Happy New Moon Saturday everyone! The New Moon is in late Pisces today, just days away from the Spring Equinox and making a trine to Jupiter in Scorpio. Meanwhile, Venus and Mercury and moving ever closer to a square with Pluto, and Mars is about to change signs into Capricorn this afternoon.
Here's what to watch for:
* A New Moon means a new beginning, and in the sign of Pisces with a trine to Jupiter, we are talking about a Jupiterian flavored new beginning, which means renewed faith and spirit, encouragement, optimism, confirmation, growth, proliferation, and enthusiasm.
* Look at the whole-sign house of Pisces in your chart, or the late degrees of Pisces (26-30) to find in what areas of life you will be experiencing this new beginning.
* Remember that while this combination brings a rush of Jupiterian energy to the forefront right now, it may also invite a certain level of pride, hubris, grandiosity, or inflated idealism. Remember that great enthusiasm runs out very quickly if we don't find ways of holding, circulating, and constantly tending/filling it within.
* More on the Spring Equinox in the next few days, but just remember that even though today is a New Moon we are in the equivalent of a breakthrough and new beginning within the solar year, as well, so this Moon cycle will be especially powerful on the waxing side of the cycle, as the Sun crosses the zero Aries point.
* Keep in mind that for the next week, as Mercury and Venus continue traveling close together in the fierce, Mars ruled sign of Aries, they will also be approaching a square to Pluto. The tensions and stakes are rising higher right now for these two planets and will soon approach a place of critical mass, climax, and catharsis.
* While Mercury is a planet related to the mind, speech, technology, communication, information, and the intellect, Venus is the planet of love, relationship, harmony, beauty, sensuality, and desire. With both planets transiting the Mars-ruled, masculine fire sign of Aries, we should not be surprised if our inner life (our thoughts, feelings, and inner world) is pretty heated at the moment. The same goes for our relationships, jobs, and general social life. Harmony is there to be found right now, but now without some degree of confrontation, passion, and vigor.
* As these two planets reach a square to Pluto in Capricorn the tension will mount and we will finally reach a point of breakthrough. The breakthrough may resemble a death, an eruption of force, a release of pent-up energy, or the purging of something toxic and the cleaning and healing of a wound.
* Sometimes we try to soften the blow of Pluto by saying that Pluto provides regeneration and rebirth. This is true, but it's also important to recognize that often Pluto represents nothing more than force, depth, and power, and not necessarily the good kind, just as Mars is sometimes about violence and not courage. For Pluto to be constructive in our lives we have to learn how to see every breakdown as something that could have, or maybe should have, been worse, as something that is offering us a lesson, and as something that is offering us an opportunity for healing, transformation, and reform or spiritual growth. If we don't learn to see things in this way, then generally speaking our experiences of Pluto is no guarantee. A Plutonian transit may literally be nothing more than one more traumatizing experience after another...until at some point we are forced by the pressure of our own pressurized black hole to become a star again. So, with Pluto, it's so much easier when we recognize in advance where the fault lines are forming and where the steam is coming up from the cracks. It's so much easier with Pluto if we learn how to say "yes," and submit ourselves to a transformational process.
* Finally, today Mars moves into Capricorn where it is exalted. Yesterday I covered this and other topics in depth in a Video Blog. Check it out on the home page of my website. This is a very productive sign for Mars, but Mars with Saturn and Pluto will also be intensifying the Saturn/Pluto dynamic quite a bit. Look to the whole-sign house of Capricorn in your birth chart for a deeper look at what areas of your life are receiving these influences.
* Remember, that while there is tremendous progress, work, discipline, and industry in Mars' transit of Capricorn, it is also possible to get a little Machiavellian during this time (the ends justify the means). If it's worth putting your full focus and determination into something, then it's also worth doing in an ethical, considerate, and patient manner. Shortcuts aren't shortcuts if they complicate things or cost you more time and energy in the long run. And remember, while this Mars is incredibly hard-working it is also very shrewd and can teach us a lot about how to make progress through better mental/spiritual discernment.
* Finally, remember, that all of these transits reflect a world that is always, in a sense "transiting." So the point of all of this astrological mapping is to help us find contentment. When we know these forces are working their way through us, we may also foster a healthy distance from them. Astrology helps us to become steady, bright Moons, full of the reflective knowledge of the heavens that allows us to pass through this world with less manic reactivity. But reading astrology alone is not enough. Contentment is dependent on "content," as one of my teachers likes to say. If you're not putting good content into your mind and body, regularly, then you won't find contentment. Astrology should be just one small portion of your spiritual diet, so to speak.
Prayer: Help us to restore and renew our faith and devotion, each and every day. Where there is conflict, bring us home to your peace. Give us eyes and ears to see the suffering in the world around us, so that we might speak only words of love and compassion.
The balsamic Moon is in Sagittarius this morning, conjunct Saturn. Meanwhile Mars is opposing Uranus and will perfect this evening, and Venus is almost exactly trine to Neptune. New Moon tomorrow!
Here's a list of what themes watch for:
* The end of a cycle (Dark Moon)
* A sudden accident, confrontation, or unexpected/shocking encounter (Mars/Uranus)
* A surge of fast moving energy, aggression, competition (Mars/Uranus)
* Innovation, excitement, unexpected outcomes (Mars/Uranus)
* Philosophical or religious debates or disagreements, new commitments (Moon, Saturn, Sun in Sagittarius)
* The beginning of a new cycle (New Moon tomorrow)
* The serious, achievement oriented mindset (Mercury in Capricorn)
* The subtle, sensual, dark, erotic, and secret (Venus/Neptune)
* The dark yearning, longing, romanticizing, imaginative, dreamy (Venus/Neptune in Scorpio)
* Witch hunts, supernatural forces, spiritual warfare (Saturn/Neptune)
* Good luck and positive outcomes (Jupiter overcoming the Sun by Superior square as the Sun's ruler)
Over the next few days as our new moon cycle beings, Jupiter (who rules Sagittarius) will be overcoming the Sun in Sagittarius in a close, degree based aspect. While I'm curious to watch the symbolism of this transit over the next few days, one thing it may provide us with is some good luck or some unexpectedly positive outcomes. Given the presence of the Mars/Uranus opposition this could be the kind of transit that buffers against or mitigates some of that intensity. Though Mars/Uranus can be electrifying, dynamic, competitive and innovative, it's also one of those transits where I generally avoid arguments because they escalate too quickly, and I tend to stay away from Whole Foods, or other centers of mass chaos and "good will." So knowing we have a pretty positive aspect from Jupiter coming through right now is maybe somewhat relieving.
Prayer: Direct our thoughts and our minds to the heavenly realms, direct our hearts and our hands to the richness of the earth, and guide us peacefully into the last Moon cycle of the year.
The Moon is in Aries this morning, and the Sun has just entered the sign of Sagittarius.
First a thank you to everyone who contributed yesterday to a fast start to my kickstarter. In the first day of raising funds we've crossed the $2,000 mark on the way toward our $7500 goal. If you read my horoscopes or if they have made an impact on your life in the past year, please consider contributing to another year of daily horoscopes in 2016! You can visit the kickstarter link here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1163009170/nightlight-daily-horoscopes-2016. Every little bit helps, and today I have posted a new reward tier. If you contribute $75 to my kickstarter you will receive a special year ahead, personally recorded Tarot reading (sent to you via mp3). I've made a limited number of these available, so contribute today while they are still around. Last year they went pretty fast!
Meanwhile, let's talk about Sagittarius today, since we've just entered Sagittarius season!
First let's recall a simple fact that many people who study astrology don't know about. The zodiac sign's meanings were not originally derived from constellation images. In fact, the zodiac itself is better understood as a mathematical and numerological system of divination whose perfect twelve divisions are only meant to be loosely signified by the constellations in the sky. In fact, if you simply look at the zodiacal constellations along the ecliptic you'll quickly realize that they are unequal and don't make very good mapping tools in this regard.
Personally it took me a while to actually feel the significance of this simple observation in my work. In ancient astrology the signs were called the houses or domiciles of the planets. What we now call "houses" were actually referred to as "places," whereas the word "house" would have been more appropriately describing a sign. So, for example, Sagittarius might be poetically referred to as the celestial mansion or home/house of Jupiter. The realm of Sagittarius is thus not the realm of the constellation of the Centaur, but rather the Centaur is a sign post in the sky that refers TO the mathematical division of the ecliptic that lands between 240 and 270 degrees of the ecliptic, starting from the vernal equinox point. That 30 degree division falls during approximately the last thirty days of Autumn and leads to the Winter Solstice at its conclusion. This thirty degree division was referred to as fiery and common or double bodied, a time of year or a place in the ecliptic that shares in both the most stable qualities of Autumn and the onset of Winter. An area of the zodiac that was considered masculine, and the qualities of fire associated with the sign were heat and dryness. The Centaur was the constellation image for this domain. I now like to think of it like the banner or sigel of a celestial tribe, realm, kingdom or family. Maybe I've just watched too many Game of Thrones episodes! However, it is interesting to note that the word "sigel" actually means "Sun" in old english, and sigels were commonly thought to have symbolic/magical properties.
The reason I'm laboring these points is that it can help us to step back and see the signs in terms of these very vast realms of the planets, rather than immediately jumping into archetypal or psychological or personal possessive language. Like "Sagittarius' are cocky and wise," or "Sagittarius' love to party and travel," etc. Or even laboring long explanations about the mythic symbolism of Centaurs. To make a literary correlation...if you've read the Game of Thrones series, you know that each family has a sigel. So the Starks have the dire wolf, the Lannisters have the lion, etc. But what makes game of thrones so interesting is the way in which each unique character, while bearing some resemblance to their sigel, has their own destiny or fate that is far too complicated and specific to be adequately summarized by their sigel.
I think similarly about the fact that I'm from Minnesota, which gives me a certain amount of credibility, for example, when discussing the TV series and film, "Fargo." I hail from the land of Minnesota, which is kind of like saying I was born while the Moon was in Cancer or Jupiter was in Sagittarius (the home signs of these planets). Within the conversation about Fargo, I have a certain amount of authority on the subject because I bear the mark of Fargo's celestial sigel on my very polite, mid-western forehead. But now I'm living in Maryland, vis a vis New York City and a long excursion into Amazonian psychedlic shamanism. In those realms I am very much a "guest" and not at all the expert. Those sigels are not my home sigels, you might say. Yet now I know something about them...
For example, when people ask me to talk to them about Ayahuasca or someone who has never lived in or been to NYC asks me about it, I have some experiences to draw on, but even so my experiences refer to landscapes and social/cultural niches that are tremendously vast and more foreign to me, and so I have to speak about them with far less topographical expertise or confidence than I might speak about the realm of Minnesota.
Zodiac signs are like celestial dimensions. So how much more vast are these realms from the vastness of the human realms we still find ourselves tremendously overwhelmed by?
How big and wide and diverse is the masculine/fire realm of Jupiter? Last time I checked Jupiter could have almost become a star. And while I love the mythic image of the centaur...it's also a practice for me to see the constellation image like a simple sigel or banner waving above the gateways to a land that has too many entrances to count, and too much land, space, terrain and depth to neatly summarize by words like "journey, higher learning, and freedom loving."
When mythology becomes typology, we forget the vast realms from which the planetary symbolism lives and breathes and flows forth into our lives.
So for today, I'm standing back and choosing not to talk about Sagittarius (just for today) in terms of "types of people" or "myths become behaviors." Instead I'm seeing a tremendously large gateway opening into a vast realm, the celestial home of Jupiter. Above the gateway I see a banner blowing in the cosmic winds of deep space...the image of a Centaur.
Prayer: Helps us to recognize the home lands of the planets, rather than shopping at the touristy adjective stands outside their gates...
Celebrities and their astrologists practice an ancient psychological form of art.
A few weeks ago I was invited to do astrology readings backstage at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles. I’ve been a professional astrologer for going on five years now, time enough to consider the enduring and even mythic relationship between celebrities and astrologers. When I first began my career, I was unexpectedly busy very quickly, seeing nearly five hundred clients in my first year of reading birth charts. With that early success came a number of high profile “star” clients. And though I would say that, mostly, celebrity clients are like every other client an astrologist sees (they worry about mostly the same life issues—romantic troubles, career and money problems—and have mostly the same questions—what’s in store for me in the future? will my relationship last? etc.), it’s also true that the relationship between celebrities and astrologers is unique. I want to share how, recently, I came to see this dynamic more clearly.
I assume when I write that not every reader is hip to the language of astrology. The term conjures horoscopes in women’s magazines or Sunday newspapers, or the hyperclichéd mechanical mannequin in an old corner shop, red neon light image of a blank hand, and words like “fortune teller.” These are potent images of course, and so it’s not my intention to mock or even to displace them, rather to start by clearing up some misconceptions.
In fact, relatively few contemporary people have a grasp on astrology’s claims philosophically, scientifically, or spiritually. Astrologers have been employed by orthodox spiritual leaders like Popes and Lamas, kings and politicians, presidents (like Ronald Reagan), and bankers (like JP Morgan), common people and celebrities alike. Astrologers have famously predicted cataclysms like the Great Fire of London and the Black Plague, the rise and fall of rulers and dynasties, and the accurate timing of major life events for millions of people. At the same time, attempts to test or “measure” astrology in any empirically rigorous sense fail. There is no scientific proof for astrology, and yet we sophisticated practitioners of the craft—those of us who study in-depth chart reading and forecasting as well as vast amounts of historical astrological technique—remain in business, and we also remain in the employ of some very powerful people, just as we have for thousands of years.
To see how astrologers remain powerful, and close to power, absent evidence supporting our practices, we’ll eventually have to actually practice a little astrology. But the first thing I want to tell you about astrology is that it’s more like music and less like science. Astrology is systematic, just like playing a song in a certain key is systematic. It requires an artistic intelligence, just like music does; but the most salient thing about astrology is not its methods or theory, it’s what it does to people. Astrology helps make resonant the timelessness of individuals’ behavioral patterns. So when we explain to someone what it means to be an Aries Sun or a Cancer Moon, we are effectively poeticizing her identity—transposing it, if you prefer, into the language of myth and metaphor.
All of which is to say that questions about whether or not astrology is “scientifically valid” are a lot like someone rudely interrupting a performance of one of Beethoven’s late quartet to ask if you can prove its beauty, as though the enjoyment of Beethoven’s music or its effects upon the soul are dependent on something that would count as “proof”—a word that grows more and more absurd, for most, in the presence of whatever truly moves us.
I’m not saying that astrology is a matter of faith. I’m quite literally suggesting that astrology is a psychological form of art. The forecasts that astrologers make are not, I believe, something any one should spend her time trying to prove. Better to spend our time speaking and teaching the language to others, so that others can judge for themselves whether it enriches action. Don’t we know by now that science too sees through a glass darkly? In any case, I don’t know one astrologer who can tell you how or why it is that astrology works—and herein lies the first archetypical parallel between celebrity and astrology.
It’s my observation that many successful people are acutely aware of fame as a mysterious, and mostly unpredictable phenomenon. One of my celebrity clients, for example, was struggling as an actor when he got the call back to audition for a famous sitcom that would eventually make him a wealthy and internationally recognized movie star. Another TV star client of mine once said about getting his break, “It felt like destiny or luck, and I became paranoid that it was all going to be taken away or that I didn’t really deserve it.” Nearly every high-profile client I’ve seen has a story along similar lines: “It felt like fate or destiny the way my success happened.” And alongside this narrative pattern is the anxious awareness, among celebs, of how fickle the fates can be. A meteoric rise to the top of the charts can lead to a crash and burn rehab documentary.
In the language of astrology, the rise to power is represented very well by the sign of Leo, the lion, and its ruling planet, the Sun. Also by the planet Jupiter, ruler of the sign of Sagittarius, the centaur. For my celebrity clients, this pattern already exists as an archetype. The Lion is a symbol of royalty, of power and undeniable presence (who could miss the stature of a huge lion!). Yet the Lion remains entirely dependent upon an audience, which is represented by Leo’s polar opposite, Aquarius. Aquarius represents humanity and “the people.” Kings are either beloved by the people, or the people displace the king and revolt. Within every celebrity’s awareness of her “luck” or “good fortune,” in other words, there is something like a good king or queen, someone who is aware of the need to remain in touch with “the people” upon whose presence their fate mysteriously rests.
On the other hand, I’ve also had the not-so-great pleasure of seeing several celebrity clients with really big egos. For these clients the lion imagery is different. The celebrity lion becomes bold and cocky, overly impressed with itself; no gods or guides are at work in its affairs. “I want to know if this thing that I want will happen or not?” these clients say. If you say no, then they generally act as though they don’t believe you or that you’re a phony or a fraud. If you say “yes,” then they act as though there is now cosmic evidence to support their delusions of grandeur. Why would someone like this see an astrologer? Exactly. Their very presence at readings gives them away. I haven’t retained any of these kinds of celebrity clients because of the way I’ve chosen to read their charts. And to be honest there have been only a few.
An analogous sensibility is typical of politicians. Astrologers have been talking a lot about these characters lately—particularly after the famous astrologer to Ronald Regan, Joan Quigley, passed away this October of 2014—who continue to make up a significant subpopulation of our clientele. The public tends to see these people, as often they see themselves, as rationalists: making big, consequential decisions depends on tracking patterns of behavior. Yet among my politician and banker clients, running for office or making large investments, I’ve noticed a consistent appreciation for a kind of cosmic “X factor” at play in the body politic or the market place. This fascination is very much in line with the archetypal dichotomy between Jupiter and Mercury, or Sagittarius and Gemini. Where the politician or investor must lead people forward in a clear direction, with charisma and certainty about the future (Jupiter and Sagittarius), every politician or investor also knows very well that whatever information is always capable of being manipulated, public perceptions are highly changeable—that hence a good bet today might look awful by tomorrow (these qualities are more Mercurial, or more in line with the sign of Gemini). Wherever there is confidence and clarity, the importance of uncertainty and ambiguity are salient. Bankers and politicians see us astrologers because underneath the dogma of whatever they’re selling the public, is the inherent uncertainty about how they came to occupy their own position.
These paradoxes in the consciousness of powerful figures, they are in fact no more intense than those that send normal people to astrologers. Our psyches work in elaborate relational patterns. Astrology is constantly signing the opposing aspects of reality back to people as complimentary—allowing them to see their own concerns anew, with incredible specificity.
And this is key to the reason that celebrities hold a special significance for the destiny of astrology. The fact that celebrities see astrologers, and the strange aura that has always surrounded the relationship, is a reminder that the stars are people. Their success itself is a mythic archetype. It is only because they’re human and relatable that celebrities signal something beyond themselves and somehow written in the stars—a possible fate or destiny for the rest of us. And conversely their concern for their fate is a reminder that we are all just human too: Aquarius.
It was when I was doing readings backstage in the gifting suite at the Music Awards, of all places, that most of these realizations came to me. I had had similar thoughts many times before, but I had never been inundated with so many celebrities at once. The insights seemed to crystallize very quickly. As each celebrity came through the suite I watched from a distance as flashes went off and publicists answered questions, staffers walked through with armfuls of expensive clothing gifted to them for free. As the artists would eventually make eye contact with me, see and realize who I was and what I was doing, for just one or two moments I would see the star role disappear; I watched them become self-conscious and vulnerable. More than it was my job to predict anything, success or failure, I believe it was my job to provide for that exact experience.
This article originally appeared in The New Inquiry
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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.