Mars is separating from Pluto but now applying quickly to a conjunction with Uranus and opposition with Jupiter, just as we're approaching a solar eclipse on Sunday and the Jupiter/Uranus opposition is exact again.
Here's a deeper look at some of the powers symbolized by the current planetary configurations and some thoughts on how we might work with what's here:
* With Jupiter retrograde in Libra as a powerful planetary player right now, it's possible that we are being called to task for previous actions or arrogance. If you find that you are facing authority figures, laws, codes, rules, or any kind of disciplinary/performance-based review, it's important to look inward right now. Justice doesn't necessarily require that we suffer penalties...but Justice does require that we adjust our internal attitude. Justice asks us to learn something. Justice asks us to respect due process. Justice asks us to learn to be in harmony with cosmic law, truth, order, and wisdom. And with Jupiter in Libra moving backward, we are in a time of review. Calling on your guides and better angels, calling on the divine forces to evaluate you with grace, dignity, and compassion, and opening your heart to correction, goes a long way right now, and it invites mercy from all figures of judgment.
* With Uranus in Aries, along with Mars, we are also being forced to awaken our senses, mind, and body at a deeper level. These planets together act like strokes of fire, lightning, and electricity rocketing out of the ethereal realms. These planets jolt and drive through us until a clear opening appears. Because these energies are opposite Jupiter in Libra, the process of justice right now is swift, immediate, tense, and pivotal. It's an incredibly important moment to call for protection and to ask for patience and clarity. The outer planetary influences sometimes feel impersonal, especially Uranus in a cardinal sign like Aries. But in some ways that's the exact medicine we need right now. The point is that if we don't recognize the qualities above and we get swept up in them, it's a lot harder to receive their guidance. If we are shocked into a pattern of action and reaction, constantly, we will certainly learn and grow, but the growth will tend to happen in a way that is less conscious. Whatever is less conscious we tend to experience as external to us, happening "to us," rather than in and through us.
* With Pluto also in the mix, the "sense of fate" is an integral part of our experience right now. We tend to mistakenly debate within ourselves, in our heads, about how much free-will we have versus how much fate's hand is controlling everything. Pluto's perspective, the underworld perspective, calls us to consider everything from the vantage point of the soul, which is death. As long as we stay fixed to the image of birth, as long as we associate our lives with birth, we tend to live regressively and therefore the future is constantly something we are trying to take back with us into the womb. We demand that the future be entirely open, indeterminate, and entirely dependent upon our choices or will power, as though we live in a permanent and potential state of gestation.
But death isn't a choice. Death is a necessity. All things die. And when we live toward the soul's meaning, we live toward its inevitability. The question shifts from "what will I create with all these endless possibilities?" to "how will I choose to experience all these inevitabilities?" Pluto teaches us the value of living our lives with a view on the future that is moving toward death and the endless mystery of the soul.
Failure, misery, inevitability, impermanence, and pain, these are not the friends of a radically indeterminate future, rooted in the image of birth. But both perspectives are co-present in our consciousness. It's not a matter of which one is right, it's the basic fact that they both exist in consciousness that matters. I think for example of the recent film, "The Arrival," which plays on the themes of precognition and death. Developing pre-cognitive ability is something rooted in birth. It starts with the open possibilities of the future and our genesis, the divinatory or ritual starting moment we might say....but as we learn to see into the inevitabilities of the future, our consciousness narrows or focuses on it, like a keyhole, which in turn leads us back to the present and puts a question to us: how will you choose to live and experience this inevitability? A circle come round on itself. A keyhole vision of the future that is also the key itself. And this is why the aliens in the film used non-linear scripts...sentences that read from both ends toward the center at once.
That might seem like some far out philosophy, but if you sit long enough with all that's happening you will recognize the one within yourself who has seen this, known this, and sensed these inevitable events all along. The question we are all faced with right now, in the honesty of this inevitable moment is, "how will I walk through this valley?" "What forces and qualities of consciousness will I call upon to walk with me?"
Prayer: Your rod and staff, they protect and comfort us.
Polishing my talk for my upcoming trip to Seattle!
Click here to learn more about my visit to the Washington State Astrological Association!
"Reviving Lady Fortuna: The Importance of Prediction in Astrology."
Here is a list of things I'll be looking at in this talk, which I'll be offering again online to everyone this spring!
1. Why do we tend to hate on the image of the fortune teller?
2. Why is it so trendy to believe in possibilities or probabilities rather than the belief that we can accurately predict the future?
3. What is the potential damage we are doing by emphasizing consciousness, levels of consciousness, choice, and/or free will or spiritual maturity as the key factor in determining how a transit will play out?
4. What does the soul need or love about astrological prediction, both when it's correct and when it's incorrect?
5. Why do many modern astrologers seem to think that ancient/predictive astrologers believed in a completely mechanical or deterministic universe? Is this really true?
6. What is the nature of divination, what does it attempt to do and why, and what might all different kinds of divination practices tell us about the nature of time or being itself?
7. Why do we hold so fiercely to the notion of radical indeterminacy?
8. Why do we hold so fiercely to the idea of a future oriented spiritual evolution path?
9. Why might the importance of prediction be about something more than whether we are right or wrong?
10. Is astrology meant to provide us with answers about the nature of ultimate reality, and if so is there just one reality or are there different realities that different astrologies or astrologers might somehow reflect back to us in the way they practice or in the philosophical positions they take on key issues like time, choice, reincarnation,chance, fate, enlightenment, god, multiples gods, etc?
I know that I'm not alone in considering these questions right now, as I've seen posts, newsletters, podcasts, and live seminars of these exact subjects coming up concurrently, especially in light of the fact that so many astrologers incorrectly predicted the election results. I think these discussions are incredibly important...but beware of anyone who thinks they have the answers or who would tell you exactly where or what we should all be thinking about the nature of reality or complicated metaphysical topics vis a vis astrology....the point of this upcoming talk is to simply advocate for those of us astrologers who believe there are indeed outcomes of all kinds that can be seen and accurately predicted through the divine language of the stars.
The Moon is squaring Mercury this morning and then goes void of course for the rest of the day until moving into Virgo tonight.
Reflections on Pluto moving retrograde:
* Fate means never having to say, "I told you so." Because when we've really understood fate, then we understand that it's not a matter of prediction or advice. It's not a simple matter of instructions not followed, as though fate is a punishment, and it's not about the early bird catching the worm or any other protestant work ethic that saves the day and earns the righteous paycheck. Fate doesn't need to say, "I told you so," because fate doesn't speak out against anything.
* We can't avoid fate by hoping it will go away or by trying to make choices that eliminate fate's hand in the matter.
* The word 'fate' means, among other things, "to speak," and it carries an old association with the idea that the words or sentences of the gods in human lives are absolute...there are divine words spoken into our lives that cannot be altered or changed...there are guiding events that we cannot control.
* The word 'fate' also carries an old reference to the spirits, guides, or gods assigned to the fortunes and destines of individuals...the 'fates' are plural..they conspire with us and through us in order to weave the words of the gods...some of these beings can be prayed to, their minds changed, their help or hindrance invoked...while others cannot be petitioned.
* Isn't it funny that in certain areas of our lives we already know what's going to happen? We already know the nature of the story. We know what's coming, and yet we play the part and the pain or joy of the results still feel as unexpected or as real as though we never knew. Isn't it strange how fate can feel cold and distancing and yet in the most stubbornly fated events the feelings we have are more alive than ever?
* A question: where are you avoiding the inevitable? What would it look like to stop avoiding it? What are a few small steps you can take to welcome the presence of your fate?
* Fate isn't a nasty killer, and it's also not a smiling saint. Fate isn't cruel, but it's also not entirely benevolent. Fate isn't free and it isn't determined. It isn't mechanical or indifferent but it isn't entirely subjective or personal either. There is an intelligence to fate, and yet it remains always surprising.
* Heraclitus once wrote about fate, "Two made one are never one. Arguing the same we disagree. Singing together we compete. We choose each other to be one, and from the one both soon diverge. Without injustices, the name of justice would mean what? While cosmic wisdom understands all things are good and just, intelligence may find injustice here, and justice somewhere else. Justice in our minds is strife. We cannot help but see war makes us as we are. Thus are things decreed by fate."
* The fates are silent speakers whose words are the invisible echo within everything.
* To contemplate or negotiate your fate, go to a high place and look down at the world below. To remember and receive your fate, look from a low place to something high above.
* To get a second date with fate, stop thinking about her and focus on what you're doing, or the task at hand. She finds independence attractive.
* When you dream, remember to fall asleep first. Fate thinks lucid dreaming can be like a form of adultery.
* Commit yourself fully to your mistakes. No silver linings or positive spin. Just the image of you making your mistake. Stick with the image. See what it does next. See what it becomes. See what else it has to say. Principles destroy images, and fate loves images more than principles. In fact she sees principles as images first.
Prayer: Stranger and more interesting things are always happening when fate becomes an active part of our imagination.
The Moon is in Scorpio today, applying to oppose Venus in Taurus before going void of course.
What to watch for...
*Rebellious/eruptive/sudden/unexpected/inventive/exciting breakthroughs or outbursts, discoveries or revelations...especially in communication, writing, talking, emails, texts, etc (Mercury/Uranus/Sun conjunct in Aries, square to Pluto in Capricorn).
* Challenging ideas, debates, discussions (same)
* Competition, legacy, history, protest, personal rights (same)
* Beginning a project of creative self expression (same)
* Sexual tension/excitement/desire/erotica (Moon opposite Venus)
* Foreplay, extravagance, decadence, and desire (same)
* The feeling that everything should be handed to you or that everything should happen easily or naturally, without any work (same)
* Moodiness that destabilizes relationships or rains on a parade (same)
* A quickie (same)
* Conversations about finances, resources, time/energy management (same)
* Feeling sick and tired of feeling sick and tired (same)
* Lazy and sexy taking a naked nap (same)
* Violence and celebrities (Mars square Jupiter)
* Violence in the media/film/tv (same)
* Religious violence and holy crusades (same)
* Machismo, muscle, warriors, athletes, masculinity, testosterone, steroids, gangs, money, power, cowboys, and the violence only money can buy (same)
* Aggrandized egos, spending, poor winning/losing (same)
* Bull headed egoism (same)
* Accepting a challenge, pushing through to victory (same)
* A philosophical dilemma, weighs on the mind (Saturn barely moving/retro in Sagittarius)
* A revision of past beliefs (same)
* A new course of study or inquiry (same)
* Disillusionment with something once believed (Saturn square Neptune)
* Bridging the real with the ideal (same)
* Time/space/fantasy/illusion/imagination/science fiction (same)
* Divine discontent..boredom, longing, dreaming (same)
Whenever we read a list of so many different possible qualities happening all at once, we naturally ask ourselves, "How can they all be happening at once? Is there some way of summarizing it all? Some overarching purpose to all the different qualities?" And the answer to these questions is that the psyche is multifaceted. The solar system as a reflection of psyche is like a vast temple with many different sanctuaries, or a vast mansion with many different rooms. Some of these themes will be dramatically pronounced for some people while others will be for others. There's also always the possibility that despite whatever weather is going on around us, we're simply not seeing/feeling it that intensely. We make a mistake in thinking that astrology is "determining" things. The sky is more like a reflection of what's arising..the many different facets of psychic life currently expressing themselves and interacting with each other. But it's always "through a glass darkly" that we come to astrology. Knowing the weather patterns of the psyche, we can take comfort, feel the divine intelligence (even if it's still deeply mysterious), and make soulful choices.
Summing it all up is the great red herring of astrology...a wild goose chase of prophets and their v-formation followings. As long as we know that, then we can be creative with our summaries rather than prescriptive. So here's one of mine, but look at the patterns above and try one of your own!
A Prophetic Summary: We are rising to the challenge of a series of unexpected twists and turns. The invisible seamstress of fate has recently turned the plot inside out (to some degree), and now we're evaluating, taking stock, plotting a new course, gaining confidence and excitement, and gradually working our way out of the muck. This new vision will take time, though we'd like for it to be here now or we'd like for it to take care of itself without our hard work and effort. The new vision might be simpler in some ways, but we're considering the idea that despite it simple appearance, it's also the best thing that could have happened for us. We might still feel a little unsure, worried, skeptical or uneasy about the future at this moment....but we're working that out...one plodding day at a time.
Prayer: The invisible seamstress of fate...looking pretty good lady.
Image by courtesy of Hernan Pinera, 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.