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Sagittarius Secrets Revealed, act one

Dear Readers:

Dear Friend and Reader:

Though this is an "off week" for Astrology Secrets Revealed, so much is happening that a brief update seemed worth the investment of a few kilobytes and a cappuccino.

Thursday was the Sagittarius New Moon. This occurred at 4:00 p.m. sharp European Time, 3:00 p.m. in England and even earlier in the United States. In Australia, it was Friday morning. Remarkably, this all happened simultaneously.

Here's the New Moon chart, cast for London in Solar Fire 5:

SagMoon

Any New Moon is a conjunction of the Moon and the Sun (when expressing aspects between two moving points, the syntax of astrology calls for stating the faster point first). New Moons are identified by sign: for example, "the Sagittarius New Moon," because that's where it happens, in a sign. Usually, there is one New Moon per sign per year, but because the lunar month is about 28 days, and the Sun spends 30 days in each sign, occasionally we get two consecutive New Moons or two Full Moons in the same sign; but not this time around.

Looking at the chart, note all the extra activity in Sagittarius, along with the Sun and Moon: Pluto, of course, which has been defining one big thick layer of reality since 1994 (globalism; multiculturalism; Al Quedaism; Bushism; WalMartism; conservatism; and, per usual, many other isms). Note that ISMS stands for In Search of My Self.

Religiosity is a big theme of Sagittarius, but so, too, is an actual spiritual impulse, and with it, the aspiration to truth and justice. These are the two most common manifestations of this sign. They are rather different, but often mask as the same thing. People who say, "I am spiritual but I am not religious" are taking off the mask and making the distinction.

Ceres, the first asteroid, is completing a recent conjunction to Pluto, and has important mythical connections to this deep, dark planet (Pluto is the Roman lord of the underworld who kidnapped Persephone [Proserpina in Roman mythology], the daughter of Ceres-Demeter, and takes her down there half the year). When you think of a Ceres-Pluto encounter, think of an actual meeting between Bush and Cindy Sheehan. While this is not necessarily happening in real life, there is a prolonged encounter occurring between the two archetypes; we learn through contrasts, and ideas take a life of their own.

Note the gathering of cosmic momentum stripping down the war to its bare and disgusting facts. The reason we have permission to consider this acceptable is because a mother has said that it's so. This is much more remarkable than it may seem on its face. It's worth taking note any time an archetype manifests on the physical plane.

Developing the theme of political intrigue and the quest for global justice, the asteroid Pallas Athene is now newly arrived in Sagittarius. She is the divine attorney, the advocate, the guardian and the female warrior. The combination of Pallas and Sagittarius is no ordinary striving for righteousness, but rather a desire for truth that comes with an authentic ethical orientation.

Then there is Pholus, which reached Sagg to stay about two weeks ago. I'll come back to this subject of Pholus in Sagittarius in a moment -- but this is indeed a big one, and will be the driving force or at least a source of energy and awareness behind many rapid changes for the next decade. With Pholus, things always go faster than you think they will (Chiron works in much the opposite fashion).

While we're on the subject of Sagittarius, it's time to warm up the discussion of Pluto making its way across the Galactic Core. This happens through 2006 and 2007, but we're very close to the beginning. The first close encounter is in late March 2006 (a big time in history, mark your new date planner) when Pluto stations retrograde in late Sagittarius less than half a degree from the GC. Then the first exact (as in, to the arc minute) encounter occurs at the end of December 2006. If you're curious, the charts are located here.

If we think we're getting the idea that we live on one planet right now, wait till we begin experiencing the full effects of Pluto crossing the GC. I think that this transit will stop at "whatever it takes" to awaken us to the fact that humanity is one family and that Gaia is one entity.

The current New Moon occurs within a concentrated mix of energy shifts, including two inner planet stations and the nearly simultaneous sign changes of the first four Centaur planets. Saturn has also stationed retrograde as of last week. We're in the midst of a huge planetary shuffle, and this New Moon is like a beacon to adventure in the midst of it all. Since this is a New Moon, the greater part of the adventure is an inner experience. Since we're talking about Sagittarius, that inner journey is expressed outwardly.

Among the details on the shuffle are: Mercury stationing to direct motion on Dec. 4, in Scorpio, and then making its way back to Sagittarius (covered in detail in a recent edition of Planet Waves Weekly); and Mars stationing direct in Taurus, Dec. 11, beginning to wrap up the rather long Mars retrograde process; Venus getting ready to go retrograde, in a little over a month.

Note that the lunation itself occurs in a close trine to Saturn in Leo. You can SEE this trine because both Saturn and the New Moon are in fire signs and their degree numbers are close -- 9+ in the case of the lunation and 11+ in the case of Saturn.

On the subject of trines, we're still under the influence of the Jupiter-Uranus trine. Trines open doors, but then you have to walk through with your feet. They create opportunity, but it's easily squandered. They bestow talent, but it's rarely developed. Humanity thrives on conflict and friction and in general loves to abandon its best opportunities for progress. But we love rising to a good challenge. This is why, in general, we only respect (and have a clue how to use) aspects related to the square.

And there are a few of those in the vicinity as well. In addition to two significant trines, there's a grand fixed cross forming once again. Note that Mars and Jupiter are in a close opposition; that they are both square Saturn; and that Neptune is making a somewhat wide but still very effective opposition to Saturn as well. All four points of the fixed cross are covered and thus we have a fixed grand cross. This reaches the closest exactitude on Dec. 5, then again Jan. 15. We got a big blast of this energy about three weeks ago during the riots in outer Paris. The way these things often work is that we slowly acclimatize to an intense, long-standing aspect and not only get used to it, but figure out how to make our experience of it productive.

With so much involvement between Mars and the two rulers of Pisces (Jupiter and Neptune), honesty is the best policy and the only tolerable one. Dishonesty takes many forms, which can range from overreacting to not admitting to yourself how you feel. Honesty would start with a simple statement of one's feelings to oneself.

As for those Centaur sign changes. This is quite remarkable, and while I don't want to hype it through the roof and out into the backyard, we're in a historical moment for astrology -- astrologers of the future will look back and say how cool this was and account for all kinds of changes that are about to happen with the sign changes I'm about to describe. So you're way ahead of the curve and you can put this information to use for yourself.

The world is changing fast, and that means it's easier for individuals to change and find new ways to express their gifts, develop aspects of their personalities that would otherwise be unacceptable, and basically step up to the challenge of life with a little gusto. We will SEE and FEEL these changes. Like all things involving the Centaurs, eventually one must take notice. The very ground of reality under which the "post-9/11 world" was built is dissolving into something entirely different, a quality of energy in which ideas, information and progress can move a lot more quickly. Why is this?

Chiron, Pholus, Nessus and Asbolus -- the first four Centaurs -- are all changing signs simultaneously. This is apropos of the Sagittarius New Moon, since the Centaurs all possess a Sagittarian quality of journey, quest, or adventure -- though it's often expressed on the inner level. But not always. Worldly adventure can often ensue. The Centaur metaphor is usually a man's torso with a horse's body, so there is that sense of transit, of movement, and the sound of a horse's hoofs hitting the ground passionately. There is the contact with the "animal nature" -- the instinctual level of reality.

For reference, the first Centaur is Chiron, discovered in 1977; the second is Pholus, discovered in 1992; the third is Nessus, discovered in 1993; and the fourth is Asbolus, discovered 1994. It does not matter what anybody is saying or not saying about them -- these are the planets of the future, and as humanity evolves, and with it our need for resources to understand how we work inside, and to heal ourselves and express our individuality, becomes more obvious and acceptable, they will become much more mainstream astrological tools.

I've noticed that the the Centaurs influence astrology whether anyone knows about them or not. For example, many Chiron themes are percolating into the discussion of astrology without the actual mention of Chiron itself. In all, the use of astrology as a spiritual path, a healing modality, and a reference system for integrating other healing modalities are all under the guidance of Chiron.

Here are some additional ideas:

Chiron: Transition through awareness. Bringing shadow to the light. Standing out, not fitting any known category, doing things one's own way, and solving the problem oneself. The gift of responding to life's challenges, injuries, difficulties and moments of change through gradually focusing awareness, growth and learning. Now transiting into Aquarius in a conjunction with Nessus.

Pholus: Small cause, big effect. Pholus has the property of release from situations, opening to possibilities, and emerging into new states of existence. It is the Centaur of fast-moving changes, or rapid transformations, typically initiated by one's own action, minor though it may seem. Now transiting into Sagittarius.

Nessus: The buck stops here. The return of karma; situations that travel circular paths, or extend with unforeseen consequences. Conspiracy with a point of origin. The healing of abuse, including insidious kind that doesn't seem like much, until one looks closely; and the kind that was obviously so, but potentially overlooked. Now transiting into Aquarius in a conjunction with Chiron.

Asbolus: Survival and the recognition of having survived. Deep contact with something organic and essential -- the ability to endure and even thrive despite it all. Protection from victimhood. The blessing of protection even when it seems like none is there, such as in the story, "Footsteps." Now transiting retrograde between Aries and Pisces.

Note that with the first degrees of Aries, Sagittarius and Aquarius covered, the four are making an exact aspect structure that connects with the Aries Point. This is the point that reminds us that "the personal is political." A summary is linked.

The Centaurs are not asteroids, they are not normal planets, and not exactly Pluto-like objects or run-of-the-mill comets. They are this new kind of space bit, representing (as all points do) a frequency or type of consciousness and dimension of experience that is consciously accessible, but the existence of which is also often denied. Physically, they're believed to be leftover debris from the creation of the solar system that was first pushed to the outside, then drawn back in by gravity. This is a useful spiritual metaphor for how they often work within our experience.

The first three of the Centaur planets are taking up residence in their new signs after brief retrogrades back to the old signs through the summer and early fall. Chiron and Nessus are transiting into Aquarius; Pholus is transiting into Sagittarius. The combined humanitarian energy of Aquarius and the quest for justice that Sagittarius offers are being activated together. These are high energy signs; they are masculine Yang signs and they affect a lot of people.

Asbolus, the fourth Centaur, is transiting from Pisces to Aries, but is currently in one of those brief retrogrades to the old sign (Pisces). But it, too, is changing signs right about now. And quite remarkably, it's sitting exactly on the Aries Point, another indicator of how many people are involved in the movement -- the Aries point says more developments affecting many. One vital Asbolus theme is survival; the ability and the willingness to survive. So this on the Aries Point is an encouraging sign.

Here is an ephemeris that covers a few months so you can see the whole thing developing on a little chart.

How retrograde movement works must seem like an odd mystery to newcomers to astrology, but imagine that the Earth is orbiting very close to the Sun, and the Centaurs are quite far away. They move more slowly, and as the Earth goes around and around, they seem to sway to the left and right as the seasons pass. This is called parallax movement and is the reason we have outer planet retrogrades. It's not "actual" movement -- it is "relative" movement. But all movement is relative! So it IS actual movement, not merely an illusion.

Often, when outer planets change signs, they dip into the new sign, retrograde back into the old one, then go into the new one again, and this is exactly what's been happening all year with these four Centaurs. This quality of working the edge is very much a Centaurish kind of feeling; the edge is the point of awakening, and that eventually leads to the center; the far-out state of mind or experience that teaches us who we really are by taking us through unusual conditions, circumstances and character-shaping events.

All Centaur planets are associated with transitions, with intense situations that seem to push psychological and spiritual material to the surface, where we have the option to heal it, with special talents that concentrate around struggles and are often inspired by them -- and, in essence, with reclaiming our souls.

Generally, this reclaiming is done one piece at a time. While Pluto is often associated with the energy of the soul (a potentially useful idea, but not an absolute), the Centaurs give us specific projects and areas to focus on where we can actually do soul work, and in the end, we arrive at a point of e pluribus unum: of the many parts of who we are, we gradually unify our existence and relate to ourselves and to the world with integrity.

There is a mysterious alchemy to this process, and it's very much a Sagittarian energy. Here is a clue: the relationship between the one and the many on the inner level is that between The Lovers and the Temperance (or Art) trump cards in the Tarot. Here are images of those two cards, courtesy of the Crowley-Harris deck, with a bit of interpretation.

Here is a link to some additional materials on Centaurs, both astronomical and astrological. Much more is at Melanie Reinhart's homepage.

Updates continue daily at Planet Waves, including my daily blog and photos. The Astrology Secrets Revealed column is sponsored by your subscriptions to Planet Waves Weekly, so please drop in and see what we have to offer. ASR now has a project homepage.

Here is the definition of cappuccino.

Next week, in Sagittarius Secrets Revealed part two, I'll be covering the mysteries of the Galactic Core and the Great Attractor, which are the defining cosmic features of Sagittarius -- and taking a few more reader questions.


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Planetwaves

Planet Waves Weekly is the only place online to get the weekly horoscope of Eric Francis, both emailed and posted to the Web each Friday. The Friday mailing comes with a weekly birthday report. Plus, there is a Monday mailing of a bonus horoscope. Keep up with Eric's essays on astrological developments, chart reading techniques, Tarot cards, and world affairs. Experience Eric's unique perspective as an astrologer-investigative reporter. Read more than two yeas of archives of essays and horoscopes. Planet Waves Weekly is about to add a daily astrology feature that will describe how to make the most of the energy of the day. And all subscribers get free access to Bridge to the Core, the 2005 annual pages. We invite you to look around and become one of many satisfied readers of Eric's daring and innovative astrology journal.


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