Evolutionary astrology

Full Moon In Sagittarius: Making the Most of Our Jupiter Time

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Life’s a show and we all play a part. And when the music starts, we open our hearts.
— Joss Whedon
Once in a while we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if you look at it right.
— Robert Hunter

HAPPY FULL MOON IN SAGITTARIUS everyone - very early Monday morning, June 17th, 1:31 AM PDT, in Sagittarius, 25˚ 53’. Jupiter, 18˚38’ retrograde in Sagittarius, square Neptune, 18˚43’ Pisces. Mars, 20˚41’, Mercury, 19˚52’ in Cancer, opposing south node 17˚39’, Saturn 18˚48’, and Pluto 22˚32 Capricorn.

There are a number of very strong – potentially difficult – aspects in the sky between planets at the moment, but I don’t want to stress what might be “bad” or “stuck” or “angry” in this post. I had a great night last night dancing with my local friends and community under the moonlight with big, bright Jupiter. So, instead of focusing upon the heavy Mars and Mercury in Cancer opposing the south node, Saturn and Pluto energy, I’m going to write about the Moon in Sagittarius for the hope it brings and for its suggestion of what the current passage of Jupiter in Sagittarius offers us in the months ahead.

 

Last month I wrote about the current Jupiter / Neptune square, exact this Sunday, June 16th , PDT – Happy Father’s Day! The higher road to take with this square is to allow our minds to observe and teach us how life is an ongoing “movie” of our perceptions – always unfolding around us  - and realize our minds create the reality we experience, what we believe. We can, and continue to be, power players for social change and justice, but it is our thoughts, attitudes and reactions to the “movie” surrounding us daily that can open us to synchronicity and positive change. Enter Jupiter in one of his favorite signs, Sagittarius, giving him strength and us faith and gumption to see “the glass half full” -look to see what House Jupiter is traveling by transit in your birth chart.

 

Jupiter is at 18˚ 38’ retrograde at the time of the Full Moon, allowing us to retread and reconsider where in life the universe is granting us a chance to see what we can make out of that “half a full glass,” to reevaluate “What do we really want?” – again, refer to your unique chart for the best scenarios for you. Back on April 10th, Jupiter stationed and turned retrograde at 24˚ Sagittarius, close but just shy of reaching where the Moon is full this coming Monday, at 25˚54. This Full Moon gives us a meditation to manifest the ideas, plans, aspirations we hope for as Jupiter again approaches that degree in the zodiac mid-November, this coming fall.

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Meanwhile, those with planets in the Cardinal signs, especially Cancer and Capricorn between 15-24˚, try to feel through this time and don’t put too much weight on what appears stuck or blocked. Try to embrace the higher road with the current Jupiter/ Neptune square to see life for what it really is – a series of movie stills – and how we have the power and freedom to control our reactions, our joys, our journeys.

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Winds of Jupiter

 

Here’s a quick illustration of how you can use Jupiter by transit to guide you. It is a personal story, but perhaps it may help. Six years ago, Jupiter was moving through the sign Gemini and traveling through my own 3rd House, house of communication, teaching and perception among other things. My natal Moon is in the 3rd House and I wanted to be close to my mother at the time, because she was close to passing away. Moon is often tied in with one’s mom. Gemini is often associated with siblings, local travel and, as it is a sign ruled by Mercury, mental perceptions and again communication. Knowing the glass was “half full” in these realms, I sought out my brother, Jeff, a filmmaker, to work with me on making a film about African art, to use as a teaching tool in art history, a project that involved a trip to Ireland, and a rare chance to work closely on a collaborative film project with my older bro.

Because, in part, I took the chance to engage my brother, in Gemini fashion, in making the movie, synchronicity opened another door; my brother, it turned out, had done a film already, a few years back, with the very same community who happened to own that very same African art collection – but this time in Tenafly, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from my mom’s home. This part of the film production with my brother gave me the gift of time and local travel to be near my family at such a critical moment. Synchronicity brought me closer to my mother when she needed me – she died the following fall in November, when the planet Saturn met my natal Neptune in the 8th House. I used the transit (movement of) Jupiter then and it worked for me. It was not “predictive,” so much as it was instructive and it was useful to know. The film, by the way, became part of a successful sabbatical time for me as an art history professor. I learned a lot by being involved with the film’s production. And all of this unfolded, well, just because I bothered to take a look at Jupiter in Gemini, in my 3rd House.

 What does it hurt to look?

Where does this Full Moon in Sagittarius fall in your birth chart? Where is Jupiter currently moving retrograde and what doors of synchronicity may open for you in the months ahead? Blessings on the Full Moon! Blessings on Father’s Day!

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Full Moon In Scorpio, Upcoming Jupiter Square Neptune: It's Time We Stop, Hey, What's That Sound, Everybody Look What's Going Down

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I thought I heard a young man moan this mornin’
I thought I heard a young man moan today
I thought I heard a young man moan this mornin’
I can’t walk you out in the morning dew today
— Morning Dew, folk song by Bonnie Dobson. Opening song by the Grateful Dead at the Human Be-In, January, 1967.

Full Moon, 27˚39’ Scorpio, Sun, 27˚39’ Taurus Conjunct Mercury, 24˚24’ Taurus, Jupiter retrograde, 22˚12’ Sagittarius, Neptune, 18˚25’ Pisces, 2:11 PM PDT, May 18, 2019. Upcoming: Jupiter, 18˚43’ Sagittarius Square Neptune, 18˚43’ Pisces, 8:18 AM PDT, June 16th, 2019.

I love this old photo of hippies in San Francisco. It fits well into what I want to write and say about our current astrological moment. The light in the image gives me a feeling of the surreal; a sunny day of fun and laughter, but something lies underneath, something in the realm of a passing mood, an intensity of feeling.

You might be thinking, “What does all this have to do with a Scorpio Moon? Where are the scorpions? Where is the telltale sign of the zodiac?” I promise I’ll connect back.

Sometimes I find it intriguing to look back in time and compare an historical moment, what was happening in the sky then, and follow up in my mind with a reflection upon the current moment in terms of astrology. This coming June we have the second in a series of three 90˚ squares between the faster moving planet Jupiter, in Sagittarius, and the slower moving Neptune now in Pisces. Jupiter forms a square with Neptune about roughly every six to seven years, so it has a certain cyclical rhythm to it, though the timing of the exact aspect varies and several can happen in one year, as we have this year, because of retrograde motion. The square first occurred this past January, about two weeks after the start of the New year. Then in April Jupiter turned retrograde (perceived backward motion) and, as I write, the planet is four degrees away from another exact square that will occur on June 16th, Father’s Day. The third hit will happen just before autumn equinox in September, after Jupiter swings direct in August.

I decided to write about this square now, on the Full Moon in Scorpio, rather than when it happens next month, just before the June Full Moon, in part because I believe the historical comparison I make speaks to the nature of Scorpio as a sign – to help us with the feeling of this current Full Moon. But I also hope it helps us contemplate Jupiter’s retrograde passage leading back to the square. Better to have the information now while the energy builds! The stationing, slowing and stopping before moving retrograde, of the planet Neptune at 18˚ the week following the square, strengthens the tension of these two archetypal energies, Sagittarius and Pisces, to the eventual separation of the aspect later in the September. Also during our current Full Moon, Mercury, right now in opposing Taurus, opens us up to ideas and perceptions we might feel on an intuitive level about what this longer phenomenon might mean for us both on an individual and on a collective level.

The time in history I chose is the Summer of Love and then the following fall of the year 1967. The square in the sky between Jupiter and Neptune then shared signs in common elements as the current square in 2019, though the signs, Leo and Scorpio respectively, were, of course, very different from today’s Sagittarius and Pisces. The exact square occurred in early September in ’67. Jupiter had entered Leo briefly in late 1966, turned retrograde, and then when the planet was at 0˚ Leo again, Jupiter graced the infamous San Francisco Human Be-in of January 14th, 1967. Jupiter in Leo – a fire sign that embraces the joie de vivre and celebration of self-expression so characteristic of the moment, all the folks who flocked to San Francisco and embraced hippie culture, the passions of the times, the psychedelic play and performance of the era. Those of that generation, especially those with natal planets in Leo, many with Pluto in the sign when they were born, or those with Leo in their 5th House – must have reveled in enjoying the ride.

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Meanwhile Neptune – planet of shared consciousness and mass spiritual sensitivities in the intuitive water sign of Scorpio – brought the intense feelings and awareness always under the surface of the thoughts and memories of those being sent abroad, those killed and maimed in Vietnam, the horrors of war, the suffering and fear and reality that you or those you loved could be next. What a deep, true feeling – so Scorpionic – embodying Neptune’s compassion through its passage through the sign. Somewhere deep below the play and revelry of Jupiter in Leo, demonstrative and heartfelt, if at times ostentatious and loud, wasn’t there always the underlying fact of it all being so fragile? Both pain and pleasure were real.

About a month after the square was exact, when it was waning, on October 6, 1967, the Hippies staged the now famous “Death of a Hippie” – a mock funeral through Haight-Ashbury neighborhood – declaring the media had “sold out” the concept of the Hippie – now a product of mass culture, the Hippie had been appropriated into the mainstream and became an empty shell of the very symbol of the countercultural. The Moon in Scorpio that day, October 6th, triggered the larger Neptune in Scorpio and the sextile to Uranus and Pluto in Virgo; all underscored “death” and truth as radical steps in maintaining the very power for social change embedded in that fun-loving, but in some ways very serious, certainly impactful, self-expressive spirit of a Leo generation.

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So how does this relate to 2019? To the passing months surrounding the square now between Jupiter and Neptune? Jupiter currently in Sagittarius – like Leo, a fire sign – brings a passionate enthusiasm, in this case for Sagittarian truths we seek, our philosophical views, our opinions, our quests to understand, while also, at times, a push to adamantly make our beliefs known. Neptune in Pisces, like Scorpio a water sign, feels deeply, but with no boundaries, dissolves our understanding, brings about delusion and confusion – while nurturing a collective desire to connect with what is larger than ourselves, to escape (whether through the current episode of Game of Thrones or, of a more serious concern, through opioid addiction), to find the Divine, the spiritual in a world desperately in need of healing. Passion is muddled with Neptunian confusion and lack of clarity and creates tension with our set notions of what is right, with our higher ideals, especially if we remain rigid to what those ideals and beliefs are.

The timing of this past March’s retrograde passage of Mercury in Pisces and the unfolding dramas of what we learned, or even more so what remained hidden, in the Mueller Report, suggest the difficulties inherent in Neptunian and Piscean communication. The very day, March 24th, that Mercury made a transit to Neptune in Pisces, Attorney General Bill Barr sent his summary to Congress, writing that while the Mueller report "does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him." There seemed a shared frustration many of us felt over the lack of clarity around what is actually in the report. Deception seemed to abound. Donald Trump’s Natal Moon at 21˚ Sagittarius, opposing his Gemini Sun (the President was born on a lunar eclipse), ties him emotionally into proving “he is right” under this upcoming square. Now another critical issue angering so many Americans concerned in protecting a woman’s right to choose, we watch state after state rushing to pass radical anti-abortion laws that even some on the far right are claiming have “gone too far.”

There is such tension now in the world between what we hold to be true individually, among our closed networks of family, peers, neighbors, co-workers and colleagues, and what we need to feel and do collectively for true compassion and change in support of all beings “with a heartbeat” and for the survival of our planet.  

Thinking this way about the astrological moment, the Full Moon in Scorpio or the square between Jupiter and Neptune, in the realm of the collective, is mundane astrology. But I feel it is worth asking “How do we use this square productively in our own lives?” Consider where the square falls in your own natal chart. As Jupiter moves retrograde, can we wrestle with what this means for us individually? A Scorpio Full Moon may help us begin the process with a penetrating intuition into what our hearts hold true.

How do we dissolve ego and feel compassion for the many, while also holding onto our own truths and values? Does “my truth,” my “faith”, where in life I quest for understanding, need to be reevaluated? Or, even more relevant, where do I force my opinion or belief without honoring what others bring to the table?

In what arena have I been underestimating myself? Where do I need to question or expand upon my beliefs, my principles, and how can I act with compassion to make a lasting difference? To me, thinking of new paradigms and opening to ways more constructive to the common good sounds like a much higher road to take with Jupiter and Neptune!

Wishing everyone a great Full Moon!

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Vernal Equinox, A Libra Full Moon, The Sun and Chiron: My Values and My Needs Are Part of The Balance!

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Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right
— George Harrison
Don’t compromise yourself. You’re all you’ve got.
— Janis Joplin

Full Moon in Libra 0˚09’, 6:43 PM PDT, Sun 0˚09’ Aries conjunct Chiron at 1˚45, March 20th. Moon quincunx Uranus at 0˚42’ Taurus.

Sometimes life just seems to be about navigating that fine balance we create with others, while we also defend what we hold true in ourselves and what we value in our world. There is a lot going on in the current sky to suggest we are dealing with the raw emotions behind this basic premise – we are all in this cosmic balancing act with those we encounter every day. How do we hold onto and defend our truth, be the enlightened warrior, be our authentic self? Claim our right to take up space?

 

March 20th is a packed day this year. Vernal Equinox, marking International Astrology Day, occurs a few hours before the Full Moon in Libra, here on the West Coast at 6:43 PM PDT. And, yes, we also have the last of this year’s ‘Super Moons’ when the Moon is at perigee and close to the Earth. Sun at 0˚09’ Aries, the first day of Spring in the northern hemisphere, is conjunct Chiron at 1˚45’. Spring Equinox every year – when light and dark are “Equi” – equal – between “nox” - night and day, also begins the “New year” in the astrological calendar – the first day of the Sun in Aries, the first sign of the zodiac.

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 Aries says let’s take action with a passionate, fiery expression of the soul! The Sun is in opposition, like a seesaw, a balance, a scale, with the Moon in Libra, a sign that seeks beauty, peace, and harmony between bodies and souls. At this lunar time, we feel this polarity. Chiron, the wounded healer, also in Aries, further offers us a look to see our own insecurities or hesitancies to put our “self” forward, when some “thing,” some part of our “self,” something we cherish, needs defending.

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 What principles or parts of ourselves seek healing and protection? The Moon forms a quincunx – a 150˚ aspect – to Uranus at 0˚42’ Taurus when the Moon is Full, so it helps to look to see where 0˚ Taurus falls in your natal chart. The sign Taurus likes creature comforts that bring pleasure, peace and stability into our lives. Uranus wants to rattle these up and awaken us. And with the Full Moon’s quincunx to the planet, there is a little bit of tension in us that seeks integration of our fixed ideas of what makes us feel secure, comfortable and grounded -  what we value – and what ideas or values jive with happiness in our closest relationships.

 Want to wear socks with sandals, but your partner hates the fashion? Want to go nude in the hot tub, but roommate says cover up? Peace and balance come through relationship, but they also come through honoring self and the basic actions of simply being “me”.

 

Planets or critical degrees in early Taurus (or in the early degrees of fixed signs - Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) may be up for release under the transit of Uranus this spring. For me, it helps to consider this part of my chart where Taurus lies and think: Where have I been stuck? Where do I need to be shaken and challenged? Then add the quick-moving Full Moon in Libra to wrestle with the dance we do with others – how is balancing the scales, the give and take with my close ones, feeding my individual needs? The “real” me? Or is it cutting or closing me down or avoiding the healing I need?

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For example, with planets or the luminaries (Sun or Moon) in Taurus in the natal chart, one might revel in the pleasures of music. Taurus is ruled by the planet Venus and the sign often brings pure comfort and joy when creativity through music is part of the life. The Uranus transit may awaken a new passion or direction in musical expression, while the Full Moon in Libra adds to the mix the social dynamics we feel and encounter as we engage in innovation and work with our band mates to bring and embrace change - or failing to get our friends’ support, we feel wounded and stuck.

Recently, the slow-moving planet Uranus moved into the sign of Taurus. It changes signs about every 7 years. Last spring, Uranus entered Taurus for several months before appearing to move retrograde back into Aries, and then finally entered Taurus again March 6th of this year. This long, impactful shift in energy reflects a much-needed change of our personal and collective values. How in tune are we really to our physical needs, to our connection to nature, to our ability to just ‘be’? This shift also affects the way we see our resources and, hopefully, how we honor the Earth and approach our home planet’s gifts and blessings. How do we feel collectively about “material things” and what truly has meaning in creating the life we want?

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL ASTROLOGY DAY! Happy Full Moon in Libra –Wishing everyone a great SPRING EQUINOX!

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Full Moon in Virgo, Pisces Season: RBG, the Divine in Becoming the Master Craftsperson

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There’s a sense that time is precious and you should enjoy and thrive in what you are doing to the hilt
— Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Sun Enters Pisces, 3:04 PM, February 18th, Full Moon in Virgo, 0˚42’, 7:54 AM, February 19th, Mercury enters Pisces, February 10th, 2:51 AM, Chiron enters Aries, 4:00 AM, February 18th, New Moon, 15 47’ Pisces, 8:04 AM, March 6th, Moon conjunct Neptune, 8:48 AM, Sun conjunct Neptune, 5:01 PM, March 6th, 2019. PST.

Happy Full Moon in Virgo everyone…The Moon is full at 0˚42’ Virgo at 7:54 AM, February 19th, PST, with the Sun entering Pisces the day before, February 18th. Like some of you, perhaps, I have been thinking about the upcoming Oscar ceremony and the various nominated films. A favorite of mine, RBG, directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen, has been nominated for the Academy Award, Best documentary. I am rooting for Ruth!!! I thought I’d mention her now because her birth chart reflects our current Pisces season, just beginning, and the beauty of the polarity between Virgo and Pisces – two signs opposing one another in the zodiac.

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How perfect for the current Full Moon! The very beginning of Virgo suggests an awakening, an emergence, a fresh and naïve initiation into where we want to serve, where we seek to master our abilities and become the “master craftsperson.” The Moon moves quickly so the Full Moon in early Virgo is a momentary meditation on where our heart says “develop your skills,” so to become what the universe is asking you to be.

 

The Sun is in Pisces now until the next Full Moon in March on the Vernal Equinox, March 20th. Accompanied by Mercury, in the sign since February 10th, both meet up with slow-moving Neptune, Mercury on February 18th, the Sun and New Moon on March 6th. Also on February 18th, slower moving Chiron leaves Pisces and enters Aries.

 

Let’s take a quick look at Justice Ginsburg, the “Notorious RBG,” hardly a typical Pisces! Ruth was born March 15, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York; I don’t have the birth time. The last sign of the zodiac, Pisces, an emotional water sign, is about the dissolving a ‘self’ or ego, an opening to deep compassion and to visionary realms beyond boundaries, including a tapping into the larger collective consciousness. Justice Ginsburg’s Sun is in Pisces along with her natal Venus at mid-Pisces, where currently the planet Neptune is moving by transit. Neptune has such a way of connecting with the larger collective! Her popular appeal has never been greater – two films about her have recently been released (Neptune rules the artistry of film) and Venus attracts us to her – her compassionate gift of tireless dedication to hard work in support of justice, especially for women, but we could argue for all of those most vulnerable, and to her spirit as warrior. Enter Mars…

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Why notorious RBG on a Full Moon in Virgo? Ruth has the planet Mars conjunct Neptune and her south node of the Moon, along with her Jupiter in Virgo, the sign opposing 180˚ to Pisces; this all resembles the mood we will experience this Full Moon. There is an old biblical story of Martha and Mary that so embodies the polarity of Virgo and Pisces. Martha, the ever-working spirit of service, in balance with her sister, Mary, who embodies the feeling heart of prayer; both equal devotees, both a worthy path.

 

When we have planets in the sign of Virgo, we strive for the best, we work hard with precision and develop analytical skill so, in the case of Justice Ginsburg, she is able to compose brilliant arguments with exactitude, that put into place laws in pursuit of what is truly just (RBG has a Scorpio natal Moon; she seeks truth with the heart of a passionate detective!). The writer, Malcolm Gladwell, coined the expression, “10,000 hours,” the effort it takes to master a craft. Like Martha, always servant to her Lord, Ginsburg hones in on the innate Virgonian-focused effort to put her will (Mars) and her visions (Neptune) for social change into action.

 

Jupiter, also in Virgo in her birth chart, allows RBG opportunities to question and wrestle with what we collectively value, our faith, in what is just and right. And Justice Ginsburg has Saturn in Aquarius – one of the co-rulers of Saturn, Aquarius strengthens the planet here – taking on obstacles earlier in her career (Saturn can be blockage), she claims the role of elder in radical social change (I would argue her Saturn falls close to her MC, her midheaven – the most public area of her chart - though I do not have her birth time). By the way, when she was appointed Supreme Court Justice in August, 1993, the planets Uranus and Neptune, together in Capricorn, formed a trine, 120˚ aspect, to RBG’s natal Jupiter, grounding her radical visions in a position of authority and power in the highest court in the country.

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This February also marks Chiron’s entrance into Aries. RBG has her natal Mercury (conjunct Eris) and Uranus in Aries. The sign gives her the perceptions and voice (Mercury) of a revolutionary (Uranus) woman warrior (Aries) with the courage to fight on the frontlines. Collectively, now, we are all asked to combat our fears, move beyond wounds of doubt, and to be strong healing warriors (Chiron) in a world so in need of action and change. Those who are celebrating their 50th birthday this year may value especially this point most in their hearts.

 

Late February and early March grace us with a “Mary time,” a Piscean and Neptunian season of sorts, for our own meditations and reflections. But I say let’s use this Full Moon – seek how we all can “serve like Martha” or maybe, just maybe, with our 10,000 hours, be just a little bit of the “master craftswoman” of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Collectively, now and in the near future, we are confronted again with strong energies in Capricorn – as RBG encountered Uranus and Neptune in 1993, in 2020 it will be Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto  – time to hope, not fear, and create and transform ourselves so that each of us can be agents for change!

 

Many Blessings for the Full Moon!!!!

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We Can Only Look Behind From Where We Came: Partial Solar Eclipse in Capricorn, January 5th, 2019

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And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game
— Joni Mitchell



New Moon in Capricorn, 15˚ 25’ 5:28 PM, PST, January 5th, 2019. Saturn, Capricorn, 11˚ 58’ and Pluto, Capricorn, 20˚ 46’. Partial Solar Eclipse.


Life is funny sometimes; how it brings back the past, reconfigures it and then touches us to move ahead into something new. There is a partial solar eclipse this Saturday, January 5th, at 5:28 PM PST, a New Moon in Capricorn, 15 degrees. It is part of a set or family of eclipses occurring in Cancer/Capricorn through 2020. It won’t be visible here in California nor will it make much of a splash as the Super Moon lunar eclipse probably will later in the month. But it is a very special one for me because of the particular degree and area in the zodiac it occurs. Synchronicity and an old photograph, a slide, gave me a chance to learn.

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Many years ago, I was an art history professor at a university and I was putting together a lecture with slides. It was a time of pre-digital imagery; finding good, clear pictures with proper color of paintings was always a challenge, something we take for granted today. I had a few slides of very good quality that my father had taken and had gifted to me before he died. 

I was working on a talk about iconography, subject matter, that included this painting below. It is a famous one by Georges de La Tour, a 17th-century French painter, a master of capturing light. It shows Saint Joseph as a teacher, an intimate scene of “father” - stepfather, mentor - and Son, Jesus. I really loved the slide. My Dad had taken it in the Louvre in Paris, where the painting still lives today. Old Kodachrome slides have dates printed on them and on the cardboard was stamped, “July, 1963.” I realized then in my heart, as I stared at the slide, that I was there that day with my parents, so close in that museum, in front of that painting. You see I was in my mama’s womb, about 4 months old, that summer. I heard my father and mother discuss composition, light and the beauty of the art they saw together as he captured it on film. I was born in December later that year.

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In July, 1963, the same month as my “in utero” visit to the Louvre, the lunar eclipse was at Capricorn 14 degrees, one degree off from where the solar eclipse is this coming weekend. Both eclipses conjunct my natal 11th House Mars at 17 Capricorn, Mercury at 20. Both also conjunct my south node of the Moon, at 11 Capricorn, and Sun, 6, in the 10th House. The solar eclipse occurred later that month at 27 degrees of Cancer, the one that preceded JFK’s assassination. Considered my “prenatal eclipse,” the one closest to the time of my birth, this one fell in my 5th House, house of joy and creative expression. The sign Cancer embodied the nurturing love I received from my parents, who encouraged me to think, write and embrace who I am. Prenatal eclipses seem to amplify the part of our birth chart that they touch. Current eclipses can bring into focus something new or something not previously seen.

I loved my father and I loved art history…and his words infused me then and moved me to create the life work that gave my soul meaning. When I reflect back upon the eclipses, it helps me to feel my family is still with me and that they give me strength and support in what I do. With this weekend’s solar eclipse, I feel I am changing. I am finding a new voice, a new direction, a Mars one. Where does the eclipse fall in your chart? A New Moon grants us a time to set intentions, have hope, new visions. With Saturn and Pluto in conjunction with the Sun and Moon this weekend, we can make intentions real with hard work, effort and perseverance. We may feel alone and our goals hard to reach. Just don’t give up; challenges lead us to transform and let us align with who we are becoming.

Astronomers and astrologers alike seem to love the Saros - the period or cycle of roughly 18 years that can be used to predict eclipses, solar and lunar. But I am always surprised by how most of the general public has no idea about them. Even the word “Saros” is a bit of a mystery to most I meet. The cycles of eclipses, how they repeat, not exactly, but so close to degree and in geometry, is very old sacred knowledge indeed. I’m pretty naive about it all and I don’t know a lot. There are plenty of folks online - astronomers and astrologers - who can tell you much more. My examples – lunar and solar in 1963 and just one solar in 2019 do not correspond to the same Saros cycle. But simply knowing about eclipses, how they appear to repeat, and how they can touch your birth chart, can be very meaningful and helpful. You just have to look…or have someone help you see them. Awareness of the past, and where we come from, just might open us to new paths now and in the future. Maybe your prenatal eclipse has something to say?

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Sagittarius into Capricorn, Jupiter and Saturn: A Winter’s Tale for Solstice Time

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All I know is something like a bird within her sang, All I know she sang a little while and then flew off, Tell me all that you know, I’ll show you snow and rain.
— Robert Hunter
I showed her where to find the gold, but the gold she finds is truly hers.
— Auguste Rodin
I have fallen into an abyss. I live in a world so curious, so strange. Of the dream that was my life, this is my nightmare.
— Camille Claudel

Winter Solstice: December 21st, 2018. Sun enters Capricorn 2:23 PM PST. Jupiter in Sagittarius, November 8th, 2018 through December 2nd, 2019. Saturn in Capricorn, December 19th, 2017 to December 16th, 2020, PST.


This is a love story as much as it is an astrological post. But isn’t that what life is really about? Human connection, soul connection; others in our life bring us the grace we need to be our most gifted self.  

 Everyone thinks of Winter solstice as that time of the year when night is at its longest and when light then begins to slowly return. How can we rise from the darkness, awaken to new life and light? Astrologers will immediately say “Pluto”! And as a gal who has felt the power of Pluto transits destroy and rebuild her life, who am I to argue? But I’d like to also point out a part so critical to evolutionary astrology: freewill in response to life’s challenges and turning points. I chose to discuss two charts of two well-known people, two lovers, to illustrate my points in this article, and, as you will see, the charts reflect the solstice season: Winter solstice (called “Winter” in the northern hemisphere) marks the Sun’s ingress (entrance) into Capricorn from Sagittarius.

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Capricorn and Sagittarius are such very different signs, and they will become a part of this story. A Capricorn should never marry a Sagittarius! That is what we often see in “pop” astrology – don’t marry the sign immediately adjacent to your own Sun sign. Of course, we all know this is garbage. The birth chart is an intricate celestial map, much more complex and nuanced in meaning, than a simple Sun sign reading. If we think of the harmonics embedded in the “music of the spheres,” the music of the cosmos, two adjacent signs are like two keys back-to-back on a keyboard. Played together the noise is not right. But a chart is a symphony of sound, polyphonic and rich in character. As the night sky changes, the chart plays out, resonates with others near and dear to us, and we all move with the changing astrological rhythms – hopefully, but not always, in sync.

Jupiter.

 

Throughout most of the current year ahead, 2019, Saturn continues to move through Capricorn, Jupiter through Sagittarius. Both planets are at home in these signs, strong placements reinforcing their respective energies. Time for us to expand into new dreams, new horizons and paradigms, open doors to opportunity for growth through faith in shooting that Sagittarian archer’s arrow. Look to see where Jupiter is transiting in your own natal chart to make the most of the coming year.  Meanwhile, in Capricorn, Saturn’s call is to reality, maturity, and discipline, in order to make those dreams of Jupiter, real. I will stress the nature of these two planets and these two signs in the synastry reading below, hopefully giving a flavor of each in the natal chart but also by transit (current movement in the sky) and by solar arc.

Saturn.

 

We begin with two birth charts, 19th-century artists, Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin. Most of us know them well through college art history surveys, popular films about their lives, or through seeing their art exhibited in museums. I include the charts of both below. Camille Claudel was born December 8th, 1864, at 5 AM in Fère en Tardenois, France, (AA Rodden rating suggests recording of accurate birth record or certificate) and Auguste Rodin, November 12th, 1840, at 12:00 Noon, Paris, France (Also AA Rodden rating). The rounded off birth time of both suggests they probably are not the exact birth time. In terms of learning astrology and the “ins and outs” of synastry, the two make an ideal choice for seeing connections as well as illustrating traits of Sagittarius and Capricorn helpful in our reflections about the current sky in 2019. Their birth charts read like a fairy-tale romance, with many classic conjunctions between the two charts. I want to teach a little bit about how we can look at synastry, two natal charts in comparison, along with the passage of time and potential for growth, through transits and solar arcs, diagnostic techniques used in astrology. For simplicity’s sake, I will use chart comparison only, though I recognize there are a number of useful techniques used in synastry analysis. Keeping Winter solstice and the year ahead in mind, this post will also comment upon the nature of the planets in both Sagittarius and Capricorn in the two birth charts.

 

If you are not that familiar with the two sculptors, let me explain. You have probably heard about the infamous “love affair” – a relationship which lasted about 15 years – between Camille and Auguste. There are even sketches in existence of their carnal and sensual play, and many at the time acknowledged the heat and shared passion between the two. They remain one of the  most well-known passionate lovers in the history of art. Although we have many sources about Rodin’s life and work, we know very little in detail regarding the life of Camille Claudel. Most of her letters and the archival resources about her life are gone. We do know both were critical catalysts for each other’s creative work, muses one could say, for the art they shared (most controversial is the probability that Claudel actually made some of Rodin’s most accomplished pieces – certainly we know her hand was at work modeling and carving, as well as posing for, many of his renowned commissions). Rodin was 43, Claudel 19, when they met. Some art historians have argued that, once separated, Rodin’s work was never the same. Most tragic was the more than 30 years following the end of the relationship, later in Camille’s life, when she suffered from mental illness, extreme poverty, and eventually life in an asylum where it seems she stopped creating art all together.

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Let’s start with just a brief look at some of the basic insights into Camille’s birth chart. Her natal Sun is at 16˚ 25’ of Sagittarius, and falls in the 2nd House using the Placidus system. I find I am often drawn to charts by synchronicity because they help me reflect upon the current astrological moment. I decided to explore Camille’s biography, in part, because by chance, I discovered she has Jupiter in Sagittarius at 10˚ 11’, similar to Jupiter’s current location in the sky. (Jupiter is at 10˚ at Christmas time, 2018, this year. Jupiter has a 12-year orbit, so the planet is at this exact degree roughly every 12 years. Depending upon the particular passage, it may hit the degree more than once in a year due to retrograde motion – but not this year). The planet is in a wide conjunction to her natal Sun. Her ascendant is in Scorpio, 14 ° 51’ and her Moon sign in Aries, 11° 7’, 5th House, house of self-expression, joy, creativity, among other things. A fiery trine between Jupiter and her Moon gave Camille a lust for life and a passion for her art. The first quarter phase of Moon she was born under underscored her need to express a unique, potentially transforming, message through her art, one the world may not have been receptive to hear. The placement of 1st House Jupiter and 2nd House Sun, along with an Aries 5th House Moon, held possibilities for taking the risks needed in life to be a confident, successful woman artist at a time when the field of sculpture was dominated by men. Jupiter the “King”( or in this case, the “Queen”) in the 1st House of self, her unique identity, allowed her to approach life with a jovian (Jupiter-like) enthusiasm and confidence, though its tie with the 2nd House meant she needed to claim that confidence, step up and recognize her own abilities and talent.

 

Jupiter now in the sky in Sagittarius graces our own birth charts with such optimism, opportunity for growth or perhaps life lessons, depending upon how your natal Jupiter is positioned in your chart and where the planet is currently moving (by transit). For Camille, her Jupiter gave an outlook of life similar to seeing the glass half full rather than half empty. She was known for being quite arrogant about her talent early on in her career. Yet her ascendant is in the neighboring sign of Scorpio (remember the piano key analogy above), so as she encountered the world and others perceived her, she carried also an intensity, passion and depth of curiosity into the psychological forces that move people through life. Near the end of her life, while suffering from mental illness, her Scorpio nature sadly became one of compulsive suspicion, jealousy, and obsession. If we turn to her descendant, the sign ruling her 7th House of one-on-one relationship, we find Taurus, an earth sign, grounded in a need for stability, long-term commitment, and a desire to embrace the simple needs of the heart and body in partnership.

La Valse  (The Waltz). Camille Claudel, various reworkings of the subject, 1889-1905.

La Valse (The Waltz). Camille Claudel, various reworkings of the subject, 1889-1905.

 

We can sense the fundamental difference between Sagittarius and Capricorn, the two music keys side-by-side, by balancing Camille’s Sagittarius Jupiter and Sun with a brief look at her Capricorn Venus and Mercury. The natal position of Camille’s Venus, 22°8’ Capricorn on the cusp of the 3rd House, reinforced the partnership needs of her Taurus descendant, giving Camille a basic drive for a stable partner, perhaps older and mature, one she could relate to on an intellectual, mental level, supporting her artistic ideas and work. This Venus gave a promise of hard work and discipline to bring about a “great work,” Capricorn, through her voice as an artist. Her 2nd House Capricorn Mercury made her great work a mission in her life deeply tied into her self-worth and confidence (2nd House) and her abilities to express and communicate through clay and marble. With Mercury’s sign, Gemini, ruling the 8th House of deep intimacy with a lover in Camille’s chart, her partner, Rodin, would need to offer that bond. The classical ruler of her chart, Mars, is in Gemini, 7th House; Camille needed a variety of experience in terms of partnership, but also a lover who could engage her intellectually in supportive dialogue and exchange. As we will see, Auguste Rodin, as her mentor and lover – and rightfully, one could argue, her partner for a time – held potential to awaken Camille to her own self-realization as an artist. Unfortunately, however, as many of my readers know, Rodin missed the boat in terms of fully mentoring Camille. Or perhaps he intentionally used her as a sex object, though I’d like to believe he truly cared for her. I applaud Camille because as we will see, she did take the chance, she did awaken to her own authentic self, yet cultural and societal roadblocks, along with the struggles of mental illness, made true success as an artist not possible until after her death.

 

I include Rodin’s birth chart here as well, but I’ll dive right into the synastry. Right away it is easy to see the classic signs of immediate compatibility and lust and joy Camille and Auguste found in each other. Yet also evident is the potential for upset and emotional turmoil. Her natal Venus falls on his Capricorn ascendant; she must have been attracted to his very presence as the older, successful gentleman, the ascendant is how one shines through to the world. His Venus, at 18°44’ of Sagittarius, is conjunct her natal 16°Sun; he was attracted to that fiery Sagittarian gypsy spirit, her jovian solar self. His Saturn is also conjunct her natal Sun, and with a Capricorn Venus, Camille most likely was attracted to the mature man, one that had the potential to either dampen her soul or to give it structure and support. His Mercury, at 12°44’ Sagittarius, conjunct both her Sun and Jupiter, gave her the thoughts, ideas, creative stimulation, that her 3rd House Venus so craved.

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Meanwhile, in Rodin’s chart, Saturn is in close conjunction with his natal Venus (Saturn at 20°19’ Sagittarius, Venus at 18°44’) showing a need for serious commitment to both his art and to relationship, wrestling with possible blockage and frustrations in the discipline and challenges both require. Both planets in the 11th House suggest Rodin would need to mature in his approach to relationships and most likely encounter his deepest love and greatest intimacy later in life (Planets in the 11th House, according to evolutionary astrologer, Steven Forrest, are often on “a long fuse” – taking time for their potential to manifest in the life).

 

Saturn conjunct Venus in Rodin’s natal chart provided him with the discipline (Saturn) to complete his “10,000 hours” of practice as an artist, but it also gave him a need for long-term commitment in love and partnership (Venus). He achieved this with his common-law wife (whom he eventually married near his death), Rose Beuret, whom he must have felt a great sense of obligation and commitment to support and maintain, despite his passionate love for Camille Claudel. Why did Rodin insist on maintaining partnership with Rose when sources suggest it made all involved miserable? Enter cultural and societal expectations: a male artist was entitled to his muse (Camille’s south node of the Moon conjunct Pluto falls in her 6th House; she was drawn into patterns of subservient abuse by a “superior,” in this case, a mentor). With a Capricorn ascendant as well as the strong Saturnian influence on his natal Venus, Rodin was concerned with creating a respectful and dignified public persona, one that he could control. Tragically, this did not allow for the reality of committing to his muse, pupil, and assistant Camille – a strong, willful woman with her own power and artistic voice that challenged his – a woman twenty-four years younger than him and eccentric in her passion and countercultural in her practice and lifestyle. Camille Claudel never healed from this rejection.

Venus.

Venus.

 

With natal revolutionary and rebel Uranus sitting on his 2nd House cusp and Camille’s natal Uranus in a conjunction to his natal 5th House Moon, Rodin needed Camille to awaken his self-confidence to “think outside the box” in his development of his artistic expression and style, which in turn would support his self-esteem and success as a sculptor (Note Camille’s natal Jupiter falls in Rodin’s 10th House of public mission and recognition, forming a conjunction with his natal Mercury). Uranus, planet of unpredictable, eccentric genius, gave a wealth of creative insight, but must have shocked and rattled Rodin’s emotional security.

It is hard looking back at the historic love narrative and not feel pity for poor Rose Beuret. Perhaps Rodin truly loved both, difficult to know. Rose must have felt the obvious bond between Auguste and Camille; she certainly knew of the ongoing affair. Funny Rodin never married Rose, until on the verge of death. Maybe he finally realized he truly loved Rose. Or, perhaps fearful to look and see what was really in his heart, Rodin left the door perpetually open. According to archival sources, Rose made a good cook, but they certainly did not share the same jovian passion and Saturnian commitment to art.

Camille appears never to have allowed herself to open to love with another, despite the honest intentions of other men. French composer, Claude Debussy (of ‘Clair de lune’ fame), also apparently tried to love her. One archival record claims Debussy and Claudel attended a concert together in July, 1899, when her progressed Sun formed a conjunction with her natal Venus - an event often heralding a time of finding one’s potential “right” partner. I describe this critical time for Camille in more depth below. But let us return to Claudel and Rodin!

One of the fascinating parts of exploring synastry between two souls is to study the moment they met. I can’t go into too much detail here, in part because we do not know the exact date or time of meeting between Rodin and Claudel. But if we look at the early years of their romance, solar arcs are particularly telling. Astrologers use a number of techniques to reveal the celestial spark or potential for evolutionary change in a person’s life, such as when they encounter a significant other. One technique is looking into solar arcs, which can be readily seen in a person’s outer life (I will allow you to explore what solar arcs are on your own if you are curious). Most scholars hold that Camille met Rodin sometime in 1882 or 1883, when solar arc Venus formed a sextile to her natal Jupiter. She developed her strong attachment to him in the years that followed. A critical time came when Rodin apprenticed Camille in his studio at 182 rue de l’Université, in 1884. Claudel’s biographer, Reine-Marie Paris, described this time, “The years when Claudel served as Rodin's studio assistant were the master sculptor's most productive; for Camille they were both the most instructive and, perhaps, the most destructive in terms of establishing a career independent from Rodin.” Keep in mind how this quote describes a kind of psychological limitation as well as artistic growth.

 

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I include Camille’s birth chart above showing the solar arcs in the outer circle that were at play in her chart the year she became both intimate muse and collaborator with Auguste Rodin (set for January 1st, 1884). There are a number of solar arcs worthy of mention, but I’ll focus on only a few. Her progressed Sun at 5 Capricorn forms an exact square to natal 5th House Neptune at 5 Aries; her evolving self, needing self-reliance and hard work in Capricorn, was in tension with her artistic vision as well as her romantic fantasies and illusion (5th House Neptune) - and, we could add, a fiery, enthusiastic Aries passion. Solar arc Venus at 11˚ Aquarius formed a square with Camille’s natal Pluto at 11˚ Taurus (In the 6th House. It is important to note one could argue Pluto falls very close to her descendant and if the birth time is rectified to roughly 15 minutes earlier, it falls on her descendant, further stressing the need for honesty and trust in intimate partnership. Camille’s birth time is given as 5 AM, a time suggesting it was rounded off at birth). This solar arc suggests a time of meeting a potential partner who could help Camille process deep-seated psychological patterns or wounds in her psyche (Recall how I noted Pluto’s ability to transform us on a very deep level in the introduction above). Solar arc Mars is approaching a conjunction with Camille’s 8th House Uranus as well. The 8th House is house of deep intimacy with another, among other things. Such an encounter could help her face her shadows, bring them to the surface (with the square possibly forcing them into view) in a way that would free her to claim her own individual power as an artist.

 

The solar arc of Venus making a square to Pluto also suggests romantic passion and obsession, complementing the intensity of Rodin’s Scorpio Sun and Camille’s Scorpio ascendant in their natal charts, and certainly characteristic of their passionate, sexual obsession for each other. Pluto is the modern ruler of Camille’s Scorpio ascendant and one could argue with such an ascendant, Camille was here to self-actualize as a “shaman,” someone who could reveal psychological forces at play in human behavior for the collective to see. Her best artwork does just that; her gifts as a sculptress laid in her natural talent to express her subjects’ inner moods and psychological states of being, a talent Rodin admired and copied during their years of collaboration. In the year that followed, her solar arc Mercury formed a conjunction with her natal 3rd House Venus, her solar arc Jupiter, in turn, made a conjunction with her natal Mercury. Both provided a perfect time for her to develop her ideas (Mercury) about art (Venus) as well as cultivate a robust intellectual, artistic exchange with Rodin. It is worth mentioning that the composite chart of the two artists features a very close Sun and Jupiter conjunction. Jupiter as teacher or “guru”, we can see that each artist mentored and inspired the other.

Pygmalion and Galatea,  Auguste Rodin,  modeled 1889 shortly after separation from Claudel, and later carved ca. 1908–9. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Pygmalion and Galatea, Auguste Rodin, modeled 1889 shortly after separation from Claudel, and later carved ca. 1908–9. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

I’d like to jump ahead in years to a later stage in the lives of both artists and consider how Camille worked through her own claiming of her personal power in response to the planet Uranus, known in the astrological world as the “great awakener.” Uranus crossed Camille’s ascendant in 1893 and 1894 (during her 1st Saturn return), continuing throughout the 1890s in her 1st House, following in 1899 and 1900 to conjunct her natal Jupiter. As early as 1896, Camille had asked Mathias Morhardt, a writer and friend, to contact Rodin to request that he not visit her anymore. The two artists permanently ended their romantic involvement by 1898, the year Uranus entered Sagittarius. One of the most important public exhibitions of Camille’s sculpture was the inclusion of her piece, Hamadryad, at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900. Her work appeared right next to Rodin’s, though her break with him both as an artist and lover had occurred two years earlier. Uranus by transit can bring about a sudden realization and liberation, helping a soul release old patterns, free the evolutionary path to individuation. Camille Claudel successfully navigated a pivotal Uranian period.

The chart of the opening date of the Exposition, April 14, 1900, shows Jupiter at 10˚ Sagittarius, an exact conjunction with Camille’s natal Jupiter, a time to have hope, take risks and have confidence in herself and her talent, while Uranus is at 12˚ Sagittarius, along with the mean north node of the Moon at 13˚, the node suggesting karmic destiny. All form a conjunction, the node at the midpoint, with her natal Jupiter and Sun. Transiting Saturn is at 5˚ Capricorn, a waning conjunction to her Mercury in the 2nd House, challenging her to make her own artistic voice heard. Once again, this story of Camille Claudel’s relationship with Rodin is telling in comparison to our current sky at Winter solstice and leading into next year, 2019. Recall how now both Jupiter is in Sagittarius, Saturn in Capricorn. Jupiter in Sagittarius offered Camille a moment to question “How can I bring out the best of myself?” in other words, in her 1st House, her willingness to have faith in and take a risk to be herself. Uranus, also by transit in her 1st House, between her Jupiter and Sun, awoke in Camille the urge to claim her independence from her mentor, Rodin, whose work, sadly, in this period became increasingly less experimental and more commercial. Uranus and Jupiter by transit in Rodin’s 10th House led to increased recognition and financial success for the artist, but the glory of his most creative period had past.

Camille Claudel’s Natal chart (inner circle) in comparison to the sky at the opening date of the Exposition Universelle, in Paris, April 14, 1900 (outer circle - Set for Noon, Pacific Standard Time - I am uncertain of actual time of the opening but I assume it was in the evening in Paris).

Camille Claudel’s Natal chart (inner circle) in comparison to the sky at the opening date of the Exposition Universelle, in Paris, April 14, 1900 (outer circle - Set for Noon, Pacific Standard Time - I am uncertain of actual time of the opening but I assume it was in the evening in Paris).

 

Why then did Camille Claudel fail so drastically in the later years of her life? By 1900, I believe, Camille had successfully separated from both the passionate sexual bond with Rodin and from the apprenticeship that kept her work tied so intimately to his. An evolutionary astrologer would recognize for her the radical potential the Uranus transits held to free her and awaken in her a true inner voice, one radical, independent and alive. Camille’s birth chart features Mercury out-of-bounds. Out-of-bounds refers to planets whose declination is beyond the maximum declination of the Sun, 23˚27’, either north or south. When a planet is out-of-bounds in a natal chart, it can manifest as extreme behavior in line with the nature of the planet. For example, Mercury out-of-bounds may bring a creative genius or it may bring eccentric thought processes in the extreme. It is challenging, in Camille’s case, to have Mercury out-of-bounds in her natal chart! Camille needed allies; people who would not only recognize her extraordinary gifts, but support, allow and encourage the countercultural creative mind, soul and heart of her artistic genius.

 

Those of you who may have seen the 2013 film about Camille’s later years, Camille Claudel 1915, directed by Bruno Dumont, with Juliette Binoche as Camille, know there is much more to the story involving her ongoing struggles with la différence she felt in comparison to the world at large and the frustrations she encountered as she lived among the mentally ill, as well as her tormented attempts to reach her brother, Paul. A comparison of the charts of Paul and Camille Claudel is yet another story in synastry! It is too much to wrestle with family astrological dynamics in this article, however it is important to mention Camille and her brother, Paul Claudel, had a very strong bond from childhood, recall her Gemini Mars in the 7th. He would be the one to eventually commit her to a psychiatric hospital. Her mother and sister never supported her creativity nor her eccentric lifestyle, though her father provided love and support throughout her life, until he died in 1913, the same year she was first committed to a mental asylum. Camille Claudel’s 4th House Pisces Chiron suggests a family wound to her visionary life as an artist, not to mention sacrifice at the family’s expense. Rodin must have “pushed buttons” for Camille in terms of her role as daughter and her ability to receive love and recognition within her family (Rodin’s natal Uranus is conjunct her natal 4th House Chiron and forms a square to her vibrant Jupiter and Sun, challenging her claim to her authentic self). Camille Claudel never healed from the broken heart of Rodin’s refusal to marry her, her bohemian lifestyle and sexual freedom always a source of scorn held by mother and sister. In 1913, she experienced her Chiron return (Chiron’s return to its natal position, roughly at age 50), a time that held such promise for her to heal the familial wound and step into role as healer. Once again, societal attitudes blocked her development as woman artist.

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The years after Claudel and Rodin permanently separated, she struggled in poverty, not able to receive enough commissions. In part, I believe, this is because she was a strong-willed woman. Meanwhile, her past relationship with Rodin and the resentment she held for him continued to haunt her. Again, the synastry between Camille and Auguste played into this time, for both of them, as his natal Moon forms a conjunction to her 8th House Uranus. He undoubtedly played a part in her seeking her authentic self when eventually Uranus by transit opposed her natal Uranus, in 1903-1905, a transit that occurs for everyone in their early ‘40s, and formed a conjunction with her natal Mercury. Though he attempted to give her emotional and professional support in this period, Rodin’s love was erratic and volatile, upsetting and disrupting her needs for both deep intimacy and for financial support. Eventually, Camille Claudel was committed to a mental asylum, first in Ville-Évrard in 1913, then, in 1914, to Enghien, then finally Montdevergues, near Avignon, where she remained for 29 years until her death in 1943.

 

The cosmos gave Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin a chance for true, lasting intimacy and connection with shared work if they could process the shadows. But in 19th-century France, the reality of being an artist’s muse, apprentice and mistress is just that – one is a muse and pupil, nothing more. Rodin did try in earnest to give Claudel professional support and encouragement, but he lacked follow through on the most important of all forms of support – true, humble respect and recognition for her as lover, partner and equal. Solar arcs are windows in time that give circumstances to us for personal growth. Recall how in 1884, solar arc Venus moved into a square to Camille’s Pluto. If we read Camille’s natal Pluto on the descendant, and add in that Pluto is the modern ruler of her chart, we can imagine that she fell deeply in love in obsession with Rodin. Often Pluto in the Venus realm brings up psychological issues, unprocessed wounds ready to be released. I’ve heard of such relationships described as the potential partner serving as “coat rack” for the projections of the other. For Camille, much of her “coat rack” most likely stemmed from the limitations of a gifted, spirited, independent woman living in an age dominated by the power and privilege of men. By facing Pluto and taking Pluto head on, claiming the muck and guck, and rising from the ashes, Camille could then face Uranus and the potential to find authenticity. But we move in a human world, one limited by societal and cultural expectations, one very much at play in 19th-century France. Was the world not ready to receive Camille Claudel?

 

Camille Claudel’s birth chart, in comparison to that of Auguste Rodin, gives us insights into how chart comparisons can reveal times of potential change, times of awakening and self-realization. In 2019, Jupiter is in Sagittarius and Saturn in Capricorn. Like Camille, whose life held so much promise, so much passion (Jupiter), we have opportunities to see where we most need to expand, how we can do better, what gifts we can bring forth. And, like Camille, with her Capricorn Venus and Mercury, her hard work and her desire to have her artwork acknowledged (Saturn), we are asked to make our dreams real and last. We, too, have a chance to make our work endure. That is, if the world is ready to hear.

Wishing everyone a great Solstice yuletide season and a blessed 2019!

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Harvest Full Moon in Aries, Followed by Moon Making a Square to Saturn.

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Human dignity demands courage to defend oneself.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
— M Gandhi

FULL MOON 2 degrees 0’ Aries, 7:52 PM PDT. Moon square Saturn at 2 degrees Capricorn, 9:27 PM PDT, September 24, 2018.

I wanted to send out good vibes for the upcoming Full Moon tomorrow, September 24, at 7:52 PM PDT. It might seem odd in a blog about a fiery, feisty Aries Full Moon to include a few photos I recently took in India of a memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, but I think if you read a little more, it might make sense…

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This particular Full Moon in 2 degrees Aries will be followed about an hour and a half later by the Moon forming a square (90-degree) aspect to the planet Saturn in Capricorn. It might be helpful, if you know your birth chart, to look to see where Saturn has been transiting in recent weeks. Those folks with planets, the Sun or Moon, or other critical degrees in early Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn) might want to pay particular attention at this Full Moon, using the time to better understand the much slower moving Saturn transit in your life and evolutionary soul journey. I, myself, have my natal Sun at 6 degrees Capricorn, in the 10th House (House of “career” or “mission”). Saturn often calls us to work hard and mature in the area of your chart where the planet currently travels. I’m writing just a short reflection here, rather than a longer blog, because I am feeling the limitations of my own “solar self,” my core sense of who I am, what has value to me, what I need to be doing.

I suppose most of you know I have been traveling in India for the last month; my body is so exhausted and, frankly, my spirit feels weak. I am questioning my own abilities of what or where my “mission” is…what I am meant to pursue or even if I have the desire or energy to do so. All of this occurs while the college where I work goes through a major restructuring, the classes I teach are changing, and, meanwhile, I am questioning what I write, if evolutionary astrology is worth my time - or perhaps more real, if my writing is worthy of evolutionary astrology - if I have anything at all to contribute to astrology, a discipline gifted with so many worthy voices and talented writers, and yet so ignored by most of the larger world.

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So this is where the three photos I add fit in: While I was in Delhi, I visited Birla House, the Gandhi Smriti, the place where the “great soul, “ Mahatma Gandhi lived later in life and where he was shot by a religious zealot in 1948. These pictures show a few of his personal objects and the walk he took to the place where he was shot. I didn’t share the photos with others at the time of my visit. In part I guess because I felt a deep, inner reflection that I wasn’t ready to put out there on social media. Instead, I spent some time sitting with Gandhi’s birth chart over the several weeks after as I traveled. I have a lot to write about it; no confidence or energy to put most of it down. But I would like to briefly share my thoughts about Gandhi’s natal Neptune, 18 degrees 25’ Aries in his 6th House, house of daily work, mentorship and service. I realize this is pulling out piecemeal just a little bit of a very complex natal chart, however a few words about Neptune in Gandhi’s birth chart allows me to make a loose connection to the current Full Moon in Aries for all of us when considering Saturn’s slower movement through Capricorn in our charts.

A few of Mahatma Gandhi’s personal items at Gandhi Smriti

A few of Mahatma Gandhi’s personal items at Gandhi Smriti



Neptune, the spiritual planet, often represents the avenues, places or activities in our lives where we can best connect with the Divine, with a sense of universal love, and with compassion. Aries, ruled by Mars, is the sign of the one who initiates, takes action; the warrior who fights the battle. Neptune in Aries in the 6th, in a very loose opposition to Gandhi’s 12th House Libra Sun and a trine with Gandhi’s Leo Moon in the 10th House, infused Gandhi’s daily life, work and service with the love, commitment and humility of a Neptunian warrior, preaching passive resistance to lead a massive collective transformation in basic human rights and equity for the people of India (Again, there is so much to write about in Gandhi’s chart: it also features a strong opposition between a conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto in Taurus in his 7th House and a Venus, ruler of his chart, and Mars conjunction in Scorpio in his 1st House - he clearly was a leader of collective change in how people relate one-on-one, how we can learn to recognize the Divine in one another, and how a core part of his ‘self’ was revealing the deeper truths of how people treat each other unjustly and why).

So how does this help us with a Full Moon in Aries meditation in the hours that currently lay ahead?

Having the courage to be the warrior in the area of our birth chart where the Full Moon will be - look to see where 2 degrees Aries falls in your chart. And how might there be tension or a critical awakening to that part of our chart where Saturn now asks us to acknowledge our limits, have patience and endure, keep focused and work hard. We may not be Neptunian warriors in the sense of non-violent action of Gandhi’s great mission. But all of us have a part of ourselves where we need courage to use our inner warrior, where perhaps finding the spirit of the warrior will help bring into critical focus that area of life where Saturn is challenging us and where we need to mature, and where perhaps there just may be a worthy harvest.

Wishing you a great Harvest Full Moon!

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"How Does It Feel to Be One of the Beautiful People?" Uranus Enters Taurus

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How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people? Now that you know who you are......
— John Lennon
When German soldiers used to come to my studio and look at my pictures of Guernica, they’d ask, “Did you do this?” And I’d say, “No, you did.”

Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working
— Pablo Picasso

Full Moon in Scorpio 9˚ 39’ 5:58 PM PDT, April 29th, 2018

Uranus Enters Taurus 8:23 AM PDT, May 15th, 2018


I was talking with my dental hygienist the other day. You know, just the usual chitchat. “I love astrology,” she exclaimed, “I have for 30 years!” I ask, “What Sun sign are you?” “Capricorn.” “Oh, you are probably in a Saturn time right now,” I say. “What does that mean?” she asks followed by “Oh, I don’t follow transits, but I listen to what’s going on via youtube all the time!” I wonder to myself, what is she doing with this cosmic information? So often I meet people like this. Familiar and comfortable with astrology, but not sure what to consider or where to look next.  I wish there was a way to say learning your birth chart and following an ephemeris is a path, a journey, and one really quite simple to follow and learn. We currently have a Full Moon in Scorpio, yes, but what does that mean for you? Where is the Full Moon happening in your birth chart? Does the Moon create aspects with planets or luminaries in your birth chart, especially aspects to those in other fixed signs – Aquarius, Taurus, Leo? In what House does the Full Moon occur?

 

The Moon moves fast and such transits happen for only a brief moment, but in two weeks we have a much slower, potentially much more lasting and profound time of awakening.

We have a very big astrological change starting in May and it can be useful to see where this is happening in your birth chart. Let me show you through some quick examples.

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I keep hearing a Beatles song in my mind over and over again. “How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?” I have been planning a possible trip to India, and as one thing led to another, I started reading about John Lennon and George Harrison, the Beatles and their time in Rishikesh in 1968. I was reflecting upon what a radical time of spiritual awakening and shifting sense of self that time must have been for each one of them. The year before their infamous quest to the subcontinent, Lennon’s line about self-realization, “a beautiful people”, developed into a song co-written by John and Paul, “Baby, You’re a Rich Man.” I often find myself reinterpreting song lyrics and giving them meaning relevant to my own reflections and, well, this song was no different. I always thought the song was a critique of “the beautiful people,” those of wealth and privilege – “the rich man.” In truth, Lennon was writing about the community of Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, those waking up to, what I would argue was, a spiritual life and embracing a countercultural movement able to break out of the rigid norms and conventions that held previous generations back from personal and collective growth. A.K.A. the hippies. Well, I had never thought of the song that way! Surprise, surprise! The lightbulb went on, a flash of insight; one could say I had a Uranian moment.

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Uranus, the ‘Great Awakener’, is about to enter the sign of Taurus in May (on the 15th, then the planet will briefly move retrograde back into Aries this coming November 6th, reentering Taurus March 6th, 2019). Collectively, this is a big shift as the planet Uranus moves slowly, taking 84 years to orbit the Sun. Uranus has been in the sign of Aries for about the last seven years (entering March 11th, 2011). Now I don’t know about you or how Uranus in Aries may have hit your chart, but when Uranus was conjunct (same degree) as my 1st House Aries Jupiter in my birth chart, a flash of cosmic juice shot through me, radical freedom stretched her arm into every part of my static life – I changed, with a capital ‘C,’ big time, radical, major CHANGE. Not only did I change in energy and attitude, with a new-found vibe   - can I say juju? – that infused all I did, my life as a whole turned on its heels, spun me around and I awakened to completely new directions. I must mention such reactions to a transit, of course, will vary. It is especially important to pay attention to how critical a part the planet being transited plays in the overall symphony of person’s chart – Jupiter is co-ruler, along with Neptune, of my own birth chart, and so the big, gaseous giant carries a particularly powerful punch!

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Welcome to Uranus, rebel, outsider, game changer. And now we have the planet moving into Taurus, a fixed earth sign, very different from cardinal fire Aries. The topic of mundane astrology – the outward changes we will see and the collective shifts that take place – will be fascinating, and at times difficult, to watch unfold. But what does Uranus in Taurus mean for us on an individual level? Where in our chart are we stuck, fixed, in need of a great awakening? A sudden moment of grace and liberation? I hope to show, by exploring briefly the biography of two well-known artists, how we can use astrology as a self-reflective tool so that, perhaps, we may consider such potential “awakenings” occurring in our own birth charts.

 

First, perhaps it might help to consider the sign and house position of Uranus in our birth chart. Let’s take John Lennon as our example. Now there is a lot to explore in Lennon’s chart that suggests his life as an artist, activist, advocate for peace and an end to all wars (and, yes, religions too). Here we will just briefly consider Uranus in Taurus, something Lennon shared with a cohort of people born between June 6, 1934 and May 15, 1942, the last time the planet was in Taurus  (Notice these years – economic upset led to new infrastructure in the U.S. under the New Deal – let’s hope for the same focus on rebuilding and restoring  Mother Earth now as we see such manifestations again while Uranus is in Taurus – Taurus as an earth sign wants to stabilize, build, make real and secure, while Uranus wants to “think outside the box,” find new technologies to do so).

 

Lennon, a Libra Sun, Aquarius Moon and Aries ascendant, was born October 9th, 1940, at 6:30 PM, Liverpool, England.  John Lennon’s birth chart has Uranus at 25˚33’, Taurus, in the 1st House, along with a very close Saturn/Jupiter conjunction at 13˚13’ and 13˚42’ Taurus. The 1st House encompasses the primal sense of self and it is also associated with recognized positions of leadership. Saturn and Jupiter in a tight conjunction (together in the sky at Lennon’s birth) suggest a person with the natural enthusiasm, joie de vivre, and appeal of a “king” and a faith to embrace life (Jupiter) in tension with the hard work and commitment to make it real (Saturn). Saturn also suggests the potential as the wise elder Lennon could (did?) become in heralding and envisioning a faith and optimism in a better world. Uranus in the 1st House in Taurus, in turn, is the rebel leader who questions the status quo, rattles the cage (complementing Lennon’s Aquarius Moon), through music, art, love, and peaceful non-violence (Lennon’s Sun is in Libra – Venus rules both Taurus and Libra).

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 If we start to consider transits (the sky at the moment in 1967-68), Uranus and Pluto were close and, at times, conjunct, in Lennon’s 6th House of work, service, daily routine, forming a harmonious trine, 120˚ aspect by transit, to his natal Taurus Uranus (within a 3˚orb of the trine - they were also conjunct his natal 6th House Neptune), opening up Lennon to a lifestyle and to daily practices of meditation to create one of the greatest creative minds and leaders in free thinking. Since a number of writers have written about the Uranus and Pluto conjunction of the 1960s, I’ll move on to another example of a “Uranian moment” that I find telling and, well, quite remarkable. This I believe will be a good example of the possibility for sudden shifts in awareness – can I say enlightenment? Certainly, enlightened liberation and action – we can learn from and cultivate in ourselves when Uranus conjuncts key natal degrees in our own birth charts. To help illustrate this sudden potential to awaken a planet in one’s chart, I’d like to move to another artist whose chart’s Taurus planets were transited by Uranus’ movement through Taurus in the 1930s, the years prior to Lennon’s birth.

 

Let’s turn to a particular time in the life of the famous Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso. Picasso was born October 25th, 1881, at 11:15 PM in Málaga, Spain. A Scorpio Sun, Sagittarius Moon, Leo ascendant, Picasso had natal Uranus at 17˚ 2’ Virgo, 2nd House, forming a trine with his natal Neptune, Chiron, and Jupiter in Taurus in his 10th House. Taurus and the 2nd House are both ruled by Venus and the trine allowed the revolutionary artistic and visionary side of Picasso’s nature to express as he made manifest his Leo ascendant. Again, like Lennon’s birth chart, there are so many ways to pursue looking at Picasso’s chart.

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I always remember a story I learned many years ago about Pablo Picasso. Apparently, when he was just 13, Picasso was able to pass a very difficult entrance exam in art in a matter of days. The exam was supposed to take several weeks to finish. When Picasso was a young artist, his natural talent in drawing and painting, as the legend goes, so shocked his artist father that his dad gave up painting altogether to help his son develop his talent. But it is Picasso’s experimentation with cubism and eventual conversion to abstract art that radically shifted the art world and opened the door to Modernism in the 20th century.

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A quick look at Uranus’ passage through the houses of Picasso’s chart reveal the awakening potential of the artist’s vision. Early in the year 1907, Picasso began working on a radical, new modern work, inspired in part by African art, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, a cubist portrait of prostitutes from Avignon district of Barcelona, Spain. The planet Uranus was transiting between 8 and 12˚of Capricorn in Picasso’s 6th House (Mars was there as well by transit), forming a trine to Picasso’s natal Saturn at 9˚27’rx, within orb of his 10th House Neptune. (Both Uranus and Mars turned retrograde later that spring and Uranus throughout much of the year revisited the same degrees, aspecting Picasso’s 10th House planets). Boom, boom, boom. Like I mentioned when bringing up Uranus by transit in John Lennon’s 6th House, Uranus sparked new directions in Picasso’s work and daily routines, while opening a potential (trine, 120˚ aspect) to radical and revolutionary ways of seeing in his artistic vocation (10th House Taurus planets).

 

Let’s return now to Uranus through the sign of Taurus in the late 1930s and to the transit of the planet to the 10th House of Pablo Picasso’s birth chart – often considered the house of “career,” the part of the chart that speaks to the person’s mission, where the artist touches the larger public and brings outward change (the midheaven or 10th House cusp is the most “public” dimension of the birth chart and often speaks to the possible vocation or public identity of the person). The planet also opposed his natal Scorpio Sun, ruler of his chart, in the 4th House.

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A critical year in Pablo Picasso’s public life as an artist occurred in 1937, the year German planes bombed the Spanish Basque town of Guernica, a sudden destruction resulting in much pain, suffering, and loss of life of many innocent civilians. Picasso had been wrestling with an important art commission, a very large oil painting, to be exhibited at the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris exposition later that year. On May 1, 1937, within days after learning of the bombing in his home country, Picasso tore up his sketches and suddenly reworked the entire piece as an anti-war protest artwork that would become Guernica, one of the most famous of all modern artworks of the 20th century, a forerunner of protest art against the violence of war.  Uranus at that day was at 9˚ Taurus, conjunct Pablo Picasso’s 9˚27’ natal Saturn (retrograde) in the 10th House. The Sun, too, happened to be at 11˚ Taurus, roughly the midpoint between Picasso’s natal Saturn and Neptune, acting as the spark, or trigger, to catalyze the event. Saturn we say can be a blockage we experience through its placement in a particular astrological house. But as we mature and work through and claim its energy, Saturn can give structure, discipline and lead us to become the elder in that very same placement. Uranus, the planetary fuse box gifting a break and freeing him into moments of change, allowed Picasso soul growth into higher expressions of his 10th House Saturn and Neptune.

 

Uranus is the rebel, the outsider, the genius, the revolutionary. Just consider the planet Uranus rotating parallel to the ecliptic, while every other planet spins roughly perpendicular to the ecliptic as they orbit the Sun in the solar system. In other words, if all the other planets are spinning like tops as they orbit the Sun, Uranus turns on his side while he orbits! Uranus is sudden transformation, lightning bolts and radical awareness. Uranus in Taurus in the natal chart can manifest as someone whose core values, self-esteem and sense of aesthetics take on a radical tone as in John Lennon’s 1st House placement. By transit, as in Pablo Picasso’s case, Uranus in Taurus altered the very foundation of the artist’s aesthetic sensibilities (remember Taurus is ruled by Venus and the sign often plays a prominent role in the birth charts of artists and musicians), gave the artist a critical cause or fight worth rebellion (the slaughter at Guernica), to openly declare and claim as part of his artistic 10th House mission.

Picasso's birth chart is the inner circle, the outer circle shows transits for May 1, 1937 at noon. Note the 10th House planets (in upper left house). A number of other transits were occurring that day as well stimulating a number of key areas in Picasso's birth chart.

Picasso's birth chart is the inner circle, the outer circle shows transits for May 1, 1937 at noon. Note the 10th House planets (in upper left house). A number of other transits were occurring that day as well stimulating a number of key areas in Picasso's birth chart.

 

So you might be asking: but what about all the other little babies born in Málaga, Spain, October 25th, 1881, at 11:15 PM? Why did they not become great modern artists who touched the world in a radical, bold artistic leap of faith? Well, I hold that our horoscope, our birth chart, current movements in the sky, and our own free will, all make up a two-way dance, a kind of cosmic Do-si-Do, as above so below, a moving dialogue of opportunity, potential, and our own will to act.  Astrology, to me, is a state of mind; a cosmic dance we co-create and bring to life. It is up to us – how do we respond? How do we, as in Picasso’s case, break beyond the blockage and seek the higher ground? We make the dance happen. Uranus will swing the partner, but we got to take that step.

 

Meanwhile Uranus is gradually approaching my own 2nd House cusp, a House associated with Taurus, Venus, one’s resources, money, self-esteem and personal values. I have been pondering the word, value, and trying to come to terms with what personal values mean for me, what I hold most dear and what I cherish. I believe my values are changing. At times in the past, I have not let myself recognize certain things that I now believe were so important to me. I just didn’t know it. What makes me richer? This is how I am trying to learn. I guess now might be a good time for all of us to ponder our connections – wants versus needs – to material things and to what we truly value.

Photo by Josh Power.

Photo by Josh Power.

 

So maybe now is the time to consider Taurus, the sign, in your own birth chart. See what and when (over the next 7 years or so) Uranus will aspect, what sudden moments of enlightenment and change are ready and waiting for you to step into and dance? And “How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?” “Now that you found another key, what are you going to play?” A Full Moon in Scorpio is a good time to dive deep into the inner waters of what makes you tick – enjoy in the reflection and many blessings!

Postscript: Last spring I wrote this blog post in which I included certain astrological transits marking events in the life of the famous Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso. Later in the year, while attending an astrology conference, I heard a well-known British astrologer present on the exact same transits and time in the life of the artist. Although I am very well aware that similar findings are common, I want to state here that I do not consult other writers when writing for this website and so conclusions I make here come from my own reflection and analysis.

 

 

A Watery Moment To Open Our Hearts: Cancer Moon Time, a Grand Trine, and the New Year, 2018

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Full Moon in Cancer 11°38’, Mars 14°51’ and Jupiter 17°07’ in Scorpio,Neptune 11°56’ Pisces, January 1, 2018, 6:24 PM PST. Uranus Stations Direct 24°34’ Aries, January 2, 2018, 6:11 AM PST.

Compassion is the radicalism of our time.
— Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

The 2018 Cancer Full Moon makes me think of the birth chart of Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet. Everyone loves the Dalai Lama! The ‘Grand Trine’ in Water signs in the birth chart of his Holiness somehow resonates with me at this endtime of 2017. Like any astrological chart, the complexities of planetary energies in the birth chart are very different in many respects from that of the current Full Moon. Our current Cancer Full Moon will be conjunct (very close to the same degree) as the Dalai Lama’s natal Sun and within orb of (a few degrees from) his Cancer ascendant. He has Saturn in Pisces and Jupiter in Scorpio composing a 'Grand Trine' with his Sun in his birth chart (120°aspect between each planet and the Sun). Dalai Lamas are the Bodhisattva of Compassion with us on Earth. Opportunities to express (5th House Jupiter) the deepest truths of compassion and to share his heart of faith as a holy leader works naturally with the role of mystical elder in expanding our knowledge of the Divine and Universal Love (Saturn 9th House Pisces).

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This current Full Moon also creates what astrologers call a ‘Grand Trine in Water signs’; the Moon is at 11°38’ Cancer, Mars 14° 51’ Scorpio, with Jupiter at 17°07’, and Neptune at 11°56’ Pisces. It is a powerful intuitive, emotive Moon. The Moon is in her domicile, her home, in Cancer, while Mars is the classical ruler of Scorpio, and Neptune the modern ruler of Pisces. I feel this promises to be an emotional Moon time, but one with great potential for healing prayers and hope; visions for more compassionate action so needed on our planet right now. For all of us, this Full Moon at the New Year, 2018, offers us the possibilities inherent in the 120° aspect, a trine. A Grand Trine provides a stability of purpose with a potential for manifestation, but only if we accept the challenge. This Moon sets the table or altar in our hearts for this next year’s trine Jupiter will make with Neptune (the first one occurred in early December, 2017, close to the last Full Moon, the next two come in late May and August).

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The Moon opposes Saturn and Venus in Capricorn hours before the Sun (forming what astrologers call a ‘kite’ with Pisces and Scorpio). So, I suppose, we are all asked to be like the Dalai Lama, “compassionate leaders” (like Saturn in his natal chart, planets now in Capricorn bring to all of us suggestions of how we can be “the elder” - look to see where these signs and planets fall in your chart) or, at least, compassionate humble souls. The rebel planet of revolution and awakening, Uranus, is stationing to move forward January 2nd, underscoring the words of his Holiness: “Compassion is the radicalism of our time.” All I have to say is let’s hope for a collective healing and a collective awakening; let’s hope for some massive change of heart! Wishing you all a GREAT 2018!

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Not Your Typical Gemini Moon

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Full Moon in Gemini 11˚40’, December 3, 7:47 am PST.
Neptune in Pisces 11˚30’, Jupiter in Scorpio 11˚37’,
Mercury Retrograde 29˚18’ Sagittarius, Saturn in Sagittarius 28˚4’.
Mars  in Libra 26˚ 24’, Uranus Retrograde in Aries 24˚ 57'.

 

Listen with Ears of Tolerance. See through Eyes of Compassion. Speak with the Language of Love.
— Rumi

When I was kid, my parents knew a gentleman who worked in the United Nations building in Manhattan. His little daughter enrolled in the school that served the international families of those working for the U.N. The school’s language program was very rigorous. Part of the curriculum included learning French, a language the daughter picked up very quickly. She became so fluent in the language that, when the family went to France, the little girl went into a drug store with her father and the shop owner took her aside and said, “Why are you with this strange American man? Do you need help?” The little girl’s French was so perfect and polished, the shop owner mistook her to be Parisian! Oui, c’est vrai! How difficult it can be to truly learn a language and to enter another’s cultural realm. I wonder sometimes what it feels like to be a member of the General assembly of the United Nations, sitting in a room of incredibly accomplished individuals, most with sharp intellects and a passion and dedication to their home country and, we hope, to planet Earth. Think about the secretary general working with various translators and what it must sound like to hear so many languages at once. Then, of course, there is the cultural perspectives each member brings to the table. It must take a great deal of patience and acceptance, along with intelligence and hard work, to negotiate with so many souls from so many places and with so many diverse concerns.  One must need an open mind and an open heart to get anything accomplished! The Full Moon this weekend, at 11˚ Gemini, forms a square to Neptune at 11˚ Pisces and a quincunx to Jupiter in Scorpio 11˚. She asks us to open our minds, embrace new perceptions in a spirit of compassion. Listen to what truths others bring to the surface, even if they expose pain, suffering or a past we don’t want to face. Be willing to see the world from a different point of view, hear a language not quite your own. If not supportive of others’ beliefs or perspectives, try to understand and negotiate in ways that are at least tolerant. Simple though it may sound, there is so much we can learn from one another.

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 Astrology is a language of both the mind and of the heart. But it is a language not well understood by most in the general public. Gemini, a mutable air sign, carries a potential for multiplicity: many views, many perceptions, many voices. In this post, I hope to honor this aspect of Gemini by creating a short writing that will reach folks not familiar with the complex language of astrology.  So often I read wonderful blogs and posts on social media that have a lot to say and a lot to give to the general public. But somehow I can imagine they get mostly lost on the average reader. We have a Full Moon in Gemini this weekend. It is a complex moment; there is a lot going on at same time in the sky. The Full Moon in Gemini takes on a different feel, a different mood when we look at the larger picture in the night sky. I hope to work with this and try to explain why astrologers might see this lunar time as  “not your typical Gemini Moon.” I’d like to ask my friends and readers, those with the astrological language under their belt, to be patient as this will be a rather simple explanation. Gemini, which is so involved with communication, perception, data in and data out, lends itself to a teaching mindset. And so I’d like to try to tap into this Full Moon in a Gemini way. I was born under a Gemini Moon myself, at the same degree, 11˚, but She was in a waxing gibbous phase that particular late December, back in 1963 (sounds like a old song, I know). Every moment and every chart is unique and, as always, it is best and most meaningful for you to look and see where what I describe below is located in your own birth chart. What new modes of perception are available to you? Where does a path to higher consciousness await?

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In astrology, we look at the sign that the Moon is in at any particular moment in time. Then we look to see if the Moon forms an aspect to another planet or important point (a degree). Every year around this time (when the Sun is in Sagittarius), we have a Gemini Full Moon, but every year the Moon’s energy is filtered through and affected by other planetary placements in the sky. For example, the planet Neptune has been making a slow passage (called a “transit”) through Pisces, a time often marked by delusion and escapism in its low manifestation, a spiritual time of awakening in its higher form. All around us is the evidence of those seeking to flee, escaping pain, through perhaps the worst avenue of chronic Opioid addiction, to mild escape routes of “binge TV” and the fantasy worlds of gaming. Recently, Neptune was retrograde (this is a period when a planet appears to move backwards - in actuality, it is an illusion of backward movement caused by the relative position of the planet to Earth as they orbit the Sun).  Neptune’s passage through Pisces affects all of us individually, depending upon the house(s) Pisces is located in our birth charts. Those with planets (or key degrees such as the angles of their chart) in mutable signs - Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces - near or at 11˚ - will be most influenced by the fast moving phase of this Full Moon and, more critically, the slow moving presence of Neptune. The Moon and Neptune both rule water signs, Cancer and Pisces, lending an emotional, intuitive dimension to this Full Moon time. A Gemini Moon asks us to flow, to adapt, to change, in essence to be mercurial, while the 90-degree square to Neptune makes this adaptability and openness to new perceptions critical to a higher response to Neptune in Pisces, one of aspiring to a higher consciousness and compassion so needed in the world at this critical time. A square aspect creates friction, tension and urgency to address. We are entering a time where we must recognize multiple paths to the Divine and accept the paths others’ choose. An example in recent news events has been the visit of Pope Francis to Myanmar (and the earlier commentary by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama), seeking a compassionate solution to the hateful treatment of Muslims, the Rohingya, by Buddhists in recent months. Fall to a lower response to the Moon in a square to Neptune, and we have emotional miscommunication, fantasy, and delusion.

The Full Moon also forms a quincunx, 150-degree aspect, to Jupiter in Scorpio. Jupiter entered Scorpio in October, beginning His passage through the sign for roughly a year. Scorpio, co-ruled by Mars and Pluto, is another water sign, one that can bring dark truths to the surface of our consciousness and ask us to process our shadows, the deeper psychological issues we often bury and hide. Scorpio is associated with death and rebirth, the phoenix that rises from the ashes. Jupiter in Scorpio offers us a chance to face the bittersweet notion that “this too will pass.” My favorite verbal description of this is the Japanese expression, mono no aware; all in life is ephemeral, nothing lasts. Jupiter, the planet of expansion and opportunity, brings encounters with life’s deepest truths and pain. Nothing stays the same; death is always at our doorstep. Jupiter in Scorpio also allows past traumas hidden within our subconscious to surface, including misuse of personal and sexual power. It is no wonder we witness now the current slew of sexual allegations revealed in the news, the hard truths and pain women experienced by sexual abuse and actions of politicians and public figures many of us admired. Accepting the facts make us uncomfortable and angry and yet the need for them to arise is obvious, for personal healing for those abused, but also for a collective healing and awareness to fight such systemic poison against women. Jupiter was forming a trine, 120-degree aspect, to Neptune in recent weeks, allowing these women to speak out, be heard and for most of the public to express concern, feel sensitized to their cries, to listen and to act for change. The trine aspect allows for a flow of energy; Jupiter is expansive and opens opportunity to Neptune, a spiritual avenue and awakening to compassion and suffering of others. Our Full Moon in Gemini now forms a quincunx to Jupiter and a square to Neptune. The quincunx brings out an uncomfortable shift, 150- degree being a bit of an awkward angle, where now we need to come to terms with the reality of how widespread sexual misconduct and abuse has been and how can we take a more proactive, preventative stance in the future.

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The Full Moon occurs just a few days after the planet, Mercury, finishes a station (appears to not move from a degree; in this case, 28˚ Sagittarius, marking part of the Galactic Center, a super Black Hole at the center of the Milky Way). When stationed, Mercury was conjunct (same degree) as Saturn, also at 28˚. Then we encounter Mercury retrograde. Saturn asks us to take a hard look at the facts and question what and where are our values, our beliefs. Mercury begins its retrograde period, the fourth one this year. “Mercury retrograde” has become common knowledge for many, in part because of social media, which has caused a resurgence of interest in astrology in recent years. Some of you may have seen quick references to this phenomenon, advising you to cross every ‘T” and dot every “i.” Be careful of signing documents and making commitments without proper care and reflection. Wear a full-body knitted sweater to wrap yourself in protection from the dreaded “Mercury retro.” At times, this will be true because our minds are moving through and processing thought in ways counter to the usual pace. Things can be overlooked and details missed. Mercury retrograde, however, can be a productive time to reconsider and reimagine our plans and dreams. Rethink, “refeel,” reevaluate ourselves, our relationships, everything we perceive around us. Be cautious, slow down, reflect, but let it be a productive time. Mercury retrograde is aligning perfectly for those who turn inward through the Christian practice of Advent, beginning this weekend, or through ceremony in preparation of Solstice, when, here in the Northern hemisphere, light returns.

Most of all, be patient. In the context of the Gemini Full Moon, square to Neptune, we can choose to be open to alternative modes of communication, to omens, to the sights and sounds around us. They have more to say than we think. Miscommunication that occurs under Mercury Retrograde can be used in instructive ways. My favorite story to illustrate this is a Yoruba tale from Nigeria. The story involves Eshu Elegba, an Orisha, a Yoruba God of communication with the Divine, not unlike Mercury. Eshu, a trickster, is often found at crossroads or at the marketplace, wearing a hat of two colors, one side red, the other blue. One day, two friends are walking along the road in opposite directions and each spy Eshu. One exclaims, “There is Eshu! His hat is red!” while his friend says, “I see Eshu too! He wears his blue hat.” An argument follows, the tension mounts and the two friends storm away, their friendship torn. When do we judge one another on surface appearance alone? When are we quick to say “no” to a point of view, to a language we don’t know, to a faith we don’t understand? It is easier to judge a hat by its color, whether it is red, or whether it is blue, than to recognize the multiplicity of expressions evident in any world language, culture or faith.

I want to close in a more “typical” Gemini fashion, against the grain of this post, by shifting into a positive ending. I know this has been a writing somewhat serious in tone. But we live in times of painful revelations. Gemini Moon can be a curious, light hearted Full Moon as well. Let this weekend help us find joy in conversation with friends and family. A Gemini Moon gives us a chance to enjoy talk, “the gift of gab,” at that Holiday party. An air sign and mental in feel, Gemini allows us a chance to unwind with inquisitive, witty banter to lighten our weekend. Just be wary of miscommunication and the potential for Neptune’s delusion and possible deception to creep in. Take everything you hear with a grain of salt. The waning opposition (180˚) between Mars and Uranus is also still in play, so sudden fits of anger or surprises may be in store. These transits I mention (like planetary moments in time) move fast. Neptune, on the other hand, moves gradually through Pisces and it is here where I can again encourage your own consideration of your birth chart and the slower, gradual evolutionary changes in consciousness possible for you. I started by mentioning my own birth chart has the Moon at 11˚ Gemini. So I have been living through the slow movement of Neptune in a square to my natal Moon by transit throughout this past year. Last winter, I lost my home, my place to nurture myself and retreat, due to a storm and fire damage (Moon, in part, is our emotional comfort, our “home” - this was just one of a number of transits triggering my natal chart at the time - each transit must be looked at in the context of the whole chart). I literally felt my home dissolve under me. I spent almost a year in temporary spaces, as I again tried to rebuild what would be my new abode. As I write, I sit near the fireplace of a new house, a new space, a new beginning. This is where evolutionary astrology can offer guidance and support. Awareness of the longer cycles of change as our lives and souls evolve, make the short, sweet moments of a Full Moon in Gemini unfold with the joy of life.

Wishing everyone a great Full Moon in Gemini!

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Full Moon in Scorpio: Time to Reflect upon the Longer Journey with Pluto.

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Full Moon in Scorpio, May 10th, 2017, 20˚24’ 2:42 PM PDT


Up a narrow flight of stairs
In a narrow little room
As I lie upon my bed
In the early evening gloom
Impaled on my wall
My eyes can dimly see
The pattern of my life
And the puzzle that is me
— Paul Simon
Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know
— Pema Chödrön
You ain’t got half of what you thought you had
Rock you baby to and fro
Not too fast and not too slow
— Robert Hunter

Full Moons are always so beautiful to gaze at in the night sky. I like to follow the phases of the Moon change through the month and then sense if I feel some kind of culmination, something reaching strength before the Moon wanes. This Full Moon is in the sign of Scorpio, at 20˚, so the potential is for an inner culmination of something buried below the surface, a swift undertow ready to rise, perhaps a moment of truth about the patterns of behavior that make us who we are, as Paul Simon wrote, “the puzzle that is me.”  A Full Moon happens quickly, but working together with slower planetary aspects or in conjunction with longer transits evident in your birth chart, a potential moment is there for us to reflect and try to understand better our journeys. Scorpio is ruled by both Mars and Pluto. The day after the Full Moon, Mars, the traditional ruler, will form a square to Neptune and then a trine to Jupiter a few days later. These bring action, optimism and possibly some escapism into the waning gibbous time. But I want to focus upon Pluto, the modern ruler of Scorpio, because this particular Scorpio Moon forms a sextile with Pluto about two hours before reaching Full phase. To best grasp the psychological depth into which we can dive with this Full Moon, I want to consider as well this spring’s square between Saturn and Chiron. My teacher Steven Forrest says, “All aspects are about integration.”  He is referring to the complexity of the aspects at play in a birth chart. I believe we can better tap into the passage of the Moon through her phases and the climax of the Full Moon’s energy by listening to the symphony of the sky at the given moment, as well as shortly before and after, about integrating those aspects with the longer transits occurring, and work with the grand sweep of the night sky. Let me see if I can explain.

I believe it is helpful for anyone to notice where Pluto is moving at the current moment (transiting) in comparison to your birth chart, especially if Pluto happens to be making an aspect to a natal planet’s position in your chart. It is difficult to address Pluto because of the schism so evident between the astrological world and the general public. Most people with little or no knowledge of astrology think “Pluto? Really?” They consider the definition of a Dwarf planet, the small size of Pluto in relation to the Earth, that Pluto is smaller than the Moon, and that Eris is denser, and that Pluto is just one of many Trans-Neptunian objects. The facts create the skeptic. In the meantime, astrologers of all stripes have thoroughly wrestled with the meanings of Pluto, developing set schools of thought, methodologies, ways of seeing and understanding the planet in relation to the human soul, evolution, even seeing Pluto as a reflection of karma and previous lives. Who am I to join in this conversation?  Yet I cannot write about this Moon and not mention what I see, what I feel is helpful to consider about Pluto. In all humility I write from experience. The French have two words to convey, “to know”: savoir is to know as in “to know a fact” and connaître means to know as in “to know from experience” or to know “by acquaintance”. My writing comes more from the second notion of “to know,” connaître, because I have had an ongoing relationship with Pluto transiting my natal planets in the past several years, what seems like almost a decade - Sun, Mars and Mercury in Capricorn (as well as the south node of my Natal Moon) - by conjunction (Pluto gradually reached, or is about to reach, the same degree of each as they are in my birth chart).

Because Pluto’s orbit is unusual and it takes so long - 248 Earth years - to orbit the Sun, these transits are slow moving and have the greatest impact upon the individual psyche. I do not wish to carry on about the details of my life’s unfolding dramas. Needless to say the last four years of my life have been one long obliteration of who I am and one long process of rising up into who I will become, punctuated by quick moments of change, challenge and growth. Welcome to Pluto. Work on your stuff, or your stuff works on you. Ask yourself: how am I being pushed to grow and evolve, what avenues of learning are for my soul in this lifetime? Where is Pluto transiting in your birth chart? Does He create an aspect to any of your natal planets, your ascendant (rising sign) or pivotal points in your chart? What house is Pluto moving through at this time in your life? Depending upon the size of a house (I use the Placidus system), Pluto’s transit may last years, even decades, in a particular house. But that transit is unique to your life story. That long period can be such a long step or process of your own journey in this lifetime. Pema Chödrön says it well, “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” The quick passage of the Full Moon and sextile right before of the Moon to Pluto feels into the moment of what these changes may be - what self-realization will help bring about the highest manifestation of the slow-moving plutonian shift happening for you? I want to underscore that this particular sextile aspect and what I write is most relevant for those being directly affected by a conjunction, square or opposition of Pluto (19˚ Capricorn, consider three degree orb) to a natal planet (Cardinal signs - Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn). However, given that the Full Moon is in Scorpio, co-ruled by Pluto, the moment is a poignant one for anyone to consider what this slow-moving planet might mean in our personal evolution and how Pluto’s path through our birth chart might be reflective of the larger story of our life. The Moon at 20 Scorpio will be felt strongly by those with natal planets at 20 degrees of the fixed signs as well (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius).

 

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The Full Moon in May marks the Buddhist celebration of Wesak. Wesak does not always fall on a Scorpio Full Moon. Last year’s festival occurred under a Sagittarius Moon. But this year’s Scorpio Moon and the Moon’s sextile to Pluto seems especially designed for the Buddhist Holy Day, which honors the life journey of the historic Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama - His birth, enlightenment and death (or Parinirvana). A sextile aspect is one offering the potential to make something manifest - it is not a guaranteed opportunity. The energy is soft and available if one opens to what is possible. Pluto can pull us down into the depths of our subconscious; bring to the surface truths, opening our inner selves through psychological process that then allows us to touch the Divine. Life in its fullest is a journey from birth, enlightenment, into death. The asteroid Juno joins Pluto as well (Conjunct at 18˚ Capricorn). Juno, the mythological wife of Jupiter, is the archetype of committed and long-term relationship (it is not necessary to assign gender or specify heterosexual relationship here. I honor all). In what ways does relationship and intimacy play in awakening consciousness? Is Juno’s dance with Pluto calling us to deconstruct, reevaluate committed relationship in light of our own expanding consciousness? In the narrative of the historic Buddha’s life, he leaves his wife and child as he embarks on the spiritual quest. Yet, in the end, Buddhists take refuge in the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma (teachings) and the Sangha - the community.  We need the “other” and we need community. Such ongoing reflections on relationship are also at play in the moment(see my recent posts on Jupiter in Libra and the Jupiter and Uranus opposition). Our work forward for the collective good depends upon the changing dynamics we create through relationship and partnership.

 

I want to end by mentioning a little about the current square in the sky between Saturn (27˚ Sagittarius) and Chiron (27˚ Pisces) because I believe it is helpful when considering the inner truths one may try to reflect upon under the Scorpio Full Moon and the Moon’s sextile to Pluto. Chiron in Pisces is a collective wound playing out in a unique fashion in each individual chart. Together we can co-create a better future and move humanity from the wounded to the healer if we address our own soul’s journey with the asteroid Chiron. Chiron, an area where we may carry a wound and where we must heal, is forming a 90- degree angle at the moment to Saturn, the taskmaster who sets up restrictions and calls us to hard work and maturity. A square forces us to face what potentially is tension between where Pisces falls in your chart and where Sagittarius lies. This is especially so, if you have natal planets at 27˚ mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces). It is useful to contemplate where in your birth chart Chiron’s square to Saturn falls. In the larger interconnected world in which we live and engage, Chiron in Pisces is like a collective wound which, if we can all address, frees us to be the healers and instigators of change we need at this critical juncture in time. Saturn may challenge you where tough work is needed and the square may bring crisis in order to heal that Pisces wound. Then the potential of the Pluto work will unfold.

The current Full Moon passes quickly as does the Moon/Pluto/Juno sextile, the Saturn / Chiron square moves slower, falling mostly out of orb in the months ahead. Contemplating the quick moments in celestial time may help us with the longer, slower (and more profound) gifts of evolution Pluto transits offer. “Rock you baby to and fro…Not too fast and not too slow.” Each type of transit works in sync with the others; each one rocks us just right. It all simply rests on us to listen. 

Buddha Blessings!

 

A Spark, A Fire, A Journey Ahead: Full Moon in Leo, Jupiter and Uranus in Opposition

There’s a dragon with matches that’s loose on the town. Takes a whole pail of water just cool him down.

Fire! Fire on the mountain!

You say it’s a livin’, we all gotta eat. But you’re here alone, there’s no one to compete. If mercy’s a business, I wish it for you. More than just ashes when your dreams come true.  Robert Hunter

 


Hot, passionate, anticipation, a call to action, unbridled enthusiasm thrust against strong energies of self-expression, leadership and the urge to find self, and to individuate. The Full Moon is a powerful time of momentary flair and emotion; things may combust, the good times may roll, but we might expect equal measures of possible anger, angst, a lack of patience, power play and aggression. The hours leading up to and after the moment of the Lunar eclipse, at 22˚28’ Leo, 4:33 PM PST, is packed with trines and sextiles, including what astrologers call a ‘Grand Trine’ in the element of Fire.  And then there is Valentine’s Day only a few days away and this weekend may be the chosen time to celebrate. This year’s February Full Moon seems to roll out the red carpet with promises of fiery passion, romance and gusto. Venus chases Mars, the warrior at home in the sign of Aries. The Moon, with a penumbral eclipse, forms a 120˚ trine with Saturn at 25˚28’ Sagittarius and Uranus, 21˚22’, and Eris 22˚38’,  in Aries. We also have sextiles between Saturn and Jupiter, Uranus/Eris and the Sun, and a trine between the Sun and Jupiter. It is almost like Divine fingers are playing one harmonious chord. But some of those notes - watch out! Sharps and Flats…Can we create music to tame the savage beast? Do we want to? How do we individuate and still balance self in relationship or with our tribe?

 

Do you know the expression, “It isn’t the wedding, but the marriage that follows that counts?” The current sky under the Full Moon in Leo reminds me a bit of that expression. All that Fire and all those closely knit aspects seem to radiate the here and the NOW, but if we are to be more practical, step back and look at the bigger picture, we can see some potential is just beginning, may even be turning back, processing through what the slower moving planet, Jupiter, fiery and expansive in his own right, may push us towards in the months ahead. The Full Moon may be the “wedding” but the marriage of true individuation, finding our inner rebel, our own genius, and letting it reach its optimal expression with the right partners, right intimates, comes later, and is a slow process we need to honor and let unfold.

 

So much astrological writing focuses upon the moment at hand, quick transits and “celestial weather reports” promising us short-term satisfaction of a Valentine weekend. Yet, sometimes we can see a glimpse of something more, perhaps developing and offering endurance for greater personal change and growth. This particular Full Moon falls in my own 6th house, house of daily routines, work and service, and so I am going to reflect here in part about how you can use the on-going aspect of the slower moving planets - Jupiter and Uranus in opposition - as the year moves through spring and into early fall. The strong Earth energies in my own chart want to offer practical advice, something I hope may be useful. Our New Year began in January with this opposition, 180˚, between Jupiter in Libra and Uranus in Aries, at 21˚. Now in the month of February, Jupiter turned retrograde early in the month and will oppose Uranus again at 22˚at the end of the month and into early March. The process of moving through and back and through again in this opposition allows for the radical, revolutionary spirit along with the potential for the creative, innovative epiphanies of Uranian insight and opportunities for opening and expanding our consciousness - dare I say “sudden enlightenment” or as the Japanese Zen Buddhists would say Satori may be a possibility for you? All one step at a time. Such openings are possible, but the marriage of awareness and of self (Uranus in Aries) and other (Jupiter in Libra) needs time to percolate. Honor that process. The last week of September, when Jupiter is again moving forward at 27-28˚ Libra, the planet will oppose Uranus again bringing those Uranian visions and epiphanies into fuller expression.

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Key to understanding this transit is to notice and meditate upon where in your own chart Jupiter and Uranus are transiting. The cultural historian Richard Tarnas, in Cosmos and Psyche, summarizes the revolutionary impact of these two planets in aspect through history as the “greater benefic” Jupiter presents opportunity in conjunction or through opposition with Uranus as the exiled genius, “ The Jupiter-Uranus complex appears to be associated with the experience of breakthroughs of all kinds, joyful Promethean moments of discovery, sudden ascents, unexpected insights that expand one’s world, the “Aha!” experience.” (309) Richard Tarnas describes the many scientific and technological discoveries of the times of axial alignment of Jupiter and Uranus, such as the invention of the electric light bulb in 1879 and the first Internet transmission, 1969, and the first personal computer designed by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in 1976. The months ahead offer us such innovative ideas and revelations! Some will be expressed on grand stages of our current history, but we also have a chance now to let the energies play out for our own individual evolution. What houses in your birth chart do you find the opposition? Where in your life do you need to self-actualize and where can you find the people, the friends, the intimate partners who will best help your journey?

 

Blessings for the Full Moon in Leo. I hope everyone finds a “Valentine,” whether it is through the love of a partner or joy of friends, family and community. May the affectionate, demonstrative, and self-expressive side of the Leo Moon along with the Sun and Jupiter trine, bring you pleasure and good times. Let’s hope we all can be patient with the tempers that flair, with the ego parades that unfold, and let’s just make the moment one step closer for us as we journey through what Jupiter and Uranus offer us in the months ahead.

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