Mercury Retrograde in Taurus & Aries

Fingal_s_Cave,_Island_of_Staffa,_Scotland_by_Thomas_Moran,_1884-5,_High_Museum_of_Art

Fingal’s Cave, Island of Staffa, Scotland (1884) by Thomas Moran

Mercury Retrograde

For one throb of the artery,
While on that old grey stone I sat
Under the old wind-broken tree,
I knew that One is animate,
Mankind inanimate phantasy.
— W.B. Yeats, A Meditation in Time of War

In the cool air of twilight as the Sun descends below the horizon, Mercury begins its journey into the underworld as a retrograde planet.  While changing into the role of a psychopomp as fluidly as vespertine colors transfigure into the darkness of nightfall, Mercury retrograde opens us to a liminal perceptual space which offers guidance in between life transitions and the crossing of thresholds.  Mercury delights in the part of a cunning guide of soul during its retrograde phase, beguiling all with unforeseen twists best handled with intuitive receptivity to direction.  On April 9 Mercury will begin its retrograde within the earthy home of Venus, a twenty four day passage that will take it back into the fiery home of Mars where it will hold lengthy counsel with Uranus.  As Mercury will station retrograde less than a week before the current Venus retrograde ends with Venus stationing direct, there is an incredibly volatile atmosphere at the beginning of Mercury’s retrograde which will require constant focus on recalibrating the connection between our perceptions and translation of meaning.

Within the rulebook of astrology, Mercury refuses to be caged in by categorizations of gender or preference for day or night.  However, since Mercury begins its retrograde period as an Evening Star, it finds accord stationing in Taurus since the nocturnal sign of the Bull is both the exaltation of the Moon and the domicile of Venus.  Mercury stationing retrograde in the inwardly receptive sign of Venus will lead us to find meaning through our subjective sensual faculties as we will be drawn into our corporeal senses and instincts.  Fittingly, Hermes in myth is bound to the fertility and life force of nature, a seductive mediator who reveals the spiritual found in the profane and the profane that may be discovered in the spiritual.

Mercury caduceus by Bradley

Mercury caduceus glyph by Bradley Naragon

Hermes was born in a cave, a fitting origin to his destiny as subterranean caves were the temples of our ancestors where Spirit was received in the flesh.  In the instinctual sign of Taurus our Mercurial capacities turn within so that our diverse senses take precedence over rational analysis.  Similar to how Mercury in alchemy conjoins the animating spirit with its earthy body, the full bodily perception available with Mercury in Taurus brings nonverbal insight into the world-creating spirit concealed in material forms.  Along these lines it is fascinating that Taurus is the heliocentric South Node of Mercury, for Mercury does not move at a fast pace in Taurus but rather sustains a slowly churning rhythm grounded into the sensuality of the moment.  The plodding, patient, and thorough movement of Mercury in Taurus also helps bring awareness to practical considerations and focus on developing and nurturing work and relationships toward their full potential.

In popular astrology there are many warnings to not start businesses, sign contracts, make important purchases, initiate relationships, or basically make any major life decisions while Mercury is retrograde.  It has also become common parlance even among those with minimal astrological understanding to not only complain about Mercury being retrograde, but to blame all technological mishaps and communication breakdowns on the phenomenon of Mercury appearing to move backward through our zodiac.  However, Mercury being retrograde is not a cursed anomaly but rather an essential aspect of Mercury, as essential as sunset is to sunrise.  Very successful businesses, contracts, and relationships of all sorts can begin during Mercury retrograde, but it is more important than normal to pay attention to our intuition with regards to the choices we make and the ventures we begin.

During Mercury retrograde the orbit of Mercury comes in between our Earth and our Sun, bringing Mercury as close to us as it ever gets.  In the resulting amplified atmosphere of Mercury, it is vital to maintain keen awareness into the synchronous interplay between sights, sounds, and other senses within our environment.  It is further paramount during Mercury retrograde to pay attention to gut instincts and the symbolic meaning of omens and other oracular messages that cross our path whether from our nightly dreams or daily travels.  Our inner life will need tending especially during the first week of the Mercury retrograde in Taurus, as Mercury will be ruled by a Venus that is also retrograde but in the process of stationing direct.  Since Venus is in her exaltation of Pisces while simultaneously forming a catalytic relationship with Saturn, our sensual perceptions will receive sharp and potent messages and we will need to navigate an inner sea of emotions that can become turbulent at times.

great work le triomphe hermetique

from Alexandre Toussaint de Limojon de Saint-Didier’s Le Triomphe Hermetique (1689)

Mercury rules the first face of Taurus where it stations retrograde, giving Mercury greater natural aptitude to do its work of interpreting and communicating meaning.  The astrologer Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces noted that the Mercurial first face of Taurus holds resonance with the thorough and patient planning necessary to develop future harvests.  Mercury is under the full influence of Venus at the beginning of its journey as it is in both the home and the bounds of Venus, with Venus at a standstill in her exaltation of Pisces.  The fact that Mercury initially moves retrograde ruled by Venus retrograde, with Venus forming a conjunction with Chiron and a square with Saturn, cannot be overlooked or downplayed.  It will be necessary during the initial movement of Mercury retrograde to face the truth of our external reality as well as our full interior realm of feelings without denial.  Whatever needs nurturing, adjustment, alteration, or rebalancing will be revealed if we are paying attention, and with the gained awareness we can begin to modify our decision making and development of goals.

Since Mercury is also stationing in the exaltation of the Moon and close to the specific exaltation degree of the Moon, it is compelling that its retrograde begins with a waxing gibbous Moon on its way toward a conjunction with Jupiter in Libra and an especially dynamic Full Moon in Libra the following day.  Not only will the Full Moon at the beginning of Mercury’s underworld journey be conjoining Jupiter, but the Sun will also be united with Uranus while the Full Moon itself forms a challenging square to Pluto in Capricorn.  In short it will be impossible to miss the messages Mercury intends to send at the beginning of its retrograde, as significant illumination will show up in both collective and personal events revealing what was previously hidden or unclear.

As Mercury will move all the way back into Aries where it will eventually station in conjunction with Uranus, the fact Mercury retrograde begins with a Full Moon that connects both the opposition between Uranus and Jupiter as well as the square between Uranus and Pluto is pivotal.  Jupiter at the time of the Mercury retrograde is volatilizing the square between Uranus and Pluto, having recently moved away from an exact opposition with Uranus to form an exact square with Pluto.  As a result it’s not so much that unexpected developments are going to be appearing out of nowhere during the first phase of the Mercury retrograde, more that a fresh perspective can be revealed toward storylines that have been developing over time.  Mercury in its psychopomp role can provide the guidance needed to discern our next step if we are paying attention, helping us find our place within the tumultuous shattering and shifting of collective structures occurring all around the world.

The Mercury retrograde in Taurus also serves as a finale for the transit of the lunar nodes through Pisces and Virgo, with Mercury serving as the ruler of the transiting North Node of the Moon.  Mercury will station in range of a trine to the North Node of the Moon in Virgo, and when Mercury unites with the Sun at the heart of its retrograde it will also be closely trine to the North Node of the Moon.  After Mercury stations direct on May 3, the true nodes of the Moon will shift into the South Node of the Moon in Aquarius and the North Node of the Moon in Leo on May 9.  The lunar nodes have been in Pisces and Virgo since 12 November 2015 (true node calculation), a time period that has lived up to the mutable sign significations of immense change, endings, and transitions.  While its possible that the Mercury retrograde will coincide with circumstances bringing up a review or reflection upon the life changes that have occurred since November 2015, it is also likely that opportunities and boons will present themselves enabling us to integrate final lessons and make new choices resolving our experience with the Virgo North Node.

marlene-seven-roasting-cinnabar

Roasting Cinnabar (2017) by Marlene Seven Bremner

Mercury in the Heart of the Sun

That Light who’s smile kindles the universe,
That Beauty in which all things work and move,
That Benediction which the eclipsing Curse
Of birth can quench not, that sustaining Love
Which, through the web of being blindly wove
By man and beast and earth and air and sea,
Burns bright or dim, as each are mirrors of
The fire for which all thirst, now beams on me,
Consuming the last clouds of cold mortality.

— Percy Bysshe Shelley, from Adonaïs: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats

Mercury enters the heart of the Sun on April 19 or 20, depending upon your location, the moment in which Mercury unites with the Sun at the exact degree of the zodiac.  When Mercury retrograde unites with the Sun, labeled its inferior conjunction by astrological texts, Mercury is aligned with our Earth in between our orbit with the Sun, as close as Mercury ever gets to us.  This moment is experienced as a rebirth of the Mercury archetype within our lives, and at the time of its union with the Sun, Mercury is said to be in its seat of power, like an empowered Hermes taking a turn behind the reigns of our solar chariot.

Venus in Pisces rules the union between Mercury retrograde with our Sun, and significantly at the time of their union Venus will have recently stationed direct and will be applying tightly to her final square with Saturn in Sagittarius.  There is a fascinating relationship between Mercury being cazimi (at the heart of the Sun) and the Venus retrograde of 2017 for the Venus retrograde began with Mercury cazimi in Pisces while direct, meaning that Mercury was on the other side of the Sun from us.  As Venus begins to move direct again as a Morning Star, we once again experience a regeneration of Mercury, this time with Mercury close to us in orbit.  The harmonious relationship between Taurus and Pisces is part of the reason why Venus is considered to be exalted in Pisces, as their relationship supports staying true to one’s inner values while dissolving blockages in support of making the needed alterations to manifest inner visions.

The sabian symbol for the first degree of Taurus where Mercury’s inferior conjunction occurs is “A CLEAR MOUNTAIN STREAM” with the keynote of The pure, uncontaminated and spontaneous manifestation of one’s own nature according to Dane Rudhyar.  The union of Mercury and the Sun being ruled by Venus in a tight square with Saturn may make it difficult to picture spontaneous manifestation if you hold certain astrological dogma in mind, however in truth there is no reason that spontaneous authenticity cannot arise in response to the cold necessity of Saturn.  Mercury is being purified within our central light of Spirit fire at the same time Venus in her exaltation degree is calling us to take accountability and integrity into expression of our deepest love.  Within clear boundaries of structure, instead of feeling repressed or hemmed in there can arise an improvisational display of our primal creativity.

Mercury retrograde at the heart of the Sun also occurs during a last quarter Moon in Aquarius on its way toward an eventual New Moon in Taurus, the inner home of Venus, as well as with Mars at the final degree of Taurus.  Thus though Mercury is at the first degree of Taurus and Mars at the last, both are still within the domain of Venus in her exaltation of Pisces.  The powerful Venusian influence upon this moment further amplifies potential to reveal inner desires and values needing to emerge into awareness, with the last quarter lunation helping us dislodge from old preconceptions. In addition, it means that shortly after Mercury unites with the Sun a mutual reception between Mars and Mercury will begin through Mars entering Gemini, the airy yang home of Mercury, and Mercury crossing back into Aries, the fiery yang home of Mars that forms a harmonious sextile with Gemini.  Fittingly, we can still discover Venus in the relationship formed by the signs Mercury and Mars will enter as traditionally in astrology Venus has always stood as the symbol underlying the meaning of the sextile.

Matta Being With

Being With (1946) by Roberto Matta

Mercury stations with Uranus

What constitutes the training of the hand?
I shall tell what constitutes the training of the hand.
One suspects something is wrong with transcribing signs
But the hand transcribes only the signs it has learned.
Then it is sent to the school of blots and scrawls
Till it forgets what is graceful. For even the sign of a butterfly
Is a well with coiled poisonous smoke inside.

Perhaps we should have represented him otherwise
Than in the form of a dove. A fire, yes, but that is beyond us.
For even when it consumes logs on a hearth
We search in it for eyes and hands. Let him then be green,
All blades of calamus, running on footbridges
Over meadows, with a thump of his bare feet. Or in the air
Blowing a birchbark trumpet so strongly that farther down
There tumbles from its blast a crowd of petty officials,
Their uniforms unbuttoned and their women’s combs
Flying like chips when the ax strikes.

Still it’s just too great a responsibility to lure the souls
From where they lived attentive to the idea of the hummingbird, the chair, and the star.
To imprison them within either-or: male sex, female sex,
So that they wake up in the blood of childbirth, crying.

— Czeslaw Milosz, Sentences (1963-1965)

This particular Mercury retrograde is especially jolting, catalytic, and compelling because Mercury will spend an extraordinary length of time in conjunction with Uranus in Aries.  Truly out of the ordinary, Mercury will spend over three weeks from April 20 through May 16 in range of a conjunction with Uranus in Aries.  There will two distinct phases of Mercury uniting with Uranus, the first from April 20 through May 3 when Mercury is retrograde and invisible under the beams of the Sun- during this period Mercury will unite with Uranus on April 28.   Mercury and Uranus combined brings sudden awareness that can synthesize previously fragmented strands of thought and analysis instantaneously in the flash of the moment.  In the process of being purified and regenerated from its recent union with our Sun, Mercury in this period has not taken visible form and similarly our Uranian insights and revelations may feel more unconscious and not clearly seen.

28 April 2017 looks to be a pivotal day not only because of Mercury uniting with Uranus, but also because on the same day Venus will re-enter the sign of Aries.  As Venus re-enters Aries, she moves away from her square with Saturn in Sagittarius at roughly the same time Mercury is forming a trine with Saturn (Mercury retrograde will trine Saturn exactly on April 24).  It is compelling that as we have been dealing with Saturn in square to Venus all month long, we end up with Mercury combining with Uranus in a trine to Saturn.  As a result we can receive revelatory ideas into how to make minor modifications as well as major reformations into the issues dredged up during the time of Saturn in square to Venus.  It could feel like breakthrough insights are intensifying in our subconscious, ready to burst through into our conscious awareness with blazing comprehension.

After Mercury stations direct on May 3 it will emerge in the sky above the moist dew of morning, heralding the return of solar light at sunrise as a Morning Star.  Making the atmosphere more electric, the Moon in Leo will form a fiery triangle in our sky with Mercury, Uranus, and Saturn on May 3 when Mercury stations direct, increasing the likelihood of inspirational insights entering consciousness that address whatever challenges we have been dealing with.  Mercury visible and direct will form another conjunction with Uranus on May 9 and a trine with Saturn in Sagittarius on May 11, with a Full Moon in Scorpio falling in between these aspects on May 10.  Although Mercury is not seen as having essential dignity in the third face of Aries, Mercury emerging direct as a Morning Star does resonate with the diurnal sign of the Ram that is considered to be the exaltation of our Sun.

In addition, as Mercury stations and moves direct as a Morning Star while in Aries it will be in mutual reception with Mars moving forward through Gemini, with Venus co-present at the beginning of Aries.   As Venus retraces her steps through the previous section of Aries that she moved retrograde through in February and March, there will likely be some unexpected developments to contend with.  However, Mercury united with Uranus while in trine to Saturn supports a ready mental faculty that can swiftly respond and initiate new structural supports to help stabilize whatever has become volatile.  Mercury up at the crack of dawn, crowing like a rooster, is in an invigorating position of immense curiosity and exploration that can open us to a flow of creativity in response to life.

It is noteworthy that Mercury’s retrograde phase involves stationing in the Earth element and going back to the Fire element, echoing the retrograde that took us across the threshold of 2017 that went from Capricorn to Sagittarius. In August we will experience another Mercury retrograde that goes from Virgo back into Leo.  This transition from Earth to Fire in some ways is like a foreshadowing of the movement from Fire to Earth we will enter in 2018 as Saturn will move from Sagittarius into Capricorn, and Uranus will move from Aries into Taurus.   Some of the shifting adjustments needing to be found during the current Mercury retrograde will have far reaching impact, especially considering that Mercury ends up stationing direct with Uranus.  Early warning signs of what we need to prepare for in the year ahead may enter our awareness at the same time we are finding it necessary to deal with the pressing issues of the moment.

References

Milosz, Czeslaw. (2006). Selected and Last Poems 1931 -2004. HarperCollins.

Rudhyar, Dane. (1974). An Astrological Mandala: the cycle of transformations and its 360 symbolic phases. Vintage.

Yeats, W.B. (1989). The Collected Poems revised second edition. Edited by Richard J. Finneran.  Scribner Paperback Poetry.

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Aries New Moon

phoenix in bestiary

Phoenix in flames in the Ashmolean Bestiary, MS. Ashmole 1511.

The New Moon in Aries arises on March 27 with Venus retrograde close by, for on the days surrounding it, Venus will be rising at dawn with the Sun, invisible to the eye, purified and regenerated by the light of our fiery star.  Seven hours before the New Moon, during the darkest phase of the Moon, the Moon will conjoin Venus retrograde exactly.  As we have experienced a rebirth of Venus in the days leading up to the New Moon, so does the Aries New Moon signal a shift in emphasis on astrological elements toward the Fire triplicity, a fiery movement that will continue to build in the seasons ahead.  The Sun, Venus retrograde, Mercury, Uranus, and Eris are all in Aries, with Saturn in Sagittarius forming a trine with Mercury, Uranus, and Eris.  Fire, particularly as directed centrally by Aries, is direct, passionate, impulsive, fast, and courageously creative.  As recent astrological transits have facilitated awareness of inner needs and desires, the Aries New Moon is a call to to take action with full presence to set in motion the elements of life that align with developing goals and visions.

In the collective there has already been incredibly discordant debates and violence erupting with even more building, and the Aries New Moon will signal a release that will lead to clamorous conflict akin to the hammering of enraged rams slamming horns.  As the Moon begins to increase in light it will soon come into a square with Pluto, an opposition with Jupiter, and then a conjunction with Uranus.  There are not really any current astrological transits that support reconciliation or mediation, and so the more likely outcome will be hard fought battles between entities refusing to compromise or give in.  In the personal realm it may be necessary to fight for one’s rights or stand one’s ground against encroaching threats, yet the fiery astrological transits also can facilitate incredibly inspirational collaborations that dynamically push past what we previously thought possible to create.   At the same time battle lines are being drawn and power structures are shaking in tumult, great amounts of spirited fire can be invested into creative projects that will ultimately manifest gifts to share with the world as the early visions of this time turn later into solidly developing forms.

Phoenix mosaic

Phoenix and roses detail from Phoenix mosaic (3rd Century), Antioch on the Orontes, Turkey (http://commons.wikipedia.org/)

Mars in Taurus rules the New Moon and is sextile Neptune and trine to Pluto in Capricorn.  This is a Mars that can be stubbornly fixated upon acting from a belief system that may in the end be more about a fantasy of what one hopes to be true rather than grounded in clarified reflection.  These aspects surrounding Mars can also amplify fighting between those positioning themselves for positions of power, especially seats of power that appear glamorous within consensus reality.  However, these same aspects surrounding Mars can bridge the immaterial with the material, and support drawing from imaginative vision to fuel work.  The New Moon is ideal for locating tangible resources and taking concrete action to make far reaching visions take shape.  Out of the chaotic yet fertile void of the previous lunar cycle tied to eclipses, like the creator Sun bird Bennu we can step from the primordial sea onto solid ground to set dreams in motion.

Mars is also applying to a conjunction with Ceres in Taurus, and will continue to approach Ceres until forming a conjunction on the day of the upcoming Full Moon in Libra.  What does Ceres have to teach Mars as the Moon waxes full, and what influence will Mars be having on Ceres?  An obvious correlation is the enraged Ceres of myth, hell bent on finding revenge and seeking retribution for her daughter Proserpina being abducted by the lord of the underworld.  The Aries New Moon aligned with Venus retrograde, ruled by Mars in Taurus likewise supports digging in to hold one’s ground against forces of oppression and avaricious agents seeking to plunder nature to increase power.  Ceres as an archetype of the Great Mother can also guide Mars toward protecting those who are vulnerable and in need of support rather than taking advantage of the less fortunate.

phoenix bonfire

Phoenix in bonfire photo by Adam Da Silva (2012)

Venus retrograde is combust and has only separated a few degrees from her exact conjunction with the Sun at the time of the New Moon.  Purified and regenerated, Venus retrograde has been cleansed but has not come wholly back into full presence and visibility as a Morning Star.  As the Moon waxes through its crescent phase at the end of March, Venus will emerge again as a sentinel of our rising Sun as a Morning Star.  On April 2, a day before the Moon reaches its first quarter phase, Venus will move backward into the sign of Pisces where she will remain for most of April.  The rebirth of Venus we can experience now is still somewhat unconscious and not fully formed, with remnants of old patterns still being released while new feelings slowly begin to emerge from within.

Mercury is a brilliant Evening Star at the New Moon, separating from a conjunction with Uranus in Aries and applying to a trine with Saturn in Sagittarius.  Mercury will be a bright Evening Star as the Moon waxes toward fullness, and then will station retrograde on April 9 at five degrees of Taurus, a day before the Full Moon in Libra on April 10.  Mercury is in a strong position at the New Moon to illuminate insights that are dynamic and innovative while also being practical enough to manifest in material reality.  The conjunction of Mercury with Uranus and trine with Saturn is also not a fleeting, one time affair as Mercury will be returning to station direct in conjunction with Uranus and trine with Saturn following its retrograde on May 3.  The Aries New Moon as a result is ideal for seeding ideas that will be able to bloom more fully in the coming season of Beltane.

wands02

2 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

The Aries New Moon falls within the first face of Aries associated with the Two of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we find a conquering figure holding a globe in one hand as he gazes from atop a fortress out into an expansive terrain. It is the body of water that appears to have secured his focus in this moment, and the presence of the globe seems to imply a moment of reflection regarding expanding his influence or dominion.  The grandiose ambition and confident assertion present in the image is fitting considering that Mars rules the first decan of Aries, giving Mars both domicile as well as face dignity here.

In 36 Faces: The History, Astrology, and Magic of the Decans, Austin Coppock ascribed the symbol of “The Axe” to this decan which has a long association with furiously martial figures who dominate enemies and assure victory in battle. Coppock deepened the symbolism of the axe through linking it to the splitting and separation from the One necessary for creation and growth, for example in the cutting of the umbilical cord of the child from its mother and in the use of axes in controlling nature to make a home in the wilderness. Coppock linked this separation to “building a distinct and individual life . . . the individual yang struggling out of the collective yin” (p. 54).

Mars in Taurus as previously mentioned is approaching Ceres while forming harmonious relationships with both Neptune and Pluto.  Opposing Mars and Ceres at the time of the New Moon is the true node of Black Moon Lilith, holding space in the dark waters of Scorpio.  Demetra George has taught that Black Moon Lilith can clarify the delusions of our false needs and pretensions that separate us from our essential being:

The Dark Goddess is a goddess of the self, not in the sense of selfishness or separateness, but from a stance of upholding individual integrity.  The Black Moon in us will accept nothing less than the expression of our true individuality.  When we are secure in acknowledging and expressing our authentic self, we are less likely to falsify ourselves in order to be accepted by others.  We are then not so vulnerable to becoming entrapped in situations which deny and disempower us, which is where Lilith’s self-destructive cycle begins.

— Demetra George, Finding Our Way Through the Dark

With Venus retrograde in Aries and Mars in opposition to Black Moon Lilith, the Aries New Moon facilitates drawing from the fires of anger and passion to burn off patterns of placating conformity in order to empower  and embody one’s heartfelt, deep, and authentic presence.  Allowing moments of full feeling without shame and judgment will open access to the primordial creativity found within that will not only empower one’s own individual talents but also bring empowerment to others through direct expression and sharing of our essentiality.

References

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

George, Demetra. (1994).  Finding One’s Way Through the Dark. AFA.

Venus Retrograde in Aries & Pisces

The steps I make all go backwards
while yours continue advancing
the arch of our alliances
has penetrated my nest
in all its colorful swagger
it’s taken a walk down my veins
and even the hardest of chains
that destiny uses to bind us
is like the finest of diamonds
that lights up my calm soul

What feeling can bring about
knowledge never could,
nor the clearest course of action
nor the grandest of all our thoughts.
Everything is changed by the moment
like an affable magician,
it sweetly steers us away
from bitterness and from violence
only love with its science
turns us into such innocence.

Love is a swirling whirlwind
of primal purity
even the wildest of animals
will whisper and trill its sweetness,
it stops pilgrims in their travels,
it liberates those imprisoned,
love, with the gentlest of touches,
turns the old (wo)man into a child
and only the most loving care
will turn bad into pure and sincere.

Chorus:
Gathering moss so the stone rolls
like a thick ivy on the wall
sprouting and sprouting so it grows
like tender moss covering stone
like tender moss on a stone ay sí sí sí.

— Violeta Parra, Volver a los 17 (translated by Heidi Fischbach)

Venus Retrograde in Aries

Aphrodite arose in sea foam following a violent revolution, born with eyes cerulean as the waves and body fully formed with fertility. She enchanted the eyes of onlookers with rapture and with each new step onto the earth created bright colored growth. The planet Venus in astrology has many significations we associate with the mythic Aphrodite, such as the pleasures of fresh fruit and flowers, copulation, love, union, art, aesthetics, perfumed scents, and the luxuries that bring us feelings of comfort and elegance. The glyph of Venus is the circle of Spirit atop the cross of Matter, symbolizing the living soul and spirit found in all elements of our surrounding material world, and the capacity of our Venusian natures to give us an experience of heaven on earth.  In The Picatrix the anonymous magical author wrote “Venus is the source of the power of flavor” (p. 134), and in modern astrology we link Venus with the inner values which describe our attractions and how we choose to fulfill them within our myriad relationships.

When Venus goes retrograde, she returns to her mythic origins connected with active rebellion. During the Venus retrograde phase, the nature of Venus shifts from seeking social harmony into a transitional space in which social norms can be loosened to allow for a deep reevaluation of how we are seeking to fulfill our needs. On a societal level, a realignment of power dynamics can occur within hierarchical structure as well as between the general populace and the ruling class.  Venus is of course not actually moving backwards during its retrograde phase, merely appearing to move backward through zodiac degree from our Earth bound perspective.  What is occurring is that Venus is orbiting in between our Earth and our Sun, as close in its orbit to Earth as it ever gets.  Perhaps it is the close proximity of Venus to Earth during her retrograde phase that makes it possible to shed old skin and liberate ourselves from old Venusian patterns in relationship.

Venus began her 2017 retrograde on March 4 in the home of Mars and exaltation of the Sun at 13°08′ Aries, and will end her retrograde in the exaltation of Venus and the home of Jupiter on April 15 at 26°54′ Pisces.  During the eight year synodic cycle of Venus, Venus goes retrograde five times, spending forty days each time in retrograde motion.  From 1961 through 2001, Venus was retrograde entirely in the sign of Aries, and beginning in 2009 Venus began to move into Pisces from Aries.  Venus will be retrograde in both Aries and Pisces from 2009 through 2057 every eight years.  Astrologer Nick Dagan Best has taught that during the 19th Century Venus went retrograde in the Venus signs of Taurus and Libra, while in the 20th Century Venus went retrograde in the Mars signs of Aries and Scorpio.

While Venus ultimately will station direct in Pisces, the build up to her retrograde motion as well as its first movement that leads to Venus being regenerated in the heart of the Sun occur with Venus in Aries. Venus is estranged in Aries due to it being the home of Mars, the planet that in our astrological tradition has held a place of symbolic polarity to the significations of Venus. Venus is not weak in Aries, and in fact has the strength of decan dignity in the final decan of Aries (20 – 30 degrees of Aries). Yet Venus inhabiting a Mars ruled sign leads her to look for Mars for guidance, and Mars is less about maintaining pleasing harmony and more about the sort of fiery passion that can enliven our deepest nature yet also cause separation or a test of mettle. Venus in Aries possesses a burning desire that can destroy all forms and patterns that had previously become crystallized within its hot ardor. Beauty and love can volatilize and destroy what was previously stable when falling under the torrential sway of Eros, and similarly Venus retrograde in Aries can dramatically reshape the landscape of our relational dynamics.

marlene-seven-cross-of-venus

The Cross Rose in the Garden of Venus (2016) by Marlene Seven Bremner

Venus retrograde creates a magical atmosphere that is highly structured, holding resonance with the golden mean found in the five petaled form of the rose and numerous forms of life. The Orphic Hymn to Aphrodite described her as “Crafty, from whom necessity [Ananke] first came,” and also noted that “The triple Fates [Moirai] are rule’d by thy decree.” Similarly, the synodic cycle of Venus is so consistent and regular that the retrograde phase of it’s cycle brings an air of destiny, fate, and necessity to events and encounters in our daily life. Venus only goes retrograde once every year and a half or so, five times in it’s eight year synodic cycle with the Sun- eight divided by five is 1.625 and so very close to the sacred 1.618 proportion associated with the golden mean. If you trace the points around the zodiac at which Venus stations during its eight year synodic cycle, each point forms a quintile 72 degree aspect, creating the image of a five pointed star when plotted on paper. As a result every eight years we experience a Venus retrograde in the same general area of the zodiac at generally the same time.  These are the most recent Venus retrograde phases in Aries:

  • March 6, 2009 SR at 15°27′ Aries and SD on April 17, 2009 at 29°11′ Pisces
  • March 9, 2001 SR at 17°43′ Aries and SD on April 20, 2001 at 1°27′ Aries
  • March 11, 1993 SR at 20°01′ Aries and SD on April 22, 1993 at 3°44′ Aries

The current Venus retrograde is especially catalytic as it is bound within the re-activation of the square between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn by Jupiter in Libra.  Jupiter was retrograde in Libra when Venus stationed retrograde on March 4, having recently formed an exact opposition with Uranus in Aries.  The exact opposition between Jupiter and Uranus is one of the dominant archetypal themes in our collective this year, and the cycle between Jupiter and Uranus is known for coinciding with revolutions in politics (such as the American and French revolutions), science (Kepler and Galileo supporting the Copernican revolution; the development of quantum physics), the arts and all other fields of cultural exploration.  Jupiter in the outwardly directed home of Venus is looking to her for assistance, and with Venus co-present with Uranus in Aries for most of her retrograde period  there can be an acceleration of experimentation and innovation as well as heated conflict, discord, and outright warfare within our collective.

Venus first reached the degree and minute she will ultimately station direct at in Pisces (26°55′) on 30 January 2017, with Mars close by at two degrees of Aries.  During the month of February there was an epic build up to the retrograde with Venus burning brightly in the night sky as an Evening Star, getting closer and closer each night to Mars, also visible with its reddish hue against the black of night.  The passions of Venus and Mars together in the sky were further volatized by a Lunar Eclipse in Leo and a Solar Eclipse in Pisces that coincided with twists of fate bringing momentous change.  A lot of inspiration and excitement could have been experienced within these transits, with significant new shifts in relationships and projects launched.  Due to Venus and Mars separating during the transition into the Venus retrograde of March, however, there will be important inner work, reflection, and restructuring needed to be experienced before the full potential of the new endeavors of February will be fully realized.

When Venus stationed retrograde as a bright Evening Star on March 4, Mercury was conjoining Neptune in Pisces and Mars was separating from a conjunction with Uranus.  A couple days later, Mercury was purified and regenerated in the heart of the Sun in Pisces.  Altogether the transits surrounding the stationing retrograde of Venus in Aries brought extraordinary support for conception and envisioning groundbreaking and divinely inspired ideas, projects, and partnerships.  The empowering astrological climate also led to conflict among competing interests, for just as those in power attempted to consolidate holdings so did various protest moments find support to initiate bold and direct action to contest dominant powers.  Once Mars entered Taurus on March 9, the amplified martial energies became toned down somewhat with Mars inhabiting a sign with a more plodding and grounded rhythm.  Yet with Jupiter simultaneously moving retrograde away from an exact opposition with Uranus and toward an exact square with Pluto, the uproar of collective and personal conflicts and catharsis will continue.  On personal levels the best remedies will be to nurture oneself and loved ones and commit to inner work that clears out what is no longer serving one’s authentic path.

Vitally, it is during Venus retrograde that Venus shifts from being an Evening Star into becoming a Morning Star. Around March 18 or 19, Venus disappeared from the evening sky, becoming invisible in her underworld journey of falling into the heart of the Sun.  At the same time that Venus was making a disappearance in our night sky, Mercury was making an appearance and emerging again with a message as an Evening Star.  As Mercury united with Venus retrograde on March 18 and we then experienced the Aries Equinox on March 20 in which our Sun ascends across our celestial equator, we received a message of what to hold close to our hearts as we descended into a period of darkness in which Venus will not be visible to us until she emerges again as a Morning Star at the end of March.

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Red Flower (1919) Georgia O’Keeffe

Venus in the Heart of the Sun’s Exaltation

On March 25 we experience the moment in which Venus is exactly conjunct our Sun, orbiting in between our planet and our solar light.  Venus in the heart of the Sun is regenerated and in a place of power, seated on her fiery throne.  Aries is not only the home of Mars, it is also the exaltation of the Sun, and so the purification Venus will undergo while conjoining the Sun can burn away whatever needs to be shed from our past.  The Moon will be dark in Pisces and applying to a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon as Venus conjoins the Sun, bringing an additional layer of purification especially in terms of old emotional complexes and patterns.  This inner union of Venus with the Sun is especially visionary in nature and most resonant for those able to have solitary time to reflect in silence.  The nonessential will be burned off while the essential will be illuminated by spirit fire, revealing what makes our heart beat most brightly.

The square between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn is especially activated at the time of Venus entering the heart of the Sun, as Mercury will be separating from an opposition with Jupiter and applying to a conjunction with Uranus, while Jupiter will be retrograde and applying closely to a square with Pluto in Capricorn.  Meanwhile Mars in Taurus will be in a supportive relationship with Neptune in Pisces.  These aspects signify immense change erupting in the world around us, and opportunities to find our resonant place amongst the shifting.  This is a moment to enter into the mystery, being open to what is revealed about our inner nature and feelings and how they have been manifesting externally in our relationships.  It does not mean that partnerships and other commitments need to be ended, but it does mean we may gain insight into ways in which we need to modify the way we have been engaging within relationships.  With Venus alchemized by our Sun, we can gain awareness for our purest passions and who or what deserves us to prioritize as storylines morph in coming months.

Venus will emerge again in the shifting hues of the predawn sky at the end of March, solidifying her phase as a Morning Star in April.  Venus will be retrograde as a Morning Star in Pisces until April 15, and though Pisces is known as a sign of compassion, as a retrograde Morning Star the emotional flow and psychic sensitivity of Pisces can be directed by Venus to expose relational dynamics with others we need to adjust and reveal however we have been feeling out of balance with our deep nature.  The following is a translation by Samuel Noah Kramer and Diane Wolkstein of ancient Sumerian text regarding Innana as “The Lady of the Morning,” in other words Venus as a Morning Star:

Honored Counselor, Ornament of Heaven, Joy of An!
When sweet sleep has ended in the bedchamber,
You appear like bright daylight.

When all the lands and the people of Sumer assemble,
Those sleeping on the roofs and those sleeping by the walls,
Whey they sing your praises, bringing their concerns to you,
You study their words.

You render a cruel judgment against the evildoer;
You destroy the wicked.
You look with kindly eyes on the straightforward;
You give that one your blessing.

My Lady looks in sweet wonder from heaven.
The people of Sumer parade before the holy Inanna.
Inanna, the Lady of the Morning, is radiant.
I sing your praises, holy Inanna.
The Lady of the Morning is radiant on the horizon.

— “The Lady of the Morning” from Inanna Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer

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Gates of Paradise (2015) by Marlene Seven Bremner

Venus Station Direct in Pisces

Venus stations direct in Pisces on April 15 while conjoining Chiron and in square to Saturn.   Venus stationing direct at the 27th degree of Pisces is notable, for 27 degrees of Pisces is the exact exaltation degree of Venus.  Though this a potent degree for Venus to be at a standstill on, her ability to fully experience the abundance of her exaltation degree is altered significantly by her being conjunct Chiron and in square with Saturn.  Venus contained by Chiron and Saturn is not an easy experience, but rather one that will require work and discipline while overcoming a challenge, separation, or solitude in one form or another.  Yet by facing reality honestly without denial the stationing of Venus in aspect to Chiron and Saturn can connect us directly to our inner authority and bring awareness to the values, relationships, and work we are willing to give everything for against all odds or obstacles.  Going deep within we can find healing of wounds in need of resolution, as what we need to let go of from the past can become dissolved and washed away by the waters of Pisces.

While Pisces is the exaltation of Venus, it is also the inner home of Jupiter which brings added importance to the transit of Jupiter in Libra during the final phase of the Venus retrograde.  Venus in Pisces and Jupiter in Libra are in mutual generosity, and though they do not form a major sign based aspect they will nonetheless be looking to each other for support.  This period will be a pivotal turning point in the transit of Jupiter in Libra, and we will be able to gain valuable insight into the issues in need of tending in order to maximize what we can develop and expand through our creativity and relationships.  Venus in a challenging and catalyzing aspect with Saturn will force awareness to where we need to strengthen boundaries and further develop structures that will ultimately bolster our ability to manifest what we have been gestating through inner visions and active imagination.

There are a number of transits surrounding the stationing direct of Venus in Pisces that further shape symbolic meaning.  Venus in Pisces will be forming a harmonious sextile with Mars and Ceres in Taurus, while the Sun will be in union with Uranus in Aries.  The Moon will be in Sagittarius aligned with the true node of Black Moon Lilith, while Pluto will be beginning to station retrograde in range of a conjunction with Juno in Capricorn.  Talents that have been dormant can become reactivated and released, bringing opportunities to take risks in expressing more of our wholeness and authenticity.  Where we have felt judged and persecuted in the past may now reveal hidden gifts ready to be unearthed and expressed with confident assertiveness.  Though difficult feelings may coincide with the stationing of Venus direct, they ultimately will help guide us toward realizations of what we truly need and desire in relationship with others.

Most significantly, Mercury will station retrograde at 4°50′ of Taurus less than a week before Venus stations direct, meaning that Mercury and Venus will essentially be motionless from April 10 through April 15.  As the Venus retrograde began with Mercury moving direct into the heart of the Sun, there is an obvious connection and message to be found in the intersection of Venus and Mercury synodic cycles during March, April, and May.  This means that as we are reevaluating how we find pleasure and form relationship we are also reorienting the manner in which we translate and communicate meaning and make sense of our perceptions.  It also means that there will be a lot more changes, twists, and turns coming our way following the stationing direct of Venus.  Venus will leave its retrograde shadow zone on May 18, 2017 when it crosses back over 13’08 Aries.   At this time Mercury will likewise be close to leaving its own retrograde shadow zone.  By the time  Venus and Mercury have had their way with us at the end of May, we will have experienced vital purification and regeneration that will have prepared us to receive and create greater fulfillment within our relationships.

References

Fishbach, Heidi. (2014). Volver a los 17. A translation.

Wolkstein, Diane and Kramer, Samuel Noah. (1983).  Inanna Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her stories and hymns from Sumer. Harper & Row.

Virgo Full Moon

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Crow in Flight (1916) Watanabe Seitei

Full Moon in Virgo

Following an eruption of panoramic, polyphonic perceptual feelings, perspicacity returns in the form of a Virgo Full Moon in strong aspect with Mercury and Saturn.  The Moon’s journey from darkness to full light in the past couple weeks of this lunar cycle aligned with immense releases triggered by a solar eclipse, Venus stationing retrograde, and Mercury’s union with the Sun.  The Virgo Full Moon brings focus to the moment within the streams of change, centering awareness on how to integrate the heightened influx of released emotions and changes in circumstances and relationships.  Eclipses as well as Venus retrograde periods tend to be times of destiny in which new relationships emerge with fateful force while older relationships undergo necessary shifts or dissolution.  The light of the Virgo Full Moon will illuminate where concrete action needs to be taken to address developing issues as well as how to adjust and modify the boundaries and structures of our lives to effectively work with however our external and internal experiences have been changing.

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Youth on a Long-Tailed Turtle as Urashima Taro by Suzuki Harunobu (1725-1770)

Mercury in Pisces rules the Full Moon, separating from a square with Saturn in Sagittarius and a conjunction with Chiron.  Mercury began a new cycle with the Sun less than a week before the Full Moon and as a result has been purified and regenerated from passing through the fiery heart of our Sun.  However, Mercury remains combust and invisible due to its close proximity to the Sun, making it more difficult for Mercury in Pisces to sustain attention to detail.  Mercury in Pisces is also not known for rational discernment and thorough research to the extent Mercury enjoys in its home and exaltation of Virgo, yet does brings imaginative and intuitive gifts that can open vision to how to best navigate forward with current plans.  Mercury in Pisces has a psychic sense of underlying emotional dynamics and as a result the Full Moon will bring keen insight into one’s genuine feelings that previously may have been denied or blocked.

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White Cloud (Lighthouse) by Helen Torr (circa 1932)

Saturn in Sagittarius forms a square to the Virgo Full Moon as well as Mercury and Chiron in Pisces, enforcing discipline to the visionary capacities of Mercury and Chiron in Pisces.  Mercury in Pisces inspires poetic leaps of thought and investigating questions seeking ultimate understanding, and its hard aspect to Saturn supports dedicated focus on tangible, practical action that will shift the musings of Mercury in Pisces from the inner realm of dreams into the external world of material manifestation.  Saturn in Sagittarius has a more far reaching vision than Saturn does in other signs, and its strong influence on the Virgo Full Moon will illuminate not only the path forward but the actions and steps needed to be taken immediately in order to ensure later success.  The square from Saturn to Mercury and Chiron will also bring alert to any areas of life that need attention, in particular due to consequences stemming from the shifts that have occurred in the recent period of eclipses.  Use the intuitive capacities of Mercury in Pisces to attune to any and all messages pointing toward where one needs to recalibrate priorities and focus.

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Horse’s Skull with Pink Rose (1931) Georgia O’Keeffe

Venus in Aries is retrograde yet remains a burning, bright Evening Star at the time of the Virgo Full Moon.  Less than week after the Full Moon around March 18, however, Venus will descend at twilight into her invisible journey into the underworld where she will dive into the heart of our Sun for her rebirth.   Venus retrograde is finally beginning to gain movement backwards through zodiac degree at the Full Moon, and the initial shifts of passions and relational dynamics that have coincided with her stationing in mid Aries will now be obvious in the full light of the Mercurial lunation.  Venus in Aries is ardor, is embodiment of fiery passion circulating from head to toe, and the love and yearning of Venus in Aries demands outlets of expression.  If one is not currently in a relationship through which to luxuriate within the sensual delights of Venus, there are numerous other avenues available through which to sublimate her enflamed passions available while in the home of Mars and the exaltation of our Sun.  Art, creativity, pioneering explorations, and social activism are especially suitable mediums, but the important thing is to find places in life to freely express feelings rather than bottle them up and risk having them erupt in unfavorable circumstances.

An important shift that occurred as the Moon increased in light building up to the Full Moon was that Mars entered Taurus, as Mars is hosting Venus in his home of Aries.  As a result there is mutual generosity between Mars and Venus, as Venus is likewise hosting Mars in her home of Taurus.  Mars in Taurus forms a whole sign trine to the Full Moon in Virgo, and furthermore is applying to an exact trine with the North Node in Virgo and a sextile with the South Node in Pisces.  Venus is known as being estranged in Aries and Mars is also known as being estranged in Taurus, and so both planets are in signs in which they can express strength but in a way that can feel more out of control.  Mars does enjoy expressing itself through the sensual earth signs where it can ground its force into tangible actions in the material realm, and so its mutual generosity with Venus in Aries can likewise bridge unlocked Venusian passion into concrete growth.

10 pentacles

Virgo 3 Decan

The Virgo Full Moon occurs in the third face of Virgo that is associated with the 10 of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  In tarot this image of a family enjoying the fruits of their labor and legacy is associated with wealth, both the accumulation of wealth as well as being able to sustain wealth through familial lineages or other legacies. The image also corresponds with the achievement of a stable, secure lifestyle affording one the possibility of enjoying material luxuries as well as the luxury of a contemplative lifestyle.  We likewise have our own lineages to draw from in the pursuit and gaining of wealth, in terms of the root meaning of wealth being about happiness, health, and well-being. This could connect with your blood relatives and ancestors or your soul tribe, those beings who are your kindred spirits and have provided you with inspiration and visionary meaning.

The third face of Virgo is ruled by Mercury, giving Mercury added emphasis at a Full Moon that also occurs in the domicile and exaltation of Mercury. Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces took a Mercurial angle to this card by interpreting that “the pensive nature of the elder pictured on this card suggest that wealth is here posed as a question, to be riddled out. What, given the fate of all created things, is truly valuable?” (p. 151). Coppock ascribed the image of “The Sarcophagus” to the third face of Virgo, as being the third decan it is about the separation of spirit and matter from previous balance, revealing the ultimate value of the work as the final face of the three Earth signs of the zodiac:

In this face we ponder the ultimate result of material things. The limits of all created works are here considered. This decan thus has the power to break the pride of all created things by showing them their inevitable end . . . One gains the ability to look beyond the present, seeing consequences as clearly as actions. The ability to see unto the 7th generation is gained …

Escorted by wealth on one side and death on the other, the residents of this face cross the threshold into the tomb. Alone in the burial chamber with silent centuries, they dialogue with the corpse all will become about the value of all things. The importance of legacies becomes clear, for though all works face eventual decay, some endure for aeons . . .

In comprehending the ongoing cycle of generation and corruption, one is freed from fear, for most terrors are petty, and disappear when the shadow of inevitability falls across them. This discussion reveals the importance of things as they are- arising and receding- and deserving of love and attention.

–Austin Coppock from 36 Faces

Though not mentioned by Coppock in his deft portrayal of this decan, in the tables of the appendix he lists that the fragmentary Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed the goddess Hestia to the third face of Virgo. Hestia is a sublime spirit guide to turn towards at the Full Moon, for she holds within her purified gaze the focus necessary to stay true to the quality of value essential to our vitality that we wish to invest into the work we perform in the world. Hestia is the devoted one with a far reaching legacy of sisterhood we can draw from, a spiritual lineage that across tumultuous centuries has sustained respect with every breath and action for the living force found throughout all of the natural world of creation. Hestia holds within her heart a moral compass impossible to manipulate or distract away from the path of love and service to all of creation.

Saturn in Sagittarius is residing at the same degree it will be inhabiting when Venus stations direct on April 15, and the Virgo Full Moon ruler Mercury is inhabiting the same degree of Pisces basically where both Chiron and Venus will be when Venus stations direct. As a result the Virgo Full Moon is not only illuminating the initial meaning of the Venus retrograde but also unveiling insight into how things will be taking shape in the months ahead. Within waves of shattering change, within the decomposition and death of the old and the hatching of the new, like Hestia may we open ourselves to the change of the moment through heart-centered focus on the eternal power of love and devotion.

References

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

Pisces Solar Eclipse 2017

Vasily Kafanov the beginning

Vasily Kafanov (2015) The Beginning

Down by the water the soil is wet with richness.  The currents stream past, the waves inexorably flow in and out.  Water holds us as its dissolving force caresses our skin. The wisdom of ages flows over us, washes off the sweat and stains of daily struggle, cleanses the wounds of past grief and heartbreak.  Water holds the memories of all, the endless repository of the collective unconscious, and the inner knowing of who we are and how we love in this fertile moment.

The Pisces Solar Eclipse arises in alignment with Neptune on 26 February 2017, the final of the series of Pisces and Virgo eclipses we have been experiencing over the course of the past two years.  Both an ending and birth of a potent new beginning, within its watery release we discover both who we were before and who we will become, the memory of our future path circulating through our body in the dissolving second of an instant.

Black Sun from splendor solis

From the Splendor Solis

The eclipses in Pisces and Virgo have been occurring since March of 2015, and so all of the lessons we have learned and integrated, as well as those we may still be struggling with, are embodied in the moist air all around us.  There is a particularly strong mirroring between this Annular Solar Eclipse in Pisces with the Annular Solar Eclipse in Virgo that occurred on 1 September 2016 at the time of the square between Saturn and Neptune. The visions of growth felt deeply within that were not yet manifesting at that time may now be more palpably felt and tangibly taking shape.

Being an annular eclipse, it means the void of its blackness will have a ring of light around it.  Annular eclipses occur as a result of the Moon being far enough away in orbit from the Earth that its shadow does not completely cover the Sun.  Rings bring to mind commitment, honoring intentions with serious dedication and devotion.  The ring of light around the Pisces Solar Eclipse is awakening deep knowing about ourselves we realize with crystal clarity is not only true but requires nurturing responsibility and tending.

One of my favorite interpretations of solar eclipses is by Dane Rudhyar, who said the symbolism of the Moon’s shadow covering the face of the Sun suggests that forces from our past, as well as unconscious influences, veil the present with their fecund darkness. Eclipses can feel like an uncontrollable tidal force taking us into an unknown we do not always feel ready for. In combination with their unworldly visual element when seen, people have feared eclipses for ages, in ancient times portraying them as a great dragon of chaos and creation consuming our Sun and Moon. Yet eclipses do not need to be feared. Dragons are symbols of instinct and chaotic destruction that bring together the spiritually elevated with the chthonic, similar to eclipses in that greater wholeness can be found through the dissolution they bring about.  There is immense purification within this final Pisces Solar Eclipse that liberates us from old hangups and fosters strident vivification.

The Solar Eclipse is conjoining Neptune in the inner home of Jupiter, the place of boundless inner visions and gnosis.  As the Sun is obscured by shadow, Jupiter in Libra will be forming a mysteriously strong bond with the Solar Eclipse through antiscia, even more strongly pulling in the catalytic firepower of the opposition between Mars and Uranus in Aries with Jupiter.  The Solar Eclipse is also connected to the conjunction between Mars and Uranus through contra antiscia while Neptune also remains involved in longer lasting contra antiscia with Uranus.  This means that the opposition between Jupiter with Mars and Uranus as well as the conjunction between the eclipse and Neptune are all tightly woven together in a pulsating field of release.

In collective events the conjunction between Mars and Uranus in Aries opposing Jupiter could lead to greater eruptions of violence and dogmatic diatribes, whether the dogma is rooted in nationalism, religion, or other human constructed belief systems.  In the realm of the personal, this same fiery union of Mars and Uranus can bring about groundbreaking empowerment and self assertion that is not purely selfish but rather also uplifts others through the creative force unleashed.  Mars is powerful and at home in Aries and brings dynamic force to the Pisces Eclipse that will jar loose whatever has become stagnant or restrictive in one’s life.  These signatures call for us to let go of the old illusions that have been keeping us limited through conventional thinking.  From the death and shedding of old restrictions will erupt forth pure vitality that may be expressed through one’s daily actions and choices.

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Mountain Landscape with Rainbow (1809-10) Caspar David Friedrich

Being the final eclipse to occur with the lunar nodes in Virgo and Pisces, it is worth a deep pondering over the fact that the ruler of the North Node in Virgo, Mercury, is in Pisces and applying to a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon in Pisces.  Under the turmoil of world events, the ridiculous and frightening posturing of world leaders, exists the eternal wisdom of nature and the soulful spirit weaving throughout our material realm.  Though in times of bleakness it may feel as if we have become more separated than ever from the wisdom of our ancient elders who walked in honor of the sacred life found in every aspect of our environment and surrounding universes, our inner knowing remains connected to the very same sources of divine revelation.  Simultaneous with the immature egotism and aggressions of power hungry humans exists others awakening awareness of interconnection and courageously giving to others in need from loving hearts.

Allow old wounds and emotional complexes you have been identifying with to be washed away in the black ocean of the eclipse.  From purification will emerge a burning heart full of passion that can lend intuitive guidance to every decision needing to be made.  Mercury in Pisces is attuned to the nonverbal underlying fabric of emotions and psychic emanations.  Though feelings may be difficult to be placed in clearly defined terminology, love will be readily available to share widely.  At the same time that destructive violence is shattering world structures, a protective force of courageous care may arise that can tend to whomever or whatever is adversely impacted by the rupturing.

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8 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Pisces 1 Decan

The Solar Eclipse arises in the first face of Pisces, associated with the Eight of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  Here in this image a hermetic recluse walks away from a watery environment into a mountainous landscape, utilizing a walking stick not unlike a magical staff grounding cosmic awareness into the earth plane. Above the hermit is an image of the Sun and Moon in union not unlike an eclipse. The eight cups are stacked in the foreground like a wall or a structural container giving space for penetrating inner awareness, with the base foundation of the stack wider and most solid. Writing about the 8 of Cups, tarot writer Kelsey Lynore analyzed that it “marks a significant turning away from tradition and that which has previously given you comfort. Your journey into the future will be long and arduous, leading directly into, and through, the darkness of night. The moon, symbol of the Unconscious, is your sole light and guide. Trust your body, trust your hunches, and trust your intuition. You shan’t be looking back. The 8 of Cups represents that moment when you must say ‘no’ to what is, so that you might create or discover that which will be.”

The first face of Pisces is ruled by Saturn, which aligns perfectly with the image of a hermit turning away from the accepted and familiar in order to receive new visions of depth and penetrating insight. As Austin Coppick wrote in his book on the decans 36 Faces, the “relationship with what lies beyond the boundaries characterizes all of Pisces’ decans,” and in the first face of Pisces we “recognize our imprisonment in our own reality construct” as well as “the possibility of liberation” from moving beyond our former boundaries into “a world as yet uncorrupted by our assumptions” (p. 244).  Coppock ascribed the image of “The Labyrinth” to the first face of Pisces, noting it signifies both “a quest to map invisible walls of reality” and “the subtle structures which guide human life,” as well as the realization that our own unconscious is a primal progenitor of our current reality (p.245).  Coppock concludes:

In discovering that it was none other than a portion of ourselves which erected this reality, we gain the power to build as we see fit, with what materials we have assembled. The maze is ours to re-create, our soul the architect. Yet sometimes the tortuous labyrinth holds within its secret heart a wisdom we did not expect. Its being is no abomination, but exactly as it should be. The realization transforms the structure itself from a prison to a palace. Liberation is achieved here through insight alone.

–Austin Coppock (p. 245) 36 Faces

Saturn has strength in the first face of Pisces and finds itself at the time of the eclipse transiting through the third face of Sagittarius where it also has the dignity of decan.  Saturn in Sagittarius remains in a harmonious sextile with Jupiter in Libra, which is also in a decan that it rules.  This places the ruler of the eclipse in harmonious aspect with the ruler of the eclipse’s decan, with both ruling planets residing within faces that they rule.  The lesson here is clear.  No matter how much despair you may currently be feeling from the suffering of worldly events or personal loss, there is immense astrological potency that supports recreating one’s reality from a place of essential value.  The Pisces Solar Eclipse is ideal for releasing attachments to everything that no longer feels authentic, and focusing intention on creating a life full of deeply felt fulfillment.

References

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

Leo Lunar Eclipse

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Lunar Reflection by Remedios Varo

Lunar Eclipse in Leo

Life constantly brings change, yet eclipses always demarcate a period of accelerated change with synchronous endings and beginnings.  New relationships, attractions, experiences, and work opportunities appear seemingly out of nowhere with full force of manifestation, surprising us with their dramatic entrance into our surface reality.  Eclipses are also mysterious portals that hold profound shifts in the enfoldment of our destiny, as many of the changes signified by an eclipse are happening under the surface and not immediately observable in the surrounding period of the lunation.  We stand at the crossroads during eclipses bidding farewell to aspects of identity that can require grieving, while simultaneously welcoming exciting new experiences and relationships that need to be integrated into one’s life.

Lunar Eclipses occur when a Full Moon lines up with the degrees of the transiting North Node and South Node of the Moon.  The nodes of the Moon in this arrangement are symbolized by a great dragon that consumes our lights, since the Sun is overcome by shadow in a solar eclipse and the Moon is consumed with shadow during a lunar eclipse.  The dragon symbolism further links eclipses with the ouroboros imagery of a dragon consuming its own tail that has been used in Hermetic arts for ages.  The dragon devouring itself mirrors the dissolution of nature that leads to the arising of new forms.  In alchemical work the arts of separation and union tied to this imagery reflect the ability to purify material attachments.  When eclipses form in our heavens, the corresponding changes similarly lead us to release fixation on the elements of our life in need of letting go, while a burgeoning promise of new form coming together can be felt.

The Leo Lunar Eclipse on 10 February 2017 is the first of a series to occur in the signs of Leo and Aquarius that will extend until January 2019.   During a lunar eclipse the Sun casts a shadow of our Earth upon the face of the Moon, turning it blood red during a total lunar eclipse.  This first Leo Lunar Eclipse is not total, but is instead classified as penumbral.  This stems from the fact that although the eclipse is fairly close to the North Node of the Moon, the eclipse is happening at 23º Leo while the North Node of the Moon is at the beginning of Virgo. The visual effect is that the shadow cast by the Earth onto the Moon by our Sun is not going to cover Luna in a total red glow, instead only projecting a diffuse outer shadow on the Moon that will be faintly noticeable.

The meaning of a Lunar Eclipse is rooted in the phenomenon of our Sun casting the shadow of our Earth onto the face of our Moon. Dane Rudhyar viewed this solar shadow as symbolizing the present overcoming the past, as our solar awareness and purpose veils the lunar impact of past conditioning on our present consciousness. Linking the Moon to what we carry with us in our body and mind, these memories of the past can be released to allow for the emergence of new ways of being embodied in the moment. Since the Leo Lunar Eclipse is aligned with the North Node of the Moon, while our fiery Sun is burning  on the side of the South Node of the Moon, it corresponds that growth will come from the resolution and release of old karma. The influence of Leo furthermore brings an electrifying jolt of fiery creativity, actualization, and instinctual self assertion into whatever areas of our life the eclipse impacts through its aspects to our astrology charts.

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Toward the Tower (1961) by Remedios Varo

The diffuse penumbral shadow projected on the Moon signifies that while the eclipse heralds the eventual shift of the lunar nodes into Aquarius and Leo months from now, our work with the nodes in Pisces and Virgo is not yet complete.  The Leo Lunar Eclipse and the Pisces Solar Eclipse coming on February 26 are the final two eclipses to occur with the South Node of the Moon in Pisces.  As a result there will be an immense bursting of collective illusions forcing humanity to become wide awake to the discrepancy between fantasy and bare boned reality.  Eclipses have been occurring in Pisces and Virgo since the first Pisces Solar Eclipse in the series that occurred on 20 March 2015.  Idealized illusions and ghastly fears of the past have haunted collective events like ghosts weighed down by ball and chain, but in the storm of these final eclipses the chains of bondage will be blown open, releasing the delusive apparitions for all to see clearly.  The North Node of the Moon in Virgo continues to call us to embrace the moment with full awareness of everything occurring, whether we feel attraction or repulsion, and to discern choices that will bring greater fulfillment through service to the greater good.

The activation of Aquarius and Leo by the eclipse while the lunar nodes remain in Pisces and Virgo bring up innumerable issues concerning the current state of being for humanity within the complex networks of global civilization it has created.  While the archetypes of Pisces and Virgo can involve a sense of guilt over how our actions impact others, the shift of the nodes into Aquarius and Leo bring awareness to how we have been modifying our self expression to fit into group and societal norms.  The North Node of the Moon activated by Leo brings more emphasis to creative actualization and pursuing desires that make one feel viscerally alive, rather than restraining oneself.  Leo is also a loyal, heartfelt sign of solar power that will protect loved ones and fight for what it believes is good and noble.  The Leo Lunar Eclipse is ideal for creative collaborations in art and activism and for embodying greater passion for life in all mundane responsibilities.  Six months from now we will experience a second set of eclipses in Aquarius and Leo with the lunar nodes also in Aquarius and Leo, and so the storylines being set in motion now will experience further dramatic developments at that time.

The Leo Lunar Eclipse is especially potent because the opposition between the Leo Moon and Aquarius Sun crosses over the opposition between Uranus in Aries and Jupiter retrograde in Libra so that both ends of the oppositions form a harmonious sextile and trine to one another.  Uranus in Aries is sextile the Sun and trine the Moon, while Jupiter is trine the Sun and sextile the Moon.    As a result the tension between the Sun and Moon as well as Uranus and Jupiter have mediating aspects of stability that can help open awareness to opportunities that go beyond previously defined boundaries, and further support taking direct action with whatever surrounding resources are available to make inspiring visions and ideas take form.  The eclipse bears gifts for those willing to work with dedication and persistence, as sudden insights and revelations will emerge in the process once a commitment to sustaining effort has been achieved.

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Embroidering the Earth’s Mantle (1961) by Remedios Varo

Saturn in Sagittarius also holds harmonious aspects within the eclipse, as it is trine to Uranus and the Moon, sextile to Jupiter and the Sun.  Although Saturn has separated from its square aspect with Neptune that dominated 2016, its effect in the collective is still felt through the alternative interpretations of reality the masses are fighting over, with people struggling to recognize the difference between the factual and the imaginal.  Neptune in Pisces remains an influence on the eclipse through being widely conjunct the South Node of the Moon, as well as through connecting with Uranus in Aries through the shadowy aspect of contra-antiscia that was also in effect throughout 2016.  As a result one can draw a triangle with fire connecting Saturn with Uranus and the Leo Lunar Eclipse, with Neptune claiming a strong presence in the shadows cast by the flowing, harmonious exchange of fire.

For anyone with angles (ascendant, midheaven . . .), planets, or other key aspects of their chart in the final decan of the fire signs (20 – 30º of Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius), the Leo Lunar Eclipse marks the point in time in which many karmic knots within life will begin to become unravelled with the gravity of necessary fate.  As the strands formerly held tight release, potential arises to weave the threads back together into a more colorful, vivacious form that can be embodied with self confidence and courage.  As a lot can change rapidly in the wake of eclipses, its important to keep in mind what one can control and what one has to surrender to not being able to control.  The raging fire contained within the Leo Lunar Eclipse can be channeled with purpose and discipline into strategic directions that can create opportunities to express inspiration, spirit, and passion.   Within the innumerable global conflicts occurring, anger can become so overwhelming that it debilitates one’s ability to make healthy choices.  Yet an inner inferno can also be injected into productive actions intent on building worthy creative works and solidifying support for both inner desires and social causes aiding others.

Mars in Aries is hosting both Venus and Uranus in his domain, applying toward a square with Pluto at the eclipse.  As the lunar eclipse releases and we head toward the darkness of the coming Solar Eclipse in Pisces, Mars in Aries will assertively blow up the tensions between Pluto, Jupiter, and Uranus, in particular re-triggering the square between Pluto and Uranus that dominated astrology between 2011 and 2015.   The many heated global conflicts already occurring will reach new levels of discord as Mars burns his way across the space of the Ram, some unavoidable whereas others will require discernment regarding which ones to engage in with personal energy.  Collectively we can all observe how many traditional structures we had gotten used to counting on have been crumbling apart through the years of the square between Pluto and Uranus-  the current transit of Mars in Aries will amplify the dismantling.  In the personal realm, the highly catalyzed and empowered Mars is available to support both well structured work opportunities as well as taking risks in life toward goals one previously did not believe possible to achieve.  Mars in Aries is also willing to fight to defend loved ones, and so adds to the fiery atmosphere of the eclipse in which combatants may be drawn into conflict over desire to protect whatever is held dear by the heart.

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The Escape (1961) by Remedios Varo

In the nights surrounding the eclipse, Venus can be seen in all of her majesty burning brightly next to Mars in Aries.  Venus is known as being in her detriment in Aries, a misunderstood classification that does not mean Venus is weak, but does mean she is away from her own home in the place of Mars.  Since Mars is close by in his own home, the Venus Evening Star is full of fiery martial force and passion yearning to be expressed with direct ardor.  Potent creative collaborations are possible with resonant partners able to harmoniously receive and reciprocate.   In relationships that have felt stuck or weighed down by unresolved issues, the martial combination of Venus and Mars in Aries can create conflicts that dislodge blockages and open up opportunities to mediate solutions through direct communication.  As Venus is now within the shadow of her forthcoming Venus retrograde that will begin on March 4, paying attention to arising concerns within relationships and addressing divisions between the needs of the self and others will help prepare us for the coming relational changes when Venus stations and turns away from Mars in retrograde motion.

While Venus and Mars are shining bright in the transfiguration of twilight, Mercury is illuminating the shift of hues at dawn as a Morning Star.  Mercury in Aquarius is forming a harmonious sextile with Venus at the eclipse, and as the forthcoming lunar cycle wanes Mercury will progress into an additional supportive sextile with Mars in Aries.  Mercury in Aquarius can bridge divides between the formerly known and the unknown on the horizon, helping to facilitate initiation of inventive visions for the future.  Mercury in Aquarius is a blessing with regard to the fiery emphasis of the eclipse as it can help with listening to the clamor of dissenting opinions and devising ways to navigate conflicts while staying true to personal integrity and principles.  In collaboration with partners or within group dynamics, Mercury in Aquarius further supports attuning to the underlying issues in need of attention in order to bring about a productive outcome.  The accord between Mercury, Venus, and Mars adds to the innovative and creative potency available to access within the Leo Lunar Eclipse.

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7 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Leo 3 Decan

The Lunar Eclipse illuminates the third face of Leo associated with the Seven of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  In the image a warrior is bravely fighting for his life, using his wand to fight off the onrush of six attacking wands. He is standing on a cliff in a precarious position, yet his stance and face suggests someone putting his whole being into his struggle with extraordinary determination.  The image evokes the necessity of standing one’s ground against an onslaught from the masses or an angry mob, bringing the idea of what ideals, principles, and other forms of personal terrain are worth fighting to protect at all cost.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Banner” to the third face of Leo, for a banner “bearing the name of Truth, Justice or Beauty” unfurled symbolizes the sort of inspirational principle which transcends egoic concerns and animates a “spiritualization of the solar fire present in the Lion’s sign.”  To Coppock it is the “unconquerable heart” which is the source of the third face of Leo’s power, as “what resides in the heart is untouchable, invincible” and most radiant when enlivened with passionate spirit.  Coppock described the power of the third decan of Leo as a steadfast courage that rises to combat outside forces and protect beloved realms against external and internal threats, especially when resources are low and the odds are stacked against success.  Though Coppock praised “the solar-martial fire that moves broken limbs” found in the third face of Leo, he also warned:

Like any form of fire, divine or otherwise, there is danger. Though belief in a principle may give one the strength to hold on while all hope is lost, it is no guarantee that one’s cause is right. While this face may abound with images of noble heroes defending the right, just as many tyrants grace its halls, unwilling to yield their thrones, no matter the human cost.

Mars rules the third face of Leo, and Mars is extremely strong at the eclipse in its own sign of Aries and co-present with both Venus and Uranus. The third decan of Leo is impacted in an extraordinary manner in 2017 by eclipses, for there will be an incredibly intense Solar Eclipse in the third face of Leo coming in August 2017.  As a result the lessons we learn regarding the themes of the third decan of Leo now will return to us tenfold later in August to further wrestle with.  The overused adage of fighting fire with fire brings the question of how much conflict and destruction are worth inflicting over the issues we feel enlivened to defend and battle over.  While the power of our animated heart can lead us to resiliently contend and combat threatening forces beyond the point of exhaustion, it will also be worthwhile to discern our bodily limits and when rest and caregiving of our incarnated form is necessary.  The many fiery collective conflicts that will arise in 2017 are heralded by this first Lunar Eclipse in Leo, so gaining clarity over what is worth fighting for as well as how to best nourish and sustain our inner fire and fleshy form will be essential.

References

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

Aquarius New Moon

Crow Screen, Asian Art Museum

Japanese crow screen on display at Seattle Asian Art Museum

New Moon in Aquarius

It feels natural for children to build tree houses of secluded protection, build contained castles out of bedding, or discover a place of protected privacy away from external influences.  In between boundaries and borders of form a self contained light stirs and seeds illumination, guiding from within rather than from the expectations of others.  For many people time alone or with few intimates can feel so fruitful with freedom and insight it leads to an embrace of alienation from the collective consensus.  Yet an isolated hermit is capable of bearing waters of key messages and resources for those in need to receive, and so the dance of duality calls for a return to publicly share the meaning found on divergent paths.  The Aquarius New Moon this week supports finding balance between nurturing seclusion and braving the discord of disseminating meaning within consensus power structures to effect change and aid those struggling to find support.

The New Moon in Aquarius on 27 January 2017 launches us into a catalytic month of eclipses, for the Full Moon that follows is a Lunar Eclipse in Leo which then releases into a Solar Eclipse in Pisces at the end of February.  All planets are direct and absorbed in costume and character, ready for the curtain to open on the unprecedented drama that will defy preconceived notions.  Fear may arise with recognition that anything can happen for good or ill, yet a grace of constant perseverance may be embraced that is wide awake to possibilities with careful attention to the small and necessary tasks of the present.  There is an activating gale in the blackness of the Aquarius Moon to harness into determined work and innovative collaboration.

Aquarius is the outwardly directed home of Saturn, a nesting for the New Moon which provides nourishing protection to guard against the toxicity of collective conditioning in order to center vision on radical intention.  From roots that tap into streams of past philosophies and arts, the outward branching of being in Aquarius discovers the future in synthesizing old strands of story and science with current influences and evidence.  Aquarius possesses the fortitude to be alone if necessary to be authentic, as well as the facility with networking to weave strong connections between reciprocal resonance across gulfs of time and space.  To make the most of Aquarius we need to embody our values and principles that do not align with the expectations of cultural conditioning, opening our heart to radiate full presence rather than detaching with disassociation. The Aquarius New Moon is opportune for prioritizing goals based upon intrinsic value rather than accord with societal norms.

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Giorgio de Chirico (1913) The Anxious Journey

Saturn in Sagittarius rules the Aquarius New Moon with its closest aspect being a separating square with Venus in Pisces and Chiron, linking now with 15 April 2017 when Venus will station direct following its retrograde in square to Saturn and in conjunction with Chiron.  Venus with Chiron in hard aspect to Saturn can open old wounds for catharsis as well as bring acute awareness to whether or not heartfelt desires are supported by structural foundations in our life.   The tension between Venus, Chiron, and Saturn can be transmuted into empowering exchanges with others or from one’s inner creative matrix.  This is not a temporary transit of passing influence, however, as its link to the upcoming Venus retrograde means that current events and issues will have a storyline that arcs into vital developments in mid April.   Because of the link between the New Moon, the upcoming eclipses, and the subsequent Venus retrograde, our current trajectory has events of immense magnitude on the horizon we have no way to currently account for. However, whatever we are receiving from current experiences can be used to reformulate and modify plans and strategies for the future, with the hard stress between Sagittarius and Pisces meaning that clarifying whatever is being stirred up within our emotional body can be used to realign intentions and goals to make more of an effective impact.

As the Moon waxes through its new moon phase in Aquarius, it will form harmonious aspects with Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn, providing support for objectifying thoughts and feelings rooted in practicality and a stark assessment of bare bones reality.  We can discern a path forward with a vision bound to immersion in the details of the present moment, keeping awareness attuned with both subtle and seismic shifts in our surroundings.  There is also extraordinary power within these aspects for collaboration with others of shared passion, and a rapid expansion of development within collective movements united by a shared cause can ensue. Those engaged in creative arts and sciences initiating or developing a project have support for experimenting with expansive and inventive work that can become more solidified in April when Venus stations direct in alignment with Chiron and Saturn.  The current astrological movement can facilitate ingenious breakthroughs that will only come once we are actively engaged in the process of work.

The sextile between Saturn and Jupiter in Libra as well as the trine between Saturn and Uranus in Aries signifies greater support for groundbreaking risks than normal for both individuals as well as consolidated power structures.  Those seeking to control civilization (Jupiter in Libra) always want the liberty (Uranus in Aries) to take what they want for their own benefit through conditioning the public with belief systems that justify (Saturn in Sagittarius) acts of oppression and coercion.  The recent eruptions of large scale social protests can become further enflamed and expanded within these astrological aspects, leading into inevitable clashes and confrontations with opposing forces equally intent on achieving objectives.  Within the clamoring of conflict, the Aquarius New Moon contains support for purifying thoughts and feelings from how collective influences have attempted to manipulate minds with fake news and alternative facts.  There is potent yang, outwardly directed force within the Aquarius New Moon for direct action, and so it is well worth the time to become as clear as possible about intentions and where to prioritize investment of energy.

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Landscape with a Rainbow (1881) by Alexei Savrasov

Mercury in Capricorn has returned to unite with Pluto at the Aquarius New Moon, reaching the same degree of Capricorn it previously stationed retrograde on 19 December 2016.  As a result the storylines stemming from the Mercury retrograde in Capricorn and mid December 2016 are now able to be more clearly understood, with events during the week leading into the New Moon sparking distillation of meaning. As the Moon waxes into the crescent bow of Artemis, Mercury will separate from Pluto and apply to a square with Uranus in Aries and Jupiter in Libra.  Mercury will be sparking surprising change and revelation, unveiling what was previously hidden, and catalyzing effort from sharpened perception.  There will be massive conflicts and confrontations erupting in correspondence with these aspects and so careful awareness will be needed to discern how to most effectively participate and move with the flow of current.

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Emblem for Cum severitate lenites (Even in harshness there is mercy) by Henry Peacham (ca. 1610)

A cathartic drench is gathering in the air to finally release at the end of February in a Pisces Solar Eclipse united with the South Node of the Moon and Neptune.   The atmosphere of the Aquarius New Moon is saturated by premonition of the eclipses forthcoming in the month ahead, yet it is the celebrated calm before the storm offering a time to become grounded about goals and a plan for manifestation.  Mars is at the final degree of Pisces at the time of the Aquarius New Moon, empowered by the fact that both the final decan of Pisces as well as the first decan of Aries it is at the cusp of entering are both ruled by Mars.  Both Mars and Venus are Evening Stars, and their balsamic conjunction can be seen brightening the night void of any moonlight.  With Mars and Venus remaining within a hard aspect to the scythe of Saturn at the New Moon, we can gain sense for old relationship patterns we have been living from that no longer are working for us.  Adjustments to how we have been giving and receiving in relationship can be made, new attractions followed and initiated, but due to the upcoming Venus retrograde there is much more to be worked out in the close of the current cycle between Mars and Venus that will not be fully realized until October 2017 when Mars and Venus finally conjoin together in Virgo.

As the Moon waxes toward the Lunar Eclipse in Leo on February 10, Mars will enter its home sign of Aries  soon after the New Moon followed by Venus on February 3.  The shift of Mars and Venus from Pisces to Aries in the coming lunar cycle signifies a speeding up of experiences as well as an injection of amplified assertion to act from instinctual responses.  The influence of the impending eclipses activating the South Node of the Moon in Pisces bring release and purification as well as potential for profound disillusionment that can be quickly turned into angry reaction due to the movement of Mars and Venus into Aries.  The fire of Aries can be harnessed to fuel empowered responses to wherever we feel injustice and oppression are occurring, yet the Aquarius influence of the New Moon suggests discerning the choices for action that can best sustain impactful effort over the longterm rather than into eruptive outbursts that lead only to burn out.

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5 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Aquarius 1 Decan

The New Moon falls in the first face of Aquarius associated with the Five of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image of the Five of Swords we see a swordsman haughty with pride after becoming the master of his domain through clearing the field of rivals.   It is a strong individualistic image of resolute pride.  In the Thoth deck the Five of Swords card is called “Defeat” and features swords arranged in a downward pointing pentagram within frenetic, jagged lines.  Here the meaning of the Five of Swords links with negative thought patterns that keep us bound to old wounds or trapped in a self-defeating cycle.

In his book on the decans in astrology 36 Faces,  Austin Coppock ascribed the image of “The Mark of Exile” to the first face of Aquarius, describing it as a decan of purposefully living as an outsider in exile to conventional society.  Coppock linked the meaning of this face to the independence, liberation, and “wider and deeper understanding of reality” to be found through breaking free from the traditions of one’s time and accepting “the mark of the heretic” if necessary (p. 227). In this way, the image of the Five of Swords card above shows how many relationships become destroyed and sacrificed when one goes into exile away from the norms of society.  Yet at the same time, leaving consensus culture opens the potential that new relationships will arise in alignment with the developing liberated sense of Self, as well as enables creative actualization aligned with spirituality more so than material rewards.

The first face of Aquarius is ruled by Venus, bringing further significance to the separating square between Venus and Saturn at the time of the New Moon.  While Venus in her exaltation of Pisces has been lauded for her desire for union and harmony, in truth Venusian decisions to choose one over another can create strife and brings a weight of necessity to the eccentric yearnings of Venus.  The New Moon in Aquarius invites us to discover the wisdom of unorthodox perspectives, values, and relationships yet requires awareness for how our actions and choices can cause separation with others.  The gift of Aquarius is its capacity not only to foster knowledge of essential truth that goes against the dictates of dominant culture, but to transmit meaning with heartfelt creative expression that can warm and empower others.  As Rainer Maria Rilke, born with Moon, Saturn, and Mars in Aquarius, once wrote:

The practice of artistic seeing first had to overcome itself to the point where even in the midst of what is terrible and apparently repulsive, it beholds only being that is valid along with everything else that is.  Just as the artist may not choose what he wants to behold, he may not turn his gaze away from any form of existence.  A single instance of refusal exiles him from the state of grace, and he becomes utterly sinful.

This act of lying-down-with-the-leper and sharing all-of-one’s-warmth, including the heat of one’s own heart during a night of love:  all of this must have been part of the artist’s life as an act of overcoming to reach his [her] new state of beatitude.  Behind this kind of devotion holiness begins with small things first:  the simple life of a love that has persisted and that has joined itself to everything alone, inconspicuously, and wordlessly without taking any pride in it.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Ulrich Baer

References

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

Rilke, Rainer Maria. (2005). Letters on Life: New Prose Translations. Edited and translated by Ulrich Baer.

Cancer Full Moon & Cardinal Cross

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The Golden Pill (2015) by Marlene Seven Bremner

Full Moon in Cancer

The Full Moon in Cancer on 12 January 2017 has a forceful intensity capable of dislodging us from wherever we have been stuck within rapid currents of release.  The first lunation of 2017, the Full Moon unleashes the tension between Jupiter in Libra and Uranus in Aries that will dominate the coming year.  The year ahead will bear the scars of Uranian lightning strikes as well as the enlivening heat stirred up from within that heals old wounds and liberates us from our past.  Collectively it’s a pivotal time in which the freedom granted by the Internet and it’s potential of freely flowing knowledge has been corrupted by mass manipulation of messages at levels previously unimagined by those with a thirst for power and influence.  Yet the vibration of Uranus can also disengage us from external conditioning influences, taking us within to discover our voice drawn from our deep well of soul.

Jupiter in Libra facing off with Uranus brings inspiring catalysts through relationships, but simultaneously asks us to own how we project into them, integrating the gifts stimulated through merging with others without losing sense of our center and core.  A back and forth can develop bridging vivifying relational experiences with space allowing the inner freedom able to receive what we need and release the rest.  However, because the Cancer Full Moon creates a cardinal cross, meaning that the polarity between the Sun and Moon forms a square to the polarity between Uranus and Jupiter, the volatile mix between all four cardinal signs can create disorientation over multiple paths of interest to follow at the same time.  As a result discernment is needed in terms of the next step to take in every moment, losing attachment to whatever we had convinced ourselves the subsequent step would be.

Cardinal signs initiate and instigate to create change and movement.  While cardinal signs set things in motions, they also involve a curious component of control. Perhaps it is the cardinal capacity to create change which leads each sign to want to compensate by attempting to control the outcome.  Change is difficult for many as it brings the unexpected, yet the year 2017 the Cancer Full Moon heralds will encourage releasing attachment to expectations in order to flow with the fiery twists and turns eluding control.   Creating a blueprint of goals while clarifying priorities will be important, but plans need to be written in pencil and open to continual modification.  Each step taken requires the presence of mind to receive and allow for the next step to take shape beyond preconceived notions of what that step would be.  Through openness to what we discover in each moment, allowing for the unexpected discharges of Uranus, we can free ourselves from both external and internal conditioning.

The shadows of control within the cardinal signs can be found in the modus operandi of each sign. In Aries where Uranus is holding space, we claim our needs through selfish assertion of our desires.  In Libra where Jupiter resides, we manipulate relationships through attuning to the needs of others in a way that ensures, or so we think, they will correspondingly do what we want them to do for us.  In Capricorn holding both Pluto and the Sun, the control is around claiming power in time and space so we can make sure we are responsible for what is happening rather than surrendering to someone else.  In Cancer where the Full Moon falls, control comes from the ability to draw on emotional intelligence to manipulate outcomes.  Trying to exert control in these ways will lead into a spinning out of distracted fragmentation within the Full Moon’s torrential force.

The cardinal cross is the interface between self and other and how we navigate and utilize form.  Primarily, all four of the cardinal signs possess profound gifts for finding one’s path and creating the forms necessary to fertilize and nurture essential growth.  Releasing control opens the lunar capacity of Cancer to receive subconscious content that will replenish and clarify conscious choices.

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Origins (2012) by Marlene Seven Bremner

The Cancer Full Moon not only creates a grand square with Jupiter and Uranus, it also re-activates the square between Pluto and Uranus that dominated astrology between 2011 and 2015.   Primal feelings that feel overwhelming under the light of the Full Moon also carry a valuable message buried under their density like hidden treasure.  There is support to dig deeper and receive a more penetrating perception of underlying unconscious dynamics than previously realized.   In other cases the electrical charge of the Full Moon catalyzing Jupiter and Uranus can allow for a purging of toxic feelings that need release.  To paraphrase the harmonizing of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris in “Return of the Grievous Angel,” you will see your devil and you will see your deep blue sea.  Subconscious contents unearthed will become a resource helping to balance and center within the dissolution and shattering of surrounding collective structures.

Joining Uranus through conjunction are the dwarf planets Eris and Ceres, with Ceres finally beginning to separate after stationing direct in conjunction with Uranus last month.   Ceres invites us into the abyss of surrender that ultimately leads to greater understanding and regenerated strength.  When Ceres in her story of losing her daughter was paralyzed in mourning, at the crossroads of her struggle appeared Hekate from the void to offer counsel that eventually led to her resolution.  Similarly the Cancer Full Moon will serve as a guiding torch directed by Hekate for those willing to listen to inner guidance.  Ceres in Aries offers active, loving care that fosters mutual independence and empowerment in outer relations.

Another guiding light within the Full Moon is Mercury, now direct as a Morning Star and arising at dawn to herald the rising of the Sun and our awakening from sleep.  Mercury is at the threshold between Sagittarius and Capricorn at the peak of the Full Moon, and as the lunar cycle wanes Mercury will move forward through Capricorn.  Like the colorful cock celebrating the return of solar heat, Mercury will be up at the crack of dawn, alert to daily priorities and curious to discover the path that will lead to desired goals.  Due to the recent Mercury retrograde in Capricorn, this will be the third time that Mercury has crossed over the first fifteen degrees of Capricorn since the beginning of December 2016.  Replenished from its time in the retrograde underworld, Mercury has freed the space needed for revitalized authority in navigating life as it approaches a conjunction with Pluto during the waning Moon cycle.

Venus in Pisces is closely applying to a conjunction with Neptune while separating from her previous union with the South Node of the Moon.   Venus in her exaltation of Pisces may express the full range of her boundless sensuality, a euphoria heightened through her union with Neptune that can elicit feelings of unconditional love and acceptance for loved ones.  With the South Node of the Moon having passed over both Venus and Neptune, there has been a purifying release of old relationship desires and patterns possible.  Signs and symbols illustrative of the love story we have been living for what feels like ages may have appeared, giving us the gift of being able to create a new story through our deepened awareness.  Recent experiences of disillusionment in relationship can serve as a necessary awakening to what we need to cultivate for ourselves in relationship and nurture from within ourselves to avoid external dependencies.

Both Venus and Mars in Pisces are Evening Stars who can be seen together in the transfiguration of twilight, distilling insight into our past relational desires through their balsamic relationship.  Mars in Pisces is applying to a conjunction with Chiron at the Cancer Full Moon as it also begins to form a square to Saturn in Sagittarius.  Last year brought a series of eclipses aligned with Chiron as well as a pivotal Mars retrograde that was bound with Saturn, and so Mars is in position to dredge up whatever remains unresolved from key 2016 storylines.  Mars will form an exact square with Saturn as the lunar cycle wanes into its last quarter square on January 19, an important phase of initiation connected back to the conjunction of Mars and Saturn in Sagittarius that occurred on 24 August 2016.

Whatever was torn down last year has cleared the space for new forms to be built and fortified now.  Saturn demands accountability and discipline but not limited thinking.  In fact, the aspects surrounding Saturn in Sagittarius will support manifestation for those with far reaching vision and passion who are also willing to put in the hard work and effort necessary to bring immaterial ideas and plans into material form.  These are not transits that support playing it safe or doing things the way they’ve always been done.  This is a time to risk working and living for the animating aspirations, hopes, and dreams you may have previously held back from pursuing with full force for one reason or another.

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4 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Cancer 3 Decan

The Full Moon falls in the third face of Cancer, associated with the Four of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  The Moon rules the third decan of Cancer, bringing added potency to the lunation.  In the image of the Four of Cups illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith above, we see someone sitting on the roots of a tree with three golden cups ready to be filled in the foreground, with a fourth cup being magically offered by an otherworldly hand. The recipient of this magical offering appears to be engrossed in contemplative thought, allowing inner exploration to guide subsequent choice.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces gave the image of “The Overflowing Cup” to the third face of Cancer, declaring that it reveals the conflict of choosing “luxurious excess” within “a world of limited material resources” in which “the attainment of luxury for one entails deprivation for others,” leading to a “hidden violence and secret competition entailed within the quest for luxury” (p. 115-6). Coppock noted this seems to be the perspective of the young man seated in the Four of Cups with an ascetic air of refusing to accept more than he needs, and therefore bringing up questions around choosing the extra cup of luxury.  Significantly, Coppock additionally noted the spiritual dimension of luxury:

While this face has much to teach about the material dynamics of scarcity and excess, not all matters relevant to it can be confined to matters of food, wealth and shelter. Our world also provides gifts not so easily exhausted. The ever present energy of the natural world- the chi which emanates from all living things- is an ocean even a thirsty god could not drain. Likewise, the spirit offers cups ever-refilled. This decan thus offers a vision not only of hoarding the finite, but the endless luxury of the limitless. (p. 117)

Resonant with cycles of creation and destruction that bring limitless luxury and spiritual gifts, Coppock also noted that the Hellenistic text The 36 Airs of the Zodiac connected the goddess Hekate with the third face of Cancer. Hekate rules over the phases of the Moon, all realms of the upper world and the underworld, crossroads, magical craft, midwifery, and prophetic mediation among many other significations.  For ages Hekate has been available to call for regenerative power, as described in the following excerpt from “The One Who Waits at the Crossroads” by Soror Basilisk:

When one is at a crossroads, Hekate is there to show the options.  The crossroads is also an initiatory ground zero . . . one disposes of unwanted remnants there and this can apply to the unwanted remnants of the Self.  With that in mind, attitudes, beliefs, outworn and outgrown patterns of behavior and thought can be shed.  The whole of the Self can be completely destroyed and rebuilt anew.  Hekate, mad as she is, wise as she is, can be trusted to guide and clear the mind.

The Cancer Full Moon brings a revelatory clearing, a release which will open space and freedom for the unknown to arrive in the next two lunar cycles involving eclipses tightly connected to the opposition between Jupiter and Uranus.  In the shedding of the past an intensification of our essence will be felt and able to be transmitted with love into our personal works of passion as well as our relationships and greater community.

References

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

Hekate:  Her Sacred Fires. (2010). Compiled and edited by Sorita D’Este. Avalonia.

New Moon & Mercury in Capricorn

mahakali1

Y.G. Srimati (1980) Mahakali

New Moon in Capricorn

The New Moon in Capricorn on 29 December 2016 pulls us underneath the surrounding soil of society, penetrating into the underlying dynamics at play in the tearing down and building up of forms.  Mercury retrograde in Capricorn is united with the New Moon one degree away, and earlier on the same day during the darkest dark of the Moon, Mercury retrograde is exactly conjunct the Sun.  We enter the blackness of the New Moon as Mercury is purified and regenerated at the heart of the Sun, stripping and cleansing us from egotistical attachments to material forms and ambitions dictated by societal conditioning rather than intrinsic motivation. The Sea Goat symbolizing Capricorn not only yearns to climb mountains of accomplishment, but also is drawn into the oceanic, immaterial expanse underlying reality where it can tap into the roots of form, churning visions of what to manifest from subconscious senses.  Over attachment to external validation for achievement and effort as well as the completed form of endeavors can lead the saturnine Sea Goat into melancholic malaise, yet its melancholic nature can be continually rejuvenated through full participation in the moment of creation, absorbed in its enhanced capacity to bridge the immaterial with the material and bring imaginal ideas into manifestation.

The New Moon in Capricorn is ruled by Saturn in Sagittarius that is in a waning, last quarter sextile with Jupiter in Libra, a last quarter square with Chiron in Pisces, and a disseminating trine with Uranus in Aries.  In the week preceding the New Moon, Saturn formed its first of three exact trines with Uranus that will occur in the next year:  there will also be one in May 2017 as well as another in November 2017.  Jupiter expands what Saturn gives form to, and with their contraction and expansion in harmonious aspect, it is the far reaching visions of Jupiter and Uranus that are in dynamic tension within these aspects.  To paraphrase Dane Rudhyar, Uranus is a galactic interface that shatters our Saturn structure and when this happens we may be thrown into delusions of grandeur unless we utilize Jupiter to balance our shifting perceptions and their lunar impact on how we are functioning within our changing form.  The exact trine between Saturn and Uranus suggests that through taking the responsibility to be self aware of these potent forces moving through us, we can seize the opportunity to bring ideas into form that can emancipate us from previous limitations within our circumstances.

The square between Saturn and Chiron is exact at the New Moon, bringing feelings of how we not only identify with our bodily form and mind, but also attach our identity to the societal roles we play, forms we create, and ways in which we must conform our identity to fit into collective conventions.  There is a sensitivity and rawness to the wounds of identity we carry throughout our life, beginning from the times as a child we felt judged, shamed, or invalidated by parents or teachers for expressing ourselves.  As adults feelings of vulnerability can come up when our inner feelings feel confined or unaccepted by societal norms, and often attachment to roles of status, privilege, power, or wealth can be seized to  mask and assuage feelings of insecurity over feeling unable to express one’s true nature.  With Uranus in trine to Saturn, from a place of inner security we can claim the authority to allow whatever has been dormant to be reawakened, discerning a mode of expression to share and embody more of our wholeness with others.  In this way we can find fulfillment in the forms we create and must watch pass away, rather than depression over not having our expectations and needs met by our achievements that were not aligned with our inner nature.

It is significant that Saturn has finally crossed the threshold into the third and final decan of Sagittarius, where it will remain for there rest of its transit through Sagittarius in the year ahead.  Saturn rules the third face of Sagittarius and so has special strength to bring about its significations not found in the first twenty degrees of Sagittarius.  In his book on the decans 36 Faces, Austin Coppock ascribed the image of a “Horse’s Skull” to the third face of Sagittarius, describing it as a place where our spirit and will force take us beyond the comfort zone and boundaries of our body, including “circumstances in which the vehicle must be sacrificed in order to achieve the will.”  The 10 of Wands card in tarot is also associated with this decan, as it signifies the unification of mind, body, and spirit applied to a dedicated goal as well as the overwhelm of taking on too many responsibilities that can be adequately managed with available time and energy. The aspects between Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn signify expansive, liberating opportunities while also bringing the possibility of over reaching if we are not attuned to the moment.  Through releasing attachment to expectations and focusing on receiving and working with whatever is showing up through our full participation in the present, we can better access the fruitful potential of these transits.

2009.101

Y.G. Srimati (1945) Shiva Gangadhara, “Bearer of the Ganga”

The trine between Saturn in Sagittarius, the ruler of the Capricorn New Moon, with Uranus in Aries is amplified because Uranus is stationing direct, in fact exactly stationing direct only a couple of hours after the New Moon. Oftentimes Uranus stationing can bring an unexpected shock or an upsetting event, yet the catharsis of released emotion and thought can break us free from a past repetitive pattern we realize was underlying a network of troubling issues.   Uranus stationed retrograde on 29 July 2016 at 24.5 degrees of Aries, and through the course of its retrograde journey the landscape of our personal and collective life has been changed in ways we could not have imagined six months ago.  With Uranus now stationing in trine to Saturn and in sextile to Jupiter in Libra, the revelations we receive can be worked with and transmitted into the visions, forms, and structures of our daily life.  As a lot of unconscious energy can be freed up and felt with Uranus stationing, especially in aspect to Saturn, Jupiter, and Pluto, it important to integrate and be responsible for how we project our internal realm into our external realm.  For example, realizing the qualities you admire in another are actually dwelling inside you, awaiting activation instead of needing to be given over to another to embody for you.

Though the square between Pluto and Uranus is no longer exact, Uranus is stationing less than four degrees away from a square with Pluto.  As the Moon begins to wax through its New Moon phase, it will conjoin Pluto and then form a square with Uranus as it stations direct, as well as a square with Jupiter in Libra.  Collective events have been heating up with destabilizing and shattering effect, and we can in part correlate the intensity in astrology to the re-activation of the first quarter square between Pluto and Uranus.  While plutocrats and rulers of hierarchical power structures can be witnessed consolidating and restructuring their grip on power and wealth through the haze of current events, on a personal level there is incredible power available within these transits to rebuild one’s life from the ground up in a manner that will enable one to more naturally experience joy and passion in daily work and activities.  The Capricorn New Moon is incredibly potent with regard to setting intentions that also carry a clear path of follow through we can hold ourselves accountable to.

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Y.G. Srimati (1944) Apsara with Harp

Venus in Aquarius is a key player in the current movement of our cosmic symphony, forming harmonious aspects with Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus.  In Aquarius, Venus can be in her own space with clear boundaries allowing her to decondition from external influences and mass manipulation.   Venus in Aquarius is in position to not only help us feel more deeply however we are not aligned with consensus norms, but also help guide us toward a sense of not only the inner values we want to express but also light a path toward embodiment.  Venus in Aquarius is also in square to the true node of Black Moon Lilith in Scorpio, an unconscious balancing point connecting our ego consciousness with whatever has been cast off or kept outside awareness in the subconscious.  The Capricorn New Moon supports opening our awareness to unconscious contents without judgment, accepting inner feelings and sensations we may have previously been in denial of.  With increased awareness of whatever is circulating within, the blackness of the Capricorn New Moon can germinate growth from a purified, regenerated presence open to the fullness of the moment.

In addition to the guiding light Venus offers as an Evening Star, the invisible Mercury retrograde in Capricorn is also in position to weave together meaning from our experiences that can course correct our current trajectory.   Mercury retrograde is the ruler of the transiting North Node of the Moon in Virgo, and is also applying to a trine with the North Node.  Through increased awareness of our shadow and subconscious as well as applying discernment toward external influences, there is amplified potential to make new choices that reflect our current state rather than the expectations placed on us by authority figures or collective conventions.  Mercury retrograde in trine to the North Node of the Moon promotes patience and acceptance of the flow moving through our life, making sure to tend to whatever issues are calling our attention even if it feels like something from the past we want to move on from.  Accepting Mercury retrograde means accepting our intuitive process of following the signs appearing in our daily life pointing toward what needs to be focused on or developed.

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Y.G. Srimati (1961) Vishvarupa

The New Moon in Capricorn as well as Mercury retrograde are both forming a sextile with Neptune in Pisces, Mars in Pisces, and the South Node of the Moon in Pisces.  2016 has been a year in which Mars has played a pivotal role, and so it is fitting the red planet finishes the year absorbed within the inner visioning of Pisces and Neptune and being purified through its contact with the South Node.  These aspects draw inner drives deeper into the foundations of our beliefs and vision, inviting influences from our imagination to fuel our intentions and action.  Dreams and desires we have been attached to in the past that are no longer in alignment with our current growth can be dissolved and released in the blackness of the New Moon.

While there can be potent inspiration and epiphany found in the strong interplay between planets in Pisces and Capricorn at the New Moon, there is also a trickiness within these aspects that require honest self reflection to direct us away from delusion toward discernment.   In the collective these aspects can correlate with violence and warfare rooted in dogmatic belief systems that have been in conflict historically, as well as people absorbed in an illusion of the present based upon nostalgia for a time that no longer exists.  Navigating these aspects while taking the responsibility to make choices rooted in self awareness will open us to the creative potential available.

2 of Pentacles

2 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

The New Moon falls in the first decan of Capricorn, associated with the Two of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  The image is fitting for the link between this New Moon and the inferior conjunction of Mercury retrograde, as the figure is mercurial and embodies the capacity of Capricorn to penetrate into structural forms and impact matter from the underlying fabric of reality.  Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Headless Body” to the first face of Capricorn, stating it “entails the descent of the spirit into the body of the world itself,” bringing consciousness to deeper and deeper levels of matter to “set those powers in motion” as well as “use the higher, logoic functions to guide them along their course.”  Coppock analyzed that ancient texts such as by Ibn Ezra ascribed the image of a bestial man carrying a cattle prod to this face, suggesting it reveals the potential of the first face of Capricorn to not only set material forces in motion but also guide and steer them in order to help us find new work, new sources of wealth, or a new location in which to live.

The power of the first face of Capricorn to shape reality is fitting in terms of its ruler being Jupiter.  Jupiter in Libra at the Capricorn New Moon is in sextile with Saturn in Sagittarius, in opposition with Uranus in Aries, in square with Pluto in Capricorn, and in a trine with its ruler Venus in Aquarius.  With Uranus stationing direct in opposition, Jupiter can coalesce profound revelation into the roots of our circumstances, while Mercury retrograde in the first face of Capricorn along with the New Moon offers guidance into how to direct burgeoning insight into choices and action that will bring meaningful change.  It’s paramount with this New Moon to be completely awake with an active intuition receptive to all signs and movements circulating throughout both our external and internal world.  Whatever unexpected experiences or intensity is sparked in our external relationships, the Capricorn New Moon offers potent force to tap into our emotional, physical body and while ruminating through the activated energy, integrate the newfound revelation into embodied presence ready to make responsible decisions directed from our heart.

References

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

Y.G. Srimati. An Artist of Her Time. Arts Summary blog.

Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn and Sagittarius

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Grey Tree, Lake George (1925) by Georgia O’Keeffe

At the bottom of the Seine
there is gold, rusting boats, jewels, weapons…
At the bottom of the Seine
there are dead bodies…
At the bottom of the Seine
there are tears…
At the bottom of the Seine
there are flowers;
in their vase of mud
they are nourished by silt…
At the bottom of the Seine
there are the hearts
that greatly suffered for living life…
And then the rocks
and the grey beasts…
The pipes of the sewers,
blowing out poison…
The rings thrown away
by misunderstood lovers,
feet that a propeller cut off from their trunk…
And the cursed fruits of sterile wombs,
the innocent abortions that no one loved…
The vomit of the big city…
At the bottom of the Seine,
it is there…
Oh, lenient Seine where the cadavers go,
oh, bed with the sheets made from silt,
river of losses without beacon,
nor haven,
singing a lullaby to the morgue and the bridges,
welcoming the poor one,
welcoming the woman,
welcoming the drunkard,
welcoming the crazy one,
mixing theirs sobs to the sound of your blades,
and carrying their hearts among the rocks…
At the bottom of the Seine
there is gold, rusting boats, jewels, weapons…
At the bottom of the Seine
there are dead bodies…
At the bottom of the Seine
there are tears…

— Kurt Weil, “Complainte de la Seine,” translated from French by Sean Mabey

Mercury Stations Retrograde in Capricorn

In the quickening of shadows at sunset, Mercury disappears in a flash, shifting from an evening star into the invisible realm of the underworld where Hermes guides souls.  After Mercury stations retrograde and transitions from being a visible evening star into an invisible planet moving slowly in retrograde, the variable nature of Mercury transmutes into an alternate realm of perception requiring an alert intuition and a patient mind open to changes of plan and revelation of previously concealed insight.  Though Mercury retrograde carries the projection of a scapegoat in popular culture in which all mishaps and mayhem are attributed to the whims of Hermes, there is vital meaning to be found in the experience of Mercury moving retrograde through our zodiac.  Mercury retrograde periods can destabilize and force issues to the surface we may rather not deal with, but truth reveals that whatever arises for us to face during times of Mercury retrograde are necessary for us to gain awareness of and respond in a way that nurtures self-development and growth.

Mercury stations retrograde on 19 December 2016 while forming a close (but not exact) conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn.  Mercury stationing, standing still only one degree behind Pluto in the days leading up to and following its transition into retrograde motions dramatically amplifies the charge of issues that emerge to surface awareness through daily  conversations and commerce.  It is further significant that Mercury does not complete an exact conjunction with Pluto, but rather pulls back at the last moment in a tight balsamic conjunction.  Mercury pulls away from Pluto and will re-enter Sagittarius at the beginning of January 2017 where it will station direct conjoining the zodiac degrees associated with our Galactic Center.  Mercury will ultimately complete a conjunction with Pluto and begin a new cycle with Pluto on 29 January 2017, a time period in which we will be able to coalesce deeper understanding into all the various affairs that transpire in the next few weeks of Mercury retrograde.

Mercury moving back and forth in balsamic relationship with Pluto takes us deep into the bedrock of our foundational beliefs, like a miner dredging through earth in search of buried gold.  Events associated with Pluto also involve compulsive attraction in addition to subconscious triggers that repel us, and yet with reflection we can discover that both what we are drawn to as well as repulsed by holds key insight into our underlying development of meaning.  Mercury retrograde delights in fields of gray in-betweeness, and combined with Pluto any rigid black and white mental constructs one has been fixated upon may dissolve in the confrontations of thought that will come.  Though we may initially resist and defensively argue against perspectives threatening beliefs we have wound our sense of emotional security around, through reflection and an open mind the Mercury retrograde can facilitate integration of a new perspective regarding ourselves or our world that will rejuvenate our inner feelings of soulfulness and purpose, helping us discover a path forward that is more fulfilling than the one we had been previously been set to follow.

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Deborah Turbeville Montova, Italy, 1978

The beginning of Mercury retrograde is intensified through its conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn, opening a subconscious portal into exploration of the constructs of time and space we apply to phenomenal reality.  Capricorn involves the maturity and responsibility cultivated through facing and dealing with natural cycles of change,  and so there is compelling synchronicity that the beginning of Mercury retrograde occurs at the time of the Capricorn Solstice, the peak period of darkness in the Northern Hemisphere and of light in the Southern Hemisphere.  Regarding Pluto in Capricorn’s relationship with natural laws of change, Jeff Green in evolutionary astrology taught that structural change comes from crystallized and outdated levels of reality that require a breakdown of collective forms to bring about growth.  Mercury retrograde in Capricorn will thereby bring opportunities to claim one’s inner authority and ability to express one’s individuality within the seismic societal shifts erupting around our planet.

We know that our societies are formed by laws, regulations, norms and taboos designed to create a stable whole, yet we sometimes forget to reflect upon how our conformity to societal norms can limit our experience of essential growth in the moment.  Mercury retrograde in Capricorn will destabilize elements of societal norms and rules, breaking open and purging numerous taboos. Like the ancient Saturnalia in which societal conventions are overturned, Mercury retrograde in Capricorn compels us to realign our conformity to societal conventions that have been blocking our authenticity. While we are able to co-create reality, if we want to make a direct impact on society we also need to discern a method of successful integration so that an audience may receive our shared values and meaning.  Within the tumult of tempestuous collective events and mutating norms, Mercury retrograde may guide us into inner awareness of modifications we need to make in all areas of our life connected to the role we are called to embody in society.

victor-brauner-the-surrealist

Victor Brauner (1947) The Surrealist

I slide my face along to the mirror
sideways, to see
that side-smile,
a pale look, tired
and sly. Hey,

who is glancing there?
Shadow-me, not with
malice but mercurially
shot with foreknowledge of
dread and sweat.

— Denise Levertov, Looking-glass

Since Mercury stations retrograde in the home of Saturn and will station direct in the home of Jupiter, its retrograde phase has intense resonance with the harmonious aspects formed between Saturn in Sagittarius with the full phase opposition between Jupiter in Libra and Uranus in Aries that will complete its first exact alignment during the Mercury retrograde.  The cycle between Jupiter and Uranus involves the nature of beliefs we are conditioned to project upon reality, as well as the process of liberating from past influences in order to find a meaningful vision of life to live from.  For ages, human beings have been developing belief systems around trying to control and regulate, in a Capricorn manner, the interactions of humans within societies and the natural world.  Yet we also hold subconscious (Uranus) memories that extend into the nomadic time period of humanity that predated the development of agricultural civilizations. This necessitates at times for our experience of the Uranus archetype to come into conflict with the myriad consensus belief systems in place focused upon the way human beings should interact with one another in society. When our vision of life fueled by the knowledge we are gaining from our personal experience (Jupiter) comes into conflict with the norms dictated by consensus belief systems (Saturn and Capricorn) we arrive at a crux in which we can feel judged and ashamed or instead individuate with self assertion in the direction of the vision being felt within.

At the same time that Mercury stations retrograde in Capricorn, Mars enters Pisces and begins its movement toward the transiting South Node of the Moon and Neptune.   On a collective level the movement of Mars across Pisces in this section will correspond with numerous eruptions of violence and trauma connected with religion, politics, and other belief systems that have been in conflict with one another for centuries.   On a personal level, this same transit brings the opportunity to go within and reflect upon our own shadow and those aspects of ourself we like to pretend are not really there, aspects often conditioned by the belief systems of our culture.  As Fyodor Dostoyevsky (born with Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius in square to his lunar nodes) wrote in The Brothers Karamazov, “what seems bad to you in yourself is purified by the very fact that you have noticed it in yourself.”  The Mercury retrograde will bring numerous opportunities for powerful self awareness that will lead us into opportunities to make choices within a presence rooted more firmly within our wholeness.  Facilitating this process will be Venus in Aquarius, as Venus will move into a harmonious sextile with Saturn in Sagittarius and Uranus in Aries, as well as a stabilizing trine with Jupiter in Libra.

If you have been reading my writing on the Mercury retrograde transits this past year, you may remember with the Taurus retrograde in May 2016 I wrote about its link with the Hathor asteroid, and that in the Virgo retrograde in September 2016 I wrote about its link with the Sekhmet asteroid.  The current Mercury retrograde in Capricorn has a link with the Isis asteroid #42, as Mercury is conjoining Isis in addition to Pluto when it stations retrograde, with Mercury at 15º03′ and Isis at 14º47′. Isis is a synthesizer of love and wisdom from our experiences, and by transit and aspect in our natal chart the Isis asteroid (#42) signifies unity, loyalty, devotion, sustaining, reassembling, resurrection, soul retrieval, healing of fragmentation, and finding wholeness of Self in relation with the Other.

The daughter of Night (Nut) and Earth (Geb), Isis has been commonly connected to the sign of Virgo in astrology, and so has connection to the transiting lunar nodes of Virgo (North Node) and Pisces (South Node). Mercury’s rulership of Virgo further connects with Isis, as both Mercury and Isis can move between the upper world and underworld and weave a web unifying seemingly disparate points of focus. Isis further links to Virgo’s polarity with Pisces, as Isis embodies the ability to integrate the detailed practical magic of Virgo with the expansive love and compassion of Pisces that flows in search of ultimate understanding.   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.  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 a healing and retrieval of our wholeness.

mercury-philosophical-italy-15th-century

A form upon the quilted
overcast, gleam, Sacre
Coeur, saltlick
to the mind’s
desire-

how shall the pulse
beat out
that measure,
under devious
moon
wander swerving

to wonder-

hands turn
what stone to uncover
feather of broken
oracle-

— Denise Levertov Threshold from O Taste and See

Mercury in Heart of the Sun

The Inferior conjunction of Mercury occurs when it forms an exact alignment in between the orbit of our Earth with our Sun, bringing Mercury retrograde and the Sun into an exact conjunction.  Called cazimi or being in the heart of the Sun, this rebirth of Mercury will occur on 28 December 2016 at a Dark Moon in Capricorn.  In fact, later on the same day that Mercury retrograde unites with our Sun, we will experience a New Moon in Capricorn. When Mercury retrograde enters the heart of our Sun, we experience a purification of Mercury and how we interpret and convey meaning in our life.  In the time leading up to Mercury’s union with the Sun, we may sense a release and death of outmoded constructs, perceptions, and habits.  As Mercury retrograde begins to slowly separate from the Sun as we next experience a New Moon in Capricorn, we will find ourselves in an opportune moment to form intentions and resolutions for the calendar year of 2017 and what we want to share and integrate into the world and our daily lives.

There are numerous powerful astrological transits occurring at the same time, such as Jupiter and Uranus in an exact opposition, with Saturn in sextile to Jupiter and in trine to Uranus.  In addition, Venus in Aquarius will be in range of harmonious aspects to Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus, and Mars in Pisces will be in between the South Node of the Moon and Neptune, conjoining both.  This is a beautiful moment for complete and utter honesty with oneself and reawakening from whatever dreams and illusions we have had about our life we now realize do not align with our current reality.  There is tremendous energy involved in all of these aspects that can be utilized to bring visionary ideals into manifestation in the material world, but to do so requires a full presence attuned to what is actually occurring rather than what we wish was occurring.  It also involves taking the responsibility intrinsic to Capricorn in every moment in how we respond to what we are receiving from life.

matta-space-travel-star-travel-1938

Roberta Matta (1938) Space Travel

Silent friend of the many distances,
feel how your every breath enlarges space.
Amid the rafters of dark belfries
let yourself peal. Whatever feeds on you

is taking strength from such fare.
Know every path through transformation.
that one experience at the core of your sorrow?
If drinking is bitter, become wine.

Now in this night of fire and excess
be magic power at your senses’ crossroads,
the meaning of their strange encounter.

And if the earthly should forget you,
say to the silent loam: I flow.
To the rushing water speak: I am.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus

Mercury Stations Direct in Sagittarius

Mercury moves backward into Sagittarius on 4 January 2017, stationing direct on 8 January 2017 at 28º51′ of Sagittarius in range of a conjunction with the zodiac degrees linked to our Galactic Center.  Philip Sedgwick has written that astrological connections with the Galactic Center facilitate the release of old memories that have been inhibiting growth and development, creating an emptiness of inner space that can welcome new, invigorating emotional experiences that will spur progress in life and the reception of new insight.  Mercury will remain in Sagittarius until 12 January 2017 when it re-enters Capricorn.  Mercury stationing and then slowly moving direct in the home of Jupiter amplifies the potential of the Mercury retrograde phase to uncover a more fulfilling vision of life to embody and share.  Fascinatingly, Pluto in Capricorn is also highlighted at the time of Mercury stationing direct, as the Sun will be conjoining Pluto.  To reach the full potential of these aspects it will be necessary to take the responsibility of claiming one’s inner authority to make the choices available that support and resonate with one’s inner values.

At the time Mercury stations direct, Venus will have entered Pisces and will be conjoining the South Node of the Moon and Neptune. Venus exalted in Pisces will nurture the capacity of our sensual nature to enter the flow of life and not only envision a reality in which we may behold our soulful desires, but also alter reality to bring about manifestation of our deeply felt values.  It is also a period in which the stationing direct of Mercury may jolt us with a shock of awareness regarding illusions we had been carrying about relationships, or unveil an epiphany into an underlying relational pattern we have been unconsciously perpetuating that now needs to be let go in order to cultivate healthier, growth-oriented relationships.

Mercury will return to the zodiac degree it stationed retrograde in Capricorn around the time of a New Moon in Aquarius on 27 January 2017.   Interestingly, with regards to the previous mention of Mercury stationing in conjunction with the Isis asteroid, there will be a union of the Isis and Osiris asteroids that brings an added level of healing our wholeness on the same day.  Two days after the New Moon, Mercury will finally complete its exact conjunction with Pluto on 29 January 2017.  As Mercury begins a new cycle with Pluto as we  enter the month of February, we will be able to receive a more complete understanding of the full ramifications of events associated with the Mercury retrograde.  Through utilizing Mercury retrograde to both nurture our inner security and take the responsibility to act from our inner authority, we will be guided into understanding of how to integrate our essential vision of meaning and individuality within our greater society in a way that will make a tangible impact.

References

Arts Summary blog post about Deborah Turbeville’s photographs. (2016)

Complainte de la Seine translation.

Green, Jeff. (1985). Pluto: the evolutionary journey of the soul. Llewellyn.

Levertov, Denise. (2013). Collected Poems. New Directions.

Rilke, Rainer Maria. (2004). Sonnets to Orpheus. Translated by Edward Snow. North Point Press.

Full Moon in Gemini

varo_remedios_roulotto

Remedios Varo (1956) Roulotte

Gemini Full Moon

The Full Moon in Gemini on December 13 illuminates not only experiences since the Sagittarius New Moon on November 29, but catalyzes insight into events across 2016 due to being square to the eclipses that occurred in Pisces this past year.  The Gemini Full Moon is in square to both the degrees of the Total Solar Eclipse in Pisces that happened on 8 March 2016 and the Annular Lunar Eclipse in Pisces that occurred on 16 September 2016, suggesting a deeper layer of meaning can now be received regarding related personal and collective experiences.  Gemini compels us to loosen dogmatic viewpoints, release our attachment to the philosophies and beliefs we derive our sense of security from, and explore how we can reconnect and weave meaning from the multiplicity of life occurring in the moment.  Gemini facilitates not only witnessing and communicating about life, but distilling underlying meaning that unifies elements that appear disparate on the surface.  Gemini is not only about expansive curiosity in our outer environment, but also involves deep exploration of our psyche and inner life.  The Full Moon in Gemini holds powerful aspects for going within our emotional bodies and exploring the way our subconscious is projecting into our outer relationships and viewpoints, taking responsibility to be aware of how the shadow elements we tend to deny about ourselves are at play.

The Gemini Full Moon is in square to Chiron in Pisces, with Saturn in Sagittarius conjoining the Sun.  Saturn in Sagittarius is close to forming a last quarter square to Chiron, a cycle that goes back to the mid 1960s when Chiron and Saturn last came together in Pisces.  The square forming between Saturn and Chiron is occurring at the same time that the opposition between Jupiter in Libra and Uranus in Aries is tightening, with Saturn in Sagittarius forming a trine with Uranus and a sextile with Jupiter.  Identity is vital to consider within these aspects, and Chiron is a figure from myth who had to overcome abandonment issues over his identity as a centaur.  To reach the transpersonal realm of Uranus beyond Jupiter and Saturn that Chiron bridges, we must face our identity issues and open our presence beyond the ego conditioning of how our identity fits within society and the myriad projections others are constantly making from their own unconscious they do not claim any responsibility for.  Focusing within on what we truly value and want to create will help guide us in the choices to make and actions to take at this Full Moon, as there are extremely supportive aspects for liberating breakthroughs that are simultaneously grounded and capable of being manifested in the material realm.

Mercury in Capricorn rules the Gemini Full Moon and is approaching a conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn.  Mercury is an Evening Star that has now reached its maximum elongation and is preparing to station retrograde, and in fact will station retrograde before it forms a conjunction with Pluto.  On the threshold of beginning its descent into the underworld, Mercury in Capricorn with Pluto can open perception beyond the consensus definitions of linear time and space and the type of logic fixated on causation.  Synchronicity is always at play, yet this Full Moon ruled by Mercury holds aspects suggesting the importance of paying attention to the full scope of messages in your surroundings.  Mercury in Capricorn supports being accountable and responsible for your perceptions and the manner in which you convey the meaning generated to others, honoring your own boundaries while being respectful of the boundaries of others.

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Deborah Turbeville November 24, 1980

The Sun in Sagittarius is conjoining Saturn and at the beginning of a new cycle with Saturn the week of the Full Moon.  You can look to the aspects made in your chart by twenty degrees of Sagittarius to analyze how the new cycle between Saturn and the Sun is impacting you, but in general it brings a more serious and determined quality of Saturn into the normally lighthearted and flowing energy of a lunation involving the polarity of Gemini and Sagittarius.  Saturn is bringing solidity and grounding to the visionary quality of Sagittarius, a willingness to put in the work, discipline, and commitment necessary to manifest goals.    There can also be a heaviness and depressive sense of limitation surrounding anything that is currently not working effectively, but with Saturn also in sextile to Jupiter and trine to Uranus there is support for making dramatic changes and modifications focused on improvement and problem solving.   The Sun separating from Saturn in Sagittarius calls us to claim our inner authority to act from our core values with the integrity to patiently work in accord with our highest standards rather than try to cut corners, take shortcuts, or manipulate information to make things look better than they actually are.

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Roberto Matta (1951) La Mela

The Full Moon in Gemini is a gateway into the first exact opposition between Jupiter and Uranus in their current cycle, as in the dark Moon of the forthcoming waning lunar cycle Jupiter will form an exact opposition with Uranus on 26 December 2016.  The opposition between Jupiter in Libra and Uranus in Aries, with Saturn in Sagittarius forming a trine to Uranus and a sextile with Jupiter, is one of the dominant aspects of astrology in the year ahead.  We are only at the beginning of getting a sense of what these transits will mean for us in our lives, and although there are already signs of potential meaning there is  such an unexpected, shocking quality to Uranus that becomes strikingly catalyzed through an opposition with Jupiter, that its impossible to know fully what to expect given that experience can rapidly shift and change with sudden developments that come seemingly out of nowhere.  In the tension between the opposition between Jupiter and Uranus, it will be fruitful to make space away from relationships in order to attune within to everything being activated from external sources.  There is dynamic inventiveness found within these aspects to express into all manner of creativity that needs channels of release that will support its flow, rather than projecting it at walls of resistance that will only block and repress it.

As Jupiter begins to form its exact opposition with Uranus, the dwarf planet Ceres is also present with Uranus.  In tandem with the supportive aspects with Saturn, the path to accessing the full creative potential of the opposition between Jupiter and Uranus involves nurturing and taking care of our own needs so that we do not need to become overly attached in codependent relations in which we expect others to fulfill us.  The more we can resist projecting expectations and instead be present in the moment with all that we feel within, the more we can access the liberating dynamic of Jupiter and Uranus that is capable of taking us beyond previous limitations and barriers we had imposed upon ourselves.  It is possible to maintain commitment in relationship while also giving oneself the freedom and space to make breakthroughs from within a secure sense of self stabilized from nurturing one’s own needs.

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Mariage d’Amour…Mariage de Raison (1927) Erte

Venus in Aquarius has the dignity of decan at the Full Moon, for she rules the first face of Aquarius. This gives Venus greater strength and an ability to decondition from external circumstances in order to enjoy one’s unique sources of pleasure and harmony.  Venus in Aquarius has now entered supportive sign-based aspects with Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus,  and as the aspects between Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus become exact later in December, Venus in Aquarius will also form harmonious degree-based aspects with all three.  Venus in Aquarius holds a mirror that clarifies and objectifies our relationship dynamics, shedding light on our shadow and the way we project unconscious dynamics into our relationships.  Whether you view Saturn or Uranus as the ruler of Venus in Aquarius, Venus will be making a sextile to both in December.  Venus being in the home of Saturn is compelling in terms of making a commitment to embody one’s authentic inner values, being responsible to maintain personal integrity in all relationships.

Venus and Mars are both in the sign of Aquarius at the time of the Full Moon, in their balsamic phase.  As a result, the Gemini Full Moon that forms a trine to Mars in Aquarius illuminates a distillation of the past Venus and Mars cycle that goes back to 2015 in which there were three conjunctions of Mars and Venus in February, September, and November.  Inner reflection can reveal insight into the most significant relationships that have come in and out of our life since the beginning of 2015, as well as how the new relationships being developed now integrate our newly arising needs and values.  In the upcoming time period,  Venus will station retrograde in Aries in March 2017 before she reachers her conjunction with Mars (though Venus will get very close to Mars in Aries in February 2017), and then Mars and Venus will begin to separate and leave the balsamic phase (meaning moving more that 45 degrees apart) over the course of the Venus retrograde.  Eventually, Mars and Venus will unite and begin a new cycle in Virgo in October 2017, around the same time we will experience the final exact opposition between Jupiter in Libra and Uranus in Aries.  While the Jupiter and Uranus opposition will correlate with extraordinary changes and inventions in collective events, in our personal lives theses same transits will also support breaking free from old relationship patterns we have outgrown.

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10 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Gemini 3 Decan

The Full Moon falls in the third face of Gemini, associated with the Ten of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  Her illustration of the Ten of Swords took on new meaning for me when I read Austin Coppock’s book on the decans, 36 Faces, and realized that since ancient Egyptian culture is the source of the decans in astrology, it is significant that Egyptian as well as the Hellenistic astrological tradition viewed Cancer as the first sign of the zodiac in astrological arrangements. For example in the Thema Mundi, the chart said to represent the birth of the universe, it is Cancer that occupies the first house and Gemini that occupies the twelfth house. Therefore, if we conceive the zodiac as beginning with the Cancer Solstice, or the first decan of Cancer, it means that the third decan of Gemini would be the end of the cycle, the final of the 36 faces of the zodiac.

Thus the image of a dead man with ten swords plunged into his back resonates with surrendering to the end or death of a cycle. While the card’s image contains dark skies and death, there is also brilliant light present in the sky revealing the new beginning of a cycle to come.  Austin Coppock linked the death found in this image with the necessary death or sacrifice of one of the twins of Gemini:

It is important to understand the precise nature of the death which occurs here properly, for it is not the self-sacrifice of Jesus, nor the cognate immolation and rebirth of the Phoenix. The third decan of Gemini sees Castor fall, Cain slay Abel and Set slay Horus. It is the climax of a story of polarity. The death which occurs here reduces a warring pair back to a stable unity . . .

For by the third decan of Gemini, dualities have permutated far beyond the shades of grey previously explored. The ultimate extremities are present here, taken to the point that they cannot truly coexist. Day and night must split time- they cannot take place simultaneously. Good and evil must do the same. In the end, the conflicting wills of the body and spirit cannot be wholly equilibrated. While the other decans of Gemini involve discovery, exploration, and simultaneity, in the third wait choices- judgments that must be made. To achieve actuality, a multitude of possibilities must be sacrificed. Though such burnt offerings are a necessary inevitability, it does not spare those who walk this face difficult decisions (p. 98-99).

As the Sun rules the third decan of Gemini, it is fitting that the Sun in Sagittarius at the time of the Gemini Full Moon has passed from ending an old cycle with Saturn into beginning a new cycle.  In the brilliant light of the Full Moon in the sign of the Twins, we may let go of old self constructs, releasing old identities in order to open to the truth we discover in the moment.   The Sun with Saturn in Sagittarius supports facing current adversity with determined consistency, honesty, and principled resolve to lead by example.   Leading by example also includes supporting the work of others and helping to protect and shelter whatever we find valuable yet vulnerable in an early stage of development.  As Rainer Maria Rilke once wrote in a letter:

We have to be committed not to miss or neglect any opportunity to suffer, to have an experience, or to be happy; our soul arises refreshed from all of that.  It has a resting place at those heights that are difficult to reach, and it is at home where one can advance no further:  up there we have to carry it.  But as soon as we put it down for dead at those extreme spots it awakens and takes flight into skies and celestial depths that from now on belong to us.

I confess that I consider life to be a thing of the most untouchable deliciousness, and that even the confluence of so many disasters and deprivations, the exposure of countless fates, everything that insurmountable increased for us over the past few years to become a still rising terror cannot distract me from the fullness and goodness of existence that is inclined toward us.  There would be little sense in approaching you with good wishes if each wish were not preceded by this conviction that the goods of life arise pure, undamaged, and, at their very bottom, desirable out of upheaval and ruin.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Ulrich Baer

References

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

Rilke, Rainer Maria. (2005). Letters on Life: New Prose Translations. Edited and translated by Ulrich Baer.

New Moon in Sagittarius

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Bed 1 (1990) by Fernando D. Guibert

Sagittarius New Moon

The New Moon in Sagittarius on November 29 weaves transitions between the astrological dynamics that have dominated 2016 and the coming themes of 2017.  The New Moon is square to both Neptune and the transiting lunar nodes, in the same degrees of Sagittarius that Mars previously stationed retrograde in April 2016.  The Sagittarius New Moon also forms a square to the Solar Eclipse in Virgo that occurred in September 2016, and the Solar Eclipse in Pisces that will occur in February 2017.  The blackness of the Sagittarius Moon draws us inward to accept the circumstances of our life and everything that has correspondingly been stirred up from within during this past year.  Many unexpected things have happened during a year of incredible mutable activation in astrology, and as we let go of what we had expected and open to what has now arisen, a new perspective will begin to coalesce and clarify the meaning of all the changes that have come about in 2016 so far.  The intuitive capacities inherent in Sagittarius support witnessing and observing all of our inner feelings and coming to a sense of fresh vision and meaning that will bring inspiration in the coming months.  There is a whirlwind of transpersonal, outer planet activation in tandem with the Sagittarius New Moon that makes exploration of our unconscious and everything we have been keeping out of conscious awareness imperative.

The New Moon in Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter in Libra as Jupiter has initiated its first square with Pluto in Capricorn and is en route to form an opposition with Uranus in Aries.  Jupiter in Libra is also in trine with Mars in Aquarius, and both Mars and Jupiter are in sextile with Saturn in Sagittarius.  These are incredibly potent and catalyzing surrounding transits for Jupiter that not only taps Jupiter into subconscious motivations and soulful desires, but also presents Jupiter with harmonious aspects to ground and manifest vision into tangible projects and results.  These aspects support opening awareness and communication, being willing to accept nonlinear perceptions and insights that transcend the normal confines we limit our consciousness to.  Instead of merely projecting the contents of our psyche being activated, it will be helpful to sit with, embrace and live with all of our desires, taking the responsibility to be accountable for our own feelings.  There is potent power available within these transits that can be utilized to bring one’s creative gifts into the surrounding world as well as support and protect the livelihood of others we care about.

Created using eddy's pixelmaxx

Frida Kahlo (1939) The Two Fridas

Heart of the Scorpion

The New Moon in Sagittarius is conjoining the royal star Antares, known as the Heart of the Scorpion.  Antares has been a vital astrological factor in 2016, as Mars stationed retrograde at the same degree as Antares in April 2016, and in August 2016 both Mars and Saturn conjoined in our night sky near Antares.  In combination with the recent Full Moon in Taurus that was aligned with the degrees of Scorpio that Mars stationed direct in June 2016, the transition from the previous Taurus Full Moon into the Sagittarius New Moon has reawakened the meaning of the Mars retrograde of 2016 that was aligned with Antares, introducing important new information and events that reshape what we have learned from our experience.  Antares brings an intensity that will make the lessons we need to accept and learn from impossible to resist at this New Moon.

Bernadette Brady in her book on fixed stars wrote that Antares was associated with Yima (aka Yama), the god of the dead, by the Persians.  Correspondingly, Brady wrote that Antares naturally catalyzes purification through “a cleansing life-and-death experience,” and evokes desire to seek the deepest depths of intensity in life.  The Sagittarius New Moon aligned with Antares opens potential to purge and burn off past issues and complexes that have been weighing us down over the course of the past year.  Feeling within our body and inner recesses, there is healing to be found in receiving the truth of what life is now offering us instead of struggling to change what has already come to pass. The asteroid Juno is also conjoining Antares and the Sagittarius New Moon, signifying that important realizations are available through our relationships into what we need and want in the relationships we make lasting commitments within.

Antares has had a long association with Mars and Jupiter in astrology going back to the time of Ptolemy, and has also been associated with a fierce fighting spirit.  All four of the Royal Stars of Persia warn against hubris, and in Antares the downfall traditionally has been seen as obstinate attachment to headstrong martial force that leads ultimately to unnecessary destruction.    Yet since Antares also signifies strong mental sharpness and strategizing, the resiliently tough correspondences of Antares can also be used to strengthen the resolve of one’s inner warrior, as long as consideration is taken to not be overly self righteous, stubborn, and egotistical.

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Remedios Varo (1942) Magic Grotto

Venus square Uranus

Venus in Capricorn takes center stage at the Sagittarius New Moon, tightly applying to a square with Uranus after having initiated a new phase with Pluto during the waning of the Moon that led into the New Moon.  Venus in Capricorn formed a conjunction with Pluto at the same time that Jupiter in Libra formed a square with Pluto, dredging up deep relational patterns while uncovering liberating insights regarding what we want and need in relationship.  To fully embody and realize the meaning from contact between Venus and Uranus, we need to allow ourselves to become catalyzed by contact within our relationships as well as create space for ourselves to observe what has been stirred up within in order to receive the corresponding inner knowing.

There is support within all of the surrounding astrological transits to expand the parameters of Venus in our life, not only gaining awareness for what we value and what will bring us pleasure, but also sensing how we can move beyond previous limitations to find outlets for its expression and manifestation.  With Uranus impacting Venus so strongly, there is an unexpected quality in which we will discover Venusian meaning from unlikely sources.  Instead of judging where our sense of Venus is coming from, be open to embrace the message because there is likely to be a significant unconscious quality that had been previously barred from conscious awareness.

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Georgia O’Keeffe (1944) Black Place II

Saturn and Neptune

As the Moon begins to wax at the initial stages of the forthcoming lunation cycle, it will pass over a conjunction with Saturn in Sagittarius.  Each subsequent day the Sun will get closer and closer to a conjunction with Saturn, eventually forming a conjunction on December 10.   The Sun will form a square to Neptune the day after the New Moon, and so the Sagittarius New Moon re-activates the square between Neptune and Saturn that has been a dominant theme of 2016.  While there has been extraordinary disillusionment on collective and personal levels in correlation with the square between Neptune and Saturn, the resulting dissolving and dislodging of formerly solid structures is opening new pathways and potentials with which to reorient and restructure.

The Sagittarius New Moon is best utilized by honestly accepting our present circumstances and allowing ourselves to observe and learn from what the present moment of our life story is teaching us.  Being in denial will be even more toxic than normal at this New Moon.  The Sagittarius Sun approaching Saturn is an opportunity to make a thorough review of our life and what is working well versus what needs modification.  Aiding an ability to grasp a far reaching overview of our present circumstances is Mercury in Sagittarius having recently separated from a trine with Uranus and Ceres in Aries at the New Moon.

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8 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Sagittarius 1 Decan

The first face of Sagittarius holds the New Moon and is associated with the 8 of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  The 8 of Wands card contains an abstract image of velocity found in angularly jutting wands, and the associated meaning of the card involves the speed of thought and imagination applied to a passionate goal.   Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Poisoned Arrow” to the first face of Sagittarius, writing that “the essence of this decan entails the swift emergence of a motivating vision and the attainment of a vehicle to move one toward the pictured goal,” as the “fire that enters the mind enflames it, purging the grosser levels of being as it descends” (p. 193-4).   Coppock wrote that the Moon in the first decan of Sagittarius desires a philosophical and spiritual quest that will bring personal meaning, and accordingly requires goals and targets that will unify energy in alignment with one’s vision for life.

Fittingly, the first face of Sagittarius is ruled by Mercury, signifying its rapid pace. During the coming lunation cycle Mercury will become one of the most significant astrological factors, as Mercury will enter Capricorn and approach a conjunction with Pluto before stationing retrograde on December 19.  Until then, Mercury will be available as a discerning Evening Star capable of digesting meaning from the experiences of each day.  Evening Star Mercury in Sagittarius and Capricorn will be able to perceive insights from within our bodies, our dreams, and by grounding our perception into the surrounding forms of our material world, synthesizing important realization.  As Mercury slows down to a standstill as it approaches Pluto, our perception will be able to delve into the depths of our desires, and yet whatever careful plans we have made will need to become open to the shifting that Mercury retrograde brings.   Align intention at the New Moon in Sagittarius with whatever brings you the greatest meaning in life, with understanding that the coming lunar cycle will be bringing numerous unexpected events and experiences not capable of being planned for at the moment.

References

Brady, Bernadette. (1998). Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars. Weiser.

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

Mars in Aquarius

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Mars in Aquarius

“Just as all people have shadows, every society and nation, too, has shadows. If there are bright, shining aspects, there will definitely be a counterbalancing dark side.

“At times, we tend to avert our eyes from the shadow, those negative parts, or else, try to forcibly eliminate those aspects. No matter how high a wall we build to keep intruders out, no matter how strictly we exclude outsiders, no matter how much we rewrite history to suit us, we just end up damaging and hurting ourselves . . . You have to patiently learn to live together with your shadow and carefully observe the darkness that resides within you.”

— Haruki Murakami, novelist with Mars in Aquarius, in speech given after receiving the Hans Christian Andersen literature award

Born with Mars in Aquarius conjoining Mercury, author Haruki Murakami recently gave voice in an award ceremony to the dire need in these collective times to live with and explore one’s inner shadow.   Mars in Aquarius has an ability to gain objective clarity regarding inner desires perhaps more so than any other placement for the red planet, bringing greater awareness of our shadow, or whatever aspects of our psyche our persona has cast off from consciousness.  In evolutionary astrology, Jeff Green viewed the archetype of Aquarius as having the evolutionary intention of objectifying the nature of reality at any level one focuses upon through detaching from one’s subjective emotional reality. This doesn’t mean detached dissociation, but rather that Mars in Aquarius can penetrate into the nature and structure of any dynamic and gain understanding of how to catalyze necessary growth.  Here, growth is separated from consensus, mainstream, culturally conditioned influences, and is rather rooted in the ineffable realm of soul.

When we think of Mars in astrology, the consensus mindset does not picture Aquarius, and yet there is a singular quality of Mars we can value and learn from in the sign of the Water Bearer.  Aquarius is not known as a natural place for Mars through the essential dignity of traditional astrology, as Mars only has dignity in its Egyptian bounds between 20 and 25 degrees.  This gives Mars the feel of an outsider in Aquarius, and a unique environment for Mars to operate within that brings a martial force like nowhere else.  Mars in Aries and Scorpio are known as strong placements for Mars where the red planet can be its plain self, pure and simple.  Mars can also be fierce, hot, courageous, and protective in Aquarius, yet also has a strange mix of objectivity, humanitarianism, experimentation, and determination we do not quite find in any other sign.

Aquarius is hot and moist in temperament in traditional astrology, meaning it disperses outwardly and seeks cohesion, has flexibility and strong capabilities in mutating.  The fixed nature of Aquarius brings greater persistence and perseverance to Mars than it finds in the other Air signs, and so Mars may be slower to get going at the outset in Aquarius but can sustain itself over long periods of time and resiliently foster stability in the work it directs itself into.  Since Saturn is the traditional ruler of Aquarius, Mars in Aquarius is able to set itself apart from mainstream thought and mutate in accordance with thinking, writing, philosophy, the arts and sciences, and other expressions of consciousness with kindred spirits of soulfulness.

While Aquarius is the outwardly directed home of Saturn in traditional astrology, many forms of modern astrology consider Uranus to be its ruler. In evolutionary astrology, Jeff Green wrote that Mars in Aquarius “reflects an instinct to experiment with different ways of being,” desires “to create an essential courage in other people to break free from the status quo,” and unpredictably “desires progressive transformation leading to an ever-increasing realization and definition of its individuality.”  However, whether you use Saturn or Uranus as the ruler of Aquarius, in both systems Mars in Aquarius holds the desire of the Water Bearer to carry and share the enlivening water of consciousness that will nourish humanitarian impulses to cast off oppressive conditioning, opening desire to the alchemy bridging one’s heart and inner mind.

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Ganymede by Michelangelo

Eagles resonate with Mars in Aquarius in part because of their capacity to soar beyond barriers with focused and penetrating vision, matching the loyal, persistent, persevering, and stabilizing qualities Mars can discover in a Fixed Air sign.  Eagles like Mars in Aquarius also value interdependence in relationship, as the eagle’s nest is a home in which both partners pull equal weight while having the freedom to independently take action within committed bonds of relationship.  The eagle is also a crucial figure in the myth of Ganymede associated with Aquarius.  Ganymede to some sources is the Water Bearer of the sign of Aquarius, a beautiful young man with whom Zeus was so enamored that he swooped down in the form of an eagle in order to seize for his own. In contrast to the myth of Persephone in which Hades pulls the goddess into the underworld, in the myth of Ganymede the coveted youth is pulled upward with ascension into the heavens.

Zeus gives Ganymede the role of cup bearer, the one who serves the nectar that keeps the gods and goddesses immortal, until Hera’s complaints lead to Ganymede being placed in the stars as the constellation of Aquarius. Among other meanings, since ancient times this myth has been seen as representing the phenomenon of Spirit ascending from the body. Astrologer Jason Holley presented material on the Ganymede myth in relation to the polarity between Aquarius and Leo at the 2015 Northwest Astrological Conference (NORWAC). His talk “Aquarius/Leo – The Journey from Fragmentation to Wholeness” explored themes associated with the myth of Ganymedes such as the split between innocence and experience, the split between the ordinary and the extraordinary, and disruptions of psycho-spiritual development that can occur as a result.  In terms of bringing Aquarius into greater wholeness, Holley stressed the importance of activating the polarity of Leo to create a growth cycle of rupture and repair.

To Holley, the stable system of self brought into coherence by Leo becomes decentered by triggering material associated with Aquarius and Uranus that activates the nonlinear field of multiplicity and leads to either: (1) achieving the challenge of expressing and integrating the new insights into self, expanding our self-concept while we continue to embody our self-identity, or (2) a shattering or splitting off from our psyche parts of our self that we feel like our environment and culture are not receptive to us embodying and integrating fully into our self-concept. If we experience the second path of feeling so ruptured that we can not embody our new sense of consciousness, we can experience difficulty experiencing full connection with others. Along these lines we can feel great anger at the world for not accepting us, and engage in patterns of avoidance and escape. However, if we are instead able to integrate and embody how we feel different from the surrounding consensus, we can re-enter the world with an openness to possibility that leads to fulfilling experiences that expand beyond the norms of consensus reality.  The task for Mars in Aquarius is to integrate and embody its far-flung and extraordinary insights into its mundane, ordinary life and relationships with full presence.

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Aquarius by Johra Bosschart

“If there is a hard, high wall and an egg that breaks against it, no matter how right the wall or how wrong the egg, I will stand on the side of the egg. Why? Because each of us is an egg, a unique soul enclosed in a fragile egg. Each of us is confronting a high wall. The high wall is the system which forces us to do the things we would not ordinarily see fit to do as individuals.

“We have no hope against the wall: it’s too high, too dark, too cold. To fight the wall, we must join our souls together for warmth, strength. We must not let the system control us – create who we are. It is we who created the system.”

–Haruki Murakami, novelist with Mars in Aquarius

Haruki Murakami is as a perfect example of a writer with Mars in Aquarius who has created fictional worlds illuminating the complex undercurrents of individuals within the collective, drawing upon influences from writers of many diverse cultures.  In his personal life he has enjoyed marathon running befitting the fixed nature of Aquarius, and his creative output took time to development yet has been sustained at a deep level for a long period of time.  Murakami has described a crucial shift in his work from being “detached” to being “committed,” moving from early worked focused upon individual darkness to the darkness found in the collective society.

As I searched for other examples of celebrities with Mars in Aquarius in preparation for this article, time and time again I was struck by the unorthodox, powerful, martial force of each individual.  It is a mistake to take the fact Mars is an outsider in Aquarius with no essential dignity to mean that Mars here will struggle to manifest desire; in fact, it could be argued that the unique atmosphere of Aquarius brings out an important aspect of Mars we cannot find anywhere else.  For example, is it really that strange that the individual many associate most with the idea of a masculine genius, Leonardo da Vinci, was born with Mars in Aquarius?  In addition to the visionary da Vinci, the individual who forever altered our conception of our solar system, Nicolaus Copernicus, was also born with Mars in Aquarius.

In terms of creative output, one of the most ideal manifestations of Mars in Aquarius is the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who was also born with Saturn and the Moon in Aquarius.  Rilke resiliently worked hard on his writing over long periods of time, being willing to go into isolation in order to contain his lucid insights within word choice and rhythm that expands the consciousness of anyone who reads his work.  Rilke not only travelled extensively beyond his native land to find his muse, he drew upon diverse mythic and spiritual influences in order to weave a unique tapestry of meaning that continues to bring sustenance and comfort to individuals within modern culture.  Rilke also lived in a time before the internet, yet sustained numerous intense, intimate relationships through letter writing all around the world.  This speaks to the capacity of Mars in Aquarius to transmit eros across all barriers of time and space, tuning into the frequency and vibration of resonant souls at great distances.

There are numerous other consciousness expanding individuals born with Mars in Aquarius, such as George Gurdjieff and numerous groundbreaking psychologists able to objectify human nature such as James Hillman, Rollo May, Alfred Adler, and Carl Rogers.  James Hillman in particular is a strong example of the passion and heated intensity that Mars in Aquarius can bring to philosophical discourse and abstract conceptualization.  Individuals with Mars in Aquarius sense the underlying importance of the philosophical worldview one embodies and its impact upon humanity, the natural world, and our world soul, and are willing to fight about it intellectually.

Among current famous figures, one of the most striking examples of Mars in Aquarius is Michelle Obama, the current First Lady of the United States of America.  Michelle Obama has an energy that lights up a room with clear energetic bravado that also emits a friendliness that has made her an extremely popular figure.  Michelle Obama is also known to become passionate about social justice causes, and at key points has delivered speeches addressed at uplifting women, racial minorities, and others facing oppression in modern culture.  During the most recent presidential election her mantra of “they go low, we go high” that became so widely quoted is also fitting for the nature of Mars in Aquarius.

Hip Hop culture contains numerous famous figures with Mars in Aquarius that displays the distinct and unusual energy found in the signature:  Tupac Shakur, Missy Elliot, will.i.am, Jay-Z, and Snoop Dogg all have Mars in Aquarius.  One of Tupac Shakur’s most famous songs, “Keep Ya Head Up,” is a perfect Mars in Aquarius anthem that ingeniously deconstructs the misogyny and racism of culture through the purposely designed aesthetic of infectious pop music.  Shakur’s lyrics are absolutely brilliant and his delivery smooth, every single word penetrating further into the complex dynamics of cultural oppression and their impact on the individual:

Actors with Mars in Aquarius possess a masculinity difficult to describe and uniquely their own, such as Gary Oldman and Adrien Brody.  Cary Grant created an otherworldly acting persona that seemed as natural playing an Angel in The Bishop’s Wife as when he was playing human beings.   Other actors and actresses with Mars in Aquarius include Ian McKellen, Winona Ryder, Scarlet Johansen, Jane Fonda, Jamie Foxx, Emma Watson, Lauren Bacall, Christopher Walken, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Justin Theroux, and Mae West.  There is a clear erotic quality involved in all of these individuals that also involves an intelligent edge of sharpness.  Two former musical stars turned successful actors, Mark Wahlberg and Justin Timberlake, also project a masculine star power that is idiosyncratic and makes them continue to remain singular, compelling personalities within popular culture.

In sports, it is quite compelling that perhaps the greatest boxer of all time, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., was born with Mars in Aquarius as well as one of the greatest figure skaters Kristi Yamaguchi who also cooly destroyed all competition.  An interesting sport that contains numerous all-time greats with Mars in Aquarius is tennis, which combines the fitting attributes of stamina while attacking with abstract strategizing:  Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl, and Stefan Edberg all were born with Mars in Aquarius.

In the realm of film, directors with Mars in Aquarius fittingly have brought some of the most distinctly avant garde expression and experimentation to cinema:  Sofia Coppola, Francois Truffaut, Lars Von Trier,  Ridley Scott, Joel Coen, Luis Bunuel, David Cronenberg, and Ang Lee were all born with Mars in Aquarius.  In comedy, we again find a list of some of the most unorthodox talents such as John Cleese, Andy Kauffman, Chris Farley, Eddie Ezzard, and Eric Idle.  Writers with Mars in Aquarius include Harper Lee, Truman Capote, Kurt Vonnegut, Tennessee Williams, Victor Hugo, David Foster Wallace, Thomas Merton, and William Wordsworth.  There is also famous children’s television personality Fred Rogers, whose role as Mr. Rogers and once again, incredibly unique expression, nurtured the development of countless childhoods.

Two current figures that illuminate not only the visionary, future-oriented qualities of Mars in Aquarius but also its shadow of becoming overly fixated upon a philosophical worldview at all costs are Julian Assange and Elon Musk.  In both of these individuals we find the capacity of Mars in Aquarius to work at the leading edge of technology and push the envelope with driving force aimed with future-oriented vision.  Yet at the same time, both individuals possess a hubris that has led to public downfalls at times due to an unwillingness to make compromises or let go of their fixation upon their belief in what they are doing is serving a purpose for the greater good.

Astrologer Jeffrey Wolf Green has written that Mars in Aquarius “will gradually create an entire lifestyle reflective of its instinctual feeling of uniqueness,” and this same capacity held by natives with Mars in Aquarius may be seized by all of us when Mars transits through Aquarius.  Not only can we take steps to creatively actualize our inherently unique gifts while Mars is in Aquarius, we can also encourage others to express their distinctive inner qualities that defy societal norms and conventions.  Currently the transit of Mars in Aquarius is forming numerous harmonious aspects:  a trine to Jupiter in Libra, sextile to Mercury and Saturn in Sagittarius, and a sextile with Uranus in Aries.  There is no time like the present to not only express your essential gifts within the world but also to band together with others of shared passion in order to create positive shifts within systematic structures of our global collective.

beau-vandendolder-flock-of-birds

photograph by Beau Vandendolder (2016, all rights reserved)

References

Green, Jeff. (2009). Pluto Volume II. Wessex Astrologer.

Haruki Murakami cautions against excluding outsiders. The Guardian. 1 November 2016.

Murakami asks that people learn to live with their shadows. The Asahi Shimbun. 31 October 2016.

Mercury Retrograde Class

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Mercury Retrograde Guidance

I’m excited to announce I will be teaching another class on Mercury Retrograde at New Renaissance Bookshop in Portland, OR this coming December!  The Mercury retrograde in December will begin with a conjunction to Pluto, and will delve back all the way to the end of Sagittarius where the star of Hermes will station direct in the home of Jupiter.  This will be a powerful Mercury retrograde phase and we will create space and time in class to discuss its potential impact on class participants.

When:  Saturday 17 December from 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Where:  New Renaissance Bookshop in Portland, Oregon

1338 NW 23rd Avenue / Portland, Oregon 97210

Cost:  $15, purchase tickets at New Renaissance Bookshop

Description:

Mercury Retrograde periods are not a time to fear. Rather they offer us unique opportunities for personal growth. Discover the alternate realm of perception Mercury Retrograde provides us for uncovering the essential aspects of the Self. Explore the meaning of the swiftly moving planet of mental connections and discernment under Olympia astrologer Gray Crawford. Gray will dispel popular misconceptions of Mercury Retrograde to reveal how Mercury can mutate into its subterranean role as a Guide of Souls during its retrograde motion.

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