About one year ago, I released Journey to the Temple of Ra. [There is a new-ish review on Amazon...if you're interested.] My original plan was to then release the sequel, Scribe to the Pantheon of Rome, a year later. The good new is: I am working on it. However, its not ready yet.
Within Scribe, which talks a lot about numbers, there is a discussion about the perfection of imperfection. I think this is a good topic for today.
In a ‘perfect’ world, numbers would be exact. The first of every month would start on the first day of the week. Each month would be the same number of days. And, as some would prefer, the calendar months and the astrological months would align.
But look at how we’re just off. The lunar cycle is…what…29 days and change? But 4×7 is 28. A circle is 360 degrees. The zodiac is a circle (from our vantage). But the sun takes 365.25 days to go around the zodiac. The sun and the moon appear exactly the same size, but they aren’t all of the time. Some of our eclipses are annular, when the moon is too small to cover the face of the sun. And eclipses only happen twice a year, not every month.
Some of the planetary cycles are close by not quite something ideal. For example, Jupiter takes approximately 12 years to cycle the sun, which is nearly one sign per year. That’s pretty good. Saturn, on the other hand, takes 29 years and change. If it were 28 years, then we’d have a nice and neat 7 years for each quarter of the zodiac. A 24 or 36-year cycle would be much better resulting in two or three years per sign.
Because none of our cycles are perfect, we get all sorts of combinations we wouldn’t have otherwise. How boring would it be if your birthday fell on a Monday or a Wednesday every year?
So let’s look at the imperfect perfection happening right now.
Today is a Monday—the beginning of the week by one measure. It is also the new moon (at 9:12 am CDT). It is also the first day of school for many. It’s not quite the first of September, but is just past the beginning of Virgo (sun and moon conjunct at 2 Virgo 18’).
Virgo, being ruled by curious and mental Mercury, is an appropriate sign to begin the school year. In a normalized chart, Virgo rules the 6th house—the house of work. Virgo is an earth sign, and work is physical, even if using nothing more than your eyes, ears, and mind.
The 6th house, however, is not just about work, but is also about heath and healing. This makes sense. Virgo, as mutable earth, enjoys making shifts and changes (improvements) to the physical. Healing could be defined as: moving or shifting the body toward increased heath, function, and ease. Of course, we all know that healing also applies to the mental and emotional bodies.
Mercury, the ruler of the chart, is reaching ahead of the sun. Before the sun leaves Virgo, Mercury will station retrograde. To me, this is precisely Virgoan. Virgo as both mental and physical, studies what is, thinks about how to make it better, and then gets to work doing just that. Mercury explores ahead now, and will report back his findings before Libra begins.
In modern Astrology, Chiron is another ruler of Virgo. At 16 Pisces, Chiron directly opposes Mercury (at 17 Virgo). If you ignore the sun-moon conjunction, all other aspects in this chart tie in with them: Uranus (16 Aries), Venus (16 Leo), Apollo (17 Leo), and Mars and Saturn (conjunct at 17 Scorpio). This chart is very synergistic, another thing Virgo loves!
I cast this chart as a Virgo Horoscope (or Sun Sign) chart, which means Virgo is the first house. The 6th house thus contains both Psyche and Nessus, which are indicators of wounds. Opposing that house, we have Apollo conjunct Lilith in the 12th, which can be thought of as the results or symptoms of wounds.
Mercury and Chiron do have their work cut out for them this month. There’s a lot of wounded souls struggling and bleeding and needing care. Venus and Jupiter got together recently to help, but a pairing like that doesn’t last long. Venus will help in another way when she enters Virgo, in less than two weeks on September 5th.
[By the way, Venus’ 9 months as a morning star will soon come to an end. She’ll conjunct the sun on 10/24 and then start a 10-month cycle as an evening star.]
In general, Mercury rules the 6th house (via Virgo), but also the 3rd house (via Gemini). In the Virgo chart, Scorpio lands in the 3rd house, which helps fuel Virgo’s ability for intense focus and mental stamina—two things Gemini can struggle with.
In this chart, we find the conjunction between Mars and Scorpio in the 3rd house. This defines the topic to consider. Again…I find this very apropos.
Mars is all about action and movement. Saturn, conversely, slows things down. You would think these two getting together would be complete frustration. And it can be. However, if you combine their assets, then it will be very productive! Let Saturn direct Mars. Pour your excess energy into something practical. But use Virgo’s discernment. Remember, practical does not mean mundane.
Picture it like this: Let’s say that at some time in the past (a past life maybe) we got stabbed by a stick. The stick pierced our shield…and our skin. It penetrated to the core and left one hell of a splinter there. If it didn’t kill us, then it created a scar. If it did kill us (in that past life), then we still have a scar—a virtual scar…an innate discomfort, dis-ease, mental or emotional block.
For two years, Saturn has been digging up what’s not working right in our Scorpio house(s). He knows that to heal, we can’t just cover up the wound. We can’t just medicate it. We have to get that splinter out, which means we have to find it.
There is a theory out there, which says that health problems are really mental and emotional problems that have seeped into the body. If we don’t heal our mental or emotional wounds at the mental or emotional levels, we then get to work on them as physical problems. However, even when the problem becomes physical, we still can (or still must) heal the physical and emotional.
Saturn’s time in Scorpio is slowly drawing to a close. Saturn will enter Sagittarius for the first time on December 23rd. It will fall back into Scorpio next June, then leave Scorpio for good on September 17, 2015. Saturn then won’t see Scorpio again until the 2040s!
This time around, Saturn in Scorpio has been so much deeper and harder and more painful than before…because of Pluto. Pluto is in Saturn’s sign of Capricorn and Saturn is in Pluto’s sign of Scorpio. That means they are working together—even when not aspecting. This is a unique time in history: a perfectly imperfect opportunity for true evolutionary growth.
Since this post is already long, I’ll wrap it up—though I could go on and on. If you read charts, study this one. Look at the connections. Those two Trines are oh-so-significant!
The month of September is a nine. Nine is simultaneously the beginning of the end, and the approach to a new beginning. I think that’s precisely where we are.
We all know that light is real. We can see it. We can feel it. We can create devices that measure it. We can create devices that emit it. We can even slice matter with it.
When light is blocked, a shadow appears. We can see a shadow, but is it actually real?
In one view, it is not real. It is not a thing. It is the lack of a thing. We cannot create devices that emit darkness. Light is real, so when light is missing, we see darkness—the absence of light.
Yet, for all intents and purposes, shadows are real and darkness too. We experience darkness. It touches us and affects us. Illusory or not, darkness is scary.
Now, on to some Astrology terms, which may be a review:
- When the moon opposes the sun, we experience a full moon.
- When the moon conjuncts the sun, we have a new moon, which we cannot see.
- When the new moon or full moon conjuncts the lunar nodes, we experience a solar eclipse or lunar eclipse respectively.
- When a new moon or full moon conjuncts perigee, we experience a supermoon. The only supermoon we can actually see is during the full moon. The tides, however, are larger in both cases.
The other day, we experienced a full moon supermoon. The sun was at 18 Leo 2 and the moon was at 18 Aquarius 2. Perigees had occurred moments earlier when the moon was at approximately 17 Aquarius 50.
In Astrology, there is a point most don’t pay attention to. It is called the Dark Moon. It is also called Lilith or the Dark Moon Lilith. It more or less indicates apogee. On August 10th, Lilith was at 17 Leo 50 or so.
So the supermoon occurs when the moon opposes the sun, and when the sun simultaneously conjuncts Lilith. And that is what happened the other night.
[You might be interested to note that all of this occurred almost exactly on my horizon, which is along 17 Leo/Aquarius 57.]
Lilith, they say, is called the Dark Moon because it represents shadow. It is sometimes called the anti-moon. The moon can represent mother, so Lilith can be the anti-mother.
Ever since the Universe dropped this information into my lap a couple of months ago, I’ve been thinking about it. I’ve been studying it. I’ve been analyzing its placement in my chart and others. It turns out to be in the single most significant degree in my whole chard (in my opinion).
So the Dark Moon relates to darkness: our shadow side or our shadow self—maybe our demons. I thought the shadow self was the part of us that we dislike…or even hate. Maybe it’s the part of us that we are ashamed of. Maybe it’s the part of us we hide from everyone else. Maybe it’s about our addictions or our unhealthy habits. Maybe it’s our evil twin—our Mr. Hyde—our alter ego.
But maybe the Dark Moon is not about the shadow. Maybe it is here to show us the thing that blocks the light, the thing that casts a shadow.
Many moons ago, the Universe was teaching me about manifestation. They said: when we ask for something, the Universe gives it to us…instantly. But we often don’t receive it (or see it) because something (a block of our own creation) is in the way. This is most likely a belief. So, what happens next is the Universe shines light on the block. It wants us to see the block, so we can let it go—so we can move around it. But, since we most likely don’t see the block right away, what we do see is the shadow.
Leo is the sign of fame. The sun-Lilith conjunction in Leo happened minutes before the exact full moon. Later that day, we lost one of our beloved stars. Robin Williams not only passed, but he likely took his own life.
This morning, I took a look at Robin’s natal chart. As it turns out, his mid-heaven is at 22 Leo 15. That means that the sun-Lilith conjunction was just degrees from the highest part of his chart. The full moon was thus near the lowest.
Around the time of his death, the sun sat directly on top of his Natal Pluto (and Lilith was just a degree behind). The moon, having moved into Pisces, approached his Natal moon. (His Pisces moon conjuncts his North node, so he was born a day or two before a lunar eclipse.)
[Edit Note: Another astrologer shows his mid-heaven at 7 Leo 10. This feels more accurate than what I saw earlier. The sun and Lilith thus transit his Pluto in the 10th house - a house of high visibility, which matches what is happening. Because of the nature of his death, his struggle is more visible than it would have been otherwise.]
Robin’s moon sits in his 4th house, which gives it Cancer overtones. His sun is in Cancer, and his ascendant is Scorpio. That’s a lot of water: a lot of emotionality…a lot of feeling. Robin likely felt far more than he ever let on (given that his ascendant was Scorpio…fixed water).
Suicide is a shadow aspect of life. Death, by any means, is too. And death, like a shadow, is something that is not real (according to spirit), yet it is painfully real for those of us in human form.
I would like to now share an experience:
Some number of years ago, I had a bad day in July. That day, which happened to be July 4th, I felt intensely depressed and distraught. It came out of nowhere.
The very next day, I found out that a friend of a friend had ended his life. I never met the man, but I knew of him; we had three friends in common.
Another day later, an odd thing happened. I was driving down the freeway and found myself writing a letter in my head—except in that letter I was apologizing for the pain that I caused when I took my own life. Clearly, I was not the one writing the letter. The thoughts were not mine.
This turned out to be my clearest medium experience to date. The man, from the other side, contacted me because I had the means to convey his message to our friends, and apparently I could hear him.
Now this is the part that everyone needs to hear: he was happy! He was filled with joy! He told me that he was not “in trouble” for what he did. He was not judged. Rather, he was welcomed with open arms by his loved ones. He was supported.
He also told me that from there he could see solutions to his problems, which he couldn’t see when he was alive. Clearly, he was still alive, just not in human form any longer.
Since then, I have been better able to accept spirit’s statement that death is an illusion, and that life goes on and on and on. We, in human form, experience loss, and they never deny that. But death is not an end to life, it is just an end to a phase of life…namely life in a specific physical body.
Some day, each of us will transition the boundary between this physical life and…the beyond. Only then we will truly know what’s on the other side. In the mean time, we can believe what we want to believe.
If you find yourself struggling with shadows, don’t forget to look for the blocks that cast the shadows. These, most often, are inside. These, most often, are self-deprecating and self-limiting beliefs.
Lilith crossing my ascendant is doing its part to bring things into my conscious mind from the shadows. We’ll see what comes of it.
I’m going to ask some questions flat out. I invite you to consider (and maybe jot down) your own answers.
- Are you angry? Think about it. Is there something in your life that’s got your goat? Maybe you don’t even know what you’re mad about. If your answer is no, take a moment to feel into yourself and see if there’s just a bit of steam in there that you haven’t exactly noticed.
- Does life feel unfair? Maybe something is happening (or not happening) and this has you feeling a sense of injustice. Maybe it’s not about something that is happening or not happening to you, but in witnessing injustice out there, you’re angry about an old or active injustice that you’ve experienced.
- Did you have a fight or an argument with someone in the latter half of December? Was it your spouse or a family member? Did tempers fly? Were words exchanged? Maybe you wanted to have a fight, but didn’t?
- Do you feel frustrated? You know, the kind of frustration where you want to do something (like express that anger perhaps), but you can’t. Maybe you feel like a teakettle—two degrees from boiling, but your whistle is plugged?
- If I gave you a sledgehammer and a clunker and set you free, do you think you’d enjoy smashing windows, headlights, and denting a fender or two? Would that make you feel better?
Today, right now in fact, Mars is making his third square to Pluto since late December. All of the frustration built up when Mars was moving backward wants to come out now. All of the frustration the Pluto-Uranus square has been activating for years wants to come out too. Trust me, it’s not all going to come out, but it wants to.
If you’re one who likes tracking specific dates, here’s the time line:
- 12/30/2013: Mars exactly squared Pluto the first time. Both the sun and Mercury were applying conjunct to Pluto, which means that Mars squared them just before.
- 3/1/2013: Mars stationed retrograde beginning months of backward motion in Libra.
- 4/23/2014: Mars retrograde squares Pluto a second time. With Uranus and Jupiter, he forms a complete Grand Cross.
- 6/14/2014: Mars, forward once more, squares Pluto again. The moon is conjunct Pluto (in Capricorn) and Mercury Retrograde is about to re-enter Gemini.
- 7/13/2014: Mars (moving forward) meets and crosses over the North Node of the moon (moving backward).
- 7/21/2014: Mars passes the point where he stopped in March, entering new territory…at last.
- 7/25/2014: Mars leaves Libra (his Detriment) and enters Scorpio, which he (co)rules.
Libra is not a place Mars loves. It is hard to be dominant when paired with an equal partner. It is hard to dominate others when your sense of social justice says that no one should be subservient. If you are going to be fair, you have to share; you have to get along with others.
And Pluto is the most formidable opponent. Pluto may be the smallest planet (or no longer a planet), but Pluto’s astrological energy is very powerful. That is because Pluto operates on our innermost places. We are Mars on the outside, but Pluto on the inside. We want to be young and strong and exert our will outward, but when we realize that we only fight ourselves, what then? Do we destroy ourselves because we are the enemy? Do we split into two factions and have each half fight the other? (We are in Gemini after all.) Or do we simply give up?
[If you're fighting with others, that's the Mars part. The inner conflict is the Pluto part. That's the area we really need to explore.]
And Mercury Retrograde has not be helping…oh no. Have you had anything go as planned since it started? I have not! Forget relying on electronic communication too. All this energy with no constructive place to put it—I can’t think of any situation more frustrating to a Capricorn moon than that!
I extended the timeline through July 25th, when relief comes for Mars. On top of that, just days earlier, the sun conjuncts Jupiter in the second degree of Leo. I’m sure that’s gonna feel good too.
I think the best I can do to wrap this up is to validate your anger and frustration, and to assure you that this too shall pass.
Mars is moving forward, although not quite up to his average speed. I, nevertheless, can feel the movement.
Mars is in Libra…and is thus relational. For me personally, it is transiting my third house…and is thus conceptual. [This applies to those with sun in Leo and/or Leo rising.] That is not to say that everything happening is merely in my head—quite the contrary. For a change, there is more real-life exchange going on.
And yet the lessons are close to home. Mars is moving forward, but within territory he has traipsed twice already. I, too, am walking through dirt where I’ve left footprints before.
Interestingly, the Universe has been very communicative lately. Music has been speaking to me in literal and lyrical ways. And symbolism abounds. For example, on my walk today, I kept seeing squirrels do that thing where they freeze in the middle of the road. I kept thinking—if you don’t move, you’re going to get run over. After the third time, I got the message. I’m the one who needs to get out of the road. I’m the one who needs to get out of harms way. Yes, gathering information requires crossing the road, but I needn’t sit in the middle of it to contemplate what I am learning. I can take my acorns home and chew on them later.
Mars has given us fuel, but we have to push the pedal on the right and pull on the wheel.
Mars stationed retrograde on 3/1/2014 at 27 Libra 32. He will not cross that point again until July 21st. So while there’s plenty of progress going on, it can feel like you’ve done this before. Maybe this time we can get it right!
But don’t forget that Mars has to walk through the T-Square with Pluto and Uranus again. He will square Pluto on 6/14/2014 and then oppose Uranus on 6/24/2014. The T-Square, being much less exact, should be much less intense.
Enjoy this last day of May and do take inventory of how far you’ve traveled in the past three months. It may have been in a direction far beyond your intention, but I’m sure it has shown you plenty.
More and more, I find myself saying to friends, clients, and myself: “You are not your rising sign.” You are not your progressed rising sign either.
In the past, I have described the rising sign using these visuals:
- A shell
- A sword
- A shield
Whether we use the rising sign for protection or to cope or get out of a sticky situation, it does come in handy. The rising sign is possibly the tool in our belt that is easiest to wield.
And yet, I feel compelled to convey the message again: “You are NOT your rising sign.” So what’s the big deal and why is it important to remember this?
The most significant reason is self-awareness. The rising sign is something you have access to, but is not who you really are. If you feel threatened, it is the best tool for the job, but just like a sword or a shield, it can get cumbersome if you constantly have it in hand.
Your happiest times will come when you can express your sun sign freely, supported by your rising sign, but not hindered by it.
Let’s discuss a few examples…
1. Cancer with Virgo Rising
Cancer values home more than any other. Their home is their castle. They want their home to be warm and dry, safe and secure, but also inviting. Yes, the crab shell is a great retreat, but a Cancer is happiest when they can cuddle at home with friends, family, and/or the significant other.
Now Virgo’s priorities are a bit different. They are driven to improve anything they value. Yes, a Virgo can overlook clutter—if it doesn’t matter to them—but if they love something, they are going to expend a little elbow grease to luster the shine.
If you are a Cancer with Virgo on the ascendant, you might at times find yourself being very picky about your house. You might have little tolerance for messiness. You might find yourself cleaning almost obsessively. You might look around and see your home as not good enough for company…and uncomfortable for yourself.
A crab can retreat into its shell when it feels threatened, but a Cancer with Virgo rising might not retreat so easily. Or maybe retreating isn’t an option given the situation at home. The basic point is: when this Cancer is unhappy at home, he or she may overly rely on the Virgo rising in an effort to clean it all up.
“You are not a Virgo,” spirit says to you. If you’re obsessing, you might be missing the point of what’s really wrong. Maybe the condition of the house is not the problem. Maybe there is an emotional issue that needs to be addressed, discussed, and brought out from an uncomfortable, dark place to a light, safe, and secure one.
For the record, my progressed sun is in Cancer and my progressed ascendant is in Virgo. I have become neater and cleaner at home these years, but when I find myself getting tweaked about it, I now know to look more closely at how I’m feeling and why.
Yes, cleaning my house feels good—it’s productive. It gives me something to focus on and allows me to expend some energy. But it also diverts my attention from what I am feeling. Sometimes, I just need to admit that I feel what I feel, and then take it from there.
2. Leo with Gemini Rising
A true Gemini likes to roam and wander freely. They are like humming birds seeking out the next beautiful and fragrant flower. And like humming birds, when a threat comes near…they’re outta there! Geminis are more apt to flee than confront. And Geminis are quite logical too. Because they value freedom highly, they apply that standard to others: need space…give space.
Leo is a different animal, however. What a Leo values more than anything is loyalty. Leo is fixed fire; one way to think of that is constant connection. Leos radiate their love, and want to feel the love of others that same way…even if at a distance. Leos are here to shine. Do they like the attention that follows? Sure.
Let’s say a Leo with Gemini rising is abandoned or betrayed by a loved one. Will they roar like the lion? Probably not. A Leo with Gemini on the ascendant is more likely to detach…from the situation, but also from their hurt feelings. They will use logic to lessen the betrayal…or they may possibly tell themselves that the other person didn’t really abandon them at all—they just needed space and what’s wrong in that?
The thing with Gemini is this: their logic is sound. So the Leo, when in their head, might find no fault done and thus be at a loss to justify their feelings. They might even talk themselves out of their pain altogether. But I ask you this: if they feel hurt, are they not still hurt? This person might end up repressing their pain rather than releasing it.
Logic is great, but it does not rule everything. Feelings count a TON, even if they don’t make sense. Instead of wondering whether it is logical to feel what we feel, it is better to accept the feelings and allow them to be, which then also allows them to pass.
3. Gemini with Leo Rising
Unlike the previous example, I am the opposite: a Gemini with Leo rising. What I have noticed about myself is that, when I am most unhappy, I tend to exhibit negative Leo traits. My air gets consumed with fire. My mutability gets squashed—rooted into stubborn fixity. I start feeling and acting like I’m better than those around me: “How dare they treat ME like this!” My concern about appearances and what other people think can stunt my freedom of expression.
My Leo rising does support me at times too. When I’m being my Gemini self in a public setting, my Leo rising helps me shine. It allows me be more extroverted than I am naturally. Leo on the ascendant strengthens the sun sign. It is supposed to help me be more Gemini…not more Leo.
There are 144 combinations of sun sign and rising. Even when both are the same, we typically express them differently. Add in your progressed sun and rising, and you have a complex picture indeed.
The point of this article is not to weigh signs against each other or claim that any one way of being is better than any other way. The point is, we are NOT our rising sign, and when we find ourselves exhibiting the personality of our rising sign too much, then it is valuable to recognize that something is wrong. We resort to our rising sign when we feel uncomfortable, hurt, insecure, and/or threatened. Maybe what’s really wrong is just beyond our notice.
Our rising sign can help us avoid our unwanted feelings, but it is not likely the best way to resolve them.
If you are not sure what your rising sign is, or if you’re struggling with something, an Astrology reading just might be convalescent. We are in the sign of Gemini now, and a Gemini would say, “Knowledge is power!”
In yesterday’s post, I focused on an image created primarily from four planets occupying 17 degrees of their respective signs. Mercury has already moved a full degree since then, but thanks to the moon, we have four planets at 17 degrees again. Yet look at how different the image appears:
In this chart, we now see a kite and a T-Square. [Mercury is still within orb, but I have erase those aspect lines for the diagram above.]
The T-Square resembles 3/4 of the Grand Cross, except two of the points are different. The moon exactly squares Venus just degrees off of the square between Pluto and Uranus, which is weakening at present.
Today’s kite has a lot in common with yesterday’s visual. Kites fly—as do spaceships—however, they glide. They are not powered internally. Instead, they float on the breeze.
As if on cue, I made a decision last night. I decided that I needed to let go of the steering-wheel and ease off of the gas some. When I returned from California, I was gung ho to (re)start my life in Austin. In looking back, the energy most resembled what January used to feel like for me. After the long holiday break, I would always find nearly a full month of productivity and forward progress.
Now that’s easy to do in the office, but not necessarily so with life in general. After two weeks of pushing forward, I have discovered that I am, in fact, dragging a bunch of the past along.
When you look at the image above, as drawn, you will notice that the kite leans to the left. It looks tethered to the earth by the T-Square. And that’s why I am making an effort to let go of the wheel. A kite floats on the wind. It has to ride the currents—in other words, it has to stay on top of them.
The visual of the T-Square is an anchor—pulling back toward old habits, perhaps?
As you take inventory, you will likely find plenty of energy: drive and ambition. That is the good part! Obstacles and problems to be solved are apparent. That is also good—much better the devil you know…so to speak. The piece that is the bridge spanning the two is the new approach to life you have already been working on. At this point, it isn’t exactly new any longer. You have sought it, discovered it, contemplated it, and have intended to use it. All that remains is to apply it.
Engineering is applied science. Building a bridge does not require the creation of new technology; it simply calls for using what is already known and then applying it to physical world.
Untether your kite by allowing your new approaches to gain precedence over your old habits. By leveraging your assets, you will make more progress with less effort.