The Notre Dame fire is yet another remarkable instance of the Grand Fire trine...perhaps even more specifically the exalted Sun in Aries making a trine to a just turned retrograde Jupiter in fiery Sagittarius while the Sun is flowing forth from the squares to the South Node, Saturn, and Pluto in Capricorn...a religious icon, a monolithic structure from the past, at once political, cultural, and theological, is burning down...the news breaks as the Moon travels through the sign of the Virgin...
I see this event as hopeful somehow...relieving even...though I take no joy or pleasure in seeing temples devastated...
* The exalted Sun speaks to peak events, at the south bending, with Pluto and Saturn in Capricorn, the dismantling of old structures, the death and resurrection of old heroes, monuments, and icons.
* The trine to retrograde Jupiter from the Sun shows the simultaneous benefits being provided from the forces of fire and fate...things that must be burned will burn...when the cathedral as old and sturdy as the knees of the world falls, then we too can find our knees again...can say a true prayer once more...
* It is remarkable to note that Notre Dame was literally built on top of the ruins of a temple once dedicated to Jupiter...
* There is no temple that will not eventually return to ashes and water...every rain that falls upon us is the forgiveness of an old temple fire....so many temples burn when we understand that every form in this world is a house of the holy....then...how beautiful it is to imagine this temple being lifted into the clouds, to rain down and release people of its stony grip...
* Every true psalm comes from the pain and outstanding glory of our separation from the holy cities of the lord...when temples burn they also become celestial...they find an ethereal home in the upper spheres...
* Notre Dame just cut the heavenly ribbon in a sphere we can't see with our naked eyes right now
* When we consider the "passion" of the Christ, we must always consider the pain of loving so much that it burns through every fear and every stone and every wall.
* When we consider the "passion" of the Virgin, whose secret zodiacal antiscia is to fiery Aries, we might recognize the purifying and patient fire of the maiden...there is a young winged angel, or many of them, trapped in the forgetful stones of our traditions...and they cannot be released from their servitude, to reclaim their never tainted beauty, until a rosy hero dies or a black stoned edifice is leveled to ash and rises to rain.
* Interestingly, this afternoon, as I was purging my office, I put away all of my Christian icons, except for an image of Christ and Mother Theresa. I thought to myself, "I need less of these icons and more space around me for the love of Christ to breathe, for the love of the Mother to rest."
I didn't know that Notre Dame was burning...
Prayer: Show us your home in the heavens, give us the vision to see your mighty love, lifting us up even as we feel that we're burning down...
The exalted Sun in Aries is moving into a trine with Jupiter today, just as Jupiter has turned retrograde in Sagittarius, and just as Venus in Pisces is moving into a square with Jupiter. On top of this, the Moon in Leo will be forming a grand fire trine with Jupiter and the Sun today.
Here's what to watch for:
* The grand fire trine brings with it a sense of action, urgency, will power, intentionality, and force. Fire may purify, reduce or essentialize, and also mobilize us. Fire can take a variety of energies, events, and circumstances, and somehow boil them down to a single essence, emerging from which we may find a single intention, idea, or focus.
* With the Sun exalted and making a trine with Jupiter, the image of clarity, illumination, and insight are also highlighted. Watch for flashes of insight and illumination to appear, along with the desire to act on whatever insights are arriving.
* With Jupiter having just turned retrograde and with the Sun separating from Saturn and Pluto and the South Node in Capricorn, there is an opportunity to correct mistakes made in the past, to recognize the futility of an old way of doing something, or to begin acting on the lessons learned from a humbling or challenging experience that one has recently had.
* The grand fire trine with the Sun leaving the square of Saturn, and with benefic Venus also squaring Jupiter, may also indicate a moment of innovation, of finding a new solution to an old problem, of finding help from allies, friends, or lovers. There is a "can do" positivism in the air around this transit, but it will take both a sober and realistic attitude about what is and isn't working and about what has and hasn't worked in the past.
* The grand fire trine, along with the separating square from the Sun to Saturn and the South Node also suggest the need for relentless effort, will-power, intentionality, and the courage of a higher form of concentration.
* In the I Ching, the 18th hexagram is sometimes called "Repairing the Damage," and its image is that of the wind moving around the base of a mountain. When something gets in our way, we have to adapt. When a life path, a series of events, or an intention falls apart, perhaps due to a roadblock, we must reflect upon what led to the event and then rectify the situation through deliberate, concentrated efforts. Sometimes something brand new is needed. Sometimes we need to return to something we've forgotten or neglected.
* The first line of hexagram 18 depicts a son cleaning up after the mess made by a father. The son could easily persist in the same errors, make the same mistakes, and find himself reaping the same results, or, by studying where his father's path started to decay and fall apart, he can become wiser and avoid making the same mistakes.
* However, line 1 changing leads to hexagram 26, called "The Taming Power of the Great." This hexagram basically says that if we want to make great changes, avoid great errors, or do great things, spiritually speaking, we need to study the concentration, will power, and wisdom of great people. People who have adapted, changed, evolved, and maintained spiritual concentration over very long periods of time.
* We very often think that we are free. We think that we are co-creators. We think "I create my own reality." And we shun fate. We think of fate as a negative thing. In fact, some astrologers or other diviners will even build entire careers on either trying to remain entirely positive, acting as though the future is 100% up to their clients, or that everything is evolving positively, or they will build their careers on not at all having to deal with the psychological and spiritual reality of fate by remaining "technical," focusing only on making accurate predictions or on using techniques efficiently. But, then we have to ask a few important questions. "If we are so free, can we easily give up our most compulsive behaviors or habits? Can we withdraw our senses from their attachments? Can we control their constant wandering? Can we easily shift our desires and fears, our attention and focus?" The answer of course is "no." If we try to quiet our minds for even just five minutes in meditation, most of us struggle mightily. And so our talk about freedom ends up being just as compulsive and unconscious as the yogurt commercial that drives us straight to the fridge so we can eat "healthy/conscious/green/organic/naturally farmed/vegan prayed over/low sugar yogurt...three times a day, as we count calories and try to look better in our yoga pants while creating confessional Instagram posts about the results we're hoping to manifest later in 2019, just after reposting someone's hilarious meme about how awful the year has been already...."omg...what's up with the stars!?! I'm already over 2019, 2020 NOW please!"
* So, we aren't that free. Or, put differently, we are deeply free but we don't know how to use our freedom because we're so deeply ignorant about the best use of it. We also mistake the defense of our compulsive, worst behaviors, for our freedom and autonomy, becoming wildly aggressive if someone suggests that we are actually lacking maturity, concentration, sobriety, or wisdom. In fact, the very idea that we could become better versions of ourselves is made impossible because of the most famous self-help mantras, which we chant on our way back to eat another cup of yogurt: "I had bad parents," or "I'm not about to become a perfectionist. I'm all about self-love."
* Hexagram 18 to 26, in straight talk: "You want to become your better self, then grow up and do it! Stop talking about your freedom and agency and get back to what you know is healthy. Or innovate a new way of being a better version of you. Don't blame your parents. Don't pretend you're free and empowered already. Recognize the stagnation or decay in your life, on whatever level it may exist, for what it is. Your body, your environment, your situation, is a reflection of how you are using your free will. Don't like it? Use your free will differently and then over time watch as the quality of your consciousness changes. Study the lives and wisdom of people who have walked this path and found ways of being spiritually successful. Do it now. And don't stop doing it or you'll be back here again."
* Such is the fierceness of a grand fire trine with the Sun separating from Saturn, the South Node, and Pluto.
* With Venus squaring Jupiter in the mix, the good news is that there are resources for us to draw on right now, friends to share the journey with, enthusiasm and creativity, and even love, to join hands with as we go.
* Life is like music, and we are like instruments. When we develop actual spiritual staying power in life, we learn how to be played and play along. We learn how to pick back up and follow the beat when we feel out of sync with it. Our freedom does not exist in terms of our ability to be separate. Because by acting separately we exhaust our will and hence we lose our freedom. Our real freedom exists in terms of our ability to develop the will power to stay in harmony with the movements of love.
Prayer: I am an instrument, being played; my sweet Lord, help me to sing along.
The Moon is in Sagittarius today, applying to make our last quarter Moon this afternoon. A very fiery atmosphere from yesterday and last night into today.
If you had trouble sleeping, join the club. If late light creative breakthroughs or eruptions were part of your life (or the last day or so), join the club! A potent last quarter moon that featured a near exact grand fire trine last night. Creative juices flowing…impulse level high…agitation, irritation, and excitement full swing!
Today as the Moon makes its last quarter aspect, a closing set of decans, both in mutable signs, tells the story. When we want something badly enough, what will we sacrifice to get there? What happens when the task is almost complete but the last push before completion is finally the hardest? What happens when we impulsively drain the bank account just after restoring it or just after reaching our savings goal? Even if we’ve used our hard earned resources to get something we’ve wanted for a long time, if we’ve rushed or lunged even a little for what we want next, then there is a chance that the purchase we’ve just made will require another hard line of karmic work before we can truly relax and enjoy what we’ve just acquired.
The other story we’re seeing is the story of ideals and beliefs, and whether or not, in the end, they lead us to where we thought they would. What have we learned from past lifetimes that is coming to a head right now? In some ways we are repeating an old story, but in other ways the accumulated wisdom of our soul is allowing us to do things the RIGHT way this time around. The hard part is that when we see an old pattern surfacing, we get freaked out. As if it’s a total black or white issue. The key here is to pause and take stock. Your fear is healthy, and this is not disaster coming just because it’s familiar or just because it’s been negative in the past. Your fear is also your wisdom and its telling you that you can handle things differently this time around, with mindfulness, courage, trust in others, and loyalty to the oaths and callings you’ve come here to fulfill.
We are so eager to rewrite the past right now, and this isn’t just reckless…it’s also the hand of the daemon guiding our fate. When it’s time it’s time, and all we can do is recognize that our part in this is complicated. We’re not fully to blame and we’re not merely victims of greater forces. Walking the fine line of balance (Libra north node), as we try to do things differently this time around, is what’s called for.
Isn’t it funny how when destiny actually shows up we’re terrified that we’ve made a huge mistake, or that our destiny is actually our fault? This is because destiny is always bound up in the past or a mythic back story, and therefore destiny is risky. Destiny involves our faults and flaws, and destiny involves the feeling that while there is an incredible opportunity in front of us, there is no real guarantee we will get it right.
Well…here’s to all of us utilizing what we’ve learned, what deep knowledge lives inside of us, strapping on our boots and backpack, and taking to the trail of whatever is opening in front of us!
Prayer: may the wisdom of this cycle help us to finish this phase strong, so that we might enter into something familiar with brand new insights
Image by courtesy of Thomas, at creative commons image licensing
The Moon is in Sagittarius this morning and applying to create a grand fire trine today, first by its trine to Uranus in Aries, and then to Jupiter in Leo. Let’s take a closer look.
First of all, a grand fire trine is a complex aspect configuration of three or more planets occupying all three signs of the same element (in this case the fire signs: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius) approximately 120 degrees apart from one planet to the next. The overall picture when you connect the planetary dots looks like a large triangle.
Maybe the most noticeable pattern with a grand trine of any kind is the elemental emphasis. When so many planets are transiting the signs of the same element, we’ll find ourselves consumed by the expression of that particular element. With a grand water trine we might find ourselves consumed with emotion, memory, and psychological complexity, like a large family gathering after a funeral (the watery quality might be overwhelming). With a grand earth trine the image of moving our homes from one house or apartment to another (boxes, details, chores, shopping, lifting, organizing, rearranging, bills, etc). With a grand air trine, the image of the last week of University: tests, exams, papers, long conversations, emails, ideas, all swirling intensity. So with a grand fire trine the same kind of overwhelm is in the air today, expressing itself through the language of fire: intensity, action, ego, spirit, animation, excitement, passion, heat, temper, and irritation.
Since the Moon moves quickly the grand fire trine won’t last long, a matter of one day or even just this afternoon, but if we watch for it then we might just glimpse some fire sprouting out of thin air!
Fire comes first. We know this because all of our fiery creation stories tell us. Whether it’s the big bang or the bible, life begins with an explosion of life and light, heat and scream. Fire comes first. It explodes outward before thoughts and ideas are fully formed into words. In fact words seem to form around fire; the impulse itself descending like a spirit from above. Even the dove as a messenger of peace descends from above: “The word becomes flesh.” In our lives we might experience this as the sudden burst of inspiration, the foot in mouth comment, the burst of energy, the sudden rage or irritation, as well as the break in the clouds, the volley of intentioned arrows towards the target, and the passionate conviction that seems to both simplify and intensify our thoughts (the touch of the fingers to the temples, the closed eyes before the sudden heroic burst of flame from the pupils). Fire comes first.
Fire is the fantasy of the goal. All spiritual ideation is primarily based in fire and fire in goals. When a grand fire trine sweeps through we are consumed by tongues of fire who speak their goals to us. The goals of fire are generally twofold: to become more of itself (to spread and grow stronger, bigger, more intensified and far reaching), thus enhancing its primacy, and to consume as it clings (thus preserving its primacy). For fire to grow it needs more material to feed on: air, wood, etc. If we don’t have arenas of our life set up to hold and feed the fires, then when it comes rushing through it will consume whatever is around us. If all we’ve got is twinkies in the drawer, then the sudden burst of passionate hunger will eat the twinkies, saying “this above all is what I need right now.” Because fire consumes the ten thousand things for the sake of itself, it won’t discriminate. We should therefore be careful that we always have offerings set for the fire. For some people it’s writing, reading, art and culture, for others its sex, exercise, live music and large crowds. When fire comes through if we don’t have something to feed it, if we don’t have somewhere to go, we can easily become consumed. Fiery possession is so often that ego-hungry ghost that blazes through and trashes the place. Afterward we can’t help but feel that something holy has happened, and yet we’re in the wake of destruction…to ourselves, to others, our families and homes, our jobs, etc.
We shape fire by what we give it. We limit and hold fire by how we allow it to spread. This starts, this discriminate feeding begins, when we recognize that the ideas of primacy and spirited urgency are fantasies. Recall how we started with the idea of fiery origins? To recall we have to pause, stop, and call something forward that is still “back there.” We can do this too with fire. Fire isn’t literally “first” because origins are “first” a fantasy. Once we move past the literalism of life’s beginnings and endings, once we move past the concrete fire and into the imaginal fire, then we can recognize fire’s self surety, its primacy, it’s “I am firstness,” as an imaginal truth, a characteristic or stripe on its animal fur, rather than a metaphysical statement or ultimate truth claim. To do this means to perceive fire’s relationship with the other elements from the get-go, which is difficult to do since one of fire’s greatest gifts is its all consuming sense of primacy and “firstness.”
A very common example…
One day you find yourself swept up into an intense wave of heated enthusiasm. First you think to yourself, “I need to go running,” or maybe, “I need to go shopping.” The energy is bursting so you have to choose quickly…”I’m here and I come first,” says the fire, “Now let’s go!” You recognize that the fire is indiscriminate and that you have a window of time where you can capitalize on the energy. With a little discrimination, perhaps the result of age and the realization that fire’s “coming firstness” tends to sweep you up in misguided fantasies of what’s important, you step back, remember that the basement needs organizing, and decide to use the burst to get something done that will not only make you happier in the long run, but that will provide you with clearer and more precise options for what to feed the fire next, when it’s next burst comes through. Because, you recall, you stop and reflect, that there is something called a “long run.” The “long run” is the recognition that fire’s fantasy of beginnings and endings is moving within the context of eternity, which has no beginning or ending.
Fire seduces us into thinking that vision boards, right now, when the inspiration hits, will be more productive to our “life goals,” than pruning your closet, cleaning your refrigerator, or writing a thank you note or even clearing your email inbox. Of course it’s not that one is better than another, but fire’s supreme firstness will always try to convince us that its urgency comes before anything else.
On the flip side this can be just the medicine we need when we’ve become too anal and discriminate. Like the image of an obsessively organized shut-in suddenly kicking the door open and filling her mouth with whip cream as she runs through the cul-de-sac. Fire liberates us because it says, “I come first, stop trying to put so much before me…before life itself.”
Is fire life itself? Fire would have us believe it, and when we see her face, we’re believers.
Fire often makes us feel like we’re in love. Fire as love takes us to that aching place of universal sentimentalism. “The universe told me it was true,” or “the universe aligned everything to happen perfectly.” When all things speak to us in synchronicities, simultanoues confirmations of our destiny or meaningfulness, we should probably check our pants because they are probably on fire. Does that make fire a liar? We say “all is full of love,” when what we mean is “fire is all, fire is first, fire fire, I want fire.”
Fire of course mythically attracts the titan thief, Prometheus. Just like when the wave of energy comes through and we take off shopping, vision boarding, or hearing the voice of the uni-verse (uni means oneness, primacy, firstness), when fire’s primacy convinces us that “I am all there is,” and “let’s have it right now,” is fire not deceiving us with its sulfuric impatience? If we grab the twinkie and run don’t we become like the ill-fated Prometheus, punished by the gods eternally? Chained to the isolation cliffs of our metaphysical ambitions, and forced to have our angry livers plucked out over and over again by a giant bird of prey…the same descending bird of spirit whose image is the dove? The same dove that binds Prometheus back together only to set him up for more torture again by sunrise.
Fire is an angry lover. So vital. So free. So first. But also imaginal. Forming and informing the cosmos of itself over and over again, fed by the presence of what its given, but also given to the idea that it feeds itself alone.
So, today, where will our messiah complex lead us? It led me to write this. Because I tend to feed the fire with writing and reading. The fantasy of progress along the fiery road of writers whose names are written in the stars. The Moon in Sagittarius trines Uranus in Aries and Jupiter in Leo.
Prayer: help us to burn the fire’s firstness in the flames of eternity
Image by courtesy of Laura Canovaro at creative commons image licensing
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Adam Elenbaas is a professional astrologer and the founder 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.