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Archive for Friday 2nd September 2005

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Virgo New Moon

Dear Readers:

The United States seems to be at an important turning point. Many of us have New Orleans on our minds -- it's still reportedly 80% underwater. This is raising the climate change discussion and, apparently (due to destroyed refinery equipment in the Gulf region), the price of gas, which I hear is going up by the hour in some locales. They are really the same discussion. In Europe, where gas has cost $4 a gallon for a while, you don't see people driving around huge SUVs to buy a bottle of Pepsi. Even the police drive around with four cops packed into tiny little compact cars, as contrasted with the huge Ford Crown Victorias (or similar vehicles) that most American police departments use for just one officer on patrol.

Whether Hurricane Katrina was the result of global warming or not, it came in the stream of much astrology. I have read that extremes of weather are associated with strong lunations on the Leo-Aquarius axis, and we have just had a couple of those.

Meanwhile, we are approaching an eventful Virgo New Moon, exact Saturday, Sept. 3 at 7:45 pm BST. On the way this week, we had the exact opposition of the Sun (in Virgo) and Uranus (the planet of surprises and inventions) in Pisces shaking up the cosmic tree.

Thursday, Sept. 1 was the conjunction of Venus to Jupiter in Libra, exact Sept. 1. This is an event occurring close to the South Node of the Moon, the point in the chart associated with history and the effects of the past. As such, it may be part of an older story, representing a reunion of some kind, or the benefits of past effort, and in some cases, the consequences. This may include the benefits of a skill, knowledge or wisdom that can be put to judicious use now. I get the feeling we can both trust and handle what happens under this astrology.

However -- everything about this conjunction -- a meeting of the two "benefic" planets in one of the most positively oriented signs -- needs to be handled with prudence and an attitude of careful observation as events develop over the next two months, which include an eclipse of the Sun in Libra just over a month from today (Oct. 3).

It is just around that point (on Oct. 1) that Mars turns to retrograde motion for about 12 weeks. Mars, now moving slowly, very slowly, through Taurus, is certainly making itself felt in people's lives, though there are many possible effects and they are not all "negative." Mars remaining in one sign for a long time (as it does once every two years; the last one was Pisces, in the summer of 2003) places great emphasis on that sign. Taurus is the region of wealth, financial security, comfort and self-esteem. This emphasis may come in as questions, changes, reform projects or events with which we collaborate to shape the path of our lives.

We are already in the retrograde effect, as Mars now occupies degrees wherein it will be moving backwards (sometimes called the shadow phase). In all, it's a time to keep complications to a minimum, to keep discussions above the boards, and to keep a handle on where the people around you are coming from.

On Sept. 2, Pluto stationed direct in Sagittarius, making its way ever closer to the Galactic Core (which it finally reaches in Dec. 2006).

Last is the New Moon itself. Between now and Saturday, we are in the extreme waning phase of the Moon. This event still has the Sun in a fairly close opposition to Uranus, so it could be a kind of cosmic trigger of both personal and collective events. Many other aspects suggest that we are in a stable, dependable enough time of history to proceed with some combination of caution and determination. But surely not business as usual -- we really need to hold a healing vision for the planet, then seriously, and I mean really, get with the program of unusual progress and solving collective problems on the collective level -- that is to say, working together.

Not just praying or wishing: working and helping one another, while we learn to take care of our basic needs at the same time.

Updates are daily at Planet Waves, and the new free monthly horoscopes are posted. Thanks for tuning in.

Here are some of your questions this week. Thanks for writing, and my appreciation to Vanessa and Deirdre in the UK as well as Michelle Perrin in Paris for tying the many loose ends together on this project.


The Elements

Hello Eric,

Many years ago I obtained an astrology chart. Many of my planets are in 'Air' signs -- i.e. Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury & Saturn in Aquarius, with Libra rising ... and just one planet in an 'Earth' sign.

Surely I should be living totally in my head -- all dreams and ideas and no grounding? However, the reality is that although I do my fair share of dreaming, I have a determined approach to all that I undertake, and manage to implement concepts quite nicely. Could you explain how this can be so?

Many thanks
Lynne

Lynne chart

Dear Lynne,
There are a few ways to look at this.

Let's start with the most basic. We are not our charts, nor are we at the mercy of our charts. There are no firm rules for what makes a certain person a certain way. There are only tendencies, and then there are the actual ways that people live out their astrology. This is one of many reasons why we need to engage in a dialog with our charts -- that is, we talk to them, they talk to us, and between the two (maybe with a little help from an astrologer) we can figure out some basic messages of the astrology.

You have a strong Aquarius chart. Part of what astrology has lost in assigning the rulership of Aquarius to Uranus is the ancient idea that Saturn is truly important to this sign, and Saturn offers the most grounded and practical energy there is. There is nothing airy-fairy about Saturn in Aquarius, and to the extent that it's "in its head" it is often there with solid ideas, backed up by experience.

Usually (in modern times) Saturn is associated with Capricorn, an Earth sign, so you can associate that earthy energy of Saturn with the particular way you respond to life. This is not true of all Aquarians, but Saturn is offering you a stabilizing, grounded and level headed energy to work with.

Your chart is not lacking for Earth signs. Like everyone born in the mid-1960s, you have the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto. But this is a pretty special kind of Earth energy: it's about the need to respond to the condition of the world in an innovative, even revolutionary way -- but in an absolutely practical way, as Virgo would dictate. It is in my view extremely unfortunate that more of the Pluto in Virgo generation has not thrown off the yolk of the corporate world and taken up its role in the healing of the planet.

You also have the Moon's South Node in Capricorn. This is a true endowment of Earth energy, and it clues an astrologer into the fact that you have a solid footing in tradition, that you are aware that history has in fact actually happened, and that you're grounded in your ideas.

Finally, using this basic chart, you have Vesta in Capricorn. Vesta is a planet that has a lot to do with lifelong commitments, the willingness to make sacrifices for the greater good, and what you could call purity of purpose.

We could go on looking at other planets; I will include a snipped URL that will show you where some of the other helpful energies are -- you may identify some in Earth signs. Whatever these planets may mean, you can be sure they are grounding you with Earth energy.

For those who are not familiar with the astrological elements, here is a brief overview:

Earth signs are associated with grounded energy, as the name implies. Practical matters like food, nourishment, farming implements, cattle, and one's house and possessions are traditionally associated with this element. The Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. The associated suit of the tarot is pentacles.

Air signs are associated with ideas and their development, as well as communication, writing, dialog, conflict, and all forms of media. The Air signs are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. Interesting that two of these signs have strong associations to Saturn. Saturn is exalted in Libra and is the original ruler of Aquarius. Saturn does very well in Gemini as a result of this strong affinity with Air signs. The associated suit of the tarot is swords.

Fire signs are associated with passion, initiative, enterprise, distinction, and the questing energy that is at the core of the human psyche. The Fire signs are Aries (the first sign), Leo and Sagittarius. Note that Leo is the one sign ruled by the sun, which is the body at the center of our solar system and thus our whole concept of reality. The associated suit of the tarot is wands.

Water signs are associated with the unconscious, feelings and emotions, compassion, the deepest level of needs, fear and a kind of primal creativity. Water is the source of life as we think of it; a drop of ocean water contains traces of every element. The Water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. The associated suit of the tarot is cups.


Synchrodestiny

Dear Eric,

Do you believe astrology fits in neatly with synchrodestiny (concept of Deepak Chopra)? If so how?

- O.A.

Dear O.A,
I've looked up the word "synchrodestiny" in Google -- I don't think the Oxford English Dictionary has caught up with it quite yet. It turns out to be a word that Deepak has made up ("coined"). Here is what his publicist says it means, related to a book by the same title:

"In Synchrodestiny, Deepak Chopra teaches us to see coincidences as messages about the miraculous potential of each moment. He reveals how, through understanding the forces that shape coincidences, you can learn to live at a deeper level and access the flow of synchronicity that lies at the heart of existence. He writes about `the seven principles of synchrodestiny' and gives you practical techniques for applying those principles in your everyday life. As you learn to recognise the meaning and pattern behind the things that happen to you, apparently by chance, you will become aware of yourself as a part of the divine flow of existence. In this state of expanded self-awareness, you will experience your environment as always positive, always helping you in a synchronistic way to unfold your highest good. In fact you will know, then, that you inhabit a world in which miracles are a daily occurrence. If many people were able to move into this new state of consciousness, says Deepak Chopra, this would result in the simultaneous co-arising of events that would lead to a completely new world.... a miraculous prospect indeed."

Astrology fits this process because it relies on the concept of synchronicity -- that is, meaningful coincidences. However, astrologers know that people don't always follow these little clues, and part of an astrologer's job is to see them, to point them out, and to talk to you about heeding them. Deepak is proposing a philosophy of life that is based on doing just that, which we have also read about in The Celestine Prophecy.

Stated another way, he is talking about following your intuition. Most people follow a pre-packaged plan that they don't know they're onto (though some do, of course), which suggests that we must take the same train to work every day even if our intuition says walk, get a ride or take a taxi.

I would personally vote against the use of the word "destiny" as part of this idea. It seems to imply one destination; we live in a multiverse of many possibilities. Destiny is an alluring concept for people who want to give up the responsibility they have to steer their lives coherently, that is, the deep responsibility we have to choose what we want. This is where astrology would weigh in with a somewhat less automatic view of existence.


Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Dear Eric,

In your PlanetWaves monthly column, you urge Cancerians not to make any new financial or personal commitments before the end of the year. In my case, a series of events has already been set in motion and it's all falling into place with very little help from me. I have to give my boss (of ten years) a decision on leaving by September 1 and am probably going to relocate, find a new job, and deepen my commitment to a two-year relationship. All by October 1. No problem. You know how Cancerians love change.

I could stay where I am in terms of location. I could probably charm the man who loves me and has been waiting for me to take this relationship to the next level into waiting for a few more months. But if I have to stay in my present job, I may just lose the three marbles I have left. It's been tough since ... well, forever, but the last five years have pushed me to the limit. Am I making a big mistake?

Sincerely,
Maria

Dear Maria
In life, no matter what horoscope columns say, you need to follow your intuition and that means doing what feels right, now -- and any good astrologer will tell you that. You seem to have an idea of what this means, judging from the tone and content of what you've written. Also, where such important decisions are concerned, when it's time to do astrology, it's a good idea to carefully go over the natal chart for a couple of hours and really see what's in there -- assuming you don't have enough information to make up your mind. Which it seems quite nicely that you do.

That being said, the Cancer column for August was the one time in my astrology writing career where I looked back at the column and wondered: What was I thinking? When I checked back about a week ago and got the chart out and went over my work, it did seem to be rather cautious, and to not take into account a rather excellent window of opportunity that is opening up for Cancerians right about now (not exclusively for them, but that's who we're talking about). However, I could see that I had specific reasons for urging caution, mostly associated with the approaching Mars retrograde, the ongoing series of Mars-Neptune squares, and the upcoming solar eclipse in Libra.

But reviewing my work, I got intuitive confirmation that I said the right thing. In hindsight, I would have suggested a pause until Mercury was done being retrograde before going ahead with assessing modest plans. And I would have suggested being open to change. With all the activity in Libra (the solar 4th house of Cancer), the base of support, the rooting, of people born in Cancer is certainly shifting. But back when things felt a lot more uncertain, with Mercury about to be retrograde in the 2nd house of Cancer (Leo), it seemed like a healthy assessment not to make new commitments for a while -- particularly while that was in effect.

Here is how I stated it in the September Planet Waves Monthly column (for Cancer):

"The next six or eight weeks arrive with a series of turning points and moments of truth regarding where you are, and how this relates to who you are. As usual, the crux of the issue of where you call home has something vital to do with your relationships, and maintaining a sense of balance within them. The truly surprising discovery may be that you don't have to do anything, or go anywhere, for certain long-overdue changes to occur. But then, Uranus in Pisces does offer a kind of worldwide lure to adventure, which you would be wise to allow a voice, and take for a long run in a big field. At its essence, the astrology of early autumn is a reminder to keep your ideas about life loose, not take the opinions of others too seriously, and to make your mark on the world where it matters most -- in your own heart and soul."

And in Inner Space Monthly, for September, the House and Home horoscope (for Cancer):

"To take advantage of developing aspects in the emotional and domestic angle of your chart, you must presume not only that your needs are going to be taken care of. You need to open your mind to all that you know is possible, and much that you hope is possible. You've proven to yourself too many times that your own negative thinking gets in the way more than anything, and it's time you got the lesson in the most constructive and positive way. So keep active track of what you want, what you need, and what you know will make you feel right."

I am curious to see what Yasmin and my other colleagues have come up with for Cancer this month. Perhaps we can do a little review of how other astrologers have handled this sequence of events.

Thanks for writing -- and I'll make sure my other readers get this letter, in case they need it too.


Are all Taureans Bad for Me??

Dear Eric,

All my life I have had major problems with people born under the sign of Taurus: my first husband, an abusive relationship, a bullying boss, a possessive relation, and a best friend who was anything but friendly behind my back. All these people have had a major impact on my life. Is this a coincidence as my husband claims or should I be very wary of all Taurus born people? At present another Taurus has come into my life via my work situation someone who I have to work closely with. I would appreciate your advice,

Regards
Carol

Carol chart

Dear Carol:
Well, I can see what the issue is. But I don't think Taurus people are bad for you. I think you need them, and need to learn how to work with them.

Taurus is a fixed sign. You don't have any placements in Taurus using the basic planets; but notice how much activity you have in the other fixed signs -- Leo (North Node and Pluto), Scorpio (Venus), and Aquarius (Juno and the South Node). You have no major planets in Taurus, but Taurus completes a grand cross in your chart. So everyone who shows up with a Taurus Sun (or Moon, or other important placement) gets mixed into your grand cross, and thus begins to play what you might call a karmic role in your life.

We see this kind of thing happening all the time in astrology.

I would not be surprised if most of these people were born in late April or early May, because they would fit in the most directly, but it could work with any mid-spring birthday.

I can only speculate, since I can't talk to you about several of these relationships and see what they have in common, besides you. I think you're using Taurus people to fill an energetic void in your chart. There is a sense of a "missing piece" that they may be showing up to fill. At this point, the energy in your chart is turned on, and you then have to address certain personal issues that were always there, but which suddenly appear at full strength.

Do you have any idea what those may be? I am not suggesting you blame yourself, but is there anything you actually learn from these people? Patience, for instance, or to throw the small wastepaper basket, rather than the large one?

You have a heck of a lot of Gemini -- by the chart we have here, I see five different planets: Uranus, Vesta, Mars, Saturn and the Moon. If I were you, I would want a lot of Taurus people in my life, for stability and grounding (as someone with a heavy air chart, and plenty of water, I tend to attract Leos, another fixed sign, whom I depend upon for stability).

The problem I see is that you seem to feel you are at cross-purposes with these people, and you seem to struggle to maintain your identity as a woman. Let me address both.

I say cross-purposes because Taurus squares your lunar nodes (which represent something vital about your purpose, and go from Aquarius to Leo). This is challenging for everyone, and can represent the feeling of a hang-up, unless there is a lot of very clear communication. As someone with such strong Gemini-Sagittarius energy, you're likely to have a different idea of communication than a Taurus-type, who may feel that emailing once a year is too often to keep up with the progress.

You're going to need to learn how to communicate with these people. If the relationship is important to you, I suggest you take the advice of Debbi Kempton Smith and bribe this new Taurus guy at your office with baked potatoes. Bring fresh sour cream and butter; par-boil the potato and finish baking it in the office microwave. Put it on the guy's desk, wait half an hour, then get to work.

I don't mean to imply that as the woman in the situation, you are the automatic caregiver. I would have said the same thing to a man (even though most guys would feel it's a little strange for their guy office mate to be showing up with a baked potato for them). I mean to say that you need to relate to people who are very different than you on THEIR OWN terms. Now, that, too, brings up a potential gender issue, since woman often seem to be the ones who relate to people (i.e., men) on THEIR OWN terms -- and whatever one may say about this, it's a precious human skill, if one has it. And as far as I can see, there is gender stuff going on in your situation, which I'll get to; but if you ask me, but there is also astrology: it's difficult to imagine two more contrasting types than a Taurus type and a strong Gemini/Sag type. It's like the difference between a cellphone and a tree. You can dial your cellphone all you like; the tree is not going to answer, no matter how many extra daytime minutes it has.

Here is the gender thing, and you can look at this entirely irrespective of other people (though this is difficult, since gender inherently implies interpersonal relating between the genders).

You have something very important in Scorpio, specifically Venus, which represents one's adult feminine identity. Venus in Scorpio raises the question of the power of love. There is a question of your outward manner potentially being different than you really feel inside. There is a potential conflict between feeling like you can attract what you want, versus needing to aggressively get it. There is a lot of passion, anger, lust, and emotion associated with this placement. Any of that ring a bell?

And -- as I said -- the main theme is the power of love. Do you feel that love gets its power from your nurturing, caring, nature; your inherent attractiveness; or because you need to make something happen? When you encounter another person, do you tend to give, or to withhold? How do you feel about the choice you make? In other words, when you give, do you feel good, and healthy, or resentful, or something else? If you withhold, do you feel powerful, or weak, or like you really want to give, or both?

Venus in Scorpio is at a 90-degree angle to the lunar nodes, meaning it is the one planet that you MUST address or you will basically stop your spiritual progress. When you meet a Taurus, this person has their Sun opposite your Venus and also square your lunar nodes. You get an opportunity; you get a series of choices you can make; you get an important counter-balancing energy -- and a very powerful one. There is quite a lot of energy contained in Taurus, but like geothermal power, we often need to get it out of the ground.

I suggest you be patient, loving and take a lot of responsibility for observing, growing and learning when you meet a Taurus, or anyone for that matter, and see how it goes from there. To do this, you may have to change all your ideas of what you think is fair, but you may make an important discovery in the process. Please let me know if you do.

Catch you next week, or see you over at Planet Waves.


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