Urania's Well: Astrology for Changing Times

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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_Hamlet-with-skull-of-Yorick.jpgThou know'st 'tis common;
all that lives must die,

Passing through nature to eternity.”

We come to this New Moon in Scorpio still within the tide of Samhain, All Hallows, Day of the Dead. There’s a reason all those holidays happen around the middle degrees of Scorpio — there is truly a thinning of the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead at this time of year (and don’t let anyone tell you the veil isn’t there at all — if it wasn’t, we’d all be dead).

Do you honor your ancestors as part of your spiritual practice? If not, this would be a good time to start. The New Moon in Scorpio always brings us to a time of introspection, a time to face our deepest needs and fears, commune with our beloved dead, and welcome deeply transformative experiences. I’ll tell you an experience I had with an African ancestral ritual a little later in this post, and why I think working with our ancestors is important. Meanwhile, back to the astrology…

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b2ap3_thumbnail_kid-on-a-seesaw.jpg"An insight the size of a mustard seed is powerful enough to bring down a mountain-sized illusion that may be holding our lives together. Truth strikes without mercy. We fear our intuitions because we fear the transformational power within our revelations.”
~ Caroline Myss

Get ready to ride the teeter-totter as the New Moon births itself in Libra, sign of balance, in opposition to Uranus, playing The Fool in Aries on Monday at 8:06 pm EDT. On a national level, social justice will be a topic of some concern, and on a personal level, we’ll be looking for balance, justice, truth, and spiritual growth in relationships.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_fortune-teller-dog.jpg"You don't really believe in astrology, do you?"

It amazes me how often I have been asked this question, even by people who know I am a professional astrologer (and it’s a pretty insulting question to ask a professional.). The question itself is symptomatic of a deep bias against astrology that comes out of the scientific community. Refuting the reasons for that bias would take a whole book, and fortunately astrologer Pam Gregory has written one with the same title. But there are a few key points about astrology and science I’d like to make here.

1) Bias is a lousy basis for experimentation.

In the course of acquiring a solid scientific education, one of the first things I learned is that science is based on objective observation and testing. Theories are encouraged, but if your theory gets in the way of your facts, then it’s back to the drawing board or the lab bench. I also learned that scientists, like other humans, can be far from objective, cherish their pet theories, and even descend into intellectual dishonesty in defense of their preferred world view (or their grants). Astrology threatens the core world view of many scientists, and they attack it with such ferocity that it’s clear they have a real emotional investment in demolishing it. This leads to flawed reasoning, testing, and interpretation.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Thank you, I had once read that the cross quarter festivals marked the rising and setting of the Pleiades at dawn and sunset. I t
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Anthony, Yes, the midpoint between a solstice and equinox or equinox and solstice is always at 15 degrees of a fixed sign. Betwee
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I once counted the days between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice and found that the midpoint was around November 6th.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs


b2ap3_thumbnail_raven-on-wall-in-fulll-moon.jpgOK, so I’m sure you’ve heard all about this upcoming FULL SUPERMOON ECLIPSE BLOOD MOON TETRAD OMG! WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!! that’s happening on Sunday night, right? Yeah, I thought so. As you may have surmised, I am not hiding in a bunker preparing for the end of the world — in fact, I’m busy figuring out the best ways to let people know about my upcoming online class while Mercury is busy doing the Moonwalk.
So let's take care of that part of the post first (with a hat tip to Mercury)...
Because I think knowing at least a little astrology is important for anyone who is interested in what their soul planned and dreamed and intended for this lifetime, I’ve developed a nine-week, online class with training videos and live question and answer calls and a ton of handouts and a private Facebook group and a live webinar and (whew!) what have I forgotten? Oh, yes, it includes my personal “Beginner’s Astrology Bibliography” and the class is called Chart and Soul: Astrology for Yourself. You can read all about it and register for it here. It will be fun, and I’m pretty sure we are all going to still be around when it starts on October 19th, so I hope you’ll join me!
Now, let’s take a look at this upcoming Full Moon -- and yes, it is a powerful one even if we aren’t all going to die quite yet. First, a bit about what is actually going on astronomically. It’s the Harvest Moon, the Full Moon closest to the Autumn Equinox, which means that it can seem bigger and brighter, and it rises earlier due to the angle of the ecliptic to the horizon at the equinoxes. Read all about that here.
This Full Moon is also a Supermoon, and there is a total eclipse — click here to see where and when it will be visible, and here to understand the mechanisms of an eclipse and get insight into all that annoying pseudo-Biblical blather about a “Blood Moon”.  
Astrologically, Full Moon eclipse charts resonate for up to 6 months or so. Let’s look at the opportunities it brings.
The key to this chart is relatedness — but it’s not only about relating to others. We need to look carefully at how we relate to ourselves. I am often astounded by what I hear in astrology consultations and Tarot readings. People say things to themselves and about themselves that they wouldn’t DREAM of saying to a loved one — or anyone else. Sometimes, they aren’t even aware of how hard they are being on themselves.
So I suggest you pay close attention to how your talk to yourself over the next few months, and have some positive, self-affirming phrases/prayers/mantras/whatever that you can repeat when you catch yourself thinking those unkind thoughts. Repeat the affirmation and engage the emotion behind it until you’ve gotten the bad taste of self-criticism out of your mind. This does NOT mean that you should not do your best to accurately assess your faults and weaknesses and understand what needs to change. It means you don’t needlessly beat yourself up about your faults, perceived or real. Know you are not faultless, just like all the other people in your life, and love yourself anyway.
There’s a suggestion in this chart of sacrificing truth on the altar of practicality and productivity. One of the issues is that truth is inclusive and expansive, and there is an awful lot of fear in the air right now, which means people tend to shut down and exclude instead. Your ideals and ideas, your highest goals and dreams are going to be challenged, and you get to decide if you choose to manifest them, or sacrifice them because you’re afraid.
When this chart is cast for the USA (Washington, DC), this confrontation between idealism and practicality will be particularly noticeable, with Saturn in the 6th house of public service and public health, tightly squaring the MC, and Mars, ruling the legislative 11th, opposing the MC. There will probably be some serious “faith in government” issues. With Mars and Jupiter opposing Neptune, and Jupiter’s trine to Pluto, major political scandals are always an option.
We also need to be careful of the Truth Trap. Truth can be hard to grasp, and often depends very much on one’s perspective (is that an old woman or a young woman in the picture on the right?) Staying open to hearing from others about their truth can help you determine where facts and authenticib2ap3_thumbnail_oldyoungwoman.gifty can be found in any given situation. Just because you think something is true or want it to be true doesn’t necessarily mean it is true — you may discover that you need to let go of some of your cherished fantasies. Let them go with grace, and look to your soul’s dreams to bring you inspiration.
You’ll find it helpful to be more discerning and truthful in your relationships. How do you determine what is true and what is not? Are your fears keeping you from clearly seeing a truth? Are you holding on to someone else’s truth like a lifeboat, or trying to convince others to believe your truth? This may sound a bit academic, but there’s a strong probability that these issues will take center stage in our lives. If you give these concepts some thought ahead of time, when conflicts arise you’ll be able to handle them with integrity.
There are very difficult weather/environmental aspects in the chart, particularly for the USA, with Mars in the fourth tightly square Saturn co-ruling the 10th, among other aspects. So if you are told to evacuate, or take certain precautions, don't hesitate.
Since we can be pretty sure that we are not all going to die from this eclipse, the question becomes “How do we live”? Will you live in a place of greed and self-centeredness, or from a foundation of knowledge and determination that we can help make the world a better place? Your choice…
If you want a weekly astrological update, subscribe to my newsletter (and get your copy of my booklet “Planning Your Day With The Moon”.) And if you want a lifetime astrological update, don’t forget to check out “Chart and Soul”! 


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b2ap3_thumbnail_working-mind.jpgEmancipate yourselves from mental slavery.
None but ourselves can free our minds.
― Bob Marley

"Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.”
― Adrienne Rich

The chart of the Autumn Equinox will resonate until sometime around the Winter Solstice. The equinoxes are always points of balance, and this chart emphasizes that we are at a tipping point — globally, nationally, locally and personally. Change is in the air, and decisions we make now will have long-term repercussions. Fortunately, this chart offers much-needed inspiration, energy and opportunities to improve our connections with others. We are heading into a challenging Winter — but we will be given the opportunities and wherewithal to make a difference. Thoughtful, skilled use of the cosmic tides of energy and change will help us steer ourselves and our world toward a better future.

I expect that most of my readers do magic, meditate, pray, or have some spiritual practice they engage in regularly. There’s plenty of energy to light a fire under your practice in this chart, and I hope you will use it, because the world needs all the positive vibes we can send it right now. There are deeply destructive forces — patterns of thought and emotion — that have woven themselves tightly into the fabric of our culture, and it will require clear, focused work on the energetic/astral/magical levels by those who are capable of it to unravel and re-weave ourselves into a strong, sustainable, global society.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_dream-of-earth.jpgWhat dreams and great ideas do you have you hidden away in various corners of your mind — the ones you drag out occasionally like a child’s comfort blanket to sooth your soul? Then you fold them up in the morning and put them away, because you’re too afraid, or too busy, or too full of doubt to actually translate those dreams into accomplishments.  You know the dreams I’m talking about — we all have them. This is a good month to pick one of them — one that feeds your soul — and make it happen.

The New Moon in Virgo this year occurs at 2:41 am on Sunday, September 13th (NOTE: All times are EDT. Find the chart here).  This New Moon is an eclipse, which means this chart will continue to resonate in the zeitgeist for about 6 months. Let’s look at some of the big issues that will be brought to our attention over the next few months.

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"b2ap3_thumbnail_Moon-over-sea.jpgI see skies of blue, and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
What a Wonderful World ~ Thiele and Weiss

The whole-hearted optimism and idealism of this wildly popular song that Louis Armstrong pretty much owned would probably cause it to fall flat on its face were it released today. Cynicism, deep pessimism and hypocrisy are rampant. Just reading the news is an exercise in developing emotional resilience — assuming you can manage to avoid getting depressed.  But as we try to pull back from the edge of causing our own extinction, as we try to figure out how to deal with the obvious insanity of our culture (did you read the one about how they just restarted a nuclear reactor located two miles away from a highly active volcano that is close to erupting?), as we try to keep our own lives on track, it is important to remember that the simple joys, the sacred moments, the acts of blessing and being blessed are experiences inherent to our human consciousness, experiences that connect us with Spirit and bring healing. Nurturing those experiences is the work of the healers of the world -- and we are all healers, if we choose to be.

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~ Viktor E. Frankl (neurologist, psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor)

It is only by changing our consciousness as individuals that we can change the world we live in. This month’s Full Moon reminds us that we are being called to a level of transformation that requires leaving cynicism, pessimism and hypocrisy behind as we become more and more aware of the effects of consciousness on physical reality.  The ramifications of the choices we make every day about how we use our minds, thoughts and emotions reverberate through our lives in the same way a plucked string on a guitar sets the other strings vibrating, even though they are untouched.

Unless you are a complete materialist, and believe that there is no existence or awareness separate from what your brain generates, and that brain is no more than the result of a process that began with the entirely random knocking together of atoms in a primordial soup, then you know that consciousness extends not only within and throughout physical reality, but in a reality that exists beyond the borders of time and space. (I am not questioning the mechanisms of the evolutionary process here, BTW, just the “entirely random” part.)

We have considerable and accumulating evidence that consciousness does continue to exist after death, and between lives, and that consciousness — or perhaps I should refer to it as Consciousness — not only exists outside time and space, but is responsible for the creation of it. If you have experienced this reality — whether you believe in creator gods or a single God or simply the non-theistic existence of the Tao —  then you realize that Consciousness is primary, the Source. From there, it is an easy step to conclude that your own consciousness must also be creative and influential, since it is part of the greater Consciousness that is the force behind all creation.

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