All Men Must Die: The Upcoming Cardinal Cross

There’s a bunch of billboards all over town for the return of Game of Thrones.  They read ALL MEN MUST DIE in bold caps.  It simultaneously makes me laugh and sends a shiver right through me.  And it’s the perfect backdrop for the experience I’ve been having as Uranus, Jupiter, Mars, and Pluto all jockey into their positions around the zodiac, lining up around the wheel tightening the screws.

If all that sounds depressing and horrible, let me be clear: it’s not.  Not for me, anyway.  In fact, quite the reverse.  I’ve actually been having a ridiculously amazing time.  I know a lot of people are seriously going through it right now, what with one thing or another.  Susan Miller, whom I love, has even said that “April is so scary I’m giving classes in it.”  But although Pluto (he’s like the Darth Vadar of Astrologyland) has been transiting my Sun for over a year and I’m filled with enough apocalyptic scenarios to be able to direct you to a full page of posts about it, I’m actually just filled with such crazy hope and joy and life right now.

I’m a little reluctant to say why, because at the heart of what’s happening to me is something so private that I’ve actually been unable to write as freely as I normally do on my blog.  But I feel like I can’t convey the message I want to now unless I say this, because it really is at the heart of it all.  You guys, I met somebody!  Or, rather, that Venus retrograde in Capricorn washed up a past lover on my shores and he’s just sort of stuck around.  I know I should really be all cool and Capricorn about it and play it down, but MARS IS IN LIBRA you guys, in my NINTH HOUSE with MY MOOOOON and I have to tell you, I feel pretty damned certain that NOW IS NO TIME TO PLAY IT SAFE.

For realz.  On the contrary, I think now is the perfect time to break free of all your past stories about who you are or what’s possible and ask for what you want. Boldly, fearlessly, and with passion.  The trick is, as I said the other day, to do so without expectation.

Which is ultimately why I feel like it’s OK to reveal what’s happening with me right now.  Because the key phrase in that last sentence was right now.  As in, I’ve got no fucking clue what’s going to happen next week or next month or in a years time with this man.  Or without him, for that matter.

You know what I do know?  I know that I could die tomorrow.  Seriously.  There’s been a pile of earthquakes in California lately.  The one last Friday took place across a fault line which threatens “vulnerable older buildings, many made of concrete, in downtown Los Angeles,” you know, like, where I live.  No wonder that quake last Friday was the worst quake I’ve experienced in almost twenty years of living in California.  It was fucking terrifying, no joke.

Sorry for all the expletives, but I’m feeling vehement about all this.  Fucking vehement.

I noticed a hairline crack in the wall in my bathroom last night that wasn’t there before.  A crack in a wall 12 stories up from the ground that was made last week when the earth moved beneath us. I don’t just feel fragile, I am fragile.  We are all fragile.

Capricorns, as everybody knows, are notorious for needing to have control over things.  And Pluto’s transit through Capricorn has been seen as a harbinger of a certain kind of maniacal extremism for that.  Astrologers have been looking at everything from the NSA to the political unrest in middle east to describe the peculiar and potentially lethal “power run amok” experience that Pluto in Capricorn describes.  You add Uranus transiting through Aries into the mix and suddenly you’ve got resistance to that power, you’ve got Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring.

But what if the deeper message here was about releasing the need to control things?  What if it wasn’t about “fighting the man” or anything outside ourselves.  What if we just stopped pretending we had any real control over things at all.

What would be possible then?  What could we create if our acts of creation were less about defining who we were and more about asking?  What would it look like if we loved someone because he showed us where we were vulnerable?  What would it be like if being vulnerable wasn’t weak?

Because you know what?  All men really must die.  We’re all going to be six feet under soon enough.

There’s a marvelous piece by Stephen and Ondrea Levine that addresses this wonderful conundrum perfectly, I really cannot recommend the entire article enough, but they close with this:

If our only spiritual practice were to live as though we were already dead, relating to all we meet, to all we do as though it were our final moments in the world, what time would there be for old games or falsehoods or posturing?  If we lived our life as though we were already dead, as though our children were already dead, how much time would there be for self-protection and the recreation of ancient mirages? Only love would be appropriate, only the truth.

This month offers wonderful opportunities to practice this across the board.  Dates to watch out for are the two eclipses on April 15th and the 28th, and of course, the 22nd through the 24th when the Cardinal Cross is exact.

Wherever the chips may fall, just remember that with Mars going through Libra it’s never been more important to fight for love, to open ourselves, to make ourselves vulnerable and to embrace the strength that comes from expressing who we really are without expectation of approval or recognition.  Give that to yourselves, Golden Hearts.  Give that to those around you.

They might surprise you, and if they don’t, you can at the very least, surprise yourself.

Be bold.  Be daring.  Be loving and  L I V E

 

 

An Open Love Letter to Libra

A Young Girl Defending Herself against ErosIn whatever way you come to me
in that way
shall I appear to you

-the Bhagavad Gita

I’ve got a lot of Libras on my hands right now either going through the ringer or just so damned hopped up on adrenaline they’re about to jump out of their skin. Not just Libra Suns, but Moons, Ascendents, and one poor dear with Venus in Libra in the 7th house. Of course, it’s this ruddy awful Mars retrograding in Libra that’s doing them in (well, that’s what I’m blaming it on, anyway).

I want to take a moment to chill with you, my darling darlings. Let’s take a deep breath together. I have some things I want to say to you.

Dear Libra,

You mad crazy romantic, you relentless optimist, you gorgeously generous lover, you are my favorite.  SHHH DON’T TELL ANYONE.

I know, I know, you’ve over-extended yourself. AGAIN. You’ve bit off more than you can chew and no one seems to appreciate it. AGAIN. The people in your life are not doing what they’re supposed to be doing and they are not letting you help them, dammit. Worse, the people you count on the most are the ones most likely to irritate the bejesus out of you these days.  Or maybe there’s just one person in your life who is super duper frustrating and all your powers of reconciliation and diplomacy are failing you somehow. wtf is up with that?!

Let’s take another deep breathe …In with the good air …and out with the bad.

Listen closely, Golden Hearts, because I’m going to tell you a secret and it’s a good one. And the best thing is, if you learn this now you won’t have to come back and learn it again later.

A Young Girl Defending Herself against Eros

You’re a lover, not a fighter, but that doesn’t always work out so well for you, does it?  Be honest, sometimes you compromise to the point where you don’t get a damned thing you really want and you just give it all up in the name of “peace” and “harmony.”  The problem is, Libra, that when you compromise that much there’s no harmony, there’s just you holding the damned bag and the other person with all the candy.  If you want real harmony, real peace, than you’ve got to be willing to put yourself on the line and say what you really want, name that thing that is really important to you and fucking ask for it.

The trick here is that you’ve got to do so without any expectation.  And this is hard for you, because you listen so damned hard to others.  You do your best to give them what they ask for, so to ask for something and not get it back is excruciating.  But it isn’t their responsibility to make sure you get what you ask for any more than it’s yours to make sure they get what they ask for.  You take that responsibility on because …well, because you’re a Libra and it’s just your nature, but make no mistake, just because you took on that responsibility doesn’t make it yours.  You’re not a God, Libra (well, maybe a little bit to me, you sexy beast, but I’ve got a Libra Moon, I’m probably biased).

This period of time has to do with fighting for love, which is a.) an oxy moron, and b.) really really hard to do, because it means making yourself vulnerable and that’s just SCARY.  It’s gonna take something. But let’s face it, Libra, if anyone can do it, it’s you. Here’s the deal, the planet Mars is bringing a fight to your door, but that restless angry energy tumbling around in you right now will release once you commit unconditionally to something you feel powerfully about and Libra is all about love and beauty.

A Young Girl Defending Herself against Eros

This other person or people that you are confronted with right now are not the real enemy, Libra.  The enemy is not outside you, it’s within you.  This is hard to see, but once you’ve seen it, it’s unavoidable.  It’s no good fighting for peace and harmony for both parties if both parties aren’t fighting for the same thing.  If you find yourself in a situation where your needs are not being met don’t wait for the other person to magically get it.  It may be obvious to you, but why would it be obvious to them if you haven’t said anything?  Not everyone listens the way you do, honey.  It’s special what you do, if everyone did it, it wouldn’t be special.  Own that shit.  Don’t wait for someone else to listen to you. You listen to you.

That Libra Venus in the 7th house I mentioned earlier just broke up with her boyfriend and lost a close girlfriend because she took a stand that her friend quit drinking. She’s suffering right now because she wants to only have mutually loving joyful feelings between herself and others, but her love has matured and she can’t support destructive behavior or partners that don’t give as much to her as she gives to them. She had to take a stand for the kind of love she believes in and these two people couldn’t meet her there. She’s sad, but she did the right thing.

She’s not feeling love from others right now and it’s painful, because she’s having to generate it all herself and right now her love is looking a lot like a giant NO and that doesn’t feel like love to her.  But the truth is, it’s the best kind of love she can offer those two right now.  Years ago I had to cut an alcoholic friend out of my life.  I just couldn’t pretend to be OK with watching him destroy himself anymore, I loved him too much to help him write that story.  It was really hard because he was profoundly hurt by it and there was no way to explain to him that I’d never loved him more than I did in the moment of saying goodbye.  Sometimes loving someone means cutting them loose.

A Young Girl Defending Herself against Eros

The trick here is to make yourself vulnerable.  You’ve got to stop trying to be what other people want you to be, stop trying to be a “good” girl or boy.  You’ve got to get all the way inside your own heart and be willing to listen.  Libra is good at listening to others, you’re good at hearing what they want.  Now you’ve got to listen for what you want and be willing to express it.  And to do that you may have to risk losing something you value.  But are false friendships or what people may think of you really more important to you than being yourself?  Now is no time for blaming other people for your circumstances, Libra.  Identify what you want and make a request or a demand.  Be bold.  Be generous.  Be loving.  Be fearless.

Be willing to lose.

This may sound strange, but I SWEAR it’s true: every single time I’ve broken my heart it’s just expanded in the end.  It’s like a series of nesting dolls in reverse.  You break the first one and you’ve actually got more room than before.  Maybe at some point we can break the last one and just be free.

I’m game, Libra.  Are you?

 

 

 

Dragons in the 12th House

not the one

My colleague and dear friend, Frederick Woodruff and I are locked into one of our conversation/debates over modern and traditional astrological terminology brought about by my post from yesterday  (you can follow along in the comment section if you like, he’s threatening to take me to court over it if we can’t resolve it here, so I’m sure there will be more to come! :D)  In brief, as someone who uses traditional techniques I like the phrases used to describe the 12th house: The House of Sorrows, Loss, Secrets, and Suffering.  He thinks that sort of terminology is suspect at best and dangerous at worst.

He’s a 12th house Sun and Mercury like me, but he’s a Cancer, so we always seem to come at the same things from exactly the opposite side of the coin.  This is one of my favorite dances there is, of course, because as a Capricorn I’m all dry and needing to nail things down and Cancers are all wet and unnaildownable.  I find them so reassuring in a world which seems to me to call out for control and structure because they have the opposite response to it, they may cry and wail, but they flow with the siege the storm throws at them all the same.

I never feel like I have to be strong with Cancers, they see right into the soft vulnerable core at the center of me and remind me of the strength that comes from opening, not closing.  I adore them.

Frederick pointed out something so soft and ethereal about the 12th house, so warm and kind in his comment yesterday.  I’m going to quote him at length because I like what he said so much.

He said, “dawn– like dusk — is a period in the day’s cycle that is something akin to the sacred. There’s a palpably still aura to the air, a quiet that is both fragile and vibrant with potential. This is, for the most part, how I feel about the Sun’s manner (in the 12th) of expressing itself in the world.

… My lens that looks out on the world is this same soft condition of light that is just arriving, establishing and preparing to ascend and illuminate in stronger wattage, but again, it’s very much a bardo condition.

To me a bardo’s very essence is one of contradiction; and from the merging of contradictions there is alchemy, which generates light, and movement — but done with awareness and usually softly. We don’t run around yaking and tossing our bodies about like bumper cars at 6AM in the morning, as we do, say at noon time when the fervor and pitch of ‘reality’ is buzzing and making us believe that ITS atmosphere is the one that dominates and defines the world at large.

So, 12th house light — that atmosphere for the soul — is to be respected, understood, honored and valued. At least in my cosmology.”

Isn’t that lovely?  And true?  Of course, between you and me I was a bit chagrined that he was left thinking I don’t share that respect or honor just because I call the 12th house dirty names.  I’m a Capricorn, I call everyone dirty names!  That’s how Capricorns say “I love you.”

Truly I see what he sees here and I couldn’t agree with him more, but getting to that perspective took some grievously hard work on my part, it didn’t just “happen.”  I was softened over time by the loss of the people I loved best, by betrayal, by secrets and lies and my own foolishness masquerading as someone elses.  My Sun in the 12th House of Loss rules the 7th House of partnership, you see, so I didn’t immediately understand that other people were not the shiny gloamy objects my softened sun’s light made them out to be.  I didn’t understand how much my seeing of them was my own creation, nor how little I needed them in order to shine myself.

I didn’t understand until they were gone, until I was betrayed, until everything I thought I knew about them was revealed to be a lie.  Eckhart Tolle says that Loss is a great teacher because when you lose that thing you think you cannot live without you will discover who you really are, not who you thought you were.

This is the great big shiny truth thrown up onto the shores of my life after the storms that took everything else out to sea.  This is treasure I’ve found after a lifetime consecrated in my Capricorn 12th House tower.  This is the thing I cannot live without but will never have to because it is what remains once everything else is stripped away.

Myself: naked, shiny, resolute, independent of others, of money, of acclaim, of anything tangible.  Just this thing that can’t be covered up by wrinkles or time or washed out to sea by betrayal or misunderstanding.  Just me.  And just me is enough.  Just me is the grain of sand that contains the universe and mirrors every other grain of sand out here on the glorious expanse of beach we all share together, whether we know it or not.

May we be peaceful

May we be safe

May we be loved

May we be free

 

The House of Unintended Consequences

kitchen anatomy copy

I was speaking with my father this morning and he misheard something I said.  What he heard me say was “The House of Unintended Consequences.”  Which I now wish I had said, despite it having nothing whatsoever to do with what we were speaking about, but simply because I’ve been so far up my 12th house for the past few months this phrase resonates profoundly.

To whom do I appeal for an addition to the definition of the 12th House?

It’s described as the House of Sorrows, Secrets, and Transcendence, and it’s associated with self-destruction and undoing, but Holy Moly, if those experiences aren’t inextricably linked to Unintended Consequences I certainly don’t know what is.

My girl Beth gave me the cutting board pictured above for my birthday a few years back.  I’ve never been able to bring myself to actually cut anything on it and it makes me uncomfortable but it hangs above my stove because I love it anyway.  Visually it expresses something difficult I know to be true about myself but for which I cannot find a cure and for which I’m no longer certain I ought to try.

kitchen anatomy I’ve always said too much at the wrong time (Mercury in the 12th)  I’ve had difficulty recognizing boundaries and I’ve often unwittingly or not trespassed against them (Venus in the 12th).  This blog continues to be an experiment for me in playing with those boundaries, exploring them, running up against them, and risking the danger of cutting myself.  It’s compulsive, I’m open-handed about it, I’m exposing myself willingly, but my organs are vulnerable.

I know it, yet I cannot seem to stop it.  I don’t know how else to be.  I know it’s too much but if I don’t do it than I cannot be myself (Sun in the 12th) and if I cannot be myself then what the hell is the point?  I understand secrets and the need for discretion.  Christ, do I understand.  It’s just that I don’t LIKE it, it pisses me off.  Secrets may sometimes be necessary, but who decides?

A good friend of mine has four planets in the 12th, but they’re in Scorpio, she’s silent as the grave about things.  Also, she isn’t cursed by an Aquarius rising or Uranus squaring her 12th house Sun.  I’m torn between the need to understand hidden things and the need to reveal them.  But truly understanding them must always include respecting the value in keeping them hidden.

I’ve not mastered that.  I’m far from certain I ever will.  But at least I know this truth now.  (Thank you, Saturn in Scorpio!)

I know I’m not for everybody, I know I say things, do things  other people find awkward or gauche or too personal or simply just “too much,” (an anonymous commenter tweaked me about it in response to something I wrote a couple months ago) but in the words of my childhood heroine, Anne of Greene Gables, “if you only knew all the things I wanted to say and don’t, you would admire my restraint.”

organsWith Pluto transiting my Sun and Venus edging up against them both now it seems as good a time as any to own this contradiction in myself.  It’s a contradiction, the kind that cannot truly be reconciled, but perhaps I can find peace with it.  Perhaps I can just accept that there may be blood, there may be repercussions, there may be Unintended Consequences.

It is, after all, my essential nature.  All I can truly do is ride this knife’s point to the edge.  Hope for the best, forgive the worst, and do my absolute best not to betray anyone else.  If organs must be offered, let let them be mine.

Wonderful World Compendium: Venus Retrograde in Capricorn

Venus Retrograde

Whoa boy. Where do I start with this one? Oh! How about here? OMG YOU GUYS I HAVE BED BUGS!!!!!!!! ::buries head under covers in shame, remembers who’s under there with her and leaps out of the window instead:: ARRRGHHHH!!! You guys, I HAVE COOTIES!!!

Now, you may be asking yourself why is she telling me this? And, can I get cooties through the internet? Or possibly what does this have to do with Venus Retrograde? Glad you asked, my Little Buggy Vermin, because:

A.) this is totally a teachable moment, I HAVE to tell you!

B.) No

C.) This has to do with Venus Retrograde because Venus entered Capricorn on Tuesday, November 5th and is currently at 4 degrees approaching a conjunction with my natal Venus at 5 degrees on her way to a retrograde cycle at the end of December. In my chart Venus is in the 12th house, which traditionally is a classic association with, get this, BED PLEASURES.

Now, I’m not saying that everyone with Venus in the 12th in Capricorn should be expecting to get COOTIES (don’t be jealous) this retrograde cycle, but I do find it worth remarking that this cycle, which coincides with the Uranus / Pluto square firing away at my Sun (which rules my 7th House of Partnership) should kick off with such a fierce insult as to how I’ve been managing (or mismanaging) my Venus in the 12th (bed pleasures). If you’ve been paying attention then you know that I’ve been single for some time now, which suits ME just fine, but I’m starting to think that maybe my Venus has a problem with it.

Since retrogrades indicate a perversion and/or reconsideration of the general significations of a planet and since Venus is now going to be in Capricorn UNTIL MARCH, yo, and hitting up on my Sun, the aforementioned ruler of the 7th House of Partnership in my chart, I’m a little concerned this may just be her first warning shot across my bow.

Now, if you ask me she could have picked a better way of telling me she wants some sugar than giving me COOTIES, since this is HARDLY a selling point if you want to snag some hottie at a bar – I can hear myself now, “My, what gorgeous, plump skin you have! I have some little friends that would just LOVE to suck your blood!” But who am I to say? Venus, she works in mysterious ways…

Which brings me to my point. Venus is usually considered a sweet and loving planet, ruling sugar and beauty, and just generally loads of congenial, sociable things. But I’ve got a pro-tip here for you: Don’t piss her off!! She’s just as much a stickler for sacrifices as any other planet.

So heads up, Buttercups! Wherever Capricorn falls in your chart just know that she’s going to be throwing her weight in on the current Pluto/Uranus square (shortly to be joined by an opposition from Jupiter) so this retrograde cycle around I’m afraid she means BIZNIZ. Do NOT be messing about with her, let my example serve as a warning to us all! She’s in Capricorn now, so follow the fucking rules of etiquette. BE CIVIL. This is no time to be an asshole, please do NOT look to Will Gardner for inspiration. If you have bed bugs, even metaphoric ones, get rid of them. Do the honorable thing, clean up your messes thoroughly and communicate with anyone you may have contaminated.

Dates to consider: Venus hits up on the Uranus/Pluto square this week on November 14th and the 15th respectively. She goes retrograde at 29 degrees Capricorn on December 20th, and direct at 14 degrees on February 1st.

Usually in my Compendiums I have more links for you, but I couldn’t find that many cool articles on this Venus Retrograde. If you’ve come across one I missed please leave it in the comments and I’ll keep this list updated.

In the meantime, for more on Venus in Capricorn and how to show her your allegiance, please check out what Barry Perlman has to say about her over on Astrobarry. I love what he says about the benefits of a rule following Venus! Check it out, as always, some very sage advice.)

Julie Demboski has a beautiful image to accompany this transit and some words of wisdom for those of you who don’t naturally find the connections between Love and Beauty and Rules.

Finally, in case you’ve got a bad case of Venus in Capricorn natally, like myself, and this transit is hitting you somewhere you’d rather it didn’t, like it is with me, than I’ve got some cold comfort for you in the shape of your face. The Oxford Astrologer has compiled a list of famous women and men with Venus in Capricorn. She points out that since Capricorn is ruled by Saturn and Saturn rules bones, Venus in Capricorn (and Aquarius!) lends itself passingly well to decent cheekbones. Sadly there’s not a lot of POC in the list, but there are a ton of cheekbones.

So, I will take heart and hope that my cheekbones cancel out my cooties and that Venus will be nice to me now that I’m taking her so seriously. Now, please forgive me, but I can’t write anymore. I have to go burn my apartment Down. To. The. Ground.

Twilight & the Horror of Venus

I watched the final movie in the Twilight saga the other night.  DON’T JUDGE ME!  No, it’s ok, you can judge me, I know how everyone feels about it.  It’s not like I can’t see how awful it all is and why it’s so upsetting (though frankly I don’t think the films get enough credit for how entertaining they are in their badness) but I really do enjoy the storyline, and even worse (apparently) I actually like Bella.

I’ve discovered this is an incredibly unpopular position to take, but it’s not the first time I’ve been fascinated by a woman that is universally hated.  It’s actually why I read the books in the first place.  Everyone was talking about it so I picked the first book up just to to see why everyone was so furious with her.  I kept waiting for the shoe to drop and to find myself hating her too, but it never happened.  In fact, with every page I turned I liked Bella more.

She’s described as narcissistic, but a lot of people her age are, I certainly was.  I’m inclined to cut her some slack for that.  She’s also described as weak and without personality, but that I can’t see.  I understand why people do, of course.  After all, Bella loves a man who is either stalking her or rejecting and cold.  She identifies herself through the experience of loving him so profoundly that she cannot imagine living without him.  Literally, she actually attempts to kill herself when he leaves her.

Don’t mistake me, I understand perfectly why this is a dangerous story to instill in a generation of girlish hearts.  After all, while those girls are indoctrinating themselves in the myth of sacrificing everything for True Love their boyish peers are learning about girls and how to treat them from internet porn.  We’re raising our girls to sacrifice themselves for boys who are being raised to think of girls as play toys.  Yeah, it’s a perfect storm.  No mistake about it.

Besides, the greatest supernatural twist of the story is that two people who hate themselves somehow manage to fall in love with one another.  That’s the most unrealistic thing about it, if you ask me.  That NEVER works in real life.  I should know, I’ve tried enough times.

But none of that seems to tarnish the shiny bright thing I like about the story.  Like legions of young girls (and their mamas!) I’m drawn to the story not because of Bella’s many sacrifices, but because of her victories.  I don’t see Bella as weak, because Bella knows what she wants.  She is single-minded in the pursuit of it, and Bella wins her quest.  She gets her guy and soothes the savage beast.  Love is revealed as transformative, and more importantly, redemptive.  Through her love Edward is relieved of his self-loathing and anger and released into a profound sense of purpose.  Through his love for her Bella learns to love herself, she becomes confident and strong.  She becomes resplendent.

Twilight is obviously a modern reworking of Beauty and the Beast and I don’t think you can seriously look at this story and its popularity without asking yourself why we need to tell this tale and why we need to tell it now.  I think it’s because Beauty (Venus) really does have the power to soothe what is savage and torn (Mars).  Venus heals, reveals, honors, and raises up.  Venus reconciles, she unifies.  She takes what is broken and she makes it whole.  She shields us from pain and gives us something to fight for (Mars again).  We would be lost without her.

But in our modern world, those qualities are not celebrated or honored.  Instead we equate them liberally with womanhood and mothering.  We hold them in contempt and push them into the corner only to be brought out as prizes to be offered up to action heroes and villains alike.  We don’t protect Venus, we don’t fight for her.  We abuse her, we ridicule her, we tell her we’ll only like her if she wears make-up – but not too much!  If she wears too much we call her a slut.

And it’s not like Mars has it so great.  Mars is equated primarily with revenge, war and killing.  From Rambo to the most recent Die Hard movie we’ve staked our claim on how Mars is supposed to behave and look like.  The functions of Mars, to sever and separate, and to act on what is desired, have been perverted into increasingly grotesque caricatures.  We demand that our men be warriors first, and we don’t even really care what they’re fighting for, just so long as they fight.  Our modern day Mars truly is a beast.

Is it any wonder then that Bella is the spokesperson for Venus in our time?  The true horror of Twilight doesn’t have anything to do with vampires or werewolves.  The horror is that we live in a time where our experience of beauty (Venus) is so narrowly defined that we need to freeze a woman at 18 in order for her to be pretty.  The true horror of Twilight is that the love story (Venus) that defines this generation can only be told by a woman who hates herself and loves someone who hates himself too.  The true horror of Twilight is that love can only be redemptive, not reflexive and that it takes a woman with supernatural strength to experience or express it.

The true horror of Venus is that in this day and age it takes a horror story to tell her story.

Wonderful World Compendium: Solar Eclipse Edition

Solar Eclipse

Today’s Solar Eclipse photo is brought to you by google search images.  There’s some real beauties.  Better yet you can watch a time lapse video of the eclipse, which SLOOH started filming around 3:45 am PST this morning in Kenya where it was visible.  I wasn’t up for that, were you?  In Astrologyland people have been talking about this eclipse for awhile with varying degrees of anxiety and trepidation.  After all, there’s some powerful astrological significations making up the backdrop of this particular eclipse cycle.

You’ve got your Uranus / Pluto square, exact on November 1st for the fourth of seven passes at 10 degrees in Aries and Capricorn.  If you’re late to the game on what all that means exactly, Frederick has been covering it quite beautifully over on Astroinquiry, I’d start here for the basic explanation, here for some real life examples, and here for an update on Friday’s apocalyptic fervor.

Then we’ve got good ol’ Mercury going retrograde, which I covered in the last wrap-up.  But as far as the eclipse goes, the important point about the current Mercury retrograde cycle is that it’s passing through Scorpio at 9 degrees, along with good ol’ Saturn at 14, and then the eclipse also falls in Scorpio at 12 degrees.  You’ll notice that all the significations are falling between 9 and 14 degrees, which means that certain people among us are likely to get hit extra hard by all this celestial pressure.  This girl knows what I’m talking about.

Essentially, this Saturn in Scorpio period, marked by the need to go deep and uncover uncomfortable truths and DEAL with them, is getting some serious help from this eclipse season.  How well you deal with that is up to you.  But how well you deal with uncomfortable truths is going to tell you a lot about how you’re going to be dealing with this period.  Are you dealing with your mess the way the Japan is (or isn’t) dealing with Fukushima?  Are you willing to ask for help from foreign nations or are you too concerned about losing face?  If you’re a foreign nation, are you too tied up in your anxiety about gay marriage and making sure poor people don’t have enough to eat to notice that a nuclear reactor on the edge of the Pacific Rim is perilously close to meltdown?

Time to get real, people.  What’s important to you?  What’s at stake?  If your integrity is being shored up by sticky tape and rubber bands you’re gonna be feeling it this week, I’m afraid.

For more on preventing potential meltdowns and making a fresh start check out what Stephanie has to say over at Planetary Apothecary.  And if you want more, Barry Perlman offered some hard won insight about facing cold hard facts during this eclipse season, which he reveals over on Astrobarry.

Stay true, Little Tomatoes!  Don’t go splat!  Dice yourselves up for a nice fresh bruschetta instead!  YUM

Ganesh, Patron Saint of Astrologers

Ganesha night light

Here’s Ganesha, The Remover of Obstacles, kicking back on my shelf last night.  Ganesha is my favorite God, partly because you don’t have to belong to his religion (Hinduism) to worship him, and I don’t have a religion, but I like to be included, partly because he has the head of an elephant and who doesn’t like elephants, and partly because he’s the Patron Saint of Astrologers.

But mostly he’s my favorite because of his origination story.  Actually, like most Hindu gods he’s got a lot of origination stories, but the one I like is the one where the God Sani (that’s Saturn to you and to me!)  SMITES the beautiful newborn child’s head off with a single penetrating GLARE.  Undaunted, the babies father goes into the street and grabs the first head he sees, which belongs to an unsuspecting elephant, and replaces his sons head with that.

And LO, the Elephant God is born, one of the best loved Gods of all time.  Ganesha is usually associated with Jupiter or Jupiterian themes, with wisdom and good luck and joy.  Naturally he’s beloved, who doesn’t want all that around?

ganesh2

But I like the origination story that I told you because it suggests that true wisdom isn’t just granted, it’s earned.  Saturn may smite you but it’s what you do about it that shows your true character.  You think it was easy for Ganesha growing up with the head of an elephant?  I mean sure, he was a God, but how’s he gonna kiss a girl he likes?  No, I think it took effort to become wise and judicious and compassionate.

It takes balance.  In a recent lecture Rob Hand described Saturn as being about contemplation and withdrawal, and Jupiter as being about generosity, magnanimity and positive thinking.  That would be on the higher levels, on the lower levels Saturn is about repression, sadness, and difficulty, whereas Jupiter is about entitlement and believing the world owes you a living.

You can see how the two planets operate as a celestial system of checks and balances, without contemplation or discipline our culture becomes a seething mass of self-indulgent, entitled schmucks only out for what they can take.  But without joining the group, without putting that contemplation to fruitful use, the individual rots on the vine, alone and depressed, and no one benefits from her insights.

Ganesha night light

Ganesha is The Remover of Obstacles because he understands that some obstacles are not there to be removed, but to be embraced and accepted as part of our whole.  True happiness is not always what you think it’s going to be, it’s often something you never imagined it could be.  So when you pray to Ganesha to remove your obstacles, be sure you ask him to remove your obstacle to seeing the world as it truly is, perfect in every way just as it is right now.

Oh!  And tell him Wonder said “Hi!”

Wonderful World Compendium: Mercury Retrograde edition

Himalyan Wildflower

Oh yes, my dumpling darlings, it’s Mercury retrograde season again!!  I, for one, am distinctly not up for it, not today, anyway.  And I’m one of those astrologers who falls firmly in the camp of “who cares?” despite my stock trader auntie who SWEARS her number columns don’t add up right when it hits, and my friend, Dusty, who calls it “Mercury in Butthead.”  The words and numbers in MY head rarely line up anyway so retrogrades generally suit me.

But today I’ve got a ton of stuff to do and no time to smell the roses or the wildflowers or do any navel gazing, so honestly, I’m just peeved.  This particular retrograde got kicked off by an eclipse last Friday, is going through Scorpio with Saturn, and is generally, by all accounts going to be a bit of scorcher.  In short, pay close attention to anything you’ve not been paying close attention to, despite knowing that you’ve been needing to.  This is no time to get sloppy.

Here’s what some of my favorite astrologers have to say on the subject:

Chani Nicholas with few pithy words on last weeks eclipse, with some encouragement for those of us feeling a bit feisty or aggravated by it.

Frederick Woodruff  for some soul searching inspiration on how to manage our stabby feelings stirred up by last weeks eclipse.  Key takeaway: “Ignited by a full moon in Aries, the Libra sun leans towards warfare in the name of truth and beauty…” Frederick, as per usual, you’ve got my number!

And finally, Barry Perlman with some hardcore advice on how to handle this particular Mercury retrograde. (also check out what he has to say about this eclipse season, since it includes sage advice like urging us to “own… our shit and not pointlessly roll… around in it.”  HAHA Good advice, Barry, I’ll do my best!

I’ll see you on the other side, little tomatoes!

Wonderful World Compendium: Saturn in Scorpio Edition

I call this one "Determined Cheese Walks on Water"

I call this one “Determined Cheese Walks on Water”

Saturn going through Scorpio.  The planet Saturn moved into the sign of Scorpio on October 5th and will stay there through September 2015.

Saturn rules our limits and boundaries – where we meet them and how we set them.  It rules authority and operates on the principles of rejection and exclusion.  Unsurprisingly Saturn experiences and Saturnine people tend toward loneliness, melancholy, and isolation.  Not in a bad way, of course.  Just kidding, it sucks.  But it’s for your own good.  Character building.  No, really.  Put it this way, where we meet Saturn, we find where we stand all alone, just like the cheese.  That’s not generally considered a good thing in polite society, which by definition depends on us NOT being all alone in order to function.  However, society is only as strong as its members and sometimes getting away from the tribe is the best thing you can actually do FOR the tribe.  It just typically doesn’t feel very good, which is one reason why Saturn is known as a Malefic (BAD planet).

The sign of Scorpio is a water sign, which is exactly what it sounds like: fluid, lacking in boundary, sensitive, and carrying undercurrents.   It is ruled by the planet Mars, which is the other Malefic, being in charge of wars and acts of aggression.  Sounds like fun, huh?  Well, you’ve probably heard about Scorpio’s reputation for great sex, and if you think about it for a moment, you can probably see how great sex doesn’t happen unless one or both parties are capable of asserting themselves – rising to the occasion, as it were.  This quality is enhanced in Scorpio, because Scorpio being a water sign, is feminine, or receiving – sensitive to others.  Demetra George describes Scorpio as “the need for deep involvements and intense transformations,”  and if you think about a Mars ruled water sign, this only makes sense.  In Scorpio you have both the sensitivity to others and need to act for oneself.  Great lovers, deadly enemies.

The interesting thing about Saturn’s transit through Scorpio is that Saturn is all about acting alone/isolation, and Scorpio, being water, is all about connectivity.  Of course, connectivity isn’t necessarily social, and it’s entirely possible for a Scorpionic academic researcher to experience great connectivity to the subject of her ivory tower research but to forget entirely for days at a time to water her plants or call her lover.  So we have to pay attention to the house position of Scorpio to see how, exactly, this connectivity will play out.  However, an essential experience of Saturn’s movement through Scorpio will be one of identifying and isolating those aspects of ourselves that prevent us from connecting and exerting our power through those connections.  Ideally, of course, we will come out on the other side knowing ourselves to be more powerful, more connected, and better able to handle the slings and arrows that come our way.

The key here – as with any Saturn transit – is to work your ass off and your fingers to the bone.

Dang, I wrote a lot.  The whole point of this post was to NOT have to write anything but point you to other people who’ve written totally awesome things about it!  Bother.  Well, I hope you’ve got an appetite for more, ’cause here are some great articles exploring this subject in more detail:

  • For more on using this transit to connect and how the November 2012 eclipse cycles in Scorpio and Taurus accentuated the need to do it, check out April Elliott Kent’s very funny piece over on Big Sky Astrology.
  • Of course, Austin Coppock had to bring death into it (in fairness SOMEBODY had to, after all, if Scorpio’s about transformation, death has got to be the END all example of that – sorry, couldn’t help myself).  Also, sex (YAY!), corruption, and witch hunts (!!!!).  Totally awesome article with bonus points for coming up with my favorite tagline regarding Saturn’s transit through Scorpio: Change: It’s Gross.  HAHAHA Please click HERE IMMEDIATELY to see why he says that.
  • Frederick Woodruff over at Astroinquiry offers a grounding but also substantively inspiring  perspective on this transit, by way of G.I. Gurdjieff.  Read this especially if you’ve been going through a rough patch and you’re looking for a new way of dealing with old problems.  This isn’t an easy, pop-culture friendly sort of read, but it’s the real deal, the kind that if you let it, will sink into your bones and reassure you about charting new territories in the midst of old dilemmas.
  • Emily Trinkaus investigates the investigative nature of Scorpio and why that is necessary and what we might expect from Saturn traveling through this sign.  Face your fears!  Virgo Magic
  • To get the heads up on what new health trends might be popping up and how to manage your sex life (you know you want to!) during this time, you’ll want to read what Stephanie Gailing’s got to say over at the Planetary Apothecary.
  • Lastly, the podcast on This American Life this week is called, “What doesn’t Kill you,” and it features four stories of near death experiences, beautifully illustrating the theme of Saturn in Scorpio.  Seriously, check it out.  The first was my absolute favorite.  It’s a performance by Tig Notaro, about which Louis CK says, “was one of the greatest standup performances I ever saw.”  It starts out with her saying, “Hi.  I have cancer,” and it just goes on from there.  If you need some inspiration on how to handle this transit, you’re not going to do better than listening to this piece.  Alternatively you could just head over to iTunes and buy the whole set.