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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in astrology

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_galaxy-in-crystal-ball.jpgWe look around us, look at the news, and we see pressure, and tension. We see courage (thank you, Malala) and change. We see explosions, violence, power run amok, and dug-in-at-the-heels stubbornness. There is a buzz in the world of astrology around this aspect we call the Uranus-Pluto square. I see its effects in the charts of my clients, my friends, and my own chart as well. I see its effects in the chart of the USA, in the charts of large organizations, in every Cardinal Ingress chart last year and for a couple more years to come. So I’m pretty certain there is a lot to be learned from this configuration, and in this post, I’m going to explore some of the ramifications of one side of the square — Uranus in Aries.

The square is a 90 degree aspect of tension, and many people do not handle tension well, which is why squares often seem to manifest as difficult events. It’s a stressful aspect that demands integration and synthesis as the path to growth and progress. Taking the wisdom that can be gained from both planets and signs involved, then weaving those insights together into a sturdy rope that you can cast into the future, is the way to handle a square. Unfortunately, it’s also possible to weave a rope long enough to hang yourself by drawing on the negative characteristics of the planets and signs. The difference, of course, is conscious awareness and intention. Let’s look at how we might utilize Uranus in Aries for spiritual growth and positive change.

Both the planet Uranus and the sign Aries resonate strongly with the concept of freedom. Aries needs freedom to act, to establish the self in the world, “to boldly go where no one has gone before”. Aries needs to DO something, and restrictions of any kind are anathema. Uranus insists on freedom because it is required for change, and to establish independence and uniqueness.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_astro-clock-italy-sm_20121115-220151_1.jpgThe secular New Year is a great time to update your calendar, whether it’s in pixels or on paper. As much as I appreciate my ephemeris and all the astrological pocket planners out there, there are some astrological events that are worth adding to your daily calendar, particularly if your spiritual practice revolves around the cycles of the Sun and Moon, or if you work magic, Here are some events that you may find are worth calendaring, so you’ll be reminded to work with — or work around — the planetary energies at the appropriate times.

Retrograde Periods for the Planets

You may want to include only the Mercury retrograde periods in your calendar, since Mercury is the planet that screws up our daily lives the most. (Did you know that Mercury rules not only communications but our daily routines and our immediate environment, as well? This is why Mercury Rx tends to be so disruptive) But there is much to be gained —  practically, magically and spiritually — from being aware of the retrograde periods of the other planets as well. I’ll write more about those retrogrades as they come around this year, and you can read more about the current Jupiter Rx here. You’ll also want to check out this listing of the dates and degrees of all the planetary retrogrades for this year.

New and Full Moons, and Eclipses

The conjunction and opposition of the Sun and Moon (new and full Moons) are points of shift in the energy of every month, and they emphasize each sign and its opposite as the Sun passes through the Wheel of the Year -- an important consideration for magickal work. Magically, you may want to plan workings to coincide with appropriate New or Full Moons (New Moon in Gemini to begin a writing project, for instance). Some magicians prefer to wait until the aspect is separating, which can bring the Moon out of the appropriate sign if the aspect occurs late in the sign.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_049.jpgWe looked at the chart of the Winter Solstice, 2012 from a mundane (world affairs) standpoint a couple of weeks ago, and this post will interpret the same chart, but from the viewpoint of the magician or spiritual seeker who is looking for clues about how to utilize the energy of this quarter to grow and transform. The Capricorn Ingress chart (another name for the chart of the Winter Solstice) can be consulted for personal insight as well as mundane, and set against one’s birth chart in the same way I set it against the chart of the USA. (If you have not read my first post on this chart, you might want to do that now, because it gives insights into and explanations of the chart’s structure that I will not repeat here.)

As we move through the difficult challenges of this transformative time, it helps to look closely at the current astrology so we can learn how to ride these waves of change into an evolutionary future, instead of a bleak, painful, or destructive one. In the same way that a farmer must consult the weather before choosing what work to do during any given day, week or month, it is useful for magicians to consult the astrological weather to determine what magical work will be most likely to meet with favorable results. More importantly, the cycles of the planets provide spiritual lessons that are uniquely suited to the time, and, if we look at them against the backdrop of our own birth charts, we will find those lessons personalized for us.

You might want to cast the chart for the moment of the solstice (12/21/12 @ 11:12 a.m. GMT — adjust for your time zone) in your location, then put that chart in a bi-wheel with your natal chart, and look in which houses of your birth chart the planets and the angles of the solstice chart fall, as well as any natal planets that are closely aspected from the solstice chart. This will tell you what issues and areas of your life will be activated. (If that last part just went right over your head, don’t worry. I will bold my conclusions, so those who don’t want the astrological techniques can skip through.)

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Thanks, Wendy! Hope your ritual goes well, and blessings of the Solstice to you.
  • Wendy L. Callahan
    Wendy L. Callahan says #
    Everything you say, particularly the steps at the end and conclusion, goes quite well with precisely how I decided to end this cyc

b2ap3_thumbnail_046.jpgI know little about the Mayan Calendar — just that this Winter Solstice is supposed to mark the end of a major cycle in that calendar. I know a little more — but not much — about the alignment of the Sun with galactic equator and the Dark Rift of the Milky Way, also purportedly on this date, though it is my understanding that the astronomy of this alignment is difficult to measure with any precision within years, much less days. While I do not doubt that we are at a time of profound, historic shift and change for the human race, I personally do not think that the turning of an age can be accurately said to happen on one particular day, even as a pivot point. A mountain cannot pivot on the head of a pin.

So if you were looking for end of the world, or even end of the age predictions, you won’t find them here. I’ll be interpreting the Capricorn Ingress Chart, the chart for the moment of the Winter Solstice, in the same way I interpreted the Libra Ingress Chart  — as a look ahead at the next three months using standard Western astrology, and staying within the bounds of our solar system. As usual, I have cast this chart for Washington, DC, which reflects the meaning of the chart for the entire USA.

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Again, an in-depth analysis that actually makes sense to me. It's a Solstice miracle!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_birdimages.jpgWe have quite a bit of astrological activity happening this week, not the least of which is a lunar eclipse on Wednesday. The action actually began this past Friday morning, as Mars, the planet of violence, triggered the Uranus-Pluto square by squaring Uranus, the planet of upheavals and sudden events. Predictably, all over the country, Black Friday triggered fights, chaos, guns and knives drawn, and even a gang fight that ended up filling a mall with pepper spray. Mars goes on to conjunct Pluto on Tuesday, the eclipse happens on Wednesday, and…oh, how could I forget — Mercury goes direct today!

A Look Back at Mercury Retrograde

This week, I’m going to demonstrate how we can interpret the personal effects of an eclipse by looking at it through the lens of our own charts, and I will use Hillary Rodham Clinton’s chart as an example. But first, I’d like to clear up some lingering misconceptions about Mercury retrogrades, particularly the astrological predictions made about the Mercury station on Election Day.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_215994_308068229298264_692488332_n_20121121-220149_1.jpg

Back in September, when I interpreted the Libra Ingress chart, I wrote:

“The military symbolism in this Mars-rising Libra Ingress chart is inescapable, as are indicators of foreign policy challenges for the President. My guess is there will be much saber-rattling, but I suspect any direct military action (in other words, not just troop movements for show) will be secretive, targeted strikes, like the bin Laden assassination, that become known only after the fact, if at all. There will be a lot going on behind the scenes — the whole situation in the Middle East, for instance, is like an iceberg, with only a small percentage visible — and there may be a surprising diplomatic coup for the administration.”

The current situation with Israel and Hamas — lobbing bombs and rockets at each other, neither recognizing that the other even has a right to exist — has certainly been a foreign policy challenge for the administration, but most of the pundits were saying that the USA would have no real ability to broker a cease-fire in this situation because of the administration’s clearly-stated and unbending support for Israel. And yet, there was Secretary Clinton right next to Egyptian foreign minister Amr as the announcement of a cease fire was made, and we read that President Obama had spoken to both Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Egyptian President Morsi. Looks like a diplomatic coup, but I don’t think the cease fire will last, and not just because it was brokered during a Mercury and a Jupiter retrograde period. Let’s take a look at the chart of Israel first, and then I will explain my thoughts on this…

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jonathan
    Jonathan says #
    I saw your link over on The Archdruid Report. Thank you for the fascinating insights, Diotima! My personal experiences with T Me
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Larksong, sorry for not making my abbreviations clearer -- I should have bulleted them. It's all in this sentence: The aspect of s
  • Larksong
    Larksong says #
    I must have missed a discussion point somewhere. What does the 'N' and 'T' refer to when list the planets? I know Mercury going d

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I’m going to start a series of occasional lessons —  I’ll try to do at least one or two a month — on how Witches, Pagans and other magickal and spiritual people can use our own natal charts both to help time our magickal workings, and to adjust our spiritual practices to take advantage of the prevailing astrological "weather". This is Lesson One, in which we learn exactly what the heck we are looking at when we look at a natal chart - a chart that is calculated (we usually say "cast") for the moment and place of a birth.

I’ve given a lot of thought to how best to approach this, and I’ve decided I am going to try to keep these lessons as simple as possible, while providing links to articles that go into more depth for those of you who want it, so watch for the links in the text. Also, I’ll be teaching the system of astrology that I use, which is modern, Western astrology, using Placidus or Koch houses.

To read an astrology chart, there are only a few things you need to know:

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

It can be difficult to discover personal meaning and purpose when we don't zoom out to get a big picture of the patterns and symbols in our life. One way we can discover the patterns and purposes of our life is by discerning prevalent Archetypes and symbols.

What is an archetype? An archetype is a template or original pattern from which copies are made. Psychologist Carl Jung, author Joseph Campbell, storyteller/author Clarissa Pinkola Estes, psychologist Jean Shinonda-Bolen and others are among those that have brought the concept of Archetypes into our consciousness. 

To break it down in practical, every day terms, Archetypes are patterns that are universally recognized. We see Archetypes in myths, fairy tales, literature, and movies. Think about your own life. Which types of movies do you like? Do you consistently cast yourself in the Hero role? The Underdog or Victim? The Detective? What about the Warrior, Princess, or Femme Fatale? 

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  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    Thanks for further sharing your perspective, John!
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    Hi John, As I mentioned in my post, others have built upon what Jung postulated (Myss, Shinoda Bolen, Carol Pearson etc.). concer
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Actually, most Pagan and New Age authors who draw on Jung, do not build on his ideas, but rather present a stripped down version o

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

You may have noticed that this week’s post is a little late, or maybe next week’s is a bit early, depending on how much writing I get done the rest of this week. :-) My personal Mercury retrograde incident happened as that planet entered its shadow, conjuncting my Mars, and I’ve been recovering from some first-world trauma in the form of an unexpected computer failure — and the backup drive failed at the same time. Yeah, I didn’t think that would ever happen, either. All is well now, and the new computer is a jewel, but I’m still catching up. And speaking of the new computer, I want to give a shout-out to the good folks at Matrix Software. I’ve been using their astrology programs since the pre-Windows days of DOS, and their customer support has always been exceptionally good. They were a big help this time when I ran into some questions about my new setup. I use their WinStar Pro software, but they have excellent, less expensive options as well. Find them here.

November's New Moon falls on Tuesday the 13th, at 22 degrees of Scorpio, and a solar eclipse happens a few minutes later. Like any New Moon, this one will indicate the planetary energies in play for the month ahead, but the influence of eclipses tends to last for several months, and this one will be particularly noticeable in the lives of people (or countries, or businesses, etc.) who have personal planets or angles in their natal chart at between 19 degrees and 25 degrees of any of the fixed signs (Scorpio, Aquarius, Taurus, Leo).

(This post is going to get a bit technical, for the benefit of those who are interested in the astrology, so I will bold my conclusions for those who want to skip the astro-jargon and just cut to the chase. All the charts I discuss will have links to pdfs of the charts themselves, so you can see what I’m looking at.)

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  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Gad zooks indeed -- this one gets personal. Had a look at your ascendent lately, Ms. B.? ;-> But it's a North Node eclipse, so the
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    I am so relieved to have you 'splain this all for me. Gad zooks.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs


Let’s take a look at the astrology of Election Day here in the U.S., and also revisit the Libra Ingress chart, which I posted about back in September. In that post, I noted that, with Neptune in Pisces in the 4th house of the chart, cast for Washington, DC, “there is the potential for some large-scale watery weather” in the last quarter of the year.

You’ll also note that Uranus rules the 4th in this chart, and is itself in the 5th — my guess is that Sandy will be, as advertised, an unprecedented and remarkably disruptive storm, I expect there will be particular problems in regard to school systems and educational institutions, and, quite possibly, technical problems within the NY Stock Exchange. I am concerned about health and sanitation issues in the aftermath of the storm, and we also can’t ignore the likelihood of lingering storm-related problems interfering with voting on Election Day.

The astrology of Election Day this year is chaotic, and, like Sandy, unprecedented. This is only the second time in the history of U.S. elections that Mercury has stationed on Election Day. The first time was in 2000, when it stationed direct (and you remember what happened then. Hanging chads, anyone?) This year, it stations retrograde in the 12th house of the U.S. chart (Sibley), in mutual reception with Jupiter, also retrograde, in Gemini in the 7th house, conjunct the Descendent. Regardless of storm-related problems, I believe these aspects will reflect legal challenges around the elections, and with transiting Mercury trining transiting Uranus in Aries, these challenges will be widely seen as confrontations over personal and religious freedoms and rights.

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  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Here's a follow up to the comment I made about technical issues and the NYSE. Apparently, the technical issues were around a conti
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Brilliant!
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Thanks, Janet! Glad you found it helpful.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I’m going to change the format of this blog, as of today. Instead of the “Magickal Monday” updates, I’ll be looking at the upcoming transits once a month, just before the New Moon. The other three weeks, I’ll be writing on other astrological and astro/magickal topics. I particularly want to investigate how Pagans, Witches and other magickal people can understand our own birth charts well enough to time personal spiritual and magickal workings, and determine how the current astrological “weather” affects us on both a spiritual and a mundane level.  While astrology is a complex and many-layered topic, the basics are no more difficult to learn than Tarot — maybe less! — and learning to use your own chart as a tool for spiritual and magickal growth is an investment of time that pays off generously.

This week, I want to look at an ongoing flowing relationship between Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto in the upcoming year that is worth considering carefully, so we can weave its energy into our lives in a creative and beneficial way. Here’s what’s happening:

  • Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn are in mutual reception (each in the sign the other rules)
  • Neptune is strong in its own sign, Pisces
  • Saturn is trining Neptune and sextiling Pluto three times over the next 10 months

Now, what does that all mean? As always, a planetary configuration like this heralds a process, both culturally and individually. We can look on the progress of Saturn through Scorpio over the next 2 ½ years as an initiatory undertaking  — a deep, transformative time when, if we will discipline ourselves to fulfill the requirements of the body and the Earth, we can create with power, insight and spiritual awareness.

But there needs to be knowledge and intention to leverage the energy of these aspects. They are flowing, easy aspects that offer us a harmonious way of managing the profound, shocking energies released by the Uranus-Pluto square, but, because they are easy, they don’t force anything. We need to make a choice to tap into their energy and use it to help us navigate through the times ahead. So, here’s how to grab the brass ring…

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A short update this week, as I’ve been traveling.

Monday brings a Dark Moon with a fiery trine of Mars to Uranus. As I mentioned in last week’s post, this is an aspect that will be in effect for a couple of days. Mars is a planet that frequently triggers longer-term transits, and it will also be approaching a semi-sextile to Pluto on Wednesday. So expect an influx of energy right through the middle of the week. These aspects will help you take something in your life to a deeper level, but be careful not to get obsessive about your enthusiasms, especially once the Moon moves into the sign that defines obsession —  Scorpio — around 8:00 pm (all times EDT).

About twelve hours before that, though, the Moon joins the Sun for the New Moon in Libra, bringing our attention to the need for balance and relationship. Use this shift of energy to tend your altar, and refocus and renew your intent around any spells you have working, and consider what you might want to change in your life. If you are familiar with your own chart, check which house this New Moon falls in (23 degrees Libra), and consider what areas will be emphasized for you this month, adjusting your magickal goals accordingly. You may not want to do actual workings right at the New Moon, however — many magicians prefer to wait for her to gain some light first, and do their workings at the crescent, or even the first quarter.

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 The week opens Monday with a waning Quarter Moon in sensitive Cancer (The Cancer Moon is always a waning Moon at this time of year. Do you know why? Studying the cycles of the Moon can bring a lot of insight).  Mid-morning (all times EDT), the Sun and Venus move into tense relationship with Neptune and Uranus, respectively. Moodiness, over-sensitivity, tension in relationships are all real possibilities, as are unexpected expenses, issues around self-image, and a general lack of clarity. 

But Moon in Cancer in the time of the Ancestors is a great opportunity to not only honor them, but to turn to them for help and advice. Our ancestors are not sitting around waiting to be worshiped. They take an active, conscious interest in our lives, and will help us from the world of Spirit — if they are invited, and we do the work to build a bridge to them. What some people see as "ancestor worship" — ancestor altars and offerings, for instance — are simply invitations and energetic bridges that connect us to the Ancestors. If you don’t have an Ancestor altar, a waning Cancer Moon in October would be a great time to build one! Then, as you begin to work with them, -- tending the altar, letting them know what's going on in your life, meditating, leaving offerings -- watch for the synchronicities that bring the help and advice you requested.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.”  - Margaret Shepherd

I’ve gotten some questions about Jupiter going retrograde, and there also seems to be a lot of fear and trembling around Saturn’s move into Scorpio last week. People want to know how these planetary changes will affect them personally.

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Four planets change signs this week, pointing to a dramatic shift in the collective consciousness, in the zeitgeist. What will trigger this shift? With Uranus in Aries under pressure  from Pluto and Saturday’s Full Moon, who knows? Uranus deals in the unexpected, the sudden, the big surprise, and Pluto’s realm is hidden, and underground.

We do know that the astrology of the moment calls for leadership, individual initiative, and courage blended with a willingness to change and transform in order to create new collective structures. Each individual, of course, will feel these collective demands in different areas of their personal lives. Do you know which houses of your chart are being affected by the current planetary line-up? If not, you might consider looking into it. Having a good grasp of the underlying issues involved for your personally can help you make wiser decisions when you are under pressure from unexpected events.

Monday features some challenging aspects of the Moon to Mercury, Mars, and Saturn, suggesting difficulties in communications, misunderstood actions, and stressful emotional scenarios that pit personal needs against social obligations. The Moon moves into Taurus around 7:30 p.m. (all times EDT), then sextiles Neptune. A nice night for a movie at home, or some magick to help with financial flow.

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Well, I think it might be time to take a look at Mr. Romney’s chart. After what is being billed as “Romney’s Hell Week” — now turning into “Hell Ten Days” as I write this — it would be most instructive to check the astrological aspects that are in effect in his natal chart (click here for the chart). As usual, I'll bold my conclusions, so those who are not interested in the astrological details can cut to the chase.

There are a number of astrological approaches one can take to understand and predict current and future events in a person’s life. I mostly use secondary progressions, solar arc directions, and transits to the natal chart. I sit up and pay close attention when more than one of those areas are suggesting essentially the same thing.

Let’s look at what’s been going on in Mr. Romney’s chart over the past couple of weeks and what will happen between now and the election.

We’ll begin at the end of August, with the last Full Moon. Recall that the Full Moon generally is influential over the following two weeks — until the next New Moon. This Full Moon conjuncted Romney’s natal Mars, and in the chart of the Full Moon, Mars is squaring Romney’s Midheaven/IC axis. Mars rules, among other things, conflict, arguments, and impulsiveness. The Midheaven is one’s public presentation, as well as the career. Two days before the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, transiting Mars squared Romney’s Pluto, which co-rules his 6th house of public service, and the day before, his progressed Moon opposed his natal Neptune. Neptune is the dispositor* of his natal Mars, Mercury and the Sun.

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Casting a chart for the exact moment the Sun moves into 0 degrees of Libra — the Autumn Equinox — is part of a predictive method within astrology known as Solar Ingress. The 2 Equinoxes and 2 Solstices are considered to be points of inception in astrology, for this is when the Sun enters (ingresses) into one of the Cardinal signs — Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. Solar Ingress charts are cast for the moment of an ingress, at the capital of a country, and interpreted both as a single chart as well as in synastry with the chart of that country to predict events in the coming quarter-year. Solar ingress charts are commonly used in a branch of astrology that looks at world affairs, known as mundane astrology.  The Libra Ingress chart cast for Washington, DC this year is powerful, and shows cause for hope as well as for concern. 

The following is a brief first look at the Libra Ingress chart (click here to see it) and how it might play out on the national stage. I’ll be referring back to this chart as I explore other national events, like the upcoming election, in future posts. Later in this post, I’ll also look at how we each can approach the Uranus-Pluto square — essentially exact in the Libra Ingress chart — in a way that minimizes upheavals and problems and maximizes personal and community health and growth.

Note: I’m going to put most of the astrological heavy-lifting in italics, so readers who just want the interpretation can skip over the most arcane stuff.

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I'm just going to focus on the weekly forecast in this post, as I'm writing a separate post to cover the Uranus-Pluto square and the Autumn Equinox Libra Ingress chart that I will post tomorrow, so be sure to check back.

The week starts on a sociable note, with a waxing Moon in Libra, trining Jupiter around 11:30 a.m. (all times are EDT), then making a troublesome aspect to Neptune. Take full advantage of any opportunities that come your way, but don’t lose focus, over-promise, or believe everything you hear. Pluto stations direct today, and you should feel a shift in the energy this week in some area of your life — probably one that may reflect some personal taboos, or where you are in denial. Look at which houses Pluto rules in your chart, as well as the house Pluto is currently transiting. An evening semi-square between Mercury (within aspect to Pluto and Uranus) and Mars (in Pluto’s sign) suggests that you be careful in your communications. People running off at the mouth and/or saying hurtful things are likely manifestations of this aspect, but if you use the energy consciously, you can manage to be diplomatic while still making your point.

Tuesday begins with the Moon conjunct Saturn in Libra — serious and reserved are the keywords for the day. Late morning, the Moon moves into Scorpio, where it can wreak some emotional havoc, or bring up some hidden emotional factors in a situation. The Moon’s trine to Neptune in Pisces offers an afternoon of successful creative and/or spiritual endeavors, if you are so inclined, while an evening sextile to Pluto brings emotional depth and insight.

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As I mentioned in last week's post, Neptune dominated the Republican convention, but Saturn ruled the Democratic one. The inception chart for the DNC had 20 degrees of Capricorn rising, with ruler Saturn exalted in Libra, square to Venus in Cancer in the 7th house of public image. Venus was in mutual reception with the Taurus Moon oppose the Midheaven, which means that women and women’s issues also are a strong focus in this chart (reflected in the attention given during the convention to Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Sandra Fluke and women’s rights).

Saturn is the planet of governance, stability, practicality and tradition. It rules Capricorn, and also is the traditional ruler of Aquarius. It is the archetypal “Father Time” (which fits right in with the message of “we need more time” that was repeated by both former President Clinton and President Obama). In traditional astrology, Saturn is seen as a “malific”, planet, one that brings “bad luck and trouble”. Certainly it can bring restriction, inhibition, difficulty, delays, and disappointments. But above all, Saturn is the Teacher. It is not inherently malific, it simply delineates and holds the boundaries and limitations of time and space. It defines the arena within which physical existence is created from the matrix of universal Consciousness. Like any good teacher, Saturn challenges, but it also rewards, and can bring lasting gains — advancement built on a solid foundation, recognition for work well done, and the paradoxical freedom that comes only after you learn to function skillfully within limitations.

Michelle Obama has a Capricorn Sun in her natal chart, and possibly an Aquarian Moon, though we don’t know her birth time. (We astrologers want to see Michelle’s birth certificate!) Saturn is at home in Aquarius, widely conjunct Venus, and there is probably a conjunction between her Moon and Venus, whether that Moon is in Aquarius or Pisces. So, at least four, probably five, planets in her chart, including her Sun and Saturn itself, are in signs ruled by Saturn. The First Lady’s progress through life has been notably Saturnian in its accomplishments. She had a solid, conservative upbringing, and a sterling academic career beginning in high school, through Princeton, to the J.D. from Harvard Law School. Her career in the public sector and academic administration also reflected Saturnian goals and accomplishments.

Her speech at the DNC on the opening night was a “grand slam” to quote CNN’s Wolf Blitzer (and if there was rather more fuss about her dress than about any male politician’s clothing, well, to my mind that says as much about just how snoringly dull men’s clothing is as it does about holding women to a different standard). Anyway, transiting Venus ruled the event chart of the speech (Taurus was rising when she began speaking), opposing her Capricorn Sun, while transiting Neptune conjuncted her natal Venus — both aspects refer to beauty, glamour and being in the spotlight, and also highlight women’s issues.

Transiting Saturn was exactly square her natal Sun, which reinforces my point about Saturn bringing rewards to those who learn its lessons. Saturn to the Sun, even in a challenging aspect like a square, can bring recognition and acclaim as often as it brings censure or rejection. Its gifts are not random, though. They are bestowed on those who, like the First Lady, have made the effort and done the work. Nonetheless, a square of Saturn to the Sun is always a challenging aspect in one way or another, and it’s an easy guess that she is under no small amount of stress at the moment.

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Neptune was running wild through the Republican convention last week, and all the security in the world couldn’t stop it.

Saturn and Jupiter are the planets that we look to for governance — Saturn offering the discipline, organization and infrastructure, while Jupiter provides the legal structure and underlying philosophies and ideals. But politics is not governance, and a candidate’s campaign promises are frequently honored more in the breach than in the observance. Political campaigns use persuasion, illusion, and even glamor to acquire material power — and that’s where Neptune comes in.

Neptune is a planet of transcendence, spirituality, non-physical realities, myths, mysticism, fantasy, fusion, illusion and disillusionment, devotion, utopian ideals, and compassion based in a recognition of ultimate oneness. It speaks in symbol, metaphor, visions and dreams. It rules the oceans, fog, and all things watery, as well as the oceanic depths of the unconscious, and altered states of consciousness. When this expansive and transcendent energy is yoked to the service of Saturn, of material reality, what we frequently end up with are states of delusion, deception, glamour used to manipulate, addiction, confusion, escapism and ambiguity.

Thursday morning, the news was full of Paul Ryan’s acceptance speech the previous evening, and the commentaries on the speech were full of phrases like “profoundly dishonest" "hypocritical" and "appallingly disingenuous”. All those phrases reflect a negative manifestation of Neptune. (The NY Times parses the speech here, and the Atlantic also gives a good overview.) 

Taking a look at Ryan’s chart (see it here), we note Neptune prominently placed conjunct the Ascendant, the closest aspect in his chart. It is also inconjunct his natal Mercury (communications) and trine Mars (aspects between Mars and Neptune often denote charisma). At the time of his speech, the transiting North Node was conjunct, and transiting Neptune within one degree of a square to Ryan’s Ascendant-Neptune conjunction. Neptune’s influence was strong indeed.

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