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.
and read her words–read them out loud
Thinking of Caroline Herschel (1750—1848)
astronomer, sister of William; and others.
..a bit more about Venus
From Astro Logos
Venus enters the Pleiades tonight, this is a image from NASA from the 31 March.
If people are interested here is a Visual Astrology Newsletter we wrote in June 2008 about retrograde Venus where she creates a far larger cycle then that of 8 years but rather of 243 years.
Here is the link to the newsletter for those interested in Venus’ path through the sky. http://www.zyntara.com/VisualAstrologyNewsletters/van_June2008/VAN_June08.htm
a nod of gratitude to all the poets and women and star gazers — you radiate me! Claudia
Our very own Beach Connection digital magazine quotes Jim Todd of Omsi:
Jim Todd, head of OMSI’s planetarium in Portland, said the moon will be in the constellation of Taurus and near its northernmost point in its orbit.
In the northwest, the show starts at 3:33 a.m., when the shadow of the Earth starts hitting the moon. It begins taking a small bite out of the moon around 4:45 a.m.. That shadowy circle of the Earth is called the umbra.
“The partial eclipse ends and totality begins at 6:06 a.m. PST and the point of the greatest eclipse occurs at 6:31 a.m. PST,” Todd said. “The eclipse’s total phase will lasts for 51 minutes. The moon will be only 6.5 degrees above the north western horizon at the instant of the greatest eclipse.”
Todd said that there are some surprises awaiting viewers.
“What makes it so much fun is that no one can predict what color the moon will turn during totality,” Todd said. “Will it be bright orange, or blood red? Only the shadow knows.”
(I’m hoping for red :))
The total eclipse will end at 6:57 a.m. PST as the moon exits the umbra. Then the moon will set at 7:45 a.m. PST.
(if you live somewhere other than the west coast, you can find out find out the eclipse times for your area with this lunar eclipse computer, courtesy of the U.S. Naval Observatory.)
According to the tropical zodiac the Eclipse will cover the axis from a Moon at 18 degrees of the sign Gemini and the Sun at 18 degrees Sagittarius. If this were a person, the chart would look like this:
You might notice the planet Mars up at the top squaring the Sun and the Moon. We don’t really know how to interpret eclipses—but we can speculate that since what was so visible suddenly goes dark or perhaps red and then a few minutes later—it returns in all its glory. A birth of sorts with all that implies…from light to dark to light. With Mars at a critical point (the tip of what we call a T-square) in ‘conversation’ with the Gemini Moon and the Sagittarius Sun, we could say that this moment in time calls for calm and a level head – Mars is such a passionate energetic guy – headstrong and willing to go the distance. In an article in Mountain Astrologer , Gary Caton addresses Mars and this eclipse this way:
We should also note that the Moon is in Gemini at this lunar eclipse. Gemini, an Air sign, is compatible with and helps fan the flames of the Fire placements. In alchemy the Air element expresses itself through the operation of Separation, which involves rediscovery of our true essence and the letting go, or cutting away, of the self-inflicted restraints to our true nature. Mars rules cutlery and is the planet associated with the operation of Separation, as the goal is to cut away any remaining dross or falsity. Mars in Virgo is t-square to this total lunar eclipse and transiting Mars will be doing his retrograde dance in Virgo for the first four months of 2012. So the operation of Separation will be carried out via the use of critical thinking skills (Virgo), which will assist the Air element (intellect) in sorting and sifting through our lives. What parts are working and worth keeping and what parts need to be cut loose?
That would be a great question to ask yourself at this time—this potent time—a full Lunar Eclipse.
Find where the Moon would land in your chart at 18 degrees of Gemini and the Sun and take a moment to use some critical thinking about YOU and your life and what parts/jobs/relationships/attitudes could use a healthy Separation. What restraints could you release and thus find a little freedom—if you let the dark be dark, take a moment and slow down–yes–I said, slow down—Wait for it! Ahhhh the light emerges.. Newly.
But wait—there is yet another fascinating thing about this Eclipse. The Moon is right on the horns of a dilemma!
See that moon in the center of the horns of The Bull? Can you think of any other Bulls you see around the television machine? Keep it clean.
you got it!
Just fyi—the Moon is often said to represent “the people” in mundane astrology. I can think of several ways we could see this, but let’s look at Bernadette Brady’s writing about the constellation called The Bull from her program Starlight (found at www.Zyntara.com ):
This is one of the earliest and most noted constellations probably due to it marking the vernal equinox from about 4,000 to 1700 bce in the golden age of archaic astronomy.
As the spring equinox slipped into the stars of Taurus, The Bull with its red eye became Horus the son of Osiris to the ancient Egyptians. To the Phoenician the bull-god was called Father of Men and was given the title of El, meaning bull.
El was worshipped throughout Syria where the Persians labeled the great red star in the eye of the bull as their Watcher of the East. For them a great ancient cult surfaced involving a figure called Mithra who was a god of the first magnitude, one of military valor without rival and was said to ride the solar chariot across the sky. He was also known as or linked with Ahura Mazda, saviour figure known as the Bull-Slayer, a humanized version of the Bull who seized a great wild bull by the horns and rode him to exhaustion, after which he slayed the bull whose wounds and spilt blood produced life for the earth. His worship involved a baptism of bull’s blood where the initiate stood in a pit underneath a slotted platform and was showered with the blood of a sacrificial bull slaughtered on top of the platform. The initiate would bathe in this blood and ensuring that it touched eyes, ears, mouth and body and drink it as a sacramental act. Thus the initiate emerged from this pit cleansed of sin, washed clean by the blood of the bull.
The Egyptians also annually slew a sacred bull in atonement for the sins of the realm. The concept was that the blood of one god, or the symbol of that god, could cleanse the sins of many. However, after two thousand or so years the spring equinox slipped from Taurus, the Bull, into Aries, The Ram, and this heralded the birth of yet another new god, this time emerging from the Israelites. They distinguished themselves from the bull-worshippers by using the blood of the lamb as a sacred fluid and symbol. For Moses was leading his people, chosen with lamb’s blood, to a new religion. This was the new world age marked by Aries and thus a new god was required. Returning from Mount Sinai with the new laws of the new world order, (the Ten Commandments) Moses was angered that his chosen people were looking backwards to the bull (Golden Calf) instead of forward to the lamb.
In later mythology, as the Bull began to slip from the equinox to make way for Aries it took on a more negative essence as shown in the Greek myth of Jason who had to tame a fiery bull in order to pass one of the tests towards claiming the Golden Fleece of Aries (the incoming god). In another case, it is the bull of the Minotaur, placed in a labyrinth by King Minos, who fed on sacrifices of human flesh until conquered by Theseus who came out of the labyrinth and into the light. The Bull in these myths is seen as darkness or anti-life as it becomes the old religion making way for the god of Aries.
Are the people being washed clean?
What could you put on the altar that needs to be renewed and washed?
Whew! you might say after participating with this magnificent event called a Total Lunar Eclipse. A four star movie that you can’t order up on Netflix. Magnificent.
I tell you what—I look at Susan’s painting and prints newly now…across the road from our home is a pasture and there is a Bull who used to live there. She named him Buddy. And he lives with us in paintings and prints and you bump into him all over our house. We even sent out a Christmas card with Buddy as the main event!
um– I guess you could call us women who run with the bulls!
Enjoy the Eclipse and may all that is troubling you be washed clean and may the power of that magnificent animal stand up and fight for the “people”—for us.
Hey—why me? I’ve been good!
I said that to my friend and colleague, Margaret Gray, yesterday while bemoaning the transits of our times and the fact that even though I’m doing all the right things, I haven’t lost a pound (and yes I’m working on that) in two months. Plus the economy is whako and…and… I said—out loud. Why me? I mean—I’ve been good. Actually I was impersonating Bill Cosby impersonating Noah and God.
–Call me intuitive or smart or in touch with the divine, but I just know Noah had to have been born near the constellation Capricornus carrying the story of the Sea Goat–that ever so practical animal in the night sky who would tell the people how to handle hard times like floods and such. Or maybe Noah had some planet in the mid degrees of Taurus and heard a voice from the deep. Maybe Noah was being stared at by the monster from the black lagoon—the leviathan—the whale who ate Jonah—that whale (not Free Willy). That whale called Cetus. Ahhhhhh maybe that is it.
Bernadette Brady describes Cetus in the Starlight Program as:
According to the Greeks, Cetus is the sea monster who was sent to devour Andromeda. Perseus, however, saved her by using the severed head of Medusa which turned the sea monster to stone. But the stories of this whale in the sky seem to predate the Greek version. It has had various forms but it is always some aquatic beast that blows water from a blow hole. Cetus has been illustrated at times with a dog’s head and forelegs and with a mermaid-like tail. It would seem that this creature is more like the fresh water mythic creature the Loch Ness monster than a marine whale in that it represents an unknown beast from the depths rather than what we know as a gentle giant of the sea. Aratus in the 4th century B.C.E., referred to the constellation as: “the hateful Monster Cetus”. And Jobes referred to it as representing a monster “that rises from the dark nether sea with a ravenous appetite for humans”. Christian mythology saw this as the whale that swallowed Jonah, whereas the Arabs broke it into three separate constellations: The Hand, the Ostrich and the Necklace.
The Brightest star is Menkar, the nose or jaw of the whale.
Like all of us, I am trying to figure out how to maneuver through these times and how to assist my clients as the waters appear to be rising (think the new phrase referring to mortgages~ “my house is under water”.) And these times do indeed call for something akin to the building of an ark.
I mean when you look at the news or the transits — say Pluto squaring Uranus or Saturn squaring Uranus or Pluto opposing Saturn or…take your pick–I feel like Noah being given a job–build an ark! “Get the animals on board and stay on top of the waters and I ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie sayeth the Lord!” (well I don’t know if that is biblical but it feels right)
I also identify with Noah’s disbelief that this could be happening–oh say with the economy or with riots or with the clear and present revolutions occurring–and I can feel as Noah did that he was being “put upon” — he was tired and frankly pissed that he has to “do something”. Remember this one?
Ri-i-ight–this isn’t a shower. It isn’t even personal. We are watching the earth and the structures that we might have thought stable tumble and wobble; people that we expected to bring wisdom and sanity scratch their heads in amazement at their inability to do so. And– Like Noah, I protest—hey I’m retired! I should be able to kick back and enjoy my golden years and not have to think about arks.
Noah says to God—and what about that mess down there in the ark?! Who’s gonna clean that up? awwwwwww man.
Heading to Starlight to see just what might be happening in the watery part of the heavens, I find Jupiter right smack dab in what Darrelyn Gunzberg has named: The Stare of Cetus. Hmmmmmm
Awhile ago, Bernadette Brady wrote in the Visual Astrology Newsletter a piece called “Saviors Need Not Apply” . The title alone caught my eye. (and that piece was about Jupiter in the sky stories). I was reminded then of that other eye –the eye of Cetus. Darrelyn Gunzberg has brought that one to the surface with her eloquent writing and fascinating inquiry into what that whale means for people and “the” people.
She says of Cetus the whale in the April 2008 Visual Astrology Newsletter:
The ram of Aries shares his glory with no one and Cetus the Sea Monster is the unknown beast from the depths which can erupt bearing with it moments of great insight or chaos. When a planet/luminary passes through this area of the sky, then, depending on which planet/luminary that is, whilst it may imply independence or supremacy of an individual or a concept (in Aries, the Ram), it comes at a price, for it is trapped in the stare of the sea monster and there will be hidden issues which sit beneath it.
and more about Cetus in the May2008 VAN
(does Bill Cosby have anything connected to that whale and were those riffs “messages” as only great comedians can impart?)
Well lookie here—Bill Cosby does have the brightest star in the whale in paran with Jupiter. Quoting from the report that Starlight can generate for one’s sky story:
Menkar-The Whale, with Jupiter in Foundation
Feast or famine, the fickleness of life
Menkar is the alpha star of Cetus the whale, and this whale represents the human collective unconscious, that can erupt like a beast from the deep bearing, with equal probability, moments of great collective insight, or chaos and mayhem. Symbolic of these unconscious forces, Menkar’s effect on your life, via its paran to Jupiter, can be difficult. However, the collective unconscious is not always evil or dark, it can also be great and glorious. Jupiter will soften the impact of this star, and indicates that if you follow your intuition and reach for the big picture your success can be based on popular support. This can result in many different expressions. The record breaking and successful sports person, the gifted teacher, or perhaps the lawyer who represents a large collective issue. This really is a stellar combination of feast or famine. If you aim high some of your ideas and plans will definitely become popular, but at other times you will fall from grace. Learn to ride the waves and the valleys.
And Cetus is staring at the wandering star Uranus in Bill Cosby’s sky story as well. As with many comedians — as with the Jester — the truth get told. Think the current Jon Stewart show where many of us now go for our news :)–and I’m not kidding.
Since I’m identifying with Noah today. This is getting interesting.
Another twist is that in the night sky story’s cast of characters — Jupiter is considered the Crown Prince. That is the part he plays on the silver screen. And as we said above, currently (like right now) Jupiter is “in the stare of Cetus”. So um…. Speaking of “crown princes” wonder who else in on “ark-duty”. Note to God: Call Barack. Tell him about the ark thing and that there is no compromise.
About an hour ago, I heard about a friend of ours who for the umpteenth time is in hospital–a broken bone–now needing Physical Therapy–(she is in good hands and will be ok)–and–She is Mega Taurus–with Cetus staring at her Moon, Uranus and Venus!!
This woman is amazing—she just takes the pain and inconvenience and suffering and transforms it into smiles and love for all–and I do mean ALL. She turns what is tough and chaotic into music and gratitude and courage. Frankly she is quite impressive and a grand example of how to manage that stare from the deep.
Recently we were all together at Teatro Zinzani’s celebrating Elaine’s 75th birthday and enjoying a grand evening
—seeing her chart, one is not surprised when Joan Baez picks her out of the crowd, walks over, takes her hand and sings to her. (now Elaine will be the first to tell you that that had happened before—with Joan herself at another event–yes–Joan Baez loves Elaine Levine. It is on a tree somewhere in the forrest.with a heart around it–carved. ).
Good work with that whale, girl. This song’s for you.
Ok…gang—-let’s go build some ark’s.
PS–Darrelyn recently wrote a very moving piece about Amy Winehouse and her life lived in the stare of Cetus in the July VAN (You can sign up to receive these newsletters at http://www.zyntara.com–well worth it!)
She writes: The eastern horizon
Additionally, rising in the east and lying above that eastern horizon and along it at the time of her birth was Cetus, the Sea Monster, carrying hidden issues from deep within the collective. Those issues found a ready voice in Winehouse. Lyrics that were intensely autobiographical, a voice that was suffused with gritty realism, the more complicated her personal life became, the more successful she became as an artist.
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′.
- 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.
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.
Stay tuned…and be in touch
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.
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.”
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 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.”
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.
By Marcia Buchart
It always feels, to me, as if the lunar eclipses are more conducive to feeling nutsoid than the solar eclipses. In solar eclipses a magical thing happens: at totality, one can look directly at the sun. In Egyptian and Hellenistic cultures, the Sun was associated with Divinity and Divine Purpose. Following this line of tradition the Sun, more than Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto or the Nodes, has to do with one’s spiritual purpose, the spark of divinity within. And when is the best time to get a glimpse of that? When the Moon, our nearest celestial neighbor, has protected us, when She has shielded our eyes sufficiently that we can gaze upon the Source of our magnificence without damage. Before the era of satellites and Hubble telescopes, astronomers eagerly awaited eclipses because it was then that they could learn the most about the sun. In the darkened sky during totality, one can get a visual handle on divine purpose.
It can be quite centering, as I learned when I witnessed my first eclipse in Hawaii in 1991. I had just abandoned Corporate America and was still quaking within, wondering what in heck I could possibly thinking of, to leave without the pension, the gold watch…but during the trip, gazing on the spectacle above I was spellbound. I could see solar prominences—93,000,000 miles away!—with my naked eye. And, upon returning from the trip, I suddenly found myself inwardly centered, still unsure how the rest of my life would unfold, but sure that I had done the right thing.
I married on a solar eclipse (one that occurred only 4 degrees away from where the sun will be when a lunar eclipse occurs on June 15!). Any electional astrologer would shudder with horror at such a thing, as I was to find out decades later. However, our marriage is now in its 37th year. Our first year together was extremely difficult, materially and emotionally, yet it never entered my head to abandon the course on which we had embarked. Again, I knew not what I was doing, really, or how it would turn out, only that I was somehow on the right path.
Ah, but lunar eclipses…may be very different animals altogether.
Even though Bernadette Brady’s first book to look at them extensively, The Eagle and the Lark, pairs lunar eclipses with the Saros Series numbers of nearby solar eclipses, she recently told me of an alternate measuring scheme for them. The first solar eclipse of any Saros series begins near either the north or south pole. However, while astronomers use this same method for organizing solar eclipse series that astrologers do, they treat lunar eclipses on their own terms. To astronomers, the first lunar eclipse of a given series begins with a lunar eclipse near the equator. Think about it: the initiation point of any solar eclipse series begins near an axis, a stable point, an anchor, as it were, around which the earth spins. But lunar eclipse series, under this definition, begin at a geophysical point of maximum centrifugal force, which, if not withstood by competing forces (Goddess bless gravity), will fling things far and wide into the great beyond.
Feel flung around a bit? Scattered to the four winds? Running in circles? Maybe the centrifugal force of an upcoming lunar eclipse is in play.
But wait—there’s more!
How many of you have watched a lunar eclipse?
You watch the moon slowly vanish from full to a tiny crescent to “new”, then to a waxing crescent and back to full. It’s as if a whole month had passed within a single night. Any month with a lunar eclipse in it has, symbolically, 60 days!
Feeling that your plate is a bit full? That all of a sudden there is far too much to accomplish in a standard 24-hour day? Well, no wonder! And you thought it was only because Uranus is in Aries…
As I write these words, I am preparing for an anniversary trip which will begin on the day of the lunar eclipse (in which the Sun is close to the degree of our marriage eclipse). And in the middle of typing this up, the phone rings. My spouse’s new boss demands that he be in Massachusetts for their first face-to-face the day after we are supposed to return from our vacation. Since we live in Washington state…okay, quick phone call to the ferry to reschedule our return sailing from Victoria, BC; mad dashing around on his part to get travel arrangements into place; I’ll have to drive him from Anacortes to SeaTac to hop a red-eye for Boston. Lunacy!
But! not everybody will be dashing to and fro. The reason this eclipse is affecting us is because the degree affects our marriage chart and both our birth charts. If you don’t have planets or chart angles in hard aspect to 24 Sagittarius/Gemini, sit back with your popcorn and giggle while you watch the rest of us fly around like bats out of wherever.
OH, BUT WAIT–THERE’S EVEN MORE
The Moon and Sun, in the eclipse chart, are both in paran to Ras Alhague, the head of the Great Healer, that infamous “13th Sign”, Ophiuchus. If you look at the Starlight map, you’ll see the Moon down near his foot.
And since these parans are Foundational (they are tied to the IC) a lasting effect of the eclipse may involve a breakthrough in mending things—what things to be mended? Whatever is relevant to the individual depending on where the eclipse falls in her/his chart. What houses do the signs Sagittarius and Gemini occupy? A balance point may be able to be struck that brings order back to one’s life, possibly not before things come apart, so to speak; after all, if you have too many things in the air, how long will it be before at least one goes crunch on the ground? The solution when the straw breaks the camel’s back is not to blame the camel, but to lighten its load—after you take the poor beast to the vet and get it well again.
Do you really need to have your own back broken before you say, “No more”?
Here’s Lookin’ at you through Crazy Eyes!
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.
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!
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.
“. . . 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.
“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).
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.
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.
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
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)
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.
Where is your Mercury?