Let me know if you’d like to put a session together with friends and we’ll set another time for that. And if you want a private consultation–we can do that too!
Looking forward to seeing everyone and heading into 2014 illuminated and supported by stars. Best, Claudia
Kairos (καιρός) is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment). The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a time between, a moment of indeterminate time –a quality of time–(a transit).
SPECIAL SESSIONS for 2014 LOCALLY AND ONLINE WITH Claudia Johnson M.A., Consulting Astrologer
This is an opportunity for you to “sync” your intentions for 2014 with the stars and the times which await you.
The year began with a New Moon and Grand Cardinal Cross on New Year’s Day–a strong indicator of a potent year ahead. Plus Mercury, Venus AND Mars take retrograde journeys this year (rare!) – you will want to note the dates so you can use their ‘re’ time wisely.
You are invited to join me in my home or on the web for a 3 hour session in January 2014.
It’s a bring your daytimer and your intentions to the table. We will take a look-see at what is ‘waiting for you’ so you can meet up with it consciously with appropriate tools in your backpack.
WHEN, WHERE AND HOW MUCH:
At my home January 18th and/or 19th CLOSED
OR Via WebEx
January 25th and/or 26th CLOSED
Saturday, January 25th 10 am – 1pm CLOSED
Saturday, January 25th 2 pm – 5 pm CLOSED
Sunday, January 26th 10 am – 1pm CLOSED
Sunday, January 26th 2 pm – 5 pm CLOSED
Limit 4 people per 3 hour session on first come first serve basis (you can put your own group together-just be in touch with me asap)
For those signing on for the online sessions—I will send instructions early walk you through how to do that before the date.
You may pay in full now or post a deposit of $20 to hold your space and the remainder on the day of the class if you are coming to Claudia’s—in full if signing up for online session.
At my last physical exam my doc asked if I had any questions about my lab results. I took a deep breath and bravely noted both that my total cholesterol was rather higher than what’s considered optimal, but that his own notes said nothing about it. His eyes gleamed. “The devil is in the details,” he said and proceeded to point out my stellar HDL/LDL ratio and that my triglycerides were in the basement. In short, he wasn’t concerned about the total, but of the factors that made it up. And he was much more concerned about something else altogether: my low Vitamin D levels–I do live near soggy Seattle. Sun? What sun?
What does any of that have to do with the astrology of this year’s election? I’ve had occasion to recall his attitude on listening to many of my astrological buddies gnashing their teeth about Mercury, which will station retrograde on election day. Most are quick to point out that Mercury was retrograde in the storied election of 2000, and have expressed fears about similar confusion resulting from Mercury’s retrograde status on Election Day 2012. There are two reasons to take that particular expectation with a pound of salt.
1) The “details” underlying Mercury’s retrograde status are completely different in 2000 and 2012 and
2) Mercury may have less to do with the outcome of U.S. elections than one might think.
Other than His retrograde status, the details of Mercury’s condition in the Election Day charts of 2000 and 2012 are verrrry different. Mercury is no stolid, staid, predictable planet like Saturn; Mr. Flexibility is hugely affected by His particular celestial circumstances at any given moment. The laundry list of those details is, I think, best saved for another post (it’s really geeky, folks). And, like my doc’s concern with my Vitamin D levels, there is perhaps a more relevant astrological factor to be examined in the US elections.
Yup. I was astounded in 2008 when Dr.Bernadette Brady published a Visual Astrology article which identified a cycle related to US elections of which I’d been completely clueless until that point. She noted that any current US election—since they are held in November while the Sun is in Scorpio at four-year-intervals—has Venus as either Morning Star (rising before dawn) or Evening Star (setting after sunset). The positions alternate with each election. The correlation she noted was that since 1900, Venus—when in morning star position—favors the party in power in the White House keeping that power.
“Venus as Morning Star favours the one who holds the crown.”
In only two elections since 1900 has Venus as Morning Star ever failed to fulfill this. The first was 1932, when Franklin D. Roosevelt won the presidency; the second was 1980 when Ronald Reagan did so. So, on to the $64,000 question: is November 6 2012—with Venus as Morning Star—likely to produce such an upset?
On November 6, Venus is not only a Morning Star, She “radiates” (is near in the sky to) Saturn, a planet Babylonian astrologers correlated with the King (that is, the current administration). If one bothers to drag one’s carcass out of bed at 6:00 am in Washington DC (and the sky is clear) you will see Venus fairly high up in the eastern sky and Saturn juuuuust above the horizon.
Note that I’m not considering such factors as the many US “birth charts” or the natal charts of any of the candidates. I’m not even trying to take into account the purported “beginning” of election day. Should it be at midnight, since the first “official” votes are cast at that time in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire? Should it be at sunset before, as is customary in Jewish or Muslim (even ancient Christian) traditions? Should it be at sunrise of Election Day itself? Should it be when the polls open at the nation’s capitol? (And which capitol? Our first national capitol was <drum rollll> New York City <cymbal crash>.) And how should we factor in the current practice of early voting which starts to trickle in at undetermined intervals from early October onward? Heck, I mailed in my own ballot two weeks ago.
I am also not considering any of the astrological factors that other authors have brought to bear on the current situation, all those (wonderfully geeky) things that have become part of our modern practice: rulerships, dignities and debilities, house placements, receptions, aspects, antiscia, midpoints, planetary pictures, directions, progressions, time lord systems, yatayatayata. Nope: I’m being completely old and outdated (I am 61, after all). I am looking at the appearance of the predawn sky—around 6:00 am—on the officially declared election day itself: the first Tuesday in November in 1932, 1980 and 2012. And I am doing so using the lens of some our concepts inherited from the Babylonians.
And it’s simple, really. There is one factor that leaps out in the 1932 and 1980 “upset” sky pictures: Jupiter is a Morning Star, hanging in the eastern sky before dawn, radiated by a nearby Morning Star Venus. In 1932, when Roosevelt took the White House from the Republicans, Morning Star Venus shared the eastern predawn sky with Jupiter alone. In 1980 there was a veritable traffic jam in the pre-dawn eastern sky: Venus, Saturn, Jupiter and the Moon, all clustered within a very small space.
In 2012, Jupiter is still high in the sky at 6:00 am, but already well past the zenith and sinking toward the western horizon.
So if Venus is so important, what is the big deal about Jupiter? Why does He matter? Brady has argued that in Babylonian astrological omen texts Jupiter was often correlated with the “crown prince”, the contender for the throne. If He was more powerfully placed in the sky than Saturn—the planet representing the current “King”—then that King had better watch his back during this period because there was a good chance he could be taken down. And if Venus, as Morning Star, is radiating—sharing the sky with—the crown prince on election day before sunrise, good chance the crown prince could end up with the crown. It’s not foolproof. There were three elections where Morning Star Venus radiating a Morning Star Jupiter did not result in a shift in the party in power: 1908, 1956 and 2004 (all Republican administrations…hmmm). The planet of the King (Saturn) was nowhere near the “action”, so to speak, at those times; Venus was not radiating the King at all in those elections. So it would appear that a Morning Star crown prince, even with Venus nearby, does not always guarantee the coup d’etat (especially if the current “King” is Republican?).
This year, Venus is radiating the star of the King—Saturn—in the predawn sky.
The day before the summer solstice, we had a new moon at 28 Gemini 43. In my time zone it occurred 8:02 am PDT. Fifteen minutes before it happened I was cruising Facebook, snorting coffee and found this poem.
While the Light
(Gemini New Moon 2)
19 June 2012
While the light
On we go
North’s the song
From the star
In our core–
Eyes the dust
Of our tracks
Lacks of faith
Plagues of guile
All the while
This poem felt like a special gift from the Divine Hermes for me—and anyone else out there-with significant natal birth chart placements at 28-29 degrees of Gemini or Sagittarius. This is our song.
After all the energetic drama surrounding the two recent eclipses (May 20 solar, Jun 4 lunar) and the Venus Transit (Jun 5)—not to mention the recent solar storms that have flung extra energy at the earth this past week—here is a magical still point.
This New Moon aligned with the Galactic Equator, just as the New Moon will near the Winter Solstice this year. “Oh dear, is this more end-of-time rhetoric?”
Well…no. What caught my attention was a recent article by Nicholas Mann posted in
“Many people are rushing around the planet this year doing ceremonies at remote sites. But our guidance is to be especially peaceful and still at this time, to meditate and pray deeply, and to try to attune more meaningfully to your local environment…”
“So what’s the answer with all this accelerated energy, just go faster and faster to keep up with everything? The answer is to slow down and tune into your intuition…Intuition arises from the quiet heart.”
So, what is there in your local environment to draw your attention, give you insight?
Know that there are clues, whispers from your past that will help. In the silence of your heart, think back to…1993. Nineteen years ago the new moon occurred in this very place in the sky, on the very same day. What did you begin then? What came to you in your quiet heart that seeded something that is bearing fruit even now? And nineteen years before that…1974 (and it was a solar eclipse, ta boot). And nineteen years before that…1955. And nineteen years before that…1936. You get the idea. You see, every nineteen years, a new moon takes place on the same day in the same degree in the sky. If 28-29 Gemini or Sagittarius are meaningful degrees in your birth chart…as they are in mine…this one’s for you.
The coniunctio—the Sacred Marriage—happened in the sky even as I wrote. It seemed too perfect that the poem that opens this post is by a local (Seattle) astrologer, John Chinworth. There are magical synchronicities to be discerned that perhaps were unable to be heard above the din of the energies of the previous weeks. What we have here is a moment of silence within a symphony. It’s those silences that focus the attention most sharply on the musical theme that just finished—and the one that come next.
We can’t see this coniunctio as we can during a solar eclipse. But we can—wonder of wonders!—actually see the owner of the villa where the Marriage was solemnized: Mercury, lord of the zodiac sign Gemini. Go outside just after sunset tonight, especially if you live where the western horizon will be clear. There, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Hermes, the Divine Messenger, actually hanging with the Divine Twins, Castor and Pollux in the constellation of Gemini.
Now how cool is that? Hermes lent out His home for His brother, Apollo’s, wedding and is enjoying a confab with the Twins while staying at the home of His brother’s bride (the Moon rules the zodiac sign Cancer). The Sun and Moon conjoin in the Zodiac Sign Gemini, while the Lord of that sign inhabits the constellation Gemini. A lovely piece of astronomical/astrological synchronicity, no?
So if you go out to catch sight of Hermes (Mercury) tonight, you can ask Him to ask His brother to send you a dream (Apollo was a god of prophecy who sent messages through dreams) if you feel in need of special guidance. In the silence, you never know what special message you might pick up what note might be heard from the music that Apollo is playing. Music? Well…Hermes did create the lyre and gifted His brother with it as a peace offering.
So listen…and find your truer north.
Concert dedicated to John Cage. This video was chosen to the TOP 10 video on Classical Music on the WeShow Awards US Edition
“I figure,” Val Con said…”that the luck has favored us, in that Nelirikk has been so badly used… I take him for a man who possesses a strong and innate sense of Balance…If we are clever, and give him what he starves for—work, discipline, and respect—we may yet preserve him.”
from Plan B, by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
And so, I offer the solution before naming the issue, because it is all too easy to shudder at the issue and turn away before even asking whether there is a solution. On the very Friday on which I saved Venus’ sacred bee, I opened the Seattle Times to the top story of a father who had been killed by random gunfire while driving his children and parents from the airport. The very next day a man went postal in a downtown club and five more people were shot dead.
While all our eyes and minds are focused on the thrilling—but invisible!—dance between the Horns of the Great Bull, let us not forget the planets that are visible in the sky almost all the night.
Night after night, since late March of last year He has kept an often lonely watch in the night sky; last May He met, all too briefly, with His Goddess lover, Venus near the baleful stare of Cetus—Rick and Ilsa sharing their last moment together.
After their parting, only Saturn and Jupiter have kept Him distant company throughout His long months on patrol in the zodiac sign Virgo, against the constellational backdrop of the Lion.
Ewww! Mars?? Do we have to talk about Him?? Isn’t this whole time supposed to be about the special potential signified by the Venus dance?? Well, I hate to break it to you, folks, but lissen up. An ignored Mars is like the Bad Fairy at the christening: the one who has been dissed, intentionally uninvited, and who will therefore pronounce the Curse that it will take a loooonnng time for the Heroes and Heroines symbolized by all those multiple conjunctions to resolve.(Remember those? See Preview of Coming Attractions post)
Quoting from that post: This whole series of events is a mammoth sequence of conjunctions—Venus with the Pleiades, Venus with El Nath, Sun with Jupiter, the solar eclipse of May 20th, Jupiter with Mercury, Mercury with the Sun (where He sheds His worn-out Explorer’s leathers for His Administrative robes , Mercury with Venus, Venus with the Sun, Venus turning away from a conjunction with Jupiter, Venus with Aldebaran, Venus with Chi1 Orionis [the business end of Orion’s club]. OMG, this whole sequence will last until August 6!
To put it bluntly: if He is dissed, He’ll kill your ass, bitches. And there are very few zodiac signs that are more dissed than Virgo.
Mars began His long stay in zodiac sign Virgo in early November 2011. He spent a looooonnnng retrograde in Virgo and will finally leave Virgo for Libra on July 3rd. “Whew!” many may be saying. Even some archetypally oriented astrologers have shaken their heads over Mars in Virgo; Adam Gainsburg has noted a special tension in people with this placement. So it is perhaps unsurprising that, while all the shooting insanity was occurring in the Seattle area, (Dec 02 1869, 12 noon, Olympia, WA) while in hard aspect to that chart’s Destiny Axis (Midheaven and Lower Heaven).What can the planet of direct, sometimes brutal action find at all convivial about supposedly picky, detail-oriented Virgo?
One thinks of Shakespeare’s tragedy, Coriolanus,of the warrior who cannot cope with civilized life
(“Who am I without my sword?”).
No swords in civilized life? Think again.
Consider these deeply necessary, detail-demanding endeavors, at the mastery involved in bringing fire, sharp implements and brute strength (all ruled by Mars) under fine control…
Watching this mastery is riveting. I once stood for a half hour at a blacksmith’s booth in a Renaissance Faire, marveling at the precision with which this person struck the blade he was building.
At a granite finishing shop I watched a gnarled gnome of a man work for a solid hour on polishing the same two-foot section of marble slab. I watched a physician with hands that seemed much too large for the task tease away the scars and scabs from the stitches in my husband’s hand before deftly drawing them. At dinner overlooking Elliot Bay, I watched two tugboats maneuver a monstrous vessel to berth. Homely, ugly, battered little craft, ridiculous-looking tires lining their bows and sides, pivoting like dancers in the water as they passed the towing cable between them. The power implied by their maneuvers took my breath away. Watch Tugboats Working
No nobility in what used to be termed “honest work”? That’s certainly how it seems Governor Scott Walker and the plutocrats who back him see it. And wasn’t it interesting that a bid to topple him took place on the very day of the Venus Transit? “Way to go!” some of us (me) thought; “Get the Goddess (Venus) championing the Virgo Mars!”
That special conjunction of Sun and Venus was not only in challenging (90°) aspect to Mars. She did so while engaging in Sacred Marriage with one of the celestial bodies that Babylonian astrologers believed symbolized the King (Sun). Of course Scott Walker (the local king) won. BUT! the Martial underdog (Virgo) forces also won: Wisconsin’s senate wrested control from their King’s party.
If you click on this link to you will hear a fascinating discussion between Adam Gainsburg and Eric Francis on Mars’ retrograde cycle “lassoing the Lion”. The Lion, of course is Leo, the actual constellational backdrop for this whole drama taking place in the sky. I watched those tugs lassoing the giant beast of a ship and turning it to guide it into its berth. Astonishing.
In another recent podcast, Adam Gainsburg asked with the new beginnings of Divine Feminine consciousness being forged in the heat of the solar transits—the Solar Feminine—where was the rest of the revolution: where were “Father Earth” and “Mother Sky”? Mother Sky has been with us since at least the days of ancient Egypt, in the magnificent depictions of Nut, the goddess who represents the entire night sky. See the following link to a lovely Visual Astrology Newsletter speaking of the return of this Goddess.
But where is “Father Earth”?
With Mars in Virgo, I would offer this idea: He is right under our noses, and we’ve ignored Him just as we so often ignore the daily details of our lives that require focus, precision and exactitude in execution. Chop wood, carry water. Even the most spectacular of Martial idols…Olympic athletes, perhaps?…have put in untold hours of Mars-in-Virgo practice to earn their right to compete for the prize.
Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration (thank you, Thomas Edison)? Believe it.
Don’t miss this opportunity, people: consider in what area of your own life you may need to apply that 99% perspiration to master focus, precision, strength, the symbolic cutting forces of fire and steel. (Contact Claudia and/or Carol for help in figuring this out.)
Consider it now, because, after July 3rd, your window of opportunity to honor and cultivate what we often dis—to give that part of yourself what He starves for: work, discipline and respect—won’t come again for another two years.
The world can’t wait that long. Neither can the Divine Feminine, riding the Horns of the Great Bull, Who longs for union with the Divine Masculine in Love:
“…the sense of having striven against an obstacle and survived is absolutely essential…It is our refusal to recognize this that makes Mars malefic. It is my opinion that only when your Mars has functioned at this level can you love. You can’t love if you don’t know who and what you are and you can’t find that out unless you have striven against resistance and measured yourself against it.”
– Robert Hand, “Handling the Malefics” in Essays on Astrology.
Music at the Wake for those killed in Seattle shooting in May 2012
OMG…WTF? Is this what we’re in for? Let me find a hole, crawl in, and pull it after me.
Wake me when it’s over.
Let me, instead, give you two models of how to approach the terrific potential of this season’s endless Venus transits.
In Astrology: A Place in Chaos, as well as in her 2008 UAC post-conference seminar lecture (click here to view that lecture), Dr. Bernadette Brady offered a method to sensitize one’s self so as to make the most productive use of current astrological events. One noted the approaching aspect of a transiting planet to a natal planet. Then, one simply changed a detail of one’s habit: one switched the wrist on which one wore; one parted one’s hair on a different side; one put on one’s trousers using the opposite leg (what I did). And one then remained alert, while in the unsettled state produced by the habit change, for signals for what one should truly seek to change.
The other model, offered by Richard Tarnas in a lecture at NORWAC 2010, asked one to keep track of planetary aspects occurring between the planets in the sky and one’s own chart (as described above). But what one did, as the transit became (what we call) active, one simply watched, waited for a sign. As preparation, one accumulated knowledge on the symbolic correspondences associated with (especially!) the transiting planet.
Ever since I noted significant transits (Uranus and Pluto) approaching sensitive points in my own chart (Brady method), I have assiduously put the other foot into my trousers when getting dressed, put on my earrings beginning with the opposite ear, opened pill bottles with different hands performing the different functions of handling the cap vs. the bottle (man, is that one hard to master). This was four years ago. I have attempted new things, tried to complete old things. And the self-knowledge gained has been immense. But “plus la change, plus la meme chose”: the more things change, the more they stay the same. I have been forced into face-to-face confrontation with what I have always been, yet felt helpless to actually change what feels hostile to life and growth (especially spiritual).
Today, without first consciously realizing it, I experienced a Tarnas-style omen. I received a signal that appears strongly correlated to the Venus activity referred to in the previous Previews post and am attempting to decipher what it might mean. For ME.
This morning, about 7:30, as I sat sipping coffee and staring idly out at my backyard, I spotted something floating in the birdbath. It was a bumblebee. After my initial prick of sorrow, I decided to go pluck her out of the water. I gently scooped her up in my hand…and her wings fluttered! One of her legs extended in a “warding off” gesture. After a few seconds I could see her sides heaving as she tried to clear her breathing spicules. It was still chilly and the sun was not yet strong (nor is there a lot of it in our tree-circled back yard), so I heated our granite warming trivet in the microwave and placed her on it, with a paper towel beneath her to help her dry out. Later, I had the inspiration to place one of our garden bells over her, to help retain the heat. I could see her sluggishly cleaning her antennae, but she seemed not to want to do much but huddle. “Ah, well,” I thought, “who knows how long she was in the water, how hungry she is, how old. At least she might be more comfortable in her final hours.” But about 9:00, I noticed a very bright sun patch that would be in that place of the yard for a good half hour; so I moved her to a small BBQ table and placed the whole contraption—bell, trivet, towel, bee—there. In 5 minutes she was crawling vigorously around the rim of the bell, seeking exit. I lifted it and off she flew, headed (I think) straight for my neighbors’ rhododendron bushes. I stood, dumbstruck with wonder. And wept.
I’m writing this on Friday and therefore Venus’ day—with bees associated with Divine Feminine mythology in a number of cultures (if you Google “bee mythology” you will find many, many sites in which to peruse the connection).
And then it hit me: OMG, I had saved one of Her creatures on Her day!
There were some very significant connections to my own birth chart at the time I discovered her, ’til the time she flew away. The most significant connection was between transiting Venus and what we Astrology Wonks call the Sun-Moonmidpoint (a possible symbol of the sacred marriage of masculine and feminine).
I cannot doubt that I have received a Sign. But what does it mean, Mr. Natural? I have yet no consciously developed idea, but now I am on full alert. I cannot help but contrast the outcome of this endeavor with other care-taking endeavors in which I tenderly cared for something (or some-one) as it/(s)he died. There were times—12 years ago in the spring—when I watched a hoping-to-spawn-salmon—beach itself on a maintenance platform that was part of the very salmon ladder designed to help it reach its spawning stream. I stood and watched it die, helpless to do anything. Someone said, “Say, is this dinner? Can we take it home?” The people around laughed. I cried for three days.
This time—was different. Something is changing. But what? What might I be able to rescue and restore to life now?
Ask yourself these questions: what might you be able to rescue and restore to life? If you watch Adam Gainsburg’s Vimeo of the Venus transit, you will see that She weaves a zig-zag pattern—just like a bee weaving her way from flower to flower—between the Horns of the Great Bull.
This is the Gemini zodiacal season—the season of Alchemical Flutter and Buzz (see John Wadsworth’s site for a lovely tidbit) when bees pollinate like mad. What can you rescue that will flit about from flower to flower, seeding new life?
These are not just rhetorical questions. (Request a consultation with Claudia, Carol or Marcia. They can help you see those possibilities in your own birth chart and life.)
On Monday, May 14, 2012, it began…a grand, extended spectacle of high astrological drama set against the stars of the Great Bull of Heaven. Venus stationed retrograde in the tropical sign of Gemini while also conjoining El Nath, the tip of the Great Bull’s North Horn.
She formally turned retrograde the next day — Tuesday morning. This is just one of the actions that forms a prelude to the Venus Transit—Venus actually moving across the solar disc—on Jun 5th, 2012.
This whole series of events is a mammoth sequence of conjunctions—Venus with the Pleiades, Venus with El Nath, Sun with Jupiter, the solar eclipse of May 20TH, Jupiter with Mercury, Mercury with the Sun (where He sheds His worn-out Explorer’s leathers for His Administrative robes, Mercury with Venus, Venus with the Sun, Venus turning away from a conjunction with Jupiter, Venus with Aldebaran, Venus with Chi1 Orionis [the business end of Orion’s club].
OMG, this whole sequence will last until August 6!
There seem to be so many energies mixing it up, it’s like being in a multiplex with about a dozen movies playing.
—But these movies all have a common backstory featured somewhere in their plot lines: that of The Great Bull.
There are observers who find this potentially menacing, especially cringing to see Venus on the point of the Horn. We remember Queen Pasiphae (pronounced Pa-siph-ah-ee) of Crete, smitten by an angry Poseidon with lust for the bull her royal husband, King Minos, reneged on his promise to sacrifice;their union produced the monster, the Minotaur.
And Minos himself was a son of Zeus by Europa, whom Zeus abducted and bore off to Crete while in disguise as—you guessed it—a bull.
But it’s important to remember that Venus is in the process of preparing to make Her inferior conjunctionto the Sun to begin a new storyline—the “Gemini Journey”, as astrologer, Adam Gainsburg would call it. And Adam’s read on the possibility for dramatic change in the way we live our Inner Feminine in the outer worldis inspiring.
So: in that spirit, let’s imagine Venus taking the Bull by the horns—and perhaps even enjoying the wild ride!
Which brings up the next point: is it possible that, with all these beginnings—symbolized by the succession of conjunctions—that there’s a way to view the whole scenario that doesn’t automatically spell death, doom and destruction?
What if…instead of being caught up in a bullfight
we’re caught up a dance?
We can take a hint from ancient Crete’s bull worship, which involved grabbing the horns, somersaulting over animal’s head (aided by its natural reflex effort to toss you off), landing on its back–and then sticking your dismount.
Hey, Venus is already showing us the way! Dangerous? Certainly. Thrilling? Yes! Inevitably fatal? No.
Don’t forget there are another couple of “bull dancers” up there as well: Mercury and Jupiter.
Say what? How are they possibly bull dancers? Heh!
Ever seen footage of a rodeo?
Bull riding is a major event where the point is not to kill or be killed, but to stay on the animal’s back longer than your competitors. Jupiter, hovering around the Bull’s shoulders and back all spring, certainly seems determined to stay on as long as He can.
Yippee Kiyay! Ride ’em Zeus!
He is aided and abetted by His faithful rodeo clown, Mercury whose main job is to distract the bull after the rider (inevitably) falls off. The rodeo clowns have arguably the most dangerous job in the sport. (Mercury a daring hero? Who knew?)
So come to the multiplex with us as we peek into each theater over the coming weeks to check out all the storylines in play.
(dedicated to all my poetic sisters–Judith and Andrea in particular)
As Mercury and Mars moondance backwards (Retrograde) ————–and in the midst of rethinking everything it seems—we are blessed with the sight in the east of Lady of the Stars–VENUS. She shines brightly in the Eastern Sky in the 7 sisters—the Pleiades…Stars in the back of the Bull.
Quoting from Dr.Bernadette Brady on Facebook April 2nd, 2012
The above image is from NASA – A bright Venus entering, or I (Bernadette) would say, radiating, the Pleiades on the 31 March 2012. This is exact tonight – 2 April 2012. Lovely. Its meaning astrologically is an emphasis on the Pleiades which is symbolised by the fixed star Alcyone. All that is mysterious, visionary and mystical, a good night to dream those big dreams!
Bernadette writes (via Starlight program) of Venus and Alcyone:
A Love of theatre or the rituals of religion: the poetic soul
So if your skies are cloudy and you can’t see her or even if you can—I am thinking that this Venusian appearance radiating a particularly powerful constellation and brilliant star (Alcyone) honors and perhaps gives Adrienne Rich a marvelous memorial–for she too, is and will always be a fine woman and a poetic soul. My guess is Venus is holding a service for her tonight.
We have only to look up and perhaps light a candle or two.
On August 2 Mercury, which had been at a virtual standstill for nearly a week, turned retrograde—just as the U.S. legislative arm finally agreed on a deal about raising the debt ceiling. If you remember the Apollo’s Cattle post of May 1 2011, I dubbed a Mercury which is direct and has hurried ahead of the Sun in celestial longitude Governmental Mercury. And what a time we’ve had in the U.S. with that Mercury!
On June 25 Mercury emerged from “under the beams” of the Sun (the King) and everyone has watched, somewhat slack-jawed, the knock-down, drag-out fight in the Congress over the debt-ceiling-budget brouhaha. Even though an agreement of sorts seems to have been hammered out, commentators are unsure how, exactly, to evaluate it: is it a real agreement? What really happened here? Does it mean anything? Who was betrayed? Who won? Etc., etc., etc. Not surprising, according to Rick Levine and Jeff Jawer, since as He stations, Mercury is opposing Neptune, which some astrologers feel will make the issues much harder to reach clarity on (see www.stariq.com for Jeff & Rick’s lecture held in Redmond WA).
This would seem to be Governmental Mercury Behaving Badly with a vengeance. But if, as I argued in the earlier post, such a Mercury is essentially carrying out the King’s policy, what the heck was going on?
Let’s see if we can unpack this.
Although Mercury is only one planet, He behaves almost like two, depending on whether He’s a morning star (explorer) or evening star (governmental). So does Venus, in astrological legend (particularly Meso-American); She shares, with Mercury, a common pattern of visibility, one very different from the Moon and the planets from Mars on out. All the planets from Mars on out always make their first appearance after a conjunction with the Sun in the morning, visible before the dawn; the Moon, after Her conjunction always makes her first appearance in the evening, just after sunset. What does Mercury do? After a conjunction with the Sun, Mercury appears (when retrograde) in the morning—before dawn; then He stops, turns direct, re-conjoins the Sun and appears in the evening—after sunset; then he speeds ahead of the Sun, then stops, turns retrograde, and heads back for the next conjunction with the Sun. He and Venus seesaw back and forth in this pattern from a visual perspective.
Well, that’s cool, you say, but what does it have to do with anything?
Simply this: the way Mercury—or any planet—behaves in the different phases of any given cycle is possibly formed by the energies in play when it last conjoined the Sun. You can pick up hints of this philosophy when reading interpretive ideas about the Moon’s phases; the Zodiac sign in which they conjoined (the New Moon) is felt to color the whole monthly cycle. Current astrological literature extrapolates this idea to all planetary cycles vis-à-vis each other. For instance, the transiting Uranus-Pluto square is sometimes interpreted with reference back to the sign in which they last conjoined—Virgo—to begin their current cycle.
So: following this line of reasoning, the Mercurial hornet’s nest we’ve been dumbfounded to witness has not all that much to do with Mercury turning retrograde on August 2. It has its roots in the energies in play during Mercury’s most recent conjunction with the Sun, which took place on June 12 at 21° Gemini 39′.
Look at the horoscope for that conjunction, set for Washington D.C:
The first startling thing about this conjunction is that it doesn’t make any aspects to any other planets! It’s operating all by itself. Whatever transpires between the Executive and Legislative/Judicial branches feels unconnected to anything else going on and no one else can really get in effective input. Most importantly, it isn’t connected to the Moon, the heavenly body who symbolizes the common populace in a “mundane” chart.
The next thing to notice is that Mercury is in Gemini, a sign He rules. This makes Mercury powerful. Since Mercury has more power than the Sun in Gemini, this perhaps says that the arms of the government other than executive are going to be the ones forcing policy, not the other way around.
The next rather delightful tidbit gave me my “Aha!” moment about the conjunction: if you could have seen it in the sky, the Sun and Mercury lay smack in between the Horns in the constellation of the Great Bull of Heaven.
A charging bull, at that!
All kinds of images spring to mind, don’t they? “On the horns of a dilemma”…”taking the bull by the horns”…”between a rock and a hard place”…”when the rock falls on the egg, alas for the egg, but! if the egg falls on the rock, alas for the egg”…okay, I’ll stop.No wonder there was such a fight, especially since by July 21 Mars —always spoiling for a fight—had moved forward to the degree of the Sun-Mercury conjunction. And Mars’ scrappy presence (“Words are weapons / Sharper than knives / Makes you wonder how the other half died”) was only intensifying…
…the final thing, which is exceedingly subtle (and probably only “visible” to an astrology wonk (a technical term)—guilty as charged). The degree of this conjunction has a special relationship with the degree of the July 1 “mass molt” solar eclipse, called an antiscial relationship. Antiscia, also known as solstice points, are like ‘mirror degrees’ arranged around the 0 Cancer-0 Capricorn solstice axis of the zodiac. Planets in antiscial degrees don’t function as direct aspects tend to; they are not “interacting” with each other. They more often resonate to each other, as a crystal goblet will “sing” when a note is played that matches the harmonic frequency in the glass.
So when the eclipse occurred on the solstice point of the Sun-Mercury conjunction, and Mars joined the party three weeks later, the heat was on: molt (raise the debt ceiling) or die.
Now, Governmental Mercury is heading (staggering?) back to the King. It will be really interesting to see what happens on August 16, 2011, when the Sun and Mercury conjoin again at 23° Leo 49′. Because now, the Sun—who rules Leo—will have the upper hand.
Astrology is an ancient and intriguing discipline. I take it very seriously. One can learn about oneself, the cycles of one’s life, current events, history, cosmology, relationships. We can get all worked up over eclipses, transits and things that go bump in the night.
As an astrologer–it is my job to empower you as you explore possibilities, what to do at certain times or how to look forward and make responsible plans or look back at your life and make meaning out of the past. I think it is the astrologer’s job to offer assistance as you wander through life’s peaks and valleys. It is also my job (as I see it) to do my homework, work with integrity, study my craft, all the while weaving together the disciplines and research that allow us to experience aliveness, empowerment and an understanding of what it means to be human.
So–this week (upon returning from NORWAC–the Northwest Astrology Conference held in Seattle every year)—I am charged with the rather daunting task of sharing the wisdom I gained while studying my craft –
Question: What is the proper way to begin a conference and serious course of study?
Answer: by laughing your head off…
On Friday, Rick Tarnas conducted a seminar titled—The Comic Genius: An Archetypal Perspective
We spent the day watching various clips from Cleese’s Monty Python series and other comedians and entertainers. We looked at their charts–and frankly in this day and age of rather serious events and transits that indicate a momentous time in our history—-laughing and remembering the healing power of laughter was a gift from the Celestial Comedy Gods.
Tarnas pointed out Mercury and Marscontacts in Cleese’s chart speaking to the notion that the mind takes in information (I’m not quoting him exactly – just from my memory and notes) and then one must defend the ideas. Cleese thrives on the thrust and counter thrust—Tarnas noted that he generally begins his pieces with an argument—a contest.
Cleese also has a T-Square to Uranus and Tarnas points out that “best humorists—have a high Uranian component”—the trickster (Mercury ) saying that which is taboo (Uranus). Think about some of your Aquarian friends—they are often the ones who at some point in the meeting–point at the elephant in the room with an innocent expression—stopping us in our tracks, so to speak. Tricksters indeed.
John Cleese delivered a memorable memorial speech for Graham Chapman at a memorial service held two months later in the Great Hall at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. Cleese delivered a humorous eulogy for his friend Chapman and took advantage of “this glorious opportunity to shock you all on his behalf,” which he then went on to do.
Graham Chapman, co-author of the ‘Parrot Sketch,’ is no more.
He has ceased to be, bereft of life, he rests in peace, he has kicked the bucket, hopped the twig, bit the dust, snuffed it, breathed his last, and gone to meet the Great Head of Light Entertainment in the sky.
And I guess that we’re all thinking how sad it is that a man of such talent, of such capability for kindness, for such unusual intelligence, a man who could overcome his alcoholism with such truly admirable single-mindedness, should now so suddenly be spirited away at the age of only forty-eight before he’d achieved many of the things in which he was capable, and before he’d had enough fun.
Well, I feel that I should say, ‘Nonsense! Good riddance to him, the freeloading bastard. I hope he fries.’ And the reason I feel I should say this is he would never forgive me if I didn’t. If I threw away this glorious opportunity to shock you all on his behalf. It’s not a funeral, I grant you, but a memorial service is still pretty good.
It is magnificent, isn’t it? You see, the thing about shock . . . is not that it upsets some people, I think; I think that it gives others a momentary joy of liberation, as we realized in that instant that the social rules that constrict our lives so terribly are not actually very important.
Well, Gray can’t do that for us anymore. He’s gone. He is an ex-Chapman. All we have of him now is our memories. But it will be some time before they fade.
Cheer up—you know what they say:
Tarnas pointed out that great comics have strong Sun / Saturn components in their charts. That is to say that the Sun and Saturn are in some aspect to each other or prominent by house or sign—they are, if you will, in ‘conversation’ and depending on the nature of the relationship it becomes apparent how the comedic archetype takes hold in their manner of delivery.
One example a classic Sun/Saturn comedian is Woody Allen who also has Jupiter in the mix such that even the expanding universe is cause for worry.
Steven Colbert was born with the Saturn opposing Pluto conjoining Uranus era in 1964. This funny progressive liberal (Uranus) is a trickster cloaked as a conservative Fox News Commentator. He pretends to be the opposite of what he really thinks and says of himself. It is the only way he can stay sane—to laugh. He says if he didn’t – he’d cry. Did you see him at the Correspondent’s Dinner in 2006? Actually the clip watching Bush’s face is equally as interesting as the court jester speaks and shocks and gets away with it as only the court jester can do. (you can click on the chart for an enlarged image)
Only the best comics (Court Jesters) can pull it off. Tarnas played the clip of Colbert interviewing the head of Ploughshares (an anti-nuclear organization) — the interview itself is a poignant example of the current Saturn–Uranus-Pluto catastrophe. Colbert begins the interview and with a serious face asks if the head of Ploughshares will “at least admit that a nuclear explosion is awesome”
And I cannot forget my favorite Ernestine aka Lily Tomlin. Able to transform into character after character—the characters are real and have a structured presence as well as that Uranian shock effect. Tomlin was born under the 1939 Saturn Pluto square, has Mercury squaring Uranus and her Virgo Sun opposing Saturn. She can make us laugh at ourselves as she becomes aspects that we often want to hide, but never fail to recognize.
Here she is as Tommy Velour w/ Michael Jackson & Elizabeth Taylor 2009
Spent time today going off on my own for a while, looking at charts of people/friends I think are funny. I am seeing how Mercury and Uranus and Saturnine flavors are present in their charts. I see how those archetypes come alive when laughter just erupts around the dinner table.
Just think about when you are watching Jon Stewart (I don’t have his chart) or laughing with your friends as you or one of them says something that just has you almost on the floor. It is generally unexpected, taking you over and — then it begins to take hold and even if you wanted it to end…you just can’t stop——Laughing.
Laughter loosens up the body, the heart and the mind and I’ll bet we can find all kinds of medical reasons for it being a healthy thing to do – and do a lot. One of the people I laugh with on a regular basis is my sister, Peggy. We just think about each other and the jokes start coming. Sister jokes. My favorite kind! Best friend uncontrollable laughter often accompanied with trips down memory lane (Saturn) when something erupted and took over and we had to pull over to the side of the road if driving. Those times make life worth living, the comedic archetype and the astrological signatures worth looking at. A hell of a homework assignment for this student!
In honor of my Gemini sister and Gemini friends with whom I have shared a world of laughter here is a clip from Victor Borge. He was our grandmother Peggy’s favorite comedian—and since my funny sis, Peggy, has a birthday this month, I chose Borge to honor her and our Nanny Peggy. Borge was a Capricorn, a classical musician with his Sun conjoining Uranus, Mercury opposing Neptune.
Borge famously said: “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people”.
Astrological traditions about the 11th and 12 houses of the horoscope connect the native to the Daimons, or guiding spirits, of these houses.
The good Daimon, agathos daimon, belongs to the 11th house, the most fortunate houses of the chart, and moves us through ‘luck,’ in the form of inspired encounters, genial ideas, a whisper that tells us when to move and when to stay still. This bonus daimon calls out the best in our chart, and is revealed through the sign and planets of the 11th house.
The difficult Daimon of the 12th House, the kakos daimon, is much more ambivalent and often acts in mysterious ways, taking the soul along paths that can involve suffering, loss and pain, leading us to places we would rather not go. The separation experienced here can result in feeling disconnected, separate, cast out. the sign and planets here may have a psychological preference for solitude and retreat, an inner sensed that often leads to the spiritual.
Bring your chart for a walk with mysterious energies!
Saturday May 21 and Sunday May 22, 2016
10 AM – 4 PM
13000 NW Old Germantown Road
Portland OR 97231
$275, non-refundable deposit of $75 due May 10, 2016
Do let us know if you would like to hear about future classes and workshops.
Thank you–Claudia and Carol
NEPTUNE: An Ocean Retreat
Claudia Johnson and Carol Ferris
September 19-20-21, 2014
The amniotic waters are our first oceanic experience: the mother womb as source of all creation. In ancient cultures, the great water-mothers like Tiamat in Sumerian culture, were the first creators, later joined by Neptune, or Poseidon, as he was known to the Greeks; Lir, the Celtic god of the sea; the native Australian dreamtime Ungambikulas; and old Pangu of China, to name but a few of our creative ancestors. These creation myths describe our ground of being as rich, chaotic and fertile.
In the horoscope, Neptune’s placement is where we immerse ourselves in this creative stew. This retreat will look at the astrological and archetypal Neptune: in the rationalist context of self as separate, longing for unified Other; and as creative matrix. We’ll look at Neptune in your individual horoscope, and in the larger life of the culture, including:
art: creativity and magic
the collective: glamour, celebrity and politics
personal relationships: separateness and union
psychology: conscious and unconscious
religion and redemption: sacrifice and making sacred
Because of the ineffable nature of Neptune, the retreat will emphasize writing, active imagination, collage art, and dream work.
Deposit: $50 non-refundable by September 12, 2014
Mail check to Claudia Johnson/PO Box 223/Nehalem, Oregon 97131
Very exciting news for Portland–Astrologer Lynn Bell will be in town!
A class not to be missed.
May 30-31, 2014
Who am I becoming? Finding the Self throughout our Life
A class with Astrologer Lynn Bell
Portland, Oregon May 30-31 2014
The identities we establish at certain times in our lives may be meant to fall away. We all know people who have stayed stuck in a role: the good daughter, the wild one, the college star. Life has moved on but they cannot. When our lives feel too bound, too constrained, we may be caught in an identity that has become too small. This signals time to expand our sense of self, to step into a new version of our lives. Such a step can come gradually, when things have reached a natural ending and it is time to choose who we are all over again. We may have finished studies, our children have grown, or a parent has died. It can also be sudden, brought on by changes in relationships or work, or unexpected life events that can blow apart our sense of self.
At every moment of our lives, the self is trying to emerge, to live fully. While there is continuity between these different selves, on the deepest level, identity is something mysterious.
The fire houses carry a major part of the energy for the emerging self, the one we are seeking to become. The 9th house pulls us to an ideal, while the 5th is where we create. Play is a form of learning, and the self we invent here. can stay at a make believe stage or truly open us to life. We will look at the invented self and the ideal, way stations on the path of the true self, and how each version is anchored in the 1st house.
About Lynn Bell
A long time tutor for the CPA in London, Lynn Bell is greatly respected for her insightful, perceptive and innovative astrological teachings. She has taught and spoken all over the world, most recently in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Her original work into astrological family patterns can be found in her book Planetary Threads (Isis Press 2013). She also teaches for Carolyn Myss’s CMED Institute and for Wisdom University.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” – Charles Dickens from A Tale of Two Cities
The master storyteller, Dickens could be talking about our story, these days. Our stories give us a place to be: a family, a culture, a language. But the stories that define us can also limit us.
“Stuck in Our Stories” will be a class about our stories: how they start, how they grow and change, how and when they resist change, and when they move. Using personal horoscopes and examples from the larger culture, Claudia and Carol will work with progressions and transits to illustrate how stories can — and do — come “unstuck”.
Please join us:
3517 SW Santa Monica Court
Friday Nov. 8 Introduction 7pm
Saturday Nov 9 Lecture and examples 10am-4pm
Sunday Nov 10 Lecture and examples 10am-2pm
Seminar cost: $275
A non-refundable deposit of $50 is due by October 25th to hold your space
You may send a check to Claudia Johnson/PO Box 223/Nehalem, Oregon 97131 or via this PayPal link
On Your Mark – Get Set—CROW The New Moon is tomorrow October 15, 2012 at 5:04 AM PDT…the Sabian Symbol for this New Moon is: a “Chanticleer’s voice heralds sunrise”— a symbol of a proud announcement which is perfect for this New Moon. We have before us a fresh month of moons. This one will be in the zodiacal sign of Libra (if you can find 23 degrees of Libra in your chart—that can be said to be where the monthly intentions or beginnings will be focused).
Now–I love to go to the night sky to see where the joining will happen visually. I love to actually ‘see’ where I live and what it looks like–participate, if you will, with the cosmos. Visual Astrology is what I resonate with the most profoundly–so I asked this morning about this New Moon. Is it occurring near a particular constellation or star? And how can that inform me as I begin my Monthly Moon vigil. What story might unfold in the wee small hours that I can dance with, attune myself with—what is the story unfolding that if I pay attention, I can see unfolding for me in my life as well.
So I looked to see and – lo and behold– what to my wondering eyes did appear—no not reindeer or even a rooster –BUT the Sun and the Moon conjoined and visually in the wheat sheaf of The Goddess—they look as tho’ they are “in” the beautiful star SPICA—a star that is all about Gifts—being Gifted.
Here is what Dr. Bernadette Brady says about the star Spica in her program Starlight:
A gift, being gifted
As the star is seen as the wheat sheaf in the hand of the goddess, Spica was considered a symbol of her gifts to humankind. These gifts were originally of harvest and bountifulness. The wheat sheaf, therefore, symbolized human knowledge of cultivation, a gift from the goddess. In present times this type of knowledge is not venerated, so if Virgo was created in the 20th century, she might well be holding a silicon chip. Spica, the wheat sheaf, is the symbol of knowledge and insights which are respected. Spica is, therefore, not connected with any particular field or profession but rather shows the potential for brilliance in whatever it touches in your chart.
Spica is a gift of brilliance, a hidden or obvious talent, skill or ability which is out of the ordinary. The word ‘gifted’ applies to strong Spica people and whatever this star touches, it will illuminate in some way. How have you been gifted, blessed? Really gifted—really blessed. Count the ways. Like really count them. Say them out loud. Write them down.
I like how Astrologer, Kelly Surtees talks about New Moon Wishing as a ritual. She writes:Every New Moon represents a new beginning; an opportunity to start a fresh in a new area of life. As the Sun and Moon align, seeds are planted and new potentials begin to take form.
One of the most potent ways to connect with the power of a New Moon is through creative intention setting, through a process known as New Moon Wishing. Jan Spiller coined this phrase in her book ‘New Moon Astrology’ (2001 Bantam). She suggests making your wishes within 8 hours of the New Moon.
The Virgin Goddess (read INDEPENDENT WOMAN!!) in the earliest stories about her is revered and adored and bestows gifts to the people—she brings wheat—dinner—food.
Aha————We are gifted at this New Moon.
Note to self— I’m going with this interpretation and here is my question and ritual for this New Moon?
I’m making a list—all day today—and into tomorrow. Already have about 50 things on my list…I am writing down what blessings I can notice right now, right here in river city.
BLESSINGS and GIFTS I NOTE TODAY HONORING THE NEW MOON:
I am really blessed with fine women friends CHECK
and am blessed to be having incredibly freeing and breakthrough conversations with many of them CHECK
blessed last night to be sitting in a theater where I played Auntie Mame (3000 years ago it seems) last night whoopin and clapping for very talented and good looking folks modeling hand-made outfits from recycled materials CHECK (seats in the auditorium not so blessed :)) uncheck
blessed with French toast this morning for breakfast with my beloved CHECK
Living near a park on the Oregon coast where we can walk our sweet dogs AND search for mushrooms now that the rains have begun CHECK
Headed to see good theater at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival next week CHECK
Looking at pics of my friends and family from my trip down south-blessed with them CHECK
Making a little movie about the night sky stories for two dear friends from Asheville, NC CHECK
Finding time to read a really good book CHECK
Blessed with a really good wood stove and watching a fire CHECK
my list is going on and on…and on…CHECK
What about you?
How are blessings/gifts showing up in your life with the New Moon appearing to just be snuggling up with the beautiful star Spica? Make a list…or herald the beginning of this next month of moons out loud. Ready, set ————– go
Footnote: I will be setting up a time for those who wish to explore 2013 and their own intentions using the stars are our guide soon for late November, or December. Small groups of no more than five. If you want to put together a small group with whom you would like to committedly shape and share your future, let me know. Online is fine. We can do that too.