TMA This Week

The Mercury Elemental Year of Fire 2017–18

By Gary P. Caton | December 4, 2017

“The Cosmos … ever was, and is, and will be:
everliving fire, kindling in measures and being quenched in measures.”
— Heraclitus of Ephesus, circa 500 BCE (1)

In the Western philosophical tradition there is a group of pre-Socratic philosophers collectively known as “monists” (from the Greek monos, meaning “single” or “one”), whose common interest was determining which of the four elements was the primary source from whence all other things emanate. For Heraclitus, the primary substance of the universe was fire — the Sun and Moon were huge celestial bowls of fire. Though it turns out that a bowl of fire remains an apt description of the Sun, it is overly simplistic to think that Heraclitus only thought literally, that everything was physically made of fire. Fire, rather, was the best metaphor for the Heraclitean doctrine of eternal flux. The philosopher thought that the basic universal principle (i.e., kosmos or world-order) was constant change. To demonstrate this, he used the metaphor of the elements in a constant state of flow, and through what he called “turnings of fire,” changing from fire, to water, to air (i.e., a “fireburst,” a kind of fiery wind) and earth.

There is an astrological parallel to the Heraclitean cosmology. Over the course of 6 to 7 years, the Mercury retrogrades move through the four elements in reverse zodiacal order, from the fire signs, to water signs, to air signs, to earth signs. I first became aware of this phenomenon through Erin Sullivan’s seminal work, Retrograde Planets. (2) I have spent the last five years studying this topic, resulting in my own tome: Hermetica Triptycha Volume One: The Mercury Elemental Year. (3) In chapter five of my book, I note that this same reverse zodiacal sequence of elements is referenced in The Emerald Tablet, the mystical Hermetic document widely interpreted as a formula for creating the “philosopher’s stone” — a microcosm of the universal principle, encapsulating the primordial creative power of the monad or original substance. (4) When understood in these contexts, Mercury’s cycle of retrogrades through the four elements is recapitulating both a cosmic world-ordering principle and a magic formula for the re-creation, materialization, and containment of this primordial creative power!

If it seems bizarre that ordering the elements in reverse to the normal zodiacal order should be seen as primordial and creative, we must remember that across diverse cultures, from the Greek Hermes to the Native American Coyote, the Trickster archetype has often been seen as inherently creative. (5) Without the Trickster archetype to shake things up, our cultures become static and unable to change and grow. Similarly, to use Joseph Campbell’s metaphor, without the “forest adventure” of becoming the hero/ine discovering our own unique path, we are lulled into a sleepy kind of awareness by the rules and restrictions of the village. (6)

Going further, it is important to note that it is not only the back and forth, or east/west longitude that signifies the alchemy and magic of Mercury retrograde cycles. As I wrote in TMA earlier this year, retrograde motion is far more wonderfully complex than is usually portrayed. (7) It consists of not only the aforementioned east/west variation in direct/retrograde motion of celestial longitude, but also dramatic changes in the north/south dimension of celestial latitude that produce a kind of looping motion. Moreover, if we understand the phenomenon of Mercury retrograde visually, during a very short span of time Mercury makes appearances above the western horizon, then dips below the threshold of visibility and finally re-emerges above the eastern horizon. (8) Lastly, from a geocentric point of view, during retrograde motion Mercury is coming from a space behind (e.g., exterior) to the Sun and penetrating the very heart-space of our solar system — the space between the Sun and Earth, a space so central, basic, and fundamental to our system that it is commonly referred to as the Astronomical Unit (AU).

Therefore, we have at least four different kinds of “mixing” occurring during Mercury retrograde. The mixing of east/west direct/retrograde currents can be seen as an exchange between the currently accepted socio-cultural norms and the newer counter-cultural challenges to those norms. The mixing of north/south latitudinal currents can be seen as an exchange between the personal and social aspects of life. The mixing of above/below with respect to the horizon and Mercury’s cycle of visibility can be seen as an exchange between the conscious and unconscious dimensions. And finally, the mixing between the interior and exterior spaces of our solar system can be seen as an exchange between the microcosm and macrocosm. All this primordial mixing produces an alchemy that is quite literally capable of changing, or re-birthing, the world.

For the next year, after occurring in the earth signs, Mercury retrogrades are happening in the fire signs. The last time Mercury’s retrograde moved from earth signs to fire signs occurred in late 2010 when Mohamed Bouazizi lit the spark for the Tunisian Revolution, a conflagration that quickly spread into a regional uprising throughout Northern Africa and the Middle East in what became known as the Arab Spring. I think that part of the reason this particular transition seems to have so much power can be seen from the relative density of the elements. Any child knows that when you throw a stone into water, it sinks — therefore, earth is denser than water. And, of course, steam rises and water evaporates into air, demonstrating that the air element is less dense than water. Finally, smoke rises even into the thin air, showing that fire is the least dense of all elements. So, when Mercury’s retrogrades in the densest of elements (earth) give ways to retrogrades in the least dense of elements (fire), this represents an extremely dramatic transition, as the volatile fiery currents liberate all the fixed potential energy stored in the denser earth. Here is a pop culture example of this particular transition from my new book:

“The four founding members of the Eagles signed with David Geffen in September of 1971, during the last part of a Mercury elemental year of earth (and as the Mercury elemental year was transitioning from earth to fire) … By the time their first greatest hits album was released, the Mercury elemental year had moved through fire, water, and air, and was about to return to earth. This six-to-seven-year return to the Mercury elemental year of birth represents what I call the ‘long form’ of Mercury’s transformative dance, and usually indicates some kind of completion. Like all completions, it can signify a return to one’s roots, on the one hand, or the beginning of a brand new era, on the other. In the case of the Eagles, it was the latter. As their sound was moving from a mostly country (earth) influence to more rock and roll (fire), founding member Bernie Leadon left the group (December 1975). Leadon’s solid multi-instrumental talent (earth) was replaced by the volatility of Joe Walsh (fire), and the first album featuring Walsh in the line-up, Hotel California, became not only the band’s best-selling studio album, but also a rock and roll classic. Through capturing the transformative power of Mercury … the Eagles were able to transform themselves from country-rock pioneers into pure rock and roll legends.” (9)

You can read an extended excerpt from my book at my publisher’s website and listen my latest Hermetic Astrology Podcast where I speak at length about this particular retrograde cycle. It is my fervent hope that this new work will help to re-frame Mercury’s “backward trickster medicine dance” (retrogrades) from simply an occasional annoying experience, or an outright malefic influence to be studiously avoided, toward the profound transformational and magical opportunity which I feel it truly represents. May the Trickster be with you!

References and recommended reading:

(1) All references to Heraclitus from:
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

You may also enjoy: The History of Philosophy podcast.

(2) Sullivan, Erin. Retrograde Planets: Traversing the Inner Landscape. York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser, 2000, pp. 67–76.

(3) Now available via Rubedo Press (and also on Amazon.)

(4) See, for instance: Hauck, Dennis. The Emerald Tablet: Alchemy For Personal Transformation. New York: Penguin, 1999.

(5) See, for instance: Hyde, Lewis. Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth and Art. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1998.

(6) I am referring to Joseph Campbell’s work, nicely summarized near the end of his life in a series of interviews with Bill Moyers, called The Power of Myth.

(7) Caton, Gary, “An Astronomical View of Venus Retrograde,” TMA, April/May 2017.
Also: Caton, Gary, “Toward a Multi-Dimensional View of Retrograde Motion,” NCGR Geocosmic Journal, Winter 2017.
“An Updated Three-Dimensional Model of Planetary Motion,” a series of lectures for Sky Astrology Conference, available for download from my website.

(8) I outlined the Sky Astrology view of Mercury retrograde for the TMA blog in 2015.

(9) Caton, Gary. Hermetica Triptycha: The Mercury Elemental Year. Auckland, New Zealand: Rubedo Press, 2017, pp. 133–134.

Bio:
Gary P. Caton is a trans-disciplinary astrologer who embraces an organic, process-oriented approach to spiritual growth and transformation via engagement with the living sky. Initiated into astrology via a dream in 1993, he has since devoted his entire life to refining his vision. An accomplished stargazer and astro-photographer, Gary possesses the unique ability to combine the experiential power and dynamic images of the living sky with classic horoscopy and metaphysics — an alchemical blend of bleeding-edge modern research and pioneering technique. You can catch Gary online via the popular Hermetic Astrology Podcast, or live on one of his frequent lecture tours across the U.S. and abroad.

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Chakrapani Ullal

By Edith Hathaway | November 6, 2017

Chakrapani Ullal has been called the “father of Vedic astrology in the Western world.” A great Vedic astrologer who came to the U.S. from South India in 1979, he previously studied law and business in India, having learned Vedic astrology from a young age at the feet of his father and grandfather. He first became widely known internationally as the astrologer for Swami Muktananda, who invited him to come to the U.S. in 1979.  His service to so many clients in his busy astrological practice over the decades, and the knowledge he shared with so many students and practitioners will be treasured for many years to come.

Chakrapani died on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 3:10 a.m. Pacific time, Beverly Hills, CA. He had been suffering since August with the return of a leukemia-like condition, and in the hospital since early September. I received a message that morning, but because I was involved all day in a memorial service and various family events for my sister-in-law in the San Francisco area, I did not pick up the message until 6:30 p.m.

Chakrapani’s passing is indeed a moment of great magnitude for me.  I was concerned for his health this year, as many of us were. It was also 29 years (a full Saturn return) since my first-ever contact with him. He provided my first serious introduction to Vedic astrology and was a decisive catalyst.  He has been a great friend and mentor to me ever since, especially from the early 1990s onward, when we collaborated on various astrological research projects. We spoke often by phone, and fortunately we had a chance to have a wonderful evening together in Los Angeles in early June.  He had some back pain but was otherwise in excellent spirits.

My partner Jim and I were in Oakland, CA for five days from Thursday, October 26th, staying with Jim’s son and daughter-in-law, Galen and Casey. We were there especially for my sister-in-law’s memorial service Saturday morning, preceded by a tour of the new sanctuary. She was a Sufi, and very involved in that organization for decades.  She died on August 26th. The service and reception were at the Sanctuary for Sufism Reoriented in Walnut Creek, CA, founded originally by the Indian-born spiritual master Meher Baba.

Just a few hours after Chakrapani passed (which I did not know about yet), we were at this magnificent sacred building full of light and images depicting the evolution of consciousness. It was completed in March 2017 after five years construction, and built in a circular design in all white Cararra marble intended to last for 700 years. Here is how the Sufi Murchida (their living teacher) Carol Connor describes it:

“In all spiritual traditions, the design of a sanctuary strives to be an outward expression, in material form, of the still, sacred space at the center of the human heart where man is joined with and can know God. It therefore aspires, first, to be the most beautiful form its creators can envision.

The sanctuary’s curvilinear design is based on the form of the circle. Like God, the circle has no beginning and no end. This expresses eternity, the eternal life in God the Infinite. The circle is also recognized as a symbol of unity since all points on the circle are equidistant from the center, as all beings are in relation to God. This symbol embodies the essential unity of Creation and the Universal Love at the heart of all life.”

The whole day and previous evening were spent in this mode, followed by a dinner for 12 at Galen and Casey’s house in Oakland, an event they call “Friendsgiving” and a preview to Thanksgiving. At the end of the meal, each person at the table spoke for a few minutes about what they were grateful for, and I told them about my extraordinary day so full of confluences, and the passing of a man earlier that morning who has been an extraordinary influence in my life: my mentor and great good friend, Chakrapani.

Bio: Edith Hathaway is an international consultant in practice since 1980, author, teacher, and lecturer of Vedic astrology. Among her many awards and certifications are NCGR’s Level IV (Consulting Astrologer, 1989), Jim Lewis’s Master AstroCartoGrapher, 1988, plus numerous awards from Vedic astrology organizations, U.S. and India. From 1992 she served as faculty and board member of the American Council and American College of Vedic Astrology. Her audio course The Vedic Chart: An Expert Guide Through the Twelve Ascendants(2002) was re-released in 2015 on mp3s with PDFs, and her latest book was published in 2012: In Search of Destiny: History, Biography & Culture As Told Through Vedic Astrology. For her articles, audio course and lectures on mp3s, please see: Edith Hathaway. Email: edith@edithhathaway.com

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The giant in the sky…

By Mary Plumb | January 9, 2017

First, a note from Tem:
As most of you know, this bi-weekly blog is provided by The Mountain Astrologer (TMA) magazine. Please consider becoming a subscriber to support the blog and TMA‘s efforts to faithfully reflect — and draw together — the diverse and brilliant astrological community. If you already subscribe to either our print or digital edition of TMA, thank you! Also, TMA’s holiday gift subscription sale ($6 off) has been extended to January 31. Gift prices are listed toward the bottom of the order form page.

Now, the blog:

As the days carry us inexorably towards a new phase in the U.S. government, I find a need to keep things in perspective.

And so, here are some thoughts about the current sky with no attention to politics or personality or mundane affairs, but rather, an attempt to tell a story from the sky.

Jupiter is now at 22° Libra and stations retrograde at 23° Libra on February 5. Jupiter is visible in the early morning sky, and if you have a view of the sky, you will see Spica close by as well. (My view of these two spectacular heavenly bodies one very clear morning last week here in Oregon is what uplifted my spirits and inspired this blog.)

Spica, at 23° Libra, is a 1st magnitude star in the constellation of Virgo: specifically, the shaft of wheat in the Virgin’s left hand. The left side is connected to receptivity, and Spica is connected to all that is beautiful.

Along with traveling near Spica for many months, Jupiter is opposite Uranus — exact on December 26, 2016, March 2, and September 27, 2017.

I love the ancient association that the urn of the Water-bearer in the sky (i.e., Aquarius) holds the creative force that hasn’t been seen yet, it is pure potential.

Jupiter is the planet that expands and brings relief from constriction. Named for the supreme deity of the Romans, Jupiter is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets in our solar system put together.

(I will rely on Saturn’s concurrent trine to temper the hyperbole and excess enthusiasm in this blog. (1) )

And for now, let’s ignore Pluto’s potential gloom from the sidelines, reducing him (temporarily) to echoes from a treacherous past. (2)

We can subdue him, relegating his fearsome desire to dominate back to the place inside of us that carries the scars of our accumulated history e.g., the obscurations spoken of in Buddhism, the kleishas described in the Yoga Sutras. (3) For now, let’s consider Pluto merely as the place of old terrors that become empty when we attend to them (as Jupiter and Uranus will no doubt encourage us to do).

I am making Jupiter and Uranus the stars in this blog. The exact opposition has passed once, and Jupiter comes back twice more to magnify directly the place in ourselves that recognizes something about the truth of our own existence, of stealing fire from the gods (as Richard Tarnas has described). (4)

To bring this a bit farther down to earth, think of the house that Jupiter is transiting and which house it rules in your natal chart — Sagittarius, for sure, and Pisces too, if you work with the traditional rulers. Imagine Jupiter emitting a mighty call to be grander, greater, wiser, more thoughtful, and more generous to yourself and others in those spheres of life, as Uranus is showing that our personal map of reality is not at all what it was.

Quantum shift has been connected to Jupiter and Uranus and that language is part of our lexicon. (5) Certainly a shift in the materialistic view of reality toward a view of multiple interconnected realities — recognized by spiritual traditions — is upon us. This understanding of the interconnectedness of our world is often seen as a quantum shift in the collective.

I was interested to read that the “popular expression ‘quantum jump’ is used in common English speech to describe a leap that is big, but to physicists, quantum jumps are tiny, discrete (indivisible), and abrupt.” (6) Perhaps our change in perspective may seem tiny or discrete. Meditation teachers speak of the possibility of sustaining awareness, not just as a momentary inspiration.

Jupiter and Uranus also suggest something quite simple — a moment that is open, natural, untainted, and vast-as-the-sky. So, let’s keep going on our paths of self-awareness and make the first move towards kindness and inclusion.

No more echo chambers, no more fake news. We’re on a different course now wherein intolerance and fear might make way for acceptance and bigheartedness.

Footnotes:

(1) Saturn trines Uranus: December 24, 2016, May 17, and November 11, 2017.

(2) Jupiter squares Pluto: November 26, 2016, March 30, and August 4, 2017.

(3) The Yoga Sutras teach that kleishas (a Sanskrit word meaning poison) are states of mind that distort our view of reality.

(4) Prometheus the Awakener by Richard Tarnas, Spring Publications, 1998.

(5) Here’s a TMA blog about the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in 2010 which began this cycle.

(6) The Art of Quantum Jumping: How to Shift Your Reality in Big, Positive Ways by Cynthia Sue Larson; Conscious Lifestyle Magazine.

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Between eclipses…

By Mary Plumb | November 28, 2016

This week we are midway between two solar eclipses, acutely sensitive points in the fabric of time. Eclipses are used for tracking mundane events, but also can be felt in the innermost self, particularly if aspecting — by conjunction or opposition — the natal Sun, Moon, or Ascendant degree.

The approaching New Moon at 7°42′ Sag (4:18 a.m. PST on Tuesday) is squaring the (past) September 1 North Node solar eclipse at 9° Virgo, and the upcoming South Node solar eclipse on February 26 at 8° Pisces.

Eclipses occur near the lunar nodes, the astronomical points where the Moon’s orbit around the earth intersects with earth’s path around the Sun. I remember Charles Harvey speaking of the word “node” meaning “knot.” Since then I have thought that the nodes tie together the three great realms (and all the symbolisms) of Sun, Moon, and Earth.

I also like the simple imagery of the North Node = Dragon’s Head and South Node = Dragon’s Tail. We sense the new, take in life, energy, experience, nourishment through the mouth, the eyes, the nostrils (all in the head), and eliminate through the tail that which has been digested and assimilated. (1)

I want to return to the Saros cycle which I wrote about earlier this year. (Solar Eclipse: a moment in a longer cycle of time )

The Saros cycle connects eclipses at 18.3-year intervals and were understood by the earliest known astrologers, the Chaldeans.

The solar eclipse on September 1, 2016, at 9° Virgo was part of Saros 19N, about which Bernadette Brady writes: “This Saros Series is about realism, a coming down to earth. The individual will become aware of an old situation and see it for what it is rather than what he or she thought it was. This can be a constructive time for tackling the truth.” (2)

Well, in my personal life something that I had hoped and wished for (augmented, no doubt, by the long Saturn-Neptune square that had its last pass on September 10) absolutely landed with a thud in late September.

In the mundane picture: the transiting node reached 9° Virgo (the eclipse degree) in mid November; the election results brought a new reality requiring many to “see it for what it is rather than what he or she thought it was.”

Just as this week the New Moon is awakening the sensitive degrees of the surrounding eclipses, transiting Mars is also moving into position to directly trigger the themes and events signified by the eclipses.

From December 29 – 31, transiting Mars and Neptune will come together at 9° Pisces, opposite the September eclipse degree and foreshadowing the February eclipse. (Mars-Neptune is naturally hard to quantify: it can signify refinement, altruism and devotion, and hopelessly confused, ineffective, or deceptive actions. Straightforward self-reflection is recommended.)

Then, Mars moves into his home sign Aries on January 27 and will be conjunct Uranus (22° Aries) at the February eclipse. Jupiter, the dispositor of the eclipse (the traditional ruler of Pisces), will be at 22° Libra, exactly opposite the Mars-Uranus conjunction at the eclipse.

Jupiter in Libra holds the beacon for social concerns and justice. All levels and manifestations of rebellion against inequality or repression and fighting for fairness are bound to part of our landscape for a while.

The nodal axis has been in Virgo/Pisces since November 2015. With North Node in Virgo, that house of the horoscope has been the place to sense and bravely follow a vigorous opening in your life. The Pisces South Node house is a realm where you are winding down — the story has gotten old, accompanied perhaps by bittersweet loss or despair, which although cherished, can be blessed and released.

During this eclipse season, where 8° – 9° Virgo/Pisces falls in the natal horoscope is where we are realigning and repositioning ourselves. This week, as the Sun squares the eclipse degrees, we are at a crossroads where we may notice the parallel motifs from the nodal axis. Awareness is the first step, as many teachers say.

See footnote below for Bernadette Brady’s note on the Saros cycle for the upcoming eclipse. Enjoy yourselves!

Footnotes:

(1) The North Node, the Dragon’s Head, (aka ascending node) marks the point where the Moon crosses the ecliptic and ascends into the northern celestial latitudes; the South Node, or the descending node, marks the descent from north to south latitudes.

The North and South Nodes of the Moon are known in Vedic astrology as Rahu and Ketu, respectively; their epic story is told in the ancient Indian text, the Mahabharata.

(2) Bernadette Brady, Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark, Samuel Weiser, 1999, pg. 334.

Brady’s synopsis for the February 26 eclipse (Saros 19S) reads: “This is a family of eclipses that brings with it the elements of the pleasant surprise. Sudden happiness. A joyful event, the lucky break, the lucky win. The events which will be occurring can be believed and can positively change the person’s life.” Ibid, p. 336.

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Emergence, Motivation, and Progress: July 11

By Kelly Surtees | July 11, 2016

Finally the cosmic wheel turns, and forward movement is possible. Our major motion planet, Mars, has not only ended his recent retrograde (June 28, 2016), he’s now moved off his station degree, 23° Scorpio.

If you’ve noticed a lag between increasing internal drive but a lack of external progress, this “in the station” quality of Mars may be the reason. When Mars ended his retrograde at the end of June, he simply turned around so that he was now facing forwards rather than backwards, but he didn’t actually move in any substantial way.

Mars has been parked at 23° Scorpio since June 18, and it’s only now, on July 11, that Mars inches forward into a new degree, 24° Scorpio. This change brings the progress we’ve all been waiting for. It will take Mars a few weeks to pick up the pace, but what Mars offers now is movement, like taking a step in the right direction.

As Mars retraces his steps through Scorpio (until August 2, when Mars enters Sagittarius), opportunities that were missed, delayed, or have been stuck in a holding pattern since February and March may be revisited. Progress might be possible, or you may update a plan with a better strategy. Mars in Scorpio is strategic and sharp and won’t want to waste time on anything that’s no longer suitable or engaging.

By August 22, Mars will have cleared his shadow zone, moving beyond 8° Sagittarius, which is where this retrograde cycle began back in the middle of April. After that, Mars dives into zodiac territory he hasn’t visited for nearly two years, and we can all benefit from fresh energy and enthusiasm. New passions may emerge, and projects that have been simmering on the back burner may become a bigger priority.

In the second half of 2016, Mars moves through the final two thirds of Sagittarius, all of Capricorn and Aquarius, and dives into early Pisces. Contrast this to the first half of 2016, where Mars moved through all of Scorpio and only the first third of Sagittarius. With Mars covering much more ground in the final six months of the year, we can all get moving and make things happen at a faster pace. Expect the cosmic wheels to spin faster from now to the end of the year.

Light, Emergence and Clarity: Venus and Mercury

The middle of July also brings a visual shift with two other planets — Mercury and Venus. Both have been hidden, due to their closeness to the Sun. Starting on July 14 for Venus, and July 15 for Mercury, they each begin to emerge from the Sun’s glow shortly after sunset. Look west on a clear night, and you may spot
them.

By mid-month both Venus and Mercury are settled into Leo and start to appear brighter in the western sky each night. As they move beyond the rays of the Sun, they can better express their influence. Light is held in high regard, and when a planet has light — that is, when a planet can be seen — it can better express its
qualities.

Mercury and Venus have gained much to share from their time in the darkness. New ideas, connections, and possibilities that emerge mid-month may bring clarity to a clouded issue, or reveal something you had suspected but couldn’t prove.

Venus and Mercury will emerge from the sunbeams in the early degrees of Leo. The sign of the Sun loves brightness, and this may inspire bold declarations or a more confident and expressive quality.

Planets can become just visible once they move 8° – 10° away from the Sun. They become clearer and brighter the further away from the Sun they move. Once a planet is 15° – 17° degrees distant from the Sun, it’s easier to spot and begins to function with more vitality.

This quality of being overshadowed by the Sun’s light and thus hidden may have enhanced  the introspective or retreat tendencies of Mercury and Venus as they moved through Cancer this June and early July. The darkness, combined with the quiet qualities of yin Cancer, may have led to a very reflective few weeks. This means that the sign change of Venus and Mercury into Leo, after which they soon emerge from the sunbeams, is more marked and also represents a light or visibility change.

Moving from water to a fire sign brings energy, as heat is activating. Moving from the darkness into the light brings confidence and encourages expression.

With Mars moving more quickly, and Venus and Mercury becoming visible, life may feel full of potential. Plans and projects are emerging, shifting, or finally happening. May you be inspired and motivated as the light of the planets becomes brighter and their gifts more apparent.

Bio: Kelly is a consulting astrologer, teacher, writer, and editor who works with clients and students around the world. With more than 12 years in private practice, Kelly is experienced, warm, and insightful. She loves exploring astrology’s history as well as escaping into the ocean. Kelly’s passion for astrology is infectious, and her specialty areas include Moon Phases, timing techniques like progressions, and incorporating traditional concepts. She can be found lecturing at conferences throughout the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Kelly holds the Australian FAA Practitioner’s Diploma and is an expat Aussie who lives in Canada most of the year. Website: Kelly’s Astrology

 

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The U.S. Election: A Matter of Truth

By Alex Miller | May 30, 2016

Of course, to whatever extent, all elections are about truth, but that’s not the truth I’m talking about here. I am speaking of “Truth” (#249521), the name of a small Main Belt Asteroid, and a key player in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (1)

Truth has a celestial partner in asteroid “Veritas” (#490, Latin for “truth”) and an antithesis in asteroid “Lie” (#26955), and all three form important patterns in the charts pivotal to the election. 
 
Politically, the essence of Truth and Veritas can be boiled down to one word: authenticity. Yes, these two (and Lie) can relate literally to whether one is or is not telling the truth, but this is just the surface meaning. A fuller understanding of its symbolism includes Truth as a matter of character, the issue becoming more about whether or not the person is genuine, trustworthy, and credible, as opposed to strictly accurate in each utterance. Do they “read” as true and honest?

Judged in that light, Donald Trump has a huge advantage going into this election. His asteroids Truth and Veritas are phenomenally well placed to promote a sense that he is genuine and authentic. 

For starters, in Trump’s natal horoscope asteroid Truth at 7° Virgo is in the first house conjunct the 29° Leo Ascendant, and within the Gauquelin plus sector. (2) That alone is enough to make someone appear trustworthy, candid, and forthright to others. Perhaps the most frequent quote from supporters is that Trump “tells it like it is” — that’s Truth on the Ascendant: the ability to project honesty, regardless of the veracity of what’s said. But what is especially favorable for Trump’s electoral chances is that this forms part of a cluster of Ascendant points including Mars and asteroid America, at 26° and 27° Leo respectively.

Mars/Ascendant depicts The Donald as assertive, aggressive, and yes, also somewhat bullying, blustering, and braggadocious, but decidedly a leader.  Asteroid America with Mars here allows him to both channel the rage of the American people and appear as their champion and standard-bearer. 

Trump’s internal sense of authenticity bolsters his ability to project that quality, with a dramatic combination of asteroid Veritas at 1° Sagittarius on the 24° Scorpio nadir conjunct asteroid Troemper (the closest match to “Trump”) at 2° Sagittarius. Taken together, this says that in his foundation (nadir), Trump considers himself (Troemper) to be essentially truthful (Veritas), and that inner fortitude further fuels his ability to promote that image successfully.

And yet, deceit is also a central theme of Trump’s angles. Asteroid Lie at 17° Taurus is conjunct the Midheaven and is the highest elevated point in the chart.  Lie/MC suggests that Trump is more than willing to stretch the facts, dissemble, prevaricate, mislead, or downright deceive in establishing his place in the world, his social standing, his reputation, and promoting business interests. Lie is also exactly inconjunct natal Jupiter at 17° Libra, so there is a strong bent toward deception particularly in Jovian matters, including politics. 

Hillary Clinton has all these points in prominence as well, but in less gratifying combinations. True, her natal asteroid Truth at 29° Scorpio closely conjoins natal Jupiter at 0° Sagittarius, a combination which should promote political trustworthiness. And it does for a significant portion of the electorate (as well as many former Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle). But a conjunction with Jupiter is a “wonky” sort of placement, primarily accessible to political junkies and not nearly as obvious as Trump’s Truth/Ascendant, which is more available to the man on the street.

Bolstering these celestial street credentials for honesty is the T-square created by Jupiter/Truth’s square to the exact natal opposition in Clinton’s horoscope between natal asteroids Hillary and Whitehouse, at 5° Virgo and Pisces. This in itself shows a direct path to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but the pertinent question is: Has that karma already been fulfilled by her eight years as First Lady or is there more in store? The fly in the ointment on this T-square is the inclusion of natal asteroid America and TransNeptunian Object (TNO) Borasisi, both at 8° Sagittarius. (3) Truth (29° Scorpio) is rather wide of that combination, but these do impact the Hillary/Whitehouse opposition, creating an “overlapping” T-square. With Borasisi’s reputation for spreading propaganda and lies, it’s not a help here, sending a signal that Clinton is less than honest and straightforward with the American people, that she’s hiding something. 

Moreover, this negative interaction is reinforced by the close natal conjunction of asteroids Washingtonia and Lie, at 21° and 22° Virgo. With it, Clinton becomes a virtual emissary of distrust of Washington, in stark contrast to her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, who sports a Washingtonia/Truth conjunction and has the reputation of speaking truth to power and thumbing his nose at the DC establishment.
 
Natal Veritas makes a mixed statement at best. At 17° Aquarius, Veritas squares Clinton’s natal Venus/Mercury combination at 16° and 21° Scorpio and opposes her string of Mars, Pluto, and Saturn at 13°, 14°, and 21° Leo, making for a very complicated and contradictory T-square. At the heart of this is the awkwardness created by Venus/Mercury in square to Saturn. Clinton ought to be able to communicate with sensitivity and compassion, soothing others with the honeyed word or pleasing expression. But Saturn exactly squares Mercury, making her seem harsh, cold, calculating, and aloof. It’s also the symbol of a penetrating mind, one with a fine grasp of the facts and the ability to craft a response to a problem, but these details are often lost on a complacent electorate more concerned with who’d make a better drinking buddy than a focused leader. 

Veritas doesn’t make the picture any clearer; its square to Venus/Mercury implies that there may be obstacles to Clinton expressing herself truthfully, and the opposition to Saturn suggests there may be a dearth of honesty. The opposition to Pluto conveys a possible motive for her lack of candor  — a strong desire for power and control — while further suggesting that the truth may be “opposed” to attaining these goals, and thus needs to be kept quite firmly under wraps. Mars there indicates that in the struggle for power, the first casualty may be truth.

This is not a particularly encouraging layout, if you’re a Clinton supporter. Making matters worse is what the transit sky will be up to by Election Day. 

At this point we need to take a step back and discuss a relatively new phenomenon in astrological interpretation, and a new term for the astro-lexicon.  This is the concept of an “extended conjunction.” Before the discovery of minor bodies in the Asteroid and Kuiper Belts (way out past Neptune), conjunctions were relatively simple matters. Natal conjunctions were permanent, and the combined energies had a lifetime to blend and resolve their differences. Transit conjunctions were of two types — either fleeting contacts to natal points, which effected change in the native, or equally fleeting meetings of two transit bodies, causing us all to reappraise how these energies mesh in our lives.

But points in the Asteroid and Kuiper Belts often travel at similar rates of speed, meaning that, once in conjunction, they can remain locked together for weeks, months, years, even decades. This is an “extended conjunction” and, unfortunately for Clinton, there’s one forming right now between transit Hillary and transit Lie. 
 
Yes, as of the very day the Democratic National Convention opens in Philadelphia, ostensibly to nominate Clinton, the candidate with some of the worst “honest and trustworthy” ratings in history, Hillary and Lie will be within five degrees of each other, for almost a year, until mid-July 2017. On Election Day, both points will be exactly conjunct, both about to station retrograde, and both exactly trine the Election Day Sun.
 
And what about Trump? Unbelievably, asteroids Truth and Veritas are coming together as well, though for mere months (September 2016 through March 2017), and by Election Day they will be exactly conjunct at 21° Gemini, tightly squaring transit Troemper stationary direct at 22° Pisces and conjoined Trump’s natal Sun at 22° Gemini.

Talk about reinforcing existing narratives!

There are many factors that cause voters to choose a candidate, and it’s not known if Clinton’s clear advantage in experience and gravitas can outshine Trump’s bluster and bravado, but the American people’s assessment of the relative genuineness, honesty, and authenticity of the choices they’re offered could be a key element in deciding who wins in November.
If that’s the circumstance, Hillary Clinton is very far out on a very slender limb indeed, with little celestial support for the case that she’s the more trustworthy candidate.

Editor’s notes:

(1) “The Asteroid Belt is often referred to as the “Main Belt” to distinguish it from other groups of asteroids such as the Lagrangians and Centaurs.” From: space-facts.com

(2) The Gauquelin plus sectors are the degrees surrounding the Ascendant and Midheaven that Michael Gauquelin, in his extensive research between 1949 and 1973, found to strengthen a planet’s influence. (For further information, here’s a recent assessment of Gauquelin’s work).

(3) For more on TNO Borasisi: astrologicaldepth.com

Bio: Alex Miller is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book and The Urban Wicca, former editor of “The Galactic Calendar,” and past president of The Philadelphia Astrological Society. His pioneering work with Black Holes in astrological interpretation began in 1991, when his progressed Sun unwittingly fell into one. His work with deep space points and asteroids appears monthly at DayKeeper Journal. Alex can be reached for comment or services at glaktix@verizon.net

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Some thoughts on the place of astrology in our contemporary world

By Anne Whitaker | May 16, 2016

We live in a vast energy field of constant motion, most of which is invisible to us. The rippling patterns of order and chaos, which is the fundamental dance of creation, govern everything. I have come to see the art of astrology (helped by what I have grasped of what the quantum world has revealed to us) as one that enables us to map those patterns via the constant shifting energies of the planets in their orbits.

Astrologers take a step that, in our reductionist, materialist culture, pulls down all sorts of opprobrium and scorn upon our heads: We attribute meaning to those patterns. Beginning in ancient times until the Scientific Revolution of the 17th Century (which caused a split between form, described by astronomy, and content, described by astrology), the maxim “as above, so below” governed people’s worldview. Prior to the Scientific Revolution, we lived in a cosmos charged with meaning, an “ensouled” cosmos, where form and content reflected and informed each other.
 
Astrology and prejudice
Some of us still live in that cosmos. Others do not. Where you have such a powerful clash of worldviews, polarisation and prejudice can arise. I think that Victor Olliver, editor of the UK’s respected Astrological Journal, was right regarding his eloquent and well argued response to my doubts and questions about popular astrology in the spring of 2015. At that time, he pointed out that the real enemy of astrology is prejudice. There is the prejudice from outside the astrological community (especially from much of the scientific community) from those who believe that our lives are the product of cosmic chance, and thereby devoid of meaning. And then there is the prejudice from those within the community — those who consider themselves to be “serious” practitioners — toward the populist, mass-market astrology that millions avidly consume across a vast range of media on a daily basis, looking for some glimmer of meaning in life.

What do we do about this? In reflecting on how I might “wrap up” Victor’s and my three-part debate, which generated a great deal of interest across the Web, the word “occult” came strongly to mind.

I pondered it for a few days. According to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, the original meaning of the word is from the Latin “occulere,” i.e. “to hide, conceal.” It also (in a more physical sense) means “to cut off from view by interposing some other body,” as in, for example, the occultation of one planet or heavenly body by another.
 
Is astrology an “occult” practice?
The word “occult” in recent times has taken on a more sinister connotation, referring often to magical or supernatural practices of a dubious nature. As I reflected on it, I became more interested in the original meaning of the word, which has led me to a conclusion about the status of astrology, especially in our modern world: The true depth of what astrology can reveal about human affairs, both in the collective and the personal sense, will always be inaccessible to the large majority of people. Astrology is an occult subject. As such, its influence and its great value are likely to remain masked, hidden from view, operating powerfully but behind the scenes of everyday life.

For example, in ancient times its practice was held in high esteem by Babylonian and Egyptian rulers, whose astrologer-priests scanned the stars and advised the kings (and sometimes, even, the queens!)  on the fate of their nations. There were no personal horoscopes. The general public was in no way consulted or informed regarding decisions made that affected all their lives. Astrological knowledge, deemed sacred, was deliberately kept hidden from ordinary view.

Paradoxically, in our time, mass-market popular astrology could be seen as fulfilling the function of concealing the real power of astrology quite effectively. Most of the public remain unaware of the depth that exists behind the mask of the Sun Sign columns, although I do agree with Victor that there is a very big difference between the nuggets of truth that a quality Sun Sign column can reveal and the kind of trashy stuff that some popular newspapers, magazines, and internet sites churn out.
 
A warning ignored
Sun Sign columns are also rather effective in raising the ire and spleen of reductionists who thereby are permanently deflected from benefiting from astrology’s true depth, which at times could have been life-saving as evinced in the powerful example of astrologer Dennis Elwell’s prescient warning in the 1980s.

In 1987, Dennis Elwell, the late well-known U.K. astrologer, wrote to the main shipping companies to warn them that a pattern very similar to that under which the Titanic had sunk was coming in the heavens very soon. He strongly suggested that they review the seaworthiness and safety procedures of all their passenger ships. His warning was duly dismissed. Not long afterwards, the U.K.’s Herald of Free Enterprise ferryboat went down, resulting in the loss of 188 lives.

Popular astrology—a stepping-stone?
It is true, as Victor pointed out in his robust reply to my challenge, that mass-market astrology is the stepping-stone that enables people who are seekers after deeper meaning to step from relative triviality to much greater depth.

However, to understand the profound link that exists between your unique chip of energy and the larger, meaningful cosmos, you will need to seek out a good astrologer to offer you a sensitive and revealing portrait of your moment of birth via your horoscope. Those of us who are in-depth practitioners know that a quality astrology reading with the right astrologer at the right time can be truly life changing.

Only a small percentage of people who read Sun Sign columns take that step into deeper territory. Most do not. Either they are quite happy with the superficiality they find there, or they spin off into active enraged prejudice, and sometimes very public condemnation, of our great art…

As I said to Victor Olliver by way of conclusion to our most instructive debate, pondering on the word “occult” has led me to quite a peaceful place. I can now abandon any prejudice I may have toward my colleagues who are Sun Sign astrologers: they are offering a valuable service in providing a smoke screen. This helps greatly to maintain astrology in its true place as an occult activity, perhaps leavening the ignorance and crassness of our materialist, consumer age  — but from behind the scenes.
 
Concluding thoughts from academia

I have recently been reading an excellent book by astrologer, teacher, and writer Dr. Bernadette Brady, Chaos, Chaosmos and Astrology. In her book, Brady quotes fellow astrologer and academic Dr. Patrick Curry’s view that the practice of astrology is  “…an instrument of enchantment, a way in which humanity encounters mystery, awe, and wonder….,” and that in order to maintain such a position it is “…necessary for astrology to be marginalised by science…” (1)

I was very happy to encounter this viewpoint put forward by fellow astrologers whose scholarship and viewpoints I respect. Their views have eloquently endorsed my own.

TMA readers, what do you think of this viewpoint? I’d be most interested to hear.
 
Footnote:
(1) Bernadette Brady, Cosmos, Chaosmos and Astrology, Sophia Centre Press, 2014, p 71.
 
Bio: Anne Whitaker is a writer, astrologer, and astrology teacher based in Glasgow, Scotland. She holds the Diploma from the Centre for Psychological Astrology in London, U.K. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter @annewhitaker, at Astrology Questions and Answers and email: info@anne-whitaker.com

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Mars shows the way…

By Mary Plumb | April 18, 2016

On Sunday, as I was thinking about this blog (knowing that the day’s Mars station at 8°54′ Sagittarius was my topic), I got a call from a friend. Why, she plaintively asked, am I having so much trouble with men?

There was the immediate pain of the recent breakup of long-term partnership, as well as certain sensitive matters with other men in her life, mostly business connections. Her natal Mars is in Sag and rules the 5th and 10th houses. We talked for a while about Mars’s station and the beginning of his backward movement. After a bit of an excursion into the significations of Mars, she seemed to feel better and then (it seemed to me) began to channel Pluto’s concurrent station (Pluto turns retrograde today, April 18). She said, I am having the experience that my will is not the only thing, there is something much larger going on.

It was a fine moment, especially perhaps for a quite accomplished Leo Sun who is very capable of making things happen.

In this same conversation, she told me about a friend who just had her driver’s license taken away. After going in to renew the license, she was shocked to fail the eye exam and have it taken away on the spot. She’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

I called another friend to check in with her, as I figured she might be having a rough few days. (She is another strongly fire type, with Aries on the Ascendant, and thus quite attuned to Mars.)

This person has been dealing with a long-term health challenge and said she was really struggling. Natal Saturn is at 8° Sag, so the Mars station is stirring up the material connected to the Saturn return. In this case, the anguish is deep as she wrestles with her situation: Why can’t I do what I want? A painful side of Mars (in this case with Saturn) was fully in her awareness. A nod here to remembering the moons of Mars — Phobos (panic/fear) and Deimos (terror/dread) — in case we need help in understanding the sometimes difficult psychological territory that Mars carries.

Most of us will be spared such events as the ” ‘fiery, catastrophic’ failure” of North Korea’s failed missile launch reported on Friday the 15th. The North Korea horoscope (set for noon) has Scorpio rising with the Mars station squaring the Midheaven at 9° Virgo. (1)

Those who rely upon ongoing productivity in worldly matters (or Aries or Scorpio Sun signs, or those signs angular) may find the haltingness of the current Mars difficult. (My friend said: I can’t get anything done!)

We know not to fight, not to push blindly with Mars turning around. Retreat is easier for some of us than others — those with natal Mars retrograde, or many 12th-house planets, or many planets below the horizon. There are lots of astrological markers that might suggest that a retreat into one’s interior life is a natural move.

With retrograde Mars, forward or direct action is thwarted, and yet we have this auspicious celestial invitation toward the inner life.

But, Mars has an edge; it cuts and is sharp, especially in fire. And this station is on the fixed star Antares, the rival to Mars, at 9° Sagittarius. (Transiting Saturn will conjoin Mars in August at 9°52′ Sag, which is too big a story for now, but it does add potency to themes and events experienced at this Mars station.)

Some will experience a particularly sharp moment, as the painful edge for each of us is more distinct now. Mars’s prolonged stay in 8° – 9° Sag is reinforcing any planet or angle being closely aspected by that degree, especially by conjunction, square, or opposition.

Depending on our particular temperament and disposition (and circumstances), the presence of Mars may be more or less painful. And that pain may be a physical injury, or any event that causes us to (temporarily) wince or recoil.

Some may have a piercing insight (Sag) about the nature of their own reality or current life situation in the days around the station that will be developed further and deeper, especially as Mars goes back into the emotional scars and gifts and mysteries of Scorpio on May 27. It’s as if we can bring the precision and striking heat of Mars back into our private lives.

In honor of Mars starting the periodic derailment from his ordinary course, I burned my hand yesterday pouring steaming hot water into a different-than-usual teapot. It’s not a significant burn, but it did hurt and caught my complete attention: Yes, Mars, you can be very hot.

Contemporary interpreters of certain yogic and meditative traditions speak of keeping one’s awareness right with any emotional pain or physical discomfort, as that is where growth and change occurs, right at the edge of intensity, before pain or avoidance overwhelms us. It’s a subtle business for sure, but what else are we going to do when life is showing us that backing up and looking within may be quite revealing.

Those of us with natal Mars retrograde may be coming into our own (once again) during the retrograde cycle. Hey, no time like the present!

I hope everyone has a fruitful, fulfilling, and joyous journey as we turn around and take another look at ourselves.

Footnote:

(1) North Korea Independence, Sept. 10, 1948; noon, Pyongyang, Korea. (39°N01′, 125°E45′). The Book of World Horoscopes, Nicholas Campion, The Wessex Astrologer, 2004.
Reuters

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Ahhh!…welcome Pisces..

By Mary Plumb | February 22, 2016

As I woke on Sunday morning — halfway in a dream — my first thought was: What if I lost everything?

I had been researching the (always) fascinating astrology of someone in the news for this blog, but the mood of the early morning stayed with me and I decided to investigate that question from in-between sleep and awake. (1)

It seemed like it might be timely as well — today’s Full Moon is at 3°33′ Virgo; the Sun is with Neptune at 9° Pisces.

Full Moon

The Sun is moving towards Neptune; they meet precisely on February 28 and the Moon will perfect her opposition to Neptune tonight. Neptune’s sphere, presence, essence will color the days this week.

We are also approaching the total solar eclipse on March 8 (PST) at 18°55′ Pisces. The South Node and Chiron are also in Pisces, heightening our experiences of disappearance and loss, or susceptibility to non-ordinary states.

The Sun was in Pisces when I was born; as an astrologer, I have always been able to put a positive spin on Neptune, but I am not naïve about its troublesome side. Sometimes Neptune really does correspond with situations or life events that are difficult to bear. Some events in one’s life really do not work out too well.

What if I lost everything? This rather searing question is acute and personal for me: my natal Sun is at 8° Pisces; transiting Neptune has barely gotten past the Sun (which is pronounced, therefore, in this year’s solar return).

I have had some difficult life events recently, so pondering loss was not completely out of context. I first swept through the current situations in my life — challenging events, no doubt, like everyone else, but the depth of that question still haunted me: What if I lost everything?

I rather carefully walked through a familiar web of emotions (those places wherein it’s easy to get distracted or numb or indulgent — all manner of strategies to avoid just feeling) and did begin to remember the quiet and powerful waves of trust — I think it may be called faith too — that life is, indeed, holding us all in a most mysterious way. Loss is an inevitable part of life.

I also remembered the beauty of the early morning sky; for these past few months, I have stepped out my front door to see Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Venus, and sometimes the Moon. Mercury has been there too, but I don’t have a view low enough in the east to see him. That ability, to see the dark sky in its magnificence, uplifts my spirit enormously. (I love the day sky too; we have had gorgeous clouds in Oregon this winter.)

We know there are countless ways to invite a positive experience of Neptune rather than (only) being lost in life’s sorrow.

We have access to intoxicants of all kinds; mind-altering substances and plants (alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, psilocybin, cannabis, etc.) are part of our culture and accompany many into the interior life. These fall under the dominion of Neptune in his Dionysian garb.

We have a natural inner pharmacopoeia that can be cultivated directly through any of thousands of meditation and yoga or breathing techniques taught through the ages. We can also easily be enveloped with music, or surrounded by dance, from every possible genre or historical period, with merely a click.

[In a shout out to Moon in Virgo: let’s not forget the research that connects serotonin and other hormones that regulate emotions and mood to the digestive track — 90% of the body’s serotonin is produced and stored in the gut.] (2)

I have another method in mind too: Next year, as the Sun in Pisces conjoins Neptune in the sky, I will try to end up on a warm beach as some wise travelers are showing the rest of us on our iPhones. (Hello to Kate Plumb at a yoga retreat in Tulum.)

Luck, grace, or support may all be part of our inevitable meeting with this natural state of vulnerability. Dropping through the doorways of loss and disappearance and feeling one’s way onward can bring glimpses from the lands known to the mystics — moments of bliss or surrender — and a renewed appreciation for the delicate ever-present beauty of life.

There have been many eloquent writers on the subject of vulnerability recently. (3) Although it is a long period of time (2011- 2025) with many complexities and variables, astrologers recognize that Neptune in Pisces may describe a time wherein experiences of openness, inseparability, impermanence, and transcendence become very ordinary after all.

Footnotes:

(1) Studying the language of the stars — from many frames of reference — is one of the greatest gifts in my life (i.e., at the moment, I’m trying to learn Zodiacal Releasing from spirit and fortune, thanks to Chris Brennan and my sister, Kate), but, for now, I’m putting aside my intellectual and analytic habit to stay with this feeling of being exposed.

(2) New York Times

(3) Vulnerability by David Whyte

Brené Brown The Power of Vulnerability

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Venus in Capricorn and the Earth Sign Connection

By Kelly Surtees | January 25, 2016

Venus will move through Capricorn from January 23 – February 16. Venus has triplicity rulership over earth signs, (in day charts), which shows that Venus has an affinity for earth signs. (1)

This comfort placement of Venus in an earth sign for the next few weeks can help us all find a little more ease or security in the Venusian areas of our lives. Venus rules themes of love, beauty, comfort, and little luxuries, but Venus will also take charge of more specific themes based on your unique chart.

To discover these, note the houses ruled by Taurus and Libra in your birth chart. These houses, and whatever aspects of life they encompass, will also benefit from the stabilising influence of Venus in Capricorn. Venus is responsible for her two signs, even if she isn’t currently in her signs.

Venus in Capricorn provides form and structure to your personal Venus-ruled houses. It also helps when making plans pertaining to relationships and any desire to add sweetness, softness, or other little enhancements to life.

For instance, if you have Taurus or Libra on the Midheaven, or ruling the 10th house, you may experience this grounded Venus-in-Capricorn influence as a sense of renewed focus and motivation, or perhaps better time management at work. If Taurus or Libra is on the cusp of your 2nd house of money (cash flow and income), you may notice improvement in your salary, finances in general, or around any larger or luxury purchases you might make.

Of course, Venus will be in the sign of Capricorn these next few weeks, so your Capricorn house and associated correspondences also have the potential to improve.

Venus in Capricorn can add a sense of relief and ease to the post-Mercury-retrograde in Capricorn period. You might discover the support you need to re-negotiate something that was frustrating you earlier in January. A helpful person may arrive, or a change in circumstances may benefit you more than expected.

Venus in Capricorn is not frivolous; rather, she likes to make the most of what she has. Whether you have a lot or a little, you can make what you do have last, or stretch further than expected. This can be a time of being more thoughtful with how and when you enjoy life, perhaps with more focused appreciation on the special moments or indulgences in your life.

Venus will spend time in all three earth signs in 2016, visiting Taurus from April 29 – 24 and Virgo from August 5 – 29. Make a note of these dates to see how the triplicity strength of Venus in an earth sign may provide ease, support, and stability for you.
 
(1) (Editor’s notes: Each group of triplicites (i.e., fire, air, earth, water) has its own set of planetary rulers, which is different for a day or night chart. Triplicity is a factor in determining the essential dignity of a planet.
All Venus dates herein are for Pacific Time. Check your local time for specifics for your location; it may vary by a day.)
 
Bio: Kelly is a consulting astrologer, teacher, writer, and editor who works with clients and students around the world. With more than 12 years in private practice, Kelly is experienced, warm, and insightful. She loves exploring astrology’s history as well as escaping into the ocean. Kelly’s passion for astrology is infectious, and her specialty areas include Moon Phases, timing techniques like progressions, and incorporating traditional concepts. She can be found lecturing at conferences throughout the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Kelly holds the Australian FAA Practitioner’s Diploma and is an expat Aussie who lives in Canada most of the year. Website: Kelly’s Astrology

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