Synchrony of Mars and Saturn

L'Enigme_de_Gustave_Doré

L’Enigme (1870) by Gustave Dore

L’Enigme by Gustave Dore is a famous representation of profound despair over the destruction wrought by humanity, an apocalyptic atmosphere brought on by the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.  Dore has been said to have been inspired by the Victor Hugo verse, “What a spectacle! Thus dies everything that man creates! A past such as this is a deep abyss for the soul!”  When the war in 1870 between France and Prussia began, there was an opposition between Mars in Gemini and Saturn in Sagittarius.  In 2016 we have been experiencing an extended period of time heavily influenced by Mars and Saturn that has coincided with numerous collective events inducing fear and terror.

Every night in recent months  we have been able to watch the red planet Mars aglow in a triangular formation with Saturn and the fixed star Antares.  Ever since Mars stationed retrograde in mid-April at nine degrees of Sagittarius conjoining the fixed star Antares, with Saturn co-present at sixteen degrees of Sagittarius, Mars has been destined to return to Sagittarius in August 2016 and come into conjunction with both Saturn and Antares.  Mars and Saturn will exactly conjoin on August 24 at ten degrees of Sagittarius, but for most of August and September they will be co-present in Sagittarius and especially close between the middle of August and beginning of September.  What has made this period of Mars and Saturn even more difficult is the simultaneous square formed between Neptune in Pisces and Saturn, a square that will become activated to new levels in August when Mars joins with Saturn in tension to Neptune.

Mars and Saturn are categorized as malefic planets in traditional astrology because they are said to cause trouble and signify difficult experiences.  Yet, it is also not true that Mars and Saturn always signify negative experiences by transit, no more than do the benefic planets Venus and Jupiter always signify positive experiences by transit.  The crucial aspect is what condition these planets find themselves in the natal chart when analyzing one’s individual experience.  There are also of course positive ways to work with both Saturn and Mars.

An excellent source for the origins of these views on Mars and Saturn is Vettius Valens, a second century Hellenistic astrologer from modern day Turkey who traveled extensively, including through Egypt, in search of astrological knowledge.  A working astrologer, Valens in his Anthologies gave lists for the significations of Saturn and Mars which reveal their malefic nature.  For Saturn, Valens noted it is the “Star of Nemesis” and included such descriptions as malignant, petty, self-deprecating, solitary, deceitful, strict, miserable, humblings, sluggishness, obstacles and subversions in business, griefs, tears, and bereavement, yet also “puts into one’s hands great ranks and distinguished positions.”  For Mars, Valens wrote it “controls the hard and abrupt” and gave descriptions including force, wars, violence, banishment, exile, lies, vain hopes, looting, anger, fighting, lawsuits, wandering, quarrels, yet also both love affairs and marriages, craftwork, masonry, campaigns and leadership, and actions involving fire or iron.

Across time in astrology there has been developed ways of working with Mars and Saturn that focus on positive outcomes that can come from their union, such as welding the passionate, burning energy of Mars to the disciplined, determined focus of Saturn.  Yet even when put into positive terminology, Mars and Saturn correlate with overcoming challenges, working hard, and persisting with commitment rather than anything to do with luxuriating in soft comforts of pleasure.  And indeed, Mars and Saturn can correlate with incredibly difficult, traumatic situations of loss and suffering that lay souls bare.  In combination with the square between Neptune and Saturn, the difficult experiences of this time can provoke profound disillusionment and despair.  In such circumstances in which external sources of stability are shaken, one must turn within in order to nurture one’s ability to find meaning and security or risk falling into despondency.  In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the brooding prince suffering from the murder of his father famously gave the following speech that voices disenchantment with the world of humanity:

“I have of late, -but wherefore I know not,- lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and, indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire,- why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving, how express and admirable! In action, how like an angel! In apprehension, how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no, nor woman neither . . . “

Though Hamlet has been interpreted as struggling with inaction in his story, and Saturn can be a constrictive influence on Mars, typically Mars and Saturn correspond with the types of challenges that necessitate action in order to stabilize or survive.  Interestingly, in late September 1604 Shakespeare would have experienced a transit of Mars conjoining Saturn at ten degrees of Sagittarius- this would have been a couple of years after Hamlet had been written and performed, and may have coincided with his writing of Othello which was performed in November 1604.

Unlike Hamlet in the above quote, recent experiences may have brought one to find greater sustenance in the radiance of the natural world as mediation for personal difficulties, or solace in relationships involving deep, loyal bonds- yet disillusionment and catharsis regarding past desires or beliefs is likely.  The influence of Neptune in square to Saturn during this period of Mars-Saturn challenges was described brilliantly by Richard Tarnas in his essay The Ideal and the Real about hard aspects between Saturn and Neptune:  archetypes which bring up issues of “matter versus spirit, the concretely empirical and literal versus the imaginative and the ideal, the finite and temporal versus the infinite and eternal.”  Analyzing the work of William Blake, Oscar Wilde, and James Hillman (individuals who were all born with Saturn and Neptune in hard aspect), Tarnas wrote “in all three of these individuals, one can also recognize a definite impulse towards deconstructive skepticism, a passion to strip away illusions and hypocrisies, as well as emphatically critical attitudes toward conventional philosophical and religious beliefs expressed in work after work.”  As Hamlet remarked to his good friend Horatio, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Adding Mars into the mix of the square between Saturn and Neptune influences the revelation of illusions and hypocrisies that will come about in August and September to involve archetypal themes of Mars such as strife, separation, conflict, and burning passions.  Neptune and Saturn will form their third and final exact square in this series on 10 September 2016 at ten degrees of Sagittarius and Pisces, with Mars occupying twenty degrees of Sagittarius at that time.  Previously, when Saturn and Neptune formed a square on 17 June 2016, Mars was retrograde in Scorpio.  At the first square between Saturn and Neptune on 26 November 2015 at seven degrees of Pisces and Sagittarius, Mars was at eight degrees of Libra and so forming a sextile to Saturn but not creating a catalytic influence as it will in the month ahead.

Bonatti-Saturn

from Guido Bonatti’s Decem Tractatus Astronomiae (1491)

This year’s conjunction between Mars and Saturn stands out for a few reasons:  the extended period of time due to Mars retrograde that Saturn and Mars engage with one another, the square with Neptune in Pisces, and the additional conjunction of Mars and Saturn with the fixed star Antares. Antares is named for being the “rival of Mars” because it is a giant binary star that glows red in our night sky. Considered to be the heart of the Scorpion constellation, Antares is one of the four ancient royal stars of Persia that were utilized in the past by sky watchers to anchor the seasons, with Antares holding down the season of Fall.  Ptolemy linked Antares with Mars and Jupiter, Vivian Robson portrayed Antares as destructive and obstinate, and while Reinhold Ebertin deduced Antares can give mental sharpness and courage, if combined with Mars Ebertin believed the bravery of Antares would become reckless and dangerous.  There is a long tradition of warning about the dangers of hubris combined with headstrong martial force in connection to Antares, yet the clearly forceful and determined correspondences of Antares could also be put to thoughtful use.

The current presidential election in the United States of America fits well with these traditional themes of Mars, Saturn, and Antares as the two candidates are despised by the majority of the population in part for their hubris, dishonesty, and corruption.  It is a unique election in which neither candidate is seen as being likable, and as a result both campaigns will likely be even more aggressive in attacks against one another than normal.  Furthermore, the recent Republican Convention was dominated by chaos and conflict, with political rival Ted Cruz becoming booed off stage for refusing to endorse Donald Trump, and numerous speakers calling for opponent Hilary Clinton to be locked up in prison, Ben Carson going as far as to link her with Lucifer. Then, there was the acceptance speech given by Donald Trump that not only was the longest in recorded convention history but also had the unique presentation of having almost every word shouted with anger.  Continuing the trend of disastrous conflict, as the Democratic Convention prepared to open a political scandal erupted confirming that the Democratic National Committee had been conspiring against the candidacy of Bernie Sanders during the primary elections.

In Europe and the Middle East, the refugee crisis has been a longstanding issue that links more with the timing of the square between Saturn and Neptune than the influence of Mars and Saturn.  However, the use of fear over refugees helped fuel the shocking Brexit vote in which the United Kingdom separated from the European Union, a Mars shockwave of strife that will have far reaching influence and now needs to be dealt with in Saturn-like fashion.  There has also been a string of mass murders that have caused terror in recent months in both the United States and Europe, as well as increases in violence in the wars that were already waging.  In addition, the protests by Black Lives Matter and other activists in the United States against the killing of African Americans by law enforcement have risen to amplified levels of conflict in the past month following the killing of law enforcement officers by lone renegade gunmen.  These are just some of the collective conflicts that will be feeding into the challenges being worked out in correspondence with the conjunction between Mars, Saturn, and Antares in the next month.

Bonatti-Mars

From Guido Bonatti’s Decem Tractatus Astronomiae (1491) 

Typically when Mars and Saturn conjoin it is a short-term transit.  Mars conjoined Saturn in Sagittarius the last time in February 1986 at nine degrees, and by the end of the following March the red planet had already left Sagittarius.  The last time there was extended interplay between Mars and Saturn was in 1984, when Mars conjoined Saturn in Scorpio in February 1984 at seventeen degrees.  In April 1984, Mars stationed retrograde at the end of Scorpio and moved back to come very close to conjoining Saturn again in June 1984 when it stationed direct at 12 degrees with Saturn retrograde at 11 degrees.  During this time period in 1984 there were numerous collective conflicts such as Iran accusing Iraq of using chemical weapons in their war.  It was also the period of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, and it was at this time that the Soviet Union announced it would boycott the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles, California.

Athletics and other arenas of competition will be appropriate outlets to unleash the force of Mars and Saturn, and so the 2016 Summer Olympics that will occur during the conjunction of Mars and Saturn will no doubt feature incredible drama.    In one’s personal life during August as Mars and Saturn come into conjunction, it will be an opportune time to diligently prepare and work hard.  It will be enlivening to have a meaningful personal project to invest energy into, as well as maintain physical exercise and spiritual practices that release stress and foster balance.  While Mars and Saturn can coincide with conflicts and difficulties, they are also vital catalyzers in the creation of great works, the building of supportive life structures, and the taking of ambitious initiative.  As Saturn can have a restrictive influence on Mars, their union in Sagittarius (home of Jupiter) will reveal in personal experience how structure and containment can lead to expansion of wisdom and creativity in the end.

bookred.54

Image 54 by Carl Jung from The Red Book

Currently Mars is finishing its pass through the sign of Scorpio that has dominated 2016 so far, as Mars will re-enter Sagittarius on 2 August 2016.  Mars entered Scorpio on 3 January 2016 where it remained until March 5 when Mars entered Sagittarius.  Mars re-entered Scorpio on 27 May 2016 while retrograde where it has remained since, meaning that for the vast majority of the year so far Mars has been in Scorpio.  Mars dug up deep material in need of purging while retrograde in Scorpio, and although Mars stationed direct in Scorpio on June 29, the slow forward momentum of Mars through Scorpio has continued to be cathartic.  The transit of Mars through Scorpio is additionally karmic due to the previous pass of Saturn through Scorpio from 6 October 2012 until 23 December 2014, and then again from June 14 until September 17, 2015.  In the third decan of Scorpio where Mars has moved backward and forward in the past few months, Saturn in Scorpio previously transited from 29 December 2013 through 12 May 2014, 26 September through 23 December 2014, and from 14 June through 17 September 2015.  The karma of events that occurred during these previous transits of Saturn through the third face of Scorpio likely have resurfaced to be processed and dealt with during the retrograde and stationing direct of Mars in the past couple of months.

From a traditional astrological standpoint, Mars in Scorpio and Saturn in Sagittarius have not been able to see each other by aspect during this time since the end of May, and so through their aversion have been operating independently of one another.  Yet since Mars originally stationed retrograde in range of a very wide conjunction to Saturn, there is a way in which they have remained bound, especially visibly in the night sky.  Scorpio is the home of Mars and yet Mars has been moving incredibly slow, leading to the past few months being potent in frustrating ways that have required patience.  As Mars moved retrograde in Scorpio it kept peeling and then peeling even further deeper into the core of internal desires and complexes, bringing up agonizing experiences for those dealing with grief and loss, and shaking the foundations of identity for others.  As Mars stood still and began moving direct again, the pain for many continued without the old desires and attachments fully burning off, or the new developing presence embodied.  Now as Mars nears the end of its pass through Scorpio, I have been getting the sense that those who have been engaged actively with internal work will begin to feel a palpable shift in releasing the past and embracing the new.

Once Mars re-enters Sagittarius in August, the combined influence of Mars and Saturn working together will become more apparent.  The last time that Mars and Saturn conjoined was in August 2014 in the sign of Scorpio, a month that was notable for upsetting events.  This was the period of ISIL capturing cities while creating terror in global media, and the launching of air strikes by the USA in response.  It was also the time of the suicide of Robin Williams, an event that evoked widespread collective mourning.  Important with regard to recent current events in the USA, the shooting of Michael Brown on 9 August 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri galvanized the Black Lives Matter movement and led to widespread protests.  Again, despite distressing collective events on a personal level it is entirely possible that productive actions and developments can occur as Mars and Saturn come together this next month in August.  One thing I have noticed in my work is that projects initiated during a conjunction between Mars and Saturn can be long lasting and have tremendous staying power, but often are very slow to develop and may not manifest desired results until much later.

Finally, it is worth noting that during the calamitous square between Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries that has dominated astrology since 2011, Pluto has been in the home of Saturn and Uranus has been in the home of Mars.  It has been so easy to become caught up in the dynamics between Pluto and Uranus and their wrecking ball impact, we can forget that both have been under the influence of Mars and Saturn the entire time. Recently there has been a quincunx formed between Uranus with Mars as it stationed direct that added to the atmosphere of frustration (the quincunx was most exact from mid June through mid July).  Issues that have come up with the quincunx between Uranus and Mars will shift dramatically once Mars enters Sagittarius and both Saturn and Mars will be in a sign that forms a trine to Aries where Uranus is residing.  Ideally, out of the difficulties corresponding with Mars and Saturn will arise some liberation from past restraints via Uranus.  Mars will form a trine with Uranus in mid September.

14 Temperance (Art)

XIV Art by Lady Frieda Harris

The XIV Art arcanum in tarot, traditionally known as Temperance, is associated with the alchemical mixture of Fire and Water and the astrological sign of Sagittarius. My brilliant friend  Pamela Coeur Norris who is an ingenious practitioner of tarot, recently made a comment on my Full Moon in Capricorn article on social media that the XIV Art card is the arcanum that truly addresses the intent to blend the powers of Fire and Water, in addition to being associated with Sagittarius.  I asked her if she would share any insights she has about XIV Art in relation to Mars finishing up its time in Scorpio in order to enter Sagittarius and a union with Saturn.  I’ve paraphrased her response in the following paragraph, with a minor inclusion of my own.

The Alchemist, XIV, is the mediator between XIII Death (Scorpio ruled by Mars) and XV Devil (Capricorn ruled by Saturn). This is a tumultuous meeting, and an arbitrator might be necessary. Sagittarius is the perfect spot—particularly since Jupiter’s “not home” and is instead in the mediating, Mercurial sign of Virgo.  Who will dominate this meeting? Mars certainly has the fire power, yet Saturn has the staying power, and most likely the last word. The Alchemist must ascertain just how much Martian gunpowder to load into the Saturnian cannon. We must take into account that Mars is XVI Tower energy—the eye of Shiva (let’s destroy the world) and Saturn is XXI Universe energy—Karma king (let’s use our fire wisely to burn off only whats dead and complete).  Sagittarius is the liberator here, the focus that creates the path for Mars and Saturn to aim toward freedom.  When Mars and Saturn work together in the right measure we can let go of our drama and loosen the bondages of attachment.

The overt alchemical image of XIV Art in the Thoth deck is a modification of the traditional XIV Temperance card that also involves alchemical imagery and concepts.  As the etymology of the word Temperance involves roots of “restraint” and “moderation,” there is a further compelling link with the fact that Saturn can have a restraining, moderating impact upon Mars.  On a psychological level, this can relate to being accountable and responsible, with Saturn bringing integrity to the will-force of Mars in Sagittarius, a sign comfortable with living from an ethical philosophy.  In alchemy, the work we could link to the XIV Temperance arcanum is about freeing the being of Light contained within our earthy, fleshy, incarnate form.  This is why Carl Jung found resonance between the symbols of alchemy with his concept of individuation and the symbols produced by those he helped individuate.  Even within surrounding external conflicts, it is possible to use the structure of Saturn to seal oneself from outside toxicity, containing and guiding the volatile Mars to bring about essential growth that will ultimately have a positive impact in the greater collective.

Temperance arcanum

XIV Temperance by Pamela Colman smith

 

References

Tarnas, Richard. (2009). The Ideal and the Real: Saturn-Neptune. Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology. Vol. 1, No. 1.

Valens, Vettius.   Anthologies, Book One.  Translated by Mark Riley.

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Jupiter in Cancer and Tarot

7 star planets

7th Harmonic

Happy Equinox!  The equinox time is perfect for setting expansive intentions for new fortune, wisdom, awareness, and beneficial growth, all concepts that connect with the planet Jupiter in astrology.   Like many, I have had Jupiter on my mind as it has been one of the brightest and most beautiful celestial objects to behold in the night sky in recent months.  Plus, with all the talk of intensity, fear, and warning around the upcoming Cardinal Grand Square from the astrological community, Jupiter being in the sign of Cancer has consistently been the most positive aspect of the grand cross astrologers have been focusing on, no matter what school of thought they are coming from.  From a transpersonal and personal perspective, it is extraordinary that Jupiter in Cancer has ended up being in opposition to Pluto in Capricorn and in square to Uranus in Aries for so long, through a Venus, Mercury, and Mars retrograde.

Before delving further into Jupiter, I want to point out the fact that there is a strong seventh harmonic occurring right now.  The image of the seven-pointed star above is what a seventh harmonic would look like if one occurred between the seven traditional wanderers. Last night, I attended a talk by Olympian astrologer Rosie Finn in which she made me aware that there will also be a strong seventh harmonic initiating the upcoming eclipse season of April, with Venus eclipsing Neptune in Pisces on April 11 and forming a seventh harmonic with Saturn in Scorpio, Pluto in Capricorn, and the South Node of the Moon in Aries.   We do not need to wait for April to experience a seventh harmonic transit, however, as there is currently a strong seventh harmonic occurring that includes the conjunction of Mercury and Neptune in Pisces that will only last for the next few days.  This is especially magical because Mercury was last conjunct Neptune at the beginning of February 2014 when it stationed retrograde, at that time forming a strong seventh harmonic that I referenced in this article I wrote on the Mercury retrograde (and there is also a chart drawn by Rosie included so you can see the 7th Harmonic).

Seventh harmonics are about reception and descent of magical, creative, other worldly information, illumination, and insight.  They are made up of septiles (51.5 degrees), bi-septiles (103 degrees) and tri-septiles (154 degrees) and are often not even calculated or focused on by some astrologers.  This relative lack of attention and acknowledgement of the seventh harmonic (in comparison to other harmonics like the fourth) is fitting for its strange energy that is outside the realm of “ordinary” reality.  At the moment, a strong seventh harmonic is happening integrating the conjunction of Mercury and Neptune in Pisces around 7 degrees, Saturn in Scorpio around 23 degrees, and Pluto in Capricorn around 14 degrees.  The totality of these planetary and zodiac sign archetypes suggest some aspect of our authentic self and deep soul nature being available for us to receive at this time, an illumination of aspects of our essential self that we have either repressed, left behind, or lost contact with in some way.  Our task will be to find a way to integrate the mystical seventh harmonic perceptions that correlate with the current Mercury and Neptune conjunction in Pisces that follows a very significant Mercury retrograde cycle.  Mercury is leaving his retrograde shadow zone at this time, just as a new season begins with an equinox, and so we can begin to initiate choices in our daily life to align ourselves to a greater extent with the new awareness of our Self in these past couple of months.  This does not have to be stressful- this integration could even come through a restful, reflective, or mindful state of being.  However, as Pluto in Capricorn is involved in a hard t-square at this time with Uranus in Aries and Jupiter in Cancer, we may also have to work on integrating our magical perceptions in an atmosphere of tremendous change in which other people in our surroundings may seem stressed out or caught up in strife.

In connection with Jupiter, in the next week a bi-septile aspect will occur between Jupiter in Cancer and Mars retrograde in Libra, linking the seventh harmonic to Jupiter as well.  This is an auspicious sign for the Mars retrograde in Libra because Mars is calling for more of an internal movement of our desire and will at this time in the direction of our soul and self, more so than an outward direction of desire into action coming out from our soul.  Both our inner relationship with our self as well as our outer relationships with others at this time will be full of countless lessons to learn about our essential and authentic self.

wheel of fortune

Jupiter as Wheel of Fortune

The X WHEEL OF FORTUNE card has been traditionally linked to Jupiter and correlates with expansive events and experiences that feel fated or destined, bringing fortune for good or bad.  In the image from the Waite deck above we see what look like the four fixed signs of the zodiac with wings (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius), and while there is some variance of interpretation I prefer the analysis that the four fixed symbols represent the four royal stars of Persia:  Aldebaran (Archangel Michael), Fomalhaut (Archangel Gabriel), Antares (Archangel Oriel), and Regulus (Archangel Raphael).  In The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, A.E. Waite described these as the four living creatures who appeared to Ezekiel in the Bible, cherubs who are associated with archangels.  There is often some sort of fourth harmonic involved in the image of this card, four figures arranged into a square in the space- just like the meaning of the approaching cardinal grand square, this is the energy that brings form out of the chaos, manifestation of matter out of the fluidity of life.  The Sphinx painted above the Wheel in the Waite deck by Pamela Colman Smith (shown above) is a representation of the equilibrium and balance possible to attain within the fluidity and perpetual change of life and the universe represented by the Wheel.  All of these symbols suggest a potential to find balance while navigating the chaos of life.  It is similar to the idea of chaos theory that aligns so well with astrology in the sense that within chaos theory are the perfect repeating patterns of fractals that are similar to the repeating patterns found within natal birth charts.  We can tell from analysis of our chart dynamics when we will be entering time periods of accelerated and intensified energy, and while we may not be able to predict exactly what will occur, we can make ourselves and others aware of the need to focus on self awareness so as to better respond to the stress or disruption we can accurately predict will occur in accordance with the chart patterns.  No matter the personal birth chart patterns you have, however, it is safe to say that the month of April 2014 is a time to be ready for.

It is common to come across the advice to ride or reside in the center of the Wheel of Fortune by tarot authors, so as not to be thrown off course.  This idea of being thrown off by the Wheel goes back to the ancient connection of this card to the goddess Fortuna, shown below in this image from the 12th Century Garden of Delights.  Fortuna could have you plummet from grace just as much as she could levitate you to the height of fortune.  How much this has to do with fate versus free will is a philosophical debate I am not pursuing here, but what is helpful to keep in mind during this time period are the choices and responses to life and fateful events that we can take responsibility for, to help us navigate with greater balance in pursuit of the fortune we wish to manifest.  Again, in the image below note the King of equilibrium on the top reminiscent of the Sphinx atop the Wheel in the Waite deck:

wheel of fortune- hortus delicarium

Jupiter is exalted in the sign of Cancer and loves being in the sign of Cancer, which is very fortuitous for us due to the fact that we are entering a portal of extraordinary and unprecedented change in April in connection with eclipses and the cardinal grand square.  Just as we can become knocked off the Wheel of Fortune by our emotional, instinctual, habitual reactions that have been conditioned by our culture, society, and early home environment, so can we also use the nurturing quality of Jupiter’s transit through Cancer to cultivate and connect with our deeper, essential nature so that we learn to instinctively and emotionally respond from our authentic self instead of our habitual, societally-conditioned self.  Although this may not be part of the original meaning behind Jupiter’s exaltation in Cancer, the exalted nature of Jupiter in the sign of the crustacean makes so much sense to me from the standpoint of Jupiter helping us to eventually expand beyond the limitations of belief conditioning us from birth in our early environment, using the nurturing and empathic capacity of Cancer to help us cultivate deeper self awareness.  This is like the molting of crabs, the symbol for Cancer, in which crabs create a new shell for themselves after re-absorbing elements of the old exoskeleton in order to separate the old shell from their skin, creating a new shell in the process.  In terms of the connection between Cancer in astrology and the molting of the crab, the shell of the crustacean is like the personality of the soul, a conditioned ego that the soul will expand beyond and generate anew.  Keep in mind that the molting of a new shell for crabs is not an instantaneous process- it takes weeks.  Similarly, the awareness of our deeper nature we can cultivate, the new embodiment of our authentic self we can step into through both re-absorbtion and elimination of old elements of our personality, is a long process in need of patience and nurturing cultivation.  Since Jupiter in Cancer is ruled by the Moon, we can use the fluid lunar cycle to be in the moment, being aware of our moment-to-moment shifts and the illusion of stability we create that is not authentic.  Indeed, the true stability and balance is found in the chaos, at the center of the Wheel of Fortune, where the perfect fractal pattern resides we can utilize to attract our true fortune.

When we again view the image of Fortuna and the wheel above through the lens of Jupiter in Cancer, the idea of shedding an outworn ego/personality in order to molt a more authentic presence in the world, we can see a metaphor of our new awareness arising on Fortuna’s wheel as our outdated conditioned personality falls to its final release from us.  This ability of Jupiter in Cancer to help us connect with our authentic self, nurture our essential nature, and attract fortune for the highest good of ourselves and all other beings is also revealed through the connection between Jupiter and the XIV TEMPERANCE card:

rider-Waite_Temperance_large

Jupiter and Temperance

Temperance is the arcanum that is linked to the astrology sign of Sagittarius, meaning in a sense that since Jupiter rules Sagittarius, we can link this card to Jupiter as well as the X WHEEL OF FORTUNE.  In the image above painted by Pamela Colman Smith, we see the Archangel Michael, a further link to the Wheel of Fortune card since Michael is one of the four royal stars of Persia (Aldebaran at around 9 Gemini) that are represented in the image by angelic versions of the fixed signs of the zodiac.  Fitting for this time of the Aries Equinox, Aldebaran was the traditional Watcher of the East who around 3000 BC marked the Aries Equinox.  In traditional astrology Jupiter is the day-time ruler of Sagittarius, distinguishing its co-rulership of Sagittarius and Pisces, as there is a trine between Sagittarius and Leo, the sign of the Sun.  Fittingly, in the image above we can see the symbol of the Sun on the forehead of the angel.  In connection to Jupiter, the Temperance card reveals the Sagittarian focus on outward experience that expands philosophical understanding of the whole and our place inside of it.  But as we expand outward, like the angel stepping onto the earth, we will likewise go into our watery depths and assimilate lost and found elements of our self into a greater embodiment of wholeness.

In The Pictorial Key to the Tarot A.E. Waite described this angel as being neither masculine nor feminine, with one foot in the water and one upon earth likewise signifying an embodiment of essence that unifies or transcends duality.  One could say this is also similar to unifying our ego and our soul, our personality with our authentic self, just as the angel in the image above is pouring the essence of life from chalice to chalice.  In all, there is much more movement in this image, a suggestion of great fluidity and the perpetual motion of life that connects with Jupiter and The Wheel of Fortune, than may appear at first glance.

This arcanum is also known as “Art” in other decks and usually carries an alchemical meaning with it, a tempering and harmonizing of our material and spiritual self, our rational and intuitive mind, our psychic and analytic awareness.  In astrology, the archetype of Jupiter can help us expand beyond the confines and limitations of our place of birth and circumstance.  As we grow up and develop deeper awareness of our essential nature, many of us realize that we did not grow up in a family or culture that accepted us, understood us, or even saw our authentic self, ever.  As a counter-balance to not feeling seen, some of can respond at times with indulgent and excessive behavior that demands attention from our environment, yet is much more of an exaggeration of a false self we developed as a coping strategy than it is behavior aligned with our true soul and self.  Jupiter in Cancer being squared by Uranus in Aries especially, but also through its opposition to Pluto in Capricorn, can coincide with sudden insight into what is inauthentic as well as what is authentic, an overwhelming feeling that at the same time has the liberating impact of helping us to eliminate the inessential and alchemize the essential.  Part of integrating a deeper authenticity for us will also come from shattering events and reactions that shock us into the realization that what we saw as our stable, fixed personality or behavior was not truly the whole picture.  It is likely that all of us on one level or another will soon face this intensity if we are not already- some areas of our planet are obviously feeling the full throttle devastation side to this energy more so than other parts of the globe at this time, but for those privileged to be living in an environment of relative safety and security, the sense of safety and security we have felt through inauthentic aspects of our self will no doubt become imploded and shattered at this time.

With all of the stressful aspects to Jupiter in Cancer at this time, especially the square from Uranus in Aries and the opposition to Pluto in Capricorn, difficulties and crises we experience at this time may be necessary for us to re-connect with our authentic self so that we can alchemize a more essential presence in the world through the fire of our experiences.  However, there is also a wide trine between Neptune in Pisces to Jupiter in Cancer at the moment, and a closer trine between Jupiter with Chiron in Pisces that will eventually turn into a Grand Water Trine with Jupiter, Chiron, and Saturn in Scorpio in the next couple of months.  Furthermore, Mercury transiting through Pisces will be coming into an exact trine with Jupiter in the next week, while Venus will move into Pisces and exactly trine Jupiter in April.  These trines to Jupiter reveal a tremendous opportunity for us to nurture our deeper nature and fully incarnate more of our true soul and being into the world at this time.

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Jupiter and the Moon

The XVIII MOON of the arcana may not make you immediately think of being ruled by Jupiter, unless you remember that Pisces is the astrology associated with the XVIII MOON card and that Jupiter is the ruler of Pisces in traditional astrology.  In traditional astrology, Jupiter is the night-time ruler of Pisces in order to distinguish its co-rulership of Sagittarius and Pisces, as there is a trine between Pisces and Cancer, the sign of the Moon.  The Jupiter found in the XVIII MOON is the empathic and sensitive Jupiter who is exalted in the lunar sign of Cancer, who grows through giving and nurturing others as well as the self.  Since Jupiter can expand any feeling, however, we must be careful to face and overcome our fears, feeling the delusional nature of any fantasized experiences that appear real so that we can release them with finality at this time.  Through the feeling nature of being in the sign of Cancer, the sign of the Moon, Jupiter at this time can help us ground into our environment so that we can initiate action from our authentic nature-  if ungrounded, Jupiter can otherwise act from an overly optimistic and hopeful perspective that lacks connection to the action necessary to ensure completion of our deepest desires.

The XVIII MOON arcanum has been connected to experiences of confusion and overwhelming emotions, and yet in connection to Jupiter it is necessary for us to go through these experiences to help us connect with our deeper, authentic self that will help us navigate life more effectively.  We open to everything here in the collective unconscious, the collective conscious, and our own personal consciousness we only encounter in dreams and moments of dissolution.  As a result a huge expansion of a different sort is available to us through Jupiter in the arcana of the Moon, an internal and reflective expansion into our deeper being. Remember, the Moon arcanum comes after both the XIII DEATH and the XVI TOWER arcana, meaning by this part of our growth and development we have already undergone great death and destruction to our personality and false sense of self.  This is similar to me in astrological terms to the fact that although we are coming into intense astrological aspects in the coming month of April, they are not new:  in fact, this will be the fifth time since 2012 that Uranus in Aries has been in a square to Pluto in Capricorn, and we have also already experienced repeated squares between Cancer Jupiter  and Aries Uranus and Libra Mars.  We also have been experiencing a very long and drawn out opposition between Capricorn Pluto and Jupiter in Cancer that has extended through a Venus retrograde cycle, Mercury retrograde cycle, and now a Mars retrograde cycle.  This Moon phase of our process is a final dissolution of self before we can connect with our XIX SUN sense of wholeness, authenticity, and self-actualization.  The energy of Jupiter in Cancer is capable of lifting us with great resiliency out of any oceanic depths we fall to in our emotional process of this time.  If it is necessary to go into the darkness, so be it.

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Saturn and the World

On a final note, I want to address Saturn through her connection to the XXI WORLD arcanum, as Saturn in Scorpio has not been receiving as much attention since she stationed retrograde on March 2 (since she is not involved in the cardinal grand square that will be occurring in April).  Nonetheless, the fact remains that Saturn is very important to tune into at this time, including where the zodiac degrees of  16 to 24 Scorpio are in your chart.  Wherever 24 Scorpio is in your chart, you have about seven months or so until Saturn will return there again to birth a new presence for yourself in that area and aspect of your chart.  Saturn will station direct around July 21, 2014 at 17 Scorpio after having formed a Grand Water Trine with Jupiter in Cancer and Chiron in Pisces in May.  By the time Saturn stations direct in July, Jupiter will have moved into the sign of Leo (Jupiter will enter Leo on July 16, 2014).  Part of Saturn’s movement back through her retrograde shadow will involve a conjunction with transiting Mars in Scorpio in August 2014, no doubt a period of time that will be intense.

I love the connection between Saturn and the XXI WORLD card and the image of the dancer- this dancer embodies the Jupiter ideal of being at the center of the Wheel of Fortune, riding the moment in balance, being in the now.  Although Saturn in Scorpio has correlated with some hard lessons and difficult experiences, remember that a Phoenix can arise from the ashes of what has burned off of us, and this Phoenix is our real, essential, and shining nature.    The third trine between Jupiter and Saturn that we will experience in this disseminating phase in May should finally give us the opportunity to actualize the full depth of our experiences over this past year- to experience completion from this long process akin to the XXI WORLD arcanum.  No matter what happens in April, keep your eye on the prize, the full potential of the Grand Water Trine forming in May between Jupiter, Saturn, and Chiron that will give us the opportunity to embody a deeper sense of our true nature in the world than we ever have before.  As my wise womyn friend Carol Trasatto said recently, it will be a time to rest in the mystery, to ask to receive what we sincerely need, to be open to trusting that the direction we are pointed toward will take us into our center and our essential self.