Urania's Well: Astrology for Changing Times


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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

A fanab2ap3_thumbnail_cherry-blossoms-on-stone.jpgtic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. ~ Winston Churchill

We have two significant events happening on March 20th — first, a New Moon in Pisces at 5:36 am EDT, followed immediately by a solar eclipse. Then, that evening at 6:46, the Sun moves into Aries for the Spring Equinox. Both these charts will be in effect for at least 3 to 6 months, and I have cast them for Washington, DC, so they are predictive for the country. Find the charts here and here.

This planetary combination is a recipe for change and new beginnings in this season of the balance between light and dark. We’ll want to get very clear about our intentions for our lives and our world, because the energy we set in motion on this day is likely to be powerful and long lasting. Should you work magic during this time? Of course! It could be argued that a magician is always working magic. But it is definitely a good idea to carefully consider where and how you are directing your magic, and also to know that with volatile energies like these, you may not get the results you expected, particularly if you work at the eclipse. Magic done at an eclipse tends to always have a wild card somewhere in the mix. I’d advise working with the eclipse energy only if your personal magical practice is relatively disciplined, you are well-tuned-in to the flow of energy in your life, and you can be flexible about the results. If this isn’t you, then you might want to work in the evening, at or after the equinox, when the Moon and Sun are trine Saturn, and the Moon is trine Jupiter.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_turquoise_moon_and_stars.jpg"All our relationships are person-to-person. They involve people seeing, hearing, touching, and speaking to each other; they involve sharing goods; and they involve moral values like generosity and compassion."
Brendan Myers

The New Moon happens on February 18 at 6:47 pm EST, right on the knife’s edge between Aquarius and Pisces, and brings attention and awareness to ideas about the collective and how we treat each other. The importance of technology — everything from breakdowns to privacy issues to technology saving the day — is another topic likely to be front and center. In this upcoming month you may want to focus on considering how you can work with others and create effective change within a group. What can you do together that you can’t do alone? Who is your tribe, and how do you support each other? Who are your spiritual kin, your “fellow travelers”, and how do you connect with them?

The term “tribal mentality” is tossed around a lot these days as though it were something to be avoided — and in the implied meaning of restricted, fearful, insular thinking, no doubt it is. But human brains are wired to live and work in small groups, so we also can find a number of people who are exploring a tribal template as a basic unit for a healthy economic and social system.  As the cracks in the industrial civilization we have built become more and more apparent, some are looking at tribal society as a promising, egalitarian model for a fossil-fuel-restricted, environmentally-challenged future. (See this and especially this) Others feel that “New Tribalism” is destructive of the values of a democratic society. (More about that here). We’ll be seeing ideas like these up for discussion in the coming month, and they will be well worth considering on a personal level as well. What communities do you belong to? How do you support them? How do they support you?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_heart_shaped_full_moon.jpgHere are some quick thoughts on tonight’s Full Moon. I’ve been hearing more than a few of those “WTF is going on with the stars these days?” inquiries that astrologers so often get, and it’s been interesting to see how many of them are from people with significant natal placements in Leo or Aquarius (including myself!). Tonight’s Full Moon in Leo emphasizes these signs, and if you feel as though your life is careening out of control lately, I would suggest that you remember to go to the waters, and to go to the Earth. That is where you will find healing and some peace.

Many of you will, in your magical and astrological studies, have worked with the four classical Elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth. These are the magical building blocks of matter. (They are also the four scientific phases of matter — gas, plasma, liquid and solid.) Many magicians believe that balancing these elements within themselves is an important part of the work we do, a path to personal growth and earthly agency. Astrologers know that elemental imbalances in a chart can manifest as obsessive focus and/or lack of awareness which often cause pain and setbacks in people’s lives.

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  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Yes, I guess it would be helpful, given your chart! :-) But you are one person I certainly don't need to remind about grounding...
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Just what I needed! Mwah!
  • Amy D
    Amy D says #
    It is funny, I kept wanting to check for a blog from you today, but I kept telling myself that you post on new moons, not full moo
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Amy, it was a last-minute decision to write this blog, too -- inspired by an inquiry from a friend. Glad you are listening to your

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_justice-themis.jpgIt should be a very interesting month ahead. This month’s New Moon falls on January 20th at 8:14 am, just inside of the sign of Aquarius, the sign of freedom and equality. Just hours later, Mercury turns retrograde. In the chart cast for Washington, DC (and so predictive for the country), the conjunction of Sun and Moon falls in the twelfth house of hidden things. The sensitive Ascendant, plus two other planets, Venus and Mercury, are also in Aquarius. That’s a lot of focus on freedom (or its lack) and on the vagaries of equality in these transformative times.

There is also a major emphasis on the first house in this chart — the house of the people of a nation. Venus and Mercury in Aquarius are joined by Neptune, Mars and Chiron in Pisces all in the first. The combination could promise well-thought-out, heart-centered plans for improving the lives of ordinary citizens — and we all could benefit from that kind of planning in our own lives, in our own communities. But — particularly given some of the aspects — it could also promise attempts to deceive and control that are actively opposed by some -- and studiously ignored by others. There are opportunities for spiritual awakening — and religious oppression. For expressing empathy, and for cold-hearted manipulation. You’ll be watching these decisions made on the world stage, but you are also likely to see them in your personal life. Nourish your spiritual life, and be honest with yourself — and others.

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Thanks so much for this!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_two_archers.jpgI thought briefly about writing a post on “what’s ahead in 2015” or some such, but the planets pay no mind to human calendars, and my personal calendar follows the sabbats and the seasons, so I decided that for the secular new year, I'd take a look at an aspect of Saturn’s recent entry into the sign of Sagittarius -- the need to review the rules by which we live our lives, then to set goals, to have a plan.

This placement of Saturn will be in effect for about 2/3rds of 2015 — it will take a brief dip back into Scorpio between mid-June and mid-September, before settling in for an extended stay in the Centaur’s sign, and it won’t move into its home sign of Capricorn until the day before the Winter Solstice of 2017. (Saturn was also teetering on the cusp between two signs in the recent Winter Solstice chart, which you can read about here. That chart is in effect for about three months.)

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  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    As an addendum, I just read a good article on setting personally congruent goals that well reflects Saturn in Sagittarius: http:/

b2ap3_thumbnail_cooking-cauldron.jpgWe have some important planetary shifts happening within hours of each other on the Winter Solstice, which makes it a a powerful time magically, but be ready to run with some wild energy. Here’s what’s happening: on December 21, Uranus stations direct (changes its apparent direction of movement in the sky) at 5:46 PM (all times EST). The Sun shifts into Capricorn, marking Solstice at 6:04 PM, and then at 8:37 PM we have a New Moon — which is, of course, right on the degree of the Solstice.  Saturn is at the final (critical) degree of Scorpio, getting ready to move into Sagittarius on the 23rd. And, of course, the square between Uranus and Pluto is still very close to exact. Whew! But this confluence of planetary energy gives us a variety of options in working magic. (You can find the chart for the Solstice here.)

The Winter Solstice marks the time when the Sun reaches its most southern point in the sky — the Tropic of Capricorn. It is the time in the Sun’s cycle that is analogous to a New Moon.  This powerful day gives us an opportunity to work on a Dark Moon and Sun in high-minded Sagittarius for deep inner work or to eliminate something from our lives. Or we can wait to fire up the cauldron until everything has shifted, the Sun has returned, and the newly-born Sun and Moon have joined the other planets in practical, manifesting Capricorn. In the New Moon chart, five planets are packed into the first fifteen degrees of Capricorn. That is some earthy energy we can put to use for building, manifesting and organizing, as well as setting clear boundaries. It’s intensified by Uranus prodding us for growth and change as it is standing still in the sky.  A planet stationing (direct or retrograde) marks an intensification of the planet’s energy, and unpredictable, electrifying, break-the-rules Uranus always makes a pointed statement.

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  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Yes, Mars is in the 8th house, and semi-square both the Moon and Sun. Moon does rule the people -- twice in this chart, for it als
  • *d.*
    *d.* says #
    I was looking this post over again & was stuck by Mars in the 8th house. Isn't that a thing? Violent death or some such? It is in
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    It's always a relief to know I have not descended too far into unintelligible jargon. :-) Thanks for the feedback!
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Thank you so much for this. Not being an astrologer, I sometimes find all this information confusing. Grateful for your clarity.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_bare-feet-on-path.jpgDo not be guided and influenced by public opinion. March boldly and cheerfully in the path of Truth, consulting your conscience and hearing the inner, small, sweet voice of the soul.” Swami Sivananda

At this month’s New Moon, the Sagittarian spirit of adventure sparks the taboo-busting, pioneering, unpredictable Uranus in Aries, and struggles to stay anchored amidst the deceptive glamour and misdirection of Neptune in Pisces and the stern demands of Saturn in Scorpio.  I’ll go into how this is all likely to play out on the national stage here in the US later, but first let’s look at what work we can do as individuals with the upcoming planetary weather.

The Magic Behind the Magic

This month, we are being asked to look at the beliefs that structure our lives, consider how we are putting them into practice, and how they may be tripping us up. We have a great opportunity to dig deeply into our own thought processes and unearth negative beliefs and patterns of thinking as the Moon waxes and wanes again. That opportunity could be life-changing, because our beliefs are a big factor in the formation of our individual energetic signature, and this energetic signature signs every bit of magic we do — it’s the magic behind the magic. The problems our beliefs can pose for us have to do with the fact that, unconsciously, we are carrying around a lot of old beliefs that are in conflict with the more conscious beliefs we hold. Make a point of trying to become more conscious of the beliefs you carry around with you over the next month. Keep a journal handy and write down what you discover so you can become more aware of the patterns that are influencing your magic.

Feeling Into Truth

You can let your feelings and emotions lead you to these beliefs. Question your reaction to events — are you over-reacting to a situation? This is usually a big clue. Here’s an example: I spent some time raking and pruning in the back yard this weekend, and, since I wasn’t quite done, I left my loppers and rake on the back deck. The next morning, as I’m looking out the window at the tools on the back deck in the pouring rain, I reacted with a clenching in my stomach, a thought of “oh, crap!”, and a constriction in my heart area. My first thought was to run out there and get them. Fortunately, my cat-like love of warmth and comfort made me re-think that impetuous decision, and I stopped to consider it more carefully. (I’m an Aries, but with Taurus rising)

Yes, I was over-reacting. When I took a deep breath, stepped back, and looked at my feelings, what finally came up were images of how my father would have disapproved, and my fear/resentment of/anger at his disapproval. Underneath that, I realized I also agreed with him — tools should be well cared-for. But leaving them out in the rain is not something I need to feel shame over, nor is it going to get worse if I wait until I am dressed and caffeinated before going out in the rain. I let go of the shame, let go of my father’s disapproval and my reaction to it. I called my own power back to me in this situation, and separated my personal beliefs (tools should be cared for) from the beliefs that were imprinted on me as a child (you’re bad if you don’t care for your tools — which was my interpretation of my father’s disapproval.).

Where are you giving your personal power away? What beliefs do you carry that are not your own? What hidden fears still drive you? Those beliefs and fears muddy your magic and mess with your life. With focus and awareness, you can let your feelings lead you to the truth that is your own.

Speaking Truth

There is another aspect of truth that would be worth considering during this time, which is how and when we are willing to speak our truth. Finding the courage to speak up is not always easy, but fear of confrontation can do considerable damage to relationships. Two women I admire, Macha NightMare and Anastacia Brice, wrote blog posts this week that — synchronistically — address just this issue. I recommend reading Macha’s post on scapegoating, and Anastacia’s post on not pretending.

A Spirit of Adventure

Nationally here in the USA, there will be a lot of “can-do” optimism and a spirit of adventure in the air, but it is likely to be marred by epic displays of ego and repressive authority, particularly in the areas of religion, law and foreign policy. We’ll also be hearing a lot from people who make an art out of being offended — and it can be useful to watch and discern where power is flowing in these situations. (I have written more about taking offense here). Ditto for people who make an art out of having fun — or who want to be perceived as having fun. Again, watch closely. Who is genuinely having fun, who is just trying to massage their ego or have fun at someone else’s expense?

And speaking of art, we may see some transcendently spiritual or deliciously scandalous creations in the world of art, music and ideas. (If you see or hear of any cool art this month, post a comment here about it, or on my Facebook page  Inquiring minds need to know!) On a personal level, if you are feeling creative, don’t hold back! Bring your creations into the world and share them.

Jupiter completely rules this chart and has some very challenging interactions with other planets. Jupiter can blow things way out of proportion. Watch how many people you see over-reaching, over-extending, over-reacting this month. (Try not to be one of them, OK?) Some of the positive aspects of Jupiter are being able to see the big picture, tolerance of other opinions, and a love of knowledge in search of truth. Keep in mind in your interactions with other people that they are looking for truth and dealing with conflicting beliefs, too. Can you, perhaps, help others stay grounded and sort out their conflicting beliefs this month? Sure. As long as you also do that work yourself, of course…

This is a volatile month. There will be much pontificating from various soapboxes, some virtual, some very real. The atmosphere is explosive, and patience may be in short supply. The New Moon is in a difficult aspect with Neptune, and there is a tremendous energy of deception and illusion in the air — don’t fall prey to it. The only way to handle a Neptune aspect is to take things up a notch, spiritually, in the areas ruled by the planets and signs involved. Here in the USA, the areas in question include things hidden, prisons, hospitals, places of spiritual retreat, the ocean, transportation and communication networks, the home and land, agriculture and real estate, and the ideals, values, laws and religious structures of our societies. Keep your own actions and speech above-board, but don’t expect it of others — and check to make sure you are being honest with yourself, as well. Look at where the late degrees of Scorpio and early degrees of Sagittarius fall in your chart — this is the house (or houses) where you are likely to be seeing a lot of action this month.

Taking it Personally

Having at least a basic understanding your own chart can be extremely helpful in unraveling both psychological and karmic knots, in spiritual development, and in planning your life. If you If you want to know more about your own cosmic blueprint, and how current transits are affecting you personally, contact me to schedule a consultation. But you may feel drawn to learning more about astrology yourself, and if so, you’ll want to take the 10-week online course I'm developing called "Chart and Soul". It will give you the information you need to use your own chart as a guide to your life and to better understand your friends and family. I'll be offering it right around the Spring Equinox. To stay in the loop about this, go sign up for my mailing list here

If you are already a student of astrology, here’s what you’ll want to note about this New Moon chart (the rest of you can go now :-) ). Find the chart here. You’ll see that Neptune in Pisces squares the Sun, Moon, Ascendant, Venus and Ceres in Sagittarius, all clustered around the Ascendant. In mundane astrology, the Ascendant stands for the people of a nation. Of course now we need to look at Jupiter, which rules Sagittarius and co-rules Pisces. We find it in yet another Fire sign, Leo, in mutual reception with the Sun and dispositing 5 planets. It’s in a house that it rules, and it also rules the Ascendant and co-rules the house that holds the Sun and Moon. It’s square Saturn and Mercury in Scorpio, also in the 12th. So, as I mentioned above, Jupiter rules this chart. Venus rising will emphasize issues of money, debt, art, and probably women’s rights as well. Note that Uranus is also in a Fire sign, in a wide trine with Jupiter, and also tightly square Pluto. That aspect is within one degree of exact now. Mars, powerful in Capricorn, gains more oomph through dispositing Uranus, Saturn and Mercury. It is inconjunct Jupiter, semi-square Neptune, and trine the MC. 

Until next time!

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