason, / Dark disputes & artful teazing. / Folly is an endless maze, / Tangled roots perplex her ways, / How many have fallen there! / They stumble all night over bones of the dead, / And feel they know not what but care, / And wish to lead others when they should be led.
— The Voice of the Ancient Bard by William Blake, from Songs of Innocence
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: the history, astrology, and magic of the decans. Three Hands Press.
Rudhyar, Dane. (1973). An Astrological Mandala: the cycle of transformations and its 360 symbolic phases.
Myths of the Aquarius Constellation
I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Gary Caton on the Hermetic Astrology Podcast exploring various myths associated with the Aquarius constellation. For the most part we focused upon Ganymede in Greek culture, Enki in Mesopotamian culture, and Hapi in Egyptian culture, as well as the ancient association of a cataclysmic Great Flood with Aquarius. We also talk about some of the ideas linked to C.G. Jung’s conception of the Age of Aquarius, and how his idea of the union of opposites can also be connected to the mythology of Aquarius. I experienced a greater opening in understanding Aquarius through researching these myths and my conversation with Gary, and hope that you do too! If you haven’t listened to Gary’s Hermetic Astrology Podcast before, I recommend checking it out. Click here to listen.
In the podcast I referenced my friend Jason Holley and his talk about the Ganymede myth in relation to the Aquarius archetype. If interested you can order his talk on Aquarius from Astrology University by clicking here.
Oregon Astrological Association
Beyond 2017: Annual Astro Faire
Saturday 20 May 2017
11:30 am – 4:30 pm
4312 SE Stark St, Portland 97215 (Friend’s Meeting House)
If you live in the Portland, Oregon area, I am excited to announce I will be one of the speakers at the Oregon Astrological Association’s Annual Astro Faire taking place on Saturday, May 20. There will be two other speakers- Mark Dodich speaking about the lunar nodes shifting into Aquarius and Leo, and Andrea Gehrz speaking about remediation ideas to deal with the major transits of the coming year. At the end there will be a panel discussion among the three of us moderated by astrologer Melanie Gurley about the transits in the year ahead.
I will be giving the following talk about the transit of Jupiter and Uranus in the year ahead:
The opposition between Jupiter and Uranus we experience throughout 2017 has consistently brought liberating breakthroughs amid the death of old forms in world history. The shattering and dissolution of old paradigms is especially resonant this year, as the Jupiter and Uranus opposition is occurring within waning cycles of release between Jupiter and Saturn with Neptune and Pluto. We will explore historical and current correlations with the Jupiter and Uranus cycle, including their current placements in Libra and Aries as well as the eventual shift of Jupiter into Scorpio and Uranus into Taurus in the year ahead.
Click here for more details!
United Astrology Conference
May 24 – 29, 2018
I will be speaking at the United Astrology Conference in May 2018 which will be held in Chicago, Illinois in the USA. I’m honored to be part of an extraordinary group of astrologers who will be presenting a wide ranging selection of astrology topics. It will be the biggest astrological event to be held in the next few years. UAC takes places over a longer period of time than most astrology conferences and as a result is more expensive than other conferences if you are staying the entire time. However, right now there is an “early bird” registration fee available until May 1, 2017 that is less expensive. For more information including how to register please visit the website:
I will be presenting on Friday, May 25 at 11 am. My presentation is entitled “The Light and Shadow of Mercury in the Secondary Progressed Chart.” I will be sharing practical techniques for how to work with Mercury in the secondary progressed chart, including how to interpret the meaning of Mercury shifting between being direct and retrograde in the secondary progressed chart as well as significant aspects with Mercury to pay attention to.
POET: You can seek Poland throughout the whole wide world, young lady; and you’ll never find her.
GIRL: Perhaps searching is a waste of time.
POET: Yet there is just one small space- Now, Jagusia, just place your hand beneath your breast . . . – A tam puka? (Is something beating there?)
GIRL: A cóz za tako nauka? (What sort of lesson is this?) Serce – !–? (That’s my heart!)
POET: A to Polska właśnie. (Exactly. That’s Poland).
—Stanislaw Wyspianski from his play Wesele (The Wedding Feast)
On October 3 there is a planned collective strike by Polish women to protest a proposed law that would make all abortions illegal, in any circumstance including following a rape or when the pregnancy is a medical danger. Women can face imprisonment for up to five years for having an abortion and anyone who assists with the abortion also would risk prosecution and imprisonment under the proposed law. Poland already has one of the most restrictive abortion policies in Europe, with abortion legally permitted only when the life of the fetus is under threat, when there is a serious threat to the health of the mother, and when the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. There has been a call in response for all women in Poland to go on strike for a day, refusing to work or take care of domestic responsibilities in order to gather, meet, protest, or do charity work. The protest is inspired by an all-out strike by the women of Iceland in October 1975, when 90% of women refused to work, cook, or look after their children for a day. “Black protests” have been planned in over sixty Polish cities on October 3 with almost 100,000 women having pledged to strike.
How does this relate to the current astrology? With Jupiter in Libra we are going to be witnessing a lot of protests and a return to social justice issues of oppression relating to events correlating with the tumultuous square between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn that dominated from 2011 – 2015. This is because as Jupiter moves through Libra it will form a square with Pluto in Capricorn and then transfer this energy into its opposition with Uranus in Aries. Right now in the current lunar cycle, we are at an intense trigger point that lines up perfectly with the strike by Polish women. This is because Mars in Capricorn is applying now to a square with Jupiter in Libra, and Mars will then move forward to form a conjunction with Pluto and then ultimately a square to Uranus in Aries. In addition, the upcoming Full Moon on October 16 will be conjoining Uranus in Aries, with the New Moon in Libra a few days ago being conjunct Jupiter in Libra and in square to Mars and Pluto in Capricorn.
While Uranus in Aries in square to Pluto in Capricorn did correlate with numerous protest movements against oppression, there was also strong Plutocratic resistance in global hierarchies of power to do everything possible to subdue and control mass protests that could potentially shatter their grip on power and influence. In Poland last year, the conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) won the Polish presidency and then in addition a parliamentary majority. The conservative Law and Justice Party is supported by traditional nationalistic elements of the Polish populace with strong ties to the Catholic church, while their policies have outraged the liberal and progressive element of the Polish people. In an article published recently in The Nation, the rise of the conservative Polish party was used as a warning to people in the United States of America that the same element of the American populace roused to elation by Donald Trump, similar to the British element that supported Brexit, could in future presidential elections be used by a more skilled and charismatic American politician to achieve victory.
There is incredible collective trauma in Poland hard to fathom by citizens of the United States, as Poland was partitioned and did not exist from 1795 until 1918, creating subconscious national fear. After regaining independence in 1918, the second world war saw the indescribable horror and trauma of Hitler, Stalin, and concentration camps visit Poland. Some have said that attempts at healing the Polish identity have led some to become overly nationalistic. Whatever the case may be, following a successful revolution that led in 1989 to a democratic transition into the Third Republic, Poland increasingly became a player in wider realms of international policy through membership in NATO in 1999 and then the European Union in 2004. Up until elections in 2015 there had been a strong influence of more liberal political parties in Poland that were less bound to the Catholic church and more tolerant of difference than the conservative parties that have now seized power. Some analysts believe the shift to conservative party dominance comes from the economic policies following the democratic transition in 1989 that led to incredible urban economic development in Poland at the cost of factories and farms in more rural areas experiencing economic collapse.
In Heart of Europe: The Past in Poland’s Present historian Norman Davies wrote that in the 1990s the left wing of Poland were quicker in successfully organizing to gain power than the right wing, shocking those who thought “Christian values” would dominate the new democratic Poland. Davies wrote, “It took some time before the Church hierarchy realized that it could not dictate political developments as in old Ireland, and that direct clerical interference would be counter-productive” (p. 428). Polish youth were less inclined to follow church dictates blindly, and with the abolishment of state censorship in the 1990s there resulted a revolution of Polish literature shattering previous restraints and fostering open exploration of diversity. From one perspective the recent rise of conservative political parties in Poland can be seen as a backlash at the changes seen as threats against traditional values resulting from the revolutions of the late 1980s.
Collectively in our global community we have been in a time of darkness that calls for the return of the sacred feminine. The audacious, courageous decision by Polish women to refuse to submit and instead take direct action to shut down the system if necessary is a beautiful example of the power we all have as individuals within the collective to unite in solidarity on behalf of social justice. I am going to use only two charts to look into this strike, the first being the sunrise chart for Monday 3 October in Warsaw, the current capital of Poland:
The second chart below is for Noon on Monday in Krakow, when organized strike group events are set to begin. Krakow was the capital during the age of Poland’s kingdom and remains a powerful symbolic seat of power for Poland. There is an article from the Krakow Post you can read here detailing the planned events for the day. The organizers have also prepared an English language leaflet you may read here.
You can notice in both charts the trigger of Mars in Capricorn applying to a square with Jupiter in Libra, with the Sun in Libra in square to Pluto in Capricorn. You can also witness the feminine power of the black protests through the Moon in Scorpio applying to a conjunction with Venus in Scorpio and a trine with Neptune, with the Moon and Venus in Scorpio in sextile to Pluto and Mars in Capricorn. It is further compelling that Saturn in Sagittarius is exactly on the ascendant of the noon chart in Krakow, with Jupiter in Libra on the midheaven.
I also find it significant that the true node of Black Moon Lilith is conjoining Juno in Scorpio, as this holds the symbolism of rebellious feminine genius gathered in staunch refusal to bow down before patriarchal power structures. When we look at the chart for the Third Republic of Poland in a moment, you will also notice a recurrence of this conjunction between Juno and Black Moon Lilith in Scorpio. While I don’t always pay much attention to the Vertex in event charts, I also can’t help noticing that the Vertex in the sunrise chart is conjoining Uranus in Aries, and the Vertex in the noon chart for Krakow is conjoining Vesta in Cancer- this highlights the square between Vesta in Cancer with Uranus in Aries that also has compelling feminine symbolism for the protest strikes. I don’t have Eris in my astrology program to show on these charts that Eris is conjoining Uranus, but many modern astrologers would also find the Polish strikes to be a compelling correspondence with the union of Eris and Uranus in Aries.
Below is the horoscope of the Poland Third Republic that formed in the wake of communist revolutions and the transition to a democratic Polish government (click here for an analysis of the horoscope for Poland):
This chart is fascinating in connection with the planned strikes because you can see that the current transit of the Sun in Libra on October 3, 2016 is exactly conjunct the ascendant in the chart of the Third Republic. This also places the current transit of Jupiter in Libra on the ascendant, with the transit of Saturn in Sagittarius in sextile to the ascendant of the Third Republic chart. You can also notice that the current transit of Pluto in Capricorn is conjoining the IC, Saturn, Neptune, and the Sun in the chart, as well as that the current transit of Mars in Capricorn is applying to a conjunction with the Capricorn Uranus in the chart of the Third Republic. You can also see that the current transits of Jupiter in Libra and Mars in Capricorn form a t-square with the opposition between Uranus in Capricorn with Jupiter in Cancer in the Third Republic chart. As previously mentioned, I also find it amazing that the Third Republic chart features a conjunction of Juno with the true node of Black Moon Lilith in Scorpio exactly as takes place on the day of the protests (in this case they are further conjoining the Pluto of the Third Republic chart).
We are now hurtling toward a Full Moon in Aries on October 16 that conjoins Uranus, Eris, and Ceres retrograde, while also containing a conjunction between Mars and Pluto in Capricorn that is in square to Mercury in Libra. In solidarity with the women of Poland, may we all liberate ourselves and refuse to submit to oppression.
Davies, Norman. (2001 new edition). Heart of Europe: the Past in Poland’s Present. Oxford University Press.
Do you still remember: falling stars,
how they leapt slantwise through the sky
like horses over suddenly held-out hurdles
of our wishes—did we have so many?—
for stars, innumerable, leapt everywhere;
almost every gaze upward became
wedded to the swift hazard of their play,
and our heart felt like a single thing
beneath that vast disintegration of their brilliance—
and was whole, as if it would survive them!
— Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Edward Snow
The Perseid meteor showers are most vivid this time of year, available tonight for viewing. The Perseid meteors radiate from the constellation of Perseus, part of what Bernadette Brady called “The Royal Family” of stars that sit below Draco and the two bears: Cepheus the king, Cassiopeia the queen, Andromeda their daughter, and Perseus the conquering hero who marries Andromeda after rescuing her from bondage and torment by a sea monster. This depiction is not limited to Greek culture and is found in numerous cultures including Japan, as there is an associated Japanese myth involving a goddess rescued from an eight-headed monster by a watery hero who then marries her. From one perspective, this is the typical “hero’s journey” story we hear about so much, embedded in so many tired stereotypes surrounding gender, we can feel like giving the story little thought. As Bernadette Brady described:
Andromeda is a princess, daughter of the king and queen of the sky. She is therefore part of the sky stories showing the natural balance of the human tribe or civilization. She is the young, fertile virgin, the marriageable daughter waiting for suitors. She is in a passive, surrendering position, showing her readiness. Her legs are apart. However, this symbol of willing receptiveness of the fertile virgin ready to take a suitor, ready to receive, could have been altered by the Greeks to a symbol of a chained, helpless, powerless, and dependent position, a woman weak and needing the masculine to free her- at the time the collective stripped power from women. She probably received her chains at the same time as her mother, the queen, was chained to her throne, indicating the loss of female sovereignty.
–Bernadette Brady, Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars, p. 49
I’ve been giving more thought to how stories such as the one in the stars of Perseus and Andromeda have a meaning that goes beyond the genders assigned to each character, similar to how I find an underlying meaning in the concept of the anima/animus developed by Carl Jung despite the traditional gender stereotyping he ascribed to them as a person of his time. What I mean is there is a significant meaning in these stars that goes well beyond the idea of a male desiring a female, or a female chained to a rock that is rescued by a male hero, though it certainly does involve the type of burning, passionate, tormented desire that poets across time such as Sappho have invested into their verse. The stars of the Perseus constellation stretch from the third decan of Taurus through the first decan of Gemini in the tropical zodiac at this point in time. In their story, Andromeda represents the fertile magnetism of Taurus, Perseus the active, surging quality of Gemini.
Instead of thinking of these characters as separate individuals, I’ve been thinking of how all of them reflect parts of ourselves. In particular, the chained Andromeda awaiting a torturous death by the sea monster Cetus is a striking symbol of the vital potency within us we allow to be latent, hidden, repressed, or enchained by one reason or another. Andromeda’s parents thought they had to expose their daughter to the sea monster after they were punished by Poseidon for boasting that Andromeda’s beauty rivaled that of the Nereids- an oracle led them to believe her sacrifice was necessary in order to stop the monster from wreaking havoc within their civilization. Andromeda is not helpless or weak, but rather is full of force and power. This is similar to the gifts and strength we have within but sometimes hold back from accessing until we are confronted with challenges. In fact, her name is the Latinized form of the Greek Ἀνδρομέδα (Androméda) or Ἀνδρομέδη (Andromédē) that can be translated as “ruler of men.”
Perseus in contrast symbolizes the fiery activation of soulful spirit from within that penetrates into the world of matter and generates creative growth. Magic envelopes Perseus from the beginning, as his improbable birth occurred despite his grandfather sealing his mother Danae in a bronzed chamber due to fear over a prophecy that his grandson would cause his death. Once again there is an act of oppression toward a daughter due to fear over a divined fate. Yet there was no stopping the birth of Perseus, as meteor-like Zeus descended through the bronze ceiling in a rain of gold and impregnated Danae with Perseus. Magic followed Perseus on his journey, as he later received the winged sandals of Hermes, the cloak of invisibility of Hades, the adamantine sword of Zeus, and a knapsack from the Hesperides, the evening nymphs of golden sunset.
Also contained within the constellation of Perseus through which the glorious Perseid meteor showers beguile our imagination is the blinking, binary star Algol, known as the severed head of Medusa. There is probably no other fixed star in astrology that has had so much negativity projected upon it as Algol, also known by Arab astrologers as the Head of the Demon. The negative descriptions of Algol as an omen of certain disaster is similar to the negative labels given to Lilith and other demonized feminine figures of myth. As Bernadette Brady wrote, “Algol thus embodied everything that men feared in the feminine.” Going beyond gender, I feel Brady’s most insightful description of Algol is as follows:
Algol represents a strong consuming passion that may devour you with anger and rage. If one can contain an unconscious compulsion to take revenge, and focus that passion into a more productive outcome, Algol is one of the most powerful stars in the sky.
–Bernadette Brady, Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars, p. 190
When Perseus decapitated Medusa, the winged Pegasus, the font of inspired poetry and artistry, was born and released. In the Andromeda constellation, the alpha star Alpheratz is also believed to be a former member of the Pegasus constellation, linking the figures of Andromeda, Medusa, and Pegasus together. Many have written previously of the compelling symbolism of the catalytic and traumatic birth of Pegasus and how it reveals the depth of torment, conflict, loss, courage, and passion at the heart of poetic inspiration. When Bernadette Brady writes about Mirfak, the alpha star of the Perseus constellation, she describes it as signifying the pride of the warrior over their strength and skills that can gain them a trophy or treasure, yet whose overzealous nature may lead them to overestimate their abilities and disregard caution. Even when our actions coming from the purest forms of desire and passion lead to feelings of tragic loss, however, it is the very fire of the vivifying spirit within that has been catalyzed that brings us alive and makes us feel that life in this world is worth living. In the story of Perseus and Andromeda, Perseus slays the sea monster and frees Andromeda, symbolizing our capacity to unlock and liberate our strength and ability to create our own destiny from within.
When we watch meteors and shooting, falling stars, we can’t help but make a wish for delights of imagination that transcend our current circumstances. The story of Perseus and Andromeda contains the seeds of our own liberation we can create from within without needing to be dependent upon a romantic partner or rescuer, or any other external relationship or belief system. As the meteors radiate from within Perseus, allow yourself to envision a life that goes beyond everything you feel currently restricts and limits yourself.
Brady, Bernadette. (1998). Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars. Weiser.