On Monday, May 14, 2012, it began…a grand, extended spectacle of high astrological drama set against the stars of the Great Bull of Heaven.  Venus stationed retrograde in the tropical sign of Gemini while also conjoining El Nath, the tip of the Great Bull’s North Horn.

 She formally turned retrograde the next day — Tuesday morningThis is just one of the actions that forms a prelude to the Venus Transit—Venus actually moving across the solar disc—on Jun 5th, 2012.

This whole series of events is a mammoth sequence of conjunctions—Venus with the Pleiades, Venus with El Nath, Sun with Jupiter, the solar eclipse of May 20TH, Jupiter with Mercury, Mercury with the Sun (where He sheds His worn-out Explorer’s leathers for His Administrative robes , Mercury with Venus, Venus with the Sun, Venus turning away from a conjunction with Jupiter, Venus with Aldebaran, Venus with Chi1 Orionis [the business end of Orion’s club]. 

         OMG, this whole sequence will last until August 6! 

There seem to be so many energies mixing it up, it’s like being in a multiplex  with about a dozen movies playing.

Fox Theater Marquee, Detroit MI-from artistmac’s photostream

  But these movies all have a common backstory featured somewhere in their plot lines: that of The Great Bull. 

There are observers who find this potentially menacing, especially cringing to see Venus on the point of the Horn.  We remember Queen Pasiphae (pronounced Pa-siph-ah-ee) of Crete, smitten by an angry Poseidon with lust for the bull her royal husband, King Minos, reneged on his promise to sacrifice;their union produced the monster, the Minotaur.

 And Minos himself was a son of Zeus by Europa, whom Zeus abducted and bore off to Crete while in disguise as—you guessed it—a bull.


Painting by Guy Ottewell

But it’s important to remember that Venus is in the process of preparing to make Her inferior conjunction to the Sun to begin a new storyline—the “Gemini Journey”, as astrologer, Adam Gainsburg would call it.  And Adam’s read on the possibility for dramatic change in the way we live our Inner Feminine in the outer world is inspiring.

NOTE: You can click here to listen his Podcast on-The 2012 Venus Transit at his site:  and we highly recommend this great video Adam made of the Venus Transit on Vimeo–it is stunning.

So: in that spirit, let’s imagine Venus taking the Bull by the horns—and perhaps even enjoying the wild ride! 

Which brings up the next point: is it possible that, with all these beginnings—symbolized by the succession of conjunctions—that there’s a way to view the whole scenario that doesn’t automatically spell death, doom and destruction? 

What if…instead of being caught up in a bullfight

 we’re caught up a dance?

We can take a hint from ancient Crete’s bull worship, which involved grabbing the horns, somersaulting over animal’s head (aided by its natural reflex effort to toss you off), landing on its back–and then sticking your dismount.

Hey, Venus is already showing us the way!  Dangerous?  Certainly.  Thrilling?  Yes!  Inevitably fatal?  No.

Don’t forget there are another couple of “bull dancers” up there as well: Mercury and Jupiter. 

Say what? How are they possibly bull dancers?  Heh!

Ever seen footage of a rodeo?

Bull riding is a major event where the point is not to kill or be killed, but to stay on the animal’s back longer than your competitors.  Jupiter, hovering around the Bull’s shoulders and back all spring, certainly seems determined to stay on as long as He can. 

Yippee Kiyay! Ride ’em Zeus!  

He is aided and abetted by His faithful rodeo clown, Mercury  whose main job is to distract the bull after the rider (inevitably) falls off.  The rodeo clowns have arguably the most dangerous job in the sport.  (Mercury a daring hero?  Who knew?)

So come to the multiplex with us as we peek into each theater over the coming weeks to check out all the storylines in play. 

Bring your popcorn.  With the butter .


‘BYA’ and You, Too, Will Thrive in 2012

By Marcia Buchart

Well, folks, it’s finally here: that (in)famous year of many prophecies—ranging from the catastrophic

Charon whipping the damned into Hell

 to the exalting. One of the most thoughtful little takes on the subject comes from a British contributor to the articles in my Astro Diary:

“Whatever the accuracy or relevance of the…predictions, I am nevertheless extremely impressed by the eagerness with which we have latched onto the whole idea.  I believe it [the eagerness] is symptomatic of an awareness, resonating deep within the collective, that we cannot continue in accustomed ways.

“Western astrological methodologies are sufficient in themselves to indicate that we are currently living through revolutionary times, akin to the threshold of a new season.” (emphasis mine) –Tchenka

The threshold of a new season.  The threshold of a new season!  A threshold that will last for three years, because the main aspect between planets which has built this threshold is a 90-degree square between

Pluto in Capricorn

Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn.

And they will open this door seven times now and 2015!  The door will be fully operational for the first time in June and again in September this year, at around 8 and 7 degrees of the respective signs. 

Hans Baker (also writing in my Astro Diary) terms this “the revolutionary imperative”.  Many of my friends’ conversations these days revolve around the hope that they won’t be completely destroyed in the upcoming upheavals.

And yet…

How many of you have walked out in late winter and suddenly sensed that the wind felt different, that it carried hints of warmth and moisture?  Or noticed the flush on formerly ashen twigs at the tips of tree branches?  Or noticed the first bits of vegetation poking through leaf mold on the forest floor? Or that it’s not pitch black in the morning when you go out to retrieve the paper from the slop in the driveway?  Yes, it’s still wet and raw and soggy and frigid and there’s a long slog of crummy weather ahead, but you can feel the shift beginning to gather force.  And you long for this shift, you hunger for it, for the new life that is stirring, readying to burst forth.

How can you ready yourself to receive the new life that could burst forth in you?  Well, taking a clue from the planets of the revolutionary imperative, you can do something really game-changing (Uranus) that will help eliminate (Pluto) old crap you no longer need.  Yeah, I know you’ve heard this line before and I can even feel myself stiffen up inside against the expected pain of deciding what to toss and what to keep.

But I propose that the truly revolutionary, Uranian, concept you can embody involves not a struggle to become conscious of all that might be tossed or kept and agonized over in the process, but in becoming conscious of the utterly magical, completely natural, Plutonic processes that already exist within you, constantly deciding what to toss and keep, purifying you, preserving your life by getting rid of the outworn, the toxic, the unneeded.  And the only times—the only times!—they fail to do so is when you’ve done something to wreck their function, whether it’s taking in too many toxins or trying to interfere with their function because of social embarrassment.

How about…your lungs for example?  “Every breath you take”—well, actually, every breath you let out—cleanses you.  And it’s not just your lungs doing this job!  Oh no—how about your…sinuses?  Magical holes within your head (ruled by Aries, the sign currently inhabited by Uranus) that are in constant clean-up mode.  Magical nose hairs, catching all kinds of crud to keep it out of your lungs.  We blow our noses in the morning and think, “Yuck! Disgusting!” but the maligned body parts that produced our snot are utterly magical.

Or how about…your skin?  What a beautiful, Capricornian thing, skin!  It protects and defends you and flushes toxins out through its pores.  The next time you cringe at the sight of a pimple or worry about how your sweat smells, or feel painfully embarrassed by being soaked in sweat, realize the magic taking place as it strives to purify you from within.  When the first summer heat comes on, I’m often miserable for the first two days.  Then, suddenly, it’s as if my body “remembers” how to clear itself via sweating.  And suddenly I feel all better, covered in stinky dew but so much less clotted and congested.

Okay, the liver and the kidneys are naturals as well, no?  Many medical traditions set great store by keeping these organs in top form.  But did you ever stop to consider the miracle of the bladder?  The kidneys are often considered the more “valuable” part of the system, but let’s not forget the part that labors day-in-and-day-out against the force of gravity.  Which leads us, finally, to the organ most frequently associated with Plutonic elimination, the colon.  Well no: not finally.  Medical traditions also recognize the value of a healthy colon but think about the endpoint of the colon, the body part we use as a slang term for a really malignant idiot, a total jerk.  We don’t refer to such a person as a sinus, a nose hair, a kidney, a bladder, a sweat gland.  We call such a person an asshole.

Titania with Nick Bottom (whose head is now a donkey)

Here, then, is your revolutionary assignment to ready yourself for the new season: stop using the word “asshole” as an insult.  To be more imaginatively insulting, try emulating, maybe, Hamlet who referred to his uncle, Claudius, as “a mildewed ear”.  (Actually, Shakespeare has a wonderful catalogue of such body-part insults that could be redeployed to good effect; there’s even a website to help you create your own.)

Rodin's Thinker on the throne

Instead, bless your asshole (*BYA).  Thank your asshole with heartfelt sincerity every time you sit down on the porcelain throne of the god (never realized you had divine thrones and altars to Pluto, the Lord of Elimination, so critical to your domiciles, did you?). Especially thank your asshole when you know you’ve ingested that which made its work that much harder.  Because that which your asshole relieves you of is also Plutonically magical and, after transformation, can be used to help the new life of the new season—and your life—thrive.

Therefore, be not deaf, thou gleeking, tickle-brained, jolthead! BYA!!

[created with the help of]

About the December 10th Eclipse that hopefully we will see!

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 ):

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!

Merry Christmas?  

um– I guess you could call us women who run with the bulls!

BUDDY Susan C Walsh 1999 Acrylic on Canvas

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.


By Marcia Buchart

How many of you have seen the video of Elizabeth Warren?

Rather marvelous, Not only because what she says needs saying, but because sometimes, the universe gives you just the right sign.  Something occurs that captures the essence of the celestial energies in play so well that it, well, goes viral through the public’s consciousness.  It is a terrific bonus when it also illuminates a neglected aspect of a zodiac sign’s energetics. 

I’m talking about Libra

On September 27, we had a New Moon at 4 degrees Libra.

That New Moon followed hard upon the autumn equinox of September 23 (when the Sun ‘ingresses’, or enters the sign Libra).  Many of my friends had also been biting their nails over the fact that just after the ingress the Sun would promptly form a configuration known as either a T-Square or T-Cross. 

It will directly face Uranus in Aries while making a square (90-degree angle) to Pluto in Capricorn.  And the Sun was not alone in this dynamic!  First, Venus marched across the relevant degrees from Sep 17 – 19.  The Sun followed on September 26 – 27, with the Moon catching up to join Him on the 27th while Mercury galloped into the fray on both the 27th and 28th, finishing the dynamic by conjoining the Sun and thereby fully shedding  (see previous post regarding Mercury and his roles in your chart) His Explorer outfit and putting on His Administrative robes.) 

And on the 28th, Themis, the Greek goddess of divine justice,stepped up and had some strong words (Mercury) to say about the social contract (Libra) she deemed should exist between the self-proclaimed, independent overlords (Sun) and the common people (Moon).

Mythic Themis, a daughter of Gaia, sat at the side of Zeus to give him counsel.

She also had a function of judging the souls of the newly deceased to determine whether they would enter Tartarus or the Elysian Fields. 

This bears a striking resemblance to another Goddess with such a function: Maat.  

She held a feather that was placed on a scale to weigh the heart of a deceased person to determine the soul’s worthiness.

Calmly impartial deities of divine justice don’t often seem to gibe with popular notions of Libra.  The sign’s keyword is “I Balance”.  But, when we think of balance, how many times do we think of maintaining stasis?  Of taking no action whatever?  But Libra is one of the Cardinal signs, whose energies initiate the beginning of a season, something too often overlooked. 

None of the Cardinal signs—Aries, Cancer, Capricorn and, yes, Libra—are passive, paralyzed or wimpy. 

To get a sense of Libra in your own body, stand up.  Close your eyes.  And just stand there.  Feel the minute adjustments your body must make to remain upright.  Now open your eyes and, with that consciousness of your body’s balance engaged, walk. 

Miraculous, isn’t it, this exquisitely controlled falling forward?  

You are using balance to move forward not to stand still! 

Just like dancers,



                                                  —all are using balance in order to move.

“Well, gee,” you might be saying, “all this balance stuff for walking requires an inward focus.  Isn’t Libra about focusing on The Other?”

Okay, let’s do another exercise, this time with a partner.  Get someone to sing ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’ with you (maybe after a few glasses of whatever).  Sing it first in unison.  Not too hard; we all remember the tune.  Next, try singing it as a round:

Voice 1: Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream/
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream/

                  Voice 2: Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream/                                                     Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily…

…and so forth. 

Harder, yes?  You not only have to listen to The Other to know when to come in, you have to focus with great intent on “hearing” you own inner musical line, so you can contribute to the harmony.  Without that inner focus on your own contribution, you won’t have anything to contribute.

Wouldn’t you know, this exercise was presented in a class I took with a teacher who had five (count them!) planets in Libra, including her Sun.

But what about Libra’s reputation as Mr. or Ms. Nicey-Nice, who will do anything, say anything to avoid conflict?  In an astrological joke series, you identify someone’s Sun sign by what they say after having sex with you.  The stereotypical Libra response is, “I liked it if you liked it!”  The idea is that balance and harmony are so important to Libra that a Libra Sun person is afraid to rock the boat, to disturb the peace.

Oh really?

How about the Libra who values balance and harmony enough to fight for them?  To initiate action? 

Such as…   Brigitte Bardot

(sexy movie star, to be sure, AND activist for animal rights)
 or radical feminist Andrea Dworkin

or real-life hero Christopher Reeves who never gave up striving to walk                                                                                                                                           

    or President Eisenhower who, long before the “I Like Ike” campaign buttons were                                         handed out, was the American general heading the WWII effort in Europe 

–Lenny Bruce, the bitter, sardonic comic

                                     John Lennon, who led protests to “Give Peace A Chance

   rebel psychiatrist R.D. Laing, who fought the existing medical models of psychosis 

—controversial tennis champions Serena Williams and Martina Navratilova     

–Solidarity co-founder and political leader Lech Walesa 

or Jesse Jackson  

The current march of planets through Libra’s early degrees, which hook them up with revolutionary Uranus and transformative Pluto, have made Libra’s steel, the sword in the hand of Themis, visible. 

Do you have planets in early Libra?  Were you thinking of hiding under the covers for the next three years until Uranus and Pluto have left town? 



The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single (exquisitely balanced) step.

Scary?  You bet. 

But it could also be the thrill of a lifetime, knowing that

the art of balance can—must!—be used to move you forward.

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?


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…”

Hey– I been good!

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.

Is that you, Cetus? Collage C.Johnson 2010

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.

There is revolution in the air. And Arks to be built. Yup.  But as Noah says:  um….what’s an ark?

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.

Plus she attracts the greats. 

Recently we were all together at Teatro Zinzani’s celebrating Elaine’s 75th birthday and enjoying a grand evening

Elaine, Rhoberta, Claudia and Susan June2011

—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–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.[8]



A Tale of Two Mercuries by Marcia Buchart

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 for Jeff & Rick’s lecture held in Redmond WA).

This would seem to be Governmental Mercury Behaving Badly with a vengeance.  But if, as I argued in the earlier post, such a Mercury is essentially carrying out the King’s policy, what the heck was going on?

Let’s see if we can unpack this.

Although Mercury is only one planet, He behaves almost like two, depending on whether He’s a morning star (explorer) or evening star (governmental).  So does Venus, in astrological legend (particularly Meso-American); She shares, with Mercury, a common pattern of visibility, one very different from the Moon and the planets from Mars on out.  All the planets from Mars on out always make their first appearance after a conjunction with the Sun in the morning, visible before the dawn; the Moon, after Her conjunction always makes her first appearance in the evening, just after sunset.  What does Mercury do?  After a conjunction with the Sun, Mercury appears (when retrograde) in the morning—before dawn; then He stops, turns direct, re-conjoins the Sun and appears in the evening—after sunset; then he speeds ahead of the Sun, then stops, turns retrograde, and heads back for the next conjunction with the Sun.  He and Venus seesaw back and forth in this pattern from a visual perspective.

Well, that’s cool, you say, but what does it have to do with anything?

Simply this: the way Mercury—or any planet—behaves in the different phases of any given cycle is possibly formed by the energies in play when it last conjoined the Sun.  You can pick up hints of this philosophy when reading interpretive ideas about the Moon’s phases; the Zodiac sign in which they conjoined (the New Moon) is felt to color the whole monthly cycle.  Current astrological literature extrapolates this idea to all planetary cycles vis-à-vis each other.  For instance, the transiting Uranus-Pluto square is sometimes interpreted with reference back to the sign in which they last conjoined—Virgo—to begin their current cycle.

So: following this line of reasoning, the Mercurial hornet’s nest we’ve been dumbfounded to witness has not all that much to do with Mercury turning retrograde on August 2.  It has its roots in the energies in play during Mercury’s most recent conjunction with the Sun, which took place on June 12 at 21° Gemini 39′.

Look at the horoscope for that conjunction, set for Washington D.C: 

  • The first startling thing about this conjunction is that it doesn’t make any aspects to any other planets!  It’s operating all by itself.  Whatever transpires between the Executive and Legislative/Judicial branches feels unconnected to anything else going on and no one else can really get in effective input.  Most importantly, it isn’t connected to the Moon, the heavenly body who symbolizes the common populace in a “mundane” chart.
  • The next thing to notice is that Mercury is in Gemini, a sign He rules.  This makes Mercury powerful.  Since Mercury has more power than the Sun in Gemini, this perhaps says that the arms of the government other than executive are going to be the ones forcing policy, not the other way around.
  • The next rather delightful tidbit gave me my “Aha!” moment about the conjunction: if you could have seen it in the sky, the Sun and Mercury lay smack in between the Horns in the constellation of the Great Bull of Heaven.
Sun and Mercury in the horns of the bull (using Starlight
  •   A charging bull, at that!


  • All kinds of images spring to mind, don’t they?  “On the horns of a dilemma”…”taking the bull by the horns”…”between a rock and a hard place”…”when the rock falls on the egg, alas for the egg, but! if the egg falls on the rock, alas for the egg”…okay, I’ll stop.No wonder there was such a fight, especially since by July 21 Mars —always spoiling for a fight—had moved forward to the degree of the Sun-Mercury conjunction.  And Mars’ scrappy presence (“Words are weapons / Sharper than knives / Makes you wonder how the other half died”) was only intensifying…
  • …the final thing, which is exceedingly subtle (and probably only “visible” to an astrology wonk (a technical term)—guilty as charged).  The degree of this conjunction has a special relationship with the degree of the July 1 “mass molt” solar eclipse, called an antiscial relationship.  Antiscia, also known as solstice points, are like ‘mirror degrees’ arranged around the 0 Cancer-0 Capricorn solstice axis of the zodiac.  Planets in antiscial degrees don’t function as direct aspects tend to; they are not “interacting” with each other.  They more often resonate to each other, as a crystal goblet will “sing” when a note is played that matches the harmonic frequency in the glass.

 So when the eclipse occurred on the solstice point of the Sun-Mercury conjunction, and Mars joined the party three weeks later, the heat was on: molt (raise the debt ceiling) or die.

Now, Governmental Mercury is heading (staggering?) back to the King.  It will be really interesting to see what happens on August 16, 2011, when the Sun and Mercury conjoin again at 23° Leo 49′.  Because now, the Sun—who rules Leo—will have the upper hand.

Stay tuned…and be in touch  

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!    

Lunar Eclipses and Nutsoidness (a technical term)

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.


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.eclipse camel china

Do you really need to have your own back broken before you say, “No more”?

Here’s Lookin’ at you through Crazy Eyes!

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.

“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


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

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