Gemini New Moon

Knitting in the Library (ca. 1881) by Mary Cassatt

Gemini New Moon

Gemini is ever curious, changing, quick to respond and capable of transfiguring forms as swift as a change in wind currents. The Sun and Moon uniting in Gemini is an invitation to question, probe, and tease beyond the obvious into the multiplicity of messages circulating underneath the surface of relations. Gemini holds the archetypal image of the twins, one mortal and one immortal, one bound to the necessity of incarnation, one kindled with the soulful spirit of eros. There is a dynamically restless side to Gemini forever searching for deeper meaning and connections, forever curious in its questioning of all things interconnected within our reality and the multiplicity of selves and identities circulating within its human body. Within the mysterious darkness of the Gemini New Moon, new connections within our many inner parts are ready to be forged with a bridging that opens a brightening sense of new possibility.

The New Moon in Gemini on May 30 holds a burning, passionate force within its darkness that will initiate a period of amplified activity and opportunities for taking action aligned with whatever major life changes have coincided with the recent season of eclipses. The Gemini New Moon is the first non-eclipsed lunation since the Full Moon in Libra on April 16, and so will activate a coalescing into more solid form whatever has been dissolving and undergoing metamorphosis during the recent months of the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in Pisces on April 12, the Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 30, and the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse on May 15. Yet there is simultaneously a theme of stillness, intensified contemplation and discernment as Mercury is in process of slowing down to station direct.

The Gemini New Moon is in the airy domicile of Mercury slowing down in retrograde movement, placing Mercury in position to facilitate mindfulness regarding whatever process of change, loss, and new growth we are experiencing. The divine presence of Mercury saturates the lunation, as Mercury will be experiencing its heliacal rise into visibility as a Morning Star as well as stationing direct on June 3. The fixed, earthy essence of Taurus will be slowing down the tempo of Mercury on top of the fact that Mercury is literally slowing down in order to station in stillness. Thus the intensified nature of Mercury within its current solar phase can help with slowing down the pace of mental pursuits in order to focalize upon practical and tangible concerns, realizing what needs to be reorganized, restructured, rearranged or reordered due to the changing nature of circumstances.

With Venus also present with Mercury within its earthy domicile of Taurus, the arsenal of fertile material resources found within Taurus will be more readily available for the star of Hermes to utilize creatively. However, it’s unlikely to be a time of pure pleasure but rather one demanding discipline, endurance, patience, and artful analysis as Mercury will be stationing direct on June 3 at 26°05’ Taurus while forming a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius and in range of an imaginative sextile aspect with Neptune in Pisces. Moreover, Saturn will also be stationing retrograde at 25°15’ Aquarius on June 4, bringing an intensified presence of the divine nature of Saturn into taut tension with the divine nature of Mercury. With Saturn bringing its penetrating gaze to bear upon whatever work and plans that Mercury has been developing over the course of his recent retrograde phase, there will be a need to be decisive combined with flexibly adapting to whatever challenges emerge to test resolve. Yet it’s not a time for retreating back to the comfortability of one’s previous status quo, but rather to be receptive to unknown potentials and the way old identities and patterns are ready to wash away as a renewed presence emerges to integrate.

Panel with Horse Heads (11th Century)

The initiation of a new lunar cycle is also coinciding with the initiation of a new cycle between Mars and Jupiter, as Mars formed an exact conjunction with Jupiter in Aries on May 29 one day before the lunation. The conjunction between Mars and Jupiter in Aries will supply an upsurge of passionate, inspirational force that can catalyze brave beginnings and bold actions. With Mercury and Saturn simultaneously stationing while holding the tension of a square aspect, it will be important to be mindful of how we communicate, listen, and respond within relationship especially in situations where there is great uncertainty and fear due to the dissolution of what had previously brought stability and security. While there is potential for an increase of conflict within relationships, it’s important to remember how conflict is often necessary within the process of creation. Within the vast relational field between the personal and collective, the immense uncertainty we feel due to standing at a personal crossroads will be mirroring the vaster collective uncertainty stemming from a process of global structures and systems experiencing a great mutation that will continue to necessitate cultivating a flexible, adaptable presence in response.

Matching well with the powerful creative drive supplied by the conjunction of Mars and Jupiter in Aries is the fact that the Gemini New Moon is close to the projected zodiacal degree of the fixed star Aldebaran. Aldebaran is the bright rosy eye of the Bull whose reddish hue connects it with the planet Mars, as Aldebaran kindles the vitality needed to achieve the ambitious desires stoked by Mars. It’s therefore notable that the Gemini New Moon is in a whole sign sextile aspect with Jupiter and Mars in Aries, as the proximity of the lunation with Aldebaran will amplify the capacity to envision the world and forms we wish to create, develop, and build. While the stationing of Saturn in square aspect with Mercury will demand realistic planning and persevering determination, there is also a quality within the lunation that can facilitate expanding the scope of what can be realistically achieved beyond the constraints of previous conditioning.

In addition to Mars and Jupiter in Aries kindling a potent fire underneath the Gemini New Moon, Venus in Taurus will be approaching a conjunction with Uranus in Taurus on June 11 that can correlate with a break from past relationship dynamics or an acceleration of exciting new developments that have been forming over recent months. Since Mercury will still be in the domicile of Venus and beginning to pick up speed during this time, the union of Venus with Uranus will accelerate developments with dynamic power that may feel volatile while also full of emancipatory propulsion. At the same time, as Mercury in Taurus slowly picks up speed it will pass through a flowing trine aspect with Pluto in Capricorn on June 10 that will allow for a deeper integration of desire and felt sense of how to bring our true desires into reality. As a result, over the course of the forthcoming lunar cycle we can expect that as Mercury begins to separate away from its tension with Saturn, we will experience an unleashing of immense currents of change that can facilitate breaking free from old restraints into a more fully authentic, enlivened presence.

8 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

The New Moon in Gemini will arise in the first decan of Gemini associated with the 8 of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image is apt for the fears and grief that have been overwhelming to many during the past years of a pandemic mixed with immense political turmoil and warfare, with old sources of security dissolving. The image of the bound woman has been interpreted as the paralysis that comes from fears running rampant within or triggered in present circumstances.  While some interpretations suggest that the same mental swords enveloping the figure could also be used to cut away the fabric of bondage, it is also important to note the moist and muddy fertility of the ground she is standing on. As Jupiter rules the first face of Gemini, the image also reveals how fear can arise in times when a huge new potential becomes available to step into.  As much as it is possible to release fears related to what has happened in the past that are being projected into the present moment, the more gracefully we will be able to flow into the tremendous change that will emerge from the recent season of eclipses.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Apple of Eden” to the first face of Gemini, linking Eve’s bite into the apple with emerging awareness of “the duality within all things” including the yin and yang of the self. Coppock described that the discovery of the binary and “the multiplicity within all unities, the complexity in apparent simplicities” unlocks “the capacity to code all things” and display clever skills in all of the arts and sciences. Yet in keeping with the image of the Eight of Swords card, Coppock also declared that this opening to abundant flow also “de-centers and sometimes paralyzes its inhabitants.” Coppock noted that the mental acuity of this decan not only generates all arts and crafts, it also directs its prodigious curiosity to explore the multitudinous found within, both the light and the shadow of the deep Self.

In contrast to the tightly bound woman in the Eight of Swords image, ancient texts ascribed a graceful woman of flowing mind and deft dexterity inhabiting the first decan of Gemini.  Ibn Ezra pictured “A beautiful woman standing in the air, and she can sew,” while in the Picatrix we find “A beautiful woman, a mistress of stitching, and with her ascend two calves and two horses.” Indeed, the Picatrix declares it to be “a face of the art of the scribe, of reckoning, of number, of giving and receiving, and of the sciences.” In keeping with the double-bodied nature of the sign of the Twins, we can imagine how the image of a woman gracefully prodigious in arts and crafts is another side of the first face of Gemini to remember in contrast to the Eight of Swords image.

Fascinatingly, the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed Tethus, also known as Tethys,  to the first face of Gemini. Since Tethys is the Titan goddess of fresh water which interconnects and nourishes our earth, we can note her appearance in the Eight of Swords image as the water at the foundation of the figure. Tethys was also the wife of Okeanos, the primal sea divinity of the oceanic field surrounding the world where the Sun rises from at dawn and returns to at sunset, and the mother of river, cloud, spring, stream, and fountain spirits. Daughter of Gaia, Tethys fed her children through the subterranean waters of Okeanos as her name is derived from the Greek word têthê meaning “nurse” or “grandmother.” Moreover, she was often depicted in art with a pair of wings on her brow signifying her role as mother of rain clouds that fertilize the earth, revealing her role of supreme creatrix.

In Hesiod’s Theogony Okeanos and Tethys did not take part in the war between the Titans and Olympians, instead continuing to focus on their immense procreative capacity for generating new life together.  The extraordinary power Oceanus and Tethys produce together for creative generation and setting new life into motion resonates with the fertile quality of the New Moon in Gemini. Let yourself open to the world you may create with your life as the way the wider world has been continues to disintegrate and morph into new pathways of possibility.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

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References

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

Tethys, Greek Titan Goddess of Fresh Water. https://www.theoi.com/Titan/TitanisTethys.html

Total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio

‘Saz’-Style Drawing of a Dragon (ca. 1540–50) by Shah Quli

Scorpio Lunar Eclipse

“Fate, up against your will . . . “

from “The Killing Moon” by Echo and the Bunnymen

Total lunar eclipses are one of the most striking visual phenomenons of night, as the usually bright, silvery Moon turns bloody, crimson red. The reddening likeness to blood speaks to the catalytic life force that can be released through personal storylines during times of eclipses, with major new developments and desires often overturning the familiar into directions careening off course into a great unknown. There can be passions of eros present as well as overwhelming emotional tides of psyche unleashed that can make a sense of stability difficult to sustain. Dragons have long been a symbol for the chaotic creation unleashed by eclipses, linking the Moon being consumed by shadow with the image of a dragon devouring her light. The dragon symbolism further links eclipses with the ouroboros imagery of a dragon consuming its own tail, mirroring the dissolution of nature that leads to the arising of new forms. The changes that come during periods of eclipses similarly require us to release fixation upon elements of life passing away, while simultaneously the promise of new forms coming together can be felt. The Total Lunar Eclipse on May 15 or 16, depending upon your time zone, is particularly potent in terms of its disintegrative and dissolving impact, corresponding with much larger and sweeping tides irrevocably altering our collective landscape.

According to the essential dignity scheme, Scorpio is a place where nothing is exalted and where the Moon has her fall. Planets and lights in their fall are brought down to low lying places, depressions in the ground and of the mind, yet within their subterranean journey they come to terms with matters that cannot be reached anywhere else. The Moon in her fall of Scorpio feels things intensely and deeply, necessitating a descent into buried emotions and previously hidden sources of information and insight. The eclipsed Moon at 25º17’ Scorpio will have only barely passed through her own South Node at 22º22’ Scorpio when her opposition with the Sun becomes exact.  The nodes of the Moon are intersections between the ecliptic (the apparent path of the Sun that forms the zodiac belt) with the arc of the Moon’s orbit. While the nodes of the Moon demarcate the places of eclipses whenever a New Moon or Full Moon forms in close proximity, they also mark dynamic points of change in lunar latitude that have been tracked by astrologers as far back as the cuneiform tablets utilized by ancient Mesopotamian sky watchers. When the Moon passes through her own south node, it means she has descended from northern latitude to cross the ecliptic en route to traveling as far south as possible within her orbit.

Thus not only does the Moon in her fall symbolize descent, the fact that the Moon is crossing the ecliptic to descend into southern latitude through the gate of her south node further signifies descending into depths. Releasing, emptying, purging, detoxifying, decluttering and decomposing are all typical keywords that astrologers generally link to lunar eclipses aligned with the south node. Similar to how the south node can be a place of sacrificial fires of purification in Vedic astrology, Dane Rudhyar also described the south node as a place of sacrifice as in “making sacred” rather than egoic sacrifice in which we expect something in return.  When the Moon descends across her south node from northern into southern latitude, it is as if the entire arc of material being assimilated since the most recent union with the north node (in this case the recent Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 30) becomes focalized for processing and release. Rudhyar further stated that positive relational material can become assimilated and integrated to produce new seeds of values and experiences when the Moon passes through her own south node, whereas there will be a disintegrative release of more negative relational material.

During the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse the Sun at 25º17’ Taurus will be closely aligned with the North Node of the Moon at 22º22’ Taurus, casting the shadow of Earth across the face of the Moon. Since the Moon holds memories and material from our past as well as unconscious patterns we have been replicating, the alignment of the Moon with her own south node can facilitate a release of past accumulated material as new developments, desires, and presence emerge through the alignment of the Sun with the North Node. Due to the Sun being co-present with Uranus in Taurus while also forming a flowing trine aspect with Pluto in Capricorn, the breakthrough experiences arising in the wake of the eclipse could feel like stepping off a precipice into untold potential like the Fool arcanum in tarot. The trine between the Sun with Pluto as well as the sextile between the Lunar Eclipse and Pluto can help in letting go of resistance to the transformational impact of Pluto that ultimately empowers despite needing to face fears of having to let go of familiar sources of stability in the process.

There has been a long string of previous full moons in aspect with Pluto since the Pisces Full Moon last September 20, 2021 that was sextile Pluto: the Full Moon in Aries square Pluto on October 20, the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 19 trine Pluto, the Full Moon in Cancer on January 18 opposite Pluto, the Full Moon in Virgo on March 18 trine Pluto, and the Full Moon in Libra on April 16 square Pluto. Combined with the extended relationship between Venus with Pluto from December through early March due to Venus passing through her retrograde phase, we have collectively journeyed through a long stretch of needing to surrender to the underworld processes of decay and regeneration brought by Pluto. With the Scorpio Lunar eclipse sextile Pluto, whether we are feeling a new sense of power to claim or feeling powerless in the face of difficult challenges, by facing whatever issues are arising and staying present rather than avoiding through denial or resistance, there will be opportunities for integrating a deeper sense of resilient empowerment out of any experiences of loss or letting go.

The aspect that makes the Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio especially jarring is that it is forming an intensifying square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius. Saturn is moving slower than normal in preparation for stationing retrograde on June 4, bringing increased gravity into the tension formed by the star of Kronos with the eclipse. Saturn’s penetrating gaze and sinuous contemplation will be interfacing with the emotional dynamics and life changes unleashed in correspondence with the eclipse. Saturn demands the taking of responsibility and claiming of authority in acting with accountability and integrity. Yet with emotions and fears collectively running high due to multiple economic crises, polarizing political conflict, and violent warfare, Saturn grinding its motion to a halt while occupying the southern bending of the lunar nodes speaks to the potential for fears and overwhelming emotions having a dissolving impact upon the required boundaries, structures, and dutiful work needed to be implemented. The harsh square aspect between Saturn with the eclipse will make things real, forcing to the surface underlying emotional dynamics and previously hidden material that can be utilized to reassess boundaries within relationships as well as the needed use of time and space in our daily work and relating.

The longstanding square aspect between Saturn and Uranus that dominated the volatile astrology of 2021 and will continue to do so throughout 2022 is acutely triggered by the present eclipse season, as the Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 30 was applying to a conjunction with Uranus and the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse is in a close square aspect with Saturn. There are innumerable sources of rage and grief occurring around the world and within personal storylines, making the process of grieving and processing emotional content especially intense with the Moon also being eclipsed within her fall of Scorpio. Saturn’s tension with the eclipse can bring guidance in how to work with the grief and difficult emotions in ways that can help channel them into needed work and care within our communities and personal circles. Saturn will be bringing lessons in how to sustain the persevering resilience required to patiently, consistently, and reliably persist in building the life we desire for ourselves while contributing to the creation of the kind of world we wish to live in through embodying our most essential values within our thoughts and actions.

tapestry by Leonora Carrington

While the Lunar Eclipse is making a harsh aspect with Saturn, it is forming a flowing trine aspect with Mars and Neptune in Pisces. Mars rules the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse while applying to a conjunction with Neptune in Pisces that will become exact on May 17. The direct channel between the watery Scorpio eclipse and its fiery ruler Mars occupying the extremely passionate, final decan of Pisces can create a tipping point within emotional dynamics that require care and compassion. With Mars closely conjoining Neptune, many may feel a need to dissociate or escape from difficult emotional challenges and entanglements. Pay attention to what can be a healthy distraction or emotionally nurturing pursuit versus forms of escapism that will only lead to becoming further stuck in the quagmires of Scorpio. Mars with Neptune in Pisces ruling such a potent eclipse can also swing toward victimizing and blaming behavior or becoming overly self-righteous and aggressively crusading with belief.

Mars is not only applying toward a conjunction with Neptune in Pisces but also an integrative sextile aspect with Pluto in Capricorn. Altogether these aspects can also facilitate taking inspired action rooted within one’s spiritual as well as personal relationships, finding ways for sources of spirit and imagination to open a larger view of reality and future goals to work through. The alignment between Mars and Neptune is occurring near the same place where there was a conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces on April 12. Whatever new dreams and visions of creative possibility or insight were experienced during the time of Jupiter and Neptune coming together will likely be experiencing an acceleration of development with Mars now coming into contact with Neptune. There will also be a need to contend with whatever disruptions to life structures and relationships were created by the impact of Jupiter and Neptune dissolving the familiar while opening awareness to exciting new possibilities.

In contrast to the ruler of the eclipse and the South Node of the Moon, Mars, forming a conjunction with Neptune, the ruler of the North Node of the Moon in Taurus, Venus, is in close proximity with Chiron in Aries. Venus and Chiron in Aries bring up the wounds we hold within our numerous relationships with humans and the other-than-human, the collective wounds involving the separation of humanity from nature as well as the way our wounds and trauma create separations within our personal relationships. Although Venus and Chiron in Aries can activate relational wounds, they also hold the medicine within their union for discovering the agency required to tend and work through the wounding we carry. Venus and Chiron in Aries also can nurture extraordinary resiliency in bearing one’s personal wounding in order to take action on behalf of what we love and desire to create. Take whatever space is needed for rest and restoration during the time period around the eclipse, finding the relationships in which mutual support and listening are present to engage in.

The Pomps of the Subsoil by Leonora Carrington

Adding to the subterranean quality of the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse is the fact that Mercury is retrograde in Gemini. Mercury is at the threshold of his retrograde journey when he crosses into his phase of combustion with the Sun, entering his most intense psychopomp phase of putrefaction and regeneration as the Moon turns blood red. Fortunately, Mercury is also applying toward a harmonious sextile aspect with Jupiter in Aries that will become exact on May 19. The sextile between Mercury with Jupiter can bring support for attending to whatever issues become stirred up by the eclipses so that we can better understand how to situate ourselves within the life changes we are experiencing. Furthermore, within a week of the eclipse on May 21, Mercury will pass through his regenerative conjunction with the Sun which will bring a reanimation of ideas, seeds for new visions of development, and greater clarity concerning the changes being experienced.

Jupiter in Aries is also receiving Ceres through a catalyzing square aspect in his exaltation of Cancer. Ceres in Cancer in square with Jupiter is another indication of difficult emotional content being brought to the surface for processing and grieving, yet also speaks to the potential of finding ways to take action on behalf of one’s values of care for others in the wider community. Jupiter occupying the first degree of Aries and Ceres occupying the first degree of Cancer place them on the equinox and solstice points of the cardinal axis, pointing to the likelihood that numerous issues relating to the tension between Jupiter and Ceres will become manifest in personal and collective events. Making their dynamic even more powerful is the fact that Uranus in Taurus is occupying the midpoint between Ceres and Jupiter while also at the cross-quarter, fifteenth degree of Taurus. The collective tragedies and crises emerging in timing with the eclipse will have an especially shattering emotional impact as a result, revealing the fault lines of collective issues that need attention and will be the sources of further conflict if left unaddressed. On a personal level, the dynamic between Jupiter, Ceres, and Uranus can activate acute awareness of old emotional patterns in need of release in order to step more fully into the dynamic creative potential emerging.

7 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Scorpio 3 Decan

The Moon will be eclipsed in the third decan of Scorpio associated with the Seven of Cups illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The third face of Scorpio has an amplified alchemical quality that is well suited for the Total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio. Ruled by Venus and the Moon, it is a decan in which we must come to terms with the essential desires driving us through experiences of loss and decay, revealing the heart of whatever matters we are facing in the process. In the image of the Seven of Cups each of the seven chalices holds an embodiment of a desire, such as fame, fortune, lust and other earthly powers. The veiled figure in the center brings to mind the burning desire of Sophia in gnostic texts to gain ultimate understanding, a desire that cast the shadowy veil of the material world we traverse while often overwhelmed by desire like the shadowy figure in the image. Some interpret the image as signifying that through discernment we may choose to follow the one desire that will bring clarity needed to make choices aligned with our inner values and desires.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces linked the Seven of Cups to the third face of Scorpio through their shared meaning of becoming dominated by obsessive desires. Coppock ascribed the image of “A Crow” to the third decan of Scorpio, noting that the essence of this face involves the putrefaction of desire that leads to direct contact with the nature of desire itself. Coppock posited that through the loss of unfulfilled desire, the process of separating our desire from the external objects of desires brings the ability to reseed and regenerate core desires. Coppock wrote that the third face of Scorpio contains a “formula of liberation, for if we were not capable of laying our desires to rest, returning them to pure energy, we would be enchained forever, prisoners of what we once held dear.”

 In contrast, the Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the curious deity Kairos to the third face of Scorpio. You are likely familiar with the term kairos referring to the opportune moment for something to occur that is not confined to the demands of chronological time. Yet Kairos in Greek myth was the youngest son of Zeus as well as the lover of Fortuna, an embodiment of luck and favorable opportunities. Kairos was seen as always moving with winged feet, carrying a razor or scales that represent the fleeting moment in which opportunity comes and goes, the moment we need to seize and not neglect. The presence of Kairos in the third face of Scorpio points toward the importance of being in touch with the ripening of the moment and taking action on behalf of our true desires ripening instead of refraining out of fear.

T. Susan Chang in 36 Secrets linked the Seven of Cups tarot card with the third decan of Scorpio through the power “to transform what is broken, spent, and corrupted into something new and beautiful,” writing that “the way to reap the Seven of Cups’ treasure is to pay your tribute in the form of art: paint, write songs, make music, poetry, dance.” Chang wrote that Venus ruling the third face of Scorpio reveals her secret strength in this decan for works of imagination that see beyond appearances, such as when “the painter who captures the fleeting vision of her inner eye metabolizes her inspiration into art.” Artistic processes and creativity of all forms will be one way to process the material coming up in the weeks surrounding the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse. As the meaning of the third decan suggests, the more deeply we can come into relationship with the material and our associated desires, the greater potential we will have for shedding what needs released from the past in order to experience a renewal and regeneration of our true desires.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

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References

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.

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

Taurus Solar Eclipse

No. 8 – Special (1916) by Georgia O’Keeffe

Taurus Solar Eclipse

Solar eclipses cloak the life-giving light of our Sun with the blackness of night. The otherworldly experience of night overcoming day has long provoked fear due to the extinguishing of light by eclipses, as well as the dramatic reputations eclipses carry within astrology for irrevocably changing the landscape of our lives. Yet like ancient stories of creation in which life and the spirit of eros emerge from the chaotic chasm of a fertile void, the changes catalyzed in correspondence with eclipses have immensely vast creative potential. The Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 30 is partial rather than total, yet the Moon will still eclipse a substantial portion of the Sun’s light. Due to the eclipse occurring in the fixed, stable, and enduring sign of Taurus, we can expect the impact of the eclipse to have long lasting effects.

The partial solar eclipse at 10º28’ Taurus is closely applying to a conjunction with Uranus at  14º32’ Taurus. The influence of Uranus in Taurus upon the eclipse makes it even more likely than normal for its impact to include unexpected revelations, surprising changes in storylines, and eruptive, propulsive change. The eclipse corresponding with fast changing developments and opportunities is further accentuated by the eclipse aligning with the North Node of the Moon while also applying to a close sextile aspect with Mars in Pisces, as Mars is simultaneously applying toward a sextile aspect with Uranus. The extraordinary volatility of these aspects can overturn and disrupt whatever was formerly stable, yet the supportive sextile aspects involved will also bring opportunities for recovery and readjustment so we may take action while attuning to the changing conditions.

Since Taurus is the earthy fixed sign, it can be the most resistant and stubborn to change, preferring a slow and steady pace that can sink into experiences and sustain as much stability as possible. While it will be helpful to slow down as much as possible, there likely will also be events set into motion that require rapid responses and a willingness to let go of how things had been in order to flow with the currents of change. The fixed nature of the eclipse also means it’s likely that the changes being set into motion will have long-term impact, and so it will be important to slow down as much as possible and find ways to ground into the present moment even when having to adjust to unexpected twists and turns of narratives. It will be best to create space for rest, reflection, and restoration as much as possible.

There was previously a Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 30, 2021 and so there may be important developments taking shape now that link back to the first eclipse to occur in Taurus. However, although the Taurus Lunar Eclipse was in the same sign as Uranus, it was not applying to Uranus and so did not activate Uranus to the same level that the Taurus Solar Eclipse will ignite the Promethean fire of Uranus. With the transiting north node as well as the eclipse in the same sign as Uranus, the whirling vortex of alchemic fire brought by Uranus will be more fully capable than normal of shaking up and reshaping matter, creating deep-seated, tectonic shifts within personal and collective events. We can witness this in numerous collective events presently creating uncertainty in terms of economic policies and supply chains of needed material resources, yet within our personal lives we can also expect to experience a massive reordering of dynamics. While dramatic change can feel scary and precarious, it also unleashes vast potential for the emergence of new creative directions that are more aligned with one’s inner authenticity than the older circumstances becoming dislodged and dissolved.

Taurus is the exaltation of the Moon, and so solar eclipses in Taurus have the unique aspect of the Sun’s light becoming eclipsed by an exalted Moon. Moreover, the domicile ruler of the eclipse, Venus, is not only in her exaltation of Pisces, but also applying to an exact conjunction with Jupiter in Pisces. With the exalted Moon also applying toward a conjunction with her own north node, altogether there can be a felt sense of exalted desire for growth and development that may or may not align with one’s present circumstances. The essential dignity of exaltation is linked to the turning of the wheel of fortune, not only the rising toward desires and honors but also the potential to fall from great heights of achievement or acclaim. Mindfulness and discernment need to be applied to circumstances, whether it feels like a dream is coming true or a dream has been dissolved through disillusionment. The Taurus Solar Eclipse demarcates a major turning point in collective and personal narratives, and so as storylines continue to shift we need to be ready for the unexpected and capable of flexibly making adjustments as needed to bring about desired outcomes.

Eclipses come in families known as the Saros cycle, with the Taurus Solar Eclipse being part of the Saros 119 family. The origin of the Saros cycle ancestry begins at either the south or north pole and then traces a serpentine path around our world every eighteen or so years, moving ahead eleven degrees of celestial longitude each time. Bernadette Brady connected the Saros 119 family of eclipses with father or authority figures, the need to take responsibility, or being a time to accept the commitments that are presented, due to the node of the origin eclipse (May 15, 850 C.E.) being on the midpoint between the lunation and Saturn.

The origin of the eclipse family having a relationship with Saturn further connects with how the Taurus Solar Eclipse is applying toward a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius, although Saturn is just outside the thirteen degree orb many astrologers are willing to give the Moon. No matter what orb you give the Moon, however, Saturn has a strong influence over the eclipse due to forming a close square aspect to the transiting lunar nodes at the southern bending of the nodes. Saturn is also close to the fixed star Deneb Algedi by zodiacal degree as well as in paran in certain locations, a star that is often associated with the ancient creator deity Enki. Enki is furthermore a deity resonant with Saturn being at the southern bending of the nodes, a celestial circumstance not unlike Enki’s habitation of subterranean water.

Within the collective chaos of so much unraveling and reordering, we each need to claim the authority of steering our lives and the lives of our loved ones forward. In some places this may necessitate a confrontation between one’s personal sense of justice and natural law against the societal laws and regulations constructed by governing institutions. The connection between Saturn with Deneb Algedi and furthermore with Enki brings up not only the present laws of the establishment and ordered society, but also the ancient association of new laws and reordering emerging from the depths. A trickster and wise magician bent on reordering civilization with the greater good of the wider community in mind, the flowing freshwater of Enki transfigures the landscape of dry land, creating wetlands and fertile soil in which the food and resources needed to fuel civilization can grow. It will be helpful to take space from the cacophony of current events when possible for restorative descent into inner depths so we may come into deeper embodiment of our authentic integrity.

Drawing No. 2 – Special (1915) by Georgia O’Keeffe

“It was after a day’s rain: / the street facing the west / was lit with growing yellow; / the black road gleamed.

First one child looked and saw / and told another. / Face after face, the windows / flowered with eyes.

It was like a long fuse lighted, / the news travelling. / No one called out loudly; / everyone said ‘Hush.’

The light deepened; the wet road / answered in daffodil colours, / and down its centre / walked the two tall herons.

Stranger than wild birds, even, / what happened on those faces: / suddenly believing in something, / they smiled and opened.

Children thought of fountains, / circuses, swans feeding: / women remembered words / spoken when they were young.

Everyone said ‘Hush;’ / no one spoke loudly; / but suddenly the herons / rose and were gone. The light faded.

“Night Herons” by Judith Wright

Venus is the ruler of the Taurus Solar Eclipse, luxuriating within her exaltation of Pisces while applying to an exact conjunction with Jupiter in Pisces. In fact, Venus is experiencing an otherworldly transit of moving in between Neptune and Jupiter in Pisces, having formed an exact conjunction with Neptune on April 27. The combination of an exalted Venus ruling the eclipse while moving in between Neptune and Jupiter can correspond with vastly different scenarios for people, ranging from blissful experience of the sublime to despair stemming from disillusioning experiences. Even when experiencing the most difficult of experiences, however, the presence of Venus with Jupiter in Pisces delivers the promise of hope and the potential to feel the power of love. When things are falling apart, it’s worth remembering the potential for renewal and rebirth. While we may need to traverse experiences of sadness or suffering, we also have the capacity to imagine ways of moving forward more aligned with the creative force of our eros. Neptune, Venus, and Jupiter in Pisces are aligned with the force of love and the benevolent gifts of love that emerge in even the most difficult of circumstances.

While Venus moving in between Neptune and Jupiter can correspond with a sense of a great dream we wish to have manifest in reality, they also can correspond with disillusioning experiences that bring about a necessary reconfiguration to the reality of one’s situation. There are many examples in current events of inflated egos and economics as well as delusions of grandeur to be wary of, yet at the same time we need to remember our vast capacity to join with others in working to recreate the world in ways that align with our inner values. Within the emptiness of the eclipse’s void is the heart of creation itself, and though it is easy to become cynical and disheartened by the state of the world, the extraordinarily powerful influence of Pisces upon the eclipse points to the ways in which we can persevere in creating the life we wish to live rather than giving up hope.

The Spinner (1873) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau  

Not only are Venus and Jupiter coming together into a conjunction during the eclipse, they are also both applying closely to a sextile aspect with Pluto stationing in Capricorn. Pluto stationed retrograde a day before the eclipse at 28º36’ Capricorn on April 29, saturating the astrological atmosphere and the week surrounding the eclipse with its subterranean influence. The applying aspect between Venus with Pluto is fascinating due to the fact that Pluto has been a large part of the story with Venus over the course of recent months (due to their close proximity with one another in December and January), plus that the recent Full Moon in Virgo formed a close trine aspect with Pluto and the recent Full Moon in Libra formed a close square aspect with Pluto. While it’s likely you have already been engaged in a process of coming to terms with Pluto related material in recent months, the Taurus Solar Eclipse may correspond with a deeper layer of engagement becoming necessary.

Pluto can intensify whatever needs to be released with a volcanic force, and so we need to make space to come into relationship with whatever material is being dislodged by Pluto. Feelings may overflow from places and inner parts that have been denied or controlled, as suppressed memories and passions arise to surface awareness. The powerful presence of Pluto can accentuate our capacity for peering into the emotional sources at the root of our interpersonal dynamics with others, yet we also need to be mindful of how wounds and betrayals from our past can distort perceptions when under the influence of Pluto. Working effectively with Pluto requires honesty, being honest in communication with others and honestly addressing one’s inner feelings rather than avoiding them through denial.

Continuing the theme of underworld initiation within the forthcoming lunar cycle, Mercury will station retrograde at  4º52’ Gemini on May 10. Mercury’s stationing, full presence, and shift into psychopomp role will occur within whatever reverberations from the eclipse are taking place within our lives as we move in between the Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 30 and the Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio that will take place on May 15. As Mercury shifts into retrograde motion there may need to be adjustments and changes in plans in some cases, in other cases a deepening of focus upon objectives already being developed leading up to the eclipse. At the time of the Taurus Solar Eclipse, however, the fresh ingress of Mercury into his airy home of Gemini can bring a helpful injection of curiosity and capacity for making needed connections and insights.

6 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Taurus 2 Decan

The Taurus Solar Eclipse will be in the second decan of Taurus associated with the Six of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we witness a mercantile figure carrying scales of balance in his left hand, while dispensing gold coins with his right hand to figures kneeling on the ground with tattered blankets begging for money. The Six of Pentacles card is typically associated with giving and receiving on the material plane, whether that be through monetary sources or tactile, healing touch. The unifying theme is that there is receiving found in the giving, and giving found in the receiving, with the image of the scales further signifying a sense of internal balance and authenticity found in the process. Through inner harmony transmitted within collaborative exchanges with others, great success and productivity can be achieved in the material realm.

The Moon is the ruler of the second face of Taurus, giving the exalted Moon extra potency in her ability to veil our solar light in mystery. T. Susan Chang in her book 36 Secrets on tarot and the decans described the second face of Taurus as involving “Mysteries at the Threshold,” in part due to the major arcana of the High Priestess (Moon) and Hierophant (Taurus) having symbolic association with the second face of Taurus. Chang noted that the Six of Pentacles card involves both “an act of benevolence that visually echoes the Hierophant card,” while the High Priestess is also involved in the image of the Six of Pentacles as “the spirit that moves one to generosity.” Chang further connected the meaning of the Six of Pentacles with the second face of Taurus as taking the opportunity that arises within a window in time, “a moment in weaving when the warp threads have separated just enough for the shuttle to fly through.” Chang advised that drawing the Six of Pentacles can indicate finding “harmony between your inner and outer selves,” accepting and creating “material opportunities, for yourself and others,” as well as finding “the sweet, cross-quarter magic of the present moment.”

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Linga-Yoni” to the second face of Taurus, bridging images of “procreative unions” and “wanton fertilization” with the practice of virtuous action. Coppock described an alchemical process for the second face of Taurus, advising that the matters generated in this face “must be attended to carefully and consistently,” as “dedication must join fecundity and passions to complete the picture this face provides . . . Passion is necessary for continuing fructification, but those raw powers must be tempered by means of an ordered effort.” With the eclipse joined to Uranus and Venus joined to Jupiter and Neptune, we will need to be mindful that whatever passionate dreams emerge from the shadows of the eclipse will require patience and dedicated effort in order to bring them into reality.

The Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the Horai to the second decan of Taurus, a trinity of goddesses of the seasons and natural cycles of time who are the daughters of Zeus and Themis, goddess of divine law and order. Diodorus of Sicily wrote in the 1st century BC that each of the “Horai was given a responsibility named after her for the ordering and arranging of life for the greatest benefit of mankind” and “furnishing a prosperous life” through “lawfulness {eunomia}, justice {dike}, and peace {eirene}.” In keeping with the Taurean metaphor of cultivating crops, the Horai were worshipped by those planting and tending their field of harvest in alignment with the rising and setting of stars. The presence of the Horai with the eclipse suggests the wisdom of knowing the right time for action performed in the right way.

In her concluding remarks upon the second decan of Taurus, T. Susan Chang in 36 Secrets quoted the opening lines of “The Waste Land” by T.S. Eliot: “April is the cruellest month, breeding / Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing / Memory and desire, stirring / Dull roots with spring rain.” No matter what mixture of desire and memory you have been experiencing, may their stirring with the rains from above bring about a fertilization of your deepest desires from within.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

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References

Anthology of Classical Myth: Primary Sources in Translation. (2004). Edited and translated by S.M. trzaskoma, R.S. Smith, and S. Brunet. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.

Brady, Bernadette. (1998). Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark. Weiser Books.

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.

Libra Full Moon

Cygne Crépusculaire (Twilight Swan) by Joseph Cornell

Libra Full Moon

The Full Moon in Libra illuminates the polarity between Aries and Libra, the fiery surge of the Ram’s direct passion set against the thoughtful contemplation of the Scales that carefully measures myriad ways of addressing circumstances and relations, turning issues over and over again to explore every facet imaginable. Aries and Libra are movable signs that initiate new directions and set things into swift motion. With the Full Moon in the airy home of Venus and Venus in her watery exaltation of Pisces, desires and emotions may take on heightened importance and catalyze significant momentum along new pathways of development.

Libra is also the exaltation of Saturn, increasing the connectivity and receptivity between the Moon and her flowing trine aspect with Saturn. The patient endurance and mindful ponderousness of Saturn can help in slowing down desires amplified by the lunation in order to come into deeper relationship and embodiment with emerging creative directions. The discernment and discrimination of Saturn can further facilitate clarity in making decisions regarding which paths to follow and which relationships to invest greater time and attention to, as well as what aspects of life need clearer boundaries, greater space and separation.

While the Libra Full Moon is separating from a trine with Saturn, it is applying toward an intensifying square aspect with Pluto. The tension between Pluto and the Libra Full Moon may resurrect core relational patterns and themes that have been operating below the surface of awareness within dynamics with others. Feelings that have been buried or we have tried to be in denial of may erupt and demand attention. Opportunities may emerge to gain greater honesty and clarity regarding relational dynamics, with the propulsive force of Pluto facilitating an excavation of old entanglements to allow for greater freedom of movement forward. While the impact of Pluto upon the lunation can potentially dislodge overwhelming emotions, the transformative influence of Pluto will also allow us to penetrate into the heart of whatever matter we are facing.

The Annunciation (1887) by George Hitchcock

Venus in her exaltation of Pisces is the ruler of the Libra Full Moon, glowing bright in predawn sky within her morning star phase. Within the waves of her watery exaltation, the sensual nature of Venus is amplified by the boundless dissolution of Pisces to allow for release as well as sinking into sensations and knowing of the body. Although Venus is given an exalted status within Pisces, she is not within her celestial home and so does not possess the sovereignty she does in Taurus or Libra. However, during the waning half of the present lunar cycle the star of Aphrodite will be applying toward a conjunction with Jupiter, the planet responsible for her care due to her occupying his home. Periods in which Jupiter and Venus come together are stereotypically in stark contrast to the recent period in which Mars and Saturn came together in conjunction; while it certainly does not mean everything will go well and that there will in fact be many difficult events to contend with, the combination of Jupiter and Venus amplifies desires for procreation and creativity and delivers inspiration where it is needed most. Venus will ultimately form a conjunction with Jupiter on April 30 at 27°58’ Pisces, close to her exact degree of exaltation, at the same time she will be ruling a Solar Eclipse in Taurus at 10°28’ Taurus.

As a result, the unique signature of Venus and Jupiter uniting in a sign in which they both have essential dignity will be set against the strange astrological atmosphere of an eclipse season as we approach the end of April. Eclipse seasons typically bring major shifts in circumstances and relationships, with pivotal new developments arising as older situations and relationships experience a recalibration and rebalancing to make space for the new to more fully arise. This will especially be the case with the eclipse on the side of the North Node of the Moon and in close proximity with the liberating force of Uranus in Taurus. Making the dynamic between Jupiter and Venus even more extreme, however, is the fact that Venus and Jupiter will simultaneously be forming conjunction with Neptune in Pisces. Venus will form a conjunction with Neptune on April 27 at 24°28’ Pisces a few days before the eclipse, with Venus moving in between Neptune and Jupiter at the exact moment the Sun will become blackened by the shadow of the Moon.

I previously wrote an extended exploration of Venus forming conjunctions with Neptune in Pisces you can read through the link here. Within the article I wrote the following:

” . . . 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 . . . As Venus and Neptune begin a new cycle together . . . 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.”

Furthermore, Venus is receiving both Mercury and Uranus into her earthy, stable home of Taurus. Mercury is applying toward a sextile aspect with Venus during the lunation, while Venus simultaneously is applying toward a sextile aspect with Uranus. At the same time, Mercury is carrying an intensified presence due to rising into visibility again as an Evening Star following sunset as it heads into a conjunction with Uranus it will complete a day after the Libra Full Moon. Altogether, the aspects between Venus, Mercury, and Uranus are full of enormous creative potency that can be directed into any sort of creative work of imaginative vision or practical application. In particular, the combination of Mercury with Uranus in Taurus can help bring down the flights of imagination that Venus within her exaltation of Pisces may gather into embodiment within material forms.

4 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Libra 3 Decan

The Libra Full Moon will illuminate the third decan of Libra associated with the Four of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image above we see what looks to be a knight in prayer, or perhaps a sarcophagus, under a stained glass window of “PAX” or “peace.” This image also evokes a pilgrim in meditative silence within a protected, sacred space, and likewise it can help us find our own balance at this time if we can manage to create our own space for solace in silence. Johannes Fiebig and Evelin Burger in their book on the tarot noted symbols in the image that contrast “inner and outer issues, the abstract world and daily life, perfect ideals and limited reality.” Within the balance of these dualities, we can sense how the figure’s positioning is like a re-balancing of our body and mind, the sword below the figure a tool to cut away the false in order to reveal our essential and genuine presence that can emerge now. In her book on the tarot and astrological decans 36 Secrets, T Susan Chang wrote that when drawing the Four of Swords, “consider it a complex invitation (a) to take a break from the toiling and spinning imposed on us by the external world, and (b) to explore the rich landscape of the inner world . . . the Four of Swords may call for meditation, active imagination, divination work, or sleep. Or it might simply be a general call to recreate and rest for awhile, so you can restore your natural equilibrium.”

Jupiter rules the third face of Libra in the descending rulership scheme, a decan that Austin Coppock ascribed the image of “A Gyroscope” to in 36 Faces. Coppock equated the third face of Libra with “equilibrating movement through a chaotic universe,” linking its meaning to the Four of Swords image with facing that “justice must reconcile itself to an injust world, and peace to a world riven with conflict.” Coppock notably pointed out that earlier images associated with the third decan of Libra as found in such text as the Picatrix and Three Books of Occult Philosophy featured images of “furious indulgence” and “extremes of revelry” such as “violence, gluttony, deviant sexuality, and boisterous joy.” If we can find balance within the wild forces moving through this decan, Coppock suggested it “allows one to see through the eye of the storm” to learn that “equipoise may be maintained in any circumstance- shelter in any storm.”

The Hellenistic text the 36 Airs linked Nemesis to the third face of Libra. Austin Coppock in 36 Faces linked the presence of Nemesis in this decan to her role as “a force which restored balance to life’s chaotic wheel,” acting “to consciously correct the injustices whirl of blind forces” by “restoring right proportion.” One way Nemesis restores balance is through bringing retribution against those carried away by hubris who arrogantly act out of balance with natural forces of change. Her presence with the Libra Full Moon emphasizes the need to rebalance whatever has become out of proportion in our life. We may recognize aspects of our shadow we have been denying, or realize we have been suppressing desires that need to be accepted and cultivated. There are many crises coinciding in collective events calling for action, but in addition to playing a role in creating the change we wish to see in external events, we likewise need to bring attention to tend to the changes occurring internally. May the Libra Full Moon illuminate what needs to be known within and without.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

become_a_patron_button

References

Burger, Evelin & Fiebig, Johannes. (2013). The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot. Llewellyn Publications.

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.

Mercury Retrograde in Libra

Transmutation by Kate Flückinger

Between the idea

And the reality

Between the motion

And the act

Falls the Shadow

T.S. Eliot from “The Hollow Men”

Mercury Retrograde in Libra

In the space between the changing colors of twilight, in a moment of presence within liminal air charged by solar descent, the stillness of Mercury stationing saturates the atmosphere with his divine being. When Mercury stations retrograde, his forward progress as a twinkling evening star halts, giving way to an underworld passage through darkness that the star of Hermes will shepherd us through. We experience an intensification of all things related to Mercury when he stations, including his significations for divination and interpreting omens, and so it will be wise in the days surrounding his stationing to pay attention to signs and symbols of synchronicity that may reveal the important themes and issues that the retrograde movement of Mercury will be continuing to draw your attention to.

Mercury will station retrograde on September 26 or 27, depending upon your time zone, embarking upon a twenty-two day journey in which the star of Hermes will backtrack from 25°28’ Libra until stationing direct at 10°07’ Libra on October 18. As Mercury retraces the zodiacal terrain from ten to twenty-six degrees of Libra, he will excavate material that we need to deepen our engagement with, returning our perception to issues we need to release, rework, or reintegrate. After passing through a phase of putrefaction and purification, we may experience renewal on the other side. Mercury first crossed 10°07’ Libra on September 6 and will not move beyond 25°28’ Libra until November 2, creating almost two months of mercurial focus in this range of your natal chart. 

Libra as the sign of the Scales involves the perpetual balancing experienced within all of our relationships.  As a symbol the scales conjure the Egyptian imagery of Maat and the weighing of the Soul after death, when the heart would ideally be as light as a feather.  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. In our modern world, however, the societal conventions and laws created by humanity can be at odds with the reordering of nature.  In the constant balancing act of an individual moving through the injustices of this world, the back and forth movement of Mercury through Libra will exacerbate tensions around social injustices, bringing opportunities to contemplate and reconsider any rigid beliefs you have been fixated upon in relation.

In astrology Mercury possesses a liminal identity that can move in between being masculine and feminine, nocturnal and diurnal, mutating in acclimation with the surrounding astrological environment. Mercury retrograde in Libra beckons re-examination through the Scales, a re-balancing that necessitates extremes, tension, polarity, counterpoints, and contrariness. The awareness we can access through Mercury retrograde can help us transcend rigid parameters of duality by swinging wildly at times between extremes of perception in a continual process of experiencing oscillating oppositions.

Enantiodromia is a term from ancient Greek meaning “to run counter to,” that was unearthed in the work of Carl Jung 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 in which 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. The inherent restoration of balance to our system that results is not unlike the meaning we may discover with Mercury retrograde in Libra.  Though we may want or need to strike out against the injustices of the surrounding world or within our personal relationships, it will be important to simultaneously come into relationship with the shifting sands of the shadow within our own inner darkness, holding the tension so we may make the most thoughtful and discerning choices.

Since Mercury will be residing within the airy home of Venus for a lengthy stay we will be able to take a long look at ourselves in her mirror, using the mirror of Aphrodite to alter appearances and aesthetics while also descending into the depths of relational dynamics with others. As Karl Kerenyi wrote in in Hermes: Guide of Souls, “meeting and finding are revelations of Hermes’ essence,” and so “finding and thieving in the realm of love are also Hermetic traits.” Kerenyi also ascribed “belonging to the journey” and being “by the road” as part of the essential nature of Hermes, as any “journeyer” connected with Hermes remains “at home on the road itself, the road being understood not as a connection between two definite points on the earths surface, but as a particular world.” Kerenyi further mused that “Journeying is the best condition for loving,” and that “the gorges over which the ‘volatized one’ passes like a ghost can be the abysses of unbelievable love affairs- Circe and Calypso islands and holes; they can be abysses also in the sense that there no chance exists for standing on firm ground, but only for further floating between life and death.” We need to embrace being in between states and forms during periods of Mercury retrograde, and while it is possible to bring matters into definite form when Mercury is moving backwards through the zodiac, in some situations we must accept the flux of formlessness and fluidity, recalibrating our perceptions and decisions in accordance with changing conditions.

While Mercury will be visible as an evening star when stationing retrograde on September 26, about a week later on October 1 he will cross the threshold of being fifteen degrees away from the Sun, disappearing from view into the darkness of his underworld journey during which he takes on the role of a psychopomp guiding souls through thresholds of liminality. The underworld passage of Mercury retrograde is not a time to fear, but rather a world to fully enter and embrace for the invaluable treasure that may be unearthed within its depths. The gifts we can most readily receive from Mercury retrograde are not always the kind valued by consensus culture:  the illuminated thought received in quiet moments, the mysterious meanderings of a creative process that does not provide immediate reward. As Mercury is the divine messenger who weaves the golden rays of the Sun into forms of expression and translates experiences of phenomenal reality into realization, make time and space during the retrograde movement of Mercury to allow your intuition and inner knowing to receive whatever messages the star of Hermes will be providing regarding changes in storylines and opportunities to stoke movement out of places you have felt stuck or stagnated.

Before Mercury disappears from view over the horizon during sunset, however, it’s notable he is occupying a place in the sky close in proximity to the fixed star Spica. Known as Sunbala, Sunbale, Sumbela, Sumbalet, as well as Spica, the Spike of the Virgin, it has been said that the light of Spica which symbolizes the wheat held by the Winged Goddess is a source of cultivating knowledge and bountiful gifts. Bernadette Brady wrote that Spica brings “a gift of brilliance, an innate talent, skill or ability which is out of the ordinary,” a “symbol of knowledge and insight.”  Brady wrote that the wheat sheaf symbolism of Spica “can be considered a symbol of her [the Goddess] gifts to humankind.” Diana Rosenberg wrote that people born with natal placements conjoining Spica “often have literary, artistic, and (especially) musical ability- they seem able to reach out and grasp inspiration from the stars themselves- words and music pour forth from them as from a deep wellspring.”

Moreover, astrologers in India for ages have placed Spica (“Star of Opportunity”) as the defining star of Chitra (“The Bright and Brilliant”), the 14th nakshatra which has been associated with a Bright Jewel or Pearl, making Spica a pearl of divine spirit within the heavens we have within. Dennis Harness in The Nakshatras explained Chitra also translates as a “painting or work of art” and “reflects the many, variegated colors seen in the radiance of a white star.” Chitra possesses Tvashtar, the Artificer, or Shaper, as its presiding divinity, he who is “the master of maya and magic.” Harness wrote that not only is Chitra “one of the most mystical nakshatras,” with “a deep spiritual depth,” it also also brings “sudden flashes of inspiration and the urge to realize one’s true self.”

As Mercury stations retrograde, the Moon will be passing through a flowing trine aspect with Mercury from its airy home of Gemini on September 27, completing a grand air trine between the Moon, Jupiter, and Mercury. The Gemini Moon will also form a square aspect with Neptune in Pisces, activating the mystical dimension one may also associate with Spica. Be curious regarding whatever sources of inspiration and creative pursuits draw your interest as Mercury spends time in the sky near Spica in the week following its stationing. There may be many-colored gifts of insight and inspiration to carry through the intensifying passage of Mercury retrograde in the coming weeks, sources of creativity that you may meaningfully focus upon and deepen into engagement with.

Water Bearer by Kate Flückinger

Whó am I? Whó am I?
It is the old cry wandering in the wind
and with it interwoven
words of reply: I am fiery ember, dispersed
in innumerable fragments
flying in the wind, gray cinders
and black, and all still burning, all bearing
a point of flame
hidden in ashes. Flying upon the nameless
winds and upon those that men
know and name: sirocco,
bise, northeaster, tramontana. I die and again
life is breathed
into me. Whó am I? Whó am I?
My dust burns
in the past and flies before me
into the whirling future,
the Old World, the New World, my soul is scattered
across the continents
in the named places and the named and unnamed
shadowy faces, my years
a hearth from which the sparks wander
and to its stones
blow back at random upon the winds
to kindle the brand again that fades and flares.

Denise Levertov, “Wind Song”

The three passages of Mercury retrograde during 2021 have been significant due to them all occurring in air signs, as the year began in the wake of the grand conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius that established an era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in air signs. Each back and forth movement of Mercury through each of the air signs during 2021 has brought important opportunities for recalibrating and readjusting personal perceptions, beliefs, and structures with the way in which collective, systemic structures are being rapidly reshaped or shown to need massive renovations. Along these lines, the retrograde passage of Mercury through Libra is notable due to it occurring in the exaltation of Saturn while making harmonious aspects with both Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius. Mercury will station retrograde while engaging in an extended, expansive trine aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius, and will ultimately station direct in range of a clarifying trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius. As a result, Mercury will allow us to penetrate into whatever needs our attention in relation to the larger collective shifts that correlate with the influence of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius.

The extended trine aspect between Mercury and Jupiter will hopefully bring awareness of opportunities for growth that can be cultivated during the rest of Mercury’s retrograde journey. Mercury first formed a flowing trine aspect with Jupiter on September 20 and will form a second trine aspect with Jupiter on October 3. In addition to Mercury picking up the starry influence of Spica previously mentioned, it is further compelling that Jupiter in Aquarius is presently near the same zodiacal degree as the projection of the fixed star Deneb Algedi upon the ecliptic. The star lore of Deneb Algedi fits well with the need to adjust to immense collective change, as Deneb Algedi is a star in the tail of the Goat-Fish constellational image associated with the ancient creator god Enki, who brought the gifts of civilization from his realm of subterranean water. A trickster and wise magician bent on reordering civilization with the greater good of the wider community in mind, the flowing freshwater of Enki transfigures the landscape of dry land, creating wetlands and fertile soil in which the food and resources needed to fuel civilization can grow. With Jupiter close to Deneb Algedi while engaging in an extended trine aspect with Mercury, explore what gifts may emerge from the subterranean water within to cultivate during the passage of Mercury retrograde to share with your wider community. Seek to discover how you can reorder your personal structures to be in greater flow with the changing currents altering the wider landscape, staying centered within your own sense of integrity.

In contrast with the potential inspiration contained within the trine aspect between Mercury and Jupiter, Mercury will also be stationing retrograde while engaging with an intensifying square aspect with Pluto in Capricorn. Mercury first formed a square aspect with Pluto on September 22 and will form a second square aspect with Pluto on October 1, the timing of which will correspond not only with the heliacal setting of Mercury and it’s descent into the underworld, but also an extreme intensification of Pluto due to it stationing direct on October 6. The purgative square aspect between Mercury and Pluto that begins its retrograde portends an especially cathartic retrograde passage for Mercury that can draw us into a deepening awareness of inner relational patterns and how they have been playing out within external relational dynamics with others. There may be an upwelling of desire to explore as well as revelations regarding the way relational issues from our past are intersecting with present relational experiences and influences. With Pluto strongly activated, it will be best to face whatever internal issues arise rather than resist or avoid them through denial. Ultimately, by penetrating and exploring whatever deep material becomes stirred up by Mercury and Pluto, by the time that Mercury is moving direct and forms its final square aspect with Pluto on November 2 we may experience greater empowerment around the issues.

Furthermore, the usual underworld atmosphere of Mercury retrograde will be accentuated not only by the tense aspect between Mercury with Pluto, but also by Venus (the ruler of Libra) occupying the subterranean waters of Scorpio during the first half of Mercury’s retrograde journey in Libra. However, the watery landscape of Scorpio is not only a place of burial and decomposition, but also terrain in which decay nourishes and feeds the growth of orchards and vineyards that can eventually produce fruit. Venus in Scorpio can facilitate a plunge into emotions and desires, exposing hidden dynamics and penetrating into the underlying emotions of our relations in ways that can cultivate significant growth. Combined with the fact that Venus in Scorpio will be mutually exchanging signs with Mars in Libra, and Mars in Libra will eventually form a conjunction with Mercury in the middle of its retrograde movement, we may need to traverse challenging or intense relational situations at times. Yet by cultivating honest communication and expression of emotional needs we may also find ways of shifting relational dynamics in constructive ways, gaining realization for how to foster greater equilibrium when possible and clarity for when it is not possible and a dynamic needs to end.

After Mercury moves away from its aspects with Pluto and Jupiter, it will get closer and closer each day to forming a conjunction with Mars and the Sun in Libra. The New Moon in Libra on October 6 will occur on the same day that Mars will become regenerated through its superior conjunction with the Sun; Mercury will be less than seven degrees away from the New Moon and Mars, and so the Libra New Moon will demarcate Mercury shifting into a fiery phase of coming under the influence of the Sun and Mars, both of whom will influence Mercury with their heat and dryness that burns with discrimination, separating elements that had become blurred through enmeshment. It will be wise to avoid unnecessary conflicts and contemplate how to respond to those who anger us, yet at the same time as Mercury gets closer and closer to uniting with Mars and the Sun on October 9, the star of Hermes will have increased capacity for burning off whatever needs to be released from the past to make space for new ideas and purposeful meaning to take root.

Moreover, the New Moon in Libra will also demarcate a shift in the sign placement of Venus, as Venus will exit the boggy water of Scorpio to rise to more expansive heights within the fiery sign of Sagittarius on October 7. The enlivening heat of Venus in the fiery sign of Sagittarius will further accentuate the purgative and cathartic quality of Mercury getting closer and closer to forming its fiery conjunction with the Sun and Mars on October 9. Indeed, Venus will form a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon in Sagittarius at the same time that Mercury will unite with the Sun and Mars, amplifying the potential for releasing relational patterns from the past as well as drawing forth insight from old relational dynamics into the present. If possible find ways of making space for inner contemplation and exploration during the days between the New Moon in Libra on October 6 and the union of Mercury with the Sun and Mars on October 9, as we may simultaneously dislodge and release significant blocks from the past while also receiving intimations of new visions and desires to begin pursuing and developing.

Ballet Skirt or Electric Light (1927) by Georgia O’Keeffe

A certain day becomes a presence to me;
there it was, confronting me- a sky, air, light:
a being. And before it started to descend
from the height of noon, it leaned over
and struck my shoulder as if with
the flat of a sword, granting me
honor and a task. The day’s blow
rang out, metallic- or it was I, a bell awakened,
and what I heard was my whole self
saying and singing what it knew: I can.

Denise Levertov, “Variation on a Theme by Rilke”

In the Heart

Mercury will become reanimated by its conjunction with the Sun on October 9 at 16°35′ Libra, followed by Mercury forming an additional conjunction with Mars later on the same day at 16°16′ Libra. The reseeding of Mercury in solar light occurs as it aligns in between the Earth and Sun by zodiacal degree, as close to us in orbit as possible for Mercury within its cycle. Known as the inferior conjunction of Mercury, it’s a moment of clarifying rebirth that can enhance realization and seed new ideas for the Mercury cycle ahead in which it will transition into becoming a visible morning star. While Mercury is within one degree of conjunction with the Sun, even more so within sixteen arc minutes of its solar conjunction, there can be empowerment for tasks associated with Mercury since it is enthroned upon the solar chariot. Older astrological texts named this moment of Mercury’s rebirth cazimi, or being in the heart of the Sun. It’s the cyclical moment when Mercury enters what Demetra George has named the “sanctum sanctorum,” or “the innermost holy chamber of the mystery initiations” found within “the protected space at the heart of the Sun.” 

The union of Mercury with Mars on the same day it forms its inferior conjunction with the Sun is unusual; the last time it happened was at the end of May in 2015. The influence of Mars will make the revelations received while Mercury becomes regenerated more dynamic, incisive, and penetrative. There may be potent reassessments regarding plans aligned with one’s core purpose, as well as a more radical realization regarding the purpose we have been using to direct our goals and life trajectory. The onery heat of Mars may also magnify places of irritability that can lead to quarrels with others, yet by utilizing the thoughtful measuring capacity of Mercury in Libra it will be possible to hold whatever tension we experience in order to find our way to deeper awareness of the underlying issues involved. As both Mars and Mercury are simultaneously beginning new cycles with the Sun, there is immense potential for envisioning a more creatively actualized and fulfilling direction forward.

Though there is potential for conflict while the Sun, Mercury, and Mars unite together, the airy zodiacal terrain of Libra may facilitate constructive dialogue in which we express our own needs while listening to the needs of others. A related concept that was emphasized in the work of 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 mediation 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. The clarity that can come from Mercury being reanimated by the Sun may be utilized in seeking the kind of inner integration that supports healthy growth and empowerment.

Furthermore, at the same time that Mercury will unite with the Sun and Mars in Libra, Saturn will be stationing direct in Aquarius on October 10. The stationing of Saturn will saturate the astrological atmosphere with the significations of Saturn at the same time there will also be powerful influences from both Mars and Mercury becoming reanimated by the Sun. The sobering impact of Saturn may be deeply felt in moments of being fully present in one’s being, slowly and surely deepening into awareness of whatever internal stirrings are taking shape. Saturn has been retrograde since May 23, and so as it begins to gain some forward traction during the second half of Mercury’s retrograde phase in Libra we may unveil important insights into the direction we want to follow forward, as well as accumulate more momentum to make solid progress on goals.

Mercury and the Graces (1589) by Agostino Carracci

From the shrivelling gray
silk of its cocoon
a creature slowly
is pushing out
to stand clear-


not a butterfly,
petal that floats at will across
the summer breeze


not a furred
moth of the night
crusted with indecipherable
gold-


some primal-shaped, plain-winged, day-flying thing.

Denise Levertov, “The Disclosure”

Forward Momentum

Mercury will station direct on October 18 at 10°07’ Libra, with Jupiter also stationing direct a day later on October 17 at 22°20’ Aquarius. The simultaneous stationing direct of both Mercury and Jupiter, combined with Saturn also having recently stationed direct, will make the stationing direct of Mercury much more propulsive and potent than normal. Moreover, Venus (the ruler of Mercury in Libra) will receive Mercury through a harmonizing sextile aspect on October 16 while the star of Hermes is stationing. As a result, the days surrounding Mercury stationing direct will be important to seize for inner contemplation and mindfulness. There will be inspirational and creative resources available to draw from while integrating and learning how to embody the internal changes and shifts you have experienced during the course of Mercury being retrograde. Internal shifts and how they intersect with external relationships will be further illuminated by an especially activating Full Moon in Aries on October 20 that will involve the waxing Moon forming an opposition with the recently stationed Mercury.

Although Mercury will not form an exact trine with Saturn once stationing direct, Mercury and Saturn will be within four degrees of one another for days. With the presence of Mercury intensified due to it stationing and becoming visible again as a Morning Star, while also in the exaltation of Saturn, allow the star of Hermes to tease and probe the recesses of your psyche for whatever insight may be gathered concerning the path you wish to chart in the period ahead. The astrological transits for the rest of 2021 portend a time of accelerated volatility and change, and so whatever clarity can be gained as both Mercury and Jupiter station direct can help bring centering and cohesion concerning whatever we wish to develop and cultivate during the coming Morning Star phase of Mercury.

Mercury will begin to generate forward momentum and then will reach maximum elongation as a Morning Star a week after stationing on October 25, the point of its phase in which it begins to increase in speed and return to moving faster than the Sun again. Mercury will then form its final flowing trine aspect with Jupiter on October 31, its final square aspect with Pluto on November 2, as well as exit its retrograde shadow zone on November 2, finally moving beyond the point in the zodiac where it stationed retrograde on September 26. The period at the end of October and beginning of November is a sacred time for communing with ancestors as the veils between worlds draws thinner, and so there is synchronous sustenance to be found in Mercury guiding us out of whatever transfiguration we experienced during its retrograde passage at the same time. As the New Moon in Scorpio on November 4 will be in opposition with Uranus in Taurus and will demand an encounter with our own authenticity, we will be able to more gracefully navigate the coming changes the more we can let go of what needs to be released and integrate whatever new desires arise during the period of Mercury retrograde in Libra.

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Snake tapestry by Leonora Carrington

References

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

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

Harness, Dennis. (1999). The Nakshatras: Lunar Mansions of Vedic Astrology. Lotus Press.

Kerenyi, Karl. (1976). Hermes: Guide of Souls. Spring Publications

Rosenberg, Diana. (2012). Secrets of the Ancient Skies, Volume 2. Ancient Skies Press.

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

New Moon in Leo

Gold phiale (libation bowl), 4th – 3rd Century B.C. (Greek)

New Moon in Leo

The New Moon in Leo on August 8 will be brimming with the brilliant solar radiance that animates the Moon every year when she unites with the Sun in its fiery home of Leo, yet this year its inception will be strongly shaped by the potent force of Saturn and Jupiter occupying the opposite sign of Aquarius. Within the polarity between Leo and Aquarius, our urge to center upon the personal subjectivity of our passions must come into relationship with the plurality of multiplicities surrounding us internally and externally, including on the outskirts of our awareness. As the New Moon in Leo can facilitate connection with the creative desires we wish to pursue, its opposition with Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius calls for us to find ways of bridging the blazing sovereignty of our purpose with the needs of wider networks and communities. The darkness of the New Moon in Leo will provide fertile soil for what has been gestating in your heart, readying itself to transmit its fiery eros through the presence and work you bring into the world.

As the Leo New Moon is separating from hard aspects with Saturn and Uranus while applying to an opposition with Jupiter, its zodiacal placement is strongly configured to the astrological movements which correlate with the uncertainty of being at a collective threshold while simultaneously experiencing our own personal process of metamorphosis. When feeling the tension of holding paradoxical perceptions while facing a crossroads or preparing to cross a threshold, it is natural for inner defenses to surface into awareness and lead us to question the direction forward. With the enlivening and steadying force of the Sun at the core of the lunation, we can utilize the Leo New Moon for investigating the nooks and crannies of our inner walls and exploring the ways we have built up layers of defense over time.

Within the dynamic strain between Saturn and Uranus, the propulsive force of Uranus may prod us to break free of old limitations or shatter forms of security in favor of whatever feels exciting and freeing, while the influence of Saturn may restrain us from making major changes due to fear of the unknown or feeling we are not ready. However, the profound contemplative capacity of Saturn in Aquarius can also help us reflect upon the ways in which we may feel blocked or inhibited from pursuing new directions, revealing insights regarding the past patterns sourcing our present. Now that Jupiter has returned to sharing the zodiacal terrain of Aquarius with Saturn, we can draw upon the growth oriented nature of Jupiter to find ways of integrating ideas of potential growth that may have felt too overwhelming in the past to expand into.

The fact that the Leo New Moon is applying to an opposition with Jupiter in Aquarius is additionally significant since the upcoming Full Moon in Aquarius on August 22 will be forming a conjunction with Jupiter. Allow yourself to sit with whatever issues may be arising regarding desires and plans, as the concentrated focus of Jupiter in Aquarius can assist in gaining a broader perspective that may reveal multiple sides of present circumstances that need to be considered. Whether patience or more urgent action is required, making space to reflect upon whatever challenges you have been contending with will help with grounding into the next steps to take. With Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Mercury, the Sun and the Moon all occupying fixed signs, you may find yourself more concerned than normal with ruminating over longterm plans and musings related to longterm visions. Between the Leo New Moon and when the Moon forms a conjunction with Jupiter while waxing into fullness on August 22, find ways to generate forward momentum on what you wish to create, gathering the courage to cross the threshold between how things have been and the unknown potential of what you are becoming.

Isadora Duncan at the Parthenon (1921) by Edward Steichen

In addition to the Leo Moon applying to an opposition with Jupiter, Mercury in Leo is also forming an opposition with Jupiter in Aquarius that will become exact on August 10 at 28°24′ of Leo and Aquarius. Mercury in Leo recently formed an opposition with Saturn on August 1 and a square with Uranus on August 3, and so the tension between Mercury with Jupiter during the Leo New Moon will make us more acutely aware of adjustments needed to be made within developing plans, aspects of ideas that need to be let go as well as new sources of inspiration that may open new potential directions. Mercury will then quickly move into its earthy home and exaltation of Virgo on August 11 and into a catalyzing square aspect with the transiting lunar nodes that it will complete on August 15. As Mercury is the ruler of the transiting north node in Gemini, the week following the lunation will place the star of Hermes in position to provide key insight into the issues surrounding the new directions we wish to pursue and however storylines are changing.

Meanwhile, Mars in Virgo is also applying to a tense square aspect with the transiting lunar nodes during the Leo New Moon, completing the aspect a few days after the lunation on August 11. The square between Mars and the lunar nodes comes less than two weeks behind the square formed by Venus with the lunar nodes on July 29 that brought awareness of important changes needing to be made within relational dynamics. It’s been less than a month since Venus and Mars formed a conjunction on July 13 and we are only at the beginning of a long process of coming to terms with the new creative and relational desires that will be taking shape in correlation as they will ultimately form two more conjunctions on February 16, 2022 and March 5, 2022 before fully initiating their new cycle. For now, with Mars forming a square to the lunar nodes we may feel frustration regarding what isn’t working or feeling like we haven’t made enough progress on what we desire to create. Allow the ingenuity of Mars in Virgo to create mutations in plans and actions to better fit the reality of changing circumstances.

As the Moon waxes toward the Full Moon in Aquarius that will occur on August 22, Mercury will form a conjunction with Mars in Virgo on August 18. The conjunction between Mercury and Mars in Virgo is unusually important due to the fact that Mercury will end up forming two more conjunctions with Mars in the next few months due to stationing retrograde at the end of September. Mercury will form a second conjunction with Mars in Libra on October 9 while Mercury is retrograde, with both Mercury and Mars additionally forming conjunctions with the Sun. After Mercury stations direct it will form its third conjunction with Mars in Scorpio on November 10 at the same time that Mercury and Mars will also be forming an opposition with Uranus and a square aspect with Saturn. As a result, the forthcoming lunar cycle will introduce a theme involving Mercury and Mars that will not only be playing out over the course of the next three months but will ultimately also serve as yet another catalyzing trigger to the immense changes in life structures taking place as Saturn and Uranus continue their change inducing, clashing relationship.

Vitally, the first conjunction between Mercury and Mars at 12°48′ Virgo on August 18 is notable due to it occurring at the same time that Uranus will be stationing retrograde at 14°48′ Taurus on August 19. Not only will the astrological atmosphere be saturated with the emancipatory impulses of Uranus at this time, but the conjunction between Mercury and Mars will be forming a flowing trine aspect with Uranus. Moreover, the conjunction between Mars and Mercury will be occurring around the same time that Mercury is rising into its first appearance as a visible Evening Star, intensifying the influence of the star of Hermes. As a result, as we approach the upcoming Full Moon in Aquarius there will be powerful support for breaking free from past restrictive patterns and choosing to pursue the uncertainty of change rather than remain in the normalcy of a comfort zone.

Isadora Duncan by Arnold Genthe

Venus is continuing to glow bright as an Evening Star following sunset and is applying to an opposition with Neptune in Pisces during the lunation. Venus will form an exact opposition with Neptune at 22°41′ of Virgo and Pisces on August 9, a day after the Leo New Moon. Moreover, Venus in Virgo is also applying to a flowing trine aspect with Pluto in Capricorn, forming an exact trine with Pluto on August 11 at 24°59′ of Virgo and Capricorn. The discerning analysis of Venus in Virgo can strip away illusory projections within relational dynamics so we may better orient to the actual needs and reality of our relationships. Yet there is also an ideal of love and devotion that Venus in Virgo can cultivate within her polarizing aspect with Neptune to express within our relationships, with the empowering trine between Venus and Pluto adding a depth of feeling that can connect with the inner soulfulness of each partner. If you have been experiencing difficult emotions or anxieties recently, let Venus direct you towards tangible sources of pleasure that can relax your mind and allow for greater ease in flowing with whatever changes have been taking shape in your life.

After moving through her opposition with Neptune and trine with Pluto, Venus will enter her airy domicile of Libra on August 15. Venus will remain in Libra until September 10 when she will enter Scorpio. After entering Libra, Venus will begin applying to a flowing trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius that will become exact on August 23, a day after the upcoming Full Moon in Aquarius. Venus in Libra will be helpful for mediating any difficulties or tension within relationship as well as provide opportunities for meaningful and delightful social interactions. With Venus forming harmonious relationships with both Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius during her time in Libra, it will be an opportune time for making significant progress on whatever new creative directions become generated by the New Moon in Leo. The presence of Venus in her airy home will also create a supportive astrological climate for having conversations within relationships about changing needs and figuring out however the relational dynamics between partners need to be altered accordingly.

6 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Leo 2 Decan

The New Moon in Leo is in the second decan of Leo associated with the Six of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. An image of triumphant victory, we see the strident champion being honored by an adoring crowd as well as a wreath of laurel.  As laurel is of the nature of the Sun just like the gold medals pursued by competitors in the recent Olympic games, there is potential within the second face of Leo for not only expression of soulful radiance, creativity, and power but also reception of honors for it. Fittingly, Jupiter rules the second face of Leo, revealing the potency found within this decan for expansive success.

Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Crown of Laurels” to this face, proclaiming it “holds within it the magical power of authenticity- here defined as a harmonious connection between the external sphere in which one acts and the spirit fire within each individual.”  Yet the pride and glory of victory in the Six of Wands image also reflects its shadow of hubris, as Coppock wrote that “great works do not guarantee any greatness of character.” Coppock further noted that the second face of Leo can guide us toward realizing what elements of our public persona are out of alignment with our inner integrity, or instead how we may need to embody more humility within experiences of recent praise or glory. Coppock made the point that “recognition of one’s virtues does not dispel the reality of one’s vices,” since many images of the decan in ancient text show it is “the temptations of selfishness and cruelty which stain the triumphal nature of this decan.” Coppock declared that the promise and power of victory is so strong in this decan we must guard against becoming blinded by the solar light of success.

Thus we can utilize the New Moon in the second decan of Leo for gaining insight into how to refine the way we are expressing the indomitable light of our inner soul into the world around us. Fascinatingly, it is none other than the great goddess Isis who resides in the second face of Leo according to the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs. Isis became syncretized as the goddess containing all goddesses in the Hellenistic era, and just as she weaves many traditions together in her history, so does she weave a web of love through times of trauma to bring about an eventual retrieval and integration of wholeness. Isis brings the courage needed to resiliently persist on inner journeys to reanimate whatever aspects of our essential self have become fragmented. Within the darkness of the New Moon in Leo, be willing to descend into inner depths so that you may retrieve desires that had become lost or suppressed, arising again full of purpose and meaning to share in the world.

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!

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References

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

Full Moon in Libra

Aphrodite Anadyomene (ca. 1st–2nd century) Bronze, gold, with Emerald beads

Full Moon in Libra

Once every nineteen months or so, Venus will race into the sacred heart of the Sun with speed. Called a superior conjunction of Venus, this rhythmically regular renewal of Venus occurs when Venus is moving direct on the far side from the Sun from us in orbit. It’s more of a celestial conjunction of Venus with the Sun than an earthy one, as Venus is more removed from earthly matters than when she forms a conjunction with the Sun when retrograde and at her closest point in orbit to the Earth. As the Sun in its exaltation of Aries rises, culminates, and sets so will Venus as she undergoes a process of being reanimated and reseeded with the creative potency of the Sun. As Venus is laying to rest one cycle and being purified to be reborn into a new cycle, so may we experience a catharsis of past relational patterns and desires as new desires become kindled within. The superior conjunction of Venus occurred on March 25, only three days before the Full Moon in Libra on March 28. As the Libra lunation is within the domain of Venus, the reflective light of the Libra Full Moon will fully illuminate an inner process of renewal and regeneration regarding relationships, desires, and our creativity.

The full arc of the cycle Venus is closing now can be traced back to the last time there was a superior conjunction of Venus on August 13, 2019 at 21º11′ Leo: you may notice cyclic patterns and storylines from then being regenerated. Venus has two main phases within her total cycle, one sharing her light as a Morning Star before sunrise and the other sharing her light as an Evening Star following sunset. The superior conjunction we are experiencing now demarcates a liminal transition in which Venus is invisibly shifting away from her Morning Star phase into her Evening Star phase. Venus will eventually return to visibility as an Evening Star by the middle of May and will then become increasingly visible rising higher and higher each evening. The Morning Star phase of Venus that has now ended began last June when Venus emerged into visibility before sunrise during her retrograde phase in Gemini after forming her inferior conjunction with the Sun on June 3.  Thus there may also be important internal shifts forming that go back to the last time Venus underwent renewal last June.

However, if you wish to dig deeper into the quality of time governed by Venus, you may consider the last time there was a superior conjunction of Venus in Aries eight years ago on March 28, 2013 at 8º10′ Aries for patterns that could relate to now.  Every eight years, the Sun reanimates Venus around the same time near the same place within the zodiac. Although one full cycle of Venus with the Sun lasts for about nineteen months (584 days), there are five different Venus phase cycles within an eight year period that repeat. If you trace the points of the five unions of Venus with the Sun across every eight years, it forms a five pointed star within the circle of the zodiac. In addition to superior conjunctions of Venus occurring very eight years around the same time and zodiac degree, we also experience an inferior conjunction of Venus retrograde uniting with the Sun in the same general area of the zodiac at generally the same time on an alternating eight year cycle. There was an inferior conjunction between Venus retrograde in Aries with the Sun in Aries four years ago on March 25, 2017 at 4º57′ Aries, so although it was a different phase of the Venus cycle you may also realize there are important developments regarding storylines from that time emerging now.

Venus burning up with an exalted Sun can vivify passions that had become dormant, clearing space within for new desires to take root and grow within its cycle to come. Venus in Aries is fast and direct just like the present solar phase of Venus, wanting and making things to happen faster than can be comfortable for Venus. The fast moving desires of Venus are further being enhanced by its domicile ruler Mars forming a sextile with Venus in Gemini while also forming a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon. Venus in Aries is ardent and direct in its affections and desires, and will courageously go after what it wants to create and form relationship with. With Venus so close to the Sun, however, there is much that is hidden to the eye of the observer as well as concealed within our own churning unconscious. The Full Moon opposing Venus while also forming a flowing trine aspect with Mars in Gemini is complex due to unleashing the influence of Mars while bringing up contrary, polarized perspectives and reflections regarding the new sense of meaning Venus is beginning to form.

The Libra Full Moon is in the exaltation of Saturn, while also applying to a flowing trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius. As a result, the Full Moon is creating an air triangle between the Libra Moon, Saturn in Aquarius, and the combination of Mars with the North Node of the Moon in Gemini.  Regarding our creativity and work, whatever projects and visions we have been developing can benefit greatly through these airy aspects enabling both contemplation regarding the direction forward as well as burning drive to complete the tasks at hand. If there is work to be done and ideas in need of cultivation and expression, the Libra Full Moon is ideal for making significant progress on work that can be inventive as well as in depth.

After the Libra Moon moves through its trine aspects with Saturn and Mars, it will move on to complete another flowing trine aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius and then form a catalyzing square aspect with Pluto in Capricorn just after moving fifteen degrees beyond the opposition with the Sun. We need to hold the tension of opposing polarities constellating between Venus with the Sun and the Full Moon, letting the illumination of the lunation deepen our awareness of what is taking shape within and how we wish to express our desires moving forward. Although Venus has recently been regenerated, we still have a couple of months of her continuing to gestate her revivified desires until they become more visible with her light in mid to late May. For now we need to incubate the tension of the pulsating potency driving the tidal force of the lunation. Fortunately, the quality of time governed by Venus with the golden mean found within the five petaled form of her solar cycle brings the magical intersection of Eros and Necessity front and center for us to face and reflect within.

Ankh amulet

Ankh Amulet (1070–332 BCE)

Venus and the Sun are also forming a conjunction with Chiron in Aries and are also in process of moving from a union with Chiron into conjunctions with Ceres in Aries that will occur later in the week. Chiron is the Wise Mentor while Ceres is the Great Mother and together they reveal the intrinsic relationship between grief and loss with the courage needed to cultivate productive growth and abundance. The lunation is especially focalized upon Chiron, however, with Chiron forming a conjunction with the Sun at the same time the Full Moon is happening. The union of Chiron with Venus and the Sun will take us to the depths of whatever internal blocks or wounds are presently in the way of us more fully actualizing our creative potential. At the same time, Chiron will be speaking to the importance of tending to the mystery of internal spaces that source our external expression, rather than insisting we know what is best while focusing completely on external achievement. Chiron advises to listen and relate to the vibrant meaning found within the vast realm of visible and invisible nature surrounding us.

During the past year of the global pandemic, longstanding issues of societal oppression and social injustice were forced into the awareness of greater numbers of people who for whatever reason had previously not been paying as much attention to them. At the same time, the same attention given to issues of societal oppression also provoked polarized conflict with groups of people who do not wish to see a radical reshaping of reforms brought to societal institutions on behalf of reparation. The present and forthcoming astrology does not suggest any end to polarized conflict, but the connection of the Full Moon to Chiron as well as Ceres in Aries does highlight the importance of deep contemplation and conversation regarding the intersection between our own identities with the wider network of oppression found within societal hierarchies of power. The work of Dr. Bayo Akomolafe is resonate with the placement of Chiron here, as he has said that decolonial emancipation is not the work of struggling with what is, but a place of occupying what we are becoming. As Dr. Akomolafe has taught, there is an importance of contemplating our circumstances so we do not react in ways that reinforce the very systems of societal oppression we wish to change. 

Chiron bridges the realms of Saturn and Uranus within its orbit, and when it is in Aries it is in the part of its orbit when it travels to the outer reaches of Uranus away from Saturn. The presence of Chiron with the Full Moon is essential for mediating whatever events and experiences have been happening in correspondence with the waning square aspect between Saturn and Uranus. The last quarter square between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus is the dominant astrological theme of the year, and the Libra Full Moon is in a flowing trine to Saturn in its exaltation while also in an uncomfortable quincunx aspect with Uranus in Taurus. Yet both the Full Moon as well as Uranus are in the domicile of Venus who is forming a conjunction with both the Sun and Chiron. The clash between Saturn and Uranus can dislodge us from wherever we have felt secure and stable in the past, while simultaneously opening spectacles of increased authenticity and freedom beyond the present confines of our circumstances. The presence of Chiron with the Full Moon can help in sitting with whatever has been stirred up and discerning the path forward. 

Evocation, from the series Brahmsphantasie, Opus XII, no, 2 (1894) by Max Klinger

The Full Moon is also in the bounds of Mercury, with Mercury applying closely to a conjunction with Neptune in Pisces where Venus is exalted. This marks the second lunation in a row featuring a major activation of Neptune: while the New Moon in Pisces that began the present lunar cycle involved Venus applying closely to a conjunction with Neptune and the New Moon barely separating from Neptune, the Full Moon that now illuminates the meaning of the current cycle involves Neptune being activated by Mercury. While Neptune may dissolve the usual boundaries and focusing instruments of Mercury within its oceanic expanse, Mercury brings its gifts with language, divination, and analysis to the mysterious realm of Neptune.

The union of Mercury with Neptune under the light of the Full Moon can be potent when using any form of divination to illuminate the meaning of the present relational and creative story cycles beginning and ending under the auspices of Venus beginning a new solar cycle. Immersion in nature through exploration of one’s local or surrounding habitat can also provide opportunities for finding meaning through noticing the multiplicitous relationships amongst the surrounding beings within nature. Mercury combined with Neptune can also be powerful for receiving significant messages through dreams as well as deciphering them more creatively with active imagination rather than dry analysis. Mercury with Neptune wants us to utilize our imagination for inspired research and creative output that transcends the limits of materialist perspectives that do not recognize we are embedded within living universes.

At the same time, the fact that the present lunar cycle began with a conjunction between Venus and Neptune and now has a Full Moon featuring a conjunction between Mercury and Neptune also means discernment will be important to apply to whatever dreams and visions have been emerging. Some may be available and some unavailable within present circumstances, so we will need to draw from the inspiration of the unavailable to bring greater inspiration and imagination to what we can do with what is available within our current circumstances. 

2 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Libra 1 Decan

The Full Moon in Libra is in the first decan of Libra associated with the Two of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image a blindfolded woman sits in front of an oceanic expanse while crossing two swords in front of her.  The blindfold and ocean suggest contact with the instinctual inner realm and unconscious, and indeed this card in tarot has a meaning of mediating between opposing forces to find equipoise, resolving conflicts within a protected space of exploring internal balance.  T. Susan Chang in her book 36 Secrets about the intersection between the astrological decans and tarot, stated that the blindfolded woman reveals how the “Swords have do to do with what can and can’t be known,” and that the covered eyes in the image “represent minds that only partly grasp their situation” yet want to know more. Chang links the Two of Swords with setting aside preconceptions, giving opposing points of view “equal airing,” utilizing practices that help “clear your mind, and listen for silence.”

Austin Coppock in 36 Faces referenced Smith’s illustration by ascribing the image of “A Blind Fold and a Sword” to the first face of Libra, describing it as a place which awakens awareness to injustice and disequilibrium within both societal and personal levels of interaction. Coppock wrote of the significance of the Two of Swords holding symbols that “allude to the arousal of an as yet unconscious force” such as the nocturnal and oceanic setting making it a landscape “beneath the threshold of waking consciousness.” Since the Moon is the ruler of the first decan of Libra and the Moon is being fully illuminated in its own face, the meaning of the first decan of Libra will be amplified. Coppock emphasized the essence of this face being about relationship and “the balance between two entities” in all forms within the social order, stating it “shines a light on these dynamics, bringing what is troublesome to the light of conscious recognition.” Coppock declared that the first decan of Libra not only illuminates dynamics of “fairness and reciprocity” based upon “core principles of ethical interaction with other beings,” but also can incite assertive attempts to address injustice or imbalances. 

It is further notable that the Hellenistic text The 36 Airs of the Zodiac ascribed the Erinyes (also known as the Furies) to the first face of Libra. As the Erinyes are chthonic goddesses who serve natural law and punish transgressors, the first face of Libra is a place of becoming aware of previously hidden evidence that reveals inequities.  While it is possible that those who have been extremely out of balance will  be facing a karmic reckoning, all of us will need to come to terms with the hidden unconscious material being stirred and awakened by the Full Moon opposing the union of Venus with the Sun. If you are feeling the festering of the Furies within, the fiery union of Venus with the Sun can help purify and release their toxic components while facilitating a coming to terms with the deeper meaning found within our own shadow. May the light of the Full Moon illuminate whatever has come out of balance we need to bring into balance, helping us create the stillness of space needed to contemplate matters deeply.

References

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.

Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius: Age of Air

Jupiter Saturn Aquarius Bradley

Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius by Bradley Naragon

Grand Conjunction

The world has lifted its gaze to the heavens to drink in the union of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius. Fittingly, Aquarius bears ample symbolism involving the relationship between humans and the divine. Saturn as the ruler of Aquarius tends the boundary between the incarnate and the numinous, as Saturn is the most distant visible planet guarding the threshold between the wandering planets with the celestial fire of the fixed stars. Perhaps the most common constellational myth associated with Aquarius is Ganymedes, the princely shepherd who was snatched away from earth by the eagle of Zeus to serve the nectar of immortality to the deities above. Other ancient attributions include Cecrops, an earthly king who poured watery libations to the gods and was said to have taught literary and burial arts; as well as Aristaios, who was similarly shown making libations to Zeus and was known for not only introducing a multitude of arts and crafts to humanity, but also rites summoning winds that would temper the heat brought by the rising of Sirius. As the sign of the new cycle between Jupiter and Saturn, Aquarius points towards the importance of tending to your relationship with sources of spirit, gathering useful arts and innovative ideas to mediate the myriad issues in need of addressing between humans within the world they are part of.

The great conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius on December 21, 2020 has announced a new chapter in the story of our world. Befitting its dazzling visual appearance following sunset on the solstice, the astrological implications of Jupiter and Saturn uniting at 00°29′ Aquarius are extraordinary. The tight unity between Jupiter and Saturn in the sky reflects how in astrology it is binding us to an era of air.  The synodic cycle between Jupiter and Saturn lasts for twenty years, yet sits within larger triplicity cycles of forming conjunctions in the same element (fire, earth, air, water) that last for over two centuries each. After their 2020 solstice union, there will only be conjunctions between Jupiter and Saturn in tropical air signs until December 21, 2159 when they will unite in Scorpio, followed by two more grand conjunctions in tropical air signs in 2179 and 2199 (resulting in 2219 marking full entrance into the next era of water).

Astrologers from the eighth/ninth century such as Masha’allah and Abu Ma’shar made famous the theory that while each twenty year cycle between Jupiter and Saturn signified important changes in political rulership, larger shifts in dynasties and other cultural orders such as religious movements occurred during the transmutation between triplicity elements. Just like the war between Zeus and the Olympians against Cronus and the Titans in myth tells the story of a new order overcoming an old order, so have the conjunctions between the star of Zeus and the star of Cronus signaled the toppling of old ruling orders by the ascension of new powers. Since the world today is no longer arranged into the same kind of royal dynasties as it was in the courts of empire that ancient astrologers served, the changes wrought by Jupiter and Saturn initiating us into an era of air needs to be applied to our current cultures and power dynamics. 

The brilliant union of Jupiter and Saturn upon the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere, the darkest night of the year that kindles the return of the Sun, and on the Summer Solstice in the southern hemisphere when the Sun reaches the zenith of its light, could not have had a more dramatic setting. As it also came at the end of a year that brought a global pandemic and shutdowns of economies and travel around the world, the striking solstice star of Jupiter and Saturn has served as a sign of hope for many. Yet it doesn’t mean that everything will be changing overnight, nor that everything is going to get much better nor much worse. It does mean that traversing a period known as a “great mutation” will be taking us into an extended period of collective volatility and reshaping. It also means the strategies sourced in understanding from the previous era of earth will no longer be as effective, that things will not be returning to the way they were before, and that we must reorient and adjust in alignment with the radical reordering brought by the era of air. 

Jupiter Saturn by Bradley Naragon

When Saturn and Jupiter meet, we experience a mixing of the darkness, death, and decomposition of Saturn with the fertile growth, generous abundance, and expansive visioning of Jupiter. We can feel our skin ready to shed as we move into molting a new identity from our inner multiplicity. There can be a great release of our past, grieving what can no longer be and welcoming what is ready to emerge. On the larger and slower scale of cyclical time governed by Saturn, there will also be a need to let go of the old era of earth that is passing away. The first conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter in the past cycle of earth was in 1802 in Virgo, and after a final conjunction in a fire sign in 1821, the Saturn and Jupiter cycle fully moved into the era of earth during three conjunctions in Taurus that stretched from August 1840 until February 1841. 

During the past era of earth, colonizing empires fueled by the industrial revolution created vast economic systems that brought stability for some and oppression for others. Immense technological achievements were made out of resources from the earth, and monstrous wars were fought over land that brought the world to the brink of destruction. Nuclear weaponry was developed that could wipe humanity off the face of the earth. We have much to grieve related to losses on our earth today, from the extinction of animal species to the eradication of forests and wilderness. As we have been ending the earth era and transitioning toward the air era, the impact of air pollution on troubling climatic changes on earth has gained increasing amounts of attention. 

In astrology the earth element is the most dense, the most stable, and the most resistant to change. For those fortunate to live in places where they could develop into their full potential, the past earth era contained the possibility of achieving stable lifestyles and legacies that could be passed on to future generations. In contrast, the element of air in astrology brings volatile change, dispersal and redistribution of resources, and accelerated exchanges of communication. Flexibility rather than stability is essential to air as it is always changing, spreading and elevating. The winds of change brought by the air era are only beginning to blow, as Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius signifies a gathering of clouds on the horizon whose storms will reshape our cultural landscape in ways we can hardly imagine. The winds of the air era will erode the structures built up across the earth era, transporting seeds of new ideas across vast distances to take root in new locations.

During the past era of earth the meaning of  “horse power” shifted from being purely about the ancient skills of horsemanship that helped cultivate human civilization, to referring to the speed of motorized inventions fueled by earthy resources. In the era of air, the gravity of earth will be exchanged for the boundless nature of air that connects all of us within the encircling atmosphere we breathe, opening awareness to vaster realms of inner and outer space to explore. While human skills like horsemanship have been utilized in the past for ploughing fields, in the new era of airy terrain we will be cultivating the realm of thought and lightning quick communication. New relational skills will be needed as wings spring from the sides of our earthbound horses like the divine Pegasus, who in myth created springs of watery inspiration wherever it struck its hoof upon earth. As Aquarius is the living image of the Water Bearer, by tending our relationship with revelatory muses and the diverse sources of inspiration within the interconnected fields of nature, we may gather ideas to cultivate and share from flowing springs of imagination.

Yet as we deepen into relationship with the winged horses we may ride into flights of soaring thought and ingenuity, the material concerns of living upon earth, the crises of people lacking food and shelter, and the need to collectively change our relationships within Nature will not be disappearing into thin air. Aquarius and the other signs of air are the human signs of the zodiac, and so humanitarian concerns and the impacts of human civilizations will take precedence as Jupiter and Saturn continue to unite within them during the next two centuries.

Fragment of a terracotta volute-krater (bowl for mixing wine and water), mid-4th century B.C.

Our conception of four elemental roots goes back to the ancient writing of Empedocles, commonly believed to have lived from 494 BC to 434 BC. Interestingly, the span of Empedocles’ lifetime involved a previous transition of an earth era slowly shifting into an era of air over time, as the first apparent conjunction in a tropical air sign was in 462 BC, breaking up a sequence of conjunctions in earth signs that began in 581 BC (following the 462 BC conjunction in Libra there were two more conjunctions in earth, followed by two more air conjunctions in 402 BC and 383 BC, followed by a final earth conjunction in 363 BC).

In the famous fragment that introduced the elements as personified divinities, Empedocles wrote:

Hear first the four roots of all things:
Dazzling Zeus, life-bearing Hera, Aidoneus, and
Nestis who moistens the springs of mortals with her tears.

If unfamiliar, Aidoneus is another name for Hades while Nestis is another name for Persephone. While there have been arguments for ages over which deity should be connected with which element, Peter Kingsley in Ancient Philosophy, Mystery, and Magic declared Zeus to be connected with the element called aither by Empedocles, Hera with earth, Hades with fire, and Persephone with water. While there have also been debates over possible differences between aither and the Greek aer we connect with air in English, Kingsley also emphatically argued that aither was used by 6th and 5th century BC writers to describe both the upper and lower regions of air, “a continuum extending from the earth’s surface to the stars or beyond.” In contrast, Kingsley revealed that aer was used to describe an aspect of aither through the forms of clouds or obscure mists. In fact, Kingsley noted the significance of the Homeric epithet for Zeus: cloud-gatherer.

The way our perception can become clouded, obscured by the mists of our illusions about reality is a key aspect of the era of air that needs our awareness. The union of Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius is especially important due to it being the airy home of Saturn, lending reception to their conjunction and giving it the direct expression of Saturn. Saturn has long been known as a guardian at the border between time and the timeless, the most distant visible planet from earth at the boundary between the wandering planets and the realm of fixed stars and the heavenly divine. In Aquarius, Saturn’s role of defining boundaries will be applied to matters of thought, highlighting the importance of how we utilize our perception and cultivate critical thinking skills. There is great personal potential available through the use of the Internet and other technological innovations, yet the control tactics of Saturn can also be utilized to manipulate information and persuasively influence the mindsets of people through control of the information presented to them. As information and messages circulate freely, it will be up to each of us to discern the differences between conspiracy theories, false propaganda, and true insight.

There are significant differences in meaning between Jupiter and Saturn but they do find common ground when seeking higher status in society, claiming greater authority and power, and accumulating greater wealth.  While the era of earth could be said to be more suited for hierarchical power structures, and a conjunction in Aquarius could correlate with formations of communities that are rooted in interdependent alliances between members, the shift in triplicity eras will not bring an immediate downfall of present power structures nor resolve the myriad issues of societal oppression that gained increased exposure during the past year. Some power structures ill suited for the collective changes will collapse, but others will be seeking to accumulate even greater amounts of power and control especially through airy technological innovations. As a result, there will be an increasing need to find and create alternative platforms and communal spaces to mutually support one another outside the parameters of the power structures that have been stockpiling personal information from social media and search engines for profit and persuasion.

Gaining clarity for what you do not value, and forming community centered around what you do identify with are processes associated with Aquarius as it involves both the rejection and limits of Saturn as well as the design of new forms that can harbor community. Yet when forming alternative communities set against mainstream doctrine, the fixed nature of Aquarius can lead to the crystallization of new dogma that becomes righteously projected on others. The same groups forming as a counter to consensus culture can then insist on conformity to group codes amongst members, threatening to outcast those who refuse to conform to the conditioning of the group. Aquarius involves fragmentation and fracturing amongst other significations, and so as many people continue to splinter off into groups engaged in polarized conflicts with other groups, it will be up to each of us as individuals to hold the tension of differing perspectives with a willingness to question as well as listen to others. Conversations can involve debate while respecting the dignity of the other, and in fact fixated opinions obscured by bias are more likely to shift within spaces that continue to circulate communication rather than shut it down with self righteousness.

Aquarius has strong associations with not only those who become exiled due to nonconformity with consensus values, but also those who willingly separate themselves from the conditioning of dominant cultures so that they can live more freely on their own terms, cultivating ideas and creative expressions in spaces removed from the contamination of groupthink and cultural bias. Saturn’s rulership of Aquarius places it in opposition to the Sun’s rulership of Leo, pointing toward increased attention being given to those on the margins or outskirts from centers of ruling power. Decentralization of power will be an important Aquarian theme during the new cycle, as well as shedding and decomposing ways you have been conditioned to think that are out of alignment with your essential self. The perspective and insight of the outsider will be necessary, with important figures likely emerging from seclusion or exile at important times to deliver pivotal messages.

Air is expansive and has a sense of freedom. It delights in curiosity and storytelling, finding pleasure when listening to revelatory new perspectives and the latest gossip. It can feel coldly rational and objective sometimes, at other times playful and jovial. It’s abstract and uplifts when blowing through our world with ideals and inspiration. Yet the circulating quality of air that tends towards instability must be reconciled with the fixed nature of Aquarius that endures with obstinacy and creates change that has a long lasting impact. With Saturn in its home of Aquarius from now until 7 March 2023, we need to work with the side of Saturn that draws from its deep powers of contemplation as we will need to be continually adapting to foundational reshaping taking place around the world. Fortunately, the co-presence of Jupiter in Aquarius for much of 2021 can help in envisioning strategies to stabilize our course as we navigate through the collective volatility that will be rippling through the year. 

by CG Jung from Liber Novus

Jupiter in Aquarius

The movement of Jupiter from its fall in Capricorn into Aquarius pleases the star of Zeus, yet it’s co-presence with Saturn means it will need to remain in dialogue with Saturn. Due to the great conjunction occurring within the airy home of Saturn, Jupiter will be lending its cohering support to all things signified by Saturn. Jupiter in Aquarius will add its expansive vision to the construction, deconstruction, and maintenance of boundaries and structures governed by Saturn. The legendary 15th century philosopher, priest, and astrologer Marsilio Ficino noted that Jupiter can be utilized in remediating the melancholic impact of Saturn, writing in Three Books on Life that when ancient sages “feared that Saturn would oppress them on account of their sedulous zeal for philosophizing,” they would make daily use of Jovial sounds, songs of Jupiter, while living in the open air. Jupiter will temper the austere side of Saturn and amplify our potential for finding inventive solutions and embracing expansive visions in the face of the tumultuous collective change we will experience in 2021.

Jupiter will move all the way through Aquarius by the middle of May 2021, entering its sea faring home of Pisces on May 13. After Jupiter stations retrograde in Pisces on June 20, it will return to Aquarius on July 28, 2021. Jupiter will make its final trek through Aquarius from the end of July until returning to Pisces on December 28, 2021. The airy climate of Aquarius thus serves as a transitional space wherein Jupiter moves away from its fall in Capricorn, where it experiences challenging zodiacal terrain, en route to returning to its empowered home of Pisces. We can envision Jupiter as gathering clouds of concepts and insights while in Aquarius that will bring forth an outpouring of imaginative results once in Pisces, where the star of Zeus expresses itself with its full strength. With the slow and steady support of Saturn in Aquarius, we may discover that the ideas and work we develop while Jupiter is in Aquarius will deepen in growth once Jupiter enters Pisces.

Jupiter is comfortable in Aquarius as both Jupiter and Aquarius are diurnal in nature and Jupiter also has triplicity dignity in all of the air signs. As a participating ruler of the air triplicity, Jupiter will have the wind at its back as it sets sail through Aquarius. Air signs in astrology are further associated with the jovial sanguine temperament which is harmonious with the nature of Jupiter.  The warming and moistening nature of air in astrology is in accord with the fertile and uplifting nature of Jupiter, giving Jupiter in Aquarius support when seeking cohesion in social connections and synthesizing insight. The flexible, unifying, and mobile qualities of air will amplify Jupiter’s potential for gathering information and developing lines of thought; since Jupiter will be in Aquarius along with Saturn, it’s co-presence with Saturn will accentuate our capacity for concentrated focus, reflecting upon and redefining our mental frameworks, and conceiving ideas and forms that will have longterm consequences. Fitting for the innumerable aspects of global societies in need of repair in 2021, the combination of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius will be helpful for diagnosing the emerging issues and finding solutions.

The first century Roman poet Marcus Manilius in Astronomica described Aquarius with images evoking the ancient Mesopotamian divinity Enki or Ea, the divine artisan and lord of freshwaters within the earth who helped cultivate the growth of human civilization through teaching irrigation that controls rivers through the formation of canals. Manilius described a Waterman pouring forth streams from his urn, bestowing skills such as “how to divine springs under the ground and conduct them above, to transform the flow of water so as to spray the very stars, to mock the sea with man-made shores at the bidding of luxury, to construct different types of artificial lakes and rivers, and to support aloft for domestic use streams that come from afar . . .” With Jupiter in Aquarius, nourishment and expansive growth will come through irrigating channels of communication to allow for refreshened perspectives from unorthodox sources on the periphery of the usual cultural authorities. Across global societies, the combination of Jupiter with Saturn in Aquarius can be helpful in restructuring information systems and designing innovations across disciplines so that resources can be disseminated more widely, bringing benevolent attention to communities that have been marginalized by dominant cultures.

Yet we must be cautious that the channels of communication we construct and maintain with Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius do not keep us rigidly stuck in one perspective and cut off from diverse viewpoints. Joy Usher in Tiny Universe wrote that “Saturn’s ownership of Aquarius [indoctrinates] by repeatedly telling someone that something is true (creating its own reality), whilst at the same time blocking out or preventing any ‘counter truth’ which might destabilize the original information.” By sustaining an open mind and holding the tension of multiple perspectives, we can utilize the capacity Jupiter possesses in Aquarius for taking in a broad perspective with the objectivity needed to see issues from multiple sides. Other times we will need to draw upon the skill of Jupiter in Aquarius for going it alone, detaching or exiting from the influence of those with viewpoints clearly misaligned with what we need to create and develop. With Jupiter in Aquarius we can help pierce through the obscuring mists of misinformation through dialectic dialogue and scrutinizing questions that expose false beliefs and allow for new questions to emerge that will deepen inquiry.

Like an eagle of Zeus, Jupiter in Aquarius can encircle targets of focus from far above in a realm of contemplation removed from the turbulence of overly subjective emotions. With a degree of detachment its eagle eye can penetrate into the underlying dynamics of issues, clarifying what needs support, alteration, or generating. It’s not that Jupiter in Aquarius is cut off from emotional involvement, however. In fact, Jupiter in Aquarius can become deeply emotional and passionate when engaged with the people, community, issues, and concepts it cares about, so much so it will make sacrifices for causes it believes in. The fixed nature of Aquarius provides Jupiter with ample supplies of persistence that will allow Jupiter to persevere through challenges and sustain its capacity for fostering stability and visioning next steps over long periods of time. As a result, not only is Jupiter in Aquarius well suited for helping us endure the extended period of dealing with the repercussions from the global pandemic that will be coming, it can also support us in cultivating mutually supportive communities that will help us navigate through the unknown difficulties on the horizon.

Due to the pleasure Jupiter in Aquarius finds when breaking free from the status quo, we will be able to utilize the transit of Jupiter through Aquarius for discovering inspiration and resolution from unusual sources and philosophies existing beyond the boundaries of mainstream thought and belief. As a bridge between the known and the unknown, Jupiter in Aquarius will facilitate deep dives into the unexplored aspects of your interests. The nonlinear side of Jupiter in Aquarius can attune to resonant frequencies across barriers of time and space, synthesizing insight together from diverse time periods and cultures.  Jupiter in Aquarius will support movements within the arts and humanities that appear leading-edge yet also have roots in lineages from the past, supplying a solid foundation from which groundbreaking inventions may spring. We can expect an invigorating influx of innovative ideas and trends across the diverse fields of the humanities, arts and sciences as Jupiter makes its passage through Aquarius.

A small sampling of well known figures born with Jupiter in Aquarius includes Malala Yousafzai, Michelangelo, Albert Einstein, Immanuel Kant, Alan Watts, Allen Ginsburg, Jean Jacque Rousseau, Michel Foucault, Thomas Paine, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, William Burroughs, Walt Whitman, Richard Tarnas, Gustave Dore, Wassily Kandinsky, Madame Blavatsky, Marie Curie, Agatha Christie, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana, Joseph Stalin, Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Alex Jones, Ann Coulter, Jeremy Corbin, Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Ted Turner, Rachel Maddow, Gal Gadot, Kristen Wiig, Meryl Streep, Marilyn Monroe, Bill Murray, Ricky Gervais, Jerry Lewis, Groucho Marx, Dave Chappelle, Eddie Murphy, Mel Brooks, Martin Short, John Steinbeck, David Foster Wallace, HP Lovecraft, Chuck Berry, Etta James, Tom Verlaine, and Tom Waits. 

by CG Jung from Liber Novus

Lightning in the Mist

The meaning of the great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius needs to also take account of the fact that Jupiter and Saturn are applying toward a waning square aspect with Uranus in Taurus. Although Jupiter will only form one exact square aspect with Uranus on January 17, there will be a drawn out sequence of three square aspects between Saturn and Uranus that will be exact on February 17 at 7º14′ Aquarius and Taurus, for a second time at 13º07′ on June 14, and for a final time on December 24, 2021 at 11º06′ Aquarius and Taurus. The last quarter square aspects between Saturn and Jupiter with Uranus means that both Saturn and Jupiter have made it three-fourths of the way through their synodic cycles with Uranus (Saturn and Uranus have a cycle that lasts about forty five and a half years, while Jupiter and Uranus have a cycle that lasts between thirteen and fourteen years). The tension between them will demand reorientation through questioning the direction we have been following on personal and societal levels. While the implications of these catalyzing aspects are massive on a global scale and will involve conflicts between those seeking world power, they will also be decisively important in our individual lives.

As I previously wrote in March 2020 in my article on Saturn in Aquarius, although I had long wondered what the depth of discord signified by Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto coming together during 2020 would be like, the aspect that gave me the most pause was that we would be transitioning from a conjunction of Saturn and Pluto into a waning square between Saturn and Uranus, with Jupiter moving through conjunctions with Pluto and Saturn into a waning square with Uranus. This tumultuous sequence suggests that the exposure of societal toxicity and shadowy material during the alignments between Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto could lead to explosive conflicts and the shattering collapses of societal structures once the alignment between Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus becomes activated. Like any period of breakdown involving Uranus, however, the increased volatility also means that important breakthroughs will also be possible.

I’ve long found meaning in the way Dane Rudhyar described the relationships between Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus. Rudhyar viewed Jupiter as the soulful function of our purpose within the form of our Saturn structure, as Jupiter receives, manages, and initiates within the boundaries of Saturn. Rudhyar described Jupiter as helping us to integrate what the external world has to offer that will contribute to our inner structure, just as Jupiter needs the protective structure of Saturn in order to operate from within. As a result, while Jupiter expands us, the contraction of Saturn in response tends to keep our growth confined to the current framework that for most has been heavily conditioned by surrounding culture.

In Uranus – Master of Transformations Dane Rudhyar described how Uranus can radically change the structures of Saturn, unlike Jupiter which modifies within the structures of Saturn. Rudhyar wrote that Uranus “pierces through” the walls of Saturn, allowing our consciousness within the shells of Saturn to “behold vistas of the beyond,” creating “channels through which the ‘flashes of intuition,’ the ‘inspiration of genius,’ may suddenly reveal themselves.” As a result, the shattering impact of Uranus can give Jupiter space to expand our sense of meaning and vision beyond the former constraints of Saturn. As Rudhyar imagined, “where the walls of consciousness are strong, the Jupiterian urge opens the gates, that caravans loaded with Uranian gifts from the farther lands may enter.” Yet the influence of Saturn is still needed to structure and manifest these far-flung insights into forms that can be understood and utilized by those surrounding us in our collective cultures.

Thus the sudden leaps of illumination and inspiration that Jupiter and Uranus constellate can break us free from the conditioning of culture that have repressed or limited our capacity to embody our essential purpose and potential. Yet the breakthroughs of Jupiter and Uranus can be extremely disruptive to the ways we have formed our security and identity around the attachments that their lightning strikes dislodge. There can be potential to dissociate or split off our awakened potential rather than find ways to begin integrating it into our life, risking the volatility to present forms of stability that integration will incite. If we choose to accept the awakening, we must realize and embrace a more expansive whole that holds within it our radically shifting perceptions, experimenting with how to live from our fresh emergence rather than remain in the old status quo. Rather than live from the side of Saturn that conforms to group dynamics for security, we need to work with Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus in ways that allow us to shed whatever we have built up over time that no longer authentically aligns with us.

However, the integration possible on personal levels will much more difficult to achieve on societal levels. Richard Tarnas in Cosmos and Psyche described periods of Saturn and Uranus as involving “the exacerbation of tensions between authority and rebellion, order and freedom, structure and change” as well as “repressive revolution,” “erratically unpredictable authority,” “sudden collapse of structures,” and “grim awakenings.” André Barbault in Planetary Cycles: Mundane Astrology described the Saturn Uranus cycle as inciting “a thirst for conquest, extremist aspirations, ventures that go to the limits, authoritarian power” among other themes when they conjoin and initiate a new cycle. Breaking down their forty-five or so year cycle, Barbault defined their 1805-52 cycle as being about territorialism and the United States, their 1852-97 cycle involving the movement “from capitalism to imperialism,” their 1897-1942 cycle involving the movement “from imperialism to fascism,” their 1942-88 cycle involving “the Americanization of the world,” and their present cycle from 1988 to 2032 involving “globalization.”

The current Saturn Uranus cycle began in 1988 at the end of Sagittarius, with Saturn and Uranus forming conjunctions on February 13 at 29º55′, June 26 at 28º47′, and October 18 at 27º49′ Sagittarius. At the beginning of the new cycle between Saturn and Uranus the Cold War came to an end, the Soviet Union was torn apart, and the Berlin Wall came down, with the demolition of the Berlin Wall completed in November 1991 with Saturn in Aquarius. The meaning of the United States emerging as the world superpower at the beginning of the present Saturn Uranus cycle was clear to Barbault:

“The US became the only world superpower. Its authority was omnipresent and it had a decisive weight in international life until this unilateralism is contested. There is no doubt that American imperialism has reached the summit of its historic superiority with this present cycle 1988 – 2032. Neo-capitalism, hand in hand with the technological revolution, brought about by computer science and crowned by the advent of the Internet.”

— André Barbault in Planetary Cycles: Mundane Astrology

Notably, there were significant economic crises and disruptions during the waning square aspect between Saturn and Uranus in their previous two cycles. The years 1930 to 1931 brought the Great Depression and economic instability around the world, while the years that Saturn formed a waning square with Uranus from 1975 to 1976 brought inflation and stalled economic growth. Oftentimes the waning square between Saturn and Uranus brings challenges and tests emanating from the tension of their opposition- in the present cycle, this involved a long sequence of four oppositions from November 2008 into the beginning of 2010, a time period often described as the Great Recession. 

The years surrounding 2010 are especially important to consider, as there was not only an opposition between Saturn and Uranus but also an opposition between Saturn and Jupiter as well as a conjunction between Jupiter and Uranus.  Relative to the environmental and economic issues related to the era of earth we are leaving, both the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico occurred during this time. Within these years the present cycle between Jupiter and Uranus began, with the first conjunction at 0°18′ Aries on 8 June 2010, the second conjunction at 28°43′ Pisces on 19 September 2010, and their third conjunction at 27°02′ Pisces on 4 January 2011.

The waning square phases between Jupiter and Saturn with Uranus we are entering in 2021 involves the beginning of the decomposition of the previous cycles, a time in which we must question and confront the societal beliefs and structures we have developed, reorienting toward what needs to be released and what needs to be built to address whatever the present collective crises expose as no longer working. There will be a need for courage, for drawing from the depths of inner reservoirs in order to mediate the numerous polarized conflicts erupting that involve large collective forces careening seemingly out of control. When focusing on our personal lives and those we can impact on an individual level, however, the immense shifts signified by the alignments between Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus stress the importance of claiming your inner authority to productively change the elements of your life you are able to manage. Community and nurturing mutually supportive relationships will be vital, as will be the need to construct flexible networks of support that can reach out to those in need.

The study of past triplicity cycles reveals that empires tend to fall during the transition from earth to air, with an influx of new communication networks that redistribute resources arriving in a climate of instability during which empires of consolidated material security are broken up (the conquests of Alexander the Great, the fall of the Roman empire, and the conquests of Genghis Khan are some past examples of the transition to the air era). As a result, the volatile aspects between Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus that will shape 2021 will be part of a much larger sweep of change around the world. If interested in researching past triplicity eras, it’s important to realize that there is a major difference in defining triplicity eras depending upon whether or not you are using the apparent conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the visible sky that I have been writing about in this article, versus whether you are using their “mean” conjunction cycle based upon the average length of each planetary cycle (click here for an article by Benjamin Dykes on this). Tracking the mean cycle is what gives an orderly succession of eras, whereas tracking the visible conjunctions gives a disordered succession. 

Thus although the first visible conjunctions between Jupiter and Saturn in tropical air signs occurred in 1980 and 1981, the first mean conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn was in Gemini on November 4, 2000. As a result, in 1980 and 1981 there was a foreshadowing of the new air era that also involved Jupiter and Saturn ending cycles with Pluto similar to how they did so again in 2020. The difference is that Jupiter and Saturn formed their conjunction first in the beginning of the 1980s, with Jupiter then beginning a new cycle with Pluto in Libra in 1981 followed by Saturn beginning a new cycle with Pluto in Libra in 1982. There is therefore a compelling link between the transition to the air era with Pluto, as in 2020 we experienced the beginning of the new cycle between Saturn and Pluto in January followed by Jupiter beginning a new cycle with Pluto before finally coming together with Saturn.  Moreover, the first mean conjunction in Gemini in 2000 aligned with the true locations of Jupiter opposing Pluto and Saturn being within fifteen degrees of its opposition with Pluto.

There are horrific aspects of death and oppression that constellate when Saturn and Pluto align, yet the constructive side of their unions bring opportunities to explore one’s shadow amidst the exposure of societal toxicity. Within the decomposition brought by Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto coming together during 2020 we have had opportunities to discover vital aspects of ourselves to resurrect that had been buried. Though the union of Jupiter and Saturn does not mean we are entering the Age of Aquarius as defined by the precession of the equinoxes, there is a Plutonic link between the period we are in with the ideas that C.G. Jung developed about navigating the transition between the Age of Pisces and the Age of Aquarius. In The Astrological World of Jung’s Liber Novus: Daimons, Gods, and the Planetary Journey, Liz Greene wrote that Jung felt that “the Saturn-ruled Aion of Aquarius . . . would initially be a true nigredo within the collective psyche as human beings faced the profound and necessary confrontation with the problem of their own evil.”

We can use astrological symbolism to conjecture that the era of air will open a multitude of new perspectives, ideals, and worlds, and that the collective movement will be more flexible, elevated, and expansive than the era of earth rooted in more solid, heavy, durable, and stable matters. Yet the gravity of the moment, the collective burden of resources being so unequally distributed, the excessive wealth and power controlled by a scant minority, the overconsumption of natural resources by humans, and many other earthly concerns will all be more important than ever. From the vastly larger perspective of time opened by considering triplicity eras, it’s even more clear that everything we do this year matters. Our actions now are not only about what this transition means for us, but also for what it will mean for our ancestors who follow us and will look back upon us as their ancestral source.

As we are the ones responsible for what happens at the beginning of this massive transition, we will not be able to know the full implications of how our actions will reverberate across the next two centuries. We can know that the way we form relationship with the soul of the world around us matters, as will the way we form community with the humans and other-than-humans in our interconnected environments.

XVII THE STAR by Pamela Colman Smith

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References

Barbault, André. (2014). Planetary Cycles: Mundane Astrology. The Astrological Association.

Eratosthenes and Hyginus Constellation Myths with Aratus’s Phaenomena. A new translation by Robin Hand. (2015). Oxford University Press.

Ficino, Marsilio. Three Books on Life. A critical edition and translation by Carol Kaske and John Clark. (1998). Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies.

George, Demetra. (2019). Ancient Astrology: In Theory and Practice. Rubedo Press.

Greenbaum, Dorian Gieseler. (2005). Temperament: Astrology’s Forgotten Key. The Wessex Astrologer.

Greene, Liz. (2018). The Astrological World of Jung’s Liber Novus: Daimons, Gods, and the Planetary Journey. Routledge.

Jung, Carl. (1981, 5th printing).  Aion: Researches into the Phenomenlogy of the Self. Routledge.

Kingsley, Peter. (1995). Ancient Philosophy, Mystery, and Magic: Empedocles and Pythagorean Tradition. Oxford University Press.

Noelle, Richard. (1999). The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction.  http://www.astropro.com/features/tables/geo/ju-sa/ju000sa.html

Rudhyar, Dane. Jupiter: Organizer of Functions.

Rudhyar, Dane. Uranus:  Master of Transformations.

Tarnas, Richard. (2007). Cosmos and Psyche. Plume.

Usher, Joy. (2018). A Tiny Universe: Astrology and the Thema Mundi Chart. Joy Usher.

Lunar Eclipse in Gemini

Gemini

Folio from a Mu’nis al-ahrar fi daqa’iq al-ash’ar (The Free Man’s Companion to the Subtleties of Poems) of Jajarmi dated 1340–41

Lunar Eclipse in Gemini

Mystery and shadow envelope our experiences during the time of eclipses, making it predictable to encounter unpredictable change and an influx of fertile chaos. The Lunar Eclipse in Gemini on November 30 will initiate us into a liminal portal that leads to the Total Solar Eclipse that will occur on December 14 at 23°08′ Sagittarius. While sequences of eclipses always unleash a series of events that bring important endings and beginnings in our storylines, the eclipse season that arrives at the end of 2020 will bring more than the usual amount of accelerated change due to its synchronous alignment with the grand conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn on December 21. The dragon of this eclipse season is ushering us into a new era.

Indeed, the Jupiter and Saturn conjunction at the end of 2020 demarcates not only the ending and beginning of the typical twenty year cycle between the superior planets, in this case it also transitions us from a two hundred year era of Jupiter and Saturn aligning in earth signs into a two century era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in air signs. Thus the typical dissolution we would normally expect due to being at the threshold of a new astrological era will be exacerbated by the vortex of volatility opened up by eclipses. Since the light of the glowing Full Moon becomes obscured by shadow during lunar eclipses, we similarly must pass through a dissolving phase of darkness that will reshape matters in fundamental ways. Fittingly, both Gemini and Sagittarius are mutable signs that assist in adapting to monumental transitions.

The Gemini Lunar Eclipse on November 30 is classified as penumbral, meaning that although the light of the Moon will be darkened by shadow it will not turn blood red in color as it does during a total lunar eclipse. Lunar Eclipses occur when a Full Moon lines up with the degrees of the transiting North Node and South Node of the Moon, and the closer they align corresponds with a more dramatic shadowing during the eclipse. Since the Gemini Lunar Eclipse will be eleven to twelve degrees away from the transiting lunar nodes, the shadowing will be fainter and less noticeable to the naked eye. However, the eclipse symbolism of a great dragon consuming the light of the Moon is still in effect, and so we will need to let go of certain elements of our life passing away while welcoming the emergence of new twists and turns within our story.

The Gemini Lunar Eclipse is most of all significant for being the first eclipse in a series to occur in Gemini, as well as setting in motion our first experience of back to back eclipses occurring along the axis of the North Node of the Moon in Gemini and the South Node of the Moon in Sagittarius. The true node calculation of the lunar nodes entered Gemini and Sagittarius on May 5, 2020 and a month later we experienced a Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on June 5. Though we have been orienting to the presence of the North Node of the Moon in Gemini during the past six months, its full implications will be more deeply felt by the Moon becoming eclipsed while heading toward a conjunction with its North Node in Gemini. With the Sun simultaneously heading toward a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon in Sagittarius, the ways in which you are letting go of old beliefs that no longer resonate with your experience will be fueling an influx of new perspectives to reconcile with your worldview.

Since the meaning of a lunar eclipse is rooted in the phenomenon of our Sun casting the shadow of our Earth onto the face of our Moon, Dane Rudhyar interpreted the solar shadow as symbolizing the present overcoming the past as shadows veil the lunar impact of past conditioning on our present consciousness. Since the Gemini 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 and cultural conditioning that have shaped our beliefs and vision of life in the past. By shedding and emptying old beliefs there will be new questions that need to be asked and new lines of thought to follow with our curiosity.

Gemini tends to be a misunderstood zodiacal sign in popular astrology, oftentimes devalued despite the depth of thought it applies toward holding and contemplating a multiplicity of perspectives. Its double-bodied and digressive nature means that events linked with the eclipse in Gemini will require multi-tasking and present choices to pursue rather than a clear focus on only one option forward. While we will ultimately be able to weave together insight and find our way into the authentic path to follow, the events stirred up by the Gemini Lunar Eclipse will require a nuanced capacity for questioning, listening, and holding the tension of divergent perspectives until greater clarity is gained. Gemini is not known for stability, yet its airy and humane nature will invigorate and open up experiences and relationships rather than keep things stuck in stagnation.

As the Lunar Eclipse will occur at 8°37′ Gemini, it will be close in zodiacal degree to the legendary fixed star Aldebaran that is known as one of the four royal stars connected with worldly power and acclaim. In fact, the Gemini Lunar Eclipse will also be visually close to Aldebaran in the sky creating a visible celestial omen to decipher.  Aldebaran is the bright rosy eye of the Bull whose reddish hue connects it with the planet Mars, as Aldebaran kindles the vitality needed to achieve the ambitious desires stoked by Mars. It’s therefore notable that the Gemini Lunar Eclipse is applying toward a sextile with Mars in Aries. The interpretation Bernadette Brady gave to Aldebaran seems fitting in connection with the eclipse, as she wrote that ethical integrity needs to be followed to achieve success in connection with the red star (1). It will be an opportune period for questioning your aspirations and anyway that you could come out of alignment with your integrity by trying to achieve them.

The next eclipses that will occur in Gemini and Sagittarius will be a total lunar eclipse at 5°26′ Sagittarius on May 26, 2021 and a solar eclipse at 19°47′ Gemini on June 10, 2021, followed by a solar eclipse on December 3, 2021 at 12°22′ Sagittarius. You can begin preparing for the larger arc of storylines that will be changing during the next year of these eclipses by reflecting upon the life topics associated with the houses the degrees of the eclipses impact in your natal chart. Oftentimes the new narratives emerging with one pair of eclipses will go through major developments when the subsequent pair of eclipses strike six months later.

MarleneSevenBremner Rubedo

Rubedo: Forever Fixed in the Heart of the Sun (2018) by Marlene Seven Bremner

The Gemini Lunar Eclipse is applying toward an invigorating sextile aspect with Mars in Aries, while Mercury in Scorpio as the ruler of the eclipse is likewise applying to a sextile aspect with Saturn in Capricorn. From August through October 2020, the astrological landscape was dominated by a harsh square aspect between Saturn in Capricorn and Mars in Aries that intensified as Mars stationed retrograde. While they are still occupying zodiacal signs that form a square with one another, they have now put some distance between them. Saturn is now at the end of Capricorn and moving direct through the final degrees of the Sea Goat en route to entering Aquarius on December 16. Although Mars and Saturn will form one more square aspect in this series in January 2021 once Mars has entered Taurus, we now have an opportunity to reset and reconfigure to how we have already been reshaped by their tension.

Mars stationed direct two and a half weeks ago on November 13, but has moved less than two degrees forward since then. The sextile between the Gemini Lunar Eclipse with Mars in Aries will attune awareness with Mars finally beginning to build some forward momentum during the waning half of the current lunar cycle. In combination with the volatility of eclipse season, those who have felt stuck in situations they have wished to change may finally make a needed separation or push forward toward new growth opportunities. As the Gemini eclipse may coincide with numerous potential paths to choose between, the influence from Mars in Aries can help in cutting through to the authentic choice that needs to be made.

In contrast, the harmonizing sextile aspect between Mercury in Scorpio with Saturn in Capricorn is less about fiery action and more about deepening and grounding into the depth of one’s circumstances to discern the most effective ways to navigate through the epochal transition arriving at the end of the year. There is immense capacity for thorough research and penetrating contemplation within the sextile between Mercury and Saturn that can be applied to any area of life in need of attention and discernment. In addition to looking forward, the sextile between Mercury and Saturn may also be utilized in reflecting back upon the many experiences and lessons that have coincided with the transit of Saturn in Capricorn that began on December 19, 2017. We are close to the end of Saturn’s momentous journey through Capricorn and it will be worth the time it takes to ponder what you have learned from the experience before it enters Aquarius for good on December 16.

Oceanus

Oceanus

Neptune Stationing

While the Gemini Lunar Eclipse is applying to a sextile aspect with Mars in Aries, its next aspect will be a catalyzing square aspect with Neptune in Pisces. Neptune is a major influence over the lunar eclipse due to the fact that it stationed direct on November 28 while also forming a confounding square aspect with the transiting lunar nodes. When Neptune stations direct it saturates the astrological landscape with its influence so that instead of being in the background or out of consciousness it becomes more viscerally felt. Among other things Neptune signifies the multitudinous meaning found in images, and so it will be worthwhile to explore the meaning of any images that grab your attention whether through dreams or your waking life. The stationing of Neptune may bring images that inspire with the ineffable quality of soul, unveiling aspects of inner psyche through contemplation.

The impact of Neptune forming a square aspect with the transiting lunar nodes is difficult to fully capture in words but clearly seen in current events full of numerous conspiracy theories and fraudulent attempts to manipulate public opinion by those in power. Issues surrounding social media, the Internet, and the alternating realities they can create that make bridging political divides seem impossible are major issues that the coming era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in air signs will exacerbate and that the stationing of Neptune while at the bending of the lunar nodes has been making obvious. Neptune can dissolve structures of thought into a process of disillusionment, confusion, and disorientation that can be difficult to traverse with clarity when in the middle of it. Yet with the eclipses activating the South Node in Sagittarius and North Node in Gemini, crucial lessons will be found through reorienting to our reality with the sense of truth we gain from experiences of disillusionment.

The questions of Neptune do not have easy answers, and as the Moon will be eclipsed on the side of its North Node in Gemini we can further surmise that the larger answers to our questions will also not come from the “spirit of the times” as C.G. Jung would say. No matter if the information is coming from what is perceived as a mainstream or alternative source, ultimately we will each need to descend to our inner depths to discern our way through the maze of cultural influences to find our authentic path forward. While the shadow of Gemini in square with Neptune in Pisces can involve distraction and deception, its more positive potential involves an open mind willing to listen, committed to questioning everything, and actively witnessing the reality of the multitudinous and those on the margins overlooked by others.

swords08

Gemini 1 Decan

The Moon will be eclipsed in the first decan of Gemini associated with the Eight of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image is apt for the fears and grief that have been overwhelming to many during the past year of pandemics and political turmoil. The image of the bound woman has been interpreted as the paralysis that comes from fears running rampant within or triggered in present circumstances.  While some interpretations suggest that the same mental swords enveloping the figure could also be used to cut away the fabric of bondage, it is also important to note the moist and muddy fertility of the ground she is standing on. As Jupiter rules the first face of Gemini, the image also reveals how fear can arise in times when a huge new potential becomes available to step into.  As much as it is possible to release fears related to what has happened in the past that are being projected into the present moment, the more gracefully we will be able to flow into the tremendous change that will come in the next month of eclipses and the grand conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Apple of Eden” to the first face of Gemini, linking Eve’s bite into the apple with emerging awareness of “the duality within all things” including the yin and yang of the self. Coppock described that the discovery of the binary and “the multiplicity within all unities, the complexity in apparent simplicities” unlocks “the capacity to code all things” and display clever skills in all of the arts and sciences. Yet in keeping with the image of the Eight of Swords card, Coppock also declared that this opening to abundant flow also “de-centers and sometimes paralyzes its inhabitants.” Coppock noted that the mental acuity of this decan not only generates all arts and crafts, it also directs its prodigious curiosity to explore the multitudinous found within, both the light and the shadow of the deep Self (2).

In contrast to the tightly bound woman in the Eight of Swords image, ancient texts ascribed a graceful woman of flowing mind and deft dexterity inhabiting the first decan of Gemini.  Ibn Ezra pictured “A beautiful woman standing in the air, and she can sew,” while in the Picatrix we find “A beautiful woman, a mistress of stitching, and with her ascend two calves and two horses.” Indeed, the Picatrix declares it to be “a face of the art of the scribe, of reckoning, of number, of giving and receiving, and of the sciences.” In keeping with the double-bodied nature of the sign of the Twins, we can imagine how the image of a woman gracefully prodigious in arts and crafts is another side of the first face of Gemini to remember in contrast to the Eight of Swords image.

Fascinatingly, the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed Tethus, also known as Tethys,  to the first face of Gemini. Since Tethys is the Titan goddess of fresh water which interconnects and nourishes our earth, we can note her appearance in the Eight of Swords image as the water at the foundation of the figure. Tethys was also the wife of Okeanos, the primal sea divinity of the oceanic field surrounding the world where the Sun rises from at dawn and returns to at sunset, and the mother of river, cloud, spring, stream, and fountain spirits. Daughter of Gaia, Tethys fed her children through the subterranean waters of Okeanos as her name is derived from the Greek word têthê meaning “nurse” or “grandmother.” Moreover, she was often depicted in art with a pair of wings on her brow signifying her role as mother of rain clouds (3).

Lunar Eclipses can be more emotional than the usual Full Moon, bringing events that cause waves of change that continue to reverberate in their rippling effect. While there may be a need for grief and the release of tearful emotions like rain from clouds in response to events that will come from the eclipse, allow exploration of your watery internal landscape to bring you into contact with the enlivening water that resides there. Be curious about whatever you can feel emerging from within to be born into your life, as these feelings will likely intensify as we approach the Sagittarius Solar Eclipse on December 14.

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References

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

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

(3) Tethys, Greek Titan Goddess of Fresh Water. https://www.theoi.com/Titan/TitanisTethys.html

Scorpio New Moon

roberta matta nascitur

Nascitur by Roberta Matta

Scorpio New Moon

The blackness of the Scorpio New Moon on November 14 beckons descent and falling into feelings, probing underneath surface appearances into material that has been obscured by shadow. Within the absence of lunar light, its regenerative darkness will be full of turbulent intensity due to the surrounding influences of Mars stationing direct and Mercury opposing Uranus. Scorpio is a place of willing confrontation with death and decay,  zodiacal terrain known for intensifying feelings of being alive as it simultaneously reveals the limits of our own mortality.  Lay your fears to rest within the dark waters of the lunation, surrendering to deepening while making space for necessary rest and reflection.

The New Moon in Scorpio is at the precipice of extraordinary change, as the forthcoming lunar cycle will culminate with a Lunar Eclipse in Gemini on November 30 that will prod us into a volatile eclipse season centered around a total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on December 14. Moreover, the lunation cycle initiated by the Scorpio New Moon will be the final lunar cycle to begin and end within the era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in earth signs that began in 1802. Since we are only a month away from the epochal conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius on December 21, the seismic shifts across societal systems that will emerge in its wake can already be sensed within the sensitizing atmosphere of the dark Scorpio Moon. 

While the harmonizing sextile formed between the Scorpio New Moon with Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn in Capricorn will open intimations of the coming new era from the swampy depths of Scorpio, the fact that Mars is simultaneously stationing direct in Aries will unleash jarring currents of agitation that can incite both anger and exhaustion. Mars has been retrograde in Aries since September 7, and so as it momentarily pauses in stillness we may feel overwhelmed by the build-up of its volcanic fire coursing through us. Mars stationing is a big deal due to it happening less often than the other planets: there will be many Mars related events and conflicts erupting during the days following the lunation we will need to navigate as mindfully as possible.

Make time and space to contemplate and feel into the new desires and directions that have emerged for you since the beginning of September. There may be aggravations and blocks frustrating forward movement as Mars barely moves in the week following the Scorpio New Moon, but at the end of November as we approach the Lunar Eclipse in Gemini we will be able to make substantial progress as Mars will kick back into accelerating forward. Rather than trying to force things to happen faster than they are naturally coming together, use the days following the Scorpio New Moon to center within your circumstances and ground into a sense of an effective strategy for achieving your goals over the next month.

Due to Mars moving retrograde in the past couple of months, it has already formed two different square aspects with Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn in Capricorn since the beginning of August. While Mars will not complete its third and final square aspect with Jupiter and Saturn until January 2021 after Mars has entered Taurus and Jupiter and Saturn have entered Aquarius, Mars will complete its third and final square aspect with Pluto in Capricorn on December 23 a couple of days after the grand conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius. Since there remains to be a deeper potency to forge from our martial furnace in the final months of 2020, the greater clarity we can gain now regarding whatever has been stirred up by Mars in recent months, the more directly we will be able to set our freshly forged desires into motion in the months ahead.

Remedios Varo (1948) Cambio-De-Tiempo

Cambio de Tiempo by Remedios Varo

The New Moon in Scorpio will form while completing a supportive sextile aspect with Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn, and is additionally applying to a sextile with Saturn in Capricorn. The sextile between the New Moon with Jupiter and Pluto is especially significant due to the fact that Jupiter and Pluto recently completed their third and final conjunction of 2020 on November 12. Previously, Jupiter and Pluto completed conjunctions on April 4 and June 30 and so there has likely been something significant you have been cultivating since April that is now reaching a stage of culmination. As Chris Brennan and other astrologers have noted, a couple of major correspondences with each union of Jupiter and Pluto this year have been spikes in cases and deaths related to COVID 19 as well as conspiracy theories about the pandemic and many other things. Presently in the USA as Jupiter and Pluto have come together for the final time both topics have returned to prominence with record breaking numbers of coronavirus cases and the unprecedented situation of a sitting President losing an election and refusing to concede due to false allegations of voter fraud.

Jupiter and Pluto form conjunctions roughly every twelve and a half years, including in previous years of immense volatility in society such as in 1968 and 1931. The present union of Jupiter and Pluto has been similarly disruptive as 1968 and 1931 due to it also being part of larger outer planetary alignments. While in 2020 we have Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto all beginning a new cycle together, in 1968 we experienced Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto ending and beginning new cycles together. In comparison, the 1931 conjunction between Jupiter and Pluto was in opposition with Saturn in Capricorn while Uranus in Aries was forming square aspects with both Saturn as well as the Jupiter Pluto conjunction.

When Jupiter and Pluto meet we must aspire to the expansive heights of Jupiter through incredibly intense periods of volcanic upheaval, breakdown and decay. It’s further typical for extraordinary power struggles to erupt over societal injustices, with numerous systemic issues of oppression in need of reform being exposed. While we necessarily are brought down into purgative processes of purification and catharsis when Jupiter and Pluto come together, we also gain the opportunity to form impactful alliances and fellowship to address the issues needing attention. While we must endure catastrophic extremes of corruption by those intent on gaining extreme amounts of wealth and power, on a personal level their synergy can guide us into inner depths to churn visions of imaginal ideas and essential purpose. While Jupiter combined with Pluto can kindle devotional focus to expansive work, it also requires us to nurture faith in the unknown while traversing a collective dark night of the soul.

Vitally, Venus in Libra is forming a catalyzing square aspect with Pluto and Jupiter during the New Moon in Scorpio. Venus will complete its square aspect with Jupiter and Pluto on November 15 and then will complete a square aspect with Saturn in Capricorn on November 19. The friction between Venus in Libra with Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn in Capricorn will test relationship dynamics and expose imbalances of power and authority, bringing issues that had been lurking under the surface out into the open to be faced. Yet Venus can also stoke creative tension with Pluto, Jupiter, and Saturn that we can utilize through disciplined effort in crafting creative projects we have been slowly but steadily making progress on over time.

Finally, it’s notable that the asteroid Pallas Athena was exactly conjoining Jupiter and Pluto when they united on November 12 and was also nearby Jupiter and Pluto by degree during their two previous conjunctions in 2020. The presence of Pallas Athena with the tension building between Venus with Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn brings all of the complicated mythology of Pallas Athena into the dynamic. While Pallas Athena is an upholder of law and order in civilization, her mythic origins link her further back to the divine goddesses of Cunning Wisdom and Justice whose power goes far beyond attempts of control by ruling empires. Above all, Pallas Athena brings the gifts of strategy and the kind of prophetic vision that can anticipate troubles and formulate effective strategies in response.

With Mars stationing direct and Venus clashing with the Capricorn trio of Pluto, Jupiter, and Saturn, the side of Pallas Athena that Demetra George likened to a bodhisattva will be relevant, as we will need to enter the fiery frey of conflicts erupting across society to revision a more equitable order. Indeed, Walter Burkett in Greek Religion wrote that Pallas Athena “is not an elemental force, but the force of civilization” who brings the “organizational wisdom” that can achieve a “just division of roles.” As we are collectively leaving an era of earth to enter a new era of air at the end of 2020, we can benefit from the intellectual weaving of Pallas Athena that can reorder societal systems of law and order to address the imbalances that have been exposed. Rather than falling prey to rage and destructive reactions as Mars dominates the week following the New Moon, let the lucid eyes of Pallas Athena center you so you can make the most effective response imaginable. In Greek Religion Walter Burkett cited the fitting proverb, “in league with Athena set your own hand to work.”

remedios varo Insomnio-1947-1

Insomnio 1 by Remedios Varo

The final major influence underlying the New Moon in Scorpio is the applying opposition between Mercury in Scorpio with Uranus in Taurus. While the tension between Mercury and Uranus will be very volatile, it will likely involve storylines and issues that have been developing for over a month. Mercury formed an opposition with Uranus for the first time on October 7, and then after stationing retrograde formed its second opposition with Uranus on October 19. It will be worthwhile to reflect back upon these previous periods to note what issues or patterns were jarred loose then and could be reemerging now. While there could be resolution experienced in certain circumstances, the propensity of Mercury for shifting storylines and Uranus for upending them could also coincide with new developments that move things in unexpected directions.

Since we are living in an incredibly polarized collective moment, especially in the United States of America, the combination of Mercury opposing Uranus with Mars stationing is potentially explosive. Do your best to not provoke confrontations more so than necessary. On a personal level, however, this same combination can bring about catalytic insight that reveals a glowing path to follow through the chaotic darkness that will coincide with 2020 drawing to a close. It may be helpful to make space for reflection, meditating, journaling, brainstorming, anything that can help get ideas moving, turning, and coalescing into new forms.

Soon after Mercury finishes its final opposition with Uranus on November 17, it will leave its retrograde shadow zone on November 19 when it will finally move beyond 11°40′ Scorpio.  Mercury stationed retrograde in Scorpio on October 13 at 11°40′ Scorpio, and has been traversing the entire range of its retrograde shadow zone that began at 25º54′ Libra since September 23. As a result, as Mercury is carrying forward the propulsive liberation of its oppositional aspect with Uranus on November 19 we likely will experience resolution or pivotal developments regarding narratives that stretch back all the way to the end of September. This is even more so the case due to Venus in Libra completing its square aspect with Saturn in Capricorn on November 19 as well.

7 cups

7 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Scorpio 3 Decan

The New Moon will be reseeded by the Sun in the third decan of Scorpio associated with the Seven of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The third face of Scorpio has an amplified alchemical quality that is well suited for the lunation coinciding with Mars stationing direct in Aries while Mercury opposes Uranus. Ruled by Venus and the Moon, it is a decan in which we must come to terms with the essential desires driving us through experiences of loss and decay that reveal the heart of the matter. In the image of the Seven of Cups each of the seven chalices holds an embodiment of a desire, such as fame, fortune, lust and other earthly powers. The veiled figure in the center brings to mind the burning desire of Sophia in gnostic texts to gain ultimate understanding, a desire that cast a shadowy veil that became the material world we traverse often overwhelmed by desire like the shadowy figure in the image. Some interpret the image as signifying that through discernment we may choose to follow the one desire that will bring clarity needed to make choices aligned with our inner values and desires.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces linked the Seven of Cups to the third face of Scorpio through their shared meaning of becoming dominated by obsessive desires. Coppock ascribed the image of “A Crow” to the third decan of Scorpio, noting that the essence of this face involves the putrefaction of desire that leads to direct contact with the nature of desire. Coppock posited that through the loss of unfulfilled desire, the process of separating our desire from the external objects of desires brings the ability to reseed and regenerate core desires. Coppock wrote that the third face of Scorpio contains a “formula of liberation, for if we were not capable of laying our desires to rest, returning them to pure energy, we would be enchained forever, prisoners of what we once held dear.”

 In contrast, the Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the curious deity Kairos to the third face of Scorpio. You are likely familiar with the term kairos referring to the opportune moment for something to occur that is not confined to the demands of chronological time. Yet Kairos in Greek myth was the youngest son of Zeus as well as the lover of Fortuna, an embodiment of luck and favorable opportunities. Kairos was seen as always moving with winged feet, carrying a razor or scales that represent the fleeting moment in which opportunity comes and goes, the moment we need to seize and not neglect.

The presence of Kairos in the third face of Scorpio points toward the importance of being in touch with the ripening of the moment during the Scorpio New Moon. The fertility of our destiny cannot be rushed or forced, and often relies on specific moments in which we realize essential elements of our past to reweave into the path we are following forward. Now that both Mercury retrograde as well as Mars retrograde are finished, as we turn toward an eclipse season on the horizon that also holds the grand conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, we will be well served by taking as much time as needed to sort through all of the desires that have been stirred in recent months. May you welcome the fleeting appearance of Kairos and seize the moment that holds the next movement of your life.

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!

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References

Burkett, Walter. (1985). Greek Religion. Harvard University Press.

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

Taurus Full Moon and Uranus

Signe (La Vente) by Victor Brauner

“Hallowe’en developed from the Celtic feast of Samhain (pronounced ‘sow-in’), which marked the end of summer and the beginning of winter. For the Celts, Samhain was the beginning of the year and the cycle of the seasons. Samhain was a time when the Celts acknowledged the beginning and ending of all things . . . For the Celts, Samhain was a time when the gates between this world and the next were open. It was a time of communion with the spirits of the dead, who, like wild autumnal winds, were free to roam the earth. At Samhain, the Celts called upon their ancestors, who might bring warnings and guidance to help in the year to come.

Samhain was a time of change and transformation where both the past and present met with the uncertain tides of the future yet to come. It was a time for magic and divination, when Druids and Soothsayers would forecast the events of the coming year . . . For the Celts, Samhain was both an end-of-summer feast and a time of communion with the realm of the spirit.”

— Ronald Hutton, The Stations of the Sun

Full Moon in Taurus

The Full Moon in Taurus on October 31 will illuminate the night of Samhain, the traditional holiday of augmented access to the otherworldly realm of spirits and ancestors. With the lunation forming an exact conjunction with Uranus in Taurus, we can expect sudden announcements and revelations that radically reshape storylines. Though potent activations of Uranus can ultimately create an emancipatory effect, the rush of its lightning strikes upon impact can feel disorienting and unsettling. We will be well served by feeding and communing with our ancestors, drawing from their deep well of experience and resources. No matter how much fear or anxiety we are harboring due to current collective crises, we can rest assured our ancestors have traversed even bleaker circumstances in the past. We may draw upon the light of the lunation to kindle faith and strength of heart that we may carry into the unknown future before us.

It’s further fitting that Samhain is a traditional time of endings and beginnings, as the propulsive force of the lunation united with Uranus will unleash events that will carry us into the new astrological era coming at the end of the year that will be a pivotal influence over our future ancestors. At the same time, the nonlinear nature of Uranus can activate memories that pull us back into contemplation of old stories that need to be felt and processed. There are so many threads of intersecting ancestral and personal issues weaving and reweaving into the tangled knot of collective crises we are experiencing, our only hope for unraveling it all will come through learning from our past. As Uranus will be animating the mysterious, nonlinear realm of memory and dreams, make time to explore the deeper meaning of the images and experiences that emerge, listening to the larger message they are bringing about where we have come from and how it spirals into the path ahead.

The influence of Uranus over the Taurus Full Moon is especially potent due to it occurring at the midpoint of the retrograde phase of Uranus, when Uranus forms an opposition with the Sun and comes as close as the distant planet can get to Earth in its orbit. The liberating impact of Uranus on the lunation can bring awareness to beliefs and patterns we have been fixated upon due to our hunger for security in an ever changing reality. We may not only gain realization for ways ways we have been complicit with problematic systems for a sense of comfort, but also the impetus to disentangle ourselves from structures that make a societal impact out of alignment with our values. With Uranus unleashing its shattering effect during the Full Moon, see if there is a more authentic presence and perspective ready to slip out of your old identity and attachments like a serpent slithering away from its shedded skin.

Stonehenge I by Henry Moore

Stonehenge I by Henry Moore

The volatility pulsating underneath the Taurus Full Moon is further shown by Mercury stationing direct in Libra a few days later on November 3. Mercury stationing will saturate the astrological landscape with its presence and necessitate focused mindfulness due to it forming a sequence of catalyzing square aspects with Saturn in Capricorn that will become exact on November 1 and November 6. Thus the entire week following the Full Moon will be dominated by the friction built between Mercury in Libra and Saturn in Capricorn.

Since Mercury will be slowing down to pause in stillness before slowly beginning to move forward again, its aspect with the solid stone of Saturn will necessitate taking things slow with a plodding pace and sharply thorough mental focus. We will be called to question matters as delays force us to further contemplate the revivified presence and direction emerging for us out of the recent three week period of Mercury retrograde in Scorpio and Libra. Instead of impatiently trying to force things out of frustration, keep a steady and alert focus and be ever ready to spontaneously shift directions or flexibly make alterations as needed.  Saturn and Mercury will point to utilizing Necessity as the mother of invention, guiding us toward what needs to be modified or further developed whether we like it or not.

Crucially, Mercury will be re-emerging from its period of invisibility to become visible as a Morning Star before sunrise in the days following the Full Moon. As Mercury will be delivering major announcements and sharing its oracular light, we may bridge its creative potency and openness to new visions with the discipline, pondering, and traditional lineages of Saturn.  It will be possible to conduct deeply penetrative research or make significant progress on projects by working through issues step by step with devotion. It will be the time of the tortoise in which slow and steady wins the race.

Gundestrup cauldron

The Gundestrup cauldron (silver vessel), thought to date to the 1st century BC

Venus rules the Full Moon from its airy home of Libra. The return of Venus to a sign where it can express itself directly and fully is notable due to the past few months having been dominated by the two planets that tend to stir up the most trouble, Mars and Saturn, residing in their own zodiacal homes of sovereignty. While Venus entering Libra will not magically rebalance the innumerable injustices and inequities that have been erupting across society, it does bring a surge of restorative air into the volatile astrological mix. Venus sharing the sign of Libra with Mercury will also help mediate the aforementioned tension taking place between Mercury and Saturn through grace, charming communication, and the art of critical thinking.

Venus directly expresses its essence of beauty, style, and harmony in Libra, yet will be traversing difficult astrological terrain between the Taurus Full Moon on October 31 and the Scorpio New Moon on November 14. In the week following the Full Moon, Venus in Libra will be heading straight into an opposition with Mars retrograde in Aries that will become exact on November 9 with Venus at 15°21′ Libra and Mars at 15°21′ Aries. With Venus sovereign and securely at home in Libra facing off with an agitated Mars slowing down to station direct in its fiery home of Aries, the tension jarred loose by the propulsive Taurus Full Moon will be unleashed within amplified conflicts. The way forward lies with Venus, as the star of Aphrodite will be able to draw upon the strength of its own resources to help mediate and mend whatever becomes torn apart.

Rather than further imploding already polarized conflicts, Venus sharing the sign of the Scales with a stationing and heliacal rising Mercury can facilitate discourse that balances differing points of view, recalibrating our response so that we may better navigate the minefield of trigger points that will exacerbate conflict if set off. Through deep listening and mindful consideration we can remain sensitized to the power dynamics and triggers of tension within relationships, leading to insights for how to mediate conflicts and facilitate cooperation or support from allies when needed. Venus in the cardinal sign of Libra will be able to make quick adjustments and initiate new movements when required.

After Venus moves through its opposition with Mars, it will flow into an intensifying square aspect with Pluto and Jupiter in Capricorn as Jupiter and Pluto complete their third and final conjunction of the year on November 12. Although Venus will not complete its square aspect with Jupiter and Pluto until after the Scorpio New Moon on November 14, the friction between Venus with Jupiter and Pluto will be building throughout the waning half of the current lunar cycle. It’s notable that Venus will be in the superior position of being in the tenth place from Pluto, Jupiter, and Saturn in Capricorn, a hopeful sign for addressing issues of injustice and inequity that have been exacerbated and exposed by Jupiter and Saturn ending and beginning new cycles with Pluto during 2020.

The final conjunction between Jupiter and Pluto on November 12 will correspond with momentous events that reshape narratives due to Mars finally stationing direct at the same time on November 13. Previously in 2020 there were conjunctions between Jupiter and Pluto on April 4 and June 30, and so there will be resolution and deepening development of storylines connected with those previous dates. The archetypal meaning of Jupiter and Pluto uniting is multivalent, including corrupt power grabs manipulated by power structures as well as the exposure of corruption that empowers direct action by social justice movements. There is immense potential for volcanic eruptions of conflict due to Mars stationing direct at the same time, a fact that has been a concerning forecast for a long time by astrologers in relation to the presidential election in the USA since both sides of the political spectrum believes that the other side will be fraudulently manipulating the outcome.

While many collective events will be out of our control as Jupiter and Pluto unite and Mars stations direct, we will be able to take responsibility for our own response and remain steadfast and accountable to our essential values and concern for the well being of our community. With Venus in Libra simultaneously moving from an opposition with Mars into a square with Pluto, Jupiter and Saturn, as well as Mercury in Scorpio applying to its third opposition with Uranus, it will be imperative for each and every one of us to help out those in need and to take action rooted in our moral compass.

pents05

Taurus 1 Decan

The first face of Taurus where the Full Moon in Taurus culminates is connected with the Five of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The Five of Pentacles is often associated with worry and fear over not having enough money or resources. Yet the poverty stricken figures in front of the stained glass window of a cathedral suggest that resources can be found in both the realm of spirit as well as in charitable communities. Mercury rules the first face of Taurus, linking the commerce of Mercury with the fertile, earthy nature of the sign of the Bull.  Mercury makes the connections we need for our livelihood, and in the first decan of Taurus we discover our capacity not only to gain enough resources for our own survival but to also contribute assistance to those in greater need so they are not left out in the cold.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Plow” to the first face of Taurus, noting the “face is traditionally connected to all of the sciences necessary to draw forth fruit from the land.” Coppock stated “the power this decan grants is that of understanding how to create growth,” adding that we must also realize that “the mind, heart and body are all ripe fields, which offer abundance when cultivated.” Coppock further noted that the emphasis the first decan of Taurus puts on using available resources to increase gain also brings up the shadow of fear that bleak times may arise if we disengage from constant planning and hard work. Yet ultimately Coppock concluded that “the true work of this decan is in the equilibriation of work and pleasure,” as there are also many sensual delights to be encountered in the first face of Taurus.

The Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed Charis to the first decan of Taurus, linking the Charites of mythology to the charity we can find in the image of the Five of Pentacles card and the meaning of the first face of Taurus. The Charites are the same as the three Graces you are most likely familiar with, commonly known as Splendor, Mirth, and Good Cheer, though various traditions have additional names as well as numbers for these charming, fertile beings. Fittingly for the Shining Samhain Moon, the Charites were also associated with the Greek underworld and the Eleusinian Mysteries.

As Mercury stations direct in the days following the Taurus Full Moon, amidst the volatility within current events it will be important to cultivate your inner agriculture of soul that will align you with the good graces. Just like the chthonic Charites loved to bring their blessings of fertility to ancient banquets, so will your ancestors enjoy feasting with you this Samhain while attending to your concerns with their guidance. Make sacred space for centering and receiving the grace of heartfelt faith in finding your way through the tumultuous ending of 2020.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. My intention with Patreon is to receive enough support to not only help me continue to offer the articles I have been doing for free, but to also expand the scope of what I am offering. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron.

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References

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

Hutton, Ronald. (1996). The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford Press.

 

Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio and Libra

Ships in the Dark (1927) Paul Klee

Someday, at the end of the nightmare of knowing,
may I emerge singing praise and jubilation to assenting angels.
May I strike my heart’s keys clearly, and may none fail
because of slack, uncertain, or fraying strings.
May the tears that stream down my face
make me more radiant: may my hidden weeping
bloom. How I will cherish you then, you grief-torn nights!
Had I only received you, inconsolable sisters,
on more abject knees, only buried myself with more abandon
in your loosened hair. How we waste our afflictions!
We study them, stare out beyond them into bleak continuance,
hoping to glimpse some end. Whereas they’re really
our wintering foliage, our dark greens of meaning, one
of the seasons of the clandestine year—; not only
a season —: they’re site, settlement, shelter, soil, abode.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, from the Tenth Elegy of Duino Elegies translated by Edward Snow

Mercury retrograde in Scorpio

As night and its unknowing darkness envelopes us on October 13, Mercury will be cloistered in their cave of pungent roots, fungi, and herbs stirring a cauldron of mysterious brew hung with an iron hook over fire. Mercury has outdone themselves, really, as it’s a concoction into which we may pour all of our laments of loss, grief, vulnerabilities, and fears, cooking and transfiguring their essence into medicine. As Mercury tends to the dissolution, swirling it into a spiral with their spoon, we will be offered a taste.

Mercury will station retrograde on October 13, 2020 at 11°40′ Scorpio, pulling us into a twenty-one day period in which the star of Hermes will backtrack through the zodiac until stationing direct on November 3 at 25º54′ Libra. Uranus and Saturn will be in the role of threshold guardians, as Mercury will begin its retrograde in an opposition with Uranus and will end it while in a square aspect with Saturn. Mercury will thoroughly inspect the zodiacal terrain from twenty-five degrees of Libra to twelve degrees of Scorpio in natal charts, digging up material in need of release, rehabilitation, rejuvenation, or reintegration. Mercury first crossed 25º54′ Libra on September 23 and will not finally move beyond 11°40′ Scorpio until November 19.

While 2020 has been dominated by the grave lineup of Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto in Capricorn, 2021 will be fundamentally shaped by three shattering square aspects formed between Uranus in Taurus and Saturn in Aquarius on February 17, June 14, and December 23, 2021. Mercury’s retrograde journey through Scorpio and Libra will bridge the astrological themes streaming from this year into next, since it will begin by triggering issues related to Uranus and then penetrate into the core dynamics of Saturn, Pluto, and Jupiter. Mercury is at home in liminal states of being in between, and while retrograde will guide awareness into exploration of the issues that require deeper attention so we may more fluidly pass from the way things have been into the way of what is to come.                     

Mercury transitions from being visible in the evening twilight at the beginning of its retrograde phase into an invisible phase for most of its retrograde passage, re-emerging into visibility at the end of its retrograde phase at dawn. In between Mercury descends into the darkness of the underworld to be regenerated by the Sun, reseeding our consciousness with new ideas and a refreshened presence. The apparent backward motion of Mercury is due to it orbiting in between our Earth and Sun, coming to its closest proximity with us in orbit. We thus experience an intensification of Mercury during its retrograde phase, as its descent calls for a purging and purification of our mental constructs and the way we process and communicate information and ideas.

Mercury retrograde has a reputation for trouble that it will play at full tilt this time around. Crucially, Mercury will not only station in opposition with Uranus, it will also be under rulership of Mars retrograde in Aries in its full phase with the Sun. This means that after the Sun sets and Mercury shares its final light as an evening star in the few days after it stations retrograde, Mars will be arising over the eastern horizon in its brightest phase of fiery redness and proceed to glow down upon us all through the night. Since Mars will be operating at an extremity of symbolic heat, we can expect the three week period of Mercury being retrograde to be more disruptive and disorienting than normal.

Mercury’s fluid nature that weaves between divergent perspectives and embraces multiplicity will be the kind of medicine we will need to digest. Yet we must also bear in mind that Mercury will utilize sleight of hand trickery while dislodging us from stuck, habitual patterns when retrograde. The building square aspect between Saturn and Uranus that Mercury will bridge during its retrograde journey is a waning one, signifying that across our global collective the clash between Saturn and Uranus will demand a radical altering of how we perceive and approach the dismantling of societal systems underway. The more we can let go of our fixed conceptions of identity, the more that we can utilize the experience of Mercury retrograde for sifting through the unraveling of our inner multiplicity, reintegrating fragmented aspects of ourselves that essentially need to be returned, finding new angles of perception in problem solving in the process.

While we are often called to revisit old issues while Mercury is retrograde, the influence of Mars combined with the hard aspects Mercury will make with Uranus, Saturn, Pluto, and Jupiter over the course of its three week retrograde passage has the potential to dredge up core patterns that feel like they have been festering in the deepest recesses of our subconscious for ages. Rather than becoming angry and frustrated over having to re-engage with something from the past, ask what the spirit of the presenting issue is bringing as an underlying lesson. Allow the star of Hermes to guide awareness to the old issues that need to be laid to rest, the repairs and reparations that need to be enacted, and the emptying of what needs to be released in order to more effectively welcome an influx of new developments at the end of 2020.

Walpurgis Night 1935 by Paul Klee 1879-1940

Walpurgis Night (1935) Paul Klee

And so we press on and try to achieve it,
try to contain it in our simple hands,
in our brimming eyes, our voiceless heart.
Try to become it. Try to give it— to whom? Best of all,
to hold on to it all forever . . . Ah, but what can one carry across
into that other relation? Not the art of seeing,
learned so slowly here, and no event that transpired here. Not one.
The pain, then. Above all, the hard labor of living,
the long experience of love, —all the purely
unsayable things. But later on,
among the stars, what then: there the unsayable reigns.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, from the Ninth Elegy of Duino Elegies translated by Edward Snow

Mercury typically will spend about two years being retrograde in the same element- since March 2019, Mercury has been shifting retrograde in water signs. This will be the final Mercury retrograde in a water sign in the current sequence, as Mercury will be retrograde in the air signs of Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra in 2021. During the past two years the periods of Mercury retrograde in water signs have plunged us into the depths of emotional undercurrents so we may excavate buried treasures of insight. It’s wise to slow down and allow for dreams, synchronicities, and omens to work through us when Mercury is retrograde in water signs, and that will be especially the case while Mercury is retrograde in Scorpio from October 13 until it returns to Libra on October 27.

Mercury will be visible in the liminal hues of twilight at the beginning of its retrograde phase, transitioning around October 18 into its phase of invisibility in which it facilitates purging and shedding.  The closer Mercury comes to uniting with the Sun on October 25, the more the cauldron of Mercury will feel the Sun’s calcining fire that can dissolve rigidity and open deeper attuning with needed messages from our unconscious. From the stationing of Mercury on October 13 until its conjunction with the Sun on October 25, let the watery nature of Mercury in Scorpio pull your feelings into the places that need release and resolution within.  After the New Moon in Libra forms on October 16 and the waxing Moon shares its first crescent light while conjoining Mercury in Scorpio on October 17, it will be possible to gain greater clarity for what needs to be emptied and shed with intention. 

As Mercury disappears into darkness it takes on the role of Chthonic Hermes, the psychopomp who was given souls to guide by Persephone. Mercury will descend into the underworld while forming an opposition with Uranus that will become exact on October 19. The emancipatory and jolting wattage oscillating between Mercury and Uranus will not be new, for Mercury first formed an opposition with Uranus on October 7 after having spent a week building up tension with Uranus. On the most simple level the extended interfacing between Mercury and Uranus will bring unexpected announcements and events that radically upturn narratives and plans. Combined with Mercury stationing retrograde, there will be a deeper side of soulful and ancestral patterns becoming volatilized that will feel disorienting but can lead toward fundamental growth and development.   

While it’s best with Mercury retrograde in a water sign to go with the flow, the fixed nature of Scorpio can lead to being stuck on compulsive feelings or consumed with trying to maintain control in getting our way. The lightning strikes from Uranus will force release and surrender to the currents, and while we may have to experience strife we may also listen to what message the sleight of hand of Mercury is delivering through the tumult. When it doesn’t feel possible to let go of wounds or loss, the ineffable depth of Scorpio’s waters can help dislodge feelings of grief that need to be released.  Make space for rest and time for descent into incubatory darkness so you may better attune to the inner guidance needed.

the green candle jorge camacho

The Green Candle by Jorge Camacho

With all its eyes the animal world
beholds the Open. Only our eyes
are as if inverted and set all around it
like traps at its portals to freedom.
What’s outside we only know from the animal’s
countenance; for almost from the first we take a child
and twist him round and force him to gaze
backwards and take in structure, not the Open
that lies so deep in an animal’s face. Free from death.
Only we see death; the free animal has its demise
perpetually behind it and before it always
God, and when it moves, it moves into eternity,
the way brooks and running springs move.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, from the Eighth Elegy of Duino Elegies translated by Edward Snow

Chthonic Cazimi

Mercury will become reanimated and reseeded by its conjunction with the Sun on October 25 at 2°48′ Scorpio. Known as its inferior conjunction, Mercury aligns in between the Earth and Sun by zodiacal degree, as close to us in orbit as possible for Mercury within its cycle. During the time that Mercury is within one degree of conjunction with the Sun, even more so while Mercury is within sixteen minutes of its solar conjunction, there is enhanced potential to experience clarifying self-reflection and reception of key insight. Older astrological texts named this moment of Mercury’s rebirth cazimi, or being in the heart of the Sun. It’s the cyclical moment when Mercury enters what Demetra George has named the “sanctum sanctorum,” or “the innermost holy chamber of the mystery initiations” found within “the protected space at the heart of the Sun.” 

Karl Kerenyi wrote in Hermes: Guide of Souls that “meeting and finding are revelations of Hermes’ essence,” as Hermes discovers fortune through “accidental happenings” and windfalls that he crafts with “intelligence and the art of living,” shaping every find into “a theft that is put into better use.” Wherever you find yourself in your journey on October 25, invite Hermes to help you make inventive use of your circumstances. Indeed, Kerenyi illuminated that the journeyer in communion with Hermes remains “at home on the road itself, the road being understood not as a connection between two definite points on the earths surface, but as a particular world.” This “middle domain” of Hermes has resonance with Mercury at the point of its chthonic conjunction with the Sun because, as described by Kerenyi, “a person in this volatized condition has access to everything.” It’s a moment to enter the primordial in the present.

When Mercury becomes revitalized with the creative potency of our solar light on October 25, its ruler Mars will remain retrograde but will have finally finished forming exact square aspects with Saturn, Pluto, and Jupiter in Capricorn. We may draw from the absorptive potency of Mercury in Scorpio to soak in all the feelings that have been stirred up by Mars catalyzing Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn, grounding into a deeper sense of our circumstances. Open your awareness to the seeds of new ideas and visions germinating within your inner darkness.

Victor Brauner origin of the word

Origin of the Word by Victor Brauner

But suppose the endlessly dead were to wake in us some emblem:
they might point to the catkins hanging
from the empty hazel trees, or direct us to the rain
descending on black earth in early spring.-

And we, who always think of happiness
rising, would feel the emotion
that almost baffles us
when a happy thing falls.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, from the Tenth Elegy of Duino Elegies translated by Edward Snow

Mercury Station in Libra

Mercury slides backwards into Libra on October 27 only eight minutes before Venus enters Libra. This brings a major change in tone that switches the focus of Mercury from Mars retrograde in its fiery home of Aries to Venus in its airy home of Libra, with both Mercury and Venus gaining increased essential dignity on the same day (Venus entering its own domicile and Mercury entering its own triplicity). Mercury will also be in the exaltation and triplicity of Saturn, and will test this relationship immediately by applying to an intensifying square aspect with Saturn. The square between Mercury and Saturn is a double edged scythe, as on one hand there could be rejection to contend with while on the other hand there could be a solidification and harvesting of insight and results.

As the tension between Mercury retrograde in Libra and Saturn direct in Capricorn builds to a peak, there will be a cathartic Full Moon in Taurus on October 31 that forms an almost exact conjunction with Uranus. Notably, the Taurus Full Moon combines the monthly polarity of the Sun and Moon with the yearly opposition between the Sun and Uranus retrograde, the heart of the retrograde cycle of Uranus when it is closest to Earth. The lunation’s alignment with Uranus can bring the electrified spark needed to finally change a deep seated pattern as well as incite far ranging vision that brings a sudden reformulation of whatever we have been planning and working on. The mysterious, nonlinear realm of memory and dreams will be invigorated with activity.

A day after the Full Moon in Taurus unites with Uranus, Mercury retrograde in Libra will form an exact square aspect with Saturn in Capricorn on November 1. As Mercury retrograde in Libra clashes with Saturn under the full light of the Moon, we may encounter extremes in current events as well as interpersonal encounters, bringing a need for balancing within experiences full of tension, polarity, counterpoints, and contrariness. Fortunately, the timing of these transits with the Samhain holiday can make for potent rituals, spiritual experiences, and communion with ancestors that can bring pivotal guidance. 

As Mercury slows down to station direct on November 3 while forming a square with Saturn, Pluto, and Jupiter in Capricorn, the star of Hermes will also be returning to visibility as a Morning Star sharing its light amongst the birdsong that comes just before sunrise. In the United Sates of America, Mercury will station direct in the vicious political climate of Election Day that will likely be full of conflicting reports and contested results. Mercury will make major pronouncements during the first week of November in global events, and likewise in our personal life we will receive an influx of new vision and an activation of imaginative ideas.

After Mercury stations direct and begins moving forward in Libra, it will form its third exact square aspect with Saturn in Capricorn on November 7. The final square between Mercury and Saturn brings to completion a process that began on September 23 when Mercury and Saturn formed the first square in the sequence. The meaning found in the relationship between Mercury and Saturn across this time brings to mind the description given by Liz Greene regarding Carl Jung’s understanding of their interplay in her book The Astrological World of Jung’s Liber Novus. Greene wrote that the “shadowy, potentially destructive prima materia of the unconscious, represented by Saturn, bears a secret unity with the mysterious mediating agency in the psyche, represented by Mercury, that fosters the conscious recognition of meaning and teleology.”  One aspect of the realm where Mercury and Saturn may meet is in the imagination, and so it will be worthwhile spending time incubating within the living symbolism of whatever emerges to glean the deeper significance for your life.

Mercury will return to the dark waters of Scorpio on November 10, the same day it also reaches maximum elongation as a Morning Star and begins to move faster than the steady course of the Sun. At the same time, Venus in Libra will be forming an opposition with Mars in Aries as the red planet begins to slow down to station direct. The tension between Venus and Mars will intensify the entrance of Mercury into its explorative solar phase that Gary Caton has compared to the rubedo phase of alchemy, as it demarcates the period for manifesting the inspired ideas and revivified presence gathered during the period of Mercury retrograde into our daily routines and reality. Make space for deep listening and delving into your relational dynamics with others, taking note of the underlying patterns and crafting ways to create healthier, mutually supportive dynamics.

Altogether, the period of Mercury retrograde in Scorpio and Libra will play a crucial role in transitioning us into the finale of Mars retrograde in Aries and comprehending whatever emerges. It will also provoke a vital reorientation to the issues that need our attention in the final stretch of the year as we approach an eclipse season and the grand conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius on December 21. After traversing the boggy landscape of Scorpio where we will experience decomposition of past issues, Mercury will retrieve the golden scales of Libra that we may utilize in recalibrating whatever new growth is becoming fertilized. Moving back and forth between the dissolving water of Scorpio and the intellectualizing air of Libra can facilitate the understanding of surrounding relational dynamics we need in order to navigate the social unrest and disruption to societal power structures that will be taking place.

Angel! O take it, pluck it, that small-petaled herb of healing!
Create a vase, preserve it! Place it among those joys
not yet open to us; in a delicate urn
let an ornate inscription praise it: “Subrisio Saltat.”

— Rainer Maria Rilke, from the Fifth Elegy of Duino Elegies translated by Edward Snow

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. My intention with Patreon is to receive enough support to not only help me continue to offer the articles I have been doing for free, but to also expand the scope of what I am offering. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron.

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References

Caton, Gary. (2017). Hermetica Triptycha: The Mercury Elemental Year. Rubedo Press.

George, Demetra. (2019). Ancient Astrology in Theory and Practice: a Manual of Traditional Techniques. Rubedo Press.

Greene, Liz. (2018). The Astrological World of Jung’s Liber Novus: Daimons, Gods, and the Planetary Journey. Routledge.

Kerenyi, Karl. (1976). Hermes: Guide of Souls. Spring Publications.

Rilke, Rainer Maria. (2000). Duino Elegies. translated by Edward Snow. North Point Press.

New Moon in Virgo

 
paul klee the gate of night

The Gate of the Night (1921) by Paul Klee

New Moon in Virgo

The New Moon in Virgo on September 17 draws a season to a close, initiating us into the final season of 2020. While the heat of Summer transitions into the crisp coolness of Autumn in the northern hemisphere, in the southern hemisphere the lunation demarcates the end of Winter and the dawning of Spring. It’s a time of seasonal balancing, with the amount of light and darkness we experience in a day temporarily reaching an equilibrium on the Libra equinox which will occur five days later on September 22. The darkness of the Virgo New Moon is ideal for centering within one’s inner light, sensing surrounding circumstances with full awareness. 

The Virgo Moon is separating from a trine with Pluto and applying toward a trine with Saturn in Capricorn, providing an opportunity to slow down and ground into deeper presence with whatever challenges and difficulties we have been contending with. After completing a trine with Saturn, the Virgo Moon will form a quincunx with Mars retrograde in Aries as the slowly moving red planet intensifies in the tension that it will continue to build with Saturn for the rest of September. The astrology of the next couple of months will not be getting any easier, and so we need to lean into any trouble brewing with discernment rather than trying to escape from problems through denial or distraction.

The strength of the Virgo New Moon is found in the dark caves and black stones of Saturn. The trine from the lights in Virgo with Saturn in Capricorn may feel melancholic due to the tumult of current events, yet the pondering contemplation of Saturn will be what we need to cultivate in the forthcoming lunar cycle. We need to engage with the side of Saturn open to the mystery of the unknown and willing to reflect upon the fullness of the moment, rather than being overly defensive, rigid, and righteously insisting on control or trying to force what we want to have happen. As Saturn begins to slow down en route to stationing direct on September 29, we will be most effective through deep reflection in decision making and taking the time necessary rather than rushing.

Mercury in Libra rules the New Moon and is forming an exact square aspect with Jupiter in Capricorn. Mercury is in the bounds of Jupiter and on the superior side of the square aspect, enabling a thorough questioning of our beliefs about what has been happening so we can make adjustments attuned with the reality of the moment rather than wishful thinking. Mercury will next form a square with Pluto on September 20 followed by a square with Saturn on September 23 as it simultaneously moves into a tense opposition with Mars. With Mercury in the exaltation of Saturn, we can combine the nuanced flexibility of Mercury with the reflective depth of Saturn to come to terms with how we need to handle whatever volatility is being stirred up by Mars retrograde in Aries.

the third shape kay sage

In the Third Sleep (1944) by Kay Sage

The New Moon is at the northern bending of the lunar nodes, forming a square aspect with the North Node of the Moon in Gemini and the South Node of the Moon in Sagittarius. This means that we are at the midpoint in between eclipse seasons, as the Sun last formed a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon when there was a Solar Eclipse on June 21 and will be forming a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon when there is a Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on December 14. Like the view gained from climbing mountainous peaks, the Virgo New Moon offers a far ranging perspective to help mediate whatever turning points in narratives are arising. Since Mercury and Jupiter, the rulers of the lunar nodes, are colliding in an exact square there is likely a significant twist in your story occurring that will need your undivided attention.

Furthermore, Neptune retrograde in Pisces is five degrees away from a square with the lunar nodes at their southern bending. The square between Neptune and the lunar nodes will be slowly getting tighter during the rest of 2020, with Neptune forming an exact square with the lunar nodes in January 2021. Neptune is more than halfway through its retrograde phase that stretches from June 22 to November 28, having formed an opposition with the Virgo Sun on September 11. With the Virgo New Moon separating from Neptune, the lunation contains more of a movement away from the mists of Neptune rather than into its otherworldly fog. It will be especially important to sift through any lessons learned from recent experiences of disillusionment to help in reorienting toward a more realistic assessment of your situation.

The Philosophia Hermetica

from The Philosophia Hermetica (1790) by Federico Gualdi

While the incendiary heat of Mars retrograde in Aries is only at its beginning stages, the week following the Virgo New Moon will bring a critical juncture of Mercury moving through square aspects with Pluto and Saturn into an opposition with Mars on September 24. A balance will need to be struck between opening to new desires being stoked by Mars while patiently working through whatever obstacles and tests are being set in place by Saturn. It’s a period for laying the foundation of long-term goals rather than grasping for short-term gratification. Yet despite setbacks, it will not be a time to forsake our most authentic and essential desires but rather to allow them to be reshaped and reforged by the crucible of Saturn and Pluto. 

In addition to forming a square with Saturn on September 23 and an opposition with Mars on September 24, Mercury also will be crossing into the “retrograde shadow” degrees of its upcoming retrograde motion that will occur from October 13 until November 3. As it will be an especially volatile and disruptive retrograde phase for Mercury, it will be wise to begin sensing what challenges are coming your way and what needs to be remedied while Mercury is still visible in its evening star phase. Mercury colliding with Pluto, Saturn, and Mars in sequence can be helpful for noticing what is beginning to come out of balance so you can begin rethreading whatever is fraying before it becomes torn apart. 

10 pentacles

10 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Virgo 3 Decan

The New Moon in Virgo arises in the third decan of Virgo associated with the Ten of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. Fitting for an image of a family enjoying the fruits of their ancestral legacy, the third face of Virgo is ruled by Mercury and Venus. Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces connected the image of “the pensive nature of the elder” in the Ten of Pentacles card with a fundamental question this face asks about wealth: “What, given the fate of all created things, is truly valuable?”

Coppock ascribed the image of “The Sarcophagus” to the third decan of Virgo, writing that “the spirit gazes upon its inevitable separation from matter here, contemplating the consequences of its brief union.” A decan of decay and death, old texts such as the Picatrix and Liber Hermetis contain images of mummification, while Abraham Ibn-Ezra pictured a woman praying with leprous hands. Coppock stated that the third decan of Virgo “has the power to break the pride of all created things by showing them their inevitable end,” yet through facing this inevitability “it grants far reaching sight . . . the ability to look beyond the present, seeing consequences as clearly as actions.” It’s a decan that asks us to come to terms with the legacy and value we wish to leave behind for our future ancestors, a face of learning to embrace the moment due to the death that awaits all of our loves in the end.

Doubling down on the long game during the Virgo New Moon, the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed the goddess Hestia to the third face of Virgo. Hestia is a sublime guide for the New Moon, as she holds within her purified gaze the focus necessary to stay true to the essential value we wish to invest into our relationships, work, and community. Hestia is the devoted one with roots in a legacy of sisterhood we can draw from, a spiritual lineage that across tumultuous centuries has sustained respect with every breath for the living force of creation. Hestia holds within her heart a moral compass impossible to manipulate or distract away from the path of love and service that does not abandon.

Fittingly for Hestia being associated with the third face of Virgo, Venus in Leo is applying toward a conjunction with Vesta in Leo during the New Moon in Virgo. Earlier in the year there was a conjunction between Venus and Vesta on May 15 when Venus was retrograde in Gemini, and so we may now re-center within our core values that have been reforged since then.  Compared to the other planets engaged in tense aspects, Venus will have smooth sailing through Leo as it heads toward forming a trine aspect with Mars at the end of September. The essential values passed down to us from our ancestors that we wish to pass on to our future ancestors deserve our full commitment and embodiment within the darkness of the Virgo New Moon.

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.

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References

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

 

Full Moon in Pisces

the great impossible

The Great Impossible (1961) by Kay Sage

O you tender ones, step now and then
into the breath that takes no heed of you:
it will part as it brushes your cheeks
and then tremble behind you, united again.

O you who are blissful, you who are whole,
you who seem the beginnings of hearts.
Bows for arrows and arrows’ aim, through tears
your smile will glow more eternal.

Don’t be afraid to suffer- take your heaviness
and give it back to the earth’s own weight;
the mountains are heavy, the oceans are heavy.

Even the trees you planted as children
have long grown too heavy; you couldn’t bear them.
But the breezes . . . and the spaces . . .

— Rainer Maria Rilke from Sonnets to Orpheus

Full Moon in Pisces

Some years are more pivotal to the course of history than others, some periods of time so fertile with potential that the reverberations of choices and actions create a more far reaching impact than others. Astrologers predicted in advance that this would likely be such a year due to the epochal symphony emanating from the astrology of 2020, and the trajectory of world events that have unfolded have left no doubt that this is the case. The Pisces Full Moon will unleash a flood of feelings related to how we are situated within the currents of collective change and upheaval, how well we are following our path and purpose, and to what degree we are claiming the role and place through which we may serve others through the cultivation and sharing of skills and resources. 

The Pisces Full Moon on 1 September 2020 is applying tightly toward a stimulating sextile aspect with Uranus in Taurus, while it is also being received by a harmonizing sextile aspect by its ruler, Jupiter in Capricorn. The Full Moon is also heading toward a conjunction with Neptune in Pisces that it will form on September 2 after completing its sextile with Jupiter. The silvery light of the Pisces Moon will beam forth from the Virgo Sun like the Hermit’s lantern, seeping into the underbelly of our overarching plans and visions. Pay attention if you are guided to change course or make modifications to your goals, but also allow the watery inspiration of the lunation to reveal the resources and support you have within reach that have been previously unseen or unrecognized. 

There is also a supportive, mutual reception between the Full Moon and Venus, as the Full Moon is in the exaltation and bounds of Venus and is heading toward a flowing trine aspect with Venus, while Venus is in the watery home of the Moon. Yet the pleasurable reception between the Moon and Venus must be tempered by the ponderousness of Saturn, as Venus is applying to an exact opposition with Saturn in Capricorn. Venus is taking us into the chthonic roots of the alignment between Saturn and Pluto, as Venus is separating from an opposition with Pluto as it faces off with Saturn. What we desire and wish to create must be set against the titanic clashes across civilizations and dismantling of societal structures that have intensified during the past year of Saturn and Pluto ending and beginning a new cycle together.

Allow whatever challenges, limitations or constraints you feel to hone your purpose, shedding or laying to rest the parts that have met a wall of resistance with no place to go. The contraction brought by Saturn has its own kind of fertility that requires patience, endurance, and openness to the mystery of the unknown at work. Venus in Cancer will most effectively meet Saturn from a place of inner security that can enact healthy boundaries capable of fluidly adapting to what is necessary while remaining grounded in the values aligned with your purpose. It’s not a time for saying yes to every opportunity, but rather having discernment regarding how to most effectively utilize your available time and space.

Amplifying the creative tension of the Pisces Full Moon, Venus will subsequently form a catalyzing square aspect with Mars in Aries a few days after the lunation on September 4. The waxing square between Venus and Mars will correlate with friction between our relationship dynamics and our desires to freely pursue our goals. This phase between Venus and Mars is about establishing the new direction in our relationships that began when Venus and Mars initiated their current cycle a year ago on August 24, 2019. At this stage we can feel anger when facing limitations especially when they reflect the same old issues that have led to suffering or heartbreak in the past. There is a need to hold the tension of courageously standing up for our authentic values while mediating relationships that may or may not align with our values to varying degrees. It can also be an opportune time to collaborate with those aligned with our values as well as forming new alliances and friendships with those who share our purpose. 

The waxing square formed by Venus with Mars is especially significant due to it being the final installment of three waxing square aspects that Venus has formed with Mars in 2020. Venus  first formed a square aspect with Mars on 26 January 2020, with Venus at 16º02′ Pisces and Mars in Sagittarius. Next, Venus formed its second square aspect with Mars on 2 June 2020, with Venus retrograde in Gemini at 14º02′ and Mars in Pisces.  During the final square aspect between Venus and Mars, Venus will be direct at 27º55′ Cancer while Mars will be stationing retrograde at the same degree in Aries.  The fact it has taken almost nine months for Venus and Mars to finally finish the waxing square of their cycle is yet another indication of the immense change brought by the astrology of 2020 that has been full of incubatory creative tension and the need to confront issues of systemic oppression that impact our relationships with others.

Notably, Venus was forming a conjunction with Neptune during the first square aspect between Venus and Mars on January 26, and Mars was heading toward a conjunction with Neptune during the second square aspect on June 3. Now as they complete the final square, the Full Moon will be illuminating the ineffable mystery of Neptune in Pisces. The influence of Neptune combined with the volcanic aspects being formed by Venus point toward the necessity of confronting internal dynamics within our subconscious shadow. Neptune can connect sacrifice with spirituality in positive ways, yet Neptune can also cloud our perception with feelings of being a victim or martyr as well as a scapegoating crusader fixated on dogmatic beliefs. The dissolving influence of Neptune can be both constructive and destructive, and so rather than becoming inflated with righteousness be curious about exploring the inner and outer tensions at work in your life.

Full Moon in Pisces fountain

from the Rosarium Philosophorum

When tossing a coin into the fountain of the Pisces Full Moon to make a wish, bear in mind that your dreams have supportive resources available that go beyond the visible and measurable sources and structures in your surroundings. While being lost in wishful thinking will not be helpful, it’s also important to not discount support and guidance available from immaterial sources such as in the realms of spirit and ancestors. There is a balance to strike between realistically working with the support available versus being careful not to restrict yourself from pursuing meaningful goals and visions that are actually in reach.

Fortunately,  Mercury in Virgo is in position to provide supportive, clarifying discernment. The Full Moon will illuminate the oracular light of Mercury in Virgo, as Mercury is rising into visibility at sunset as an Evening Star in its nocturnal home and exaltation of Virgo. Mercury was reseeded in the heart of the Sun just a day before the recent New Moon in Leo, and so just as we are discovering the meaning of the present lunar cycle, so will we be receiving messages regarding what the new Evening Star phase of Mercury has in store for us. Mercury in Virgo has been cleansed and purified and is ready to help in digesting and breaking down our daily encounters into nutritive insight and medicine.  Major announcements will be made in current events.

Mercury in Virgo is separating from an opposition with Neptune in Pisces, while the Full Moon is applying to a conjunction with Neptune. Moreover, the ruler of the Full Moon, Jupiter in Capricorn, is engaged in a collaborative sextile aspect with Neptune.  Neptune has long been viewed in modern astrology as having a disintegrative effect on our sense of individuality, with its tidal force capable of sweeping us up within collective idealism with inspired fervor. Within current events we can witness the influence of Neptune through the numerous conspiracy theories and paranoia emanating from both sides of polarized conflict. The increasing light of Mercury in Virgo can help in sifting through the numerous illusions and distractions being stirred up to ground awareness, reorient from any disillusioning experiences, and bring methodical focus to researching support and completing whatever work is required for our present process. 

Full Moon in Pisces

Finale from Sonata of the Sea (1908) by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis

Although Mars in Aries is not in a major aspect with the Full Moon, its presence will dramatically increase the emotional intensity of the lunation. The influence of Mars will dominate the astrological landscape in the week following the Full Moon, as it will be slowing down to a standstill and then stationing retrograde on September 9. Mars will form a jolting square aspect with Venus on September 4 and will remain engaged in a harsh square aspect with Saturn in Capricorn for the rest of September. 

As Mars and Saturn have already been clashing in the week before the Full Moon, you may already have become exhausted by being stretched too thin, upset by feeling rejected, or infuriated by feelings of being stifled or confined. However, the stationing of Mars can further enflame anger that has been repressed, leading us to become enraged with explosive force as our anger erupts from stagnation. The threat of increased violence is real and something we need to be on guard for- unfortunately, this threat has already been realized recently in the USA with citizens fighting and killing one another amidst protests.

At the same time, we can utilize the anger being stimulated by Mars to activate and motivate us to be assertive where we need to take action, becoming enlivened with purposeful drive and determination. We will need to be ready to remediate our defensiveness being provoked so that we do not react impulsively in damaging ways we will later regret. New life will emerge from whatever is burned down by the fiery heat of Mars, so be curious about whatever is brewing within, finding ways to bring your freshly emerging desires into your life creatively rather than destructively. Whatever energy is coming from Mars will demand movement and expression, so it will be necessary to find productive and creative outlets. 

Since Mars has ancient significations for disease and pestilence it has been a key aspect of the astrology underlying the pandemic of 2020. Yet Mars can also put us into touch with symptoms of our psyche that reveal the storyline of our present journey. Jason Holley in the 2020 Northwest Astrological Conference (NORWAC) gave a talk on Mars entitled Red Planet, Black Planet: The Initiation of Mars in which he described how the appearance of symptoms, illness, and vulnerabilities through Mars can carry the whole story we need to come to terms with to bring about our healing. We are collectively entering a period of being initiated by Mars in the next few months, and so while we know it will be messy at times and combative, we can also utilize it for reclaiming exiled or suppressed aspects of ourselves as well as more fully embodying and pursuing newly emerging desires. 

Second Decan of Pisces 9 of Cups

9 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Pisces 2 Decan

The Full Moon arises in the second decan of Pisces, a face associated with the Nine of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we see a pleased figure in a scarlet cap with a showy plume, signifying his passionate mind dressed with the Eros of his desires. The Nine of Cups is often associated with wish fulfillment, with the golden cups behind the figure signifying the resources needed to gain greater abundance being found within the unconscious and unseen realm of Spirit. The Nine of Cups has also been associated with happiness on both external and internal levels, enjoying feelings of pleasure and satisfaction, and getting what we think we want.  Fittingly, Jupiter is supremely powerful in this face, as it is not only the domicile ruler of Pisces but also the ruler of its second decan.

Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Net” to the Pisces second decan in honor of Indra’s net with its many mutually reflective jewels, an overhanging cosmic net that has been interpreted as signifying magic and illusion as well as the interconnectedness of our universe. Coppock wrote that the luxurious satisfaction of the figure in the Nine of Cups card is the product of engaging the process of maintaining “a harmonious relationship between material and spiritual layers of life . . . [such as in] the art of following the Tao itself . . . at play in the material world but not beholden to it.” Coppock declared it to be a face in which “the central conflict is how to reconcile one’s understanding of the true nature of reality with the world-as-it-is,” a “phase in which we are challenged to reconcile beliefs, ideals, and the way things are.”

The link between the second face of Pisces with the depths of the underlying source of our visible reality is especially relevant given that the Pisces Moon will be moving from a sextile with Uranus and Jupiter into a conjunction with Neptune. The 12th century philosopher and astrologer Abraham Ibn Ezra in The Beginning of Wisdom described an image of a beautiful woman sitting on a ship at sea for this decan, wishing to come to land. Similarly, Coppock described the figures of the second face of Pisces as being “anchored in the invisible, yet step forward to play important roles in the visible world.” Make space during the Pisces Full Moon to discover if there any aspects of your inner beauty that have been patiently waiting in the oceanic realm of your unconscious, ready to come to shore to be realized. 

Coppock concluded that the crux of this decan centers on fulfillment coming from the harmonizing of one’s inner perceptions with one’s outer life, as torment and grief will overcome those unable to harmonize their outer and inner worlds. Seeking fortune for fortune’s sake will not bring happiness if our visible goals are misaligned with our invisible priorities. As older forms of astrology prioritize the relationships between Daimon and Fortune as well as Eros and Necessity, we must enact Daimon and Eros from our depths rather than only responding to the Necessity and Fortune of our times.  The satisfaction and joy that can be reached through the second face of Pisces comes from a deeper success that is aligned with our soul purpose and embodying the meaning of why we are here at this time. 

The Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed the daimon Dolos to the second face of Pisces, a spirit of deception and trickery. Dolos was an apprentice to Prometheus who famously attempted to duplicate a statue of Aletheia (Truth) that had been perfectly constructed by Prometheus, yet ran out of clay before being able to complete its feet. In Aesop’s version of the tale, the duplicate statue was called Pseudologos (Falsehood) and brought the moral that something false can start off successfully, but with time the real truth will be revealed. Austin Coppock in 36 Faces wrote that the “protean” figures of the second face of Pisces can be “tricksters, liars who try to paint the portraits of their understanding and sculpt the form of their visions,” yet they necessarily fall short as “form utterly fails the profound,” and “the truth cannot be copied.” In fact, Coppock concluded that their creative acts are essential to the meaning of this face, as their “flawed copies are the only manner in which dreams can become real.”

The co-presence of Neptune with the Pisces Full Moon makes the tricky and cunningly crafty side of the second face of Pisces important to consider. We normally do not realize we are lost in an illusion until undergoing a disillusioning experience that wakes us up to the deeper truth we need to reorient ourselves around. There is also presently a deluge of conspiracy theories and false information to navigate through on social media that hold a hypnotic and manipulative effect on many. Yet with the Moon and Neptune in Pisces and the Sun and Mercury in Virgo, the silvery light of the Moon can facilitate cutting through the static of the times to the heart of what truly matters to you. Let the Pisces Moon’s light pour down upon your deepest dreams and desires, nourishing their imaginal roots so that they may bloom within your living reality.

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.

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References

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

Ibn-Ezra, Abraham. translated by Meira Epstein. (1998). The Beginning of Wisdom. Arhat.