Ceres Sun Leo / Full Moon Aquarius

Venus of Laussel

Ceres at the Crossroads

The legacy of Goddesses in all Her forms will be lit by the Full Moon in Aquarius occurring on August 20, 2013 at 6:45 pm here in the Pacific Northwest of the United States of America, as Ceres will be conjunct the Sun and Mercury in Leo at the time of the lunation.  This Full Moon will be about us recovering our authentic creative Self, a process which involves a Shadow integration that has it’s roots in the story of Goddesses.  Ceres is a dwarf planet that has the Roman name of the Greek Goddess Demeter, who is commonly known as a Goddess of fertility and the earth, but in more ancient times was also known as the Mother of the Dead, similar in a way to the Sumerian Mother of the Underworld, Ereshkigal (Shlain, p. 31).  The “Venus of Laussel” above was discovered in a cave in Southern France and believed to be at least 22,000 years old, from a time in which Goddesses were sacred to the hunter-gatherer people of the time on Earth.  Researchers into myths of the Goddess such as Anne Barin and Jules Cashford (The Myth of the Goddess) believe that there were two prominent myths of the time, one involving a Mother Goddess who was linked to fertility, the sacredness of life, transformation and rebirth, and a second myth involving a Hunter who was more connected with survival, including the ritual act of taking life in order to survive (Shlain, p. 31).

Ceres is an archetype that not only goes all the way back to the original Great Mother, but also moving forward through time she encompasses many of the most prominent Goddesses of myth such as Isis and Hekate.  Eventually, around the time documented by Homer or so, Ceres as Demeter became a Goddess who was regulated to being simply a sister of Zeus/Jupiter, instead of his Great Mother.  This is in part due to invasions of the ancient Matriarchal cultures of Goddesses by invaders who became increasingly Patriarchal over time and re-wrote myths from the perspective of masculine Gods holding power over the Goddesses, bringing some cross-pollination to myth between cultures of the time in the process.  As a result, we can see many parallels in the myths between cultures who came into contact, such as the fact that Isis made Osiris whole again by synthesizing his fragmented pieces of his body together again, and in other myths Demeter (Isis) put the severed limbs of Dionysus (Osiris) back together again (Jung, p. 237).  In his book, The Alphabet Versus the Goddess, author Leonard Shlain constructed a theory proposing that the development of alphabets and written records coincided with the subjugation of Goddesses and the ascendancy of Gods as sitting atop the hierarchical power pyramid of myth:

Poseidon, the Olympian god of the sea, presided over what had traditionally been considered the quintessential feminine essence:  water.  Many bulls inhabited his home in the deep.  The image of a bull inside a body of water or in an underground labyrinth is evocative of the female’s reproductive organs.  In the myth that precipitates Cadmus’s fateful journey to Greece, a bull carries a terrified young woman out to sea on his back. Initially, she trusted the intentions of a creature that had been associated with her gender for eons.  Zeus chose to rape her at Crete, the island culture consecrated to the Goddess.  Europa’s violation by a feminine totem is allegorical:  it is the incident that initiates the mythical transfer of the alphabet from Phoenicia to Greece.  With the beginning of alphabetic writing, women would have reason to fear the bull, which came to represent lustful virility.

–Leonard Shlain, The Alphabet Versus the Goddess, p. 125

Shlain further depicts mythic plot lines developing in accord with the work of Homer, whose stories such as The Illiad “glorifies masculine values and denigrates feminine ones,” as it is focused upon “the deeds of men, and the story line is drenched in male-death consciousness”  (Shlain, p. 127).  The oppression of Goddesses becomes even more apparent when we consider how Gods became more important to the birth/release of many Goddesses more so than a Mother Goddess, such as Aphrodite being born from the severed testicles of Uranus by Kronus, Athena being released into the world from the head of Zeus, and Demeter, Hera, and Vesta being freed by Zeus from the belly of their father Kronus who had devoured them:

The birth stories of these three goddesses [Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena]- remnants of the Magna Mater- are so peculiar that they could only have been devised by a male mind intent on changing the perceptions of society.  Each goddess emerged from the insides of a male, though this required convoluted plot twists . . . Not only did all three goddesses, Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, enter the world by way of a man instead of through the birth canal of a woman, but none of these examplars of the Great Mother was nutured during childhood by a mother.  This resulted in the paradox that these three representatives of the Great Mother were themselves motherless!  New myths are frequently imposed on a culture by the needs of a dominant ruling class.  What better way to discredit women’s roles in the creation of life, and by extension, the Great Goddess, than to have your goddesses born of gods?  The Iliad, the Theognis and the Old Testament turn barnyard commonsense upside down by asserting that birthing is a man’s job . . . The death throes of the Great Mother can be read between the lines of these sexist credos.

–Leonard Shlain, The Alphabet Versus the Goddess, p. 130-131

Ceres being such an vital aspect of the herstory of myth on our planet is significant at this time, as in astrology we are experiencing a Full Moon in Aquarius, with the Leo Sun being conjunct the planet Mercury as well as the “dwarf” planet Ceres.   The Leo Sun and Ceres have actually been conjunct this entire past week during a lot of intense astrological energy, with Jupiter in Cancer in a full opposition to Pluto in Capricorn and coming into a first quarter square with Uranus in Aries, plus the Grand Water Trine we have been talking about still occurring, now more prominently involving Jupiter in Cancer, Chiron in Pisces (with Neptune), and the North Node of the Moon in Scorpio (with Saturn).  Demetra George is my favorite author concerning the astrological meaning of Ceres, and many of the issues that Demetra associated with Ceres in her book Asteroid Goddesses are connected with the modern oppression of women and femininity that have clear connections to the mythstorical oppression of Goddesses by Gods.  For example, as Ceres is a Goddess of food and nourishment, she can be connected with the eating disorders many modern women have experienced, disorders that are connected to a psychological complex rooted in misogyny and the oppressive depiction of women in media such as movies, commercials, and popular music.

Demetra also analyzed how the pre-Hellenic versionof Ceres was a universal archetype of the Great Goddess that emerged in Crete and Greece in association with figures such as Isis, Ishtar, Inanna, Gaia, Rhea, and Tara.  Ceres as the Great Mother in Crete was integral to fertility rituals such as being the corn priestess at the Autumn Equinox who lays with her lover Iasion in a field in order to birth Plutus, who was the god of wealth found in the Earth, “a symbol of that rich bounty that the earth produced when it was so honored by the Sacred Marriage” (George, p. 45).  In the later versions of myth, however, after Demeter takes her younger lover Iasion out to a field during the marriage ceremony of Cadmus and Harmony, Zeus angrily strikes him dead with a bolt of lightning upon discovery.

Similar to this re-write of the myth, Demetra George also described how it was not until Homer’s Hymn to Demeter that the rape of Persephone appears in myth, as it had “no precedent in the earlier cult versions” (George, p. 45):

Historically, Persephone’s rape symbolizes the power struggle that was occurring between the patriarchal cultures (Pluto) and the indigenous matriarchal goddess cults (represented by Ceres).  The final outcome of the story points to a clear victory for the northern Zeus worshippers.  The Great Mother not only had to stand by and watch her daughter being raped and abducted, Ceres was also forced to share her beloved Persephone with the enemy.  Hence, she had to abdicate a portion of her powers over the birth and death rituals, a dominion that was eventually wrestled from her in its entirety.

–Demetra George, Asteroid Goddesses, p. 45

In the popular version of the Persephone myth, Ceres/Demeter is no longer identified with the powers associated with Hekate, and in fact Ceres deep in grief comes into contact with Hekate, looking for guidance.

HekateHekate

Hekate is often depicted as a crone goddess representative of the triple goddess, a goddess of the moon, magic, and plant medicine, a goddess who stands at the crossroads.  In stunning synchronicity to today’s full moon in Leo and Aquarius, Hekate in the Persephone myth directs Ceres to seek guidance from Helios, the Sun God and seer, who gives Ceres the knowledge that Pluto took Persephone to the underworld under the blessings of Zeus.  Today at the time of this Full Moon, many of us are standing at our own crossroads, coming into knowledge of the root causes or sources of intense personal issues and experiences that are coinciding with the intensity of outer planet transits we have been experiencing:   in particular that  Jupiter in Cancer has now come into the full first quarter phase of it’s square with Uranus in addition to a full opposition to Pluto in Capricorn.

But what does this mean, you may ask?  For one, Jupiter in Cancer, considered an exalted aspect by ancient astrologers, entering such intense aspects with outer transpersonal planets difficult for us to integrate on a personal level but which consistently correlate with cataclysmic and paradigm shifting events in our human collective, has been coinciding with many of us having to realize once again how many of our beliefs we hold dear are ultimately speculative in nature.  I am not debating that there is an actual Truth, only that we humans tend to believe what we believe and on this level of relativity two people can view and interpret the same experience completely differently, arguing from a perspective rooted in belief systems that on the surface seem to hold no common ground.  This experience can feel especially debilitating when one is feeling oppression from a belief system connected to a dominant culture that one knows is not actually the Truth, but which still holds tremendous power of control over us nonetheless (or at least will try to control us).  We could be finding ourselves in a similar position to Ceres, enraged at the violation to our own divine femininity inside of us.  However, the version of her myth involving the descent of Persephone to the underworld also holds an important moral lesson, as Ceres had been extremely possessive of Persephone prior to her descent, and she reacted to the loss of her daughter with anger and bitter vengeance, refusing to nourish the Earth with food, flowers, and vegetation out of protest.  Ultimately, Ceres had to come to a place of letting go of her attachment to having Persephone with her at all times, as well as come back to a place of being productive with her unique calling and gift of food and nourishment that sustains life on our planet.  This does not mean we need to be mushy and passively accepting of oppression we experience or witness, but it does mean that we can be more productive and effective when acting from our hearts instead of out of anger or bitterness.  Going through the raw pain of crises does at least give us an opportunity to open more of our heart in the end of the process if we do our deep work.

As a result it is fascinating to me that the Sun has been conjunct Ceres at this exact time, an event that typically is not drawing a huge amount of attention from astrologers, although it most likely will be briefly mentioned in numerous “Full Moon reports,” such as something along the lines of “mother issues” or “baking bread” for someone.  Traditional astrologers barely even acknowledge Ceres, as they have a deep learning of astrology that can work limited to only the original seven planets of the Sun through Saturn.  However, even amongst the modern late 20th Century astrologers who have taken great leaps of thought with our ancient study of astrology, with the exception of Demetra George and others of like-mind, Ceres has not been developed to a great extent as an astrological archetype.  Astrologers do use her, but I find that she tends to draw less attention as a general rule, and many question the validity of even paying much attention to her in the first place.

ceres

One reason many question using the asteroids (although again, Ceres is not even an asteroid! She is now a dwarf planet on the same level of Pluto!) is why we should integrate the myth of a particular culture with a particular myth, to an asteroid that some astronomer just chose to give a certain name to.  However, in answer to this argument Ceres has a knowing smile.  At the 2011 Evolutionary Astrology conference near Portland, Oregon I witnessed Demetra George giving an electrifying talk about the mythology and astrological significance of Ceres, following a trip Demetra took taking astrology students to the specific locations of the myth.  Demetra shared with us that when Ceres was discovered in 1800 by the astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi, she was discovered in an astro-lab that was near the exact site of Persephone’s abduction in myth.

In actuality, although Ceres has still not generated a tremendous amount of astrological writing, since the 2006 astronomical controversy in which Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status, and Ceres was elevated to dwarf planet status, Ceres is today on the same level playing field as the other celestial bodies that modern astrologers tend to obsess over since Pluto isn’t going anywhere in terms of astrological significance.  In Asteroid Goddesses, Demetra George presented an ingenious thesis for the astrological meaning of Ceres that I have found is deeply compelling and typically makes sense in the context of natal birth charts.  In this book Demetra associated Ceres with the signs of Cancer (nurturing issues), Virgo (productivity issues), and the Taurus-Scorpio axis (issues of attachment and letting go for transformation).

Again, as I spent time outlining the subjugation of the Great Mother for a reason, it is important to take our Ceres placement in our birth charts in consideration of the context of the oppression of women in our global culture and the effect this has had on our individual growth and development.  For example, Demetra George brought up the fact that hospital births in which the infant is separated from the mother in a sterile and isolated hospital crib first came into dominance in the 1930s, and as a result contributed to the plethora of relationship issues that have been handed down to ensuing generations since that time.  If we do not receiving the nurturing we need as an infant, a child, and/or an adolescent, we in turn have difficulty nurturing others in relationship, including our own children, and as a result a psychological complex such as an “attachment disorder” can be transmitted down the line of generations of family karma.  It is possible, however, with deep work and processing, to overturn complexes like attachment disorders we can become stuck to in our development, and as we each do our own unique personal work in this manner, and support others in their own deep work along these lines, we can help add to a great paradigm shift of anti-oppression work in the world around us.

When we talk about integrating our Shadow into helping us actualize our unique Self, this is exactly what we are talking about:  becoming aware of the rejected feminine aspects of ourselves (even if we are a macho dude) that have been cast off or suppressed in the face of cultural conditioning.  With Ceres lined up with the Sun and Mercury in Leo at this time of a Full Moon in Aquarius, we have a clear sign from above that a more authentic version of our actualized creative Self could become available to us at this time.  In Asteroid Goddesses, Demetra George wrote the following about having Ceres in the natal birth sign of Leo:

Ceres in Leo people identify nurturance with self-expression.  Ideally, the parents will foster in the child a sense of pride, confidence in his/her abilities, and an appreciation for the creative efforts of others.  These people can nurture others by helping them to express their creativity-  thereby making a unique impression upon the outer world.  Self-acceptance is based upon one’s ability to create and share something he/she takes pride in.  The inability to do so may bring self-rejection and a lack of self-confidence.

–Demetra George, Asteroid Goddesses, p.  64

Since we are at a Leo-Aqurius lunation, it brings up the natural square to the Taurus-Scorpio axis that Demetra George wrote about Ceres ruling, associating it with issues of abandonment and attachment.  The reason people enacted Eleusinian rites of death for so long based upon the myth of Ceres and Persephone was to overcome a fear of death in the collective, as well as perhaps to gain a sense of the transformation and regeneration available in the process of death.  In Esoteric Astrology, Alan Oken and others have talked about the significance of the Taurus-Scorpio axis involving a death and destruction of form that helps humans open themselves to the heart-centered opening of the fixed cross.  It is through death of form, of learning to let go of attachment and experience rebirth, that we learn to open our hearts as well as come into closer contact with our Soul nature:

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, p. 55

Back in February of 2013 during a time of incredible planetary Pisces energy, Mercury and Ceres both stationed retrograde in square to one another-  Mercury around 20 degrees of Pisces, Ceres around 20 degrees of Gemini.  Since Mercury is now conjunct both Ceres and the Sun in Leo at this time, if we have been doing the work to let go of what has served its purpose, we may be experiencing a renewal of energy.  In contrast, if we have held on tightly to something that has outlived its purpose, we may be experiencing an intense climax of energy requiring us to make a definitive decision to let go of what is clogging up the process of transformation that could otherwise be available.

This point of 20 degrees of Gemini that Ceres previously stationed retrograde at this year is significant as it is the Heliocentric north node of Ceres.  During her talk on Ceres at the 2011 Evolutionary Astrology Conference, Demetra George pointed out that Ceres has Heliocentric nodes in square to the nodes of Juno and Pallas Athena, all on the mutable cross:  Ceres at 20 degrees of Gemini (north) and Sagitarius (south), Pallas Athena at 23 degrees of Virgo (north) and Pisces (south), and Juno at 20 degrees of Virgo (north) and Pisces (south).  As in traditional astrology this means that all three of these Godesses have Heliocentric north nodes ruled by Mercury, and south nodes ruled by Jupiter, Demetra synthesized that the evolution from “faith to reason” is at the evolutionary core of the feminine in our solar system.  At first I was surprised to hear this, as it seemed to suggest the divine feminine should become more rational and less intuitive, and then upon more thought I realized that this would be exactly the evolutionary point.  Thus the divine feminine could gain strength through developing its rational side while drawing upon its great powers of faith, not neglecting its intuitive abilities.  Becoming more rational, developing the ability to objectify our experiences instead of being overridden by emotional responses to our experiences, ultimately will help all of us come to a better understanding of the oppression the Shadow side of our Self has experienced.  As a result, we can ultimately realize and actualize more of our whole Self in the world, coming into a stronger embodiment of our unique power of creation and expressing more of the full Virgo sense of productivity associated with Ceres.  This also means carrying the Leo-Aquarius meaning of this Full Moon out into appreciation and sharing in joy of the work of other creators around us, instead of viewing other creators with envy, jealousy, or competitiveness.  Enjoy this Full Moon and soak up its lunar rays!

Ceres statue

References

George, Demetra. (1986). Asteroid Goddesses.  ACS.  (with Douglas Bloch)

Jung, Carl. (1967 edition revised from original 1912). Symbols of Transformation. Bollingen.

Shlain, Leonard. (1998).  The Alphabet versus the Goddess:  the conflict between Word and Image.  Viking.

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Persephone: Queen of Soul and Spirit

Throning_goddess_(Persephone)_480-460_BC_(Sk_1761)_3

Persephone conjunct Saturn in Scorpio

  • Persephone asteroid (#399) is conjunct Saturn in Scorpio on May 28, 2013 and has about a two degree orb of a conjunction with Saturn from May 1, 2013 through July 21, 2013.
  • Persephone asteroid (#399) also had about a two degree orb of a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon in Scorpio from February 27, 2013 until April 22, 2013, and will be again from August 1, 2013 until August 20, 2013.

Persephone remains one of the most widely known mythic figures in our collective consciousness because of the vital connection we can feel with her journey from an “innocent” maiden into the underworld, merging with the Lord of Death in order to become a Queen of Spirit ruling over souls making the transition between life and death.  We can feel Persephone with us whenever we descend into a dark or difficult experience that strips us of any feeling of innocence, yet offers us opportunities to cultivate greater knowledge, wisdom, and consciousness for ourselves through our persistence and resiliency, like Persephone for taking responsibility over becoming the Queen of the Underworld.  Persephone has been entering greater astrological significance recently as her asteroid has been moving conjunct the North Node of the Moon, and on May 28, 2013 the asteroid Persephone is conjunct Saturn in Scorpio, following a Lunar Eclipse in Sagitarius four days earlier.  This Lunar Eclipse was the last of the series involving Gemini and Sagitarius, with this final one having the Sun in Gemini and the Full Moon in Sagitarius.

Persephone has been moving retrograde conjunct the North Node of the Moon for the past few months, first becoming conjunct the north node of the Moon around February 27, 2013 and remaining in range  ever since.  The archetypal meaning of this has great synchronicity with the turn of the seasons in our hemisphere, as we are in the full blooming of Spring, a time in which Persephone would have returned to us after completing another cycle in the underworld as the Queen of Spirit.  However, the mythic image of Persephone descending to the underworld to rule over the dead is a more fitting mirror for the movement of the asteroid during this time, as the Persephone asteroid has been moving retrograde since March 23, 2013 (18 Scorpio) and will station direct near the Summer Solstice- June 21, 2013 (5 Scorpio).  The Persephone asteroid will remain in range of a conjunction with Saturn and the North Node of the Moon into September of 2013, with Persephone and the North Node being exactly conjunct again around August 10, 2013.  Up until then, in June and July, there will be a triple grand trine in water signs that Persephone will be part of, with Persephone and Saturn in Scorpio, Jupiter in Cancer, and Neptune in Pisces-  as a result, now through the next couple of months could be a magical time of transformation when working with Persephone as a personal archetype.

Persephone joining with Saturn in Scorpio at this time while staying connected with the North Node of the Moon for so long, is very signficant in connection with the sextile between this area of Scorpio and the area of Capricorn that Pluto is occupying in its current square to Uranus in Aries. We can take the responsibility (Persephone-Saturn) to structure our life more in accord with our soul longings (Pluto in Capricorn) in a way that will lead to more freedom for us to individuate from our past conditioning (Uranus in Aries) and actualize more of our soul calling- of course, this is easier to say than manage amid chaotic times.   Persephone is a symbol for our self empowerment in this process, because in the reality of Myth, Persephone is not some innocent maiden who is abducted and raped by the Lord of the Underworld- she is a Queen in her own right that is the reason Hades was able to become the Lord of the Undersworld in the first place.  In Finding Our Way Through the Dark, Demetra George explained the significance of Persephone in the Archetypal Pantheon:

In the Olympic pantheon Pluto, called Hades by the Greeks, was awarded dominion over the Underworld by his brother Zeus/Jupiter, supreme king of all the gods.  This was a province that previously had been the dominion of various dark goddesses of matriarchal cultures.  It was through the rape and abduction of Persephone, daughter of Great Mother Demeter/Ceres who had ruled over both birth and death, that Pluto secured his kingdom.  With Persephone at his side as the Queen of the Underworld, Pluto took over rulership of the realm of the dead.  Many of the qualities of the dark feminine that some astrologers have correlated with Pluto are actually aspects of Persephone and other dark goddesses who preceded her.

–Demetra George, Finding Our Way Through the Dark, p. 105

The connection between Persephone and ancient dark goddesses is further evidence to the archetype of Persephone being one of the strongest symbols in myth of our soul and passage through incarnation after reincarnation.  Demetra George in Finding Our Way Through the Dark also beautifully explored the link between the Persephone of myth and the meaning of the Persephone asteroid (#399 in astrology programs) in our natal birth charts:

In the archaic form of Demeter as a triple goddess, her full moon mother aspect was known by the name of Ploutos.  In the pre-Hellenic version of her myth, Persephone voluntarily went into the Underworld for part of each year to tend to the dead.  The story of her rape and abduction was a later adjunct to the myth first recorded by Homer in the 8th century BC which spoke to the patriarchal takeover by the God Pluto of the Great Mother’s rulership over death and rebirth.

In the birth chart Persephone, as a daughter of the patriarchy, symbolizes the process of a child’s separation from its mother.  Persephone can indicate how and where, either physically or psychologically, we may be abducted and plunged into an underworld experience (sometimes at an early age) where we encounter terror, loss, and confusion, and feelings of abandonment. This descent can enable us to develop a relationship with the hidden forces in our unconscious, activate our psychic abilities, release the past, discover a new sense of our adult self and strengths, and emerge transformed and renewed.  Some individuals who experience Persephone as a tragedy from which they have never recovered may react by developing patterns of distrust, withdrawal, fear of sexuality and intimacy, fantasy life, depression, chemical addictions, separation anxieties, victimizaiton, passivity and powerlessness, and being acted upon by the strong will of others.

–Demetra George, Finding Our Way Through the Dark, p. 100-101)

This time of Persephone stepping into greater prominence in the consensus collective as her asteroid moves into an exact conjunction with Saturn in Scorpio, the ruler of our consensus reality and boundaries, comes immediately following a series of eclipses.  This recent series of eclipses included the finale for the signs of Gemini and Sagitarius, with the May 24, 2013 Lunar Eclipse being the final eclipse of the Gemini-Sagitarius series of eclipses that have been occurring since the lunar eclipse on December 21, 2010 (12/21/10 was lunar at 30 Gemini; 6/01/11 was solar at 12 Gemini; 6/15/11 was lunar at 25 Sagitarius; 11/25/11 was solar at 3 Sagitarius; 12/10/11 was lunar at 19 Gemini; 5/20/12 was Solar at 1 Gemini; 6/04/12 was lunar at 15 Sagitarius; 11/28/12 was lunar at 7 Gemini; 5/25/13 was lunar at 4 Sagitarius).

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A Gemini to Sagitarius time like now can be about transmuting our duality of light and shadow, yin and yang,  having the dilemma of integrating our connection to the underworld and upperworld just as Persephone must have struggled with.  The star twins who make up the constellation of Gemini in Greek myth, Castor and Pollux, were one of two sets of twins Leda gave birth to after Zeus mated with her as a swan, one set male and one set female.  In each set of twins, one twin is divine (Pollux and Helen: the children of Zeus) and one set mortal (Castor and Clytaemnestra: the children of the human King Tyndareus).  As a result, the Gemini archetype embodies our awareness of having a divine twin, a twin soulmate other, or in the end what we are really talking about may be our own Soul presence we desire to more fully embody.  Through the science of Astronomy, we know that what we call Castor in the constellation is actually a binary system consisting of two stars in close proximity that revolve around one another.  As a result, the myth of the twins, one divine and one mortal, is an apt metaphor for the Gemini archetype and a symbol of how no matter what we do, we cannot escape the fact that the Self we identify ourselves through as our “ego” is bound to a Soul carrying deep memories of our psyche cutting across years and years of incarnations.  If we are unaware of our Soul nature or actually try to avoid it, or hide from it through illusory distractions, our Soul will make it’s presence known through difficult life events that force us to confront our Soul nature.

In his book The Soul’s Code:  A Search for Character and Calling, James Hillman elucidated a developmental theory I feel is absolutely perfect for this topsy turvy time of eclipses and a square between Uranus and Pluto in the celestial skies.  Hillman’s developmental theory turns all other developmental theories on their head, by positing that the signficant point of departure is where we end up and growing down, in contrast to focusing on growing up and where we began, and how the events that happen to us in childhood determine where we end up going.  Instead, Hillman writes of a daimon concept that is like the calling of our unique soul pattern, and instead posits that what has happened to us has happened because of the formed soul we already have within us at birth, the special gift we have to give the world that needs to be developed, and so we experience what we experience in order to strengthen and expand this unique soul talent or skill, and if we self-actualize this gift of our soul we will have found our calling in the world around us.  This is also the realm of Persephone.  The daughter of Demeter and Zeus, she felt the call to become perhaps the most powerful Queen of all, one who could enjoy the fruits of the upperworld as well as mediate in the afterlife and world of Spirit.  She was meant to descend into the underworld, and she took responsibility to ensure that she would be a success in her role.

Persephone is a bridge between the world of Soul and Spirit and the world of flesh and Human Being, and becomes the High Priestess who mediates between both worlds.  However,  at first she most likely would have had mental and emotional conflicts with stepping into the role of a figure who spends part of the year ruling over the kingdom of the dead and spirits, and the rest of the year in the upper world full of blossomming flowers and flowing rivers with her mother, the Great Goddess of the Earth.  This early struggle of hers mirrors our younger self who struggles with the dualistic perception of our physical form and etheric soul form, between the longings we are led to believe we should have from our physical environment and the longings we sense from deep within us.  As Persephone steps more fully into alignment and integrity with her role as Queen, she serves as a role model for how we can become less split and fragmented and more whole in the way we integrate our awareness of our soul nature into our daily life and responsibilities.

Persephone being connected with the north node of the Moon at this recent lunar eclipse could have correlated with us experiencing events connected to our own soul issues with the Dark Goddess, an opportunity to become more aware of the Shadow sides to our nature.  I am not meaning that there is anything especially “evil” or “bad” about dark goddess energy, only that it is associated with the “shadow” because the issues we have connected with the dark goddesses are issues we have that are not “normally” accepted or acknowledged in our dominant culture or our social sphere (unless we spend our time with dark goddess invoking anarchists).   Issues or aspects of ourselves we tend to be in denial of, that we pretend are not really there, may have recently been emerging in our reality for us to deal with.  This is because- surprise- these issues really are something we must acknowledge and take responsibility for, and most likely they are also connected with past life karma or patterns.   In her book Finding Our Way Through the Dark astrologer Demetra George stated that at the time of a lunar eclipse “it is the past, symbolized by the Moon, which is obscured and can be released.  In the absence of the conditioning of the past, the possibility emerges of meeting experiences in a new manner” (p. 113).  Demetra George in this same book further explained that during a lunar eclipse in which the Sun is on the South Node side, like this recent one, “growth can come from focusing upon, resolving, revisioning and releasing old karmic issues” (p. 113).   Any situations we may have been drawn into recently, no matter how difficult, are most likely connected with our soul path and for whatever reason on a soul level we are meant to have faced whatever difficult trials and tests we have been experiencing.  In fact, there may have even been a side to the difficulties that called out to us like a siren, something about our future direction calling to us from the events surrounding the experience.  This feeling is similar to the idea of Persephone being drawn into following Hades into the Underworld in some way.

When the earth split open and Hades’ chariot appeared, drawn by four horses abreast, Kore was looking at a narcissus.  She was looking at the act of looking.  She was about to pick it.  And, at that very moment, she was herself plucked away by the invisible toward the invisible. Kore doesn’t just mean “girl,” but “pupil” too.  And the pupil, as Socrates says to Alcibiades, “is the finest part of the eye,” not just because it is “the part which sees” but because it is the place where another person looking will find “the image of himself looking.”  And if, as Socrates claims, the Delphic maxim “Know thyself” can be understood only if translated as “Look at thyself,” then the pupil becomes the sole means of self-knowledge . . .

Kore, the pupil, was thus on a threshold.  She was on the brink of meeting a gaze in which she would have seen herself.  She was stretching out her hand to pluck that gaze.  But Hades burst upon the scene.  And Kore was plucked away by Hades.  For a moment, Kore’s eye had to turn away from the narcissus and meet Hades’ eye.  The pupil of the Pupil was met by another pupil, in which it saw itself.  And that pupil belonged to the world of the invisible . . .

For it was in that eye, as he carried her off, that Kore saw herself reflected.  It was then that this girl within the eye became the pupil for us all.

–Roberto Calasso, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, p. 209-210

Never forget how powerful and primordial Persephone is, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, and so it is not surprising she could see something of herself in the powerful presence of Hades, the Lord of the Underworld.   Persephone’s name means “she who is to be feared” (Guttman, p.176), and it is possible to view her abduction into the underworld as more about her destiny than a tragedy, for the unalterable shift she created in the cosmos through becoming a life partner of Hades who would descend and ascend back and forth between the upperworld and the underworld, was a calling that fit the unique gifts she held within her soul.  The time had come for the Spirit world of Souls and the material world of Human Beings to become more connected, with Human Beings beginning to feel more of their soul life and memories through their lifetime in flesh and physical form.  Persephone was the woman who could step into the role of managing this paradigm shift, the daughter of the Sky God (Zeus) and the Earth Goddess (Demeter) who was chosen by Hades because the implications of his desire for Persephone would be that the “invisible would now reassert its rights over the body of the visible more strictly than before: their dealings with each other, long diluted and mingled together on earth, would find a new center of gravity” (Calasso, p. 208).

Persephone, who transforms her abduction experience into wisdom and empowers herself with the mysteries of life, death, and the spirit world.  Persephone alternates between two worlds- the living and the dead, the light and the dark, the conscious and the unconscious- in order to bring balance and equilibrium into her being.

–Ariel Guttman and Kenneth Johnson, Mythic Astrology, (p. 174)

In our adolescence when some of us face our first trials of intensity brought about by the shadow side of our soul nature, it coincides with the events that lead to our first return of our lunar nodes at the age of nineteen approximately, when we often get a stronger sense of our karmic callings in connection with our soul nature (the north node, our evolutionary soul direction, returns to it’s placement at birth while the south node, our past life pattern, also returns to it’s natal placement in our chart; this happens again around the age of 38 and every nineteen years henceforth, with nodal oppositions occurring 9-10 years in between).  As we age with each subsequent nodal return (at age 19, 38, 57, . . . ) our ability to more fully integrate and embody our soul nature increases, just as once the maiden Persephone grew into being the Queen of the underworld, she ruled the soul’s journey from being in a body through the death of the body, through the soul’s release through her underworld kingdom, and then back again incarnated into a new body.  When we come across Persephone in our life, we are often dealing with issues that have been encircling us for more than one lifetime.

Pamela Colman Smith the wave

The current time of Neptune being  in Pisces will coincide with up-swellings of human emotion across our planet that will begin a process of dissolving the paradigms of belief currently limiting the perception, awareness, and understanding that we are one people surviving on this planet.  Deep and at times dark emotions will help to dissolve the dualistic perception that we are separate from one another, and we will begin to feel on a more tangible level how we are all One, and that nurturing a greater empathic connection between all people could help all of us survive to a greater extent heading into whatever could be coming our way in the future.

I heard astrologer Patricia Walsh give a talk at NORWAC 2012 on the grand water trine of the zodiac in Evolutionary Astrology being about Spirit, the Soul, and the Ego, with Pisces/Neptune being the Spirit, Scorpio/Pluto/8th being the Soul, and Cancer/Moon/4th being the Ego.  Patricia further linked the myth of Persephone into this water trine, with Persephone being Neptune/Pisces at first as the undescended innocent Maiden, Demeter as the Cancer/Moon conditioned Ego-self, and Hades as the Scorpio/Pluto Lord of the Underworld.   During this current time period there has been a trine going on between Neptune in Pisces and Saturn in Scorpio, and now Pisces Neptune is also trine to Persephone in Scorpio.   This correlates with the Persephone archetype through opportunities for us to transform the undescended and more innocent aspects of our psyche into a presence that has descended into it’s own shadow in order to re-ascend with a more whole consciousness.  The process of this integration of our undescended and descended being is intense and alchemical on a psychological level, but brings the possibility of previously unconscious soul desires becoming integrated into our awareness and eventually with discipline into a more balanced expression in our daily life and communication.

In my last astrology class, my teacher Rosie Finn said that she sensed that the upcoming grand water trine of this Summer (Neptune in Pisces, Saturn in Scorpio, Jupiter in Cancer- most exact from the middle to the end of July) could involve a release of karmic attachment for many souls to the burning times, to the trauma that many of carry within our soul of having been burned or put to death due to a charge of being a “witch” or performing “magic.”  I have personally sensed this underlying trauma in many souls I have encountered this lifetime, so if there could be some healing and release of this trauma this upcoming Summer, it truly will be a magical time in which new potential relationships could be built between all of us toward breaking cycles of oppression.  When I first heard Rosie say this, it sounded to me like the sort of “out-of-the-box” thought I have difficulty tracking or making sense of, but now that I am thinking about Persephone being connected to Saturn and the upcoming water trine, this idea of releasing unconscious attachment to past life trauma sounds very possible to me.  So be it!

In her lecture on the relationship between the grand water trine and the myth of Persephone, Patricia Walsh described the undescended Persephone being like a “New Age Princess” who expresses her psychological soul complexes into her environment because she is unconscious of them.  In this way it becomes a problem for her to cling to a sense of a purity of Spirit while avoiding the descent into the darker aspects of nature- in truth everything is not light and purity in the world.  As a result, the side of Spirit must descend into the Ego in order to learn how to ascend.  Ultimately, through this work of integrating our shadow and dark goddess sides we bring about the possibility of becoming mature spiritual beings.  Persephone in this way embodies both of the major feminine archetypes of the tarot, the Empress and the High Priestess, once she has become her mature spiritual self.

rider-waite-empress nk_high_priestess_waiteIn contrast, before we become our mature spiritual self, the Persephone archetype can link us to the shadow sides of these two cards, through our undescended ignornace of the depths of our being, or our inability to figure out how to integrate the descended side of our self.  In this situation, an undescended Persephone could be like a sterotypical New Age Empress traipsing about proclaiming an abundance of rainbows and unicorns in the world so to speak, and yet since she has not dealt with her own dark side, her behavior often comes off as overly controlling, smothering, emotionally needy, or emotionally barren.  In contrast, an over emphasis on the descended High Priestess side of our nature could lead us to having difficulty ascending back into the earthy love of the Empress, having us come off as more cold, intellectual, secretive, dreamy, or escapist.  Yet if we can access our unconscious reality, our soul nature, through the loving awareness of our Empress in the moment, being patient enough to nurture greater understanding of our deep soul desires that influence our actions and responses in the world-  we then have greater access to the potential of making ourselves whole, integrating our light and shadow, our yin and yang, the animus and the anima, and other symbols of the duality of our past perception.  This process of making a decision to become whole, and following through with choices in our daily life to align to a greater extent with our soul nature, makes me think of another tarot card, The Lovers.  This is because The Lovers can be about us making the choice to merge with our other, but this other does not have to be another lover, this merging can occur within our soul in order to become more whole.  The Lovers can also relate to any major decision for us to make, so along these lines of soul thought, the card would relate to this time if we are faced with a significant choice to make to come into more alignment with the integrity of our soul.  And perfect for this time at the end of May in which Persephone is conjunct Saturn in Scorpio, correlating with an increased capacity for us to follow through in this endeavor, the astrological sign associated with The Lovers is Gemini.

the_lovers_rws_deck2

In this time of incredible Gemini energy, with Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter all conjunct in Gemini, Persephone calls on us to  merge ourselves to a greater extent with our divine other, the soulmate we have within ourselves, our own soul nature.  In Esoteric Astrology Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter all connect with Gemini through the 2nd Ray of Love and Wisdom, with Venus being the esoteric ruler of Gemini.  Venus rules Gemini on a soul level because “Venus seeks to unite and blend, merge and harmonize all of the dualities in life . . . tak[ing] these conflicts of duality (as indicated by Mercury, personality ruler of Gemini . . .) and transform[ing] them into a higher octave of expression” (Oken, p. 173).  With Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn squaring right now with so many conflicts of polarity occurring in the world all around us, it is helpful to remember that Gemini “reveals the relationship between any pair of opposites . . . to create a greater awareness of the pair of opposites, so that a more harmonious relationship may evolve” (Oken, p. 174).  A mutable sign, Gemini in this way helps us modify and mutate “everything that is necessary for the evolution of the Soul, both in our individual lives, and in our collective life as humanity” (p. 174).  Thus, while we may like to idealize the conjunction of Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter above us right now as being about us experiencing abundance and happiness, and as a result feel disappointed if we are experiencing conflicts, polarities, or other difficulties, remember Persephone-  remember Persephone as an archetype who embodies the esoteric nature of Gemini to make the necessary changes for the evolution of our Soul.

The Lovers card also connects to the myth of Persephone because of the shocking paradigm shift that occurred in the Olympic Pantheon when she became the lover and partner of Hades:  the entrance of Eros, of passion, love, and desire, into the kingdom of the dead.  In his masterwork The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, Roberto Calasso described the significance of Persephone descending to become the bride of Hades like no other can:

When Hades asked his brother Zeus for a living woman, he upset the simple world order that had pertained hitherto:  life abounded, was marked and scarred by raiding gods, then consigned to an empty, inert, incorporeal afterlife.  Zeus wouldn’t have his mortal mistresses vanish.  He would possess them, then abandon them.  But Hades wanted Kore as his bride, wanted to have a living person sitting on the throne beside him.  We could say that with this demand death aimed to inflict a further outrage on the earth above.  But it is precisely now, in its insolence, that death deceives itself.  With the abduction of Persephone, death acquires a body, acquires body:  in the kingdom of the shades, there is now at least one body, and the body of a  flourishing young girl at that.

. . . But now, along with Kore’s body, Eros penetrated the kingdom of the dead.  The slender-ankled Persephone was the supple arrow Aprhrodite ordered Eros to let fly at Hades . . .

When Persephone took her place on Hades’ throne and her scented face peeped out from behind the spiky beard of her partner, when Persephone bit into the pomegranate that grew in the shadow gardens, death underwent a transformation every bit as radical as that which life had undergone when it had been deprived of the girl.  The two kingdoms were thrown off balance, each opening up to the other.  Hades imposed an absence on earth, imposed a situation where every presence was now enveloped in a far greater cloak of absence.  Persephone imposed blood on the dead:  not, as in the past, the dark blood of sacrifice, not the blood the dead used to drink so thirstily, but the invisible blood that went on pulsing in her white arms, the blood of someone who is still entirely alive, even in the palace of death.

–Roberto Calasso, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, p. 211-212

So let us drink to Persephone tonight- that is if you drink- or if not, let us honor Persephone through ritual or intention today.  In these times of great changes and cataclysm, Persephone is a role model who shows us how we can descend to the very depths of being in order to ascend with our own authentic integrity.  In fact, she points to the necessity of needing to descend to our depths for our ascension to occur in the first place.

HadesPersephone2Locri

References

Calasso, R. (1993). The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony.  Knopf.

George, D. (1994). Finding Our Way Through the Dark:  an astrological companion to Mysteries                 of the Dark Moon. AFA.

Guttman, A. & Johnson, K. (1993). Mythic Astrology:  Archetypal Powers in the Horoscope.

Oken, A. (1980). Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology. Ibis.

Oken, A. (1990).  Soul Centered Astrology. Ibis.

Isis: Archetype of Love and Devotion

Isis by Euphoria

Isis in Astrology

Asteroid #42

  • Isis associations:  unity, love, loyalty, devotion, sustaining, synthesizing, reassembling, resurrection, alchemy, soul retrieval, healing of fragmentation, finding wholeness of Self through union with other, kundalini, sex magic,  mother of inner divinity, wholeness, and mourning protector of the dead.

  • The house and sign placement of the Isis asteroid in our birth chart, along with its aspects to other celestial bodies, shows us an area of life where we can synthesize love and wisdom from our experiences in life, open our hearts and radiate love in the world, and become devoted to a personal cause or passion.  It also can  be an area of our life where we have soul wounds or fragmented parts of our psyche in need of resurrection and healing:  her placement shows a point of focus where we can synthesize and reassemble ourselves to become more whole, as well as help retrieve and heal the fragmentation of others.

  • Isis has an archetypal affinity with Virgo in astrology, and integrates Pisces through the polarity.

  • The Isis asteroid was discovered on May 23, 1856 in Oxford, United Kingdom.

  • There was a grand Air trine in the chart with Chiron in Aquarius at 6 degrees, the Sun at 3 degrees Gemini, and Mars at 4 degrees Libra.

  • Neptune was in Pisces at 21 degrees in sextile to Venus conjunct Uranus in Taurus (Venus at 18 degrees and Uranus at 22 degrees).  According to one estimated time of discovery I saw, Pisces Neptune would also be in sextile to the Moon in Capricorn, which in turn would be trine to Venus-Uranus in Taurus.

  • Jupiter was in Aries opposite to Mars in Libra at 4 degrees.

  • Mercury was in balsamic conjunction to Saturn in Gemini, at 26 and 30 degrees.

  • Pluto was in Taurus at 5 degrees in square to Chiron in Aquarius.

  • The Moon was in Capricorn and depending upon the estimated time of discovery, may have been square its own nodal axis with the North Node at 24 degrees Aries and the South Node at 24 degrees Libra.

Isis in astrology is the synthesizer and the server of love and devotion.  She is the connection between everything in our world, no matter how disparate on the surface:  Isis is Love, the quality of our consciousness that proves we are all connected, just like the stars above us, the minerals of our Earth below us, and our neurons and other cells inside us.  It is through love that we can feel the emotions of loved ones in lands at great distance away from us, through love that we can sense communication from loved ones who are no longer in a body and are now in the astral realm or heaven, however you want to describe it.  There is an Isis asteroid you can find in your chart through searching for asteroid #42,  and it currently is going through a significant transit of being conjunct both Neptune and Chiron in Pisces.

Isis weaves the web of love through times of trauma and dismemberment of our parts, our physical body parts and our etheric soul fragments, in order to bring about an eventual healing and retrieval of our full Self.  In the United States, we are in the midst of a tragedy of dismembered limbs through a bomb explosion in Boston that has opened our hearts on a collective level at this time.  We can feel the presence of Isis through this tragedy if our heart opens with compassion for the victims and loved ones of the victims, as well as the rest of humanity around our planet for whom the terrors of sudden explosions is a more regular occurrence.  It is this heart opening we can experience in times of collective trauma that can shatter the crystallized emotional patterns that may have been repressing our expression of love in the world around us- if only for a temporary moment.  It is up to us to sustain this heart opening and continue to radiate love around us, and Isis is an archetypal figures who embodies the resurrection of our love and devotion.  The Isis asteroid being conjunct both Neptune and Chiron in Pisces during this past week of incredibly traumatic events here in the United States reflects the intensity of the times and the need for healing.

Isis is the embodiment of loyalty and faith.  Isis is magic.  In ancient myth, Isis gained power over Ra through learning his secret name, and this mythic detail reflects the ancient use of Isis in magical rituals and the use of hidden names in magic spells.  Similarly, Alan Oken and others have written about Isis having two forms: a veiled, and an unveiled.  In the veiled, she is more attached to the illusion of emotion and desire in the astral realm, while in the unveiled she has knowledge of the hidden truth.  This means in her “veiled” form, she reflects the potential to become overly influenced by our emotional reactions to events, causing our perception of life to be guided more by past emotional imprints and wounds- such as a difficult childhood leading us to automatically mistrust.  As a result we really are not perceiving events and people accurately, and the truth indeed remains “hidden.”   It is through awareness of how we have been conditioned and imprinted by external influences on our Personality, and through heart opening connect more with our Soul at our center, that we can access the more positive qualities that Isis represents.

Isis is the daughter of Geb (Earth God) and Nut (Night Goddess) so is truly the daughter of Night and darkness.  Madame Blavatsky in Isis Unveiled called her a “symbol of nature” (p.7), and Thom Cavalli in Embodying Osiris described her mercy toward Set, the murderer of her beloved Osiris, as a reflection of “her role as Mother Nature [in which] she allows all things, whether they stimulate growth or bring decay, to exist” (p.250). Isis, like the other great Goddesses and Great Mothers of myth, is compelling in part because of how whole she is in depiction: she is not all idealized perfect transcendent goodness, but instead is equal part shadow.  Indeed, it is because of her shadow that she is able to achieve true transcendence that integrates the higher and lower parts of Self, transcending through inclusion and integration.  Marie Louis von Franz is one of many explorers of the psyche who have written about the numinous quality of Isis:

She always does what has to be done.  She does the negative thing in order to dissolve consciousness, then the positive thing in order to bring forth the process of individuation.  As the destructive and at the same time redeeming Great Mother she is everywhere.  She is the feminine principle which furthers the inner transformation.

–Marie Louise von Franz (p. 204), The Golden Ass of Apuleius:  The Liberation of the Feminine in Man

Isis was the oldest of four siblings of Nut and Geb, siblings who cultivated great intrigue amongst themselves.  The four siblings not only married one another, but became involved in distorted love triangles:  Isis married her brother Osiris, her sister Nephthys married her brother Set, and in some versions her sister Nephthys seduces Osiris through disguising herself as Isis and becomes impregnated with his offspring Annubis, prompting her brother Set to trap Osiris into a coffin and send him down the Nile River.  After Isis manages to find Osiris, an angry Set then murders Osiris, and dismembers his body into 14 pieces.  Isis then transforms herself into a bird, specifically a kite, and searches for the missing 14 dismembered pieces of the body of Osiris, retrieving all of them save one.  Unable to find his phallus, in one version of the myth it is found by Thoth inside a fish in the Nile River.

After gathering the dismembered pieces of Osiris together, Isis resurrects Osiris through magic, and in the reanimation, makes love to him and becomes impregnated with the divine Horus.  Thom Cavalli in Embodying Osiris interprets the inability of Isis to find the penis of Osiris through the Jungian perspective that “her search for her husband and gathering up of his body represents her need to incorporate her own masculine self, the animus, in order to achieve union and wholeness”  (p.141).  Since Thoth is connected to the Mercury archetype, Cavalli also notes that his acting as an intermediary for Isis “is very alchemical since mercury, friend to all metals, acts as a catalyst in joining ‘unsociable’ substances” (p. 141).  This use of Thoth, a Mercury figure, in the myth by Isis goes along with her association with the sign of Virgo, ruled by Mercury in mundane astrology.

In her search for Osiris, Isis undergoes some trials which mirror the myth of Ceres/Demeter in her search for Persephone, such as being taken into a palace disguised as an old woman in order to take care of a royal infant.  Just as Demeter, taken in by the King and Queen of Eleusis, attempts to make their son immortal by holding him in a fire, Isis also attempts to make the son of her royal hosts immortal by placing him in a fire.  When the Queen interferes with the magical process of Isis, Isis just like Demeter becomes infuriated with her host Queen for preventing the transformation of the child into a divine being.  This parallel to Demeter is another of the many reasons why Isis has become associated with the sign of Virgo.  Indeed, ancient writers such as Apuleius in the 2nd century CE described Isis as having a manifestation as the goddess Ceres, and a title of “Caelestis” or “Celestial” developed linking several godesses such as Isis with a supreme Heavenly Goddess that was also connected to the constellation of Virgo¹.

The trauma that both Ceres and Isis experience in their search for their lost beloved ones has a resonance with Virgo through the Evolutionary Astrology paradigm of Virgo integrating and accessing its polarity of Pisces through crises.  It sometimes takes the gut wrenching shattering of our hearts through trauma or cataclysmic events to open up parts of our Soul or Self that we have locked up tightly in frozen emotional holding patterns.  Through the heart opening from tragedy, we can in the end more fully connect with Spirit (Pisces) in the moment, integrating God or Goddess into our daily life and work (Virgo).  This is the higher potential we can find in the disturbing times we find ourselves in today, with mass explosions dominating our current events. The archetype of Isis can help us reassemble ourselves into a more authentic whole as a result of reliving traumatic events or having our hearts opened through compassionate witnessing of the pain of others- we can retrieve fragmented parts of our psyche we had previously repressed due to the pain they carry, so that even though the experience can be incredibly terrifying, we can ultimately achieve greater strength and wholeness from having gone through it, and reintegrating parts of ourselves we had previously lost.  In this way Isis reflects our ability to synthesize knowledge from even our most difficult experiences in order to expand our consciousness and connect more strongly with our core Self and sense of connection with Spirit / Source / Goddess / God.

Isis wall painting

Love and Devotion

  • Isis connects with Virgo in Esoteric Astrology in part through the symbolism of the Moon being the esoteric ruler of Virgo.  She is a Great Mother archetype that connects with Ceres as the symbol of Virgo.  She became a divine mother of Horus similar to how Mary gives birth to Jesus.

  • Isis integrates Pisces through polarity and in part through Esoteric Astrology, in which Pisces is ruled by Pluto and associated with the death of duality.  Isis evokes unconditional love and faith that transcends, transmutes, and transforms beyond duality. She is reached on our Soul level through the death of our forms tied to duality.

  • 2nd Ray in Esoteric Astrology (Virgo, Pisces, Gemini):  The Ray of Love and Wisdom

  • 6th Ray in Esoteric Astrology (Virgo, Pisces, Sagitarius):  The Ray of Devotion and Idealism

Isis is a powerful archetype to perceive through the soul-centered lens of Esoteric Astrology.   In my opinion, reflecting upon the nature of Isis as an archetype is a helpful way to synthesize the connection in Esoteric Astrology between the sign of Virgo with its esoteric ruler the Moon, and its rays of manifestation being the second and the sixth.  In Soul Centered Astrology: A Key to Your Expanding Self, Alan Oken explains the link in the Ancient Wisdom teachings between Virgo and Isis:

The Ancient Wisdom Teachings tell us that the name Virgo is a corruption of an Atlantean name that was applied to the Mother Principle.  Lilith, the dark moon of astrology, was the name of the last Virgin Goddess of Atlantis.  There are three other names for the Virgin that we should examine, as they will reveal more about the esoteric nature of this sign:  Eve, Isis, and Mary.

Eve is the symbol of the mental nature of humanity, and represents the desire for knowledge.  She symbolizes the eating of “the fruit of the tree,” or the information gained by the Soul from physical incarnation.  Isis has two forms:  veiled and unveiled.  She also represents the gathering of such information, but her domain is the realm of the emotions.  The veil of Isis has to do with the illusions of the astral plane, while the unveiling of the Goddess reveals the perception of hidden truth.  The root of the name Mary is very ancient.  It is constantly associated with water, whether it is from the Sanskrit root maya, the Hebrew mayam, or the Latin mare.  Mary is the maternal matrix of form, originating in the sea.  It is from the physical body of Mary that the “Heavenly Fish” was born, Jesus, the Anointed Savior of the Age of Pisces.  Virgo, in her three aspects of mind, emotion, and body, represents the synthetic qualities of the Mother Principle, which is blending the proper nutrients for her unborn offspring; she is always gathering in the proper information for the growth of the Soul  (p. 194).

Although Esoteric Astrology relies on an intuitive perception that is vastly different than a rationalistic science perception, the Moon being the ruler of Virgo, so that the Moon is the ruler of the sign of the Goddess, fits well with science since life on our planet and the development of humanity would not have occurred without the orbital influence of our Moon and its effect on tides and other earthly phenomenon.  As a result we can feel the connection of the Moon with Virgo Goddesses such as Ceres, Mary, and Isis, and how these Mother figures on an astrological level could help us digest and synthesize our experiences in order to provide nourishment to our Soul within.  In this way Isis represents the synthesizing of our emotions and desires within the archetype of Virgo and the Mother Principle, and is why she has a strong link to the second and sixth rays of Estoeric Astrology:  Love and Wisdom, and Devotion and Idealism.

In Esoteric Astrology, the seven rays relate to our human ability to cultivate Soul-consciousness, self-actualize and individuate, and accept responsibility for our lives and our ability to co-create not only our own destiny, but our collective destiny.  However, in order for us to develop this ability means that we need to move beyond our attachment to our ego and our Personality-focused consciousness.  When we are more wrapped up inside the confines of the Personality we believe ourselves to be and perceive life through, we diminish our ability to take responsibility for our lives and make ourselves more likely to have a fatalistic feeling about the events of our lives.  Alan Oken in Soul Centered Astrology makes the distinction that when we are Personality-centered, we are more attached to the “forms and effects of manifestation,” whereas a Soul-centered individual focuses on “the relationship between cause and effect” in our life:

Yet the distinction has to be made that personality-centered people- the vast majority of people in the world- identify themselves with the materialization of events and attach themselves to the forms and effects of manifestation.  The Soul-centered identify themselves much more with the relationship between cause and effect, and respond to the quality aspect or consciousness inherent in manifestation . . .

The Seven Rays are the basic building energies of manifestation and are the keynotes of this relationship between cause and effect.  (p.96)

I am only beginning to come to a greater comprehension of this material, but at this stage of my understanding these Wisdom teachings remind me of the Buddhist practice of mindfulness and the importance of becoming more self-aware of our thoughts, the causes and effects of our thoughts, where our thoughts take root from, how we are imprinted by past experiences, and how we cause our own suffering through perceiving events through this ego personality bonded to our past conditioning and imprinting.  I have heard Alan Oken teach about the spiritual importance of the objectification of our ego, how objectifying our consciousness can help us become aware of our illusions, overcome fears, and gain the power of mind over matter in the process.

The  connection between Isis and the 2nd Ray is evidently powerful as Isis has been connected with the star Sirius since ancient times, and in Esoteric Astrology the star Sirius is also connected with the 2nd Ray.  Alan Oken describes “the two primary stellar vehicles for the Second Ray of Love/Wisdom” as the Sun (representing the “Heart of this Great One”) and the star Sirius (p. 97).  As a result, Oken explains that all of the Seven Rays “function in our solar system through the Second Ray, making It and the quality of Its energy of Love/Wisdom the most vital to us . . . ”

Love and the Wisdom which leads and proceeds from Love are the primary qualities of consciousness in our solar system, and hence, of life here on Earth.

–Alan Oken, Soul-Centered Astrology, p.97

For me, visualizing the mythic figure of Isis is a helpful way to grasp some of the significance of the second ray and how Love/Wisdom connects all of life.  Oken states that Virgo is the “controlling factor” and the “primary sign of the Second Ray” in part because it is not dualistic like the other signs of the Second Ray, Pisces and Gemini, but instead is “multiplistic” since as the Mother it is the “birther of all forms” (p. 108).  When we face challenging events, Isis helps us integrate the Pisces polarity of Virgo through our experience, since Pluto rules Pisces in Esoteric Astrology, carrying with it a Shiva energy of destruction that can be painful, but also brings the potential to destroy our attachment to material forms.  Pisces and its esoteric ruler Pluto can help us transcend the suffering our ego personalities cause us through the death of our duality perception that our personality is separate from our soul.  Alan Oken teaches that when we lose attachment to form, we can use form for the purpose of our Soul. When we consider the resurrective power of Isis in her myths, she is a powerful Goddess to visualize having control of the 2nd Ray:

Love is that matrix, that Mother Force, which births those forms that house the essential spirit of Life.  Love is the healing dynamic which, through its cohesivemenss, eventuates the process of evolution into greater and more highly evolved wholes.  Love and the energy of the Second Ray unites, binds, and holds all of the manifestations of Creation together.  (Oken, p. 107)

The fact the astrological signs related to the Second Ray are all mutable reflects their ability to find connections between everything, but at the same time it also provides the challenge for people with a strong Second Ray, since most of us perceive through personality-consciousness more so than soul-consciousness.  Because the Second Ray has a universal urge for unity and embracing everything, people with a strong Second Ray can lose a sense of their own center, stability, and focus at times, becoming influenced by the people surrounding them that they are connecting with through their energy of love.  In contrast, if a Second Ray person begins to emphasize the Wisdom side more so than the Love side, Alan Oken explains there is the additional challenge that they can become aloof, and “may appear indifferent to others and lacking in the compassion that is at the very heart of this Ray’s life quality” (p. 109).  Isis as an archetype in our chart could fall prey to similar challenges when we are focused on the daily challenges to our personality from our environment, losing touch with our centered and loving Goddess inside.

Isis as an archetype like the Second Ray is highly magnetic in nature, and has also been linked by many to kundalini and sex magic, probably due at least in part to the section of the Osiris myth in which Isis is able to not only reanimate his corpse, but make love to him and become impregnated.  In  The Magdalen Manuscript by Tom Kenyon and Judy Sion, the link between Isis and sexual magic is shown through the voice of Mary Magdalene, portrayed as a High Initiate of Isis who practiced sacred sexuality with her lover, Jesus.  In this manner, the sexual act becomes a way to merge and expand consciousness with one’s lover in a way that transforms our previous form:

The Sexual Magic of Isis has to do with the innate ability of the feminine being to utilize magnetic energies to open deeper levels of consciousness through the act of surrendering to the sexual energies and pathways that are opened . . .

Two Initiates engaged in the Sexual Magic of Isis can strengthen themselves and rapidly expand their consciousness through the power of this magnetic field.

The Magdalen Manuscript, p. 37

Mary Magdalene has been linked as being some sort of High Initiate of Isis by many writers, and whether or not you believe the validity of this, what is valid is the link between discipleship and Isis.  This is because to fully integrate Isis calls for a practice of discipleship, and connects to her association with the Sixth Ray, the Ray of Devotion and Idealism.

Just as Isis in the myth has an obsessive focus upon finding Osiris and making him whole again, she connects with the 6th Ray in Esoteric Astrology through her intense devotion to her ideal of healing Osiris.  On the Soul level, the 6th Ray brings the “urge to transform selfish and personal motivation into selfless, impersonal devotion for the good of all,” while on the Personality level it can reflect the negative potential to become fanatic, dogmatic, and exclusive to others from a perspective of having a more enlightened belief system (Oken, p. 133).  Reaching the 6th Ray on more of a soul level helps us avoid being exclusive to others, but instead “reorient the exclusive to the inclusive for the greater expression of Love/Wisdom” (Oken, p. 133).  Alan Oken gives the example of Saint Francis of Assisi as a figure who was able to utilize “Spiritual Will . . . in an individualistic way for the good of the collective” (Oken, p. 131).  Saint Francis is particularly interesting in this 6th Ray context, since he grew up in the time of the crusades, a 6th Ray war of fanaticism, and took part in the crusades as a young man before dissolving his identity in his process of finding his connection with God.  Saint Francis became a disciple of the teachings of Jesus Christ, used Will and discipline to become a spiritual warrior focused upon being inclusive within the collective rather than exclusive.  His ability to synthesize his religious beliefs with his love of nature, his openness to forming community and supporting women in taking leadership roles in his church, and his indomitable spirit that refused to back down to status quo authorities of the church, makes him a strong example of the higher use of the 6th Ray that Isis also embodies.

I believe Isis also embodies this same 6th Ray focus of the Higher Self on inclusion rather than exclusion.  If we look at the mythstory and history of her transformation through myth across time, we can see that the figure of Isis continued to transform in a manner that would be more inclusive to other regions and religions of the world around her- first on a local level within Egypt, and then on a wider level beyond the boundaries of Egypt.  At one point, she was depicted as the wife of the pharaoh, but eventually became merged with the goddess Hathor as she also became the mother.  This is why in later depictions she has the cow horns and solar disk of Hathor on her head.  In earlier depictions she often had the hieroglyphic sign for a throne on her head, since she was involved with the seat of the ruler.  As the figure of Osiris became more and more important, her mythic story also shifted to incorporate him, and their story became an important mystery ritual for ages.  It is also interesting that following the terror and trauma of the invasion of Alexander the Great through the region, a figure who through his conquests served to synthesize and link ancient teachings from Greece through Egypt, Babylonia, and India, Isis continued to synthesize and merge with other cultures, becoming linked with Aphrodite, Ceres/Demeter, and many other important Goddesses.  Even today in modern times, Isis still is very visible and synthesizes many ancient wisdom concepts for people around the world from different backgrounds.

Therefore, we can look to the placement of the Isis asteroid #42 in our birth chart to see a place where we can synthesize love and wisdom from our experiences in life, open our hearts and express love and wisdom in the areas of life associated with its placement by house, sign, and aspects to other planets.  The house, sign, and aspects of the Isis asteroid can also show us an area of life where we can become idealistic and devoted to a personal cause or passion.  Since most of us are not already soul-centered individuals, however, we also must heed the warnings of challenges that personality-centered individuals face through the 2nd and 6th Ray.  This same area of our birth chart involving the Isis asteroid could thus show us where we could have illusionary perceptions stemming from misguided emotions and desires, where we could potentially lose our own sense of center through finding connection with others, where we could become overly focused on developing wisdom for ourselves rather than personal connection with others, and where we could become blindly devoted to a personal cause, losing ourselves in hero worship, exclusivity, prejudice, or fanaticism.

In my personal chart, I happen to have just experienced an Isis return as I am writing this, as I have Isis in Pisces in my 10th House conjunct my Mid-heaven and my Mercury.  I also have Isis square my Gemini Moon in my 12th house and the nodal axis of my Moon.  Without going into personal detail, I have certainly faced my own challenges of the mutable cross associated with issues such as becoming lost in the illusions of my own emotional perceptions, but as I have grown, become more self-aware, and taken greater responsibility for myself, I have ended up in situations where I have had to synthesize my understanding in a public, 10th house manner.  For example, I have been teaching about some of these same concepts with young adults who have come from traumatic backgrounds, and so I have had the opportunity to teach the same lessons I have had to learn and continue to learn, in order to help bring about healing and self-actualization for my students.  In addition, just the act of researching and writing this piece about Isis for my blog, using my Mercury function to synthesize my own understanding of various research leads I have followed, has been a great catalyst to help connect me more strongly with the whole of my core Self.

Finally, we can look to the placement of Isis in our charts as a point of focus through which we can heal the fragmentation of our own soul, as well as help retrieve and heal the fragmentation of the souls of others.  The bottom line of this ability sources from Love, pure and simple- the consciousness of love and an open heart that is the connective tissue between everything, including all of our own disparate mental and emotional pieces that feel like they are lost on the floor like puzzle pieces at times.  I realize this makes Isis sound somewhat like Chiron in astrology, but I believe Isis functions more explicitly through love and is more about a healing of our wholeness through a death and resurrection process than Chiron.  Working with Isis can involve a deep process that involves a death of current emotional or mental patterns in order to retrieve and heal our fragmented parts.  In my own chart, for example, with Isis in Pisces in my 10th house conjunct my Pisces Midheaven and Pisces Mercury at the very end of my 9th House, I have ultimately become a teacher in a public role.  However, I grew up incredibly shy with a speech impediment to which I responded by barely talking to anyone, and certainly never in public.  One of the first ways I was able to get in touch with my voice was through my writing, using the combination of my Isis, Mercury, and Midheaven in that way, and placing myself out in public first through my writing, rather than my speaking.  This experience was still intense for me, even through my writing, but ultimately I have been gradually returning to my whole self in my public speaking.

The esoteric link between the Moon and Virgo, and so between the Moon and Isis, will be highlighted this week with an intense Full Moon Lunar Eclipse on April 25, 2013.  Eclipses are another example of the human ability to synthesize understanding from events:  the almost incomprehensible symmetry that the size of the Moon and its orbit could create the visual effect of Eclipses on our planet helped ancient astrologers discover the nodal axis that has helped so many modern astrologers help heal fellow human beings today.  As we head into the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse of April 25 this week, and an intense eclipse season of May, it will be more difficult as it always is during eclipse season to assert our own Will into the world around us from an ego-personality perspective.  Hopefully, the figure of Isis can be of service to you in your ability to merge your Will with Higher Will, and connect with your Higher Self and Love consciousness.  These upcoming times of the May 2013 eclipse season are likely to be intense- if we can embody the love and devotion of Isis and face whatever happens with an open heart that is open to whatever experience comes our way and whatever feelings, no matter how painful, well up from within, we can ultimately cultivate greater healing for ourselves through reassembling our emotional being into a more complete whole, synthesizing greater wisdom and an expansion of our love-consciousness in the process.

Isis126

References

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isis

Blavatsky, Helena (1972). Isis Unveiled: Secrets of the Ancient Wisdom Tradition, Madame Blavatsky’s First Work.  Abridged by Michael Gomes.

Cavalli, T. (2010) Embodying Osiris: The Secrets of Alchemical Transformation. Quest.

Kenyon, T and Sion, J. (2002) The Magdalen Manuscript: The Alchemies of Horus & The Sex Magic of Isis. Orb.

Oken, Alan. (1990). Soul Centered Astrology:  A Key to Your Expanding Self. Ibis.

von Franz, Marie-Louise. (1992). The Golden Ass of Apuleius:  The Liberation of the Feminine in Man. Shambhala.

  1. ^ Plutarch, translated by Frank Cole Babbitt, Isis and Osiris, 1936, vol. 5 Loeb Classical Library
  2. ^ ApuleiusMetamorphoses 11.2.

Triple Goddess T-Square: Vesta, Juno, and Pallas Athena

There is just so much going on right now with astrology transits, it isn’t quite as obvious to pay attention to the asteroids named after Goddesses.  I mean, we not only have the Pluto-Uranus square going on, we have Pluto and Mars conjunct in Capricorn, we have Venus and Saturn conjunct in Scorpio, we have had Mercury moving across the north node of the Moon in Scorpio first direct, then retrograde, and now stationing direct to move back across a final time, and most significantly in this moment we are in between eclipses, with the upcoming Lunar eclipse of November 28 containing somewhat of a Yod (in a wide orb sense) between Pluto and Mars in Capricorn and Saturn and Venus in Scorpio at the base, with Jupiter and the Full Moon in Gemini at the apex.

However, there is in fact a triple Goddess T-Square happening right now, involving some of the most powerful manifestations of the Goddess (Juno, Vesta, Pallas Athena), first brilliantly described in  Asteroid Goddesses by Demetra George.  In this pivotal work, Demetra George illuminated the insight that the asteroid Goddesses represent distinct archetypal manifestations of the Great Goddess, in particular in the form of Venus Aphrodite.  George wrote “the essence of the potential generative and transformative power of the Great Goddess (Moon) in her active, reproductive energy (Venus) differentiates into . . . Pallas Athena, at the MC, utiliz[ing] the sexual-creative energy to birth mental and artistic forms . . . Vesta, at the Ascendant, utiliz[ing] the sexual creative energy to renew and regenerate the self . . .  Juno, at the Descendant, utiliz[ing] the sexual creative energy to renew and regenerate others” (p. 28).  These three Goddess asteroids in this intense aspect are important to keep in mind as manifestations of Venus Aphrodite at this time in particular, since the planet Venus is karmically charged right now, being conjunct Saturn in Scorpio and therefore ruled by the Pluto and Mars conjunction in Capricorn that is also happening at this time of a powerful Lunar Eclipse.

At this time, Juno in Sagitarius is opposite Vesta in Gemini, and Pallas Athena in Pisces is squaring each of them.  This triple Goddess T-Square will be at its strongest from November 22  until December 2, 2012, while still in wider orb until December 10, 2012.  Juno has been moving direct in Sagitarius, while Vesta has been moving retrograde in Gemini.  Pallas Athena, until today, had been moving retrograde in Pisces, and so has been squaring Vesta in Gemini while each moved retrograde.  Amazingly, just as Juno in Sagitarius has moved into an exact square with Vesta in Gemini today, Pallas Athena has stationed direct in Pisces within one degree of an exact T-Square.  As a result, Pallas Athena in Pisces is especially charged at this moment, having stationed direct as the apex point in a T-Square with Vesta and Juno.  I have to admit, it’s a little easier for me to notice this, because Vesta is currently conjunct my Ascendant, Juno is currently conjunct my Descendant, and Pallas Athena is more widely conjunct my Sun in my 10th House.   So  maybe that’s why I’m writing this blog entry today.

But I see some clear intention and resonance between the dynamics of these three Goddess asteroids within the larger intensity of this astrological moment.  There is a lot of Goddess energy at this time, with a Grand Water Trine between Ceres in Cancer, Neptune in Pisces, and Venus conjunct Saturn in Scorpio.  There is thus an opportunity for us to manifest some of our deepest gifts and visions into the world at this time, and so this T-Square between Juno, Vesta, and Pallas Athena can reveal some of the challenges and self-made obstacles we could face in a manifestation process.  In addition, Saturn in Scorpio in mutual reception with the conjunction of Pluto and Mars in Capricorn, with Venus mixed in conjunct Saturn, in between eclipses with Mercury conjunct the north node in Scorpio and the south node in Taurus, certainly brings up themes of survival and self-preservation, but also deeply pulls in the importance of relationships and merging with others outside of ourselves in order to more effectively survive and prosper in life.  In fact, we could all be learning some significant karmic lessons at this time regarding the process of merging power with others versus choosing to remain more reliant upon ourselves, and again this T-Square with Pisces Pallas Athena at the apex can reveal where we could be experiencing some imbalance and self-blockage.  We are in a vortex of extraordinary change in this moment, and many people are off-kilter with their reactions and responses to what is happening.  Resonating with the idea of the asteroid Goddesses functioning as manifestations of the creative manifesting energy of Venus Aphrodite and the Great Goddess, paying attention to this aspect at this time can help us figure out how to manifest events and make choices that are more in alignment with what we want to have happen in our lives.  If we ignore the warnings of this aspect, it points to some negative ways we could spin off the intense astrological energy of this time.

Vesta and Juno are classic Goddesses in this dance of when to merge with others or an intimate other, and when to remain more independent within.  Vesta is currently retrograde at  22 degrees Gemini , exactly opposing Juno in Sagitarius direct at 22 degrees of Sagitarius, with Pallas Athena the apex point stationing direct at 23 degrees of Pisces.  As the apex point of this T-Square, Pallas Athena in Pisces is the archetype we can look to as the key dynamic to work out the tension of the aspect.  Drawing from the work of Bill Tierney in Dynamics of Aspect Analysis, it suggests that if we mismanage the energy of the apex Pallas Athena in Pisces (through frustration, blockages, habitual insecurities, defensive reactions from being self-centered) we will make the opposition between Gemini Vesta and Sagitarius Juno even more of an extreme polarity full of conflict instead of synthesizing their energy in a more harmonious and complementary manner.  If we can manage Pallas Athena in Pisces to the best of our abilities by focusing on the greater good, being aware of our relationships, the rights and needs of others,  and how we are impacting them, we can utilize the intense polarity between Vesta and Juno to propel us forward in a positive growth direction.

Fittingly, Pallas Athena is a more complicated archetype to understand, in part due to the predominant story of her birth passed down through myth.  In the traditional myth we know, Zeus gave birth to Pallas Athena from his head, and she was already wearing a full-suit of armor, as we can see below:

Yet this birth story upon closer thought tells a different story, essentially along the lines that the version of HIStory that we tend to be told is told to us by Patriarchal authorities that have been in power for ages at this point, with the victors tending to tell their version of events to pass down.  When Goddess culture was invaded and then subjugated to Patriarchal rule and forced to pay tribute to the masculine sky Gods, various Goddess figures were assimilated into a version in deference to Patriarchal rule.  Juno certainly was, moving from being the Great Goddess to the jealous and manipulative wife of Zeus, but none perhaps was more overtly than Pallas Athena, whose divine wisdom was utilized by the military extension of the Patriarchy in their strategic decision making.  Indeed, the impossibility of her birth from the head of Zeus instead of the womb of a Goddess, says it all:  this version of Pallas Athena was invented from the minds of the Zeus-like rulers of the Partriarchy of the time to serve their own purposes.  The fear of being overthrown and the corresponding manipulative grasping to stay in power can be seen in the story of the myth:  it had been prophesized that the Titaness of Wisdom, Metis, would give birth to the powerful Athena as well as a son who would overthrow Zeus.  Zeus, who himself had overthrown his own father, tricked Metis into transforming so that he could swallow her.  This is the logic given to how Athena ultimately could have been born in full armor from the head of Zeus.  However, there is also an interesting twist to how Athena could have exactly emerged from the head of Zeus.  In some versions of the myths, Zeus began to get an immense headache and then another figure burst his head open with a Minoan ax.  A Minoan ax being used is an interesting symbol of the Minoan Goddess culture of Crete the Patriarchal invaders of Zeus would have usurped.  In addition, the identity of this figure is sometimes given to be Prometheus, and among other versions also Hermes.  As Prometheus has been linked to the Uranus archetype first by Richard Tarnas and now by many others, this adds a humanistic revolutionary energy to the birth of Athena that otherwise may not have been obvious.  And Hermes as Mercury can represent our ability to liberate ourselves from limiting or oppressive patterns through the creative use of mental analysis as well as mental expression.

Today, we tend to view Pallas Athena as representing creative intelligence and wise problem solving.  Demetra George in Asteroid Goddesses describes the archetype of Pallas Athena as the ability to use one’s mental abilities and creativity to create and control one’s reality.  Pallas Athena teaches that “the mind’s eye contains the seed of manifested form” and so if we are in a fog of ignorance or limiting thought forms, the process of working with Pallas Athena can help destroy, transform, and renew life structures so that we can learn “to utilize the creative mind to transform ideas into reality” (p. 32).  Important to the difficult nature of Pallas Athena in the role of the apex point of this T-Square, George also explained that when one is stuck in a process with Pallas Athena,there can be a tendency to feel “inadequacy and inability to influence” one’s life and experience in reality (p. 32).

This potential self-victimizing feeling of being  unable to create our own reality is the dangerous martyr shadow side of Pallas Athena being in Pisces.  If we react to the extraordinary oppression of our times by holding back out of a feeling of futility, or defensively reacting out of vengeance with a sense of anger or violence, we will negatively set-off the energy of this T-Square.  Pallas Athena in Pisces is a call to act out of compassion and non-violence in the face of oppression.  Meeting violence and negativity with anger, violence, or negativity only perpetuates the cycle of violence, anger, and negativity.  If we look at some of the greatest movements of social change, non-violent resistance and civil disobedience was integral to their success, as they helped garner compassion for their movement and values instead of stirring up violent reactions to violence.  Demetra George describes Pallas Athena in Pisces as ” a proponent of nonviolent resistance:  turning the other cheek or refusing to fight.  She is also the enlightened warrior, the bodhisattva . . . The wisdom of Pallas Athena in Pisces is the wisdom of compassion- the recognition of the universal suffering and desire for happiness that permeates humanity” (p. 106).  It is important to remember that acting with compassion and practicing nonviolent resistance to oppression does not mean you are being a “push-over” in the face of oppression- it is possible to be highly assertive, creative, and most importantly influential with protests and counteractions against institutional oppression through  nonviolent civil disobedience.

I feel part of the feeling of reacting with violence and anger in the face of oppression comes from the victimizing side of Pisces, the feeling that life is unfair and out of control, and so we must seize control and strike back against who or what we perceive as the powers that have wounded us.  I don’t mean to suggest that we shouldn’t defend ourselves when being physically attacked, I mean more in the sense of reacting with anger and violence back to the general sense of oppression we could feel happening around us in society.   The powerful faith-based side of Pisces, is in contrast having a faith in the unknown and faith that by living a life of our highest integrity we can help others also live a life of integrity, and ultimately we can help break larger patterns of violence and war in our culture. It is the belief that human beings are not actually doomed and destined to forever engage in a cycle of war.

Another danger of Pallas Athena in Pisces is fearing that by integrating our work into our reality, which includes the power structure, that we will become complicit with the oppression stemming from the “system.”  We must remember the power of Pallas Athena is the ability to transform not only our own reality, but as a result also the greater consensus reality surrounding us.  There have also been many authors such as Jane Bolen who have depicted the modern representation of Pallas Athena as the career woman in the business suit climbing the corporate or political ladder of the modern Patriarchy, and the ability of the feminine to embody and express strong masculine yang energy.  This latter depiction of the Pallas Athena archetype is interesting given the current transit of Pluto in Capricorn and Saturn in Scorpio that will be going on for the next couple of years.  It is an opportune time to transform the system and the institutions of power from within, so any women or men who are able to act from a place of power with the greater good in mind, can help transform the modern power structures away from oppression and more in line with facilitating greater communal growth and prosperity.  However, the intense dynamics of this triple Goddess t-square reflect the difficulty of completing such a transformation from within the system without setting off significant opposition and stress.

Part of the stress that can be going on with others and ourselves at this time also has to do with the illusion-based aspect of Pallas Athena in Pisces.  Many people at this time are in denial of what is actually happening in reality, and instead of taking a hard look within during a process of disillusionment, they are instead holding fast to their old views and mindsets and refusing to believe that the world is changing around them.  Many people, including many people in positions of power, are attempting to manipulate information through media, advertisements, and other avenues of information control (or Pisces illusion control)  in order to compensate for a potential cataclysmic disillusionment they could experience if they opened themselves to what is truly going on around them.  The intense astrological aspects of this moment reflect the fact that the world is going through intense change.  The beneficial power of Pisces with Pallas Athena at this time is the power of mutable water, the ability to flow and move with the changes happening around us and make modifications to our worldview in order to come into greater alignment.  This doesn’t mean suddenly getting rid of all of our old beliefs and values, it simply means being willing to take a second look at what could be in need of transformation at this time.

Indeed, Pallas Athena in Pisces can be more difficult to integrate into consensus reality precisely  because of it’s ability to perceive beyond the boundaries, limitations, and taboos defined by the values and beliefs of the dominant culture.  Demetra George described Pallas Athena in Pisces as having a “diffuse perception” with the ability to see “through merging oneself in between the spaces of dense reality and experiencing a direct contact with the object” (p. 106).  All of us block or limit our perception of phenomenal reality in one way or another, but Pallas Athena in Pisces reflects times of being able to perceive beyond our normal perceptual limitations, or the “normal” limitations of perception defined by the dominant consensus view upon reality.  As a result, Pisces Pallas Athena lends healing and artistic gifts that can integrate psychic and clairvoyant abilities.  Utilizing the faith and psychic-based healing abilities of Pallas Athena in Pisces will be one of the most beneficial ways to work with the tension of this triple Goddess T-square.  George describes Pallas Athena achieving success through Pisces as using the “psychological techniques of guided imagery, fantasy, and dream interpretation, as well as meditation, devotion, spirit guides, and spiritual practices. Aesthetically, she brings out the poetic, inspirational, and illusory qualities in artistic expression.  There exists creative skill in the media of film and photography which play with light and illusion, and in ethereal music (synthesizer) which evokes feeling” (p. 106).  So, one route of working with the tension of this T-square is to put the stirred up emotions and feelings into art, music, and media.  By capturing our emotional struggles in art we leave landmarks behind which other people facing similar struggles can potentially one day discover and use as a coping mechanism.  In addition, it will be important to trust some of our more psychic perceptions that can often be labeled “crazy” by our dominant culture at this time.  Obviously, practicing proper discernment between what is a true perception in this sense versus what is a psychic projection can be tricky.

 

So how exactly can we help facilitate a transformation at this time of great crisis and cataclysm on our planet, with the greater good of all in mind?  There are no easy answers, but the message I receive from these three divine beings at this time is to focus the highest levels of our personal creative thought and analysis (Pallas Athena) on ourselves in order to transform our own limitations from within and focus on the unique gift we have to offer (Vesta), as well as to focus on our relationships with others and all of the ensuing interpersonal dynamics (Juno).

The Vesta archetype (Hestia is the Greek Goddess version of Vesta) has had a tendency to have focus be a prominent theme in depiction, since Hestia/Vesta is the Goddess of the Hearth, able to keep her fire perpetually burning, eternally.  In Asteroid Goddesses Demetra George associates Vesta with the Virgo and Scorpio archetypes and describes her as having a “Principle of Focus and Commitment” that involves a “dedication and aspiration toward a path or goal” as well as the “sacrifices that are made to attain that goal” (p. 131).  In the August / September 2012 issue of The Mountain Astrologer, astrologer Dawn Bodrogi proclaims that whatever house we have Vesta “in describres what we instinctively honor and where we hope to be pure of heart and deed” (p. 41):

Vesta knows where our true passion lies, and it is her face we see when we must choose life over death-in-life.  She is everything we do and every step we take to keep that flame alive.  She is our courage, and she is the willing and joyful surrender that allows us to discover what we cherish and then dedicate our lives to it (p. 40).

Bodrigi goes on to depict Vesta transits as times when we can experience profound epiphanies and sudden moments of lucid awareness concerning what we need to be doing with our lives and where we need to be on our path.  When Vesta is impacting our life we get a clearer sense of what we truly cherish, what passions bring us truly alive, and what essential values we carry that will withstand any cataclysm.  George, Bodrigi, and many others usually depict withdrawal from the world on at least a temporary basis as integral to the archetype of Vesta, in keeping with her historical role as a temple Priestess.  Indeed, it is through a cyclic period of withdrawal that the Vesta archetype gains its powerful ability to focus like a laser on a unique gift that can later be brought back into the world to be shared.

In Asteroid Goddesses Demetra George describes an archetypal process we go through with Vesta as being about transforming “confusion into commitment,” which nicely pairs with the polarity potential of integrating the T-Square opposition between Vesta and Juno.  George explains that we “may experience aimlessness, alienation, or depletion of vital force” until the feeling of being “fragmented, overly dependent upon others, or without personal direction,” pulls us into a “transformative process of renewal of [our] virginity or essential self” (p.33).  This concept also links with the shadow warnings of Pallas Athena in Pisces squaring Vesta in Gemini at this moment.  If we are feeling overwhelmed by the oppression of the world at this time, we must be careful to not let it propel us into a sense of alienation and aimlessness.  It is imperative that we go within and into isolation if necessary in order to regain our sense of essential self and ability to regenerate our power back into the world to create the type of reality we would like to live in.  Because Juno, the Goddess of Union, is standing in opposition to Vesta in Gemini at this time, it means we need to be careful to strike the correct balance between withdrawing from outer relationships versus giving the necessary time and attention to the needs of our important outer relationships.

This movement within away from the world is integral to the current transit of Vesta in Gemini since it is currently moving retrograde.  It also links with some of the themes associated with Juno, currently moving direct in Sagitarius in opposition to the retrograde Gemini Vesta.  Juno has had a charged time recently, at one time recently being conjunct Mars (the lunar cycle between October 15 and October 29) and also opposite Jupiter (October 31 –  November 13).  Demetra George described the Juno cycle as a “transformative process of consummation and separation in relationships” which “teaches the wisdom that forgiveness and fair play lead to depth and renewal with others” and in the end helps us “transform selfish desire into cooperative union” (p.34).  Juno is the Goddess archetype of committed relationship, and so in difficult periods of relationship it can be necessary at times for partners to separate in space in order to renew themselves, and ultimately return to the relationship with a regenerated ability to sustain the commitment.

The danger of Juno in Sagitarius in this T-Square comes from an exaggerated sense of what should be happening in the future- this is all the more likely to happen when we are not in tune with our outer relationships and their needs and expectations.  George describes Juno in Sagitarius as having a need for “intellectual stimulation with a partner” as well as “consensus on a belief system or a mutually shared vision of the future” (p. 172).  It will be important at this time to gain greater clarity for what our true path and vision of the future is and check to see how much that truly aligns with the visions of our partners.  If there is conflict with these visions we will need to make the necessary modifications with our choices, actions, and beliefs to make our interactions with others more harmonious.  And when we do have an empowered agreement with others, or a more defensive and assertive feeling about our own beliefs, we must also beware of the other danger with Juno in Sagitarious:  “religious fanaticism” or “rigid insistence on one’s own beliefs” (George, p. 172).

In opposition to this Sagitarius Juno energy, Vesta in Gemini brings our focus to the way we choose and use our words, as well as the way we express information in the world and the way we are able to “network and coordinate” with other individuals in reality (George, p. 135).  Since Jupiter is also moving retrograde in Gemini not too far away from Vesta, all of these Gemini Vesta issues can potentially loom even larger at this time.  Demetra George warns about the misuse of Vesta in Gemini as involving a sense of alienation that happens when we get “so caught up in word choice that the ability to convey the true meaning is lost, or through excessive intellectualism” (p.136).  Vesta in Gemini in retrograde and in this triple Goddess T-square brings added emphasis to the possibility of becoming “vulnerable to using words and rationalizations to create an emotional distance from others. The mind can be a professional asset but must not be allowed to dominate the emotional experience” (George, p. 136).

Thus, this Sagitarius Juno opposition with Gemini Vesta can become a potentially dangerous agent of oppression when combined with a distorted Pisces Pallas Athena energy at this time.  Juno in Sagitarius can make us fanatical in our beliefs, in particular beliefs we share with a like-minded group and beliefs we share in contrast to another competing group.  If we hold tight to these beliefs at all costs, we could use a combination of Pisces Pallas Athena deception and illusion with the Gemini Vesta ability to create an intellectualized and “rational” argument to feel justified in doing just about anything in defense of our beliefs.  The movie Lincoln gaining popularity at the moment is a perfect illustration of how political figures like Abraham Lincoln throughout history have had to make major compromises in order to create change like a constitutional amendment against slavery-  Lincoln was not able to hold tight to all of his beliefs in order to make the change happen, he had to be strong and resilient while also being mutable at the same time.  Furthermore, the film shows how Lincoln had to resort to a lot of deceptive and manipulative political practices in order to create the compromises necessary to get the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution passed in Congress.  This triple Goddess t-square could just as easily be used in a similar fashion in defense of an oppressive construct such as slavery.  It is up to each of us as individuals to use discernment to stay in our personal integrity and make choices to be an ally with others against oppressive forces in our environment.  Others intent on seizing power for themselves could likewise use the energy reflected by this aspect to make an extraordinary power grab at this time.

With regards to our intimate and romantic relationships, since the Vesta and Juno archetypes each deal with fear of sex projections stemming from past sexual trauma or betrayal, it will be very important to be aware of what triggers we carry in this manner and how we could be distancing ourselves in our sexual relationships as a result.  With Pisces in Pallas Athena holding space in between this face-off between Vesta and Juno, we will want to emphasize the Piscean gifts of compassionate unconditional love for ourselves (Vesta) and our loved ones (Juno) in order to help all of us break out of our limiting patterns of thought and behavior.  In contrast, if we have fear-based projections coming from us or other negative thought patterns, the visualizing potential of Pallas Athena in Pisces will become more directed at attracting the types of oppressive Patriarchal relationships that gave the Goddesses Juno and Vesta so much trouble in the first place.

Look to see what houses each of the asteroids fall in to more fully realize how this T-Square is impacting you:  where is 22 degrees of Gemini for Vesta, 22 degrees of Sagitarius for Juno, and 23 degrees of Pisces for Pallas Athena?  You also may have something significant at the empty point, 23 degrees of Virgo.  Being a Mutable T-Square, listen to the analysis given by Bill Tierney in  Dynamics of  Aspect Analysis:  “Typically, the stress generated by the Mutable T-Square can be taxing to the nervous system (often due to over-stimulation) as well as disruptive to thought processes . . . [and] can attract relationships whose conflicts center around contrasting ideas and opposing concepts about life” (p. 100-101).  The Vesta point in your chart is where you may  be feeling an internal movement to withdraw and focus on some sort of gift or resource connected with what you are discovering to be your essential self.  The Juno point could be where you are being pulled into partnerships or other opportunities to merge your essential being with something greater outside of yourself, or where some of these issues of contrasting beliefs in relationships could be occurring.  The Pallas Athena point is the place to use visualization and other creative methods to help transform the conditions of your current reality that could be self-limiting.  It is also an important area to focus on to make sure you are not deceiving yourself or others through perception saturated in Piscean illusion.  Being the apex point, Pallas Athena in Pisces is the archetype that will clue you in on an illuminating dynamic that you usually would have difficulty integrating into a process of working with the dynamics of the Vesta-Juno opposition “without at least causing internal disharmony, inner imbalance, or tensional self-blockage,” ultimately manifesting difficult dynamics into your relationships (Tierney, p. 96).  So be the good Pisces, that strong angel of a fish with a lucidly glowing vision and faith, not the drunkard escapist and passive-aggressive fish!

The Sabian symbols from Dane Rudhyar’s An Astrological Mandala also have some interesting insights regarding this triple Goddess T-square.  Vesta at 22 degrees of Gemini is “Dancing couples in a Harvest Festival” and deals with the feeling of having done the hard Vesta work to birth a joyful holistic sense of self, leading to the ability to feel joy in a broader social sphere with others,  “giving free reign to their emotional instincts” (p. 104).  In contrast, Juno at 22 degrees of Sagitarius is “A Chinese Laundry” and is about the “use of one’s special racial-cultural background in order to survive and prosper in an alien environment . . . no longer a question of imitating the ways of a superior group, but instead of maintaining one’s own integrity in situations which neither give value for, nor favor what one basically is” (p. 223).  So, the Juno archetype can be seen here in the concept that merging in union with others can be most successful for ourselves when we maintain or own sense of self and do not lose our essential self through assimilation with the larger group;  also, that we sustain our personal integrity for the sake of maintaining our personal integrity, not for the sake of receiving praise or promotion from others.

But the most interesting Sabian symbol to me is fittingly the one for the apex point, Pallas Athena in Pisces at 23 degrees:  “A materializing medium giving a seance” (p. 283):

The person who believes he or she has a mission or mandate, or any special gift that can be of value to his community, must substantiate this belief. He has to produce results. Sometimes this involves difficulties and special conditions or circumstances; it always demands to some extent the gift of some power of value which is deeply one’s own . . Something precious involved in a deeply personal experience has to be surrendered, offered to others. The medium’s psychic substance provides the materials made visible in the phenomena, if the latter are genuine.  After the seance, the medium is usually exhausted. The performer gives of his very life to the performance . . . The display of psychic power that the symbol depicts can be interpreted positively or negatively  according to the motives that induced the “medium” to give the seance.  In its most constructive aspect it suggests the keyword Substantiation. The shadowy aspect of the process is “deception.”

This important consideration to be in personal integrity when practicing psychic or clairvoyant healing or perception, can be also seen in the Sabian symbol for the missing piece of the T-Square, 23 degrees of Virgo:  “A lion tamer displays his skill and character” (p. 165).  This symbol focuses on the importance of training, and “the need to tame one’s vital energies in order to fulfill one’s destiny,” as an “individual who is in complete control of his vital and emotional energies; at the spiritual level this includes the overcoming of pride- pride in one’s strength and mastery, and the pride attached to an exalted status or social office” (p. 165).

I feel this triple Goddess t-square has significant lessons for anyone practicing intuitive arts such as astrology or other healing modalities that draw upon intuition in combination with a more rational scientific method of analysis.  But you don’t need to be a “new age” worker to have this aspect impact you.  Whether we are fully conscious of it or not, we are all impacted from time to time by psychic premonitions or flashes of intuitive understanding, the source of which we don’t know exactly. I feel this t-square reflects a profound calling for each one of us to discover and honor our personal integrity in all facets of our lives at this time.  Some of us believe we are acting from personal integrity when we are actually running roughshod over others in our environment; these times also call for us to be open to examining the values and mindset going into our sense of personal integrity, and areas we could transform beyond our own self-limitations in order to contribute toward greater harmony in the world around us.  We each have a unique gift that we chose to be born to bring to this moment in time, right here, right now.  What is your gift?  What brings you alive?  How can you share this with others?  How can you envision a world in which your gift will flourish and bring joy to others?

And you know what’s an even crazier trip?  As soon as Vesta moves out of the T-Square dynamic through it’s retrograde motion in early to mid December, Ceres moving retrograde in Gemini will create a second triple Goddess T-square between Gemini Ceres, Pisces Pallas Athena, and Sagitarius Juno.  This t-square will be particularly strong between December 10 and December 18, 2012.

 

Passion of Juno, Intensity of Scorpio

While the lunar nodes shifting into Scorpio and Taurus, Saturn culminating its journey through Libra, and the square between Capricorn Pluto and Aries Uranus has been drawing a lot of attention, an archetypal energy that has drawn mine is Juno.  When the north node of the moon shifted into Scorpio around September 1, 2012 it immediately became conjunct with the asteroid Juno, which was around 26 degrees of Scorpio at the time.  It is clear Scorpio is demanding attention, with Mars finishing a full pass through Scorpio and Mercury and Saturn entering Scorpio today.  As Saturn recently reached the final degrees of it’s journey through Libra, however, it brought added intensity to the karma we have been working out in our relationships over the past two and a half years since Saturn entered Libra in 2009.  When a karmic planet like Saturn reaches the final degrees of it’s journey through a sign, it often reflects us having to culminate our processing of the sign’s archetypal issues in preparation for the planet’s shift into the following sign.  For example, a friend of mine with an early degree Libra Saturn recently told me their Saturn return became much more intense this past Summer as Saturn began to travel through its final pass in Libra. While the North Node in Scorpio and Saturn in Scorpio will have to do with themes beyond the realm of relationships,  intimate partnerships are nonetheless an important aspect of Scorpio and the significance of Juno archetypal lessons will be important to face in the time period we are entering now.

Juno is the Roman name for the Greek Goddess Hera:  traditionally we know many cultural stories depicting Hera as the jealous wife of Zeus, becoming enraged and jealous over his many amorous affairs and romantic indiscretions.  However, the Goddess Hera is an ancient one, and a very powerful one at that: she is in fact the Great Goddess of the Matriarchal times that the Patriarchy of Zeus supplanted.  And just as the Patriarchy ultimately denigrated the Matriarchy, so has the depiction of Hera made her seem as jealous person who cannot control her emotions more so than an all powerful and knowing Goddess.

Indeed, in her book Asteroid Goddesses, Demetra George describes Juno as “exhibiting strong rulership associations with Libra and Scorpio” and that the semisextile aspect between the two signs “implies friction in attempting to join and utilize their different resources” and reflects the mythic Juno’s difficulty in finding fulfillment in her relationship with Jupiter (p.157).  George describes Juno as desiring to “transcend personal identity through committed relationship” which connects her strongly with the archetype of Scorpio (p. 158).  As Saturn shifts from Libra to Scorpio, we will experience our relationship issues on a deeper level.  While Libra can be about discovering a greater balance between meeting our own needs and meeting the true needs of our partners in relationship, Scorpio can be more about the transformation we can experience with our deepest sexual connections, as well as the merging we can experience in other powerful relationships we experience such as with a teacher or a working partner.  Embracing Scorpio energy and connection full-on can be scary at times for our personality ego, because in our deepest merging, especially in our sexual union with our lover, we can transcend or ego personality and merge into a new entity through our union.  This is the “destructive” aspect of sex described by the pschoanalyst Sabina Spielrein (famous for being not only one of the first female psychoanalysts but also the former patient of Carl Jung who became his lover in an extramarital affair) in her famous paper “Destruction as the Cause of Coming into Being” in which she argued that the sex drive contains instincts for both destruction and transformation, as lovers can experience a death of their own individual egos through their sexual transformation into a merged entity together.

On one hand, Juno represents our desire for the fidelity and commitment in romantic relationship that can lead to the deepest tantric and magical sexual merging, as well as our ability to truly collaborate and combine our energies with other types of significant relationships in our life.  However, many of us carry a wound from our collective unconscious of Matriarchal culture becoming invaded and oppressed by the Patriarchy:  just as the myth of Juno describes her fury and jealousy over the inability of Jupiter to be faithful and fulfill her deep relationship needs, so can the Juno archetype be expressed in a more distorted manner stemming from us projecting relationship needs onto a partner that we could instead nurture from within.  Correspondingly, Demetra George described the Juno archetype in Asteroid Goddesses as encompassing such relational issues as (1) fear of abandonment, (2) fear of betrayal, (3) fear of sexuality, (4) the giving away of power, (5) subtle manipulation, and (6) projection and repression (p. 161-163).

Similarly, we give our own power away through our own emotional insecurities in relationships, our fears of abandonment that can be tied back to abandonment issues with our own parents or other developmental figures, our crazed madness at times when our lover decides to love another instead of ourselves, particularly when there is deceit used to cover it up.  However, in all of these instances in which we lose control, we are losing connection that we have a Goddess within ourselves capable of fulfilling our own emotional nurturing. We are the Goddess inside of ourselves, and she does not need to stoop to the insecure and enraged antics the Goddess of patriarchal myths enacts.  When the Scorpio archetype is in play, our fears of abandonment as well as our fears of deeply merging and losing ourselves in another can lead us to grasp at controlling situations or people, or attempting to gain control through vengeful action.  Yet when we can burn these fears and insecurities in the flames of the Phoenix, through going within and connecting with our core, we can arise as a powerful being who is above such displays and knows they deserve to receive the same quality of love as they are giving.  If we instead focus on our own responsibility in our relational dynamic, focus on our ability to give, receive, and love, ultimately we will gain the ability to attract the same quality of love vibration in return.  Instead of looking to our partner to fulfill our needs through their success in the world, or through their attention we are yearning to bask in, we can look within ourselves and instead radiate our true magnetic self into the world, and in this way gain the presence to enter our relationships from a place free of projection, fear, or compulsion.

The Taurus polarity point of Scorpio is interesting to consider now in part because the South Node of the Moon, carrying our collective past life issues, is now in Taurus.  Taurus is also interesting from a herstory perspective as Hera/Juno was the Great Goddess in the Crete region of the Mediterranean during the Age of Taurus.  Describing the Taurus polarity point of Scorpio in Pluto: The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul, Vol. 1, Jeff Green states that when people are addressing this  “evolutionary intent” of Scorpio, it means they are learning “how to identify who they essentially are versus the pieces of themselves that are actually other people with whom they have been karmically linked through relationships in this or other lives . . . associated with the osmosis effect of sexuality, and the uniting of themselves with others on an emotional , intellectual, and spiritual level”  (p. 157).  Green goes on  to conclude that when people embrace the Taurus polarity point of Scorpio, it means “they can discover the core of themselves, and will learn how to sustain themselves by identifying their own personal resources . . . becom[ing] emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, physically and sexually self-sufficient . . . [and able] to participate in a committed, growth-oriented relationship in a nondependent, noncompulsive way” (p. 157).  As we all enter this deeper time of relationship issues, I feel that if the relationship we are in is not on the same level as our core needs, it will drift away, perhaps in an affair with another, but truly we will be better off in the end, for there is a deeper and truer love awaiting us. And in the partnerships we are meant to continue to work on and with, we may experience times of separation that allow for a purification and renewal of each partner, ultimately leading to a return to the relationship and a healthier dynamic.

Demetra George in Asteroid Goddesses points to the connection between Juno’s ancient embodiment of the triple Goddess through the three life stages of maiden, bride, and widow, and a pattern of relationship dynamics that includes euphoric union, separation after difficulties accumulate, and eventual return to the partnership and renewal of commitment after each partner is able to get into their own space and purify, rejuvenate their being:

Juno cyclically restores her virginity in the bridal bath or sacred spring in preparation for consummation as a bride.  The cycle culminates in an argument and separation with Jupiter, and then Juno retreats into hiding.  Contained within Juno’s separation is the promise of return and reconciliation . . . Juno, therefore, is the astrological significator of commitment, steadfastness, loyalty, devotion, and the willingness to remain in a relationship within the context of separation and return  (p. 164).

George goes on to describe the occult level Juno can reach through her sexual expression within committed relationship as including (1) sex as bliss, (2) sex as magic, (3) sex as rejuvenation, and (4) marriage as alchemical union (p. 166).  As Saturn shifts into Scorpio today it finds itself in a trine aspect with Neptune in Pisces that holds a promise of us being able to manifest our vision of divine Juno love and relationship.  Another interesting omen is that at this same time Juno’s partner Jupiter has stationed retrograde to move back toward an eventual opposition with the asteroid Juno that is now in Sagitarius (this will happen in early November 2012).  Jupiter’s retrograde motion through Gemini at this time reflects an auspicious period to go within and mentally analyze our beliefs and patterns in relationship in order to face our Sagitarius Juno capacity to be able to respond more intuitively to the needs of others in our relationships, free from the relational compulsions and projections that have gotten in the way of us being able to experience happiness and fulfillment in our relationships.  Blessed be.