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Diotima

Diotima

Diotima Mantineia began studying astrology in 1968, taking classes from Zoltan Mason in New York City. For the next 22 years, she practiced astrology only for herself and her friends, continuing her studies while watching an increasingly humanistic, psychologically oriented, modern astrology blossom through the work of leading astrologers such as Noel Tyl, Liz Greene, Rob Hand, Marion March, Stephen Arroyo and Howard Sasportas.

In 1986, Diotima began her study of Wicca and started reading Tarot, discovering that she is a gifted intuitive. In 1991, she began practicing both astrology and Tarot professionally.

She majored in plant and soil science both in college and grad school, and grows much of her own food and "materia magica" on her land in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Diotima’s personal spiritual path is rooted in the Western mystery traditions, the principles of Yoga, and a profound connection with the natural world. Wicca gives structure to her spiritual journey, and she utilizes shamanic practices for healing and to live in harmony with Nature. Over 15 years of studying Chinese martial arts has given her a deep appreciation of Taoist thought which has strongly influenced her magical and personal philosophy. You can find her at www.uraniaswell.com

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b2ap3_thumbnail_heartbleed.pngThe recent news has been so full of the current astrological symbolism, it’s hard for a poor astrologer to keep up. In tech news (Uranus rules computers and hi-tech) we have the NASDAQ sell-off, and the Heartbleed bug — which may not be entirely unrelated. In the “yet more insane, horrifying violence” sort of news, we have the shooting at Fort Hood, and the stabbings at a PA school, both involving heroic actions by women. Also, this.  I suggested the likelihood of "notable actions of a woman or group of women" happening this month in my post on the Aries New Moon.

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    I think I'm going to print this out so I can carry it with me. Every time I read it, I find something new. Thanks, my dear friend

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b2ap3_thumbnail_crossroads-in-woods.jpgI shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

 Astrologers are all abuzz these days about the upcoming “Cardinal Cross” in April, which involves the ongoing Uranus-Pluto square I have mentioned so frequently. Those two planets are now being joined by Jupiter in Cancer and Mars retrograde in Libra to form an equal-armed cross – the cross of manifestation. They all line up closest with each other — and with the Sun of the USA’s chart — right around April 22. In addition to this, there are two eclipses coming up in the month of April. Right now though, let’s take a look at the New Moon in Aries on March 30th, which is predictive for the month ahead. The chart I am working with is cast for Washington, DC, and so is predictive for the entire USA.

Why, yes — as you may have already heard if you keep up with astrology, it *is* a rather intense chart. Mars — retrograde, in its detriment, and tucked away in the 3rd house in the WDC chart — rules the New Moon. Passive-aggressive describes this placement pretty well, and given Mars’ rulership of the foreign policy, higher education, philosophy and religion 9th house, we are likely to see veiled hostility, avoidance of confrontation, underhanded actions, and knife-in-the-back behavior in any of those areas, because when Mars ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Ditto for 3rd house areas of media, communication networks, transportation, early education.And, yes — the Cardinal Cross kicks ass, and Mars is part of that. But you can avoid a lot of the pain and aggravation if you get off of the aforementioned fundament and put it in gear.

You can’t escape change, especially if you have key planetary placements in the Cardinal signs. In fact, many of you are right in the middle of a period of profound change. The Cardinal Cross can give you a lot of power to change your life for the better, but you’ll need to participate enthusiastically in releasing the old to make room for the new. The choices you make now are exceptionally important. You’ll want to have goals in mind, and a clear focus. I can’t emphasize enough how much this chart requires flexibility, focus, and a willingness to act with empathy and in line with your core values.

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  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Interesting about an alignment of larger planets. Some recent physics papers suggest that planetary alignments cause tides on the

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b2ap3_thumbnail_tightrope-walker-in-moon_20140319-010748_1.jpgThe chart of the Spring Equinox of 2014 is an intense, powerful chart that suggests a strong possibility of a sudden and profound awakening within the country. This chart influences the next three months — until the Summer Solstice — and is cast for Washington, DC, so is predictive for the entire USA.

This chart (find it here, and a bi-wheel with the USA chart here) speaks strongly of ideology run amok — not that we haven’t been seeing enough of that lately in the halls of government, especially here in Appalachia, where Republicans Gone Wild has been the theme recently, and the environment we all live in is paying for their extreme ideology (coal ash, anyone? A cocktail of mystery chemicals? Some tailings from mountain top removal?). I suspect that that there will be strong components of religion and environmentalism in the loud and heated discussions and clashes of ideas that seem inevitable this Spring, not to mention explosive events. We are walking the high wire during this time of the Uranus-Pluto square, and all our focus needs to be on getting to the other side, to a sustainable, life-affirming culture.  

But there’s a strong call to spirituality, ethics and evolution in this chart as well. The conjunction of Mercury and Neptune in Pisces is a magical one, with the magic strengthened by the trine from Jupiter. Mercury is in his detriment in Pisces, which is kind of like being at a party where you don’t know the other people, and you’re not sure you want to. But we can give him something useful to do by directing our minds towards creating visions of a better future using the oceanic awareness of Neptune and Pisces. This is a great opportunity to sharpen and strengthen our meditation and  visualization skills. Magically, work to connect with tutelary spirits should be well-supported. However, there is also a risk of getting lost in fantasy or embroiled in deception, so it’s important to stay grounded and to listen if trusted friends question our judgment.

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Crazy-good, as always. Shoo, kitty, you rock this stuff!
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Thank you, Greybeard. Agreed!
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    You are right that its a time for people to wake up. I read today that use of wood for heating fuel has doubled in less than 10 y

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b2ap3_thumbnail_diver-and-fish.jpgBe not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

This New Moon in Pisces on March 1st is remarkable for the fact that three planets — Mercury, Mars and Saturn — will be standing still in the sky (stationing retrograde or direct) within 24 hours of the New Moon moment. This will amplify the strength of those three planets in this chart, and in classical astrology, Mars and Saturn were considered the “malefic” planets — with good reason. Mars tends to deliver conflict and violence, while Saturn often brings restriction and loss. (But hey, at least Mercury’s going direct.) Both Mars and Saturn do, of course, have more beneficial manifestations — Mars can bring strength, passion and needed action, while Saturn can deliver earned material rewards and wisdom teachings. As always, an individual or focused group can do a lot to shape the energy of a chart towards growth and positive change, but en masse we tend to see the less conscious demonstrations of whatever the chart promises. Let’s look at how we can work with these planetary configurations at the New Moon to manifest wise and constructive action in the month ahead, because in the chart cast for Washington, DC, (which is predictive for the whole USA), Mars and Saturn — not to mention Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto — are kicking ass and taking names. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_heart_shaped_full_moon.jpgYour playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. ~ Marianne Williamson

 If you’ve been anticipating that lovely, romantic Full Moon on Valentine’s Day, you might want to reconsider your approach. Instead of dreaming of moonlit skies and stardust, dust off your altar and pull out your journal and your magical tools, because you’re going to want to work to shift the energy of this Full Moon into some positive results. As with most difficult charts, there is power here, but you need to put a bridle on that horse, or you’ll likely get thrown.

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Ahhh. I love an invitation to rethink things.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_parrot.jpg

 

This is Part 2 of this post. You can read Part 1 here.

The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.” ~ Socrates

One of the more negative ways Mars expresses itself in Libra is through emotional manipulation and bullying, and taking offense is a classic move towards conflict in the repertoire of the manipulator and the bully. As any military mind knows, the best defense is a good offense, and Mars, if he’s not taking orders from the Sun, easily goes on red alert, and plans human interactions as a type of battle, where people are used strategically towards the goal of victory, or eliminated from the battlefield in one way or another. A planet in its detriment offers a challenge to manifest that planet positively through a full range of possibility, to expand and grow that planet’s expression into an unfamiliar realm — in this case, Mars needs to learn to function effectively in the realm of diplomacy, empathy, concern for others. But if we don’t live up to the test, if the bull isn’t tamed enough to walk carefully through the china shop, then the results can be quite messy, and the damage left behind by an uncontrolled Mars in Libra can be epic.

(And speaking of epics: As I’m sure you know, the planets are currently named from Roman and Greek gods and goddesses — and the myths and stories of those beings fit the planets’ way of manifesting energy rather well. But when I personalize a planet and refer to it as “he” or “she”, keep in mind that I am invoking a convenient mythology to help explain the way the planet is working. The fact that we all have all these planets in our charts is a good reminder that gender does not have a dividing line, but flows on a continuum through the human psyche, and misogyny or misandry is simply hating on a denied and projected part of yourself. But I digress.)

Mars, however, is not just about fighting and battles — in fact, I would say that the whole concept of war is laid on Mars simply because he can carry it, and that war is not natural, but is a wound on the human psyche which may take a full Great Age to heal. But that’s another post. The point here is that Mars, underneath all the saber-rattling, helps us use and direct energy in the physical realm. I think of Mars as an electrical transformer that takes pure energy and feeds it to us, modulating it both through our natal Mars, and also through the signs and aspects as it transits through the Zodiac every two years. Given that we are beings of pure energy living in a world of pure energy, that’s saying a lot. We can’t help but use and direct energy in the physical realm if we are in a living body, and when Mars spends an extra-long time in a sign through retrogradation, as he is now doing in Libra, then we have a lot to learn about how to modulate energy in a particular way. In Libra, the lessons are about relationship and justice.

You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul. ~ Swami Vivekananda

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Excellent. As always!

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b2ap3_thumbnail_scottish_wildcat.jpgThis post will be a two-parter: You can read part 2 here.

No man lives without jostling and being jostled; in all ways he has to elbow himself through the world, giving and receiving offense."—Thomas Carlyle

With Mars settled into Libra for a nice long transit of about six months, this is a good time to take a look at the Red Planet’s meaning in our lives, in our charts, and at the lessons we can glean from the Warrior’s transit through the realm of Themis and Her scales of justice.  Mars isn’t happy here — He’s not very good with the social graces beloved of Libra, the sign of his detriment — but he’ll happily fight for Libran causes. This means that one of the most prominent manifestations of this transit is often an emphasis on fighting for social justice, which can — and frequently does — devolve into fighting over issues of political correctness (at any point on the political spectrum) and hurt feelings. Libra is the sign of the diplomat, and wants everyone to get along. Mars loves to fight. Put the two together, and you’re going to see a lot of people with ruffled feathers, fighting over whether or not their feelings are getting sufficient respect and attention from others. In other words, there will be a lot of people taking – and giving – offense.

Sometimes, an act or statement of opinion we deem “offensive” so clearly challenges our sense of justice or personal core values that it requires an emphatic, even aggressive, action or statement of opinion in response. So the feeling of being offended can serve to raise an internal red flag, alerting us to a possible violation of standards we deem personally acceptable, and the need to do something about it. But more often than not, people don’t simply notice the red flag, take it as a warning, and then move to identify and solve a problem. Instead, they chase the flag and the flag-bearer around the arena, snorting and huffing and puffing, determined to trample the offending parties into the dust, certain that only the total decimation of the red flag will make the pain they are feeling go away. But it won’t, of course, no more for the offended person than for a wounded bull. And the offended person is wounded, no mistake, but the pain is sourced in a wounding much older than any current situation. Those unhealed wounds are worth identifying, whether in ourselves, someone we care about, or even just someone who is demanding our attention. We all overreact sometimes, and tracing that reaction back to its source can give us a wonderful opportunity for healing.

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  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Thanks, Courtney. I'm off to write Part 2 now. :-)
  • Courtney Weber
    Courtney Weber says #
    Wonderful points and insight! Sincerely, Yet Another Moon in Scorpio
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Yes, Barbara, it would, and thanks for pointing that out.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_snowy-day-in-the-woods.jpgThe chart cast for the moment of the Winter Solstice — when the Sun enters Capricorn — is predictive for the three months ahead, and when the chart is cast for the capital of a country, it is predictive for that entire country. As we spiral in towards the next solsticial shift — from dark to light here in the northern hemisphere, and from light to dark in the southern — we are caught up in planetary energies that demand change, and change often demands the destruction of the old before the new is birthed. It is the light within us — our inner Sun — that gives us the vision, energy, courage and strength to build anew in a world in which hi-tech warfare, critical levels of environmental pollution, catastrophic climate change and resource depletion promise a future very different from our present. The challenges are clear, and the Solstice chart offers us insight into the personal and spiritual strategies we can use to meet these challenges with grace, compassion, and courage.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_masks01.jpgDecember’s New Moon is a Vegas kind of Moon — big, bold, and dramatic. It heralds a holiday season of screaming headlines, explosive events and probably some wild parties, as well. The entertainment industry, issues of children and youth, especially education, and any kind of gambling, including the stock market, will be emphasized in the coming month here in the USA.

Let’s cover the basic astrology first. (Non-astrologers can skip this paragraph) The chart can be found here. Set for Washington, DC, it features the New Moon in Sagittarius in the 5th, with Sagittarius’ ruler, Jupiter, powerfully placed on the Ascendent in Cancer, the sign of its exaltation, opposing Venus, and widely opposing Pluto, as well. Uranus sits in the 10th house, adjacent to the Aries Point Midheaven, which is opposed by Mars. The Uranus-Pluto square is in full force, and the Sun-Moon conjunction plus Mercury are in a wide square to Neptune. There is a strong trine between Jupiter and Saturn, and between Uranus and the Sun-Moon. The New Moon falls in the fifth house, joined by Mercury and Saturn, and the fifth house rulers are Mars and Pluto. The houses and angles on this chart are specific to the USA, but much of what I say here will be applicable globally.

This is going to be an expansive month, a time when people will want to push the proverbial envelope, to try new things — but they’ll want to do that from a secure home base. There are indicators of self-indulgence, but that energy can also express itself as simply playing the social butterfly, or taking particular care with appearances. Ideally, social gatherings will revolve around something practical, protective and nurturing. Building something beautiful, creating structures of meaning, expanding to include others are all supported by this chart. It will be an inspirational time for artists, especially those whose natal placements have significant interactions with the New Moon chart.

...
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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Gad zooks, woman. Thanks for keeping the Comedy mask in.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_baba_yaga_by_forestrogers-d5hixbb.jpgThe New Moon eclipse coming up on November 3rd is profound and transformative. The effects of a solar eclipse are more far-reaching and longer lasting than a regular New Moon, beginning a month or so before the actual event, and lasting for up to 18 months. This one will have us digging deeply into our psyches or projecting our shadows for some time to come. As I mentioned in my last post, there is an ongoing gathering of planets in Scorpio, the sign of transformation and secrets, sex and death, power and wealth, and they are all tied into the dramatic and revolutionary Uranus-Pluto square. The eclipse chart takes a picture right at the height of this wild party.  There are some observations and cautions to be drawn from the chart from a national point of view — when cast for Washington, DC, the chart has the Scorpio stellium in the twelfth house, with Mars and Neptune in a wide opposition across the MC/IC axis — and I’ll discuss those, but the chart also offers considerable insight on a more personal level.

One of the first things that jumps out of this chart is a complete lack of planets in Air, and a considerable emphasis on Water. Mercury is also retrograde, and in a Water sign. This subdues communication, information exchange, and the open and rational discussion of ideas, while giving free rein to the expression of emotion and the imposition of material authority through the close cooperation of the three authoritarian planets, Mars, Saturn and Pluto. Saturn and Pluto relate to karmic issues in a chart, as does the sign of Scorpio, which is ruled by Mars and Pluto. A lot of us are going to be looking at karmic issues coming home to roost, and struggles on an emotional level that can be exhausting because they are rooted in childhood or past life experiences. We may feel like we’ve been thrown overboard into the waters of deep feeling, and can’t find an island of logic and perspective on which to rest.

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  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Thank you, Janet!
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    Excellent post, Diotima!

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b2ap3_thumbnail_The_Scream.jpgParanoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
Step out of line, the man come and take you away

 Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth



’Tis the season of scary in our culture, when we put on glaring display (using lots of plastic and blinking lights) the things that we are afraid of, mostly having to do with death and unknown or unseen powers — ghosts, monsters, skeletons, witches and oversized spiders. Undoubtedly, the underlying urge to flaunt and so face down these fearful things is rooted in our agrarian past, when the fact that this is the season of death here in the northern hemisphere was unmistakable, and the cold winter ahead threatened illness and hunger. Acknowledging and externalizing fears allows us to share them, and helps stave off the creeping dread.
 
Except for the increasing number of homeless, few of us here in the USA fear for our lives and health as winter approaches, but fear still looms large in our lives, a natural human reaction that is used by the media to get ratings, and by those in power to control us (“Elect me or socialist Muslims/Christian dominionists/aliens and their pet lizards will take over America!”) Certainly, fear is an effective motivator, but as a constant companion it is quite disempowering. Unfortunately, between the media and the politicians, we are constantly reminded of the things we should fear — things much more immediate and pressing to us than ghosts and monsters.
 
Astrologically, the Sun moves into Scorpio a week or so before Samhain, and Scorpio loves to explore those issues of fear, death, and control. So, let’s take a look at the upcoming Mercury retrograde cycle in Scorpio, which will be followed by a New Moon eclipse in the same sign. There’s a lot going on in Scorpio right now — Saturn is there, along with the Moon’s North Node, and Mercury. Mercury, because of its retrograde cycle, will be in the sign until early December, the Sun will join the party for a month on October 23rd, and the New Moon arrives there on November 3rd.
 
Scorpio, like all three water signs, is, in essence, about relationship. Cancer speaks to relationship with family, ancestors, the land. Pisces is about relationship with All That Is. Scorpio’s realm covers both intimate relationships, and relationships with both individuals and groups of people with whom we share resources. Scorpio always takes it down deep, because you can’t really know an individual or a group of people if you always keep it on the surface. The knowing is important to Scorpio, because knowing deepens relationship — not only with other people, but with life itself. Since Scorpio sees so deeply into the human heart, those who are strongly under the sign’s influence can be quite manipulative — sometimes from compassion, sometimes because they like to play the game, and sometimes because…well, you know the story about the frog and the scorpion, right? To Scorpio, pain, and even death, can be just another way of gaining the deep knowledge.
 
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b2ap3_thumbnail_raven-in-fulll-moon.jpgThere are two interesting lunations (New or Full Moon) coming up in October that can give us some insight on the month ahead — the New Moon on October 4 — and on the upcoming 6 months or so in the case of the Full Moon on October 18, which is an eclipse.

Let’s start with the New Moon. These are some of the configurations astrologers will want to take note of (here is the chart): Cluster of planets in the sixth house, 3 planets in Scorpio including a Mercury-North Node-Saturn conjunction. Venus rules the chart from her throne on the Descendant in a house she rules, but in detriment and tensely aspected. It’s a Libra New Moon, so we are looking for balance, and there is little to be found, with the Moon/Sun tightly configured with the Uranus-Pluto square. Mars is square the AS/DS axis and Venus, and in tight aspect (SSQ) to both Uranus and Pluto.

What to make of all this? From the point of view of mundane astrology, things look a bit tense. (I should note here that individual humans can use the energy of the planetary patterns to change themselves and their lives. Hence, individual reactions to a lunation are more likely to be positive and less “fated” than events in the nations and large groups that are the subject of mundane astrology. My fellow blogger here at Pagan Square, Kate Cartwright, has written about how best to use the personal aspects of this lunation here) This chart is cast for Washington, DC, so it is predictive for the entire country.

First, of course, we’ll look at the Sun and Moon, which are activating the ongoing Uranus-Pluto square (UPS). This means that surprises, transformations, explosive (physically or emotionally) events, and powerful breakthroughs are all likely. It’s probable that many of these manifestations will be in the realm of relationship, particularly, from a national point of view, the relationship of the people of the country to its leaders.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_misty-autumn-forest.jpg

The Autumn Equinox is coming up this weekend, so this is a good time to look ahead to the rest of the year, since (as you know if you’ve been reading this blog) charts of the solstices and equinoxes, also called cardinal ingress charts, are predictive for the quarter ahead.
 
The chart of the Autumn Equinox (Libra Ingress) speaks loudly of conflict, of the outward expression of strongly-held feelings, emphatic action, of resistance and of change. The important Ascendent and Midheaven rulers of the chart are our current starring couple, Uranus and Pluto, who are just about to form the fourth exact square of seven between the years of 2012 and 2015. This deeply transformative aspect will drive and demand change from each of us, and actively transformative energies will be particularly high during this quarter. (Astrology ahead: note that Mars is strongly activated in this chart — happily ensconced in a fire sign, strongly placed in the seventh house conjunct the Descendent, dispositing AS ruler Uranus, as well as Saturn and Venus. It co-rules the Scorpio MC, and is at the focal point of a T-square. There is a multiple T-square in the fixed signs involving the Ascendent, Mars, Moon, Venus, Saturn and the Moon’s Node.)
 
One of the primary aspects in the chart (the T-square) suggests that we are going to be seeing a lot of high-handed action, autocratic behavior and displays of ego (Mars in Leo) in the world around us over the next few months, and needless to say, we are also personally at risk of behaving in similar ways, or being victimized by such behavior. To avoid that, we’ll need to consciously choose to be aware of our mental and emotional states, actively work to stay balanced, and keep our personal boundaries strong.  If you are going to take any possibly life-altering actions during this time, be sure to look carefully at all the ramifications, particularly emotional ramifications, and consider the opinions of others before making a fully thought out decision based on your personal values. Be canny and aware of the undercurrents in situations. You may want to play your cards close to your chest, but it’s important not to be in any way underhanded. You will also want to accurately assess whether or not you have the resources to do the things you want to do.
 
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  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Emily, thanks for the feedback. I'm glad this was helpful to you. And yes, with Uranus and Pluto in square, it is, as Byron Ballar
  • Emily Mills
    Emily Mills says #
    This is amazing. I'm glad I checked in on Pagan Square today. I've had this strange feeling of big change coming since the equinox
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Beautiful.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_surfer.jpgJust a quick heads-up on the Full Moon that occurs Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning (depending on your time zone), because it is going to pack a punch, and you’ll want to be aware of what planetary energies are on the run now. For some, this Full Moon may bring a great release of tension, a time of breakthrough, or even a streak of luck. For others, there will be changes and disturbances — quite possibly sudden and surprising ones — that are destabilizing and expanding at the same time. This depends, of course, on how the transits fall in your chart, and what other influences (arcs, progressions) are affecting you now.

This Full Moon happens just hours before the square between Jupiter and Uranus becomes exact. When cast for Washington, DC, (and so reflecting the event’s effects for the entire country), the chart shows Uranus conjunct the Ascendant, with Jupiter oppose, and Pluto conjunct the Midheaven. Nationally, we are likely to see surprising, sudden events, perhaps explosive revelations. With headstrong Aries rising, and Mercury conjunct the Sun in fiery, self-assured Leo, things are not likely to be peaceful. The 5th/11th house involvement points to another possible Wall Street/economic spectacle of some kind, along with an entirely inadequate, misleading and/or obfuscating government response to the crisis du jour. (The Moon moves into Pisces, and then conjuncts Neptune just hours after full, trining the master manipulator, Saturn, in Scorpio) Also look for sudden developments in foreign policies, and people climbing onto their soapboxes all over the place. Religious themes will be prominent, as will themes of liberty and personal rights.

 

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The chart for the moment of the Summer Solstice is called the Cancer Ingress chart, and cardinal (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) ingress charts are a very useful way to predict national and local events. The planetary positions are the same world-wide, but the angles and houses are location-specific, and the chart cast for a nation’s capital is used to predict for the entire nation. As always, I’ve cast this chart for Washington, DC, as an indicator for the entire country.

I know that some people question how a cardinal ingress chart can be predictive for an entire nation. The proof’s in the predictions, though, so let’s take a quick look back at the Aries ingress chart, which I wrote about here, and check some of those predictions with a few examples.

  • Violent expressions of emotion around political beliefs”. Sadly, the Boston Marathon bombings happened just weeks after I wrote this. Casting the Aries Ingress chart for Boston shows both Mars and Uranus on the Ascendant.
  • Violent weather and environmental events” and “major flooding in parts of the country” Moore, OK was decimated by the widest tornado ever recorded, tornadoes and flooding were widespread, including record flooding in the Midwest and Texas , while the South and Northeast were drenched by tropical storm Andrea, and wildfires in Colorado  and California caused widespread destruction.
  • …anything to do with mining, fracking, extraction of resources will be a focus, and industrial, mining, or environmental accidents cannot be ruled out.” Within days of the equinox, a train derailed in Minnesota, spilling almost a thousand barrels of tar sands crude. Two days later, in Arkansas, an Exxon-Mobil pipeline burst, spilling an estimated 12,000 barrels of crude oil. On April 17, there was a fatal explosion at an Exxon-Mobil refinery, and another fatal and highly destructive explosion at a fertilizer plant in West Texas. In June, an explosion at a Louisiana chemical plant killed one and injured many. 
  • We are also likely to see exhibitions of moral courage…and possibly some more remarkable scientific breakthroughsEdward Snowden took his place with Manning and Assange as he blew the whistle on the NSA at considerable personal risk, and Nature announced a breakthrough in cloning human stem cells 

You can see that the cardinal ingress chart technique can be very accurate. What we’re looking at when we interpret these charts is a national shared focus of attention and awareness, at events that resonate on a collective level. Now let’s take a look at the Cancer ingress chart, and what it can tell us about the summer.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Kompas_Sofia.JPGWe have another lunar eclipse coming up this weekend — late Friday or early Saturday, depending on your time zone. You can see the chart cast for Washington, DC, here. The eclipse falls in the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius, and gives us an opportunity to develop our skills at riding the roller-coaster of the Pluto-Uranus square. 

An arrow is the symbol for the sign of Sagittarius, and it always makes me think of the pointer of a compass; appropriately enough, because determining which direction to take is something Sagittarius does well. Acquiring, organizing and classifying the information that life presents us with is Gemini’s passion; Sagittarius takes that information and gives it meaning in a larger, social context, so that we can plan for the future — decide which direction we want to go in, and set standards of conduct for getting there. The upcoming lunar eclipse highlights these two opposing signs of Gemini and Sagittarius, making this an excellent time to review the direction you have set for yourself, your expectations for your own behavior and that of others — in other words, to recalibrate your moral compass.

Does that word “moral” make you cringe a bit? It does me. It always makes me think of the “The Moral Majority” of the 70s and 80s, and of sanctimonious attitudes that involve taking — or, more often, telling others to take —  the “moral high ground”. Laws and religions that purport to codify “moral behavior” are often used repressively to demonize natural and healthy human behaviors, and to control people through fear.  So who needs it? Should we just ditch the whole concept of morality, and depend on instinctive self-interest to direct our actions?

Well, here’s the thing. Even if we wanted to, we can’t. The need to determine and distinguish “right” from “wrong” behavior is built into the human race, and the struggle to modify our behavior to conform to our ideas and our ideals is mythic and inescapable. We structure the world and adapt our behavior according to a personal philosophy of life that is based in childhood experiences, but is continually forming and re-forming. Unfortunately, we tend to burden ourselves with a whole lot of “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”, “dos” and “do nots” without looking at them closely, especially when we are young. We internalize these directives until our behavior instinctively reflects them, and then we layer other, often conflicting, beliefs, concepts, laws and regulations on top of the ones that were wrapped around us as we were growing up. Inevitably, many of these ideas clash with each other, and unless we look closely at what is driving our behaviors and reactions, our lives -- both inner and outer -- begin to reflect the chaos of a compass that can’t find North because it is surrounded by magnets.

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  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Lea, thanks for your comment. Yes, if we pay attention, age does bring a certain amount of wisdom and awareness. ;-) Glad the pos
  • Lea Cox
    Lea Cox says #
    Dio, I am constantly thinking of ethical and moral concepts and I just had a discussion of this with my sister yesterday. Pretty

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_bee_on_flower.jpgSmile O voluptuous cool-breath'd earth!

Earth of the slumbering and liquid trees!

Earth of departed sunset — earth of the mountains misty-topt!

Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon just tinged with blue!

Earth of shine and dark mottling the tide of the river!

Earth of the limpid gray of clouds brighter and clearer for my sake!

Far-swooping elbow'd earth — rich apple-blossom'd earth!

Smile, for your lover comes.
Walt Whitman - Song of Myself

 Beltane always falls when the Sun is in Taurus; if you celebrate Beltane astrologically, the Sun will be exactly halfway through Taurus, and halfway between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice — always a few days later than May 1st. (This year, it fell early on Sunday, May 6th) Whether you are heading towards summer or winter, the Earth is in transition. Perhaps this is why the sign of Taurus is so concerned with security, with farming, and the Earth. Taurus’ other main focus is a sensual connection with the Web of LIfe, and the creation and enjoyment of beauty.

The New Moon Eclipse on May 9th will highlight Taurean themes for some months to come. There are four planets (a stellium) in Taurus in this chart — Sun, Moon, Mercury and Mars — and if you follow this blog, you’ll recall that the influence of a solar eclipse can be as long as a year. Saturn in Scorpio provides a balance point for all that Taurean energy. Though there is no direct opposition, as I noted in this post“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.”

Venus, the ruler of Taurus, has just moved into bright, aware Gemini, where life is a question to be answered, and connection to others is key. Venus is square to Neptune in Pisces, and Pisces' other ruler, Jupiter, is also in Gemini, unaspected, making it even more of a wildcard than usual.

All of this suggests that in the months to come, issues of material security will be raised again and again at varying levels of intensity depending on how this configuration falls in your personal chart. Are you stuck in a rut somewhere? Has the pursuit of security smothered your creativity and playfulness, or do you need to pay more attention to how you support yourself on this Earth? What are the personal and social costs of the way you live your life? If you don’t ask yourself some of these questions, they will be asked of you, and the answers will demand both action and clear communication.

 

I believe in the flesh and the appetites,
Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle.
Walt Whitman - Song of Myself

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  • Lea Cox
    Lea Cox says #
    Thanks for the heads up, Dio. I forgot about the others. And thanks for your well wishes. I'll get back to the east coast and v
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    There are three lunar eclipses this year! I wrote about the first one here: http://witchesandpagans.com/Pagan-Culture-Blogs/sex-li
  • Lea Cox
    Lea Cox says #
    I'm moving from Port Angeles, Wa, to Flagstaff, Az, my spiritual home (I grew up in Arizona). I leave at the end of the month and

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_astro-clock-italy-sm_20121115-220151_1.jpgOn April 25th, there will be a partial lunar eclipse. Both New and Full Moons are used for prediction in astrology, and their influence is considered to extend until the next New Moon. Eclipses (which always happen at either a New (solar) or Full (lunar) Moon) have a far longer influence — 6 months to a year.  (I’m going to get into some fairly detailed astrology in the first part of this post, so if you just want my conclusions about how this eclipse will play out in the USA, scan down the article for the text in bold.)

Eclipses are used for prediction in a couple of ways:

  • We can cast the chart of the actual event for a particular place — where one is living, or the capital of a country, for instance — and interpret the chart as it stands, with its own angles and houses.
  • We can also take that chart and arrange it around the wheel of another chart, such as one’s natal chart, or the chart of a country. This is known as a bi-wheel, and the natal chart is put in the center, using natal angles and house divisions.

For this upcoming eclipse, you will find the chart of the event, cast for Washington, DC, here, and the bi-wheel here, if you want to follow along with my interpretation.

The first thing we’ll look at is the Sun and Moon — the eclipse itself. Here, the Moon is in Scorpio, in the 2nd house and the Sun in Taurus in the 8th (remember that house positions are specific to the place for which the chart was cast — in this case, Washington, DC., which makes this chart relevant for the entire country. The planetary signs and aspects are relevant globally) Immediately, we also see Mars in close conjunction with the Sun, and Saturn conjunct the Moon (a conjunction with Sun or Moon, of course, means an opposition with the other light at a Full Moon). This means both Mars and Saturn, in opposition to each other, can be considered “rulers” of the eclipse. Ack! This is not a happy placement. “Cruelty” is the first word that comes to mind when Mars and Saturn are in tense aspect with each other, especially in Taurus/Scorpio.

Let’s keep looking and see what else stands out.

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  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    As always, you are more than welcome, Lea. :-)
  • Lea Cox
    Lea Cox says #
    Interesting, Dio. Looking forward to seeing how all of this plays out. Thanks for your always illuminating discussion on this!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_astro-clock-italy-sm_20121115-220151_1.jpgJust a few quick notes on the Aries New Moon that happened earlier today, and what it might tell us about the month ahead. It gives us a line-up of 5 planets in Aries, Pisces rising in Washington, DC, with Neptune in the 12th, and Mercury on the Ascendant, ruling the 3rd, 4th and 7th houses. Jupiter is in the third house. In the USA’s (Sibley) chart, all the Pisces/Aries action is in the 3rd and 4th houses, squaring natal Mercury, with the Sun and Moon conjunct the USA's natal Chiron. For the country, I very much hope this will manifest as a vigorous public discussion on environmental issues. In my post on the Spring Equinox chart, I noted the strong possibility of industrial accidents, particularly involving mining, fracking, or any extraction of resources. There have been three major oil spill accidents in the country in the past week, and it becomes clearer every day that such a discussion is long overdue.

The stellium in Aries in the New Moon chart suggests a time of pioneering attitudes, of accepting challenges and fighting for freedom. Tempers tend to flare, and no one seems to want to back down. The Obama administration will, I think, be having a hell of a time with foreign affairs, and we all will get an opportunity to think about where courage,  strength, and initiative bleed into foolhardiness, willfulness, and unwarranted aggression. When Mercury moves into Aries in a little over a week, we can expect to see an increase in bombastic rhetoric on the world stage. In our personal lives, we can use this time as an opportunity to communicate with honesty and courage.

Two of the closest aspects in the chart are a inconjunct between Saturn and Uranus, and a sesqui-square between Mercury and Saturn. These are very tense, high-anxiety aspects, both involving Saturn in Scorpio. There is a sense of cruelty here — cruelty fueled by rage. You’ll likely see this played out on the world stage, but watch carefully in your own life and notice where you tend to ignore others’ feelings in pursuit of efficiency or in response to fear.

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The chart of the Spring Equinox — cast for the moment the Sun enters the sign of Aries — is arguably the most important of the four Cardinal ingress charts. Many astrologers believe it sets the tone for the entire year, not just the following quarter. It happens at the same moment (not the same clock time) everywhere, so the house positions of the planets are different, depending on the location. Casting the ingress chart for the capital of a country is considered predictive for the whole country for the following quarter regarding the politics, events, attitudes and general zeitgeist. You can analyze the chart for a particular location, and/or analyze it in reference to another chart. Here is the Aries ingress (Spring Equinox) chart cast for Washington, DC, and here is a bi-wheel of that chart around the chart of the USA (Sibley) if you want to follow along with my analysis.

If you follow this blog, you know that one of the major current transits is the ongoing square of Uranus to Pluto, and that aspect is, of course, a major player in this chart — not exact, but still within less than four degrees of orb. (*Note: in the original version of this post, I said the aspect was exact again in June. This is a good example of why we elderly types should not rely on our memories. :-) It's exact again May 20th.) As I mentioned in my discussion of the Winter Solstice chart, Uranus rules electricity, Pluto rules breakdowns and extremes of all kinds, and there were many, many problems with the electric grid over the last few months in different parts of the country, almost all of them due to a series of severe winter storms, as well as a great deal of public discussion around fracking, a very Plutonian process that provides fuel for the electric grid. In the Spring Equinox chart, Mars joins the fray, strong in its own sign, tightly conjunct Uranus (and more widely, the Sun) square the Moon, and, of course, square Pluto. The three planets in Aries cluster around the IC (4th house cusp) of the USA’s chart, and in the first house of the equinox chart.

The first house and its ruler signify the people of a country, as does the Moon, and the fourth house. Mars with Uranus is an explosive aspect, and the public discourse is likely to become even more heated in the upcoming months. Violent expressions of emotion around political beliefs is probable, and the fracking debate will, no doubt, be ongoing. The fourth house rules weather, and Uranus will be in the fourth house of the USA for quite a few more years. Uranus with Mars in this house suggests violent weather or environmental events, as well as highlighting issues of manufacturing and the military. With the square to Pluto, anything to do with mining, fracking, extraction of resources will be a focus, and industrial, mining, or environmental accidents cannot be ruled out. Munitions also come under the rulership of Mars, and I expect the gun control debate to continue to rage. We are also likely to see exhibitions of moral courage (thank you, Bradley Manning), and possibly some more remarkable scientific breakthroughs (hello, Higgs boson! BTW, that discovery was announced just after Mars had entered Aries).

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