Leo Lunar Eclipse

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Lunar Reflection by Remedios Varo

Lunar Eclipse in Leo

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

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

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

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

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Toward the Tower (1961) by Remedios Varo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Escape (1961) by Remedios Varo

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

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

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7 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Leo 3 Decan

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

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

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

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

References

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

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Libra Lunar Eclipse 2016

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Painting by Carl Jung from his Red Book

Lunar Eclipse in Libra

Riding the dragon of the Libra Lunar Eclipse is Lady Justice, wielding her sword that cuts through inequities, imbalances, deceptions, and disempowerment.  The Full Moon Eclipse on 23 March 2016 illuminates the release and initiation of the Total Solar Eclipse that began this lunar cycle, and in the peeling away of the old dragon skin we find the regenerated richness of a purified path and vision to follow forward. In the ashes of what has been burned off there now arises refined reflection capable of irrevocably altering past patterns of limitation and inauthenticity.  The lunar light of this Eclipse illuminates a visceral sense of the deep Self within and how to best bolster the growth wanting to burst forth from it. Like a lightning strike of destiny there is sudden recognition of the old that is now gone with finality, with an arising yearning for the fresh scent of replenishing pleasure appearing on the path in front of us.

Libra is a sign of finding balance, the process of balancing rather than existing in a balanced state.  There is a great deal of instability in the surrounding astrological aspects to this Libra Lunar Eclipse, so the task at hand is finding a center of balance to move forward with.  There may be feelings of oscillation, yet within the vacillation there can be centering through claiming an authentic place of integrity.  Being true to inner values and ethics, responsibility may be taken to pursue the desires that make us feel alive rather than conform to stagnant expectations of others.  As a result we may act from a centered place of mature assertiveness and compassion, rather than from anger, passive aggression, vindictiveness,  arrogance, or narcissism.

The Lunar Eclipse in Libra occurs simultaneously with an exact last quarter square between Saturn in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Virgo, with the Libra Moon in sextile to Mars in Sagittarius, and the Sun and Mercury in Aries in trine to Mars.  The last quarter square between Jupiter and Saturn has its source in the end of May in the year 2000, when the current cycle between Jupiter and Saturn began (interestingly, the previous cycle between Saturn and Jupiter began in 1980 in the sign of Libra close to the degree of this Eclipse).  This is the second of three exact last quarter square aspects formed between Saturn and Jupiter, with the first occurring at the beginning of August 2015 during a Venus retrograde.  At the time of this Lunar Eclipse, Saturn in Sagittarius is stationing retrograde, and so the scythe of Saturn is firmly planted with stark resoluteness. What must be released now must be released with clarity, acceptance, and responsibility if you wish to please Saturn. Jupiter is still close to the North Node of the Moon, and so at the same time with grounded presence will come awareness of a vision to follow forward bringing greater embodiment in all of the complexity of nature.  The influence of Mars can light a burning passion from within, and with it a need to find a center of balance through which to mediate the fiery force.

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Lunar Eclipse Diagram, from The New York Public Library

In contrast to the Solar Eclipse that began this cycle on March 8 and covered the Sun in Total blackness, this Lunar Eclipse is not Total and is instead classified as Penumbral. This is because though the Eclipse is fairly close to the North Node of the Moon, the Eclipse is actually happening at the beginning of Libra while the North Node of the Moon is at the beginning of the second decan of Virgo.  The result is that the shadow cast by the Earth onto the Moon by our Sun is not going to cover the Moon in a total red glow, but instead means that only the diffuse outer shadow of Earth will cover the Moon and so the red shading will be barely noticeable.   Nonetheless, this is still a potent Lunar Eclipse especially because it occurs simultaneously with a last quarter square between Jupiter and Saturn and a superior conjunction between Mercury and the Sun which imbibes a strong Mercurial influence into the proceedings.

Symbolically the meaning of a Lunar Eclipse is rooted in the phenomenon of our Sun casting the shadow of our Earth onto the face of our Moon.  Linking the Moon to what we carry with us in our body and mind, these memories of the past can be released or opened up to allow for the emergence of new ways of being embodied in the moment.  This current Libra Lunar Eclipse is aligned with the North Node of the Moon, while our fiery Sun is burning most closely in alignment with Mercury on the side of the South Node of the Moon.  The Sun with the South Node means that growth comes now from the resolution and release of old karma, and with Chiron and Ceres closely conjoining the South Node of the Moon we can further link the archetypes of Chiron and Ceres strongly into the complexity of this past karmic pattern.  Among other themes linked with Chiron and Ceres is a unifying thread of self-healing, regeneration, and resilient persistence in productivity in times of loss, release, pain, and suffering.

Significantly, this is the final Lunar Eclipse to occur in the signs of Aries and Libra in the series that began in 2013 (Lunar Eclipse on 10/18/13 at 26 Aries; Lunar Eclipse on  4/15/14 at 26 Libra; Lunar Eclipse on  10/08/14 at 16 Aries; Lunar Eclipse on 4/04/15 at 15 Libra; Lunar Eclipse on 9/28/15 at 5 Aries).  Since this Lunar Eclipse is in close polarity to the Lunar Eclipse that occurred on 28 September 2015,  there is a direct link to issues arising at the end of September last year with whatever is being currently resolved and released at this time.  In the polarity between Aries and Libra, we explore the tension between the instinctual, independent needs of the self and the needs that are met through relationship with another.  The series of Lunar Eclipses in Aries and Libra that stretch back to October 2013 have triggered pivotal experiences that have brought awareness to the dynamics we create in relationship and our capacity to have our needs met.  Ideally, we can now gain insight into what we need to feel fulfilled in relationships, and clarity can be gained for how we can create a relationship based on equality and balanced giving and receiving.

 

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Gala Eduard (1924) by Max Ernst

Venus Neptune

Venus rules the eclipse while separating from a conjunction with Neptune in Pisces, and applying to a square with Saturn in Sagittarius. Pisces is the exaltation of Venus, and as Neptune in modern astrology is seen as a higher octave of Venus, this Libra Lunar Eclipse brings feelings of what most deeply fulfills us in love, whether that can be found in a current relationship or instead within the clarity of having old illusions regarding love washed away.  As Venus is applying to a square with a stationing Saturn, there is lucidity found by facing the actual reality of current relationships and their intrinsic patterns without denial.  This Libra Lunar Eclipse will highlight what has been out of balance in our relationships, where and why we have felt disillusioned, and what we need to do to create the relationships that will bring real love, truly nurturing and ecstatic love into our life.

As Venus bridges the square from Neptune in Pisces to Saturn in Sagittarius, Venus is simultaneously applying to an opposition with Jupiter in Virgo.  Regarding romantic relationships, the visionary feelings of what we want needs to be grounded in the body and the actual circumstances of the moment- whatever is out of alignment with our present reality will be keenly felt.  Regarding our myriad, complex relationships with the surrounding world in general, this Libra Eclipse will bring awareness to what old desires and attachments no longer serve us and are getting in the way of embodying our essential personal truth.  There is a great dissolving of inner values going on at this eclipse that we have been fixated upon for a sense for a sense of security and identity, and now realize have led us into disillusioning experiences.  By releasing the old, an open space is created through which regenerated inner values will emerge to source a purified vision for what will bring meaningful purpose into our life.

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The False Mirror (1928) by Rene Magritte

Mercury Cazimi

Crucially, Mercury is entering the heart of the Sun in Aries, the exaltation of the Sun, at the time of the Lunar Eclipse.  This is the superior conjunction of Mercury, when Mercury swiftly moves direct through a conjunction with the Sun, becoming purified and regenerated within the fiery rays of light.  The superior conjunction of Mercury with the Sun stands in contrast to the inferior conjunction of Mercury with the Sun that occurs when Mercury is retrograde.  Instead of the symbolic, oracular, chthonic perception enlivened at the inferior conjunction, the superior conjunction has a soaring epiphanic quality.  Demetra George has compared the superior conjunction of Mercury to the visionary quality of Mercury in Sagittarius- at the superior conjunction there is a quicksilver rush of insight and information that can feel overwhelming and difficult to encapsulate in communication, yet can ignite ingenious, penetrating perception.

With Mercury uniting with the Sun in Aries while applying to a trine with Mars in Sagittarius, Mercury is cazimi or “in the heart” of not only the Sun, but the central meaning of this Lunar Eclipse.  This is a moment of past patterns of perception being burned off, with brilliant discernment arising regarding the current nature of our desires and sense of personal will.  The piercing perception into our deep Self can also open awareness into unconscious forces that have been sourcing our choices and actions, and we can gain sudden clarity into how the shadow side of our personality manifested within the old Mercurial patterns being purified within the rays of the Sun.  As Mars will be stationing retrograde in less than a month, this is a Mercurial moment to seize in order to discover the essence of currently arising desires and the associated intrinsic purpose that will bring meaningful fulfillment into our life as we begin to enter the upcoming Mars retrograde.

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2 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Libra I Decan

The first face of Libra is associated with the Two of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  In the image we see a blindfolded woman crossing two swords in front of her, while sitting before an oceanic expanse.  The blindfold and ocean suggest contact with the instinctual inner realm and unconscious, similar to how a Lunar Eclipse will catalyze the fertile void within.  Commonly, this card in tarot has a meaning of mediating between opposing forces to find peace of mind and courageous equipoise, resolving previous conflicts within a protected space of exploring internal balance.  As Venus in Pisces as the ruler of the Libra Eclipse is separating from a conjunction with Neptune and applying to a square with Saturn and opposition with Jupiter, the capacity suggested by this card to turn within to find a balanced center with which to then respond through into the external world is fitting.

The Moon is the ruler of the first decan of Libra, adding additional potency to the Libra Moon being covered by the Earth’s shadow at the time of the Lunar Eclipse.  Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Blind Fold and a Sword” to this face, suggesting it awakens us to surrounding injustice and disequilibrium on a societal level as well as in our daily personal interactions. While Coppock noted the aspect of the decan that can bring inner peace through the recognition of inequities, he also found that there is a legal element to this face that brings evidence and “hidden testimonies to awareness” (p. 157).  Coppock linked this Libran legal aspect to the fact that the Hellenistic text The 36 Airs of the Zodiac ascribed the Erinyes (also known as the Furies) to the first face of Libra, the underworld goddesses serving natural law and justice who punished those who violated divine law.  Coppock captured the essence of this face in the following passage:

While fair trade and social justice are prime concerns in this face, its true object is relationships. Legal proceedings and commerce are essentially about the balance between two entities.  Indeed peace or strife between individuals is what determines social order, and consensus is the very root of the law. Fairness and reciprocity must underlie all friendships and romances if they are to last. This face shines a light on these dynamics, bringing what is troublesome to the light of conscious recognition. The core principles of ethical interaction with other beings are thus revealed in this face.  — Austin Coppock, 36 Faces, p. 158

As the Libra Lunar Eclipse arrives and passes, as the Moon proceeds to wane once again into the dissemination and release of its monthly cycle, may we each reawaken our sense of personal truth and integrity from within, living through these inner values and carrying their ethical implications into our relationships with the surrounding world.

References

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

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References

Aries Lunar Eclipse

Aries Lunar Eclipse

Limestone Ram’s head from Egypt (300 – 400 B.C.)

Lunar Eclipse in Aries

On September 27 or 28 depending upon time zone, a total Lunar Eclipse in Aries will arise in which our Moon will turn blood red in the shadow of our Sun.  Since this eclipse is also a Super Moon, it will have a more direct, palpable impact on us than a standard Full Moon. You may question the hullabaloo astrologers make about the transformative potential of eclipses such as this one, when you know that astrologers tend to make a big deal about transits on a regular basis, and we always have at least four eclipses occur every year.  If you spend more time exploring eclipses, however, you will soon recognize that many periods of your life that suddenly took on a completely different trajectory had eclipses as part of the initiation.  This Lunar Eclipse truly does portend breakthrough experiences, not only because of it being total and the Moon being at it’s closest orbit to Earth, but also because of surrounding transits such as Pluto stationing direct, Mars square Saturn, Venus trine Uranus, and the conjunction of Mercury retrograde with the Sun.

This Aries Lunar Eclipse is total because the Full Moon and the Sun are only a few degrees away from the North and South Nodes of the Moon, creating the optical effect of a rosy red Moon from the Sun’s shadow.  Dane Rudhyar viewed this solar shadow on the Moon as symbolizing the present overcoming the past, as our solar awareness and purpose veils the lunar impact of past conditioning on our present consciousness and we can consequently embody a presence less attached to past patterns.  As the Moon is conjunct the South Node of the Moon in Aries, and the Sun is conjunct the North Node of the Moon in Libra, the past activation of our primal will force (Aries) becomes overshadowed by new growth found in re-adjustment, re-balancing, fairness, harmony, and discretion (Libra).  The fiery sign of the Ram is willing to use its horns if necessary to protect personal desires from being lost through assimilation in surrounding relationships, and yet in the shadow of a Libra Sun, we must balance yearning for self-centered independence within the needs of our relationships.

In Aries, the “pulsing of life” — of the creative Breath — is felt. It passes through. It surges forth — and is gone. Aries power is the power of the lightning, which descends from above, which strikes out of the darkness of the Collective Unconscious. It is the power of revelation; power of Destiny released, which burns and fecundates. Such a power, from whatever level it operates in fiery downflows, gives to the actions of an Aries person a peculiar pioneering, impersonal, perhaps cosmic and fateful strength.

— Dane Rudhyar from The Pulse of Life

The burning, fecundating quality of an Aries eclipse that sparks inspired action from within is further augmented by a Vesta retrograde in Aries closely conjunct the Lunar Eclipse and the South Node of the Moon.  Vesta as a result turns us within to focus on activating our essentiality rather than the egotistical ambitions we competitively pursue to advance within our culture.  Vesta draws us into the power found within our inner flame of divinity that is not dependent upon the trappings of status and outer success.  Any creative, spiritual, or philosophical practices and traditions that magnetize you at this time will be fertile ground to discover the self-realization that will fuel your journey in the season ahead.  While Vesta can be steadfastly independent from relationships at times, she is completely devoted to her inner passions and rapture for what she finds holds a spiritual quality.

This eclipse occurring a few days after the Libra Equinox makes it a heralding marker of the change of season.  In the perspective of the Northern Hemisphere that dominated development of astrology, the Libra Equinox initiating Autumn can be seen in the glyph of Libra that looks like a setting Sun on the horizon.  At the Autumn Equinox we honor the falling of leaves and other signs of decomposition that will fertilize new growth in the future.  The theme of death that creates new life can be further seen in the association of Libra with Venus and outer relationships, as we can experience an ego death when deeply connecting with a partner and the creation of new life through the conjoined energies of the partnership.  This aspect of Libra is further amplified at this eclipse because the relationally oriented Juno asteroid is closely conjunct the Sun and North North Node of the Moon in Libra.  Juno here sparks a procreative force within drawn to collaboration in relationships in which we can express our authenticity, and will influence us to release or alter those relationships in which we have been struggling to assert our essential nature.

The maverick side of Libra is also activated at this eclipse, as Black Moon Lilith is conjunct Juno, the Sun, and the North Node of the Moon.  Black Moon Lilith is the balance point of our lunar orbit that astrologers have been using to illustrate the exiled aspects of our consciousness we have been repressing or denying.  When Black Moon Lilith becomes potently activated, the parts of our personality and psyche that have been cast off return to heart and we begin to assert this regained quality into our relationships.  Similar to the lucid quality symbolized by the goddess Kali holding the severed head of Shiva, Black Moon Lilith will cut through any recent egotistical patterns we have experienced within ourselves and our relationships to illuminate whatever is essential for us.  As Lilith demands being treated as an equal, co-creating partner, we likewise will face issues around equality and inequality in the coming season.

Aries Lunar Eclipse

by Scott Young from http://scottyoung.us

Mars square Saturn

The astrological rhythm surrounding this Aries Lunar Eclipse has a fervent intensity, as Mars in Virgo rules the eclipse and will be separating from a square with Saturn in Sagittarius.  Mars square Saturn can bring important changes but also conflict, and the atmosphere is further amplified by Pluto in Capricorn stationing direct a few days before the eclipse.  Since Pluto in Capricorn is bound to Saturn, Pluto stationing direct following the ingress of Saturn into Sagittarius carries emboldened force into the plutonian desires flowing into awareness.  Pluto stationing direct is generally an eruptive time, as any deep desires we have been resisting can overcome us from within creating a crisis if necessary to seize our attention.  This cathartic stationing of Pluto amplifies the change of Saturn from Scorpio to Sagittarius that likewise is bringing up what we have dredged from our inner depths to feed the action we are commencing in the sign of the fiery, galloping Centaur.

The recent ingress of Saturn into Sagittarius has brought shifts of direction, and you likely have been sensing a strong urge to set off in pursuit of something related to Saturn and Sagittarius in your birth chart.  Mars in Virgo being in a last quarter square to Saturn in Sagittarius brings up a course correction sourced from attuning our desires in connection with the details of our life in the here and now.  Generally speaking, many if not most of us envision future goals in connection with past emotions, attachments, influences, and dreams.  This Aries Lunar Eclipse ruled by Mars in a last quarter square to Saturn is leveling this field so to speak with the scythe of Saturn cutting off what needs harvesting or release.  This process could involve conflict, but the positive potential of today’s turmoil can help in the reorientation toward making future goals in greater alignment with what we truly want to have happen for us now.

Both Saturn and Mars are making aspects to this Lunar Eclipse, with Saturn in a stabilizing, harmonious trine and Mars in a disorienting inconjunct.  These two aspects are an important detail of the greater movement, as it suggests the object of our deep desire may seem overly daunting, too difficult to achieve or manifest in this moment.  The danger of the Virgo inconjunct to Aries is getting lost in a perpetual cycle of procrastination in which we never feel we are truly ready, continuing to research, train, or practice instead of diving into the fray full steam and letting the dust settle where it may.  The trine from Saturn in Sagittarius to the Lunar Eclipse in Aries points us in the direction of making structural changes and taking even the simplest of steps to begin to build a structure for whatever it is we wish to achieve.  This is a perfect time for releasing the aspects of our old goals no longer serving us and taking concrete steps to build a foundation from which to launch our most viscerally felt desires from.

Aries I Decan

Two of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Aries I Decan

The influence of Mars on this lunar eclipse is further increased due to the first face of Aries being ruled by Mars.  The Aries I decan where the lunar eclipse occurs is also associated with the Two of Wands card in the Rider-Waite deck, which reinforces the theme of envisioning our future from a renewed perspective previously discussed above.  In the image above illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith, we find what appears to be a conquering lord of some sort, holding a globe in one hand as he gazes from atop a fortress out into an expanse of terrain containing mountainous as well as watery landscapes. It is the body of water that appears to have secured his focus in this moment, and the presence of the globe seems to imply a moment of reflection regarding expansion of his influence or dominion.

In 36 Faces: The History, Astrology, and Magic of the Decans, astrologer Austin Coppock ascribed the symbol of “The Axe” to this decan which has a long association with furiously martial figures who dominate enemies and assure victory in battle. Coppock deepened the symbolism of the axe through linking it to the splitting and separation from the One necessary for creation and growth, for example in the cutting of the umbilical cord of the child from its mother and in the use of axes in controlling nature to make a home in the wilderness. Coppock linked this separation as “a severance from the symbolic mother- the womb from which all things emerge,” setting up a dynamic in which “what is motherly and unifying constricts development” rather than augmenting growth:

The axe is thus a tool of the first individual, bravely severing himself from the primordial mother and building a distinct and individual life. This assertion of selfhood is undiluted yang, and in principle phallic, no matter the gender of who embodies it. The phallus in play here is a symbol of potency, yet its reality involves tremendous vulnerability, the same vulnerability that the lone individual faces in a sometimes hostile world. The axe may be the tool by which the individual liberates themselves from the collective, but it is also the cruel weapon of the primordial mother as castrator, the limiting force with which the warlike figures of this decan wrestle. This is the essence of this face- the individual yang struggling out of the collective yin.

— Austin Coppock (p. 54)

As a result, while there are astrological signs pointing toward growth through creating greater balance, fairness, and equality in our relationships, there is at the same time a raw martial force within this eclipse demanding that we clear a path forward in which we have greater freedom and less restraint.  To unify this opposition we need to respect our need to be authentic while honoring the essential nature of those we are interacting with.  Additionally, the last quarter square between Mars in Virgo and Saturn in Sagittarius simultaneously will force us to deal with the structural system of our surroundings and so to be successful, the exertion of our personal power cannot be completely untamed but rather modified in accordance with environmental conditions.

Lunar Eclipse in Aries

Eros by Paul Klee (1923)

ARIES 5°:  A TRIANGLE WITH WINGS

Keynote:  The capacity for self-transcending

In his book exploring Sabian Symbols, Dane Rudhyar described the degree of the Aries Lunar Eclipse as being “the symbol of the desire to reach a higher level of existence, of pure aspiration or devotion, of bhakti” (p. 53).  This ideal yearning Rudhyar wrote about, in which “the whole being experiences a childlike longing for its eventual realization,” is strongly charged by a grand fire trine formed at the eclipse by Venus in Leo, Uranus retrograde in Aries, and Pallas Athena in Sagittarius.  This is a truly visionary grand fire trine sourced at its root by the deep inner material dug up during this past period of Venus retrograde.  At the time of the eclipse, Venus will have returned to place of it’s inferior conjunction with the Sun that happened on August 15, 2015.  In fact, Venus will be less than half a degree away from this point of Venusian rebirth.  As Venus will not leave its retrograde shadow zone until October 9, the Aries Lunar Eclipse will propel us into the final two weeks of the Venus retrograde, catalyzing numerous events giving us opportunities to integrate and express our Venusian passions that have been stirred up.

As this is in addition the final eclipse to occur with the North Node of the Moon in Libra that is ruled by Venus, we are at a border crossing transition fitting for an equinoctial period.  The lunar nodes have been in Aries and Libra since February 2014, a time that was dominated in astrology by the final series of squares between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn.  If you take the time to reflect back on all of the numerous issues and events in your life that have been brewing since that time, especially around your sense of empowerment within your relationships, there will no doubt be a sense of resolution occurring now in the form of a final test or a peak experience.  This is not the end of the lunar nodes transiting through Aries and Libra, as they will not move into Pisces and Virgo until November 2015. However, the Lunar Eclipse will spark the final lessons we will be learning from the dragon slithering through these two cardinal signs.

Persephone in Aries

Roman marble relief (27 B.C. – 14 A.D.) copy of a Greek marble relief of 450–425 B.C. found at Eleusis. The image reveals Demeter on the left side and Persephone on the right of the relief.

Persephone

Further fitting for the time of the Libra Equinox, the Persephone asteroid #399 is at 21° Aries and so conjunct Uranus as well as part of the grand fire trine involving the goddesses Venus in Leo and Pallas Athena in Sagittarius.  For those who are already working with Eris, you can also add Eris in with Uranus and Persephone on the Aries point of this fiery triangle.  Significantly, at this time Persephone, Uranus, and Eris are all retrograde, taking us deep within for a primal rebirth of soul.  Like Persephone who claimed full embodiment of her role as the underworld Queen, we have Persephone with us in any descent into experiences that strip us of innocence while offering opportunities to cultivate greater resiliency and access to our full range of power.

With Pluto also prominent by having recently stationed direct, at the equinoctial time in which the mythic Hades brought Persephone down into his realm, we have an archetype of Persephone activated with the efficacy of a Uranian lightning strike.  Demetra George in her workbook Finding Our Way Through The Dark, described the descent associated with the Persephone asteroid as enabling “us to develop a relationship with the hidden forces in our unconscious, activate our psychic abilities, release the past, discover a new sense of our adult self and strengths, and emerge transformed and renewed.”  Persephone united with Uranus and in trine to Venus in Leo opens us to a time in which we will sense the invisible realm within the visible, sensing the substance of spirit in our body.

Roberto Calasso in The Marriage of Cadmus in Harmony noted how Persephone is the vivifying force of vitality regenerating the world of the dead:  “Persephone imposed blood on the dead:  not, as in the past, the dark blood of sacrifice, not the blood the dead used to drink so thirstily, but the invisible blood that went on pulsing in her white arms, the blood of someone who is still entirely alive, even in the palace of death” (p. 212).  To Calasso, Persephone is the figure who created a new paradigm between our green world above and the underworld below, for as Persephone descended and separated from the world of her Earth goddess mother Demeter, “Eros penetrated the kingdom of the dead. The slender-ankled Persephone was the supple arrow Aprhrodite ordered Eros to let fly at Hades.”  As Persephone is of the earth, deep within the earth, and deeply erotic, her asteroid conjoined with Uranus and the grand fire trine of goddesses suggests the passions stirred from within us will release previously unconscious soul desires that will lead us toward greater wholeness.

The other aspect of Persephone that fits well with the astrological climate of the Aries Lunar Eclipse is her role in accepting the souls of the dead who have been guided to her kingdom by Hermes, thereafter initiating them into the cycle of rebirth.  Thus the Mercury retrograde in Libra we are experiencing in which Mercury has taken on the psychopomp role of guiding us into core aspects of our soul has the welcoming visage of Persephone to greet us in the regeneration we are experiencing.  Peter Kingsley in Reality wrote that Persephone “is the goddess who greets initiates when they manage to make their way down to her by warmly reaching out to them with her right hand; who accepts them, welcomes them to her home, with a  kindness that defies all human logic” (p. 43).

In the time leading up the Lunar Eclipse, Mercury retrograde in Libra is square to Pluto in Capricorn and it is applying to its inferior conjunction with the Sun at the time of the eclipse.  In the week following the Lunar Eclipse, Persephone will get closer to Uranus each day until becoming exactly conjunct Uranus at the same time that Mercury stations direct, and Venus leaves her retrograde shadow zone.  The intermingling of all of these significations of rebirth is quite incredible, suggesting we truly are on the precipice of a complete change in the course of our life.  The loving embrace of Persephone and the fearless expression of her potency will guide those willing to descend into the depth of her world.

Persephone asteroid

Persephone opening a cista containing the infant Adonis, on a pinax from Locri

References

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

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

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

Kingsley, Peter. (2003). Reality. The Golden Sufi Center.

Rudhyar, Dane. (1973). An Astrological Mandala: the cycle of transformations and its 360 symbolic phases. Vintage Books.

Lunar Eclipse in Libra

August_2007_Lunar_Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse of August 28, 2007 courtesy of wikipedia

A Moon the red of roses will appear on April 4, 2015 for those living in view of the Lunar Eclipse in Libra (regions of East Asia, Western North America, Australia, New Zealand).  The Full Moon will be conjunct it’s own North Node in the Venusian sign of Libra, causing the Sun’s light to cast a shadow of our Earth across the Moon’s face, changing it’s normally milky white color into a blood red hue.  The Sun will be conjunct the South Node of the Moon, Mercury, as well as Uranus in Aries, and so this Lunar Eclipse is the final activator of the seven squares between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn that have been occurring since June of 2012.  Potential meaning of this Lunar Eclipse connects with the dramatic red color of it’s visual appearance, as the Rubedo (aka Red) stage in the alchemical process signifies the Great Work:  in the synthesis of Carl Jung, this translates as the union of the ego and the Self, the discovery of wholeness and our true nature.

Yet, similar to the Phoenix being a symbol of the Rubedo stage, the merging of our personality with our Soul is not an easy experience, but rather the result of a foray through intense heat that brings us renewal only after we have confronted our shadow. In the extreme polarity of our experience we gain the capacity for Self-actualization that can be guided from within, as we discover that the false has been burned off and our essential remains.  We have now entered the first quarter square phase between Pluto and Uranus that will last for years to come, and this Lunar Eclipse marks a Rubedo phase passage in relation to the seven previous squares that initiated us into this active phase between Pluto and Uranus that calls for us to take meaningful, purposive action. Since the Moon is covered in shadow during a lunar eclipse, it can have a similar symbolic meaning to the renewal of the Rubedo stage because it portends an opportunity to respond to our life from a new sense of presence that is free of our past patterns and conditioning.

Full Moons are extreme in quality and can be both a high of illumination as well as a low of a breakdown, yet the vibrational magnitude of our experience is more heightened at a lunar eclipse than at a full moon.  In The Lunation Cycle, Dane Rudhyar wrote that if one has been focused on growth and liberation from past patterns in the waxing Moon time period leading up to a Full Moon, one will experience the “fulfillment, illumination, or revelation” of receiving a new message in “clear, objective consciousness,” and that as “some new factor is given a high valuation,” consequently “an old value is either altogether repudiated or placed under a new light in contrast to the new realization” (p. 29).  From this change one can re-orient one’s life in accordance with the true purpose one is finding in life.  However, Rudhyar also warned that if one has been mired in tentative and negative behavior leading up to the Full Moon, resisting growth and refusing to break free from past patterns needing release, the polarity between the Sun and Moon can be too much to hold for the personality and both “destructive organic conflict” as well as “a mental dilemma of which no integrating solution appears possible” will occur (p. 30).  The fact that this Lunar Eclipse sets off the Pluto and Uranus square amplifies the meaning behind these points made by Rudhyar.

With the Sun, Uranus, and Mercury all conjunct the South Node of the Moon in Aries and set off by the polarity of the Lunar Eclipse, growth comes in connection with our past karmic and unconscious issues related to Aries.  For astrological guidance, analyze the house placement and aspects made by eight to seventeen degrees of Aries in your chart, as these nine degrees hold the transiting Mercury, Sun, Uranus, and the South Node of the Moon.  There are old personal patterns and identities related to these unconscious,karmic issues that are now ready to be purged and released.  Resisting the release of this outdated and heavy personal baggage could bring on the tipping point of a catastrophic loss or crisis that will force a letting go in the aftermath of this Libra Lunar Eclipse.  With all of these planets in Aries, a sign of instinctive initiation, we can feel the fire of wanting the changes we sense to manifest for us immediately, or impulsively desire to step into our new vision we have for our life as quickly as possible.  Yet there are still many steps to come in the process of integrating all of the new changes that have happened during the past three or four years of the Uranus and Pluto squares, and even the form we ultimately create will be fluid and continuing to change.  It is also vital to realize that Venus in Taurus is the ruler of this Libra Lunar Eclipse, and so sustaining patient, unrelenting, and grounded focus on going step-by-step toward our envisioned new life will be the most effective course of action to take.

Although this is a particularly potent lunar eclipse, it is worth remembering that we experience a lunar eclipse every six months, and so twice a year.  Our last lunar eclipse on October 8, 2014 (Moon at 16° Aries) was exactly opposite the April 4 eclipse (the Moon of the 10/08/14 eclipse was conjunct the Sun of the 04/04/15 eclipse), and the lunar eclipse that occurred a year ago in Libra on April 15, 2014 (Moon at 26° Libra) was an incredibly powerful one that created a Cardinal Grand Cross involving the Pluto and Uranus square as well as Jupiter in Cancer and Mars in Libra.  Going even further back, the first Aries-Libra lunar eclipse in this series occurred on October 18, 2013 with the Moon at 26° of Aries.  This series of lunar eclipses have been extraordinary in the change and liberation they have coincided with in our lives:  think back to where you were on 10/18/2013,  04/15/2014, and 10/08/2014 and compare it with where you stand today.  The impact of each eclipse is far-reaching, the manifestation of change not always immediately felt.  On a personal level for me, the pivotal change and ideal vision I felt within reach at the lunar eclipse of April 2014 has still today not completely materialized, yet it is also still clearly in process of materializing and it’s impact on my life has only deepened.

Félix_Vallotton_-_Sonnenuntergang,_orangefarbener_Himmel

Sunset, Orange Sky (1910) by Felix Vallotton

Venus rules this Lunar Eclipse in her home, the sign of Taurus.  As the Moon is in the relational sign of Libra, the entry point into the mystery found in this potent lunation is through discovering the interplay between our inner relationship and it’s manifestation in our outer relationships.  Instead of allowing external opinions to dictate how you feel on an inner level, connect with your personal essence as free as possible from outside conditioning and radiate this nature outwardly.  Venus continues to be a resplendent Evening Star dazzling us with her light every evening at Sunset, so taking time to honor her with our purest intentions of heart will be auspicious.  When we absorb ourselves in the moment, such as in blissfully savoring the light of Venus in a darkened sky, we are in a space free of our past limitations of thought.  It’s not like all of your past troubles are going to go away at the stroke of the Libra Full Moon turning ecliptic red, yet the type of extraordinary shifts and unexpected change that can follow the wake of a lunar eclipse stem from the concept that our ties to our past conditioning can be severed in the ecliptic light of the lunation.

The potential of liberation in this particular Libra Lunar Eclipse is magnified by the fact that the Moon is opposite Uranus, and that the Sun, Mercury, and the South Node of the Moon are also all conjunct Uranus, the transpersonal  planet of breakthroughs in deconditioning. Indeed, there is a Grand Fire Trine around the time of the lunar eclipse between Mercury in Aries, Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius, and a Jupiter in Leo that is beginning to station direct.  Jupiter in Leo is also in trine to Uranus, the Sun, and the South Node of the Moon in Aries, and is in sextile to the North Node of the Moon and the Full Moon eclipse in Libra.  With a Lunar Eclipse opposite Uranus, in square to Pluto, with Mercury moving fast in Aries within the rays of the Sun, we could experience accelerated thought difficult to logically organize and communicate.  The more we can creatively respond in the flow of the events we experience, without getting caught up in the need to be rational, the better we can work with the blazing Mercurial potential of the moment.  Saturn now settled into it’s retrograde movement in Sagittarius is further drawing us into removing layer after layer of past conditioning of societal belief, and with Mercury in Aries in trine to Saturn, and Jupiter in Leo stationing direct in trine to Uranus,  a liberated image of our future Self can appear to guide us forward.

These incredibly activated Aries aspects defiantly stare into the Libra mirror of the Lunar Eclipse, driving us to boldly assert our desire toward personal growth instead of repressing our evolution in order to fit in with the expectations of relationships.  I recently read an interview of Robert Hand in The Mountain Astrologer (Oct/Nov 2014 issue) in which he explained spiritual evolution as manifesting our authenticity, and in which he also referenced an idea from the Renaissance astrologer Marsilio Ficino that Saturn can become beneficial for us when we divorce ourselves from “ordinary reality.”  Aligning ourselves with an alternative reality from the status quo social conditioning surrounding us that allows us to manifest our authenticity is a message of this lunar eclipse, but does not mean we should neglect the needs of our relationships in favor of our own personal needs.  Ideally, we can strike a better balance toward focusing on mutual growth in our relationships and constructing scenarios in which we give ourselves the freedom to pursue our authentic growth while also honoring the unique need for growth of others with whom we are in relation.

When we open our perception to aspects beyond the traditional planets, we will notice that Ceres will have freshly entered Aquarius at the time of the lunar eclipse and will be in opposition to Juno in Leo.  Ceres in Aquarius can help turn the face of our relationships toward collective needs of our wider community, instead of becoming wrapped up in overdramatic interpersonal dynamics with others.  If we can hold the polarity of Ceres in Aquarius to Juno in Leo, we can bring a liberating energy into our relationships allowing ourselves to both express ourselves more freely while also connecting with the wider humanitarian needs of our local and global community.  An Aquarian Ceres facing a Leo Juno can also bring opportunities to transmute interpersonal dynamics with others into creative expression that can not only impact our wider community but also help foster alliances with others of like mind and ideals.  Through the portal of this eclipse we will feel an augmented emphasis to engage relationships that connect with our future growth and shed the relationships that align with our past patterns we are in process of releasing.

moonlight-1895

Moonlight (1895) by Felix Vallotton

Libra signifies balance, but we only know and recognize balance through the experience of imbalance. Thus the lessons of Libra involve extremities of emotions and feeling a lack of harmony in order for us to gain the capacity to bring things into balance and ultimately create greater harmony around us.  The moment of the Libra Lunar Eclipse will shift our self-absorption toward recognizing the needs of others in our environment and what aspects of our perception and behavior could be adjusted accordingly.  With the Sun applying to a conjunction with Uranus in Aries, and a square to Pluto in Capricorn, a large aspect of self-realization could revolve around issues of control in our relationships.  The Cancer polarity point to Pluto in Capricorn that does not hold a transiting planet, yet is also in square to the Libra Lunar Eclipse, signifies the emotional security issues that are the deep well from which our grasping for control in relationships arise.  In accordance with these emotional security issues, it is important that the ruler of the lunar eclipse is a Venus in Taurus that is separating from a trine to Pluto in Capricorn, while at the same time Mars is at the beginning of Taurus and beginning to move into range of a trine with Pluto.  All together these aspects call us within to love ourselves with compassion and to attend to the needs of our bodies and our most cherished inner values.  Through attending to our own inner needs, we lose the desperate co-dependent desire for someone else to “fix” us.

In relationships, there can be the tendency for our projections of romantic ideals to lead us into relationships that ultimately bring shattering disillusionment.  It isn’t even always that the image of our ideal is incorrect, but rather that we want it so badly that we blur our perception to the extremity that we see it where it does not actually exist for us.  In other cases, we realize in the end that the romantic ideal we allowed to guide us was more of a socially conditioned concept from our culture than a genuinely intrinsic desire.  Sometimes it takes repeating experiences of projection and disillusionment over and over again, along similar lines of projection, before we finally learn our lesson and develop the discernment to focus on a romantic partner or intimate friend who will be able to listen to and accept us as we essentially are in the evolving moment.  When we let go of the need to control others, or manipulate ourselves in a way that we think will please others, we allow for the relationships that will naturally support us to emerge more freely.  Venus and Mars in Taurus want to feel pleasure and want us to sustain the partnerships and friendships that will bring us internal fulfillment.

vallotton la mer

La Mer by Felix Vallotton

In The Lunation Cycle Dane Rudhyar defined the waning period of the Moon as the phase in which we receive the “creative meaning” of the cycle (p. 31).  In the week following the lunar eclipse that leads to the last quarter square phase, there are two extraordinary astrological moments to pay attention to that will influence our reception of the creative meaning of the lunar eclipse:  Jupiter stationing direct in Leo on April 8, and the superior conjunction of Mercury with the Sun in Aries on April 9, 2015.

Jupiter has been retrograde in Leo since December 8, 2014 when it stationed retrograde at 23° of Leo.  Look in your birth chart for the aspects contained within twenty-three to twelve degrees of Leo to discern how this retrograde journey of Jupiter has impacted you.  When Jupiter goes retrograde we are pulled toward discovery of our personal truth in contrast to the “truth” propagated by the dominant cultural beliefs surrounding us.  What have you realized about yourself since the beginning of December?  What essential lesson about your personal nature have you learned? Crucially, there is an extraordinary aspect about the zodiac degree where Jupiter is stationing direct to integrate, as Jupiter will be stationing conjunct the North Node of Neptune.  As the North Node of Neptune remains stable at the beginning of the second decan of Leo, the times that Jupiter moves through Leo and becomes conjunct this point along our ecliptic are moments to seize for profound creative actualization.  In the context of receiving the creative meaning of the Libra Lunar Eclipse, Jupiter stationing on the North Node of Neptune gives us an opportunity to integrate all of the deep unconscious energy we are releasing into creative expression and self-actualization.  This is yet another astrological reason to center within and ask yourself what you would want your life to be like if you could remove all of the barriers and obstacles that social conditioning has placed around you.  Whatever image or feeling emerges from this process of contemplation, look around yourself and find whatever resources and opportunities are available to move in this direction in whatever way that you can.  In September 2014 Jupiter was last conjunct the North Node of Neptune in Leo, and it will not be here again for roughly another twelve years so this is truly a time to take advantage of for liberated thought and action.

The very next day following Jupiter stationing direct in Leo, Mercury will merge into the heart of the Sun at it’s Superior Conjunction, this time occurring in Aries at twenty degrees.  In Pacific Standard Time, the exact moment of Mercury’s superior conjunction will be at 9:00 pm on April 9, 2015.  Fitting for a waning Moon in Sagittarius that can facilitate comprehension of the creative meaning of a super charged Libra Lunar Eclipse, the superior conjunction of Mercury in Aries is like a blazing meteor of thought and a moment to tap into cosmic mind.  As Demetra George has taught, at the superior conjunction of Mercury we can feel overloaded with a lot of information to digest and assimilate, yet if we can avoid feeling overwhelmed there is great potential for insights of genius.  Be open at this time to receive new thoughts and ideas and a transformed perspective on your life.  There is a stunning synchronicity in Mercury stepping into this role of magical facilitator, as last April 2014 when we experienced a powerful Libra Lunar Eclipse as well as a Cardinal Grand Square, Mercury also passed through a superior conjunction in the waning Moon phase following the lunar eclipse (April 25, 2014 at 6° Taurus).  In Aries, Mercury will be able to help us receive a liberated message of inspiration from this pivotal Lunar Eclipse in Libra.

LibraLunarEclipseWRIGC1

References

Rudhyar, Dane. (1982). The Lunation Cycle. Aurora Press.

Mercury retrograde: a forest dark in liminal twilight

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Yaroslav Gerzhedovich

“I go along dreaming roads of the twilight”

Antonio Machado

Between thought and expression, between the colors of the sunset and the eye of the beholder, in the liminal light of twilight we feel the atmosphere of Mercury retrograde.  Mercury retrograde is a three week period in which we can surrender to opening our awareness beyond our usual habitual reactions, interfacing with our environment in different ways that surprise us.  Mercury retrograde is the magical air we feel on our skin when we watch the sun disappear on the horizon with shifting hues, the shifting frame of perspective that invites epiphanies.  In astrology, the setting sun is also a symbol for a death of self-absorption through the meeting of another in relationship or partnership.  On October 4, 2014 Mercury will station retrograde at 3° of Scorpio (a sign of soul relationship), and move all the way back to 17° of Libra (a sign of social relations and social justice) on October 25, 2014.  If we include the “shadow zone” before the retrograde station and following the stationing direct, between September 15 and November 10, 2014 Hermes is guiding us to a deepening of self-knowledge through our interactions with our environment and every relationship formed.

Mercury stationing retrograde in Scorpio draws us into a spiral of Desire.  Whether you have or have not already felt yourself pulled into an intense gravity of focus, an object or other drawing forth a surge of yearning from within, it will happen, and it will continue to be felt with expanding intensity in the weeks ahead.  All the consequences of desire, all the lessons learned from wanting something out of reach, the questions dawning once we finally reach, acquire, or merge with our craving, will be part of our experience traversing through not only a Mercury retrograde, but a particularly shattering Lunar Eclipse and Solar Eclipse.  Unless we have somehow done the miraculous work of lining our life up so that we are completely available to the focus of our desire, we will also come across all the limitations and habitual reactions of our past mind-frame restricting our ability to respond fully to the present passion.  If you want to use astrology to help discern the nature of your desire, look in your chart to what house holds the first few degrees of Scorpio, and what aspects these degrees make in your chart.  You can also then move clockwise in your chart to the middle of Libra and see what additional house or aspects in your chart will be further impacted as the Mercury retrograde continues.

Research on habits has supported that the easiest time to break a habit is on vacation.  This theory revolves around the concept that on holiday in a new environment, all the familiar surroundings we partially fixate our identity around are gone, the triggers of our habit have been removed, and we are more vulnerable to initiating a new pattern of behavior.  This same concept goes well with Mercury retrograde:  even though all of our usual triggers will still be in place, the atmosphere invites a different response to them. Additionally, as this retrograde cycle is initiated in Scorpio, there is potential for a death of old reactive patterns.  Scorpio has the courage to enter the darkness where the past can be felt to our deepest core, without our usual defense mechanisms operating in the light of day.  In this darkness our inability to possess or be present with the desire we yearn for burns from within with such magnitude that a release of past attachments can occur that ultimately opens us up to the real possibility of having or merging with our desire in the future. In Scorpio, the phoenix pulls us through the fear of abandonment, the terror of the focus of our past sense of security being destroyed, and Mercury stationing here facilitates the integration of the dualities within us like the light and the dark, the conscious and unconscious, in order to synthesize the birth of a new identity or presence in the world.

Virginia Woolf contemplated this same concept when she wrote, “The future is dark, which is the best thing the future can be, I think,” in a journal entry on January 18, 1915.  This journal entry of Woolf’s was analyzed in a lovely essay by Rebecca Solnit entitled Woolf’s Darkness: Embracing the Inexplicableas well as the following:

The evening hour, too, gives us the irresponsibility which darkness and lamplight bestow. We are no longer quite ourselves. As we step out of the house on a fine evening between four and six, we shed the self our friends know us by and become part of that vast republican army of anonymous trampers, whose society is so agreeable after the solitude of one’s own room. For there we sit surrounded by objects which enforce the memories of our own experience. But when the door shuts on us, all that vanishes. The shell-like covering which our souls have excreted to house themselves, to make for themselves a shape distinct from others, is broken, and there is left of all these wrinkles and roughnesses a central pearl of perceptiveness, an enormous eye.   —Virginia Woolf

This idea Virginia Woolf journaled about, that to close the door on the attachment of our possessions, to walk the streets in twilight among strangers, is an opening of our personality to the limitless depth of soul.  Mercury retrograde is likewise an opportunity to go for an evening walk under a canopy of dark trees, above a network of deep roots, into an awakening of who we are and where we desire to go.

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Yaroslav Gerzhedovich

With those we share our most intimate essence with, there will be a more ardent interchange than usual, leading to an intensification in interaction that could be chaotic yet essentially revealing if we can avoid becoming so wrapped up in melodrama that we block our capacity to discern meaning.  We do not want to be afraid of the dark, because there will be no avoiding the shadow or the dark night of the soul necessary to birth the insight we desperately need to actualize our purest passions.  If there is anything we have been consciously avoiding from past relationships, the time of denial will be over as there will be no escape from suppressed thoughts and feelings emerging that will demand our attention.

“Love goes toward love” William Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet, and when we fall enflamed in our heart’s rapture, we can feel like Romeo musing about Juliet, that the Other we desire is a “Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!”  It seems that as much as we project and idealize an illusion in romantic folly, we negate a true desire of our soul for a love that terrifies us as much as it enchants our wildest passions.  This is because great love dissolves and destroys our former sense of self, and we change and shift in the embrace of true love.  Or, if we risk taking on the transformation of love, the work needed to sustain a relationship lovingly further challenges our sense of self, as it involves making compromises and listening to the needs of the Other.  We get used to focusing on our old needs like a bad habit, instead of opening to how these needs can shift in every moment, guided by the wholeheartedness of desire.  Since Mercury retrograde can facilitate shifting habits out of a changing place of perspective, we can realize which relationships we truly desire to focus on going forward, and cultivate the faculty needed for our mind to respond to the arising needs associated with our yearning.

Since Mercury will move from the beginning of Scorpio back into the heart of Libra, and then forward again back into Scorpio, we will feel a surging ebb and flow of subconscious shadow in all of our relationships.  In the eye of the present partner we may catch a glimpse of a childhood emotion, in a conversation with a passing passerby we may hear the echo of an issue that feels like it has been with us for an eternity.  If we open to this process, there is something deep within to unearth through dialogue and attention to the needs of our relationships.  In this way while our desires may be pulling us into a space of new perception, another major meaning of this Mercury retrograde will be Power.  Where, when, and with whom do we feel powerful, where, when, and to whom do we give our power away, and how can we find the balance of feeling secure in our own power yet interacting with others so that we are not overpowering them or projecting our issues of power on to them.

In addition, Mercury stationing at the beginning of Scorpio means that there are three generations of people on our planet right now who may be especially impacted subconsciously:  those with Neptune at the beginning of Scorpio (1956-58), those with Uranus at the beginning of Scorpio (1974-76), and those with Pluto at the beginning of Scorpio (1983-85).  As there will additionally be a potent Solar Eclipse occurring at the end of October in these same degrees, right now with Mercury stationing retrograde at the beginning of Scorpio is a tremendous opportunity to sense what some of the coming changes may center around.

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Yaroslav Gerzehedovich

In the space of retrograde Mercury we can be more sensitive to signs, symbols, and omens in our environment.  While our relationships with other humans will come into play, it will also be about our relationship with the world. The more we take the  “I-Thou” relationship of honoring the soulful nature of everything in our environment, and less the “I-It” relationship of viewing our surroundings as resources to meet our own needs, the more we will be able to recognize and realize the significant meaning this Mercury retrograde is bringing into our life.  There is a good chance we will feel upside down, with our emotions in total disarray as our old identity and attachments dissolve within a liminal state.  In this in-between we can find our way through reading the symbols and signs around us and balance within the flow of the life streaming in front of us.

In the next month there will be obvious events and conversations that we know are pivotal; there will also be less obvious symbols surrounding us with a message to integrate if we keep our awareness open to them.  Let the Mercury retrograde allow information to come in that you would normally rationalize away, and see where it takes you.  Here below is a chart for Mercury stationing retrograde: MercuryRetrogradeWRIGC1 Uranus in Aries being involved in both a grand fire trine with Jupiter in Leo and Mars in Sagittarius, and a t-square with the Sun and Pluto, means that there is something especially Uranian about Mercury stationing retrograde.  This is also a plutonic Mercury full of explosive energy that can blow up our previous perception of our world and what is occurring within it.  Meanwhile, there is also a huge uplifting, dynamic energy that can synthesize meaning from both our impulses and our experience and weave them together into a tapestry that can seemingly transport us into a deeper dimension of perception, not unlike the magic carpets of fairy tales.  The ticket for entry into this process involves a willingness to go into the dark and persist through fears or feelings of dissolution.

Just as Mercury is plutonic now, so is Mars, as the red planet of desire is in a balsamic phase with Pluto. Mars is a centaur bounding forward from a source of strong desire that will help us expand beyond previous confinements created from our conditioned personality.  Yet the expansive energy of Mars in a grand fire trine with Jupiter and Uranus will also be catalyzing us within the fluctuating back and forth of old desires arising to be released or re-integrated as new desires emerge from our inner fire.   With Saturn and Ceres closely conjunct in Scorpio, and Mercury stationing retrograde in Scorpio, our structural source will generate a Mercurial mediation into our depths and the death of an old identification.  This is a time of becoming unbound amid disintegration, as Mars will take us deeper into our desires stirred by a Lunar Eclipse and Solar Eclipse, each of which is further ruled by Mars.  A chart for the Lunar Eclipse in Aries is below, a polarizing lunation in which Uranus is also prominently conjunct the brilliant Moon:

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Mercury will be descending into the underworld in Scorpio at the Lunar Eclipse, as the eclipse occurs around the time of Mercury’s heliacal set at sunset in which it disappears below the earth, becoming invisible.  This is truly an extraordinary leap of a Lunar Eclipse managed by the structure of Ceres and Saturn united in the fertile darkness of Scorpio.  Fittingly, the timing of this eclipse goes well with this being the initiation of the most magical of all the Mercury phases, the time in which Mercury becomes more of a mystical guide into our inner realm.  This is the phase in which we can be more receptive to signs, omens, and symbols, and we can receive information intuitively more easily than rationally explain anything.  In this time of Mercury as the Magician, Hermes guides us through accumulating and then releasing our old patterns of thought in preparation for a new vision.  I don’t mean to suggest this will be smooth sailing for our Hermetic navigator, however, as Venus in Libra is in a harsh last quarter square to Pluto at this eclipse, adding additional climatic intensity of outer events forcing profound inner reflection.

There is an imaginal link between this Lunar Eclipse and a High Priestess using her Dark Moon envisioning skills within the brilliance of a Full Moon Eclipse.  Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, has a rarely discussed link to the Aries II decan where the Lunar Eclipse is occurring.  In the “Tables of Correspondence” in 36 Faces by Austin Coppock, it is listed that Persephone is the God/Spirit connected to the Aries II decan in the Hellenistic text translated as The 36 Airs of the Zodiac.  Although Persephone is not mentioned in Austin Coppick’s analysis of Aries II, Coppock did give the following description of this decan that is befitting the Queen of Spirit:

Applied magically, this decan has tremendous power. It is the power to generate the world of your choosing, and to be its sovereign.  It is the key to creating pocket realities which do not obey the laws of the collective reality field in which they exist. — Austin Coppock

Eclipses are known to throw everything into disarray, and are not known to be times best for laying carefully designed plans.  Yet this eclipse is so full of break-through aspects and force that it seems an air of liberation will be part of the chaotic atmosphere.  It will be a time of sensing the power within a polarity of feelings, integrating the subconscious with the conscious, and owning our authority to heal the previous fracturing of our soul like Persephone.  This will be a time to believe in our capacity to create a life aligned with our deepest soulful passions more so than the expectations of the consensus reality dominating our environment.

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The inferior conjunction of Mercury is a magical moment in which Mercury aligns with the Sun, in between our orbit and the fiery center of our solar system.  This is a moment in which Hermes transmits a message from Spirit to us, and with Mercury in Libra we will have information to integrate about the Other our Self is in relationship with.  However, Libra is not only about social relations but also social justice.  As usual, there have been many stories involving oppression in the news and many traumatic events occurring around us whose story is untold by anyone other than the participants.  What is frightening about our world is all of the abuse not covered by the media, that people suffer in isolation without anyone to reach out to for help.  I do not mean to suggest that this Mercury inferior conjunction in Libra will be some sort of magic pill to heal all the societal ills in the world, but I do suggest that a window of insight will open giving us a very deep look into the source of our collective trauma and oppression.

Nonetheless, this inferior conjunction will also be about our personal relationships and intimate partnerships, as the Leo Moon will be conjunct Juno and Venus, Mercury, and the Sun will all be conjunct in Libra.  The insight we can gain will have something to do with all of the underworld mythology involving the pursuit of love and desire.  Most of the stories involving a mythic figure being capable of descending to the underworld and back involve the character having such a powerful desire of love that they manage to somehow survive:  Persephone, Psyche, Dionysus, Orpheus, Inanna, Ishtar, and Isis.  We may be rocked and rolled over from where want and lust lead us, or from the desire and passion we attempt to repress or suppress, but in the end there is a more wholehearted sense of self in relationship to gain.

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This solar eclipse conjunct Venus at the beginning of Scopio is happening close to the same time as the Superior Conjunction of Venus with the Sun.  This is Venus as Inanna following her descent into the underworld, and these Scorpio aspects bring to mind the Dark Goddess who will be with us during an especially intense balsamic moon phase leading up to this solar eclipse.  In contrast to Mercury who is close to rising again at dawn as a morning star, Venus is on her way to becoming an evening star.  The future promise of Venus rising again in our night skies with her brilliant white light is an apt symbol for inspiration that will eventually arise out of our current darkness, no matter the difficulties and disorientation we experience at this time.

Traditionally Mars is also ruling this eclipse, and in modern rulership Pluto in Capricorn is ruling it.  Either way, with Mercury stationing direct in the underworld at this time in Libra, and so ruled by Venus at the heart of her descent, this is a Solar Eclipse taking us into our core inner world.  Change will come from within this core, sourced by our deepest desire, as we begin re-integrating the messages and information received from this Mercury retrograde cycle.  It is an excellent time to set an intention for who and what we want to magnetize and attract into our life going forward from the inner vibration we are cultivating. However, this time will not just be about ourselves and our inner world, as this eclipse has clear aspects indicating a huge impact from the relationships in our life.  Out of the challenging and uplifting experiences of this time, there appears to be a sharper sense of our essential nature to realize and embody.

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As Mercury finally stations direct, he turns to re-ascend to the upper world as a morning star harbinger of dawn.  Hermes welcomes a new reality for us now, symbolized by Venus in Scorpio entering a new phase with the Sun, symbol of our Spirit. In addition, Pallas Athena in Scorpio remains conjunct Venus as Mercury stations, a sign that we could have greater access than normal to the ingenious insight available from Mercury stationing direct.  The important quality to access the wisdom available here is honesty, and a willingness to take responsibility to both nurture our own needs linked to our desire, as well as listen to and respect the needs of others we are in relationship with.

Amazingly in epic proportion, there will be a lunar occultation of Saturn in Scorpio occurring as Mercury stations direct, and following Mercury stationing direct the Moon will move on to a conjunction with Ceres. The myth of Persephone and Ceres seems strong in these symbols, and the compromise that Ceres managed to create enabling her to have her desire fulfilled of spending time with her daughter for half a year.  This desire did not come easy, and followed inner disorientation, outer torment, and soul searching from the goddess.  Yet as this myth served as a vehicle for rituals of epiphany in ancient times, there was also an inner revelation revealed, and so will there will be for us.

Mercury will leave the shadow zone on November 10, 2014 at a time that Venus will be conjunct Saturn in Scorpio and Mars will be conjunct Pluto in Capricorn.  As Mercury moves forward through Libra, focus on re-integrating all of the messages gained regarding our desires, relationships, and sense of self within relationships.  The astrology of this time suggest there is something profound to build and cultivate from the rumination of our inner mind.

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Inanna and Dumuzi

References

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

Muchado, Antonio. (1902). Soledades. Translated by Eugenio Florit.

Solnit, Rebecca. (2014).  Woolf’s Darkness: Embracing the Inexplicable. The New Yorker. 24 April 2014.

Cardinal Eclipse and Cross

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Giovanni Battista Riccioli, S.J., Almagestum novum, first edition, Bologna, 1651

The astrology world has been abuzz and aflutter with forewarning and warning, teetering from doom and gloom predictions to calls for a collective transformation to occur, as we approach an exact Cardinal Grand Square (April 20-23) in between a Total Lunar Eclipse (April 15) and an Annular Solar Eclipse (April 28-29).  In many ways these are not new ideas, as our ability to “transform” our sense of self and perception in the world through moments of self-realization is not limited to this time, and the “doom and gloom” predictions sit within the fact there have been mass genocides, environmental degradation, and oppression happening on a regular basis not only in recent years, but also in past decades, centuries, and ages.   Collectively, however, there are numerous signs visible everywhere around us in the world that we are at risk of entering a level of mass environmental destruction and oppression of living beings that it will be difficult if not impossible for us to recover from unless striking, disciplined action is planned and enacted on both the personal and collective level immediately.  It also is true that these upcoming astrological energies are very intense, and so it will be especially important to be alert and awake to our environment and mindful to take full responsibility for our responses and actions.

One correlation of current events entering the news cycle recently is that a lot more information has been revealed concerning the plutocratic power structure’s work to not only continue gaining profit from taking planetary resources for itself, but to try to control greater levels of freedom for itself to operate in a Uranian way, especially through the very technology it advertises as offering greater freedom for the masses.  Now we know that the accusations Edward Snowden has made about the NSA in the United States hoarding private data of people is nothing compared to the massive data that search engines and computer companies are saving about all of us in order to make money through selling all of our search data to advertisers.  In this “information age,” our personal data is the power of currency, and the power structure hopes to distract the collective into a sleep of distraction in gadgets and the latest app update.  As this Cardinal Cross has tightened I have personally become more acutely aware of the gargantuan mind trap the power structure has attempted to weave around all of us with this technology.  This is only one example of current events occurring, but just like every other example there is another side to this equation:  the current technology is also in place to facilitate a collective wake-up call to take back ownership of our individual lives and destinies away from the small percentage of people on this planet who currently own the vast majority of resources on this planet.  The impending Total Lunar Eclipse is a gate into a vortex of astrological intensity that if we can harness and integrate with disciplined focus on the path ahead, offers an opportunity for liberation of our perceptions and being.  It is also a time to maintain balance in response to others in our environment as much as we can summon, for many around us may be acting more off-kilter in extremity than normal during these disorienting transits.

In many ways there is nothing new about the upcoming eclipses and Cardinal Cross, just that we have not experienced all of these things together at the same time.  This will be the fifth of the exact squares between Pluto and Uranus (April 21), and the last two also occurred during times of eclipses  (May 20, 2013 and November 1, 2013).  We have truly been in a “slow cook” of all of these energies since last July and August, when around July 22, 2013 the current cycle of Mars and Jupiter began with a conjunction in Cancer that formed a Grand Water Trine with Neptune in Pisces and Saturn in Scorpio.  Pluto and Uranus were basically square at this time, and then as we entered August, Jupiter and Pluto exactly reached opposition on August 8, 2013 creating a t-square with Uranus and Pluto, and later in August Venus also moved into Libra creating a Cardinal Grand Square with Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto:  it just wasn’t as exact as it is now, with Mars about the fill the Libran space.  The point, however, is that a huge amount of shifting occurred at this time, and the energy we are attempting to integrate now in our daily life was much more disorienting eight months ago.

After we emerged from the powerful shifting of last August, we entered another period of intense eclipses surrounding an exact square between Pluto and Uranus in October and November.  Then, this cosmic pattern gave us a series of retrograde cycles of personal planets that further activated all of these dynamics:  first Venus, then Mercury, and now Mars.  In particular, when Venus was initially retrograde during the time of December 25-30, 2013, Mars moved direct in Libra to form a Cardinal Grand Square with Jupiter, Pluto, and Uranus for the first time in this cycle.  In all we have had a long period to be working on whatever personal issues are correlating  with these intense dynamics, so reflecting back over this entire period will be helpful if you can manage the time to do it.  Personally, I have noticed many people becoming aware of the fact that they can indeed liberate themselves from what has been holding themselves back in their past, that a cherished vision or dream is finally appearing to manifest in front of them, or at least the belief that such a manifestation can occur is germinating.  At the same time, a great amount of fear and concern is also erupting, just as any dramatic change can seem unsettling and scary to our routine of being creatures of habit.  There have also been many disturbing stories of calamities and crises in current events, again offering the opportunity to fall into fear.

For a grand square to now occur is fitting because at heart it is about two oppositions forming a square to one another, creating a personal sense of overwhelm from such extreme polarity of energy coming in from every direction.  “At heart,” however is the phrase to keep in mind:  one reason that the soul-centered, esoteric astrology taught by Alan Oken actually makes practical sense to me is the emphasis that the “cross” meets in the center, the heart.  This does not mean things will be easy, and in fact means the exact opposite:  being incarnated in our human bodies at this time is difficult, and we experience events and emotions that seem to break our hearts.  Yet, in the end it is this heart-breaking that allows our hearts to finally open fully to the reality of our world.  For a grand square to occur in the cardinal signs only adds to the intensity- it can be a feeling of having so many projects or relationships to attend to that a dizzying mental space occurs in which we do not know what to focus on, a sharp sense of the limitations of our time and space.  With Mars being retrograde, this can add in a factor of feeling like we need more rest and that we may not have the energy to take all of it on, and yet the excitement of all of the other aspects is generating a lot of energy in our environment nonetheless.  One issue with cardinal signs is a sense of wanting to initiate projects or actions, but lacking the sustaining power to see them through to completion:  with this cardinal grand square we will need to have discipline and staying power to see the course through all of the dramatic change to come.  Even if the relationships around us seem fraught with discord at times, we will also need to remember that we will need the support of relationships to help us navigate to where we want to go.  I have a sense that these upcoming aspects will help us tune into the relationships we want to keep and focus on to a greater extent to help us move forward on our path, and which relationship are more of a hindrance than a help and need to be released.  In any event, we will want to flow:  find our unique flow at this time and the ability to move from project to project, relationship to responsibility, to the best of our ability and integrity.  We will want to stay alert and moving forward, attending to whatever needs attending to in the moment.  Mars being retrograde in Libra also gives an opportunity for some reflective planning and strategy, if we can get a moment or two to ourselves to ponder how to make our actions more effective.

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Above is the chart for the upcoming Lunar Eclipse set for Olympia, Washington where I live and am writing this post.  Adding to the intensity of this eclipse is that about eight hours before it occurs, Mercury will exactly unite with Uranus in Aries, and Pluto will station retrograde in Capricorn.  As a result, in many ways one could say that Pluto turning toward an underworld journey is dominating this eclipse, but believe me when I say that Ceres has something to say about this.  Ceres is exactly conjunct the Moon at the time of this eclipse, and she has created a network of goddesses to harmoniously facilitate the intense energy of change occurring at this time on behalf of the divine feminine.  The Sabian Symbol for this eclipse has been getting a lot of attention:  “An eagle and a large white dove change into each other,” which Dane Rudhyar emphasizes is about “interaction of the spiritual Will and of the Love principle when critical needs arise” (An Astrological Mandala, p. 188).  Indeed, the goddesses at work through aspects in this eclipse are doing just that.

Pallas Athena, for example, is exactly sextile the Moon, North Node, Ceres, and Vesta, and in trine to the Sun, Juno, South Node, and Eris.  She is also in square to Saturn, and if you think that Athena cannot handle herself with Kronus, you should read myth more closely.  Also, Venus has Athena’s back and is coming in to trine Saturn so that Athena can pull the rug out from under his feet.  Athena in the heroic sign of Leo is giving us an opportunity to devise a strategy of wisdom at this time to navigate forward on our path.  It will please Athena to assess all of the dangers and obstacles surrounding us, formulate a plan, and then strike forward with all of our heart to seize the moment toward making our vision for our future a reality.  Athena is making herself available at this time to make it so.

Vesta in Libra is also exactly opposite Juno in Aries at this eclipse and is a fascinating embodiment of the interplay of polarities at work.  Juno the goddess of relationship being in the independent sign of Aries, and Vesta the goddess of independent focus being in the relational sign of Libra, is an absolutely perfect symbol of our need to focus on and develop the relationships in our lives that our offering us support and nourishment in finding our authentic self and presence in the world.  The warning found in this dynamic is for Vesta to lose her focus through her desire to be in relationship, and for Juno to become lost in passionate jealousy or possessiveness of her selfish desires, and yet with Pallas Athena in Leo mediating whatever conflict could occur between these goddesses, we will have the wisdom available to us to know the difference between negative selfishness and the positive, necessary selfishness we will need to claim for ourselves for not only our own highest good, but for the highest good of all beings.

Ceres aka Demeter is all over this eclipse, however, as not only is Ceres conjunct the lunar eclipse but the eclipse will be near the fixed star Spica, the star of the wheat held by the goddess Ceres in the constellation of Virgo.  Each night we are also getting a beautiful visual of the burning red planet Mars arising in the sky with Spica, making the Ceres of our night sky more illuminated at this time.  Ceres is also holding space on the North Node of the Moon at this time, adding more emphasis on our need to cultivate relationships and our ability to productively express our own needs in relationship as well as listen to the needs of others.  The Sun, Juno, and Eris all with the South Node of the Moon in Aries is a symbol of our personal and collective relationship habits that are more about or own self-absorption and impatience to get our own needs met, or to act from an angry wounded place of aggression in our relationship dynamics.  Ceres holds the greatest lessons of life and death within her celestial space, calling on us to accept ourselves and our current situation in life:  it is only through this awareness and acceptance of where we are, and of what has happened to us, that we will be able to create the life and relationships that will be the most nourishing for our soul.  Fittingly, the Ceres in Libra all over this eclipse is currently being ruled by Venus in Pisces, a Venus that is conjunct both Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, the sign of her exaltation.

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Amphitrite (1866), by François Théodore Devaulx

Venus in Pisces rules the Total Lunar Eclipse that occurs before the exact Cardinal Grand Square, and she rules the Annular Solar Eclipse that occurs after the exact Cardinal Grand Cross.  And that’s not all she is ruling:  she rules Mars retrograde in Libra, the North Node of the Moon in Libra, Vesta in Libra, and Ceres.  Sure, Mars is ruling the Sun during this time, the South Node of the Moon, Juno, and Eris:  but remember that Venus is ruling his ass.  We can additionally factor in that Venus is forming harmonious alliances of her own with some of the most powerful players:  Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Neptune, and Pluto.  Venus only days ago had an exact conjunction with Neptune, and she will be at the mid-point of Neptune and Chiron at the time of the Total Lunar Eclipse, forming a trine to Jupiter in Cancer and a sextile to Pluto in Capricorn.  As she advances through the chaos of the Cardinal Cross she will form a Grand Water Trine with Jupiter in Cancer, Saturn in Scorpio, and Chiron in Pisces.  By the end of the month when the Solar Eclipse in Taurus occurs that she rules, she will still be in exaltation in Pisces in the powerful final decan of the entire zodiac.

So, while she may not be getting as much attention it seems from astrologers, Venus is very strong right now and she wants to help you liberate whatever has been getting in the way of you experiencing pleasure and love in your daily existence on this crazy planet.  This is not a “mushy” sentiment, but indeed is said with full awareness of how difficult life can be for people today.  However, even in the most oppressive personal and collective crisis imaginable, we still have the choice to integrate the energy through our heart and to respond with our true integrity.  Amazingly, the Sabian Symbol for Venus at the time of the eclipse is about “traveling a narrow path, seeking illumination,” revealing the potential and ability of each and every person to embark upon a “Path of Discipleship” (Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala, p. 274).  It is even more remarkable for Venus to be conjunct both Neptune and Chiron at the time of holding this space of discipleship at this eclipse, and an amazing correlation in current events that it was recently announced that an ancient papyrus stating that Jesus of Nazareth had a wife has been validated as authentic by experts.  To me, the goddess Mary is with us at this time, the wild Mary, the divine Mary, the disciple Mary, the true Mary Magdalene of divine strength and perseverance who has been on the receiving end of extraordinary judgment and oppression across the ages of history, and yet still today stands strong in herself in all of her resplendent divinity.

Venus in Pisces conjunct Neptune and Chiron at this time is not about being a victim: it is about being Love, it is about having the courage to love and perceive the medicine of everything in our environment, no matter how cruel and malicious others around us may appear.  Jupiter being opposite Pluto, in the signs of Cancer and Capricorn, has correlated with many intense experiences and crises in belief for many on our planet, but Venus has already had an entire retrograde cycle occur in Capricorn, in league with Pluto, and she has now stepped forward to mediate their conflict.

Giulio Bonasone Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto

Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto dividing the Universe by Giulio Bonasone

Pluto in Capricorn stations retrograde about eight hours before the Total Lunar Eclipse, and so there is an especially intense Plutonic vibration occurring now.   Whatever is erupting from inside of us at this time must be paid attention to with courageous awareness:  denial of what is occurring for us right now is possibly even a dangerous act with what could follow as consequence.  We do not want to judge ourselves with shaming, crippling indictment, but rather use an awareness of discernment to perceive what is happening with us on all levels.  We will want to take responsibility for everything at this time, and take the responsibility that we can discern new choices moving forward.

Jupiter has been in his exaltation in Cancer for a long time now, and holding space opposing Pluto for an unusual amount of time.  Last August was the first time these two heavyweights opposed, and then after Jupiter stationed to move back retrograde, they came into opposition again on January 31, 2014 at the same time that Venus stationed direct in Capricorn.  This is important to remember in connection to the fact that Venus is now in trine to Jupiter and in sextile to Pluto.  If we have been open to our perceptions of phenomenal reality, most likely during these past nine months of Jupiter and Pluto opposing one another we have come across information from events and relationships that have forced us to deeply question our most primal and cherished beliefs, both what we think is our conscious philosophy of life as well as the subconscious philosophy of life we act from at times without awareness.  No matter how difficult this process may have been at times, Jupiter is in the end working magic with Pluto to expand each one of us beyond limitations of judgment and conditioning in our past into a life and worldview that is more deeply aligned with our soul and authentic nature.  It will be important to remember that while it can be helpful and necessary to question our beliefs, it is also important to intuitively know what we know to be true for ourselves and to stand strong in the face of any entity attempting to manipulate our beliefs at this time.  All one needs to do is turn on the television or tune into the media to see the full face of the plutonic power structure’s attempt to manipulate all of us at this time.

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Johannes Kepler’s depiction of the geocentric motions of Mars, from Astronomia Nova (1609)

Mars has now crossed the mid-point of its retrograde journey in Libra and is getting closer everyday to forming the Cardinal Grand Square with Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto. The recent opposition between Mars and the Sun (April 8, 2014) also marked the halfway point of their current cycle that began last April 17, 2013 at 29 Aries. Mars is also at its closest distance to Earth in its orbit at this time, appearing a brighter red than ever in our night sky- in fact in the days ahead Mars will be getting closer and closer to us every night, becoming closest in orbit at the same time of the total Lunar Eclipse that will occur on April 15, 2014. In all of these ways we are feeling an intense gravity of Mars at this time, bringing the questions:  what issues are coming up for you concerning your Will-force? What is coming up in your relationships, and being mirrored back to you?  It also may be helpful to reflect back upon the time period of December 25-30, 2013 when Venus was retrograde and Mars was moving direct in Libra and formed a Cardinal Grand Square for the first time with Jupiter, Pluto, and Uranus.

Since we are now past the halfway mark of this Mars retrograde, through our environment and all of our relationships we have been recently receiving a lot of information concerning our central issues involved in this Mars retrograde journey- have you been paying attention?  Again, this is not a time to be in denial but to open yourself to full awareness of everything presenting itself to you in your environment, literally the meaning of everything around you. Are you angry about anything? If so, why? Whatever the reason will contain important information to reflect upon. In addition, as Mars is moving toward a last quarter square to Pluto, a first quarter square to Jupiter, and an opposition to Uranus, we are also gaining greater sense of how we fit into the greater society- if we can gain a greater sense and presence in our authentic nature at this time of great calamity in world events, we will want to be able to integrate this sense of self into society so that we can help not only ourselves, but others in need.  It is important at this time to reclaim your sense of Will and the power of your Self not for yourself, not to brag about yourself on social media, but to powerfully make your presence felt so that you will be heard, to put yourself in position to not only listen to others, but to take action on the behalf of others or to serve the needs of others around you in dire straits. Whatever information you have been receiving lately through your relationships, including in moments of passionate desire and conflict, is of supreme importance to process and use to help you claim more of your authentic nature.

Perseus (1875-1888)

Perseus saves Andromeda by Edward Burne-Jones

Finally, the last angle of the Cardinal Grand Square may be the most important of all, and also is embodying added intensity at this time of the lunar eclipse.  Only a half an hour or so before Pluto stations retrograde, only about eight and half hours before the total lunar eclipse, Mercury will be exactly conjunct with Uranus in the sign of Aries.  Mercury is the esoteric ruler of Aries, a key into our human ability to exert mind over matter at times.  There are many modern astrologers who further believe that Uranus is a higher octave of Mercury, and that there is an important relationship between these two trickster archetypes to be aware of at all times.  With Mercury and Uranus uniting in Aries at a time of a total lunar eclipse, being opposite Mars retrograde in Libra and in square to an opposition between Jupiter and Pluto, focusing on this union of Mercury and Uranus at this time will be incredibly powerful for invoking and initiating a path of total liberation from negative patterns of your past.

There is a fascinating alignment with this Cardinal Grand Square and famous fixed stars, with Jupiter being near Sirius, Pluto being near Vega, and Mars moving across Arcturus and Spica and toward Algorab.  However, the alignment I want to focus on is that Mercury and Uranus are uniting by zodiac degree in the same area of the zodiac where the fixed star Alpheratz resides, in the Andromeda constellation. In Western culture we see Alpheratz, a double purple and white star, as being the head of Andromeda, a woman of renowned beauty in myth who was chained to a rock in order to be eaten by a sea monster to appease the jealousy of the Nereids, and the wrath of Poseidon. See, Andromeda’s mother Cassiopeia had been going on bragging that her daughter was more beautiful than the Nereids, sea nymphs who were tight with Poseidon. Before Andromeda could be devoured by the sea monster, however, the hero Perseus came to her rescue, in some versions wearing winged sandals, in others an invisibility cloak that was the helm of none other than Hades himself. According to Ptolemy, Alpheratz is like Venus, and this star representing the head of Andromeda has also been linked to both Venus and Jupiter by others.

What could this mean on a personal level? Andromeda to me is like our authentic self, our divine inner goddess, our inner Venus and Jupiter, the two most harmonious and beneficial traditional wanderers. In one way or another many of us have been chained to some sort of metaphorical rock, been a scapegoat on the receiving end of inner or outer judgment- today at this time is a chance to become more acutely aware of what oppressive past pattern or dynamic we want to focus on to liberate ourselves from. Just like the trine between Venus and Jupiter, the sextile between Venus and Pluto, the conjunction between Mercury and Uranus- all of these aspects point to this same idea.  Even the magical objects used by Perseus connect with this astrology- his winged sandals evoking Mercury, and the helm of Hades allowing him to be invisible in his fight against the sea monster evoking Pluto.  Furthermore, his heroic action evokes the planet Mars that is moving retrograde to enter the Cardinal Grand Square as it also enters its closest orbital distance to our planet. We do not need some outside hero to come rescue us at this time, however- our hero and heroine is inside of us.

Pleiades in midst of Midspring Eclipses

pleiades

Pleiades:  Seven Sisters

Whenever Mercury enters the sign of Gemini as it did on 5/15/13, it  is thought of as Mercury returning “home,” since Mercury rules Gemini.  Yet this is even more true according to myth, as Hermes is the son of the Pleiadian sister Maia (the Pleiades are seven sisters in Greek Myth), and the Pleiades star constellation is located at the end of Taurus and the beginning of Gemini in the zodiac.  Thus, every time Mercury heads into Gemini, he is coming home to his mother and aunts, as the Pleiades bridge Taurus and Gemini, and the main star of the Pleiades, Alcyone, is located at 0-1 degrees Gemini.  However, there is even more reason to honor the Pleiades right now than the fact that Mercury has come home to them in the zodiac, as the Pleiades star constellation is being hit with a lot of major transits connected with eclipses.  During the recent Solar Eclipse on May 9, Venus was moving across the Pleiades star constellation, with the Moon soon to be conjunct Venus and the Pleiades on May 10, 2013.  Furthermore, on May 15 today Mercury is currently conjunct the Pleiades and in range of a conjunction with Venus, en route to being exactly conjunct Venus at 19 degrees Gemini on May 24 (Mercury-Venus will also be four degrees away from Jupiter at this time).  When Mercury and Venus are conjunct on May 24, there will also be a Lunar Eclipse occurring in which the Sun will be conjunct the Pleiades by four degrees, and the Moon will be opposite the Pleiades.  If that isn’t enough intense Pleiadian energy for you, the Sun will be conjunct the Pleiades on May 20 when we will have another exact square between Pluto and Uranus.  So much Pleiadian energy being stirred up in between two eclipses is fitting, because in between these eclipses we have entered a vortex of time and space out of which deep change can manifest in our life, and the visual of the mesmerizing star constellation of the Pleiades in the night sky looks like a spiral vortex we could transport ourselves through.  When the Pleiades came in with the recent Solar Eclipse through Venus transiting it at the same time as the eclipse, my astrology teacher Rosie Finn wrote the following interpretation for 5/10/13 in her monthly newsletter, Plants and Planets:

The Pleiades are so good at teaching us how to live a beautiful life on this planet, how to love and enjoy life, how to get the most out of our trip here and how to evolve just enough to stay and just enough to not feel stuck here.  The world is full of possibility and there is abundance- in this world at this time and it is accessible to us, when we vibrate with abundance possibility, open our inner eyes to see, and can recognize the resonance of our true longing in alignment with that which matches that longing in the world.

–Rosie Finn, Plants and Planets, May 2013

I still remember the first time I was struck by the beauty of the Pleiades, in a starry night sky above the Appalachian aka Blue Ridge mountains of Georgia in the Southeast USA.  There is something alluring and magical about the shape of this spiral constellation to the human eye, and it does have a strong resonance with human beings as the Pleiades have been channelled into books by a number of authors, including the Pleiadian Agenda by astrologer Barbara Hand Clow.  Clow in this book describes the bond and connection between the Pleiades and Earth as resulting from a karmic obligation initiated by Pleiadian entities in ancient times on Earth, and this is similar to other channelled work in the sense of the Pleiades being able to have a direct connection with human beings.  In many interpretations of Pleiades energy, as in the passage above by Rosie Finn, the Pleiades are described as having an energy that resonates with life on earth for humans and has wise beneficial  guidance for how humans can survive and thrive on a higher level on this planet.  As in the quote above, this resonance is often described in terms of aligning the desires of Taurus with the thoughts and expressions of Gemini, aligning our minds and bodies so that we are more truly in alignment with what we want to truly manifest in our lives, and being mindful of the vibration we are emanating with our being.  According to many authors, the Pleiades hold the belief that we can manifest abundance in our lives through our intention and vibration, as well as communicate with one another instantly and telepathically without the use of cell phones or instant messaging (cell phones and instant messaging serving as signs revealing our actual potential in this case).  The Pleiades are also here to help spark and facilitate human evolution according to many of the channelling authors, and so to me this connects them with the Esoteric Astrology development of the sign of Gemini from a subjective mind relating others to self, through a more objective mind that is able to relate the self to others, and ultimately to a wholistic mind that is able to relate the One (Spirit/Source/God) to self and to others, synthesizing “lower” mind issues to serve the “higher” mind (Oken, p. 177).

pleiades_ukschmidt_clean_names

It would be wise to keep in mind that the Pleiades will be associated with one of the most intense and significant astrological events of this time period on May 20, 2013 when the Sun will be conjunct the Pleiades at the same time that Pluto and Uranus will be in an exact square aspect.  This will be the third of seven squares between Pluto and Uranus (from June 24, 2012 until April 4, 2015), and so has been associated with third chakra issues by many astrologers, including my astrology teacher Rosie Finn who believes it will connect with us aligning our personal Will with divine Will.  Some Third Chakra issues from Anodea Judith’s book Eastern Body Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self that could be helpful to keep in mind at this time are as follows (p. 166-7):

Balanced Characteristics:  Responsible, Reliable, Balanced effective will, Warmth in personality, Playfulness, Confidence, Appropriate self-discipline, Able to meet challenges, Sense of one’s personal power.

Traumas and Abuses:  Shaming, Authoritarianism, Volatile situations, Domination of will, Physical abuse, Enmeshment, Inherited shame from parent, Age inappropriate responsibilities (parentified child)

Deficiency:  Low energy, Weak will, easily manipulated, Poor self-discipline, Low self-esteem, Cold emotionally, Victim mentality, Unreliable, Poor Digestion

Excess:  Overly aggressive, Need to be right, Manipulative, Temper tantrums, Stubborness, Driving ambition, Competitive, Arrogant, Hyperactive

Healing Practices:  Risk taking (deficiency), Grounding and emotional contact, Deep relaxation and stress control (excess), Vigorous exercise, Psychotherapy or other methods to build ego strength, release or contain anger, work on shame issues, strengthen the will, and encourage autonomy

How exactly could the Pleiades help us at this time?  To me, that is part of the mystery of it all, and part of the great mystery I associate with the Pleiades.  No matter how many different interpretations, stories, and analyses I read regarding the Pleiades, I always feel that there is much more involved with them than is being communicated through language.  However, since they are located at a bridge juncture in the zodiac between Taurus and Gemini, it makes sense that they would integrate lessons that can come from the connection between Taurus and Gemini:  issues we have with our Mind-Body connection, since Taurus is the sign of human form, and Gemini is the the sign of human mind.  One interesting mind-body connection was described by herbalist Carol Trasatto in the May 2013 issue of Plants and Planets (she is the “plants” to Rosie’s “planets”), in which she references how scientists have now discovered a vast network of 500 neurons line our guts, so that our stomach is really like a “second brain” for us.  Carol wisely notes that similar to how we can be misled by the misperceptions of our minds, so can our guts mislead us at times due to previous issues, wounding, and trauma.  She writes:

Our perception- even somatic, gut-level perception- has been overlaid with imprints of previous experience, messaging, and sensation.  Our physical and energy bodies are repositories of impressions; we are dealing with layers of information when we tune into our body wisdom.  To most benefit from what our body can tell us, our work is to sensitize our awareness, refine our recognition of sensations, and then also to cultivate discernment regarding whether the messages reflect something true about the present moment or are an echo of habituated protection, now keeping us from experiencing the next level of intimacy with ourselves . . . For instance, physical intimacy with a new beloved may trigger gut sensations felt as fear, anger, shame, discomfort, anxiety, even panic in someone who was violated by touch in the past . . . Rather than rejecting the current lover, the person with such body memories could choose to use the safety of the present dynamic to first recognize and then explore these stored sensations- and work to heal them with the love energy presenting itself as medicine.  “Trusting the gut” in such an instance requires self-awareness, courage, and the willingness to understand one’s experience . . . and allow it to transform.

— Carol Trasatto, Plants and Planets, May 2013

The sort of wisdom cultivated by people who work closely with our Earth, such as the herbalist Carol Trasatto, is the type of wisdom I associate with the Pleiades, a star constellation that has had a large and diverse cultural following across our planet since ancient times, well beyond the confines of Greek or Mediterranean culture- especially among indigenous people of the “Americas.”  In the same edition of her monthly newsletter, Carol gave an illuminating description of Third Chakra issues that I feel is very timely in connection with the approaching Pluto-Uranus square and intense issues we could become potentially influenced by in the collective culture and collective consciousness, and its connection to the alchemy of plants on our planet connects it for me to wisdom offered through the Pleiades:

The Third Chakra, the solar plexus, is about fire and transformation.  In herbal alchemy, when we yield the plant body to fire after extracting its magic with fluids, the resulting salts in the ash- when returned to the liquid- make the remedy more potent.  The fire energy available to us via the solar plexus first of all can serve to illuminate and then incinerate those fears, habits, and beliefs that limit our potential.  The chakra’s energy can enhance our ability to skillfully exercise will and personal power- especially in the realm of cultivating our intuitive voice and our ability to stand in our own center, free from the influence of collective trance.  This freedom allows our actions and our voice to be guided from our inner authority, our relationship with spirit, our life purpose.  It is through the right use of will that we may heal the past and bring vision into form.

–Carol Trasatto, Plants and Planets, May 2013

One thing for certain, however, is that the Pleiades are associated with guidance for humans, as they were used in ancient times for agricultural cycles and for navigation.  In fact, although there is some debate upon the origins of the name Pleiades, it very likely came from the word meaning “to sail” because the Pleiades are visible in the Mediterranean night sky from the middle of May until the beginning of November, coinciding with ancient sailing season¹. Furthermore, through myth the Pleiades are associated with navigation and guidance through being the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas, who held the celestial spheres on his shoulders and was the God of Astronomy and navigation.  Being the daughters of a Titan links the Pleiades with Uranus in myth at this time of the Pluto-Uranus square- in fact, Uranus is their great-grandfather!  In case you don’t remember, Uranus was the Sky God mate of Gaia, the primordial Earth Goddess, who through her fathered the new archetypes of the Titans into the world: six sets of twins.  Iapetus was one of the sons of Uranus who later became the father of Atlas, who then became the father of the seven sisters of the Pleiades.

Interestingly, Iapetus is also the father of Prometheus- so Prometheus is like the uncle of the Pleiadian sisters.  This further mythic connection to another liberating Titan like Prometheus, the archetype of the trickster who brought fire to humans, makes me feel the Pleiades will be more on the side of the shocking yet ultimately liberating and individuating energy of Uranus in Aries during this time of the third Pluto-Uranus square.  Since the Pleiades seem to be connected with practices to help humans navigate at a higher level on planet Earth, whatever third chakra healing is required at this time would be wise to put into practice- this could range from needing to ground inside the body and performing relaxation exercises to needing to take greater risks from a warm and heart-centered will-force.  There will most likely be deeply destructive and shocking events occurring- I feel the connection of these times with the Pleiades is our need to ride the wave of energy occurring in the moment and focus on the fact we can still manifest abundance and prosperity in our lives through responsible responses to any intense experiences occurring.

Pleiades_Elihu_Vedder

The Pleiades are the daughters of the sea nymph Pleione, which also connects the Pleiades through myth to the other significant outer planet energy occuring now besides the Uranus-Pluto square, which is Neptune being in Pisces and in trine to Saturn in Scorpio.  The trine between Pisces Neptune and Scorpio Saturn is the silver lining to remember amidst the chaos of the approaching Uranus-Pluto square, and it’s harmonious aspects should be activated by the cacophony from Uranus and Pluto. This trine in water signs between Neptune and Saturn connects with the Pleiades because it goes along with the idea of developing a discipline or practice to help focus and release energies.  Our bodies are mostly made of water, and in many ways we are liquid beings possessing a high level of responsiveness to the vibration of our environments, but more importantly by the vibration of our own thoughts, emotions, and being.  As the research of Dr. Emoto has shown the transformative and purifying effect of human prayer and intention on water, so can we transform and purify our own being through the power of our mind, intentions, and the vibrations we radiate internally and externally.  According to Barbara Hand Clow and others who have “worked” with Pleiadian entities, this knowledge that we can transform our own beings as well as what we are co-creating in our life is part of what the Pleiadians are revealing to us.    The Pleiades are also connected with Neptune because two of the seven sisters had children with Poseidon.  The mating of the Pleiades with Gods is not uncommon- in fact, six out of the seven sisters did so:

  1. Maia, the eldest, was the mother of Hermes by Zeus.

  2. Electra was the mother of Dardanus and Iasion by Zeus

  3. Taygete was the mother of Lacedaemon by Zeus

  4. Alcyone was the mother of Hyrieus, Hyperenor, and Aethusa by Poseidon

  5. Celaeno was the mother of Lycus and Eurypylus by Poseidon

  6. Sterope was the mother of Oenomaus by Ares.

  7. Merope, the youngest,gained the admiration and attention of Orion.  In some myths she marries Sisyphus, becomes mortal, and gives birth to several sons.  As a result she is sometimes referred to as the “lost Pleiades,” and is associated with the least bright star in the constellation.

There are many versions in Greek myth of how the seven sisters became stars, but in most of them it is associated with some sort of trauma they experienced as a repercussion of the wars for power amongst ancient deities.  To review, Uranus was castrated by his Titan son Cronus (Saturn) who seized power; then Cronus was later taken down by Zeus (Jupiter) who likewise seized the power from his father, and assigned rulerships to his brothers and sisters, including the eldest brother Hades (Pluto), the one currently in a “fight” with Uranus above us today.  As a result of the war between the Titans and the Olympians, Zeus took action to ensure that Uranus would not be able to birth more threatening archetypes, so he made the Titan Atlas stand on Earth, or Gaia, and hold aloft the celestial spheres, or Uranus, so that Uranus and Gaia would remain separated.  The Pleiades, being the daughters of Atlas, would obviously have been saddened to see their father trapped into this role.

In one story, Orion began to chase the Pleiades after their father Atlas was forced to carry the celestial spheres, and so Zeus transformed the sisters into doves, and then into stars in order to appease Atlas.  This version has the interesting aspect of Zeus trying to do something nice for Atlas, when Zeus was the one who forced Atlas to carry the weight of the celestial spheres in the first place.  This to me is like a political figurehead making overtures to honor the dead or wounded, knowing full well that they were intricately involved in the complicated karmic stew of events that wounded or killed the person in the first place.  We certainly are seeing quite a bit of that these days here in the United States of America.  And speaking of the United States of America and our governmental “leaders,” Zeus or Jupiter being in the sign of Gemini during this time reminds me of how the U.S. government is not being very subtle recently about it’s shifting into a totalitarian police state in control of all media forms of communication, able to seize the cell phone records or email history of any individual it wants, at any time.  Up until now, many of us have been complicit with this- just look around at the vast number of people obsessively plugged into smart phones, tablets, and mobile devices they are literally carrying with them everywhere, all ultimately connected to the same funding sources that are controlling the media and the government.  This also goes along with the Gemini Jupiter use of the media by corporate powers hoping to force as much distracting crap on the American populace as possible on television and through all news outlets, hoping people do not realize what is actually happening right now.  Although this has been true for a very long time, the rate of this media deception is becoming extraordinarily alarming to me recently.  There will most likely be some significant events occurring in this upcoming time period of the Uranus-Pluto square, so hopefully we the people will start taking the responsibility to wake the hell up.  Hopefully, the trine between Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces will help dissolve the illusions underlying the perceptions and reality we are living, and align us more with the actual truth of our lives, giving us the courage to face the truth of our lives in the process and take accountability for being the change we wish to see in the world around us.

But I am getting off my point about how the Pleiades went from being sisters to stars in myth.  In the most tragic version I know of, the seven sisters decide to commit suicide because of the deep sadness they were carrying because of the fate forced upon their father Atlas to carry the celestial spheres, or in other variations because of losing their other sisters the Hyades.  In this version of the myth, Zeus again decides to honor them by immortalizing them as stars in the sky.  I feel this suicide story may be why you will traditionally see some astrologers link the Pleiades with sorrows, misfortunes, and tragedies.  However, I do not believe there needs to be such dark energy associated with the meaning of the Pleiades; at most I feel the connection has to do with how we can recover from sorrowful events and cope with our emotions.  Because the Greek myths have a clear link between the sorrow of the Pleiades with their father’s involvement in the war between the Titans and Olympians, I feel in particular the Pleiades can help us cope with the trauma of the collective oppression and trauma people around our planet have been subjugated to as a result of world leaders focused upon war, destruction, and manipulating events for gains of global power.  When we are facing intense and traumatic times in our collective, if we hope to facilitate and manifest the positive change we want to see happen, we need to be able to keep our own emotions and responses in balance so that we can effectively respond in way that is truly aligned with our inner integrity and authority.  These issues are vital to our ability to develop a healthy and balanced use of our Third Chakra, again a chakra likely to be stirred up at this time.

Indeed, the Pleiades have a positive life affirming meaning, and have been a significant star focus, for many groups of people around the Earth in addition to the Greeks, in particular with many indigenous cultures.  I know I often explore Greek myth in writing since their myths are the basis of the names we commonly associate with planetary archetypes in Western Astrology, but it is at least as fascinating to explore the mythic meaning of the star constellation labeled the Pleiades by the Greeks, through the mythic lens of other cultures (hopefully I will make the time to do so in a subsequent post).  The rising of the Pleiades before sunrise was used by many ancient people to mark their calendars, and by many indigenous people as a time telling device.  In the Americas, the Aztecs used the Pleiades as a basis for their calendar, and the Hopi built ceremonial spaces in which a hole in the ceiling would reveal the glow of the Pleiades at a specific time to begin a ritual.  Interestingly, in many diverse cultures the seven stars have been seen as seven sisters for ages, such as with the aboriginal people of Australia and the Nez Perce of the Northwest USA.  I sense such mystery about the Pleiades that I am hoping to center and sense what types of signs, symbols, and events end up being associated with this time period containing so many astrological connections to them.

Seven Sisters by Jennifer Sea

Last year at this time, on May 20, 2012 there was a Solar Eclipse conjunct the Pleiades.  And as I have already mentioned, this year on May 20 when the Sun is conjunct the star Alcyone of the Pleiades, there is going to be an exact square between Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries.  So to honor the date of May 20 and it’s solar connection to the Pleiades, I am going to share some musical work of two geniuses who have birthdays near May 20.  Perhaps it is because my natal moon is conjunct the Pleiades at 2 degrees Gemini, as well as the birthday of both of these musicians, but I feel that each of their energies incorporates some of the synthesizing skills of the Pleiades in weaving together musical styles.  And music is also a perfect example of the transformation offered through intentional vibration that the Pleiades are here to offer us.  The first is a genius of the popular music format, Fats Waller, who was born on May 21, 1904 and below can be heard singing one of his romantic jingles in the unique style that only Fats could deliver:

And Sun Ra, born May 22, 1914.  Sun Ra has his own resonance with being in contact with the energy of outer space, having a vision as a young man in which he was taken to a planet he identified as Saturn, where he was told he could respond to the chaos that was coming to his planet Earth through communicating through music.  Taking the name Sun Ra, he said he was from Saturn, and his music has an energy to it I associate with the Pleiades, for whatever reason:

References

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleiades_(Greek_mythology)
  2. Oken, Alan.  Soul Centered Astrology

Isis: Archetype of Love and Devotion

Isis by Euphoria

Isis in Astrology

Asteroid #42

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Isis wall painting

Love and Devotion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Magdalen Manuscript, p. 37

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Isis126

References

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isis

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

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

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

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

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

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