Super Pisces Full Moon

Morris-Graves-1941-The-Moon-The-Sea

Morris Graves, The Moon and the Sea (1941)

The Full Moon on September 8 is another Super Moon, meaning that the Moon will be as close to Earth as it gets in orbit, appearing larger in our sky, having a more extreme impact on the tides of our water, and looming larger in our consciousness as well (the term Super Moon was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle and can refer to either a New Moon or Full Moon).  This Pisces Full Moon is also the traditional Harvest Moon in the northern hemisphere, meaning it is the Full Moon closest to the Autumn Equinox.  This is the fifth and final Super Moon of 2014, and the third “Super” Full Moon in a row (July 12 and August 10, 2014 were also Full Super Moons): a time to reap insights from this past year of experiences before we head into the eclipse season of October 2014.

This Full Moon will be stirring up the lunar waters of our emotions and perceptions in the second decan of Pisces (there are three decans, ten degrees each, in the thirty degrees of each sign in the zodiac).  In the recently published 36 Faces, Austin Coppock discerned a core concept of Pisces II: integrating into our material realm the spiritual insights and ideals found in the seeker’s plunge into the deep:

Here the central concept is how to reconcile one’s understandings of the true nature of reality with the world-as-it-is. It is thus a face of finding harmony with apparent reality of things while living and embodying one’s ideals . . . This is the phase in which we are challenged to reconcile beliefs, ideals and the way things are. The result of this successful reconciliation is “Happiness,” which the associated Nine of Cups takes as its name in The Book of Thoth. The result of an inability to reconcile one with the other, will, however, yield the inverse- misery, the state of one for whom there is no harmony between their inner and outer (p. 251-52).

During 2014 we have had many transits correlating to a greater capacity to go within and explore the subterranean world of our unconscious, our deep-set patterns, and all the gems and ghosts within our psyche.  If we have done the hard work of connecting to our true ideals we may feel shocked when re-entering the world at large and not sensing an outlet or receiver for the cherished beliefs we unearthed, the vision resonate with our more fully realized self.  A Super Moon illuminating the polarity of the Pisces and Virgo axis in the Pisces II decan is like wading out of the ocean under a starry sky ablaze with the glow of a luminous white Moon, feeling aglow with an inexpressible sense of pure being as we take our first steps onto moist sand that turns drier with each step back toward land and away from water.

As the insights into the divine or the eternal we received in our oceanic sojourn are essentially inexpressible or impossible to be captured in a true form, the importance at this time is what we do exactly with the presence we have felt within and how we integrate what we have sensed of the profound into our mundane daily reality.  If we deny ourselves our blissful yearning, if we choose to focus on the realistic, secure, and safe direction instead of risking faith in the unknown beckoning us from our depths, we run the risk of living an unfulfilled life that no level of material security may remedy.  And yet this is the crux of this potent lunation, as the Virgo to the Pisces going on wants us to integrate what we have managed to perceive beyond the boundaries of our consensus societal reality into this same society whose folly we can see through.

Jupiter is a key at this time to help us intuit how to function in our world, as Jupiter is a ruler of the second decan of Pisces in addition to ruling the sign of Pisces traditionally.  Jupiter is in Leo at the time of the Harvest Full Moon, and this fiery Jupiter that wants us to creatively actualize our destiny is holding intense aspects to two mythic figures rooted in harvest equinox time:  Pluto and Ceres.  As a result, we likely have attachments that we will have to release, crippling inner fears that must be made aware to be overcome.  There could be a sacrificial element in all of this in which we must willingly or unwillingly release what is no longer useful to the future that is calling us forward, to which we feel we must surrender.

Neptune and Amphitrite

Amphitrite and Neptune, 16th Century French, Lead

Many modern astrologers believe that Neptune in Pisces, and not Jupiter in Leo, is ruling this Full Moon. No matter what your astrological belief, however, Neptune in Pisces looms large at this time, as Venus in Virgo is opposite it.  In fact, Neptune in Pisces has been integral to the entire waxing Moon we have been experiencing, as the last New Moon in Virgo was opposite Neptune.  While Neptune enjoys itself in Pisces, Venus has not been known to have such a rollicking time in Virgo and in fact has been given the label of being in its “fall” in Virgo.  This is because Virgo is seen as a mental sign of critical discrimination that may not be open to all of the pleasure that Venus has to offer.  But while Virgo may be seen by some as too judgmental and too much of a perfectionist for the good of Venus, we also find here in the fertile Virgin the ultimate spiritual receptacle capable of receiving the full expanse of the illumination available at this time.

Venus in Virgo opposite Neptune in Pisces at a time of the Sun in Virgo being opposite a Pisces Moon of great gravity brings with it the issue of reality versus illusion, and spiritual discernment versus spiritual delusion.   Everything depends upon the quality of one’s consciousness at this time and one’s capacities of perception:  some could experience an epiphany whereas others could find themselves lost in a fog of illusion.   Going within, getting away from the associations overwhelming your everyday reality, re-connecting with your source inside of yourself, all of these are ways to help you figure out what is really brewing in between your gut, heart, and mind.  Venus in Virgo can help us with discernment, but we also do not want to discriminate to such a degree that we cut ourselves off from desires connected to us getting more in touch with our authentic self because of a judgmental sense that these desires are not realistic, practical, or capable of manifesting for us in our reality at this time.  This is tricky terrain with no easy answers, so do not take the easy way out.  Connecting with your authentic nature, actualizing more of your core calling, is not only good for you, it is good for all of us.

Along these lines this intensity between Virgo and Pisces is amplified to the highest extremes by Chiron in Pisces being conjunct the Full Moon and opposite the Virgo Sun. In combination with Venus in Virgo opposing Neptune in Pisces, there is an electrical charge to the atmosphere at this time instigating flashes of insight into the entire collective story swirling around all of us, including not only the full arch of this epic storyline across time but also how exactly we are fitting into it in this moment of now.  Yes, Chiron is associated with wounds and we may have a gaping wound of our psyche exposed at this time. Yes, Chiron is associated with unflinching heroism, and we may seize the opportunity to take a courageous stand against the sickening oppression saturating our collective.  Yes, Chiron is associated with healing, and we may suddenly notice something in our environment at this time that is the exact remedy capable of nurturing our needs or injuries.  It may be an overplayed storyline that we are all connected but it is nonetheless true, and we can now more easily feel the inter-connectivity of all and the resulting significance of every daily choice we make contributing at least a small ripple to the wider tides.

amaranth by leo kenney

Amaranth by Leo Kenny

If one opens perception to the asteroid goddesses, there is a Grand Water Trine occurring at this Full Moon between Juno in Cancer, Saturn conjunct Vesta in Scorpio, and the Full Moon conjunct Chiron in Pisces.  This triangular circuit is a mainline into the undercurrents and emotional atmosphere of our surroundings and beyond into the greater collective consciousness of this time.  As there has been a lot of darkness and despair in current events, it would be wise to focus on self-care to purify and nourish our sense of self so that negativity around us does not lead us to turn it on ourselves.  It will please Juno to withdraw for a time in order to develop a greater capacity to return to relationships with a renewed ability to nurture, and Vesta collaborating with Saturn in Scorpio is not going to want us to be in denial of where our focus truly needs to be directed at this time.  All together these aspects align well with the earlier stated intent of this Full Moon in Pisces being about integrating our ideals in some way into our environment.  If we cut ourselves off from our ideal, from that cherished person, desire, or belief that makes us feel alive, these same aspects could make us spin out in despair. We need to use the supreme sustaining power of Vesta and Saturn in Scorpio to find a way to bring our dreams into our reality in whatever way we can right now.

A fortuitous ally in this pursuit will be Pallas Athena, who is joining her supreme creative intelligence with Mercury in the sign of Libra.  This Pallas Athena-Mercury conjunction has a lot of aspects at this Full Moon:  opposite Uranus in Aries, square Pluto in Capricorn, sextile Jupiter in Leo, opposite the South Node of the Moon in Aries, and conjunct the North Node of the Moon in Libra.  Mercury and Venus are having somewhat of an affair at this time, as they are in the mutual receptivity of Venus being in the sign ruled by Mercury and Mercury being in the sign ruled by Venus.  Add in the crafty Pallas Athena to the equation and we have a mix that can help us strategize a creative use of our spiritual perceptions, as both Mercury and Pallas Athena can perceive in between worlds.  Since the material world may seem to be operating on a more distasteful wavelength than the vibe of our desired vision, we may need to be assertively evoke Pallas Athena to preside over the manifestation of our ideal:

Female and male, the arts of war are thine,
Fanatic, much-formed dragoness, divine:
Over the Phlegrean giants, roused to ire,
Thy coursers driving, with destruction dire.
Sprung from the head of Jove, of splendid mien,
Purger of evils, all-victorious queen.
Hear me, O Goddess, when to thee I pray,
With supplicating voice both night and day,
And in my latest hour, give peace and health,
Propitious times, and necessary wealth,
And, ever present, be thy votaries aid,
O, much implored, art’s parent, blue-eyed maid.

–from the Orphic Hymn to the Goddess Athena

http://www.goddess-athena.org/Encyclopedia/Rituals/Hymns/Orphic.htm

We will need Pallas Athena to lend all of her dynamic power to a Mercury in Libra that can move between worlds to unite us with our beloved in the form of a Venus in Virgo receiving emanations from Neptune, because we must face the crisis and catharsis associated with Pluto in Capricorn.  For many of us this is the power structure surrounding us and the constraints and impositions of hierarchical societal systems that do not seem to be open to us pursuing our yearnings and instead seem to want to enslave us through needs to pay off debts, rents, bills, and so on.  Coming in for additional support, however, are a couple of heavyweights who know how to handle Pluto:  Jupiter in Leo and Uranus in Aries.  At the time of the Full Moon, Jupiter and Uranus are beginning to enter a trine of Fire, and though Mercury, Pallas Athena, and Uranus are all square to Pluto, the Sun and Full Moon hold harmonious aspects to the Lord of the Underworld.  All together these are yet another sign that we can have the ability at this time to ignite ourselves from within and configure a way to integrate more of our ideals into our reality.

morris graves offering

Offering by Morris Graves, 1957

All of the Scorpio energy in recent times seems to be heavy on the hearts of many: Ceres, Vesta, Saturn, and Mars all in Scorpio, with Ceres tightly in a square to Jupiter in Leo at the moment.  Jupiter is also inconjunct Pluto in Capricorn, and so our desire to integrate our ideals or insights into our society at this time will be difficult, it will mean we have to release attachments and suffer losses, but it is entirely possible.  There has been a piercing quality to this energy making it difficult if not impossible to be in denial of our core feelings or hide from the truth being revealed about the identity for ourselves we have been fixated upon.  However, Mars is now entering the end of the final decan of Scorpio, giving us a final period of time to root ourselves further into our deepest soul desires.  The more we can connect with our authentic desires with the aid of this luminous Full Moon, the better, for Mars next enters Sagittarius and by the end of September we will have a Grand Fire Trine of Mars in Sagittarius, Uranus in Aries, and Jupiter in Leo to propel us forward with passion toward our ideal.

So much Scorpio energy could have been coinciding with fears of betrayal or being betrayed, grasping and clinging to attachments we are afraid we could lose.  And yet, in Scorpio we also find our capacity to release and regenerate, to enter a death of our old ego identity in order to rebirth a more fully realized self. For now, remember that dark times are necessary in order to fully savor the light, we must become aware of our fears to overcome our inner inhibitions, and we have to realize what we do not want in order to know what we do want.  And if you allow me to insert yet another cliche here, we are at a reaping time: so don’t fear the reaper.

PiscesFullMoonWRIGC1

References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces. Three Hands Press.

A Light in the Darkness

December 21-23, 2012

The times surrounding the Winter Solstice of 2012

We all knew the world wasn’t going to end today (at least I hope you knew), but the sudden mass shift into higher consciousness and rainbow light predicted by some new age philosophers hasn’t exactly been happening either.  Many of us have been inundated in tragedy, stress, suffering, grief, and madness.  That being said, there have been some interesting developments: for example in USA politics, there have been some movements and shifts on a status quo level that would have seemed unlikely several months ago.

Many of us into astrology have been navigating a storm of astrology works talking about the Yod, or finger of fate, happening right now, so I won’t bore you by going into detail.  For those who don’t know about this, a Yod is an aspect of destiny that can involve sudden shifts, and so symbolically does go along with the shift of consciousness predicted for this time period. This yod has Scorpio Saturn and Capricorn Pluto at the base in mutual reception, both streaming energy into Gemini Jupiter.  This yod has been extra intense because first Mercury triggered it this past week by being in opposition to Jupiter in Sagitarius, and now Venus is in opposition to Jupiter triggering the whole dynamic.

Did you think this was going to be easy?  Pluto, Saturn, and Jupiter are in our face showing us everything that is wrong with our society.  We have had a mass murder of children that has gripped the mainstream media and culture in the USA, serving as a perfect example of the evil that can come out the power dynamics of our society.  Yes, we have assault weapons readily available for purchase at Wal-Mart.  More importantly, we have a culture deluged with violence and a culture filled with mental health issues.  Most, if not all of us, have mental health issues.  And most, if not all of us, are in denial of our mental health issues.  Some people have more intense mental health issues.  But in general we have yet to figure out a way to heal our mental health issues on a systematic level.  And the way the system is currently working to heal mental health issues, such as the psychiatric system drugging people on a mass level, clearly is not working.  To be clear, medications do work for some people who are able to find the right chemical balance for their brain;  for many people, however, the psychiatric drug system does not work for their greater holistic health.  And on a systematic level, we don’t currently have a lot of other options-  therapies can be great, but many people don’t have the health insurance or do not pursue therapy for whatever personal reason.

When we look at the placement of Jupiter at this time of the Solstice, we can see it all.  Jupiter is moving retrograde in Gemini, and at the root of all of this is the old patriarchal beliefs that still hold mass sway over our culture.  Jupiter is being set off at nine degrees of Gemini, and the Sabian Symbol for this degree is so perfect, I will quote it in entirety for those without access:

Gemini 9: A Quiver filled with arrows

Man’s aggressive relationship to natural life, as a basis for survival and conquest.

The bow and arrow represent symbolically man’s ability to extend the scope of his conquest of nature and to kill enemies in order to build a larger base for the collective development of a culture and an organized society. Implied in the symbol of the arrow is the piercing of a target. The mind of man is essentially a trans-piercing power; it goes through the object toward which it is aimed.  It seeks to go through and beyond the obstacles on its path, and this usually implies the destruction of the obstacle.  At a higher level- as in the Zen practice of archery- the obstacle is the ego.

~from Dane Rudhyar’s An Astrological Mandala: The Cycle of Transformations and its 360 Symbolic Phases

Dane Rudhyar’s interpretation of this symbol as being a Zen practice of archery to destroy the ego I believe is the potential for the shift of consciousness that could occur for many at this time.  There is so much oppression and tragedy happening in the world right now, it is forcing many of us to let go of ego beliefs we had been holding on to tightly in the face of the tragic circumstances we are witnessing.

Indeed, Dane Rudhyar’s interpretation for the placement of Saturn in Scorpio at nine degrees at this time sheds further light on current developments:

Scorpio 9: A Dentist At Work

Keynote: Overcoming the negative results of social practices and ego-cravings.

Social living and cultural patterns impose upon us certain habits of eating, arouse desires for unwholesome or denaturated food, force us perhaps to eat in tense circumstances and hurriedly. This results in tooth decay far more frequently than should be inevitable through aging. The symbol therefore shows us how society and civilization, which may indirectly cause tooth decay, then have to invent means to skillfully repair the damage.

Saturn is the karmic taskmaster who will cyclically point to the deepest individual and collective patterns for us to focus on and address; if we do not, we are often faced with an intense experience integrating multiple symbols of the karmic pattern.  At this time, Saturn in Scorpio in this yod at this degree reflects the complex interwoven fabric of societal influences that have tightened over centuries of human egoic conquest of nature, and has resulted today in not only widespread oppression, but in the USA a situation in which souls lost in this societal fog who commit mass murders is becoming a familiar news story.

The need for us to devise solutions on a societal level to heal problems created on our societal level has been reflected in the transits of Mercury recently.  During this past week Mercury continued its spellbinding journey of 2012 by triggering this yod exactly and now crossing the Great Attractor.  There are huge debates in the USA occurring right now about topics at the root of our cultural difficulties, a debate that didn’t even seem possible to have earlier in the year.  Many pundits and people are devising various solutions that should come out of our government or from other places of power to try to repair the damage caused by the very same forces that sustain the government and give the pundits their position in our culture.  It isn’t exactly surprising, therefore, that the pundits and the representatives of government haven’t been able to devise any successful solution.  It will be up to the people, taking individual power and responsibility, and then linking that awareness with others to create a larger movement for change, for any effective long-term solution to emerge.

In fact, the spiritual component of recent tragedies could be that it can often take crises and cataclysms for people to wake up and shift their perspective, work on shifting their beliefs, and have their awareness and consciousness opened and expanded.  The final piece of the yod, Pluto in Capricorn at nine degrees, has the sabian symbol of An angel carrying a harp with the keynote of “the revelation of the spiritual meaning and purpose at the core of any life situation” (Rudhyar, p. 235).  Even in the worst of times, if we want to avoid becoming mired and stagnant in suffering, we must have the courage to look for a spiritual meaning behind the events and consequences, and look to find the places where an opportunity for our personal growth has occurred.  Pluto in Capricorn has been reflecting the need of society to transform it’s systematic power structure, and like everything with Pluto, this societal transformation will continue to get more intense as Pluto moves deeper into Capricorn.  The intense crises and tragedies happening around the world at this time reflect deep issues at the core of our collective being in need of transformation and evolution.

And now at this time of the Solstice, into the mix steps Venus in Sagitarius:

What could be the evolutionary purpose for ourselves and humanity with Venus in Sagitarius triggering this yod at the time of the solstice?  Well, Jeffrey Wolf Green in Pluto Volume II: The Soul’s Evolution through Relationships describes the evolutionary purpose of Venus in Sagitarius as a “deep need to discover and actualize their own personal truth . . . a guiding philosophy of life in order to have a core sense of meaning and purpose” (p. 168-9).  Green draws attention to the ability of Venus in Sagitarius to possess strong intuitive powers, and fittingly, at this time of the Solstice it will be important to pay attention to our intuition and follow it instead of being directed by more of a left-brain rational process.  Green describes the evolutionary lesson for Venus in Sagitarius, seen in the point of Gemini occupied by Jupiter at the moment, to be  to “learn that their particular point of view, their truth, and their beliefs are relative, and not the only or absolute truth” (p. 173).

All of the difficulties and suffering we could be experiencing at this time are connected with our beliefs and our perceptions mixed into the various beliefs and perspectives around us, particularly the dominant perspectives and beliefs taken to be the absolute truth by the dominant culture and status quo.  The shadow side of Venus in Sagitarius is thinking that our perspective is right, feeling like we should convert other people to our perspective instead of allowing them the space to hold their own opinion and perspective, being overly defensive and dogmatic about our own beliefs in the process.  The tragedies of these times are calling all of us, no matter how enlightened you believe yourself to be, to critically examine our beliefs and the roots and foundations of those beliefs, and to realize that our belief system is not the one and only absolute truth.  Unfortunately, as we have seen, part of the major problem of these times has been people holding on tightly to their beliefs and refusing to compromise or be open to other points of view.  As Venus sets off this yod we may experience more events that will work to help force this shift of perspective.

Finally, as I mentioned in my November blog post, there is also now a second triple Goddess T-Square involving Ceres in Gemini moving retrograde squaring Pallas Athena in Pisces almost exactly, and in a wider opposition to Juno in Capricorn at the Solstice point.  Yes, at the time of the solstice Juno is almost exactly conjunct the Sun at zero degrees Capricorn (I also wrote about Juno in a blog post earlier in October).

Vesta in Gemini moving retrograde out of a triple goddess t-square and being replaced by Ceres moving retrograde in Gemini has many ramifications.  In the USA current event news cycle of this time period, the most obvious symbol has been all of the mother issues coming out of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary school, from the mother murdered by her son, to the extraordinary mothering instinct for the lost children as well as their own children that has been triggered in mass USA culture.  The Ceres/Demeter myth is so powerful in our collective consciousness because of the personal connection all parents can feel for her tremendous grief and rage over losing her daughter Persephone to Pluto/Hades and the underworld.

Ceres in astrology represents mothering issues including the myriad emotions surrounding the attachment disorder that is so widespread in our USA culture.  A son murdering his mother en route to a mass murder is a horrific example that is uncommon.  What is more common, however,  is the generational family cycles of children not having their emotional needs met through nurturing in their early childhood development, an issue that is then transmitted through the later parenting of their own children, and as this is passed down and children grow up, as adults they can have difficulty forming and sustaining attachment in relationships- or have a distorted over attachment to relationships that are not healthy for them and in which they are not truly having their emotional needs met.

In Asteroid Goddesses Demetra George describes Ceres in Gemini issues revolving around education, communication, listening, and transmission of knowledge.  Difficulties could stem from low academic self-esteem, feeling “mental inadequacy,” or attempting to “intellectually impress or verbally manipulate others” (p. 64).  In addition, George describes stressful aspects between Ceres and Juno as being about conflicts with a partner and especially an ex-partner in parenting and raising children, conflicts in relationships through partnership responsibilities, or discontent with a relational role such as being a husband or a mother.  Furthermore, George describes issues coming from a stressful aspect between Ceres and Pallas Athena as being about rejecting one’s mother while overidentifying with one’s father:  “this can manifest as the alienation from one’s feminine origins and nature which in turn can block one’s creative abilities” (p. 75).

Along these lines, Ceres is carrying a powerful message for us at this time of the solstice.  We need to be able to integrate our feminine, nurturing, compassionate, and mothering side of our nature into our intellectual and creative expression (Pallas Athena) as well as into our relational roles and responsibilities in the world (Juno).  If we feel resistance to connecting more deeply in an intimate relationship, investigate if we have an attachment “disorder” of some sort operating under the surface, and push through it for the growth.  Combined with Venus in Sagitarius, we need to re-connect with and follow our intuition, letting go of the belief system we tend to rationally react from. Blessed be, please.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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