Today and Tomorrow are Phlegmatic / Melancholic Days

With the Sun in Cancer (cold/wet) and the Moon in Virgo (cold/dry), its Phlegmatic/Melancholic couple of days.

As you will recall, 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 block 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

You may also recall that we experienced Phlegmatic/Melancholic energy earlier this month (1 July) when the Moon was in Capricorn; that energy was unpleasantly sobering, rather like a cold shower. That was because Saturn rules Capricorn and he isn’t known for being jolly. Indeed Saturn is usually cautiously ambitious to a fault.

MercuryBut this time the energy will be different because Mercury rules Virgo and he brings a much lighter energy to bear. In classical mythology, Mercury is the trickster god and hence like the Fool card in the tarot, has no fixed agenda. Indeed his is a spontaneous approach to life and although he rushes in where angels may fear to tread, he is usually successful. This is because whilst like Saturn he has developed significant wisdom, unlike Saturn, he isn’t overly cautious. Mercury isn’t remotely as self-focused as is Saturn and hence doesn’t envision life as an ego-trip.

Hence the energy today is still reserved and serious but not inflexible. The best way to handle this is to lighten up a bit – that makes it easier to see where you’re headed.

New Moon in Virgo – party’s over – time to clean up the mess

The HermitAfter the many ego excesses of Leo, it’s time to drop back and regroup and what better energy with which to do this, than with pure Virgo.

In the tarot, Virgo corresponds with the 9th card of the Major Arcana, The Hermit.

The Hermit is a venerable and mysterious figures of solitary intention. Leaning on his staff, he pauses to hold up his lamp (of intellect) and drive away the darkness (of ignorance).

Contrary to popular belief, the Hermit is not a lonely, sorry individual bereft of family and friends. Quite the opposite. He is the kind old wise man whom others eagerly seek out.

But in many respects he does stand alone in that he separates himself from the crowd so that he’s no longer controlled by their moods and desires.

To be like The Hermit does not mean you must renounce society.

But what it does mean is that you must stand aside from it long enough to turn on your own lamp ti discover who and what you really are.

What would you do, be, wear, or think if no one else were watching?

What would you spend all your time doing – not for money to be gained from it – but for the pure joy of doing it?

What would it feel like to forget all your troubles?

This is not to suggest your troubles have gone away – but only that if you can use the energy of the new moon in Virgo wisely, you and your troubles will no longer one and the same.

Today is a ‘Tower of Destruction’ Day

The TowerWith the Sun in Virgo (perfection) and the Moon in Leo (aspiration), today is a ‘Tower of Destruction” day.

Throughout history, there have been plenty of examples where hubris (i.e. excessive self-confidence, OED, n) has been the cause of a disastrous fall. Check out The Icarus Syndrome by Peter Beinart for insight.

Yet if in today’s world we’re pushed to ‘be all that we can be’ (and more) then where ought we draw the line between well-deserved success and hubris?

Meditations on the Tarot (A Journey into Christian Hermeticisim) provides a thoughtful answer:

Every Christian has been taught that man was ejected from the Garden of Eden for desiring more ‘knowledge’ than God wished to reveal.

Yet why was it so important to have such knowledge?Meditations on the Tarot

Origen (circa AD 185) suggests this is hard-wired in our souls – i.e. we are built to push the boundaries of nature with the purpose of breaching them – i.e. for example through scientific research.

According to the Hermetic tradition, this is dangerous for if God wished us to have such knowledge, He would have revealed it.

Does it mean that we should never strive for more than we’ve been given?

Of course not. The StarAccording to Hermetic wisdom, it is absolutely necessary for us to work and grow – to think and await the ripening of our thoughts – to cultivate and maintain ourselves as we would care for our garden – wherein we realise all will grow and be harvested in its own time.

So why do we push ourselves more than we push our gardens?

Hermetic wisdom suggests that (through ignorance), we identify ‘self’ with ‘ego’ – ‘I’ must have this or that because ‘I” want it (not because I need it or because it is good for me but because I WANT) – and such behaviour is further fueled by advertisements suggesting you should want whatever is for sale for no other reason than because ‘You’re worth it’.

Danger – danger – danger !!!!

What will you be ‘worth’ after your personal fall?

If on a ‘Tower of Destruction’ day, you’re tempted to push beyond your boundaries- beyond the bounds of your own nature  – and like Icarus, fly too close to the sun, resist and be heartened.

In the tarot, the card following ‘The Tower of Destruction’ is that of The Star’ – a kneeling woman with two urns being poured in equal measure so as to achieve balance and equilibrium.

Faces Within Faces – Revealing the Secrets of Your 5th House

Conflict exists between the face you believe that you present to the world and that which you actually do.  If you don’t wish to take yourself at ‘face value’, then dig deeper.

Astrology offers a way to do just that.   Like artists, astrologers seek to capture the essence of their subject – that unique signature style that sets one apart in the sea of humanity.

The best place to start is with the 5th house.  It’s here that you find your potentiality for self-expression.  Keep in mind however, that you could choose to use this energy to camouflage your real Self.

The 5th house is a place of enormous complexity.  It symbolises not only that in which you take pleasure (Venus ‘delights’ here), but also it’s home to your heart chakra.  The 5th house channels your life’s vital energy.   It also symbolises your ability to give and receive without strings.

If your 5th house energy is inhibited or blocked, you’re unable to fulfil your promise.  In this case, the ruler of your 5th house (and any planets residing there) provides clues.  Societal attitudes toward self-expression are also synthesized in the 5th house.

I have Scorpio on my 5th house cusp.  This makes Pluto (in my 2nd house in Leo) and Mars (in Virgo conjunct Venus in the 3rd) the co-rulers of the face I present to others.  As Scorpio is renouned for being guarded and suspicious, it’s little surprise that, for my own protection, I hide myself away.  Perhaps early on I learned that expression of the ‘real me’ was dangerous?  I realise that under my easy Libran smile, my teeth are always clenched.  Clearly something intense is going on under the surface.  Maybe it’s the ever-present survival concerns (Pluto in Leo in 2nd house) especially in regard to financial security?  Or maybe I’m mistrustful of life in general?

People have told me that I have a piercing gaze.  I hold eye contact with them longer than is comfortable.  What am I looking for?  My Mars in Virgo squares my Moon.  This suggests my playful Gemini Moon is seeking a way to relax and let ‘go’.

Can others see this in my face?  Can I?

The Green Man & why some things never change

“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.