WHEN THEMIS SPEAKS

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,

 skaters,

gymnasts,

                                                  —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? 

Fuggedaboudit. 

Walk. 

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.

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.

Ri-i-ight!

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 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.[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 www.stariq.com for Jeff & Rick’s lecture held in Redmond WA).

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

Let’s see if we can unpack this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Marcia Buchart

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

Zone of Retrogradation Mercury Mountain Astrologer AprMay2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In response to Susan’s comment~

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

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

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

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

Where is your Mercury?

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

by Carol Ferris

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

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

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

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

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

Pine Mountain Observatory Oregon
Robert Jastrow, space scientist and author of Until the Sun Dies notes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Motion of Barycenter of the solar system relative to the Sun

Watch:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

fractal strings from omnicentric universe


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