The Moon is in Gemini today, square to Neptune and about to conjoin Venus in Gemini. Meanwhile, Mercury is about to conjoin Mars in Taurus as both are trine to Pluto in Capricorn.
Here's what to watch for:
* Deception, lies, misinformation, excuses, gossip, smoke and mirrors, secretive communication, blurred boundaries in love (Venus in Gemini square to Neptune in Pisces)
* Dealing with crazy people, being a crazy person, what seems crazy isn't so crazy, weepy, teary, mental/emotional haziness or blurred perceptions (Venus square Neptune)
* People trying to take something from you, seduction, vampires, leaky vessels, (Venus square Neptune)
* Elevated thoughts, poetry, other worldly insights or dreams that speak or give answers (Venus square Neptune)
* Bisexual/androgynous/shape-shifting (Venus square Neptune)
* Sacred scriptures, sexuality (Venus square Neptune)
* Combative communication (Mercury conjunction Mars)
* Explosive communication dynamics over something seemingly simple (Mercury conj Mars and trine Pluto)
* Work and productiveness on the brain (Mercury/Mars in Taurus)
* A reading or writing project (Mercury/Mars in Taurus)
* Sexual curiosity, deviancy, loneliness, imagination, boredom (Venus in Gemini square to Neptune in Pisces)
* Springtime desires, appetite, pleasure, simplicity, (Sun in Taurus)
* Spring cleaning, dreaming, napping (Sun in Taurus)
Some gentler transits at the moment...potentially a nice recuperation phase after eclipse season. For now it's good to focus on working slowly but steadily toward the list of goals or plans we've made. There is an atmosphere of both productivity and steadfastness around us right now, but there's also some letting go that is still being done and we can't just hop over the work of truly embracing what's recently manifested in our lives.
Prayer: May the graces guide us toward the most divine realization of our intentions...the place where our intentions become perfected and revisioned by the will of the gods.
image courtesy of creative commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mara_earthlight/
After an exciting weekend home in Michigan to celebrate my mom's graduation, I'm back home, it's New Moon time, and the Sun has just moved into Taurus. Out my window there's green everywhere, and the sun is shining. Deep spring is moving in!
Here's a list of what to watch for right now, along with a recap of our recent new moon...
* Over sharing, diarrhea of the mouth, confusion, deception, cloudy speech, misrepresenting or exaggerating, gossip, false information, plagiarism,intoxicated speech or communication (Venus in Gemini square Neptune in Pisces)
* Mental strain or stress, hard time focusing, heavy thoughts, desirous thoughts, selfish forms of communication (Mercury in Taurus conjoining Mars in Taurus)
* A focus on simplicity, peace, ease, clarity, life, joy, nature, control, and stability (Sun moving into Taurus)
* A transformational release of pent up energy (Pluto just turned retrograde)
As our new moon cycle began in the culminating degrees of Aries, our new cycle is toned once more by the "beginning of the end," theme. We are now moving beyond the transformational crisis of the last pluto-uranus square and our recent impactful eclipse season and heading now into smoother waters....though the beginning of this cycle (which began Saturday evening) was toned by a more dramatic feeling of climax than a normal new moon (which feels more like an open/empty place of newness). As a result this cycle won't feel like it's quite settled in for a few more days. As the Sun moves into the first degrees of Taurus and the Moon gains light power again, we should steadily feel like a deeper stability or peace is establishing itself for the first time in a while. Of course this cycle packs its own drama, like all moon cycles, but during Taurus season it's usually best to keep things slow, easy, peaceful, and simple.
A short list of themes to work with over this moon cycle:
* Stabilizing patterns, routines, lifestyle, health, sleep, rhythm
* Keeping things easy, simple, healthy
* Letting the animal inside of us relax and trust
* Coming home
* Recuperation, cleaning, organizing
Prayer: whew...help us to recuperate as we move beyond this transformational gateway
The dark moon is in Pisces today. Meanwhile, Mars is almost exactly square to Jupiter, while Venus continues its t-square transit with Saturn and Neptune.
What to watch for:
* The return of faith hope and optimism (Jupiter moving direct again)
* Hard fought victories and toughing it out (Mars/Jupiter)
* Financial obligations, responsibilities, and control over finances (Mars/Jupiter)
* Planning for the future (Mars/Jupiter)
* War, machismo, masculinity, adrenaline, courage, assertiveness (Mars/Jupiter)
* Ego competitions (Mars/Jupiter)
* Selfish/gluttonous levels of desire/ego (Mars/Jupiter)
* Slowly slogging through to the finish line (Mars/Jupiter)
* Victims, prisoner, martyrs, sinners, saints, sacrifices (Moon in Pisces)
* Emotional turbulence, sensitivity, psychosomatic (Moon in Pisces)
* The big picture, the end of a cycle (dark Moon in Pisces)
* Addiction, escapism, emotional eating, drugs (Moon in Pisces)
* Feeling inbetween worlds (Moon in Pisces)
* Immunity, sickness that's more than just a virus or infection (Moon in Pisces)
* Sexual infidelity versus commitment (Venus opposite Saturn)
* Differences of belief or value in relationships (Venus opposite Saturn)
* The attraction of the young to the old or vice versa (Venus opposite Saturn)
* Curiosity and mutliplicity versus commitment and monogamy (Venus opposite Saturn)
* The sacrifices of love, belief, and faith within relationships (Venus/Saturn/Neptune)
* Divine discontent, confusion, faith and doubt, longing (Venus/Saturn/Neptune)
* Creative vision, belief, and dialogue (Venus/Saturn/Neptune)
* Maturity versus youthfulness and the blurry lines between (Venus/Saturn/Neptune)
* Imaginative formulations..ideas taking shape, inspirations finding form (Venus/Neptune/Saturn)
* Deception, trickery, dishonesty, illusion, delusion, and self-deceit (Venus/Saturn/Neptune)
As we move through the dark moon, a powerful eclipse cycle is coming to its conclusion.
Prayer: May we see now the lessons of this cycle. Help us to receive rest and healing as we prepare to move beyond this gateway and into the next chapter.
image courtesy of creative commons: halfrain
The Moon is in Aquarius this morning and heading into its balsamic, "dark moon" phase. Meanwhile the Venus/Saturn/Neptune t-square is intensifying, as is the Mars/Jupiter square.
More on the Venus/Saturn/Neptune t-square.
The word "epistemology" comes from the Greek "episteme" which means a "knowledge or acquaintance with something." It also means, "skill or experience." Add the "ology" and you get something like, "the study of knowledge, skill, and experience." Unfortunately most people speak of epistemology in purely philosophical terms, as "the study of knowledge," and even worse the "episteme" part of the word gets reduced to its most analytical sounding component, "knowledge."
But even with the science or study of "knowledge," we're generally not ACknowledging the deeper and more mysterious resonance of the word that is the subject/object of study. The word knowledge has a variety of root associations, including "honoring something superior or worship," and even more interesting, "to have sexual intercourse with."
So, using these deeper meanings as our guide for the moment, what can we say about our "theories of knowledge," or put more simply, our "beliefs?" We might say that each set of beliefs, each piece of knowledge we carry, is to some extent the distilled or rarefied expression of our experiences. Stranger: whatever knowledge we carry is also sexual experience. Our knowledge and beliefs reflect the kind of "intercourse" we've been having with the world: environments, people, culture, geography, race, religion, gender, etc.
Our curiosity to learn more about other people, other parts of the world, other beliefs, other ways of seeing, doing, or believing, is also a sexual curiosity. To know anything involves an intimacy that we can't help but experience as sexual, even if only on a psychic level.
Right now, many of our relationships are reflecting back to us the nature of our beliefs or knowledge...the accumulated experiences, their differences or similarities, which in turn are reflecting different sexual orientations, styles, aesthetic values, or curiosities.
We're so hooked on the OLOGY part of epistemology, that we forget that experience, deep sexually intimate experiences with the world around us, are inseparable from the logical or intellectual comparisons between "systems of knowledge or belief." In fact, we're so hooked on the OLOGY piece of it that many people throw it right out the window. "What do you believe?" we ask someone. And they say, "Well, I'm spiritual not religious," which is a way of saying, "My mind and body is sexually intimate with a lot of ideas and experiences, and putting them into one particular system would close the door to more of those experiences, so I'm spiritual, but I'm not religious."
Even when people choose things like "universalism" or "oneness," but then embrace hugely contradictory metaphysical ideas or ways of seeing or thinking, most people sort of nod and smile because we each "acknowledge" that these all inclusive notions are just more ways of honoring the experiential nature of the soul...the love or the making loveness of life.
The problem with all of this (not that it's always a problem) comes when reflecting on the fact that so many of these all inclusive faith or knowledge statements originate from an overly dichotomized view of dichotomies themselves. Because we don't want to shut ourselves down to the ongoing love making of experience (which is how we feel real knowledge is made), we react too strongly to the idea of systems or theories of knowledge all together. Granted that this is usually because so many of the theories or systems of knowledge DENY the ongoing experiential nature of truth, but nonetheless we tend to react to these rigid systems by closing down our imaginations to the value or beauty of such systems across the board.
It's sort of like saying, "Just because monogamy can be a really shitty institutional form of relating, doesn't mean it's useless or bad. Just because systems of knowledge or truth are often repressive, doesn't mean they are ONLY repressive."
Staying "open," therefore is sometimes more like "the dogma of non-commitment," which can be another way of saying "selfishness" or "defensiveness." Staying "all inclusive," is sometimes more like, "the dogma of indifference or apathy."
Isn't it true that Picasso committed to the color "Blue" for a brilliant moment of his painting career? Hemingway the simple sentence? Bowie to Ziggy Stardust? Prince to Jehovah's witnesses? Dickinson to her attic view? Or Madonna to the virgin and the whore?
Isn't it possible to commit very deeply to someone, something, some way of seeing or knowing, without denying the ongoing and radically open nature of experience? Don't we see the paradox all around us, and isn't there something refreshing about epistemological commitment? Don't we also admire statements of belief, commitments to schools of thought or traditions, doctrines, dogmas, lineages, apprenticeships, specialties, styles and subjects?
Don't we eventually clarify our tastes, needs, and abilities in between the sheets of life?
The distaste that people often have for polyamory (not trying to pick on polyamory now) is the same distaste that people have for universalism or oneness. While it works for some people, there is also strange dogma or insistence upon the "radically open and without monogmaous commitment of any kind," that rubs people the wrong way, like the person you sleep with who makes you feel like you're just another person on a long list of lays that are mostly impersonal.
Our intellectual and spiritual commitments are begging to be made from the place of natural selection...from the most organic and soulful places convalescing into shapes and colors and styles...just as much an aesthetic as a "belief." Like Picasso's blue or Madonna's cone stabbing bras in the 80's. Universalism isn't always the answer because Universalism is like an intellectual (rather than aesthetic) rejection of a non-aesthetic way of being.
The truth is that we like laying in bed with some gods more than others. Some ideas penetrate us more than others. Some seduce and take our mental pants off more than others. Some hold and nurture us more than others. We can't avoid this process of differentiation if we want to grow in truth. Because truth is like the development of the thousand wings and colors of a single peacock's tail. Truth grows and changes all the time, and commitments to particular truths, especially the kind that naturally exclude others, are just as important to the soul's individuation as any all inclusive faith statement.
Right now we're looking eye to eye with each other, and any of these questions or concerns might be present:
* Do you know the same things I know and is that make or break?
* Are we capable of creating a compatible reality?
* Are we sexually compatible on the deepest level?
* Is this environment stimulating enough for my soul?
* Do I have enough faith, do I need more, or is my ambivalence just fine?
* Does he/she/this group really see me or experience me as I am?
* Am I desired or desirable exactly as I am?
* In what ways are my beliefs changing based on new experiences I'm having?
* What compromises am I willing to make in my relationships based on what I believe or what my experiences have led me to value?
* What am I missing or longing for in terms of the conversations or relationships happening in my life right now?
Prayer: Commitment isn't something that can stop new experiences. Commitment is a kind of experience itself. Help us to understand this, and lead us toward our soul's deepest commitments in this moment.
image courtesy of creative commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pinkcotton/
The Moon is in late Capricorn, about to enter Aquarius. Meanwhile, Venus has just entered Gemini and is applying to create a t-square with Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces. Meanwhile, Mars in Taurus is moving into a square with Jupiter in Leo.
A list of what to watch for given these two transits, and then a brief meditation on the subject of truth and belief.
What to watch for:
* The subjects of finances, financial goals, hardship, and long term planning or building
* Masculinity, machismo, pride, bread winning males, using finances as a weapon or tool of domination
* The need to be self-reliant financially, materially
* Investing and extravagant purchases or penny pinching
* Windfalls and unexpected expenses
* Eyes bigger than wallet
* Attraction to wealth, disillusionment with wealth
* A slow, hard fought victory
* Muscle, strength, force, combat, warriors, and adrenaline
* Big, tough, over the top styles and fashion
* Curiosity leads to a crisis of faith
* Dabbling and toying
* Wandering eyes, wandering heart, wandering mind
* A religious debate
* Revisioning beliefs, dogmas, and doctrines
* Questions about truth, comparisons of experience
* Polytheism versus monotheism
* Integral wisdom versus laws/pre-existing systems
* Morality versus amorality
* Vacillating between options
* Scriptural versus experiential knowledge or wisdom
* Core beliefs..do we need them?
* The equally obnoxious dogma of non-religious people
* Philosophical ambivalence
* Sexual deviance and play...the "apple in the garden"
* Epistemological commitment
Let's take a moment to look at the Venus/Saturn/Neptune t-square in greater depth. As Saturn is very slow and retrograde in Sagittarius right now, many of us are getting the opportunity to revise or reflect upon the nature of our faith or beliefs. The complexities of the centaur image are sometimes hard to understand in light of the subjects of faith and belief, but it's a good moment to look at them in depth.
First let's recall that the greatest teacher in Greek myth was a centaur (Chiron). Then let's also remember that Centaurs in Greek myth were the most unruly, wild, and disruptive mythical creatures. This dichotomy is present in the image of the centaur itself: half man, half horse. Right there we have maybe one of the simplest descriptions of all religious traditions: the struggle between the 'lower' animal nature and the 'upper' rational nature. For the most part religions have been built upon the idea that the lower animal nature is problematic: sinful, fallen, ugly, irrational, destructive, unreliable, self-destructive, lustful, overly aggressive, self-centered, etc. From this basic problem (let's call it the original sin or the fundamental flaw theory), there comes a huge variety of techniques and wisdom that are applied to address this problem so that humans can evolve upward toward any number of goals or ideals (the centaur's fiery arrow pointing outward and upward): nirvana, enlightenment, the SELF, the higher self, god, redemption, salvation, heaven, etc.
From these techniques and wisdom (really simplifying things here), we can see the development of doctrines, scriptures, dogmas, and religions, as well as a huge amount of cultural/social structures all over the world.
Before we say anything else, the first task is to simply recognize, "This is one incredibly beautiful dimension of the Sagittarian archetype." Because how many of us can deny the reality of these themes and experiences? We are often torn up by what can rightly be called a lower nature, and we often need to seek a higher calling in order to move beyond the painful snares of our lower nature.
However, we can't stop here or we won't have an appreciation for the fullness and diversity of the Centaur/Sag archetype.
The other thing about the centaur is that the rational man grows out of the animal image. Recall that a huge portion of our zodiac is dedicated to animal images! Let's say that the horse part of the centaur represents the unbound presence, freedom, and naturalness of experience. Experience is non-stop. We are always experiencing. Something new, something different. And as we experience we reflect upon our experiences. Our reflections congeal to create wisdom and knowledge. And yet, experience doesn't stop. So why should wisdom and knowledge stop? Here we see the unruly Centaur's first hoof stampings. Because whenever wisdom tries to arrest motion, tries to stop the flow of new experiences, the horse feels as though it is being dominated or controlled by "the man." And what animal enjoys being in a cage? What animal won't gnaw it's own paw off to get out of a trap? We should consider the idea that the freedom and experience seeking horse isn't just a function of our unruly animal nature, but also the truth of the spirit that will always precede or exist simultaneous to wisdom.
A simple statement from the horse half's point of view: wisdom is integral (not outside of) experience. And experience does not stop. Experience is eternal, it has always been happening and it will always be happening. It has no ultimate beginning or end. Therefore our spiritual goals are not reachable in any ultimate sense..not in any sense that stops us from the continual experience of being (which is wild and free, unbound, neither right or wrong, moral or immoral).
When we realize this, the rebellions of the horse against the man (the preacher caught with gay porn, the guru who sleeps with her student, the heretic, the rebel, the wanderer, the gypsy and nomadic hippy who won't get a job) are really just images of the insistence that real wisdom never be separate from ongoing experiences. We rebel against doctrines and dogmas and all forms of "law" when they become barriers to the ongoing process of discovery...to the ongoing process of revelation and truth...which is tantamount to experience itself.
From this point of view can we not better understand our greatest teachers and prophets? So many of them were reformers and radicals. And yet the same temptation overwhelms us when we try to take the teachings of these free-spirited sages and lock them down into the prison of historical doctrines and dogmas. Why are we so afraid of transcending the insights of old prophets and visionaries, religions and traditions? Not "transcend" meaning "one up" but transcend meaning "continue the experience." To have more experiences, and to have new or different insights and wisdom? Can we not imagine a universe where insight, truth, and discovery are as endless and originless as life itself?
This view is the upside down view of the horse half.
Is it necessary to marry the man and horse together? The Greeks didn't think so. Instead they simply presented the "isness" of both archetypal tendencies, as well as their struggles, in one single image. Centaurs are wise and controlled sages (like Chiron), and they're also unruly experience seekers. They are rebels and misfits who break into parties and smash the glassware of doctrines and dogmas, and they are the sages who write scriptures and teach astrology and yoga and meditation and prayer...offering institutions of wisdom for generations to come.
The hardest part of doing archetypal astrology is to resist the temptation to try to "solve" the problems of archetypal dichotomies. We want to "marry the horse and human" into perfect harmony...most of the time we don't realize that this is simply a horse whispering hypnotism being performed by the tricky man on top. A missionary position pretending its diplomatic.
As long as Centaurs are part of our imagination, so are these struggles. The man half will always be more likely to think they need to be solved. The horse half more comfortable with the struggle.
A simple take away: your experiences keep going, and so does your wisdom. Your problems keep persisting, and so do your solutions.
Prayer: may we learn to harness the horse, and may the horse continue to buck and gallop and surprise us along.
The Moon in Capricorn is applying to conjoin Pluto and square Uranus today, before making its last quarter late tonight. As usual this hard turning point of our eclipse cycle is engaging the Pluto/Uranus square and therefore packs a cosmic punch!
Here's a list of what to watch for, along with planetary matches:
* Family/ancestral karma or patterns rumbling beneath the surface, or even erupting into plain view (Moon/Conj Pluto in Capricorn)
* The topic of elders, grandparents, and lineage or inheritance (Moon/Pluto in Capricorn)
* Work that's exhausting but also necessary (Moon in Capricorn)
* The subjects of necessity, coldness, achievement, and determination (Moon in Capricorn)
* The culmination of wisdom around a subject from the past (Moon in Capricorn/Saturn its ruler very slow and retrograde in Sagittarius)
* Inflammatory debates/topics/discussions (Pluto/Uranus activated by the Moon and the Sun conjunct Mercury in Aries)
* Renewing our faith (Jupiter direct)
* Remembering our faith (Jupiter direct)
* The love of discussion, conversation, information, and nervous stimulation (Venus entering Gemini)
* Falling in love over coffee/tea/chatting/email/online dating (Venus entering Gemini)
* Two sides to everything, the trickster (Venus entering Gemini)
* Disillusionment or questioning of a particular kind of faith/belief (Saturn slow/retrograde in Sagittarius and square to Neptune in Pisces)
* Fascination with money, power, greed, machismo, masculinity, muscle, and performance (Mars in Taurus square Jupiter in Leo)
* Unexpected breakthroughs, rebelliousness, resistance, individuation
* Windfalls, super highs and lows, financial crisis and breakthroughs (Mars in Taurus square Jupiter in Leo, now direct)
* Curiosity and sexual deviancy (Venus in Gemini)
* Polyamory, polygamy, the goddess in all her guises (Venus in Gemini)
* Feeling like you're out of the woods but that it's also going to take a longer time to be clear of something (Mars in Taurus square Jupiter direct in Leo)
The feeling that we're regaining faith, vision for the future, and confidence is on the rise, but there's also the distinct sense that it will take a lot of work and that the going might be slower than we wish.
Asking ourselves this question might help: "Would you really learn the deeper lessons of all of this if the turnaround was too quick or too easy?"
We can't learn how to preserve the good things in our life, the good values, the desired future, etc, unless we learn how to hold those desire lightly, free from too much expectation, control, or selfishness. This idea is one written in the stars right now...
Prayer: Let the good things come in time, let our attachment to their fruits live outside of time. May we savor rather than savior. May we taste our desires rather than be swallowed whole by them.
Image courtesy of creative commons: Elaine
Adam Elenbaas is the director of the Nightlight Astrology School. Adam holds an MA and MFA in English and Creative Writing and is one of the founding writers at RealitySandwich. To learn more about Adam, click here.