ISAR 2022

I will be speaking at the upcoming ISAR 2022 Astrology Conference that will be held from August 25 – 29, 2022 in Westminster, Colorado. This will be the largest astrological gathering of 2022. There is currently a discounted registration rate that will end on January 15, so if you are interested in attending and wish to register at the lowest rate possible you will want to do so as soon as possible.

Click the link here to see a list of the exemplary group of astrologers who will be speaking at teaching during the conference.

Click the link here for registration information.

I was selected to speak as part of the “Mythology and Archetypes” track of speakers. My talk will be entitled “Eros, Necessity, and Creative Thresholds” and will be taking place on Friday, August 26 at 9 am. Here’s the description:

Clients seek astrological consultations when feeling they are at a threshold of moving into a more authentically creative life, yet simultaneously frustrated over facing resistance.This talk will utilize mythic stories of Eros, Necessity, threshold guardians, crossroads, and liminal initiations to imaginatively explore ways astrological symbolism can help in validating and empowering inner visions. How can astrology help when feeling stuck at the precipice of pursuing a more vibrantly soulful calling?

I hope to see you there!

Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces

Jupiter in Pisces Vija Celmins

ocean image by Vija Celmins; astrology glyphs by Bradley Naragon

Jupiter in Pisces

Like the nine muses who dance with pounding feet around violet-stained springs to awaken desire, the transit of Jupiter in Pisces during 2022 will give life to imaginal visions and elevate idealistic inspiration. Pisces is the oceanic home of Jupiter where the star of Zeus can directly express its gifts for synthesis, shaping, ordering, nourishing, expanding, creating, and sustaining faith in the unknown. During a time of unprecedented collective crises and a year bearing extremely volatile astrological themes involving the ongoing tension between Saturn and Uranus, the presence of Jupiter in Pisces will deliver moments of epiphany that cohere greater understanding within our experiences while also planting seeds of revelatory ideas that may blossom in the decade ahead. 

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

Jupiter will return to its watery home of Pisces on December 28, 2021 after previously occupying Pisces from May 13 until July 28, 2021. Jupiter will then swiftly sail through its oceanic domicile in less than five months, entering Aries on May 10, 2022. After an initial foray into Aries, Jupiter will come back home to Pisces on October 28, 2022 for a sojourn until leaving Pisces for a final time on December 20, 2022. The pivotal conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune will take place on April 12, 2022 at twenty-four degrees of Pisces, with the influence of Neptune upon Jupiter intensifying once Jupiter moves within fifteen degrees of Neptune on January 27. Jupiter will remain within fifteen degrees of Neptune for the rest of 2022 (ending the year within nine degrees of Neptune), creating a lingering effect from their conjunction that will last well beyond their April meeting.

blue grotto

Blue Grotto (Capri Island, Italy) Detroit Publishing Co., ca. 1890

Pisces is the nocturnal home of Jupiter, an aquatic landscape of gushing springs and expansive seas that accentuates the fertile life force of Jupiter. Although the reputation Jupiter has in astrology for being the “great benefic” does not mean that transits from Jupiter always bring positively joyful experiences, it is important that significations of Jupiter involve relief from troubles, generosity, charity, growth, abundance, elevation, truth, reverence, affirmation, and coherence. Since Pisces is Jupiter’s home it can fully express its beneficial significations, with the moist mutability of Pisces amplifying the capacity of Jupiter for synthesizing meaning, distilling wisdom, and generating new mixtures of ideas. For example, a list of famous Jupiter in Pisces natives includes Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Kepler, Freud, Darwin, Nietszche, Goethe, and Rousseau. The brilliance of Jupiter in Pisces may also be heard in the music of Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder, the writing of Edgar Allen Poe, JRR Tolkien, Louisa May Alcott, Anais Nin, Henry Miller, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Arthur Miller, as well as in the art of Paul Klee, Max Ernst, and John Singer Sargent.

Indeed, the inwardly directed nature of Pisces allows for extraordinary insight and inspiration to be found through exploration of our boundless inner realms. In contrast to Sagittarius, the fiery domicile of Jupiter where it swiftly gallops with outward enthusiasm, the nocturnal water of Pisces slows down the pace of Jupiter and invites inward exploration that can enable us to sink into embodiment of our soulful essence. The waves of Jupiter in Pisces can wash over and weave in between the places where we have been fragmented, coalescing a presence that can bring together parts of our inner multiplicity that have become disconnected. By taking our time and acting with the flow of surrounding natural cycles rather than trying to force things to happen, Jupiter in Pisces can create an experience of abundance that allows us to feel more expansive with less by aligning us with our authentic nature and values.

Yet with the dissolving whirlpool of Neptune present with Jupiter in Pisces, the coherence we gain through Jupiter will be important to question. The combination of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces will necessitate a descent into the dissolution of our previous beliefs, embodying the essence that will eventually coagulate out of the disintegrating stirring of our inner life. There will be a need to embrace nonlinear processes rather than insisting on linear progress, as we may need to pass through a disorienting phase of fluidity before we are able to differentiate and clarify the deeper meaning we receive. Liz Greene has taught that while Jupiter seeks personal meaning that helps cohere understanding for how our personal lives are meaningful within a larger context, Neptune is the antithesis of personal enrichment due to it revealing our sense of egoic control as being a fantasy that we need to transcend or release (1).

Within Irish folklore, the concept of “seachran si” or “fairy straying” is interesting to consider in terms of the disorientation and disillusionment that can occur under the influence of Neptune. When under the spell of fairy straying, wayfarers become confused while journeying across liminal landscapes as they experience a sudden shift into the strange and unfamiliar. An impassable fog or mist may obsfucate their view of the path ahead, or a river may block all forward progress no matter which way they turn. In this way Neptune can function like the Otherworld of fairy as all familiar reference points dissolve, forcing an interfacing with the indeterminate. Interestingly, a remediation from Irish folklore concerns turning your coat or clothes inside out in order to counterbalance the enchantment (2). Similarly, we may need to take on the inverted stance of the Hanged Man arcanum from tarot, allowing our perspective to be turned inside out while navigating the waves of Jupiter and Neptune.

As a result, the disorientation and disillusionment that can occur under the influence of Jupiter and Neptune must be kept in mind while also remembering their capacity for fostering hopes and aspirations that go beyond the conditioning of past identities and beliefs. Dane Rudhyar wrote that a key issue with Jupiter is the tendency for people to seek success through conformity with the expectations and rules of the present power structures, whereas the influence of Neptune may render a future form we may seek which transcends the problematic and oppressive aspects of the dominant cultures we live within. However, Rudhyar also noted that the confusion that can accompany taking a visionary step forward can also create a regressive pull in many toward the security of familiar institutions and beliefs. Nonetheless, Rudhyar stressed that it can be the accumulation of smaller changes within our relationships that occur in correspondence with the merging of Jupiter and Neptune that later allow for the greater revolutionary events in the wider world to materialize (3).

Fish Magic by  Paul Klee

Fish Magic (1925) by Paul Klee, born with Jupiter in Pisces

“To use the world well, to be able to stop wasting it and our time in it, we need to relearn our being in it . . .

Relationship among all things appears to be complex and reciprocal — always at least two-way, back-and-forth. It seems that nothing is single in this universe, and nothing goes one way.

In this view, we humans appear as particularly lively, intense, aware nodes of relation in an infinite network of connections, simple or complicated, direct or hidden, strong or delicate, temporary or very long-lasting. A web of connections, infinite but locally fragile, with and among everything — all beings — including what we generally class as things, objects . . .

I guess I’m trying to subjectify the universe, because look where objectifying it has gotten us. To subjectify is not necessarily to co-opt, colonize, exploit. Rather it may involve a great reach outward of the mind and imagination.”

— Ursula K. Le Guin from Late in the Day (published in 2015 with Jupiter in Virgo opposite Neptune in Pisces and square Saturn in Sagittarius)

Jupiter and Neptune Cycle

Although unions between Jupiter and Neptune can open awareness beyond the usual limits of material reality, their cycle in mundane astrology is one of the most orderly and consistent. In fact, the Jupiter and Neptune cycle stands out from all others as it occurs in a successive order of zodiac signs, typically moving from one sign to the next with an occasional repeat of a sign. For example, the 1958 conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune was in Scorpio, the 1971 conjunction was in Sagittarius, the 1984 conjunction was in the beginning of Capricorn, the 1997 conjunction was at the end of Capricorn, and the 2009 conjunction was in Aquarius. It takes Jupiter and Neptune approximately 166 years to move through their entire cycle, forming conjunctions with each other every thirteen years or so. Since Neptune was discovered in 1846, the first conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune to occur following Neptune’s discovery was their union on March 17, 1856 at nineteen degrees of Pisces. Thus the conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune on April 12, 2022 will demarcate the first time that humanity has experienced the full cycle of Jupiter and Neptune forming conjunctions in every sign of the zodiac sequentially since becoming aware of the existence of Neptune.

It’s further important to realize that the last three conjunctions between Jupiter and Neptune have occurred in signs ruled by Saturn, with the 2022 conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune occurring within a recent astrological period dominated by Saturn. Indeed, the visionary potential of Jupiter uniting with Neptune in Pisces will follow the new cycles initiated between Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto in 2020 that correlated with the onset of a global pandemic, the conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius at the end of 2020 that established a volatile new era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting within the air triplicity, and the waning square aspect between Saturn in Aquarius with Uranus in Taurus that has coincided with rapid innovations and sudden collapses across society in 2021 and will continue to do so in 2022. We are at the beginning of a two hundred year era of air involving rapid dispersal of previously solid power structures and dynamics, with Saturn in the middle of transits bringing a radical reordering of boundaries. Though the ideas we generate from Jupiter and Neptune conjoining will have to face the reality tests of Saturn, their union will be taking place removed from the restrictions of Saturn in astrological terrain where both Jupiter and Neptune possess maximum capacity for visioning creative potential.

Furthermore, there is a harmonious sextile aspect between 23º58’ Pisces where Jupiter and Neptune will unite in 2022 and 22º46’ Capricorn where Saturn and Pluto formed their massively influential conjunction in 2020. The union between Jupiter and Neptune having a supportive aspect with the union between Saturn and Pluto suggests that the inspiring vision of Jupiter and Neptune can provide a counterbalance to the difficult despair brought by Saturn and Pluto, helping to nurture new dreams and ways of recovering from the setbacks and resets brought by the pandemic. Though the astrology of 2022 suggests that there will continue to be numerous collective crises to contend with, the union of Jupiter and Neptune can provide moments of relief in which significant new ideas and sources of inspiration may be found within surrounding challenges.

In many ways the meaning of the Jupiter and Neptune cycle is diametrically opposed to the meaning of the Saturn and Pluto cycle. Richard Tarnas in Cosmos and Psyche described Saturn and Pluto as aligning with “conservative empowerment” and “eras of international crisis and conflict, empowerment of reactionary forces and totalitarian impulses, organized violence and oppression” (4). In contrast, Andre Barbault wrote that conjunctions between Jupiter and Neptune emphasize “unified collective global power” and a “collective liberal order,” with “collective movements that have liberal democratic tendencies” favoring “universal moral values” (5). For example, women finally gained the right to vote in the United States of America through the 19th Amendment being ratified less than a month before the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in Leo in 1919. Moreover, both the first and second world wars ended during periods of conjunctions between Jupiter and Neptune, with the League of Nations being formed following their conjunction in 1919 and the United Nations being fomed following their conjunction in Libra in 1945. It’s remarkable that both attempts during the 20th century to form governing bodies which brought world powers together on behalf of avoiding another world war occurred in exact alignment with Jupiter and Neptune. In fat, the ubiquitous peace symbol commonly used today was in invented in 1958 with Jupiter and Neptune within a few degrees from one another in Scorpio.

Barbault also stated that the unions of Jupiter and Neptune tend to bring “a swing to the left” with “democratic, socialist, or even more or less revolutionary” tendencies. There can thus be tension between the more revolutionary manifestations of Jupiter and Neptune with efforts by global powers to expand their influence and power. For example, while the League of Nations mandated the territories of Palestine and modern Iraq to the United Kingdom and Syria to France during the period of the 1919 conjunction, the Cuban revolution achieved victory following the conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune in 1958 and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation was founded in 1983 with Jupiter and Neptune within fifteen degrees of one another in Sagittarius. Across the world there has often been an upsurge in strikes and protests on behalf of the labor movement and workers’ rights when Jupiter and Neptune come together. For example, the Coxey’s Army march of unemployed workers to Washington D.C. during the time of the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in Gemini in 1894 was the first significant protest march in history upon the capital of the United States of America.

Concerning the most recent cycle of Jupiter and Neptune that began in 2009 in Aquarius, within the United States of America there was not only the inauguration of President Barack Obama, the first African American president in the nation’s history, there was also the landmark Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama that dramatically expanded healthcare coverage to the US populace. The ability of President Obama to lead congress in the passage of liberal legislation had a parallel to the election of Franklin Roosevelt to the presidency during a previous conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in 1932. Roosevelt became president during the initial stages of the Great Depression and was able to have his New Deal legislation passed to address the economic depression gripping the nation, bringing hope and increased opportunity to many during a bleak period. The push from the present Biden administration to pass legislation aimed at addressing the economic crises emanating from the pandemic is thus in line with past historical examples of the cycle.

Max Ernst

by Max Ernst, born with Jupiter in Pisces

Jupiter combined with Neptune in Pisces will also stimulate and galvanize new trends and imaginative forms of creative expression across diverse disciplines around the world. The last time that Jupiter and Neptune formed a conjunction in Pisces, the fashion and textile industries were revolutionized by the accidental discovery of the first synthetic organic dye by William Henry Perkin, who was trying to synthesize quinine for the treatment of malaria. Only eighteen years old when he discovered aniline purple, known today as mauveine, Perkin was primed for the impact of Jupiter and Neptune as he was born with a stellium of Mercury, Uranus, Venus, Mars, and the Sun in Pisces. Before Perkin’s discovery the only materials available for textile coloration came from plants or animals and involved long, laborious processes to extract color. Significantly, the brilliant purple hue revealed by Perkin had previously only been accessible to the wealthy. There was even an initial thought to name the dye Tyrian purple after the legendary coloring created from sea snails that was a signature of eminence in ancient cultures. After the discovery of mauveine, there was an immense wave of clothing and textiles dyed purple as the color became widely accessible for the first time in human history.

The thrill of wearing brilliant colors and the lift they can provide to the spirit corresponds with the imaginal potency that trends within art possess that emerge within the zeitgeist when Jupiter and Neptune form conjunctions. The archetypal mixture of Jupiter and Neptune brings together the expanding and elevating functions of Jupiter with the fantasizing functions of Neptune, kindling desire for fusion with transcendent sources of idealism that can temporarily remove us from the travails and limitations of mundane reality. In the 20th century there were numerous grandiose releases such as “Purple Rain” by Prince and “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zepplin timed with their unions, as well as smaller moments that led to later epic releases such as The Quarrymen (later renamed The Beatles) paying for their first ever recording session. The crux becomes whether or not we become led to avoid our purpose in the world through Jupiter and Neptune, or whether we can drink from their enlivening well in order to instill a deeper sense of our destiny. For example, the virtual reality technologies likely to emerge within the new cycle between Jupiter and Neptune simultaneously have the potential to open new avenues of therapy and creativity as well as massive escape from reality.

Mid-Ocean-Mid-Winter John Singer Sargent

Mid-Ocean, Mid-Winter (1876) by John Singer Sargent, born with Jupiter in Pisces

The purpose and passion that can be uncovered beneath the waves of the oceanic unconscious when Jupiter and Neptune unite is exemplified by the publication of The Red Book: Liber Novus by Carl Jung during the period of their conjunction in Aquarius in 2009. A testament to the deep meaning that can be extracted from disorienting, disillusioning, and disintegrative experiences of the unconscious, the long-awaited publication of Jung’s personal odyssey has revolutionized not only the understanding of Jung’s work during the past cycle of Jupiter and Neptune, it has also expanded the potential meaning all of us can gain through encounters with the mystery of unconscious forces. The field of depth psychology has important links with the Jupiter and Neptune cycle, as the famous meeting between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud took place during the period of the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in Cancer in 1907. Moreover, Sigmund Freud was born with both Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces.

Not only was Jung’s Red Book published during a period of Jupiter and Neptune conjoining, he was actively working on it and beginning to excavate insights regarding his unconscious process to share publicly during a previous period of Jupiter and Neptune uniting in Leo during 1919 and 1920. In a paper presented in 1919 on “The psychological foundations of the belief in spirits,” Jung distinguished between two ways the collective unconscious can become activated: as part of personal crises of lost hope and as part of extraordinary societal and cultural upheaval (6). This insight is crucial for everyone during 2022, but especially for those in the United States as the USA will be experiencing its first Pluto return at the same time the conjunction with Jupiter and Neptune will be forming an opposition to the natal Neptune for the USA. Jung’s revelation that suppressed cultural content can accumulate in the collective unconscious and erupt with disturbing, disorienting effects during times of societal turbulence points to the importance of differentiating oneself enough to explore what emerges within the unconscious and translate the meaning we may retrieve through dialogue and forms of creative expression.

Indeed, due to the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in April occurring in the same time period as a conjunction between Mars and Saturn, as well as the final contact between Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces at the end of 2022 occurring in range of a disruptive square aspect from Mars retrograde in Gemini, we can foresee that there will be difficult and tragic collective events occurring alongside whatever inspired experiences correlate with the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction. Yet while difficult collective and personal events may invoke the muse of tragedy, Melpomene, her melodious voice within the collective storms of 2022 can guide us in resiliently persevering through the challenges and inspiring others to do the same. In a time of widespread propaganda and conspiracy theories reminiscent of the themes involved in the dystopian novel 1984, it is fitting that not only was the author George Orwell born with Jupiter in Pisces but also that the famous commercial that introduced the Macintosh personal computer with imagery from the novel 1984 was broadcast at the same time as the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in the year 1984. Though our personal technology devices point to how we give power away to those in power, Jupiter and Neptune coming together can also remind us of ways we can each take back and claim greater personal power from within.

Within the sweep of planetary alignments to come in the next few years, the conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces will interface with the disruptions to the status quo brought forth by the square aspect between Saturn and Uranus in 2021 and 2022. As Uranus forces open the gates and boundaries of Saturn, so will Neptune inspire flights of boundless imagination from Jupiter. The new visions unearthed will be key, for in 2024 we will experience a conjunction between Jupiter and Uranus in Taurus followed by a conjunction in 2026 between Saturn and Neptune in Aries at the first degree of Aries following a period of Saturn being co-present in Pisces along with Neptune that begins in March 2023. While these years will witness another wave of rapid change across global societies, the extended alignment between Saturn and Neptune can support making real the imaginative leaps in thought inspired by the union of Jupiter and Neptune in 2022. May the conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune aid you in dreaming well and deepening into the meaning of your myriad relationships within the world around you.

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

become_a_patron_button

Works Cited

  1. Greene, Liz. (12 October 2004). Centre for Psychological Astrology (CPA) seminar at Regents College, London. Neptune.
  2. Bluirini Bealoidis Folklore Podcast. (9 April 2021). Episode 30 – The Stray Sod.
  3. Rudhyar, Dane. (1958). The Jupiter-Neptune Cycle. Horoscope Magazine.
  4. Tarnas, Richard. (2007). Cosmos and Psyche. Plume.
  5. Barbault, Andre. (2016). Planetary Cycles: Mundane Astrology. Translated by Kate Johnston. The Astrological Association.
  6. Jung, C. G. (2009). The red book: Liber novus (S. Shamdasani, Ed.,& trans: Kyburz, M., Peck, J., & Shamdasani, S.). New York: W. W. Norton.

Goethe

Colour Wheel by Johann von Goethe, born with Jupiter in Pisces, from his book Theory of Colours published during a year of a conjunction between Saturn and Neptune in Sagittarius

Lunar Eclipse in Taurus

The Hall of Stars in the Palace of the Queen of the Night, from The Magic Flute by Karl Friedrich Schinkel

Lunar Eclipse in Taurus

Eclipses are portals of intersecting pathways, signaling an upswing of new relational developments entering our life while older storylines end in release or fade from focalization. Lunar eclipses occur when a Full Moon occurs near the intersection between the Moon’s orbit and the ecliptic, the apparent pathway of the Sun from our perspective on Earth. As the crossroads of the Sun and Moon becomes illuminated, so does our sense of soulful direction and destiny. Since the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 19, 2021 is the first eclipse to occur in Taurus and is co-present with an activated Uranus in Taurus, there is greater likelihood for new attractions, revelations, disruptions, challenges, and opportunities to emerge in the surrounding time period. There may be a need to create time and space for restorative rest and resourcing to help digest what needs to be integrated into one’s life and understanding.

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse is the first eclipse of the series that will be going back and forth between the fixed signs of Taurus and Scorpio, initiating new narratives involving the signs of Scorpio and Taurus that will last until the final eclipse in the series occurs on October 28, 2023 in Taurus. In addition to activating a new zodiacal sign polarity, it is also the first eclipse to occur in the same sign as Uranus since Uranus entered Taurus in 2018. Later eclipses in the series will be exactly aligned with Uranus and more potent in their promethean expression, and so the Taurus Lunar Eclipse will bring an initial sense for how the combination of eclipses occurring in the same sign as Uranus will be accelerating change and inspiring breakthroughs in the next couple of years.

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse will catalyze the recent release of tension and dynamism created by Mars in Scorpio forming an exact opposition with Uranus in Taurus on November 17, after Mars previously formed a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius on November 10. The ongoing square aspect between Saturn and Uranus has been underlying all of the radical structural changes that have been rippling across 2021, as it has been bringing the consolidating contraction of Saturn that builds enduring structures into conflict with the accelerated vision of Uranus that resists restrictions and insists on making innovative changes to the status quo. Though dramatic external changes that have correlated with Mars in Scorpio igniting the friction between Saturn and Uranus may already be obvious, the Moon being eclipsed only a couple of days after the exact opposition between Mars and Uranus will bring a stronger sense for how inner processes are being transmuted in correlation. Since Venus in Capricorn rules the eclipse and is forming a trine aspect with Uranus and a sextile aspect with Mars, we will be able to attune to deep changes within our inner realm while we simultaneously receive a felt sense for how our interpersonal relationships are likewise shifting in correlation with the larger changes at work.

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse is separating from a sextile aspect with Pluto in Capricorn and a propulsive square aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius, bringing vital insight into whatever goals and projects connected with our core purpose and values we have been contemplating and developing. As the Moon becomes eclipsed while inhabiting her sign of exaltation, there may be old idealizations that will be brought down from their formerly lofty heights as we realize what their exalted light has been obscuring within shadow. It will be necessary to become clear about the challenges we are facing, while also kindling visions of vivifying growth and creative expression that can emerge within the dismantling and regeneration underway.

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse will be partial, meaning that while the shadow cast across the face of the Moon will become ruddy in color, it will not become the more vibrant blood red color that occurs during a total lunar eclipse. The lunar eclipse will be unusually long, in fact the longest partial lunar eclipse since 1440, and visible across North and South America, Asia, and Australia. The Taurus Lunar Eclipse is also a member of an eclipse family associated with the saros series 126, and is the first partial lunar eclipse following a long sequence of total lunar eclipses. The last lunar eclipse in the series was total and took place on 9 November 2003, with the previous total lunar eclipses in the series occurring on 28 October 1985 and 18 October 1967. You may notice some strange recurrences or replicating patterns associated with events that took place during previous lunar eclipses in the series.

Salome and the Apparition of the Baptist’s Head (1876) by Gustave Moreau

Astrological tradition imagines eclipses as a great dragon or serpent consuming the light of our Sun and Moon, with the North Node of the Moon symbolizing its head and the South Node its tail. The Lunar Eclipse at 27º14’ Taurus will be aligned with the head of the dragon, as the North Node of the Moon will be at 1º47’ Gemini, introducing a symbolic dragon with a head in Taurus and tail in Scorpio that will take much stronger form over the course of 2022. The dragon symbolism further links eclipses with 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 our capacity for purifying material attachments. The inner and outer changes we experience in correlation with eclipses can facilitate a letting go of fixation to enable release, while a burgeoning sense of new forms coming together to emerge can be felt.

Since the meaning of a lunar eclipse is rooted in the phenomenon of the Sun casting the Earth’s shadow onto the face of the Moon, Dane Rudhyar interpreted the solar shadow as symbolizing the present overcoming the past as shadows veil the lunar impact of past conditioning and attachments on our present consciousness. Since the Taurus Lunar Eclipse is aligned with the North Node of the Moon while the Sun is illuminating the side of the South Node of the Moon, growth will come from the resolution and release of old issues, emotional material, and familial conditioning that have shaped our actions and relationships. Engaging whatever insights may be excavated or new growth nurtured from the putrefaction of the past will continue to be important as we traverse the strange vortex of time that occurs in between eclipses, as the Taurus Lunar Eclipse will be followed by a Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on December 4 that will be aligned with the South Node of the Moon. The intersection of the past into the coming eclipse portal brings a dragon’s pearl to the surface that has been born from the darkness of the beast’s belly, a natural gem purified across time that now opens awareness to future potential and growth that may emerge from decomposition of the past.

Gorgon (around 580 BC), as depicted on a pediment from the temple of Artemis in Corfu

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse occurs near the fixed star Algol, known as the severed head of Medusa in some traditions and the head of the demon in others. Algol fits well with eclipses due to it being a three star system containing an eclipsing binary which causes Algol to blink in the night sky, as it contains stars that are constantly eclipsing themselves. Just like astrologers have long feared the volatile impact of eclipses within mundane events, so have they also feared Algol. However, although Diana Rosenberg wrote that Algol has been correlated with horrific events in human history, in natal charts “it is not necessarily malevolent and may, in fact, bestow considerable benefits, including intellectual brilliance, creativity and originality.” Rosenberg wrote that having Algol strongly connected to a nativity “does not necessarily mean one will commit or experience violence; it is, rather, that one will not be able to remain aloof from the awareness of that level of human experience, and will be led to come to terms with it in some manner.” Rosenberg gave the examples of a journalist covering tragedies or those called to comfort or assist victims of disaster or those recovering from trauma.

Yet Rosenberg also warned of the potential for one to “lose one’s head” under the influence of Algol, going against better judgement through “dictatorial” and “absolutist” tendencies with an “unwillingness to see any humanity in their opponents,” leading to “wanton aggressiveness,” “criminal intolerance,” and using “religion or intense patriotism to justify violence against others.” Similarly, Bernadette Brady wrote that “Algol represents a strong consuming passion that may devour you with anger and rage.” Yet Brady also wrote that if “one can contain an unconscious compulsion to take revenge, and focus that passion into a more productive outcome, Algol is one of the most powerful stars in the sky.” Along these lines Rosenberg wrote that there is a strong artistic and intellectual side to Algol that can lead to great ambition and accomplishment.

As a result, the eclipse occurring near Algol may bring increased awareness of the ways systemic oppression has been causing devastation within the natural environment and landscape of human relationships. There may be increased waves of anger and rage unleashed in retribution, as well as polarized conflicts within politics continuing with each side locked in projecting back and forth without listening to one another or reflecting on how one’s own shadow may be influencing their behavior. Yet within our personal experience we may gain a deeper sense for how some of our own wounds and frustrating patterns are connected to must vaster ancestral patterns underlying the present conflicts within surrounding culture. Turning within to explore one’s shadow when needed, making effort to pull back one’s projections when possible, and deeply listening to internal processes and the messages received within relationship can help in finding creative ways to engage with whatever material becomes stirred up by the eclipse.

Queen of the Night by Marjorie Miller

Venus in Capricorn rules the eclipse while shining brightly as an evening star following sunset. Venus is out of bounds in southern declination, and so is appearing low in the sky in the northern hemisphere. The freedom oriented nature of Venus being out of bounds is further amplified due to Venus actively engaging and mediating the recent opposition between Mars in Scorpio and Uranus in Taurus that has dislodged and jarred loose stuck material and issues. Venus is separating from a trine aspect with Uranus and applying to a sextile aspect with Mars in Scorpio, both aspects that suggest opportunities being available to become creatively activated. Moreover, there is reception involved in the aspects Venus is making with both Uranus and Mars, as Venus is receiving Uranus within her earthy home of Taurus and Mars is receiving Venus through Venus being in the exaltation of Mars. Venus in Capricorn is capable of enforcing boundaries and cultivating containers within which shared intimacy and creativity may flourish, and her supportive aspects with Mars and Uranus suggest opportunities for deepening our engagement with whatever relational processes and revelations become activated while also having the courage to embrace the depths of our experience.

Yet Venus is also beginning to approach another significant aspect with Pluto in Capricorn that will become stronger as we approach the upcoming Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on December 4. Venus will be within three degrees of a conjunction with Pluto during the upcoming solar eclipse, eventually forming a conjunction with Pluto on December 11 the first time and then again on December 25 after stationing retrograde on December 19. Venus will then remain within three degrees of Pluto until January 1, 2022. Although Venus is twelve degrees away from Pluto during the Taurus Lunar Eclipse, during the waning half of the lunar cycle we will be gaining a stronger sense of whatever deep material that Venus and Pluto will be bringing to the surface for an extended process of engagement.

The approaching confrontation between Venus and Pluto conjures the myth of Persephone aka Proserpina and her mother Demeter aka Ceres. During the Taurus Lunar Eclipse, Ceres is retrograde in Gemini near the north node of the Moon, with the eclipsed Moon applying toward a conjunction with Ceres. There is a fascinating link between the Taurus Lunar Eclipse and the present period of Ceres retrograde: the degree of the lunar eclipse at 27º14′ Taurus is the same degree where Ceres will eventually station direct on January 14, 2022 at 27º58′ Taurus. Thus whatever material emerges from shadows in connection with the lunar eclipse may have an important relationship with whatever material that Ceres is leading us to remember and integrate during the course of her present retrograde. Ceres previously stationed retrograde on October 8, 2021 at 12º08′ Gemini, creating a region from twelve degrees of Gemini to twenty-seven degrees of Taurus to pay attention to in your natal chart. An incredible additional synchronicity is that the Persephone asteroid stationed retrograde at the same time as Ceres, within a few degrees, and so is also on a simultaneous retrograde journey nearby Ceres.

Ceres produces the resources needed for vitality as well as bears the seeds of renewal. Yet the swing of her scythe that brings the harvest necessitates loss as much as it brings forth gain, and her retrograde passage can correlate with her passage of grief following the loss of her daughter to the underworld.  Just as the Taurus Moon will be eclipsed by shadow, so was Ceres eclipsed by pain and rage over her own personal tragedy.  In an element of her myth that parallels the story of Isis and Osiris, Ceres was willing to incarnate into human form as part of fully embodying her grief. Ceres reveals the importance of taking time and space away from production in order to grieve and tend to inner darkness, while also illuminating the resolve necessary to return to the world of suffering in order to bolster strength in others. Just as the myth of Ceres/Demeter tells the story of how the mystery initiations were brought to humanity, so does the connection of the dwarf planet Ceres with the Taurus Lunar Eclipse suggest paying mindful attention to the deeper mystery of your experiences and what important aspects of soul are emerging within your interactions with others that contain a wealth of insight to reflect upon and slowly integrate across the course of Ceres being retrograde.

7 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Taurus 3 Decan

The Moon will be eclipsed in the third decan of Taurus associated with the Seven of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. An image of a farmer or gardener carefully watching over the growth of green foliage he hopes will ultimately ripen into a bountiful harvest, it is a card of delayed gratification that necessitates patiently cultivating the process at work so that a savory climax of fulfilling ripeness can later be enjoyed. Fittingly, Saturn rules the third face of Taurus as it is zodiacal terrain where the calm, prudent, and attentive countenance of the farmer in the image of the Seven of Pentacles is needed to make sure all of the necessary planning and responsibilities will be completed even when facing adversity. Similarly, we will need to mediate whatever blessings or burdens emerge with the Taurus Lunar Eclipse while maintaining a long range perspective that will allow for carefully tending to and nurturing the needs of our relationships and endeavors so that they may ultimately bloom in healthy wholeness.  

The destabilizing nature of eclipses aligns well with the meaning that Austin Coppock gave to the third face of Taurus in his book 36 Faces. Coppock ascribed the image of “A String of Prayer Beads” to this face, stating that it “represents a confrontation with destructive factors which impede completion,” as well as the need to enact remediation and “make plans to accommodate the unforeseen.”  While Coppock acknowledged that we must face toil and difficulty at times in this decan due to everything that can go wrong in between the germination of a seed and its ultimate flowering and fruiting, he also listed virtues such as “wisdom, patience, humility, and foresight” as being “the unexpected fruits of the destructive forces which prowl this face.” Indeed, Coppock concluded that while this face may make us confront potential disaster, it is also a place from which we can call for support from higher powers and worthy allies while developing the remedies needed to overcome threats. 

T. Susan Chang in her book 36 Secrets made the astute observation that it is important to “consider the nature of boundaries” in all of the decans ruled by Saturn, as “freedom depends on its limits.” Chang also noted that the image of the farmer staring into space in the Seven of Pentacles image suggests “a sort of timelessness” inherent in the card’s meaning, not unlike the role Saturn plays in astrology as the threshold guardian between time and timelessness. To Chang there is a lesson in this face found within the relationship between our finite perception of time and the truly infinite nature of time. Indeed, by patiently attending to what needs to be completed or cared for in accordance with the finiteness of time, we may also gain wisdom from and find strength within the infiniteness of time in ways that can help us withstand hardship and toil. 

Since the Taurus Lunar Eclipse will be followed by a Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on December 4, we have forewarning that significant changes will be occurring, especially for those whose natal charts have natal placements impacted by the eclipses. The wisdom of the third decan of Taurus suggests we may prepare through patient attention to whatever needs attending to, as well as by reaching out for support from those who will be able to assist us through whatever transitions we will be moving through. Choose rest and personal nurturance rather than burning yourself out through overproduction, as there will be much to gain through focusing on mutually supportive relationships and taking the time to attend to foundational elements of life that will bolster your long-term health and prosperity.

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

become_a_patron_button

References

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

Brady, Bernadette. (2008). Star and Planet Combinations. The Wessex Astrologer.

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

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

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

Rosenberg, Diana. (2012). Secrets of the Ancient Skies, Volume 1. Ancient Skies Press.

Rudhyar, Dane. (1980). The Astrology of Transformation. Quest Books

Legacy of “Cosmos and Psyche” by Rick Tarnas on the Celestial Vibes podcast

Cosmos and Psyche:

The Legacy of Richard Tarnas

I was interviewed by Aswin Balaji with Celestial Vibes Magazine on the significance and legacy of Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas. In part we talk about his approach to archetypes and synchronicity in astrology and tracking historical patterns in connection with planetary alignments. We also talk about his conception of the modern self’s development that experienced a dawn with the Copernican revolution, led into the disenchantment of the cosmos, and then experienced the descent of its sunset with the Depth Psychology revolution at the turn of the 20th Century that decentered the conscious self as the center of the inner universe and unveiled the vastness of the unknown realm of the unconscious.

On Venus and Neptune in Pisces

Psyche disobeys by William Blake

Eros and Psyche by William Blake

“The lover carves into his soul the model of the beloved. In that way, the soul of the lover becomes the mirror in which the image of the loved one is reflected”

— Marsilio Ficino from De amore

Neptune was not known to Marsilio Ficino during the Renaissance in which he was translating ancient texts and formulating his magical astrology, except perhaps in his imagination. During 20th century astrology a concept of higher octave planets was invented in which Neptune became known as a higher octave of Venus (with Uranus as higher octave of Mercury and Pluto as higher octave of Mars). In part this has to do with Neptune signifying unconditional love as well as relating with the living soul of our greater world, feeling the interconnectedness underlying our shared field of reality. Whereas Venus places us in the pleasure of sensual reception in taste, touch, smell, colors, music, and aesthetics, her focus is centered in unifying the material of our present reality. In contrast Neptune has been linked with vaster realities such as the collective unconscious and dimensions beyond our senses and normal perceptions of time and space.

In 20th century astrology Neptune also became celebrated as a ruler of Pisces by many astrologers, to such an extent that by the end of the century it was the favored ruler among popular forms of astrology. Just as Neptune has an affinity for Pisces, Venus has been said to have her exaltation in Pisces since the most ancient days of astrology. Dorotheus of Sidon, one of the most influential Hellenistic astrologers who lived in the first century AD, wrote that planets in their exaltations “make them very illustrious and remarkable,” becoming an “authoritative figure” who can be entrusted with noble works as well as dwell with and enjoy the profits of regal endeavors. During the transit of Venus in Pisces its exalted status brings enhanced opportunities for luxuriating in sensual pleasures, soothing inner needs, and enjoying arts of all forms. When Venus and Neptune unite in Pisces, desires and reception of pleasures become amplified and otherworldly.

Since April 2011 when Neptune entered Pisces, we have been living in an interesting time period hosting unions between Venus and Neptune in Pisces. Currently they are applying toward a conjunction that will complete on April 10, 2019. Previously since Neptune entered Pisces in 2011, Venus formed a conjunction with Neptune in Pisces on 28 February 2013, 11 April 2014, 1 February 2015, 20 March 2016, 12 January 2017, and 21 February 2018. They will continue forming unions in Pisces until the final one on 27 March 2025. Amazingly, they will form their final conjunction at the very very end of Pisces at 29º53′ with Venus retrograde in 2025. Now that we have been through six of their conjunctions and are approaching the seventh, it’s worthwhile to think back upon each of these past periods of Venus and Neptune forming unions in Pisces to note what changes and realizations occurred for you within your relationships with others as well as your relationship with yourself.

The combination of Venus and Neptune in Pisces is incredibly dreamy, imaginative, and numinous. Its combination corresponds with romantic love being exalted in popular culture as the most magical of experiences. I once heard Rick Tarnas give a talk on the connections between astrology and romance in which he commented that since astrology and synchronicity are not openly acknowledged in consensus society, we end up with a heightened desire for romantic love in mainstream culture. In the materialistic consensus worldview, romantic love carries the entire magical sense of a communion between souls opening up a new universe, an opening that goes beyond the compressed isolation of the Cartesian ego toward awareness of the world soul.  Notably, Tarnas pointed out that astrology, synchronicity and romantic love all (1) have great potential for profound significance, (2) are extremely susceptible to a skeptical negation, and (3) are also susceptible to both projection and illusion.  The potential for illusion in love we find in the union between Venus and Neptune also veils the truth that if one is carrying the divine inside, it is possible for a communion of divinities to occur through romantic love in which reciprocal recognition of divinity occurs.

Tarnas noted we can further find these ideas within Carl Jung’s conception of the Self due to it being constellated by a profound romantic love involving the marriage of opposites, the cosmic marriage of the inner and the outer, the conscious and unconscious. Jung’s ideas also connect to another phenomenon associated with the combination of Venus and Neptune in astrology: projecting unconscious content into our relationships so that both relational partners become enmeshed within exchanging projections.  The book Eros and Magic in the Renaissance by Ioan Couliano described how Jung’s idea that we fall in love with our own unconscious image projected into relationships has similarities to ideas developed by Marsilio Ficino.

According to Couliano, Ficino believed in the necessity of spirit grasping external images in order for the soul to contemplate them, like bodies reflected in a mirror. The love inducing arrows shot by Eros to Ficino are like internal fire emitted through the eyes at its object of interest with a force of fascination. Ficino saw this fiery fascination as penetrating and transfiguring the object of affection, while also creating a phantasm of the beloved that takes on its own existence in the eye of the beholder, potentially leading to possession and obsession. Couliano wrote:

“Interestingly, the love object plays a secondary role in the process of establishing the phantasm: it is only a pretext, not a real presence. The true object, omnipresent, of Eros is the phantasm, which has taken permanent possession of the spiritual mirror. Now, this phantasm represents a perceived image that has gone beyond the threshold of consciousness, but the reason it has assumed such obsessional dimensions lies in the deepest part of the individual unconscious. We do not love another object, a stranger to ourselves, Ficino thinks (Amore, VI, 6) thus anticipating the analystic psychology of Carl Jung. We are enamored of an unconscious image.

Eros and Magic in the Renaissance by Ioan Couliano

Complexly, Couliano commented that the subject can graft itself onto the phantasmic image of the beloved so that the subject becomes changed into the object of their love while the object of their affection is simultaneously impacted by their projection.  When both relational partners are engaged in this process, they each end up transfigured by their reflection in the mirror of the other.  Dramatically, Couliano noted that when the object of love removes themselves from the relationship, when they remove their mirror the loss of reflection feels like a death to the subject. Couliano concluded, “after knocking hopelessly at the door of the other’s eyes, this Narcissus will die through lack of access to the glossy surface of a spirit on which (or on whom) he can be reflected.” This of course links with the long lineage of romantic tragedies that have captivated popular imagination for ages.

Titian_Bacchus_and_Ariadne

Bacchus and Ariadne by Titian

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

It’s not really possible to prevent our unconscious from shaping the relational dynamics we form with others, and this is a gift in terms of the creativity and growth cultivated by the commingling of unconscious fields. We can at least gain awareness that the phenomenon is happening and open to the actual presence and needs of a partner instead of confining them to our own projection. The numinous, intermingling perceptions and projections between lovers is so full of magical potency that it has given birth to countless epics of artistry that have endured the tests of time and will continue to do so. Most importantly, it can enrich our life when not causing damaging delusion. As Venus and Neptune begin a new cycle together, as well as during subsequent aspects between them (especially when forming a square or opposition), we can claim the opportunity to reflect upon our unconscious projections. It’s essential that once becoming aware we do not bury the realization in denial but instead sustain contemplation so that it’s pattern may mutate and we may receive insight.

Neptune brings longing for the ideal and sustaining divine connection, yet can also bring debilitating pain once a shattering experience breaks us free from an illusion. After we suffer the agony of betrayal or abandonment, the ensuing underworld process of descending to our solitary depths ultimately gives rise to essential rebirth and expansion of consciousness. Like Persephone arising from her hidden kingdom into our upper world of blooming flowers, like Aphrodite arising from the depths of the ocean to fertilize new ground, we can restore our capacity for sharing and receiving love. When relationships dissolve in disappointing disillusionment, in reflection we can realize the vital, irreplaceable experiences and realizations we received through its reciprocal projections. In fact, we can realize that all of it was necessary in order to become who we are meant to become.

So as Venus and Neptune come together once more in the mutable, watery sign of Pisces, be mindful of living in a time in which you are navigating their waves of communion within the most oceanic sign of the zodiac. Their unions in Pisces can enhance awareness for how our projections are disconnecting us from reality, can lead us to love based upon resonant bonds of connectivity, and can facilitate the nurturance of self love and acceptance. Like Maya spinning a constantly changing stream of illusions, the cycle of Venus and Neptune flows through our reality with the mystical, seductive melodies of its watery stream. While musing within its current, we can enjoy its imaginal activation while maintaining practices of staying grounded and focused within earthly matters and responsibilities. As a result we may retrieve glistening jewels of wisdom from its tides rather than becoming lost at sea.

References

Couliano, Ion. (1987). Eros and Magic in the Renaissance. The University of Chicago Press.

Dykes, Benjamin (2017 translation). Dorotheus of Sidon: Carmen Astrologicum, the Umar al-Tabari Translation. The Cazimi Press.

Aquarian mythos on the Hermetic Astrology Podcast

 

Hapi

Hapi, Egyptian deity of the inundation of the Nile

Myths of the Aquarius Constellation

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Gary Caton on the Hermetic Astrology Podcast exploring various myths associated with the Aquarius constellation. For the most part we focused upon Ganymede in Greek culture, Enki in Mesopotamian culture, and Hapi in Egyptian culture, as well as the ancient association of a cataclysmic Great Flood with Aquarius. We also talk about some of the ideas linked to C.G. Jung’s conception of the Age of Aquarius, and how his idea of the union of opposites can also be connected to the mythology of Aquarius.  I experienced a greater opening in understanding Aquarius through researching these myths and my conversation with Gary, and hope that you do too! If you haven’t listened to Gary’s Hermetic Astrology Podcast before, I recommend checking it out. Click here to listen.

Ea_(Babilonian)_-_EnKi_(Sumerian)

Enki, second on the right with water flowing from shoulders, has ancient associations with the Aquarius constellation and its watery section of the night sky

In the podcast I referenced my friend Jason Holley and his talk about the Ganymede myth in relation to the Aquarius archetype. If interested you can order his talk on Aquarius from Astrology University by clicking here.

Ganymede_Waters_Zeus_as_an_Eagle_by_Thorvaldsen

Ganymede Waters Zeus as an Eagle by Bertel Thorvaldsen

 

Uranus in Taurus

bull-plate-i-1945.jpg!Large

Bull by Pablo Picasso

Uranus in Taurus

The light and shade – the curious sense of body and identity the
greed that with perfect complaisance devours all things – the
endless pride and outstretching of man – unspeakable joys and sorrows,
The wonder every one sees in every one else he sees . . . and the
wonders that fill each minute of time forever and each acre of
surface and space forever,
Have you reckoned them as mainly for a trade or framework? or for
the profits of a store? or to achieve yourself a position? or to fill
a gentleman’s leisure or a lady’s leisure?

Have you reckoned the landscape took substance and form that it
might be painted in a picture?
Or men and women that they might be written of, and songs sung?
Or the attraction of gravity and the great laws and harmonious
combinations and the fluids of the air as subject for the savans?
Or the brown land and the blue sea for maps and charts?
Or the stars to be put in constellations and named fancy names?
Or that the growth of seeds is for agricultural tables or agriculture
itself?

— Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass (Song for Occupations [3]) published with Uranus in Taurus

The ingress of Uranus into tropical Taurus transfigures the astrological atmosphere and strikes a chord inciting a new movement in our collective chorus. Uranus enters Taurus on May 15 and will sustain it’s rupturing, liberating presence until November 6 when it re-enters Aries while retrograde. After revisiting Aries during the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019, Uranus will return to Taurus on 6 March 2019 where it will remain until 25 April 2026. Uranus will only make it to 2º33′ of Taurus before stationing on 7 August 2018, and so will be most impactful this year for those with natal placements in the first five degrees of fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius). Regardless of whether or not you have natal placements in close aspect to the trajectory of Uranus across the next six months, however, you will soon notice its impact. Though life is always in flux, Uranus entering Taurus denotes a coming period of volatilizing change felt from the roots, altering dynamics at core levels. While we can explore archetypal patterns resonant with Uranus in Taurus to get a sense of what this transit could bring, it’s vital to realize that Uranus brings the unexpected to such a degree that its manifestations in Taurus will go far beyond expectations.

Many astrologers have been writing and speaking about the impact Uranus will make in Taurus in terms of earth being the most dense and stable element in astrology, and Taurus being the earth sign most resistant to change. Uranus brings the necessary alchemic fire required to shake and reshape matter, signifying that Uranus impacting the fixed sign of the Bull will bring deep-seated, tectonic shifts in personal and collective events. Uranus brings a whirling vortex of change when it enters a new sign, yet in the current transition it is moving from the fast moving, change inducing sign of Aries into the plodding, patient pace of Taurus that can sustain thorough resolve for long periods of time. Ever since Uranus entered Aries in 2010 it has been under the influence of Mars in a fiery sign ideal for separating us from past attachments and boldly embarking in new directions. With Uranus in Taurus, we can deepen the dynamic changes we initiated with Uranus in Aries as Uranus will be under the influence of Venus in a grounded sign known for its cultivating prowess.

Taurus is the sign of the Bull, and this apt symbol highlights how the calm presence of a bull luxuriating in a field can turn into a raging force thundering the ground once provoked. Uranus will electrify, vivify, and fully awaken the sensualness as well as the stubbornness of Taurus, and just as it can be extremely difficult to slow down a bull once it is racing forward, we also will need to be aware of how events triggered in correspondence with Uranus in Taurus will obstinately persist with inexorable steadiness. We can imagine this to be a good thing when contemplating the emergence of an inspirational, idealistic movement focused on the greater good, but we also know from history and current events that many inspirational movements promote the benefit of proponents at the expense of oppressing others. For example, it is a well known fact that the last time Uranus entered Taurus the world experienced the trauma of destruction caused by Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany. Other past transits of Uranus in Taurus have involved the crusades, the conquering of America by Spanish conquistadors, and the initiation of direct shipment of slaves from Africa to the conquered Americas where the indigenous population was being displaced.

There has been a long historical pattern of the deep foundational changes brought by Uranus in Taurus erupting into frenzied volatility once Uranus leaves Taurus for Gemini.  In part this could be due to the fact that the North Node of Uranus is in Gemini, as well as the fact Gemini is a volatile sign to begin with. In the United States of America, the revolutionary war broke out with Uranus in Gemini yet all of the necessary events that brought it about occurred with Uranus in Taurus (1767 – 1775). The next time Uranus entered Taurus (1850 – 1859) was the decade of the 1850s that led into the eruption of the civil war with Uranus in Gemini; though there was a “great compromise” that delayed the outbreak of civil war, this compromise also involved aspects such as the fugitive slave act that inflamed conflict.  Finally, while war raged across Europe when Uranus was in Taurus last time (1934 – 1942), it was not until the very end of Uranus moving through Taurus that the Pearl Harbor bombing occurred that led to the USA entering the second world war (the USA combat in the war then occurred with Uranus in Gemini). In current events in the USA as well as all across the world, we can witness how fundamental change is once again rippling throughout the fabric of civilization as Uranus enters Taurus.

This time around, the core changes brought by Uranus in Taurus will be exacerbated by Saturn and Pluto coming together in Capricorn in January 2020. The conjunction of Saturn and Pluto has a long historical correspondence with the fall of powerful civilizations and the rise of new powers, and the coming conjunction in 2020 is even more notable than normal due to Saturn and Pluto uniting close to the degrees of each of their own South Nodes. Yet civilizations are part of the natural environment, and in fact are completely dependent upon nature no matter how much technology is invented. There is an obvious reckoning coming in the time period of Uranus transiting Taurus in which global civilizations will need to face the realities of population growth and the resulting drain on natural resources for energy. It’s also easy to see how the increasing devastation wrought by natural disasters, coupled by the increasing evidence of climate change impact, will become intensified as Uranus in Taurus will force societies to figure out how to survive and adapt. Uranus in a fixed earth sign suggests the voice of the earth will be heard loud and clear, and that human civilizations will need to listen.

Bull_leaping_minoan_fresco_archmus_Heraklion

Fresco from palace at Knossos on Crete (1450 B.C.)

Unlike the past eight years of Uranus moving through Aries in which it formed a harsh, catalytic square aspect with Pluto in Capricorn, Uranus in Taurus will be spending the next few years forming a whole sign trine to Pluto in Capricorn. In addition, Uranus in Taurus will be forming a whole sign sextile with Neptune in Pisces, and a whole sign trine with Saturn in Capricorn as it approaches its union with Pluto. These harmonious whole sign aspects on one hand suggest that power structures have supportive aspects to continue amassing increased levels of power and control, but it also means that individuals taking responsibility to collaborate in collective movements will also be able to create structures to bolster the expression of emancipatory ideas and actions. Uranus and Neptune coming into aspect again is especially notable and brings potential to open up a deeper dimension of Neptune in Pisces spirituality for some, amplifying addictive escapism through technology for others.

As Uranus enters Taurus our world population is engaged in unprecedented levels of immersion in virtual technologies and electronic platforms connecting people all across the planet through the touch of fingers on keyboards. This airy age of rapid, interconnected communication is signified by the coming conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the first degree of tropical Aquarius on 21 December 2020.   The union of Jupiter and Saturn in mundane astrology for ages has helped define trends in historical time periods, and so its significant we are now at the beginning of a 200 year cycle of Jupiter and Saturn conjunctions in air signs (after previously being in a cycle of conjunctions in earth signs that began in 1802- for an excellent article on this complex topic, read Benjamin Dykes).  Uranus in tropical Taurus will only be six degrees away from an exact square with Jupiter and Saturn when they begin their upcoming cycle at the end of 2020, signifying the transit of Uranus through Taurus will be a monumental influence shaping unfolding events.

Taurus is a nocturnal, inwardly directed sign in contrast to the diurnal nature of Aries that has an outwardly directed essence.  The other fixed signs, especially Scorpio and Leo, are commonly seen as the places of immense power within the zodiac, yet Taurus is every bit their equal in sovereign strength. The inward, Venusian power of Taurus that can nourish monumental creation may not seem as obvious as the inner martial force of Scorpio which broods and penetrates with intensity. What seems on the surface as calm stability in Taurus is similar to the unfathomable depths of subterranean life concealed by the green grass we lay our heads upon. As the goddess Inanna calls for someone to plow her fields, so will we be called to delve into the nature of our being as well as the natural world around us to discover the inspirational solution to whatever challenges arise. Uranus in Taurus illuminates our capacity to find ways to meld the wondrous magic of nature and all of its constant creation into our creative process and invention.

A native of Uranus in Taurus exemplary of its technological potential is Nikola Tesla, who as a youth transfixed with the wonderment of a crashing waterfall received a brainstorm that he could one day discern how to harness its power. As we know, Tesla not only helped develop the cultivation of hydroelectricity but numerous other inventions harnessing natural energy, including groundbreaking work in wireless power. There have been many historical examples demonstrating the capacity of Uranus in Taurus to birth technological inventions that dramatically transform culture, and the obvious need for technological advancement that can help us mediate environmental crises aligns perfectly with the potential of Uranus in Taurus. At the Northwest Astrological Conference in 2018, Caroline Casey spoke about animism informing technology with Uranus in Taurus, giving the example of Japanese bullet train design guided by the dynamics of kingfishers diving through water without a splash. This idea of biomimicry is not new, but seems fertile ground for new advancements with Uranus transiting Taurus.

Insight gained from the magic of natural creation will be felt from all fields of exploration during the transit of Uranus through Taurus. In science, there have been many examples of new theories in understanding natural laws manifesting with Uranus in Taurus, from the work of Isaac Newton with universal gravity and mechanics to Charles Darwin finally deciding to present and publish his long-standing, thorough research into natural selection that defied aspects of dominant church dogma. Newton and Darwin’s work both displayed the fixed quality of Taurus as their influence within the field endured for centuries. In astrology, the current movement toward a more embodied practice of astrology that connects us more intimately with our living sky will be strengthened. Marsilio Ficino was an astrologer born with Uranus in Taurus opposite his Scorpio Sun, and was a monumental influence on the artistic movement of the Italian Renaissance as well as its underlying philosophy. Ficino translated and brought back to prominence ancient Platonic and Hermetic text which helped him devise remediation practices aligning astrology with medicinal choices, including aesthetic ones such as sound and color.

As Uranus also signifies collective movements, despite the likelihood the mass population will continue to become even further entrenched within virtual realities, there is also a likelihood for movements centered within returning to nature gaining prominence. A past historical example includes Henry David Thoreau publishing Walden, or Life in the Woods with Uranus in Taurus, a work whose influence upon people seeking life lived within natural environments extends to this very moment. Interestingly, Thoreau published his essay Resistance to Civil Government (Civil Disobedience) when Uranus was in the final year of its transit through Aries. Uranus in Taurus will bring both of these ideas together, with acts of civil disobedience being utilized to protect natural environments from consumption.

BullPainting

Lascaux cave painting

Exaltation of the Moon

The Moon is exalted in Taurus and accustomed to being celebrated in the sign of the Bull Horns, yet will now find the strange instigator Uranus camping out there. Uranus entering the exaltation of the Moon suggests a radical awakening of soul through mindful descent into subterranean realms of inner sensation. I was recently struck by the link between enlivening inner senses with Uranus entering Taurus while listening to a workshop given by Peter Kingsley, a scholar of ancient philosophers such as Parmenides and Empedocles. Kingsley described inner sensations as “sacred ground” akin to the sacredness of the underworld to the ancient Greeks, yet in this case sacred ground you bear everywhere. Kingsley illuminated the value of the ancient healing practice of incubation, or lying down with full immersion within inner sensation, calling it a “practice of abandonment, the practice of giving up . . . when nothing else worked.”  Kingsley described how ancient people would seek a shrine to lie down within and be as close to death as possible when doctors were not able to diagnose a cure, and how through this process a healing remedy would emerge through submergence within inner senses.

To Kingsley the ancient Greeks had a fundamental need for the wisdom and understanding that comes through the incubation of inner sensation, stating “there was fundamentally no difference between a body that is sick, a mind that needs understanding, and a city that needs new laws.” Kingsley described that just as personal imbalances could be remedied through incubation, so could new systems of laws be brought to civilization by those who had entered and come back from “another state of consciousness by practicing incubation.”  Through incubation we become  “drawn into the underworld, into the depth . . . into that mysterious access point which is available in the underworld that gives you access to every level of existence.” I like these ideas in connection with Uranus entering Taurus since the disruptions that can enter our life with Uranus transits take us into dark nights of the soul and can force us to let go of attachments. It will be helpful to make time for meditative practices, remembering it can really be as simple as lying down in full immersion of senses. The alchemy of incubation to Kingsley reveals the midnight Sun and that “the real light is found at the heart of darkness” and realization that “the source of light is inside.”

While Taurus correlates with inner wealth and riches, it can also correlate with possessiveness, excessive hedonism, and materialistic greed. Kingsley spoke about how exploration of inner sensation can also address the “dynamic of nothing being enough that this [Western] culture thrives on” through nourishing us from within. Kingsley described it as a “whole process of inner agriculture” in which we can become “a farmer in the unseen worlds.” Notably, farming and agricultural have been significations for Taurus since Hellenistic times. Just as we could experience innovations in cultivating our inner fecundity with Uranus in Taurus, so are we also likely to experience collective innovations in agriculture and food production, as well as increased influence from fields such as permaculture. As Vettius Valens wrote in the second century CE:

Within the great cosmic order and turning circle of time, the Bull brings acquisition of resources. It is entirely earthy in nature, acting on rustic and rural places. There is an affiliation between Taurus and farming. Because the Bull is so earthy, its action is carried downward . . . It is oriented towards work of the unending variety, the temperament being entirely unchangeable. The Bull is responsible for the building of foundations, inclining us to collect assets.

— Vettius Valens, Anthology Book One translated by Andrea Gehrz

Uranus glyph Aphrodite birth with Hermes

Birth of Aphrodite (4th Century BC) attended by Hermes, Himeros, and Poseidon. Athenian red figure pelike from the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki. Uranus glyph by Bradley Naragon

Home of Venus

Taurus is the earthy, inwardly directed home of Venus with a fixed focus on cultivating enduring qualities. Uranus in Taurus will be influenced by Venus and her flavorful aesthetics, sense of harmony, and sensuality. As a result we can expect Uranus in Taurus to bring innovative changes to fashion, dietary considerations, bodily caregiving and anything else Venusian. There will be a reawakening in relationships, with a need for our partners, friends, and collaborators to accept and support our essentiality. Venus and Uranus do not share much common ground in archetypal meaning, and so we will need to open the Venusian areas of our life to allow for the revelatory flow of Uranus that can be unsettling in its rapid change. As Taurus and Venus both have a lot to do with our inner values, we can make allies with Uranus by engaging in relationships that resonate with our authenticity rather than those that conform to external standards.

Uranus in the home of Venus suggests exciting developments in the arts and inspirational artistic movements are on the way. When researching past historical correlations with the transit of Uranus in Taurus, a pattern that leapt out to me was the numerous examples of masterpieces in storytelling. While Uranus was in the sign of the Bull, the ingenious Don Quixote climbed upon his steed to engage in his fantastical chivalry. The original Globe Playhouse was constructed giving William Shakespeare a stage to write and perform such classics as Henry VJulius CaesarAs You Like ItHamletTwelfth Night, and Othello. The great white whale Moby Dick, a story paradigmatic as “the great American novel,” emerged from the ocean waves, inspiring obsessive quests. The “body electric” of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass was also published with Uranus in Taurus, as was John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath which captured the trials of survival from the Dust Bowl crisis. Steinbeck wrote about survival with directness evocative of Uranus in Taurus:  “How can you frighten a man whose hunger is not only in his own cramped stomach but in the wretched bellies of his children? You can’t scare him – he has known a fear beyond every other.”

We can also witness masterful storytelling within natives with Uranus in Taurus such as Dante Alighieri, the creator of the enduring, immortal Divine Comedy whose influence has been incredibly far reaching. Masters of modern myths Jim Henson and Hayao Miyazaki were also born with Uranus in Taurus, both capable of creating entire worlds of fantasy that reflected timely messages back to audiences. Among artists, Vincent Van Gogh was also born with Uranus in Taurus (as well as Saturn and Pluto in Taurus) and his works of passion resonate with Uranus in Taurus in the way they capture the soulful aliveness of the ground beneath as well as the stars above. Whatever challenges and difficulties arise with Uranus in Taurus, we can expect they will inspire art, music, and story whose influence will stand the test of time.

800px-El_Greco_View_of_Toledo

El Greco (1596-1600) View of Toledo; Uranus entered Taurus in 1599.

The planet Uranus was named for the primal sky god Ouranos, father of the Titans and lover of the primal earth goddess Gaia. Ouranos was fond of stuffing his Titanic offspring deep underground, and so it is interesting that the other mythic figure usually connected with the planet Uranus, Prometheus, was a Titan who took the side of the Olympians in the Titanomachy that led to his Titanic peers also being driven deep into Tartarus. In astrology we connect aspects of Uranus to the unconscious forces that can direct our life suddenly from unseen realms within. In mundane events, Uranus also corresponds to unforeseen forces fracturing and bursting through the facade of consensus reality. Whenever Uranus enters a new sign, unexpected events often erupt with resonance to the zodiacal symbolism.

With Uranus entering Taurus, we can intuit that commerce and economic systems across the planet will be shaken. While there will likely be dramatic periods of instability, it’s also likely that economic innovations will emerge through the volatility. As numerous past transits of Uranus in Taurus have coincided with militarized fights over land rights and natural resources, we can also expect more of the same. As previously mentioned, we can also expect mass movements focused upon environmental concerns such as addressing the need for clean water sources and the protection of what remains of the wilderness. Demetra George has posted a lucid piece connecting environmental concerns and crises with the mythic Uranus giving birth to the Furies within the tumult of his downfall.

Uranus also relates to revolutions, rebellions, and social justice activism in mundane astrology. The past transits of Uranus through Taurus involve many of the threads currently knotted together in the gaping collective wounds polarizing conflict all across our planet. Social unrest, protest and activism is guaranteed in the next six months of Uranus initiating its transit in Taurus, as it will form a harsh aspect with Mars retrograde in Aquarius in June through August followed by a polarizing aspect with Venus retrograde in Scorpio in October. During this same period, Uranus in Taurus will re-enter the orb of a fifteen degree opposition with Jupiter in Scorpio, the orb used by Richard Tarnas in Cosmos and Psyche to define time periods containing the revolutionary fervor activated by Jupiter and Uranus in opposition (June through September 2018).

A previous time Uranus in Taurus was opposite Jupiter in Scorpio, Frederick Douglass gave the rousing speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” on July 5, 1852. Frederick Douglass was exemplary of the emancipatory force of Uranus due to rising from slavery to become a leading intellectual, inspirational orator, and human right activist. The words of Douglass still resonate today:

“. . . At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.”

— Frederick Douglass, What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?

hathor cow goddess

Hathor

The Hierophant arcanum in tarot is traditionally associated with Taurus, an arcanum signifying belief systems, guiding faith rooted in belief, and the search for higher purpose and meaning. It can also signify conformity to established social orders of morality which aligns with its association to the fixed sign of Taurus. The word hierophant has roots in ancient Greek, meaning one who reveals what is sacred. Past transits of Uranus through Taurus have brought the shattering of static religious doctrine, including the 95 theses of Martin Luther that helped instigate the Protestant reformation, as well as Charles Darwin presenting his research into evolutionary biology that contradicted christian dogma. Saint Francis of Assisi was born with Uranus in Taurus and rebelled against the material trappings of religious institutions, devoting himself to a life of poverty. Saint Francis embodied Uranus in Taurus through viewing the natural world as a reflection of spirit, not only finding connection between living creatures and divinity, but also living and serving from this belief. The mystical participation of Saint Francis that rebelled against the christian duality which separated spirit from nature is likely to gain prominence as Uranus transits through Taurus.

In ancient Egypt the great goddess Hathor who was honored and celebrated by hierophants remains an archetypal force resonant with Uranus in Taurus. Hathor was a bovine divinity and sky goddess who emphasized the fertile nourishment of the starry heavens above, the celestial cow who lifted the creator Sun god up within her horns. A bestial goddess whose womb encompasses the stars above, Hathor’s link to Uranus in Taurus suggests spiritual meaning can come through connection with nature, alignment with natural cycles on earth and in the stars above, and ritually honoring the sacred. There is an old debate pitting the mind versus the body, with some arguing that the illusion of the material world means we can’t trust our senses and instead must find spiritual truth through the rationalizing mind. In contrast, others have sought the wisdom of the body, delving within subjective senses to discover higher truth from within. Uranus in Taurus can activate the potential of integrating mind, body, and spirit, bridging the wisdom of inner sensation with the clarification of mind through the tests that will arise in our worldly endeavors.

Tim Addey in his book The Seven Myths of the Soul used a passage from the Platonic philosopher Damascius to illuminate the journey of soul we experience through incarnation. Prometheus, a mythic figure who has become embedded within the archetypal meaning of Uranus in astrology, appears in the passage of Damascius in the line “Like Prometheus and the Titans, she is bound to body.” Addey linked the story of Prometheus to our soul’s incarnation in our bodily form where she must “undergo a series of trials in order to make sense of the world in which she finds herself.” To Addey, Prometheus is both “the inspective guardian of the rational soul” as well as “the descending arc of the cycle of the soul” whose path necessitates “the need to embrace the foundations of the mundane realm rather than reject them.” Addey suggests that “the initiation of Prometheus requires the soul to ask what am I not?” As we enter what promises to be a dramatic time period of Uranus entering Taurus, open awareness to what aspects of your life are ready to be liberated and changed. Analyzing how Taurus is involved in your astrology chart may be helpful, but most of all allow yourself to sense what parts of yourself you’ve been presenting to the world no longer align with your higher truth. It’s easier to ride with the force of Uranus rather than resist it.

References

Addey, Tim. (2000). The Seven Myths of the Soul. The Prometheus Trust.

Kingsley, Peter. (2006). Return to Eternity: a transformational workshop with Peter Kingsley.

Vettius Valens of Antioch. Book One. Rendered from ancient Greek into modern English by Andrea L. Gehrz. (2016). Moira Press.

Whitman, Walt. (1986). Leaves of Grass. Penguin Classics.

Aries New Moon & Uranus

the-domain-of-arnheim

Rene Magritte (1962) The Domain of Arnheim

New Moon in Aries

New Moons present an opportunity within fertile darkness to set intention. As the Moon aligns with our Sun and begins a new cycle and trajectory into increased light, we similarly pass from the close of a cycle into the promise of potential. Amplified beyond the norm, the New Moon in Aries on April 15 invites intention sung from peaks of far ranging vision. The lunation is aligned with Uranus and so whatever has been building in tension within constriction now demands release. Uranus brings increased excitement and incites desire for honest, authentic expression freed from restriction. Collective events will clamor and roar with a quickening pace, breaking open what has been confined. On personal levels within the tumult there is support for releasing liberated vision through grounded effort. Patience and due diligence must be embodied, using the imaginal excitement of future dreams as a gentle force of inspiration rather than an overbearing insistence on getting one’s way.

The New Moon arrives at the same time that Mercury has finally stationed direct, ending it’s retrograde in Aries that began March 22. Hermes seizes the stage, and as all eyes become drawn to the Winged Messenger we can also become conscious of openings for taking bold and direct action aligned with inner purpose. Whatever has become dislodged and purged in the past three weeks of the Mercury retrograde has created the space needed for integrating a new dimension of presence sourced from the stoking of inner fire. Mercury will be illuminating the sky at dawn as a Morning Star as the Moon waxes in light in the forthcoming lunar cycle, curious and eager to set plans in action and seek out new information to strengthen development of goals. Pay attention in case Hermes fooled you recently with some sleight of hand, as Mercury stationing direct brings capacity for focused alacrity attuned with the changing details of circumstances.

At the same time Mercury in Aries is stationing direct, Saturn in Capricorn is stationing retrograde. Planets stationing bring their significations forward from the depths of the collective unconscious into stark awareness. This is especially the case with Mercury and Saturn at the moment as they are stationing in range of a catalytic square to one another. Due to Mercury’s retrograde phase in recent weeks, we have already experienced a square aspect between Mercury and Saturn on March 10 and April 5. It will be worthwhile to reflect upon changes that have been happening since March 10 and messages we have received regarding the work and service we wish to perform as well as the stability and effectiveness of the structures we have in place for support and implementation. If we have already been actively reflecting upon and experimenting with what’s been working and not working optimally in recent weeks, then the Aries New Moon is ideal for implementing needed modification.

Mercury will be applying to a square with Saturn in Capricorn for the rest of April, eventually perfecting the aspect on April 25. This means the rest of the month Mercury has a drive for instigating movement and directly creating what we want, while Saturn will make the limitations of available time and resources obvious. The negative side of Mercury holding such a strong aspect with Saturn for so long is excessive self-criticism for not living up to expectations. If you have a grand vision of something to create, let the limitations and obstacles that arise in the next month help you strengthen your project and allow it to develop with fruitful fluidity. The encounter between Mercury and Saturn is perfect for figuring out how to best serve the needs of others with what you want to manifest, rather than being overly consumed with your own selfish conception. If you are instead feeling frustrated with a lack of inventive ideas or confused over which direction to pursue, allow Mercury the time and space to help guide you, as its tension with Saturn in the weeks ahead will eventually bring increased clarity.

Knight_standing_on_fountains_-_Splendor_Solis_(1582),_f.7_-_BL_Harley_MS_3469

from the Splendor Solis

Mars in Capricorn rules the New Moon while applying to a conjunction with Pluto. As the tension between Mercury and Saturn builds over the rest of April, so will the ferment between Mars and Pluto intensify as they will eventually reach exact union on April 26. Mars and Pluto coming together is always a time of reckoning in which we must acknowledge and find outlets of expression for deep seated desires we may have been repressing or denying. This particular conjunction of Mars and Pluto is epic, as Mars is moving from a union with Saturn to a union with Pluto and therefore foreshadowing the coming union of Saturn and Pluto in 2020.

The cycle of Pluto and Saturn is one of the most important cycles to pay attention to in mundane astrology especially in connection with destruction of empires and power structures coupled with the emergence of upstarts claiming increased levels of power and control within global systems. Its especially significant that Saturn has made it within the fifteen degree threshold with Pluto that Richard Tarnas established as his boundary marker for cultural correspondences in his book Cosmos and Psyche (Tarnas tracked historical correlations with planetary alignments of conjunctions and oppositions using a fifteen degree orb). This essentially signals that we are already experiencing the sweeping tides that will irrevocably alter the global landscape in 2020. No kidding, right.

The scope of the coming changes relative to global civilizations is immense, as Pluto and Saturn will be uniting in range of a conjunction with their own south nodes. Dane Rudhyar wrote that the south node of a planet is like “the negative pole of an electrical system” that is “a point of release, but what is released can be waste-materials…At its south node the characteristic quality of a planet is almost forcibly thrown upon the Earth.” Pluto has already conjoined its south node and we are only at the beginning of a period unleashing the full arc of Pluto’s archetype. The news cycle is full of stories displaying the decay of old cultural systems, the exposure of corruption within them, and innumerable examples of those in power attempting to coerce and maintain control within the dismantling. There is no stopping the rapid currents of change underway, but within the breaking apart of the old there is new space being created to take responsibility for developing new structures that can support those feeling vulnerable amid the upheaval.

Significantly, at the same time Mars is approaching Pluto it is also being received by Jupiter in Scorpio through an integrative sextile aspect that can help bring regeneration out of discord, or at least transmit feelings of resistance, stress or challenge into productive action. The ability to produce something of beautiful value within surrounding intensity is also embodied by Venus in Taurus separating from a trine with Mars in Capricorn and applying to an opposition with Jupiter. The flowing energy between Mars with Venus and Jupiter combined with powerful tensions held by other aspects points to Aries New Moon being an extremely powerful launch pad for bold, dynamic endeavors full of resilient perseverance to not only survive but foster increased levels of strength within a stressful environment.

odilon-redon-centaur-1900-trivium-art-history

Odilon Redon (1900) Centaur

Chiron in Aries

Chiron ingresses into Aries two days after the New Moon on April 17. Chiron first entered Pisces on April 20, 2010 and so we have eight years of Chiron moving across Pisces to look back over and reflect upon today. Chiron will be in Aries for only part of 2018, as it will station retrograde on July 5 at 2º25′ of Aries and then return to Pisces on September 25 for its finale in the sign of the Fish. Chiron spends more time in Aries than it does in other signs, for its crossing of Aries terrain takes it to the furthest point of its orbit out by Uranus. Chiron is the celestial body that bridges the dimension beyond Uranus to the one within the guardianship of Saturn, and so can provide counsel for how to listen to the subconscious messages arising with the Uranian lunation.

Chiron has brought about enormous dissolution while in Pisces that has helped facilitate healing as well as strength in facing and learning from disillusionment. Pisces is an internal and sensitive water sign that is in clear contrast to the fiery agency that will become available to Chiron in Aries. Chiron emerges from his cave in Aries ready to train heroes and heroines, eager to engage the power systems of the world in direct action. Chiron in Aries brings empowered will force to the determination of Saturn and Mars in Capricorn, bringing increased drive for advancement and protection, finding ways to direct outrage from oppressive power structures into effective streams of manifestation. Chiron in Aries will demand reclaiming power. How we choose to reclaim power and fight against forces of oppression will be one way Chiron in Aries will trigger wounds for healing.

Aries 3 Decan by Francesco Del Cossa

Aries 3 Decan image from Allegory of March: Triumph of Minerva (1476) by Francesco del Cossa

Aries 3 Decan

The third face of Aries is ruled by Venus and Jupiter and similarly holds uplifting passion resonant with the daimon of Eros. The image above by Francesco del Cossa of a figure who resides within this face encapsulates aspects of numerous images found in ancient text. The trinity of Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Picatrix, and Liber Hermetis all reveal figures dressed in red and holding a staff or sword. This passionate figure is wearing either a golden or wooden bracelet depending on whether you consult Three Books of Occult Philosophy or the Picatrix, but both texts indicate the figure embodies the unrest of not being able to do desired good. The reason for not being able to manifest these good wishes is not stated, but Three Books proclaims there is “talent, tameness, joy, and beauty” to be found here. The figure in the Picatrix is an iron worker and so has a medium through which to transfigure frustrated anger into works of vivifying creation.

The figure in Liber Hermetis wears a gold crown with glistening emeralds decorating her belly. She is full of magic and her staff has the heads of four serpents facing a polarity of directions. Her garments of dark rose are lined with golden strings and she seems to possess the grace of the figure painted by Francesco del Cossa rather than the fury over constraints described by other texts. The focused countenance in del Cossa’s figure suggests they have an inner knowing of being able to make a targeted impact, as they seem to be summoning an inner force to project through the golden bracelet held delicately with their fingers. Francesco del Cossa placed an arrow in the other hand, evoking the mythic Eros or Cupid. Eros is in fact resonant, as the Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the figure of Eros to the third face of Aries: the capacity of Eros to arouse passions into creations that inspire collective forces lies at the heart of the decan’s meaning.

Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Burning Rose” to the third face of Aries for reasons similar to its correspondence with Eros.  Coppock wrote that “Eros’ escapades make clear that the desire for unification is inflamed by separation, love by war, lust by forbiddance.” The concept of unifying through the flames of inspiration is key to Coppock’s interpretation of this face, as he wrote that it contains “the power of the spirit to unify and seduce, to motivate and to bond those of confluent passion.” Coppock illuminated that it is the martial, battle-ready ferocity of Aries turned toward artistic performance and charismatic presentation that gives this decan its power “to create a commonality of spirit even in the most hostile conditions.”

All of us can draw from the inspirational force of the New Moon occurring in the third face of Aries, united with Uranus, to bring resources and people together for the greater good. While we will become upset and express grief over difficult collective and personal events, there will also be opportunities for the strife of intense events to mobilize us toward new levels of strength we can utilize in supporting and inspiring others. The Aries New Moon asks us to get into the flow and ride the rapids of coming change, ready to respond and open to receiving assistance.

References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: the history, astrology, and magic of the decans. Three Hands Press.

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

 

Total Leo Solar Eclipse

Solar_eclipse_1999_4_NR-2

Total Solar Eclipse of 11 August 1999, member 21 of Saros series 145, by Luc Viatour

NOTE: This post has the unique distinction of being co-written in collaboration with astrologer June Rose Trimbach.  We will be co-teaching classes together in the coming season, and as we were already communicating a lot about our shared ideas regarding this Total Solar Eclipse, it seemed like a fitting opportunity to introduce our coming work together.  On October 29 we will be co-teaching a class at the Portland School of Astrology entitled The Daimon: The Guiding Spirit of Astrology.  We are also currently developing a series of introductory astrology webinar classes we will be teaching in the coming months.  There is not yet a planned start date for the webinar series as we are still putting material together, but I will let you know as soon as we have clear dates set up.  Feel free to send me an email if you are interested in learning astrology from us through the webinar medium, and I can answer any questions you may have about them.

Solar Eclipse in Leo

Black as the night from which the light of stars emerge, black as the earth full of death that produces life. Black as the feathers of crows that soar through space, black as the darkness that nurtures recovery. The blackness of a total solar eclipse in which the light of our Sun is blocked takes us into the mysterious void from which all of our known universes are created. In the blackness we may rediscover our own source of primordial creativity from within, as well as realize the illusory nature of a reality we previously believed in.

In the time leading up to this eclipse, the Sun is shining through its home sign of the Lion, the sign of strength of heart and leadership. The light of the Sun brings exposure and purification; the true hearts of humans are exposed. As the Moon moves in front of the Sun, a shadow is cast, and a shadow is revealed. While the shadow of leadership and courage is exposed, it is also a portal for deeper understanding of our own hearts, our own courage to lead and to shine. We learn the deeper motivations for these goals, and the potential wounding therein.

Astrologer Joe Landwehr teaches that in a Solar Eclipse the creative dynamic potential is eclipsed by the emotional needs of the Soul. The needs of the Soul can be largely irrational, in that we can be pulled to act in ways that one wouldn’t always choose.  Joe has taught that the Soul sometimes drags our unwilling selves into tough places, but places that we need to be. These irrational Soul-needs are like a deep well of insight into the meaning of our lives that when we ignore, come back to haunt us. This means that if our Soul is drawn to leadership, acts of courage or greater emanation of the heart, we may have to face these parts of ourselves now.  How can we show up to these potentially hidden parts? The eclipse can reveal these parts, but they may not look rational or even safe: how can we honor the parts of ourselves that have remained in the dark?

ClavisArtis.3headeddragonsun

from the Clavis Artis

An eclipse is also known as a great dragon showing itself, devouring the Sun:  terrible and mystical and wise. This eclipse takes place on the north node or the head of the dragon. This head is desirous, consuming and wishes to devour, but devour what?  There is potential available amid the surrounding astrological transits to cast off old inner restrictions in order to access greater currents of vitality to not only express in the world, but also take the responsibility to manage with greater integrity.  Yet when we speak of stepping into greater empowerment and claiming greater levels of Leonine power, we must also question and reflect upon the shadow cast by ambition.  As the Leo Sun turns black, the disappearance and reappearance of light can be a portal through which we may gain greater awareness for how to live a more empowered life; one that works in collaboration with the power of others, rather than claims power over others.  The lion is strongest when it realizes it is connected to the natural energetic heart of its community, rather than being the heart itself; love is found in the space in between people.

New forms enter our lives during eclipses as old forms exit, and the quality of what comes in and out can feel both exciting and scary.  Though eclipses have a long association in the astrological tradition with difficult, even disastrous events, they have also proven to mark significant thresholds of more fulfilling fortune.  Professor Qiguang Zhao wrote a beautiful book on dragons entitled A Study of Dragons, East and West in which he explored how the dragons of ancient cultures in the East (East Asia) that were more apocalyptic and associated with heaven came to be associated in the West (Middle East and Europe) as a demonic death symbol linked to “the world of nightmare and the scapegoat, of bondage, pain, and confusion” (p. 61).  Zhao shared the following text from Wu Cheng’en’s Journey to the West that shows the transcendent symbolism of dragons, the creatures most associated with eclipses:

Soaring and transforming,
Encircling clouds and mists,
Like suspending white hooks their claws let fall,
Like bright mirrors the silver scales shine.
Whiskers flap like white silk, each stand’s visible,
Horns rise imposingly, each prong is clear
Those rugged foreheads;
Those bright round eyes.
The Dragons, hidden or seen, can’t be fathomed;
The Dragons, flying or flitting, can’t be described.
If you pray for rain, rain comes instantly;
If you ask for clear sky, you have it at once.
These, only these, are the true dragon forms.
Most dignified and holy,
As a good omen, their aura surrounds the palace profusely.

wands07

7 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Leo 3 Decan

In the days leading up to the eclipse, many of us find ourselves consuming images of banners, bravado and martial violence. These are themes that are presented by the third decan of Leo where the eclipse takes place, a decan associated with the Seven of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  The image of the third decan is seen by Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces as an image of “The Banner.” It is ruled by Mars, the planet of courage, heroic acts and martial combat. These are clues to what the dragon head of the eclipse might be seeking: glory, a cause to fight for. This is perhaps what we are all seeking right now. And now is a time to get in touch with our personal banners. What do we stand for and why?

Mars not only rules the third face of Leo where the eclipse occurs, Mars is also present within the third decan of Leo giving it amplified power.  In addition, the eclipse occurs within the Egyptian bounds of Mars, and Mars is applying to a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon, the head of the dragon.  Mars is on the threshold of leaving combustion with the Sun at the time of the eclipse, but is still invisible under the beams of the Sun emerging from its long journey through the underworld (though perhaps the total darkness of the eclipse may allow for Mars to become temporarily visible).  Although we have a Mars recently reborn from its union with the Sun, it still carries within it the impact of past wounds from previous cycles.  We can feel the determination of Mars in the image of the Seven of Wands card, in which a warrior is fighting against an onslaught from an angry mob.  Mars asks us what ideals, principles, and other forms of personal terrain are worth fighting to protect at all cost.

The Total Leo Solar Eclipse has been named “The Great American Eclipse” as the path of the dragon enters the continental United States in Oregon and exits in South Carolina.  In the time leading up to the eclipse, heated conflict has erupted in the United States over the banner fought under by the Confederate army in the Civil War.  Notably Charleston, South Carolina is on the path of the eclipse dragon as it exits the continent, as Charleston is the location of the first shots fired in the Civil War as well as the location of the horrific murder of African American church goers in June 2015 by white supremacist Dylan Rooff, a tragedy that reignited debate over the presence of Confederate flags and monuments across the United States.

Even as we see images of the shadow of the banner, the question we may ask is if we can devour the banner itself. Can we devour the face of evil so that it is banned from the earth, or will that only perpetuate more violence? The head of a dragon in a realm of such proud martial power is also evocative as the ultimate protector, the courageous warrior willing to give their own life in order to protect life.  Martial strength may be utilized to resist forces of hate and as stated in the Four-Fold Way by Angeles Arriens, “by staying in our power, by showing up and choosing to be present, by extending honor and respect, and by being responsible and accountable.”

To know the absolute is to be tolerant.
What is tolerant becomes impartial;
What is impartial becomes powerful;
What is powerful becomes natural;
What is natural becomes Tao.

— Lao Tzu, quoted from R.L. Wing’s translation, The Tao of Power

total solar eclipse astronomy

by Etienne Leopold Trouvelot (1882)

As the path of the Total Solar Eclipses travels from coast to coast across the United States, its relevant to delve deeper into the country’s astrological context.  The astrology chart most often used by astrologers relates to the date of the Declaration of Independence, and though different versions exist they all involve the Moon in Aquarius, the South Node of the Moon in Aquarius, and the North Node of the Moon in Leo.  Thus the United States is experiencing the karma of a nodal return and eclipses in the same signs as occurred during the time of its Declaration of Independence.  Part of the country’s karma involves the fact the same people who crafted its language of liberation also owned slaves, and the development of its culture coincided with attempts to forcibly remove the culture of the land’s indigenous population.

The shadow of hatred and fear showed itself in Charlottesville, Virginia on a weekend in between two eclipses under a fiery celestial triangle. It was met with courage. There is an opportunity now to join this fight that was started as far back as our mind will take us. This fight has had many iterations throughout time, while simultaneously it is a fight felt deeply and personally all around our planet. But to join it lightly without knowledge of the shadowy realm this fight takes place in, would be unwise.  The opening of a true heart of courage is possible here, a courage based on love and camaraderie. Is it possible even in evil actions, this is what is sought? The ghosts of the past are imminent in the story of America and its present begs for action and healing.

The shadows of Leo and Mars have been problematic in these wounds; the elite white class wrote the constitution for themselves and pitted the poor whites and slaves against each other; a reality we are still seeing. The infrastructure and laws of our country (Saturn) have kept people in chains through Jim Crow laws, the prison industrial complex, and other forms of institutional oppression. Curses economic, societal and emotional hold us back from sharing love with each other, yet we find anecdotes of that very love being shared liberally. The story of fear is not the only story, and we must connect with each other in good ways to get through this. How have the structures of the past and present limited your expression of love, and is there an opportunity of liberation now?

The eclipse activates a grand fire trine with Saturn and Uranus. The disruption of past structures and creative ways of making new ones are prominent themes right now. Uranus is in an exact trine with the Solar Eclipse, making creativity and the unleashing of potential a huge catalyst for change. Uranus is also the story of Prometheus, the one who stole the Fire of the Gods and gave it to humanity.  Western astrologers tend to glorify the myth of Prometheus, yet other interpretations reveal it to be a cautionary tale of hubris and desire to wield the power of gods.  Fascinatingly, the current transit of Uranus in Aries forms a square to the natal placement of Pluto in Capricorn in the chart of the Declaration of Independence. The Pluto of the U.S. is a storehouse of subterranean power and wealth, ruled by Saturn who now finds itself in Pluto’s twelfth house of secrets and hidden potential. The light and shadow of this eclipse is revealing deep secrets, yet there is an even deeper sense of upheaval. In the next five years the U.S. will have its first Pluto return, a transit that can transform, empower or dismantle altogether.

Ouroboros-300x300

Ouroborus by Liv Rainey-Smith

Love is also a force of light and nurture that liberates you to inhabit to the full your own difference.  There should be no imitation of each other.  No need to be defensive or protective in each other’s presence.  Love should encourage and free you fully into your full potential.

— John O’Donahue from Anam Cara:  A Book of Celtic Wisdom

So what is there to do in this time of upheaval? Make a choice to know the shadows of your own heart; true courage comes from love. The shadows of the past are cropping up, in our nations, in ourselves. One power of Leo is to lead by example; to bring an open heart to everything you do. Remain open to changing the structure of your life based on the needs of the Soul. Consider your personal banner: what would you be sure enough to proclaim to the world upon an inspection of the shadow and a heart centered reflection?

What will burn in the light of day as it is revealed, what will take form in our world and what will leave? The shadow is only something to be feared when it is not addressed. We can learn and heal from the scared parts of ourselves, and generally this is what eclipses are about. There is also a question of how we can move in the world. Can we put something into the world that is authentic? Can our radiant heart find liberation and the structure to express itself more truly and freely? Even as actions from wounding inflict more wounding during this eclipse period, can we stand from a place of empowerment and love for the world?

Written by Gray Crawford and June Rose Trimbach

References

Arriens, Angeles. (1993). The Four-Fold Way:  Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer, and Visionary. Harper Collins.

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

O’Donahue, John. (1997). Anam Cara:  A Book of Celtic Wisdom.  Harper Perennial.

Zhao, Qiguang. (1992). A Study of Dragons, East and West.  Peter Lang Publishing.

 

 

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.

Mercury cazimi in Scorpio

georgia-okeeffe-stormcloud-at-lake-george

Storm Cloud, Lake George (1923) by Georgia O’Keeffe

Mercury at the heart of the Sun in Scorpio

Mercury forms its superior conjunction with the Sun on 27 October 2016 at 4°42′ Scorpio.  The superior conjunction occurs when Mercury is moving swiftly through the zodiac on the far side of the Sun in orbit, aligning with Earth in a straight line with regards to the degree of the zodiac.  The superior conjunction of Mercury always occurs when Mercury is moving direct, in contrast to the inferior conjunction of Mercury that occurs when Mercury is retrograde and slowly moving in between the Earth and the Sun in orbit.  While Mercury retrograde in conjunction with the Sun corresponds with an intensely deep, subterranean turn within for insight, the superior conjunction of Mercury in contrast signifies a blazing flow of illumination that can bring about an epiphany of realization as long as we do not become overwhelmed in our flight of mind like an over eager Icarus.

Mercury uniting with the Sun in Scorpio brings penetrating awareness into the underlying emotional dynamics of our present circumstances.  Mercury has more difficulty in water signs in terms of being able to clearly articulate all of its perceptions, as Mercury in water signs picks up on feelings and messages that go beyond words.  Poetry, music, art, and other creative forms of expression enable Mercury in water signs to convey more of the meaning it receives, and sometimes a look or knowing presence is all Mercury in a water sign needs to do in order to transmit profound insight.  Emotions take center stage with Scorpio, and while the water element allows Mercury in Scorpio to dissolve blockages and merge with external sources, its fixed nature can make it stubborn, unbending, and controlling.  When Mercury in Scorpio lets go of needing to ensure it securely has whatever it desires within its grasp, it gains the non-attachment needed to take full advantage of its ability to discern between those who are being honest or dishonest and not only unveil the personal truth of its situation but directly communicate its truth to others.

Mercury at the heart of the Sun in Scorpio can be especially powerful in terms of picking up essential information about our relationships due to the surrounding astrological aspects today.  Mars, the ruler of Scorpio is in Capricorn and applying to a square with Uranus, signifying that unexpected shocks as well as liberating revelations could enter awareness.  Venus in Sagittarius is especially active, having recently formed a square with Neptune in Pisces and a mutually received sextile with Jupiter in Libra, and now applying to a conjunction with Saturn in Sagittarius.  All together, these surrounding aspects are exposing any fantasies and over idealized perceptions we have been fixated upon in our relationships.  By being willing to embrace our honest feelings about our present relationships, the Mercury cazimi in Scorpio can not only help us penetrate into our essential truth and feelings but also help us directly communicate whatever we need to state about our needs and desires to those we are in relationship with.

The last time Mercury was at the heart of the Sun was during its retrograde in Virgo on 12 September 2016. This was a potent inferior conjunction of Mercury in between eclipses that also formed a catalytic square with Mars in Sagittarius.  Following this inferior conjunction, Mercury stationed direct and reappeared at dawn as a Morning Star, a phase Mercury has remained in since then up until now.  The superior conjunction of Mercury marks the transition of Mercury shifting from its Morning Star phase into its Evening Star phase.  Whereas the Morning Star Mercury is active with curiosity and ambitiously focused upon goals in worldly affairs, the Evening Star Mercury is more reflective, discerning, and attuned with how our bodily senses integrate messages from our environment.  Mercury will not be visible as an Evening Star until around 23 November 2016 when it forms a conjunction with Saturn in Sagittarius and sextile with Jupiter in Libra.

The exact alignment of Mercury with the Sun, known as being cazimi or at the heart of the Sun, is special because although Mercury is not visible in the sky its entry into the heart of the Sun places it in the throne of our Solar Light, strengthening all of its Mercurial significations.  Mercury is traditionally considered to become invisible or “under the beams” when it gets fifteen degrees away from the Sun- this happened on 6 October 2016. Once Mercury gets within eight degrees of the Sun it is considered “combust” and somewhat weakened in its ability to manifest its significations due to it undergoing a purifying, regenerative near death experience in the symbolic flames of the Sun.  Mercury went combust around 15 October 2016 at the time of the Full Moon in Aries that was conjoining Uranus.  Since that time our Mercurial perceptions have been going through a period of having past patterns burned off, and while this doesn’t mean we haven’t been able to communicate or interpret meaning effectively, it does mean that getting in touch with the concept of Mercury finishing a cycle can help one flow better with the energy similar to being aware of the difference in experiencing a Dark Moon as opposed to a First Quarter Moon.

The first mention of Mercury being at the heart of the Sun was in the era of Hellenistic astrology, and astrologers such as Rhetorius of Egypt declared that the significations of Mercury become greatly strengthened once it is within one degree of the Sun.  Later astrologers in the medieval period asserted that Mercury needs to be within 16 minutes of the Sun by degree because 16 minutes is one half of the Sun’s apparent size of 32 minutes. On a practical level I have found that the one degree boundary works well in defining a window in which Mercury is strengthened, but if you want to get most exact about it focus on the time period in which Mercury is within 16 minutes of a conjunction with the Sun (in the Pacific time zone, this will be roughly between Midnight and 7 pm on 27 October 2016). Mercury at the heart of the Sun is a magical moment in its synodic cycle, a time of the rebirth of the Mercury archetype in our life.  We can receive vital realization or new conception concerning our present state of being, so making the space during the cazimi time period to center,  ground, and attune within is a fertile, fruitful choice today.

georgia-o-starlightnight

Starlight Night, Lake George (1922) by Georgia O’Keeffe

Mercury within 16 minutes of the Sun in Scorpio for cazimi effect:

Pacific standard time  * 12 am – 7 pm *  27 October 2016  [exact 9:44 am]

Eastern standard time *  3 am – 10 pm * 27 October 2016  [exact 12:44 pm]

British Summer time * 8 am (27 October) [exact 5:44 pm] – 3 am (28 October)

Central European time * 9 am (27 October) [exact 6:44 pm] – 4 am (28 October)

Australian Eastern Standard time  * 5 pm (27 October) – 12 pm (28 October) [exact 2:44 am]

Libra New Moon

butterfly-by-yasui

Butterfly (1950) by Chuji Yasui

A silver quivering cocoon that shakes
from within, trying to break.
What psyche
is wrestling with its shroud?
Blunt diamonds
scrape at its casing,
urging it out.
But there is too much grief. The world
is made of days, and is itself
a shrouded day.
It stifles. It’s our world, and we
its dreams, its creased
compacted wings.

— Denise Levertov, Emblem (II)

New Moon in Libra

The New Moon in Libra on September 30 is the first lunation to follow the Equinox, and within the shifting of the seasons supports momentum borne with reawakened focus.  The New Moon conjoins the expansive and visionary Jupiter in Libra, while in range of a square to the cathartic depths of Mars and Pluto in Capricorn.  The blackness of this New Moon has a different mixture within its matrix than we’ve experienced this year, as Mars has finally left Sagittarius for its exaltation in Capricorn, Jupiter has finally left Virgo for greater dignity in Libra, and Venus has entered the deep waters of Scorpio.  Mars in Capricorn is applying intensely to a square with Jupiter as our lights unite in darkness, demanding we be accountable for enacting our will force in pursuit of our most prioritized goals.  While the past year has involved immense tumult of mutable changes, the Libra New Moon in sextile with Saturn in Sagittarius fortunately supports  building structures to develop and express the soulful desires that have been dislodged by the catalyzing, cascading currents.

The Libra New Moon follows a dynamic month of eclipses, Mercury retrograde, and the final square between Saturn and Neptune.  If we have been able to clear out the dead weight of our lives in the past month, there is vigorous force within the Libra New Moon for launching enterprises bound to the authentic ardor welling up from within.   The eclipses of the past month combined with Mercury retrograde in Virgo forming trines with Pluto were a perfect storm for releasing the heaviness of past grievances and awakening to an enlivening lightness of spirited presence.  As the Libra New Moon is in square to the midpoint of Mars and Pluto in Capricorn, it facilitates bold embodiment of the presence liberated from previous hangups. If overwhelming loss arose during the past month of eclipses, the Libra New Moon further supports reorienting to the resulting ramifications as needed.

It is worth noting that this New Moon that is aspecting both Pluto and Mars arrives at the balsamic close of the cycle between Mars and Pluto that began on November 10, 2014.  From the standpoint that Mars and Pluto have an octave relationship in which the leading edge desires of Mars emanate from the deep well of Pluto, there can be a distillation available of all our circulating desires from the past two years that have not yet manifested.  In the coming lunation cycle Mars and Pluto will conjoin and begin a new cycle- this will happen on October 18 in the waning Moon that follows the upcoming Aries Full Moon.  Vision can be found in the blackness of the Libra Moon that lets go of what was not meant to manifest in the past two years, while opening to intimations of the potential that can be realized in the forthcoming cycle.

Venus in Scorpio

Venus rules the New Moon in Scorpio, the home of Mars, with Mars freshly in the sign of its exaltation, Capricorn.  Though Venus is separating from Mars, they are in a sextile relationship in which the subterranean sensations of Venus in Scorpio can be injected into the persevering drive of Mars in Capricorn.  Though Venus in Scorpio is in a sign opposite her home of Taurus, it pleases Venus to be in a water sign as her full feeling nature is available.  Venus in Scorpio can acclimate with an astrological climate that follows the storms of September, as Venus in Scorpio wants to dig up the roots of whatever circumstance it finds itself in order to feel how the unseen underworld has been informing what is on the surface.

The eclipses of the past month combined with a Mercury retrograde phase in Virgo that stationed direct in a trine with Pluto could have led to the uncovering of secrets or hidden material in need of being known in our relationships.  The Libra New Moon ruled by Venus in Scorpio further supports opening to the depth of mystery within the Self, being willing to embrace shadow and unconscious forces.  If there has been a lot of disorientation due to recent revelations, there can now be healing readjustment as long as we avoid the negative side of Scorpio that manipulates and controls the emotions of others due to fear of being hurt.  The virtue of Scorpio is not its fixated ability to influence the feelings of others to do its own bidding, but rather in its transformational potential to shed old skin and merge with radical presence.

leonora-carrington-spider-1967

Leonora Carrington (1967) Spider

In addition to forming a sign based sextile with Mars in Capricorn, Venus in Scorpio also forms a sign based sextile with Mercury in Virgo.  Mercury direct in Virgo as a Morning Star is one of the most potent forces within the Libra New Moon enabling us to discern the most direct route toward manifestation of our goals.  Mercury has now separated from a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon, a square with Saturn, and a trine with Pluto, and is now applying to an opposition with Chiron in Pisces that has been a key player in the eclipses of 2016.  Mercury is at home and in exaltation in Virgo, a discriminating and rational abode for Mercury that accentuates its ability to bridge soulful spirit to the earthly matters at hand in the moment.  Mercury arises at dawn as the rays of the Sun pierce the tranquility of night, weaving the golden light into a consciousness able to awake and start the day mindful of the choices in greatest alignment with our solar purpose.  Mercury in Virgo and Mars in Capricorn, both places of their exaltation, are capable of building containers in our life that allow for a descent within that regenerates passion that can then be projected into our worldly endeavors.

swords02

2 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Libra 1 Decan

The New Moon falls in the first face of Libra associated with the Two of Swords tarot card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  In the image we see a blindfolded woman crossing two swords in front of her, while sitting before an oceanic expanse. The blindfold and ocean suggest contact with the instinctual inner realm and unconscious, the Crescent Moon the waxing cycle of the Moon’s orbit we enter at this Libra New Moon that calls us to persist on our path forward despite the regressive pull of the past. Commonly, this card in tarot has a meaning of mediating between opposing forces to discover mindfulness and courageous equipoise, resolving previous conflicts within a protected space of exploring internal balance.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Blind Fold and a Sword” to this face, suggesting it awakens us to surrounding injustice and disequilibrium on a societal level as well as in our daily personal interactions. Coppock further noted that the fragmentary Hellenistic text The 36 Airs ascribed the Erinyes (also known as the Furies) to the first face of Libra, linking the chthonic goddesses who punish transgressors of divine law to the element of this face that is concerned with natural law and justice and the revelation of hidden evidence of inequities.  Coppock captured the essence of this face in the following passage:

While fair trade and social justice are prime concerns in this face, its true object is relationships. Legal proceedings and commerce are essentially about the balance between two entities. Indeed peace or strife between individuals is what determines social order, and consensus is the very root of the law. Fairness and reciprocity must underlie all friendships and romances if they are to last. This face shines a light on these dynamics, bringing what is troublesome to the light of conscious recognition. The core principles of ethical interaction with other beings are thus revealed in this face.

— Austin Coppock, 36 Faces, p. 158

The Moon is the ruler of the first decan of Libra, making this New Moon that conjoins Jupiter particularly fertile in terms of bringing expansive alertness to whatever has been out of balance, opening awareness to how to recalibrate the necessary elements.  Embracing our individual wholeness without denial and being willing to communicate honestly with integrity is of course always wise counsel, but the Libra New Moon is particularly responsive to those asserting their needs with healthy and respectful boundaries.  Just as the recent Libra Equinox demarcated a new season of changing winds, so does the Libra New Moon herald a new period of astrological transits that are more conducive to bringing about ample feelings of success more so than the transits that have dominated the majority of 2016 so far. We are clear of eclipses, Mercury retrograde, Mars retrograde and within the aftershocks of the squares between Saturn and Neptune, Pluto and Uranus.  The blackness of night holding the union of Sun and Moon in Libra is fecund with reception for making tangible what has previously been deeply felt and yearned for.

References:

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

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

Pisces Lunar Eclipse

Vasily Kafanov fish landscape gray

Vasily Kafanov (2013) Landscape with Fishtower on gray

The fisherman draws fish that he never saw from many fathoms beneath the water, the miner brings gold from the depths out of the earth, through which his sight cannot pierce. In this wise has God taught it.

As there is nothing so occult that it shall not become manifest, so the same must be made known. Be it in the celestial firmament, in the sea, in the earth, all things must become manifest; but through man who discovers all things.

— Paracelsus, from his preface to Magia Emblemata et Prognostici

Penumbral Pisces Lunar Eclipse

Within change and strife resides freedom and release, for every heart breaks within love that returns and gives birth.  Beyond every flower found in radiant color, ripened fruit savored, or prismatic crystal unearthed and polished, lies an infinitely more vast and invisible realm of dark fertility surrounding and shaping this and all other universes.  In fathomless oceanic depth, under waves inexorably dissolving and bringing forth life, glimmers the slippery, silvery sheen of soul we find in Pisces.

Light as dramatic as can be sensed during the Pisces Lunar Eclipse on September 16 begins to fade as soon as it has brought forth its fullness.  We stand like a willow on the banks of its vortex, trunk strong and branches unfurled toward the constant disintegration of earthly matter into water.   This week’s lunar eclipse at the end of the zodiac culminates many stories embedded in the intense mutable shifting of the past year.  Within red shadows projected upon the Moon, one’s presence of being may become lightened from the accumulated heaviness of past failures and regrets.

In contrast to a solar eclipse in which the Sun is overwhelmed by the shadow of the Moon, symbolically 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. Linking the Moon to what we carry from the past within our body and mind, the past transmutes in the shadowy face of the Moon to allow for new emergence and presence.  Dane Rudhyar in The Astrology of Transformation wrote that at a lunar eclipse “the traditional perspective born of past experiences of adjusting to life and society is blotted out by an eagerness to meet experience in a new, original manner.”  This emphasis on new choices and vision is amplified by the Sun being on the side of the North Node of the Moon in Virgo.

The eclipse is classified as penumbral because although the lunation is fairly close to the nodes of the Moon, the eclipse is at 24º20′ Pisces while the south node of the Moon is at twelve degrees of Pisces.  Though the shadow cast will not completely cover the Moon’s face in rosy glow, it remains a lunar eclipse that irrevocably alters the stories internally streamed from the past year of life.  Aligned with Chiron just as the Total Solar Eclipse in Pisces on 8 March 2016 was also conjoining Chiron, there is a cathartic release into the ever emptying ocean of Pisces that washes away remnants of disappointing burden that have been sticking to the flesh and circulating repeatedly in the mind.

Radha and Krishna

The Lovers Radha and Krishna (circa 1775 -1780)

Pisces is the exaltation of Venus, and the lunar eclipse occurs close to the specific degree Venus exalts in (27° Pisces).  Venus looms over the eclipse as Jupiter in Libra rules the eclipse and Venus is co-present in her home of Libra alongside Jupiter.  Pisces is the inwardly directed home of Jupiter, a place of inner expansion and vision, a faculty of intuitive gnosis merging heart with mind.  Relationships, our current relations as well as all manner of past relational patterns that inform our meeting with others, rise from the waters of Pisces at this week’s eclipse with a message of vital importance, whether found in the form of verbal language or nonverbal image.   In the twilight preceding the full illumination of the Pisces Moon, one may behold a brilliant Venus on the horizon that is continuing to brighten as an Evening Star.

Though as mentioned the shadow of this week’s eclipse is fainter than that of a total lunar eclipse, nonetheless the redness of the eclipsed shadow on the Moon evokes Pisces through its correspondences with eros that vitalizes blood flow and inspirit. The red shadow covering the Moon also has symbolic overtones with the renewal of the rubedo stage in alchemy, as it portends responding to life from a new presence free of past conditioning.  Red is also fitting for Mars being in square to the lunar eclipse, making this Pisces Lunar Eclipse a tumultuous affair.  In fact, there is little balanced about the Libra influence of Venus and Jupiter, as Venus will be applying closely to an opposition with Uranus in Aries and a sextile with Mars in Sagittarius, with Mars further in trine to Uranus.  Yet in the stillness of a Pisces pool within the surrounding bedlam, insight may be discovered.

Scylla 1938 by Ithell Colquhoun 1906-1988

Scylla (1938) by Ithell Colquhoun

“The true duty of the artist is to know what she is doing and transmit her knowledge with precision. The artist must always lift up the skirts of Venus or her twin-sister Medusa; if she is incapable of that, she should consider changing professions.
Let’s thus seek out the possibility of having subtle organs that will allow us to spread a beneficial magic or receive it while cultivating the protections against the multiple venoms of the invisible world. It is only in the strange magic ocean that we can find salvation for ourselves and our sick planet.”
– Leonora Carrington, response to a questionnaire for L’Art magique, 1957

The above quote from Leonora Carrington and painting by Ithell Colquhoun were both shared by Jon Eric Graham in a presentation he gave entitled “A Stunning Revenge on All Things: Surrealism, Alchemy, and Magic” at the recent 2016 Esoteric Book Conference in Seattle I attended.  In a subsequent presentation Pam Grossman also shared the same Scylla image by Ithell Colquhoun in her talk “Witch Pictures: Female Magic and Transgression in Western Art.”  As Pam Grossman traced the history of the depiction of witches in art, highlighting the obvious shift of meaning once women had platforms to create their own witchy images, I was struck by the full archetype of the witch held within any modern manifestation of image, no matter how corporate or commercial.  Namely, that the indescribable trauma and travesty of the collective history of witches is held and honored within the same image of witchcraft a modern teenager will embrace as part of claiming her own sense of the sacred feminine.  This is not to suggest oppression will go away or that its wounds will disintegrate, only that in the dissolution of the Pisces Lunar Eclipse an empowering liberty may be discovered within our identities that have been hurt the most.

The square between Saturn and Neptune that finally culminated in the week before the lunar eclipse involves the transfiguration of collective images in meaning.  Indeed, the most intense aspect to the lunar nodes at this week’s eclipse is not the actual Full Moon Eclipse, but rather the square between Neptune and Saturn, with Saturn applying closely to a square with the lunar nodes and Neptune conjoining the South Node of the Moon.  Whatever sacrifice has had to be made in this past year of the square between Saturn and Neptune, like Odysseus passing through Scylla and Charybdis we now must resolutely with responsibility press forward on the path we have realigned with.  Any fixations on past dreams that did not manifest must now be dropped into the receding tide, with focus and accountability bound to the work needing to be done in the present moment that meets one’s own needs as well as creates valuable resources or inspiration for others.

alchemy image red robe

Colored etching of alchemical stage (18th Century). Source

The numerous catalytic aspects involved in the Pisces Lunar Eclipse unfortunately make it likely that the disasters, acts of violence, and traumatic events that have dominated current events recently will continue.  On a personal level, however, if you are somewhere securely away from overwhelming conflict the incredibly active nature of this week’s eclipse can be an enlivening impetus toward tangible realization of goals and vision worked on across time.  Mercury remains retrograde, separating from its union with the Sun earlier in the week and applying to a trine with Pluto in Capricorn.  Though Mercury has shifted toward its Morning Star phase in which goals and plans can be focused on with greater clarity, it is not yet visible and so there is still a chthonic fertility to all things Mercurial.

Particularly compelling to me is that the true node of Black Moon Lilith will be conjoined with Venus in Libra at the time of the lunar eclipse.  This means that Venus combined with Black Moon Lilith will be opposite Uranus in Aries and sextile to Mars in Sagittarius.  Black Moon Lilith is the oscillating shadow point that balances the Moon’s orbit, bringing the liberating quality of Uranus contacting Venus and Mars more directly into the experience of the Pisces Lunar Eclipse.  Where we have been abandoned, betrayed, felt exiled or placed at a distance on the outside, becomes in the shadowed light of the lunar eclipse a strength fortified by lack and solitude and ready to burst forth with meaning to express and share during the dissemination of the eclipsed light.

cups10

10 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Pisces 3 Decan

The Lunar Eclipse is in the third face of Pisces, associated with the 10 of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  An image of joy, fulfillment, rainbows and giddy children, the 10 of Cups is interpreted as the quality of blissful happiness and manifestation that those who reside within the third face of Pisces not only yearn to bring about but possess the internal resources to do so.  The final decan of the zodiac from the perspective that Aries is the beginning, the third decan of Pisces is a place of magical manifestation where seeming miracles can be brought about against all odds.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Cup of Blood” to this face, describing it as a “mad quest for an ideal” and “being willing to sacrifice everything” for “the attainment of one’s greatest desire, no matter the cost.”  While Three Books of Occult Philosophy described an image of a naked man with a beautiful woman whose head is decorated with flowers, other ancient texts describe terror of loss bringing screams and cries.  Austin Coppock linked the third face of Pisces with such “heights of agony and ecstasy,” writing that “Though there can be no greater pleasure than the union with the beloved, no pain is greater than its frustration, or worse yet, the betrayal of the person or ideal whom one has sacrificed so much for.”   As a result Coppock noted the importance of applying discernment and discrimination to acts brought forth in this face.

Coppock made a brilliant connection with the fragmentary Hellenistic text The 36 Airs ascribing the daimon of hope Elpis to the third decan of Pisces.  This is the hope left at the bottom of Pandora’s box, the answer to doom pointing to “beauty, love and the real possibility of happy endings.  The last decan [of Pisces] is thus a miniature of all incarnation, asking the most important questions and offering the most impassioned answers” (p. 260).

The third face of Pisces is ruled by Mars, and as Mars in Sagittarius is in square to the lunar eclipse, the meaning of this passionate decan of Pisces must be faced.  The warnings of losing one’s beloved or cherished ideal in no way means to hold back from pursuing what enlivens the heart during the eclipse.  With Saturn in square to the lunar nodes and Neptune conjoining the south node, however, it is vital to plant seeds and develop growth in places clearly able to receive and bolster one’s ideal intentions.  There is co-creative magic found in the face of this week’s Pisces Lunar Eclipse to align with the work, path, and collaborators most resonant with one’s deepest desires.

pisceslunareclipsewrigc8

References

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

Paracelsus. (2014 edition). Magia Emblemata et Prognostici. Ouroboros Press.

Rudhyar, Dane. (1980). The Astrology of Transformation. Quest Books.

Jupiter in Libra

HeartoftheRosetapestry

The Pilgrim and the Heart of the Rose by Edward Burne-Jones

Jupiter in Libra

Jupiter enters Libra on 9 September 2016 where it will remain until 11 October 2017.  Since this shift occurs at the same time as the last exact square between Saturn and Neptune, there could very well be extreme tensions in one’s life in need of balancing which Jupiter entering the sign of the Scales can facilitate.  Furthermore, Jupiter enters Libra in a period in between eclipses, with Mercury retrograde forming a hard aspect with Mars, and Jupiter itself invisible and becoming purified under the beams of the Sun.   As a result, it will take some time before the full spectrum of Jupiter’s benefits will be felt in the Libra area of your life, yet Jupiter’s entrance into Libra will still bring some welcomed positivity immediately.

Jupiter is more comfortable in Libra than in Virgo because it has triplicity dignity in Libra, meaning that Jupiter is “in its element” as it prefers to be in Air signs more so than Earth signs.  This accord comes from the Air signs of astrology being connected to the jovial sanguine temperament which is harmonious with the nature of Jupiter.  In fact, Jupiter has been said to rule the sanguine temperament.  Sanguine is uplifting and seeks cohesion in social connections, a quality of moistness becoming hot which in personality comes across as desire to be successful while also being optimistic and lighthearted, supportive and forgiving of others socially.

Jupiter’s time in Libra can direct vision toward what is pleasurable and harmonizing, as it will be in the domicile of Venus.  Libra is the diurnal, outwardly directed home of Venus where the significations of Venus occur at a swifter pace than her other home of Taurus.  Libra is also a Cardinal sign, adding a quality of initiation and gathering the impetus to strike out on new endeavors that will make this an opportune period to find ways to be more collaborative in community.

While Libra is a Cardinal sign ultimately about initiating one’s own, selfish pursuits, its place as the Cardinal Air sign ruled by Venus means it supports acting in accordance with the needs of relationships rather than being instinctually direct like its polarity Aries.  There results a mix of a rational, reflective side with the feelings and associated values of Venus pursuits, leading to a greater capacity for thought and strategizing to inform action more so than impulsive, overwhelming feelings.  However, it is also a mistake to think that everything associated with Libra is in balance, for in reality there is a constant fluctuating of things becoming unbalanced as part of its balancing act.  If balance is achieved it is only momentary, as any equilibrium gained instantly becomes vulnerable to coming out of balance again or falling into disarray.

johfra bosschart libra

Libra by Johfra Bosschart

The Scales

Libra as the sign of the scales is about the perpetual balancing experienced in all of our relationships in the world.  As a symbol the scales conjure the Egyptian imagery of Maat and the weighing of the Soul after death, at which time the heart would ideally be as light as a feather instead of heavy with the gravitas of unresolved issues.  Maat is also the balancing of natural, terrestrial, and cosmic order arising from the field of chaos and its constant flux.  From this comes a sense of social justice felt by a heart aligned with natural order, as well as the social conventions of how a society ascribes judgment to what is appropriate or inappropriate behavior.  Jupiter is a planet of philosophical understanding that brings knowledge through the experience of natural law and order.  In our modern world, however, the societal conventions and laws created by humanity are often at odds with natural order.  In the constant balancing act of an individual moving through the injustices of this world, the transit of Jupiter in Libra will exacerbate tensions around injustice while seeking to stabilize efforts on behalf of social justice.

When looking upon an image of scales, even if they appear in stillness their form suggests the ceaseless, endless recalibrating going on within everyone, everything, in every moment.  Franz Kafka in his novel The Trial revealed the struggles of the individual faced with the injustices of the modern world, including ethnic tensions, class differences, and the abuse of women.  In one of many brilliant scenes, Kafka portrayed a meeting between his protagonist Josef K. and the painter Titorelli that unveiled the shadow of law and order, in that law systems claiming to be on the side of justice are in reality always on the hunt to be victorious:

There was a large figure shown in middle of the throne’s back rest which K. could not understand and asked the painter about it. That’ll need some more work done on it, the painter told him, and taking a pastel crayon from a small table he added a few strokes to the edges of the figure but without making it any clearer as far as K. could make out. “That’s the figure of justice,” said the painter, finally. “Now I see,” said K., “here’s the blindfold and here are the scales. But aren’t those wings on her heels, and isn’t she moving?” “Yes,” said the painter, “I had to paint it like that according to the contract. It’s actually the figure of justice and the goddess of victory all in one.” “That is not a good combination,” said K. with a smile. “Justice needs to remain still, otherwise the scales will move about and it won’t be possible to make a just verdict.” “I’m just doing what the client wanted,” said the painter . . .

. . . “Only it’s a pity that you can’t make out the details of his costume and pose in this picture, pastel colours aren’t really suitable for showing people like this.” “Yes,” said K., “it does seem odd that it’s in pastel colours.” “That’s what the judge wanted,” said the painter, “it’s meant to be for a woman.” The sight of the picture seemed to make him feel like working, he rolled up his shirtsleeves, picked up a few of the crayons, and K. watched as a reddish shadow built up around the head of the judge under their quivering tips and radiated out the to edges of the picture. This shadow play slowly surrounded the head like a decoration or lofty distinction. But around the figure of Justice, apart from some coloration that was barely noticeable, it remained light, and in this brightness the figure seemed to shine forward so that it now looked like neither the God of Justice nor the God of Victory, it seemed now, rather, to be a perfect depiction of the God of the Hunt.

— Franz Kafka, The Trial, Chapter 7

The Goddess of Justice in the painting is running with winged feet causing her scales to be out of balance, creating a likeness to a Goddess of the Hunt rather than Lady Justice.  Thus within the societal construct of a court system in which the individual purportedly is innocent until proven guilty, the court ostensibly concerned with justice is in actuality focused on hunting down the accused and triumphing over them.  When Lady Justice is claimed by those in seats of power who manipulate their hierarchical power structures to increase and sustain their grasp on power, the societal conventions and structures of law and order fall out of balance with Her natural law.

Enantiodromia is a term from ancient Greek meaning “to run counter to,” that was unearthed in the work of Carl Jung (who had Jupiter in Libra in the third decan that it rules) to demonstrate his understanding that anything at an extreme state will turn into its opposite quality. The concept of a unity found in oppositions goes at least as far back as the time of the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus, whose famous statement that no one steps in the same river twice was embedded within a philosophy of flux that saw that everything in existence contains and turns into its opposite state. Jung brought this concept into his theories about the interplay between our conscious and unconscious, and how what we repress in our subconscious can erupt in polarity through our shadow. There is an inherent restoration of balance to our system that results that is not unlike the astrological meaning we can find in Libra, the sign of the Scales.  Though we may want to strike out against the injustices of the surrounding world during the transit of Jupiter in Libra, to be most effective we will first need to face our own shadow that comes out in relationship with others.

As Libra places importance on dialogue in relationship, expressing one’s own needs while listening to the needs of others, an additional fitting concept emphasized by Carl Jung is Auseinandersetzung, German for “taking something to pieces.”  This refers to confrontation in dialogue in which two people verbally engage without running away from the conflict.  By staying engaged in the dialogue, the differences inherent to the disagreement become clarified and distinct, making an agreement or compromise possible.  Jung believed it was also possible to engage in such a dialogue with one’s anima/us, clarifying the unconscious being projected into relationships and keeping us perpetuating past relational patterns.  To Jung we gain “mettle” when facing the conflicts between our ego and anima/us, and out of the confrontation between the conscious and unconscious arises awareness of our wholeness, what he called individuation. This sort of inner integration that supports healthy growth is the domain of Jupiter.

divine pleasure indian art I

Gujari Ragini: A Lady with a Vina Seated on a Bed of Lotus Flowers (17th Century) by Ruknuddin

Jupiter in the Home of Venus

When Jupiter enters Libra, Venus will be at home to welcome its visionary expansiveness into her dwelling place.  While Jupiter in Libra may signify moderation and temperance in pursuit of desire and pleasure, it can also signify the excess of Venus that pull one into wild extremities of imbalance.  Falling in love during expansive Jupiter’s journey through Libra brings to mind the ravenous rapture of the ancient poet Sappho, whose fragment 47 has been translated by Anne Carson as declaring, “Eros shook my mind like a mountain wind falling on oak trees.”  Previous inner equilibrium unravels when opening to love, as it simultaneously opens one to the torment and grief of losing love.  The negative aspects of relationships will be just as much a potential under Jupiter in Libra as they are at any other time, yet since Jupiter tends to stabilize it will support rebalancing any difficult feelings such as jealousy or the bittersweet absence of love.  If the excesses of Jupiter are kept in check, the likelihood is for Jupiter in Libra to be a balm for improved communication and relations with others.

Jupiter in Libra can expand efforts in everything associated with Venus, whether that be arts, creativity, or the pleasure found in the body as well as the aesthetics of the senses.  Taking on mundane projects such as redesigning an environment can become magical with Jupiter in Libra, and the cohesive nature of Jupiter can also be utilized to connect one’s own work of passion to the efforts of others of like mind in our global community.  New combinations of abstract and aesthetic forms can come together into new movements that draw from the past yet display a fresh assemblage of influences that match the arising zeitgeist.  Jupiter in Libra is a time to activate your creativity in your wider community.

Venus will be increasing in light as an Evening Star for the first period of Jupiter’s time in Libra, moving from Libra to Scorpio to Capricorn to Aquarius and through Pisces before stationing retrograde in Aries in March 2017.  Venus will then move retrograde back into the final degrees of Pisces, the home of Jupiter.  As Jupiter’s time in Libra is bound to the movement of Venus, the Venus retrograde of March through April 2017 (February through May 2017 if you count the “shadow zone”) will be a significant recalibration in the experience of Jupiter in Libra.

Justice Lorenzetti_Amb._good_government_det.

Justice in The Allegory of Good Government (1339) by Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Jupiter in the Exaltation of Saturn

Libra is the exaltation of Saturn, and since Saturn in Sagittarius is lingering in the home of Jupiter, the entrance of Jupiter into Libra dramatically alters the relationship between Jupiter and Saturn from one of tension (the square from Virgo to Sagittarius) to one of harmony.  After a year of deconstructing change, Jupiter in Libra forming a sextile with Saturn in Sagittarius is opportune for constructive building of new structures.  As Jupiter approaches a sextile with Saturn at the end of 2016, opportunities will present themselves and obstacles will be removed in order to tend to the fracturing that came about from the last quarter square between Jupiter and Saturn that dominated the second half of 2015 and the first half of 2016.

Austin Coppock has talked about Saturn’s exaltation in Libra being about the ideal of forming contracts, laws, and other binding agreements out of consensus, an interpretation I agree with.   Saturn and Jupiter are both diurnal planets that favor Air signs, and Libra also forms a trine to Aquarius, the diurnal and airy home of Saturn.  With Saturn in Sagittarius, there is increased potential through Jupiter in Libra to organize efforts on behalf of social justice that make a direct impact in local communities, as well as for legislative bodies in governments to come together into compromised agreement around issues of civil rights.  Jupiter in Libra will support building social movements that address injustice.

In my nation and government of birth, the Statue of Liberty is the Goddess of Justice, our Colossus overlooking the sea bringing tides from other lands. Though a symbol of liberty and welcoming, the Statue of Liberty’s symbolism has also been manipulated by power structures to exert control. Currently, there is a fierce debate within the United States of America over immigration, including proposed policies that seek to restrict the very issue the Statue of Liberty evokes. The astrology chart often used for the Statue of Liberty features a conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in Libra, fitting as the giant goddess is made from the Venusian metal copper. With the Statue of Liberty aligned so strongly with Jupiter in Libra, it makes sense that the national elections of 2016 with Jupiter in Libra will set the agenda for how the nation deals with immigration in coming years.  In countries all around the globe, Jupiter’s presence in Libra will hopefully facilitate greater compromise that can do something positive about the immigration and refugee crises that have erupted.

ganesha bronze

Bronze Ganesha (15th Century) Thailand

Key Transits of Jupiter in Libra 2016-2017

As Jupiter moves across Libra, it will gain additional dignity when it enters its own bounds at fifteen degrees and then again when it crosses twenty degrees into the third decan of Libra it rules.  Jupiter in the third face of Libra could be especially potent, as Jupiter’s rulership of the third decan signifies that there is a special quality of Jupiter to access here.  Jupiter will enter the third face of Libra at the end of December 2016 and then leave it retrograde in March 2017 during the Venus retrograde in Aries.  Jupiter will return to the third face of Libra in August 2017 just in time for a Total Solar Eclipse in Leo that will be visible and especially potent in the United States of America.  Jupiter will remain in the third face of Libra until it enters Scorpio in mid October 2017.

Toward the end of 2016 we will enter the full phase of the Jupiter and Uranus cycle, as Jupiter will form an exact opposition on 26 December 2016 with Uranus. While the full phase is always about managing opposing desires for external relationships versus internal independence, this conflict will be further exacerbated by Jupiter being in the relationally oriented sign of Libra and Uranus being in the independently oriented sign of Aries. During this phase we will explore the full meaning of the Jupiter and Uranus cycle that began in 2010, with support from a waning sextile formed within the Jupiter and Saturn cycle, and a disseminating trine formed between Saturn in Sagittarius with Uranus.   The combination of Saturn in trine to Uranus, as Jupiter opposes Uranus and forms a sextile with Saturn, brings the potential to liberate our personal vision from the restraints of our past framework, restructuring essential elements of life in support.

However, in the dark far reaches of outer space awaits Pluto in Capricorn holding a significant challenge for Jupiter in Libra.  Pluto in Capricorn will form a last quarter square with Jupiter for much of Jupiter’s time in Libra beginning in November 2016.  As a result,  Jupiter will re-connect the square between Uranus and Pluto in its aftermath, providing opportunities for social relationships and contracts to arise that remedy some of the fracturing that came about within the tectonic shifting of the square between Pluto and Uranus that was most strong from 2011 – 2015.  Though Jupiter in Libra ideally signifies peace, there will no doubt be many great conflicts and disruptions that arise during this period that resonate with the issues which erupted in the global collective during the years of the square between Pluto and Uranus.  At its best, Jupiter can inject its collaborative focus on social justice into the Plutonic power structures and systems during this period.

As previously mentioned, the Venus retrograde from March through April of 2017 will be one of the most disruptive periods of Jupiter’s time in Libra, as Jupiter will be under the influence of a rebellious Venus.  As Jupiter’s time in Libra will be significant for the generations of people born with Pluto in Libra, Neptune in Libra, Uranus in Libra, Saturn in Libra, and Jupiter in Libra, the Venus retrograde in Aries will be extremely catalytic for those born with these planets in between zero and fourteen degrees of Libra, since Venus will move back and forth across these degrees in opposition through her retrograde movement.  As a member of the Pluto in Libra generation, I am particularly curious about the impact of Jupiter’s transit through Libra on our generation, as we have come of age into greater access of power and responsibility, with greater capacity to make an impact with Jupiter conjoining our Pluto placements.

Carpe diem can be an overused motto, but truly Jupiter in Libra signifies a period in which to seize the day.  Jupiter in the home of Venus can amplify and accentuate all of the elements of our life that bring pleasure, beauty, harmony, and joy.  If you have been holding back in any way from attempting to make your life as extraordinary as possible, the ingress of Jupiter into Libra signals a time to expand the parameters of what you believe you can achieve and act accordingly.

References

BBC Radio. (2014). In Our Time: Culture. Kafka’s The Trial.

Kafka, Franz. (1925). The Trial. Translated from the German by David Wyllie.

Stein, Murray. (1998). Jung’s Map of the Soul. Open Court.