Urania's Well: Astrology for Changing Times

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The Law of the Land: New Moon in Sagittarius

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The New Moon of December 6-7 (depending on time zone) falls in Sagittarius, the sign of the centaur, the archer who shoots an arrow into the future, in faith that it will land where it was aimed. A New Moon gives us an opportunity to explore the meaning of the sign it falls in, to learn more about how that sign manifests in our lives to trigger change and growth. The chart for the moment of the New Moon tells the story of the challenges and opportunities that will present themselves in the month ahead.

Greek mythology is rife with stories of centaurs — half-man (there were no female centaurs), half-horse — and their fights and other antics. The myths usually make them a metaphor for the struggle between humanity’s “lower nature” and “civilized behavior”. Generally, the “lower” nature wins — centaurs behave rather abominably, drinking to excess, carousing, and getting into fights. With one exception.

The centaur Chiron (after whom the asteroid is named) was known far and wide as a wise and just being. He was taught by his foster-father, the god Apollo, and in turn became the teacher of many of the Greek heroes. He was an athlete, a healer, a hunter, a musician, an astrologer, and, of course, a skilled archer. He epitomized civilization and was known for his intelligence and kindness. He showed what we can be if we integrate our “lower” and “higher” natures. It is that integration of Civilization and Nature that Sagittarius aims to accomplish.

I have little patience for the whole “lower nature” argument, when “lower” is associated with animals and the natural world, the horse-half of the centaur, as it so often is. I don’t see animals mistreating each other at anywhere near the rate humans do, and never just to cause pain to another. Animals are far more likely to play with than harm each other whenever they aren’t hunting food, or eating it, or simply basking in their surroundings. The destructive behavior of the centaurs is a fine metaphor for what happens when we humans deny our connection with the Earth, deny and repress our sexuality and our emotions, and create a society in which violence is tolerated and even encouraged.

Our “lower nature” is not inherent. It appears to be an unfortunate artifact of our human mental processes — reactions based in fear, and in ruts of thinking and feeling that we fell into as we explored the natural world and expressed what is inherent in humans — our creative natures. While many different theological and scientific arguments can be made about human’s appearance and place in the original weaving of our world, it is undeniable that what we worship — be it science or gods — is always a creative force, because we, more than any other species, are conscious creators of the world we live in.

Not necessarily effective creators, mind you, but we can’t help ourselves. It’s what we do. We engage with our world and alter it. We make laws and rules to try to control what changes and how, to control our tendency to destroy, but deep down, we all know that change is the one constant. So we work to create change in our favor.

For all of humanity’s many glories and accomplishments, we seem to have a hard time creating civilizations that do not come with a cost to the land. As the rowdy centaurs sowed destruction in their path, so do we indulge our greed and fear as we navigate the civilization we were born into, leaving destruction of the Web of Life on a massive, long-term scale in the path of our temporary comfort and convenience. This problem has grown exponentially in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, and this is what we really need to integrate — our place in the Web of Life with our creative inclinations.

The New Moon in Sagittarius offers us the opportunity to do that, so let’s look at how we can create the change we wish to see in the month ahead using astrology’s guidance.

How To Handle This Crazy Month

This meme came across my social media feed as I was browsing (read: avoiding writing the rest of this post), and it does give excellent advice for the month ahead. I thought of just leaving you with the meme, but then decided I had more to say about it. :-)

The chart of this New Moon speaks of growth, abundance, and expansion. This energy can be used productively, but also can and will be taken to extremes. Driven by fanaticism — a strong component of the chart — this wild and freedom-seeking Sagittarian energy can lead to destruction. But a clear and optimistic faith in life that carries joy out into the world is a far better expression of this same expansive, active energy that will lead to breakthroughs into new ways of living.

Opportunities are thick on the ground, but timing is crucial. So is solid ethical ground to stand on, and the willingness to take that stand. As our current national political scene here in the USA is making clear, one cannot build a life of peace and inner growth on the shifting sands of unadulterated self-interest and greed.

Decide what you need, think about what you can give, then put your thoughts into action. Write down what you want, what you’re working for, and remind yourself of it every day.

If you have a magical practice, then pick some tarot cards to keep on your altar, or create a sigil, or a mojo hand, or some tangible, symbolic reminder of the direction you want your life to go in, of your ethical bottom lines, of the risks and actions you are willing to take in order to grow and expand into a more effectively creative and spiritual reality.

This is a good month to explore your beliefs, particularly your beliefs about your personal relationship with the Earth, Nature, and the Web of Life. We are animals. We eat and excrete and live within our animal bodies every day of our lives. Your body is not your enemy. Your body is the node and nexus of your soul’s interaction with this physical realm. To experience life fully, we must come into our bodies fully, and treat them as the valued allies they are.

Instead of feeling angry, or hopeless, or beating yourself up about the current state of your body, spend some time meditating on the beliefs you hold about your body, and how subconscious promptings drive the compulsive or avoidant behavior that keeps you from treating your body well. Poor health and disabilities are not your fault, but it is your responsibility to care for your own body to the best of your ability. Others can help you, but first and foremost, if you are an adult, the responsibility is yours.

Meditate, too, on our how our bodies are connected with and dependent on the Web of Life and the world around us. Sagittarius and its ruling planet, Jupiter, rule the law, the body of rules and judgments we humans use to regulate our behavior. But the centaur, with his animal half, understands that there is another, more important law. That’s the law of the land, Nature’s Law, which we need to pay a lot more attention to. Because the consequences of breaking Nature’s laws are dire, and often fatal. Once you’ve considered your responsibility to your body, you might want to think about what your responsibility is to the Earth that supports us all.

But there’s more to do than meditating this month. One notable feature of this chart is that all the planets, except Uranus, are in direct motion. We’ve had a lot of retrogrades this year, and if you’ve been feeling like it’s been hard to move ahead, that you’ve had to work twice as hard to get half as far, or that you’re going in circles, you’ll sense the energy shifting now. After January 6th, when Uranus turns direct, we’ll be full speed ahead. Just make sure you know what direction you need to steer in to get where you want to be.

It’s also an excellent time to begin, resume, or further develop a spiritual practice. If you already have one, you may feel that it’s time to go deeper, or to shift your attention to your emotional state, rather than practicing mental gymnastics (or vice-versa). Subconscious eruptions and emotional extremes are likely this month, and given the season, there will be plenty of triggers. A spiritual practice can be a solid anchor that keeps your holidays more on the merry and bright side.

And while we’re on the subject, let me take a brief detour with some gift ideas for you. A natal chart reading with me is a thoughtful gift for a special person. I’ll send you a pretty gift certificate you can print out and put under the tree. On the less expensive end of the spectrum, I offer two astrology reports — a natal chart interpretation, and a predictive report that looks a year into the future. If you know someone who’s interested in learning astrology, the personalized natal chart report comes bundled with my booklet “How To Read Your Own Astrology Chart”. You can find those reports here. Contact me here for more information.

Now let’s look at what this chart portends for our country. It’s going to be quite an interesting month. But first, a bit of technical detail for those who speak or are learning astrology’s language.

On the National Stage

(Astrologers, here’s what I’m looking at. Cast the chart for December 7, 2:20 a.m. EST, Washington, DC. The Ascendant is 15° 18’ of Libra. I’m using equal houses.

First, of course, we assess the New Moon. It’s in a wide, but quite effective conjunction with Jupiter, because Jupiter rules the entire sign. This can be a very merry and bright aspect, but take a closer look. The New Moon is square a Mars-Neptune conjunction in Pisces. Neptune is the modern ruler of Pisces, Jupiter the classical ruler. Jupiter is also in a wide, over the sign-line conjunction with Mercury, and right on the midpoint between Mercury and the New Moon conjunction. Jupiter’s a powerhouse in this chart, which can bring great benefit, but, particularly with that square, also lead to over-extending, over-indulging, and violence. Sagittarius is traditionally a sign associated with violence in its shadow aspect. Mars is a planet of action, and also of violence and war. Neptune, also quite powerful by sign and aspect, is a planet of both the highest spiritual expression, and of deception, delusion, glamour, drugs. And flooding. Let’s not forget flooding.

Mars also is the ruler of Scorpio (with Pluto) and of Aries. Now, pay close attention. This means that Mars rules both Uranus and Venus in this chart. Those two planets are in an over-the-sign-line opposition to each other across the first (the people of the country) and seventh (other countries, contracts, and adversaries) houses. Venus, ruling the ascendant of the chart and the 8th house of death, sex and sexual mores, taxes, and big business, is in her detriment in Scorpio. Uranus is *exactly* square the nodal axis. This is a problematic configuration that suggests sudden and surprising developments that may be violent, and have to do with Venusian, 2nd house (financial) and 8th house issues, in addition to the 1st and 7th house ones..

Additionally, Saturn, in its own sign of Capricorn, and Pluto, also in Capricorn, are unaspected. They are like unbridled horses, running free, with no restraint, Saturn in the third, ruling the 4th, and Pluto in the 4th, along with the South Node. The foundational fourth. The house of the land itself. Chiron is also in Pisces, in a tight trine Mercury, which rules the 9th and 12th. )

Now, before we proceed, let me again remind you that individuals can work with difficult energies in a chart to turn it to their advantage. But when it comes to mundane charts — charts of large groups and world events — we are much more likely to see the more problematic side of those energies.

In the case of this chart, for all the Jupiterian “merry and bright” veneer, there is an underlying message of conflict, deception, the exposure of deception, and explosive public revelations. As I write this, the Epstein scandal is being downplayed, “settled”, and so removed from the court’s jurisdiction, with the perpetrators working overtime to cover their asses and evade punishment for their crimes. But pedophilia must not be swept under the rug. I expect the topic to resurface, along with further, very public exploration of ingrained social misogyny and patriarchal attitudes.

The Moon and Sun rule the 10th of the Executive Branch and the 11th of the Legislative Branch, respectively, and that square to Mars and Neptune just screams deception, obstruction, and the fight to get to the truth. Jupiter’s strength, in Sagittarius with the New Moon, gives me hope that the law will prevail. But there will be high drama.

I am also very concerned about environmental issues, from the continuing stripping of legal protections to possible earthquakes, underground explosions, and issue related to mining and waste disposal. Additionally, though I hate to say it, more fires and flooding, with pollution and mudslides as aftermaths. Profound cold is also predicted by this chart. I hope I’m wrong about this, but I feel the warning is necessary. Keep a close eye on your environment, and make sure you are prepared for problems. The Law of the Land rules us all.

There are indeed many challenges this month, but I remain optimistic that we will find our better natures, and develop our inner Chiron. The asteroid Chiron is in a harmonious aspect to Mercury this month, and it gives me great hope that justice will prevail, and that we will find some healing of our collective subconscious wounds. I will leave you with some encouraging words from Max Ehrmann’s “Desiderata” to contemplate.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive [God] to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

Bright blessings and best wishes for your holiday season!

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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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