The first quarter Moon is just releasing as it flows away from a square to Saturn today...
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Here's what to watch for today:
* As the bond of the first quarter Moon releases we should find a period of contraction starting to loosen and expansion will slowly start to build again over the next few days. How have we handled any setbacks or challenges the last two days? How we've responded should set the tone for the days to come.
* Today the Moon isn't making any aspects until she changes signs, which may represent a kind of lull or break in the action or development of something. However, by later tonight she will start applying across the sign boundary to a sextile with Venus, which should bring harmony or harmonizing opportunities into play again.
* By tomorrow when the Moon moves into Aries, we should see a more decisive and acition-oriented aura surrounding us.
* Meanwhile, Venus has moved into Aquarius, the sign of the water-pourer. Venus is also in a sextile to her host Saturn and will slowly apply to meet Saturn in the coming weeks. Right now Venus is building something, desgining something, starting in on the construction of an elaborate ideal or vision. Venus in Saturn's sign and Saturn in Jupiter's (with a trine between Venus and Jupiter), means that Venus is also helping Jupiter and Saturn continue to work toward a compromise or harmony. We are each compelled right now to build a new vision for our future, and though it will take some effort, at this stage Venus is helping to bring both sides of something together so that the structure we're creating supports everyone's needs without losing the integrity of the overall mission. Venus is therefore like an artist or architect whose creative design is the compromise everyone is looking for.
* Venus in Aquarius also points toward the impulse to engage in social issues with an eye for beauty and imagination. Venus in Aquarius is like an open-mic poetry night where each poet addresses a different social issue...rather than preaching it's poetry as a call to action.
* Venus in Aquarius is also the alienation of the artist and the common feeling of estrangement from the status-quo. Venus in Aquarius can be a lonely and oddball Venus, an ongoing emphasis on feeling different or not being fully understood or recognized for one's talents and uniqueness.
* Venus in Aquarius is also the desire for relationships, work, and play to be substantive, authentic, serious, and mature. However, Venus in Aquarius can sometimes be cold and may try too hard to impress a structure upon things that need to remain organic, open, and spontaneous.
Prayer: Teach us to see the design, and teach us to allow for its power to impress itself upon us rather than us trying to impress it upon others.
The Moon in Sagittarius is making harmonious aspects to Venus in Aquarius and then Jupiter in Leo before turning void of course and then entering into the dark moon phase. Meanwhile, Mercury is slowing down to station before turning retrograde again next week in the sign of Aquarius, and Mars is about to conjoin Neptune in Pisces.
With Venus in Aquarius about to oppose Jupiter in Leo it’s a good day to talk about personality and group identity. These topics have always been loaded in terms of cultural and religious divides, the history of racial/cultural and religious warfare, etc, but more and more the same kinds of violent identity conflicts are finding their way into our shopping malls and schools, our movie theaters and work places. From the perspective of the opposition between Venus in Aquarius and Jupiter in Leo, the problem isn’t just a systemic result of the unequal distribution of wealth in our country or over medication or even media saturation. Yes, of course, all of those things are problems that we can blame or should take into account, but in blaming those “systemic” factors we might be perpetuating the exact same mentality that is creating such outrage in the first place: a mentality that says “Who you are is merely a reflection or collection of social causes and conditioning.”
Maybe our only counterpoint to this prevailing notion is the image of stardom or fame. To rise above the blandness of the systemic view of identity you have to strike a pose. You need to grab the bull by the horns. You’ve got to overcome adversity and wear a rubberband around your wrist. Be a hero. Say something unique and capture in on video spontaneously. This can be proof TO the system that you are unique from it. That you’ve found your way out or that YOU are the shining exception.
So long as this extreme polarization perpetuates itself, so too does the feeling of being trapped. If the way out of systemic abstraction and blandness is only for the elect few, then we’re easily polarized into the idea that a strong sense of group identity is easier or more desirable than personal destiny. On the other hand, if we believe that the way out is to improve the system, then we’re also easily polarized into a constant war of ideas about the “just or good society,” perhaps losing our respect for ideological or archetypal diversity along the way.
From the perspective of the planetary opposition between Venus in Aquarius and Jupiter in Leo, we have to be careful of making easy targets of each other as a way of dealing with a lack of environmental essence. It’s not as simple as saying, “I’m above or beyond social identifiers,” but it’s also not as simple as choosing which group you belong to and then flying the flag as proudly as you can.
The keyword, I think, is responsiveness, which also has a relation to the words “spontaneous” and “spouse.” In each moment, we are free to respond creatively to our environment, like its a friend or a sibling or even a partner. This environmental responsiveness lends the experience of essence to our day to day lives. This is something James Hillman called, “a psychological environmentalism.” Within whatever groups we identify with most strongly, or whatever social factors we’re most aware of within ourselves, are we just hiding out or avoiding something, or are we constantly responding to our environments, making the presence of other groups and complexities within ourselves known or seen? Are we listening carefully and imagining through the events, people, and places that present themselves to us constantly, like birds calling and flying, perching and hopping? Are we capable of seeing the way OTHERS are responding to their environments? It’s just too easy to respond to systemic blandness in an equally monotone fashion. The systemic blandness is a way of seeing, in other words, that makes even our criticisms of it systemically bland. OH THE BLANDNESS! We have to recognize that part of the phenomenon of public shootings is about the eruption of an authentic RESPONSE to an environment, within an environment, creating a new environment…like the god Mars or Shiva or Kali demanding that we be more alive, more alert, more present, our animal twitch speeds returned to the frequency of the living.
In a show like the walking dead, the metaphor we should pay attention to isn’t just about the zombies, it’s also about the amount of stab shots to the zombie’s heads you have to watch as new heroes replace the fallen and continue to fend off the zombies episode after episode. The reason I personally got bored of the show is because the phenomenon of zombies became zombie-like after a while. The gore of a crowbar through a zombies eye in season one is now dead and groaning on the ground by season seventeen.
Desensitization everyone says….until we’re desensitized to the concept…that irony, that constant gnawing of alive but dead systemic ways of seeing systemic problems…like yet another zombie head bashed against the pavement….
So what does an actual responsiveness look like? I have no idea…do you? Should we start a club? How about a riot of ideas? There’s nothing practical here I can think of.
Prayer: help me to stay responsive and alert, alive to my surroundings…help us to create a psychic environmentalism
Image by courtesy of Gabriel C, at creative commons image licensing
The Moon is in Scorpio today, still moving through the via combusta and applying to square Mercury and Venus in Aquarius later this afternoon before a sextile to Pluto.
When planets like the Moon and Venus get into a more stressful dynamic with each other we have to look closely at the signs to get a better sense of what the tension might look like. After all, the Moon and Venus tend toward similar qualities…they both enjoy beauty, warmth, and relationships. They are both thought of, traditionally, as more “feminine” planets, and they are both a big part of the smoothness, flow, harmony and pleasure of our everyday experience.
What generally happens when the Moon is squaring Venus is that a particular emotional desire or way of seeing/feeling and relating is at odds with another way of relating. For example…with the Moon in Scorpio it might feel like a very good day to go deep. Talk to just one or two close friends about what’s weighing on your heart, reveal your secrets, or fall into the bed with your lover for an entire afternoon or evening. On the other hand, your friends want to attend a big workshop at a popular yoga studio, or watch a sports game with a group of friends at so-and-so’s house. Venus in Aquarius is more inclined to group or learning environments, places where ideas are buzzing and progress is possible. You might feel like going to the museum while your boyfriend wants to watch horror movies or talk about something you’ve both been avoiding.
With Mercury in the mix of the square it’s likely that these conflicting styles in the air today will have something to do with communication, ideas, thoughts, and information. The Moon in Scorpio will appreciate the deepening or complicating of popular or progressive ideas. “That’s a very sexy idea,” the Scorpio Moon says, “but I’d like to see it naked,” or “I’d like to spend more time with it in private.” The Aquarian Mercury/Venus combination might feel offended…”Why does everything have to be so heavy? Why so serious? Why can’t you just feel light and free?”
Yesterday in one of my online courses, one of my students pointed out that there is a connection between Scorpio and Aquarius involving the controversy of charged feelings and ideas. She was spot on. Whereas Aquarius often feels alienated or ostracized because of revolutionary ideas, Scorpio is often ostracized because of their attraction to the unconscious, taboo, or deeper feelings and subjects. One might be more cerebral while the other is more emotional, but both fixed signs are catalyzers.
Recently, for example, I spoke to a client (whose chart is in some ways very representative of the Aquarius/Scorpio square) about the Paris shootings at the Charlie Hebdo office. He said something like, “I’ve been really confused about it, actually. I’m all for freedom of the press, and obviously terrorism is something to stand united against, but I’m also upset that we’re not talking about some of the offensive depictions and insults toward Muslims or the religion of Islam that were part of the magazine.” He then said, “I feel like talking to people about it, but I’m also worried that I’ll be misunderstood.”
I shared with him my recent complicated feelings about the Eric Garner case.
Recently I was at a football game where there were vendors selling “I can’t breathe t-shirts” for $30 each. I heard a caucasian man say to the black vendor, “shouldn’t you be giving those away for free?” and the vendor, who was part of the home team crowd said to the visitor, “scoreboard bitch, looks like you might need one of these shirts because your team is choking.” Both men were morbidly obese and proceeded to get into a racially charged shouting match with each other using the “I can’t breathe” slogan as an insult toward one another (which was also being used as a crowd taunt by more people than I could count throughout the game). This within days after I had posted my own complicated reactions to months worth of considering the Eric Garner tape as well as the jury’s decision not to indict the police officer who used the illegal choke hold.
Another example. What if someone attacked the writers/creators of South Park because of something offensive that the South Park TV show had aired? At the most obvious level of course its awful. Of course. But on another level, isn’t there also an opportunity for us to talk about our fascination with “no holds barred” humor? Sure, nobody ISNT a potential victim on a show like South Park or a satirical magazine like Charlie Hebdo, so there is an odd sense of fairness in it, and by all means this is all part of the freedom of speech, but at the same time, isn’t it also quite normal for many people to have adverse feelings about making fun of or satirizing anyone or anything too intensely? No matter how “deserving” someone might be or how egalitarian the view of satire…isn’t it normal to think that some shows or comic strips go too far?
I have known many very intelligent and very funny, good people over the years who simply can’t get into shows like South Park, for example, because the satirizing spirit feels too passive-aggressive, or even malicious to them. My client’s point was that he felt alone in his perceptions and feelings…like wanting to talk about this deeper level of the subject would alienate him or make his friends think he was somehow victim blaming.
The complication of today’s Moon in Scorpio square Mercury and Venus in Aquarius is echoing the Uranus/Pluto square because Scorpio is ruled by Pluto and Aquarius is ruled by Uranus… and so we may see these dynamics playing out in small personal ways like the ones I started with or larger societal ways like the ones I just finished with.It’s important that we understand the dynamics of these larger planetary cycles.
During the 1960’s, when the Pluto-Uranus cycle opened, the planetary qualities were fused together and created the feeling of something new. The Promethean qualities of invention, rebellion, progress, and liberation were married to the themes of taboo subject matters, depth, power, transformation, and the unconscious, and the overall effect was to create deep, penetrating, complex forms of liberation and change. Now the story is different. During the opening square of a planetary cycle the planetary qualities are differentiating from and challenging each other. This means that not everything that is deep, complex, and powerful (Pluto) is necessarily revolutionary, inventive, or liberating (Uranus), and not everything that is liberating or revolutionary is necessarily deep, complex, or powerful.
This is why the images of revolution that we are seeing are so much more complicated, contested, and disturbing than they were in the 1960’s. For example, one of the major criticisms of the occupy wall street movement was that it was all rebellion without a deep enough sense of practical purpose. As the criticism goes…it wasn’t at all the 99%, it was more like a mega-rally for people who simply like to rally. Mob-mentality without depth or focus. Whether this criticism is true or not (its already been debated endlessly and I’m not taking sides here) it was the major criticism and popular response by many people who weren’t moved to join or sympathize with the occupy movement. The Uranus side of the argument respond by saying, “The images of change on the level of mass consciousness itself are enough.” The Pluto side says, “Nice try; you still wish you had been popular in high school, and that’s the part of this behavioral pattern that you’re in denial about.” Again, the point isn’t to reengage the debate from one side or the other, or to accuse anyone of anything, but rather to simply recognize that the entire complex is indicative of the Pluto/Uranus dynamics differentiating themselves rather than being wed together right now.
Another example..the election of Barack Obama into office. Revolutionary and deep or just one without the other? The debate has been endless. Some would say that electing a black man to office, alone, regardless of his substance as a leader or person, is enough. Others would say that the celebration of Obama’s racial victory without deeper analysis of his political decisions and legacy only perpetuates superficial images of both race and progress.
Make no mistake, the dynamic can miss something in either direction. Too much depth and complexity and we can’t catch the simple, revolutionary wave. Too much Pluto might mean nothing gets done and we secretly blame victims or condone the continuation of some sick pattern. But at the same time, too much reactionary progressivism and our changes will be nothing more than trends.
So…all this being said, what will we do today when it comes to our relationships….fall into the bedroom for the night with Scorpio or attend the local workshop with Aquarius? Unless the local workshop involves falling into bed with someone, we might have to get creative or find a way to compromise between the planetary dynamics today! smile emoticon
Prayer: not everything that is deep and complex will create progress and change, and not everything progressive or group minded is actually deep…help us to become better students of these dynamics…
Image by courtesy of at creative commons image licensing
The Moon in Leo is moving into an opposition with Mars this morning, and meanwhile Mercury and Venus are still traveling in conjunction through the early degrees of Aquarius…
After yesterday’s attack on the Charlie Hedbo magazine I woke up this morning feeling like I should be able to find more global/media images for Saturn’s recent entrance into Sagittarius. Sure enough, upon surfing the CNN news website for just a few minutes I found this headline: Zuckerberg starting a book club.
As someone who loves to read and holds several degrees from institutions of “higher learning,” I have to say that the headline got me excited. Regardless of whether or not any of us are Rhodes scholars, there is an eternal student in each of us, and when we feed our inner student with new ideas, new knowledge, and diverse experiences, we grow beyond the lead heavy measurements of our ingrained beliefs and ideologies.
The great thing about someone like facebook’s founder encouraging more fiction reading is that fiction takes ideas and puts them into images. Into voices, and character, and dialogue, and scene, and description. Into detail and pacing. Into mood and atmosphere. If we can’t locate ideas where they live and make their flights and calls, then we’re like bird watchers with our binoculars upside down.
We’re tweeting ideas into single sentences and exhausted by anything requiring more than thirty seconds of our attention.
Ideas need time and they need space in order to develop and show themselves fully. Our lack of patience for ideas is a kind of intellectual hubris. When I spent time in Peru drinking ayahuasca, I once had an entire ceremony that centered around the fact that the shamans would wait to harvest certain plants for the medicine until they were five years old…FIVE years I kept thinking to myself…and I heard the medicine say, “What you learn here, tonight, don’t rush off to make buttons and stickers about it right away. Let it develop. Let these images and visions work you over time.” People too are like plants…our current upload speed of one idea per nanosecond isn’t evidence of the evolution of our mind, it’s more like the evidence of a caffeine addiction. It’s a sickness that could quite possibly stunt our ability to blossom the fruits of real, organic knowledge.
Last spring I learned this lesson in a very difficult way. I had finished a draft of a new book and sort of publicly announced that it was ready to go, but the ideas were severely under cooked and so the images and the story, the actual “plant” of the book came out looking a little malnourished. The hardest thing for me was to step back and say to myself, “All of this needs more time, the sunlight of more life lived and the waters of more time and change…it’s not ready to be harvested yet.”
It’s hard because ideas, our best ideas, are exciting. They want to fly off the page, change someone’s mind, excite other spirits. And yet we each have to be so careful because an impatient idea often dies before it has the chance to do what it’s capable of doing. Yesterdays events at Charlie Hedbo should have us thinking about the soul of media publishing. Those of us who write every day, the bloggers, astro journalists, daily reflectors…we are under the pressure of various deadlines and audience or reader expectations, even our own vanity…it can be so tempting to try to formulate ideas into targets: numbers of readers, likes, shares, tweets. We should think about the word “viral” more carefully. Do we really want ideas and images to instantly infect masses of people, generating the same mass responses and patterns everywhere? Is that the best image for the collective psyche? The thing about viruses is of course that the body builds up immunity to them after processing them long enough….and don’t we want some of these images and ideas to last? To endure and become the foundations for new worlds?
Prayer: No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. –Robin Williams
Image by courtesy of Steve Garfield, 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.