Zen riddles that I like…

Kõ-an – a paradox anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logic and provoke a more direct perception of reality called enlightenment.

Kõ-ans have always exercised an intellectual fascination over those who have come in contact with them. Some have found Kõ-ans profound and intellectually challenging while others have dismissed them as meaningless and absurd. But especially for those living in societies built on Enlightenment principles, the anti-rationalism of Kõ-ans has been a large part of their appeal.  Unknown.png

Although Reason is useful to conceptualize and categorize, it can also trap us in a limited and arbitrary view of the world. Once Reason gets tangled up with our socially conditioned biases, then rather like blinkers on a horse it can do no more than channel us down a predetermined path.

The practical purpose of Kõ-ans is not to rid us of our intellectual capacity but instead to allow it to function in a dispassionate way. This involves breaking down the everyday tyranny of our conditioned intellect by demonstrating the contradictions and absurdities to which it would otherwise necessarily lead.

Unknown.jpegUnlike puzzles and riddles, Kõ-ans do not have pat answers. Indeed, many Kõ-ans are not even in the form of a question. When used properly, Kõ-ans set trains of thought in motion and then derail them. With the continuity of our internal dialogue broken, we are no longer able to maintain our (false) sense of reality.

A properly constructed Kõ-an should contain many layers of personal meaning. It is most certainly not a case of ‘one size fits all’. According to Buddhist teaching, Truth can only be experienced by those who seek Truth for its own sake.  It can never be denied to those who are worthy as equally it can never be imparted to those who are not.

What is Spirituality? I’m sure that I should know…

A client asked for astrological insight on her spirituality. But what she meant by that, she wasn’t too sure. I told her she wasn’t alone in her confusion and suggested that we explore this together. She wasn’t too keen on that, however. For her, spiritualty was too personal.

OK – so I decided to come up with something by myself. It couldn’t be that hard, could it? After all, I do have an MA in the Study of Mystical and Religious Experience (University of Kent, at Canterbury). Revisiting my work from that course, I realised that it’s harder than I’d anticipated – at least hard in the sense of pinning down anything specific about the definition of spirituality.

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For the record, here’s my shortlist:

  • Finding purpose or meaning,
  • Tuning in to soul or psyche,
  • Giving over to a ‘higher self’,
  • Connecting with deity or the divine.

Granted, I may not know exactly for what I’m looking, but at least, as an astrologer, ought I not know where to look? Astrologically, traces of spirituality (however defined) are bound to show up in one’s natal chart. But where exactly should I start?

Jupiter is the most likely culprit, you say? Sure, why not. As long as you realise that Jupiter looks for meaning in your life – not mine – he is, after all a personal planet.

How about Neptune then? There’s a distinct possibility. Astrological Neptune most certainly has been ascribed spiritual qualities. But if you’re looking for some ‘truth’, then Neptune will be problematic, as I’m sure you can imagine. If it’s one thing about viewing the world through rose-tinted glasses that you can definitely say, it’s that what you see is not what you’ll get.

How about Saturn, then? At least he doesn’t lie. Not only that, but he’s hugely practical and possibly good for my bank account. However, upon further reflection I’m forced to admit that Saturn’s brand of spirituality probably won’t be as uplifting as I’d like. Not only is he dark and dreary, but also associated with death and misfortune. Even if I were willing to overlook that, Saturn is much too keen to point out my weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

If I’m really serious about my spirituality, then maybe I should go for organised religion. After all, they have been established by minds greater than mine. But after consideration, I’ve decided that I’m not that much into the suffering and sacrifice of Christianity and even if I were, I don’t see the worth of a paternalistic god. If He is only going to help those who help themselves, then of what worth is He? Besides I know that ‘believing’ can be dangerous and suspect that it isn’t very spiritual either. I mean, look at the Crusades – they were all about belief – and how ‘enlightened’ were they?

How about Buddhism? That sounds like my cup of tea. Not only have I pretty much given up consumerism but I’m also into yoga and meditation. Yet all that stuff about non-attachment and ego-surrender doesn’t really work that well in the western world, at least not unless I no longer have a mortgage, which unfortunately, I still do.Unknown.jpeg

It’s been awhile since I’ve done much with the ancient mystery religions. Definitely time to revisit those! Whilst I’m at it, modern mystery ‘religions’ like the Golden Dawn have always fascinated me and then – there’s alchemy and the kabbalah!

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Once, I knew a Belgian ‘white’ witch who had been a powerful (hereditary) black magician. At the height of his powers, he could kill a man just by looking at him, or at least so he said. Sounds a bit much but I believed him – not the least because he had a Pluto Square Mercury and Pluto sextile Venus – both within seconds of arc.

For some, tapping into outer planetary energies like Pluto comes easy. Presto! Results! Yeah! Yet these energies are particularly dangerous because they will remain forever beyond the personal Ego’s grasp.

Not surprisingly, then, after partaking in a power battle with other black magicians, my friend awoke in the middle of the Belgian Ardennes with 70% burns over his body. He made promise to himself then and there that if he didn’t die, he’d mend his magical ways and he did.

My ‘white’ witch friend learned the hard way that there are two sides to the magical equation. Because of this, he was always critical of ‘New Age’ practitioners who focus only on ‘goodness’ and ‘light’.

440px-Tovenaarsleerling_S_Barth.pngLike the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the uninitiated usually fail to understand the true nature of the energies at hand and, in their inexperienced hands, things can quickly get out of control.  Even in the hands of the very experienced, things can and do go terribly wrong.

I’m only too thankful that I do NOT have Pluto in the mix with with my personal planets. If did, I’d be joining ranks with some seriously powerful witches and ceremonial magicians. That’s much too much responsibility for me and I know it. But what if some ‘goodness and light’ article/post stimulates someone with tight Pluto contacts to play their hand at the game?

A good magician works with the forces of nature – not against them. He knows the difference of what he can and cannot change. A good magician full well knows that there are ‘dark forces’ in the universe and, whilst he may not actively seek them out, he is prepared to deal with if needs be.

Are you?

 

 

Today and Tomorrow are Queen of Sword’s Days

With the Sun in Virgo (discerning) and the Moon in Aries (daring & defiant), today and tomorrow are Queen of Swords days.

The Queen of Swords is not only tenacious, but also prone to being argumentative. Nothing escapes her all-encompassing gaze.

She possesses more than ample intellectual capabilities to process what she’s learned. Because she is by nature an independent woman, she is oft seen as secretive and aloof.

If truth be told, she likes it that way because, as the result, she owes her allegiance to none but herself.gtro_tarot_card__queen_of_swords_by_melsubayai-d60g082.png.jpeg Most of the time, this serves her well. After all, if she’s to accurately discern the motives of others, she can’t afford to be, herself, emotionally involved.

Yet her life isn’t always easy and it’s safe to say that sometimes she resents her reputation as being dangerous or even cruel. The truth of the matter is that she’s neither intolerant nor narrow minded as her detractors would have you believe.

The best way to use this energy, is to make keen observations about your environment. With help from this queen, it won’t be hard. Just ensure that you use any conclusions you might draw from such observations in an ethical way – else you may find yourself caught up in the nasty thorns of this queen’s beloved rose garden. Never forget that the suit of swords in the tarot deck stands both for justice as well as destruction.

What’s your Dharma/ Career path?

In your astrological chart, the MC or Mid-heaven marks the highest point that the Sun will reach on the day that you were born. In this respect, it represents the point for which you’re always aiming –  call it what you like – dharma, calling, vocation, and/or personal path to enlightenment.

th.jpegThe energy symbolised by the zodiac sign on the MC (along with the condition and placement of its ruler), must somehow be integrated into your life. The MC is a very public place. It represents that for which you will be known and remembered. Make your choices with care.

Transits over your MC will trigger events helping you along your way:

  • Transiting Uranus will force you to stop singing the ‘party line’ and finally forge your own path.
  • Transiting Saturn over your MC may make you feel uncomfortable/vulnerable on your present path – testing you until you finally figure out where/how you’ve been going wrong. If nothing is wrong, then now you become the authority figure. Well, done, you will have earned it.
  • Transiting Neptune on your MC will throw you into a fog of confusion until you emotionally connect with the right path. The transition won’t be easy – prepare for  sacrifice of some kind.
  • Transiting Pluto over your MC will force you off your current path unless it’s already right for you; should you be one of the lucky ones, then Pluto crossing your MC will put you in a position of immense power – be careful, please, how you use it.

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MC Sign

Ruler

Descriptions / Example

Aries

 

Mars Mover/shaker – break out and make something happen – think Bill Gates – win and lead – find something for which you can act as the champion.
Taurus Venus Build your own world around you – leave a big footprint – think King Henry VIII – possess and secure – your achievements must be enduring.
Gemini Mercury Build a bridge linking two different worlds – communication/commerce the more innovative your approach, the better – think Jane Austen and Paul Mc Cartney.
Cancer Moon Make the world safer, less hostile – preserve and protect – banking, politics, conservation, medicine, history – families & groups of all sorts – belong. Think John F Kennedy and Mahatma Gandhi.
Leo Sun Be the centre of attention  – make your mark – be creative, charismatic, unique – do things your way – exercise your personal will. Think Frank Sinatra and the Marquis de Sade.
Virgo Mercury Use your mind to make something reality – the expert who pares down, cuts back, & reorders – be always of service. Think astrologers like Nick Campion and Isabel Hickey, inventors like Leonardo da Vinci, and politicians like Margaret Thatcher.
Libra Venus Needs other people for help along one’s path – individual connections unlock the door that remains firmly closed until the right ‘partner’ comes along. Think Fred Astaire (and his partner, Ginger Rogers).
Scorpio Mars / Pluto Uncover, discover, withdraw, struggle to seize power & always be passionate. Life is dangerous – live it to the extreme – go where others fear to tread. Think Carl Jung, Marie Curie, James Joyce, and William Styron.
Sagittarius Jupiter Needs to open up a new vision of the world – make it a brighter, better place – push boundaries, have confidence that you’re ‘right’. Find solutions. Think Alexander Graham Bell, Emeline Pankhurst, William Lilly, Robespierre.
Capricorn Saturn Take charge, wield authority – be a founding father – others will come to you for validation-  of all the zodiac signs, you have ‘destiny’. Think George Washington, 1st president of the United States.
Aquarius Saturn / Uranus Take a new direction – open doors – replace old ideas with new – overthrow the status quo, bring something into societal consciousness – make things up as your go along. Think Anna Freud, Mary Shelley (Frankenstein).
Pisces Jupiter/ Neptune Need to get lost totally before finding one’s path – this is obligatory – a rite of passage. Make something unordinary into something ordinary. Live your fantasy. Think actress, Judy Garland and artists, Max Ernst.

 

 

Esoteric Dilemmas

In some esoteric circles, the MC/IC (Mid-heaven/Imum Coeli) axis depicts your spiritual descent down the ladder from the stars and into bodily incarnation.[1]

The idea is that before birth, you were given a daemon that selects the pattern that you are to live out on earth. [2]

Soul, then, is the mediating consciousness between body and spirit and, at the IC (Latin for ‘bottom of the sky’) soul picks up an emotional charge from your parents such that their hopes, fears, and fantasies become your own.
This is not really ‘you’, however. In order to incarnate, you had to create a ‘false self’ through which to adapt to the world via your ASC/DSC (Ascendant/ Descendant) axis of relationship. Through desire, attachment, crisis, and struggle, soul transmutes this ‘false’ self, allowing the real ‘you’ to return up that ladder back to the stars.Spindle1

In this context, the IC, is both about death and rebirth. It is also about going into the dark to reconnect with your passion for life. Most certainly, the IC is about the container (body, family, society) to which you have attached. It is also about how you relate with your career (MC). In this sense, the MC is about more than just career, however. It describes not only how well you relate to the material world in general but also how well you relate to authority. You might think of your MC as informing you about that which your parents didn’t achieve for themselves and expect you to achieve for them.

As you might expect, this often leaves you in quite a dilemma:

 

MC/IC Axis Dilemma
Aries/Libra Struggle between whether to compete/lead as pushed to do by parents or stay behind and remain in ‘harmony’ with them – wouldn’t be the first time any child got a double message.
Taurus / Scorpio Home environment is one of immense need and intensity and the child is caught in the middle of his/her parents’ power trips. The child tries to become referee of parents that are terrified of being abandoned and hence, are very needy.
Gemini/Sagittarius The parental dynamic is damaged and the child takes up his/her identity  whilst trying to heal it (i.e. I need my books in order to heal the rift between my parents and so my books are my life).
Cancer/Capricorn The family dynamic is about tradition and togetherness – the world ‘out’ there is bleak and hostile, but we’ll be fine as long as we ‘stay’ together. The child not only adopts the view that the world is unsafe but also suspects that his/her parents don’t love him/her – or at least they won’t do if he/she refuses to toe their party line.
Leo/Aquarius Here the child is basically used by his/her parents so that they can realise their own ambitions.  The child becomes almost like a treasured ‘pet’ –  so much does he/she need to always ‘shine’ in the eyes of his/her parents.
Virgo/Pisces Here the primary issue is control and lack thereof – boundaries are hazy, unclear. The parental dynamic is one of service and sacrifice – an imbalance of power between the parents results in hidden passion and anger. The child is drawn into this dynamic and has trouble escaping. Control over his/her own life is overridden by need to sacrifice ‘self’ in order to remain in service to his parent(s).

If soul gets too wrapped up in the concerns of the MC/IC axis, then it might well forget the whole purpose for which it incarnated. Transits to the MC/IC axis will provoke a ‘spiritual crisis’ to get soul back on track:

 

Neptune Transits to the MC/IC axis confuse you as to the direction you’re going. Soul is trying to reconnect with its original intention of incarnation and you’re forced to wait in the fog until soul gains the necessary clarity of purpose.
Pluto Transits to the MC/IC axis strip you of your outmoded ‘adaptations’ to the material world. You lose your old power base in order to create space for the new. Usually the experiences of this transit involve something taboo and forbidden.
Uranus Transits to the MC/IC can bring sudden and expected changes often seen as being completely out of your control. Equally, however, you might decide to cut loose from your family and/or career and do your ‘own thing’.
Saturn Transits to the MC/IC can bring rewards for hard-work. Equally, they may force you to work harder.
Nodal Axis Transits to the MC/IC can bring helpers to assist you in leaving what needs to be left behind.
Jupiter Transits to the MC/IC can bring restlessness. Equally, however, it can bring faith and understanding so as to make it easier for you to move forward to new and better things.

 

[1] For an interesting take on this theme, read the classic children’s book, The Little Prince. The little prince has a celestial journey and meets a king, conceited man, drinker, business, lamplighter, geographer. Each one has a problem meant to teach the prince about something to avoid. Finally, the little prince descends to earth where he meets the snake – the colour of moonlight. The snake (key to the story) says the prince is purer than the snake because he comes from a star – so the prince is not contaminated by descent from earth – i.e. he is not fully incarnated although he layers on his experiences little by little. At the end of the story, he goes back to his star and wonders – how should a person find his or her ‘own star’?

[2] James Hillman, The Soul’s Code, Random House, NY (1996), p 7 – discussing Plato’s Myth of Er.

Dark Shadows (aka Saturn)

The client’s chart upon which I’m now concentrating has Aquarius rising. This means that the chart ruler is Saturn, which is now undergoing a bit of a battering by transiting Pluto.

In keeping with this challenge, I thought it useful to revisit how Saturn fares in each of the twelve signs and houses. The following comes from a lecture given by Dermod Moore for the CPA in February 2002.Unknown.jpeg

Keywords for Saturn – Structure, Strength, Boundaries, Defense mechanisms and/or Denial/Projection

Saturn is two-faced – both a friend and a foe. With one hand, he gives us the structure & strength necessary to succeed in life but with the other, he makes us feel as if we’re a foolish failure.

I suppose that at the end of the day, Saturn is doing us a favor by highlighting where it is exactly that we’re most vulnerable. How else we could we shore up those weaknesses to be strong? But I will say that Saturn (natal/progression/transit) certainly doesn’t feel very nice. Oh well, as Dermod points out – at least Saturn is fair if not compassionate.

SIGN HOUSE
Aries/ 1st Denial of personal identity and self-expression so as to blend with others more harmoniously. Defenses may include overcompensation with fiery bluster – i.e. the ‘paper tiger’. Fear won’t be welcomed  in the world – the (tarot) Fool scared to take that all important first ‘leap’. Prone to adopt false identity (mask) behind which to hide with resultant anger for being thus compromised.
Taurus/ 2nd Lack of security and/or lack of comfort in own body/skin. Difficulties accessing personal value system and/or lack of personal resources. Defenses may include greed and hoarding. Fear of using personal resources or of acting in concert with own values. Eating disorders and clutching at straws – anything to avoid falling into the abyss (of the 8th house).
Gemini / 3rd Difficulty playing and/or sharing/learning. Gifts include ability to concentrate. Defenses may include becoming workaholic and/or generalised overcompensation. Blocked communication with self and others. Speech and/or learning disorders. Fear of being thought stupid/uneducated.  Accident prone especially re: travel. Denial of ability to cope with physical reality.
Cancer / 4th Fearful of being overwhelmed by feelings or that feelings won’t be accepted and/or understood. Inability to nurture/be nurtured. Defenses may include addictive, compulsive behaviors and/or frozen passions. Fear of strong father or ashamed of weak father/fatherland. Feeling unloved and unwanted – emotional instability and/or mistrust of emotional intimacy. Tied to family and/or place of birth or, alternatively, developing a sincere dislike (or worse) of either or both.
Leo / 5th Feeling denied of ability to play and have fun or to be acknowledged as special. Gifts include excellent leadership skills. Defenses may include self-sabotage to address fear of taking life seriously and/or becoming successful. Going through the motions of ‘having fun’ – the ultimate and compulsive ‘playboy’. Fear of being disliked. Blocked creative flow. Demands too much from others yet never satisfied. Often manifests as unwillingness or inability to have children. Often perceived as having a ‘heart of stone.’
Virgo / 6th Fear of not being perfect enough. Gifts include ability to turn chaos into order. Defenses may include hypochondria and fear of losing control. Does ‘dog work’ rather than intrinsically valuable work as a consequence of inability/unwillingness to see forest for the trees. Nervous complaints. Frustration, ill-health, disappointment often the result of being ‘lost in the daily grind’.
Libra / 7th Paralysis; fear to take decisions. Hazy boundaries to avoid losing connection with others. Devil’s advocate – good mediating skills. Defenses include being ‘too nice’ and being overly ‘objective’. Needs to admit vulnerability to the ‘other’ as well as to share in the responsibility of relationship. Fears of isolation, rejection, and disappointment. Marriage/partnership can become a duty. Sacrifice of love for safety. Equally, strong ability to form healthy commitments for life as long as willing to accept not a victim (of circumstance).
Scorpio / 8th Fear of exposure and/or intimacy. – indeed fear of just about everything. Blocking personal passions. Gift of compassion. Defenses include exploiting vulnerabilities of others (to gain power over). Problems relinquishing power (over). Hence issues achieving desired levels of intimacy. Family secrets and/or shameful inheritance. False laughter is not the best medicine. What goes wrong (re: sex & money) is not always someone else’s fault.
Sagittarius / 9th Blocked faith and/or trust – can’t conceive that everything could be OK. Life ought not to be joyful. Defenses include feeling personally persecuted. Dark horizons, crisis of faith. Religious inclination tends to be dogmatic – if someone in authority says that its true then it must be – even if based on coercion and/or guilt. Eventually (hopefully) Saturn in the 9th becomes his own authority and when this happens, doors start to open rather than close.
Capricorn / 10th Stiff upper lip. Get on with the job. Pessimism. Fear of failure. Gifts include strength of purpose. Defenses include blind conformity, acceptance of conservative attitude at expense of authenticity. Career progresses in fits and starts – difficulties and delays are manifest. Often must fail ‘big’ before achieving success. Difficulty working in groups as needs to be authority figure. Strong inner sense of purpose will eventually yield improved status/social position even if that ‘success’ is projected onto another (i.e. wife projects her ambitions onto successful husband or secretary/PA to his/her high-flying boss).
Aquarius / 11th Fear of failing to be authentic and unique – adamant refusal to be stereotyped. Gifts include seed for change and ideological reform. Defenses include dogmatic attitude and/or doing anything & everything to make oneself stand out from the crowd. Difficulty and/or fears around fitting into groups – feeling like an outsider or even the scapegoat. Inept at social graces. Best to avoid tendency to take position that there is no ‘need of friends’ – no man can stand as an island, or so conventional wisdom says. Equally possible to cram so many social activities into the calendar that there is no time to be alone.
Pisces / 12th Fear of being overwhelmed/deluged by whatever is ‘out there’. Gifts include working with the collective through the symbolic (i.e. marketing or fashion). Defenses may include hyper-rationalization, refusing to believe what you intuitively know to be true. Gets sucked into everything – all that glitters appears to be gold –  getting blindsided or attacked without apparent rhyme or reason – feeling defenseless. Everything done must have articulated purpose else there’s a generalized (unarticulated) fear (and guilt) of ‘floating’. ‘Selfless’ dedication/devotion to another – but is the ‘sacrifice’ worth it?

Date with Fate & Water Houses Planets

I’m currently doing a chart for a client who not only has lots of planets in the 8th house but also a key planet in the 12th.

Hence, I thought it useful to revisit symbolism associated with the ‘water houses’ (4th, 8th, 12th) – the following comes from a lecture given by Liz Greene for the CPA in March 2002.

Keywords – Fate, Family Patterns, Connection, Creativity, Gifts, Lack of Control214571_pLqIdcXz

  • Water houses always follow air houses – dissolving our thoughts and ideas (or at least unsettling them).  Let’s face it – we do love to cling to our beliefs but at some level we realise that they may not always serve us so well. Ought we not then to be happy to be given an opportunity to clear away our muddled thoughts from time to time?
  • Contrary to popular belief, planets in water houses are not unconscious but they do feel ‘fated’. The problem isn’t so much our lack control over the energies these planets represent but that we do not feel comfortable expressing them in the rational, everyday world.
  • ‘Fated’ does not necessarily mean that bad things will  happen. What it does mean, however, is that we have to work harder to ensure that everything goes well. Water house planets represent our ‘inheritance’ – i.e. family patterns – and let’s face it, not all of those will be nice (so to speak). When dealing with water house planets, we must always keep in mind that this energy is not exclusively ours. In this sense, it is better to think of them as sacred gifts from another realm. If we fail to honour (i.e. give due respect) to our water house planets, they can well prove to be our undoing – this is especially the case 8th house planets.
  • Planets in water houses are always about connections. They never ever function alone.
  • Water house planets crave a creative outlet and so we must develop some sort of structure/form for that creativity to express itself. For example, many authors and artists have 12th house moons; pick up that paintbrush!
  • Look for ‘compulsive’ behavior re: water house planets – guaranteed you’ll find it.
  • When it comes to the water houses, no matter how hard EGO tries, it will never be ‘in control’.

 

4th house Father and Fatherland Our first encounter with ‘fate’  comes from the ‘family daemon’ – i.e. more specifically, our father’s psychological inheritance. In this respect ‘father’ doesn’t necessarily mean our biological fathers (or even personal father figures). The 4th house is more to do with our ‘roots’, which brings to the fore our cultural and social background. The Moon is the natural ruler of this house and so expect poignant dreams and memories not all of which will be pleasant. Learning how to deal constructively with these memories/dreams is one of the lessons to be learned by planets placed in this house. If we try to ignore the ‘family ghosts’, guaranteed that they’ll continue to haunt us with a vengeance.
8th house Halls of Judgement Our second encounter with ‘fate’ comes from more a generalised inheritance – i.e. a whiff of the stuff lying at the base of Greek tragedy. The 8th house has to do with ‘judgement’  – rewards and/or punishments – that come to us as the result of family patterns operating over decades or even centuries. If only John F Kennedy had decided not to pursue the destructive path of power and corruption that his forefathers had blazed for him, he wouldn’t have been assassinated in Dallas. Anger (possibly repressed)  is indicated with planets in this house – Mars is, after all, its natural ruler. The key to working with 8th house planets is to accept that there are some things that we cannot control and/or fix. However, like JFK, we always have a choice as to how to deal with them.
12th house Redemption/Salvation Our final encounter with fate’  comes from the collective unconscious – that Jungian ‘stuff’ that we share with the rest of humanity. Being in touch with this collective energy (through planets in this house) can be dangerous. To avoid disaster, we must always remain aware of our personal responsibility when working with this power. Neptune is the natural ruler of this house and so there is an element of redemption/salvation at work –  ‘buying back’ or ‘paying off’ some debt/ransom (even if not one of our own making). Whatever we do with our 12th house planets, it must be for the benefit of ‘something’ other than ourselves – this does not mean that we have to ‘sacrifice’ this energy in the sense of not getting any personal benefit, but instead it means that we take extra pains to ensure it is used for the greater good.

As promised, solar return/predictive work for MC – chin up!


Summary
– Haven’t been feeling yourself? Gloom and doom got you down? Has someone you thought you could trust deceived you? The dark cloud under which you’ve been living these past nine months will soon lift but you’ll still need to remain vigilant to avoid being deluded. Keep your spirits up! Although your skies may stay grey awhile longer, you actually are in the midst of a fantastic period of your life. How about developing your artistic abilities?

CM 2016 17.jpgDetails 2016-17:

  1. With Solar Return (SR) Saturn on the SR Midheaven (MC) –  expect a long, hard slog re: career aspirations; expect to be tired and, quite possibly, fed up. With the SR Moon also square your SR MC (and also Saturn), moodiness is magnified.
  2. But whenever Saturn is involved there’s  real opportunity for achievement – it’s like the race between the tortoise and the hare – the tortoise (Saturn) always wins not only because he never gives up, but he also knows how to pace himself.
  3. With the fixed star, Ras algethi (Stars of Hercules), conjunct this SR Saturn, there are added elements of boldness, courage, and leadership. How about channelling some energy into a project other than your day job – perhaps a charity or political cause that would give your life more purpose?
  4. Granted, positive action is difficult now not the least because Neptune is in the same degree as the nodal axis. Have you been expecting more from people than they were able to give even whilst your own sense of team/community spirit is lagging? If so, there’s good reason and with this configuration, it probably involves having been on the receiving end of some deceit/untruthfulness undertaken by someone whom you felt you could trust. It’s always worth considering, however, whether it might not have been so much that he/she told lies but that you weren’t able (or willing) to see the truth?
  5. Good news. This black cloud over your head is active only from around the time of your birthday in 2016 until the same time in 2017. Better news. This period is ¾ over!
  6. Two midpoints activated in this 2016-17 SR chart:
    • Moon/Neptune – Saturn:  this underlines pessimistic moods – this isn’t avoidable but it is temporary.
    • Sun/Pluto – Neptune: lack of energy and potential health issues – avoid becoming a martyr under any circumstances.th

 

Details 2017-18:

  1. SR Neptune is conjunct the SR MC and because it also rules the MC, it’s doubly important. Keywords for Neptune = impressionable, sympathetic, spiritual. Sounds good – but beware! With Neptune, there are always possibilities of being tricked, deceived, or otherwise deluded and with the MC, this is likely to manifest  in your career. The best defence is a good offense and so dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’ when it comes to your job. Don’t take chances. It also couldn’t hurt to take periodic advice from someone who has proven trustworthy in the past. Not everything that glitters is gold and during this period, you’ll have trouble telling the difference.
  2. No other planets are making (Ptolemaic) aspects to the angles and no planets are in the same degree as the nodal axis. Likewise, there are no midpoints we need to consider. So, let’s take a look at a few other predictive techniques to help get a better flavour for this period.
  3. Directing by triplicity is a simple but powerful tool involving the triplicity rulers of the main luminary in your natal chart (born at night=the Moon).
    • Because your natal moon is in Taurus, we look to the triplicity rulers for earth. Whilst your Moon in Taurus ruled the first 1/3 of your life, Venus in Libra is now running the show. This is a lovely, positive energy – life at its best and fully enjoyed! Keywords = friendly and obliging manner, fabulous social contacts, excellent taste, and nascent artistic skills.
    • Because of the sextile between your natal Venus and natal Neptune, all this is doubly highlighted. Maybe you’re a romantic with very high ideals? You certainly know how to get the most out of life as long as you avoid giving into chronic indecision and/or uncertainty.
    • Pluto is also tied in with your Venus (by conjunction) suggesting that when it comes to romance, you may be somewhat fanatical. It’s perfectly OK to look for intensity in relationships but, please, do try to avoid power plays.
  4. Key transits  (hard aspects only – they are most likely to materialise):
    • Transiting Saturn opposing your natal Jupiter (February 2018, June 2018, and November 2018) – testing not only your patience but also your self-confidence. With natal Jupiter in your 10th house, this is likely to felt most in your profession/career. Because transiting Saturn is in your 4th house, you may be confronted with dividing your loyalties between your job and home. Where is your sense of duty?
    • Transiting Uranus will make a square to natal your Mars (May 2018, and October/November 2018) – you’ll likely feel more argumentative than usual. This isn’t necessarily bad, however, as long as you direct your energy toward achieving things of real importance. Because your Mars is also in your 10th house, this too is most likely to manifest as the result of your job.

Solar Return 2017-18 – Happy Birthday SH

The solar return chart constructed for the place in which you currently live, gives a snapshot of your next 12 months. In reading this chart, we look only to the tightest (2-3 degrees at most) Ptolemaic aspects (i.e. trine, square, sextile, conjunction, and opposition).

Naturally, we’re looking for angular planets – to the extent there are any, they will pretty much direct the show. Not only this but we’re looking to see if any planets make aspects to the angles or fall in the exact degree of the nodal axis. After that, we will look to the tightest (> 5 minutes of arc) aspects of planets to mid/points.

In predictive work, it’s best to keep it short and sweet – a sketch of sorts – the objective is to give the client every opportunity to fill in the details for him or herself.SR for SH 2017.jpg

The following is for SH – hope you’re having a great birthday and an even better 2017-18 year:

Summary – some hard work ahead but there’s plenty of opportunity for pleasant sociability (perhaps romance) as well as significant personal benefit as long as you keep things light and sunny and avoid being argumentative or competitive. Just don’t make any promises or binding decisions regarding relationships until next year because the reality of the situation may not be what it seems.

Details for 2017-18:

  1. There are no planets conjunct the four angles. However, Saturn (21 Sag) is making a trine aspect to the ASC/DSC axis. This suggests that fortitude and hard work will improve your both self-esteem and your relationships. It might not be easy, but it will be rewarding – a mature outlook (based on years of experience) will help ease any feelings of frustration. You also have Neptune making a sextile to your MC (Mid-heaven). This may generate some confusion as to career path and/or your status in the world. However, this energy may easily be positively channelled – how about using it to get to grips with your spirituality?
  2. Whilst no planets conjunct the angles, your nodal axis (25 AQ/LE) does. This puts the focus on harmonious conduct within your family circle – and indeed within your entire field of associates/acquaintances. The more social you are, the more sociable you’ll feel. With this placement (along with Leo rising) the sunnier your personality, the better – and because the Sun, the chart ruler, is in a tight conjunction with Mars, expect an energetic year – full of promise as long as you avoid the temptation to be argumentative or overly competitive.
  3. This theme is echoed with Venus (25 Gemini) in the same degree as the nodal axis. Venus is in the 11th house of dreams, hopes, and wishes as well as that of the groups that can help those dreams to become reality. Keep it light and friendly and you will benefit from these groups. Indeed, the more that you can ensure that everyone in the group benefits, the better. Mutuality is highlighted – key words: adaptability, pleasant, engaging personality.
  4. The only midpoints under consideration are Venus/Neptune to both the Sun and Mars – this could lead to romanceenjoy !  Although (please) avoid making any promises/decisions in this regard until next year – health warning – the reality of the situation may not be what it seems.midpoint tree SH