Thursday, December 21, 2006

0 Degrees Of Capricorn - Season's Greetings

In the northern hemisphere, when the Sun begins its journey through the sign of Capricorn it's the Winter Solstice, and the 2006 Solstice takes place on 22nd December, at around 12.15am GMT. The Winter Solstice has always been a time of celebration, as it marks the spot of the longest night, and the beginning of longer days. The Sun is reborn at this moment, to grow in strength until the Summer Solstice in June, when the cycle of shortening nights repeats again. Different cultures and different religions have had their own way of celebrating this time for thousands upon thousands of years. Some of the traditions have merged with others, some remain unchanged, but the celebrations continue to be an important part of people's lives everywhere.

It doesn't take a great amount of google searching to discover the origins of Christmas link to the Winter Solstice. Research certainly indicates that the story of the birth of a son to a virgin is a lot older than 2000 years. According to Achayra S in The Christ Conspiracy, there's a long list of deities who share a similar story, many of whom were born to a virgin on or around the 25th December (old calendar Solstice time), visited by wise men, and who grew up to be healers and saviours. Some of the more famous ones she includes are Mithra, Buddha, Krishna, Dionysus, Hercules and Horus (Her theory is all these characters, Jesus included; refer to an original solar myth with astrological correspondences).

I mention this not to get the backs up of Christians who are Christmas story devotees, but because it fascinates me that this Solstice based tale has stayed with us so strongly through the ages, in its various forms, and across so many cultures. To me this means it's vitally important to us that it stays in our conscious awareness. Why that is, I don't know. I know why it's important to me, being an astrologer with a passion for the cycles and seasons I live within; but I don't know why it's had such a hold on the collective psyche for so many thousands of years, with all its diversity of belief and interest.

Is it because it expresses the deep magic and mystery of the human condition? or is it something more astrologically mundane, and simply our collective response to the story, expressing according to the nature of the sign the celebrations fall under? Or is it both? A mix of mystery and mundane?

The adherence to tradition and ritual that has stood the test of time is very Capricorn. Time itself is related to Capricorn, so it would be appropriate to be celebrate it's seasonal passing. It's also in the nature of this sign to be a bit of a humbug about enjoying the festivities. Way back when the Romans celebrated this time as Saturnalia (Saturn rules the sign of Capricorn), Seneca complained that "the whole mob has let itself go in pleasures", while Pliny the Younger retired to his room to avoid the celebrations. This is also the season of the lecture about materialism, consumerism and the perils of excess, maybe because Capricorn is associated with limits, discipline and restriction. There's always a cry from someone to return to the good old days, when people celebrated with appropriate modesty, respectfully mindful of the 'real' message (back to that ever present solar deity myth); though when that was I don't know, as there's always been an associated history of hardcore merry-making. Finally of course, there's the extensive preparations for the holiday season - there's nothing more Capricorn-esque than a step by step, stressful build-up to fulfilling a goal. Preparation, pressure, and planning; it's all Cappy territory.

There's more on the rich tradition of Solstice time here.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sun Meets Pluto And GC On 18th December

Just ahead of the New Moon in Sagittarius on the 20th, the Sun travels across the degree that Pluto is currently occupying. It's something that happens once a year, so that's not unusual, but this year Pluto is slowly travelling across the degree that the Galactic Centre sits, and this hasn't happened for nearly 250 years.

Pluto has a formidable reptuation for the intensity of impact in a chart, and Pluto conjunct Galactic Centre is a long-term influence because it moves so slowly. This means there's lots of time to ponder the effects, but the addition of the Sun's presence over the next few days just might shine a light of understanding onto your own personal relationship with this energy.

Kathryn Cassidy has an inspiring post on the current astrology energy, and its evolutionary potential. She says:

"Any evolutionary leap won't make news headlines. It is not something we will visibly witness. However an event in the world, or an event in your life around December 18th 2006 could be a trigger to something, which in retrospect (days, weeks, months or even years to come) we shall note signalled the beginning of major change - a new era in history."

Read her full article here, and be sure to check out the video clip included!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Astrology Of Blogging

There’s a great meme on the go, originating from a post by Twilight, on the astrology of blogging. Her theory that astrology bloggers might show a combination of dominant Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter energies is being put to the test by bloggers offering their chart details to see how they match up. I’ve been tagged by Lynn and April to offer my contribution (two tags! it must be all this Gemini energy!), and it appears I’m a classic case according to the theory:

- I have Sun, Mercury and Mars in Gemini, in the 9th house (9th house is associated with Jupiter)

- Mercury is a couple of degrees from the Midhaven, so is angular, square Virgo ascendant

- Mercury is sextile Saturn in Aries in the 7th

- Mercury is also sextile Jupiter in Leo in the 11th

I can't say that writing is an easy thing for me, despite all that Mercury energy. It's a bit like pulling teeth at times, searching for ways to communicate my thoughts on the subject (Neptune in 3rd inconjunct Mercury?), and I'm a devil for editing and reworking, in my Virgo ascendant quest for the perfect post :-)
Yet there's a compulsion to keep going with it. Like Lynn I'm drawn to astrology to investigate the deeper connectedness, how the bigger picture fits together - I have Mercury square Pluto, and also square Uranus in the 12th. Sometimes I feel that astrology chose me, which is a characteristic feeling when experiencing that kind of outer planet energy, and blogging is my way of channelling all the 'wow!' energy when I get a good glimpse that connectedness.

Great post Twilight, and thanks to Jeffrey for starting the tags. I'm loving reading what everyone's got to say about this.

My turn to tag
Susan
Mystic
Kathryn

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Tornado Hits London

At first I thought it was my favourite Guru, Blowing Her Miscreant Wind; but no, it really was a freak tornado that tore up a London street today, leaving devastation in its wake, and luckily no serious injury. You know what us Brits are like, we just don’t do tornados. Especially not in middle of London, in the middle of December; so what’s that all about?

Listening to the news reports my astrologer brain automatically highlighted keywords that I could identify with planets and signs: the devastation – there’s a Pluto word if ever I heard one. Sudden, freak, unexpected, shock – they’re all Uranus words. Structures and buildings; there's Saturn. I reached straight for the astrology charts, and looked at what was happening in the UK chart (1st January, 1801 - using a midday chart as exact ‘birth’ time is not known), at the time of the tornado (11am)

The UK midday chart has an Aries ascendant, which makes Mars the chart ruler. Mars has just moved into Sagittarius, right next to expansive Jupiter, making a square aspect (dynamic or challenging) to Pluto in the UK chart. The UK also has Uranus at 2 degrees of Libra, which links up with Mars and Jupiter exactly.

Meanwhile Venus and Pluto are currently meeting in the skies, also in Sagittarius. Venus and Pluto link exactly to the Aries ascendant, and all together link to form a triangle aspect to newly retrograde Saturn in Leo. The UK is experiencing a Saturn return at the moment, so UK Saturn and current Saturn sit together here.

This triangle aspect of planets is a Grand Trine, a pattern of easy, flowing energy. Some people often make the mistake of assuming the ‘easy’ aspects bring only ‘good’ events, and the more challenging aspects like squares or oppositions forecast difficulties. But the ease refers to the ease of energy flow, which clearly in this case was effortless due to the sheer power of the storm.

The planet keywords were also visible in the coincidence that the street hit was the home of a well known female tv news reporter (Venus in Sagittarius meeting Pluto). As luck would have it (Jupiter), she'd taken the day off work, and so was well placed (in the local hairdressers!) to be at the centre of the action (mars), and straight back to work on tv (Saturn retro in Leo).

The last tornado to hit a highly populated area of Britain was last year (29 July), in Birmingham. Weirdly, Mars had just gone into the sign of Taurus that time, and was squaring Saturn (then just fresh into Leo), as well as Jupiter in the UK chart.

Read more about the London tornado here

Monday, December 04, 2006

Full Moon In Gemini

... at 13 degrees. Over the weekend I was checking planet placing for two of my close relatives, who are visiting New York this week for the first time since their last holiday in September of 2001. I noticed this full moon takes place over the degrees of the Saturn/Pluto opposition at that time.

September 11th was the final day of their holiday, and they'd planned to start it by having breakfast at the Trade Centre. The plan was to take the subway the short distance and then catch the elevator. But in the subway they hit delays. The ticket machine was broken, and everyone they asked was incredibly unhelpful and rather brusque ('No, I don't have change; no, there's nothing I can do'). So, hot and bothered, and cursing the lack of manners and delay to their schedule, they set off to walk instead, yet it was the delay and the unhelpful strangers that meant they met with the events of that day from a relatively safe distance.

Back in England we didn't know if they were safe or not, it was hours before we could contact them. They arrived home a week later understandably thankful the whole traumatic time was over for them. No one would have blamed them if they never got on another plane again, but within months they were off on another holiday and have continued to fly regularly and enjoy travelling. I told them I don't know how they do it; I don't know how I would have coped with that experience and come to terms with what happened. The 'what if's' would have driven me mad - how do you find peace after an experience like that? How to ascribe a meaning to it that doesn't make you second guess every seemingly inconsequential move you make, for fear that this time you're on the wrong side of 'coincidence'? Especially in the climate of fear that has descended since then.

My relatives said no terrorist was going to stop them doing what they wanted to do, or going where they wanted to go. They believed their time wasn't up that day, and until it is, they intend to carry on enjoying life just as they did before. They had always planned to return to New York, and had talked about it often, but wanted to wait until the time felt right for them. They wanted to make some new, happier memories of New York, and lay to rest the old ones. Full Moons are turning points, where we say 'enough!' to something. 'Enough talking about it' (Gemini), 'lets take that journey' (Sagittarius), my relatives have said.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Stellarium

Thanks to Sue Turner at Tumblewords for letting me know about this fantastic free program - it's a planetarium! Set the co-ordinates for where you live and get exactly what's going on in the skies represented by your computer, in true as above so below style.

It's realistic, easy to use, informative and addictive. Find out more here

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Back To Blogging

Been seriously sporadic with the blogging recently. It seems each Mercury retro phase I catch a nasty case of writers block, and once it was out the way, my Scorpio sister came to visit. We had a lot to catch up on, as she'd had a lot to deal with, thanks to all those planets in Scorpio; she'd moved house just as Merc went retrograde in early November, and there was a problem with the phone line in the new place. For some reason there was no connection, and no one in the phone company quite knew why. Added to that, the wild and windy Scottish hills blocked her mobile reception.

I didn't like to say it might be a while to get sorted if communication planet Mercury was influencing matters, but as she could only phone from outside (in gale force winds of course), with crackled reception and frequent cries of 'can you hear me now?!', there wasn't much time to get into any depth conversation. We made up for it when she arrived though, and had a great time catching up and indulging in some serious depth shopping. My credit card is groaning. With the Sun, Venus and Jupiter all fresh into the ‘more please!’ sign of Sagittarius as we began the shopping schedule, you can imagine.

Her phone still isn’t fixed by the way. It was the day Mercury went direct that the phone company gave for connection, but by that time she was miles away on a shopping spree in the North-east of England. Because she wasn’t there to make sure all was well, she only found out when she returned home 2days ago there was still no joy on the matter. Again no one is sure why. It’s a real Mercury in Scorpio mystery... My money’s on the end of the shadow phase of the retrograde period, which coincides with the Gemini full moon on 4th December, as the date for the official sorting out. Best not say anything to sis though.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Shifting To Sagittarius

The Sun moves into Sagittarius today, followed on Thursday by Sadge ruler Jupiter. They join Venus, who’s been there since last week, and for the next couple of days, the Moon is also in this sign. Not forgetting Pluto of course, who has been travelling this road since 1995.

It's a big change compared to the kind of energy so prevalent in recent weeks, thanks to all those planets in Scorpio, but it's similar to those recent weeks in the sheer amount of planets due to congregate in one sign. Such a planetary build-up can only intensify the flavour of the sign involved, which in turn is recognisable in the theme of current situations - as always it's a case of 'As above, so below'.

So how to recognise the Sagittarius vibe? Here's some great quotes from famous Sadgey's who capture the essence...

William Blake
"If the sun and moon should ever doubt, they'd immediatley go out"

"You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough"


Mark Twain
"Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t"

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great"


Keith Richards
"There's an excellent book I've quite often read called "Hashish", by a couple of French guys. Very interesting. It's an education in chemistry & folklore. I've done the Bible & the Koran a few times. Sometimes just for the prose, sometimes for the information. The Kamasutra I've been through a few times, come to think of it. (laughing) I've done the chandelier, and the revolving table with melon. I've done it all mate."

"It's great to be here. It's great to be anywhere"


Sagittarius is the sign that says a big YES to life, and because it's associated with beliefs, faith, philosophy, the meaning of life and the wisdom of experience, there's no better time to use affirmations to ensure we're saying yes to what we'd most like to experience.

According to Jeanie Marshall in this article about writing affirmations,
"Affirmations are powerful. Thoughts, spoken words, and written statements are acts of creation. It is important that our words be in alignment with our desires. In order to live the life we want, we must affirm what we want, not what we do not want."

More on affirmations and the effects beliefs have in shaping our experience here

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Scamming The Scammers - The Astrologer's Tale

Ever had one of those scam emails? You know the type, someone needs your urgent help to access millions of dollars, but first you have to pay them a few thousand to get the ball rolling. They always have the same tone of urgency, the same bad grammar, and the same curiously old-fashioned, rather stilted approach in etiquette and manners. And always those millions of dollars...

Anyway, have just spent a happy half-hour reading an email exchange from this site, which deals solely in reversing the roles and scamming the scammers, by engaging with them, gaining their confidence, and making endless promises to help without ever coming up with the goods.

This particular laugh-out-loud scam-busting epic featured a character who was apparently a top English astrologer, motivated to help out the scammers by the thought of using the money to fulfil his dream to set up a school of astrology.

Our astrologer wanted to study the stars for signs this would be an auspicious business opportunity, so asked the principal scammer for his birthdate. It might not be the real birthdate of course, but the stars have a strange way with synchronicity and the date provides just the right chart for the occasion. I noticed Mercury retrograde in Leo, which interested me as the scam-bust started during the last Mercury retrograde period in July, and Mercury is currently in retrograde phase as I write this.

As the scammer had north node in Gemini, his destiny clearly lies in communication, and with Mercury in Leo he was obviously destined to be famous for his writing. I expect thousands across the globe have read his work by now :-)
No surprise there's also a lot of Neptune energy involved - his Mercury is square Neptune in Scorpio, and the story concludes on the day Sun opposed Neptune in Aquarius, linking up with his Mercury/Neptune square. Perhaps in this case Neptune square Neptune indicated the scamming of the scammer.

It must have felt like the ultimate Mercury retrograde experience for him - endless repeating emails, frustrating delays and fruitless responses. Bless. Mercury isn't called the trickster planet for nothing...

Enjoy the full story here

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mercury Across The Sun

Planet Mercury is not only retrograde at the moment (appearing to move backwards), it's also moving across the sun, in a relatively rare transit on 8th November.

Last time was May of 2003, but you'll have to wait till 2016 to catch it again. Much like eclipses it depends on where you live in the world as to whether you'll be able to see it as it happens - there's a map with this news report so you can check if you are one of the lucky ones.

Mercury is the messenger planet, associated with all forms of communication and information. It's the planet that joins the dots, and looks for patterns and similarities. It rules the signs of Gemini the twins, and Virgo, the sign of health and medicine.
Currently moving through the deep and secretive sign of Scorpio, Mercury might not be comfortable being so visible, so maybe it's a time when sensitive secrets are revealed. The retrograde influence could mean a link to the past, a return or a reconnection, maybe there's some light shed on a long-standing mystery; however there's no real way to know exactly how this transit energy might manifest until the event itself

More info on Mercury transits here, and here.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

15 Degrees Of Scorpio On 7th November 2006

15 degrees of the fixed signs (Scorpio, Aquarius, Taurus and Leo) are the cross-quarter days of the zodiac, marking the mid-points between the cardinal cross of 0 degrees Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.

As the sun reaches 15 degrees of Scorpio, it's astrological Samhain/Halloween - the beginning of the Celtic new year. The Celts divided their year into two halves, and Samhain translates as 'summer's end'. The astrological date changes slightly year to year to fit with the solar movement, but it's always around the beginning of November, and marks the noticeable shift in the Northern Hemisphere into colder days and longer nights.

The traditions and customs associated with this time are all of a Scorpio theme. Scorpio is the sign associated with death and the worlds beyond, or below this one. The underworld, which Scorpio ruler Pluto has dominion over, was known as the place of no return, and it's this perspective of no going back that Scorpio brings an awareness of in relation to all endings. It's the letting go of what was in order to move forward that defines the Scorpio experience, just as the old year must pass to make way for the new, and summer must make way for winter in order to begin the cycle of growth once more.

Samhain was a fire festival, like the other cross-quarter festivals (Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnasadh), and here in the UK the tradition has been kept alive at this time of year through Bonfire Night, held every 5th November. In true Scorpio style the 5th November is to remember the story of Guy Fawkes, who was involved in a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliment in 1605, but was caught red-handed about to light the fuse. He was tortured, then executed, and this execution is symbolically repeated by the burning of an effigy of Guy Fawkes on bonfires across the nation. Fireworks are also a big part of bonfire night, and like the gunpowder plot itself seems to capture the spirit of Scorpio's traditional ruler, Mars.

Whether it's Samhain, Halloween, All Souls, or Guy Fawkes night, the Scorpio symbols are there; the darkness and the light, the mysteries of death and what lies beyond, and the promise of rebirth and renewal as the cycle of life continues despite our worst fears. There might be no going back in this life, but for Scorpio there's no such thing as a dead end.

Read more about Guy Fawkes here

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

All these planets in Scorpio...

The Sun is now in Scorpio, season of mists and Freudian slips, inappropriate obsessive crushes and raging paranoia. And starting today we have a rare of line-up of 5 planets in Scorpio. Along with the Sun, there’s Mars, Venus and Jupiter; and Mercury, which also adds significance by turning retrograde on 28th October.

Maybe it’s all these planets in Scorpio that gave me the urge to dust off my 1910 edition of Wuthering Heights (bought from a bookshop in Bronte country), wrap myself up in my favourite faux fur throw and nestle down for the chilly autumn evenings, dreaming dreams of dark-eyed vagabonds with a gypsy soul and fierce unbridled ardour, chasing love amongst the bleak and ruthless, wild and windy moorland.

If you want to get a feel for the best and worst that Scorpio has to offer, Wuthering Heights is a great place to start. It’s Scorpionic through and through. The strong loyalty/betrayal/revenge theme, the unshakable passion that defies death do us part vows, and the messy, messy manipulative control dramas; it’s no surprise to find Emily Bronte had her ascendant in this sign, as well as south node of the Moon.

So in praise of Venus conjunct Mars, etc, in Scorpio, here are a couple of quotes from the most terrifying of twosomes, Cathy and Heathcliff...


This is Cathy, caught between Heathcliff’s rock and hard place:

"If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it... My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being."


And this is Heathcliff's hymn of the uber-obsessed:

"And I pray one prayer - I repeat it till my tongue stiffens - Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living! You said I killed you - haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts have wandered the earth. Be with me always - take any form - drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!... I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!”

This is the thing with Scorpio. When it’s important, it's life and death, all or nothing. No middle ground. No grey areas. It's an all encompassing, utterly absorbing, and inescapable power that Scorpio deals in, and touching on this kind of energy can drive people to do strange things. They can turn unrecognisable even to themselves. Even the quiet ones, who of course by Scorpio standards are the worst.

But don’t forget that Scorpio, like all other signs of the zodiac, is ultimately positive, purposeful and well designed as a medium to experience the best that the mystery of life has to offer. It’s through Scorpio that we come to know Love by first meeting what Love is not. It’s up to us how much we allow ourselves to be impacted by that knowledge, and how much we are willing to let go of what Love is not.
One of the most powerful symbols associated with this sign is the phoenix rising from the ashes. It's transformation, it's rebirth and renewal. And in Wuthering Heights it happens through Cathy's daughter and her relationship with Hareton.



There'll be more to come no doubt on this Scorpio theme over the coming weeks, check out what my fellow astrology bloggers have to say on all this too, especially Kathryn Cassidy at Collaborate With Fate, who has a couple of great articles dealing in detail with this upcoming Scorpio alignment here and here.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Invisibility Cloak


This has got to be a Saturn/Neptune story...the worlds first invisibility cloak has been tested, and though it has limited range at the moment it's hoped in the next five years that total invisibility may become possible for larger objects.

But what are these larger object likely to be?
"Tanks, for example".
Of course. All the fun we could have with that one and the first reaction is that it must be tanks, for example.
Read full story here

Friday, October 06, 2006

Full Moon In Aries

The annual full moon in Aries takes place late on 6th October, or early hours of the 7th, depending on time zone (7th October at 03:15am GMT).

With any full moon the energy builds over the course of a few days as the moon approaches opposition to the sun, and it frequently marks a shift or turning point in situations that have been at a standstill or stalemate for sometime.

This Aries moon opposes the sun in Libra, as well as Venus and Mars, which are currently in close contact to the sun. The sign of Libra carries the desire for alignment, so planets here tend to make us more aware of imbalance or disharmony; while it might feel things are more out of sync than usual, it's only our sensitivity and intolerance that has increased, for the purpose of knowing what's in need of our attention.

So if there's a sense of disharmony, injustice or imbalance as a running theme in current situations, it's the Libra pattern doing its best work. Enter the feisty and forceful Aries moon, hungry for immediate gratification and intent on personal satisfaction. Aries activates desire and puts it as first priority, and this is exactly what's needed to fulfil that Libra agenda of re-alignment.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The LEGO Tarot

I've been studying and working with Tarot for many years now, and have collected quite a few decks in that time. But how can any other deck compare to Chris Doyle's LEGO deck, which is unfortunately unpublished, but viewable online in full at this great site.

And if you're someone who gets a bit spooked by some of the heavy imagery associated with Tarot, the LEGO version might help ease nerves and put it all in perspective. Here are links to a couple of the traditionally more scary images, the Death card and 10 of Swords.

The rest of this site is great too, especially the Mini-Mizer, which I've found is a soothing antidote to the limbo of writers block :-)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Weather Alternative

Here's an interesting blog for my friends in the US... the Weather Alternative is the weather forecast using astrology! How about that!

I have been wondering whether astrology could have any bearing on the weather since I noticed that just before a full moon, or at the time of solstices/equinoxes, it often gets windy. Now this might just be where I live, but it's something that got me thinking...

This is from the introduction to the site:

Johannes Kepler, the 17th century astronomer and discoverer of the planetary laws of motion, experimented with what today would be considered an alternative forecast method that made long-range weather forecasts possible. Kepler observed that the angular relationships among the planets coincided with the formation of weather systems here on Earth that, in turn, produced storms, droughts, floods, etc. His first brush with fame came not because of his breakthrough regarding the planetary laws of motion but because of his accurate long-range weather forecast of the severe winter that put Styermark, Germany on ice in 1593. Since the planets move in repetitive cycles that can be known beforehand, he reasoned, the weather induced by them can also be known beforehand.

Check out the astro weather forecast here

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Eris - Spanner In The Works Or Catalyst For Creativity?

Planet 2003 UB313, also known as Xena, has been officially named Eris. In myth Eris was the goddess of strife and discord, and has been given this name because of the debate the discovery of this planet started, that led to the reclassification of the known solar system.

Goddess Eris was best known for starting the Trojan War, after she was so miffed not to be invited to a wedding that all the other goddesses were attending. She wasn't welcome because she was a troublemaker; however by trying to exclude her from the wedding party they made things a whole lot worse for themselves. Eris threw to Hera, Aphrodite and Athena the apple of discord , which had the inscription 'to the fairest one', and let nature take its course. After squabbling amongst themselves it was down to Paris to make the decision. His choice of Aphrodite had the domino effect of events that led to the Trojan War.

So this is a goddess that you ignore at your peril. She's no victim and won't be pushed aside. She doesn’t need Patrick Swayze to save her with a 'nobody puts baby in the corner' kind of line. It was the competitive instinct of the other girls that she capitalised on, so she's also clever and knows what makes people tick.

And she has also inspired her own religion. Discordianism, founded in the mid 20th century, believes that chaos is as necessary to the universe as harmony. Its sacred text, the Principia Discordia or How I Found The Goddess And What I Did To Her When I Found Her, is ‘dedicated to the prettiest one’, and begins:

We
are a tribe
of philosophers, theologians,
magicians, scientists,
artists, clowns,
and similar maniacs
who are intrigued
with
ERIS
GODDESS OF CONFUSION
and with
Her
Doings


Read more about Eris inspired Discordiansim here, and read the text online at this great site.
I have to admit this post is late because I lost myself for hours in there. I was utterly fascinated. Never been a one for religion of any sort, but I think the Principia Discordia has just what I've been looking for from a sacred text...

Eris moves slowly through the zodiac, and has been in the sign of Aries for decades (Hence the Xena warrior nickname was very apt), but you can find out the exact degree Eris occupied at the time of your birth with this wonderful online ephemeris here.


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Friday, September 08, 2006

Better Out Than In...

... so said 17 of Tony Blair’s own men as they tried to force the issue of his retirement as leader of the Labour party, by pushing him to set a date. This coincided with the lunar eclipse, an event that traditionally signifies important or ominous happenings to influential public figures.

A lunar eclipse happens during the full moon, when the sun and moon are on opposite sides of the zodiac. It’s a time when the cosmic energies stretch to their max between two points, and in the tradition of ‘as above, so below’, the events here on earth follow suit, along with a characteristic sense of tension and irritability.
Any full moon tends to push for the 'enough's enough' point, but mix it with an eclipse and you get a fed-up feeling that brings events to a head, with far-reaching implications and long-term impact.

This eclipse energy certainly pushed the Labour party to breaking point, with the resignation of 7 of the 17, followed by a photo of a grinning Gordon Brown that fuelled rumours he had orchestrated the whole thing in an effort to clear his path for a straight run at promotion to Prime Minister.
With Charles Clarke’s opinion about the Brown photo as being ‘a stupid, stupid thing’ to have done, it became clear that full moon madness had descended on the Labour party with gusto, and internal chaos publicly polarised the camp between Blair supporters and Brown supporters, mirroring the cosmic tension happening simultaneously in the skies above them.

An outward impression of peace fooled no-one today, with one journalist describing the situation as being ‘as calm and serene as a sackful of ferrets’.

Normally I have the attention span of a goldfish when it comes to politics, simply because I just can't tolerate the lies, spin and manipulation, but this has been a rare treat - not just because the whole affair has demonstrated the ‘as above so below’ theory of astrology with such precision – but because it was also a reality show peek into the clearly edgy relationship between Blair and Brown, that under lesser astrological conditions would no doubt have remained hidden by spin.

As usual, Blair the typical Taurean has refused to be pushed by anyone into anything, especially the issue of retirement, though he has mentioned June next year just to keep hounds at bay. This is the timing of the last Saturn/Neptune opposition, and is also just a few short weeks before the UK chart hits its Saturn return - the end of a 30 year astrological cycle and a key point of transition in any chart. It’s also the time when Saturn conjuncts Pluto in Blair’s chart for the final time, ending a yearlong transition of his own.

However Brown’s supporters would prefer to plan a Christmas leaving do. Brown is a Pisces with north node at 20 degrees of that sign. Currently the north node is at 25 degrees of Pisces, which means it reaches the 20 degree mark in December, so this date suggests a significant time Brown, being the beginning/end of an important 19 year cycle.
I always look to see what the rulers of the nodes are up to in a chart for more information on how this cycle will play out, and with Brown having north node in Pisces the ruler is Neptune; therefore it’s the Saturn/Neptune opposition that describes the manifestation of events connected to the future development of this cycle.

So whether it’s December or next June, it appears it’s the Saturn opposite Neptune symbolism all the way.


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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Steve Irwin Dies

I am just so sad to hear about the death of Steve Irwin. He was an incredible personality, and I loved his utter devotion to the kind of creatures that would make most of us run a mile. His enthusiasm was infectious, and I laughed a lot and learnt a lot while watching his TV programmes. He made it all fun, which is the mark of a truly gifted teacher.

Have heard it said the accident on Monday was ironic in a sense because it wasn't involving a 'dangerous' creature, but I feel this isn't irony; it has a rightness to it, because his skill lay in handling those dangerous creatures; he understood them so well that an accident was never going to happen that way.

I had a look at his chart, and I noticed the Saturn/Neptune opposition at the degree of his North/South node in Leo/Aquarius. April Elliott Kent at Big Sky Astrology Blog also notes the heavy presence of Jupiter at the time, often a feature of charts involving time of death.

I became fiercely protective of Steve Irwin when that offensive gaggle of do-gooders complained about him holding his baby sort of near that crocodile. How typical of that type to take that stance. How dare they assume they knew better than his years of experience. But anyway, they arn't important now. I just want to remember him for making me smile with his exuberance and big personality, and for inspiring me with his passion for his subject.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Saturn Opposite Neptune Exact

This aspect has been building for some time and the two planets are now exactly 180 degrees from each other at opposite sides of the zodiac - Leo and Aquarius respectively.
It’s the first of 3 oppositions that these two make over the next 10 months. The second is the end of Feb 2007, with a final hit at the end of June next year; during that whole time both planets are weaving to and fro in around each other.

Because this aspect takes place over a long period of time it’s going to be an important pattern of energy expressing through events, so how to recognise its expression on both a personal and collective level? An easy place to start is by identifying some keywords for each piece of the aspect, and see they how they mix and match with relevant themes in situations and events.


Some keywords to mix and match for Saturn in Leo opposite Neptune in Aquarius...

Saturn = limits and boundaries, structure and formation, permission and approval, denial and resistance, time and tradition, law, government, authority, responsibility, maturity, adulthood, blocks and obstacles, outcome, conclusion

In

Leo = individual, self-awareness, creativity, artist, performer, the heart of the matter, focus of attention, warmth, play, enjoyment, recreation, free child, recognition, acknowledgement.

Opposite = confrontation, conflict, seeking balance, seeking resolution.

Neptune = non-physical, imagination, illusion, deception, smokescreen, impressionability, passivity, surrendering to greater power (whether through spirituality or substance abuse, addictions, etc), blurred edges, lack of clarity, sleep and dreaminess.

In

Aquarius = lifestyle, freedom and liberty, human rights, collective consciousness, group purpose, networking and circulating thought and ideas, support structure and friendship, current trends and vision for the future.



So keeping the keywords in mind, we can now see this pattern at work in last weeks news about Pluto’s reclassification - Saturn, the planet of authority, boundaries, and conclusions, was embodied through the collective boffin debate that restructured our vision of solar system, by drawing the line at Pluto, concluding that Neptune is now the final member of the traditional group line-up.

There have also been a couple of stories peppered with the keywords, involving the smoking ban (Saturn/Neptune) recently introduced in Scotland. Both stories involve the Leo/Aquarius axis of individual/collective, through the associated theme of performer/crowd. The first involving time-served legend Keith Richards, who apparently smoked through the entire set of a stadium concert in Glasgow. The ripple of disapproval was only quelled when it was discovered the stadium was classified as open-air, and Richards escaped the 50 quid fine (phew!)

The second story involved actor Mel Smith, who was appearing as part of the Edinburgh festival, in a production about the life of Winston Churchill. Smith threatened to smoke the necessary cigar that Churchill was famous for, happy to risk arrest and a fine for the sake of his art. He was threatened right back with an overblown response by the powers that be, who said he wouldn’t be arrested, they would close the theatre down instead; rather sneakily relying on their rebel's social conscience to win their battle for them.

Follow this story through the thread of astrology symbols, and you reach down to a deeper dynamic, more relevant than the smoking issue. I am neither for or against smoking, I believe in individual choice, so I see this particular expression of Saturn in Leo opposite Neptune in Aquarius as being another manifestation of a law that denies the authority of the individual (Saturn in Leo) and their right to make a choice.

The issue of passive smoking (Neptune in Aquarius) is a perfect smokescreen to lose this deeper issue behind, because no- one disputes the effects on health. It’s a non-issue on the surface, something you can’t complain about and expect to be taken seriously. However, take the heat out of the issue, and look at the structure of that law. The introduction of the compliance officers to enforce the ban might be the anti-smokers best friend, but like the proposed UK ID card, it’s a reminder we're just another shiver down the spine away from Big Brother.

You see, as much as I would have liked to have called in the fashion police to swoop down and stop the madness I saw around me in the 1980’s, if I’m honest I’d prefer to see shoulder pads of Dynasty proportions any day than suffer a regiment of compliance officers enforcing fines for those indulging in legwarmer and lycra abuse. I just don’t want to collude with or condone a landscape of limited choice, whatever the price.

Surely there's room for both smoking and non-smoking buildings in the world? But more importantly surely it should be down to the individual to assess the risk of visiting a theatre where their health might be endangered by a cigar on the stage? I mentioned previously that I see Saturn in Leo opposite Neptune in Aquarius as describing a collective craving to reconnect with our true spiritual identity. But the more our power for individual choice is taken away, the further away from our unique selves we will end up.

As the scientists proved last week, it only takes 300 votes to reshape the vision of consensus reality, so let’s take a leaf from their new textbook and make it our responsibility to draw the line somewhere. It's time to reclaim the right to choose - our spiritual health requires it...


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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tagged For Trivia

I’ve been tagged! From Lynn Hayes at Astrological Musings!
I love these tag thingy’s, as you can follow links endlessly, reading interesting facts about your favourite bloggers, and maybe discovering some new favourite bloggers on the way. Ok here's my contribution...

1 - Things that scare me
House spiders. I don’t even like writing the word as it feels it’s got some sort of summoning power. I know it’s irrational and I know they are more scared of me, but I think that’s the problem actually, because they move so fast when frightened. It’s the mutual blind panic – we’re both running screaming at the sight of each other. But there are those fearless ones as well; the ones that sit in the middle of the wall at 3am and stare at you till you wake up and think ‘how long has that been there, and where was it before that?’. I can’t kill them, but I can’t go near them, which has caused great problems and sleepless nights in the past, but happily I have now bought a spider catcher; a nifty long-handled device which means we don't even have to cross auras. I just scoop them up and release them safely into my neighbour’s garden.

2 - People who make me laugh
People like Ricky Gervais and Eddie Izzard, Stephen Fry, The Marx Brothers. Too many to mention really, but at the moment my favourite is The Mighty Boosh. It's good for my soul, I find.

3 - Things I hate the most
People who think animals don’t deserve respect or appropriate care and attention. Food producers who neglect animal welfare...And I hate that I have to check ingredients all the time, to keep an eye on unscrupulous food producers who don’t care what is added or taken away... Bullies... Closed minds... Ignorant, ill-thought out belief systems that keep us all in the dark ages (...and breeeeeathe)

4 - Things I don’t understand
Maths. It’s utterly beyond me. I can’t even add up properly. The numbers seem to jumble around on the page or in my head. Don’t know if you can get number dyslexia, but if you can, I have it. Thank goodness for computers, because if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be able to calculate a chart. It’s why I haven’t got a recognised qualification in astrology, as I couldn’t calculate a chart from scratch so couldn’t sit the exam.

5 - Things I’m doing right now
Apart from writing this, I am listening to an album by Jose Gonzalez, (bought for the song from the advert with the coloured balls bouncing down the street).
And am trying to build my new website from my ultra, easy-peasy website maker. And that’s something else I don’t understand – html, psp, and don’t get me started on rss.

6 - Things I want to do before I die
Hmmmm…. I would really like to lose my fear of death. That would be a weight off my mind.

7 - Things I can do
Astrology, Tarot, Spiritual/Aura healing. The healing bit comes most naturally, it was always there, but the rest involved lots and lots of hard work :-)

8 - Things I can’t do
Sing or play any instrument. Bizarre as it sounds, I’m frightened I spoil the wonder I experience if I learn the technicalities of music. I have never lost the childlike awe I have for music and musicians. It’s magic! I don’t want to know how David Blaine does it, I’m happy being spellbound.

9- Ways to describe my personality
A mix of Gemini, Virgo and a dash of Aries, with a strong Uranus/Neptune energy tying it all together. For those who don’t speak astro, that means I’m an optimistic, nervous, curious, chatterbox, who will tell you straight that she can see the universe in a grain of sand.

10 - Things I think you should listen to
Always your own heart. Whatever inspires you, even though it might not be what inspires others in any way at all. Also all your favourite tunes, as often as possible.

11 - Things you should never listen to
Well I’m not a fan of censorship, and I never say never; but it seems daft to listen to anything more than once that brings you down in anyway.

12 - Things I’d like to learn.
To not be so self-critical. I beat myself up for beating myself up.

13 - Favourite foods
Green and Black’s Organic Chocolate. Wow.

14 - Beverages I drink regularly
Tea. Lots of it, hot, strong and sweet. Also wine, especially red, especially with food.

15 - Shows I watched as a kid
The Clangers. Maybe this is where my fascination with the planets started :-) ‘White Horses’ (oh that theme tune!!!!), and ‘Champion the Wonder Horse’ - they were always on over the school holidays, and ‘Grange Hill’ of course.
Wonder Woman and Charlie's Angels. And I was jealous of my older sis who was allowed to watch all of The Rockford Files and Policewoman.



There you go, it's over to you...
April
Crazed Mom
Guru
Susan

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Virgo New Moon Ends Planet Palaver

So it’s been decided, under the dark phase of the clear the clutter new moon - our solar system has undergone a much needed reclassification, and we now have 8 planets instead of 9. And Pluto, the cause of much head scratching and furrowed brows in science circles due to the is it/isn’t it debate, has been demoted to ‘dwarf planet’ status. Ceres and Xena are now also dwarf planets, with plenty of room for more to join them in the coming years… I might be missing something here, but didn’t we all already know that Pluto was a small planet? Anyway, apparently this fine-tuning of name-tags is part of a greater plan by boffins to ensure we can tidy up all that trans-neptunian clutter that has become such a problem over the last decade. Only on Virgo new moon, eh? I have cupboard in much the same state requiring my urgent attention.

And so what does this mean for astrology? Well, obviously I can't speak for everyone, but I suspect astrologers will probably give the same amount of time to Pluto’s demotion in status as your average scientist gives to astrology. And this is because astrology studies the apparent effects on us, on a personal or collective level, of planets in certain positions relative to the earth. Planetary mass (or distance) probably doesn’t have any bearing on why astrology works, as it seems to matter not how big or small the object is, it’s all in the effects, and Pluto’s impact in a chart is undeniable when studied for any length of time. However the new category means more status and fame for objects such as Ceres, and speaking personally as someone who didn’t really set aside much study time for such objects, this looks likely to change from now on.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

The New Planets

I am loving all the wonderful insights of my fellow astrologers re the proposed new planets.
Susan Custer has an indepth article here about it all, which includes great links to what others have to say on the subject.

I consider the proposed changes as a reflection of expanding consciousness. Individually and collectively we 'are' the planets, so these 'offical' changes fittingly symbolise an evolution in our understanding about ourselves and our place in the universe.

Here's a link to an expansive online ephemeris to play with that includes the new planets (Ceres, Charon and UB313/Xena), and their positions for any date between 1500 and 2099. Fab!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

15 Degrees Of Leo And August Full Moon

As mentioned previously, when the sun reaches 15 degrees of any fixed sign in the zodiac (Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius or Taurus), it's the midway point between a solstice and an equinox, known as a cross-quarter day. The quarter days of two equinoxes and two solstices take place when the sun reaches 0 degrees of Aries, Libra, Cancer and Capricorn, respectively.

Here in the northern hemisphere 15 degrees of Leo marks a seasonal shift in the wheel of the year towards autumn, and Lughnasadh and Lammas are important festivals, long associated with this harvest period in the agricultural year. Kathleen Jenks has a great collection of links to info on these festivals here, at her site Myth*ings Links, and what caught my eye in amongst the collection was by Kym nĂ­ Dhoireann, concerning Lughnasadh being wrongly thought of as the time when a grain god dies as a result of the harvesting of crops:

"There is, however, absolutely no evidence to indicate that the Irish Lugh was a Sun or Grain God ----in fact, there is no good evidence for any Sun God worship among the Celtic Irish. In most, if not all, Indo-European languages the word "Sun" is feminine and Goddesses and women associated with the Sun are found but no males. The universality of the Sun God and Moon Goddess seems a rather modern myth and has no bearing on ancient Irish practices". (full article here)

There's a female figure that appears on the Strength tarot card, a card which is associated with the sign of Leo (the sign ruled by the sun), so perhaps there's a connection expressing through the symbolism here. Leo is a sign associated with awareness of creative and personal power, and in this tarot card the power that is subduing the lion is clearly something other than brute force. Goddess power hasn't been a popular notion in centuries gone by; about as popular in general consciousness as the festival of Lughnasadh itself has been, so who knows...

This year there's a full moon building as the sun reaches 15 degrees of Leo. It links to the recent new moon (which I wrote about here), and takes place on the Saturn/Neptune opposition. A full moon is a turning point, just like the 15 degree cross-quarter spot. This full moon in Aquarius symbolises a deep need for freedom and liberation, within the context of the new moon in Leo themes, and Neptune adds spiritual vision, while Saturn demands commitment. There are some strong energies at work in the world just now, so this might also be a good time to meditate on that ancient Goddess power, who has it all so effortlessly in hand.


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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Lammas or Lughnasadh, Part One

The festival of Lammas or Lughnasadh is traditionally celebrated on August 1st, but as it relates to the astrological cross-quarter days, technically the actual day is when the sun reaches 15 degrees of Leo (a cross-quarter day is the mid-point between an equinox and solstice point).

The name Lammas is of Anglo-Saxon origin, known as the festival of hlaefmass or 'loaf mass'. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle it was referred to as 'the feast of the first fruits' - the celebration of the first harvest.
Meanwhile Lughnasadh is of Celtic origin. It's pronounced 'Loo-nass-ah' and links to the Celtic god Lugh. Lughnasadh celebrations often lasted weeks, stretching throughout the harvest period.

This year the sun reaches 15 degrees of Leo on the 7th, and I'll be writing more about this festival for then...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

R.I.P, T.O.T.P

It was the end of an era tonight as Top of the Pops finished a 42 year run on British TV. Admittedly I hadn’t watched it in a long time, and apparently towards the end no one else did either, but still, there was a certain comfort to be had from its continued presence in the TV listings, and I'm going to miss it.

I had a look at the charts for the start and end of the run, and was fascinated. TOTP was born under the sign of Capricorn, as the first show broadcast on January 1st 1964 (with a line-up that included both The Beatles and The Stones!), and Cap is the sign of longevity so it’s no surprise that so many candles ended up on the cake. The Sun is a degree away from the South Node, which puts North Node in Cancer, and N.N. ruler Moon in Leo sitting near a 14 degree Leo ascendant.

This Capricorn Sun/South Node conjunction got my attention because it means it also makes a conjunction to the Sun in the United Kingdom birthchart (Jan 1st 1801). No wonder TOTP is so embedded in the nations psyche.
Other synastry between the UK and TOTP (opening show) charts are a Venus/Venus conjunction in Aquarius, and a Neptune/Neptune conjunction in Scorpio. Neptune squares Saturn in Aquarius at 20 degrees. Which means Neptune in the final show chart conjuncts Saturn at 19 degrees of Aquarius.
Currently, Saturn sits opposite at 14 Leo (remember moon and ascendant of first show chart). The UK chart also has Saturn in Leo, and as a nice finishing touch, final show chart has Moon in Libra crossing UK chart’s ascendant. Confusing to explain, but worth it to see the synastry in action.

Top of the Pops was so very British, and such a tradition that only Capricorn could explain it. That North Node in Cancer is interesting too, as it was always such a family show. It’s why Brits of so many generations go misty eyed at the mention of it, because of the childhood associations.
Actually one of my earliest memories is of watching Top of the Pops in the early 70’s, terrified out of my tiny mind by a glitter packed performance of ‘Blockbuster’ by glam rockers The Sweet. I was still smaller than the TV, and standing so close that the singer’s larger than life bright blonde head scared the wits out of me. There was something menacing about his fringe apparently.

As a farewell nostalgia trip, I found a link to that performance by the Sweet here, and couldn't resist the Rolling Stones here, John Lennon here, Oasis here, and the wonderful Goldfrapp here.


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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Astrology Page

Glad to have found The Astrology Page . Susan Custer has some fine articles, including a refreshing perspective on interpreting the astrology of those difficult events in our lives. She says:

"In the old paradigm, I would have looked at the messages to see what I had done wrong, where my thinking was wrong. [We are all going into or are in a new paradigm now, so instead of blaming ourselves for circumstances, we are learning to read things in a new way.] Something told me to wait and see what transpired".
Read the full article here

Great stuff. You know, I'm supposed to be working, but this is much more fun...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

New Moon In Leo, July 25th...

…at about 5:30am UK time. I really think this is an important new moon, not just because it’s in the VIP sign of Leo, but because the full moon that follows on August 9th happens right over the now famous Saturn/Neptune opposition, when the sun will sit close to Saturn in Leo, and moon next to Neptune in Aquarius.
That full moon is the culmination of the energy set forth in today’s new moon in Leo, and Leo energy is always, always about the creative power of the individual. It’s the power in all of us to make choices about our future experience, through focused desire. Leo is a fixed fire sign, which is pretty much what focused desire means – it’s the Eternal Flame energy, the God/dess within; it’s that connection via the heart that we all have, to the energy that creates worlds and moves mountains (Now you know why Leo stands so tall and majestic, because this sign knows instinctively that what it desires happens)

We all have this creative power, symbolised in astrology by the sun, Leo and the 5th house, and I believe we can use this moon cycle to become aware of what kind of future we are in the process of creating for ourselves through force of desire, by recognising what we are choosing to focus this Eternal Flame energy towards. In my opinion no one speaks better on the subject of this creative power than Abraham-Hicks, so here are a few of my favourite quotes…

“When you talk about what you want and why you want it, it always brings you to your center. It always brings you to the vibration of your Core, and when you vibrate in harmony with that which is the Core of you, then you have the perspective of your Inner Being. As you start talking about why you want to be over there, you'll vibrate as if you are over there. Then your vibration in your Now is that point of attraction, and over there comes here where you are and becomes your physical awareness”.


“Unfortunately many people think that the uncomfortable feeling of wanting something they do not expect to experience is what the feeling of desire is; they no longer recognise the feeling of pure desire as that fresh, eager, feeling of expectancy that they knew when they were younger. The feeling of pure desire is always delicious, as it represents the vibrations that are stretched out before you into your unseen future, preparing the way for the Law of Attraction to match things up on your behalf…”


“Your work is to keep looking at [or visualizing] what you want and find a way to feel good when you look at it”.


Let's get to work then...


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Thursday, July 20, 2006

North Node In Pisces And Saturn Opposite Neptune

I'm having problems with writers block. It's like pulling teeth to be honest, trying to get anything done… awful stuff… all words have vanished and I have to go labyrinth questing for each and every one of them. No flow, just a fuzzy, foggy head and blank mind. It's been much easier to just close up the computer and let the tears flow instead.
There’s been some pretty heavy outer planet action going on in my chart for months now, but this is a new twist on it all that just started recently when Mercury turned retrograde, yet looking at the process - the wall of resistance, the feelings of powerlessness, dissolving into tears, victim feelings, the feeling that The Block is boss, and the boss is The Block - it's all a classic Saturn/Neptune mix of associations, only this opposition isn't exact till the very end of August.

However last month, around the time of the summer solstice, the north and south nodes of the moon moved into Pisces and Virgo respectively, to stay till December 2007, and the nodes are powerful indicators in a chart. Some say it’s all karmic; that the north node indicates what we are here to develop in this lifetime, and the south node is what we bring in from past lives, for good or ill. Who knows? I’m a bit iffy about the karma thing, but I do think this theory rightly emphasises the influence the nodes have in shaping the flow of energy, through patterns that recognisably link to the node sign.

I also believe that looking to see what the ruling planets of the nodes are up to can reveal more information on how and where these long-term energy patterns are manifesting at any time, and the events that do manifest might benefit from bearing in mind their connection to the nodal polarity in question.
Neptune is co-ruler of Pisces (with Jupiter), and Mercury rules Virgo, so maybe here is where my fuzzed up Mercury stuff fits in, because both natally and by transit Mercury is having an interesting time of things in my chart. It certainly feels as if the south node move into Virgo is activating a whole fresh hell, sorry, a new significant pattern; expressing through the SN ruler still retrograde in Cancer, after having begun the shadow phase of the period at 21 degrees around midsummer solstice time, when the nodes made their sign transition.

And maybe this is why the Saturn/Neptune opposition is being more keenly felt, sooner than expected, as the Neptune link to the north node means its the expression of the challenge that needs confronting or integrating. Star IQ say the south node in Virgo task is to
"set aside the excessive criticism and analysis of this sign to fully engage yourself in whatever you do...Pisces is a sign of forgiveness that erases barriers, overcomes prejudices, and points towards the unity of all things. It is a sign of dreams and inspiration, as well as spirituality and faith that reconnect us to the universal source of all life. There is more to be gained in making errors by following feelings now than by avoiding errors through careful calculation" (full article here).
This is something to bear in mind for the approaching Saturn/Neptune opposition. And for my writers block.


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Monday, July 10, 2006

Full Moon In Capricorn - Feeling The Pressure

It's the annual full moon in Capricorn on July 11th at around 4am, UK time. Full moons tend to bring situations to a head, symbolising the culmination of a phase as a result of emotional forces. It can be when circumstances change and decisions are reached because you feel you’ve had enough of things as they are, or because you're just ‘fed up’ with things as they stand.

Through Capricorn this can manifest as a build-up of pressure, stress and expectation to achieve and accomplish something constructive. Time is of the essence to Capricorn; deadlines and limits are always an issue, as this is a sign that thinks long-term but is also aware of its own mortality. It knows there's only so many long-term choices it can make, and must choose its commitments wisely.

When Capricorn is a focus in a chart so is ruler Saturn, and over at the Intuitive Living blog, there's an interesting article by Stephanie Austin regarding this full moon; she points out something that had completely passed me by - Saturn in Leo retrograded at 11 degrees 18 last November, and it has taken until today to reach this degree again. She says "Saturn crossing the degree where it last stationed retrograde indicates that we are now ready for a big step forward..." (Read the full article here)
What with Mercury retrograde changing signs, Jupiter now direct, and Saturn freshly into unchartered waters, it might feel we don't know if we're coming or going, but this full moon seems to be bringing to a head this urge to take the next step in manifesting plans that have been on the cards for quite some time.


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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Mercury Retrograde etc...

I knew the dates of this retro phase was July 5th - 29th, yet it still feels this one crept up on me. Wonder if that's because it's all wrapped up in a Mars/Neptune opposition? I have been pretty spacey the past few days, and since Mercury stationed I have been stationary myself. Just can't get moving for staring out the window in a daydream.

Mercury is both my chart ruler and sun ruler, and is also retrograde in my progressed chart; so I'm pretty sensitive to its retro phases. Last phase in March I experienced a classic Mercury retro tale of computer problems, when Mercury went retro opposing my natal Uranus in Virgo (read all about it here). That was when I finally learnt to take my own astro advice. Now I am walking it like I talk it... which means I will leave this here, and instead start backing up my essential documents :-)

Here is some great info on Mercury retro...
- Lynn Hayes at Astrodynamics has an article here
- There's this one from Alpha Life Trends
- Crystalinks has this page
- and finally there's this classic article by Eric Francis, which captures the full essence of Merc retro in action and proves the important point that the astrologer and astrology aren't seperate...


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Friday, June 30, 2006

Breagh

Breagh is my sister's Golden Retriever. The name Breagh means 'beautiful' in Gaelic, and she's definately a dog who knows her own name, being so used to people stopping her in the street to remark in sheer amazement at the embodiment of loveliness that she is. She accepts all compliments from her fans with a real celeb-style blend of grace and modesty; a professional gratitude expressed with such art you'd never know that underneath she would prefer the compliments to take the form of biscuits.

Anyway, my sister rang the other day to tell me what happened when they were out on their favourite walk. Breagh had somehow accidently run right into my sister, knocking her over and out cold for a couple of minutes. Bree was completely unharmed and unfazed by the incident while my poor sis bore the brunt of the impact, and was left with an impressive shiner on one eye, as well as assorted aches and pains.
It seems she had been calling to her at the end of their walk, Bree was on top of a hill and suddenly had taken it upon herself to be very obedient for once in her life, and began a fast run back to base. My sister was leaning forward in encouragement while our unusually compliant doggy came hurtling down a steep slope straight for her... and apparently the result would have made a great video for one of those t.v. shows where the general public make money out of slapstick mishaps, you know the ones showing the full consequences of trying to cross rivers using a rope swing tied to an insufficent branch, or of staring too closely into a hosepipe to see what the blockage is, or of that classic yuletide over-reach on a wobbly step ladder while attempting to place that final Christmas tree decoration...

As soon as it became clear that no real harm had been done I could have a look at the astrology of it all. I never get tired of searching for those symbols at work in an event; my astrologer brain seems to automatically kick into gear with an insatiable and fixated curiousity to mentally check transits and synastry in an attempt to build an astro picture of any moment in question. Obviously I waited an appropriate amount of time to share my eagerness at the findings (ie, when the bruising began to subside), but this incident looked destined from the start to become part of my ongoing research, to be ultimately catalogued as yet more evidence of the innate cosmic symmetry seeded within all events great or small.

It's because sis and B are Scorpio's. And both their Sun's were conjunct transiting Jupiter you see. Which locks into the equation the triangle of planets that is currently in such strong formation (Saturn opposite Chiron, squared by Jupiter). It all happened when Saturn was still sharing the same degree as Mars (co-ruler of Scorp), at the time when these two planets were rising, and also sitting on the 6th house cusp (health and pets) of my sisters chart. And then there's Chiron. Currently right on Breagh's Neptune, Chiron is the Ouch Factor in any chart, being associated with wounds and painful experiences.

My sister was understandably less enthusiastic than I at the proposal that her experience was another example of cosmic perfection in full flow, but that might also have been because she was still smarting from the final chapter in the events of the day; as when she was safely back home and stretched out on the sofa, with a packet of frozen blueberries to serve as an ice-pack for her eye, Breagh climbed up on the chair next to her, laying her blonder than blonde head on my sister's shoulder, and fixing her velvet brown gaze on her good eye. Which made her think Breagh had finally realised something had happened between her and her beloved owner, that the Neptune haze had lifted and the awareness was now prompting her to offer canine style comfort, like Lassie would no doubt have done. But no, turns out it was just a ruse to get near enough to nibble inconspicuously at those fast melting blueberries.


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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

0 degrees Of Cancer = Summer Solstice

Here in the northern hemisphere it's officially midsummer when the sun first enters the sign of Cancer. This 0 degree spot is the moment of the summer solstice, the time in the solar year when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky, that point of maximum light and power since the days began slowly lengthening six months ago, at the time of the Capricorn winter solstice.
After this midsummer pause for breath (solstice is derived from the Latin for 'the sun stands still'), the sun's power slowly starts to wane, and it begins the journey towards the longest night in the deep of midwinter once again.

From an astrology point of view, the solstices are part of a story of two polarity points in the zodiac, Cancer and Capricorn, and the symbolism associated with both signs is blended together in one of the most famous summer solstice images, the ancient site of Stonehenge.
Cancer is ruled by the moon, and the essence of this sign is about the expression of the ebb and flow of circles and cycles. It is a sign that relates to our sense of emotional connectedness, beginning with the parent/child bond that is also the earth/human bond, and to our memories, which like Ariadne's thread tie and bond us to our origins. Our emotional landscape is built on reminders that stir the soul and move the heart in deep recognition of who we really are, and therefore what feels like home to us.
Meanwhile Capricorn is the builder. Under Saturn's influence it is associated with stones and structures, time and tradition, carrying an unquestioning respect for established paths and laws. Capricorn is about the challenges of time and mortality, and is driven by the strong desire to create something that endures, something that is carried and supported by time, rather than reduced or ravaged by it.

The 21st of June is the day of the summer solstice this year, the day when the expression of these energies are flowing through us and around us at their peak. The planet patterns to match the moment are strong and unusual, and involves the triangle of planets comprising Saturn/Mars, Chiron and Jupiter that I mentioned last time here. Now, at the moment of the solstice, the moon in Taurus makes the triangle into a square, opposing Jupiter and squaring Saturn/Mars and Chiron.
It means the two rulers of the two solstices are linking through this grand cross formation, involving the fixed signs of Leo, Taurus, Aquarius and Scorpio. This is incredibly focused, dynamic, inflexible energy. If the air feels full of resistance, and certain situations feel immovable - like trying to run through water, this is the grand cross in action. Something has to give however, and this is where the solstice energy comes in, turning the tide and shifting the season.


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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Mars + Saturn, Sun + Pluto

Can you feel that energy building? There's a focusing of awareness, a sharpening of attention. It's like the moments before the curtain rises on a play, when the energy is concentrated and intense, heavy with anticipation and expectation.

And this is the power of the square, opposition and conjunction aspects in astrology (find out what the aspects mean here). Currently, Chiron in Aquarius sits opposite Saturn in Leo, while Jupiter in Scorpio squares both, like the underlying thread between two widely differing perspectives.
This triangle of planets is a strong alignment, and is the major focus for all astro action over the next few weeks; especially on the 21st, when the Taurus Moon joins in and squares the triangle during the moment of the midsummer solstice.

But before that, the big news is Mars approaching the same degree as Saturn in Leo, while the Sun makes its yearly opposition to Pluto - at the moment through the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius.
There’s as many ways all this can manifest as there are people on earth, so it's impossible to predict exactly what's going to happen as a result, but there are likely to be similar themes, easily recognisable as relating to the planet mix involved.

Mars conjunct Saturn is about constructive action. There's no frittering away time and energy when Saturn is project manager. It settles well to hard work because it isn’t held up by the need for immediate gratification. This is a planet into long-term results, and is into a slow build-up, a visible progression.
Meanwhile Mars adds the va va voom, something you can't be seen without while in the sign of Leo.
It’s not an easy partnership, but when it works, it’s unbeatable. The downside is that Saturn puts pressure on what it contacts, so there's a strong pressure to act, which can be difficult for Mars to come to terms with.
Saturn is also associated with fear... of success, failure, disapproval, you name it and Saturn can get the jitters about it. Put that next to action planet Mars in the sign of Leo you've got something like stage-fright, or similar rabbit in headlights responses.

Meanwhile with the Sun/Pluto opposition, what was hidden is brought to light. Secrets are revealed, which can be skeletons in the closet, or a Holy Grail. It’s also the awareness that the light at the end of the tunnel just might be you; all those circumstances that conspire to reveal previously untapped inner resources - the buried treasure of the soul.
There’s always an issue of trust when it comes to Pluto, and of letting go. The Sun/Pluto aspect in particular involves letting go of what you thought you knew about yourself - a vulnerable place to find yourself, no doubt, but a place where the rewards are immeasurable.


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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Full Moon In Sagittarius 11th June

"This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."
- Shakespeare


The energy first put in motion at the time of the Gemini new moon 2 weeks ago reaches a peak on the 11th, which means situations centering around Gemini themes are again in focus, but this time with a strong Sagittarius flavour (new moon post is here for a reminder).

The sign of Sagittarius is all about the beliefs we hold, and about understanding the strength they have in creating our reality. It's belief that defines our perspective on life, thereby shaping our future experience in the process. We only like to see what we believe in, and this has incredibly powerful connotations, both for ourselves and for how we relate to others.

Because Sagittarius instinctively knows that things happen in life because we believe they can, this sign is known for having an ‘anything’s possible’ aura about it. Those with a strong Sagittarius influence in their charts are usually optimistic, sometimes over optimistic about their chances of success. The cup is at least half full, and at times it's brimming over as they enjoy pushing boundries and ignoring limits. Because of this they are able to think big, and aren’t afraid of making the most of any opportunity that comes along.

The power of the Sadge is in us all however, as we all have the rainbow blend of the 12 signs within us. It’s a potent power that can be used for good or ill, and unless we strive for an understanding of how it works for us, we can end up creating all sorts of nightmare scenarios for ourselves.

So this full moon is a great time to connect with power, and take a look at the beliefs we hold and how they shape our existence. Sagittarius understands it's down to individual choice who or what we believe in; no one else can do this for us - after all, how can an archer line up with a target but through their own judgement?
But most importantly, it’s the understanding that we only gain the freedom Sagittarius holds dear when we make the choice to believe in what serves our true nature. And no one can know what that involves but us. We can’t tell anyone else, and they can’t tell us.


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Saturday, June 03, 2006

8 Random Things About Me

Lynn Hayes writes one of my favourite astrology blogs, Astrological Musings, and guess what, she has tagged me for this random thingy game. How exciting, thankyou Lynn! So here goes, never done this before...


1. The first record I ever bought was ‘Heart Of Glass’ by Blondie.

2. I love flowers so much that I couldn’t pick a favourite. I see them all as stylish works of performance art by God, each and everyone of them.

3. I'm a Gemini and my sister is Scorpio. We both have moon in Aries, at the very same degree. Hers is conjunct Jupiter, mine conjunct Saturn. I’m Virgo rising, she’s Pisces rising. What’s going on there? What’s that all about? Why does that happen? This is how astrology draws me in.

4. I believe 100% in the existence of angels. I have my reasons, and that’s all I’m saying.

5. I'm a dog person rather than cat person, an animal person rather than people person.

6. I love period dramas, especially lavish BBC productions like the recent Bleak House. I spent New Year’s day happily watching the whole series of Pride and Prejudice, wrapped in a faux fur throw and eating chocolates.

7. I dream intricate technicolour dreams with complicated plots and recurring themes almost every night. They are most lucid and prophetic around a new moon according to my dream diary (Virgo Pluto/Uranus rising from the 12th, square Gemini Mercury?).

8. I am at last recovering from 8 years of agoraphobia and anxiety attacks. Definately the biggest challenge of my life - my 'dark night of the soul' (Virgo Pluto/Uranus rising from the 12th, square Gemini Mercury!).


My turn to tag!
April
Wendy
Val
Isthmus

Friday, May 12, 2006

Full Moon In Scorpio: Unfinished Business

Early morning UK time on May 13th, the annual full moon in Scorpio is exact, when Sun in Taurus opposes Moon in Scorpio at 22 degrees.

Taurus is the sign associated with business, both in the financial sense and in the sense of minding your own. Scorpio is very good at minding other people’s business (which I suspect is to divert attention from their own. Like a reverse psychology thing, it’s their way of making sure their own business stays safely hidden from prying eyes).

I always associate both the Scorpio Full Moon and the Taurus Full Moon (due in around six months time when the Sun is in Scorp), with unfinished business. Scorpio is the process of letting go and trusting, which is something Taurus doesn’t like to do. One of the ways it can avoid the process is by leaving things a little bit unfinished to return to at a later date. But Full Moons have a way of bringing things to a head. Conclusions are reached, and stalemates are broken.

Anything left behind during the recent Aries season of impulsiveness, or swept under the carpet last season, Libra style, will be picked up by the beady eagle-eye of Scorpio, to be dealt with appropriately by the well-defined muscle of Taurus consciousness. It’s something that happens every six months, like clockwork, with Newtonian precision. What makes it different every time, is the mix of planets around it, which change like clouds, into patterns as individual as snowflakes.

And at the moment Neptune is currently sitting at 20 degrees of Aquarius, which means it’s closely connected to the Full Moon degree, and will blend its energy with the Sun/Moon opposition.
Neptune is linked to the imagination and vision; it blurs boundaries and makes sharp edges fuzzy. It can also find a way through any obstacle on earth because it really knows how to work those laws of physics.
Neptune’s power is not to be underestimated, sometimes feeling so imperceptible, so subtle, but it’s like water dripping on a stone. Eventually it will reshape its environment.


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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Beltane Part Two: 15 Degrees Of Taurus

As mentioned previously, there are two dates for Beltane; one always begins the eve of May 1st, while the other is always when the Sun reaches 15 degrees of Taurus. Now, as I live in a society that doesn’t place the same importance as I do on having a handbag sized ephemeris within arms reach, I can see May 1st is a sensible option, but my heart lies with the old style 15 degree festival.

A bit of background to skip for those familiar with the origins: Beltane is one of 8 festivals of the solar year, and marks the midpoint in the Sun’s journey between Spring Equinox (0 degrees Aries), and Summer Solstice (0 degrees Cancer).

0 degree’s of the cardinal signs Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn, mark equinox and solstice points. Midway between those points lie this 15 degree spot, always in a fixed sign, so along with Taurus/Beltane, there’s Scorpio/Samhain or Halloween, Aquarius/Imbolc, and Leo/Lammas.

The festivals carry the qualities of the zodiac sign they fall under, which means you can get a feel for what they're about and what they connect us with in ourselves, by studying the sign associated with it. Sometimes it’s obvious: how about Scorpio and Halloween for starters. Others need a lot more contemplation, but it’s worth the effort to reach those satisfying lightbulb moments.

So what about Taurus and Beltane? Well, with Venus as ruling planet, Taurus is about value and relationship, and being an earth sign it’s specifically about acknowledging and appreciating the value of our connectedness to the physical world.
And this is something we have to take personal responsibility for, as no-one can tell us what makes us feel good being in this world but us, through our emotional experience with physical form.
It’s whatever floats your boat that gets your good times flowing, which hasn’t got much to do with morality but everything to do with accountability, so it's easy to see why Beltane wasn’t received well by a number of religions and belief systems in days of yore.

This year the Sun reaches 15 degrees of Taurus on the May 5th, a Friday, the day sacred to Venus. As Venus has just begun a journey through Aries, she's in warrior Goddess mode. This is a fiery and feisty energy, and relationships work best with a direct approach and an open agenda.
And while Beltane is a celebration of quality rather than quantity, with Venus in Aries and Jupiter opposing the Sun, it might be more of a challenge to remember it's not just about who’s got the biggest Maypole.


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Monday, May 01, 2006

Beltane Part One: May Day

The offical date for observing Beltane (as decided by the collective unconcious), is May 1st, but I like to stick with the astrological date, which is when the sun reaches 15 degrees of Taurus. It varies each year, always during the first few days of May. This year it's May 5th.


More on that later, but for now, just spent an intriguing few hours researching Beltane, May Day and the various associated traditions.
Was chuckling away at the Puritans making Maypoles illegal in 1644, when I came upon this Wikipedia description, linking Maypoles with the Axis Mundi, or World Tree.

There's also an undeniable similarity between the Caduceus and the Maypole. What about the chakra energy spiralling around the spine in this image... and remember the Nebula in the shape of DNA?
This is what I love about symbolism, once you start looking you see repeating patterns everywhere, and can't help but be absorbed by the mystery of the underlying connection.

(Beltane Part Two is here)


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