Listen Up

by Marcia Buchart

Some of you who read the astrological press will have seen articles noting that Mercury, which has been retrograde since August 2nd, turned direct at 23+ degrees of the Sign Leo on Friday, August 26.  A bare ten days before, He had conjoined the Sun, being transformed from Administrator to Explorer/Ambassador. (For an explanation of what those terms could mean, see the Stealing Apollo’s Cattle post in this blog.)

Or…did He?

Counselor

I had speculated in that blog post that while Mercury was invisible—hidden from our sight by the light of the Sun—He walks by the side of the King “at court ”, as it were.  What if He never actually leaves court during a particular direct or retrograde phase?  What?? How could that be so!? you might well ask.  It could be so if, during any given phase of His travels, whether direct or retrograde, Mercury never becomes visible!

On August 26th, Mercury turned direct while only 14 degrees 14 minutes of celestial longitude away from the Sun.  Unless you live on the ocean or desert, with an absolutely flat horizon and absolutely no clouds or pre-dawn fog, you might never see Him this time around, except perhaps for a blinking instant.  He was still “under the beams”, as older astrologers say—less than 17 degrees away from the Sun, the Sun too close to be seen except under perfect conditions.

Even though the distance between Mercury and Sun increases for a week after He turns direct (He’s still reeeelly slow, so the Sun appears to move relatively faster). He only gets to about 18 degrees 6 minutes away on September 2nd.  You’ll still have to be really lucky to see Him.

But wait! Can’t Mercury get up to 28 degrees away from the Sun at the extremes of His direct or retrograde phases?  Yes, He can, but He doesn’t always, or even very often.  In none of His cycles will He achieve maximum elongation (that 28 degrees) this year, for instance—although He gets pretty close in November when he stations on Thanksgiving at 25+ degrees away from the Sun.  Unlike Venus, whose cycles are so beautifully, dependably regular in their appearances, timing and distances from the Sun, not all Mercury cycles are created equal.

That damn Trickster!  Oy!  It would seem that we have yet another factor that can influence the dynamics of any given Mercury phase, and that is whether or not He can actually be seen during that phase, be He direct or retrograde.  Older astrological texts are not at all optimistic about the functioning ability of planets that cannot be seen; such planets were felt not to be able to function at their optimal capacity.

What might this mean for you, for us all in the collective?

Possibly that the amount of mental clarity or perspective that can be brought to bear in any given phase of Mercury, be He Explorer or Administrator, direct or retrograde, aspecting other planets or not, powerful or weak by sign placement, depends on whether He gets far enough away from the Sun to be seen.

Think back to this spring’s Explorer cycle, when retrograde-cum-Explorer Mercury got within 8 degrees of maximum possible elongation from the Sun—20+ degrees—before turning direct on March 30.  And what happened as He gathered direct motion speed a month later?

A magnificent wedding celebrated through Mercurial technology around the globe and a successful long-distance (and closely supervised from afar) military operation.

What have we had since August 2? 

A confusion of signals: the failure of the debt ceiling deal to prevent downgrading of the US bond value, the Mercurial market bouncing all over the place, and a plethora of Republican Presidential hopefuls, appearing to see who can whip up the most craziness in the populace and harness it.

And oh yes, a hurricane.

Irene descending on North Carolina Aug 27 2011 WILX-News mobile photo by Robt Travers posted on Facebook

I offer the idea that, with Mercury on such a short “leash”, as it were, our perspective and clarity of thought are in short supply.

Other authors have noted something like this.  The late Robert Blaschke, in his Astrology: A Language of Life, Vol. V – Holographic Transits, writes, “[Michael] Munkasey found that the more difficult retrograde Mercury periods are those that have the…least range of degree travel…”  But while Blaschke is focused on the issue of Mercury’s speed of travel, I am looking (pun intended) at the issue of His visibility.

 Conflicting stories are buzzing around the zeitgeist like radio signal hash during a solar storm and no one can get a clear “vision” of which one is the most likely to play out.  I let my imagination loose seeking ideas of storylines that might arise under this Explorer phase and frankly, the zeitgeist splatted me in the face with a pie.  Here is the picture of what the most recent Sun-Mercury conjunction looked like.  Whoa! Look at the Sun and Venus, hung like a jeweled pendant from the Lion’s neck, with Mercury under the Lion’s paw!  Surely there’s a story here—but which one?

Is it the goodwill (Venus) forged between Androcles (Mercury) and the Lion (Sun in Leo)? 

Is it Oedipus challenged by the Sphinx (Venus and Sun in Leo) to answer a (Mercurial) riddle? 

Is it Sekhmet, ancient Egypt’s lion-headed goddess (Sun and Venus in Leo), whose battle wrath (and potential destruction of the earth) was only averted by craftily (Mercury) getting her drunk?

Is it Dorothy [Venus] admonishing the Cowardly Lion [Sun in Leo] after he menaces Toto [Mercury]? 

Is it the perfection of the beautiful feline hunter (Sun and Venus in Leo) who too often preys on our songbirds (Mercury)?

Is it the anguished decision (Mercury) the haughty royal princess must make in the old fable of The Lady Or The Tiger, where she must decide her former lover’s fate: does she cede him to the jaws of a beast (Sun in Leo) or the arms of a beautiful hated rival (Venus)? 

Is it the protective Foo Lions, guardians at Chinese gates, the male with his paw on the pulse of the world, the female with hers protecting her offspring?

I sense that which of these stories rises to the surface of a culture—and there are more, I’ve only just scratched the surface, I promise you—depends on where in the world you are.  There is no such thing as a specific sky story that will hold true for every place on the globe.  Sekhmet’s energies would seem particularly pertinent to the savage unrest in Libya and Syria—or to the murderous heat wave gripping the south central US.  The financial and political communities in the US would seem to wish to play out the lose-lose dynamic of The Lady or The Tiger.  The destruction of the Mercurial helicopter carrying Navy SEALS responsible for bin Laden’s death seems to echo the feline hunter bringing down birds.

As much as many parts of the body politic seem bent on playing out some of the grimmer stories, is there a way for individuals to seek to manifest Androcles and the Lion, or the Gift of the Lyre, or Dorothy helping the Cowardly Lion?   Both Cayelin Castell of the Shamanic Astrology Mystery School and Bernadette Brady in her Visual Astrology course speak of the time of a planet’s invisibility as it being in an enchanted place whose manifestations are mysterious, not at all straightforward.  You can’t “see” what’s happening.

But might you be able to “hear” it?  After all, “enchant” is derived from an old Latin word—“incantare”—meaning to sing.

Singing might have more to do with Mercury than you might think.  Mercury invented the lyre (a Venusian artistic item), which he gave to his half-brother, Apollo—a solar god associated with music—to soften his anger after the little bugger stole Apollo’s sacred cattle.  Might Mercury, when invisible, be able to function as a sort-of radio transmitter for the songs of the God of Prophecy?  If so the recommended meditation practices, the asking for answers in dreams, the cultivating of quiet stillness that I’ve often heard prescribed as a helpful antidote for Mercury retrograde phases are perhaps more properly applied to the period of His invisibility, so you can “hear” what He has to say…like Pete Townsend did.

“There once was a note, pure and easy / Playing so free like a breath rippling by / The note is eternal, I hear it, it sees me / Forever we blend and forever we die…”


Mass Molt – The July 1st Eclipse

by Marcia Buchart

Surely by now many of you have read many interpretations on possible manifestations of the solar eclipse of July 1, 2011.  Not only does this eclipse at 9 Cancer 12 create a grand cross configuration with Pluto in Capricorn, Saturn in Libra and Uranus in Aries, it begins a new Saros Series of eclipses, known as New South 13

(when seen from earth the eclipse occurs in the deep southern hemisphere, near Antarctica).

Bernadette Brady wrote extensively about the Saros Series in Chapter 5 of The Eagle and the Lark, her first major book on astrological forecasting:

“Each Saros Series produced a solar eclipse every 18 years plus 9-to-11 days…each one being a half to a full degree closer to, or further from, the nodal axis…Each Series starts as a tiny partial eclipse at either the North or South Pole…an orb of between 15° to 18° in front of the nodal axis.”

She argued that the initiating eclipse of the series could be judged like a natal chart whose energies would influence all the other eclipses in the series—and each series can last for over 1000 years.

We are seeing, on Friday, July 1, 2011 1:53 PDT, the birth of a new series with all the (understandable) anxiety attendant upon any important birth. 

Chart for Eclipse July 1, 2011 Nehalem, Oregon

Brady offers the following interpretive ideas in her latest Visual Astrology Newsletter about the characteristics of this new series:

This theme of this entire series will be about undertaking and or completing large endeavors. At a personal level hard struggles begin to resolve, old thorny issues begin to untangle and the too-hard problems start to become clear.

Added to this Grand Cross is the energy of the tightest midpoints and these are Pluto to Mars/Jupiter (the midpoint between Mars and Jupiter) which suggests extraordinary effort and achievement PLUS Jupiter to New Moon/Neptune (Jupiter to the midpoint of the New Moon and Neptune ©) which brings long and difficult issues to gentle conclusions through inspiration or the insight of a bright idea.

So if you are stuck or jammed on an issue at the moment, apply your mind and give yourself permission to ‘think outside the box’ or do a little active imagination to help find solutions. Old problems can be solved in this period.

 This eclipse is also happening amongst the stars of Gemini which, within the Assyrian astrologer/priests’ letters to their kings, usually indicates the death of a king or the ending of an issue. So endings… but endings of problems, the ending of ‘old’ things which then allows a fresh approach to life.” 

Zodiac Window Chartes Cathedral (c.1220): May and Gemini

How might this happen?  I’m going to take a clue from the sign in which the eclipse occurs, Cancer.

Cancer is a remarkably complex energy, according to Steven Forrest, in The Inner Sky:

“The Crab. A vulnerable creature. A succulent piece of meat.

The food of gulls. How can he survive? What hope is there for him? He is only a morsel awaiting the predator’s mouth.

To live, the Crab must grow a shell. He must grow a wall between himself and nature. He is too delicate to protect himself in any other way.

With this armor, the Crab endures. He is at peace with his environment. But that success holds the seeds of a perilous transformation. The Crab eats. He matures. And soon he outgrows his shell. It must be shed [emphasis mine]. If he is cunning and lucky, he may live to grow another one. One that is larger, more suited to his expanded state. But only if he is cunning and lucky.”

Watch the moulting--Click on Picture

My take: with this eclipse series, get ready for the molt.

The surprise: it need not be a trauma.

Instead of it being a desperate, painful endeavor, you may find it astonishingly easy. 

All the heavens are now conspiring to loosen your shell and allow it to drop away.

A long-standing client consulted me a few days ago, one whose (extremely problematic) natal Saturn in Cancer is only a degree away from this eclipse degree.  As the reading proceeded, I was privileged to witness a stunning transformation; a major theme of the reading was allowing energies to flow without having pre-defined what form they should take.  This was not about having a mold to pour molten metal into; what was more appropriate was much more like allowing the fantastic forms molten lava assumes as it emerges from the womb of the earth into the air and sunlight.  And, under the energetics of this impending eclipse, (along with a personally important Uranus transit) the client’s shell fell away. It’s the only way I can describe what happened.  But instead of immediately wanting the shell back, the person expressed great delight at a new sense of freedom, a joy that in going with whatever flowed, of allowing the possibility of “chaotic” creation (as opposed to pre-ordered, “cosmic” creation) meant that one was on the right path.

[NB: “cosmos” is originally a Greek word that means “beautiful order.”  Cosmic creation might be likened to the creation story from Genesis, with a Master Artisan directing endeavors in line with his 7-Day Plan.]

Remember in the previous post about “loony” eclipses I opined that possibly solar eclipses are centering, allowing one to get a sense of being on the right path even if the final destination has yet to be seen?

So have faith when the shell falls off; you’re doing what must be done.

Okay, everybody…one…two…three…MOLT!    

Heads up–there is a Taurus in your chart

It is May isn’t it?

I was all ready to go out tonight hoping to spot some delicious night sky stories taking place right here on the Oregon coast–but alas–the fog has rolled in and I doubt I’ll see much tonight.  BUT— I can maybe–just maybe see the moon near Saturn who has and will be walking along side the Goddess of the Harvest-the maiden (also called Virgo after the zodiacal sign). And I wanted to see Spica–the brightest star in the constellation Virgo.  She is located in the wheat sheaf that the Goddess holds in her left hand and is the gift of bounty and food and good things.

It has been said that when the Moon is under a star or a planet visually, that star or planet is honored and supported in its appointed task.  Spica is honored–bounty is supported tonight.

–Bernadette Brady speaks about Spica in her epic work (The Fixed Stars) regarding the earliest meanings with the stars and the night sky.

She says:

 Spica:  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, symbolised 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. With Spica in your chart, consider the planet
 with which it is involved as this planet will indicate the style of the brilliance or gift
 that Spica holds in your chart.
 (by the way--we will find out in August if you have Spica prominent in your story.)

I’m taking this as a sign that the birthday party for some fine Taurus folks tomorrow will be supported and lovely.  Oh and that there are gifts available perhaps in the news as well?  It could happen!  Some gift of good news — I’ll bet the priest/astrologer would be telling the Ruler that there are presents under the tree for him or her these days.  She has only to look.  And with Saturn in the arms of the beautiful gift giver–the Goddess of the Harvest, the gifts will be delicious and gratefully received in a structured manner–like a birthday party.

There are other things happening in May that are of note–say for example a lineup of planets that hasn’t happened for 30 years and won’t happen again for another 32 years.  Yes–right here in the merry month of May, Mercury, Venus, Mars and recently Jupiter have been having a little conference of their own in the sign Aries and by the end of the month they will all be in Taurus.  Not only that–but this confab is very very important–it carries messages and paradigms and inventions and revelations from unseen places.  Cetus the whale (the monster–not the friendly whale that the children rescue)–this image requires us to address that which is dark and deep and important and could alter reality and he is staring (or glaring?) at these planets who have gathered at this time in our history.  

There are messages to listen for and we can almost ‘feel’ or hear these planets asking for our attention  — they are the inner planets (Venus, Mars, Mercury). They are not the big guys like Neptune, Uranus or Pluto.  These are more familiar players on our stage.  They are ‘closer’ to us and it would behoove us to turn our good ear upward especially in the early morning hours which is when they will be rising.

If you look to your chart and find the houses with Aries and Taurus on the cusps–that is where you want to take advantage of this moment.  If, say, you have Taurus on the 7th house–then those planets are going to move into that house and you will — no kidding — want to “carpe diem”–yep seize the time to provide comfort and beauty and strength in all your relationships…all of them — including your relationship with yourself.  Find the folks with whom you feel your best–in whose presence you are admired and respected.  And do this intentionally in May.  The lusty month of May.  You will want to stand in that bullish strength for a long long time.

The same holds true for whatever house these personal planets will be visiting in your charts in May.  Seize the time and strengthen your life in those areas like you are the Bull.  Like you ARE big and powerful and were once worshipped as a God.  Astrology is good for this—for allowing us to be aware of when it is a good time to grab the golden ring of meaning and stand tall in the mere knowledge that perhaps, if you are conscious, you can declare into existence something that was not there before. Something good— hey something good just might come of it.

In the foggy night–here is a great little movie for the starry skies in May.  You’ll see some of what I’m talking about as you watch and listen pretending to be outside all warm and enchanted by the show on the big silver screen.

Happy Birthday Taureans!

The Mass and the Center – The 2011 Pisces/Aries Stellium and Uranus in Aries

by Carol Ferris

For thousands of years, we humans thought the Earth was the center of the universe — until we discovered we weren’t the center, and made the Sun our center, with our visible planets orbiting circularly around the Sun in a more or less flat plane.

Then we located the “outer planets”. Then we discovered that, in fact, we were one of a number of centers and satellites, or galaxies.

It took us a long time to discover all this, first by eye, then by telescope, but always by conjecture and theory.

As our understanding of the nature of our system took shape, our social structures evolved parallel to that understanding: centers with satellites translated into chiefs and subjects, popes and congregations, presidents and employees.

As our view expanded telescopically, we quested for the ultimate center, and we arrived at — emptiness, and the systems moving equidistantly from each other.

Pine Mountain Observatory Oregon

Robert Jastrow, space scientist and author of Until the Sun Dies notes:

“. . . if you were sitting on a planet in one of the other galaxies in the Universe, you would observe the galaxies around you receding in exactly the same way that an observer in our galaxy sees our neighbors moving away. Your galaxy would seem to be at the center of the expansion, and so would every other galaxy; but, in fact, there is no center.”

“To understand this statement more clearly, imagine a very large, unbaked loaf of raisin bread. Each raisin is a galaxy.

Now place the unbaked loaf in the oven; as the dough rises, the interior of the loaf expands uniformly, and all the raisins move apart from one another.

The loaf of bread is like our expanding Universe. Every raisin sees its neighbors receding from it; every raisin seems to be at the center of the expansion; but there is no center” (Jastrow 8-9).

Additionally, we have learned something else about the nature of centers and satellites.

When we think of the center of something, we often think of the dead center of it — e.g., that the center of the solar system is the center of the Sun.

But:
“The mass of the planets is about 1/750th the mass of the Sun and the center of mass of the solar system can move from close to the center of the Sun to up to one solar radius outside the surface of the Sun! Where the solar system barycenter is at any given moment is determine by the configuration of planets as they revolve around the Sun” (Michelsen in Tables of Planetary Phenomena 16).

Motion of Barycenter of the solar system relative to the Sun

Watch:

This represents a paradigm shift in both scientific and social thinking — from universe as dependent functions of an ultimate center, to the universe as relational; from the atom to un-seeable space, everything is a center in relation to everything else, or omnicentricity. The internet is a concrete manifestation of the omnicentric principle — each a center connected to all centers, potentially, by volition and capability.

But our social systems have been slow to reflect our new understanding of the cosmos, and governance at all levels — nation, state and local — and social and family life continue to insist on a center around which everything satellites and from which the satellites derive their power.

In astrological symbolism, the planet Uranus represents the desire for freedom as an outcome of enlightenment: as such, it is associated archetypally with such mythic figures as Prometheus, the Greek titan who brought fire to humanity. Historically, Uranian cycles can be shown to indicate periods of human revolution, when the collective desire for freedom outweighs historically confining governance structures. Astrologer Lynn Bell, in her address to the astrological conference in Seattle in 2010, traced radical events when Uranus has previously entered and transited in the hot, fiery sign of Aries:

  • 1258: the fall of Baghdad to Genghis Khan
  • 1675: tax revolts in France against Louis XVI, Indian Wars in the colonies
  • 1765: stamp tax revolt in the US
  • 1848: revolutions across Europe
  • 1927: Wall Street, mobsters, flappers, Gandhi and the Indian resistance

At the time of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami localized in Japan, 7 of our system’s 10 planets

were concentrated within 60 degrees of longitude of each other, with Uranus in Aries in the heart of the mass.

We are seeing in our time graphic expressions of our evolving consciousness about the relation of the mass to the center, and the power of the mass to move the center, with far reaching consequences for systems of governance and relationship.

Over 1 Million in Tahrir Square demanding the removal of the regime and for Mubarak to step down February 9, 2011 6 46 PM


In our own lives, expressed in the symbolism of the horoscope.

Looking for the house and planets in which these Pisces/Aries transits are moving will show us where we are experiencing our own paradigm shift away from an historical center to a radicalized, potentially more democratic, omnicentric inner system.

fractal strings from omnicentric universe


Stealing Apollo’s Cattle & Other Fun Games to Play With Mercury

by Marcia Buchart

Ahh, Mercury:  too often the forgotten planet, except for the three times a year when he goes retrograde.  And at those times you hear the familiar buzz that reveals, not what a problem this phenomenon is, but what a problem we think it is: “…you are well-advised to delay signing a contract or launching a joint venture…Any word beginning with the word “re” applies:…revise, reconsider, recondition, review, repair, repossess.  Mechanical items break down…Carry spare parts on a road trip…Allow extra time at airports.  When shopping, keep receipts and be prepared to return your purchases.”  This kind of counsel appears to make perfect sense when we look at how the retrograde phase pattern appears in a horoscope.  You can, from this perspective, see Mercury do his back-and-forth dance vis-à-vis the Sun

Zone of Retrogradation Mercury Mountain Astrologer AprMay2011

But is this double-checking protocol the only way live out Mercury’s dance?

Another viewpoint is suggested in Howard Sasportas’s retelling of the story of how the infant Hermes (the Greek name for Mercury) stole his brother Apollo’s cattle by getting them to walk backwards in their own hoofprints, thus masking where they’d gone. 

When young Mercury revealed the trick, Zeus, his Dad was so delighted with His yet-unacknowledged son’s cleverness that he ordered Apollo to forgive his half-brother (Mercury made it easier by giving Apollo the lyre he had fashioned from a tortoise’s shell).

So: might the retrograde phase be a time when it is possible to cleverly arrange things behind the scenes?

Might one even occasionally discover that one has done things backwards, only to discover that whatever had been done actually worked?

Hmmm…if you were born under a retrograde Mercury, maybe this is a major talent!

And there is yet another way to (literally!) view Mercury’s retrograde cycle: put your charts away, put on your ancient Mesopotamian glasses, go out and look up.

Mercury is never far from the Sun and so is not easily seen; like Venus, his appearances in the sky are as morning star or evening star only; unlike Mars, he can never rise in the east, culminate overhead and set in the west.    Here is: May 1, 2011 Mercury rising before the Sun (note we use Bernadette Brady’s Starlight Program for these images)

But he represented an important Babylonian deity, Nebo (or Nabu) the Scribe of the King.

And as you watch him in the sky, you see him either advancing before the King (Sun) before dawn, following after the King (Sun) after sunset, or hanging at court with the King (when he’s invisible).   How might this visual information be used to interpret how Mercury functions in the various parts of his cycle?

Ambassador / Explorer – this is Mercury as a morning star; he rises ahead of the Sun, and has a lower degree of zodiacal longitude than the Sun.  It is as if the King said, “go out and explore / journey to this country / whatever, and report back to me what you find.”  Sometimes this kind of Mercury, in the absence of any orders, will just go out and see what can be found, sort of like Marco Polo or the Starship Enterprise.  This kind of Mercury can get into all sorts of scrapes and has to operate by his wits, often with no direct orders from “home” to guide him, and may develop a good sense of what to do and not do as a result.   When morning star Mercury is retrograde, he’s voyaging forth; when he’s in direct motion he’s heading back to court with everything he’s learned and obtained on the journey.  We are in just such a phase right now. Watch this little video of Mercury heading back to court with everything he has learned and showing the current phase for Mercury:

Prime Minister / Legislator – this is Mercury as an evening star; he sets after the Sun and has a higher degree of zodiacal longitude than the Sun.  In this case, one can imagine that the King has dispensed policy and this kind of Mercury carries it out: gathers needed information and sees that orders are executed in accordance with the royal Will.  These Mercuries operate like the branches of government; their efforts are much more under the direction of the Will than the Explorer Mercury.  The great thing about Mercury in this phase is that once one decides to accomplish a goal, one can bring all one’s mental efforts to bear on it.  When evening star Mercury is in direct motion, he is carrying out orders; when he’s in retrograde motion, he’s bringing “additional info” back to the King, to report on the success of the effort.

King’s Councilor / Jester – this is invisible Mercury, too close to the Sun to be seen.  This is like the councilor at the king’s side as He moves through His court, conferring with Him and giving his assessments into the King’s ear; he might also be the Jester who can get away with lampooning the King as long as He does so in His presence.  In this phase one might be able to be a very successful “power beside the throne” and wield a great deal of power as a result.  This ability to work closely and well with authority is an additional plus; when Mercury is in this phase, people in power will listen to you!

And the next time you read the astrological press fulminating over the perils of the next Mercury retrograde cycle, try taking another look.

In response to Susan’s comment~

If you have your own chart, you can look for yourself at your Mercury-Sun placement.

1. If your Mercury is in a lower degree of zodiac longitude than your Sun (my Mercury is at 3 Capricorn, my Sun at 26 Capricorn) or is in the sign preceding the Sun, AND is at least 15 degrees away from the Sun, you have Explorer Mercury.

2. If your Mercury is in a higher degree of zodiac longitude than your Sun (imagine that the positions of the Sun and Mercury from the earlier example are reversed) you have a Governmental Mercury.

3. BUT–if in either position, your Mercury is less than 8 degrees away from your Sun, your Mercury is Invisible.   

Where is your Mercury?

The Mass and the Center – The 2011 Pisces/Aries Stellium and Uranus in Aries

by Carol Ferris

For thousands of years, we humans thought the Earth was the center of the universe — until we discovered we weren’t the center, and made the Sun our center, with our visible planets orbiting circularly around the Sun in a more or less flat plane.

Then we located the “outer planets”. Then we discovered that, in fact, we were one of a number of centers and satellites, or galaxies.

It took us a long time to discover all this, first by eye, then by telescope, but always by conjecture and theory.

As our understanding of the nature of our system took shape, our social structures evolved parallel to that understanding: centers with satellites translated into chiefs and subjects, popes and congregations, presidents and employees.

As our view expanded telescopically, we quested for the ultimate center, and we arrived at — emptiness, and the systems moving equidistantly from each other.

Pine Mountain Observatory Oregon

Robert Jastrow, space scientist and author of Until the Sun Dies notes:

“. . . if you were sitting on a planet in one of the other galaxies in the Universe, you would observe the galaxies around you receding in exactly the same way that an observer in our galaxy sees our neighbors moving away. Your galaxy would seem to be at the center of the expansion, and so would every other galaxy; but, in fact, there is no center.”

“To understand this statement more clearly, imagine a very large, unbaked loaf of raisin bread. Each raisin is a galaxy.

Now place the unbaked loaf in the oven; as the dough rises, the interior of the loaf expands uniformly, and all the raisins move apart from one another.

The loaf of bread is like our expanding Universe. Every raisin sees its neighbors receding from it; every raisin seems to be at the center of the expansion; but there is no center” (Jastrow 8-9).

Additionally, we have learned something else about the nature of centers and satellites.

When we think of the center of something, we often think of the dead center of it — e.g., that the center of the solar system is the center of the Sun.

But:
“The mass of the planets is about 1/750th the mass of the Sun and the center of mass of the solar system can move from close to the center of the Sun to up to one solar radius outside the surface of the Sun! Where the solar system barycenter is at any given moment is determine by the configuration of planets as they revolve around the Sun” (Michelsen in Tables of Planetary Phenomena 16).

Motion of Barycenter of the solar system relative to the Sun

Watch:

This represents a paradigm shift in both scientific and social thinking — from universe as dependent functions of an ultimate center, to the universe as relational; from the atom to un-seeable space, everything is a center in relation to everything else, or omnicentricity. The internet is a concrete manifestation of the omnicentric principle — each a center connected to all centers, potentially, by volition and capability.

But our social systems have been slow to reflect our new understanding of the cosmos, and governance at all levels — nation, state and local — and social and family life continue to insist on a center around which everything satellites and from which the satellites derive their power.

In astrological symbolism, the planet Uranus represents the desire for freedom as an outcome of enlightenment: as such, it is associated archetypally with such mythic figures as Prometheus, the Greek titan who brought fire to humanity. Historically, Uranian cycles can be shown to indicate periods of human revolution, when the collective desire for freedom outweighs historically confining governance structures. Astrologer Lynn Bell, in her address to the astrological conference in Seattle in 2010, traced radical events when Uranus has previously entered and transited in the hot, fiery sign of Aries:

  • 1258: the fall of Baghdad to Genghis Khan
  • 1675: tax revolts in France against Louis XVI, Indian Wars in the colonies
  • 1765: stamp tax revolt in the US
  • 1848: revolutions across Europe
  • 1927: Wall Street, mobsters, flappers, Gandhi and the Indian resistance

At the time of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami localized in Japan, 7 of our system’s 10 planets

were concentrated within 60 degrees of longitude of each other, with Uranus in Aries in the heart of the mass.

We are seeing in our time graphic expressions of our evolving consciousness about the relation of the mass to the center, and the power of the mass to move the center, with far reaching consequences for systems of governance and relationship.

Over 1 Million in Tahrir Square demanding the removal of the regime and for Mubarak to step down February 9, 2011 6 46 PM


In our own lives, expressed in the symbolism of the horoscope.

Looking for the house and planets in which these Pisces/Aries transits are moving will show us where we are experiencing our own paradigm shift away from an historical center to a radicalized, potentially more democratic, omnicentric inner system.

fractal strings from omnicentric universe


Just a quick word about Neptune…

For those of you who have a Venus/Neptune © aspect in your natal charts, the article below will be of particular interest to you~ see below for link to an article titled Butterfly Lovers by Astrologer, Glenn Perry.

Remember that Neptune © just entered Piscesœ and will be in his “hometown” sign until 2026. A Long time.

Neptune © has been in the sign Aquarius since 1998 and hasn’t been in Piscesœ since 1862. So ’tis a big deal—it always is when one of these outer slower moving planets moves into a new sign.

In addition to looking to see if you have Venus/Neptune © aspects in your natal chart—look to see where 0}Piscesœ is in your chart. That will be the house that Neptune © is visiting now – With Neptune © swimming through my 3rd house, I find myself dreaming of what to write in the next blog J.

What are you dreaming of? Do tell.

Claudia

Butterfly Lovers


And Other Venus-Neptune Tales of Woe

By Glenn Perry


T
he title of my article is inspired by The Butterfly Lovers, a Chinese legend and tragic love story. Zhu, a beautiful and intelligent young woman, earnestly desires an education. Traditions of the time forbid females from going to school, however, so Zhu convinces her father to allow her to attend classes in disguise as a young man. While at school, she develops an unusually close bond with a classmate, Liang, who does not realize that Zhu is a female. They study together for three years and Zhu gradually falls in love with Liang.  read on at: 
Glenn Perry’s site

April 2011 — WWSD?

And just What Would Saturn Do?

Why he’d pull out the yellow pad and make lists, of course.  He’d look for patterns and structures and containers and ways to get a grip on the situation.  He’d use the fiery energy to produce something practical.  He’d build an ark, if need be. He’d provide a safe space for the kids throwing tantrums.  He’d hold onto the kite strings so the kites could fly and yet come home.  He could be very useful.  

My sister and I used to make fun of our mother for having yellow pads Everywhere–and I do mean everywhere.

Our mother (with her Virgo moon in high gear) would make lists on yellow pads, write letters to us on yellow pads, leave notes for what we needed to clean up on yellow pads—-and my sis and I would, in later years,as a joke, send each other yellow pads for Christmas wrapped with–you guessed it!  ta daaaa  yellow pad

Now take a look at what is happening in the heavens planet-wise right now.  It is a lineup that Astrologers are busily writing about and teaching classes about and taking notes on (probably on yellow pads).  Look at the tons of Aries energy on one side of the chart (Uranus just moving into Aries after 7 years in Pisces) and Neptune moving into Pisces  (Mon Apr 4), for the first time since 1862 to stay in Pisces until 2026.

Saturn is currently in the sign Libra on the other side of the chart from that host of planets in Aries and that ruler of oceans, Neptune.  If you picture a bunch of hot air balloons and someone or something on the ground to keep them from flying off unattended and unable to land safely–enter Saturn to hold them in check and provide a foundation–stable ground.

Saturn down there, yellow pad in hand, making lists so that all that energy can be contained and come home still energized, still passionate, still full of possibility and perhaps hot air—but with a place to stand.  A grounding, if you will.  Saturn can provide that.

April 16 2011 chart for Nehalem, Oregon

April 16, 2011 Chart PDT

Let’s pay some attention to Saturn for awhile–get a yellow pad and make notes.  Where is Saturn currently transiting your chart?  He is at 12 degrees Libra currently–where is that degree in your chart?  Imagine Saturn visiting that house and perhaps having a chat with a planet there in your chart–what is the conversation? and what lists would give you ground to land on as the hot air balloons dance in the sky?

If you need help to find out where Saturn is for you now—consult your astrologer and by all means–get a yellow pad!

But wait—some of you are experiencing Saturn in many ways–check out what astrologer colleague, Marcia Buchart says:

I began my study of astrology during a significant Saturn cycle–the first Saturn return.

That occurs around 29-30, as you might know.

But other ages that mark significant passages occur at ages 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 36-37, 43-44, 50-51, 58-59, 66-67…shall I go on?

I think you get the idea.

What was happening to you in those years, that might presage what could happen to you in future years–

Take the time to note which factors the structures you have created to give shape to your life might need changing?

make lists

Reach for the Horizon Series–a good place to be in 2011

As we reach the halfway mark for the Reach for the Horizon Series for 2011

Carol and Claudia want to say

THANK YOU

Thank you for your interest, your participation and for being such great students of the stars

And we want to invite all of you to the Rest of the Series

The next event will be in August 2011 and the next classes are scheduled for September and November

Information below and coming soon—but IN THE MEANTIME visit our site for updates and articles to keep you on your toes as this year’s events unfold.

We hope to provide articles and information to assist you as you travel through these incredibly active and intense times.

Visit  WWW.SKYDOGS.WORDPRESS.COM

Register at the site to be notified when a new article is posted

Or ask to post one of your own!

Words and Images welcome!

We’d love to have you join the astrological conversation.  Really.

Let’s stay in ‘class’.

Click here for the Online Brochure and some images from the April Venus/Mars Seminars

IN AUGUST — A VERY SPECIAL FIELD TRIP TO EASTERN OREGON

A chance to be out under the starry sky and be at that horizon where the earth and the heavens meet

We will see the stars and constellations up close and personal

Guest Astrologer, Marcia Buchart, will join us–and she knows those stars and their stories!

August 28-29-30, 2011

Saturn will set in the arms of Virgo

and Jupiter will be in the stare of Cetus

The next classes will be in September in both Nehalem and in Portland (you can go to either one)

Below are dates and links to enter into your date books

IN SEPTEMBER~Somewhere out there: the transpersonal planets Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and their invisible power in our system.

September 11th in Nehalem 10-4

Registration and birth data due August 28th

September 18th in Portland  10  4

Registration and birth data due September 4th

IN NOVEMBER~ Down to Earth: working with personal charts; questions and answers.

November  6th in Portland 10-4

Registration and birth data due October 23rd

November 13th in Nehalem  10 – 4

Registration and birth data due October 30th

Registration Information

(Note:  Register early as classes sizes are limited—a waiting list will be available and deposits and chart data are due two weeks prior to Seminar.)

Contact:  Carol Ferris: rficf@easystreet.net

Claudia Johnson: johnson@nehalemtel.net

Cost: $75/session

Non-refundable deposit ($25 per session) and birth data due 2 weeks prior to each session.

More information upon registration.

Field trip info TBA

Questions?  contact either Claudia (johnson@nehalemtel.net)  or Carol (rficf@easystreet.net)

 

Mark your calendars  and register and know that we look forward to being with you

Visit and register to receive updates at:

WWW.SKYDOGS.WORDPRESS.COM

(email Claudia at johnson@nehalemtel.net to post something other than a comment—she’ll make it pretty for you and whoosh—you are part of the team!)