imagesWith the Sun in Cancer (cold/wet) and the Moon in Capricorn (dry/cold) it’s going to be a Phlegmatic/Melancholic couple of days.

You may recall that humoural theory is based on the ancient and medieval physiology and medicine as expounded by Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Galen – it’s all to do with the four blocks or ‘roots’ of the material world that manifest in certain humours and their related temperaments:

ELEMENT QUALITY HUMOUR TEMPERAMENT
Fire Hot/dry Yellow Bile Choleric
Earth Cold/dry Black Bile Melancholic
Water Cold/wet Phlegm Phlegmatic
Air Hot/wet Blood Sanguine

Often we experience various combinations of the four humours resulting in mixed temperaments – the more balanced between the four humours, the better – but this one won’t be be easy to balance; the shared quality between the Sun and the Moon at the moment is cold and that suggests a combination of low energy and a rather sober mood.

By nature, the Phlegmatic is shamefaced and sober and the Melancholic, suspicious and musing. Put the two together and there isn’t much you can do to balance out what is likely to feel like a cold shower.

In terms of the Jungian Functions, feeling is infused with sensation – hence your perception of what’s going on around you is likely to be as overwhelmingly gloomy as it is accurate. But brooding over the current state of affairs won’t change them. Hence the best way to deal with this Phlegmatic/Melancholic energy is to sit tight and avoid taking unnecessary action for it won’t be too long before the Moon shifts into Aquarius and then you’ll be able to gain some much-needed distance and perspective.humor theory

8-StrengthWith a serious stellium (Sun, Moon, Pluto, Mercury, and Venus) in Capricorn (not to mention the last hours of a waning moon) at 0:00 AM 1 January 2014 (GMT), the prevailing energy of the entire of calendar 2014 for everyone will be one of Strength.

CAPRICORN = ambition, concentration, determination, authoritarian

STRENGTH = courage, commitment, enjoyable acceptance of life

Without renewed passion, this year you will not be able to continue in your chosen direction. You will have difficulty enduring the challenges and could be forced to drop back and regroup.

Because the Strength card relates to Leo, this year your experience a ‘lust’ for creativity and self-expression. Like the sap rising in spring, life-force surges through your veins. Hopefully you will direct this passion into meaningful projects and not waste it or worse – allow it to convert into a destructive force.

StrengthIn ritual magic, this is akin to raising a ‘cone of power’, which when released must be directed toward a specific purpose else it wreaks havoc.

During the whole of 2014 you’re called to look carefully at what you’re doing because quite honestly, you will be ‘playing with fire’. Like fire, your emotions can be a great civilising force or a source of destruction. The key to getting this right is to embrace what you feel to be ugly or beastly in yourself, because in a year of Strength, is only through acceptance that you build character.

You will be challenged to persevere through difficult situations perhaps in career, health, or family. You will be challenged to balance your needs with those of the people you love. You will be challenged to stick with it no matter now rough the going gets because this is the only way to discover what it is that you really want.

Strength

The following enchantment may help:

Light a red candle representing your carnal or animal nature. Take a white candle (representing your higher ‘self’) of equal size and touch it to the burning flame. By mixing the red and white waxes together, the pink power of love will manifest. Let the two candles burn down together and repeat the following:

“With the loving strength of my Higher Self, I will make an ally of my instinctual nature”

Keep a piece of pink wax with you in a sealed envelope to help you remember your pledge.

Pisces-Sept07-DE7863sAR800Is the urge to spirituality innate?

Carl Jung certainly thought so.

He suggested the need to make connection with something greater than yourself is only make you feel truly alive.

One way to look for this connection is through your natal birth chart. You must be prepared, however, to look further afield than Jupiter and Neptune –  the ‘usual’ astrological significations of spirituality. Remember that every planet represented in your chart, was once a god or goddess in his or her own right.

Naturally this isn’t easy – getting in touch with the numinous. It could even be dangerous. As Liz Greene has always been quick to remind us, personally expressing the energies of outer planets like Uranus, Neptune and Pluto can not only be overwhelming but pathological.

So for now we’ll stick to the inner planets – are you up to the challenge?

To get an idea how this might work for you, look at your strongest and most influential planets (by sign and house placement)– and don’t forget the ruler of your ascendant – your chart ruler. For example, with Libra rising focus on your Venus. If your Sun is in Leo (the Sun rules Leo), then look there. If your Jupiter is in Cancer (where it is exalted) then focus on that.

While reading the rest of this post, lease keep in mind that for these purposes, ‘spirituality’ = finding a sense of meaning and purpose through connecting with that which lies beyond your ken.

 

Sun Solar energy is key to how you bring spiritual urges into personal expression  – this is accomplished not by sacrificing your ego, but by honouring it. You are every bit as much a part of creation as everyone – and everything – else. Because, as myths of ancient Egypt remind us, the Sun passes through the underworld (below the horizon) each and every day, your solar experience of spirituality could even manifest as a life and death struggle.

 

For example, with Sun in Scorpio you might undergo psychoanalysis –or act as a therapist (or shaman) for others in this way. That which you extract from working with your unconscious (for example, by dream work) may give you a sense of that which lies beyond.

Moon Lunar energy manifests through feelings of belonging and shared experience. Get tactile – get earthy – even organic – the lunar experience of spirituality is not about flying off to some lofty place – but about embodiment. The connection here is through the circle of life – in this earth plane.

 

For example, with Moon in Taurus you might  go to classes in yoga, undertake communal gardening, or even practice Zen Buddhism. The more you get in touch with your shared physical world, the more you’ll feel in touch with the lunar version of the divine.

Mercury With Mercury, spirituality is about discovery, solving problems, and making connections.  This doesn’t have much place in Piscean religions like Christianity because to question too much is considered to destroy faith. But as the great astronomical shift from the Age or Pisces into the Age of Aquarius progresses, Mercury can be expected to again take centre stage. For the power of ‘comprehension’ was worshipped as a god by the ancients– through the development of language and the discovery of how to harness ‘tools’ like the wheel.

 

For example, with Mercury in Gemini you might take up blogging – not just the kind where you shoot off the first thing that comes to mind, but that which takes research and serious consideration.

Venus The key to Venusian spirituality is not only that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but also it can be found everywhere. In this regard, beauty is not just pretty or cute or nice – but that which literally brings tears to your eyes. Real beauty (once a key component of the ‘sublime’) by the very nature of the experience takes you ‘out of yourself’. Take your cue from the Renaissance whence art was considered not only the most natural expression of spiritual feeling but also the containment of the quintessence of reality.

 

For example, with Venus in Libra, you might take a course in art history or even learn to paint and draw. If it’s beautiful to you, then it carries some aspect of the divine for you and your job is to appreciate that for what it is.

Mars Most are familiar with the image of an angry god – just have a look at the Bible’s Old Testament. But Martian spirituality can also manifest in heroic undertakings like ‘fight’ for what is ‘right’. The trick here is to make sure you’ve really got a grip on whatever it is that for which you’re fighting = with Mars, it easy to get lost with  ‘might’ makes ‘right’.  Important civilizing qualities like tolerance and understanding are not Martian things.

 

For example, with Mars in Aries you might volunteer to work in a rape crisis call centre or train to work as part of an ambulance or other rescue team– anything what will get you into touch with the many manifestations of violence and aggression will help you to understand that the divine truly has many face.

Jupiter Astrological Jupiter can function as your personal connection to the ‘divine plan’ – however it is that you perceive it.The idea is to plug into the ‘global context’ – to become connected with that which is truly outside yourself. When you find meaning in the greater patterns of the world, you’ve found the path to your own spiritual growth.

 

For example, with Jupiter in Sagittarius, you might take up the study of comparative religion – with the expectation that learning about the many manifestations of ‘Divine’ across time and cultures might will help you to get a grip on what’s right for you.

Saturn Saturn is oft associated with the teachings of traditional religions because it is so keen on ‘following rules’. But don’t forget that Saturn can also focus its quest for spirituality through other types of laws like those of science or society.

 

For example, with Saturn in Capricorn, you might  become involved with your local church. Not just in a superficial way like as an usher, but perhaps as a layman or Sunday School teacher.  Similarly, if you don’t already have a career in law, you might want to become a magistrate or justice of the peace. You’re looking for anything that takes you out of your ordinary sphere of influence while still retaining structure.

Uranus Uranus imparts the need to get a glimpse of what lies beyond the veil (i.e. the tarot  High Priestess).  The mystery lies in how all the parts fit together – the here and the now and the above and beyond – there’s a connection for certain – and it’s the job of Uranus to find it. Unlike with Saturn, Uranus can never do this through organised religion. Structure and form are merely bonds for Uranus to break – it its urge to greater and more powerful revelations.

No example is given here because the energy of Uranus is considered too strong and dangerous to be channelled individually.  If you have Aquarius rising, look to Saturn as the traditional ruler.

 

Neptune

 

Neptune searches for unity through ‘meltdown’ and dissolution of the ego/self. Christianity is perfect for Neptunian seekers – especially the mystical side of the tradition.

 

No example is given here because the energy of Neptune is considered too strong and dangerous to be channelled individually.  If you have Pisces rising, look to Jupiter as the traditional ruler.

Pluto Pluto represents the face of spirituality bound up with evolutionary processes – this is the ultimate of the survival of the fittest.  Read the work of Teilhard de Chardon – who not only was a Jesuit priest, but also a first class philosopher and palaeontologist.

 

Again, no example is given because the energy of Pluto is too strong and dangerous to be channelled individually.  If you have Scorpio rising, look to Mars as the traditional ruler.

   

 

In a recent essay, philosopher John Gray suggests that John Maynard Keynes, one of the most influential economists of the 20th Century, would not have supported the ‘simple minded’ view that the only way forward is through government stimulation of the economy to facilitate a return to growth.

The problem, Gray notes, isn’t just a deepening recession, but instead the breakdown of modern capitalism itself.

He suggests that complex interaction of the collapse of debt-based finance, fatal faults in the euro’s design, and an on-going shift of economic power from the west to the east and south, have created a 21st century crisis that 20th century Keynesian policies cannot fix.

Transiting Pluto in Capricorn (2008 – 2024) suggests exactly the same thing.

Astrologically, Pluto symbolizes natural cycles of evolution.  Pluto’s message is to let go of anything past its ‘sell-by’ date.  If you don’t, expect the worst.

Astrologically, Capricorn symbolizes structures – especially those put in place to create political order and economic stability.

The last time Pluto was in Capricorn (1762-1778), it addressed (1) the rearrangement of the power structure between individuals and their government, and (2) the start of the Industrial Revolution which so altered patterns of production and consumption as to give birth a ‘modern’ economy characterized by sustained and continuous growth.

Two hundred years later, Pluto returns to Capricorn and we’re forced readdress the same things.

Gray reminds us that Keynes was first and foremost a skeptic and that his most important message was to know when to let go of outmoded ideas.  Based on this, Gray suggests that with our ageing populations and overhang of debt, there’s little prospect of developed Western societies keeping up with the past.   He asks whether we’d be better off thinking about how to enjoy life in conditions of low growth?

Considering my experience with Pluto, I have to agree.

With the Sun in Taurus  (security and stability) and the Moon in Capricorn (achievement and wealth), today and tomorrow are Nine of Coins days.

The Nine of Coins is a glorious card – appealing on so many levels.

The woman here depicted, is completely at one with nature, her garden having produced an abundance of luscious purple grapes and shiny gold coins. On her hand, rests a falcon–the wild, progressive energy of the hunt – in control and at her command. At her feet, crawls a tiny snail – the slow, steady progress (snail’s pace) that realised her goals.  In the distance, is her sprawling manor house, secure and well maintained.

Perfection.

So could be wrong with this picture?

Well, the woman does have only her animals for company.

I’ll bet she gets lonely for human contact once and awhile – don’t you?

This is the downside of the Nine of Coins – money divides – and that’s the truth of it.

“But I’m the Green Man.  The earth is my element.”

(from Jane Gardman’s  The Green Man) [1]

The Green Man is tradition.  He tirelessly tends the land.  He does this off his own back.  He receives thanks from none.   Each and every year it’s his green thumb that brings in the harvest that the rest of us eat.   This is the job of the Green Man;  this is what he does.  No matter how discouraged, his element is earth.  He cannot leave.

Perhaps this is a familiar feeling for those of you with lots of planets in earth (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn)?

Earth planets and houses (2nd, 6th, and 10th) require work.  It is through these earth energies that you give form and definition to life.  Like the Green Man, you can’t do this for others.  You must do it to satisfy yourself.   If you expect reward, these energies will turn against you.  You are lost when you give form to the values of others.

Value is nothing until you put a price on it and it seems that in our society the Green Man pays an extortionate price; he is old, poor, unfed, and unappreciated.  All his contemporaries drive Mercedes.  He does not.

Yet aren’t material success and personal fulfilment assured to everyone who tries?  Some say we can’t have both.  I say we can’t afford not to.  The Green Man just retired.

Traditionally earth planets and houses show how you make money and achieve your ambitions.  From birth, you’re told ‘the sky is the limit’.  Is that what post-modern life is all about?  We’re told that good old-fashioned work has no place for airy ideals.  Yet this contravenes magic (Neo-Platonic philosophy).  Manifestations on the material plane are reflections of subtle changes in the ‘ideal’ plane.  What gives?

In Gardman’s story, the Green Man told Christ he couldn’t go to heaven because

‘…the earth is my element.  This is my tragedy.  I am not yours.  I am bound and tied.’

Post-modern Western man (myself included) is also bound & tied – to iPhones, iPads, and all the latest fashion.  We’re also tied to bank-overdrafts and credit card debt.  Apparently (at least in relation to our ‘earthy’ ‘values’), some things never change.  How dispiriting.


[1] The Windrush Press (1998), p. 45.

With the sun in Taurus (industry and tangible success) and the moon in Sagittarius (hope, wisdom, and purpose), today is a eight of coins

This is a lovely energy and a quiet energy, too.  In some ways, it’s the best that coins have to offer.  On an eight of coins day, you can be content and enjoy your work with heart-felt enthusiasm.

Energy like this is hard to come by – especially these days.  In a world where you’re constantly being convinced that  you need ever more and more, it’s difficult to accept you could be happy with what you already have.

I suggest the problem lies with the nature of the energies coming both before and your delightful eight of coins interlude.

With the seven of coins (Sun in Taurus and moon in Scorpio) we see a man admiring the enviable fruits of his labours.  Yet despite his success, he looks less than pleased.   One gets the impression he’s thinking – ‘hold on –  this is all very well and good – but is this all there is?’  Remember Scorpio can’t be happy with anything – being as guarded and distrustful as he naturally is.

With the nine of coins (Sun in Taurus and moon in Capricorn) we see an lovely lady standing in her abundant garden.  She seems completely at one with her world.  Yet there’s an added feature here that is easily overlooked – the hooded falcon.   The falcon represents the soaring human spirit (Sagittarius).  That is is hooded suggests that it flies only as and when its mistress chooses.  In other words, although she is capable of intense creative and emotional expression (Taurus),  (unlike with the moon in Scorpio) the moon in Capricorn is not a slave to her passions.  Such grace comes not only with success but also with discipline.  This lovely lady has had to train like a new puppy to hold herself until its time to let go.

It’s the discipline part of the nine of coins that these days, most of us eschew.

Yet it’s impossible to fully embrace the passion offered by the eight of coins without also sensing the discipline the nine of coins will require in order to enjoy it.

It’s much easier to sink back into the empty victory the seven of coins, moaning – as most of us do – there must be more to life.

But if that’s not what you want, then on an eight of coins day, you have a choice.

Do that which makes you want to get up in the morning – that which expresses your most treasured values, gifts, and desires.  On a eight of coins day you have the unique opportunity to bask – even if just for a moment – in the pure pleasure of doing for the doing .

On an eight of coins day, follow your bliss.  Live today for the day.