As Mercury's combustion with the Sun in Scorpio is intensifying and as we are rapidly approaching the Full Moon, Mars in Libra is also separating from a square to Pluto.
Here's what to watch for:
* The potential for diplomatic, ethical, or philosophical conflicts of values, loyalties and priorities abound.
* Passive aggression, gossip, backstabbing, or pc violence.
* An aggressive concern with justice, truth, or equality.
* Ethical concerns masking personal agendas.
* Vanity and the anger associated with being socially embarrassed.
* Triangulation or trying to play people off one another due to an inability to directly confront someone or something.
* Flipping ethical or philosophical loyalties based on trends or based on the desire to be popular, liked, or successful.
* Being faced with the difficult reality of something that you have been pretending is beautiful, ideal, perfect, etc.
* Cloak and dagger tactics in the name of the good, the beautiful, the true, etc.
* Ruthless comparisons, cloaked jealousy and competition, self-serving do-gooders.
* Aggressive justice-seeking. Intolerance for bullies. Progressivism and advocacy, but also the potential for self-righteousness and arrogance mixed in.
These dynamics are especially strong right now and will be over the next few days heading into the Full Moon in Taurus, thanks to Mars separating from Pluto and the Moon approaching Aries, which will further emphasize the Mars in Libra themes mentioned above.
Now an I Ching Meditation on the upcoming energies of the Full Moon...
* The 43rd hexagram of the I Ching is sometimes called "resolute determination," and it asks a few key questions of us, "What do you stand for? Where is your place? Where do you need to make a clean break or clear proclamation of priorities or feelings?"
* Hexagram 43 is the "say how you feel or shut the hell up" hexagram. It has little tolerance for childish communication dynamics, or a wishy-washy set of priorities, beliefs, or values.
* Hexagram 43 says, "Sure, it might be risky to stand up for something, or to just clearly state and stick to your priorities or decisions, but doing so will also create the breakthrough you're looking for."
* This hexagram is in line with where the current astrological trends are carrying us between now and the end of the month. We are moving toward a moment of critical confrontation and breakthrough.
* Can we imagine that this moment of clarity, this breaking of the dense clouds, may only require an inner shift of perspective? Can we imagine that this proclamation doesn't NEED to shed the metaphorical blood of an opponent? Do others HAVE to be wrong for us to be right?
* Line 3 of Hexagram 43 says "To be powerful in the cheekbones brings misfortune."
* This line means, "don't be too much of a hard-ass." One translation literally reads, "You could be hard, rigidly unresponsive, concentrating on the face you present to others. This would repel relationships and lead to misfortune. Or you could decide like the noble one, who takes as stand as herself without wearing a mask of strength. Such supple authenticity opens the way for real exchange with real people: full, free, enriching and messy. Your dignity may not fully survive. But the rain released from such a mess will again make new things grow."
* Hexagram 17 results from the changing lines in today's first hexagram. It is called "Following."
* Where are we being nudged and guided along? Are we flowing with things or staying rigidly stuck somewhere? If we are growing, then we are being carried by something bigger than ourselves. If we think that by taking some kind of rigid personal stand that we are growing, we are mistaken. Rigidity is close to death, not life. So, how do we make a bold, striking change without doing so from a place of control or rigidity?
* The myth is that everything is always INTENSE and either fully in our control or fully out of our control. The myth is that we need this kind of drama to feel alive, but these extremes are actually the signs of an underlying numbness. They are the signs of a cold or anxious heart.
* The open and healthy heart, on the other hand, even when it has something big to say or do, even when something huge is at stake, is always listening, always open, always fluid, always moving, always open to feel and exchange with others. It is warm, protected, safe, intelligent, and generous at once.
* If we feel that our values, our insights, our opinions, are so important, so valuable, so right, so significant, but we do not have love, then nobody will be truly influenced by anything we have to do or say. Our proclamations, clarifications, bold value claims, will be the stuff of vanity karma...fashion statements presented to nobody that is really listening anyway.
* When BIG changes and clarifications are effortless, on the other hand, then every resistance we meet along the way becomes interesting, beautiful, and engaging.
* Hexagram 17 finally tells us that leaders come from those who have known what it means to follow and serve first.
* When we follow the humble heart, even when taking a stand for something, then we notice that other people follow our example and soon the world begins to reflect a higher order and a higher love.
* Hexagram 17 insists that how we do things matters so much more than what we do. And so, if we are trying to force anything right now, even if it's the "right thing," we will meet with misfortune.
Prayer: Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. And where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console. To be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. And it's in pardoning that we are pardoned. And it's in the dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen. (St. Francis)
The Sun has entered Scorpio this week, and ruling planet Mars is in its exile in Libra.
* The Sun in Scorpio represents the most solid and stable time of solar descent in the zodiacal year.
* Each day takes us deeper and deeper into darkness.
* Darkness is materiality, the unconscious, and also the soul, which can only be found when we see beyond material, sunshine appearances and into the depths, into the invisible.
* Scorpio is the feminine home of Mars.
* Mars and Scorpio are likened to each other. Mars and Scorpio together is the drive toward the darkest, the drive toward oblivion.
* Mars and Scorpio is the critical awareness of darkness, the guardian that protects and guards against the darkness that lurks.
* Mars and Scorpio is the vision of what is real, what lies behind the surface, the difference between an appearance and a truth, the different between a facade, charade or act and sincerity or authenticity. Mars and Scorpio together drive out what is false or what threatens to undermine.
* Mars and Scorpio obsesses, confronts, waits, and explodes.
* Mars and Scorpio possesses, catalyzes, and destroys.
* Mars and Scorpio penetrates into the darkness, diving deep, hiding, secretive, fierce, protective, and possibly denying or holding to the death.
* Mars and Scorpio are the life force of the soul, the deep well of water, and the quenching of immaterial thirst. Mars and Scorpio are the bliss of pain and the pain of bliss. The one who sees both in everything, the erotic overlord, invisible but sensed everywhere.
* Now, imagine, Mars in the sign of Libra, hosting the Sun while traveling in the airy and lofty masculine abode of Venus. A diplomat with a dark agenda. A smooth talker with hidden disease. A sophisticated warrior, driving out falseness one intelligent exchange after another.
* Now, imagine, an old Jupiter in Scorpio, being swallowed by the Sun. The picture of pride and denial, finally dying. The image of a puffed up persona, finally facing the truth. The downfall and darkness of the one in power. Or, the moment of inner vision, of seeing the soul, of the last breath and rush of colors, of the eternal visible through last closed eyes.
* When we know a sign and its ruling planet and its gender (which we can really think of as yin or yang) deeply, then we can read the relationship between the Sun in a sign and its host in another sign. So frequently we jump to the straight read of a planet in a sign without taking the time to articulate what it might mean for a planet to be traveling in one sign while it's host is in another.
Think for example of this analogy. You're in a dark and mysterious castle. You're wandering around looking at all the dark relics and puzzling onyx statues. This is Scorpio, the feminine home of Mars, goddess of war. Her home is draped in the colors of mid Autumn and the pinnacle of her castle is the icy image of the winter solstice.
Now, imagine that anything you want to do in the dark castle has to be executed by Mars while Mars is in the airy Venusian sky castle, which is filled with diplomats, laughter, fine crystal, and carefully coordinated colors. It might seem bizarre, but this is close to how we have to read the presence of the Sun in Scorpio right now. The Sun in Scorpio is being toned by the fact that it's host is in its exile in Libra.
* Jupiter in Scorpio is hosted by Mars in Venus. The Sun in Scorpio is hosted by Mars in Venus. The Sun is swallowing old Jupiter in the autumn castle of Scorpio, while it's host is in Libra.
Play with those images and see what you find. My apologies that today's horoscope is so late. I'm battling a cold again!
Prayer: Teach us to see the temples of the stars. Teach us to feel free, here in eternity.
Mars is entering the sign of Libra today, the home sign of Venus.
* Although sometimes we refer to any planet in the sign opposite its own as being it its "detriment," it was also classically said to be in its exile. The connotation of the word exile is completely different from the word "detriment," which sounds technical, dry, and negative to most people's ears.
* Mars is in its exile in Venus' sign because Mars becomes the outsider, the wanderer, the foreigner, the stranger in a strange land, in the temple of Venus. Mars is out of his element in Venus' sign because Mars and Venus are planetary contraries in the classical language of astrology.
* Mars in Venus' sign is both the march of political progress and the "pc" rage of the left. It's the fine line between the self-righteousness or noble warrior. Today we'll spend more time with and expand upon these particular images of Mars in Libra.
* In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna that there are three modes of material nature, translated as goodness, passion, and ignorance. In order for goodness to reign, passion and ignorance have to be held in check or suppressed. Similarly, in order for any one mode to reign, the other modes have to be held in check or suppressed. Regardless of which mode we prefer, or which mode we feel we is best, Krishna tells us that insofar as we are material beings, we are in the service of the constant competing and changes of domination among the modes of material nature. So when it comes to fighting for "goodness," we are always suppressing other fundamental aspects of nature.
* Think for example of a beautiful garden. In order to make sure the garden remains a beautiful and serene place, constant upkeep is necessary. We have to cut back the weeds, guard against excessive heat and dryness, keep out the critters, etc. And yet, while walking in the garden when it's peaceful we tend to think of that peace and serenity as completely "natural." We forget about the other forces we have to suppress, constantly, in order to maintain that feeling of "natural" beauty.
* In the world it's the same thing. Most of us hold the ideals of peace and goodness, but it is taboo to bring attention to the fact that in order for this peace and goodness to be maintained we literally have to suppress many other competing and totally "natural" forces. We are insistent that goodness is natural and everything else is unnatural, but Krishna tells us that each of the material modes insists upon its dominance, even the mode goodness, at the cost of the other modes. In other words, each of the modes, when it is in power, thinks of itself as the MOST natural. Krishna also tells us that because nothing in the material world is permanent that ultimately people who are attached to goodness may be perpetuating the wheel of karma, and future births, just as much as those who are attached to ignorance or passion.
* At this point, people often tune out because the immediate implication of the Gita seems to be that we are somehow supposed to deny our material nature in order to find spiritual peace. This feels to us impossible. Aristotle said that we are by nature political/social animals, and so it would appear that the path of yoga (and other similar paths) is asking us to detach from or disengage from our basic social nature. Most of us see disengagement from social/political action as irresponsible at best and morally or even spiritually reprehensible at worst. And yet, I think most of us also recognize that what Krishna teaches Arjuna about the modes of material nature is absolutely true. We can't ever create ultimate or permanent goodness in the material world because change is constant and because our material nature includes forces other than goodness that are always jockeying for supremacy. So what do we do?!
* Krishna tells Arjuna that the path of yoga means both doing our material duties while also remaining unattached to the fruits of our actions. This is epitomized in the Gita by Krishna encouraging Arjuna to fight in a battle that Arjuna is reluctant about because he will be battling against his own family members (a civil war).
* We find ourselves in a similar situation, all the time; predictable extremes ensue, and astrology is all about recognizing them. If we fight for political progress, what props up our sense of righteousness, happiness, rightness, morality, integrity, honor, etc, are the results we seek in contrast to those people or values that oppose them. Anybody who asks us to compromise is an enemy. Anybody who asks us to consider our own culpability within the constant competing of the material modes of nature is a victim blamer. Anybody who tries to get us to think about the fact that dominance of one mode is exactly what perpetuates the eventual dominance of the other modes is a spiritual bi-passer, or worse, they are "privileged" or actually an unconscious member of the wrong team. And by means of this kind of hyper-reactionary vigilance, taken up in the name of "peace on earth," the same predictable battle is fought, perpetually.
* On the other hand, people collapse into the spiritual extreme and they try to suppress material nature altogether. Political action of all kinds is condescended toward, the unconscious biases of our material natures are ignorantly disregarded as we attempt to float above their obvious influences, and although we absolutely cannot avoid being material creatures, we go about acting just as dissociatively and arrogantly as ever, completely unaware of where we actually stand on the battlefield.
* Can we entertain the idea that the most radical political and spiritual position always involves learning how to hold the tension between passion and humility? Can we consider the sobering and tremendously challenging idea that whatever arrogant zeal there might be within our visions of spiritual OR material or historical or social progress and evolution, it is perpetuating an all too familiar, cyclical, and recuring arms race?
* We live in a culture right now that has lost track of how radical it is to hold the tension of the opposites. It's easy to be a victim, and it's easy to blame victims. It's easy to spiritually bi-pass our political responsibilities, and it's easy to forget that our souls live beyond these cyclical and mostly predictable material and political dramas. It's easy to speak up and it's easy to be silenced. It's difficult to speak up and embody the silence of genuine humility at once. It's difficult to be in this world but not of it. It's difficult to find the motivation to bail water on a sinking ship. It's difficult to build a good ship, one that you know will not last forever.
* How we do things sometimes matters more than what we do. How we hold our beliefs and our calling is sometimes more important than which calling or form of action is the right one, whether we consider the right call to action to be more "spiritual" OR more "political."
All of this is a meditation on the archetypal tension between the opposites, a relationship that defines every planet's position in its place of power as well as its place of exile. This month it's Mars and Venus, with Mars being forced into its exile in Venus' sign. Most every mystical tradition has taught us that these opposites are fundamental to the material world, and most every mystical tradition has also suggested the holding of the tension of these opposites as the path of eternal freedom, peace, bliss, joy, co-creativity, and liberation.
Prayer: Teach us the radical 3rd.
Over the next week, Venus will move into a square with Pluto and Mars will also enter Venus' home sign of Libra.
What to keep your eyes on over the next ten days or so:
* Women in power
* Women and the underworld
* The transformation of the feminine
* Death in relationships
* Power struggles and diplomacy
* Passive aggression
* Feminism and the power of the goddess in the collective
* Exposure of dishonest deals or agreements
* Sexual perversion, manipulation, or sexual abuse as a continued theme in the collective
* Sex as power, power and sex
* Making deals with the devil
* A powerful release of erotic, sensual/sexual energy
* The transformation of an aesthetic
* A powerful artistic demonstration or display
* Peace and force, progress and militancy
* The self-righteous demands of a progressive cause
* The noble mission and the weak ego
* Avante Garde narcissism
* Polarizing for peace
* The beautiful argument
* The death of the diplomat
* Diplomatic failures, cover-ups, lack of sensitivity
* Defending what we want or desire, feeling like our sense of peace or serenity is being threatened
* The tension between fighting for a cause and maintaining equanimity in relationships
* The wisdom of burning a bridge, the wisdom of maintaining a bridge, the wisdom of building a bridge...knowing which is which
How do we hold the tension of planetary opposites like Mars and Venus? We are political animals, but we are also eternal beings. It's not easy to carry the tension between spirit and matter, and it's always tempting and familiar and empowering to collapse into extremes. This month will feature these all too common spiritual and material tensions in the midst of a powerful Venusian themed month.
Prayer: Let the truth be spoken, but let love be the sound.
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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.